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Submission + - In major shift, Firefox to use Yahoo search by default in US (

mpicpp writes: Google's 10-year run as Firefox's default search engine is over. Yahoo wants more search traffic, and a deal with Mozilla will bring it.

In a major departure for both Mozilla and Yahoo, Firefox's default search engine is switching from Google to Yahoo in the United States.

"I'm thrilled to announce that we've entered into a five-year partnership with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default search experience on Firefox across mobile and desktop," Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer said in a blog post Wednesday. "This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years."

The change will come to Firefox users in the US in December, and later Yahoo will bring that new "clean, modern and immersive search experience" to all Yahoo search users. In another part of the deal, Yahoo will support the Do Not Track technology for Firefox users, meaning that it will respect users' preferences not to be tracked for advertising purposes.

With millions of users who perform about 100 billion searches a year, Firefox is a major source of the search traffic that's Google's bread and butter. Some of those searches produce search ads, and Mozilla has been funded primarily from a portion of that revenue that Google shares. In 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, that search revenue brought in the lion's share of Mozilla's $311 million in revenue.

Submission + - Blow On Money to Tell If It Is Counterfeit writes: Scientific American reports that simply breathing on money could soon reveal if it's the real deal or counterfeit thanks to a photonic crystal ink developed by Ling Bai and Zhongze Gu and colleagues at Southeast University in Nanjing, China that can produce unique color changing patterns on surfaces with an inkjet printer system which would be extremely hard for fraudsters to reproduce. The ink mimics the way Tmesisternus isabellae – a species of longhorn beetle – reversibly switches its color from gold to red according to the humidity in its environment. The color shift is caused by the adsorption of water vapor in their hardened front wings, which alters the thickness and average refractive index of their multilayered scales. To emulate this, the team made their photonic crystal ink using mesoporous silica nanoparticles, which have a large surface area and strong vapor adsorption capabilities that can be precisely controlled. The complicated and reversible multicolor shifts of mesoporous CPC patterns are favorable for immediate recognition by naked eyes but hard to copy. "We think the ink's multiple security features may be useful for antifraud applications," says Bai, "however we think the technology could be more useful for fabricating multiple functional sensor arrays, which we are now working towards."

Submission + - Interviews: Ask Adora Svitak About Education and Women In STEM and Politics

samzenpus writes: Adora Svitak is a child prodigy, author and activist. She taught her first class on writing at a local elementary school when she was 7, the same year her book, Flying Fingers was published. In 2010, Adora spoke at the TED Conference. Her speech, "What Adults Can Learn from Kids", has been viewed over 3.7 million times and has been translated into over 40 different languages. She is an advocate for literacy, youth empowerment, and for the inclusion of more women and girls in STEM and politics. 17 this year, she served as a Youth Advisor to the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. and is a freshman at UC Berkeley. Adora has agreed to take some time from her books and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

Submission + - Obama Posts Net Neutrality Petition

Bob9113 writes: President Obama has posted a petition for net neutrality, targeted at the FCC. The page reads: Stand up for net neutrality President Obama is taking a stand to keep the internet open and free. Add your name to tell the FCC you support the President's plan to protect net neutrality.

Submission + - Nasty Code Execution Bug Found in Android

Trailrunner7 writes: There is a vulnerability in Android versions below 5.0 that could allow an attacker to bypass ASLR and run arbitrary code on a target device under certain circumstances. The bug was fixed in Lollipop, the newest version of the mobile OS, released earlier this week.

The vulnerability lies in, which fails to check whether an object that is being deserialized is actually a serialized object. Security researcher Jann Horn discovered the vulnerability and reported it to Google earlier this year.

Horn said via email that the exploitability of the vulnerability is difficult to judge.

“An attacker would need to get a malicious app onto the device in order for this to work. The app would need no permissions,” he said. “However, I don’t have a full exploit for this issue, just the crash PoC, and I’m not entirely sure about how predictable the address layout of the system_server really is or how easy it is to write a large amount of data into system_server’s heap (in order to make less accurate guesses for the memory position work). It might be necessary to crash system_server once in order to make its memory layout more predictable for a short amount of time, in which case the user would be able to notice the attack, but I don’t think that’s likely.”

Submission + - If You Want Better Cybersecurity, Break Up The NSA (

electronic convict writes: People often forget that the NSA has a second mission beyond surveillance (or surveillance-plus): It's also supposed to take the lead in protecting federal information systems and critical national infrastructure from criminals and foreign attackers.

If the recent spate of cyberattacks is any indication, though, the NSA has bungled that job pretty badly. And small wonder: As we've known for a year, the agency actively works to introduce vulnerabilities into encryption systems, to discourage the use of strong security and to use its industry-outreach program to further both aims. So why should anyone trust it to help actually guard against hackers?

There's a simple, if currently impractical solution: Break up the NSA.

