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 + - CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority" ( 30

Antipater writes: The furor over Slashdot Beta is loud enough that even outside media has begun to notice. The Washington Post's tech blog The Switch has written a piece on the issue, and the anti-Beta protesters aren't going to be happy about it. The Post questioned Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who believes the protests are the work of only a vocal minority or readers: "It's easy to forget that the vocal population of a community driven site like Slashdot might be the most important group, but they are typically also the smallest class of users." The current caretakers of Slashdot need to balance the needs of all users with their limited engineering resources, Malda argues — noting wryly, "It ain't easy."

Submission + - WebGL: A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation (

Orome1 writes: Researchers have uncovered serious security flaws in the new WebGL technology that creates 3D graphics in a browser with the same speed and detail as hardware-accelerated PC games and applications. Design level security issues give potentially malicious web pages low level access to graphics cards that could provide a ‘back door’ for hackers and compromise data stored on internet-connected machines.

Submission + - Nokia announces start of Qt 5 development (

jrepin writes: "To also, in the future, be a leading edge development framework across multiple industries, Qt needs to continue to renew itself. Given that Qt is moving into open governance mode in the upcoming months, Lars wanted to share his thinking with the Qt community in order to kick off the discussions about what he sees as the technical architecture for Qt 5."

Submission + - Android Overtakes Blackberry (

eldavojohn writes: A staggering shift in the US between October of 2010 and January of 2011 (Android up 7.7%, Blackberry down 5.4%) indicates that Android has surpassed Blackberry in smart-phone platform market share. Other research puts it at 35% of worldwide total smart-phone market share. This presents reinforcing evidence for Android's new dominance in the smart-phone world. Is Android's lead over the business savvy Blackberry temporary or has it become a competitor for that market?

Submission + - Battle Brews Over FBI's Warrantless GPS Tracking (

fysdt writes: "The FBI's use of GPS vehicle tracking devices is becoming a contentious privacy issue in the courts, with the Obama administration seeking Supreme Court approval for its use of the devices without a warrant, and a federal civil rights lawsuit targeting the Justice Department for tracking the movements of an Arab-American student. In the midst of this legal controversy, Threat Level decided to take a look at the inside of one of the devices, with the help of the teardown artists at iFixit."

Submission + - Debian 6.0 Released In Linux, FreeBSD Flavors ( 1

itwbennett writes: After two years of work, the Debian Project has announced the release of Debian 6.0. 'There are many goodies in Debian 6.0 GNU/Linux, not the least of which is the new completely free-as-in-freedom Linux kernel, which no longer contains firmware modules that Debian developers found troublesome,' says blogger Brian Proffitt. And in addition to Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is introduced as a technology preview. 'Debian GNU/kFreeBSD will port both a 32- and 64-bit PC version of the FreeBSD kernel into the Debian userspace, making them the first Debian release without a Linux kernel,' says Proffitt. 'The Debian Project is serious about the technology preview label, though: these FreeBSD-based versions will have limited advanced desktop features.' Installation images may be downloaded right now via bittorrent, jigdo, or HTTP.

Submission + - 76% of big business is getting more Linux servers (

Cussin_IT writes: Networkworld has an article on the uptake of linux servers.
According to the article, 76% of large organisations are planning to add linux servers, while only 41% are adding windows servers (presumably this means 17% are adding both) over the next year. And in the next 5 years the percentage adding windows servers drops to 21%.


Submission + - Microsoft posts anti open office videos (

jlechem writes: Instead of simply listing what it believes to be the advantages of Microsoft Office over the open source productivity suite, Microsoft has compiled comments from 15 customers who switched to Office after evaluating OpenOffice. The result: this video recently posted to the company's officevideos YouTube channel.

Submission + - Oracle declares remote java exploit low priority (

bl8n8r writes: No fix in the near future for java as Oracle decices a remote code execution exploit is a low-priority fix (wonder what a high priority one is..). Malicious websites can pass parameters to various java components to execute code client-side. Security researcher Tavis Ormandy said he alerted Oracle's java division to the threat but "they informed me they do not consider this vulnerability to be of high enough priority to break their quarterly patch cycle". And no, the exploit is not just limited to windows.

