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How To Find Nearby Dark Skies, No Matter Where You Are
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's look-for-the-planetarium-signs department:
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "For those of us living in or around large cities — and that's most of us — we're completely divorced from dark, clear night skies as part of our routine experience. But even though our skies may typically rate a seven or higher on the Bortle Dark Sky Scale, that doesn't mean that significantly darker skies aren't accessible. Here's how to install an interactive light pollution map for yourself, and find the darkest skies near you no matter where you are! (North American-centric, but resources are provided for those elsewhere in the world.)"

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How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's leave-your-comment-in-the-form-of-an-exploit department:
dwheeler (321049) writes "Heartbleed was bad vulnerability in OpenSSL. My article How to Prevent the next Heartbleed explains why so many tools missed it... and what could be done to prevent the next one. Are there other ways to detect these vulnerabilities ahead-of-time? What did I miss?"

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Can You Tell the Difference? 4K Galaxy Note 3 vs. Canon 5D Mark III Video
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 04:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-magic-lantern department:
Iddo Genuth (903542) writes "Photographer and videographer Alec Weinstein was in the market for a new smartphone. He realized that the new Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Note 3 both have 4K video recording capabilities and decided to compare those to his 1080p 5D MKIII pro DSLR camera – the results are extremely interesting — Can you tell the difference between a the of Canon 5D MKIII shooting 1080p video and a the Samsung Galaxy Note III smartphone shooting 4K video?"

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Breaking Bad's Scientific Consultant On Making Meth and More
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-a-howto department:
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Science sat down with Breaking Bad science consultant Donna Nelson, an organic chemist at the University of Oklahoma. Nelson was one of several expert advisers for the show who began consulting several episodes in on multiple topics, including how to make Walt a realistic chemist. She discusses the accuracy of the show, whether making meth is as straightforward as it seems on the series, and her favorite scene."

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Researchers Develop DNA GPS Tool To Accurately Trace Geographical Ancestry
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-you-like-to-make-cave-paintings department:
Zothecula (1870348) writes "An international team of scientists has developed a process that allows them to pinpoint a person's geographical origin going back 1,000 years. Known as the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) tool, the method is accurate enough to locate the village from which the subject's ancestors came, and has significant implications for personalized medical treatment."

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Opting Out of Big Data Snooping: Harder Than It Looks
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's perhaps-you're-just-into-bottles department:
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Princeton sociologist Janet Vertesi writes about her attempt at hiding her pregnancy from 'the bots, trackers, cookies and other data sniffers online that feed the databases that companies use for targeted advertising.' Big data still found her, even though she steered clear of social media, avoided baby-related credit card purchases, and downloaded Tor to browse the Internet privately."

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Can the Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's steady-hand-needed department:
szczys (3402149) writes "Brian Benchoff used science and math to prove that the performance shown in the Lix Kickstarter video is questionable at best. Check his evidence and see if he's done an appropriate job of debunking the functionality presented."

From the Hackaday post: "While we know the video is an outright misrepresentation of what any USB 3 powered device can do, We can’t figure out if the Lix is a viable product. We’re turning to you. Can you figure out if the Lix pen actually works? All we know is the Lix pen has a 4.5 Watt power supply from a USB 3 port. It’s possible for a USB 3 powered 3D printing pen to work, albeit slowly, but the engineering is difficult and we don’t know if the Lix team has the chops."

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Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-which-8-track department:
stkpogo (799773) writes "I have several old VHS tapes that I'd like to digitize but my old VHS machine died years ago. What's a good VHS player to get so I can make nice clean digital videos from my old tapes before they're gone? I have a few TV -> USB adapters." How would you go about this, especially with tapes (like old home movies) you might be worried about sticking into a low-end VCR? And with what number of tapes does it make sense to outsource the digitizing?

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Boeing Unveils Cabin Design For Commercial Spaceliner
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's free-toy-craft-for-every-kid department:
Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes " Did you enjoy your flight, Dr Heywood Floyd?" Boeing unveiled a new concept for the cabin of a future commercial spaceliner, based on the blue-lit Boeing "Sky" interior of the company's modern airliners, as well as work on the company's CST-100 space capsule. "Provided there is a destination for them out there, how will that passenger want to go back and forth?'" said Chris Ferguson, a former astronaut who commanded NASA's final space shuttle mission in 2011 and now serves as Boeing's director of crew and mission operations for the commercial crew program. Boeing developed the CST-100 capsule to compete for NASA's space station crew launch business after the agency retired its space shuttle fleet. The capsule is designed to launch on an expendable Atlas 5 rocket. NASA will be selecting one or more companies in August of this year, with the aim of reaching flight operations in 2017."

