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Comment: Re:Dover Press Books (Score 1) 169

by darenw (#48643439) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

"(Although the copyright law is so complicated, especially for international works, that it would cost thousands of dollars or more in legal fees to figure out what copyright law applies.)"

I wonder - what is the point of having laws so complcated, convoluted, ambiguous, detailed or otherwise difficult than no one can figure out what's legal, except by tremendous effort and expense?

+ - Spacecraft spots probable waves on Titan's seas->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "It’s springtime on Titan, Saturn’s giant and frigid moon, and the action on its hydrocarbon seas seems to be heating up. Near the moon’s north pole, there is growing evidence for waves on three different seas, scientists reported here today at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Researchers are also coming up with the first estimates for the volume and composition of the seas. The bodies of water appear to be made mostly of methane, and not mostly ethane as previously thought. And they are deep: Ligeia Mare, the second biggest sea with an area larger than Lake Superior, could contain 55 times Earth’s oil reserves."
Link to Original Source

+ - Is the Higgs Boson a Piece of the Matter-Antimatter Puzzle?->

Submitted by TaleSlinger
TaleSlinger (3080869) writes "Why there's more matter than antimatter is one of the biggest questions confounding particle physicists and cosmologists, and it cuts to the heart of our own existence. In the time following the Big Bang, when the budding universe cooled enough for matter to form, most matter-antimatter particle pairs that popped into existence annihilated each other. Yet something tipped the balance in favor of matter, or we – and stars, planets, galaxies, life – would not be here.

The paper is based on a phenomenon called CP – or charge-parity – violation, the same phenomenon investigated by BaBar. CP violation means that nature treats a particle and its oppositely charged mirror-image version differently.

"Searching for CP violation at the LHC is tricky," Dolan said. "We've just started to look into the properties of the Higgs, and the experiments must be very carefully designed if we are to improve our understanding of how the Higgs behaves under different conditions.”

The theorists proposed that experimenters look for a process in which a Higgs decays into two tau particles, which are like supersized cousins of electrons, while the remainder of the energy from the original proton-proton collision sprays outward in two jets. Any mix of CP-even and CP-odd in the Higgs is revealed by the angle between the two jets.

"I wanted to add a CP violation measurement to our analysis, and what Matt, Martin and Michael proposed is the most viable avenue,” Philip Harris, a staff physicist at CERN and co-author of the paper said, adding that he's looking forward to all the data the LHC will generate when it starts up again early next year at its full design strength.

"Even with just a few months of data we can start to make real statements about the Higgs and CP violation," he said."

Link to Original Source

+ - Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A new report claims that almost a quarter of the "clicks" registered by digital advertisements are, in fact, from robots created by cyber crime networks to siphon off advertising dollars. The scale and sophistication of the attacks which were discovered caught the investigators by surprise. As one said, "What no one was anticipating is that the bots are extremely effective of looking like a high value consumer.""

Comment: Re:It could be worse (Score 1) 247

by darenw (#48562155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

Cutting out so many patterns - what does that leave? How many bits entropy less?

What if such a policy is in place but randomly allows some exceptions? Then a cracker won't know if such patterns should be tried or not. Allow the patterns with the same probability that they'd have for truly random sequences. It'd be pointless, but in a way that would impress non-technical executives.

For long enough passwords and PINs, it's likely that less than half of all possible sequences could be considered patterns of any kind. So, only one bit lost at most. But on a touchtone telephone pad, there aren't that many ways to go after one button, and a lot of sequences might arguably look like patterns. Overzealous pattern prevention including geometric patterns on the keypad and numbers with meaning or patterns to the digits, along with dainty short passwords might be a problem. How can this be quantified? Is there a real problem?

+ - Apple accused of deleting songs from iPods without users' knowledge->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "During in-court proceedings of Apple's iPod/iTunes antitrust lawsuit on Wednesday, plaintiffs' lawyers claimed Apple surreptitiously deleted songs not purchased through the iTunes Music Store from users' iPods.

Attorney Patrick Coughlin, representing a class of individuals and businesses, said Apple intentionally wiped songs downloaded from competing services when users performed a sync with their iTunes library, reports The Wall Street Journal.

As explained by the publication, users attempting to sync an iPod with an iTunes library containing music from a rival service, such as RealNetworks, would see an ambiguous error message without prompting them to perform a factory reset. After restoring the device, users would find all non-iTunes music had disappeared.

"You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up" the iTunes library, Coughlin said.

It is unclear if iTunes or iPod encountered a legitimate problem, though Coughlin seems to be intimating Apple manufactured the error message as part of a supposed gambit to stop customers from using their iPod to play back music from stores other than iTunes.

For its part, Apple said the system was a safety measure installed to protect users. In testimony, Apple security director Augustin Farrugia said additional detail about the error's nature was not necessary because, "We don't need to give users too much information," and "We don't want to confuse users." He went on to say that Apple was "very paranoid" in its protection of iTunes, a sentiment echoed in an executive email penned by Steve Jobs in 2004. .."

Link to Original Source

+ - 'Moneyball' Approach Reduces Crime in New York City

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The NYT reports that NY County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s most significant initiative has been to transform, through the use of data, the way district attorneys fight crime. “The question I had when I came in was, Do we sit on our hands waiting for crime to tick up, or can we do something to drive crime lower?” says Vance. “I wanted to develop what I call intelligence-driven prosecution.” When Vance became DA in 2009, it was glaringly evident that assistant D.A.s fielding the 105,000-plus cases a year in Manhattan seldom had enough information to make nuanced decisions about bail, charges, pleas or sentences. They were narrowly focused on the facts of cases in front of them, not on the people committing the crimes. They couldn’t quickly sort minor delinquents from irredeemably bad apples. They didn’t know what havoc defendants might be wreaking in other boroughs.

