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


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - Japanese company makes low calorie noodles out of wood

AmiMoJo writes: Omikenshi Co, an Osaka based cloth manufacturer best known for rayon, a fibre made from tree pulp, is expanding into the health food business. Using a similar process, Omikenshi is turning the indigestible cellulose into a pulp that’s mixed with konjac, a yam-like plant grown in Japan. The resulting fibre-rich flour, which the company calls “cell-eat,” contains no gluten, no fat and almost no carbohydrate. It has just 60 calories a kilogram, compared with 3,680 for wheat.

Submission + - Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable on Smart TVs (softpedia.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently even the easiest-to-remove ransomware is painfully hard to uninstall from smart TVs, if they're running on the AndroidOS platform, and almost all are. This didn't happen in a real-world scenario (yet), and was only a PoC test by Symantec. The researcher managed to remove the ransomware just because he enabled the Android ADB tool beforehand, knowing he would infect the TV with the ransomware.

"Without this option enabled, and if I was less experienced user, I’d probably still be locked out of my smart TV, making it a large and expensive paper weight," said the researcher.

Via: Softpedia

Submission + - Second Root Cert-Private Key Pair Found on Dell Computer (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: A second root certificate and private key, similar to eDellRoot, along with an expired Atheros Authenticode cert and private key used to sign Bluetooth drivers has been found on a Dell Inspiron laptop.
The impact of these two certs is limited compared to the original eDellRoot cert. The related eDellRoot cert is also self-signed but has a different fingerprint than the first one. It has been found only on two dozen machines according to the results of a scan conducted by researchers at Duo Security.
Dell, meanwhile, late on Monday said that it was going to remove the eDellroot certificate from all Dell systems moving forward, and for existing affected customers, it has provided permanent removal instructions, and starting today will push a software update that checks for the eDellroot cert and removes it.

Submission + - Scientists Produce Graphene 100 Times Cheaper Than Ever Before (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: Since first being synthesized by Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov at the University of Manchester in 2004, there has been an extensive effort to exploit the extraordinary properties of graphene. However the cost of graphene in comparison to more traditional electronic materials has meant that its uptake in electronic manufacturing has been slow. Now researchers at the University of Glasgow have discovered a way to create large sheets of graphene using the same type of cheap copper used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries.

Submission + - Fake Bomb Detector, Blamed for Hundreds of Deaths, Is Still in Use

HughPickens.com writes: Murtaza Hussain writes at The Intercept that although it remains in use at sensitive security areas throughout the world, the ADE 651 is a complete fraud and the ADE-651’s manufacturer sold it with the full knowledge that it was useless at detecting explosives. There are no batteries in the unit and it consists of a swivelling aerial mounted to a hinge on a hand-grip. The device contains nothing but the type of anti-theft tag used to prevent stealing in high street stores and critics have likened it to a glorified dowsing rod.

The story of how the ADE 651 came into use involves the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. At the height of the conflict, as the new Iraqi government battled a wave of deadly car bombings, it purchased more than 7,000 ADE 651 units worth tens of millions of dollars in a desperate effort to stop the attacks. Not only did the units not help, the device actually heightened the bloodshed by creating “a false sense of security” that contributed to the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi civilians. A BBC investigation led to a subsequent export ban on the devices.

The device is once again back in the news as it was reportedly used for security screening at hotels in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh where a Russian airliner that took off from that city’s airport was recently destroyed in a likely bombing attack by the militant Islamic State group. Speaking to The Independent about the hotel screening, the U.K. Foreign Office stated it would “continue to raise concerns” over the use of the ADE 651. James McCormick, the man responsible for the manufacture and sale of the ADE 651, received a 10-year prison sentence for his part in manufacture of the devices, sold to Iraq for $40,000 each. An employee of McCormick who later became a whistleblower said that after becoming concerned and questioning McCormick about the device, McCormick told him the ADE 651 “does exactly what it’s designed to. It makes money.”

Submission + - Comcast Injecting Piracy Warning Messages Into Your Web Browsing (consumerist.com)

kheldan writes:

Did you miss last nights episode of The Walking Dead (where they finally reveal that Glenn shot J.R., but didn’t kill Laura Palmer) because you don’t have cable and just plan on grabbing a pirated version of it from the Internet? If you’re a Comcast customer who has been flagged a potential copyright violator, your web-browsing experience may be interrupted with pop-up warnings. Even if you don’t do any questionable file-sharing, the developer who posted the grab to GitHub tells ZDNet that Comcast’s ability to modify content on unencrypted connections may lead to "scarier scenarios where this could be used as a tool for censorship, surveillance, [or] selling personal information."

Nice way to keep it classy, Comcast.
My advice to you, dear Reader? Start using HTTPS Everywhere (or equivalent) if you're on Comcast.

Submission + - NASA contracting development of new ion/nuclear engines

schwit1 writes: NASA has awarded three different companies contracts to develop advanced ion and nuclear propulsion systems for future interplanetary missions, both manned and unmanned.

These are development contacts, all below $10 million. However, they all appeared structured like NASA’s cargo and crew contracts for ISS, where the contractor does all of the development and design, with NASA only supplying some support and periodic payments when the contractor achieves agreed-upon milestones. Because of this, the contractors will own the engines their develop, and will be able to sell them to other customers after development, thereby increasing the competition and innovation in the field.

