Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Submission + - SourceForge now serving free software with a side of malware

simplypeachy writes: Not that long ago /. reported on Cnet wrapping software downloads with malware. Cnet chose the wrong guy to mess with when it was found even nmap wasn't safe to such underhanded and dangerous practises. Now it seems SourceForge is following in their footsteps as discovered by this Eset anti-virus user. Unsuspecting users will be suffering the joys of InstallCore if they install a hosted project's program that has been wrapped in the malware-bundling platform.

Submission + - Microsoft U-turns on XP support and patches IE flaw (

nk497 writes: Microsoft has issued a patch for XP only three weeks after saying it would no longer support the aging OS. Last month's Patch Tuesday updates were supposed to be the last Windows XP ever got, but a serious flaw hitting all versions of Internet Explorer forced Microsoft to issue another fix.

Adrienne Hall of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing said that the seriousness of the flaw had been "overblown" because it happened so close to the end of support for XP. However, to keep users safe, Microsoft has made an "exception", suggesting XP users shouldn't hope it happens again.

Submission + - Your Audi Talks To Stop Lights Before You See Them 1

cartechboy writes: We've all been there: You're approaching a stop light and suddenly it goes from green to yellow, then quickly to the dreaded red. But what if your car could predict the timing of that stop light ahead? Audi has just introduced a traffic-light recognition system that can allow drivers to anticipate changing traffic lights. The Audi Online Traffic system reads from a city's central traffic computer, and transmits that information to the driver through the car's Driver Information Display. The system will also be able to tell drivers how long the lights they're sitting at will stay red, letting it prime an engine start-stop system. Audi says this could help drivers save time, and fuel too. That's likely true, but will it also gives drivers a sense of whether they can actually beat the light if they speed up?

Submission + - Using Handheld Phone GPS While Driving Is Legal In California (

jfruh writes: Steven R. Spriggs was ticketed and fined $165 for violating California's law on cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle, which states that you can only use a phone while driving if you have a hands-free device. But he appealed the judgement, arguing that the law only applied to actually talking on the phone, whereas he had been caught checking his GPS app. Now an appeals court has agreed with him. The law in question was enacted in 2006, before the smartphone boom.

Submission + - Lessig Wins Fair Use Case (

just_another_sean writes: An Australian record label that threatened to sue one of the world's most famous copyright attorneys for infringement has reached a settlement with him.

The settlement includes an admission that Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, had the right to use a song by the band Phoenix.

Submission + - Why Improbable Things Really Aren't (

sixoh1 writes: Scientific American has an excellent summary of a new book "The Improbabilty Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day" by David J. Hand. The summary offers a quick way to relate statistical math (something that's really hard to intuit) to our daily experiences with unlikely events. The simple equations here make it easier to understand that improbable things really are not so improbable, which Hand call the "Improbability Principle":

How can a huge number of opportunities occur without people realizing they are there? The law of combinations, a related strand of the Improbability Principle, points the way. It says: the number of combinations of interacting elements increases exponentially with the number of elements. The “birthday problem” is a well-known example.

Now if only we could harness this to make an infinite improbability drive!

Submission + - U.S. Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index... Below Romania ( 1

schwit1 writes: As one might expect, the economic decline of a nation into rule by a handful of corrupt oligarchs will have many other negative repercussions. One of these is a loss of civil rights and freedoms that many of us have taken for granted. Reporters Without Borders puts out their Press Freedom Index every year, and the 2014 ranking came out today. It was not a good showing for the USA. Specifically, the U.S. registered one of the steepest falls of all nations, down 13 slots to the #46 position, just above Haiti and just below Romania.

Submission + - Astronomers Make the Science Case for a Mission to Neptune and Uranus (

KentuckyFC writes: The only planets never to have been the subjects of bespoke space missions from Earth are Neptune and Uranus. Now European astronomers are planning to put that straight with a mission called Odinus, which involves twin spacecraft making the journey in 2034. Their justification is that the mission will help explain how the Solar System formed, how it ended up in the configuration we see today and may also explain why 'hot' Neptune-class planets are common around other stars. They also have to overcome the common misconception that Neptune and Uranus are just smaller, less interesting versions of Jupiter and Saturn. Nothing could be further from the truth. For a start, Neptune and Uranus and made of entirely different stuff--mostly ices such as water, ammonia and methane compared with hydrogen and helium for Jupiter and Saturn. That raises the question of how they formed and how they got to the distant reaches of the Solar System. However it happened, Uranus ended up lying on its side, probably because of a cataclysmic collision. And Neptune's largest moon Triton orbits in the opposite direction to its parent's rotation, the only moon in the Solar System to do this. How come? Another question still unanswered is who's going to pay for all this. The team are pinning their hopes on the European Space Agency which has already expressed interest. But would an international collaboration be a better option?

