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Submission + - Radiation From Fukushima Disaster Reaches Oregon Coast (nypost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has apparently traveled across the Pacific. Researchers reported that radioactive matter — in the form of an isotope known as cesium-134 — was collected in seawater samples from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon. The levels were extremely low, however, and don’t pose a threat to humans or the environment. In 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a wave of tsunamis that caused colossal damage to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The disaster released several radioactive isotopes — including the dangerous fission products of cesium-137 and iodine-131 — that contaminated the air and water. The ocean was later contaminated by the radiation. But cesium-134 is the fingerprint of Fukushima due to its short half-life of two years, meaning the level is cut in half every two years. Cesium-137 has a 30-year half-life. Particles from Chernobyl, nuclear weapons tests, and discharge from other nuclear power plants are still detectable — in small, harmless amounts. While this is the first time cesium-134 has been detected on US shores, Higley said “really tiny quantities” have previously been found in albacore tuna. The Oregon samples were collected by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in January and February. Each sample measured 0.3 becquerels, a unit of radioactivity, per cubic meter of cesium-134 — significantly lower than the 50 million becquerels per cubic meter measured in Japan after the disaster.

Submission + - Dinosaur Tail With Feathers Found Perfectly Preserved In Amber (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: The tail of a feathered dinosaur has been found perfectly preserved in amber from Myanmar. The one-of-a-kind discovery helps put flesh on the bones of these extinct creatures, opening a new window on the biology of a group that dominated Earth for more than 160 million years. Examination of the specimen suggests the tail was chestnut brown on top and white on its underside. "This is the first time we've found dinosaur material preserved in amber," co-author Ryan McKellar, of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada, told the BBC News website. Co-author Prof Mike Benton, from the University of Bristol, added: "It's amazing to see all the details of a dinosaur tail — the bones, flesh, skin, and feathers — and to imagine how this little fellow got his tail caught in the resin, and then presumably died because he could not wrestle free."

Submission + - NSA's best are 'leaving in big numbers,' insiders say (cyberscoop.com)

schwit1 writes: Low morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency's most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part.

"I do hear that people are increasingly leaving in large numbers and it is a combination of things that start with [morale] and there's now much more money on the outside," Alexander said. "I am honestly surprised that some of these people in cyber companies make up to seven figures. That's five times what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes. Right? And these are people that are 32 years old."

"Do the math. [The NSA] has great competition," he said.

The rate at which these cyber-tacticians are exiting public service has increased over the last several years and has gotten considerably worse over the last 12 months, multiple former NSA officials and D.C. area-based cybersecurity employers have told CyberScoop in recent weeks.

"Morale has always been an issue at NSA, with roughly 20 percent of the workforce doing 80 percent of the actual work," a former official told CyberScoop on the condition of anonymity. "NSA is a place where people retire in place. At some point watching this behavior even for motivated people becomes highly demotivating."

Submission + - The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court (theregister.co.uk)

Jigsy writes: Blighty's freshly passed Investigatory Powers Act, better known as the Snoopers' Charter, is a dog's dinner of a law. It gives virtually unrestricted powers not only to State spy organisations but also to the police and a host of other government agencies.

The operation of the oversight and accountability mechanisms in the IPA are all kept firmly out of sight – and, so its authors hope, out of mind – of the public. It is up to the State to volunteer the truth to its victims if the State thinks it has abused its secret powers. "Marking your own homework" is a phrase which does not fully capture this.

However, despite the establishment of a parallel system of secret justice, the IPA's tentacles also enshrine parallel construction into law. That is, the practice where prosecutors lie about the origins of evidence to judges and juries – thereby depriving the defendant of a fair trial because he cannot review or question the truth of the evidence against him.

Section 56 of the act as passed sets out a number of matters that are now prohibited from being brought up in court.

Submission + - Court: 'Falsely' Accused 'Movie Pirate' Deserves $17K Compensation

AmiMoJo writes: An Oregon District Court has sided with a wrongfully accused man, who was sued for allegedly downloading a pirated copy of the Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler. According to the court's recommendations, the man is entitled to more than $17,000 in compensation as the result of the filmmakers "overaggressive" and "unreasonable" tactics. The defendant in question, Thomas Gonzales, operates an adult foster care home where several people had access to the Internet. The filmmakers were aware of this and during a hearing their counsel admitted that any guest could have downloaded the film.

Submission + - Doyodo RetroEngine Sigma is a Linux-powered classic video game emulation console (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: The Nintendo NES Classic is quite an amazing console. True, it is not as powerful as modern game systems like Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it comes pre-loaded with many classic NES titles. Unfortunately, its strength is also its weakness — those pre-loaded titles are the only games you can play. You cannot load other games, so you are stuck with what you got.