Vance divided Manhattan’s 22 police precincts into five areas and assigned a senior assistant D.A. and an analyst to map the crime in each area. CSU staff members met with patrol officers, detectives and Police Department field intelligence officers and asked police commanders to submit a list of each precinct’s 25 worst offenders — so-called crime drivers, whose “incapacitation by the criminal-justice system would have a positive impact on the community’s safety.” Seeded with these initial cases, the CSU built a searchable database that now includes more than 9,000 chronic offenders (PDF), virtually all of whom have criminal records. A large percentage are recidivists who have been repeatedly convicted of grand larceny, one of the top index crimes in Manhattan, but the list also includes active gang members, people whom the D.A. considers “uncooperative witnesses,” and a fluctuating number of violent “priority targets,” which currently stands at 81. “These are people we want to know about if they are arrested,” says Kerry Chicon. “We are constantly adding, deleting, editing and updating the intelligence in the Arrest Alert System. If someone gets out of a gang, or goes to prison for a long time, or moves out of the city or the state, or ages out of being a focus for us, or dies, we edit the system accordingly — we do that all the time.”

“It’s the ‘Moneyball’ approach to crime,” says Chauncey Parker. “The tool is data; the benefit, public safety and justice — whom are we going to put in jail? If you have 10 guys dealing drugs, which one do you focus on? The assistant district attorneys know the rap sheets, they have the police statements like before, but now they know if you lift the left sleeve you’ll find a gang tattoo and if you look you’ll see a scar where the defendant was once shot in the ankle. Some of the defendants are often surprised we know so much about them.”"

+ - SKA space telescope to offer neighbours cheap broadband->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Square Kilometer Array is a giant space telescope currently being built in the middle of the Karoo in South Africa, which when complete will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing Earth-based telescope. The problem is that it's so sensitive, the thousands of antennas need to be protected from terrestrial radio interference. Given that cell masts and technologies like TB white spaces are the only way people living in the remote areas near SKA are going to be able to get affordable net access, this is a bit of a problem.
In order that its neighbours aren't completely cut-off, SKA is offering them subsidised satellite broadband instead. Which is nice."

Link to Original Source

+ - France Wants To Get Rid Of Diesel Fuel

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "France wants to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuel for private passenger transport and will put in place a system to identify the most polluting vehicles, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday. Next year, the government will launch a car identification system that will rank vehicles by the amount of pollution they emit, Valls said in a speech. This will make it possible for local authorities to limit city access for the dirtiest cars. "In France, we have long favoured the diesel engine. This was a mistake, and we will progressively undo that, intelligently and pragmatically," Valls said. About 80 percent of French motorists drive diesel-powered cars. Valls said taxation would have to orient citizens towards more ecological choices, notably the 2015 state budget measures to reduce the tax advantage of diesel fuel versus gas."

+ - Another community gets split by systemd: Devuan is "forking" Debian->

Submitted by jaromil
jaromil (104349) writes "The so called "Veteran Unix Admin" collective announces that the "fork" of Debian will proceed as a result of the recent systemd debacle. The reasons put forward are not just technical, included is a letter of endorsement by Debian Developer Roger Leigh mentioning that "people rely on Debian for their jobs and businesses, their research and their hobbies. It's not a playground for such radical experimentation."
The fork is called "Devuan", pronounced "DevOne". A website is up on with more information."

Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook Can't Cite Evidence to Support Claims of U.S. Tech Worker Shortage

Submitted by sycodon
sycodon (149926) writes "Facebook, which has spent millions trying to get massive amnesty legislation that would include huge increases in the number of guest-worker permits that would lower the wages of tech workers, cannot cite any definitive evidence pointing to a shortage of American high-tech workers.

I know..."Breitbart!". Well here it is from a left leaning source... The Atlantic "

+ - "Advanced Life Support" Ambulances May Lead To More Deaths

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jason Kane reports at PBS that emergency treatments delivered in ambulances that offer “Advanced Life Support” for cardiac arrest may be linked to more death, comas and brain damage than those providing “Basic Life Support.” "They’re taking a lot of time in the field to perform interventions that don’t seem to be as effective in that environment,” says Prachi Sanghavi. “Of course, these are treatments we know are good in the emergency room, but they’ve been pushed into the field without really being tested and the field is a much different environment.” The study suggests that high-tech equipment and sophisticated treatment techniques may distract from what’s most important during cardiac arrest — transporting a critically ill patient to the hospital quickly.

Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances stick to simpler techniques, like chest compressions, basic defibrillation and hand-pumped ventilation bags to assist with breathing with more emphasis placed on getting the patient to the hospital as soon as possible. Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients are extremely low regardless of the ambulance type with roughly 90 percent of the 380,000 patients who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year not surviving to hospital discharge. But researchers found that 90 days after hospitalization, patients treated in BLS ambulances were 50 percent more likely to survive than their counterparts treated with ALS. Not everyone is convinced of the conclusions. “They’ve done as much as they possibly can with the existing data but I’m not sure that I’m convinced they have solved all of the selection biases,” says Judith R. Lave. “I would say that it should be taken as more of an indication that there may be some very significant problems here.”"

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.