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Submission + - NASA Mission Asteroid for Metals Worth Ten Thousand Quadrillion Dollars

randomErr writes: NASA wants to uncover the mystery behind the asteroid “16 Psyche.” that may contain a priceless treasure trove of minerals. “We’ve been to all the different planets, we’ve been to other asteroids. But we’ve never visited a body that has been made of entirely metal,” said Carol Polanskey, project scientist for the Psyche mission. Now NASA, led by researchers at Arizona State University, plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to orbit 16 Psyche – an asteroid roughly the size of Massachusetts, made of iron and other precious metals. The mission’s leader estimates that the iron alone on today’s market would be worth $10,000 quadrillion.

Submission + - Carbon nanotube-based memory poised for commercialization in 2018 (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Nano-RAM, which is based on carbon nanotubes and is claimed to have virtually a limitless number of write cycles and can achieve up to 3.2 billion data transfers per second or 2.4Gbps — more than twice as fast as NAND flash — is now being produced in seven fabrication plants around the world. Fujitsu plans to develop a custom embedded storage-class memory module using a DDR4 interface by the end of 2018, with the goal of expanding its product line-up into a stand-alone NRAM product family. A new report from BCC Research states the NRAM will likely challenge all other memory types for market dominance and is expected to be used in everything from IoT sensors to smartphone memory and embedded ASICS for automobiles.

Submission + - The Most Important Law in Tech Has a Problem (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: The internet as we know it was created on the back of a law known as "Safe Harbor," or Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That one statute is what gives online platforms legal immunity from most of the content posted by their users—but in recent years, it's become a defense for everything ranging from rampant abuse on Twitter to harmful one-star reviews on Yelp and housing scarcity spurred by Airbnb. At Backchannel, Chris Zara dives deep into the problems with Safe Harbor, and how it's starting to unravel in the courts—a process that could radically change the way we think about our lives online.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Dealing with gaslighting colleague 3

An anonymous reader writes: What's the best unofficial way to deal with a gaslighting colleague? For those not familiar, I mean the definition from this link:

Gaslighting occurs at the workplace in the form of bullies unscheduling things you’ve scheduled, misplacing files and other items that you are working on and co-workers micro-managing you and being particularly critical of what you do and keeping it under their surveillance. They are watching you too much, implying or blatantly saying that you are doing things wrong when, in fact, you are not. As you can see, this is a competitive maneuver, a way of making you look bad so that they look good;

In addition to above, I'd add Poring over every source-code commit, and then criticising it even if the criticism is contradictory to what he previously said.

Raising things through the official channels is out of the question, as is confronting the colleague in question directly as he is considered something of a superstar engineer who has been in the company for decades and has much more influence than any ordinary engineer.

So, what do slashdotters recommend (other than leaving or escalating via the official channels)?

Submission + - WikiLeaks: 2017 will 'blow you away' and, no, Russia didn't hack the US election (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The hatred WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange feels towards Hillary Clinton is far from being a secret. During the election campaign, the non-profit organization leaked Clinton emails in the hope that it would destroy her presidential hopes — and we all know the result of the election.

As we slide gently into 2017, the WikiLeaks Twitter account has turned on the ignition and is about to hit the accelerator. The tweet says: "If you thought 2016 was a big WikiLeaks year 2017 will blow you away". On top of this, Assange himself is due to appear in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, denying Russia's involvement in hacking DNC emails.

WikiLeak's tweet comes as part of a plea for donations, but it promises that this will be the year of a 'showdown'.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Are Some Great Games Panned And Some Inferior Games Praised? (soldnersecretwars.de) 2

dryriver writes: A few years ago I bought a multiplayer war game called Soldner that I had never heard of before. (The game is entirely community maintained now and free to download and play at www.soldnersecretwars.de) The professional reviews completely and utterly destroyed Soldner — buggy, bad gameplay, no singleplayer mode, disappointing graphics, server problems and so on. For me and many other players who did give it a chance beyond the first 30 minutes, Soldner turned out to be THE most fun, addictive, varied, sattisfying and multi-featured multiplayer war game ever. It had innovative features that AAA titles like Battlefield and COD did not have at all at the time — fully destructible terrain, walls and buildings, cool physics on everything from jeeps flying off mountaintops to Apache helicopters crashing into Hercules transport aircraft, to dozens of trees being blown down by explosions and then blocking an incoming tank's way. Soldner took a patch or three to become fully stable, but then was just fun, fun, fun to play. So much freedom, so much cool stuff you can do in-game, so many options and gadgets you can play with. By contrast, the far, far simpler — but better looking — Battlefield, COD, Medal Of Honor, CounterStrike war games got all the critical praise, made the tens of millions in profit per release, became longstanding franchises and are, to this day, not half the fun to play that Soldner is. How does this happen? How does a title like Soldner that tried to do more new stuff than the other war games combined get trashed by every reviewer, and then far less innovative and fun to play war games like BF, COD, CS sell tens of millions of copies per release and get rave reviews all around?

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Submission + - Michigan court rules against civil forfeiture

schwit1 writes: The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that civil forfeiture denies citizens their due process rights under the Constitution. As the court wrote:

“Because of her indigency and inability to pay the required bond, [Kinnon] was excluded ‘from the only forum effectively empowered to settle [her] dispute.’ Ultimately, Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture scheme operated to deprive [Kinnon] of a significant property interest without according her the opportunity for a hearing, contrary to the requirements of the Due Process Clause.”

