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Submission + - EPA reveals Gold King mine spill much worse than initially stated (

schwit1 writes: On Thursday, the House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and its handling of the Gold King Mine disaster last August. The report detailed how the EPA and the Department of the Interior were inaccurate and misleading in their conflicting accounts of the wastewater spill, which the EPA said last week released 880,000 pounds of toxic metals.

"When government actions result in harm, it's our duty to know who was responsible and why decisions failed. They haven't been forthcoming in this regard," Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a released statement. "This report peels back one more layer in what many increasingly view as a pattern of deception on the part of EPA and DOI. The EPA is saying one thing and their own experts say another"

No wonder the trust in government is so low.

Submission + - Advance in super/ultra capacitor tech: high voltage and high capacity (

fyngyrz writes: Ultracaps offer significantly faster charge and discharge rates as well as considerably longer life than batteries. Where they have uniformly fallen short is in the amount of energy they can store as compared to a battery, and WRT the engineering backflips required to get higher voltages (which is the key to higher energy storage because the energy stored in a cap scales with the square of the cap's voltage, whereas doubling the cap's actual capacitance only doubles the energy, or in other words, the energy increase is linear.) This new development addresses these shortcomings all at once: considerably higher voltage, smaller size, higher capacitance, and to top it off, utilizes less corrosive internals. The best news of all: This new technology looks to be easy, even trivial, to manufacture, and uses inexpensive materials — and that is something neither batteries or previous types of ultracaps have been able to claim. After the debacle of EEStor's claims and failure to meet them for so long, and the somewhat related very slow advance of other ultracap technology, it's difficult not to be cynical. But if you read TFA (yes, I know, but perhaps you'll do it anyway) you may decide some optimism might actually be called for.

Submission + - Raytheon Wins U.S. Civilian Cyber Contract Worth $1 billion (

Tokolosh writes: Raytheon is a company well-known in military-industrial and political circles, but not so much for software, networking and cybersecurity.

That has not stopped the DHS awarding it a $1 billion, five year contract to help more than 100 civilian agencies manage their computer security.

Raytheon said DHS selected it to be the prime contractor and systems integrator for the agency's Network Security Deployment (NSD) division, and its National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS). The contract runs for five years, but some orders could be extended for up to an additional 24 months, it said.

Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said the company had invested over $3.5 billion in recent years to expand its cybersecurity capabilities. He said cybersecurity incidents had increased an average of 66 percent a year worldwide between 2009 and 2014.

As you might expect, Raytheon spends heavily on political contributions and lobbying. (

$3.5 billion investment for a $1 billion contract?

Submission + - Retro Computers Run in your Browser (

An anonymous reader writes: If you ever wanted to program an Altair, an Apple I, or a COSMAC ELF you may think you either have to buy one (expensive now) or load and configure simulation software. However, there's a slew of browser-based emulators for everything from a PDP-11 to Windows 1.0 out there. Some use Java, but many use Javascript and many perform better on a modern PC then they did in their original. If you want to learn some history or just want to finally play with the computers you saw in the magazines 35 years ago, these are great fun and slightly addictive.

Submission + - 47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth ( 2

Okian Warrior writes: While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago.

[Dr. Venn]: "I realised the signal was in the VHF Band and slap bang in the middle of 41-68 MHz. It was obviously old terrestrial television broadcasts, but they seemed to be originating from deep space." After boosting and digital enhancement the resulting video signals are remarkably clear.

"They are signals that left the Earth about 50 years ago and have bounced off an object or more likely a field of objects some 25 light years away".

Submission + - TSA Watch: A New Civil Rights Group to Take on the TSA (

An anonymous reader writes: Announcing "TSA Watch" to Slashdot:

Every day close to 1.7 million travelers pass through TSA Checkpoints on their way through airports is the United States.

Have your body, possessions or dignity been abused, molested, violated or damaged by the TSA? Do you want to do more than complain about it?

Theft: Each day over $1 million dollars in claims are filed with the TSA for lost or stolen items, but the TSA pays lest than 0.2% of those claims.

Dignity: Body Scanners flag about 3% of travelers, or 1 in 33 passengers for a pat down. Most pat downs occur in public.

Molestation: The pat downs now include physical contact with almost the entire body, including the breasts and genitals. If anyone else did this, it would be a sexual assault. If anyone else touched children this way, they would be subject to prosecution for predatory child sexual molestation.

Why do we tolerate this?

TSA Watch is a new nonprofit organization serving the traveling public by working to ensure that personal liberty is not sacrificed in the pursuit of national security. For the first time, the public will enjoy a centralized place to share their own complaints about the TSA, get help with filing official complaints against the TSA, and work together to seek redress of grievances and a halt to TSA’s worst patterns of violating human rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Further, TSA Watch will develop and provide tools and technologies to document abuses by agents of the TSA.

TSA Watch needs help developing the website tools and smart phone apps to help citizens document TSA abuses.

It has been suggested to invite the SlashDot community to help this project take off.

So far, the founding director has led a very small team, with the help of a handful of donations to get this off the ground, but there is a lot of work to do. TSA Watch is now incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so donations of time and resources are tax deductible.

Would you like to support a good project with your skills or resources? TSA Watch needs help with website tech, tools, app development, video production, media outreach, and more.

You can check out their fundraising campaign at

Here are TSA Watch’s first two promo videos.

1. 40 Seconds – What Has the TSA Stolen From You?

2. 5 minutes– Introducing TSA Watch:

Or just look at their website,
Like their Facebook:
Share their information.

They have done all they can with the funding so far, and need some more help. They have a donor willing to match the next $3000 in donations, dollar for dollar.

Consider helping them. It's a worthy cause to benefit all who value their 4th Amendment Rights to Travel.

