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The Physics Behind Waterslides
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's slide-science department:
theodp writes "National Geographic takes a high-level look at the physics behind waterslides. A lot of science goes into providing a safe 60 mph trip down slides like Walt Disney World's 10-story Summit Plummet. 'Safety is our number one concern,' explains Rick Hunter of ProSlide Technology. 'We're thinking about things like, "are you going to stay on the fiberglass tube," it's really easy to do a computer model and look at curves and drops and forecast rider position and speed.'"

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Security Researchers Submit Brief For Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's helping-a-hacker-out department:
USSJoin writes "Andrew Auernheimer (or Weev, as he's often better known) is serving a 41-month sentence under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The case is currently on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; his lawyer filed the appellate brief last week. Now, a group of 13 security researchers, led by Meredith Patterson, and including include Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, Space Rogue, Jericho, Shane MacDougall, and Dan Kaminsky, are making their own thoughts heard by the court. They are submitting a brief to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that argues that not only is Weev's conviction bad law, but if upheld, it will destroy independent security research, and perhaps the rest of consumer safety research as well."

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Snowden Claims That NSA Collaborated With Israel To Write Stuxnet Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-today's-leaked-news department:
andrewa writes "In an interview with Der Spiegel Snowden claims that the NSA, amongst other things, collaborated with Israel to write the Stuxnet virus. Not that this is news, as it has been suspected that it was a collaborative effort for some time. When asked about active major programs and how international partners help, Snowden says: 'The partners in the "Five Eyes" (behind which are hidden the secret services of the Americans, the British, the Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians -- ed.) sometimes go even further than the NSA people themselves. Take the Tempora program of the British intelligence GCHQ for instance. Tempora is the first "I save everything" approach ("Full take") in the intelligence world. It sucks in all data, no matter what it is, and which rights are violated by it. This buffered storage allows for subsequent monitoring; not a single bit escapes. Right now, the system is capable of saving three days’ worth of traffic, but that will be optimized. Three days may perhaps not sound like a lot, but it's not just about connection metadata. "Full take" means that the system saves everything. If you send a data packet and if makes its way through the UK, we will get it. If you download anything, and the server is in the UK, then we get it. And if the data about your sick daughter is processed through a London call center, then ... Oh, I think you have understood.'"

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Lake Vostok Found Teeming With Life
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deep-ones-not-included department:
jpyeck writes "Lake Vostok, Antarctica's biggest and deepest subsurface lake, might contain thousands of different kinds of tiny organisms — and perhaps bigger fish as well, researchers report. The lake, buried under more than 2 miles (3.7 kilometers) of Antarctic ice, has been seen as an earthly analog for ice-covered seas on such worlds as Europa and Enceladus. It's thought to have been cut off from the outside world for as long as 15 million years. But the latest results, reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, suggest that the lake isn't as sterile or otherworldly as some scientists might have thought. More than 3,500 different DNA sequences were identified in samples extracted from layers of ice that have built up just above the surface of the lake."

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Next-Gen Gorilla Glass: Smartphones Could Have Antibacterial, Anti-Glare Display
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '13 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's coming-to-a-phone-near-you department:
MojoKid writes "It's not too often that upcoming glass technology is worth getting excited over, but leave it to Corning to pique our interest. During a recent talk at MIT's Mobile Technology Summit, Dr. Jeffrey Evenson took to the stage to reiterate what it is about Gorilla Glass that makes it such an attractive product (something well evidenced given the majority of smartphones out there today implement it), as well as to give us a preview of what's coming. Having pretty much mastered Gorilla Glass where strength, scratch-resistance and general durability are concerned, the company is now looking to improve-upon it (possibly for Gorilla Glass 4) by making it non-reflective and germ-resistant. Imagine your smartphone sporting this — you'd finally be able to see the screen regardless of how bright the sun behind you is. Unfortunately, it appears that it won't be hitting our phones or tablets that soon. The estimate is 'in the next two years.'"

