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Government

Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms 131

Posted by timothy
from the long-long-ago dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson update their story on the NUMEC affair to take into account the recent release of hundreds of classified documents that shed additional light on the story. In the 1960s, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was found to be missing about a 100 pounds of bomb-grade uranium. Based on available evidence, Gilinsky and Mattson are convinced that the material ended up in Israel nuclear bombs. The newly release documents add more to the story, and Gilinsky and Mattson are calling on President Obama to declassify the remainder of the file."

Comment: Re:~1000 *Bits* per square inch? (Score 1) 147

by nmb3000 (#46689565) Attached to: Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

I thought that in 21st century we are talking about Gbits/inch^2, not just bits...

Paul B.

That caught my eye as well. Assuming 1000 bits per square inch, we're talking about:

6 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000 * 8 / 1000 = 48,000,000,000 square inches to store 6TB at 1000 bits per in^2.

1 Mbit per square inch makes a lot more sense, putting it at 48 square inches, or about 8 square inches per platter.

Comment: Re:Alternatives (Score 1) 240

by nmb3000 (#46687081) Attached to: Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

A quick search reveals http://www.noip.com/ [noip.com], and I'm sure they'll be more

No-IP is dishonest and doesn't deserve your support.

Way back in mid 2004 I spent about $20 to buy No-IP's "Lifetime" dynamic DNS service which gave me (IIRC) 5 of their "enhanced" subdomains which would never expire and never cost me additional money. I was very happy with them and recommended them to several people.

Then suddenly in 2008 I got an email saying my service was about to expire. When I emailed them about it, they said:

Date: Mar 10, 2008 (1:18am PDT)
From: No-IP Support

3 months after you had completed this purchase, this service was changed to a yearly service. As a courtesy to existing users, we provided them with 3 years of service. I'm sorry for any confusion this caused with the renewal of your service.

I don't really care what sneaky leagalese was in their TOS that justifies them legally. They explicitly sold this service as "lifetime", and I feel this was a completely underhanded move. I've had nothing to do with No-IP ever since and I discourage everyone else from supporting that kind of dishonestly.

Microsoft

They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping 206

Posted by timothy
from the learned-it-from-watching-the-nsa dept.
After the recent Windows 8 leak by recently arrrested then-Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo, Microsoft has tweaked its privacy policies, but also defended reading the email of the French blogger to whom Kibkalo sent the software. "The blogger in question, who remains unidentified, happened to use Hotmail—the investigation began in 2012 before Hotmail's Outlook.com transition—as his primary email account. So as part of its investigation, Microsoft peeked into the blogger's email account to read that person's correspondence with Kibkalo. ... Microsoft says it was justified in searching the blogger's email account, because it had probable cause to believe Kibkalo was funneling trade secrets to the blogger.The company also pointed out that even with its justification for searching the account, it would have been impossible to gain a court order." "The legal system wouldn't have let us" seems a strange argument to defend any act of snooping.

Comment: Re:I'm still alive (Score 2) 142

by nmb3000 (#46520393) Attached to: Firefox 28 Arrives With VP9 Video Decoding, HTML5 Volume Controls

Installed the update and it didn't turn my laptop into a smoking crater on my desk; so far, so good..

Are you on Windows 7 with IE 10 installed? Or Windows 8.1?

It boggles my mind that they released the browser with this bug unresolved. Almost 500 comments on the Bugzilla entry and the end result was "ship it!" I mean, look at some of these screenshots:

https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=682682
https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=735090
https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=797936
https://bug812695.bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=720401

Who gives a damn if a large number of users can't even read the text on a page because, OMG!, we've just gotta have an HTML5 volume control! Someone probably should mention to Mozilla that just ripping off Chrome's look and release cycle doesn't really work if you don't also have Google's engineering and QA teams.

I don't think we need any more evidence that nobody is left steering the Firefox ship these days besides the cabin boy "designers".

Comment: Trying too hard (Score 1, Insightful) 290

by nmb3000 (#46409355) Attached to: Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

Slashdot interviews for Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, and now Theo, all in the last week?

What happened? Did someone at Dice push Slashdot management to try and "reclaim technical roots"? Is someone a little worried about http://soylentnews.org/? Or maybe this is part of a last-ditch effort to increase revenue^W^W reclaim reader loyalty?

Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

source.

Perhaps not, but really, you guys are still trying way too hard now. I'd have thought you realized by now that successfully running a site like this is a marathon, not a sprint. Throwing up a few half-baked interviews with prominent open source figures isn't the answer.

Comment: Re:The Why (Score 1) 2219

by nmb3000 (#46181919) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

As an aside, how about you fix simple 2-year old bugs in this site's CSS so that things like lists work?

li { list-style: none }

That's not very helpful.

It's hard to feel comfortable with the drastic changes being proposed (or shoved down our throats) when the old new site still doesn't render correctly.