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Kids To Get the Best CS Teachers $15/Hr Can Buy
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-about-great-volunteers department:
theodp (442580) writes "Billionaire-backed Code.org, enthusiastically tweets U.S. Dept. of Education Chief Arne Duncan, is 'providing tremendous leadership in bringing coding & computer science to our nation's schools.' Including bringing kids in Broward County Public Schools the best computer science teachers $15.00-an-hour can buy, according to a document on the school district's website. One wonders how the Broward teachers feel about Code.org apparently coughing up $38.33-an-hour for Chicago teachers who attend the required Code.org professional development, which ironically covers equity issues. Duncan's shout-out comes days after Code.org claimed in its Senate testimony that 'our students have voted with their actions [participating in an hour-long, Angry Birds-themed Blockly tutorial starring Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates]: that learning computer science is this generation's Sputnik moment, that it's part of the new American Dream, and that it should be available to every student, in every school, as part of the standard curriculum.'"

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VHS-Era Privacy Law Still Causing Headaches For Streaming Video
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's again-with-the-like-button department:
jfruh (300774) writes "The Video Privacy Protection Act, a 1988 law that made it illegal for a video store to share your rental history, has thrown up roadblocks for modern-day streaming video sites. Last year Congress amended the law to make it possible for you to share your Netflix viewing history with your social media friends, as long as you opt in. But what does "opting in" entail? Hulu is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit over the fact that clicking the Facebook "like" button on a viewing page shares that viewing activity on Facebook."

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Steve Jobs Defied Convention, and Perhaps the Law
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's howso-perhaps? department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that recent revelations that Steve Jobs was the driving force in a conspiracy to prevent competitors from poaching employees raises the question: If Steve Jobs were alive today, should he be in jail? Jobs 'was a walking antitrust violation. I'm simply astounded by the risks he seemed willing to take,' says Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law and an expert in antitrust law. 'Didn't he have lawyers advising him? You see this kind of behavior sometimes in small, private or family-run companies, but almost never in large public companies like Apple.' In 2007, Jobs threatened Palm with patent litigation unless Palm agreed not to recruit Apple employees, even though Palm's then-chief executive, Edward Colligan, told him that such a plan was 'likely illegal.' That same year, Jobs wrote Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google at the time, 'I would be extremely pleased if Google would stop doing this,' referring to its efforts to recruit an Apple engineer. When Jobs learned that the Google recruiter who contacted the Apple employee would be 'fired within the hour,' he responded with a smiley face. 'How could anyone have approved that?' says Hovenkamp. 'Any competent antitrust counsel would know that's illegal. And they had to know they'd get caught eventually.'" (Read more, below.)

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Winning Algorithms For Rock, Paper, Scissors
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's win-bets-with-children department:
Celarent Darii (1561999) writes "The probability of winning at Rock-Paper-Scissors is about 1 in 3. However, people do not play entirely randomly, a study has revealed. People tend to follow hidden patterns that can be used to win more games. A short article on the BBC gives hints on the strategies to be used to get a competitive advantage with your Rock-Scissors-Paper nemesis." Remember, these strategies are for use against people, not robots.

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Free Can Make You Bleed: the Underresourced Open Source
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's superheroes-of-the-real-world department:
jones_supa (887896) writes "After the Heartbleed fiasco, John Walsh brings attention to the lack of proper manpower and funding to run various open source projects. Free is not usually a bad thing, but it can be when it causes the software your business depends on to be under resourced. 'OpenSSL for example is largely staffed by one fulltime developer and a number of part-time volunteer developers. The total labor pool for OpenSSL maybe adds up to two fulltime developers. Think about it, OpenSSL only has two people to write, maintain, test, and review 500,000 lines of business critical code. Half of these developers have other things to do.' Theo de Raadt has also spoken about too much donations coming from the little people instead of companies, and not too long ago even the OpenBSD project almost couldn't pay its power bills. Walsh goes on to ponder security of open source software, the 'many eyes' phenomenon, dedicating people to review code, and quality control."

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Jury Finds Apple and Samsung Infringed Each Other's Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 03:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's shouldn't-it-come-out-in-the-wash? department:
An anonymous reader writes "A U.S. jury concluded Friday that Samsung had infringed on two of Apple's patents and that Apple had infringed on one of Samsung's patents. Prior to the trial, the judge had ruled that Samsung had infringed on one other Apple patent. Samsung will receive $158,400 in damages, although they had requested just over $6 million. Apple will receive $119.6 million in damages, although they had requested just over $2 billion and a ban on certain Samsung phones. Some say that a sales ban is unlikely to be approved by the judge. The jury is scheduled to return on Monday to resolve what appears to be a technical mistake in their verdict on one of the patents, and Apple may gain a few hundred thousand dollars in their damages award as a result."

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Pirate Bay Sports-Content Uploader Faces $32m Lawsuit
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '14 at 01:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's a-matter-of-scale department:
As reported by TorrentFreak, a New York man's large-scale pirating of Ultimate Fighting Championship videos via The Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents has landed him on the uncomfortable end of a $32 million lawsuit. From the article: "Known online as Secludedly, the man uploaded at least 124 events. As a result UFC parent Zuffa is hitting him with everything from copyright infringement, to fraud, to breach of contract. ... The lawsuit, which includes two other doe defendants and an unknown company Zuffa refers to as XYZ Corp (“a business entity, the exact nature of which is unknown”), centers around the unlawful recording (“capping”), uploading and distribution of more than 120 UFC events via two of the world’s biggest torrent sites. ... Also receiving a prominent mention from Zuffa is the fact that Secludedly allowed people to donate via a PayPal in order to help with the financing of future ripping and uploading activities."

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SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '14 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-moving-parts department:
Lucas123 (935744) writes "SanDisk has announced what it's calling the world's highest capacity 2.5-in SAS SSD, the 4TB Optimus MAX line. The flash drive uses eMLC (enterprise multi-level cell) NAND built with 19nm process technology. The company said it plans on doubling the capacity of its SAS SSDs every one to two years and expects to release an 8TB model next year, dwarfing anything hard disk drives can ever offer over the same amount of time. he Optimus MAX SAS SSD is capable of up to 400 MBps sequential reads and writes and up to 75,000 random I/Os per second (IOPS) for both reads and writes, the company said."

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Could Google's Test of Hiding Complete URLs In Chrome Become a Standard?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '14 at 06:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's dumbed-down-or-neatened-up? department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The address bar in a Web browser has been a standard feature for as long as Web browsers have been around — and that's not going to be changing. What could be, though, is exactly what sort of information is displayed in them. In December, Google began rolling-out a limited test of a feature in Chrome called "Origin Chip", a UI element situated to the left of the address bar. What this "chip" does is show the name of the website you're currently on, while also showing the base URL. To the right, the actual address bar shows nothing, except a prompt to "Search Google or type URL". With this implementation, a descriptive URL would not be seen in the URL bar. Instead, only the root domain would be seen, but to the left of the actual address bar. This effectively means that no matter which page you're on in a given website, all you'll ever see when looking at the address bar is the base URL in the origin chip. What helps here is that the URL is never going to be completely hidden. You'll still be able to hit Ctrl + L to select it, and hopefully be able to click on the origin chip in order to reveal the entire URL. Google could never get rid of the URL entirely, because it's required in order to link someone to a direct location, obviously."

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Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '14 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's moral-crisis department:
MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) writes "In a recent story on reason.com it was reported that the DoJ is closing down the bank accounts of porn stars. Not knowing the site I googled around and found another site, the Guardian. The story does not end there. It turns out that this is part of a larger scheme (ironically) called Operation Choke Point. Also reported in a Washington Post article that downplays the practice. According to Cryptocoin news. There are thirty industries the DoJ is now targeteting: Ammunition Sales; Cable Box De-scramblers; Coin Dealers; Credit Card Schemes; Credit Repair Services; Dating Services; Debt Consolidation Scams; Drug Paraphernalia; Escort Services; Firearms Sales; Fireworks Sales; Get Rich Products; Government Grants; Home-Based Charities; Life-Time Guarantees; Life-Time Memberships; Lottery Sales; Mailing Lists/Personal Info; Money Transfer Networks; On-line Gambling; PayDay Loans; Pharmaceutical Sales; Ponzi Schemes; Pornography; Pyramid-Type Sales; Racist Materials; Surveillance Equipment; Telemarketing; Tobacco Sales; and Travel Clubs. But more can be added. (I notice alcohol sales is not on the list)." The Reason article stops short of saying that Choke Point is proven to be the reason for the account closures, but it seems very plausible.

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iOS 7 Update Silently Removes Encryption For Email Attachments
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '14 at 03:31 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's giveth-and-taketh-away department:
An anonymous reader writes "Apple has removed encrypted email attachments from iOS 7. Apple said back in June 2010 in regards to iOS 4.0: 'Data protection is available for devices that offer hardware encryption, including iPhone 3GS and later, all iPad models, and iPod touch (3rd generation and later). Data protection enhances the built-in hardware encryption by protecting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. This provides an additional layer of protection for your email messages attachments, and third-party applications.' Not anymore."

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