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+ - Security Companies Peddling Snake Oil - Buyer Beware Says Paul Vixie

Submitted by penciling_in
penciling_in (707412) writes "There are no silver bullets in Internet security, warns Paul Vixie in a co-authored piece along with Cyber Security Specialist, Frode Hmmedal: "Just as 'data' is being sold as 'intelligence', a lot of security technologies are being sold as 'security solutions' rather than what they for the most part are, namely very narrow focused appliances that, as a best case, can be part of your broader security effort." We have to stop playing "cops and robbers" and pretending that all of us are potential targets of nation-states, or pretending that any of our security vendors are like NORAD, warn the authors."

+ - Do you want a great baby, or your baby?->

Submitted by Baruch Atta
Baruch Atta (1327765) writes "If you had the choice, would you choose to have a baby that was sired by a top man, genius, athletic, with the charactoristics that you wish you had, tall, blond hair, blue eyes, maybe?
Or would you rather just father your own DNA, with all it's flaws?
This story in the Baltimore Sun
Atlanta Sperm Bank Sued Tells us just what kind of trouble may be lurking even if you choose the designer baby.
"Then last June, almost seven years after Collins gave birth to a son conceived with his sperm, they got a batch of emails from the sperm bank that unexpectedly — and perhaps mistakenly — included the donor's name. That set them on a sleuthing mission that quickly revealed he is schizophrenic, dropped out of college and had been arrested for burglary, they said in a lawsuit filed March 31 in Atlanta.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna->

Submitted by agent elevator
agent elevator (1075679) writes "Gehan Amaratunga and a group of engineers in England noted that the Guglielmo Marconi’s famous British patent application from 1900 had an interesting and little noticed detail. It depicted a transmitter linked to an antenna connected to a coil, which had one end dangling while the RF signal was fed to the middle of the coil. That detail inspired them to develop a way to reduce the size of a GHz antenna without significant transmission loss by using dielectrics as the radio wave emitting material instead of conductors."
Link to Original Source

+ - Cheaply-expanded data centers may be vulnerable to power-hacking->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A report from researchers in Virginia and Ohio suggests that on-the-cheap data center expansions could make installations vulnerable to malicious shut-downs by cyber-attackers with no special privileges — in fact the most restricted attack model, SaaS, proved in tests to be most likely to enable a complete data center shut-down. 'Power Attack: An Increasing Threat to Data Centers' [http://www.cs.wm.edu/~hnw/paper/NDSS14.pdf] posits that companies such as Google and IBM are augmenting their data center capacity without effecting the very expensive power-provisioning upgrades that should accompany growth, relying instead on 'oversubscription' and load analysis to stop the circuit breakers from tripping. The researchers present three successful models of attack, using PaaS, IaaS and SaaS, and also use publicly available information from Google's data center in Lenoir, North Carolina."
Link to Original Source

+ - Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Perhaps developers are increasingly overjoyed at the prospect of building iOS apps with a language other than Objective-C, which Apple has positioned Swift to replace; whatever the reason, Swift topped Stack Overflow's recent survey of the "Most Loved" languages and technologies (cited by 77.6 percent of the 26,086 respondents), followed by C++11 (75.6 percent), Rust (73.8 percent), Go (72.5 percent), and Clojure (71 percent). The “Most Dreaded” languages and technologies included Salesforce (73.2 percent), Visual Basic (72 percent), WordPress (68.2 percent), MATLAB (65.6 percent), and SharePoint (62.8 percent). Those results were mirrored somewhat in recent list from RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, which ranked Swift 22nd in popularity among programming languages (based on data drawn from GitHub and Stack Overflow) but climbing noticeably quickly."
Link to Original Source

+ - New Nudge Technology Prods You to Take Action

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Natasha Singer reports at the NYT on a new generation of devices whose primary function is to prod people to change. This new category of nudging technology includes “hydration reminder” apps like Waterlogged that exhort people to increase their water consumption; the HAPIfork, a utensil that vibrates and turns on a light indicator when people eat too quickly; and Thync, “neurosignaling” headgear that delivers electrical pulses intended to energize or relax people. “There is this dumbing-down, which assumes people do not want the data, they just want the devices to help them,” says Natasha Dow Schüll. “It is not really about self-knowledge anymore. It’s the nurselike application of technology.” While some self-zapping gizmos may resemble human cattle prods, other devices use more complex cues to encourage people to adopt new behavior. For example, the Muse, a brain-wave monitoring headband, is intended to help people understand their state of mind by playing different sounds depending on whether they are distracted or calm. “Based on what it registers, it plays loud, disruptive wind or waves lapping or, if you are supercalm and you maintain it for a while, you get calm, lovely noises of birds tweeting,” says Schüll. “You do learn to calm your mind.