Comment: The Why (Score 4, Insightful) 2219

by nmb3000 (#46180515) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

communicating about the How and the Why of this process

I think this is one of the biggest reasons you are getting such negative pushback. A very large part of the active and vocal Slashdot audience (the "community") probably share a similar viewpoint when it comes to change. Change for change's sake is bad, and if you want to change something that works just fine then you'd better be able to give me a good, objective reason. So far that just isn't something we've seen. What I see is a site that's been redesigned with two goals in mind:

  • Jump on the current web design bandwagon. For example: poor text contrast, gradients and transparency that slows things down, etc.
  • Water down and weaken the commenting system. The original beta made it clear that the drivers of this change felt that the Slashdot comment system was too complex and should be "simplified". Taking it to a flatter model with less information about posts and their relationships, in addition to "lazy" loading comments just says that your target audience must feel like "comments are hard, let's go shopping!"

We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site [that is] more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

What exactly is it about the current site that makes it inaccessible? Which audience are you trying to reach? I'm quite serious -- knowing this may make it easier for people to accept change (assuming that the audiences you're reaching out to aren't "advertisers" and "market analytics"). Just going based on what you've said it sounds like you want to make Slashdot Yet Another generic news aggregator. Don't you remember Digg? That sad story should have taught you a few lessons about the value of a generic news aggregator and the results of alienating a community.

Will the new site finally support (even a small subset of) Unicode? Just adding support for that would probably make Slashdot accessible to more people than this absurd proposed redesign. No, I'm not kidding.

Comment: Re:Quite possibly indeed! But still... FUCK BETA! (Score 3, Insightful) 573

by nmb3000 (#46170983) Attached to: HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

Also, fuck beta.

Interestingly enough, they've also removed all/most of the fuckbeta tags that had been put on 20+ stories earlier. It looks like most other variations such as "betasucks" have also been removed.

Remember when tags used to be an open and fun way for the community to micro-comment on a story? 90% of readers here realized that Slashdot's tags were completely and utterly useless (they still haven't dumped the pointless story tag**), so using them as a platform for humor or community feedback was both clever and fun. Oh, yeah, all that was before abortion that is Dicedot.

Fuck beta.

** Wow, that page is screwed up. Not only did it take almost a minute to load for me (what the hell are you guys running these newage bullshit pages on, Ruby?), but after all that it only displayed about 50 links, and most of them are duplicates (dupes, on MY Slashdot!? Inconceivable!!).

Biotech

Designer Seeds Thought To Be Latest Target By Chinese 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the nice-seeds dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Economic espionage is nothing new but one of the biggest areas being targeted now is agriculture. Here's a story about a FBI investigation to track down theft of seeds from research farms. 'The case of the missing corn seeds first broke in May 2011 when a manager at a DuPont research farm in east-central Iowa noticed a man on his knees, digging up the field. When confronted, the man, Mo Hailong, who was with his colleague Wang Lei, appeared flushed. Mr. Mo told the manager that he worked for the University of Iowa and was traveling to a conference nearby. When the manager paused to answered his cellphone, the two men sped off in a car, racing through a ditch to get away, federal authorities said.'"
Government

Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-be-grandstanding dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "The author of the Patriot Act has warned that the legal justification for the NSA's wholesale domestic surveillance program will disappear next summer if the White House doesn't restrict the way the NSA uses its power. Section 215 of the Patriot Act will expire during the summer of 2015 and will not be renewed unless the White House changes the shocking scale of the surveillance programs for which the National Security Administration uses the authorization, according to James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), an original author of the Patriot Act and its two reauthorizations, stated Washington insider-news source The Hill. 'Unless Section 215 gets fixed, you, Mr. Cole, and the intelligence community will get absolutely nothing, because I am confident there are not the votes in this Congress to reauthorize it,' Sensenbrenner warned Deputy Attorney General James Cole during the Feb. 4 hearing. Provisions of Section 215, which allows the NSA to collect metadata about phone calls made within the U.S., give the government a 'very useful tool' to track connections among Americans that might be relevant to counterterrorism investigations, Cole told the House Judiciary Committee. The scale of the surveillance and lengths to which the NSA has pushed its limits was a "shock" according to Sensenbrenner, who also wrote the USA Freedom Act, a bill to restrict the scope of both Section 215 and the NSA programs, which has attracted 130 co-sponsors. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate."
Networking

Utah Bill Would Prevent Regional Fiber Networks From Growing 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-obstructing-my-internet dept.
symbolset writes "On the heels of the smackdown received by cable lobbyists in Kansas, Ars reports out of Utah that the cable companies aren't giving up hopes of preventing competition through legislation. The bill, called Interlocal Entity Service Prohibition, would prevent a regional fiber consortium from building infrastructure outside the boundaries of its member cities and towns — a direct attack on Google's work in Provo and the UTOPIA network. Utah is the third state to be involved in the Google Fiber rollout of gigabit fiber to the home."

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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