Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Submission + - Huddle secures 89% of UK government G-Cloud spend since launch (

DerekduPreez writes: "London-based software company Huddle secured 89 percent of the £453,778.38 that was spent in the first two months of the government’s G-Cloud framework going live.

Despite there being 257 suppliers on the CloudStore, start-up Huddle has secured six out of the 11 recorded sales, which equates to £402,125 of the £453,778.38 spent thus far. Purchasers of the SharePoint alternative include the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

“The fact that Huddle has secured 89 per cent of total G-Cloud sales so far is a clear indication that public sector organizations are now more than ready to make the move from costly on-premise legacy systems to innovative cloud-based technologies,” said Simon O’Kane, VP of enterprise at Huddle."


Submission + - Federal Goverment Employees retirement plan victim of 'cyber attack' ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Participants in the Thrift Savings Plan, the 401k-like retirement savings plan for U.S. Federal Government Employees, were informed of a confirmed hacking incident that resulted in unauthorized access to the personal information of 123,201 TSP participants and payees. The incident occurred in July of 2011, when a computer belonging to Serco, a third party service provider used in support of the TSP, was subjected to a "sophisticated hacking incident" resulting in unauthorized access. The FBI informed FRTIB (the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board) and Serco of this incident in April 2012. The 'plan news update' has an FAQ detailing the incident, and the full press release can be found in a PDF here. Affected parties have been notified, and appropriate measures including "credit consultation and continuous credit monitoring" via a third party for one year. Considering the press release indicates data accessed includes "Names, addresses, and Social Security numbers... in some cases... financial account numbers and routing numbers... and some TSP related informaiton..." is this response sufficient? What more could or should be done?

Submission + - Tin Foil Hats Required... Students to be tracked by skynet. (

ThreeDeeNut writes: Step 1, get some kids used to it... Step 2, get em all used to it.
"Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students."

Read more:


Submission + - Lasers Used to Zap Weeds Into Submission ( 1

Zothecula writes: Weeds are pesky things. They grow everywhere and, by definition, where they’re not wanted. Whether a large-scale farmer or a weekend gardener, everyone who has tried to raise crops has wished that there was a ray gun that could just blast the wretched things out of existence. Now, thanks in part to researchers from the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany, that frustrated daydream is closer to reality. Through the use of low-powered infrared lasers, the team has found a way to inhibit weed growth without harming neighboring plants, providing an alternative to expensive, hazardous and environmentally-damaging chemicals.

Submission + - Octave and gnuplot coming to Android ( 1

MathIsTasty writes: Recently, it was announced on the Octave-maintainers list that a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring Matlab style numerical computations and graphing to Android via a "more than" port of Octave and gnuplot. While, I doubt it will be as successful as some recent games on Kickstarter, is this a reasonable way to fund free software development? Now, we just have to worry about people working on simulating solar irradiation while driving. Here is a good blog post about the project.

Submission + - Raspberry Pi passes CE and FCC regulations (

An anonymous reader writes: At the end of March the Raspberry Pi Foundation hit a major roadblock stopping them actually shipping the beta version of the $35 PC. Both distribution partners, RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell, because it hadn’t obtained CE marking.

So a week of hard work and the loss of one Easter weekend in the lab later, and the Raspberry Pi now has passed the relevant tests to gain CE marking. Not only that, but the team managed to pass FCC regulations, CTick for Australia, and the relevant requirements for Canada, too.

All the testing was carried out in a Panasonic lab located in South Wales with the help of Gainspeed and EMC consultants. The result is a lot of successful tests, but now a lot of paperwork to do and get signed off by both RS Components and element14/Premier Farnell.


Submission + - European Union Moves to Criminalize 'Hacking Tools' (

suraj.sun writes: The European Union is continuing a push to criminalize the production or sale of “hacking” tools, a move that civil liberties advocates argue could make criminals out of legitimate security researchers( The proposed law(, which was passed by the European Commission’s Civil Liberties Committee last week, still has a ways to go before going into effect — but the EFF’s international rights director Katitza Rodriguez says now is the time to raise awareness about the proposal.

While the law seems aimed at blackmarket tools that can be used to create malware infested sites, it’s also likely to criminalize tools used by researchers, developers and black hats alike – including tools like fuzzers, the Metasploit penetration testing tool and the wi-fi sniffing tool Wireshark.


