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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Safety Concerns Trigger Nuclear Reactor Rift Between Germany, Belgium (

mdsolar writes: Germany asked Belgium on Wednesday to take offline two nuclear reactors because of safety concerns, setting up a clash between neighbors that are pursuing widely different energy strategies.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said an examination by the independent Reactor Safety Commission showed that there was uncertainty that Tihange 2 and Doel 3, which are close to the German border, had the necessary backup security systems to react to an accident.

“That’s why [we] believe it is right to temporarily take the plants off the grid, at least until the examinations have been concluded,” Ms. Hendricks said. “It would be a strong precautionary signal. It would show that Belgium takes the concerns of its neighbors seriously.”

Submission + - Can Switzerland become a safe haven for the world's data?

An anonymous reader writes: As United States and European Union regulators debate a sweeping new data-privacy agreement, Switzerland is presenting itself as a viable neutral location for storing the world’s data thanks to strict privacy laws and ideal infrastructure. The Swiss constitution guarantees data privacy under Article 13. The country’s laws protecting privacy are similar to those enacted by the E.U. Swiss data protections are also, in some cases, much stricter than those of the E.U., according to Nicola Benz, attorney at Swiss law firm Froriep. And since Switzerland is not part of the E.U., data stored there remains outside the reach of the union’s authorities. “Swiss law contains things that we call blocking statutes,” Benz said, “which mean that foreign authorities can’t conduct their authority’s functions on Swiss soil unless they follow the proper judicial channels.” The country’s tight privacy laws could make the small nation more attractive to privacy-focused start-ups. And it already has that momentum. After the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden 2013 revelations about the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance activities, Switzerland witnessed something of a boom in its data-center business. Phil Zimmermann, creator of the popular PGP encryption protocol and founder of Silent Circle, even left the U.S. for Switzerland last year, citing the overreach of American authorities.

Submission + - Stephen Fry Urges Young To Flee 'Dystopian' Social Networks

An anonymous reader writes: Technology evangelist and Twitter phenomenon Stephen Fry has urged his fans to abandon social networks, comparing them to the 'dystopian' forms of government seen in 1970s sci-fi films such as Logan's Run and Soylent Green. In the 2600+ word essay, the comedian, who had over four million Twitter followers prior to deleting his account in February, also compares the current state of the internet unfavourably to its pioneer days and compares the surveilled conformity of social media to the unreal state of society depicted in The Matrix:

'Who most wants you to stay on the grid? The advertisers. Your boss. Human Resources. The advertisers. Your parents (irony of ironies – once they distrusted it, now they need to tag you electronically, share your Facebook photos and message you to death). The advertisers. The government. Your local authority. Your school. Advertisers.. Well, if you’re young and have an ounce of pride, doesn’t that list say it all?'

Submission + - An Inflatable Flying Camera For the Drone-Averse (

Zothecula writes: With all the furore about drones today, it's easy to forget that blimps once ruled the skies over sporting events. But one company believes that airships still have plenty to offer in this area, so has developed an aerial platform that carries broadcast gear and won't wreak havoc should it come crashing to the ground.

Submission + - FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment (

chicksdaddy writes: The Feds are listening and they really can't take a joke. That's the apparent moral of security researcher Chris Roberts' legal odyssey on Wednesday, which saw him escorted off a plane in Syracuse by two FBI agents and questioned for four hours over a humorous tweet Roberts posted about his ability to hack into the cabin control systems of the Boeing 737 he was flying.( Roberts (aka @sidragon1), joked that he could "start playing with EICAS messages," a reference to the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (

Roberts was traveling to Syracuse to give a presentation. He said local law enforcement and FBI agents boarded the plane on the tarmac and escorted him off. He was questioned for four hours, with officers alleging they had evidence he had tampered with in-flight systems on an earlier leg of his flight from Colorado to Chicago.

In an interview with The Security Ledger (, Roberts said the agents questioned him about his tweet and whether he tampered with the systems on the United flight -something he denies doing.

Roberts had been approached earlier by the Denver office of the FBI which warned him away from further research on airplanes. The FBI was also looking to approach airplane makers Boeing and Airbus and wanted him to rebuild a virtualized environment he built to test airplane vulnerabilities to verify what he was saying.

Roberts refused, and the FBI seized his encrypted laptop and storage devices and has yet to return them, he said. The agents said they wished to do a forensic analysis of his laptop. Roberts said he declined to provide that information and requested a warrant to search his equipment. As of Friday, Roberts said he has not received a warrant.

