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 + - Facebook Apologizes to Birth Photographer

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Chicago Tribune reports that Facebook has apologized to Laura Eckert, a photographer who specializes in pictures of pregnant women and the first moments of a baby's life, for disabling her account for posting pictures the company initially deemed inappropriate, including shots of a friend and her newborn moments after birth that partially showed her friend's breasts, but not her nipples. Eckert says when she tried to log onto her Facebook account to find out which photos were targeted, the account was disabled so she sent more than 30 e-mails to Facebook to inquire and didn't get a response until the day after KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids reported on her plight. "It's funny it happened after the media got involved. I sent many polite e-mails asking for information over the course of the last few weeks and got no response. None," says Eckhert. For their part Facebook spokesman Simon Axten explained the Facebook reviews thousands of pieces of content every day to ensure Facebook remains a safe and trusted environment for everyone. "Of course, we make an occasional mistake. This is an example," says Axten. "When this happens, and it's brought to our attention, we work quickly to resolve the issue." Eckert says she is relieved to be able to log on to Facebook again, but that she's still unclear which birth photos the company allows. ""I need a little bit of clarity on what is a violation and what's not. I'm going to shoot another birth in a week or two and I'm going to want to share those photos.""

Submission + - Operation Payback's Command and Control System

Predius writes: "Fun with Anonymous — Infiltrate the hive

Anonymous has been in the news again lately for loosely coordinated DDoS attacks on high visibility targets in the name of defending Wikileaks. Their weapon of choice is a modified LOIC ( install, a 'network stress tool' written to include IRC driven command and control. Volunteer LOIC installs become part of the 'Hive Mind' which Anonymous directs to attack chosen targets.

The command and control of LOIC is actually VERY simplistic. Figuring it out takes very little effort thanks to the modified LOIC install including nearly the full source of all code used to make the prepackaged binaries.

By default LOIC expects the user to direct it. Upon providing an IRC server, port and channel it switches to Hive Mind mode and connects to IRC automatically and joins the specified channel to await instructions. Instructions must be posted by a channel owner or operator, or in the topic of the channel. As security, all LOICs use predefined username patterns as well as specific user and real name info.

Nick: LOIC_XXXXXX (Replace the X's with upper or lower case letters, must be 6 total to match the channel invite mask.)
Username: IRCLOIC
Realname: Newfag's remote LOIC
Server: or port 6667
Channel: #loic
CTCP Version Reply: SmartIrc4net


As an OP, Admin or Owner set a channel topic or type message with (as an example
!lazor targetip= message=test_test port=80 method=tcp wait=false random

To start attack type
!lazor start

Or just append "start" in the END of the topic
!lazor targetip= message=test_test port=80 method=tcp wait=false random
=true start

To reset options back to default:
!lazor default

To stop attack:
!lazor stop

And remove "start" from topic (if exists)
You can also replace "start" by "stop" in the END of the topic.

There are bots in the channel that periodically do version checks on all bots in the channel, so make sure you get the version string right. Also there are real users who monitor for odd activity, so I suggest just idling with your LOIC simulation and setting up a second connection to poke around with using normal looking credentials. So far they have been fairly quick to g-line suspected fake LOICs that botch any of the credentials and post repeated warnings to attack any found 'with anger'.

#OperationPayback is where the live chaos is, mostly a shouting match of various self proclaimed 'hacktivists' with a few trying to direct the horde with various degrees of sucess. This channel is also handy to monitor as changes to the attack plan will be announced along with start times.

As various external sources disable Anonymous assets, either irc servers directly via DoS attacks or by disabling the domains used new replacements are announced here as well. The Hive appears to be very slow in recovering from these hits given that the simplistic control structure doesn't include a means to auto-update the hive settings, relying on constant user monitoring and intervention instead. There is active discussion in #newloic on an upgraded or replacement tool in progress."
The Internet

Submission + - 30,000-node botnet attacks MasterCard, PayPal (

alphadogg writes: PayPal's website was hit late Wednesday by two botnets as online activists continued their Web attacks on companies that have severed their relationships with WikiLeaks.

The activists have recruited volunteers, who have banded their computers into a distributed denial of service botnet, but they are also using hacked machines to carry out these attacks, said Sean-Paul Correll of threat researcher Panda Security. "Today we observed over 3,000 computers in the voluntary botnet, but we also have knowledge of a 30k node botnet," he said.

This botnet infects computers via peer to peer filesharing systems, but it can spread via Microsoft Messenger and USB sticks as well, he said. Panda is trying to get a sample of the botnet code to analyze.

PayPal was hit late Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time, and the address was unresponsive into early Thursday morning. "There have been attempted DDoS attacks on this week," said company spokesman Anuj Nayar. "The attacks slowed the website itself down for a short while, but did not significantly impact payments."

MasterCard's SecureCode service — used to add a security code for use in online transactions, similar to a PIN (personal identification number), also suffered a disruption Wednesday. Representatives of the Anonymous group's Operation Payback said that they were responsible for this disruption.


Submission + - Oracle v. Google: All-Out War or Awkward Flirting?

msmoriarty writes: It's about 24 hours after the news of Oracle suing Google broke, so the Web is now filled with follow-up coverage: Google responded by calling the lawsuit "baseless" and vowing to fight; James Gosling, who left Oracle earlier this year, hinted on his blog that he saw this coming; and it seems that everyone (except Simon Phipps) is commenting on everything from what might happen with the lawsuit to what this might mean for the future of Java as a whole, as well as how it could help Microsoft. So is the lawsuit an all-out attack on open source software? Or is Oracle, as a Forbes blogger put it, just an awkward teenager who doesn't quite know how to flirt with Google?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Why am I here?

How many years of my life have I wasted on slashdot. I could have done something more satisfying, like drinking or cultivating a heroin habit.

I seem to have not only friends but fans on this site. Why? I'm finding things getting weirder, but I guess that makes life more interesting.

Submission + - Reflections on Leonardo da Vinci's Resume (

OutputLogic writes: If you know nothing about Leonardo da Vinci, what impression would you get by reading his Resume ? It's a great example of a "personal marketing that is intended to be read and to persuade". Of course, not everybody is capable of building bridges, or knows how to "destroy every rock or other fortress". Still, it's something to reflect on.

Submission + - Electromagnetic radiation is problem in Toyota car (

reporter writes: According to a report just issued by the "New York Times" on its blog, "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun what it calls a 'fresh look' at electromagnetic interference in modern auto throttle systems as a possible cause of the unintended acceleration problem that promoted the recall of millions of Toyotas." In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted tests on a Lexus ES 350 to determine whether electromagnetic (EM) interference can cause unintended acceleration. NHTSA engineers claim that they bombarded the electronic throttle control (ETC) with EM radiation but that it caused the engine to rev up only slightly.

This interesting result has one huge caveat: the engineers never documented their test procedure. The lack of documentation came to light when Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, used the Freedom of Information Act to demand access to the documentation.

So, the NHTSA will re-test the Toyota vehicles to determine whether its ETC malfunctions under high EM interference. It just might be the culprit and is something that would have been caught if Toyota management had spent more time and money on building physical protoypes of new vehicles instead of just building a virtual model inside a computer-aided-design (CAD) environment. The dangerous interaction between quite different components in the vehicle is something that CAD software does not model.

CAD software tends to be specific to a domain. There are CAD tools for designing the mechanical components like a throttle pedal. There are CAD tools for designing the electronic components like the ETC. However, CAD tools do not model how the EM emanating from the engine will impact the ETC. In order to assess that situation, you need a physical prototype and millions of man-hours of testing.

Submission + - Looking for Chemistry Tasks for the Computer Lab

soupman55 writes: I teach Chemistry to students completing their last two years of high school. Basically it's a "teach and test" course with a few experiments thrown in. I want to jazz up the course using computer and internet resources. For instance, I could set some tasks that require Excel spreadsheet calculations. Or I could set some web quests where students search for information online.

One of the decisions to be made is: Do I use computer/internet tasks to help the students grasp the material that is already in the course, or do I help them become aware of ideas that are extensions to their course?

Also when I compare Chemistry classes with Accounting classes, it strikes me that unlike Accounting where learning to use software like Quick Books is an integral part of the course, that there is no particular software that a chemistry student must learn to use. Or is there?

So the basic question is: What in terms of chemistry and computers worked for you? Or what is there computer-wise that wasn't in your high school chemistry course but should have been?

Submission + - Amount of porn I posess poll

caffiend666 writes: 1) You can prove nothing
2) Only on work computer
3) Less than a meg
4) About 10 meg
5) About a gig
6) Less than 100 gig
7) Less than 1 terabyte
8) Greater than 1 terabyte
9) Googled Porn takes up no space

Submission + - Oracle completes Sun acquisition (

iammani writes: The article begins with "With the final hurdle regarding the MySQL database cleared, Oracle today announced it has completed the deal to acquire Sun Microsystems."

Submission + - New version of the open source LEON processor

An anonymous reader writes: Aeroflex Gaisler (formerly Gaisler Research), known for their GPL licensed VHDL library, recently announced a new version of their open source LEON (SPARCv8) processor. From the press release: "The power and size optimized LEON4 is fully software compatible with previous LEON processors, yet with a performance increase of up to 50% at the same clock frequency. LEON4 implements single-cycle load/store instructions, as well as static branch prediction. The register file and internal load/store data paths have been extended to 64-bits, while the data cache and bus interface can be either 64- or 128-bit wide. An optional Level-2 (L2) cache has also been added to the architecture, further improving performance on data intensive and multi-core applications. The LEON4 processor delivers up to 1.7 DMIPS per MHz or 0.35 SPECINT2000/MHz". However, from the looks of it, their free IP library currently only includes the LEON3 processor.

Submission + - FCC probes Google, T-Mobile for double-whammy fees (

Julie188 writes: On Monday, the FCC asked Google, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon to explain how they tell their customers about early wireless contract termination fees. Notice that Google is the only handset retailer in the bunch. That's because if someone buys a Nexus One phone from Google with a two-year T-Mobile contract, and the user wants out of that contract, the user is expected to pay two "early termination fees." One fee would be charged by Google and a second charged by T-Mobile.

Game Developers Note Net Neutrality Concerns To FCC 74

eldavojohn writes "A list of notes from game developers (PDF) was sent in a letter to the FCC which represented a net neutrality discussion between the developers and FCC representatives. Game Politics sums it up nicely, but the surprise is that developers are concerned with latency, not bandwidth, unlike the members of many other net neutrality discussions. One concern is that each and every game developer will need to negotiate with each and every ISP to ensure their traffic achieves acceptable levels of latency for users. 'Mr. Dyl of Turbine stated that ISPs sometimes block traffic from online gaming providers, for reasons that are not clear, but they do not necessarily continue those blocks if they are contacted. He recalled Turbine having to call ISPs that had detected the high UDP traffic from Turbine, and had apparently decided to block the traffic and wait to see who complained.' It seems a lot of the net neutrality discussions have only worried about one part of the problem — Netflix, YouTube and P2P — while an equally important source of concern went unnoticed: latency in online games."

Slashdot Top Deals

Technology is dominated by those who manage what they do not understand.