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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).


+ - Harvard climate skeptic scientist has made a fortune from corporate interests->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. 'He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.' The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon's funding."
Link to Original Source

+ - ask slashdot: How can we improve the judicial system with technology? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Technology has improved so many things in our lives. I have found myself wondering if it is not time for us to consider improvements to our judicial system. One of the cornerstones of any democracy is its judicial system. Fortunatelly, most of us never have to deal with it. On the other hand, the fact that we so seldom interact with it also means that most of us are not constantly thinking about it. It is possible our judicial system would be much better if most of us had to spend more time thinking about it.

I myself had not put much thought into it until I watched a documentary about Aaron Swartz. It is frightening to think that someone could have been left in a position like that. I also hear about so many cases were people end up pleaing guilty because they do not have enough money to fight a case in court. Is this really the best we can do? The Marshal Project is also an interesting source of information regarding the shortfalls of our current system.

What does the slashot crowd think about it? How can we improve our judicial system? Is there any interesting way that techonology could be used to improve the system?"

+ - Google: FBI's Plan to Expand Hacking Power a 'Monumental' Constitutional Threat->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Any change in accessing computer data should go through Congress, the search giant said.

The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.

The push to change an arcane federal rule "raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal, and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide," wrote Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security.

The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, generally permits judges to grant search warrants only within the bounds of their judicial district. Last year, the Justice Department petitioned a judicial advisory committee to amend the rule to allow judges to approve warrants outside their jurisdictions or in cases where authorities are unsure where a computer is located.

Google, in its comments, blasted the desired rule change as overly vague, saying the proposal could authorize remote searches on the data of millions of Americans simultaneously—particularly those who share a network or router—and cautioned it rested on shaky legal footing."

Link to Original Source

+ - Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program->

Submitted by CryoKeen
CryoKeen (2534276) writes "The U.S. National Security
Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep
within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate,
Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the
means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's
computers, according to cyber researchers and former
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a
cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab,
the Moscow-based security software maker that has
exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries
infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the
most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan,
Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The
targets included government and military institutions,
telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies,
nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists,
Kaspersky said."

Link to Original Source

+ - Our oceans are being fed 8.8m tons of plastic annually, alarming study finds->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "According to a new study that tracked marine debris from its source, 8.8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world oceans annually. Plastic waste is a global problem and until now there wasn't a comprehensive study that highlighted how much plastic waste was making it to the oceans. Latest study by researchers over at University of Georgia claim that if all the plastic waste being dumped to oceans is accounted for, it will be equivalent of five grocery bags full of plastic debris dotting each foot of coastline around the world."
Link to Original Source

+ - The American app economy is now 'bigger than Hollywood'

Submitted by Lemeowski
Lemeowski (3017099) writes "Technology business analyst Horace Deidu found an interesting nugget while closely examining an Apple press release from earlier this year: "The iOS App Store distributed $10 billion to developers in 2014, which, Deidu points out, is just about as much as Hollywood earned off U.S. box office revenues the same year." That means the American app industry is poised to eclipse the American film industry. Additionally, Apple says its App Store has created 627,000 jobs, which Deidu contrasts with the 374,000 jobs Hollywood creates"

+ - Local Hackerspace loses solar balloon, creating another UFO in New Mexico

Submitted by bugnuts
bugnuts (94678) writes "Local Albuquerque, NM Hackerspace, Quelab, created and unintentionally launched a solar-powered tetroon over the city, prompting several calls to the FAA, Kirtland AFB, and news organizations, describing it as a "floating tortilla chip." The tetroon allows sunlight to pass through the top layer, heating the inner black layers, creating a hot-air balloon as the interior gas expands.

Besides the well-known "Roswell" incident, New Mexico often has many UFO sightings due to the prevalence of technology and military groups, good weather, and clear skies."

+ - Astronomers Caught Some of Space's Most Mysterious Radio Bursts in Real Time->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "For the first time ever, astronomers have captured an enormous radio wave burst in real time, bringing us one step closer to understanding their origins.

These fleeting eruptions, called blitzars or FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts), are truly bizarre cosmic phenomena. In the span of a millisecond, they emit as much radiation as the Sun does over a million years. But unlike other super-luminous events that span multiple wavelengths—gamma ray bursts or supernovae, for example—blitzars emit all that energy in a tiny band of the radio light spectrum.

