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Submission + - Washington DC Prepares for World War III (hiduth.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The US military-intelligence complex is engaged in systematic preparations for World War III. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, a military conflict with China and/or Russia is inevitable, and this prospect has become the driving force of its tactical and strategic planning.

Three congressional hearings Tuesday demonstrated this reality. In the morning, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a lengthy hearing on cyber-warfare. In the afternoon, a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee discussed the present size and deployment of the US fleet of aircraft carriers, while another subcommittee of the same panel discussed the modernization of US nuclear weapons.

The World Socialist Web Site will provide a more detailed account of these hearings, which were attended by a WSWS reporter. But certain preliminary observations can be made.

Submission + - Quantum entanglement survives, even across an event horizon

StartsWithABang writes: One of the more puzzling phenomena in our quantum Universe is that of entanglement: two particles remain in mutually indeterminate states until one is measured, and then the other — even if it's across the Universe — is immediately known. In theory, this should be true even if one member of the pair falls into a black hole, although it's impossible to measure that. However, we can (and have) measured that for the laboratory analogue of black holes, known as "dumb holes," and the entanglement survives!

Submission + - Apple Apparently Planning Mobile Peer-To-Peer Payment Service (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning peer-to-peer services (paywalled) as an adjunct to its Apple Pay system. The company is said to be in talks with major banks including JP Morgan and Wells Fargo to develop a new framework that could be in place as early as 2016, and which would facilitate payment transfers directly between Apple devices such as the iPhone and the Apple Watch.

Submission + - Usernames reveal the age and psychology of game players (sciencedirect.com)

limbicsystem writes: Your online name can reveal a lot about you. Researchers from the University of York and Riot Games have shown that information harvested from the usernames of players who signed up to 'League of Legends' can sometime reveal both their ages and how they behave online. And the short story is that both younger players and players with obnoxious names are more likely to exhibit toxic online behaviour. Big brother is watching you JaceFizz69 — you have been warned!

Submission + - Same Birthday, Same Social Security Number, Same Mess For Two Florida Women

itwbennett writes: After 25 years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has fessed up to giving two Florida women who shared a name and a birthday the same social security number. The women only recently discovered that they shared an SSN, but not before having trouble getting loans and having tax returns rejected. You might think that the SSA would catch something like this, but as it turns out, they are prohibited from trying to verify the legitimate owner of an SSN, except in rare cases, says Ken Meiser, VP of identity solutions at ID Analytics, provider of credit and fraud risk solutions. And the problem isn't as rare as you might think (except for the part about two women with the same name born on the same day in the same state). According to a 2010 study by ID Analytics, some 40 million SSNs are associated with multiple people.

Submission + - The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

HughPickens.com writes: Daniel McGraw writes that based on their demographic characteristics the Democratic and Republican parties face two very different futures. There’s been much written about how millennials are becoming a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, but there’s been much less attention paid to one of the biggest get-out-the-vote challenges for the Republican Party heading into the next presidential election: The Republican Party voter is old—and getting older and far more Republicans than Democrats have died since the 2012 elections. By combining presidential election exit polls with mortality rates per age group from the U.S. Census Bureau, McGraw calculated that, of the 61 million who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, about 2.75 million will be dead by the 2016 election. About 2.3 million of President Barack Obama’s voters have died too but that leaves a big gap in between, a difference of roughly 453,000 in favor of the Democrats. “I’ve never seen anyone doing any studies on how many dead people can’t vote,” laughs William Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in demographic studies. “I’ve seen studies on how many dead people do vote. The old Daley Administration in Chicago was very good at that.”

Frey points out that, since Republicans are getting whiter and older, replacing the voters that leave this earth with young ones is essential for them to be competitive in presidential elections. "Millennials (born 1981 to 1997) now are larger in numbers than baby boomers ([born] 1946 to 1964), and how they vote will make the big difference. And the data says that if Republicans focus on economic issues and stay away from social ones like gay marriage, they can make serious inroads with millennials.” Exit polling indicates that millennials have split about 65-35 in favor of the Dems in the past two elections. If that split holds true in 2016, Democrats will have picked up a two million vote advantage among first-time voters. These numbers combined with the voter death data puts Republicans at an almost 2.5 million voter disadvantage going into 2016.

Submission + - Oculus Has No Plans to Block Virtual Reality Porn (variety.com)

schwit1 writes: Facebook-owned Oculus VR has no plans to prevent the adult entertainment industry from using its Rift virtual reality headset, which is scheduled to launch as a consumer product within the first quarter of 2016, according to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey.

