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Hackers, Gamers and Tech Workers: The UK Needs You For a New Cyber Army
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's point-and-click-patriot department:
girlmad writes "The UK government is looking to recruit IT experts for a cyber reserves army, which will help it defend against the threat of cyber warfare. 'This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities,' said the Ministry of Defence. The reserve unit will cover a range of military cyber tactics, including a strike capability to augment the UK's military prowess."

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John McAfee's Latest Project: Shielding Against Surveillance
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's man-with-a-plan department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Now that he's finished dodging law enforcement and experimenting with chemicals, software designer John McAfee (founder of his eponymous antivirus company) has been building something that, if it actually works, could appeal to the paranoid: a device that blocks the government's ability to spy on PCs and mobile devices. The device, known as 'Dcentral,' will reportedly cost around $100 and fit into a pants pocket. In a speech at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center over the weekend, McAfee suggested that the hardware would create private device networks impenetrable to outsiders, even those with the most sophisticated technology. The network's range would be roughly three blocks; McAfee believes that he can have a prototype up and running within six months. Whether or not McAfee manages to get that prototype working on schedule, he's already ramping up to the release of something, having set up a 'Future Tense Central' Website with a countdown clock, a sleek logo, and a set of social-media buttons. McAfee is such an outsized figure ('I've always wandered close to the edge,' he once confessed to an audience) that it's sometimes tempting to take his latest claims with a moon-sized grain of salt—this is the same man, after all, who says he avoided a police manhunt in Belize by dressing up as a drunk German tourist. (And he's unafraid to parody his own Wild Man reputation online.) That aside, he's also an executive with a record of starting a financially successful company, which means that—no matter what else he's done in the intervening years—it's likely that he'll attract a little bit of attention, if not some funding, with his latest endeavor."

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Producing Gasoline With Metabolically-Engineered Microorganisms
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's gunk-to-gallons department:
An anonymous reader writes "For many decades, we have been relying on fossil resources to produce liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and many industrial and consumer chemicals for daily use. However, increasing strains on natural resources as well as environmental issues including global warming have triggered a strong interest in developing sustainable ways to obtain fuels and chemicals. A Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reported, for the first time, the development of a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through metabolic engineering of E. coli."

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LinkedIn Agrees To Block Stalkers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stop-following-me department:
sholto writes "When Buzzfeed wrote about <a>LinkedIn's stalker problem</a> in June, LinkedIn claimed it had enough privacy tools "to effectively minimize unwanted connections". But a petition by a 24-year-old Ohio woman sexually assaulted by her boss and harassed through the network appears to have <a>won the day for privacy advocates</a>. LinkedIn said it was adding a blocking feature to protect members against stalkers. 'I can confirm that we’re in the process of building (a block feature),' responded Paul Rockwell, head of trust and safety at LinkedIn to a post in LinkedIn’s help forum called 'Stalking on LinkedIn'. 'Users on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites can easily block other users. LinkedIn appears to be an outlier among other top social media sites,' said petitioner Anna R."

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Saudi Cleric Pummeled On Twitter For Claiming Driving Damages Women's Ovaries
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I'm-not-a-doctor-but-I-play-one-on-TV department:
An anonymous reader writes "CNN reports, "Sheikh Saleh Al-Loheidan's widely derided remarks have gone viral ... 'If a woman drives a car,' Al-Loheidan told Saudi news website sabq.org. 'it could have a negative physiological impact. It would automatically affect a woman's ovaries and that it pushes the pelvis upward.' ... 'We find that for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with varying degrees of clinical problems.' The controversial comments were widely interpreted throughout Saudi Arabia as an attempt to discourage women in the country from joining a popular online movement urging them to stage a demonstration by driving cars on October 26. 'This is his answer to the campaign,' Saudi women's rights activist Aziza Yousef told CNN. 'He's making a fool of himself. He shouldn't touch this field at all.' Al-Loheidan's words have been ridiculed mercilessly via social media. An Arabic Twitter hashtag called '#WomensDrivingAffectsOvariesAndPelvises' was quickly created to make fun of Al-Loheidan — underscoring just how widely the call for Saudi women to defy the driving ban has resonated thus far. And while numerous conservative voices have supported Al-Loheidan, many Saudis believe this was an extremely clumsy way of trying to counter the popularity of the October 26 campaign.'"

