Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - A petition to make July 20th a national holiday to honor the moon landing (

Curseyoukhan writes: The moon landing mattered, so lets mark it with a holiday. People remember those. This petition at needs 100k signers by August 20th to get considered. If we can put a man on the moon why can't we make it a national holiday? This isn't rocket science, it's clicking a damn link. Do it for Buzz, Neil and Michael Collins. Do it for your dreams of the future.

Submission + - Why Crazy Still Trumps Facts on the Internet (

Curseyoukhan writes: The internet was going to be great. It was going to be the place where good information drove out bad, where facts would vanquish lies. Instead it seems to have made the situation worse. The Flat Earth Society has come back from the dead. Survivors of Sandy Hook and Aurora are electronically harassed by people who congregate at sites explaining how it was all a government conspiracy. And that's just the tip of the Illuminati pyramid. So what happened?

Submission + - GSA system shows contractors' private information (

Curseyoukhan writes: "A software glitch in the government procurement system for contractor work exposed significant amounts of personal and private data of individuals and companies — including Social Security, business tax identification and bank account numbers — open for viewing. The problem could leave many individuals and companies potentially open to a significant threat of identity theft.

The General Services Administration sent an email to parties registered on the System for Award Management, or SAM, on Friday, warning them of the problem, according to a copy obtained by MoneyWatch. The message states that registered SAM users with the proper set of assigned rights "had the ability to view any entity's registration information, including both public and non-public data at all sensitivity levels.""


Submission + - Report: DoD Has Wasted Billions on IT Security (

Curseyoukhan writes: ""During exercises and testing, DoD red teams, using only small teams and a short amount of time, are able to significantly disrupt the 'blue team’s' ability to carry out military missions. Typically, the disruption is so great, that the exercise must be essentially reset without the cyber intrusion to allow enough operational capability to proceed. These stark demonstrations contribute to the Task Force’s assertion that the functioning of DoD’s systems is not assured in the presence of even a modestly aggressive cyber-attack."

Pentagon spent +$10 billion on IT security in FY 2011."

The Internet

Submission + - Preserving the "Web before the Web:" Minitel history could be lost (

coondoggie writes: "It's been almost a year since France Telecom shut down its once widely popular Minitel online services and historians are worried that its legacy from a preservationist point of view is being lost forever. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA., naturally wants to collect and preserve all manner of industry historical artifacts and Minitel if one of the central components of its "Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing" exhibit."

Submission + - Volvo announces release of it's cyclist detection facility (

FBeans writes: "Volvo has announced it is releasing a cyclist detection facility which should prevent fatal accidents. The auto firm says vehicles fitted with the system will be able to detect threats including a cyclist suddenly swerving out into a car's path. It said that if a collision risk was detected an alarm would sound and the car's brakes would be fully deployed."

The new system, which is based on their previous detection system will be available in seven out of 11 models of the company's current line-up. As "The code which acts as the brains for the equipment has been rewritten to add the new feature, and its added complexity has meant a more powerful processor is now needed." the system will only be available in new cars meaning older models with the old system cannot be upgraded.

"Motorists wanting the feature face an added bill of at least £1,850 to buy it as a part of a package of added features."

Cyclist and pedestrian detection. Under-bonet air-bags for pedestrians. Stability control. Driverless cars. Augmented reality Dashboard. Adaptive headlights. Weather sensors. Parking Cameras.... With all of this modern tech getting regularly tested and added to new models, it seems we made it to the future! Oh and now Top Gear have done this

Submission + - US Attorney General Defends Handling of Aaron Swartz Case (

TrueSatan writes: Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday said the suicide death of internet activist Aaron Swartz was a “tragedy,” but the hacking case against the 26-year-old was “a good use of prosecutorial discretion.” The attorney general was testifying at a Justice Department oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee and was facing terse questioning from Sen. John Cornyn (D-Texas).
Holder stated: “I think that’s a good use of prosecutorial discretion to look at the conduct, regardless of what the statutory maximums were and to fashion a sentence that was consistent with what the nature of the conduct was. And I think what those prosecutors did in offering 3, 4, zero to 6 was consistent with that conduct.”
Notwithstanding Holder’s testimony, Massachusetts federal prosecutors twice indicted Swartz for the alleged hacking, once in 2011 on four felonies and again last year on 13 felonies. The case included hacking charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that was passed in 1984 to enhance the government’s ability to prosecute hackers who accessed computers to steal information or to disrupt or destroy computer functionality.


Submission + - Yes, China Does Dirty Business—Just Like We Taught It To (

Curseyoukhan writes: ""China is evil, lawless, corrupt and a threat to the world/capitalism." That’s the unstated assumption in much of what is currently written and said in the United States about the world’s most populous nation – especially its cyber espionage efforts.

What other reason could there be for China's ongoing efforts (many of them successful) to steal the plans, patents, designs and what-have-you from foreign companies? Well, one reason is that China is practicing capitalism just as America taught it to."

