Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


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! ×

Comment Re:Something I do once a month... (Score 2) 557

Sounds like you could benefit from running GNU Screen on a server somewhere (assuming all those sessions are SSH or other cli friendly interfaces to the various places you do stuff).

Multiplexing is a great way to keep those sessions open and allow you the same access from other nodes pn the network. Besides, desktops really benefit from regular reboots - helps clear out the memory leaks and all.


Real Reason Why the White iPhone 4 Is Delayed 182

tekgoblin writes "There have been numerous reasons why the White iPhone 4 may be delayed with one reason being the color mismatch between the home button and the body. Well this time there is another reason. A source has told CultofMac that the reason for the delay is a light leakage issue caused by the case being clear. Light from the case leaks into pictures taken by the back and front camera on the white iPhone 4, causing distorted pictures. This problem is non-existent on the black iPhone 4, because of its already black case, so Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem, thus the delay of the White iPhone 4 till spring of next year."

Cell Phone Interception At Def Con 95

ChrisPaget writes "I'm planning a pretty significant demonstration of GSM insecurity at Defcon next week, where I'll intercept and record cellular calls made by my attendees, live on-stage, no user-input required. As you can imagine, intercepting cellphones is a Very Big Deal in the eyes of the law; this blog post is an attempt to reassure everyone that their privacy is being taken seriously despite the nature of the demo. I'm not just making it up either — the EFF have helped significantly with the details."

Comment "decreases significantly"? (Score 2, Interesting) 202

I guess it's a matter of perspective...

Insomnia Sec's SyScan presentation on defeating DEP [PPT warning]

Google cache HTML-ified alternative to the PPT

It may well be that DEP's useful days are numbered. It's likely just a matter of time before these techniques are better researched, more widely understood and commonplace.

As always, the best defense is in depth, responsible disclosure, and patching, patching, patching.

Comment FIOS not all that? (Score 1) 199

This is interesting, considering the ad-hoc testing I did recently. I'm a Comcast customer in northern De, and DSL reports' speed test consistently gives me about 8Mbps down bs 1-2Mbps up.

My parents, I. Southeast PA, have FIOS. For giggles, I did the same DSL reports test, and got about the same results.

Do any other slashdotters have similar experiences?


What US Health Care Needs 584

Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."

Comment Slashdotted already? (Score 5, Informative) 773

After just 15 minutes of the story being posted?

Wow, that's gotta be a personal best for /. (or, the site is a wee bit underpowered... ;)

Here's the Google cache in the meanwhile:

First Person Shooters (Games)

Halo 2 Online Preservation Effort Ends 201

A couple weeks ago, we discussed news that some dedicated Halo 2 fans were keeping the game's multiplayer alive after support for online play was dropped. Now, a few days shy of a month after support ended, the last users have been knocked off the server. "[A user named] Apache N4SIR outlasted everyone. 'May 11th @ 0158hrs I was FORCEFULLY REMOVED!!' he wrote on the forums at 'I thought I'd be the one turning off the lights but that was done for me. Good night everyone, my Elite needs a rest.' His last comrade in arms, Agent Windex, was still signed on, as spotted by Kotaku at 4 p.m. US Pacific Time on May 10, but their adventure, which began on April 15, ended after Windex announced 21 minutes later that he had been removed from play and Apache N4SIR suffered a similar fate hours later, as he described in his post."

Comment Re:What can be done? Nothing. (Score 1) 511

Very valid points, and I agree with you completely.

As a matter of fact, I follow the same practices myself, including the rewards program...all those credit card purchases add up quickly! ;-)

And yes, as you said - always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS pay off your credit card completely every month!

Those interest rates will quickly eat you alive and put a person in dept for years .

Comment Re:What can be done? Nothing. (Score 2, Insightful) 511's more efficient for the central transaction processor (bank) to try and verify the legitimacy of transactions, rather than each individual? Let's break that down.

Let's just take an imaginary small consumer bank, with 10,000 customers in a local community. If we assume that, on average, their customers all have debit cards and use them to the tune of 20 times a week, that brings us right away to 200,000 transactions that the bank has to review and analyze per week. In the course of a month, it's 6,000,000.

So, how can the bank determine fraudulent transactions? Well, they can try and baseline everyone's average buying habits (stores, categories of purchasing), but that could cause false positives as people very often do unusual things. They can try and flag transactions based upon the use of the card in unusual places, but with so much interstate and even international commerce thanks to the Internet, that's not such a sure sign either, now.

Let's not forget that with a small bank, they don't have big and fancy computers with trained analysts to throw at the problem. I would think such small institutions have a staff on the order of a couple of hundred people, at best?

