Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security

Next Step For US Body Scanners Could Be Trains, Metro Systems 890

Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill reports that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for US vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary. '[Terrorists] are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through,' Napolitano said in an interview with Charlie Rose. 'I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime.' Napolitano added she hoped the US could get to a place in the future where Americans would not have to be as guarded against terrorist attacks as they are and that she was actively promoting research into the psychology of how a terrorist becomes radicalized. 'The long-term [question] is, how do we get out of this having to have an ever-increasing security apparatus because of terrorists and a terrorist attack?' says Napolitano. 'I think having a better understanding of what causes someone to become a terrorist will be helpful.'"
Security

Making Airport Scanners Less Objectionable 681

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that one of the researchers who helped develop the software for the scanners says there is a simple fix that would make scanning less objectionable. The fix would distort the images captured on full-body scanners so they look like reflections in a fun-house mirror, but any potentially dangerous objects would be clearly revealed, says Willard 'Bill' Wattenburg, a former nuclear weapons designer at the Livermore lab. 'Why not just distort the image into something grotesque so that there isn't anything titillating or exciting about it?' asks Wattenburg, adding that the modification is so simple that 'a 6-year-old could do the same thing with Photoshop... It's probably a few weeks' modification of the program.' Wattenburg said he was rebuffed when he offered the concept to Department of Homeland Security officials four years ago. A TSA official said the agency is working on development of scanner technology that would reduce the image to a 'generic icon, a generic stick figure' that would still reveal potentially dangerous items." Reader FleaPlus points out an unintended consequence: some transportation economists believe that the TSA's new invasive techniques may lead to more deaths as more people use road transportation to avoid flying — much more dangerous by the mile than air travel.
Botnet

Massive DDoS Cuts Myanmar Off From Net 149

Trailrunner7 writes "The nation of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, found its access to the Internet severed by a massive denial of service attack, according to a report by Arbor Networks. The source or motivation of the attack isn't known, but it is believed that the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have targeted the country's Ministry of Post and Telecommunication (or PTT), the main conduit for Internet traffic in and out of the authoritarian nation."
Transportation

Digital Dashboard Device Detects Driver Drowsiness 117

Pickens writes "Science Daily Headlines reports that researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology have developed a self-contained, dashboard-mounted assistant system that tracks a driver's eye movements and issues a warning before the driver has an opportunity to nod off to sleep. 'What we have developed is a small modular system with its own hardware and programs on board, so that the line of vision is computed directly within the camera itself,' says Professor Husar. 'Since the Eyetracker is fitted with at least two cameras that record images stereoscopically — meaning in three dimensions — the system can easily identify the spatial position of the pupil and the line of vision.' The cameras, which can be installed in any model of car, evaluate up to 200 images per second to identify the line of vision. If the camera modules detect that the eye is closed for longer than a user-defined interval, it sounds an alarm. The Eyetracker also has applications in computer games where players could look around themselves without requiring a joystick to change their viewing direction, and in marketing and advertising, where researchers could determine which parts of a poster or advertising spot receive longer attention from their viewers."
Networking

Turning Your Home Wiring Into a Giant Antenna 135

An anonymous reader writes with this IBT snippet: "Imagine if you could run a wireless sensor device for years without ever having to replace the battery. Turns out, the idea of a battery-less wireless device might not be too far off. Researchers at the University of Washington and the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a small node sized device that uses the residential wiring from a building or home and transmits information to and from almost anywhere else from within. The device is called Sensor Nodes Utilizing Powerline Infrastructure, or SNUPI. It uses basic copper wiring as a giant antenna to receive wireless signals at a set frequency. When the device is within 10 to 15 feet of electrical wiring, it uses the antenna to send data to a single base station." (For "node-sized," think "size of a breakfast cereal prize.")
Robotics

Robots Taught to Deceive 239

An anonymous reader found a story that starts "'We have developed algorithms that allow a robot to determine whether it should deceive a human or other intelligent machine and we have designed techniques that help the robot select the best deceptive strategy to reduce its chance of being discovered,' said Ronald Arkin, a Regents professor in the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing."

Comment Re:arms race (Score 5, Insightful) 242

uh, it's not like they're just examining the X-Priority: OMG CRITICAL header field or anything here. TFA says it's based in part on the people who you email the most, and the emails which you choose to reply to. I imagine it'll work about as well as Gmail's spam filtering (i.e., pretty damn good in my experience).
Microsoft

The Great Operating System Games 145

harrymcc writes "For decades, the simple little games that come with operating systems have been some of the most-used software on the planet. Legendary geeks such as Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and Andy Herzfeld have tried their hands at writing them. And yet they get no respect — or, actually, attention of any kind. Technologizer's Benj Edwards aimed to rectify that with a look at forty years' worth of bundled OS games, from 1971 Unix text-based ones to Woz's Little Brick Out to such Windows mainstays as Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Reversi." Article is an annoyingly long slide show (would it kill people to put a reasonable amount of content on pages?) but there's some fun stuff in there.
Image

R In a Nutshell Screenshot-sm 91

joel.neely writes "R is a statistical computing environment that is fully-compliant with state-of-the-art buzzwords: free, open-source, cross-platform, interactive, graphics, objects, closures, higher-order functions, and more. It is supported by an impressive collection of user-supplied modules through CRAN, the 'Comprehensive R Archive Network.' And now it has its own O'Reilly Nutshell book, R in a Nutshell, written by Joseph Adler. I am pleased to report that Adler has risen to the challenge of the highly-regarded 'Nutshell' franchise. As is traditional for the series, this title mixes introduction, tutorial, and reference material in a style that is well suited to a reader who already has a background in programming, but is a new or occasional user of R." Read on for the rest of Joel's review.
Medicine

Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain 250

wog777 writes "Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in Sunday's edition of Nature Medicine. A microneedle contains needles so small you don't even feel them. Attached to a patch like a Band-Aid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine."

Comment MetaFilter has done this for years (Score 1) 377

I don't agree at all with publishing commenters' real names (though the city and state of the billing address strikes me as useful), but a one-time fee coupled with halfway decent forum moderation policies really is the way to go. The financial aspect causes idiots to think very hard before shitting in a thread, and light-handed and pragmatic moderation helps keep a discussion civil.

MetaFilter has been doing this for a long time now, requiring a one-time $5 signup fee and employing a small handful of fantastic moderators (4 or 5 mods for 100K+ users), and the level of discourse is some of the highest I've read on the Web.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Home life as we understand it is no more natural to us than a cage is to a cockatoo." -- George Bernard Shaw

Working...