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Wanted: Hackers For Large-Scale Attacks On American Banks
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 09:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-leave-the-credit-unions-alone department:
Trailrunner7 writes "RSA's FraudAction research team has been monitoring underground chatter and has put together various clues to deduce that a cybercrime gang is actively recruiting up to 100 botmasters to participate in a complicated man-in-the-middle hijacking scam using a variant of the proprietary Gozi Trojan. This is the first time a private cybercrime organization has recruited outsiders to participate in a financially motivated attack, said Mor Ahuvia, cybercrime communications specialist for RSA FraudAction. The attackers are promising their recruits a cut of the profits, and are requiring an initial investment in hardware and training in how to deploy the Gozi Prinimalka Trojan, Ahuvia added. Also, the gang will only share executable files with their partners, and will not give up the Trojan's compilers, keeping the recruits dependent on the gang for updates."

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Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Goes Live
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's cover-for-the-alien-invasion department:
First time accepted submitter Random Data writes "Australia's initial part of the Square Kilometre Array has officially opened . 36 dishes out of the eventual 96 are now on line, with a data output of 40Gb/s (and the article includes LoC conversion!). More info is available from CSIRO ."

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802.11ad Will Knock Your Socks Off, Says Interop Panel
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-magnum-will-blow-them-all-away department:
alphadogg writes "While the Wi-Fi world is rightly abuzz over the rapidly approaching large-scale deployment of the new 802.11ac standard, experts at an Interop NY panel said this week that the 802.11ad standard is likely to be even more transformative. '802.11ac is an extension for pure mainstream Wi-Fi,' said Sean Coffey, Realtek's director of standards and business development. 'It's evolutionary. ... You're not going to see dramatically new use cases." By contrast, 802.11ad adds 60GHz connectivity to the previously used 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, potentially providing multi-gigabit connection speeds and dramatically broadening the number of applications for which wireless can be used."

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The Computer Science Behind Facebook's 1 Billion Users
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's yet-they-keep-most-recent-instead-of-top-stories department:
pacopico writes "Much has been made about Facebook hitting 1 billion users. But Businessweek has the inside story detailing how the site actually copes with this many people and the software Facebook has invented that pushes the limits of computer science. The story quotes database guru Mike Stonebraker saying, 'I think Facebook has the hardest information technology problem on the planet.' To keep Facebooking moving fast, Mark Zuckerberg apparently instituted a program called Boot Camp in which engineers spend six-weeks learning every bit of Facebook's code."

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Why Worms In the Toilet Might Be a Good Idea
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's as-if-it-wasn't-obvious department:
derekmead writes "Billions worldwide still don't have access to proper sanitation, and those of that do still require a ton of water and electricity to keep waste flowing. A French company is offering one solution: Use turd-eating worms to compost waste right at the source. Ecosphere Technologies has developed an outhouse that, rather than relying on chemicals like a port-a-john, relies on about a pound of red wiggler worms. A new installation in Quebec uses imported worms, placed inside of a mixture of dung and straw underneath to toilet, to devour feces delivered to them by a conveyor belt system. (When someone uses the toilet, pee filters through sand to wash away, while a pedal allows the user to transport their poo to the worm space.) The whole system uses no water or electricity, and a series of passive vents allegedly keeps the toilet smelling great. The company claims it can be used 10,000 times without servicing, which is far better than what a port-a-potty can boast, although with a current price tag of $40k for the worm system, port-a-potties are still a lot cheaper."

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Foxconn Workers On Strike Over iPhone 5 Production
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-this-job-and-shove-it department:
itwbennett writes "That army of robotic assembly line workers we mentioned yesterday apparently can't get started soon enough. As many as 3,000-4,000 workers are on strike at Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory, upset at stricter quality control requirements with the iPhone 5 and having to work through a national holiday this week. 'According to workers, multiple iPhone 5 production lines from various factory buildings were in a state of paralysis for the entire day,' China Labor Watch said. Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo are both blocking searches in Chinese for 'Foxconn strikes.'"

