Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - House Republicans Roll Out Legislation To Overturn New Net Neutrality Rules-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and 31 Republican co-sponsors have submitted the Internet Freedom Act (PDF) for consideration in the House of Representatives. The bill would roll back the recent net neutrality rules made by the FCC. The bill says the rules "shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form, or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act." Blackburn claims the FCC's rules will "stifle innovation" and "restrict freedom." The article points out that Blackburn's campaign and leadership PAC has received substantial donations/a. from Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon."
Link to Original Source

+ - Lockheed Martin Claims Sustainable Fusion Is Within Its Grasp-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Imagine a source of electrical power that uses water for fuel, produces byproducts that are totally safe and releases no air pollution. Then imagine that once it's up and running, it'll be so portable that an entire power plant could fit into the cargo hold of an airplane. Now, imagine that it'll be running in prototype form in five years and operating commercially in ten.

The fusion is powered by a combination of two isotopes of Hydrogen, Deuterium and Tritium, both of which occur in nature and which can be extracted from water. "Our studies show that a 100 MW system would only burn less than 20 kg of fuel in an entire year of operation," a Lockheed Martin spokesperson told eWEEK. "Tritium fuel is continually bred within the reactor wall and fed back into the reactor along with deuterium gas to sustain the reactions."
In other words, the fusion reactor creates most of its own fuel as part of its operation. The Deuterium gas is simply a normal hydrogen atom with an extra neutron, creating what is sometimes called "heavy hydrogen." Deuterium can be extracted from the hydrogen obtained from electrolysis of water. This may sound complicated, but it's a process that has been routinely performed in college physics projects.
While the fusion reactor does create a radioactive byproduct, it's recycled for use in the reactor itself. There is no radioactive waste problem such as exists with nuclear fission power plants. "The waste footprint is orders of magnitude less than coal plants which require huge landfills to contain the toxic ash and sludge wastes," the spokesperson said in an email.
"A typical coal plant generates over 100,000 tons of ash and sludge containing toxic metals and chemicals each year. The first generation of fusion reactors will run on Deuterium-Tritium fuel, but successive generations would use fuels that could eliminate the radioactivity altogether," she said.
Currently Lockheed Martin is in the process of testing a magnetic confinement bottle, where the Skunk Works team has apparently made significant progress. In terms of how a fusion reactor would be created, the magnetic bottle is the primary hurdle.
If that's accomplished successfully most of the science and engineering is known. However, that doesn't mean that building the prototype fusion reactor is a done deal. Lockheed Martin is looking for industry partners to help develop the Compact Fusion reactor into a real product.
The goal is to create a fusion reactor that can generate heat to use in existing power plants, where the reactor would replace existing fossil fuel combustion. This means that existing power generation and distribution infrastructure would be retained, which will dramatically reduce the cost of implementation and dramatically speed up deployment.
The existence of cheap, portable power will transform the world in many ways. A statement from the company envisions ships and aircraft with unlimited range, spacecraft that could reduce the travel time to Mars to less than a month.
Perhaps most important to the most people, it could bring vast amounts of power to anywhere on earth, providing among other things economical water desalination to developing regions of the globe, which are not only poor, but short of clean water, by removing energy scarcity as an insurmountable problem.
If Lockheed Martin can pull this off, and given the reputation of the Skunk Works for routinely doing the impossible, I suspect it will, the results will be transformative.
While it doesn't mean free energy, it does mean that the cost of nearly unlimited energy is very low, and with unlimited energy, there's no end to what can be accomplished. To say that the Skunk Works is on the verge of changing the world is an understatement. This development could well define the future."

Link to Original Source

+ - Anthem Blocking Federal Auditor from Doing Vulnerability Scans->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "File this one under "suspicious behavior." Anthem Inc., the Indiana-based health insurer has informed a federal auditor, the Office of Personnel Management, that it will not permit vulnerability scans of its network — even after acknowledging that it was the victim of a massive breach that leaked data on tens of millions of patients.

According to this article (, Anthem is citing "company policy" that prohibits third party access to its network in declining to let auditors from OPM's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct scans for vulnerable systems. OPM's OIG performs a variety of audits on health insurers that provide health plans to federal employees under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP. Insurers aren't mandated to comply — though most do.

This isn't Anthem's first time saying "no thanks" to the offer of a network vulnerability scan. The company also declined to let OIG scan its network in 2013. A partial audit report issued at the time ( warned that the company, then known as WellPoint, "provided us with conflicting statements" on issues related to information security, including Wellpoint's practices regarding regular configuration audits and its plans to shift to IBM's Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) platform."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 687

by Zocalo (#49192399) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
I'd go with this too; defer the decision until your kids are 16, going on 18 and hopefully have a better idea what they want to do and can understand the pros and cons themselves, but you probably want to raise the point before then so they can be considering it ahead of time. There's simply no point burdening them with US taxes that they might otherwise not have had to pay unless there is a good reason for doing so - especially since they'll probably be paying taxes in the EU as well if they choose to stay there. Even if they do want to go and study/work in the US, there's always the option of applying to go as EU citizens which should be good for most things, and if their longer plans might involve the prospect of longer term residency or positions that require US nationality then they could always apply for US citizenship then.

