Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment My employer takes the opposite tack (Score 2) 364

My employer has an electronic communications policy that forbids employee's from participating in the company's social networking sites unless it is their job to do so. We can't "like" their posts, or respond to tweets etc. I work in the financial industry, and the company is very protective of their credibility. We do have an internal social networking site to promote collaboration.

I think any company that tries to "stuff the ballot box" by making employees sign up for accounts is barking up the wrong tree. They'll have an active looking social networking presence, but it won't yield the benefits that having a real community of clients will.

Security

Submission + - Kinect The Ultimate Security Device (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: A Lithuanian company has a prototype security system based on a Kinect that indicates how we might interact with the cash dispensers of the future. Instead of having to go through an elaborate authentication procedure involving passwords and pins you simply stand in front of the machine and say a few words. The voice, face and body recognition software do the rest. It is just like the old days when you walked into a bank and were recognized as a regular customer.
With Kinect being so cheap there is no reason why this couldn't be built into cash machines and become a standard security method.
The next question is — how to spoof it? Perhaps this is what 3D printers were invented for?

Cloud

Submission + - New Cheap & Easy Password Cracking Service (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A new service from security researcher Moxie Marlinspike, expands on the platform developed for WPACracker and offers a way to run billions of words against a given password to test its strength at a low cost.

For just $17, CloudCracker.com lets anyone run their WPA-PSK hashes against a dictionary of 604 million words, or step-up to 1.2 billion words for $34. If one wanted to throw everything at a given hash, including the kitchen sink, then there is an option for $136 that will use 4.8 billion words. Aside from WPA-PSK, CloudCracker can also tackle LAN Manager and NT LAN Manager hashes for a cost of $0.50 per recovered password.
The service is great for penetration testers and network auditors who need to check the security of WPA2-PSK protected wireless networks, crack password hashes, or break document encryption.

Marlinspike now works for Twitter as a result of an acquisition of Whisper Systems in late 2011, a mobile security company he founded.

Education

Submission + - Experts Explain How to Choose a School by the Numbers (wired.com)

garthsundem writes: I wrote a post that got Slashdotted last week, suggesting three somewhat half-baked metrics that parents can use to pick and elementary school (the first two were solid!). Due to the ensuing comment war, I thought it best to call around and get the REAL take on education statistics. Wired just pubbed the result, and here's the scoop from the Journal of Ed Stats and the Dept of Ed Stats.

First, be wary of "high performing" schools — the best schools will show a nice, linear gain in test scores from year to year. A 10-20 percent jump should make you question scores' validity.

Second, classrooms increasingly include a mix of student abilities — a concerned parent might do well to look for a classroom with a more restricted range. (Warning: massively controversial.)

Finally and most importantly, my Ed Stats sources point to a Harvard/Columbia study of teachers' value added. A good teacher is HUGELY important, but currently no metrics exist to *predict* teacher quality — you can only see it in hindsight.

The best thing a parent can do: until an objective measure of teacher quality crawls from the Petri dish, gather *subjective* information about your child's potential teachers.

Science

Submission + - Invasive species turn parasites into hosts (nature.com)

ananyo writes: The arrival of an alien species can turn an ecosystem on its head. Researchers have found an invasive mussel that has caused a complete ecological role reversal, turning a host into a parasite and vice versa. In a new study (abstract http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/02/08/rsbl.2011.1234), the team focused on ecosystems involving European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) — small, pale-silver freshwater fish that lay their eggs in the gills of mussels. But an invasive Chinese mussel species, Anodonta woodiana, turns the tables on the would-be-parasite, ejecting bitterling eggs laid in them but colonizing the fish with its larvae.
Software

Submission + - Optimizing your caffeine intake with an app (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn’t interrupt your sleep. By reading through lots of peer-reviewed studies, doctors Frank E. Ritter and Kuo-Chuan Yeh found that a caffeine level of between 200 and 400mg in your bloodstream provides optimal mental alertness, and that you should be below 100mg when you try to sleep. Caffeine Zone plots your caffeination level after you consume caffeine, and warns you if that big afternoon coffee will keep you up at night. It also lets you change the 'optimal' and 'sleep' values if you're particularly resistant or weak to caffeine."
News

Submission + - Amateur Radio Gets Secondary MF Allocation at WRC-12 1

dtmos writes: The ARRL is reporting that "delegates attending the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) in Geneva have approved a new 7-kilohertz-wide secondary allocation between 472-479 kHz for the Amateur Radio Service." This band, below the AM broadcast band, will retain its primary ship-to-shore and radionavigation beacon allocation. Due to the unique propagation characteristics of this part of the spectrum, an allocation has long been desired by the amateur radio community. Much as moonbounce and meteor scatter have produced their own amateur digital communication protocols (OSS under the Gnu GPL, of course), I expect the unique channel impairments of this band will lead to the development of dedicated digital communication schemes (beyond QRSS).
NASA

