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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 4 accepted (26 total, 15.38% accepted)

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Submission + - Apple Avoids $1bn Tax Each Week (

mrbluze writes: As part of a wider investigation in the UK, it is revealed that by entirely legal means, Apple manages to avoid paying $1 billion in tax obligations to the US Government, paying only 2% of its overseas profits as tax.

Apple is estimated to have avoided more than £550m in tax in Britain in 2011. Its latest accounts show UK turnover at just over £1bn and profit at £81.3m, generating a tax bill of £14.4m.

However, analysis of its filings in America suggest a more realistic figure for UK turnover is £6.7bn. This would imply an estimated profit of £2.2bn and, at the then corporation tax rate of 26pc, a £570m tax bill, the Sunday Times reports.


Submission + - Touch Screens Will Not Take Over (

mrbluze writes: Joining the chorus of condemnation of Windows 8, a story in Scientific American decries the advent of touch-screens-on-everything, saying it won't wash on personal computers. The main problems are grease on the screen, fat fingers feeling for small buttons, flawed biomechanics of touching vertically oriented screens for hours and inadequate user interface design.

"Now, half of Windows 8 addresses half of the touch-screen PC problems: Windows 8 is actually two operating systems in one. The beautiful, fluid front end is ideal for touch; only the underlying Windows desktop has the too-small-targets problem."


Submission + - Standard Kilogram Gains Weight (

mrbluze writes: The standard kilogram weights which are used by countries around the world for calibration have variably increased in mass by tens of micrograms. This poses a threat to the precision and comparability of measurements in science, engineering and trade. The problem is due to surface contamination, but a safe method of cleaning the weights has only recently been devised by the use of ozone and ultraviolet light.

Submission + - Nanotechnology raising health concerns. (

Tube smoker writes: Nanotechnology has been hailed as being clean and safe whilst offering potential solutions to some of the world's most difficult and important scientific problems.

Environmentalists, scientists, and policymakers increasingly worry that nanotech development is outrunning our understanding of how to use it safely. ... An animal study from the United Kingdom found that certain carbon nanotubes can cause the same kind of lung damage as asbestos. Carbon nanotubes are among the most widely used nanomaterials.

TFA discusses the need for a rigorous and formal approach to approving nanotech for mass production which has been found wanting.


Submission + - Swedish hacker snoops snoops using Tor (

torrific writes: "Dan Egerstad is hailed as having achieved the hack of the year by the Sydney Morning Herald for gaining access to "1000 high-value email accounts" using Tor.

The question on everybody's lips was: how did he do it? The answer came more than a week later and was somewhat anti-climactic. The 22-year-old Swedish security consultant had merely installed free, open-source software — called Tor — on five computers in data centres around the globe and monitored it. Ironically, Tor is designed to prevent intelligence agencies, corporations and computer hackers from determining the virtual — and physical — location of the people who use it.

The article emphasises the weaknesses of Tor as merely an anonymizing tool and no more."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Human species to divide within 100,000 years. (

mrbluze writes: An article appeared in the Daily Mail outlining a prediction that humanity will divide into two different species by the year 3000. Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics suggests that:

...evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics, who says that the human race will have reached its physical peak by the year 3000. These humans will be between 6ft and 7ft tall and they will live up to 120 years.
Interestingly, he also predicts two seperate species having developed within 100,000 years, with images provided in the article that resemble both my wife and my mother in law (I'll let you decide which is which).


Submission + - UK to imprison for inability to decrypt data

mrbluze writes: Ars technica has an article describing new laws which come into effect on 1st November in the UK. Up to 2 and 5 years imprisonment can be inflicted on any person who refuses or cannot provide keys or decrypt data as requested by police or military for criminal or anti-terror purposes, respectively. From the article:

The Home Office has steadfastly proclaimed that the law is aimed at catching terrorists, pedophiles, and hardened criminals — all parties which the UK government contends are rather adept at using encryption to cover up their activities.
It refers to a potential problem faced by international bankers who would be wary to bring their encryption keys into the UK. Some how I doubt that is the real problem with the law.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Caching hard drive writes on a USB stick

mrbluze writes: "Dear Slashdot,

I read a paper from the University of California detailing the power savings that can be achieved by caching hard drive writes to an external USB flash drive, thus achieving prolonged spin down states in Linux. I'd love to do this on my own laptop running Ubuntu Feisty, but I have not been able to find anything concrete on the topic, but I suspect this would be an even better idea than waiting for a hybrid hard drive.

Has anyone tried this with success? Can the same be achieved just by having folders such as /tmp and /var on a USB stick?"

Submission + - iPhone security compromised?

mrbluze writes: "A rather shady blog has made as yet uncorroborated claims that Russian hackers have found a vulnerability in the iPhone which causes it to send all stored data to a web server:

They reverse- engineered some functions and published this information. Results of a research shocked community. Russian hackers found a built-in function which sends all data from an iPhone to a specified web-server. Contacts from a phonebook, SMS, recent calls, history of Safari browser — all your personal information can be stolen.
Has anyone sighted the whitepaper?"

Submission + - Existence of black holes in doubt (

mrbluze writes: "Science magazine has an article suggesting that the existence of black holes is mathematically impossible because matter is able to escape the black hole too easily, preventing its formation.

If black holes radiate away their mass over time, as Hawking showed, then they should evaporate before they even form, Krauss says. It would be like pouring water into a glass that has no bottom. In essence, physicists have been arguing over a trick question for 40 years.


Submission + - Private outsourcing of US intelligence services (

mrbluze writes: "It appears that more and more of data collection sanctioned by government is winding up in private hands according to a report in

On May 14, at an industry conference in Colorado sponsored by the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. government revealed for the first time how much of its classified intelligence budget is spent on private contracts: a whopping 70 percent. Based on this year's estimated budget of at least $48 billion, that would come to at least $34 billion in contracts.

What are the checks and balances of this method of handling national security?"


Submission + - Quantum Cryptography Hacked

mrbluze writes: Nature reports on a eavesdropping technique developed by researchers at MIT for intercepting quantum-encrypted messages:

To listen in, the team used a quantum-mechanical principle known as entanglement, which can link together two different traits of a particle. Using an optical setup, the team was able to entangle the transmitted photon's polarization with its momentum. The eavesdropper could then measure the momentum in order to get information about the polarization, without affecting the original polarization.
This stuff is beyond me, but I can't wait to read Slashdot's explanation!

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