Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Canada's AeroVelo breaks human-powered land speed record (

yyzmcleod writes: First, they designed and flew the world’s first human-powered ornithopter called the Snowbird in 2010. Then, in 2013, they surmounted the seemingly impossible challenge of winning the Sikorsky Prize with the Atlas human-powered helicopter.

And now, as of yesterday, AeroVelo, the Ontario-based team of engineers and University of Toronto students, have helped their captain, Dr. Todd Reichert, become the fastest human-powered man alive. At the World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC), held annually along a five-mile stretch of highway in Battle Mountain, Nevada, the team’s Eta recumbent speed bike hit 85.71mph (137.93km/h) Thursday morning, besting the previous world record of 83.13 mph.

Submission + - Tracking a Bluetooth ATM Skimming Gang in Mexico

tsu doh nimh writes: Brian Krebs has an interesting and entertaining three-part series this week on how he spent his summer vacation: driving around the Cancun area looking for ATMs beaconing out Bluetooth signals indicating the machines are compromised by crooks. Turns out, he didn't have to look for: His own hotel had a hacked machine. Krebs said he first learned about the scheme when an ATM industry insider reached out to say that some Eastern European guys had approached all of his ATM technicians offering bribes if the technicians allowed physical access to the machines. Once inside, the crooks installed two tiny Bluetooth radios — one for the card reader and one for the PIN pad. Krebs's series concludes with a closer look at Intacash, a new ATM company whose machines now blanket Cancun and other tourist areas but which is suspected of being connected to the skimming activity.

Submission + - The Browser Wars are back. Addicted to the Vivaldi browser. (

cdysthe writes: When I’m working on my laptop, I usually have about 40 tabs open at a time: a dozen Google Docs, Twitter, a couple of forums, oodles of other research pages. Pretty soon my work slows to a crawl because I can’t refind the damn site I was just looking at. That’s why I’ve become addicted to Vivaldi, an upstart browser launched in “technical preview” this year. — Wired

Submission + - Evolution shown in real time (

sandbagger writes: "People think of evolution as historical. They don't think of it as something that's happening under our nose. It is a contemporary process. People are skeptical; they don't believe in evolution because they can't see it. Here, we see it. We can see if something makes you better able to make babies and live longer," University of California, Riverside biologist David Reznick says. Working in a river in Trinidad, he and colleagues determined which male guppies would contribute more offspring to the population as well as which would live longer and which would have shorter lifespans.

Submission + - Obama invites Texas teen to White House after 'bomb' clock incident at school (

The Grim Reefer writes: IRVING, Texas, Sept. 16 (UPI) — A Texas teen who made a digital clock and brought it to school, only to end up being arrested and accused of a bomb scare, has been invited to the White House to show off his creation.

  President Obama
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.

Ahmed Mohamed, 14, faces no charges after he was arrested in Texas for bringing to school a homemade clock teachers and administrators mistook for a bomb — a detention some claim was due to his Muslim background.

Irving Police Chief Larry Boyd said the event was a "naive accident," adding that the department is "confident" the clock is not a bomb and that the case is closed.

Submission + - Fukishama Springs Water Leak

sl4shd0rk writes: The Japanese Fukishama crisis took a turn for the worse this week as it was found a barrier built to contain contaminated water has been breached; a leak defined by 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium. This is yet another problem on top of a spate of errors plauging the 2011 nuclear disaster site. Nuclear regulatory official Shinji Kinjo has cited Tokyo Electric Power Company as having a "Weak sense of crisis" as well as hinted at previous bunglings by TEPCO as the reason one cannot "just leave it up to Tepco alone". If Nuclear energy is ever to move forward, these types of disasters need to be eliminated. Is the ongoing saga of Fukishama a problem which can be cured with appropriate technology, or are disasters like this simply the element of cost vs. risk in the business of nuclear energy?