+ - Red Hat strips down for Docker->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "Reacting to the surging popularity of the Docker virtualization technology, Red Hat has customized a version of its Linux distribution to run Docker containers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host strips away all the utilities residing in the stock distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aren't needed to run Docker containers. Removing unneeded components saves on storage space, and reduces the time needed for updating and booting up. It also provides fewer potential entry points for attackers. (Product page is here.)"
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Should I let my kids become American citizens? 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear fellow Slashdotters,

Can you help me decide whether to allow my small daughter and son to become American citizens?

I am American and my partner is Swedish. We have both lived in Belgium for many years and have no plans to leave. I became a Belgian citizen some years ago and kept my American citizenship. My partner has both her original Swedish and now Belgian citizenship. We are not married. Instead we have a registered partnership, which is common in northern Europe, confers most of the benefits of marriage, and raises no eyebrows. However, the American government does not recognize such partnerships so in their eyes I am still single.

Generally, children of American citizens abroad automatically become American citizens themselves at birth. But our kids fall under an exception. Male American citizens who live abroad and have children out of wedlock with a non-citizen mother do not automatically transmit citizenship to their children unless they sign an “affidavit of support” promising to support their children until the age of 18. If you don’t sign before the child reaches 18, the child is not considered an American citizen. This has been upheld by two Supreme Court rulings (Nguyen v. INS and Flores-Villar v. United States). For legal beagles, the relevant statutes are 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409.

The kids have Swedish and Belgian citizenship. We could go down to the American consulate and get American citizenship for them any time, but I keep putting off the decision and I am not sure I want to do it at all. Sentimentally I would like the kids to have American citizenship, but there is really only one practical pro to it:

* American citizenship would allow them to live, work, or study in America more easily, if they choose, when they get older.

The cons:

* They would be immediately enmeshed in the U.S. tax bureaucracy, which would require them to file U.S. tax returns for life even if they never set foot in the U.S. This, as I know from experience, is a huge bother, even when you don’t owe anything.
* Sometimes they would owe U.S. tax, though, for example for capital gains, unearned income, and in some countries self-employment income.
* My son would have to register for the draft.
* The decision, once made, is difficult to back out of: renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship costs $2300 and a lot of paperwork.
* They can easily travel to the US for family visits as Belgian/Swedish citizens.
* There are lots of good universities in Europe. And if they really wanted to study in the U.S., it’s not too hard to do as a European.

What do you think I should do? The clock is ticking, and I find it hard to choose between the evil of not being able to be American if they choose, and the evil of unjust, lifelong pursuit by the IRS.

Yours sincerely,
A loyal Slashdotter.

Here are two good relevant links:"

+ - EU free data roaming & net neutrality plans in jeopardy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "EU free data roaming and net neutrality plans now look like they are in doubt as European regulators have dropped plans to ban roaming charges and have proposed net neutrality rules allowing privileged access in some cases."
This comes as an about u-turn of plans in 2014 when EU MEPs voted to scrap mobile roaming fees in Europe by 15th December 2015 with the proposal orginally covered in slashdot in 2010"

Link to Original Source

+ - Mars Had an Ocean, Scientists Say, Pointing to New Data->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "After six years of planetary observations, scientists at NASA say they have found convincing new evidence that ancient Mars had an ocean.

It was probably the size of the Arctic Ocean, larger than previously estimated, the researchers reported on Thursday. The body of water spread across the low-lying plain of the planet’s northern hemisphere for millions of years, they said.

If confirmed, the findings would add significantly to scientists’ understanding of the planet’s history and lend new weight to the view that ancient Mars had everything needed for life to emerge."

Link to Original Source

+ - CRTC issues $1.1 million penalty to Compu-Finder for spamming Canadians

Submitted by zentigger
zentigger (203922) writes "Canadians rejoice! It looks like the new anti-spam regulations might actually have some teeth! Today, the CRTC issued a $1.1 million fine to Compu-Finder for violating Canada’s anti-spam legislation by sending commercial emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe mechanisms did not function properly. Furthermore, an analysis of the complaints made to the Spam Reporting Centre of this industry sector shows that Compu-Finder accounts for 26% of all complaints submitted."

+ - Runcible – the World's First 'Non-Intrusive' Smartphone->

Submitted by Techliveinfo1
Techliveinfo1 (4030247) writes "Though smartphones are the need of the time not everybody are eased by its intrusion in their personal space and to overcome it is a new device that can let people stay connected but with less hassle. Monohm Inc is the creator of Runcible, a personal device designed on the model of a pocket watch.