Submission + - Thepiratebay Enables Porn Access For All

bs0d3 writes: Historically, thepiratebay has been a torrent site that does index porn.. however it has been locked behind a wall so that only registered users could browse the category when logged in. Unregistered users could not see this category when visiting the site. This began mostly because certain advertisers don't want to be associated with porn. Today, the piratebay has opened their porn category, so that it can be viewed and browsed by non-registered site visitors.

Submission + - EU court rules social networks cannot police downloads (

arnodf writes: "The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has struck the latest blow in the debate over internet policing, ruling on Thursday (16 February) that online social network sites cannot be forced to construct measures to prevent users from downloading songs illegally.

The court, which is the highest judicial authority in the EU, stated that installing general filters would infringe on the freedom to conduct business and on data privacy."

"The case was brought before the ECJ by Sabam, the Belgian national music royalty collecting society, against social network site Netlog. In 2009, Sabam went to the Belgian Court of First Instance to demand that Netlog take action to prevent site-users from illegally downloading songs from its portfolio. It also insisted that Netlog pay a €1,000 fine for every day of delaying in compliance. Netlog legal submission argued that granting Sabam’s injunction would be imposing a general obligation to monitor on Netlog, which is prohibited by the e-commerce directive."

In other new: Sabam is going to be prosecuted (google translation, dutch original) for "forging accounts, abuse of trust, bribery, money laundering and forgery" which took place from the early 90's till 2007

Submission + - $6 Trillion in Fake US Treasury Bonds Siezed in Switzerland (

ackthpt writes: If you're going to steal, steal big, right? Italian anti-mafia prosecutors announce seizure of $6 trillion of allegedly fake U.S. Treasury bonds, an amount that's almost half of the U.S.'s public debt. The probe focusing upon money laundering has also include financial dealings alleged to direct money to Nigerian sources to buy plutonium. Sound like a movie plot, yet? $6 Trillion, that's a lot of lettuce.

Submission + - Microsoft Creates A Mini Internet To Test IE

adeelarshad82 writes: Microsoft is taking big steps to improve Internet Explorer and to ensure that the data is reliable and repeatable, Microsoft has built a mini version of the Internet in the lab. The mini Internet, which contains over 140 machines, reproduces the most popular sites and replicates third-party ads. The team is running over 20,000 tests, focusing on loading content, synthetic platform benchmarks, IE's behavior as an application, and interactive Web apps.

Submission + - Engineering for Change: making a better solar cooker (

jank1887 writes: Back in 2010, the aid organization Climate Healers gave a number of solar powered cookstoves to rural Indian villages. They were rejected by the communities, mainly because they were useless when they were wanted most: for the evening meal sometimes after the sun goes down, and for breakfast before the sun has risen. Following this, the group issued a challenge to EngineeringForChange. Details of the challenge include the need to provide 1kW of heat at about 200C for two hours in both early morning and late evening, and they should be able to cook indoors, while sitting. A number of groups, mainly at U.S. and Indian engineering institutions, accepted the challenge, and developed potential solutions.

Now, almost a year later, the ten finalist designs have been selected. The actual papers have been posted to the E4C challenge workspace.

The goals of most of the designs are to keep the technology simple, although there are a few exceptions, and many include sand, oil, and salt based concentrated thermal storage. Many reports include some level of discussion on the social and economic considerations, barriers to acceptance and sustainability, and how to overcome initial resistance to adoption.


Submission + - Jotform Returns - Government Refuses to Explain

someWebGeek writes: From Techdirt, US Returns Domain; Still Refuses To Say What Happened.

The scary bit is that, when Jotform asked GoDaddy (GD) why the site was down, GD sent them the Secret Service (SS), who claimed to be "too busy" to talk to the Jotform folks.

Still no explanation by GD or the SS, even though Jotform is back

Hmm, "GD" and "SS" indeed.

Submission + - Paper alloy could replace plastic in laptops (

An anonymous reader writes: Finally, an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic used in laptop cases and gadget casing in general has been developed by a company called PEGA. It's called Paper PP Alloy, and is manufactured using a combination of recycled paper and polypropylene. Both are easily recycled, and yet together they form a plastic-like alloy that's just as easily molded into complex forms.

All we need now is one or two of the big manufacturers to decide to use it and we could see a revolution in eco-friendly gadget casings.

We're living in a golden age. All you need is gold. -- D.W. Robertson.