This isn't an entirely new idea; Bruce Schneier, for instance, has been pushing for an NSA breakup since February, primarily on the grounds that the agency is simply too large and out of control. His proposed division, however, would still task the NSA with both security and surveillance, keeping its inherent conflict of interest intact. A better solution would be to move the security function out of the NSA entirely, allowing its staff to plug holes as fast as their offense-minded NSA peers can create them.

Yes, the USA Freedom Act just went down in flames, and the odds of serious NSA reform look about as dim as ever. But wouldn't everyone be better off if some of the best cryptographers and security experts in the U.S. weren't working side-by-side with the spies bent on undermining their work?

Submission + - Android Lollipop Causing Problems For Nexus 7 Users

MightyMartian writes: According to the BBC, there are numerous reports of the latest version of Android causing numerous problems for Nexus 7 users.

The Google Product Forums are filled with reports of both the 2012 and 2013 versions of the Nexus 7 tablet having stability problems; in particular with Chrome and the Facebook app.

On a personal note, while Lollipop works quite while on my Nexus 5, it has rendered my Nexus 7 2012 tablet all but unusable with frequent crashes and lock ups.

Submission + - Viruses help keep the gut healthy (

sciencehabit writes: Ebola, flu, and colds have given viruses a bad rap. But there may be a good side to these tiny packages of genetic material. Researchers studying mice have shown that a virus can help maintain and restore a healthy gut in much the same way that friendly bacteria do. The work "shows for the first time that a virus can functionally substitute for a bacterium and provide beneficial effects," says Julie Pfeiffer, a virologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved with the study. "It's shocking."

Submission + - Nielsen will start tracking Netflix and Amazon video

An anonymous reader writes: Nielsen is going to start studying the streaming behavior of online viewers for the first time. Netflix has never released detailed viewership data, but Nielsen says they have developed a way for its rating meters to track shows by identifying their audio. From the article: "Soon Nielsen, the standard-bearer for TV ratings, may change that. The TV ratings company revealed to the Wall Street Journal that it’s planning to begin tracking viewership of online video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video in December by analyzing the audio of shows that are being streamed. The new ratings will come with a lot of caveats—they won’t track mobile devices and won’t take into account Netflix’s large global reach—but they will provide a sense for the first time which Netflix shows are the most popular. And if the rest of the media world latches onto these new ratings as a standard, Netflix won’t be able to ignore them."

Submission + - Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water (

Diggester writes: The weight of water limits how much can be brought on a long bike ride. There isn’t always an option to stop and fill up from a clean stream or drinking fountain, but water could be obtained from a different source: the air. Austrian industrial design student Kristof Retezár has created Fontus: a prototype of a water bottle system that condenses humid air into clean, drinkable water. His design made him a finalist for the 2014 James Dyson Award.

Submission + - Number Of Coders In Congress To Triple (From One To Three) (

jfruh writes: Last weekend, Tim Berners-Lee said that the UK needs more members of parliament who can code. Well, the most recent U.S. congressional election has obliged him on this side of the Atlantic: the number of coders in Congress has tripled, with the downside being that their numbers have gone from one to three.

Submission + - Dark Energy Might Be Eating the Glue Holding the Universe Together 1

rossgneumann writes: Dark energy is eating dark matter. Bit by bit, the supreme attractive force of the universe, gravitationally speaking, is being superseded by the supreme repulsive force. This is the theory, at least, being advanced in a new paper in Physical Review Letters describing a rather ominous-sounding “dark sector” interaction.

Submission + - A rock star needs a agent... (

braindrainbahrain writes: ... so maybe a rock star programmer needs one too. As described in this article, the 10X talent agency , which got started in the music business, isnot your typical head hunter/recruiter agency. "The company’s name comes from the idea, well established in the tech world, that the very best programmers are superstars, capable of achieving ten times the productivity of their merely competent colleagues."

Submission + - NYC to replace most of its payphones with free gigabit WiFi in 2015

mrspoonsi writes: NYC announced its plans: LinkNYC — a network of 10,000 gigabit WiFi hotspots that will line the streets of all five boroughs of New York City. The project will replace all but a small handful of historic payphones with "Links," small towers equipped with WiFi, an Android tablet with select city-service apps and, of course, the ability to make phone calls. What's missing? The word pay: it's all free.

Submission + - A second act for the Wooly Mammoth?

Clark Schultz writes: The premise behind Jurassic Park just got a bit realer after scientists in South Korea said they are optimistic they can extract enough DNA from the blood of a preserved wooly mammoth to clone the long-extinct mammal. The ice-wrapped wooly mammoth was found last year on an island off of Siberia. The development is being closely-watched by the scientific community with opinion sharply divided on the ethics of the project.

Real Programs don't use shared text. Otherwise, how can they use functions for scratch space after they are finished calling them?