But do the new self-tracking and self-improvement technologies benefit people or just create more anxiety? An article published in The BMJ, a British medical journal, describes healthy people who use self-tracking apps as “young, asymptomatic, middle-class neurotics continuously monitoring their vital signs while they sleep.” Dr. Des Spence argues that many health tracking apps encouraged healthy people to unnecessarily record their normal activities and vital signs — turning users into continuously self-monitoring “neurotics.” Spence recommends people view these new technologies with skepticism. “The truth is that these apps and devices are untested and unscientific, and they will open the door of uncertainty,” says Spence. “Make no mistake: Diagnostic uncertainty ignites extreme anxiety in people.”"

+ - Assange Talk Causes Judges Across The UK To Boycott/Walk Out Of Legal Conference->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow was subjected to walk outs and boycott once it became known that Julian Assange was to appear by video link from the Ecuadorian embassy to give a talk at the conference. The Guardian reports that, "Judges from Scotland, England and Wales and the UK supreme court had agreed to speak at or chair other sessions but withdrew – in some cases after arriving at the conference centre– when they found out about Assange’s appearance. Among those to boycott the conference were the most senior judge in Scotland, Lord Gill, and two judges on the supreme court, Lord Neuberger and Lord Hodge. A spokesperson for the Judicial Office for Scotland said: “The conference programme was changed to include Mr Assange’s participation at short notice and without consultation. Mr Assange is, as a matter of law, currently a fugitive from justice, and it would therefore not be appropriate for judges to be addressed by him. “Under these circumstances, the lord president, Lord Gill, and the other Scottish judicial officeholders in attendance have withdrawn from the conference.” A spokesman for the UK supreme court added: “Lord Neuberger and Lord Hodge share the concerns expressed by Lord Gill and his fellow senior Scottish judges ... “As a result of this unfortunate development, they trust that delegates will understand their decision to withdraw from the conference. ...” A spokesman for judiciary of England and Wales said: “The lord chief justice shares the concerns expressed by Lord Gill and Lord Neuberger ... He agreed with the position taken by both, and the judges of England and Wales also withdrew from the conference. ...”""
Link to Original Source

+ - Pull top can tab are now considered historic archeological artifacts-> 1

Submitted by kuhnto
kuhnto (1904624) writes "A simple relic of 20th century life has taken on new meaning for archaeologists: The ring-tab beer can — first introduced 50 years ago — is now considered an historic-era artifact, a designation that bestows new significance on the old aluminum cans and their distinctive tabs that are still found across the country."
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook Working To Weed Out Fake Likes->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "In the early days of brands on Facebook, it was crucial for companies to garner as many "likes" as possible to boost their image, and that led to some unethical businesses selling likes that came from fake accounts. Now Facebook is informing brands that they're working to root out fake likes, leaving like counts lower but realer."
Link to Original Source

+ - New Dark Web Market Is Selling Zero-Day Exploits for Bitcoin->

Submitted by Sparrowvsrevolution
Sparrowvsrevolution (1926150) writes "Over the last month, a marketplace calling itself TheRealDeal Market has emerged on the dark web, with a focus on sales of hackers’ zero-day attack methods. Like the Silk Road and its online black market successors like Agora and the recently defunct Evolution, TheRealDeal runs as a Tor hidden service and uses bitcoin to hide the identities of its buyers, sellers, and administrators. But while some other sites have sold only basic, low-level hacking tools and stolen financial details, TheRealDeal’s creators say they’re looking to broker premium hacker data like zero-days, source code, and hacking services, often offered on an exclusive, one-time sale basis.