This Runcible device is a showy high resolution and round screen device with a high-performance camera and phone within it enabling users to refocus their attention towards real world and real people. Monohm Inc’s CEO and co-founder, Aubrey Anderson said in a statement that people to control their digital lives in simple and clean ways need something. Hence this Runcible, an alternative to the present smartphone, those are more invasive and commoditized distracting our lives from what it actually need to be.

This Monohm’s Runcible is a wearable smartphone or the anti smartphone. This device is meant to do everything a smartphone does, be it with calls, messages, internet surfing, capturing photos and so on but all in a modest way. This circle shaped smartphone runs the Mozilla’s Open Source Firefox OS that is customized to fit the Runcible’s circular display. This smartphone instead of relying on apps relies on mobile enabled websites. The company’s first carrier partnership on this regard is the KDDI Corporation.
The Monohm’s Runcible is a wearable smartphone or the anti smartphone

The major difference one can consider between other smartphones and Runcible is its shape. Runcible with a circular shape can fit easily on the palm of its user’s hand. It with the model of a pocket watch can be worn like an old-fashioned timepiece that can be hold shut with a third-party accessory. The back of the device is curved and is made of wood that also carries a camera while the front end gets a high resolution touch screen.

The operating system of the device is supported by the Open Web standards. Runcible users can control and command the increasing number of IoT devices and connected things by simply accessing the power of the web unlike other systems.

Something good about Runcible is that even after some years of it being used, Runcible’s parts can be taken out, repaired and improved, making the device all fit to still go about using for decades which cannot be the case with smartphones that tend to become obsolete within few years.

Runcible performs everything that it needs to do with no alert, beep or otherwise interrupting its users but just helping them to keep their attention on what there are up to. The device is expected to reach the market mostly by the end of this year.

Post in your views and suggestions with regards to the article in the comments section below. Anything more to be added to the article can also be noted in the section below."

Link to Original Source

+ - French nuclear industry in turmoil as manufacturer buckles->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "France's nuclear industry is in turmoil after the country's main reactor manufacturer, Areva, reported a loss for 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — more than its entire market value.

The government of France, the world's most nuclear dependent country, has a 29% stake in Areva, which is among the biggest global nuclear technology companies. The loss puts its future — and that of France as a leader in nuclear technology — at risk.

Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday she asked Areva and utility giant Electricite de France to work together on finding solutions, amid reports of a possible merger or other link-up.

The government said in a statement that it's working closely with Areva to restructure and secure financing, and would "take its responsibility as a shareholder" in future decisions about its direction.

Areva reported Wednesday 1 billion euros in losses on three major nuclear projects in Finland and France, among other hits.

Areva has lost money for years, in part linked to delays on those projects and to a global pullback from nuclear energy since the 2011 Fukushima accident."

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC Chairman Defends Net Neutrality At The Biggest Carrier Event

Submitted by dkatana
dkatana (2761029) writes "At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler defended the recent FCC decision to support net neutrality by reclassifying Internet service providers under Title II of the Federal Communications Act.

According to Wheeler, the only “NO" for carriers under the new rules is no blocking, throttling or paid prioritization. The regulation has many more “NOs” for the agency, he said, listing bans on regulation of the internet, utility-style regulation, rate regulation, tariffing, network unbundling, regulation of technical operating requirements, new taxes or fees."

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 4, Interesting) 576

Just because the hypothetical aliens are ahead of us in some respects (e.g. the ability to practically travel across interstellar distances) it does not necessarily follow that they would be ahead of us in all others. For instance, consider Harry Turtledove's short story The Road Not Taken which is based around a premise that humanity overlooked a blindingly simple technique for manipulating gravity that put our technological development onto a completely different track than the invaders of the story.

+ - Anime News Club

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Found a great new anime site that seems to have potential. Also looking for writers who wants to get there name out there."

+ - The bizarre and complex story of a failed Wikipedia software extension

Submitted by metasonix
metasonix (650947) writes "Originally developed by Wikia coders, "Liquid Threads" was intended to be a better comment system for use on MediaWiki talkpages. When applied to Wikipedia, then each Wikipedia talkpage or noticeboard would become something resembling a more modernized bulletin board, hopefully easier to use.

Unfortunately, the project was renamed "Flow" and taken over by the Wikimedia Foundation's developers. And as documented in this very long Wikipediocracy post, the result was "less than optimal". After seven years and millions of dollars spent, even WMF Director Lila Tretikov admits "As such it is not ready for “prime time” for us."

Thus, like almost every other large software project undertaken by the WMF in recent years (for example), "Flow" didn't flow, it crashed and burned. Remember this story the next time Wikipedia runs more fundraising banners on its articles; now you have some idea of where the money actually goes."

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.