Submission + - BREACH Compression Attack Steals SSL Secrets (

msm1267 writes: A serious attack against ciphertext secrets buried inside HTTPS responses has prompted an advisory from Homeland Security. The BREACH attack is an offshoot of CRIME, which was thought dead and buried after it was disclosed in September. Released at last week’s Black Hat USA 2013, BREACH enables an attacker to read encrypted messages over the Web by injecting plaintext into an HTTPS request and measuring compression changes.
Researchers Angelo Prado, Neal Harris and Yoel Gluck demonstrated the attack against Outlook Web Access (OWA) at Black Hat. Once the Web application was opened and the Breach attack was launched, within 30 seconds the attackers had extracted the secret.
“We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem,” said the CERT advisory, released one day after the Black Hat presentation.

Submission + - XKeyscore: NSA Tool Collects 'Nearly Everything A User Does On The Internet' (

dryriver writes: A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats, social media activities and the internet browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet. The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight. The files shed light on one of Snowden's most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10. "I, sitting at my desk," said Snowden, could "wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email". US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden's assertion: "He's lying. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do."

Submission + - Auto Enthusiast to 3D-Print Full-Scale Aston Martin DB4 ... Sort of (

Zothecula writes: While many Solidoodlers will likely use their 3D printers to output Yodas, gearsets or bunnies, one New Zealander decided to take 3D modeling to the next level. With the average price of an Aston Martin DB4 running in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Ivan Sentch decided to go one better by printing a full-scale Aston Martin DB4 replica.

Submission + - Android tablet gives rare glimpse at North Korean tech (

alphadogg writes: An Android tablet brought back from North Korea by a tourist has provided a glimpse at some of the restrictions placed on IT users in the famously secretive country. The Samjiyon is the third tablet to have gone on sale in North Korea. It was unveiled at a trade show in the capital, Pyongyang, last September and received some coverage on state television, but few westerners have had a chance to see it up close. The tablet was likely manufactured outside of North Korea and the hardware itself is fairly unremarkable, but the software and the usage restrictions placed on the device provide some insights about life in the country.

Submission + - Hialeah Shooter Downloaded "Anarchist Cookbook" ( 2

matria writes: Reports on the possible motivation of Pedro Vargas, who shot six people before being killed by police, appear to make much of his accessing the "Anarchist Cookbook". Even the name of the page of the article emphasizes this — "at-former-job-hialeah-gunman-downloaded.html" investigation into Vargas prompted by his poor work performance found he had downloaded a slew of inappropriate files onto his office desktop, including a so-called “Anarchist Cookbook,” which includes instructions on making explosives at home, counterfeiting money and killing someone with your bare hands...

Of chief concern to Vargas’ supervisors was a file titled “1000 hacking tutorials,” which, according to the university, included an “Index to the Anarchist Cookbook IV, version 4.14.” The Anarchist Cookbook is a bomb-making manual first published in 1971 during the Vietnam War.

Submission + - Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview (

SmartAboutThings writes: A little over a month ago, Microsoft released the first update to Windows 8, the preview version of Windows 8.1. Now, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview has been made available for download. Of course, as always, you need to test the operating system with precautions, as this is not yet its final form and you might encounter some errors. The Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview actually builds on the Window 8.1 Preview with some extra, premium features meant for business users, involved around security, mobility, management and virtualization. IT professionals should hurry up and download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview to get to play around with the OS.

Submission + - Moscow Subway To Use Special 'Devices' To Read Data On Phones (

dryriver writes: The head of police for Moscow's subway system has said stations will soon be equipped with devices that can read the data on the mobile telephones of passengers. In the July 29 edition of "Izvestia," Moscow Metro police chief Andrei Mokhov said the device would be used to help locate stolen mobile phones. Mokhov said the devices have a range of about 5 meters and can read the SIM card. If the card is on the list of stolen phones, the system automatically sends information to the police. The time and place of the alert can be matched to closed-circuit TV in stations. "Izvestia" reported that "according to experts, the devices can be used more widely to follow all passengers without exception." Mokhov said it was illegal to track a person without permission from the authorities, but that there was no law against tracking the property of a company, such as a SIM card. — Submitter's Note: What is this all about? Is it really about detecting stolen phones/SIM cards, or is that a convenient 'cover story' for eavesdropping on people's private smartphone data while they wait to ride the subway? Also — if this scheme goes ahead, how long will it be before the U.S., Europe and other territories employ 'Devices' that do this, too? How long before your local bus stop or train terminal eavesdrops on your smartphone just like in the Russian model?

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