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Comment AT&T needs to watch out... (Score 0) 204

I suppose they also sued the phone company for aiding and abetting also? Maybe the stores where the terrorists bought their burner phones, the electric company for supplying the power they used to charge their phones, the grocery store for feeding them, and the water company for slaking their thirsts....

Submission + - Hackers take banks to the cleaners for at least $300 Million (nytimes.com)

jjoelc writes: In a highly sophisticated attack, hackers struck over 100 different banks over the course of nearly two years making off with at least $300 million, though Kaspersky Labs estimates the true total could be 3 times that. Getting a total is difficult not only because of the scale of the attack, but because transactions were never more than $10 million, though some banks were hit more than once.
“This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert,”
The hackers spent months monitoring infiltrated systems, learning the routines of the bank involved. When it came time to cash out varying methods were used including account transfers to dummy accounts and causing ATM machines to dispense cash at scheduled times. The largest sums were taken by gaining access to the banks accounting systems and artificially inflating an account balance, then quickly transferring the excess balance to a dummy account.

Submission + - Elementary OS "Freya" Beta released (elementaryos.org) 3

jjoelc writes: One year after their last release "Luna", Elementary OS (a Linux distribution with a very heavy emphasis on design and usability which draws a lot of comparisons to Mac OS X) Has released the public beta of their latest version "Freya"

Using core components from Ubuntu 14.04, "Freya" sports many improvements including the usual newer kernel, better hardware support and newer libraries.Other updates include a GSignon-based online accounts system, improved searches, Grub-free uEFI booting, GTK+ 3.12, an updated theme, and much more.

This being a beta, the usual warnings apply, but I would also point out that the Elementary OS Team also has over $5,000 worth of bugs still available on Bountysource which can be a great way to contribute to the project and make a little dough while you are at it.

Comment HAAAHAHAHAHAAAHHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAAHAHAAHAHAA (Score 0, Redundant) 204

HAHAHA hahhahahaahah hahhaahahhah ahaahahhaha haha hahha hahaahah hahah haha haaaaaaaaaaaahhh hahahaah hahaa hahhahahaaaa hahhhahaahah hahaahah hahaahah hahahaaaah HAHAH HAAAAh haaa hahahaahahhahaha hahahaa HHAAAAAAAaaaaaaaah hahahaa hah haha haaaaahahahaha hahaha hahhaha haahahhaha hahaha hhahahhaaaahahahhahahahaaaaaaaa!

(yes, I logged in specifically to post that!) (edited because the filter would not allow the full glory of the transcript of my laughter...)

Government

Submission + - Brennan Sworn Using Copy of Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights (yahoo.com)

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: The White House ceremony confirming and swearing John Brennan as the new Director for the CIA contained rich and bitter symbolism. By his own selection, Brennan chose to swear his oath on a manuscript copy of the U.S. Constitution, drawn from the George Washington presidential archive. "Director Brennan told the president that he made the request to the archives because he wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA,” The fly in the ointment is that this copy of the Constitution, with Washington's handwritten marginalia, pre-dates including the protections from the Bill of Rights, required by states to ratify the document as foundation law for the nation. Given the recent record of CIA activity in the last two administrations, is possible another intention is being heralded?

Submission + - How Many Time Standards ARE There?

jjoelc writes: Being one of those "suffering" through the time change last night, the optimist in me reminded me that it could be much worse. That's when I started wondering how many different time/date standards there really are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_standard is a good starting point, but is sorely lacking in the various formats used by e.g. Unix, Windows, TRS-80, etc. And that is without even getting into the various calendars that have been in and out of use throughout the ages.
So how about it Slashdotters? How many different time/date "standards" can we come up with, and I'm betting there are more than a few horror stories of having to translate between them...

Submission + - 1973 Pre-Publication Manuscript of Dungeons & Dragons? (acaeum.com)

An anonymous reader writes: There's an interesting debate going on over at The Acaeum (http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12980) concerning the possible discovery of a pre-publication manuscript of Dungeons & Dragons. While the first published D&D set was released in 1974, D&D's primary author (Gary Gygax) has stated that several "prototype" versions were distributed for playtesting to friends and associates in 1972-1973. Could this recent find be one of those manuscripts?

The herald of this discovery is Jon Peterson, the author of "Playing At the World" (a well-received history on role-playing gaming). Peterson's credentials, industry contacts, and thorough scholarship lend heavy weight to the argument that this is indeed a D&D manuscript. On the other side of the fulcrum are several other major D&D collectors, who contend that — besides the problem that Gygax himself denied writing it! — the manuscript is too professionally-produced to be the sought-after prototype.

Like many similar debates on historical events, the truth may never be known. But for those interested in the origins of one of the cornerstones of modern games, the pursuit is fascinating.

Science

Submission + - Evolution is Reversible, New Study Shows

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "In evolutionary biology, there is a deeply rooted hypothesis called Dollo's law that evolution is unidirectional and irreversible and that once an organism has evolved specialized traits, it can't return to the lifestyle of its ancestors. According to this hypothesis a structure or organ that has been lost or discarded through the process of evolution will not reappear in exactly the same form in that line of organisms. Now Science Daily News reports that researchers have used a large-scale genetic study of the lowly house dust mite to uncover an example of reversible evolution that appears to violate Dollo's law. The study shows that tiny free-living house dust mites evolved from parasites, which in turn evolved from free-living organisms millions of years ago. "All our analyses conclusively demonstrated that house dust mites have abandoned a parasitic lifestyle, secondarily becoming free-living, and then speciated in several habitats, including human habitations," say Pavel Klimov and Barry OConnor of the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The project used large-scale DNA sequencing, the construction of detailed evolutionary trees called phylogenies, and sophisticated statistical analyses to test the hypotheses about the ancestral ecology of house dust mites. The result was so surprising largely because it runs counter to the entrenched idea that highly specialized parasites cannot return to the free-living lifestyle of their ancestors. "Parasites can quickly evolve highly sophisticated mechanisms for host exploitation and can lose their ability to function away from the host body," says Klimov. "They often experience degradation or loss of many genes because their functions are no longer required in a rich environment where hosts provide both living space and nutrients. Many researchers in the field perceive such specialization as evolutionarily irreversible.""

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