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Security

+ - Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is at Risk ->

Submitted by
quantr
quantr writes "When Telvent, a company that monitors more than half the oil and gas pipelines in North America, discovered last September that the Chinese had hacked into its computer systems, it immediately shut down remote access to its clients’ systems.

Company officials and American intelligence agencies then grappled with a fundamental question: Why had the Chinese done it?
Was the People’s Liberation Army, which is suspected of being behind the hacking group, trying to plant bugs into the system so they could cut off energy supplies and shut down the power grid if the United States and China ever confronted each other in the Pacific? Or were the Chinese hackers just trolling for industrial secrets, trying to rip off the technology and pass it along to China’s own energy companies?
“We are still trying to figure it out,” a senior American intelligence official said last week. “They could have been doing both.”
Telvent, which also watches utilities and water treatment plants, ultimately managed to keep the hackers from breaking into its clients’ computers.
At a moment when corporate America is caught between what it sees as two different nightmares — preventing a crippling attack that brings down America’s most critical systems, and preventing Congress from mandating that the private sector spend billions of dollars protecting against that risk — the Telvent experience resonates as a study in ambiguity"

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Cloud

+ - Microsoft Azure Fail: SSL Certificates WERE Updated - Sort Of->

Submitted by
judgecorp
judgecorp writes "Microsoft has published an explanation of the failure of Windows Azure earlier this month. Users of the Azure storage saw that an SSL certificate had expired. Microsoft's explanation says that the certificate had in fact been renewed, but an update with the new certificate details was not prioritised, and hadn't actually been implemented till after the old certificate expired. There are more interesting details, but Microsoft says better alerts and more automation will stop this particular fault happening again"
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Robotics

+ - Not quite a T-100, but on the right track->

Submitted by
misanthropic.mofo
misanthropic.mofo writes "Leaping from drones, to recon "turtlebots", humanity is making its way toward robo-combat. I for one think it would make it interesting to pit legions of robot warriors against each other and let people purchase time on them. Of course there are people that are for and against such technology. Development of ethical robotic systems seems like it would take some of the fun out of things, there's also the question of who gets to decide on the ethics."
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Hardware

+ - Fast Way To Build Custom Boards For Gumstix Modules->

Submitted by altembedded
altembedded (2856591) writes "An article on Electronic Design talks about Gumstix's Geppetto, a web-based board design tool. Geppetto can turn out a carrier board design for their tiny Overo modules that are home to a Texas Instrument's OMAP chip that is based on Arm's Cortex-A8. It does not require any design expertise and the resulting boards can be delivered in a couple of weeks for pretty good price, usually under $100. The start up fee is only $1999. That may sound like a lot but it is really inexpensive and easily amortized with even a small run. It is ideal for small runs, prototypes and open source projects and easily turns into a high volume with lower cost if applicable. The price per board is based on the components included in a design. The article has a short animation but you can try out the Geppetto site directly. All you really need to know to get started are what interfaces you want like a USB port, LCD display, etc."
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NASA

+ - Evidence for Extraterrestrial Life Might Come from Dwarf Stars->

Submitted by littlesparkvt
littlesparkvt (2707383) writes "Even dying stars could host planets with life – and if such life exists, we might be able to detect it within the next decade. This encouraging result comes from a new theoretical study of Earth-like planets orbiting white dwarf stars. Researchers found that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a white dwarf’s planet much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star."
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+ - On the job certification training

Submitted by beerdini
beerdini (1051422) writes "There is a debate going on within my IT department about how our continued training offerings compare to others in the industry that I'm hoping other Slashdotters can help to provide comparisons. Currently, if we are implementing a new technology or updated software we will send someone from IT for training to become a specialist, where they go to a formal training as a part of their job where they learn their new skills. Alternatively, for someone pursuing an industry certification they usually take the training on their own time and dime and on passing the certification exam they can submit the exam fee for reimbursement. This is the most common practice that I've seen in the various places that I've worked, but I have one co-worker that insists that it is our company's responsibility to pay for the materials, allow them to study and practice while on the job, and that all attempts to take the test should be paid by the company because it should be a company investment in the employee. So my question to the Slashdot community, what are continued training practices if your organization has them and are there any places that will pay for someone to get an industry certificate and any rules that may be associated with it."
Education

+ - 'Bandwidth Divide' Could Bar Some From Free Online Courses->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Bandwidth Divide is a form of what economists call the Red Queen effect referring to a scene in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass when Alice races the Red Queen. As the Red Queen tells Alice: "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" Keeping up with digital technology is like that race—it takes a continual investment of money and time just to keep up with the latest, and an exceptional amount of work to get ahead of the pack. "The question is, What is the new basic?" said one researcher. "There will always be inequality. But 100 years after the introduction of the car, not everybody has a Ferrari, but everyone has access to some form of motorized transportation through buses." Well, not everyone, but even fewer people have the online equivalent. Colleges considering MOOCs should remember that."
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+ - 83-Year-Old Inventor Wins $40,000 3D Printing Competition->

Submitted by
harrymcc
harrymcc writes "The Desktop Factory Competition was a contest to create an open-source design for a low-cost machine capable of turning cheap plastic pellets into the filament used by 3D printers, with a price of $40,000. The winner is being announced today — and he was born during the Hoover administration. I interviewed 83-year-old retiree Hugh Latham — a proud member of the maker movement — and the contest's organizers for a story over at TIME.com."
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Comment: Re:Batteries if you must (Score 1) 163

by dawich (#42726131) Attached to: Elon Musk Offers Boeing SpaceX Batteries For the 787 Dreamliner
Disagree - some shavers yes, but my older Norelco I replaced the batteries 3 times before I gave it up as a bad idea. My new Braun (basic model) is good. But our big Oster clippers? 3 months on the battery, and now it only works if it is plugged in. Next set of clippers will not be cordless.

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