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Comment Re:Do we always need more space ? (Score 2, Interesting) 315

Or, more to the point, do we need to store all of our biggest files (media, usually) on a SSD? I, for one, have no problems playing music, looking at photos, and watching movies on my normal hard drive. I have a SSD and a traditional HDD in my computer. I use my (much larger) HDD for storing my media, and my SSD for storing high-traffic things like my OS and games. I get the speed I need for my applications, and the size I need for my media.

Science Historian Deciphers Plato's Code 402

Reader eldavojohn tips the news of a researcher in the UK, Jay Kennedy, who has uncovered a hidden code in the writings of Plato. From the University of Manchester press release: "[Dr. Kennedy said] 'I have shown rigorously that the books do contain codes and symbols and that unraveling them reveals the hidden philosophy of Plato. This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation.' ... The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the Scientific Revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea — the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. ... Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure — it was for his own safety. Plato's ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He said that mathematical laws and not the gods controlled the universe. Plato's own teacher [Socrates] had been executed for heresy. Secrecy was normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death." Here is the paper (PDF), which was published in the journal Apeiron: A Journal of Ancient Philosophy and Science.

Security For Open Source Web Projects? 105

PoissonPilote writes "I'm currently developing a multi-player, browser-based game, using the good old HTML, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL combination. Progress is good so far, and the number of players is slowly but steadily increasing. At the beginning of the project, I decided to put the entirety of my game under the MIT license, so that anyone could study the code or even start their own server for the game. However, with the increasing popularity of my project, I am starting to worry about security issues. Even though I consider myself decent at web development and am pretty sure I'm not making any classic mistakes (SQL injection, cross-site scripting, URL forgery, etc.), I am no web security expert. I didn't find any relevant examples to compare my game to, as most open source games are written in a compiled language, and no web server is at stake in those cases. Some web developer friends told me not to release the source code at all; others told me to release it only when the game will be shut down. Naturally, I'm not satisfied by either of these solutions. What approach would you recommend?"

Senate Panel Approves Cybersecurity Bill 269

GovTechGuy writes "A Senate Committee approved a bill that would give the president an emergency 'kill switch' over the Internet, but added some restrictions to the bill. The president may no longer simply assert that the threat remains indefinitely, he must now seek Congressional approval after 120 days. Still, privacy advocates are concerned about the government's ability to shut down private networks. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) 'said she was disappointed to read reports that the bill gives the White House a "kill switch" for the Internet, an authority she says the president already has under a little-known clause in the Communications Act passed one month after the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. ... Collins [argued] the new bill actually circumscribes the president's existing authority and puts controls on its use.'"

Canadian Arrested Over Plans to Test G20 Security 392

epiphani writes "Byron Sonne, of Toronto, was arrested today by a task force of around 50 police officers associated with the G20 summit taking place this week. An independent contractor, IT security specialist and private investigator, he had notable ties to the Toronto technology and security communities. According to friends and associates, he had been purchasing goods online and speaking with security groups about building devices to collect unencrypted police broadcasts and relay them through Twitter, as well as other activities designed to test the security of the G20 summit. By all accounts, it would appear that Mr. Sonne had no actual malicious intent. In Canada, the summit has been garnering significant press for the cost and invasive nature of the security measures taken." "By all accounts" may not be quite right; the charges against Sonne, exaggerated or not, involve weapons, explosives, and intimidation.

New Air Conditioner Process Cuts Energy Use 50-90% 445

necro81 writes "The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced that it has developed a new method for air conditioning that reduces energy use by 50-90%. The DEVap system (Desiccant-Enhanced eVaporative air conditioner) cools air using evaporative cooling, which is not new, but combines the process with a liquid dessicant for pulling the water vapor out of the cooled air stream. The liquid dessicant, a very strong aqueous solution of lithium chloride or sodium chloride, is separated from the air stream by a permeable hydrophobic membrane. Heat is later used to evaporate water vapor back out — heat that can come from a variety of sources such as solar or natural gas. The dessicants are, compared to typical refrigerants like HCFCs, relatively benign on the environment."

California Wants To Put E-Ads On License Plates 624

techmuse writes "The San Jose Mercury News reports that the California state legislature wants to put electronic advertising on license plates. The plate would display standard plate information when the car is moving, but would also display ads when the car is stopped for more than 4 seconds (say, at a red light). Not distracting or annoying at all! 'The bill has received no formal opposition. It passed unanimously through the Senate last month and is scheduled to be heard Monday by the Assembly Transportation Committee.'"

Made-For-Torrents Sci-Fi Drama "Pioneer One" Debuts 321

QuantumG writes "The first episode of the new science fiction drama Pioneer One has debuted and it looks like a hit. The pilot was shot for just $6,000, raised through the micro-funding platform Kickstarter, and the production is being supported through donations on the show's website. Donations can be made on a sliding scale with 'bonus' rewards for each level, such as an MP3 of the opening theme and deleted scenes. The show is being distributed through file-sharing systems such as BitTorrent and LimeWire thanks to VODO, the group that also helped produce it. Is this the future of television?"

