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The Media

Fearing Government Surveillance, US Journalists Are Self-Censoring 376

binarstu writes "Suzanne Nossel, writing for CNN, reports that 'a survey of American writers done in October revealed that nearly one in four has self-censored for fear of government surveillance. They fessed up to curbing their research, not accepting certain assignments, even not discussing certain topics on the phone or via e-mail for fear of being targeted. The subjects they are avoiding are no surprise — mostly matters to do with the Middle East, the military and terrorism.' Yet ordinary Americans, for the most part, seem not to care: 'Surveillance so intrusive it is putting certain subjects out of bounds would seem like cause for alarm in a country that prides itself as the world's most free. Americans have long protested the persecution and constraints on journalists and writers living under repressive regimes abroad, yet many seem ready to accept these new encroachments on their freedom at home.'"

Anonymous Member Sentenced For Joining DDoS Attack For One Minute 562

jfruh writes "One of the most potent aspects of Anonymous is, well, its anonymity — but that isn't absolute. Eric Rosol was caught by federal authorities participating in a DDoS attack on a company owned by Koch Industry; for knocking a website offline for 15 minutes, Rosol got two years of probation and had to pay $183,000 in restitution (the amount Koch paid to a security consultant to protect its website ater the attack)." The worst part? From the article: "Eric J. Rosol, 38, is said to have admitted that on Feb. 28, 2011, he took part in a denial of service attack for about a minute on a Web page of Koch Industries..."

Comment Still waiting for the Chordite instead (Score 1) 101

This in10did device might actually ship, which beats vaporware hands down.

That's a pity, because a far better design was announced on Slashdot over a decade ago ( which still looks much more comfortable for heavy use (


Google 'Wasting' $16 Billion On Projects Headed Nowhere 408

hapworth writes "Google's engineering culture is 'wasting profits,' according to a new report published today that refers to $16 billion worth of Google projects that are going nowhere. According to the analysis, it's not that the ideas — such as the Kansas City Fiber Project, driverless cars, and other engineering efforts — are bad. Rather, it's Google's poor execution that is killing the company and adding billions of dollars worth of projects to its 'trash pile.'" On the obvious other hand, Google's done a lot of interesting things over the years that they've managed to make work well, and that strayed from their initial single-text-field search bar.

Pinkie Pie Earns $60K At Pwn2Own With Three Chromium 0-Day Exploits 148

Tackhead writes "Hot on the hooves of Sergey Glazunov's hack 5-minutes into Pwn2Own, an image of an axe-wielding pink pony was the mark of success for a hacker with the handle of Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie subtly tweaked Chromium's sandbox design by chaining together three zero-day vulnerabilities, thereby widening his appeal to $60K in prize money, another shot at a job opportunity at the Googleplex, and instantly making Google's $1M Pwnium contest about 20% cooler. (Let the record show that Slashdot was six years ahead of this particular curve, and that April Fool's Day is less than a month away.)"

Comment The Trouble with Touchscreens (Score 2, Insightful) 279

Touchscreens could just become the single biggest public safety hazard of the 21st century. The user instructions on all the ones I have read (including popular ones such as the iPad) expressly forbid cleaning them with any sort of liquid other than water.

People have dirty hands. Sometimes very dirty hands. I rather doubt that a little water on a lint-free rag is going to remove the huge smudgy colonies of bacteria and other things that collect on them.

Comment Re:I prefer mine to be insanely great trackballs (Score 4, Informative) 279

There are all sorts of nice trackballs out there now. This wiki page from my favorite input device website might be of some interest:

The CST LaserTRAC Trackball looks especially promising. You could replace the provided ball will a pool ball or a perfect sphere of any material, so long as it was the same size. This means you could try out heavier trackballs.

Comment Augmented Reality HUD? (Score 1) 279

Every six months or so, I trawl the Internet looking for any new heads-up displays which add their signal to the one your eyes are already receiving instead of blocking out the world altogether and replacing it with some sort of display.

Are there any augmented reality HUDs out there? I've yet to see any good ones that you could walk around outside with while managing not to be mugged or hit by a bus.

The Internet

Bufferbloat: Dark Buffers In the Internet 124

Expanding on earlier work from Jim Gettys of Bell Labs with a new article in the ACM Queue, CowboyRobot writes that Gettys "makes the case that the Internet is in danger of collapse due to 'bufferbloat,' 'the existence of excessively large and frequently full buffers inside the network.' Part of the blame is due to overbuffering; in an effort to protect ourselves we make things worse. But the problem runs deeper than that. Gettys' solution is AQM (active queue management) which is not deployed as widely as it should be. 'We are flying on an Internet airplane in which we are constantly swapping the wings, the engines, and the fuselage, with most of the cockpit instruments removed but only a few new instruments reinstalled. It crashed before; will it crash again?'"
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives? 1016

First time accepted submitter THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER writes "I have 10-15 old hard drives I want to trash, some IDE and some SATA. Even if I still had IDE hardware, I don't want to wait several weeks to run DBAN on all of them. I could use a degausser, but they are prohibitively expensive. I could send them to a data destruction firm, but can they be trusted? What's the fastest, cheapest DIY solution?"

Millions of Jellyfish Invade Nuclear Reactors 280

oxide7 writes "A nuclear reactor in Japan was forced to shut down due to infiltration of enormous swarms of jellyfish near the power plant. A similar incident was also reported recently in Israel, when millions of jellyfish clogged the sea-water cooling system of a power plant."

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!