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Submission + - Senate bills ends visa lottery, gives U.S. grads preference (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: A new bill in Congress would give foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools priority in getting an H-1B visa. The legislation also "explicitly prohibits" the replacement of American workers by visa holders. This bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, was announced Thursday by its co-sponsors, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), longtime allies on H-1B reform. Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which gives this bill an immediate big leg up in the legislative process. This legislation would end the annual random distribution, via a lottery, of H-1B visas, and replace it with a system to give priority to certain types of students. Foreign nationals in the best position to get one of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually will have earned an advanced degree from a U.S. school, have a well-paying job offer, and have preferred skills. The specific skills weren't identified, but will likely be STEM-related.

Submission + - Atomic clocks on 9 of 72 European GPS satellites have failed (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: The atomic clocks on 9 of the 72 European Galileo GPS satellites, designed to compete with the American, Russian, and Chinese GPS satellites, have failed.

No satellite has been declared “out” as a result of the glitch. “However, we are not blind If this failure has some systematic reason we have to be careful” not to place more flawed clocks in space, [ESA director general Jan Woerner] said.

Each Galileo satellite has four ultra-accurate atomic timekeepers — two that use rubidium and two hydrogen maser. Three rubidium and six hydrogen maser clocks are not working, with one satellite sporting two failed timekeepers. Each orbiter needs just one working clock for the satnav to work — the rest are spares.

The question now, Woerner said, is “should we postpone the next launch until we find the root cause?”

That they are even considering further launches with so many failures of the same units seems absurd. They have a systemic problem, and should fix it before risking further launches.

Submission + - Microsoft rolls out Clear Linux for Azure instances (networkworld.com)

JG0LD writes: Microsoft announced today that it has added support for the Intel-backed Clear Linux distribution in instances for its Azure public cloud platform. It’s the latest in a lengthy string of Linux distributions to become available on the company’s Azure cloud.

Submission + - Meet Kubo, the robot that teaches kids to code (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "Kubo comes with its own programming language called TagTile. The language consists of puzzle pieces that fit together to give Kubo instructions. For example, you could connect three pieces together – forward, turn, then another forward. Kubo then drives over these pieces oncer to “learn” the command, then can remember and perform it without needing the pieces.

Kubo reads the puzzle pieces using an RFID technology – each piece has an individual embedded RFID tag, and Kubo itself has a reader built in." — TechCrunch

Submission + - How the Human Brain Decides What Is Important and What's Not (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: A new study in Neuroscience News sheds light on how we learn to pay attention in order to make the most of our life experiences.

"The Wizard of Oz told Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in an effort to distract her, but a new Princeton University study sheds light on how people learn and make decisions in real-world situations.

The findings could eventually contribute to improved teaching and learning and the treatment of mental and addiction disorders in which people’s perspectives are dysfunctional or fractured."

Submission + - Quimitchin: The First Mac Malware of 2017 Arrives

wiredmikey writes: Security researchers have a uncovered a Mac OS based espionage malware they have named "Quimitchin". The malware is what they consider to be "the first Mac malware of 2017" which appears to be a classic espionage tool. While it has some old code and appears to have existed undetected for some time, it works.

It was discovered when an IT admin noticed unusual traffic coming from a particular Mac, and has been seen infecting Macs at biomedical facilities.

Submission + - Understand Passive and Active Network Technology (fs.com)

fiberopticalcom writes: Some basic information about passive copper network, active copper network, passive optical network and active optical network has been described in this article. And each kind of network has their own features. Before choosing a certain one, please make clear all the related information and then install it.

Submission + - Google-Funded ALA Project Envisions Nation's Librarians Teaching Kids to Code

theodp writes: Citing the need to fill "500,000 current job openings in the field of computer science," the American Library Association (ALA) argues in a new whitepaper (pdf) that "all 115,000 of the nation’s school and public libraries are crucial community partners to guarantee youth have skills essential to future employment and civic participation." As such, the ALA's Google-funded Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) project has entered Phase II, which aims to "equip MLIS [Master's in Library Science] students to deliver coding programs through public and school libraries and foster computational thinking skills among the nation’s youth." The RtC Phase II timeline (pdf) calls for a review of “lessons learned for national strategy” in Q4 of this year. "Particular attention will be paid to addressing challenges and opportunities for underrepresented groups in CS and related fields (e.g., Hispanic, Native American, African American, and girls)," explained the ALA. “Libraries play a vital role in our communities, and Google is proud to build on our partnership with ALA," added Hai Hong, who leads US outreach on Google's K-12 Education team. “We're excited to double down on the findings of Ready to Code 1 by equipping librarians with the knowledge and skills to cultivate computational thinking and coding skills in our youth. Given the ubiquity of technology and the half-a-million unfilled tech jobs in the country, we need to ensure that all youth understand the world around them and have the opportunity to develop the essential skills that employers — and our nation's economy — require.”

