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Submission + - Cheap, Refillable, Biodegradable Batteries Within 3 Years (

pcwhalen writes: Batteries use noxious chemicals and don’t last very long. Even rechargeables don’t seem to power up that long. But what if someone came out with a renewable energy source battery?

At Virginia Tech, a research team has developed an energy-dense fuel cell that runs of a maltodextrin solution. Using sugar in a battery is like indirect solar power, renewable when we grow the sugar source.

Little fuel cells that run off of Sunny-D? Neat.

Comment Closing the Barn Door... (Score 5, Informative) 115

...after all the cows got out.

Day late and a dollar short to worry about BlackPOS. Variants of "Dexter, first documented by Seculert in December 2012, is a Windows-based malware used to steal credit card data from PoS systems."

They have had 3 flavors so far:
1.] Stardust (looks to be an older version, perhaps version 1)
2.] Millenium (note spelling)
3.] Revelation (two observed malware samples; has the capability to use FTP to exfiltrate data)

I can buy any of these programs with a Tor browser, an ICQ client and some Bitcoin at any carder site on line.

A little late to be worried about snippets of code.

Submission + - "Laser Mirror" Could be Future of Space Telescopes ( 1

sciencehabit writes: Imagine a space telescope the size of a football field that weighs as much as a few slices of bread. Researchers have taken a step toward that goal by creating a small mirror out of tiny polystyrene particles, held together by lasers. Without any weight constraints, telescopes could be much more powerful than previously thought possible. In space, a series of powerful lasers would hold the mirror together, creating giant telescopes that weigh only a few hundred grams. What's more, such telescopes could quickly reassemble if struck by space debris.

Submission + - Yep, People Are Still Using '123456' and 'Password' as Passwords in 2014 (

Nerval's Lobster writes: Earlier this week, SplashData released its annual list of the 25 most common passwords used on the Internet—and no surprise, most are so blindingly obvious it’s a shock that people still rely on them to protect their data: '12345,' 'password,' 'qwerty' '11111,' and worse. There were some interesting quirks in the dataset, however. Following a massive security breach in late 2013, a large amount of Adobe users’ passwords leaked onto the broader Web; many of those users based their password on either ‘Adobe’ or ‘Photoshop,’ which are terms (along with the ever-popular ‘password’) easily discoverable using today’s hacker tools. “Seeing passwords like ‘adobe123 and ‘photoshop’ on this list offers a good reminder not to base your password on the name of the website or application you are accessing,” Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, wrote in a statement. Slashdotters have known for years that, while it's always tempting to create a password that’s easy to remember—especially if you maintain profiles on multiple online services—the consequences of an attacker breaking into your accounts are potentially devastating. As you know, complex passwords with a mix of numbers, letters and special characters (#,$,%,&, etc.) are best; avoid passwords based on dictionary words, numerical sequences (“1234567”), or personal information (such as your birthday).

Submission + - Water Plume 'Unequivocally' Detected at Dwarf Planet Ceres (

astroengine writes: Astronomers analyzing data from the now defunct Herschel infrared space observatory have made a huge discovery deep inside the asteroid belt. Dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the region, is generating plumes of water vapor. “This is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere,” said Michael Küppers of the European Space Agency in Spain and lead author of a paper published today (Jan. 22) in the journal Nature.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Still can't believe the NSA is as deep as it is.

The width and breadth of our govt's spying abroad was never in doubt: our abilities are impressive, but not shocking. the shock comes from deciding to turn the lens inward. Exec order 12333 says CIA and NSA look "out" and not domestically at US persons.

It's a slippery slope to start down. Without 4th Amendment protections, we could all be fucked.

Comment Re: Who Are The FISA Judges? (Score 1) 187

Appeals are only brought by someone that objects. Appellate review doesn't happen on it's own. Someone has to bring the case.

If no one knows what they've done, who objects to their rulings?

No one.

Who reviews them? Not the Supreme Court, unless someone objects.

So, no. There is no one reviewing them.

And all of the appointments ore of federal judges, yes. Very conservative pro executive branch. Most likely to expand NSA and government power.

So there is much to fear.

Comment Who Are The FISA Judges? (Score 2) 187

They are all picked by one man - Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts.

This was meant to be a body of jurists to check the validity of search warrants, but it developed its own body of case law. With no check on its power. None.

The NY Times notes "In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary."

So, yeah, I'd say the FISA judges don't want anyone looking over their shoulders.

Comment Re:What would be sweet... (Score 1) 222

It seems they have the key to all the locks as soon as the lock gets built.

I think nothing is safe. Unless you're in a Faraday cage with a computer plugged into a UPS running a virtualized OS and ...

Fuck it. The NSA can have my data. Jack booted pricks.

Comment Hardware Key to Encryption (Score 2) 222

You mean like the Yubikey?

Don't forget: you can still encrypt with a keyfile you keep on a microSD card in your wallet. [copy to a USB stick in a lockbox, in case you lose it or get robbed.] Then, they can have your key, they still need the file.

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