Asked about plans to block any X-rated content or apps during a panel at the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Luckey responded: "The rift is an open platform. We don't control what software can run on it," adding: "And that's a big deal."

Luckey's remarks stood out as most of his fellow panelists tried to dodge controversial questions around topics like adult entertainment as well as motion sickness and other side effects of using virtual reality headsets.

Submission + - Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures (telegraph.co.uk) 1

schwit1 writes: Last month, we are told, the world enjoyed " its hottest March since records began in 1880 ". This year, according to "US government scientists", already bids to outrank 2014 as "the hottest ever". The figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were based, like all the other three official surface temperature records on which the world's scientists and politicians rely, on data compiled from a network of weather stations by NOAA's Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN).

But here there is a puzzle. These temperature records are not the only ones with official status. The other two, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama (UAH), are based on a quite different method of measuring temperature data, by satellites. And these, as they have increasingly done in recent years, give a strikingly different picture. Neither shows last month as anything like the hottest March on record, any more than they showed 2014 as "the hottest year ever".

Submission + - AdBlock Plus Wins in German Court in Setback for Microsoft and Google

HughPickens.com writes: Andrew Patrizio reports at Network World that a German court has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is legal, throwing a wrench into the plans of advertising and publishing giants like Microsoft and Google to stop AdBlock Plus, a simple add-on to Chrome and Firefox, that has about 144 million active users (PDF), up 69% in a year. German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt brought the suit against Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus saying Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. Microsoft, Google, and some French publishers were reportedly considering a suit against AdBlock Plus as well, with the chief of a French publisher's association telling AFP that its members lose 20% to 40% of revenue due to AdBlock Plus, which has 144 million users worldwide. "The Hamburg court decision is an important one," says Ben Williams, a director of Eyeo, "because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy."

Submission + - Except for Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

HughPickens.com writes: Newsmax reports that according to according to KRC Research about 64 percent of Americans familiar with Snowden hold a negative opinion of him. However 56 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have a positive opinion of Snowden which contrasts sharply with older age cohorts. Among those aged 35-44, some 34 percent have positive attitudes toward him. For the 45-54 age cohort, the figure is 28 percent, and it drops to 26 percent among Americans over age 55, U.S. News reported. Americans overall say by plurality that Snowden has done “more to hurt” U.S. national security (43 percent) than help it (20 percent). A similar breakdown was seen with views on whether Snowden helped or hurt efforts to combat terrorism, though the numbers flip on whether his actions will lead to greater privacy protections. “The broad support for Edward Snowden among Millennials around the world should be a message to democratic countries that change is coming,” says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “They are a generation of digital natives who don’t want government agencies tracking them online or collecting data about their phone calls.” Opinions of millennials are particularly significant in light of January 2015 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau that they are projected to surpass the baby-boom generation as the United States’ largest living generation this year.

Submission + - German Airbus A320 plane crashes in French Alps (theguardian.com)

schwit1 writes: Germanwings A320 aircraft flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf goes down in southern French Alps with 148 on board

A distress call was made by the aircraft at 10.47am, while the plane was “in an abnormal situation”, the French transport ministry said. The crash happened shortly afterwards, it added. The aircraft disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported. The plane dropped from 11,500 metres to 2,100 metres (38,000ft to 6,925ft) in nine minutes between 10.31am and 10.40am, air radar services said. The distress call to air traffic control in Marseilles was “mayday, mayday, mayday” and the pilot requested an emergency descent, meaning all air space had to be cleared below the route of the aircraft.

Submission + - 'No Survivors' Expected In France Plane Crash

johnsnails writes: A passenger plane has crashed in France, with all 148 people on board thought to have died.

The Airbus A320, operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airline, came down in the southern French Alps between Barcelonnette and Digne.

Flight 4U 9525 sent out a distress signal at 10.45am (9.45am UK time) on its route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

Submission + - 35-Year Drought Forcast For US South West, Great Plains 1

BarbaraHudson writes: From the im-setting-up-a-bottled-water-franchise dept.

"Imagine a naturally occurring drought, such as the one occurring in California ... imagine that going on for decades ... that's kind of a mega-drought," said lead study author Benjamin Cook, a climatologist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

They used historic tree ring data and three drought measures to conclude that there was at least an 80 percent chance of a 35-year-long drought occurring in the American Southwest and Great Plains during the second half of the century.

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