Submission + - NASA shuts down last ever mainframe (itproportal.com)

hypnosec writes: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has ended a remarkable chapter in the organization's information technology history, by shutting down the IBM Z9 mainframe computer — the last one of its kind in NASA. NASA's CIO, Linda Cureton, has stated that the last mainframe computer used by NASA was located at the Marshall Space Flight Center, and after pondering over its future for a prolonged period, the authorities had finally decided in favor of relieving it from its duties. IBM Z9 was an important piece of hardware for NASA, when it came to calculating and solving complicated numerical problems relating to space flight. At the time it was shut down, the IBM Z9 was more or less the same size as a regular refrigerator.
Education

Submission + - Microsoft Continues Assault on Education in Washington State (microsofttaxdodge.com)

reifman writes: "Washington State has cut more than $693 million in education funds in the last two years to offset its growing $5 billion biennial deficit. Last month, Microsoft General Counsel and Senior Vice President Brad Smith wrote in The Seattle Times that "steady declines in public resources now threaten our ability" to provide for the public education of all children but Smith didn't disclose his management of the company's lobbying efforts and Nevada tax dodge which have cost the state more tha $4.3 billion in revenues. The company has tried to discredit this blogger but recently refused to release tax data that would prove its claims. For the first time, we've published audio of Smith acknowledging and defending the company's Nevada tax dodge."

Submission + - F.C.C. Bars Lightsquared from Using Airwaves (nytimes.com)

mc6809e writes: A proposed wireless broadband network that would provide voice and Internet service using airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions should be shelved because it interferes with GPS technology, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday. The news appears to squash the near-term hopes for the network pushed by LightSquared, a Virginia company that is majority-owned by Philip Falcone, a New York hedge fund manager.

Comment "Perfect Remembering" isn't necessarily good (Score 3, Interesting) 410

I was reading Delete by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger recently and he has a very simple solution... put expiration dates on all data. I don't know that it's a basic human right to be forgotten, but it's pretty harsh to have a picture of one act of foolishness follow you around for 20 years.

NASA

Submission + - White House wants devatsating cuts to NASA's Mars exploration (discovermagazine.com)

The Bad Astronomer writes: "The White House released its proposed NASA budget for FY13, and while much of it remains the same from last year, one particular program got devastating news: Mars exploration got a crippling $226 million cut, more than 38% of its budget. This means killing two future missions outright and threatening others. The reasons for this are complex, including huge cost overruns on James Webb Space Telescope and the Curiosity Mars rover, but it also points to a political lack of valuing science in America."
Idle

Submission + - Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. "If it encourages some people to wander away because it's not their favorite type of music, I guess that's OK," says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven't reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using "lovely lovely Ludwig Van" as a deterrent. "Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth," says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. "Does it chase crime away?" adds Olson. "It's hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.""
Security

Submission + - Citibank: training users to be less secure

Llamedos writes: Citibank has redesigned their credit card website (Citicards.com) so that the login page is not an SSL encrypted page. Instead, they expect users to simply accept a little lock GIF file they put up themselves, and their assurance that the form is submitted via SSL. According to Citibank, "Your security is important to us. While the new Citicards.com has an "http" address and no lock icon displays in your browser, your personal information is still protected." Citibank's security page While other sites are moving to more security and more ways for the user to protect himself (e.g., Bank of America's SiteKey program), Citibank is tearing away at protections and trying to train users not to care about security.

Comment Even animated movies use actors (Score 1) 441

So at what point do the actor's/actress' talents become obsolete?

Actors are still artists - a good actor can bring a lot to a performance even if they're just voice acting or mo-capped. Golum had a live actor bringing him to life, as did Sonny in I, Robot. The CGI folks drew heavily on the actor's portrayals. A lot of directors see their relationship with their actors as a collaboration and some tend to choose the same folks over and over because they work well together. From what I've seen in the special features sections of some animated movies, the voice actors are filmed while they're reading and some of that performance gets incorporated into the film. So I think there will be less room for mediocre actors, and the "extra" may become obsolete, but I think there will always be room for the person with a talent for acting or performance.

The bright side that I can see is that perhaps not having to put up with so many dumb, uneducated actors as public role models and political activists.

Well professors should lecture and artists should speak through their art. It's really annoying to get lectured when you're expecting art. People should stand for what they believe in because it's the right thing to do, not because all of the cool kids are doing it or because it helps their image.

Slashdot Top Deals

Small is beautiful.

Working...