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Submission + - US Social Security Web Access Requires Two-Factor Authentication 1

DERoss writes: Effective 1 August, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) requires users who want to access their SSA accounts to use two-factor authentication. This involves receiving a "security" code via a cell phone text message.

This creates two problems. First of all, many seniors who depend on the Social Security benefits to pay their living costs do not have cell phones. In order to manage their SSA accounts, they will now have to buy a cell phone and pay monthly subscription fees; but the SSA will not be increasing benefits to pay those costs. Many seniors who do have cell phones use them only as phones and are not knowledgeable about texting.

More important, cell phone texting is NOT secure. Text messages can be hacked, intercepted, and spoofed. Seniors' accounts might easily be less secure now than they were before 1 August. For example, seniors might find the direct deposits of their benefits being redirected to hackers' bank accounts.

This is not because of any law passed by Congress. This is a regulatory decision made by top administrators at SSA.

Submission + - Regional Concentrations of Scientists and Engineers in the United States 1

DERoss writes: The National Science Foundation has publish a research paper with the subject title, which may be found at The lead paragraph contains the sentence "The three most populous states—California, Texas, and New York—together accounted for more than one-fourth of all S&E employment in the United States."

According to the 2010 census, however, those three states also contain more than one-fourth (26.5%) percent of the U.S. population. In other words, there is NO concentration beyond how the general population is concentrated.

Submission + - Question: How do I obtain enforcement of my copyr (

DERoss writes: I have a personal Web site with many, many pages. One of the pages — one of my very first from before 1999 — describes the community in which I live. As with most of my Web pages, this one carries a copyright notice.

Often, my community page is plagiarized by real estate agents and brokers without my permission. Can I get the U.S. government to enforce my copyright. Or is enforcement limited to the MPAA , RIAA, and their allies.

Submission + - PGP Vulnerability -- No Fix for Freeware Version (

DERoss writes: PGP Desktop — used to encrypt or digitally sign E-mail and files — contains a serious vulnerability in current versions 10.0.3 and 10.1. This vulnerability allows a signed message or file (or sometimes a signed and encrypted message or file) to be altered without invalidating the signature. This makes it impossible to use a digital signature to verify the integrity of a message or file. While many individual, non-commercial users of PGP Desktop use the freeware trial version, Symantec will not provide a fix except for the purchased version. For non-technical details, see [].

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