Submission + - A Quantum Computer Finds Factors - 15 mostly equals 3x5 (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: The Shor quantum factoring algorithm has been run for the first time on a solid state device and it successfully factored a composite number. A team from UCSB has managed to build and operate a quantum circuit composed of four superconducting phase qubits. The design creates entangled bits faster than before and the team verified that entanglement was happening using quantum tomography. The final part of the experiment implemented the Shor factoring algorithm using 15 as the value to be factored. In 150,000 runs of the calculation, the chip gave the correct result 48% of the time. As Shor's algorithm is only supposed to give the correct answer 50% of the time, this is a good result. Is this the start of the quantum computing revolution?

Submission + - The crazy self-healing future tech of next-generation fighter jets (airforce-technology.com)

NRI-Digital writes: "The US Air Force's plans for sixth generation fighters seem pretty extreme, boasting greater stealth, speed and self-healing structures as new technologies. New weaponry is also set to include missiles based on scramjets (despite the failed Waverider tests) and lasers based on Boeing's YAL-1A tested aircraft. Looks like air warfare is about to get a bit more sci-fi..."

Submission + - Polish MP returns iPad quoting lack of control (fwioo.pl)

rysiek writes: "Polish MP and spokesperson for one of Polish political parties Dariusz Joski returned his state-issued iPad citing lack of control (Google-translated). Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation (of Anti-ACTA fame) offered (free of charge, of course) to help him choose, install and configure Linux on his laptop, including setting-up disk encryption.

We are still waiting for an answer from the MP."


Submission + - First Malware Infecting Multiple Platforms, Virtual Machines Discovered (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Security researchers have come across a malware capable of infecting multiple operating systems – Windows, Mac OS X, Windows Mobile and even VMware virtual machines. Initially discovered last month, this malware was thought of as Mac based Trojan which was capable of intercepting emails and instant messages, user behavior tracking, turning on internal microphones and cameras to spy on users and the likes. But, the researchers over at Symantec have found that this malware, dubbed Crisis, is a JAR (Java archive) file that masquerades as a legitimate Flash installer. Because of the manner in which it spreads, it can attack a wider variety of platforms and even virtual machines (VM). Symantec believes that "This may be the first malware that attempts to spread onto a virtual machine".

Submission + - An intro to hardware-assisted virtualisation features on modern CPUs (anchor.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Ever wondered how VT-x, VT-d, SR-IOV and other hardware virtualisation features work on modern CPUs? Anchor's sysadmins did, so they went and found out, then wrote it up.

It assumes a reasonable level of understanding at the OS-to-hardware level, but it otherwise understandable and clear enough to follow and get the benefits.

Submission + - $900,000 raised for buying Tesla's Lab (indiegogo.com)

icebraining writes: As Slashdot reported earlier, The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman launched a funding campaign to help the Tesla Science Center, a 503(c) non-profit, buy the place of Tesla's final laboratory, the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, New York. Well, thanks to 21511 contributors, it has already raised $912,080, well above the original $800,000 goal. But it's not too late to help: any money raised above the goal will be used by the organization to build a museum dedicated to Tesla.

Submission + - Crisis Malware capable of infecting VMware virtual machine (thehackernews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Windows version of Crisis, a piece of malware discovered in July, is capable of infecting VMware virtual machine images, Windows Mobile devices and removable USB drives, according to researchers from antivirus vendor Symantec.The installer was actually a Java archive (JAR) file which had been digitally signed by VeriSign.



Submission + - Congress's Science Committee Has Weak Grasp of Science (vice.com)

tedlistens writes: Republican Representative Todd Akin, who said that a woman who is “legitimately raped” cannot become pregnant, sits on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the Congressional committee that addresses America’s scientific goals. It holds jurisdiction over NASA, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation among others. But Mr. Akin is not alone. The governing body in charge of many of America's most important scientific institutions currently includes a cadre of ideologues with views that flagrantly disregard actual science as violently as Akin’s. This at a time when American science funding, public understanding of science and Congressional popularity are hitting new lows.

