Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Submission + - Professors claim passive cooling breakthrough via plastic film (economist.com)

charlesj68 writes: An article in the Economist discusses the development of a plastic film by two professors at the University of Colorado in Boulder that provides a passive cooling effect. The film contains embedded glass beads that absorb and emit infrared in a wavelength that is not blocked by the atmosphere. Combining this with half-silvering to keep the sun from being the source of infrared absorption on the part of the beads, and you have way of pumping heat at a claimed rate of 93 watts per square meter.
Actual paper in Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/...
Original research by others in Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/j...

Submission + - World's Largest Spam Botnet Adds DDoS Feature (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Necurs, the world's largest spam botnet with nearly five million infected bots, of which one million active each day, has added a new module that can be used for launching DDoS attacks. The sheer size of the Necurs botnet, even in its worst days, dwarfs all of today's IoT botnets, who barely managed to reach 400,000 (albeit the owner of that botnet has now been arrested).

If this new feature would ever to be used, a Necurs DDoS atack would easily break every DDoS record there is. Fortunately, no such attack has been seen until now. Until now, the Necurs botnet has been seen spreading the Dridex banking trojan and the Locky ransomware. According to industry experts, there's a low chance to see the Necurs botnet engage in DDoS attacks because the criminal group behind the botnet is already making too much money to risk exposing their full infrastructure in DDoS attacks.

Submission + - Judge Rules Against Forced Fingerprinting

An anonymous reader writes: A federal judge in Chicago has ruled against a government request which would require forced fingerprinting of private citizens in order to open a secure, personal phone or tablet. In the ruling, the judge stated that while fingerprints in and of themselves are not protected, the government’s method of obtaining the fingerprints would violate the Fourth and Fifth amendments. The government’s request was given as part of a search warrant related to a child pornography ring. The court ruled that the government could seize devices, but that it could not compel people physically present at the time of seizure to provide their fingerprints ‘onto the Touch ID sensor of any Apple iPhone, iPad, or other Apple brand device in order to gain access to the contents of any such device.’

Submission + - Controversial LTE-U wireless tech OK'd by FCC (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that it had approved two cellular base stations – one each from Ericsson and Nokia – to use LTE-U, marking the first official government thumbs-up for the controversial technology. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement https://www.fcc.gov/document/c... that the unlicensed spectrum – historically, the territory of Wi-Fi – can now be used to help ease the load on carrier mobile networks.

Submission + - Consumers Can Now Legally Trash Businesses Online with No Fear of Retribution (cepro.com) 1

CIStud writes: Service businesses can no longer include a non-disparagement clause in their contract with consumers. A new law that calls for the removal of a non-disparagement clause from form contracts was enacted and signed into law in the waning days of the the Obama Administration. It will take effect on March 14, 2017.The "Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016," H.R. 5111, makes certain clauses of a form contract void if it prohibits, or restricts, an individual from engaging in a review of a seller's goods, services, or conduct.

The new legislation puts an end to fine print clauses in contracts that prohibit customers from posting negative reviews, and furthermore takes away the right of businesses to sue for damages if the customer disobeys. Specifically, the Act voids any provision in a form contract (like a website’s terms of use) that (1) restricts a party’s ability to leave reviews, (2) imposes penalties for leaving negative reviews, or (3) transfers intellectual property rights in reviews or feedback content to the other party in the contract.
Employers can still include non-disparagement clauses in contracts with their employees.

Submission + - College Senior Upgrades His Honda Civic to Drive Itself Using Free Software (technologyreview.com)

holy_calamity writes: University of Nebraska student Brevan Jorgenson swapped the rear view mirror in his 2016 Honda Civic for a home-built device called a Neo, which can steer the vehicle and follow traffic on the highway. Jorgenson used hardware designs and open source software released by Comma, a self-driving car startup that decided to give away its technology for free last year after receiving a letter from regulator the NHTSA. Jorgenson is just one person in a new hacker community trying to upgrade their cars using Comma's technology.