Currently an iCloud exploit is being offered for sale on the site with a price tag of $17,000 in bitcoin, claiming to be a new method of hacking Apple iCloud accounts. “Any account can be accessed with a malicious request from a proxy account,” reads the description. “Please arrange a demonstration using my service listing to hack an account of your choice.” Others include a technique to hack WordPress’ multisite configuration, an exploit against Android’s Webview stock browser, and an Internet Explorer attack that claims to work on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, available for around $8,000 in bitcoin. None of these zero days have yet been proven to be real, but an escrow system on the site using bitcoin's multisignature transaction feature is designed to prevent scammers from selling fake exploits."

Link to Original Source

+ - How Publishing Upstart Mendeley Weathered Revolt And Became Part Of The Paywall->

Submitted by Lashdots
Lashdots (4031637) writes "At Fast Company, Tina Amritha writes about the controversial rise of reference manager startup Mendeley, which inspired revolt among its users when it announced in 2013 it was being acquired by scholarly publishing conglomerate Elsevier.

"Seeing that some of our most vocal advocates thought we had sold them out felt awful," CEO Victor Henning said recently over a tea in Amsterdam, where Elsevier, Mendeley's parent company, is headquartered. "I had steeled myself for some pretty violent reactions beforehand. After all, I was aware of Elsevier's reputation and the mistakes they had made."...

Elsevier, like other large publishers, loathed Mendeley's open model; In 2013, it had forced Mendeley to remove its titles from its database. The thinking behind its acquisition of Mendeley—for a sum rumored to between $69 million and $100 million—was simple: to squash the threat Mendeley posed to its traditional subscription model, and to own the ecosystem that Mendeley had constructed, with its valuable data on the behavior of millions of researchers.

But Henning contends, “We’ve kept the promises we made when we began."

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Computer beats humans at Arimaa

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A computer engine has beaten humans at Arimaa, an abstract strategy game, in the official human–computer challenge of the year. Sharp, as the bot is called, had to beat each of three strong human players in a best 2-out-3 contest and managed to sweep the first two rounds, thereby already guaranteeing victory. Its developer David Wu will receive a $12,000 prize, contingent on him submitting a paper describing the program to the International Computer Games Association."

+ - Oklahoma says it will now use nitrogen gas as its backup method of execution->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Yesterday, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that approves the use of nitrogen gas for executions in the state. The method, which would effectively asphyxiate death row inmates by forcing them to breathe pure nitrogen through a gas mask, is meant to be the primary alternative to lethal injection, the Washington Post reports.

Fallin and other supporters of the procedure say it's pain-free and effective, noting that the nitrogen would render inmates unconscious within ten seconds and kill them in minutes. It's also cheap: state representatives say the method only requires a nitrogen tank and a gas mask, but financial analysts say its impossible to give precise figures, the Post reports.

Oklahoma's primary execution method is still lethal injection, but the state's procedure is currently under review by the Supreme Court. Earlier this week, Tennessee suspended executions statewide following challenges to its own lethal injection protocol."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mandelbrot zooms now surpass the scale of the observable Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "You’re used to real numbers: that is, numbers that can be expressed as a decimal, even if it’s an arbitrarily long, non-repeating decimal. There are also complex numbers, which are numbers that have a real part and also an imaginary part. The imaginary part is just like the real part, but is also multiplied by i, or the square root of -1. It's a simple definition: the Mandelbrot set consists of every possible complex number, n, where the sequence n, n^2 + n, (n^2 + n)^2 + n, etc.—where each new term is the prior term, squared, plus n—does not go to either positive or negative infinity. The scale of zoom visualizations now goes well past the limits of the observable Universe, with no signs of loss of complexity at all."

+ - ICANN and the MPAA

Submitted by rs79
rs79 (71822) writes "There has been widespread dissatisfaction that ICANN has been co opted by Intellectual Property types and this revelation from the Wikileaks Sony Email archive sheds some light on the matter: "The MPAA will be actively participating and working with the ICANN steering committee and the US government to make the LA meeting a meaningful event".

https://wikileaks.org/sony/ema...

There are 36 other references to ICANN in the Sony emails which makes for a fascinating glimpse on how a media giant sees and treats the organization."

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