Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


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 + - Researchers Model Pluto's Atmosphere, Find 225 mph Winds (txchnologist.com)

MatthewVD writes: "Pluto may have been downgraded to a dwarf planet, but researchers modeling its wisp of an atmosphere continue to find that it is asurprisingly complex world, particularly when it comes to weather patterns. Howling winds that sweep clockwise around the planet at up to 225 mph — though the atmosphere is so thin, it would only feel like 1 mph hour on Earth. The algorithms used to model the atmosphere will be helpful in studying far more complex atmospheres, like Earth's."

Submission + - Scientific Jigsaw Puzzle: Fitting the pieces of the low-level radiation debate (sagepub.com)

Lasrick writes: Skip past the dry abstract to Jan Beyea's main article for a thorough exploration of what's wrong with current 'safe' levels of low-level radiation exposure. The Bulletin is just releasing its "Radiation Issue", which is available for free for 2 weeks. Explores how the NRC may be changing recommended safe dosages, and how the studies for prolonged exposure have, until recently, been based on one-time exposures (Hiroshima, etc New epidemiological studies on prolonged exposure (medical exposures, worker exposures, etc) are more accurate and tell a different tale. This is a long article, but reads well.

Submission + - Predicting the fate of the universe: Dark Energy to Dark Flow (video) (tech-stew.com)

techfun89 writes: "What is generally accepted is that the universe is expanding (and rapidly) and that the one likely scenario is that of the Big Freeze. Although for many scientists its comes down to either Dark Flow or Dark Energy. So the question is what is driving the universe's expansion? The answer to most is dark energy. A 2011 survey of 200,000 galaxies seems to confirm the existence of dark energy, but the physics behind it are unknown. 74% of the universe is dark energy while 22% would be dark matter.

One controversial theory that has been circulating since 2003 is that the universe will end in something called "The Big Rip". This harrowing theory has the death of the universe where "phantom energy" rips apart stars, galaxies, and planets, and eventually everything that exists.

There is another theory that suggests that the accelerating expansion of the universe is an illusion called "Dark Flow". We perceive it as accelerating because of the way our region in the cosmos drifts through the rest of space."


Submission + - Tails 0.11 release announcement: The Amnesic Incognito Live System (boum.org)

An anonymous reader writes: May 1st, 2012 (Seattle/USA)

The Tails Project is happy to announce the release of Tails 0.11, The Amnesic Incognito Live System. Tails is an operating system run from a DVD or USB drive that aims at preserving privacy and anonymity. Among other improvements, this new release includes the long-awaited support to selectively save files and application settings, and an easier way to install and upgrade Tails on USB sticks.

"The new 0.11 release is an important milestone in the Tails history, and a big step towards Tails 1.0, that is scheduled for release later this year," said one Tails developer. "No one should have to become computer experts to protect their privacy and online activities. Our recent focus on 'persistent' files and settings finally enables human rights workers and freedom activists, among others, to focus on important work instead of technical details."

When running Tails from a USB drive, users can optionally enable persistence. The files in the persistent volume are saved securely using strong encryption and remain available across separate working sessions. The persistent volume can be used to store user's personal files and working documents as well as encryption keys, programs configurations and much more. As Tails ensure that communications are protected by the Tor anonymity network, it is now easy to create a pseudonymous online identity.

This is the first release in which Tails can be copied to a USB stick in a few clicks. "Security is a social process. Now it takes about two minutes to get Tails on a friend's USB drive," commented another Tails developer.

Among many other improvements, Tails 0.11 also features a brand new graphical login screen that allows choosing among a huge list of languages, the Traverso multitrack audio recorder and editor, and new major versions of the Iceweasel web browser and of the Linux kernel for better hardware support. What is Tails?

Built upon many years of work and thorough review, Tails is a computer operating system that aims at preserving privacy and anonymity. It is developed with the support of the Tor Project. With human rights workers and freedom activists in mind, Tails is based on GNU/Linux and on Debian Live, and runs directly from a DVD or USB drive to provide a secure environment for work and communications.

As no installation or configuration is required, Tails turns virtually any PC[1] into a secure workstation in a matter of seconds. All of its software and hardware drivers operate independently of the computer's usual operating system, and leave no traces after use.

Tails channels all Internet connections through the Tor anonymization network (the I2P network is available, too) and needs to be explicitly told of any data that should be stored permanently. Tails offers carefully preconfigured, security-enhanced Free and Open Source Software, including the Firefox/Iceweasel web browser, the Pidgin Instant Messenger with the Off-The-Record encryption plugin and built-in support for GoogleTalk, Jabber/XMMP, AIM, Yahoo and others, the Claws mail client with OpenPGP mail encryption, the OpenOffice suite, GIMP, Inkscape, the Scribus desktop publishing software, Audacity, Traverso and Pitivi for sound and video editing and many other programs (see the features list for details).