Submission + - DOJ admits Aaron's prosecution was political ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The DOJ has told Congressional investigators that Aaron’s prosecution was motivated by his political views on copyright.
I was going to start that last paragraph with “In a stunning turn of events,” but I realized that would be inaccurate — because it’s really not that surprising. Many people speculated throughout the whole ordeal that this was a political prosecution, motivated by anything/everything from Aaron’s effective campaigning against SOPA to his run-ins with the FBI over the PACER database. But Aaron actually didn’t believe it was — he thought it was overreach by some local prosecutors who didn’t really understand the internet and just saw him as a high-profile scalp they could claim, facilitated by a criminal justice system and computer crime laws specifically designed to give prosecutors, however incompetent or malicious, all the wrong incentives and all the power they could ever want.


Submission + - Totoro rules: 90 percent of Japanese have seen a Studio Ghibli movie (

Curseyoukhan writes: "According to the Shunkan News: Out of the 130,000-some people polled, 9.6 percent had never seen a Studio Ghibli film.

Also: Japan's nine favorite Miyazaki movies ranked by popularity. Totoro is, of course, #1 but Castle in the Sky ahead of Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke? I don't think so.

Discuss. Debate. Rinse. Repeat."


Submission + - Alanta, GA: Where Mobility Meets the Real World (

An anonymous reader writes: Did you know that one of the world’s hottest boomtowns for mobile technology is Atlanta?

Consider the facts:
- All told, Atlanta has 24,000 jobs in mobile app development, creating an economic impact at just over $1 billion.
- Georgia ranks fifth in “App Intensity” according to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) which measures the ratio of app developer jobs against overall tech jobs in an area.
- In the last year alone, nine mobile startups were launched here, creating nearly 1,000 jobs for metro Atlanta
- One of the hottest mobile startups – AirWatch – calls Atlanta home along with top mobile service provider AT&T, mobile marketing leaders CocaCola and the Home Depot, as well as some of the world’s largest mobile content providers like CNN, the Weather Channel and many others.
- Colleges like Georgia Tech, Emory University, and the University of Georgia turn out technology talent every year to go to work at Atlanta’s mobile technology companies.
- The city is poised to lead in mobile payments. 70 percent of all credit card transactions in the U.S. go through Atlanta

With smartphones projected to be in the hands of 1.279 billion people by 2016, companies in Atlanta are making bold moves to put their mark on the mobile future. Check out the attached infographic to see what we mean.

Representatives from CocaCola, AT&T and AirWatch spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday about Atlanta’s wireless industry ecosystem and how it is on the forefront of driving mobile innovation.


Submission + - Cloud-washing exposed: 70% of "prviate clouds" aren't actually clouds (

Brandon Butler writes: "The line between virtualization and a private cloud can be a fuzzy one, and according to a new report by Forrester Research, up to 70% of what IT administrators claim are private clouds are not. "It's a huge problem," says Forrester cloud expert James Staten. "It's cloud-washing."

If an enterprise data center has a highly virtualized environment, a web portal for business users to request and access virtual machines and a method for tracking how many of those resources are being used... that's not quite a private cloud. If there is enough capacity to supply employees with almost any amount of compute resources they need, and scale that capacity up and down dynamically, but it requires IT workers to provision the systems, then sorry that's not a private cloud either.

Why's it such a big deal? Staten says if you call a highly virtualized environment a cloud, but it doesn't have one or more of the key characteristics of a private cloud, then the IT department is setting an unrealistic expectation for users. If users are disappointed when they find out the environment doesn't have self-provisioning, or an elastic resources pool, they can get discouraged. The next time they need a VM on the fly, where will they turn? The pseudo-private cloud IT has set up, or Amazon Web Services, which IT could have no control over."


Submission + - Why You Shouldn't Believe the Cyber-War Hype (

Curseyoukhan writes: "he United States is not at cyber war. There, I said it. Someone had to.

Don’t feel bad if this is news to you. It is also news to all the Congress-critters and nearly every journalist who has used the term. "But wait," you say. "What about all the reports and government screaming? Do they mean nothing?"

Pretty much, yes.

It is important to remember that no one really knows what cyber war is. One thing is for certain, though: Cyber war is not what the Chinese currently appear to be up to. That’s called spying.

If stealing secrets is an act of war then America is currently at war with all of its allies. Espionage is what governments do so they don’t have to go to war...directly. What appears to be upsetting people is that the Chinese are using espionage to make money in a way that the United States didn’t think of first."


Submission + - Global Warming Will Make the World Too Hot to Get Any Work Done (

pigrabbitbear writes: "It’s a good thing that robots are stealing our jobs, because in about thirty-five years, nobody in their right mind is going to want to do them.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just published a report in Nature Climate Change that details how a warming climate impacts the way we work, and the results are pretty clear—we do less of it. NOAA discovered that over the last 60 years, the hotter, wetter climate has decreased human labor capacity by 10%. And it projects that by 2050, that number will double."

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