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


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Submission + - The tech behind Felix Baumgartner's stratospheric skydive (

MrSeb writes: "Felix Baumgartner has successfully completed his stratospheric skydive from 128,000 feet (39km), breaking a record that was set 52 years ago by Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger — that much we know. From the balloon, to the capsule, to the gear that Baumgartner wore during his 730 mph (1174 kph) free fall, the technology behind the scenes is impressive, and in some cases bleeding edge. ExtremeTech takes a deep dive into the tech that kept Baumgartner alive during the three-hour ascent and (much shorter) descent — and the tech that allowed us to watch every moment of the Red Bull Stratos mission live, as captured by no less than 15 digital cameras and numerous other scientific instruments."
The Military

Submission + - US Navy Cruiser and Submarine Collide (

An anonymous reader writes: Despite billions of dollars in advanced electronics, radars,and sonar it seems the Navy needs to install backup cameras on their boats. "The Pentagon said late Saturday that it is investigating why a Navy submarine collided with an Aegis cruiser during routine operations at an undisclosed location."

Submission + - Galileo: Europe's version of GPS reaches key phase ( 1

another random user writes: The third and fourth spacecraft in Europe's satellite navigation system have gone into orbit. The pair were launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.

It is an important milestone for the multi-billion-euro project to create a European version of the US Global Positioning System.

With four satellites now in orbit — the first and second spacecraft were launched in 2011 — it becomes possible to test Galileo end-to-end. That is because a minimum of four satellites are required in the sky for a smartphone or vehicle to use their signals to calculate a positional fix.

Submission + - Neal Stephenson reinventing computer swordfighting (

toxygen01 writes: "Neal Stephenson, sci-fi writer mostly known for Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon books, takes on revolutionizing virtual sword fighting with help of crowdfunding. Inspired by a little known fictional universe "Mongoliad", an interactive book he is participating on, his company is trying to develop hardware (low-latency motion controller) and software for realistic medieval sword fighting. From what is promised, it will try to be open for other developers by having API and SDK available for further modding."

Submission + - Back to EE, stay in software, or go executive? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I've been happily working in a small team of great people on scientific research software, but our funding dried up. Then in the 11th hour, it seems I'm not being let go after all — for another year at least.

Assuming the worst, I went for interviews and had an offer — but not in the city where I have my small family. So when my old boss (himself a generous, if eccentric engineer trying to retire) offered me a gig making use of my fading EE skills, I accepted. Recently, he caught me by surprise — saying his small (< 10) business servicing the energy sector would do better if I represented it.

What does Slashdot think of jumping way outside your comfort zone by considering such a drastic (premature for late 20s?) career jump? His rationale is, "if I can do it, you can too". And what of research software vs industrial/EE?

Submission + - Almost 800 Major Companies support CISPA Bill ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: World Real News has compiled an alphabetic list of 796 companies that support the CISPA cyber-intelligence sharing bill currently waiting in the senate. A cursory glance at the list of supporters reveals that almost everybody who is anybody in the corporate world is behind CISPA, from IBM, Intel and AMD, to Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Facebook, to Exxon, Ford, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, General Electric and NTT Docomo. The picture that emerges from studying this list is almost tragic: While most grassroots internet users want to see this bill killed, because it would seriously encroach on everybody's right to internet privacy, just about every major corporation in the world seems to want to see CISPA pass, and backs it openly. It seems that the "war for the internet" may have turned into a "war between ordinary internet users, and large corporations/multinationals". Who will win this war at the end of the day is anybody's guess, but the list of corporate CISPA supporters sure is impressively long.

Submission + - Open Source Declarative Business Logic for Hibernate / JPA (

ValH writes: "While there’s an abundance of Java frameworks for user interface, the business logic is not addressed — a problem because it’s half the app. The presumption is that this is domain specific, so must be manually coded.

We think there is a better way. Unlike procedural approaches where you spell out dependencies at the detail level, we adopt a declarative approach that automates dependencies for ordering and re-use. This results in business logic that looks much more like spreadsheet formulas than complex Java code.

