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Comment: Re:Aftermath (Score 1) 546 546

After Snowden, what could previously be attributed to ignorance can now be attributed to stupidity as surveillance is now confirmed real, and not just a conspiracy theory for paranoid lunatics anymore. Which could've been a stop-and-think-for-a-minute moment for humanity, but I see no riots in the street nor any change in people's "convenient" privacy-leaking ways. Maybe if something like Snowden revelations had happened ten years earlier, it would've made a bigger impact. Maybe.

Comment: Decrypted? (Score 2) 546 546

AFAIK, the encrypted versions weren't widely distributed; chances are that the documents weren't force-decrypted by RU/CN. I mean, if a cracker gets access to one of the few computers who holds the encrypted documents, he for sure can wait just a bit until the encryption key is entered into a keylogger. Snowden using weak keys? seems unlikely.

+ - Researchers Detect Android Apps That Compromise Your Privacy-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: A group of European researchers has developed software that tracks the URLs to which cellphone apps connect.After downloading 2,000+ fee apps from Google Play, they indexed all the sites those apps connected to, and compared them to a list of known advertising and user tracking sites. "In total, the apps connect to a mind-boggling 250,000 different URLs across almost 2,000 top level domains. And while most attempt to connect to just a handful of ad and tracking sites, some are much more prolific. Vigneri and co give as an example “Music Volume Eq,” an app designed to control volume, a task that does not require a connection to any external urls. And yet the app makes many connections. 'We find the app Music Volume EQ connects to almost 2,000 distinct URLs,' they say. [Another major offender] is an app called Eurosport Player which connects to 810 different user tracking sites." The researchers plan to publish their software for users to try out on Google Play soon.
Link to Original Source

+ - Stallman joins Internet, talks net neutrality, patents and more

alphadogg writes: According to Richard Stallman, godfather of the free software movement, Facebook is a “monstrous surveillance engine,” tech companies working for patent reform aren’t going nearly far enough, and parents must lobby their children’s schools to keep data private and provide free software alternatives. The free software guru touched on a host of topics in his keynote Saturday at the LibrePlanet conference, a Free Software Foundation gathering at the Scala Center at MIT.

Comment: Software as a Service (Score 1, Interesting) 150 150

Let this be a reminder of why Software as a Service should be avoided when local software can be used instead. How much user data is now lost forever(1) because Google suddenly decided it didn't want to bother?

1) Well, it's kept away from the user; what Google decided to keep is entirely up to Google.

+ - NetHack: Still The Greatest Game Ever Written

M-Saunders writes: While everyone obsesses about frame rates and polygon counts, there's one game that hasn't changed visually since for decades. NetHack may look incredibly primitive today, but it's still arguably the best game of all time, with an unmatched level of depth, creativity and replayability. Linux Voice looks at this fascinating dungeon romp, explaining what makes it great, how to get started with it, and how to discover some of its secrets.

+ - The Internet Archive launches its arcade: Classic games in a browser-> 1 1

SternisheFan writes: Today, The Internet Archive launched The Internet Arcade, a free, emulated, browser-compatible collection comprising arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Of course, while some games in the archive have been effectively abandoned and even forgotten, others are still popular and actively exploited by their creators, such as games in the Pac-Man franchise. Games from well-known companies such as Capcom, Konami, Namco, Taito, and Sega appear in the list, among many others — around 900, in total.

Archivist Jason Scott writes about the process of getting the Arcade up and running on his personal blog. He explains its purpose like this: "... my hope is that a handful, a probably tiny percentage [of players], will begin plotting out ways to use this stuff in research, in writing, and remixing these old games into understanding their contexts."

Link to Original Source

+ - Are the world's religions ready for ET?-> 2 2

Science_afficionado writes: At the current rate of discovery, astronomers will have identified more than a million exoplanets by the year 2045. That means, if life is at all common in the Milky Way, astronomers will soon detect it. Realization that the nature of the debate about life on other worlds is about to fundamentally change lead Vanderbilt astronomer David Weintraub to begin thinking seriously about how people will react to such a discovery. He realized that people's reactions will be heavily influenced by their religious beliefs, so he decided to find out what theologians and leaders from the world's major religions have to say about the matter. The result is a book titled "Religions and Extraterrestrial Life" published by Springer this month. http://www.springer.com/social... He discovered that from Baptists to Buddhists, from Catholics to Mormons, from Islam to the Anglican Communion religious views differ widely.
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+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

retroworks writes: University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured."

Link to Original Source

+ - Magnetic Field of Earth Weakening a Sign Poles Are Flipping->

Trachman writes: The magnetic field of Earth is weakening more rapidly than many scientists thought it would, a sign that Earth’s magnetic poles might flip within a few hundred years as opposed to thousands of years. Data collected from Swarm, the collective name for three European Space Agency (ESA) satellites, confirms that Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, something which has led to many past switches in Earth’s magnetic poles.Deep ocean core studies have confirmed, according to NASA, that the Earth’s magnetic poles reverse on a relatively frequent basis. They usually switch anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 years. As it has been 700,000 years or so since a flip has taken place, Earth is overdue for one. The weakening magnetic field might be a sign that the switch will occur sooner, rather than later. Scientists, according to a report by LiveScience, had thought that Earth’s magnetic field was weakening by about five percent every hundred years. At that rate, they calculated that a flip in the Earth’s magnetic fields would not happen for around another 2,000 years. However, the new data from Swarm indicates that Earth’s magnetic field is actually currently weakening at a rate of five percent every decade instead of century. That rate is 10 times faster than the scientists had allowed for in their calculations about when the next flip would happen. That being said, we know that the Earth's magnetic field is primary protecting shield from cosmic particles and, consequently, is a primary factor to the Earth's temperature.

My Scoop is following: At the risk of being not popular here at Slashdot I dare to ask: can magnetic field changes and climate changes be connected and analyzed in concert?

Link to Original Source

Comment: Gimme a keyboard (Score 3, Interesting) 67 67

All fine, but can they (or someone else) release such a device with a keyboard? the point'n'grunt interface just gets so annoying for serious stuff (ssh with a soft keyboard, you're kidding me, where's the other half of my screen?). I mean this phone is not aiming for the 8-year old brat crowd, unlike most of what's on the market today.

+ - The way we board airplanes makes absolutely no sense->

walterbyrd writes: Most US airlines follow the same procedure for allowing non-first-class passengers to board a plane. They let people who are sitting in the back board first, then people in the next few rows, gradually working their way toward the front.

This procedure makes absolutely no sense.

The fastest ways to board a plane are Southwest's boarding method — where people choose their own seats — or a theoretical boarding method known as the "Steffen method" that's not currently in use

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