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Comment Add noise to the signal (Score 0) 138

If it's possible to distinguish when someone is home from when they are not home based on their electricity usage, a countermeasure would be to install a device inside the home that draws electricity according to a pattern that is indistinguishable from the "at home" usage pattern. Then when you'll be away from home for an extended period, turn on this device. With the noise generated by this device, it will always appear that someone is at home based on real-time electricity meter readings. The device would not need to use much electricity to make the difference between "at home" and "not at home" indistinguishable. If the device serves the purpose of charging a large battery in your basement, you could recover most of the device's small electrical draw.

Submission + - Alcohol, Not Marijuana, A Gateway Drug ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: While it may not settle the debate over how drug use begins, researchers found that alcohol, not marijuana, is the gateway drug that leads teens down the path of hard drug use, according to a new study that will be published in the August edition of the Journal of School Health

Submission + - POLL: My longest string of consecutive days reading Slashdot was broken by...

An anonymous reader writes: My longest string of consecutive days reading Slashdot was broken by...
. vacation
. natural disaster
. non-disaster-related power outage
. dealing with a virus/trojan/etc.
. just forgot about it that day
. moving
. military service
. other

Submission + - Physicist Bets $200,000 Against Scalable Quantum Computing

quax writes: Fringe theoretical physicist Joy Christian challenges quantum computing luminary Scott Aaronson. He bets double the amount that Scott promised anyone who proves Quantum Computing to be a mirage. Joy has some unconventional ideas and claims his work disproves the famous Bell inequality. Scott blogs about it an hilarity ensues.

If they stand by their bets, one of them will most likely lose a lot of money in the not to distant future.

Submission + - Astronomers see the glow of a boiling planet

The Bad Astronomer writes: "For the first time, astronomers have detected the light from a "super-Earth" exoplanet. The planet 55 Cancri e (with twice the radius and 8 times the mass of Earth) circles its host star every 18 hours, and is so hot it glows in the infrared. By observing in that wavelength, the astronomers measured the dip in light as the planet's glow was blocked by the star itself. This is the reverse of the usual method of detecting a planet as it blocks the light of its host star."

Submission + - TSA's mm-Wave Body Scanner Breaks Diabetic Teen's $10K Insulin Pump (

OverTheGeicoE writes: Savannah Barry, a Colorado teenager, was returning home from a conference in Salt Lake City. She is a diabetic and wears an insulin pump to control her insulin levels 24/7. She carries documentation of her condition to assist screeners, who usually give her a pat-down search. This time the screeners listened to her story, read her doctor's letter, and forced her to go through a millimeter-wave body scanner anyway. The insulin pump stopped working immediately, and of course, she was subjected to a full invasive manual search. 'My life is pretty much in their hands when I go through a body scan with my insulin pump on,' she says. She wants TSA screeners to have more training. Was this a predictable outcome, considering that no one outside TSA has access to millimeter-wave scanners for testing? How powerful must the body scanner's emitter be to destroy electronic devices? Would oversight from the FDA or FCC prevent similar incidents from happening in the future?

Submission + - Tongue Drive System allows control of wheelchairs using tongues (

cylonlover writes: For those unfortunate enough to suffer from severe spinal cord injuries, the tongue is often the only extremity still under their control. To take advantage of this fact, engineers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) have developed what they call the Tongue Drive System (TDS), a wireless, wearable device that allows the user to operate computers and control electric wheelchairs with movements of the tongue. The latest iteration, which resembles a sensor-studded dental retainer, is controlled by a tongue-mounted magnet and promises its users a welcome new level of autonomy with both communication and transportation.

Submission + - Recording Industry stealing from YouTube creators (

dingram17 writes: "Bruce Simpson from has found that the automatic pattern matching used by YouTube to identify copyright violations has flagged his videos. As he says "if the dull monotone voice you'll find on my RCModelReviews channel now qualifies as "music" (as they've claimed it does) then there can be little hope for that industry". Homeshot videos without any music at all are being flagged. The sinister aspect to this is that the 'claimant' then gets the advertising revenue from the video, not the creator that spent all the effort making the video. In Bruce's case, this ad revenue puts food on the table."

Submission + - Simulators Take the Humans Out of Hiring 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Ken Gaebler writes about a new way of hiring called "employment simulations," that are gaining popularity among high-tech firms that are seeking data from prospective employees that you can't get from sit-down interviews. In a typical employment simulation, candidates participate in online "video games" that leverage simulation software to determine how well candidates perform in actual job situations. "There are no questions about your former work experience and office habits. There's simply a computer game. If you win, you get the job. If you lose, game over." As one example, Call centers are very amenable to simulations because the work environment (a series of computer programs and databases) is relatively easy to replicate and the tasks that make up job performance are easy to measure (data entry speed and accuracy, customer service, multitasking, etc). Other employment simulation programs have been written for healthcare, insurance, retail sales, financial services, hospitality and travel, manufacturing and automotive, and telecom and utilities. "Robust employment simulations can deliver two to three times more information than traditional hiring processes, and hiring accuracy levels that can be as much as four times greater than other testing approaches," says Joseph T. Sefcik, Jr., President of Employment Technologies Corporation. But skeptics says employment simulators and other computer-based hiring models have some drawbacks. "Like any technology, the effectiveness of employment simulations is limited to the quality of the software and its accessibility to users," says Gaebler."

Submission + - Stand-up meetings getting more popular as teams go agile (

__roo writes: "The Wall Street Journal reports that an increasing number of companies are replacing traditional meetings with daily stand-ups. The points out that stand-up meetings date back to at least World War I, and that late employees "sometimes must sing a song like 'I'm a Little Teapot,' do a lap around the office building or pay a small fine." Do Slashdot readers feel that stand-up meetings are useful? Do they make a difference? Are they a gimmick?"

Submission + - Canada's Internet among best, report says (

silentbrad writes: Canadians enjoy among the fastest, most widely available and least expensive broadband Internet in the developed world, says a report released Thursday. The report, based on the results of 52 million speed tests of broadband users across the G7 countries and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) membership, was produced by Montreal-based consulting firm Lemay Yates Associates Inc. on behalf of Rogers Communications Inc., the country's largest broadband service provider. It disputes the OECD's own report, published in July, that ranked Canada's high-speed Internet offerings significantly below those of other countries ... The report comes days after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) revealed a sharp jump in the number of complaints it has received regarding Internet traffic-management practices or "throttling" in recent months.

Comment Re:Security by Obfuscation (Score 1) 116

The implication is that exploits will be released based on the source code. When software source code is first released, there are many potential errors to be exploited. If the software were available for various eyes to see from the beginning, most of the exploitable bugs would have been patched long ago. Now, the user base is much larger than for newly released code. Therefore, the potential impact of a hypothetical resulting exploit is greater than if the software's source code had been publicly available from the start.

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