Adding to the mystery is the rarity of blitzar sightings. Since these bursts were first discovered in 2007 with Australia’s Parkes Telescope, ten have been identified, the latest of which was the first to be imaged in real time."

Link to Original Source

+ - What Africa really needs to fight Ebola->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Laura Kahn, a physician on the research staff of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, writes that the high tech solutions being promoted to help fight Ebola in Africa will make no difference. What Africa really needs is anti-corruption efforts, now. 'A case in point is Liberia, which has received billions of dollars in international aid for over a decade, with little to show for it. The country ranks near the bottom of the United Nation’s Human Development Index and near the bottom of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer. And while international aid groups and non-governmental organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Medical Corps provide important humanitarian assistance and medical care, they also inadvertently absolve African political leaders from developing medical and public health infrastructures.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - 19,000 French Websites Hit By DDoS, Defaced In Wake Of Terror Attack

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Since the three day terror attack that started in France on January 7 with the attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, 19,000 websites of French-based companies have been targeted by cyber attackers. This unprecedented avalanche of cyber attacks targeted both government sites and that of big and small businesses. Most were low-level DDoS attacks, and some were web defacements. Several websites in a number of towns in the outskirts of Paris have been hacked and covered with an image of an ISIS flag. The front pages of the official municipality websites have been covered with the Jihadist militant group's black flag. In a report, Radware researchers noted that Islamic hacker group AnonGhost has also launched a "digital jihad" against France."

+ - The Anthropocene Epoch began with 1945 atomic bomb test, scientists say->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Human behaviour has had a great impact on the Earth and owing to the advancements and human activities since mid-19th century, Scientists have proposed July 16, 1945 as the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch. According to scientists, ‘the Great Acceleration’ – the period when human activities started having a significant and enormous impact on Earth – can be dubbed as the beginning of the new epoch. Since the ‘Great Acceleration’ there has been a significant increase in population, environmental upheaval on land and oceans and global connectivity. Dr Jan Zalasiewicz and Professor Mark Williams of the Department of Geology, University of Leicester say that human activities are changing the geology “creating new and distinctive strata that will persist far into the future.” The Anthropocene was first proposed by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen just 15 years ago and it means the epoch dominated by influence of humans and their activities or the human epoch in short."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Releases More Windows Bugs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Just days after Google angered Microsoft by releasing information about a Windows security flaw, they've now released two more. "The more serious of the two allows an attacker to impersonate an authorized user, and then decrypt or encrypt data on a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 device. Google reported that bug to Microsoft on Oct. 17, 2014, and made some background information and a proof-of-concept exploit public on Thursday. Project Zero is composed of several Google security engineers who investigate not only the company's own software, but that of other vendors as well. After reporting a flaw, Project Zero starts a 90-day clock, then automatically publicly posts details and sample attack code if the bug has not been patched." Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited."
Link to Original Source

+ - US/UK will stage 'cyber-attack war games' as pressure against encryption mounts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "British prime minister David Cameron is currently visiting Washington to discuss the future of cyber-security in Britain and North America, and the leaders have announced that their respective intelligence agencies will mount ongoing cyber-attack 'war games' from this summer in an effort to strengthen the west's tarnished reputation following the Sony hacking scandal. President Obama is also beginning to commit to the current chorus of complaint from government and high officials about online encryption impeding the official investigation of terrorist threats. Ironically recently-leaked Edward Snowden documents show the NSA giving dire warnings in 2009 of the threat posed by the LACK of encrypted communications on the internet."
Link to Original Source

+ - Anthropomorphism and Object Oriented Programming-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've all been warned about how anthropomorphizing animals and machines can lead us astray. But Edsget Dijkstra once wrote, "I think anthropomorphism is worst of all. I have now seen programs 'trying to do things,' 'wanting to do things,' 'believing things to be true,' 'knowing things' etc. Don't be so naive as to believe that this use of language is harmless. It invites the programmer to identify himself with the execution of the program and almost forces upon him the use of operational semantics." A new article fleshes out Dijkstra's statement, providing a good example of where an anthropomorphized analogy for Object Oriented Programming breaks down when you push it too far."
Link to Original Source

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred. -- Superchicken