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Submission + - First Time Ever: Ransomware Hits Website, Defaces Homepage

An anonymous reader writes: The website of the British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy ( has been hit by a variant of the CTB-Locker ransomware. While the ransomware proclaims to be CTB-Locker, there are a ton of clues that reveal this may be a fake and this is actually the first ever ransomware family created to target websites and not computers.

Submission + - A Practitioner's Guide to Verifying a Distributed System (

ChelleChelle2 writes: As Leslie Lamport once famously stated, "A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable." Given the complexity of distributed systems and the large set of possible failures, testing and verifying the systems you build is both difficult, yet incredibly important. Luckily Caitie McCaffrey, tech lead for observability at Twitter, has provided a useful practitioner’s guide to verifying a distributed system.

Submission + - Ubisoft Talks Splitscreen and The Division

SlappingOysters writes: Ubisoft's next entry in the Tom Clancy series is pushing at the boundaries of three genres, mixing the RPG, the squad-based shooter and the MMO into The Division. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op in a near-future, post-pandemic New York that seamlessly allows players to transition from PvE to PvP environments without any menus or lobbies. However, despite its co-op gameplay, The Division does not support splitscreen. recently ran an extensive hands-on with the game, as well as an interview with Ubisoft Massive's creative director Magnus Jansén regarding the decision to forgo splitscreen co-op.

Submission + - LinkedIn is Open Sourcing Their Testing Frameworks (

destinyland writes: LinkedIn is open sourcing their testing frameworks, and sharing details of their revamped development process after their latest app required a year and over 250 engineers. Their new paradigm? "Release three times per day, with no more than three hours between when code is committed and when that code is available to members," according to a senior engineer on LinkedIn's blog. This requires a three-hour pipeline where everything is automated, from committing code to releasing it into production, along with automated analyses and testing. "Holding ourselves to this constraint ensures we won’t revert to using manual validation to certify our releases."

Submission + - A Dog Symphony helps you understand Direct Digital Synthesis (

szczys writes: Direct Digital Synthesis is a method of generating audio from stored values. It's the basis of digital audio playback and learning to implement it on a microcontroller will give you a great understanding of audio generation and manipulation. But the topic can be a bit dry. That's why Elliot Williams chose to create a barking dog symphony as the vehicle for his DDS explanation. Using one sample, and an 8-bit microcontroller, he walks through issues like combining playback of multiple voices at one time, and how to reconcile a changing sample rate with a fixed clock rate.

Submission + - New metallic glass creates potential for smart windows

frank249 writes: A B.C. engineering lab has created metal-coated glass that transmits up to 10 per cent more light than conventional glass and opens the door to windows that function as electronics. The most immediate use of the technology is to create windows that can be programmed to absorb or reflect heat, depending on the needs of a building’s occupants. Adding electronic control to windows will allow you to change the amount of light and heat passing through to more effectively use the energy provided by the sun naturally,

Lead investigator Kenneth Chau credit films like Iron Man or Star Trek with providing them inspiration. “There is a dream that we can make glass smarter,” he said. “These films give us concepts to strive for; the hard work is uncovering the science to make it happen.” All those hours spent watching Star Trek are now starting to look like a “pretty good investment,” he said.

The results were published this week in the journal Scientific Reports.

Submission + - Smartphones may soon provide earthquake warnings (

sciencehabit writes: When it comes to an earthquake, just a few seconds’ warning could make the difference between life and death. But many earthquake-prone countries lack the seismic networks that would give their citizens the lead time to find cover or shut down critical utilities. Now, a group of enterprising engineers is looking at a substitute network: smartphones. Using smartphones’ built-in accelerometers, researchers have invented an app—released today—that they say can detect strong earthquakes seconds before the damaging seismic waves arrive. MyShake, as the app is called, could become the basis for an earthquake warning system for the world’s most vulnerable regions.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Google Is Finally Killing Picasa - TechCrunch (


Google Is Finally Killing Picasa
It hasn't made sense for Google to continue to invest in two separate photo storage and sharing applications, as it has been doing with the newer Google Photos and the dated software Picasa. And now the company is finally going to do something about ...
Google Shuts Down Photo Service PicasaFortune
Google is shutting down Picasa on May 1, 2016VentureBeat
Google Retiring Picasa To Focus On Google PhotosAndroid Headlines - Android News
all 13 news articles

Submission + - Greenhouse Gases Could Eventually Heat the Earth Enough to Boil its Oceans Away

merbs writes: In 2013, NASA’s former chief climate scientist James Hansen published a short white paper that described the “Venus Syndrome”—a situation that could unfold far in the future, in which so much carbon dioxide is loaded into the atmosphere that Earth is rendered a replica of the scorching second planet from the sun. Hansen concluded that though it would take millions of years, “Earth can ‘achieve’ Venus-like conditions, in the sense of ~90 bar surface pressure, only after first getting rid of its ocean via escape of hydrogen to space.”

We would, in other words, have to heat the Earth up enough to boil away the oceans—a feat that another scientist, Max Popp, of Princeton and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, has now confirmed is entirely within the realm of possibility.

Submission + - Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good", GNOME is "perfect", KDE is "bad", and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing – what's your experience?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Do you still have a pager? Do you find it useful?

Chance Callahan writes: I am starting a business, helping a friend with his own startup, and volunteering regularly with a major political campaign (#feelthebern). One thing I have noticed is that my phone likes to die at the most inconvenient times and leaves me out of touch with people. With the business I'm starting requiring clients to be able to get ahold me quickly, I have been seriously considering getting a two-way pager. It's much easier swap out a AA battery once a month then to worry "will client X be able to get ahold me in the event of an emergency?".

So, Slashdot, the million dollar question is, in the age of cell phones, do you have a pager? Do you still find it useful?

Submission + - OCZ Toshiba Breaks 30 Cents Per GB Barrier With New Trion 150 SSD (

MojoKid writes: OCZ's Trion 150 SSD is an update to the company's Trion 100, which was the first drive from OCZ to feature TLC NAND and all in-house, Toshiba-built technology. As its branding suggests, the new Trion 150 kicks things up a notch over the Trion 100, thanks to some cutting-edge Toshiba 15nm NAND flash memory and a tweaked firmware, that combined, offer increased performance and lower cost over its predecessor. In testing, the Trion 150 hits peak reads and writes well north of 500MB/sec like most SATA-based SSDs but the kicker is, at its higher densities, the drive weighs in at about 28 cents per GiB. This equates to street prices of $70 for a 240GB drive, $140 for 480GB and $270 for a 960GB version. It's good to see mainstream solid state storage costs continuing to come down.

Submission + - CEO of ICANN Asked to Clarify Involvement in Chinese Conference (

KermodeBear writes: Three US senators last week sent a letter to Fadi Chehadé, chief executive officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), inquiring about an apparent conflict of interest posed by his co-chairmanship of an advisory body for the upcoming World Internet Conference. The senators’ letter demands that Chehadé clarify his relationship with the conference and whether he believes that his leading role makes ICANN “complicit in the Chinese censorship regime."

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman