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Submission + - Google's Project Loon Balloons to Cover Sri Lanka With Internet Access->

Zothecula writes: Bringing internet to remote regions by sending internet-enabled balloons into the stratosphere sure sounds like a wild idea, but it's about to become a reality for the resident of Sri Lanka. The government of the island nation has just announced a partnership with Google that will bring affordable high-speed internet access to every inch of the country using the company's Project Loon balloons.
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Submission + - Samsung finds bug in Linux trim code - trim with raid0/10 corrupted data

Mokki writes: After many complaints that Samsung SSD's corrupted data when used with Linux, Samsung found out that the bug was in Linux kernel and submitted a patch to fix it. Turns out that kernels without the final fix can corrupt data iff the system is using linux md raid with raid0 or raid10 and issues trim/discard commands (either fstrim or by the filesystem itself). The vendor of the drive did not matter and the previous blacklisting of Samsung drives for broken queued trim support can be most likely lifted away after further tests. According to this post the bug has been around for a long time.

Submission + - Zion Harvey Makes History as First Pediatric Dual Hand Transplant Recipient->

ErnieKey writes: While there have been several hand transplants that have successfully taken place over the past decade or so, a little boy in Maryland, named Zion Harvey has become the first successful pediatric dual hand transplant recipient. After losing both hands and feet due to infection when he was 2 years old, doctors were able to successfully transplant new hands onto the little boy, thanks in part to modern-day 3d printing technology
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Submission + - Keezel Gadget Brings VPN Internet to All Travelers->

FuryG3 writes: Traveling often means getting 'content not available in your location' messages, using sketchy public wifi connections, or getting stuck behind a hotel's captive portal that only let's one of your devices be online at a time. The guys behind Keezel were sick of this, and decided to make an easy-to-use battery powered VPN device that solves these types of issues. The one-button device connects to public wifi networks that you select from your phone, builds it's VPN tunnel, and creates at separate private wifi network for the rest of your devices. You can select your VPN endpoint for location-hopping, and it can charge your phone in a pinch with it's battery. More info at their IndieGoGo page.
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Submission + - The Windows 10 App for Xbox One Could Render the Steam Machines Useless

SlappingOysters writes: The release of Windows 10 has brought with it the Xbox app; a portal through which you can stream anything happening on your Xbox One to your Surface or desktop. Finder is reporting that the love will go the other way, too, with a PC app coming to the Xbox One allowing you to stream your desktop to your console. But where does this leave the coming Steam Machines? This analysis shows how such an app could undermine the Steam Machines' market position.

Submission + - UK trade union sues Uber over taxi-drivers' rights->

An anonymous reader writes: The GMB, one of the UK’s largest trade unions, announced yesterday that it would be taking legal action against U.S. taxi-hailing app Uber on grounds of unfair pay and working conditions. The union said that Uber should pay drivers the UK national minimum wage, offer paid holiday days as well as ensuring that they take breaks.
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Submission + - Sun Tzu 2.0: Is Cyberwar The New Warfare?

An anonymous reader writes: Cyberwar and its ramifications have been debated for some time and the issue has been wrought with controversy. Few would argue that cyber-attacks are not prevalent in cyberspace. However, does it amount to a type of warfare? Let’s break this down by drawing parallels from a treatise by 6th century military general, Sun Tzu, who authored one of the most definitive handbooks on warfare, “The Art of War.” His writings have been studied throughout the ages by professional militaries and can used to not only answer the question of whether or not we are in a cyberwar, but how one can fight a cyber-battle.

Submission + - Easy to exploit critical BIND DoS bug affects all DNS->

mask.of.sanity writes: Attackers now have the ability to disrupt large swathes of the web through a remote denial of service vulnerability found in the most widely used software for DNS servers. The BIND bug (CVE-2015-5477) patched overnight affects all DNS servers running the software, and can be attacked with ease. Attackers can send a crafted DNS query packet to trigger a REQUIRE assertion failure, causing BIND to exit.
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Submission + - WikiLeaks Party deregistered in Australia->

