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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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 + - Former IT Admin Accused of Leaving Backdoor Account, Accessing It 700+ Times (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An Oregon sportswear company is suing its former IT administrator, alleging he left backdoor accounts on their network and used them more than 700 times to search for information for the benefit of its new employer.

Court papers reveal the IT admin left to be the CTO at one of the sportswear company's IT suppliers after working for 14 years at his previous employer. For more than two years, he's been using an account he created before he left to access his former colleague's emails and gather information about the IT services they might need in the future. The IT admin was fired from his CTO job after his new employer found out what he was doing.

Submission + - Sex toy company pays out $3.75m for collecting temperature and intensity data (ibtimes.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Some things just really, really shouldn't be connected to the internet. A maker of 'smart' sex toys will pay out approximately $3.75m (£3.1m, €3.5m)to customers after it was discovered to be collecting usage data from them.

Canadian company We-Vibe had appeared in court on a privacy violation lawsuit after security researchers found that it was relaying "highly sensitive" and "personally identifiable" data from its internet-connected products back to the manufacturer.

This included information about how often the owners used the toys, as well as the temperature and intensity settings they used. This data was connected to customers' email addresses.

Submission + - Aquion Energy criticized as another "Solandra" (foxnews.com)

rmdingler writes: Longtime, RFTA-challenged, Slashdot poster, *rmdingler*, reports: A cutting-edge battery maker that received millions from taxpayers has become the latest government-backed energy firm to file for bankruptcy – reviving the controversy over how stimulus dollars were spent under the last administration. Seven years after Aquion Energy received a $5.2 million stimulus-tied grant from the federal government, the Pennsylvania company on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A whole $5.2 million US? Gosh, that's like, a sub-sub-sub Agency's rounding margin for the company Independence Day BBQ.

Submission + - Attack Traffic Against Apache Servers Dropping Off (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Malicious traffic stemming from exploits against the Apache Struts 2 vulnerability disclosed and patched this week has tapered off since Wednesday.

Researchers at Rapid7 published an analysis of data collected from its honeypots situated on five major cloud providers and a number of private networks that shows a couple of dozen sources have targeted this vulnerability, but only two, originating in China, have actually sent malicious commands.

Cisco Talos said on Thursday that attacks had risen sharply since word leaked of publicly available exploits and a Metasploit module. But it conceded that it was difficult to ascertain whether probes for vulnerable Apache servers could be carried out benignly.

Rapid7 said that in a 72-hour period starting Tuesday, a handful of events cropped up peaking at fewer than 50 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday.

“We are really seeing limited attempts to exploit the vulnerability,” said Tom Sellers, threat analyst and security researcher at Rapid7.

Submission + - U.S. to Temporarily Suspend Expediting for H-1B Visas (uscis.gov) 1

elrous0 writes: According to an U.S. Immigration Services press release:

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

While the ostensible reason given for this suspension is to "help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times," there is little doubt that this move is tied to President Trump's ongoing efforts to curb abuses in the controversial H-1B program.

Submission + - Researchers Create New Form of Matter (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: MIT physicists have created a new form of matter, a supersolid, which combines the properties of solids with those of superfluids. By using lasers to manipulate a superfluid gas known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, the team was able to coax the condensate into a quantum phase of matter that has a rigid structure—like a solid—and can flow without viscosity—a key characteristic of a superfluid. Studies into this apparently contradictory phase of matter could yield deeper insights into superfluids and superconductors, which are important for improvements in technologies such as superconducting magnets and sensors, as well as efficient energy transport. The researchers report their results this week in the journal Nature. The team used a combination of laser cooling and evaporative cooling methods, originally co-developed by Ketterle, to cool atoms of sodium to nanokelvin temperatures. Atoms of sodium are known as bosons, for their even number of nucleons and electrons. When cooled to near absolute zero, bosons form a superfluid state of dilute gas, called a Bose-Einstein condensate, or BEC. To create the supersolid state, the team manipulated the motion of the atoms of the BEC using laser beams, introducing "spin-orbit coupling." In their ultrahigh-vacuum chamber, the team used an initial set of lasers to convert half of the condensate's atoms to a different quantum state, or spin, essentially creating a mixture of two Bose-Einstein condensates. Additional laser beams then transferred atoms between the two condensates, called a "spin flip."

Submission + - Malaysian Police: VX nerve gas killed N Korea leader's brother in airport attack (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Malaysian police have announced their finding that Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, was killed by assassins using VX nerve gas in an attack in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysian authorities plan to decontaminate the airport and other sites visited by the attackers. Police are holding the two female attackers, one of whom was affected by the chemical agent, as well as two other men. They are seeking seven more North Koreans connected to the case. VX is the most toxic of the nerve gasses and the UN has declared it a weapon of mass destruction. The manufacture and stockpiling of more than 100 grams of VX per year is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. It has no commercial uses. The Malaysian police are trying to discover if it was smuggled into their country, or manufactured there. The Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador to North Korea for consultation. North Korea is blaming the death of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysia. North Korea is believed to have major stockpiles of chemical weapons, and is alleged to conduct experiments on prisoners and social undesirables.

Submission + - Disney Cuts Ties with PewDiePie, Top YouTube Submitter, After Anti-Semetic Clips (techcrunch.com)

jo7hs2 writes: Disney's Maker Studios has cut ties PewDiePie, the YouTube submitter with 53 million subscribers, over anti-Semitic clips the submitter released earlier in the year. The clips, three videos published in January, have since been removed from the channel. According to TechCrunch, "They included one skit in which Kjellberg paid a Sri Lanka-based group of men to hold up a sign that read “Death to All Jews,” while another featured a clip of a man dressed as Jesus saying that “Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong.” Kjellberg used freelance job finding site Fiverr for both clips. He argued that he wasn’t serious with either and instead wanted to show the things people will do for money."

Submission + - GM Salmonella destroys cancer (sandiegouniontribune.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Using mice and cultures of human cancer cells, a South Korean-led scientific team demonstrated that Salmonella typhimurium engineered to make a foreign protein caused immune cells called macrophages and neutralizes to mobilize against the cancer.

The bacterium came from an attenuated strain that has little infectious potential. Such strains have been tested as vaccines. The protein, called FlaB, is made by a gene in the estuarine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, a close relative of the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Tumors shrank below detectable levels in 11 out of 20 mice injected with the modified Salmonella, said the study, published in Science Translational Medicine.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Aggressive Forum Users? 1

dryriver writes: I've noticed a disturbing trend while trying to resolve a rather tricky tech issue by asking questions on a number of internet forums. The number of people who don't help at all with problems but rather butt into threads with unhelpful comments like "why would you want to do that in the first place?" or "why don't you look at X poorly written documentation page " was staggering. One forum user with 1,500+ posts even posted "you are such a n00b if you can't figure this out" in my question thread, even though my tech question wasn't one that is obvious or easy to resolve. The ratio of unhelpful comments to actually helpful comments was about 5 to 1. I seem to remember a time when people helped each other far more readily on the internet. Now there seems to be a new breed of forum user who a) hangs out at a forum socially all day b) does not bother to help at all and c) gets a kick out of telling you things like "what a stupid question" or "nobody will help you with that here" or similar. Who are these forum users? Are they emotionally unstable t(w)eenagers who hang around forums looking for some "n00b" to trash? Where have the good old days gone when people much more readily gave other people step-by-step tips, tricks, instructions and advice?

Submission + - Another Final Obama Admin Last Act: Proposing How to Rethink College w/ Tech (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: Yesterday the Obama Administration's Ed Dept issued a big National Education Technology Plan focused on reimagining higher education. It's a bit of a kitchen sink of examples and suggestions, but it does argue that colleges need to step up their game: “Unless we become more nimble in our approach and more scalable in our solutions, we will miss out on an opportunity to embrace and serve the majority of students who will need higher education and postsecondary learning,” says the report. Later it underscores that “higher education has never mattered so much to those who seek it. It drives social mobility, energizes our economy, and underpins our democracy.”

Colleges are good at letting the ivy grown on walls, after all.

The timing is a bit odd. Will Trump's education team possibly continue this policy direction?
Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary for Education, admitted that much activity will move to the states or other entities in the near future, but he still sees a federal role. “These federal issues are also going to be state issues,” he said. “At the core, we believe changes will happen most profoundly at the institution level.”

Submission + - SPAM: NASA cannot confiscate an Apollo 11 artifact that was sold by mistake

schwit1 writes: A federal judge has ruled that NASA has no right to confiscate an Apollo 11 lunar rock sample bag that had been purchased legally, even though the sale itself had been in error.

Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled in the U.S. District Court for Kansas that Nancy Carlson of Inverness, Illinois, obtained the title to the historic artifact as "a good faith purchaser, in a sale conducted according to law." The government had petitioned the court to reverse the sale and return the lunar sample bag to NASA. "She is entitled to possession of the bag," Marten wrote in his order.

This court case will hopefully give some legal standing to the private owners of other artifacts or lunar samples that NASA had given away and then demanded their return, decades later.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Autonomous Vehicles Have Begun Dramatically Changing the Look and Feel of Cars (observer.com)

BradyDale writes: With Michigan passing the most permissive self-driving car laws to date, there's a bit of an arms race in the United States to be the place that provides the most fertile ground for a new industry. As the new concept vehicles move forward, the indications clearly show that designers have started to rethink what cars should look and feel like. These 9 examples give hints of the dramatic changes ahead for the inside and outside of transportation.
Examples come from major companies like Mercedes and Audi, new players like Easymile and new but big players like LeEco (which has partnered with Faraday Future).

Submission + - Remarkable New Theory Says There's No Gravity (bigthink.com)

Jeff Socia writes: Gravity is something all of us are familiar with from our first childhood experiences. You drop something — it falls. And the way physicists have described gravity has also been pretty consistent — it’s considered one of the four main forces or “interactions” of nature and how it works has been described by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity all the way back in 1915.

But Professor Erik Verlinde, an expert in string theory from the University of Amsterdam and the Delta Institute of Theoretical Physics, thinks that gravity is not a fundamental force of nature because it's not always there. Instead it’s “emergent” — coming into existence from changes in microscopic bits of information in the structure of spacetime.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson

Working...