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Comment VeraCrypt is sponsored by Microsoft? (Score 1, Insightful) 63

VeraCrypt is hosted on a Microsoft web site: VeraCrypt at

That scares me. Consider this Network World article: Windows 10 is possibly the worst spyware ever made. Quote: "Buried in the service agreement is permission to poke through everything on your PC."

Comment Re:I say BS (Score 4, Informative) 124


And I'm telling you that lithium-ion batteries are not a "single tech", that they've dramatically improved in power and energy density (both volumetric and gravimetric) over time. And if you doubt this, I repeat: go find and older lithium-ion battery and compare it to a new one.

As for li-air, yes, the maximum energy density of li-air is about 10x of the maximum of li-ion. Namely because it works by direct oxidation rather than intercalation, so you don't need the mass of the matrix into which the ions get intercalated. It is not a "magical tech". It exists. Like all technologies in all fields, however, you have to reach production specs. This means not only maintaining a combination of safety, reliability, longevity, efficiency, temperature range, power density (charge and discharge) and energy density, but also affordability in mass production. And to be able to guarantee that you can do all of these things to a high enough level for investors to take the risk.

As with all technologies, you start out with promise in one or two fields, but serious problems in many others that you have to deal with. With time you refine them, until all of refined to a state where the product is commercialized. Li-air has actually been advancing quite well. In the early days one of its biggest problems were efficiency and longevity, but they've made huge strides in both in recent years. Lithium sulfur still looks nearer term, but commercialization of Li-air appears to have gone from "possible" to "quite probable".

Comment Re:Halfway There (Score 2) 376

Right. Out of the 330 million people in the US (not counting the broader market, there's "nobody" who wants a gun that can't be accidentally picked up and used by their young children or an intruder. Literally "nobody". Yeah, totally believe you.

They have a niche. You want to prevent them from filling it.

Comment Re:Progress! (Score 4, Interesting) 124

Actually, that is a concern. Li-ion batteries don't have lithium metal in them unless something goes wrong. Lithium-air batteries always have lithium metal in them, by design.

In practice, you'll probably see a bit of the energy density given up in order to beef up the casing to prevent rupture/fire.

Thankfully, lithium-sulfur batteries don't use lithium metal, just lithium polysulfides. The max energy density isn't as high, but it's still quite good. They're already on the market, albeit in small quantities for applications that require the absolute highest rechargeable energy density (mainly aerospace).

Comment Re:I say BS (Score 2) 124

Yes, cue the standard "Batteries haven't advanced!" stuff from people carrying around cell phones with significantly more amp hours in a smaller battery profile than the last generation phones that they owned.

News flash: every time a new tech advance makes it into a product, they don't mail a letter about it to everybody who read an article about it years earlier. Example: hey, remember all of that stuff about breakthroughs in silicon anodes several years back? Yeah, they're in batteries now. Even Tesla is starting to use it in their higher-end packs.

Submission + - Clinton Foundation works with Big Pharma to keep the price of US AIDS drugs high (

Okian Warrior writes: A newly released Podesta E-mail explains how the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) works to keep the price of AIDS medicines high in the US.

CHAI contracted with Big Pharma companies for AIDS drugs to be distributed in developing countries. In return, the group agreed to resist efforts to bring similarly lower cost and generic drugs to the US.

The email is a reaction to "comments President Clinton made on lowering domestic AIDS drugs prices at the World AIDS day event":

We have always told the drug companies that we would not pressure them and create a slippery slope where prices they negotiate with us for poor countries would inevitably lead to similar prices in rich countries.

[...] If we do try to do something in this area, we suggest that we approach the innovator companies that can currently sell products in the US with the idea of making donations to help clear the ADAP lists. For a variety of reasons, the companies will likely favor a donation approach rather than one that erodes prices across the board.

[...] I would guess that they would also likely favor a solution that involved their drugs rather than an approach that allowed generic drugs from India to flood the US market at low prices or one that set a precedent of waiving patent laws on drugs. ... We can go to war with the US drug companies if President Clinton would like to do so, but we would not suggest it.

Comment Re:67% is not that good (Score 1) 135

It's good for the NAO. When you're pushing the boundaries, anything over 50% is good.

For long-term climate models, things like the NAO average out across many years. For short-term weather forecasting, you have a week or more before the system diverges enough to cease to be useful. But it's tougher working on those in-between scales.

Comment Re:No it can't (Score 1) 135

Should be well worth it in terms of things like planning for agricultural products, natural gas supplies, etc.

The real issue however is that they've validated it with hindcasting. Which is certainly something, but isn't as ideal as you'd want. It's trivially easy to fit any arbitrary past dataset to a statistical model if you have enough parameters that can be tweaked, but that doesn't mean that you're actually capturing the underlying dynamics. That said, from the sound of it it's built around a physical model, so that increases the odds that it actually is, rather than just fitting to some arbitrary curve.

Comment Re:Should we be using TrueCrypt 7.1a instead? (Score 4, Informative) 63

I would like this answer too, please, someone...

If you have system encryption enabled (traditional BIOS, no UEFI support) and you have a strong passphrase and you are the only user and you're not worried that anyone can physically tamper with your system boot or rescue disc - in which case they might just as well use a key logger - then there's no critical issues.

There are several nice to haves that make weak passwords stronger by increasing iterations, close various attacks that other users/processes can do and cleaning up better if you only use containers. The ugliest is probably a privilege escalation attack, malicious software can use the TrueCrypt driver to escalate to admin but if malware is running on your machine you probably have big problems anyway.

Probably the most interesting part about VeraCrypt is the potential for UEFI boot but apparently there's no way to secure erase the keyboard buffer, all you can do is reset it (which they didn't do, but do now) and hope the driver actually overwrites it. But if you can dump the entire UEFI memory area it might still be there. Hopefully legacy BIOS mode will be around for a while longer, in this case simpler is safer.

Comment Re:how about 4A (Score 1) 365

They couldn't force you with out the lead pipes and rubber hoses, fortunately those aren't allowed in the US yet. What you do in a situation like this is refuse to comply, force them to arrest you and spend the night in jail so you can call the ACLU and get the warrant tossed. See they get away with it because no one refused to comply. Once everyone in the building complies there is no effective way to sue them and set a precedent that will stop this happening again.

Why not? If you think they have an illegal warrant, you sue them as if they had no warrant. Same way you don't sue GPL violators for copyright infringement and not breach of contract, because you have no proof they agreed to the license. They will bring out the warrant and say it's okay, we had a warrant. Then you can challenge it and appeal any dismissals. I wouldn't do it without the ACLU, EFF or someone like that bankrolling it, but it seems to carry less risk since if your challenge fails you were never "rightfully" arrested and perhaps even charged with obstruction of justice. I strongly doubt "Scary guys with guns and fancy papers said I had to or be arrested so I did" counts as consent, immediate compliance does not mean you lose your right to challenge it after reviewing with legal counsel. Same way I'm not about to argue with a SWAT team breaking down the wrong door, I'd comply perfectly. Then sue the shit out of them.

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