Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

+ - Academics call for greater transparency about Google's Right To Be Forgotten->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Just yesterday Google revealed that it rejects most Right To Be Forgotten requests it receives. In publishing yet another transparency report, the search giant will have hoped to have put to bed any questions that users and critics may have had. While the report may have satisfied some, it did not go anywhere near far enough for one group of academics.

A total of 80 university professors, law experts and technology professionals have written an open letter to Google demanding greater transparency. The letter calls upon the company to reveal more about how Right To Be Forgotten requests are handled so that the public is aware of the control that is being exerted over "readily accessible information".

Link to Original Source

+ - GE is 3D printing a working jet engine...

Submitted by lurking_giant
lurking_giant writes: GE Aviation's Additive Development Center near Cincinnati has produced a number of firsts... but they are now demonstrating a working jet engine, (OK, it's sized for an RC model) The engine turns at 33,000 RPM and is made from all 3D metal printed parts.
They used the same EOS M270 3D printer that they use to produce the first and only FAA flight approved hardware, a T25 Pres and temp sensor for use in GE90 jumbo jet engines.

+ - Is Agile Development a Failing Concept?-> 1

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: Many development teams have embraced Agile as the ideal method for software development, relying on cross-functional teams and adaptive planning to see their product through to the finish line. Agile has its roots in the Agile Manifesto, the product of 17 software developers coming together in 2001 to talk over development methods. And now one of those developers, Andy Hunt, has taken to his blog to argue that Agile has some serious issues. Specifically, Hunt thinks a lot of developers out there simply aren’t adaptable and curious enough to enact Agile in its ideal form. 'Agile methods ask practitioners to think, and frankly, that’s a hard sell,' Hunt wrote. 'It is far more comfortable to simply follow what rules are given and claim you’re ‘doing it by the book.’' The blog posting offers a way to power out of the rut, however, and it centers on a method that Hunt refers to as GROWS, or Growing Real-World Oriented Working Systems. In broad strokes, GROWS sounds a lot like Agile in its most fundamental form; presumably Hunt’s future postings, which promise to go into more detail, will show how it differs. If Hunt wants the new model to catch on, he may face something of an uphill battle, given Agile’s popularity.
Link to Original Source

+ - RTFM? How to write a manual worth reading-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Definition: RTFM (Read The F'ing Manual). Occasionally it is ironically rendered as Read The Fine Manual, a phrase uttered at people who have asked a question that we, the enlightened, feel is beneath our dignity to answer, but not beneath our dignity to use as an opportunity to squish a newbie's ego.

Have you noticed that the more frequently a particular open source community tells you to RTFM, the worse the FM is likely to be? I've been contemplating this for years, and have concluded that this is because patience and empathy are the basis of good documentation, much as they are the basis for being a decent person.

Link to Original Source

+ - Lasers Builds Self-Assembled Nanomaterials

Submitted by randomErr
randomErr writes: A nanostructured solar cell are fantastically efficient but difficult to achieve on industrial scales. A solution being developed at U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory is self-assembly, or training molecules to stitch themselves together into high-performing configurations. A new laser-based process creates nanoscale self-assembly with unprecedented ease and efficiency. Kevin Yager, a scientist at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) said “We design materials that build themselves. Under the right conditions, molecules will naturally snap into a perfect configuration."

+ - More than 40% of US honeybee colonies died in a 12-month period ending in April-> 2

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd writes: While the precise cause of the honeybee crisis is unknown, scientists generally blame a combination of factors, including poor diets and stress. Some bees die from infestations of the Varroa mite, a bloodsucking parasite that weakens bees and introduces diseases to the hive.

Environmental groups also point to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would stop approving new outdoor uses for those types of chemicals until more studies on bee health are conducted.

Link to Original Source

+ - Google's Project Ara Brings a Lego Style Phone

Submitted by randomErr
randomErr writes: Project Ara is an empty shell that lets you snap-in the modules you want. You want a mini weather station that tracks you where you travel? Snap in a GPS, barometer, thermometer, and humidity sensor and still have 8 slots open to expand the device. The base model is scheduled to go on sale sometime this year for $50-100 with a service plan sometime this year.

+ - World's Oldest Domain Turns 30 Today 1

Submitted by randomErr
randomErr writes: On March 15, 1985 Massachusetts-based computer company Symbolics purchased the first domain. Symbolics originally created workstations that were eventually seen in the movie Jurassic Park. Later they went on to create the Lisp language but were force to close their doors in 1993 because of growing competition. Aron Meystedt of Investments called Symbolics and asked if the domain was for sale. Meystedt purchased the domain and turned it in an internet history archive.

+ - Senate Panel Secretly Approves Cyberthreat Sharing Bill->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: The Senate Intelligence Committee, meeting behind closed doors, voted 14-1 late Thursday to approve the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act [CISA]. Senator Ron Wyden, who cast the lone vote against the legislation, said it doesn’t adequately protect privacy. 'If information-sharing legislation does not include adequate privacy protections, then that’s not a cybersecurity bill — it’s a surveillance bill by another name,' Wyden said in a statement. The bill would have a 'limited impact' on U.S. cybersecurity, he added.
Link to Original Source

+ - Dog Sniffs out Cancer in Human Urine 1

Submitted by randomErr
randomErr writes: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) found out that a scent-trained dog can identify thyroid cancer in human urine samples 88.2 percent of the time. Frankie, a male German shepherd mix identified the presence of cancerous cells in 30 out of 34 samples. The shepherd was only slightly less accurate than a standard thyroid biopsy. This offers the possibility of a cheaper, less invasive approach to diagnosis of the illness said Donald Bodenner, M.D., PhD, the study's senior investigator.

+ - A Gadget for Prototyping the Internet of Things->

Submitted by irl_4795
irl_4795 writes: How often do you notice the tiny green light on your electronic toothbrush, or the backlight on your smart thermostat? Probably rarely, and that’s entirely the point: those luminescent cues are designed specifically to catch your attention only when the gadget needs to communicate something like a low battery charge, or unusual activity.
Link to Original Source

+ - IG Audit: 6.5 Million People With Active SSNs Are 112 or Older-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Many people are living longer, but not to age 112 or beyond — except in the records of the Social Security Administration.

The SSA's inspector general has identified 6.5 million number-holders age 112 — or older — for whom no death date has been entered in the main electronic file, called Numident. The audit, dated March 4, 2015, concluded that SSA lacks the controls necessary to annotate death information on the records of number-holders who exceed "maximum reasonable life expectancies.

Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts. And thousands of those numbers apparently were used by illegal immigrants to apply for work:
"During Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901," the report said. "These inquiries indicate individuals' attempts to use the SSNs to apply for work."

Link to Original Source

+ - Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi (A/B+/2) with LUKS Disk->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: With the advent of smaller, faster ARM hardware such as the new Raspberry Pi 2 (which now has a Kali image built for it), we’ve been seeing more and more use of these small devices as “throw-away computers“. While this might be a new and novel technology, there’s one major drawback to this concept – and that is the confidentiality of the data stored on the device itself. Most of the setups do little to protect the sensitive information saved on the SD cards of these little computers.
Link to Original Source

"A car is just a big purse on wheels." -- Johanna Reynolds