Submission + - IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge (

Jay Maynard writes: IBM has broken the pledge it made in 2005 not to assert 500 patents against open source software. In a letter sent to Roger Bowler, president of TurboHercules SA, IBM's Mark Anzani, head of their mainframe business, claimed that the Hercules open-source emulator (disclaimer: I manage the open source project) infringes on at least 106 issued patents and 67 more applied for. Included in that list is two that it pledged not to assert in 2005. In a blog entry, the NoSoftwarePatents campaign's Florian Mueller said that "IBM is using patent warfare in order to protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open Source Software." I have to agree: from where I sit, IBM likes Open Source only as long as they don't have to compete with it.

Submission + - Researchers track cyber-espionage ring to China (

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in the U.S. and Canada have tracked and documented a sophisticated cyber-espionage network based in China, dubbed Shadow, that targeted computers in several countries, including systems belonging to the Indian government and military. The Shadow network of compromised computers was detailed in a report released Tuesday by the Information Warfare Monitor.

Submission + - More News on GhostNet and the Shadow Network (

Mortimer.CA writes: Last year a giant electronic spying operation was discovered; it was dubbed GhostNet. Now, after a further year's worth of research, a new report has been released by Infowar Monitor (a collaboration between U of T's Citizen Lab, the SecDev Group, and the Shadowserver Foundation. The report, called Shadows in the Cloud: An investigation into cyber espionage 2.0 (Scribbed PDF), documents a complex ecosystem of cyber espionage that systematically targeted and compromised computer systems in India, the Offices of the Dalai Lama, the United Nations, and several other countries. While the servers are in China, the report's authors say that there is "no evidence in this report of the involvement of the People's Republic of China or any other government in the shadow network." Furthermore, the "intruders even stole documents related to the travel of NATO forces in Afghanistan, illustrating that even though the Indian government was the primary target of the attacks, one gap in computer security can leave many nations exposed."

Submission + - Years-old privacy hole to be closed in Firefox? (

garg0yle writes: Firefox developers have announced they're close to plugging a security hole which allows websites to find out what other sites you visit — a hole which plagues virtually all browsers, and has been around for years (Microsoft categorized it as a bug in 2002). The fix won't actually completely remove the possibility, but it will make it a lot harder to exploit.

From the article: "It's also worth noting that most of the attacks can be eliminated by blocking a site's ability to run Javascript. That means users of the NoScript add-on for Firefox will in many cases be protected against the attack. ... Any site that has the ability to run code also has the ability to silently pilfer your browsing history."


Submission + - McAfee Inches toward Next-Gen Firewalls (

dasButcher writes: McAfee announced today a partnership with Riverbed to put security software — including a firewall and Web content filtering — on Steelhead WAN optimization appliances designed for remote and branch offices. The move is actually a prelude to McAfee releasing a next-generation firewall software suite that will ride on third-party appliances. As Larry Walsh writes, the move could finally put McAfee in a better competitive position against Check Point and Juniper.
Data Storage

Submission + - New VelociRaptor HDD Returns to take on SSDs (

Vigile writes: While solid state drives, including those from Western Digital itself, continue to be the star of storage technology today, platter-based traditional hard drives still remain the device of choice for most storage. Before there were SSDs, enthusiasts and PC gamers depended on the Western Digital VelociRaptor brand to keep their computers fast and the brand is back with a new 600GB SATA 6Gb/s model released today. Although seek, noise and power ratings remain nearly identical to the previous model there is a nice boost in transfer rates over other standard hard drives. As for price, the new VelociRaptor's cost per GB makes it a better deal than previous iterations though it remains well behind the ratio of any of the tested 2TB hard drives.

Slashdot Top Deals

It is now pitch dark. If you proceed, you will likely fall into a pit.