This shouldn’t be rocket science, as the language and intent of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is quite plain.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The problem today is that this has become rocket science. Too many people either don’t know this plain language, or work dishonestly to distort it to empower government to oppress us.

Submission + - FBI says foreign hackers penetrated state election systems (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.

The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.

Submission + - The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun (theguardian.com) 1

mspohr writes: An article published by Bill McKibben in The Guardian points the finger at Exxon for spreading climate change denial which led to lack of action to prevent widespread coral die-off.
"We know the biggest culprits now, because great detective work by investigative journalists has uncovered key facts in the past year. The world’s biggest oil company, Exxon, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its scientists understood how much and how fast it was going to warm, and how much damage that was going to do. And the company knew the scientists were right: that’s why they started “climate-proofing” their own installations, for instance building their drilling rigs to accommodate the sea level rise they knew was coming.

What they didn’t do was tell the rest of us. Instead, they – and many other players in the fossil fuel industry – bankrolled the rise of the climate denial industry, helping fund the “thinktanks” and front groups that spent the last generation propagating the phoney idea that there was a deep debate about the reality of global warming. As a result, we’ve wasted a quarter century in a phoney argument about whether the climate was changing."

Submission + - Attorney held liable for using "generic" E-Mail?

bbsguru writes: An attorney in New York is being sued for using an AOL email account. The plaintiffs accuse their Real Estate attorney of "negligently using a "notoriously vulnerable" AOL email account that was hacked by cybercriminals who then stole nearly $2 million".
Aside from this possible risk, what does it tell you when your [attorney | broker | accountant | financial advisor] has a generic email account?

Submission + - Smartphone surveillance tech used to target anti-abortion ads at pregnant women

VoiceOfDoom writes: From Rewire

Last year, an enterprising advertising executive based in Boston, Massachusetts, had an idea: Instead of using his sophisticated mobile surveillance techniques to figure out which consumers might be interested in buying shoes, cars, or any of the other products typically advertised online, what if he used the same technology to figure out which women were potentially contemplating abortion, and send them ads on behalf of anti-choice organizations?

Regardless of one's personal stance on the pro-choice/anti-abortion debate, the unfettered use of tracking and ad-targeting technology which makes this kind of application possible is surely a cause for concern. In Europe, Canada and many other parts of the world, the use of a person's data in this way would be illegal thanks to strict privacy laws. Is it time for the US to consider a similar approach to protect its citizens?

Submission + - Security Expert Jailed for Reporting Vulnerabilities in Lee County, FL Elections (theregister.co.uk)

rootmon writes: Information Security Professional David Levin was arrested 3 months after reporting un-patched SQL injection vulnerabilities in the Lee County, Florida Elections Office run by Sharon Harrington, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections. Harrington's office has been in the news before for voting systems problems (for example in during the 2012 election, 35 districts in Lee County had to remain open 3 hours past the closing of polls due to long lines and equipment issues , wasting $800,000 to $1.6 million of taxpayer money incompatible iPads for which her office is facing an audit. Rather than fix the issues with their systems, they chose to charge the whistle blower with three third-degree felonies. The News Press also has several related interviews.

Submission + - Lightning strike affecting multiple locations - how can this be so? 1

trazom28 writes: Hi — I'm throwing this out to the slashdot crowd to see if I can pick some brains. Here's the scoop: I manage a network for a school district in Wisconsin. We have six buildings across the city, several miles apart. Locations have between 2-4 networking closets all with Cisco 2960 series 48LPS or LPD, as well as each closet having a Meraki MS220-48 switch (start of our conversion over). All WiFi APs in each building are on the Meraki switches — this will be important later.

Last week a lightning storm rolled through and a strike was confirmed near the high school — the building actually shook and the power blinked. Since then, we have random connectivity issues in all buildings. Some can log in, some cannot — and it changes as the day goes on. There will be link lights at both ends, but an IP address request does not pass through, therefore it gets an AutoIP and it's done for a while. Randomly it will start working again and others will stop working. WiFi is fine. First thought — the core switch got hit. We replaced that (we were planning to in summer anyway so it was already here). Nope — same issue. Next thought — maybe the metal messenger line for the fiber connections somehow brought it in. Nope — it happens within a building also (in this case the high school) so the outside fiber isn't involved. We also can't find any burned/smoking/scorched parts.

Next — the UPS logs- they show a power spike at the High School (core location) and... all the way across town (2 miles away) at an elementary school at almost the exact same time. The rest of the UPS units I'm having issues with — the web interface no longer wants to stay up enough for me to get to the logs.. I telnet in to reset it and I"m good for a couple clicks and then it's done.

All the Meraki switches are fine — WiFi hasn't gone down at all. The scope of this with distance is mind boggling however. Has anyone *ever* seen anything like this in their networking experience? It's looking like the closets in all locations somehow took a hit through the electrical, even through a UPS, and the Cisco switches all got affected — but the Meraki ones are OK. I've only seen this similar thing once before — years ago. Building took a hit and the only two remaining PCs of a certain brand — both in a surge protector — both would no longer boot.

Thank you for any experience/insight.

Submission + - SPAM: Pill Identifier

drugid writes: The Pill ID API provides direct access to the PillID.com pill identification service, which stores the master copy of an extensive, and up-to-date databases providing a definitive identification (ID) from the imprint’s alpha characters, numeric digits and logos. This database is one of the most extensive and up-to-date databases found anywhere.

Utilizing our patented look up routines, we provide a definitive identification (ID) that include logos when others cannot. A definitive ID makes it unnecessary for the user to search through long lists of possible matches, as is often the case when using other resources on the Web.

Link to Original Source

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