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Most SSDs Now Under a Dollar Per Gigabyte
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's more-bits-per-buck department:
crookedvulture writes "SSD prices continue plummeting. In just the past quarter, street prices have fallen by double-digit percentages for most models, with some slashed by 30% or more. We've reached the point where the majority of drives cost less than a dollar per gigabyte, and that's without the special coupon codes and mail-in rebates usually attached to weekly deals. Lower-capacity drives seem more resistant to deep price cuts, making 120-256GB offerings the best values right now. It's nice to see a new class of devices go from prohibitively expensive to eminently affordable in such a relatively short amount of time."

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The Coming Internet Video Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wear-your-seat-belts-kids department:
snydeq writes "First, it was data caps on cellular, and now caps on wired broadband — welcome to the end of the rich Internet, writes Galen Gruman. 'People are still getting used to the notion that unlimited data plans are dead and gone for their smartphones. The option wasn't even offered for tablets. Now, we're beginning to see the eradication of the unlimited data plan in our broadband lines, such as cable and DSL connections. It's a dangerous trend that will threaten the budding Internet-based video business — whether from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Windows Store, or Google Play — then jeopardize Internet services of all sorts. It's a complex issue, and though the villains are obvious — the telecom carriers and cable providers — the solutions are not. The result will be a metered Internet that discourages use of the services so valuable for work and play.'"

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Open Source Raspberry Pi WebIDE Alpha Released
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's because-why-not department:
ptorrone writes "Adafruit, the NYC based open-source hardware company led by Ladyada released their open-source Raspberry Pi WebIDE alpha today. Its goal is to be 'The easiest way to develop code on your Raspberry Pi.' To get up and running head on over to learn.adafruit.com/webideand follow the installation and setup instructions. It uses Bitbucket, and any code changes you make will be synced to your Bitbucket account. Adafruit chose Bitbucket over GitHub because they offer free secure accounts, which is very important for a Web-based IDE."

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Over 60% of Android Malware Hides In Fake Versions of Popular Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's 60-percent?-that's-almost-80-percent! department:
An anonymous reader writes "Like any popular platform, Android has malware. Google's mobile operating system is relatively new, however, so the problem is still taking form. In fact, it turns out that the larger majority of threats on Android come from a single malware family: Android.FakeInstaller, also known as OpFake, which generates revenue by silently sending expensive text messages in the background. McAfee says that the malware family makes up more than 60 percent of Android samples the company processes."

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Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Retrain?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-unless-you're-an-mma-fighter department:
Talcyon writes "I'm a 40-year-old developer, and it's become apparent that my .NET skillset is woefully out of date after five years of doing various bits of support. I tried the 'Management' thing last year, but that was a failure as I'm just not a people person, and a full-on development project this year has turned into a disaster area. I'm mainly a VB.NET person with skills from the .NET 2.0 era. Is that it? Do I give up a career in technology now? Or turn around and bury myself in a support role, sorting out issues with other people's/companies' software? I've been lurking around Slashdot for many years now, and this question occasionally comes up, but it pays to get the opinions of others. Do I retrain and get back up to speed, or am I too old?"

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Samsung Creates New File System F2Fs For Linux & Android
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's file-systems-are-for-files department:
sfcrazy writes "Samsung has created a new Linux file system called F2FS. Jaegeuk Kim of Samsung writes on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: F2FS is a new file system carefully designed for the NAND flash memory-based storage devices. We chose a log structure file system approach, but we tried to adapt it to the new form of storage. Also we remedy some known issues of the very old log structured file system, such as snowball effect of wandering tree and high cleaning overhead."

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How To Steal a Space Shuttle
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's discovering-an-enterprising-endeavor department:
An anonymous reader tips a piece by Jason Torchinsky at Jalopnik, who attended the California Science Center's press conference about moving Space Shuttle Endeavour through Los Angeles to its final resting place. While he was there, he noticed that security for the event was focused less on the shuttle than on keeping the city itself safe. So, after a helpful LAPD officer suggested it would be impossible for a supervillain to make off with OV-105, Torchinsky went ahead and made a plan to do just that. All he needs is a submarine, a score of Sikorsky CH-53E heavy-lift helicopters, a salvaged and disguised Buran spaceplane, and the assistance of Switzerland.