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NSA Internet Spying Sparks Race To Create Offshore Havens For Data Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-a-lid-on-it department:
schwit1 writes "Some European leaders are renewing calls for a 'euro cloud,' in which consumer data could be shared within Europe but not outside the region. Brazil is fast-tracking a vote on a once-dormant bill that could require that data about Brazilians be stored on servers in the country. And India plans to ban government employees from using email services from Google and Yahoo Inc. It is too soon to tell if a major shift is under way. But the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation estimates that fallout from revelations about NSA activities could cost Silicon Valley up to $35 billion in annual revenue, much of it from lost overseas business. A survey conducted this summer by the Cloud Security Alliance, an industry group, found that 56% of non-U.S. members said security concerns made it less likely that they would use U.S.-based cloud services. Ten percent said they had canceled a contract. Even some companies that seek to profit from fears about U.S. snooping acknowledge that law-enforcement agencies in other countries want to catch up with Washington's capabilities. 'In the long run, there won't be any difference between what the U.S. or Germany or France or the U.K. is doing,' says Roberto Valerio, whose German cloud-storage company, CloudSafe GmbH, reports a 25% rise in business since the NSA revelations. 'At the end of the day, some agency will spy on you,' he says."

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Google May Face Fine Under EU Privacy Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-up department:
angry tapir writes "Google faces financial sanctions in France after failing to comply with an order to alter how it stores and shares user data to conform to the nation's privacy laws. The enforcement follows an analysis led by European data protection authorities of a new privacy policy that Google enacted in 2012. France's privacy watchdog, the Commission Nationale de L'Informatique et des Libertes, in June ordered Google to comply with French data protection laws within three months. But Google had not changed its policies to comply with French laws by a deadline last week."

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Central New York Nuclear Plants Struggle To Avoid Financial Meltdown
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-the-lights-on department:
mdsolar writes "As recently as four years ago, nuclear power companies were planning to spend billions of dollars to build a new reactor in Oswego County, alongside three existing nuclear plants. Then the bottom fell out. Natural gas-burning power plants that benefit from a glut of cheap gas produced by hydrofracking cut wholesale electricity prices in half. Now the outlook for nuclear power plants is so bleak that Wall Street analysts say one or more Upstate nuclear plants could go out of business if conditions don't change. Two Upstate nukes in particular — the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County and the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in nearby Wayne County — are high on the watch list of plants that industry experts say are at risk of closing for economic reasons."

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Students Hack School-Issued iPads Within One Week
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's extra-credit-hacking department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. Now Sam Sanders reports at NPR that less than a week after getting their iPads, high school students have found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use. The students are getting around software that lets school district officials know where the iPads are, what the students are doing with them at all times and lets the district block certain sites, such as social media favorites like Facebook. 'They were bound to fail,' says Renee Hobbs, who's been a skeptic of the iPad program from the start. 'There is a huge history in American education of being attracted to the new, shiny, hugely promising bauble and then watching the idea fizzle because teachers weren't properly trained to use it and it just ended up in the closet.' The rollout of the iPads might have to be delayed as officials reassess access policies. Right now, the program is still in Phase 1, with fewer than 15,000 iPads distributed. 'I'm guessing this is just a sample of what will likely occur on other campuses once this hits Twitter, YouTube or other social media sites explaining to our students how to breach or compromise the security of these devices,' says Steven Zipperman. 'I want to prevent a "runaway train" scenario when we may have the ability to put a hold on the roll-out.' The incident has prompted questions about overall preparations for the $1-billion tablet initiative."

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Dutch Police Recruit Rats To Sniff Out Crime
Posted by News Fetcher on September 30 '13 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's law-and-order-rat-mystery-club department:
An anonymous reader writes "Ratting someone out' just became much more literal. Dutch police are using trained rats to help keep the streets clean. 'Detective Derrick and his rat partners cost just £8 each and are capable of being trained to identify an impressive range of odors—including drugs and explosives—within ten to 15 days. In contrast, a police dog costs thousands of pounds and requires a minimum training period of eight months. The training procedure is straightforward: the rats are kept in a cage with four metal tea strainers attached inside, one of which contains gunpowder. When the rat recognizes the smell, it is rewarded with a "click" and a small treat. Eventually the rat will learn to move towards the smell instantly. In a demonstration it takes Derrick just two seconds to locate the offending odor."

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3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
AaronW writes "Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have developed an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."

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Ask Slashdot: Suitable Phone For a 4-Year Old?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tin-can-and-string department:
blogologue writes "I have a kid that's turning 4-years old soon, and I'm not able to be with him as often as I want to. To remedy this, I'm looking into whether or not getting him a phone could be a good idea to keep in touch. Being able to have a video chat is important, and as it is rare that a 4-year old has a mobile phone, and because he's got other things to do, it would be good to be able to turn off for example games and so on during time in the kindergarten. So other kids don't go around asking their parents for a smartphone. The main reason for getting the phone is keeping in touch, and as a bonus it can function as a device for games and so on during allowed times. Are there any phones that are suitable for such use? I don't mind if it's Android, iOS or something else, as long as it can be used to make video calls to other Android/iOS phones, and if it features other applications such as games, have limited, pre-defined functionality during certain periods of the day."