As an alternative, some folks use software emulation and ROMs on their computers to play countless video game titles. Of course, there are moral concerns here, as you are often downloading the games illegally — unless you own the physical copy, that is. Even then, it is a gray area. Today, a company called Doyodo launches a new Linux-powered emulation console on Indiegogo. The device not only plays NES games, but Atari, Game Boy, PlayStation 1, Genesis, and more. You play using USB controllers. In addition, it can serve as a media player (with Kodi) or a full-fledged Linux desktop.

Submission + - Eggdrop, IRC's oldest actively-developed bot, releases v1.8.0 (eggheads.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Eggdrop, IRC's oldest actively-developed bot, just culminated an extended period of development with the release of Eggdrop version 1.8.0. Eggdrop version 1.8.0 adds several major new features, most notably IPv6 support and SSL support to both IRC servers and its own bot-to-bot networks. A full overview of all the major changes can be found by browsing the current NEWS file.

For those of you not familiar with Eggdrop, it is a C program that was originally designed as an IRC channel administration bot in 1993, notably before the advent of modern channel services. The true utility of Eggdrop, however, is that the core functionality can be easily expanded on by adding Tcl scripts to the bot allowing a far-ranging feature set, ranging from displaying current weather stats via backend HTML requests, running triva games, advanced IRC bot administration, or relaying text between jabber and IRC channels- or whatever else you can think to script!

Eggdrop also has an official docker image in the docker library for download via Docker Hub.

The source for Eggdrop is maintained on GitHub. For more information on this and other Eggdrop-related news, you can check out the Eggheads website.

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Submission + - An Emacs Lisp JIT Compiler Released (github.com)

kruhft writes: An Emacs Lisp JIT compiler has been released showing a 25% speedup improvement with the benchmarked raytracer. Using libjit, it 'compiles down the spine' of the bytecode vectors, moving the overhead of the interpreter loop into the hardware execution unit. Work in progress, but a good start on speeding up emacs overall. Thoughts?

Submission + - 6 seconds: How hackers only need moments to guess card number and security code (telegraph.co.uk) 1

schwit1 writes: Criminals can work out the card number, expiry date and security code for a Visa debit or credit card in as little as six seconds using guesswork, researchers have found.

Fraudsters use a so-called Distributed Guessing Attack to get around security features put in place to stop online fraud, and this may have been the method used in the recent Tesco Bank hack.

According to a study published in the academic journal IEEE Security & Privacy, that meant fraudsters could use computers to systematically fire different variations of security data at hundreds of websites simultaneously.

Within seconds, by a process of elimination, the criminals could verify the correct card number, expiry date and the three-digit security number on the back of the card.

Mohammed Ali, a PhD student at the university's School of Computing Science, said: "This sort of attack exploits two weaknesses that on their own are not too severe but, when used together, present a serious risk to the whole payment system.

Submission + - What's the best Linux Laptop?

sconeu writes: This came up in the "Which laptop could replace a Macbook Pro?" story. It was rightfully marked off-topic there, but I thought it might make an interesting discussion.

I'm currently looking into replacing my 10 year old Toshiba Satellite with a newer laptop. I'm looking to run some flavor of Linux (probably KDE based UI, but not mandatory) while using a VM to run Win 7 (for stuff needed for work).

For me, personally, battery life and weight are more important than raw power. I'm not going to be running games on this.

I've been considering an XPS 13 Developer Edition, or something from System76, ZaReason or Emperor Linux.

What laptop do you use? Do you have any suggestions?

Submission + - 48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory (zerohedge.com)

schwit1 writes: Last week, in a troubling development for privacy advocates everywhere, we reported that the UK has passed the "snooper charter" effectively ending all online privacy. Now, the mainstream media has caught on and appears to be displeased. As AP writes today, "after months of wrangling, Parliament has passed a contentious new snooping law that gives authorities — from police and spies to food regulators, fire officials and tax inspectors — powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country."

For those who missed our original reports, here is the new law in a nutshell: it requires telecom companies to keep records of all users' web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom. They are right.

Which government agencies have access to the internet history of any British citizen? Here is the answer courtesy of blogger Chris Yuo, who has compiled the list:

Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
GCHQ
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

Submission + - Fidel Castro is Dead (nytimes.com) 2

Striek writes: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90.

His death was announced by Cuban state television.

In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

Submission + - False CNN-porn report shows how fast fake news spreads

xtsigs writes: No, despite what you read, CNN did not run porn for 30 minutes last night, as was reported by Fox News, the New York Post,Variety and other news organizations, several of which later corrected their stories. — from USA Today .

The story goes on to explain how the story started (a single tweet), how it was quickly picked up by media outlets (without verifying if CNN actually did, in truth, broadcast porn), how it was then retracted by some outlets (but not others).

Other outlets jumped on the story of the story while, as of early Saturday morning some sites are still running the original story claiming CNN did, in fact, broadcast 30 min of porn.

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