Submission + - Cloud based Medical Marijuana Patient/Inventory/Sales system MJFreeway hacked

t0qer writes: Hello /. Been a few years since a submission.

I'm the IT director at a MMJ dispensary. The point of sales system we were using last week was hacked. Here is The Boston Globes Coverage on it.

This system was built on Drupal in 2010. I'm guessing the more they modified the drupal core, the more bugfixed versions behind they fell behind (not to mention the rest of the LAMP stack). They've lost all customer data, meaning there was no airgapped, off the net backups. What scares me about this breach is, I have about 30,000 patients in my database alone. If this company has 1000 more customers like me, even half of that is still 15 million people on a list of people that "Smoke pot" potentially floating out there on the net. I guess because we're "Medicinal" it's no better than someone knowing a person takes Xanax for their nerves.

I feel like this company is playing on the ignorance of the general public when it comes to these types of IT security issues. I don't think people get how serious this is.What should I do? Do we still have lawyers on this site? (oldcountrylawyer?)

Submission + - CVS Announces Super Cheap Generic Alternative To EpiPen (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Pharmaceutical giant CVS announced Thursday that it has partnered with Impax Laboratories to sell a generic epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 for a two-pack—a dramatic cut from Mylan’s Epipen two-pack prices, which list for more than $600 as a brand name and $300 as a generic. The lower-cost auto-injector, a generic form of Adrenaclick, is available starting today nationwide in the company’s more than 9,600 pharmacies. Its price resembles that of EpiPen’s before Mylan bought the rights to the life-saving devices back in 2007 and raised the price repeatedly, sparking outcry. Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, said the company felt compelled to respond to the urgent need for a more affordable alternative. “Over the past year, nearly 150,000 people signed on to a petition asking for a lower-cost epinephrine auto-injector option and millions more were active in social media searching for a solution,” she said in a statement. The price of $109.99 for the alternative applies to those with and without insurance, CVS noted. And Impax is also offering a coupon to reduce the cost to just $9.99 for qualifying patients. Also in the press statement, Dr. Todd Listwa of Novant Health, a network of healthcare providers, noted the importance of access to epinephrine auto-injectors, which swiftly reverse rapid-onset, deadly allergic reactions in some. “For these patients, having access to emergency epinephrine is a necessity. Making an affordable epinephrine auto-injector device accessible to patients will ensure patients have the medicine they need, when they need it."

Submission + - Schneier: Obama Changes Rules, Allows NSA To Share Raw Data With 16 Agencies (schneier.com)

An anonymous reader writes: President Obama has changed the rules regarding raw intelligence, allowing the NSA to share raw data with the U.S.'s other 16 intelligence agencies. The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches. The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people. Here are the new procedures. This rule change has been in the works for a while. Here are two blog posts from April discussing the then-proposed changes.

Submission + - Days before Trump takes office, Obama expands surveillance powers (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Activists asked President Obama to limit the government's surveillance powers before Trump takes office.

Instead, the outgoing president expanded them.

The outgoing government will now allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to share raw globally intercepted personal data with the government's other intelligence agencies.

It's said that the rule changes will make it easier for the government to spot and prevent potential terrorist attacks before they happen, at the expense of the privacy of millions of Americans, whose data may be collected in the surveillance dragnet.

Submission + - U.S. government allegedly falls for 4chan troll's "fanfiction" about Trump

Lirodon writes: Yesterday, it was reported by CNN that, as an appendix to an intelligence briefing about Russian hacking during the presidential election campaign, Donald Trump was provided with unsubstantiated reports that his personal data may have also been compromised by Russia. The same day, BuzzFeed published an unverified copy of the full report, which contained a claim that Trump had "[hired a] number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ show in front of him" at a hotel under Russian surveillance.

However, a 4chan user has argued that this claim was entirely fake, stating that users of its political section /pol/ had "mailed fanfiction to anti-Trump pundit Rick Wilson about Trump making people piss on a bed Obama slept in". Furthermore, on November 1, 2016, another user stated without context that someone had "took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it" — which may have been said fanfiction.

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