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Mars Curiosity Rover Shoots Video of Phobos Moon Rising
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's moons-of-mars department:
An anonymous reader writes "This movie clip shows Phobos, the larger of the two moons of Mars, passing overhead, as observed by NASA's Mars rover Curiosity in a series of images centered straight overhead starting shortly after sunset. Phobos first appears near the lower center of the view and moves toward the top of the view. The clip runs at accelerated speed; the amount of time covered in it is about 27 minutes"

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Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 07:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's behind-the-scenes department:
First time accepted submitter qwerdf writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation's goal is 'defending your rights in the digital world', and its activities span the full gamut of freedom fighting: providing help with court cases; issuing white papers that explain current threats; running campaigns to spread awareness of various issues; and developing technologies that make our online activities safer from prying eyes. Here's a short history of how the EFF came together, what it has done so far, and how it's preparing for upcoming battles."

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Smell Camera Snapshots Scents For the Future
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-smells department:
An anonymous reader writes "Designer Amy Radcliffe has created an 'analog odor camera' that can be used to recreate a smell. From the article: 'When a smell source is placed under the device's glass cone, a pump extracts the smell via a plastic tube. After being drawn to Madeleine's main unit, the smell goes through a resin trap which absorbs the particles so molecular information can be recorded. That data is expressed in a graph-like formula, which essentially contains a fingerprint of the smell. In a special lab, that formula can then be inscribed on a bronze disk to artificially reproduce the smell. The smell can also be recreated in small vials.'"

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Improving 3-D Printing By Copying Nature
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's build-it-better department:
An anonymous reader writes "Biologist Janine Benyus is excited about the 3-D printer revolution and she thinks it can be improved by modeling natural processes. 'Benyus, who wrote Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature and co-founded the institute Biomimicry 3.8, would like to see a transition in manufacturing—from big, smoke-belching factories to small, clean desktop printers. The key to making it truly sustainable, she said, lies in mimicking how a natural ecosystem functions. "Nature uses life-friendly chemistry, which is nontoxic and water-based, and which does not require high heat," said Benyus. In contrast, most of the products people use today have been forged in industrial-size furnaces, with a plethora of toxic solvents. A potato chip bag may seem like a simple item, but it is actually made up of several thin layers of different materials, one to make it strong, one to make it airtight, and so on.'"

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Researchers Complete New Gondwana Map
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's old-directions department:
An anonymous reader writes "A new computer simulated map has revealed the past position of the Australian, Antarctic and Indian tectonic plates, demonstrating how they formed the supercontinent Gondwana 165 million years ago. 'It was a simple technique, matching the geological boundaries on each plate. The geological units formed before the continents broke apart, so we used their position to put this ancient jigsaw puzzle back together again,' said Lloyd White of Royal Holloway University in a press release. 'We found that many existing studies had positioned the plates in the wrong place because the geological units did not align on each plate.'"

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Solar Powered Plane Completes Cross-Country Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's good-landing department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Solar Impulse, a solar powered aircraft, landed at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport completing its historic cross-country flight. From the article: 'The flight plan for the revolutionary plane, powered by some 11,000 solar cells on its oversized wings, had called for it to pass the Statue of Liberty before landing early Sunday at New York. But an unexpected tear discovered on the left wing of the aircraft Saturday afternoon forced officials to scuttle the fly-by and proceed directly to JFK for a landing three hours earlier than scheduled. Pilot Andre Borschberg trumpeted the milestone of a plane capable of flying during the day and night, powered by solar energy, crossing the U.S. without the use of fuel.'"

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Critical Security Updates Coming To Windows XP, 8, RT & Server
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
SmartAboutThings writes "On the upcoming Patch Tuesday on July 9, Microsoft is going to bring some notable security updates, that will mostly deal with fixing issues in remote code execution vulnerabilities, which allow attackers to breach in. The security updates will be applied to all Windows versions Microsoft is still supporting (from XP to Windows 8.1)"

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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Store Data In Hard Copy?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pc-load-letter department:
First time accepted submitter bmearns writes "I have some simple plain-text files (e.g., account information) that I want to print on paper and store in my firebox as a backup to my backup. What's the best way to encode the data for print so that it can later be restored to digital form? I've considered just printing it as text and using OCR to recover it. The upsides are that it's easy and I can even access the information without a computer if necessary. Downsides are data density, no encryption, no error correction, and how well does OCR work, anyway? Another option is printing 2D barcodes. Upsides are density, error correction, I could encrypt the data before printing. Downsides are that I'll need to split it up into multiple barcodes due to maximum capacity of popular barcode formats, and I can't access the data without a computer. Did I miss any options? What do slashdotters suggest?"

