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New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed 263

Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."

Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy 167

DarkKnightRadick writes "An undergrad student at the University of Utrecht, Marianne Heida, has found evidence of a supermassive black hole being tossed out of its galaxy. According to the article, the black hole — which has a mass equivalent to one billion suns — is possibly the culmination of two galaxies merging (or colliding, depending on how you like to look at it) and their black holes merging, creating one supermassive beast. The black hole was found using the Chandra Source Catalog (from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory). The direction of the expulsion is also possibly indicative of the direction of rotation of the two black holes as they circled each other before merging."

Astronomers Discover 33 Pairs of Waltzing Black Holes 101

Astronomers from UC Berkeley have identified 33 pairs of waltzing black holes, closing the gap somewhat between the observed population of super-massive black hole pairs and what had been predicted by theory. "Astronomical observations have shown that 1) nearly every galaxy has a central super-massive black hole (with a mass of a million to a billion times the mass of the Sun), and 2) galaxies commonly collide and merge to form new, more massive galaxies. As a consequence of these two observations, a merger between two galaxies should bring two super-massive black holes to the new, more massive galaxy formed from the merger. The two black holes gradually in-spiral toward the center of this galaxy, engaging in a gravitational tug-of-war with the surrounding stars. The result is a black hole dance, choreographed by Newton himself. Such a dance is expected to occur in our own Milky Way Galaxy in about 3 billion years, when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy."

Submission + - Is there a zero-day OpenSSH exploit in the wild? (

eefsee writes: reports 'Over the past 24 hours we've had a number of readers tell us that there is an OpenSSH exploit in active use.' It is not clear if this is a real exploit or sysadmin CYA masquerading as exploit, but some web hosts have already turned of SSH in response. On 7/5 HostGator shut down SSH on all its shared servers. Site5 did the same thing the next day. The loss of SSH, of course, kills SFTP on these hosts as well, forcing customers to fall back on FTP. Now that is security!
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA's Bid to Stop Jammie From Objecting Fails (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's motion to prevent Jammie Thomas-Rasset from objecting to evidentiary problems with the RIAA's copyright registrations has been denied. The decision by Judge Michael J. Davis (PDF) held that 'The Court's Order granting a new trial in this matter granted an entirely new trial on all issues. The fact that Defendant did not object to Plaintiffs' evidence of registration in the First Trial does not preclude Defendant from putting Plaintiffs to their burden of proof on this issue in the retrial.' Judge Davis rejected the RIAA's contention that he could take 'judicial notice' of the validity of the registrations, since 'judicial notice' doctrine is only applicable to matters which are 'not subject to reasonable dispute'."

Recovering Moldy Electronics? 512

cookiej writes "We just completed having our basement gutted and our house decontaminated from mold. The finished basement is gone, my office floor has been removed as well as 24' of drywall around the base of the room. So, we had a full home theater downstairs along with a couple of computers in the electronics closet that were completely immersed (rainwater, not sewage). We moved them to a sheltered area outside and covered them with a plastic tarp. Since the electronics were off when the water hit them, 1) do I have a chance of recovering them? 2) If so, is there a way to clean them with some sort of liquid bath that would not damage the electronics? and 3) I don't want to bring moldy pieces back in the clean house. How could I decontaminate the electronics themselves, pre-bath? Not looking to save the speakers, just the amp, DirecTV box, video switch, etc. Thanks for any help, here, Slashdot." Read on for more details of this reader's plight.
Portables (Apple)

Steve Wozniak Predicts Death of the IPod 573

Slatterz writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, better known in the industry as 'Woz,' believes that the iPod is on its way out and has revealed his discomfort with some aspects of the iPhone. Wozniak said that the iPod has had a long time as the world's most popular media player, and that it will fall from grace due to oversupply. Wozniak also commented on the iPhone's proprietary nature and locked service provider, and compared it to Google's open Android platform. 'Consumers are not getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,' he said. 'I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed.'"

Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says 519

mattnyc99 writes "Honda's challenger to the Prius — the Insight hybrid that we discussed so lividly a month ago — got its official unveiling today at the Paris auto show, with insiders confirming it would be cheaper than the world's most popular 'green' car while still hitting the same fuel-efficiency range. But the hybrid-electric showdown comes in the midst of a sudden rethink by Toyota about plug-in hybrids. Apparently all the recent hype — over the production version of the Chevy Volt, plus Chrysler's new electric trio and even the cool new Pininfarina EV also unveiled today — has execs from the world's number one automaker, and alt-fuel experts, questioning how many people will really buy electric cars, whether people will really charge them at night to keep the grid clear, whether batteries will make them too expensive and more. "

Submission + - SPAM: Software improves airdrops by 70%

coondoggie writes: "When it comes to airdropping tons of water on a huge forest fire or loads of food to flood survivors, dropping things from an airplane to a precise spot on the ground in the face of wind and nasty weather can be a black art. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists have developed wind-forecast software that promise to improve aircraft airdrop target accuracy up to 70%. The US Air Force is already using they system for dropping Army cargo and paratroopers into Iraq and Afghanistan, but the package can be used for releasing almost any cargo from an airplane into a target area: water over a blazing wildfire, food to a famine-stricken population, or supplies, tanks, and Humvees into a war zone, NOAA said. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - High Volume Role Based Email

kjh writes: "I need an email system to manage a millions of large email messages spread across a very small number of role-based mailboxes. I need a programmatic (e.g., python, perl, etc.) interface to support message processing. I need a secure multi-user mail user agent model. Most email systems are designed for large numbers of small messages spread across large numbers of individual mailboxes for use by single-user mail user agents. The underlying storage systems are generally too inefficient for use with high volume role-based accounts. Certainly I'm not the only person who could use something like this. What are other people using? Are there open source projects working in this space? I'm not finding much. Slashdot doesn't even have an Email topic."

Submission + - Relativity mod may explain Pioneer anomaly (

KentuckyFC writes: "The Pioneer anomaly is the well known deceleration of the Pioneer spacecraft as they head out of the solar system that cannot be explained by the Sun's gravity. Numerous explanations have been put forward including some controversial modifications to Einstein's general theory of relativity. What is less well known is that there is a periodic component to the anomaly. The team at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab who have been collecting the data say that it's unlikely that this variation is from the spacecraft. Instead, they think it's probably the result of something at our end such as a tiny variation in Earth's orbit. But now a team that has carried out the most detailed analysis yet says the periodic component of the Pioneer anomaly is compatible with some of the modifications suggested to general relativity. That's an extraordinary claim that's worth treating with caution. But it may just be possible that the Pioneer anomaly is the first evidence of physics beyond Einstein's version of general relativity (abstract)."

Submission + - Domains May Disappear After Search 1

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "A perfect domain name pops into your mind, a quick check at your registrar reveals that the domain is available, you put off the registration a few minutes and when you come back to register the domain, it's taken by someone else. How much time has elapsed between the search and the attempted registration — in one case, less than 90 seconds. Daily Domainer has an interesting story alleging that there may be a leak that allows domain tasters to intercept, analyze and register your domain ideas in minutes. "Every time you do a whois search with any service, you run a risk of losing your domain," says one industry insider. ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC ) has not been able to find hard evidence of Domain Name Front Running but they have issued an advisory (pdf) for people to come forward with hard evidence it is happening. Here is how domain name research theft crimes can occur and some tips to avoiding being a victim."

Submission + - Dissecting Apps Source Code for Vulnerabilities (

Chim3 writes: Application source code scanning for vulnerability detection is an interesting challenge and relatively complex problem as well. There are several security issues which are difficult to identify using blackbox testing and these issues can be identified by using whitebox source code testing methodlogy. Application layer security issues may be residing at logical layer and it is very important to have source code audit done to unearth these categories of bugs.

Use the Force, Luke.