Tails is easy to use, designed for average computer users and is available for at free download. Once downloaded, the image can be written to DVD or installed to USB thumb drive and is immediately ready for use. From image scanners and printers through WiFi to audio and graphics cards, Tails comes equipped with preinstalled and preconfigured drivers for virtually all common devices and automatically loads the right ones for your hardware.

Tails offers a localization menu at startup. There, the user may select their preferred language among hundreds. Most software shipped with Tails is translated into these languages. Contact information

For further details, please refer to the Tails website. The Tails developers can be reached by email using tails@boum.org.

[1] Minimum System Recommendations:
  • 1 GHz x86 processor or better
  • 1 GB of system memory (RAM) or more
  • Monitor capable of 800 by 600 or better
  • DVD Drive or a USB port
  • Rule of Thumb: if the Computer can run Microsoft Windows XP or newer, it can run Tails as well.

Submission + - UK MP gives government line on snoopers' charter (tuxradar.com)

super_rancid writes: A UK MP has responded to a request to give the official government position on the proposed 'snoopers' charter', where it admits that it can now only access "some 75% of the total communications data generated in this country, compared with 90% in 2006" and that, "Unlike the previous Government's proposals, there will be no government database and the data recorded will be strictly limited and regulated and will be destroyed after a year."

Submission + - Visa to launch V.me mobile wallet service in UK (techworld.com)

concertina226 writes: Visa Europe has confirmed plans for a new digital wallet service in the UK, called V.me. The service will not enable contactless payments, but is intended to complement the NFC-based payWave applications that Visa Europe is developing with its partners. The company told Techworld that, ultimately, the digital wallet will be the place where online transactions, person-to-person payments and loyalty services all meet.

The news follows last week's launch of a new mobile wallet service from O2, designed to compete with Barclays' Pingit money-sending service. O2 Wallet allows consumers to transfer money across any network, make online purchases and conduct price comparisons by scanning product barcodes in shops.

Submission + - An Open Letter To Developers of Ad Blocking Software (itproportal.com) 1

hypnosec writes: John Battelle, CEO Federated Media Publishing sends out an open letter to Developers of Ad Blocking Applications: Dear Developers of Ad Blocking applications, I'll cut straight to the chase. What have we done to you to deserve your wrath? The ad blockers that you design prevent our ads from being displayed. Less advertising means less revenue for producing the quality content that you and everybody else craves and needs. High quality online content allows readers all over the world to educate and better themselves, without incurring any relative costs. Think about it: without online advertising where would the Internet be? Every site that depends on display advertising and page views would find it very hard to make ends meet. Producing good content is generally a very expensive procedure. As it stands, the overwhelming majority of the traditional (by traditional, I mean those who make a living out of writing) online content community works using the following equation.

Monthly Revenue = average advert slots per page x total number of page views x average cost per advert impression

Decreasing any of the variables on the right hand side will decrease revenue on the left hand side. And preventing adverts from displaying can have a devastating effect on the online media ecosystem, directly affecting web designers, journalists, editors, copywriters, developers, sales people, operations teams etc.

"When advertising works, millions keep their jobs" — Reader's Digest Ad

The Internet

Submission + - 10 fascinating facts about Internet porn (itworld.com)

bdking writes: The theft of data for more than 1 million users of YouPorn is a reminder that pornography is an immense online business and viewer pastime. Here are some amazing statistics compiled by Online MBA in 2010 that underscore the scope of Internet porn.

Submission + - What The iPhone 5 Should Look Like (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "The imaginative minds at Ciccarese Design, led by Italian designer Federico Ciccarese, have released a new mock-up of a teardrop-shaped iPhone 5, which is really quite beautiful. Ciccarese's iPhone 5 mock-up features a white face plate, a metallic backplate, and three buttons on the left for volume and ring/silent. The designers moved the sleep button from the top of the iPhone to the right side in order to achieve a true teardrop shape, where the phone's form is thicker in the middle and thin around the edges. The back of the iPhone prototype is gorgeous and smooth-looking. The rendering shows how the rear-side camera has migrated to the middle of the phone, while the Apple logo beneath the camera mount glows white, even in the dark."