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How Your Smartphone Can Spy On What You Type
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-do-you-feel? department:
mikejuk writes "We all do it — place our phones down on the desk next to the keyboard. This might not be such a good idea if you want to keep your work to yourself. A team of researchers from MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology have provided proof of concept for logging keystrokes using nothing but the sensors inside a smartphone — an iPhone 4 to be precise as the iPhone 3GS wasn't up to it. A pair of neural networks were trained to recognize which keys were being pressed just based on the vibration — and it was remarkably good at it for such a small device. There have been systems that read the keys by listening but this is the first system that can hide in mobile phone malware."

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US Nuclear Commander Suspended Over Gambling
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-fold department:
mdsolar writes "The No 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the naval criminal investigation command for issues related to gambling, officials said on Saturday. The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at US strategic command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced. Air force general Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, navy vice admiral Tim Giardina, from his duties on September 3, according to the command's top spokeswoman, navy captain Pamela Kunze. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said."

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Everything You Needed To Know About the Internet In May, 1994
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-the-year-2000 department:
harrymcc writes "On Saturday, I picked up a copy of a book called How To Use the Internet at a flea market. It was published in May, 1994, and is a fascinating snapshot of the state of the Net at that time — when you had to explain to people that it wasn't a good idea to say 'thank you' when issuing commands to a machine, and the World Wide Web was an alternative to Gopher that warranted only four pages of coverage towards the end of the book. I selected some choice excerpts and wrote about them over at TIME.com."

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Blasts Off From California
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-the-stars department:
An anonymous reader writes "SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket completed a successful first launch today, taking off from California and putting a Canadian science satellite in orbit. 'The beefed-up Falcon 9 that blasted off on its maiden flight from Southern California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying a small Canadian government communication and research satellite, went through a seemingly picture-perfect countdown and performed on ascent as engineers hoped. The changes to the rocket are aimed at improving capacity and reliability, while simultaneously speeding up manufacturing. Historically, the initial launch of a new rocket has as much as a one-in-two chance of failure. Early this month, Elon Musk, the company's founder, chief executive and chief designer, seemingly tried to play down expectations by sending out a Twitter message emphasizing that the revamped rocket 'has a lot of new technology, so the probability of failure is significant.''"

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FDA Approves Wearable "Artificial Pancreas"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-spoonful-of-sugar department:
kkleiner writes "The FDA has approved a device that acts as an "artificial pancreas", which both continuously monitors a patient's glucose levels and injects appropriate amounts of insulin when needed. When blood-sugar levels become low, the device from Medtronics warns the wearer and will eventually shut down. The MiniMed 530G looks to offer an on-the-go solution for the growing number of people suffering from Type 1 diabetes who have to test their blood and inject insulin throughout the day. The company plans to improve the device to make a fully automated version down the road."

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Underwater Sonar Linked To Whale Deaths
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's killer-sound department:
An anonymous reader writes "A group of scientists have confirmed a link between the sonar, used by Exxon Mobil to map the ocean floor for oil, and the death of melon-headed whales. From the article: 'A spokesman for ExxonMobil said the company disagrees with the findings. "ExxonMobil believes the panel's finding about the multi-beam echo sounder is unjustified due to the lack of certainty of information and observations recorded during the response efforts in 2008," spokesman Patrick McGinn told AFP in an email. He added that observers employed by the Madagascar government and the oil giant "were on board the vessel and did not observe any whales in the area."'"

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New Real Life Laser-Rifle Cuts Through Metal Like a Blowtorch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-a-hot-knife-through-butter department:
dryriver writes "We've seen real laser guns before pulling off tricks like starting small fires, or popping black balloons. That's cool, sure, but it's got nothing—on this handheld laser rifle. Developed by TWI this laser-cutter was initially designed for use by robots, but a few recent tweaks including a pistol-grip and a trigger made it into a human-sized rifle. It is designed specifically with nuclear decommission in mind, specifically chopping up huge pieces of metal infrastructure into bite-sized bits that are easily disposed of. And while it's definitely suited for that, it has some short-comings compared typical rifles. That range is pretty low, for instance, and it's not exactly mobile."

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Fighting Zombies? Chevrolet Reveals New "Black Ops" Concept Truck
Posted by News Fetcher on September 29 '13 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dead-man-walking department:
cartechboy writes "Whether its the Mayan calendar, a rough economy, or a fear of zombies, there are people who are currently preparing for the end of the world, coming, like, soon. And they can attract some fringe elements. So maybe those elements are worth a little truck marketing. Yesterday at the Texas State Fair, Chevrolet unveiled a "Black Ops" concept truck that it says will "explore the extremes of preparedness." The truck comes with a vault storage unit, solar power pack, gas masks, gloves, a military first aid kit, a folding shovel, a generator and some rope. Twinkies apparently not included."

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