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ASIC Seeks Power To Read Your Emails 114

nemesisrocks writes "ASIC, Australia's version of the SEC, has called for phone call and internet data to be stored by Australian ISPs, in a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into mandatory data retention. Not only does the authority want the powers to intercept the times, dates and details of telecommunications information, it also wants access to the contents of emails, social media chats and text messages."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Tech manufacturers with better labor practices?

srs5694 writes: In light of the recent flood of stories about abysmal labor practices at Foxconn and other Chinese factories that produce most of the tech products we consume, the question arises: Who makes motherboards, plug-in cards, cell phones, and other devices WITHOUT relying on labor practices that are just one rung above slave labor? If I want to buy a new tech gadget, from whom can I buy it without ethical qualms?

Submission + - Video: Keyloggers 101 - A Hacker's Perspectve & How to Protect Yourself (

ddonzal writes: Article & Video by Dan Honkanen, GCIH, Security+, ITIL, et al on The Ethical Hacker Network, "Keyloggers are usually one of the top picks for a hacker or a spy's best friend. They basically serve as the eyes and ears of the attacker. They can be based on software or hardware and send detailed reports including the user's passwords, chat logs, all typed text, launched applications and visited websites. They can even send screenshots to visually show what the user was viewing as well as any webcam and microphone activity. Most laptops today come with a built-in webcam and microphone and don't usually give any signal that they have been enabled. Any person who uses that computer will have all their activities monitored and recorded in an encrypted log which only the attacker can access.

In this video, I will present the basics of keyloggers and also demonstrate a couple of my favorite keyloggers, their features, how hidden they are and how to prevent and detect keyloggers in general. At the end of this primer, the viewer should be able to fully understand where keyloggers fit into both sides of the equation."


Submission + - THIS should be (a big part of) the future of space exploration! (

wisebabo writes: As long as we are still in debt to the Chinese and can't afford an ambitious space program, we should be developing THESE (humanoid telerobots). Just get the astronaut NEAR the Moon or Mars (or someday Titan!) and operate these without that stupid speed-of-light time delay. A huge proportion of the weight and complexity of going to these places is that last 100 miles so while times are lean this is the way to go.

Maybe James Cameron can be persuaded to do a pre-quel of Avatar, unfortunately I don't think he'll find a planet full of sexy tele-robots!

Comment OT Technical probs; mod points expire soon. Help! (Score 1) 108

I'm sorry for posting OT (and such a stupid question, too), but my mod points will expire soon. If there's a better place to ask, please let me know (I don't think it rates as an FAQ suggestion.)

I have recently gotten mod points for the first time.

I see the dropdown box under comments. I select, say, Insightful on a +3 posting. But the score does not change. /. still tells me I have all 5 mod points left.

I tried reloading, waiting overnight and 2 browsers (Firefox and current Opera; Linux). For testing, I allowed all scripts.

How is it supposed to work? Just the dropdown box, and as soon as you select an entry, the moderation takes effect?

I'd be grateful for any helpful suggestions about what I'm doing wrong. I have read the FAQ and moderation guidelines.


Boiling Down the Meaning of Life 218

Shipud writes "A recent article in Journal of Biomolecular structure and Dynamics proposes to define life by semantic voting [Note: open-access article]: 'The definitions of life are more than often in conflict with one another. Undeniably, however, most of them do have a point, one or another or several, and common sense suggests that, probably, one could arrive to a consensus, if only the authors, some two centuries apart from one another, could be brought together. One thing, however, can be done – short of voting in absentia – asking which terms in the definitions are the most frequent and, thus, perhaps, reflecting the most important points shared by many.' The author arrives at a six-word definition, as explained here."

Submission + - The Physics Behind Your Favorite Science Fiction Theme (

davcorp writes: "Ever wonder why you can't get your favorite Science Fiction Theme out of your head. Apparently there is a Science even behind the music that defines your favorite Genre. When you think about science fiction theme tunes, chances are there are a few that are especially stirring and heroic. Star Wars. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Superman: The Movie. And all of these theme tunes have something in common: they rely on the same basic intervals."
Data Storage