Submission + - Google Announces "End-To-End" Encryption Extension for Chrome

Nexus Unplugged writes: On their security blog today, Google announced a new Chrome extension called "End-To-End" intended to make browser-based encryption of messages easier for users. The extension, which was rumored to be "underway" a couple months ago, is currently in an "alpha" version and is not yet available pre-packaged or in the Chrome Web Store. It utilizes a Javascript implementation of OpenPGP, meaning that your private keys are never sent to Google. However, if you'd like to use the extension on multiple machines, its keyring is saved in localStorage, which can be encrypted with a passphrase before being synced. The extension still qualifies for Google's Vulnerability Reward Program, and joins a host of PGP-related extensions already available for Chrome.

Submission + - Scientists Building Sperm-Size Robots To Deliver Drugs Inside The Human Body (

jfruh writes: One of the difficulties of treating certain diseases is that it's necessary to deliver tiny amounts of medicine to very specific parts of the human body. Dutch scientists are hoping that the tiny robots they're building, inspired by sperm cells, can help. In addition to delivering drugs, the sperm-bots could clean arteries or (appropriately) assist with in vitro fertilization.

Submission + - Google Launches 64-bit Version Of Chrome For Windows

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced the debut of a 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows, starting with the introduction of 64-bit Dev and Canary channels for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. You can download both now from their respective pages: Dev and Canary. It's worth noting that in both cases the 64-bit version is offered by default if you are running a 64-bit flavor of Windows, though the 32-bit version is still available. This would suggest Google eventually plans to serve up the 64-bit version of Chrome as the default version for 64-bit Windows users.

Submission + - SPAM: Try Out Chrome OS In a Virtual Machine

itwbennett writes: Some very generous Alpha OS geeks have snagged the Chrome OS source code and compiled a version to share with the rest of us, writes blogger Peter Smith. 'The build comes in the form of a virtual machine, when means you'll need VMWare or VirtualBox running, and of course the image of Chrome OS itself. The folks at gdgt are distributing the latter and they've set up a page with all the links you'll need. You'll need to create a gdgt account if you don't have one yet. The Chrome OS image is only a bit over 300 megs so it's a fast download. If you need a little more handholding, TechCrunch has a step-by-step guide to getting Chrome OS installed and running using VirtualBox and a Chrome OS torrent they link to.'
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Virus in Dominion Voting Machines (

An anonymous reader writes: from an article in The Gouverneur Times: "The computerized voting machines used by many voters in the 23rd district had a computer virus — tainting the results, not just from those machines known to have been infected, but casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines." and The Dominion/Sequoia Voting Systems representative "reprogrammed" their machines in time for them to use in the Nov. 3rd Special Election.

Submission + - RIP Thawte Freemail certificates

Alphazo writes: As planned, the free Thawte personal email certificates and web of trust has been discontinued on November 16th.
I have extensively used Thawte certificates for both personal and professional uses since 2001. I even went to the trouble of meeting "strangers" to get my ID certified so my first and last names could appear in my personal certificate. This has now been vanished and I feel bad for all the Thawte notaries who spent time to build a quality web of trust. I was curious to see how this would apply to my previous correspondence so I looked at some of my sent emails and discovered that there were all signed and still valid. Reason for that is that revocation lists are not automatically fetched. Under Thunderbird you have at least to indicate the URL and enable the automatic refresh function. For those interested you can specify the following CRL url in order to get the updated Thawte revocation list that will revoke all your valid certificates in a flash: When doing that all your past emails will be marked as invalid. Thawte offered a free one-year Verisign certificate for the end-of-life. However I don't feel I can trust this/any company anymore so I went to CACert, even if their rootCA is not in browsers and MUA by default. It doesn't look too bad considering that most of my recipients are using Outlook which allows an easy one-click-I-trust-CACert feature. CACert welcomes former Thawte users by converting some of the trust level acquired in Thawte web of trust. Normally you should get enough points to put your last name and first names in the certificate. It then takes two face to face meetings (and a quizz) to become a CACert assurer. In parallel I've also joined a GSWoT,, a PGP web of trust that takes advantage of the CACert trust system in order to build a strong PGP keyset where actual members don't necessarily have to meet each others.
The Courts

Submission + - Wiretap chage for video of traffic stop (

An anonymous reader writes: Brian D. Kelly didn't think he was doing anything illegal when he used his videocamera to record a Carlisle police officer during a traffic stop. Making movies is one of his hobbies, he said, and the stop was just another interesting event to film.

Now he's worried about going to prison or being burdened with a criminal record.

Kelly, 18, of Carlisle, was arrested on a felony wiretapping charge, with a penalty of up to 7 years in state prison.

Slashdot Top Deals

backups: always in season, never out of style.