Submission + - SPAM: IoT may still be a hype, but its impact to MCU already felt

Taco Cowboy writes: To many, the Internet of Things (IoT) may be nothing but pure hype, but for those who are in the Microcontroller (MCU) industry the sales volume has already risen

"What some still consider to be only hype surrounding emerging IoT trends has already begun disrupting the MCU market," said Tom Hackenberg, senior analyst for IHS. "In fact, without the influence of IoT application growth, the MCU market is predicted to stagnate by the end of the decade"

In contrast, the overall MCU market is only expected to grow at a CAGR of just 4% through 2019

"The IoT trend has a strong relationship with the MCU market, as the small nodes used for connectivity, and sensor hubs to collect and log data, are primarily based on MCU platforms," Hackenberg continued. "Most serious suppliers of MCUs are already closely following the hype around the billions of connected devices; however, the industry's challenge now is to quantify this new opportunity, since IoT is a conceptual trend, not a device, application or even a new feature"

"IoT is a sweeping term that addresses broad opportunities for hardware, software and services across many different applications," Hackenberg said. "Suppliers must therefore focus on their target markets and concentrate on the specific values they bring to these markets." The IHS Microcontroller Tracking Service now offers market size and forecast for the MCUs targeting IoT applications specifically in 25 distinct market opportunities

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Let's Not Go to Mars writes: Ed Regis write in the NYT that today we an witnessing an outburst of enthusiasm over the literally outlandish notion that in the relatively near future, some of us are going to be living, working, thriving and dying on Mars. But unfortunately Mars mania reflects an excessively optimistic view of what it actually takes to travel to and live on Mars, papering over many of the harsh realities and bitter truths that underlie the dream. "First, there is the tedious business of getting there. Using current technology and conventional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars would be a grueling, eight- to nine-month-long nightmare for the crew," writes Regis. "Tears, sweat, urine and perhaps even solid waste will be recycled, your personal space is reduced to the size of an SUV., and you and your crewmates are floating around sideways, upside down and at other nauseating angles." According to Regis every source of interpersonal conflict, and emotional and psychological stress that we experience in ordinary, day-to-day life on Earth will be magnified exponentially by restriction to a tiny, hermetically sealed, pressure-cooker capsule hurtling through deep space and to top it off, despite these constraints, the crew must operate within an exceptionally slim margin of error with continuous threats of equipment failures, computer malfunctions, power interruptions and software glitches.

But getting there is the easy part says Regis. "Mars is a dead, cold, barren planet on which no living thing is known to have evolved, and which harbors no breathable air or oxygen, no liquid water and no sources of food, nor conditions favorable for producing any. For these and other reasons it would be accurate to call Mars a veritable hell for living things, were it not for the fact that the planet’s average surface temperature is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit." These are only a few of the many serious challenges that must be overcome before anyone can put human beings on Mars and expect them to live for more than five minutes says Regis. "The notion that we can start colonizing Mars within the next 10 years or so is an overoptimistic, delusory idea that falls just short of being a joke."

Submission + - Map of the Chile Earthquake (M 8.3) (

pabloApicco writes: Map with videos and photos of the M 8.3 chile Earthquake.

An 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile Tuesday night, triggering small landslides, setting off a tsunami and killing at least five people.

Submission + - A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast (

wooferhound writes: A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast on Wednesday, according to a preliminary assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake's epicenter was about 54 kilometers (34 miles) west of Illapel, Chile, USGS said. It occurred around 7:54 p.m. (6:54 p.m. ET) and had a depth of 33 kilometers (20.5 miles).

Chile's national emergency agency issued a tsunami alert, ordering evacuations in coastal areas from Arica to Puerto Aysen.

Submission + - NYC Counting on Begging to Fund Required K-12 Computer Science Programs

theodp writes: "To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector," reports the New York Times, "Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Wednesday that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students. New York City, the Times adds, plans to spend $81 million over 10 years, half of which it hopes to raise from private sources. Earlier this year, it was announced that Microsoft would make Office 365 ProPlus available to all NYC students, and that Google would make its CS First program available to 100K NYC students who participate in after-school programs.

Submission + - Ubiquiti may have disabled all third party router images

Revek writes: I recently bought three ubiquiti nanostationM2 to be installed at local parks in the area. On the first unit I upgraded the firmware to version 5.6.2 to see if it had any new functionally. After I had my look I proceeded to upgrade it to Openwrt in order to install scheduling so the WiFi wasn't available in the early morning hours. The flash to Openwrt went with out any errors but I discovered it wouldn't save settings. There was little or nothing about it on any forums and after connecting to it with a console I discovered they had modified uboot changing partition locations. They also disabled saving of the environment variables. After thirty days I still haven't seen a response from ubiquiti or really anyone. Efforts to restore it to any version of the stock firmware have failed also. My question to Slashdot Has Ubiquity abandoned open source completely?

Submission + - Xerox PARC creates self-destructing chip (

angry tapir writes: Engineers at Xerox PARC have developed a chip that will self-destruct upon command, providing a potentially revolutionary tool for high-security applications. The chip, developed as part of DARPA’s vanishing programmable resources project, could be used to store data such as encryption keys and, on command, shatter into thousands of pieces so small, reconstruction is impossible.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Storing family videos and pictures for posterity? 2

jalvarez13 writes: I'm in my early 40's and I will become a dad in less than a month. Until now I've been quite happy with a Canon Powershot S110 for taking pictures and video, but now I'm thinking in longer terms. If some of you have already thought or done something about this, what did you consider when buying photo/video equipment? I guess there are important decisions you made about to image quality, file formats, storage type, organising and labelling software, etc.

I'm also wondering if there are any other technologies (stereoscopic cameras?) that I haven't thought about and may be interesting to look at.

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