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Submission + - Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules ( 1 writes: The NYT reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. “It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” says Jason R. Baron. A spokesman for Clinton defended her use of the personal email account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”

Submission + - Google Quietly Backs Away From Encrypting New Lollilop Devices by Default

An anonymous reader writes: Although Google announced in September 2014 that Android 5.0 Lollipop would require full-disk encryption by default in new cell phones, Ars Technica has found otherwise in recently-released 2nd-gen Moto E and Galaxy S6. It turns out, according to the latest version of the Android Compatibility Definition document (PDF), full-disk encryption is currently only "very strongly recommended" in anticipation of mandatory encryption requirements in the future. The moral of the story is don't be lazy; check that your full-disk encryption is actually enabled.

Submission + - Blackphone 2 caters to the enterprise, the security-minded and the paranoid (

Mark Wilson writes: Yep, we know all about the NSA, thanks Edward. Yeah, it's possible (probable?) that a government agent somewhere is listening to or recording your conversations. And yes, even if you're not one of the tin-foil hat brigade, there's a danger that someone could tap into your phone. But you don’t have to be paranoid to want security; there are plenty of companies and enterprise customers for whom security is of the utmost importance.

While much of the news coming out of MWC 2015 has been dominated by Microsoft's Lumia 640, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, and tablets from Sony, there's always room for something a little different. Following on from the security-focused Blackphone, Silent Circle used the Barcelona event to announce the follow-up — the Blackphone 2.

Submission + - Feds admit Stingray can disrupt bystanders' communications

linuxwrangler writes: The government has fought hard to keep details about use and effects of the controversial Stingray device secret. But this Wired article points to recently released documents in which the government admits that the device can cause collatoral damage to other network users. The controversy has heated to the point that Florida senator Bill Nelson has made combative statments that such devices will inevitably force lawmakers to come up with new ways to protect privacy — a comment that is even more remarkable considering that the Stingray is produced by Harris Corporation which is headquartered in Nelson's home state.

Submission + - SPAM: Why Casinos Across America Closing

An anonymous reader writes: I have been in the casino business for many years now and when things start to happen in this business it starts out with a whisper and goes out with a yell.

I am sure that you have heard the big headlines that casinos in Atlantic City are shutting it's doors forever because of lack of business. We in the industry knew this was coming for a while even if we did not want to admit it. I personally think this is just the beginning. The slow down started when casinos started to limit smoking and drinking in the casinos but this was not what has caused the full demise of gambling establishments. The main reason is because people are now staying home and playing on their computers and televisions.

In the past it was difficult to find a place to play poker, enjoy your favorite slots and just have some fun gambling. You used to have to plan your outing and then drive a considerable distance to enjoy the gambling lifestyle. Now, with the rebirth of online casinos in the US and around the world you can just stay home and play. Everyday graphics have gotten better, the payouts are higher than once before and all due to technology. See [spam URL stripped]

Advancements in online casinos have brought great joy to many people but it has it's downsides as well. Firstly, many people are losing their jobs because of the online gambling industry. Another issue for the players is that they don'rt get to look forward to making a trip and planning a vacation like they once did. Now you can just hop in your computer chair and start playing immediately. Places like Las Vegas will always be around because of all the extra entertainment but I think the days are numbered for many of the smaller casinos. I hope I am wrong but it just seems inevitable.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cameras to "see" cancer

Champaklal writes: Inspired by the mantis shrimp's ability to see polarized light, scientists are working on developing cameras to detect cancerous cells. The mantis shrimp has compound eyes which has 16 different kinds of photocells (compared to humans, we have only 3).

The camera uses aluminum nano wires to replicate the polarization sensitive ommatidia photocells in shrimps. They placed the nanowires on top of photodiodes to finally convert image into electrical signals. The complete paper can be found here.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Multimedia based wiki for learning and business procedures?

kyle11 writes: I'm scratching my head at how to develop a decent wiki for a large organization I work in. We support multiple technologies, across multiple locations, and have ways of doing things that become exponentially convoluted. I give IT training to many of these users for a particular technology, and other people do for other stuff as well.

Now, I hate wikis because everyone who did one before failed and gave them a bad name. If it starts wrong, it is doomed to failure and irrelevance.

What I'm looking for would be something like a Wiki with Youtube built in — make a playlist of videos with embedded links for certain job based tasks. And reuse and recycle those videos in other playlists of other tasks as they may be applicable. It would go beyond the actual IT we work with and would include things like "welcome to working in this department, here's 20 videos detailing stupid procedures you need to go through to request access to customer's systems/networks/databases to even think about doing your job"

I tried MediaWiki and Xwiki, and maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I can't seem to find a way to tweak them to Youtube-level simplicity for anyone to contribute to without giving up on the thing cause its a pain in the butt.

My only real requirement is that it not be cloud-based because it will contain certain sensitive information and I'd like it all to live on 1 virtual machine if at all possible.

I can't be the only one with this problem of enabling many people to contribute and sort their knowledge without knowing how an HTML tag works, or copying files into something more complicated than a web browser. What approaches have any of you out there taken to trying to solve a similar problem?

Submission + - From the Maker of Arduboy: Tetris on a Bracelet

timothy writes: Kevin Bates showed off his tiny ("credit card sized") homebrewed game-playing rig at OSCON this summer; not content with merely wallet sized, he's now squeezed enough display — three of them, lacking a curved display to wrap around the wrist — input sensors, and processing power (Atmega 328p) to play Tetris on a tiny, multi-segmented bracelet (video). Sure, there's been Tetris on watches before, but from large-budget companies, not — at least not that I've ever seen — from hackers. Bates' post gives some more technical details, too.