Submission + - The Worst Apple Store in America - An Employee Confession (gizmodo.com)

Cutting_Crew writes: "Gizmodo has a piece that describes probably one of the worst and most corrupt apple stores.

Two employees recount management exchanging brand new computers for facelifts(and other things) not just from customers but also from businesses. Everything else ranged from destroying devices repeatedly and ringing up new ones(for themselves and friends as fake customers) to outright stealing merchandise and cash.

I guess we should all make sure that we are polite when coming in for a repair just in case your "genius" help is intoxicated."

Submission + - Best use for an old smartphone?

zaba writes: Ask Slashdot:
The original iPhone was a dream come true for me. Phone, camera, mp3 player and data all in one device. It had more cpu and memory than my first computer!

Several generations of smartphones later, my wife and I have some random smartphones (some iPhone, some Android) lying around. Between privacy concerns, bad batteries, etc. these phones are not worthy of donation.

So, I ask you, Slashdot readers, have you done anything fun with an old smartphone? Any suggestions/ideas?

Submission + - Cats Don't Cause Brain Cancer After All (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Last year, cat owners got a scare when a team of French researchers reported a possible link between felines and brain cancer. Cat feces can harbor a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, and the scientists found that nations with higher rates of human T. gondii infection also have higher incidences of brain cancer. A new study challenges those findings. Scientists examining a cohort of more than 600,000 British women found that cat owners were no more likely to develop brain cancer than their cat-free counterparts, despite their presumably greater risk of exposure to T. gondii.

Submission + - Nintendo Power to shut down (arstechnica.com)

stillnotelf writes: Ars Technica is reporting that the official Nintendo magazine, Nintendo Power, is shutting down after 24 years. The gaming magazine has been run by independent publisher Future US since 2007, but Ars Technica's source and deleted Twitter posts say that Nintendo is uninterested in continuing the paper magazine in today's digital age, and also unwilling to convert it into a primarily digital experience. There's been no official confirmation of the cancellation or word of how many issues remain of this bit of childhood nostalgia for so many gamers.

Submission + - Astronomers catch a star in the act of devouring a planet (io9.com)

jamstar7 writes: Astronomers have witnessed the first evidence of a planet's destruction by its aging star as it expands into a red giant.

"A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the Sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some five-billion years from now," said Alex Wolszczan, from Penn State, University, who led a team which found evidence of a missing planet having been devoured by its parent star. Wolszczan also is the discoverer of the first planet ever found outside our solar system.

The planet-eating culprit, a red-giant star named BD+48 740 is older than the Sun and now has a radius about eleven times bigger than our Sun.

The evidence the astronomers found was a massive planet in a surprising highly elliptical orbit around the star — indicating a missing planet — plus the star's wacky chemical composition.

5 billion years or so is a long way off, so it's likely none of us has to worry about it, but still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but gives you food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red gianthood. And of course, some more cash into astronomers' and physicists' hands now can give us a closer ballpark number of when this event is going to happen. It's all in the math...


Submission + - After Hacker Exposes Hotel Lock Insecurity, Lock Firm Asks Hotels To Pay For Fix (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: In an update to an earlier story on Slashdot, hotel lock company Onity is now offering a hardware fix for the millions of hotel keycard locks that hacker Cody Brocious demonstrated at Black Hat were vulnerable to being opened by a sub-$50 Arduino device. Unfortunately, Onity wants the hotels who already bought the company's insecure product to pay for the fix.

Onity is actually offering two different mitigations: The first is a plug that blocks the port that Brocious used to gain access to the locks' data, as well as more-obscure Torx screws to prevent intruders from opening the lock's case and removing the plug. That band-aid style fix is free. A second, more rigorous fix requires changing the locks' circuit boards manually. In that case, Onity is offering "special pricing programs" for the new circuit boards customers need to secure their doors, and requiring them to also pay the shipping and labor costs.