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US Spies Have "Security Agreements" With Foreign Telecoms
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let's-see-what-you-got-there department:
McGruber writes "The Washington Post is reporting the existence of 'Team Telecom', lawyers from the FBI and the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security, who ensure that Global Crossing and other foreign-owned telecoms, quickly and confidentially fulfill the USA's surveillance requests. Team Telecom leverages the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve cable licenses. The security agreement for Global Crossing, whose fiber-optic network connected 27 nations and four continents, required the company to have a 'Network Operations Center' on U.S. soil that could be visited by government officials with 30 minutes of warning. Surveillance requests, meanwhile, had to be handled by U.S. citizens screened by the government and sworn to secrecy — in many cases prohibiting information from being shared even with the company's executives and directors. A spokesman for Level 3 Communications declined to comment for the Washington Post's article."

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UK Steps Up the Search For Alien Life
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's i-want-to-believe department:
An anonymous reader writes "If aliens are out there, the United Kingdom is determined to find them, as seen in the recent launch of a network called the UK Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (UKSETI), which combines the efforts and know-how of academics from 11 institutions from across the country."

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Microsoft Says Goodbye To WebTV/MSN TV
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's so-long department:
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has just notified both subscribers of MSN TV that the service would be ending at the end of September (FAQ for subscribers here). The service, which delivered Internet access to a TV screen via a set top box, was the evolution of WebTV Networks launched by Steve Perlman and others during the initial Web boom in the mid '90s. Microsoft bought the company for $503 million in 1997, when Bill Gates was still CEO."

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Bitcoins Seized In Drug Bust
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's funny-money department:
First time accepted submitter Salo2112 writes "In a case believed to be the first of its kind, federal authorities have seized a Charleston man's virtual currency due to an alleged drug law violation with possible links to a shadowy online black market. From the article: 'The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently posted a forfeiture notice indicating that agents had seized 11.02 Bitcoins worth $814 from 31-year-old Eric Daniel Hughes for allegedly violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. No other details were provided.'"

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Silicon Valley In 2013 Resembles Logan's Run In 2274
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's think-of-it-as-365-vacation-days-a-year department:
theodp writes "The 1976 science fiction film Logan's Run depicts a dystopian future society where life must end at the age of 30. So, it's a world that kind of resembles today's Silicon Valley, where the NY Times reports that the median age of workers is 29 years old at Google and 28 years old at Facebook. The report that technology workers are young — really young — comes on the heels of other presumably-unrelated stories that Silicon Valley execs can't find enough skilled workers and no one would fund Doug Engelbart in the last four decades of his life. On the bright side, at least old techies don't die in Silicon Valley — they just can't get hired."

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According To YouGov Poll, Snowden Support Declining Among Americans
Posted by News Fetcher on July 07 '13 at 03:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-at-least-sick-of-the-media-playing-Where's-Waldo department:
eldavojohn writes "A recent poll from the YouGov consisting of one thousand responses shows that Snowden's support among Americans has shifted. Now, according to the poll, more Americans think he did the wrong thing rather than the right thing when asked: 'Based on what you've heard, do think Snowden's leak of top-secret information about government surveillance programs to the media was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do?' The results and breakdown are available online (PDF). Without getting into racial or political breakdowns, the results now show that 38% say he did the wrong thing, 33% say he did the right thing and 29% remain undecided about the results of his actions. Instead of charging the populace into action Snowden may be facing apathy at best and public disapproval at worst."

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The Price of Amazon
Posted by News Fetcher on July 06 '13 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-quite-enough-for-free-shipping department:
An anonymous reader writes "As physical book stores continue to struggle and disappear, the NY Times puts the changing book industry into perspective as a cost of the existence of Amazon. Further, it's a cost that hasn't been fully paid, as other effects of Amazon's ascendancy have yet to be felt. Quoting: 'One consequence of this shift is that soon no one will know what a book's "real" price is. Price will be determined by demand and perhaps by whim. The first seeds of this can be seen in the Justice Department's suit against the leading publishers, who felt that Amazon was pricing their e-books so low that it threatened their viability. The government accused the publishers of colluding to raise prices in an anti-consumer move. Amazon was not a party to the case, but it emerged the big winner.' Economists, publishers, and readers no longer have confidence that a book will cost the same amount this week as it did the last."

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