Submission + - GoDaddy CEO: Americans Won't Be Smart Enough to Fill Tech Jobs for Decades

theodp writes: A day after his company joined the likes of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook in the Technology Companies amicus motion and brief against Trump's Executive Order on immigration, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving advises Americans in FORTUNE that If You’re Against Outsourcing, You Should Support U.S. Visas For Skilled Foreigners. "With so much technical illiteracy in the US," Irving writes, "the H-1B visa program has become America’s secret weapon warding off economic catastrophe. Though STEM education is the clear long-term solution, the US is not going to see a vastly greater pipeline of domestic technical talent coming from our universities anytime soon. It will take us years, if not decades, to educate a new wave of students from elementary thru their advanced degrees. Until that next generation enters the elite technical workforce in mass, the most technical jobs (all 545,000 of them) will simply sit open if H-1B visas shrink or disappear." If Irving's piece gives you a sense of deja vu, Microsoft President Brad Smith similarly argued in 2012 that "an effective national talent strategy therefore needs to combine long-term improvements in STEM education in the United States with targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms." To bring this about, Smith suggested producing a crisis (video) would be key: "Sometimes when a small problem proves intractable, you have to make it bigger," Smith explained. "You have to make the problem big enough so that the solution is exciting enough to galvanize people’s attention and generate the will to overcome the hurdles that have been holding us back. I believe that if we can combine what we’re doing with respect to education with what we need to do with respect to immigration we have that opportunity ahead of us." So, is Big Tech now trying to make lemonade out of Trump's immigration lemons?

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 + - AI can predict when patients will die from heart failure 'with 80% accuracy' (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Scientists say they have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) programme that is capable of predicting when patients with a serious heart disorder will die with an 80% accuracy rate.

Researchers from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) believe the software will allow doctors to better treat patients with pulmonary hypertension by determining how aggressive their treatment needs to be.

Submission + - FTC Dismantles Two Huge Robocall Organizations

Trailrunner7 writes: Continuing its campaign against phone fraud operations, the FTC has dismantled two major robocall organizations that the commission alleges were making hundreds of millions of calls over the course of several years to consumers who were on the Do Not Call registry.

The FTC filed complaints against two separate groups of defendants, the leaders of which have both been involved in previous legal actions for robocalling operations. The defendants each controlled several different corporate entities that were involved in selling home security systems, extended auto warranties, and other products through repeated automated phone calls. Many of the calls were to numbers on the DNC list, a violation of the telemarketing regulations.

The two main defendants in the complaints are Justin Ramsey and Aaron Michael Jones, and in separate actions, they and many of their co-defendants have agreed to court-ordered bans on robocall activities and financial settlements. The FTC alleges that Ramsey directed an operation that made millions of robocalls a month.

Submission + - Healthcare Data Security: Challenges, Policies and Solutions

mikehusky writes: Healthcare data security used to be as simple as locking a file cabinet full of patient records. These days, the process of protecting the privacy of health information is much more complex.

The rise of electronic health record (EHR) systems has sparked a need for regulatory guidelines on digitally stored health information due to overwhelming increases in cybercrime. New data breaches are discovered on a regular basis, posing tremendous risk to the finances of healthcare providers and patients alike. .Source

Submission + - Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC? 1

MarkBrown151 writes: Russia, we are told, breached the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), swiped emails and other documents, and released them to the public, to alter the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

How substantial is the evidence backing these assertions?

Hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate unusual network activity, the security firm Crowdstrike discovered two separate intrusions on DNC servers. Crowdstrike named the two intruders Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, in an allusion to what it felt were Russian sources. According to Crowdstrike, “Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none,” and “both groups were constantly going back into the environment” to change code and methods and switch command and control channels..Source

Submission + - Another Final Obama Admin Last Act: Proposing How to Rethink College w/ Tech (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: Yesterday the Obama Administration's Ed Dept issued a big National Education Technology Plan focused on reimagining higher education. It's a bit of a kitchen sink of examples and suggestions, but it does argue that colleges need to step up their game: “Unless we become more nimble in our approach and more scalable in our solutions, we will miss out on an opportunity to embrace and serve the majority of students who will need higher education and postsecondary learning,” says the report. Later it underscores that “higher education has never mattered so much to those who seek it. It drives social mobility, energizes our economy, and underpins our democracy.”

Colleges are good at letting the ivy grown on walls, after all.

The timing is a bit odd. Will Trump's education team possibly continue this policy direction?
Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary for Education, admitted that much activity will move to the states or other entities in the near future, but he still sees a federal role. “These federal issues are also going to be state issues,” he said. “At the core, we believe changes will happen most profoundly at the institution level.”

Submission + - DHS tags election systems as critical

mikehusky writes: To the consternation of some state government officials, the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 6 moved to make state election systems part of the critical infrastructure sectors under its protection.

The move comes in the wake of allegations of Russian hacking into political targets during the recent election period, and specific complaints of attempts to penetrate state election and voter data systems..Source

Slashdot Top Deals

After a number of decimal places, nobody gives a damn.

Working...