Submission + - Uber clone Ola India aided disaster recovery efforts in a flood hit metropolis. (ibtimes.co.uk)

140Mandak262Jamuna writes: Ola is a uber clone quite popular in India. Last week there were very heavy rains in Southern India and one of its major cities got severely affected by the heavy rains. The Ola taxi drivers banded together with local fishermen and rescued people stranded by the floods. It seems to be a spontaneous local innovation. Ola management was neither aware of it nor got the idea nor approved it.

This is probably a great idea, worthy of being developed further. If the emergency, police, fire and ambulance services integrate their crews and vehicles to plug in to the taxi calling app infrastructure, it would help them find the people in need of services quicker. Or Android and iOS could include an emergency assistance request app and provide the emergency crews with the client software to inter-operate with the callers. Probably some sort of neutral open standard protocol could be developed by our universities, using slave labor of graduate students of comp sci/engg departments.

Imagine how well it would have worked in a situation like Katrina in New Orleans if the people stranded in the attic would be able hail emergency helicopters...

(I was in Chennai last week, and the rains were not really all that much above average. It was just 20 cm in one day. But almost all the lakes and ponds in around the city have encroached upon by unscrupulous real estate agents, in cahoots with local politicians. Almost all the affected localities were former lakes and ponds. So much of the land was paved over, there was some runoff issue and some flooded underpasses. But water was just waist deep in all those areas. Surprisingly the power grid held, and the cell towers were functional most of the time. It should not have been a disaster at all, just blessed rain bringing valuable fresh water. But ...)

Submission + - "Massively Altered" German Professor Examines NASA GISS Temperature Datasets (notrickszone.com)

BECoole writes: Veteran journalist Günter Ederer* writes a piece reporting that massive alterations have been found in the NASA GISS temperature data series, citing a comprehensive analysis conducted by a leading German scientist. These results are now available to the public. — See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2015/1...

Submission + - How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name (theverge.com)

ColdWetDog writes: Codesign has an article by two early Apple designers on how the company has lost its way, and quite frankly, lost its marbles when it comes to user interface design. In the search for minimalist, clean design it has forgotten time honored UI principles and made it harder for people to use their products. As someone who has followed computer UI since the command line and who has used various Apple products for a number of years, their concerns really hit home.

Of course, Apple isn't the only company out there who makes UI mistakes. And it is notable that TFA has totally annoying, unstoppable GIFs that do nothing to improve understanding. User Interfaces are hard, but it would be nice to have every body take a few steps back from the precipice.

Submission + - Researchers create plant-circuit hybrid (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Talk about flower power. Researchers have crafted flexible electronic circuits inside a rose. Eventually such circuitry may help farmers eavesdrop on their crops and even control when they ripen. The advance may even allow people to harness energy from trees and shrubs not by cutting them down and using them for fuel, but by plugging directly into their photosynthesis machinery.

Submission + - Facebook CSO: Trust is the 21st Century's Oil (csmonitor.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The Christian Science Monitor has a story on Facebook's increasingly precarious position as the world's largest social network in an age of global terror, as last week's coordinate attacks in Paris underscored. From the article (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Passcode/2015/1120/Facebook-s-balancing-act-between-trust-and-security#):

"The network became a powerful tool for relaying first-hand accounts of the violence, a means for those affected by violence to "check in" with friends and loved ones, and served as a central rallying point to voice support for terrorized Parisians. In fact, the Paris attacks marked the first time that Facebook’s Safety Check feature was made available for a terrorist attack. But as The New York Times reported (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/15/world/europe/manhunt-for-paris-attackers.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1), Facebook was also a conduit for the Paris terrorists to communicate and coordinate with each other. For that reason, the company faces growing pressure from law enforcement and politicians to disclose information about – and tamp down on – the darker corners of the social network inhabited by militant groups and their supporters."

Caught in the difficult position of balancing the privacy and civil rights of its users with government demands for data, there is evidence that the company increasingly sees itself in the role of advocate for and defender of the rights of users in the face of unwarranted government intrusion.

Speaking in Baltimore last month, Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief security officer, said that "trust" will become the defining commodity of the 21st century, just as oil had been in the 20th century. Facebook’s future and that of similar companies hinges on its ability to foster trust within its massive user base. That trust, he said, would be the product of Facebook convincing users that it "makes choices in their best interests." And, more importantly, that the company "backs up those choices even in the face of adversity."

Stamos’s words come after Facebook has taken steps in the past year to shore up its reputation as a champion of user privacy. In October, the company announced that it would begin warning users who were the target of state-sponsored hackers, following in the footsteps of companies like Google. Behind the scenes, the company also migrated more than 700 million users of its massively popular WhatsApp chat system to an open source peer-to-peer encryption scheme known as Textsecure by Open Whisper Systems, earning it the ire of the law enforcement and intelligence communities. (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/14/11/20/1421216/whatsapp-to-offer-end-to-end-encryption)

Speaking of the controversy over the growing use of strong encryption to secure communications, however, Stamos flatly rejected the thinking of senior officials such as CIA Director Brennan, who argue that “secure” backdoors can be created in technology so that intelligence agencies can surveil communications. "There is no such thing as 'partial strong encryption,' " Stamos said.

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer