Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

+ - Exploring the Relationships Between Tech Skills (Visualization) ->

Nerval's Lobster writes: Simon Hughes, Dice's Chief Data Scientist, has put together an experimental visualization that explores how tech skills relate to one another. In the visualization, every circle or node represents a particular skill; colors designate communities that coalesce around skills. Try clicking “Java”, for example, and notice how many other skills accompany it (a high-degree node, as graph theory would call it). As a popular skill, it appears to be present in many communities: Big Data, Oracle Database, System Administration, Automation/Testing, and (of course) Web and Software Development. You may or may not agree with some relationships, but keep in mind, it was all generated in an automatic way by computer code, untouched by a human. Building it started with Gephi, an open-source network analysis and visualization software package, by importing a pair-wise comma-separated list of skills and their similarity scores (as Simon describes in his article) and running a number of analyses: Force Atlas layout to draw a force-directed graph, Avg. Path Length to calculate the Betweenness Centrality that determines the size of a node, and finally Modularity to detect communities of skills (again, color-coded in the visualization). The graph was then exported as an XML graph file (GEXF) and converted to JSON format with two sets of elements: Nodes and Links. "We would love to hear your feedback and questions," Simon says.
Link to Original Source

+ - Cuba connecting universities with fiber

lpress writes: Two Cuban universities have fiber links and fiber connections will be available to all Cuban universities in January 2016. One of the currently connected universities is in the west, near Havana (satellite ground station) and one in the east, near the undersea cable landing. Are these the early stages of a fiber backbone? Cuba will use Chinese equipment for DSL to the home and Wifi access points. I wonder if Chinese equipment is being used in these fiber links. If so, how is Cuba paying for it and what, if anything, are they giving up? Oh — and where does that leave US vendors?

+ - The Tale of How the U.S. Supercomputer Police Patrolled Chinese Weather Systems->

An anonymous reader writes: When IBM sent Zaphiris Christidis on an international assignment to China to manage the supercomputing division for climate and environment applications, he would be part of an over 50,000 strong force in China managing weather forecasting and research. While some were part of IBM or other technology vendor teams, it was striking to him how many people in the country were devoted to operational weather forecasting, not to mention how complex each of the regional centers that radiated off the main Beijing sites were...
Link to Original Source

+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

+ - Why Software Development Isn't A Straight March Forward->

jfruh writes: In Pali, the term for which is paiccasamuppda ('mutual arising') means that every action contains the seeds of unknown others, including ones that work toward its own destruction. We can see this in our national political life — when, for instance, a young white man who tried to start a race war by killing nine black people spurred a movement to remove Confederate flags from statehouses instead. And, according to webmaster Sasha Akhavi, we see it in software development as well, where our actions cause nowhere near the linear march towards success that we would like.
Link to Original Source

+ - Saber-tooth teeth grew at lightning speed->

sciencehabit writes: The fearsome saber-toothed cat, Smilodon fatalis, roamed North and South America from about 700,000 years to 11,000 years ago. Its daggerlike canine teeth, which protruded up to 18 centimeters from its upper jaw, could easily shred any bison, camel, or other prey that crossed its path. Using a new technique that combines isotopic analysis with x-ray imaging, scientists have found that the permanent canines of S. fatalis grew at a rate of 6 millimeters per month, about twice as fast as an African lion’s teeth--and almost twice as fast as human fingernails.
Link to Original Source

+ - Giving buildings a cosmic CT scan->

sciencehabit writes: Subatomic particles that naturally bombard Earth could be used to make 3D images of industrial equipment akin to medical CT scans made with x-rays, a new study suggests. The technique could reveal the corrosion of pipes or the degradation within thick layers of concrete. It could also enable routine inspections of pipes and valves that are buried, wrapped in insulation, or otherwise inaccessible, even while the equipment is in use—and even if it lies deep within a heavily shielded nuclear reactor, scientists say.
Link to Original Source

+ - Lithium, Beryllium and Boron are the only three elements not made in stars

StartsWithABang writes: From helium up through uranium continuously, every element in the periodic table can be found, created by natural processes, somewhere in the Universe. (With many trans-uranic nuclides found as well.) Yet out of all of those, only three of them aren't created in stars: lithium, beryllium and boron. Boron in particular is necessary for life as we know it, as without it, there would be no such things as plants. Here's the cosmic story of the only three heavy elements to exist that aren't made in stars.

Comment: ISP "cooperation" (Score 1) 59 59

Gov't to ISP: Block all gambling web sites that are on our blacklist.

ISP to Gov't: "Block all gambling web sites" - hey, that's a great idea. I think we'll start with the list we already use to block our employees from going to gambling web sites while they are at work.

+ - Hundreds of Dark Web mirror sites 'booby-trapping' Tor users->

An anonymous reader writes: Tor users are being warned about hundreds of fake and booby-trapped .onion websites after the founder of Dark Web search engine ahmia.fi noticed a clone of his own site online. Juha Nurmi, who operates an open source .onion search engine, found over two hundred fake replicas of Dark Web pages, including the popular Tor version of DuckDuckGo. In a Tor-Talk post [https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-June/038295.html] he suggests that there are several copies of the targeted websites, each with similar addresses. Unlike on the traditional World Wide Web, unindexed Tor pages are typically located through directories rather than across search engines and often have complicated URLs – thus making it easier for fake addresses to go unnoticed. Nurmi added that the fake sites are working as transparent proxies to the real pages, allowing hackers to launch attacks against their targets.

Link to Original Source

+ - 4,900 New Android Malware Strains Discovered Every Day

An anonymous reader writes: G DATA security experts discovered 440,267 new Android malware strains in the first quarter of 2015, which means that a new mobile malware strain for Android was discovered every 18 seconds. Mobile banking is seeing rapid growth. This also has an effect on Android malware. G DATA has determined that at least 50 percent of the malware currently being distributed has a financially motivated origin and includes banking Trojans and SMS Trojans.

Comment: Call Goodwill and similar places (Score 2) 181 181

Call Goodwill and other charities that specialize in job-training. Some of them may do printer-cartridge-recycling in-house and would love to have your recyclable cartridges.

Others charities may not do it in-house but they may have buyers lined up to buy cartridges in bulk and will take your donated cartridges.

Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 1) 281 281

The USA built a working molten-salt reactor, which Nixon ordered abandoned because it wasn't useful for plutonium production.

the temperatures, pressures and the levels of radiation that occur in those designs.

It sounds like you're not at all familiar with the design that Sorensen is talking about. It operates at one atmosphere.


Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

Even mere usage could be risky - If I code an application that utilizes most/all of a copyrighted API's objects and methods, then my program may include a reflection or copy of the API I'm using.

Making an API freely available to use by application programmers is an invitation to copy it in a sense. That's part of how its used. Its not much of a leap to say that implies that APIs are a special class of code covered entirely by fair-use if authors do not restrict who can code for them.

In any case... Does not every BIOS depend on APIs? How did we even get the PC compatible revolution in the first place?!

Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules. Corollary: Following the rules will not get the job done.