Submission + - Hard Drive of the Future: Built With Frickin' Lasers ( 1

MikeatWired writes: "A team of researchers from across Europe and Asia has demonstrated a way of using laser heat to store data rather than magnetic fields, potentially increasing the speed of your hard drive by 100 times or more. Tom Ostler — a physicist at the University of York, which led the research project — tells Wired that this would allow your machine to save files much faster, but also reduce the machine’s power consumption by avoid traditional magnetic storage techniques. This month, Ostler and his colleagues — who span research institutions in Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Japan and, the Netherlands — published a paper describing their breakthrough in the pages of Nature Communications. Typically, data is written to hard drives using magnetic fields. By shifting fields, you can write 1s and 0s, changing the polarization of the material where the data is stored. One polarization represents a 1; another represents a 0. Heat has long been the enemy of this technique, because it distorts the fields. But with their paper, Ostler and crew have shown a way using heat that changes a material’s polarization without using magnetic fields, storing thousands of gigabytes of data in a single second"

Comment Tablet, not iPad (Score 5, Interesting) 348

TFA specifies once that in truth, they are looking at tablets, not just iPads. Than it's back to Apple this and iPad that. If it indeed is a forgone conclusion, they should have explained why. That's some mighty fine journalism, there. Also, they mention iOS isn't certified yet; don't know if any tablet is.


Submission + - The $6B Bridge Designed to Absorb an Earthquake

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Henry Fountain writes that the new skyway of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, being built at a cost of over $6 Billion, is designed to last at least 150 years after its expected opening in 2013 and that means the new span will at some point have to survive a major earthquake like the one that destroyed much of San Francisco in 1906 or the one that partly severed the Bay Bridge in 1989. To meet that goal, engineers are planning for the largest motions expected to occur within 1,500 years and have gone with the flow: designing flexible structures in which any potential damage would be limited to specific elements. “We wanted to make this bridge flexible so that when the earthquake comes in, the flexibility of the system is such that it basically rides the earthquake,” says lead designer Marwan Nader. The design includes a 525-foot-tall suspension bridge tower that should sway up to about five feet at the top in a major earthquake. The single tower is split into into four shafts tied together with shear links constructed out of a special grade of steel that deforms more easily than other grades that are placed at specific points along the length of the tower. Nader already knows which shear links will be most damaged in a major earthquake — those that are about two-thirds of the way up the tower. “Based on where you place the shear links, you can tune the dynamic response of your tower,” says Dr. Seible, of the University of California, San Diego. The shear links, measuring 6.6 to 9.8 ft. long and 3.3 ft. deep, stiffen the tower such that it will not sway excessively in a major earthquake but more importantly, the links are like 'structural fuses' that are made to dissipate energy in a seismic event, like what happens after a fender bender. “Your car is perfectly drivable, and it’s designed that way, with a bumper that can take the shock. So you basically stop, just to make sure,” says Nader. “You see everything’s OK and you can come in anytime you want to repair your bumper.”"

Submission + - Deep Space Surgery (

pigrabbitbear writes: "Humans are pretty fragile. A bad break in your hip can mean surgery and months of rehab. That’s pretty bad, but what if you fall and break your hip on the Moon, or even Mars? You’d be hundreds of thousands or millions of miles from a fully stocked hospital and a surgeon with steady hands. There’s the option of doctor-assisted surgery from Earth — a fellow astronaut performing the surgery with remote assistance from a doctor via video link. But the lengthy communications delay make this a poor option anywhere further than the Moon.

Luckily for our Mars-bound descendants, the European Space Agency has a solution: an information-loaded assisted reality helmet that will let anyone identify and perform minor surgery to repair injuries."

The Media

Ask Slashdot: Does Europe Have Better Magazines Than the US? 562

An anonymous reader writes "Now that all the large chain book stores have disappeared from the landscape, I visited my local independent book store. In the basement I found a dazzling array of amazing magazines from the UK and Germany. Not only were the magazines impressive, they included CDs and DVDs of material. Nearly every subject was there: Knitting, Photography, Music, Linux, and Fitness. I snapped up a magazine called 'Computer Music,' which had a whole issue dedicated to making house music, including a disc of extra content. I subscribe to U.S. magazines like Wired, 2600, & Make, but their quality seems to ebb and flow from issue to issue and I don't ever recall a bonus disc. Are the UK magazines really better? If yes, why and which of them do you subscribe to? The other interesting thing about them is they weren't filled with tons of those annoying subscription cards. What is the best way to subscribe?"

The opossum is a very sophisticated animal. It doesn't even get up until 5 or 6 PM.