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


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Submission + - Creative Commons Launches Version 4.0 Of Its Licenses (

revealingheart writes: Creative Commons has launched new versions of their flexible copyright licenses, after 2 years of input. Changes include waiving database and moral rights where possible, adjustments to attribution requirements, and licenses are now designed to work internationally by default.

Comment LibXUL on Win32 approaching 4GB memory limit (Score 5, Informative) 127

According to recent comments (continued on the next day's thread), the win32 compiler that Mozilla use is approaching the 4GB limit, after which LibXUL (which Firefox depends upon) will no longer compile.

It's currently at 3.5GB, and at the current rate, will reach the limit in approximately 6 months: Chart of memory usage of LibXUL during last 90 days

While I think that Servo will produce a more decentralised design than Gecko and XUL, the memory limit will be reached well before that. With Windows XP support ending next year, Mozilla should consider migrating to x64 as soon as reasonably possible, keeping x32, but focusing on stripping large and extraneous code above new features.


Submission + - Users abandon ship if online video quality is not up to snuff, says study (

An anonymous reader writes: The first large scientific study of how people respond to poor video quality on the Internet paints a picture of ever rising user expectations and the willingness to abandon ship if those expectations are not met.

Some nuggets...
1) Users are willing to wait for no more than 2 seconds for a video to start playing, with each additional second adding 6% to the abandonment rate.
2) Users with good broadband connectivity expect faster video load times and are even more impatient than ones on mobile devices.
3) Users who experience video freezing watch fewer minutes of the video than someone who does not experience freezing. A 1% freezing causes 5% less minutes watched.
4) Users who experience failures when they try to play videos are less likely to return to the same website in the future.

BIG data analyzed (260+ million minutes of video) and some cool new data analysis techniques used.


Submission + - Microsoft Issues Workaround For IE 0-Day (

Orome1 writes: "Microsoft has issued a security advisory with advice on how to patch a Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability recently spotted being exploited in the wild by attackers that might be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks. News that there is a previously unknown Internet Explorer vulnerability that is actively being misused in the wild by attackers that are believed to be the same ones that are behind the Nitro attacks has reverberated all over the Internet yesterday."

Submission + - State Dept. official killed in Libya was influential online gamer (

coreolyn writes: Sean Smith, a State Department official, was one of four individuals killed in a rocket attack in Libya. The U.S. ambassador to Libya was also among those who died.

Smith, a foreign service information management officer, had a sphere of influence that extended far beyond the realm of real-world diplomacy: He was also a respected and hugely influential figure in the world of online gaming.


Submission + - Anonymous Hacks Cambodia Over The Pirate Bay Co-founder's Arrest

An anonymous reader writes: At the start of this month, news broke that The Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm had been arrested in Cambodia, quickly followed by speculation that millions of dollars were exchanged for his capture. Svartholm was deported to Sweden today, and rather coincidentally, the Anonymous hacker collective announced that it had hacked Cambodia’s government sites and leaked over 5,000 documents.

Submission + - Sir Tim Berners-Lee accuses UK government of "Draconian Internet Snooping" (

An anonymous reader writes: According to British daily The Telegraph, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned that plans to monitor individuals' use of the internet would result in Britain losing its reputation as an upholder of web freedom. The plans, by Home Secretary Theresa May, would force British ISPs and other service providers to keep records of every phone call, email and website visit in Britain. Sir Tim has told the Times: "In Britain, like in the US, there has been a series of Bills that would give government very strong powers to, for example, collect data. I am worried about that." Sir Tim has also warned that the UK may wind up slipping down the list of countries with the most Internet freedom, if the proposed data-snooping laws pass parliament. The draft bill extends the type of data that internet service providers must store for at least 12 months. Providers would also be required to keep details of a much wider set of data, including use of social network sites, webmail and voice calls over the internet.

Submission + - Metal balls bounce off slivers of super-stretchy 'jelly' (

ananyo writes: "A hydrogel developed by materials engineers at Harvard University is so tough metal balls bounce off thin slices of it.
A hydrogel is a network of polymers that soaks up lots of water to form a jelly-like material. But most shatter easily and don’t stretch far without breaking. Some of the toughest hydrogels are used to make soft contact lenses, and researchers want to make them more robust, for use in replacement cartilage or as scaffolds for growing artificial organs.
The energy needed to fracture the new hydrogel is on a par with that for natural rubber, and the gel can be stretched to 20 times its original length without breaking (abstract)."