Submission + - Single handed keyboard options for coding?

dubbreak writes: I was recently injured in a car accident which will limit the use of hand for 6 weeks or so. I'll be taking a little time off but deadlines march on and I'll need to be (semi) productive after my initial recuperation. What is you experience with single handed keyboards or other input option that require one hand at most?

The current project is mainly C#, so I've need to be able to type brackets, semicolons and parentheses quick and painlessly.

Submission + - The Worst Job at Google: A Year of Watching Child Porn and other trash (gizmodo.com)

Cutting_Crew writes: "Gizmodo puts a story together that describes the worst job that you can get at google , including watching decapitations and beastiality.

A google ex-employee who did just that tells his own story of a year long stint of looking at the most horrible things on the internet and in the end needed therapy and since he was a contractor he was let go and was not rolled over into a full time employee."


Submission + - Ask Slashdot: To AdBlock Or Not To AdBlock? 4

conner_bw writes: Is there an acceptable compromise to behaviour targeting? On the one hand, I don't want to be profiled by unscrupulous advertisers. On the other hand, I feel that the advertiser is the middleman between the things I care about (content) and the dollars that support those things. My compromise is to take a page out of BF Skinner's book Walden Two and view the situation as a sort of absurd behaviourist experiment. Basically, I adblock everything but whitelist the sites I support. Is this too much? Not enough? What should the individual do protect themselves, if anything at all?

Submission + - Should Medical Apps Be Regulated? (itworld.com) 2

maximus1 writes: There's a tidal wave of medical-related apps coming to smartphones and tablets that will be used by doctors and patients alike. But how should the medical establishment deal with them? Neurologist Steven Levine, currently working on an app for stroke victims, thinks they should be treated like new medicines: developed using scientific peer review and subject to regulation by the government or professional associations. Obstetrician Kurian Thott, developer of an app called iRounds that helps communication between doctors, thinks they should be released quickly and the market should decide which take off. What do you think?

Submission + - Slackware Documentation Project Begins In Earnest

vtel57 writes: A recent thread at Jeremy's LinuxQuestions.org (https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/slackbuilds-org-vs-slackware-documentation-4175422561/) lit a fire of enthusiasm for a new Slackware documentation initiative. A new SlackDocs Wiki has been started on Alien Bob's (Eric Hameleers) server (http://taper.alienbase.nl/dokuwiki/). There is also a new mailing list (http://lists.alienbase.nl/mailman/listinfo/slackdocs) for discussion and coordination of the project. All interested parties are encouraged to visit and participate.

Submission + - Earth's Corner of the Galaxy Just Got a Little Lonelier

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Only 4 stars, including Barnard's Star, are within 6 light years of the Sun, and only 11 are within 10 light years. That's why Barnard's star, popularized in Robert Forward's hard-sf novel, "Flight of the Dragonfly," is often short-listed as a target for humanity's first interstellar probe. Astronomers have long hoped to find a habitable planet around it, an alien Earth that might someday bear the boot prints of a future Neil Armstrong, or the tire tracks of a souped-up 25th-century Curiosity rover. But now Ross Anderson reports that a group of researchers led by UC Berkeley's Jieun Choi have delivered the fatal blow to Barnard's Star when they revealed the results of 248 precise Doppler measurements that were designed to examine the star for wobbles indicative of planets around it. The measurements, taken over a period of 25 years, led to a depressing conclusion: "the habitable zone around Barnard's star appears to be devoid of roughly Earth-mass planets or larger . . . [p]revious claims of planets around the star by van de Kamp are strongly refuted." NASA's Kepler space telescope, which studies a group of distant Milky Way stars, has found more than 2,000 exoplanet candidates in just the past two years, leading many to suspect that our galaxy is home to billions of planets, a sizable portion of which could be habitable. "This non-detection of nearly Earth-mass planets around Barnard’s Star is surely unfortunate, as its distance of only 1.8 parsecs would render any Earth-size planets valuable targets for imaging and spectroscopy, as well as compelling destinations for robotic probes by the end of the century.""

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