It is integrated into Hibernate/JPA as an event listener. That means there are no API changes. You express your logic in declarative annotations, just as you define JPA persistence.

The bottom line is a ten-fold reduction in the business-logic half of your application, with procedural escapes for the remaining 5%.

We think this is important for the community, so we’ve made it Open Source."


Submission + - Has Christopher Nolan turned the 3D argument? (

brumgrunt writes: Not only has Christopher Nolan resisted pressure to make his third Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, in 3D, but his explanation is very much centred on it being the right decision to suit the film. With Harry Potter (temporarily) abandoning 3D too, has Hollywood's latest bandwagon hit the skids already?

Submission + - Sweden rejects Assange residency application

Jazzbunny writes: Sweden's immigration authority on Monday rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's request for residency, a potential setback in his efforts to gain protection from Swedish press freedom laws. "His application has been denied," Migration Board spokeswoman Gunilla Wikstrom told The Associated Press. She declined to give the reason, saying it was confidential.

Submission + - Wikileaks Reveals Illegal Black Ops by Italy (

commodore64_love writes: Officially the Italian government is engaged in a peace-keeping and rebuilding mission for Afghanistan. But recent documents released by Wikileaks show the Italian government is engaged in black operations, despite having told the public no such actions were taking place. Source: Russia Today video

Browser Private Modes Not So Private After All 198

CWmike writes "Browsing in 'private mode" isn't as private as users think, reports Gregg Keizer. 'There are some traces left behind [by all browsers] that could reveal some of the sites that you've been to,' said researcher Collin Jackson. He, along with three colleagues, will present their findings on Tuesday at the Usenix Security Symposium in DC. IE, Firefox and Safari, for instance, leave traces of SSL encryption keys even when run in private mode, while IE and Safari on Windows preserve self-signed SSL certificates in a 'vault' file that could be read by others to track the browser's path. Firefox also retains evidence of some certificates. Private mode has also been billed as a way for users to hide themselves from the prying eyes of sites that try to track habits and histories. Jackson said most users see that as the biggest attraction to private mode. 'Some browsers do a better job of protecting you from other types of scenarios, such as Web site tracking,' Jackson said. 'Safari is very much more willing to reveal you to Web sites than the others.'"

SMS Trojan Steals From Android Owners 168

siliconbits writes "A Trojan posing as a media player for Android smartphones automatically sends text messages to premium rate numbers, according to Kaspersky Lab. Company officials say the Trojan, dubbed Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.FakePlayer.a, is the first of its kind for the Android platform, even though SMS Trojans are currently the most widespread type of malware on mobile phones."

Submission + - 76% Web users affected by browser history stealing (

An anonymous reader writes: Web browser history detection with the CSS :visited trick has been known for the last ten years, but recently published research suggests that the problem is bigger than previously thought. A study of 243,068 users found that 76% of them were vulnerable to history detection by malicious websites. Newer browsers such as Safari and Chrome were even more affected, with 82% and 94% of users vulnerable. An average of 63 visited locations were detected per user, and for the top 10% of users the tests found over 150 visited sites. The website has a summary of the findings; the full paper [pdf] is available as well.

Geostationary GPS Satellite Galaxy 15 Out of Control 379

Bruce Perens writes "The Galaxy 15 commercial satellite has not responded to commands since solar flares fried its CPU in April, and it won't turn off. Intelsat controllers moved all commercial payloads to other birds except for WAAS, a system that adds accuracy to GPS for landing aircraft and finding wayward geocaches. Since the satellite runs in 'bent pipe' mode, amplifying wide bands of RF that are beamed up to it, it is likely to interfere with other satellites as it crosses their orbital slots on its way to an earth-sun Lagrange point, the natural final destination of a geostationary satellite without maneuvering power." (More below.)

Submission + - 100 years of Big Content Fearing Technology... (

Ant writes: "This two pages Arstechnica article talks about the last "100 years of Big Content fearing technology--in its own words... rightsholders have fretted about everything from the player piano to the video casette recorder (VCR) to digital television (TV) to Napster. Here are those objections, in Big Content's own words...

Seen on Boing Boing."

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