The Internet

Submission + - EU Supply of IPv4 Addresses to Run Out Next Month

revealingheart writes: ISPreview reports that Europe’s Regional Internet Registry (RIR), RIPE NCC, which handles the distribution of internet addresses in Europe, has officially warned that they have just “one month worth of IPv4 address space” left. A final block of 16.8m addresses will be gradually released, but on a restricted basis. RIPE provides a graph with the number of addresses available, while Geoff Huston also has projections on how long registries have before exhaustion.

This follows the news of the last IPv4 blocks being issued by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to Regional Internet Registrys in February last year. Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) ran out of addresses to allocate for the Asia-Pacific region 2 months later.

IPv4 uses 32 bits for addresses, giving a maximum possible 4.3bn addresses to allocate for devices to connect to the internet. IPv6 is a replacement for IPv4, with support for 128 bit addresses (3.4 × 10^38 addresses). As of June this year, IPv6 only has 0.2% of internet traffic, with sales of unused IPv4 addresses gaining steam.

Submission + - The Algorithmic Copyright Cops: Streaming Video's Robotic Overlords (

thomst writes: Geeta Dayal of Wired's Threat Level blog posts an interesting report about bot-mediated automatic takedowns of streaming video. He mentions the interruption of Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC, and the blocking of NASA's coverage of Mars rover Curiosity's landing by a Scripps News Service bot, but the story really drills down on the abrupt disappearance of the Hugo Award's live stream of Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script. (Apparently the trigger was a brief clip from the Doctor Who episode itself, despite the fact that it was clearly a case of fair use.) Dayal points the finger at Vobile, whose content-blocking technology was used by Ustream, which hosted the derailed coverage of the Hugos. The good news — such as it is — is that Ustream has apparently suspended their use of Vobile's software. Vobile isn't the only player in the content-cop software space, and Dayal's article includes links to Vobile, Attributor, Audible Magic, and Gracenote (but ALL the links in the article go through, so you'll need to enable scripts from contextly to get to the actual web sites in question — boo, Wired).

Submission + - New Attack Uses SSL/TLS Information Leak to Hijack HTTPS Sessions (

Trailrunner7 writes: There is a feature supported by the SSL/TLS encryption standard and used by most of the major browsers that leaks enough information about encrypted sessions to enable attackers decrypt users' supposedly protected cookies and hijack their sessions. The researchers who developed the attack that exploits this weakness say that all versions of TLS are affected, including TLS 1.2, and that the cipher suite used in the encrypted session makes no difference in the success of the attack.

The attack was developed by researchers Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong, the same pair who last year released details of a similar attack on SSL/TLS and wrote a tool called BEAST, which also gave them the ability to decrypt users' cookies and hijack sessions with sensitive sites such as e-commerce or online banking sites.

The researchers plan to present their findings at the Ekoparty conference in Argentina later this month and are not revealing exactly which feature of SSL/TLS is providing the information leak, but they said that the new attack works much like the BEAST attack. Once they have a man-in-the-middle position on a given network, they can sniff HTTPS traffic and launch the attack.

"By running JavaScript code in the browser of the victim and sniffing HTTPS traffic, we can decrypt session cookies. We don't need to use any browser plug-in and we use JavaScript to make the attack faster but in theory we could do it with static HTML," Rizzo said.

Submission + - Dinosaur extinction may have been caused by two major events

ACXNew writes: The most-studied mass extinction in Earth history happened 65 million years ago and is widely thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs. New University of Washington research indicates that a separate extinction came shortly before that, triggered by volcanic eruptions that warmed the planet and killed life on the ocean floor.
The well-known second event is believed to have been triggered by an asteroid at least 6 miles in diameter slamming into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. But new evidence shows that by the time of the asteroid impact, life on the seafloor – mostly species of clams and snails – was already perishing because of the effects of huge volcanic eruptions on the Deccan Plateau in what is now India..

Submission + - Quantum Teleportation Sends Information 143 Kilometers (

SchrodingerZ writes: "Scientists from around the world have collaborated to achieve quantum teleportation over 143 kilometers in free space . Quantum information was sent between the Canary Islands of La Palma and Tenerife. Quantum teleportation is not how it is made out in Star Trek though. Instead of sending an object (in this case a photon) from one location to another; the information of its quantum state is sent, making a photon on the other end look identical to the original .'Teleportation across 143 kilometres is a crucial milestone in this research, since that is roughly the minimum distance between the ground and orbiting satellites.' It is the hope of the research team that this experiment will lead to commercial use of quantum teleportation to interact with satellites and ground stations. This will increase the efficiency of satellite communication and help with the expansion of quantum internet usage. The full paper on the experiment can be found in the journal Nature here."

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