An anonymous reader writes: ZDNet reports, "The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has deregistered the WikiLeaks Party, citing a lack of party numbers to sustain an active political party. The deregistration, announced on Thursday, was made under Section 137 of the Commonwealth Electorate Act 1918. ... The current electoral system makes it extremely difficult for smaller political parties to exist, and will only get worse if the overhaul of the political system happens in the near future," the WikiLeaks Party said in a statement on Friday to ZDNet. "While as last count, we have over the minimal requirement of 500-plus members, the AEC only checks a small sample of this before it decides to put for deregistration using old-style phone landline technology many of our young members have long since stopped using."
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Submission + - How Developers Can Fight Creeping Mediocrity->

Nerval's Lobster writes: As the Slashdot community well knows, chasing features has never worked out for any software company. "Once management decides that’s where the company is going to live, it’s pretty simple to start counting down to the moment that company will eventually die," software engineer Zachary Forrest y Salazar writes in a new posting (Dice link). But how does any developer overcome the management and deadlines that drive a lot of development straight into mediocrity, if not outright ruination? He suggests a damn-the-torpedoes approach: "It’s taking the code into your own hands, building or applying tools to help you ship faster, and prototyping ideas," whether or not you really have the internal support. But given the management issues and bureaucracy confronting many companies, is this approach feasible?
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Submission + - Developers angry as New Zealand folds on software patent ban->

An anonymous reader writes: Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations could put paid to New Zealand's newly-minted ban on software patents. Open Source Association leader Dave Lane is 'livid' that negotiators have sold the interests of developers down the river.

"It's a huge threat to the entire open source ecosystem," Lane said. "But all software development and all software developers are threatened by software patents regardless of their size or their business models."

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Submission + - The First Monolithic Semiconductor White Laser->

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists and engineers at Arizona State University, in Tempe, have created the first lasers that can shine light over the full spectrum of visible colors. The device’s inventors suggest the laser could find use in video displays, solid-state lighting, and a laser-based version of Wi-Fi.

Although previous research has created red, blue, green and other lasers, each of these lasers usually only emitted one color of light. Creating a monolithic structure capable of emitting red, green, and blue all at once has proven difficult because it requires combining very different semiconductors. Growing such mismatched crystals right next to each other often results in fatal defects throughout each of these materials.

But now scientists say they’ve overcome that problem. The heart of the new device is a sheet only nanometers thick made of a semiconducting alloy of zinc, cadmium, sulfur, and selenium. The sheet is divided into different segments. When excited with a pulse of light, the segments rich in cadmium and selenium gave off red light; those rich in cadmium and sulfur emitted green light; and those rich in zinc and sulfur glowed blue.

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Submission + - Industrial networks are vulnerable to devastating cyberattack, new research says->

Patrick O'Neill writes: New research into Industrial Ethernet Switches reveals a wide host of vulnerabilities that leave critical infrastructure facilities open to attackers. Many of the vulnerabilities reveal fundamental weaknesses: Widespread use of default passwords, hardcoded encryption keys, a lack of proper authentication for firmware updates, a lack of encrypted connections, and more. Combined with a lack of network monitoring, researchers say the situation showcases "a massive lack of security awareness in the industrial control systems community.”
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Submission + - Beyond safety: Is robotic surgery sustainable?->

Hallie Siegel writes: The release last week of the study on adverse events in robotic surgery led to much discussion on the safety and effectiveness of robotic surgical procedures. MIT Sloane's Matt Beane argues that while the hope is that this dialogue will mean safer and more effective robotic procedures in the future, the intense focus on safety and effectiveness has compromised training opportunities for new robotic surgeons, who require many hours of “live” surgical practice time to develop their skills. Beane says that robotic surgery will likely continue to expand in proportion to other methods, given that it allows fewer surgeons to perform surgery with less trauma to the patient, but no matter how safe we make robotic surgical procedures, they will become a luxury available to a very few if we fail to address the sustainability of the practice.
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Submission + - Genetically modified rice makes more food, less greenhouse gas->

Applehu Akbar writes: A team of researchers at the Swedish University of AgriculturalSciences has engineered a barley gene into rice, producing a variety that yields 50% more grain while producing 90% less of the powerful greenhouse gas methane. The new rice pulls off this trick by putting more of its energy into top growth. In countries which depend on rice as a staple, this would add up to a really large amount of increased rice and foregone methane.
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