US Climate Satellite Capabilities In Jeopardy 127

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Wired: "The United States is in danger of losing its ability to monitor key climate variables from satellites, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The country's Earth-observing satellite program has been underfunded for a decade, and the impact of the lack of funds is finally hitting home. The GAO report found that capabilities originally slated for two new Earth-monitoring programs, NPOESS and GOES-R, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense, have been cut, and adequate plans to replace them do not exist. Meanwhile, up until six months ago, NASA had 15 functional Earth-sensing satellites. Two of them went down in the past year, and of the remaining 13, 12 are past their design lifetimes. Only seven may be functional by 2016, said Waleed Abdalati, a longtime NASA satellite scientist now teaching at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Taken together, American scientists will soon find themselves without the ability to monitor changes to key Earth systems at a time when such measurements could help determine the paths of the world's energy and transportation systems."

Submission + - Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook May Drop Firefox For Chromium ( 3

An anonymous reader writes: Looks like the Ubuntu guys — the decision makers — are in a real good mood to give a face-lift to the Ubuntu brand. Just yesterday we told you about the possibilities of Ubuntu replacing the EXT4 file system with a new BTRFS File System and now we have words that the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Maverick Meerkat may have Chromium as the default browser. This naturally means that the existing default browser Mozilla Firefox may be dropped from the Ubuntu NE 10.10.

Submission + - Cameron bans mobiles from cabinet meetings

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's new Prime Minister, David Cameron, has banned the use of mobile phones and BlackBerries from cabinet meetings. According to the BBC, use of mobile phones and other devices during meetings and debates in parliament used to be banned, but now politicians are allowed to have them, but they must be in silent mode. In 2008, then Commons Speaker Michael Martin rejected a plea from MP Greg Mulholland to fine colleagues if their mobile phones rang in the chamber. He made the call after a fellow MP's phone rang twice while then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham was answering questions in the Commons, but Mr Martin said he was "powerless" to implement the idea, even if the fines went to charity.

Submission + - Registrars Hoarding Expired Domain Names (

technicalnotebook writes: After recently trying to snap up a domain name I have been wanting for some time, I have discovered some interesting clashes in policies between registrars and ICANN.

ICANN states '“ In the absence of extenuating circumstances (as defined in Section above), a domain name must be deleted within 45 days of either the registrar or the registrant terminating a registration agreement.”" however in many cases this is not being done by registrars. I am certainly no lawyer but am a loss of who I can talk to to get clarification on the policies and seek to get the domain I want released by the registrar.

The key issue I have is that with the particular registrar in the case I am dealing with they state that they reserve the right to " to: (i) delete the domain name, (ii) renew the domain name on behalf of a third party, (iii) sell or auction the domain name; or (iv) otherwise make such domain name available to third parties" and only after the 12 months they provide as part of their "Domain Name Expiration period" has expired, which in itself would lead me to believe that they are in breech of the requirement to delete the domain anyway as they might just sell it off themselves.

Have any other Slashdotters stumbled across this and how have you moved forward to try to resolve it? Or am I trying to take on a system that is just too large for one little guy to take on? I would certainly welcome any advice on the topic.

If you are curious as to the full nature of what I am facing I have put the full details up on

Submission + - German Court rules against Pirate Bay ISP.

baptista writes: The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) won a victory in a German Court against the Pirate Bay. The court issued an order against the dutch owner of CB3ROB to stop service to the Pirate Bay, The article in the register assumed wrongly that CB3ROB is a German ISP. It's not. It's dutch. Sven Olaf Kamphuis, aka Count Olaf of Cyberbunker, is the outspoken owner of CB3ROB. (The Register)

I used to work at the Cyberbunker with Sven so here's some history on it.

The Cyberbunker hosting facility referred to in the story is a former cold war military installation in the Netherlands. It is now owned by a Herman Johan Xennt (formerly Herman Johan Verwoert-Derksen aka Xennt). Xennt is a convicted felon in the Netherlands. He was arrested years ago on drug traffic charges for manufacturing ecstasy in the bunker and tax evasion. Sven Olaf Kamphuis was also arrested on the same drug charges. Kamphuis is known to the Dutch police for hacking several government computer systems.

Shortly after Xennt purchased the bunker he declared the property independent of the Netherlands, named it the Republic of Cyberbunker and installed himself as a constitutional monarchy. Kamphuis aka Count Olaf is a minister in King Xennt's Government. More information on the Republic of Cyberbunker is available at

Incidentally the Cyberbunker is full of bunnies. This is a video I made of the Cyberbunker and the bunnies in 2005

That was the one nice thing Xennt had to his character. He cared for stray animals like bunnies. Beyond that he is a reprehensible con artist who has destroyed families and stolen their life savings. I've met a few of these victims.

There is a related story I wrote on how a school in German was scammed by the Cyberbunker crew

I support the Pirate Bay but I am concerned it's hosted by criminals these days. I know what they can do. I trained the ring leader.


A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook 363

qwerty8ytrewq writes "Ryan Singel, writing for Wired, claims that Facebook has gone rogue: 'Facebook used to be a place to share photos and thoughts with friends and family and maybe play a few stupid games that let you pretend you were a mafia don or a homesteader. It became a very useful way to connect with your friends, long-lost friends and family members. ... And Facebook realized it owned the network. Then Facebook decided to turn "your" profile page into your identity online — figuring, rightly, that there’s money and power in being the place where people define themselves. But to do that, the folks at Facebook had to make sure that the information you give it was public.' Singel goes on to call for an open, distributed alternative. 'Facebook’s basic functions can be turned into protocols, and a whole set of interoperating software and services can flourish. Think of being able to buy your own domain name and use simple software such as Posterous to build a profile page in the style of your liking.' Can Slashdotters predict where social networking is going? And how?" Relatedly, jamie points out a graphical representation of how Facebook's privacy settings have changed over the last five years.

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I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.