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Submission + - SPAM: Sticky situation: Magnetic audiotape's potentially catastrophic degradation in s

anniecutshall2320 writes: Many of the more than 46 million sound recordings archived throughout the US carry the risk of being destroyed during an attempt to digitize them, because magnetic audiotape can deteriorate over time. A team of researchers is developing a means to readily assess the structural condition of magnetic tape, using non-destructive infrared spectroscopy to identify tapes that suffer from 'sticky-shed syndrome' and will fall apart on playback.
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Submission + - This Replica Of Thorâ(TM)s Hammer Can Only Be Lifted By Its Creator (

samkallshouse writes: Fifty seven thousand Marvel movies later, you know the deal: Thor has a hammer (called the Mjolnir). Only he can pick it up. To pretty much anyone else, even those who are theoretically stronger than him, its impossibly heavy. Bringing the concept to life, someone has built a Mjolnir that only its owner can lift. How? MAGNETS! Though not obvious at first glance, theres Read More

Submission + - 24 Hours Putting the Internet of Things Under the Microscope (

Contractorbuild writes: Phil Baxter, the UK boss of Autodesk, had a group of people to sanity check his ideas and provide data points to demonstrate where he might be going off the rails. In my opinion it shows great maturity to take steps to ensure youâ(TM)re not starting to believe your own PR.

In my professional life Iâ(TM)m really fortunate to have some very talented women and men to call upon. They are a diverse bunch and range from entrepreneurs and financiers, to technologists, scientists and management consultants. You might say that an indicator of diversity in such a group is whether or not it includes a marine biologist. Iâ(TM)m happy to say we have that box ticked!

Recently we got together for a 24-hour workshop to try and understand better how the Internet of Things may open new opportunities for our livelihoods, as well as providing a catalyst for changes in our everyday lives. The IoT has quickly a real thing and is growing quickly; Gartner says that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, and forecasts 25 billion by 2020. The IoT, they say, has become a powerful force for business transformation, and its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society.

Prior to the event we asked all participants to share their thoughts on the IoT if youâ(TM)d like to add your thoughts, why not add YOUR voice to our IoT survey.

To kick things off at our event, weâ(TM)d invited along Joern Larsen, the CEO of Trifork to share his experiences in bringing digital business transformation to the financial sector. His company provides the technology for Danske Bankâ(TM)s MobilePay app, which has grown from simple P2P payments to providing solutions for small businesses, online shopping and third party applications. Currently MobilePay has over 2.5 million users, many of whom are not actually Danske Bank customers. Itâ(TM)s a cool story and Joernâ(TM)s passion and persistence really comes through when he tells it.

We then went into a series of sessions, brainstorming ideas and making presentations to share our ideas, gradually honing them over a twenty-four hour period. As we got to grips with what digital transformation might look like for us, it also led to some quite creative concepts. We wanted to see what that meant for companies like Schneider Electric looking to harness the possibilities of the IoT to provide more value to our customers and partners. In doing so we covered a lot of ground, and recorded most on video â" resulting in a short film that encapsulates the event, the energy and the discussions:
  • Connecting things â" what does it really mean? Each of the workshop participants was given an everyday object and asked to consider the possibilities of having it instrumented and connected, and then present a new, smart object to other members of the group. Straightaway we began to see the benefits; from a smart clothes hanger helping to sort out todaysâ(TM) outfit, to a connected racquet helping track the metrics of each shot as a training aid.
  • What can the IoT do for our customers and what value does it bring? We thought about Schneider Electricâ(TM)s heritage and how its footprint in the whole energy supply chain could be harnessed to understand and optimise the whole way that data is created, analysed, stored and delivered as information to improve decision-making.
  • How can it enable benchmarking and KPIs? By aggregating and analysing anonymised data, itâ(TM)s possible for anyone to judge how their data center is doing in comparison to other, similar sized and similarly located and resourced facilities. Gamification might be one way to engage people who were not particularly driven by stats.
  • The need to make bold moves It seems like a long time ago, but first mover advantage used to be prized in the software market. The value of getting a product to market first was considered higher than the cost to business of missing the window of opportunity. Apps are a great way of problem solving in a relatively low cost and timely way, but itâ(TM)s important to identify the need and get the solution out there quickly.
  • Creating technology that benefits customers The days of doing it because technology makes it possible are gone. Today we need to focus upon solving identified or suspected pain points. Then do that thing and do it with excellent execution. Itâ(TM)s not about the technology, itâ(TM)s about the benefits that technology brings.

There is no doubt that the IoT is happening all around us. I guess that by the time is reaches peak penetration, weâ(TM)ll no longer be using the acronym because itâ(TM)ll simply be business as usual. In the meantime, and more than ever, we need to be thinking about the things we donâ(TM)t know. Groups like the one Iâ(TM)m privileged to engage in help to bring fresh perspective from outside our industry. As such, itâ(TM)s oxygen to innovation.

The post 24 Hours Putting the Internet of Things Under the Microscope appeared first on Schneider Electric Blog.

Submission + - The Kool Desktop Environment (KDE) Turns 19, Happy Birthday!

prisoninmate writes: Believe it or not, it has been 19 long years since Matthias Ettrich announced his new project, the Kool Desktop Environment (KDE). "Unix popularity grows thanks to the free variants, mostly Linux. But still a consistent, nice looking free desktop-environment is missing. There are several nice either free or low-priced applications available so that Linux/X11 would almost fit everybody needs if we could offer a real GUI," wrote the developer back in October 14, 1996.

Submission + - How is NSA breaking so much crypto? ( 1

schwit1 writes: There have been rumors for years that the NSA can decrypt a significant fraction of encrypted Internet traffic. In 2012, James Bamford published an article quoting anonymous former NSA officials stating that the agency had achieved a "computing breakthrough" that gave them "the ability to crack current public encryption." The Snowden documents also hint at some extraordinary capabilities: they show that NSA has built extensive infrastructure to intercept and decrypt VPN traffic and suggest that the agency can decrypt at least some HTTPS and SSH connections on demand.

However, the documents do not explain how these breakthroughs work, and speculation about possible backdoors or broken algorithms has been rampant in the technical community. Yesterday at ACM CCS, one of the leading security research venues, we and twelve coauthors presented a paper that we think solves this technical mystery.

If a client and server are speaking Diffie-Hellman, they first need to agree on a large prime number with a particular form. There seemed to be no reason why everyone couldn't just use the same prime, and, in fact, many applications tend to use standardized or hard-coded primes. But there was a very important detail that got lost in translation between the mathematicians and the practitioners: an adversary can perform a single enormous computation to "crack" a particular prime, then easily break any individual connection that uses that prime.

Submission + - Microsoft Releases New Windows 10 Mobile Build, Installing it is a Doozy (

itwbennett writes: Windows 10 Mobile build 10549, which beta users had been waiting a month for, is now available for install. But there's a big catch: It can only be installed from a phone running Windows Phone 8.1. 'To make the upgrade happen from Windows 10 Mobile, users will first have to fire up the Windows Device Recovery tool, re-install the old operating system, then download the Windows Insider app and opt into the Fast ring. After that, they should be able to use the new build as normal,' writes Blair Hanley Frank. There are other bugs in this build as well: 'One in particular may require users to reset their phones if they find that they're missing apps after the upgrade, while another will prevent the phone from showing new messages until after being unlocked for the first time when rebooted,' writes Frank.

Submission + - Ukrainian Hacker Who Targeted Brian Krebs Extradited to US (

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: A Ukrainian man who allegedly tried to frame cyber-security expert Brian Krebs has been extradited to the United States and is due in Newark federal court today, prosecutors said. Sergei Vovnenko, known as “Fly,” “Flycracker” or “Flyck,” is thought to have been behind a 2013 plot to send heroin to cyber-security blogger Brian Krebs, a plot Krebs himself said he foiled because he was monitoring the site where it was hatched. “Angry that I’d foiled his plan to have me arrested for drug possession,” Krebs wrote on his blog, “Fly had a local florist send a gaudy floral arrangement in the shape of a giant cross to my home, complete with a menacing message."

Comment Re:All we need. (Score 1) 122

I am not going to get in some dick waving argument with some random troll on slashdot. So I will leave with this:

1) I clearly stated that I know little to nothing about drones, aside from their software and electronics. Nice attempt at an insult. if you had read the post, you would have noticed this.
2) Your attempt at blasting my logical attempt at stating common sense license and certifications for hardware and software that are -capable of causing damage- (Drones larger than an ounce and fly for more than five bloody minutes, as you like to state) is falling way behind.
3) If you cannot agree that certifications for a FLYING OBJECT capable of carrying MULTIPLE PAYLOADS and traversing THOUSANDS OF FEET from the controller, with tons of chances of interference and software defects / user error is a good idea, then perhaps you're the type of person who should be the politician. As you seem to only care about yourself.

Good day.

Comment Re:All we need. (Score 1) 122

I am referring to the ones that, obviously, weigh more than an ounce, especially considering I stated "higher than 10m."

I am referring to the drones that actually fly hundreds of feet in altitude and hundreds of feet (or more) from the user. I am not for crippling it. I am for safe guarding it. With logic.

A $40.00 drone from walmart? Fly it all you want.

A $4,500 drone, purpose built to fly quite a ways, with strong motors, big power supplies and capable of carrying payloads of different types? License and certifications for programming.

Did you even RTFP?

Comment Re:All we need. (Score 1) 122

I will admit, freely, that I know very little, outside of the basics of electronics, about drones. I know how they work, but that's about it.

Hearing that the control systems are made by amateurs really does not surprise me. I've seen a trend lately of more and more people with no real clue of what they're doing, getting in to hardware/software design. Which, on its own, is AMAZING to hear; I love knowing more people are learning the trade. But stick with the Pi, arduino and other small systems. When you're competent enough, then move in to the flying / driving realm. Unfortunately, it won't happen that way - They'll go straight to the drone world because, frankly (and, again, sadly) that's where the money is right now. It's all about trends and what's 'popular.'

I would LOVE to see what a well trained engineer /software writer can do with a purposely designed and well programmed drone. Outside of the military, that is, as their stuff is top notch.

We already require license to fly planes, even remote controlled ones. It's time to require them for drones (if they don't already) and to require code certification for any object flying more than 10 meters off the ground. Certification is required for cars and planes, logically it should be for drones. This way a child can learn to code below 10m and hone in his / her skills as a programmer but when you are ready to go full scale, you have full accountability. I can already see a drone software certification coming. DCERT, maybe?

Comment Re:VW threw software engineers under the bus... (Score 1) 122

I don't even think I would devote my time and skill to a company, even after a lawyer has went over every bit of the contract. The liability, and ethical (and moral, I assume) reasoning alone prevents me from wanting to.

Don't get me wrong - I think they're cool ideas, in the right hands. But as a mass commodity and spy usage really gets on my nerves. We cannot get code right for automobiles, on the ground. How can we get code right for drones in the sky?

Those who claim the dead never return to life haven't ever been around here at quitting time.