Submission + - Cyber-Criminals Already Experimenting with Much Bigger DDoS Attack Techniques (

DavidGilbert99 writes: DDoS attacks have been getting progressively bigger. Last year we saw the 300Gbps attack on Spamhaus while this week we saw the 400Gbps attack on one of CloudFlare's clients. The Spamhaus attack used DNS amplification while this week's attack used NTP amplification which has an amplification factor of 206x. Now, according to CloudFlare's CEO Matthew Prince, attackers are actively experimenting with another protocol, SNMP, which has an amplification factor of 650x. As Prince says: "Buckle Up"

Submission + - Julian Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him in the UK (

concertina226 writes: "Prosecutor Marianne Ny must ... start treating him as everybody else who is under suspicion," the lawyers wrote.

The lawyers' op-ed piece is in response to another piece published on 6 February in SvD entitled "Why should an exception be made for Assange?", in which the lawyer representing the younger of the two women, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, criticised the media for naming Assange, since suspects and accusers are rarely named in the Swedish press.

Submission + - New Beetle Named After Charles Darwin and David Sedaris (

sciencehabit writes: On Charles Darwin's 205th birthday, one beetle he found in Argentina is being recognized as a new species. An entomologist discovered the insect, with unusually saw-toothed antennae and a label reading "C. Darwin", in a collection on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, where it had been misplaced for at least decades. The beetle represented a new species, Darwinilus sedarisi, after Darwin and the writer David Sedaris, whose audiobooks the scientist listened to while preparing specimens.

Submission + - Mysterious code in Viking runes is cracked (

An anonymous reader writes: A runic code called jötunvillur has finally been decrypted. It just might help solve the mystery of the Vikings’ secret codes. Why did Vikings sometimes use codes when they wrote in runes? Were the messages secret, or did they have other reasons for encrypting their runic texts? Researchers still don’t know for sure.

The rune codes were not just used for learning. Nordby thinks the use also indicates a whimsical use of runes in the Viking Era and the Middle Ages. “We have little reason to believe the runic codes were used to conceal sensitive information. People often wrote short, routine messages,” says Nordby.Coded declarations such as “Kiss me” demonstrate that the use of code was not limited to issues of political significance.

Many of the messages in runic codes included a challenge to the reader to crack the code. The inscription “Interpret these runes” was common.

Submission + - Can Electric Current Make People Better at Math? (

cold fjord writes: The Wall Street Journal reports, "In a lab in Oxford University's experimental psychology department, researcher Roi Cohen Kadosh is testing an intriguing treatment: He is sending low-dose electric current through the brains of adults and children as young as 8 to make them better at math. A relatively new brain-stimulation technique called transcranial electrical stimulation may help people learn and improve their understanding of math concepts. The electrodes are placed in a tightly fitted cap and worn around the head. The device, run off a 9-volt battery ... induces only a gentle current ... Up to 6% of the population is estimated to have a math-learning disability called developmental dyscalculia, similar to dyslexia but with numerals instead of letters. Many more people say they find math difficult. ... Whether transcranial electrical stimulation proves to be a useful cognitive enhancer remains to be seen. ... Dr. Cohen Kadosh first thought about the possibility as a university student ... he conducted an experiment using transcranial magnetic stimulation ... He found that he could temporarily turn off regions of the brain known to be important for cognitive skills. When the parietal lobe of the brain was stimulated ... the basic arithmetic skills of doctoral students ... were reduced to a level similar to those with developmental dyscalculia.

Submission + - LA building's lights interfere with cellular network, FCC says ( 5

alphadogg writes: When a certain Los Angeles office building lights up, it's a dark day for nearby cellphone users, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Fluorescent lights at Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story tower near the heart of downtown, emit frequencies that interfere with the Verizon Wireless 700MHz network, the agency said in a citation issued against the building owner. The FCC's message comes through loud and clear in the filing: the building owner could be fined up to $16,000 a day if it keeps using the interfering lights, up to a total of $112,500. The alleged violation could also lead to "criminal sanctions, including imprisonment," the citation says.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Limited Electric Computing? 1

TechForensics writes: Limited Electric Computing

In my fifth decade of computing, having thought for some years I'm pretty well equipped to handle whatever comes my way, I realize I'm wholly ignorant about what for some users may be the most important question they have about computing. We have about five PCs in our house, and my wife came forward with a fairly large electric bill and said she wanted to know what part of it was due to running our computers 24 seven and whether buying a lower energy consumption machine or machines might pay for itself in year or so at current electric rates.

I've heard of the "Kill-a-Watt" device, but frankly I'm too old and arthritic to go climbing down among all of our machines. All I want to know are our very best bets for lowest energy consumption cost for our machines, considering that we don't want to wait for reboot upon each seating.

None of our systems does anything but Internet, Excel, and Word processing (with the exception of mine, which does everything, but I'm not really wondering about that.) I build systems easily so I just want to know what processors, monitors and motherboards drink the least juice? I believe I'll set our systems up with normal flatscreen monitors, keyboards and mice. Most of the people in my house need Windows. Is there some wall wart or mini-form factor PC I can buy off the shelf, or should I assemble the best combination of processor, motherboard and monitor? I'm willing to consider large-screen laptops if those would prevent a significant construction project. Of course, we'll have to have a small, always-on solid state file server, to be built out of something like one SSD and a network card.

Limited electric computing – what are the best ideas by Slashdot?

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.