Submission + - Cisco Appeals Microsoft's Skype Take-Over: Is This Really Necessary? (onsip.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It seems obvious that Cisco's appeal to the EU isn’t a pure crusade for interoperability and standard protocols. The following suggests it’s the coupling of Microsoft Lync and Skype that scares Cisco: “Microsoft’s plans to integrate Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders to a Microsoft-only platform,” said Marthin De Beer, Cisco SVP, Emerging Business Group, in a Cisco blog on February 15th. Now, the use case outlined by Cisco here is: Skype user video calls corporation running on Lync... Or in other words, Grandma video calls her insurance company regarding a claim. Or, my friend Susan video calls a big online clothing company to exchange a shirt. Is this what Cisco envisions as right around the corner? While, admittedly, the Jetsons-like experience of video-calling companies is neat and maybe even foreseeable, I see an immediate concern with the Skype-Lync pairing discussed above. As mentioned, Skype is a P2P service, having implicit security issues, despite its encrypting each user session (e.g. chewing up uncontrollable amounts of bandwidth, third party call interception, call initiation monitoring by third parties...) Would a large company choose to communicate with customers about transactions, personal data, etc, via such an insecure platform? While Skype’s not a good fit for large company-customer communication, Lync is too expensive for small businesses. Additionally, I would argue the market demand for video calling between company and customer is equal, if not higher, for smaller businesses. Personally, I’d like to consult with medical professionals, lawyers, realtors, accountants, florists, veterinarians, interior designer, and more via a video call. However, these businesses aren’t corporations ready to shell out thousands for a Lync deployment. Think small businesses are a small matter? About 50% of people in the U.S. are employed by businesses with 500 employees (U.S. Census Bureau 2008). In conclusion, although I 100% agree with Cisco’s sentiment, promoting interoperability and open standards, I don’t think government intervention will be necessary to help consumers. Consumers will help themselves and make their decisions based on need and cost.

Submission + - Amazon to Launch 10 Inch Kindle Fire in Coming Months (freshtechweb.com)

slashdottech writes: "According to a DigiTimes report, after the success of 7 inch device Amazon has decided to launch its new Amazon tablet 10 inch kindle fire soon and it has placed its order with Foxconn already to build this new 10 inch Kindle Fire tablet that will start shipping in the market before summer or may be in the second quarter of this year."

Submission + - Brain Scans Detect Autism In Six Month Olds (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "A new study shows that brain scans can detect autism in children as young as 6 months old. Researchers at University of North Carolina’s Institute for Developmental Disabilities imaged the brains of 92 children who were at high risk for autism. Scans were performed when the children were 6 months, 1-year, and 2-years old. At 2 years, the age when children are typically diagnosed, 30 percent of the children were found to have autism. The researchers then compared the brain images of the autistic children with the others. They saw differences in the brain’s white matter, the axon-laden pathways that transmit electrical signals to distant parts of the brain. Of the 15 pathways analyzed, 12 were significantly different between autistic and non-autistic children."

Submission + - Author raises $1m to self-publish webcomic book (guardian.co.uk)

stjobe writes: A runaway success for Kickstarter and Order of the Stick author Rich Burlew; not only did he raise more than 2000% of his goal, he broke a few records in the process:

"Author and illustrator Rich Burlew launched The Order of the Stick online in 2003. Following the comic fantasy adventures of a collection of stick figures in a role-playing game world as they struggle with enemies and the rules of the game, much of the story is available online for free, but Burlew also began self-publishing parts of it in paper format in 2005. When the costs of keeping it in print proved too high, Burlew turned to Kickstarter following repeated demands from readers, launching a project in January to raise the $57,750 he needed to rerelease the books in print.

Yesterday, he closed his fundraising project with 14,952 backers and $1,254,120 raised, making The Order of the Stick Kickstarter's most funded project by a single person ever and the most funded creative work the site has ever seen."


Submission + - AMD to use resonant clock mesh to push Trinity above 4GHz (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "One of the most significant challenges AMD has faced with Trinity, its next-generation mobile APU based on the Piledriver core, is ensuring that the chip is positioned properly to capitalize on Llano’s success. Now, new information from Cyclos Semiconductor has shed light on part of the company’s strategy for doing so. Trinity is designed to use Cyclos’ clock mesh technology, which reportedly delivers significant power savings. All microprocessors rely on a clock rate, which must be propagated across the surface of the chip — in high-end chips, this takes the form of a mesh of wires, ensuring each part of the chip fires at the same time. Cyclos’ mesh reportedly cuts clock distribution power by “up to 24% while maintaining the low clock-skew target required by high-performance processors.” Cyclos claims that using its technology can cut total IC power by up to 10%."

Submission + - Capsicum: security on UNIX-like operating systems (cam.ac.uk)

dgharmon writes: Capsicum is a lightweight OS capability and sandbox framework developed at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, supported by a grant from Google. Capsicum extends the POSIX API, providing several new OS primitives to support object-capability security on UNIX-like operating systems:

Slashdot Top Deals

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.