Submission + - Struck By Lightening writes: Ferris Jabr writes in Outside Magazine that every year, more than 500 Americans are struck by lightning. Roughly 90 percent of them will survive but those that survive will be instantly, fundamentally altered in ways that still leave scientists scratching their heads. For example Michael Utley was a successful stockbroker who often went skiing and windsurfing before he was struck by lightening. Today, at 62, he lives on disability insurance. “I don’t work. I can’t work. My memory’s fried, and I don’t have energy like I used to. I aged 30 years in a second. I walk and talk and play golf—but I still fall down. I’m in pain most of the time. I can’t walk 100 yards without stopping. I look like a drunk.” Lightning also dramatically altered Utley's personality. “It made me a mean, ornery son of a bitch. I’m short-tempered. Nothing is fun anymore. I am just not the same person my wife married." Utley created a website devoted to educating people about preventing lightning injury and started regularly speaking at schools and doing guest spots on televised weather reports.

Mary Ann Cooper, professor emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is one of the few medical doctors who have attempted to investigate how lightning alters the brain’s circuitry. According to Cooper the evidence suggests that lightning injuries are, for the most part, injuries to the brain, the nervous system, and the muscles. Lightning can ravage or kill cells, but it can also leave a trail of much subtler damage and Cooper and other researchers speculate that chronic issues are the result of lightning scrambling each individual survivor’s unique internal circuitry. "Those who attempt to return to work often find they are unable to carry out their former functions and after a few weeks, when coworkers get weary of 'covering' for them, they either are put on disability (if they are lucky) or fired," writes Cooper. "Survivors often find themselves isolated because friends, family and physicians do not recognize their disability or feel they are 'faking'. (PDF)"

Submission + - Researchers Develop Purely Optical Cloaking

Rambo Tribble writes: Researchers, at the University of Rochester, have developed a remarkably effective visual cloak using a relatively simple arrangement of optical lenses. The method is unique in that it uses off-the-shelf components and provides cloaking through the visible spectrum. Also, it works in 3-D. As one researcher put it, "This is the first device that we know of that can do three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking, which works for transmitting rays in the visible spectrum." Bonus: The article includes instructions to build your own.

Submission + - Why the Z-80's data pins are scrambled (

An anonymous reader writes: The Z-80 microprocessor has been around since 1976, and it was used in many computers at the beginning of the PC revolution. (For example, the TRS-80, Commodore 128, and ZX Spectrum.) Ken Shirriff has been working on reverse engineering the Z-80, and one of the things he noticed is that the data pins coming out of the chip are in seemingly random order: 4, 3, 5, 6, 2, 7, 0, 1. (And a +5V pin is stuck in the middle.) After careful study, he's come up with an explanation for this seemingly odd design. "The motivation behind splitting the data bus is to allow the chip to perform activities in parallel. For instance an instruction can be read from the data pins into the instruction logic at the same time that data is being copied between the ALU and registers. ... [B]ecause the Z-80 splits the data bus into multiple segments, only four data lines run to the lower right corner of the chip. And because the Z-80 was very tight for space, running additional lines would be undesirable. Next, the BIT instructions use instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select a particular bit. This was motivated by the instruction structure the Z-80 inherited from the 8080. Finally, the Z-80's ALU requires direct access to instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select the particular data bit. Putting these factors together, data pins 3, 4, and 5 are constrained to be in the lower right corner of the chip next to the ALU. This forces the data pins to be out of sequence, and that's why the Z-80 has out-of-order data pins."

Submission + - Astrophysicists Use Apollo Seismic Array To Hunt for Gravitational Waves

KentuckyFC writes: Back in the 1970s, the astronauts from Apollos 12. 14. 15 and 16 set up an array of seismometers on the lunar surface to listen for moonquakes. This array sent back data until 1977 when NASA switched it off. Now astrophysicists are using this lunar seismic data in the hunt for gravitational waves. The idea is that gravitational waves must squeeze and stretch the Moon as they pass by and that at certain resonant frequencies, this could trigger the kind of seismic groans that the array ought to have picked up. However, the data shows no evidence of activity at the relevant frequencies. That's important because it has allowed astronomers to put the strongest limits yet on the strength of gravitational waves in this part of the universe. Earlier this year, the same team used a similar approach with terrestrial seismic data to strengthen the existing limits by 9 orders of magnitude. The lunar data betters this by yet another order of magnitude because there is no noise from sources such as oceans, the atmosphere and plate tectonics. The work shows that good science on gravitational waves can be done without spending the hundreds of millions of dollars for bespoke gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, which have yet to find any evidence of the waves either.

Submission + - NVIDIA Begins Requiring Signed GPU Firmware Images ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In a blow to those working on open-source drivers, soft-mods for enhancing graphics cards, and the Chinese knock-offs of graphics cards, NVIDIA has begun signing and validating GPU firmware images. With the latest-generation Maxwell GPUs, not all engine functionality is being exposed unless the hardware detects the firmware image was signed by NVIDIA. This is a setback to the open-source Nouveau Linux graphics driver but they're working towards a solution where NVIDIA can provide signed, closed-source firmware images to the driver project for redistribution. Initially the lack of a signed firmware image will prevent some thermal-related bits from being programmed but with future hardware the list of requirements is expected to rise.

Submission + - Utilities Should Worry. Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit (

Lucas123 writes: A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory predicts that distributed rooftop solar panel installations will grow from 0.2% market penetration today to 10% by 2022, during which time they're likely to cut utility profits from 8% to 41%. Using those same metrics, electricity rates for utility customers will grow only by as much as 2.7% over the next eight years. By comparison, the cost of electricity on average rose 3.1% from 2013 to 2014. The study was performed for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the main purposes of the study was to evaluate measures that could be pursued by utilities and regulators to reduce the financial impacts of distributed photovoltaics.

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