Of course, the big banks certainly have the money to throw at the problem to buy proper computers, software, and hire enough analysts, but the complexity is now far, far worse, as they service millions of customers all over the country (and possibly/probably international). Now we're talking probably in excess of billions of transactions for the same time period, and I think it's safe to say the complexity rockets up at an exponential rate, as you're now dealing with the rich, the poor, and everyone in between, all with their own buying patterns, habits, life changes, etc.

So, it's easier for the banks to be responsible for analyzing EVERYBODY'S transactions, which are complete black boxes to them?

Or, is it easier for us to log into our online account once or twice a week, scan our virtual checkbooks of 20(ish) transactions and say, "Yup, I remember buying all that stuff"...?

Whatever happened to taking a little personal responsibility?

For my part, I've been using Quicken for almost 5 years now to track every single account I have in my name, from mortgage to checking to retirement funds and all the rest. I'd venture to say nothing happens in my accounts without me noticing it in a few days. (It's a nice feeling to have such total understanding of your complete financial situation at any given moment. ;-) Sure, it takes some discipline, but after a while, it becomes habit.

About that comment you linked? Interesting, and he makes a good point about identity theft - but that's not what we're talking about here.

The case of the original poster was simple theft. Yes, the debit card number was lost, but it wasn't his SSN or some other critical piece of Personally Identifiable Information that allowed the thief to then take out a loan in the guy's name and walk off with the money, never to be heard from again and ruining that victim's credit rating in the process while leaving him personally liable for a debt he probably could never cover.

I'm not sure I see what liability for identity theft has to do with the efficiencies of who should be ultimately responsible for monitoring an individual's banking transactions for fraud.

Comment Re:What can be done? Nothing. (Score 4, Insightful) 511

In this day and age, with online banking so prevalent, checking your account every few days is only prudent. It's not unreasonable for the consumer to have some burden of identifying the loss, since each of us are the best and most efficient judge as to whether or not the transactions on our accounts are in fact ones we performed. Millions of dollars in software development and analyst training have been spent on helping banks to detect fraud, but those systems aren't fail proof.

In the end, there's no substitute for each of us keeping an eye on our own accounts' transactions.

If we don't take responsibility for our own financial affairs, should we really expect the banks to carry the whole burden on our behalf? No matter how good it is, any security measure can (and likely will, sooner or later) be defeated. (and let's not forget good old fashioned social engineering...)

In the end, the best protection against a breach is constant vigilance. (Or, said another way, prevention only goes so far, detection is still requried ;-)

Comment Re:What can be done? Nothing. (Score 5, Informative) 511

Credit cards are limited by U.S. law to a maximum of $50 liability to the cardholder. Debit cards losses are usually covered by the bank, but they are under no legal obligation to do so.

(Emphasis mine).

Actually, I don't think the part about the lack of debit card consumer protections is factually accurate. Here's the blurb from The FTC's Facts for Consumers:

ATM or Debit Card Loss or Fraudulent Transfers (EFTA). Your liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card depends on how quickly you report the loss. If you report an ATM or debit card missing before it's used without your permission, the EFTA says the card issuer cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized transfers. If unauthorized use occurs before you report it, your liability under federal law depends on how quickly you report the loss.

For example, if you report the loss within two business days after you realize your card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use. However, if you don't report the loss within two business days after you discover the loss, you could lose up to $500 because of an unauthorized transfer. You also risk unlimited loss if you fail to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you. That means you could lose all the money in your bank account and the unused portion of your line of credit established for overdrafts. However, for unauthorized transfers involving only your debit card number (not the loss of the card), you are liable only for transfers that occur after 60 days following the mailing of your bank statement containing the unauthorized use and before you report the loss.

If unauthorized transfers show up on your bank statement, report them to the card issuer as quickly as possible. Once you've reported the loss of your ATM or debit card, you cannot be held liable for additional unauthorized transfers that occur after that time.


Submission + - Google CEO says newspapers can make money online (

RenQuanta writes: An interesting article in the Washington Post from yesterday covered Eric Schmidt's speech to a group of news paper editors.

Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told a group of editors Sunday that he is confident that newspapers will find new ways to make money online by harnessing the vast reach of the Internet. Media executives have accused Google of draining readers and advertising from newspapers' Web sites. But in a speech to open the annual conference of the American Society of News Editors, Schmidt said Google recognizes that newspapers are vital to democracy and provide a critical source of online content. "We have a business model problem. We don't have a news problem," Schmidt said. He added: "We're all in this together." Reaction to Schmidt's speech was mixed.

Slashdot Top Deals

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith