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Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 07:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bad-plan-with-expected-results department:
ericgoldman writes "Terry Childs was a network engineer in San Francisco, and he was the only employee with passwords to the network. After he was fired, he withheld the passwords from his former employer, preventing his employer from controlling its own network. Recently, a California appeals court upheld his conviction for violating California's computer crime law, including a 4 year jail sentence and $1.5 million of restitution. The ruling (PDF) provides a good cautionary tale for anyone who thinks they can gain leverage over their employer or increase job security by controlling key passwords."

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India To Launch Mars Orbiter "Mangalyaan" Tuesday
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 05:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's first-time's-a-charm department:
sfcrazy writes "On Tuesday (Mangalwaar) the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) will launch the Mars orbiter Mangalyaan from Satish Dhawan Space Centre. The spaceship will take over 10 months to reach Mars and, if everything goes well, it would make India the first country to send a payload to Mars in its first attempt, and would beat close rival China whose recent mission failed."

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Silicon Valley Could Be Heading For a New Stock Collapse.
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 04:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's where's-my-model-s department:
First time accepted submitter billcarson writes "Even though for most of us the recession is far from over, analysts are worried the technology sector might be near the end of a bubble. Technology stocks are at records highs at the moment. Companies that have no sound business plan have no difficulty in raising capital to fund their crazy dreams. Even Yahoo is again buying companies without real profit (Tumblr). Andreessen Horowitz, a major venture capitalist in Silicon Valley is already pulling up the ladder. Might this be an indicator for more woe to come?"

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Bitcoin Protocol Vulnerability Could Lead To a Collapse
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's prepare-for-the-bitcoin-baron department:
First time accepted submitter stanga writes "Cornell researchers unveiled an attack on the Bitcoin mining protocol
that enables selfish mining pools to earn more than their fair
share. In a technical
report
the authors explain this
attack can be performed by a pool of any size. Rational miners
will join this pool to increase their benefits, creating a snowball
effect that may end up with a pool commanding a majority of the
system's mining power. Such a pool would be able to single-handedly
control the blockchain
, violating the decentralized nature of the increasingly

successful
Bitcoin.
The authors propose a patch to the protocol that would protect the
system from selfish mining pools smaller than 25% of the system. They
also show that Bitcoin can never be safe from selfish mining pools larger
than 33% of the network, whereas it was previously believed that only
groups larger than 50% of the network were a threat to the system.
The question is — can the miners operating today adopt the suggested fix and
dismantle too-large pools before a selfish mining pool arises?"


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Report Claims a Third of FOIA Requests To the NYPD Go Unanswered
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-information department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, who shared a Pulitzer last year as part of the Associated Press team covering the NYPD's surveillance activity, have summed it up perfectly: The NYPD doesn't answer document requests. "For the most part, they don't respond," Apuzzo told the Huffington Post. 'Even the NSA responds.' It's not just reporters who've noticed. New York City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio gave the police department a failing grade in an April report based on its dismal response rate to Freedom of Information requests. By de Blasio's analysis, nearly a third of requests submitted to NYPD go unanswered."

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Meet Slashdot 'Super Submitter' Esther Schindler (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 03:30 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's sharing-your-favorite-stories-with-the-slashdot-masses department:
Her bio says, "Esther Schindler has been writing about computers – with a particular focus on software development and open source – since the early 1990s. You’ve seen Esther’s byline in prominent IT publications, such as CIO.com, IT World, and IEEE Spectrum. She's written dozens of analyst reports for Evans Data about software development trends. Her name is on the cover of about a dozen books, including most recently The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter Marketing. Esther is editor of a site for software developers, these days, while still freelancing occasionally for IT World (most recently The developer's guide to future car technology) and she writes a blog about project management." She submits her own work to Slashdot, and submits work for other writers, too. She may or may not be the most successful Slashdot submitter of all time, based on the percentage of her submissions that show up on the front page, but she is absolutely in the top 10. In this interview, she shares some of her secrets. Maybe Esther's thoughts will help you submit more successfully. (So will reading the Slashdot FAQ.)

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One In Five Sun-Like Stars May Have an Earth-Like Planet
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 02:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "A new study, looking at over 40,000 stars viewed by the Kepler spacecraft, indicates that 22% of stars like the Sun should have Earth-like planets orbiting them — planets that are similar in size to our home world and with a surface temperature hospitable for liquid water. There are some caveats (they don't include atmospheric issues like the greenhouse effect, which may reduce the overall number, or at cooler stars where there may be many more such planets) but their numbers indicate there could be several billion planets similar to Earth in the Milky Way alone."

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David Craddock and Two Blizzard North Co-Founders (Video 2 of 2)
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lots-of-corporate-slashing-and-burning-behind-the-scenes department:
In this video, we continue our conversation with author David Craddock about his investigation into the early days of game studio Blizzard for his new book, Stay Awhile and Listen. He's joined by Dave Brevik and Max Schaefer, two of the co-founders of Blizzard North. They talk about keeping games accessible, the importance of getting the amount of background story right in Diablo, and whether the creators of these early games have any regrets about them. They also talk about designing The Butcher. (This is video part 2 of 2. The transcript of Part 1 is now available, too, if you care to go back and read it.)

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Ask Slashdot: Good Satellite Internet For Remote Locations?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-of-the-best department:
EdIII writes "I've been looking for a decent contention service (4:1,10:1) in South America and I am not finding much. I have also heard that some frequency bands are a lot better at cutting through cloud cover. This is for a fairly remote ground station with reliable power generation, but also routinely cloudy. I would need at least 3/1Mbps with hopefully decent latency. What's your advice Slashdotters? Yes, I know that some of the solutions can cost 20K for deployment and 2-10K per month for service. Feel free to to tell me about a good commercial service. There is another ground station that might be deployed in north east Alaska."

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Speed Test: Comparing Intel C++, GNU C++, and LLVM Clang Compilers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 12:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Benchmarking is a tricky business: a valid benchmarking tries to remove all extraneous variables in order to get an accurate measurement, a process that's often problematic: sometimes it's nearly impossible to remove all outside influences, and often the process of taking the measurement can skew the results. In deciding to compare three compilers (the Intel C++ compiler, the GNU C++ compiler (g++), and the LLVM clang compiler), developer and editor Jeff Cogswell takes a number of 'real world' factors into account, such as how each compiler deals with templates, and comes to certain conclusions. 'It's interesting that the code built with the g++ compiler performed the best in most cases, although the clang compiler proved to be the fastest in terms of compilation time,' he writes. 'But I wasn't able to test much regarding the parallel processing with clang, since its Cilk Plus extension aren't quite ready, and the Threading Building Blocks team hasn't ported it yet.' Follow his work and see if you agree, and suggest where he can go from here."

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Lockheed Martin Developing Successor To the SR-71 Blackbird
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's next-in-line department:
Zothecula writes "When the last SR-71 Blackbird was grounded in 1998 it was a double blow. Not only did aviation lose one of the most advanced aircraft ever built, but also one of the most beautiful. Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has now revealed that it is building a successor to the Blackbird: the SR-72. Using a new hypersonic engine design that combines turbines and ramjets, the company says that the unmanned SR-72 will be twice as fast as its predecessor with a cruising speed of Mach 6."

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How Elon Musk Approaches IT At Tesla
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's try-this department:
onehitwonder writes "In short, they build it themselves. When Tesla Motors needed to improve the back-end software that runs its business, CEO Elon Musk decided not to upgrade the company's SAP system. Instead, he told his CIO, Jay Vijayan, to have the IT organization build a new back-end system, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company's team of 25 software engineers developed the new system in about four months, and it provided the company with speed and agility at a time when it was experiencing costly delivery delays on its all-electric Model S."

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10-Year-Old Boy Discovers 600-Million-Year-Old Supernova
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's did-you-see-that? department:
minty3 writes "Nathan Gray, 10, from Nova Scotia, Canada, recently discovered a 600-million-year-old supernova in the galaxy PGC 61330, which lies in the constellation of Draco – beating his sister by 33 days as the youngest person to find a supernova. Gray made the discovery on October 30 while looking at astronomical images taken by Dave Lane, who runs the Abbey Ridge Observatory (ARO) in Nova Scotia. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada confirmed Gray's discovery, but astronomers with the International Astronomical Union say they will need to use a larger telescope to make the finding official."

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Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's scan-me department:
TinTops writes "Tesco has sparked privacy concerns following its decision to install technology that scans shoppers' faces in order to display video advertising on screens at its petrol stations. The UK's privacy watchdog the ICO is looking into the technology. This is the first national rollout of the system, known as OptimEyes, which claims to recognize facial characteristics that determine a customer's gender and age in order to show more relevant video adverts on screens as they queue at the till. Simon Sugar, chief executive of Amscreen, the firm which sells the technology, has admitted it has connotations of science fiction, but is looking to increase its reach further. 'Yes, it's like something out of Minority Report, but this could change the face of British retail and our plans are to expand the screens into as many supermarkets as possible,' he said."

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Fuel Cell-Powered Data Centers Could Cut Costs and Carbon
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 09:31 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fill-it-up department:
angry tapir writes "A group of Microsoft researchers believe that using fuel cells to power data centers could potentially result in an 'over 20% reduction in costs using conservative projections', cutting infrastructure and power input costs. In addition, using fuel cells would likely result in a smaller carbon footprint for data centers. The researchers looked at the potential of using fuel cells at the rack level to power servers in data centers — although they note there is a long way to go before this could become a reality (not least of the small worldwide production level of fuel cells)."

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Hoax-Proofing the Open Access Journals
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sokal-affairs-are-so-embarrassing department:
Frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes:
"A Harvard biologist was able to get an intentionally flawed
paper accepted for publication by a number of open-access
academic journals, included that had supposedly been vetted for quality by advocates of
open access. It seems the problem could be mitigated by consolidating journals
within a field, so that there are much fewer of them, publishing much more articles
per journal -- so the review processes take the same amount of labor, but you have fewer
journals that have to be audited for procedural honesty."
Read on for the rest, including his idea to solve the problem of fraudulent submissions (or even just sub-par science) through simplification.

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6TB Helium-Filled Hard Drives Take Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's building-it-better department:
An anonymous reader writes in with some exciting news if you are a storage array manufacturer with a lot of money to spend on hard drives."HGST Monday announced that it's now shipping a helium-filled, 3.5-in hard disk drive with 50% more capacity than the current industry leading 4TB drives. The new drive uses 23% less power and is 38% lighter than the 4TB drives. Without changing the height, the new 6TB Ultrastar He6 enterprise-class hard drive crams seven disk platters into what was a five disk-platter, 4TB Ultrastar drive."

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BlackBerry Abandons Sale Plans Will Replace CEO
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-second-thought department:
An anonymous reader writes "BlackBerry has abandoned plans to sell the company to Fairfax Holdings after the shareholder could not raise enough money. CEO Thorsten Heins is to leave the company. From the article: 'The company also said that Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax, will be appointed Lead Director and chair of the compensation, nomination and governance committee. Mr. Watsa had resigned from the BlackBerry board earlier this year to explore a bid for the company.'"

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Swiss Government Backs Privacy Oriented ISP
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eyes-on-your-own-screen department:
judgecorp writes "The Swiss government owned telco Swisscom is pitching a "Swiss Cloud" operator which promises to keep customers' credentials private in the wake of the NSA spying scandal. Switzerland has strict privacy laws, with which the Swisscom cloud complies, and the operator now wants to offer that more widely."

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New Framework For Programming Unreliable Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's this-is-how-you-do-it department:
rtoz writes "For handling the future unreliable chips, a research group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has developed a new programming framework that enables software developers to specify when errors may be tolerable. The system then calculates the probability that the software will perform as it's intended.
As transistors get smaller, they also become less reliable. This reliability won't be a major issue in some cases. For example, if few pixels in each frame of a high-definition video are improperly decoded, viewers probably won't notice — but relaxing the requirement of perfect decoding could yield gains in speed or energy efficiency."


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