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Boeing Proposes Using Gas Clouds To Bring Down Orbital Debris
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's anti-space-station-weaponry department:
cylonlover writes "Boeing has filed a patent application for a method of disposing of dead satellites and other debris orbiting the earth by hitting them with a puff of gas. The method, which is still at the conceptual stage, is designed to slow down satellites, forcing them to re-enter the atmosphere without sending up more space junk that itself will need disposing of. The idea is to send a small satellite into orbit containing a gas generator. This generator can be a tank of cryogenic gas, such as xenon or krypton, or a device designed to vaporize a heavy metal or some relatively heavy elements like fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine. This gas would be released as a cloud in the same orbit as the debris, but traveling in the opposite direction."
Clever of them to patent this, since knock-off space-junk removal systems are in such high demand.

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Boston Airport Replacing X-ray Body Scanners
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we-have-all-kinds-of-light-waves-to-blast-you-with department:
OverTheGeicoE writes "Boston's Logan International Airport is in the process of replacing its X-ray body scanners with millimeter-wave ones. According to the article, nine of the new scanners have been installed already, and ultimately 27 of these scanners will replace the 17 X-ray backscatter scanners that were installed in March of 2010. The new devices are 'being installed come with software that replaces "passenger-specific images" — or nearly naked views of travelers — with generic outlines that highlight only anomalies such as belts, jewelry, wallets — or guns or bombs.' Perhaps this will help TSA workers avoid being part of a cancer cluster. Some speculate that TSA will ultimately eliminate all of its X-ray body scanners."

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FCC Chief: 300MHz More Spectrum By 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we-want-it-all department:
itwbennett writes "On Thursday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski laid out plans to make 300MHz more spectrum available by 2015. Among the blocks that will be auctioned in the AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) band is a band between 1755MHz and 1780MHz, where a commercial user would share the spectrum with current government users."
Genachowski's full speech (PDF) is available online.

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Decentralized Social Networking — Why It Could Work
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's keeping-your-face-off-the-books department:
Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes with "a response to some of the objections raised to my last article, about a design for a distributed social networking protocol, which would allow for decentralized (and censorship-resistant) hosting of social networking accounts, while supporting all of the same features as sites like Facebook." Social networking is no longer new; whether you consider it to have started with online communities in the mid-90s or with the beginnings of sites many people still use today. As its popularity has surged, it has grown in limited ways; modern social networks have made communication between users easier, but they've also made users easier to market to advertisers as well. There's no question that the future of social networking holds more changes that can both help and harm users — perhaps something like what Bennett suggests could serve to mitigate that harm. Read on for the rest of his thoughts.

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Astronomers Search For Dyson Spheres of Alien Civilizations
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's scotty-might-be-trapped department:
Hugh Pickens writes "An article by Ross Andersen makes note of Freeman Dyson's prediction in 1960 that every civilization in the Universe eventually runs out of energy on its home planet, a major hurdle in a civilization's evolution. Dyson argued that all those who leap over it do so in precisely the same way: they build a massive collector of starlight, a shell of solar panels to surround their home star. Last month astronomers began a two-year search for Dyson Spheres, a search that will span the Milky Way, along with millions of other galaxies. The search is funded by a sizable grant from the Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funds research on the 'big questions' that face humanity, questions relating to 'human purpose and ultimate reality.' Compared with SETI, a search for Dyson Spheres assumes that the larger the civilization, the more energy it uses and the more heat it re-radiates. If Dyson Spheres exist, they promise to give off a very particular kind of heat signature, a signature that we should be able to see through our infrared telescopes. 'A Dyson Sphere would appear very bright in the mid-infrared,' says project leader Jason Wright. 'Just like your body, which is invisible in the dark, but shines brightly in mid-infrared goggles.' A civilization that built a Dyson Sphere would have to go to great lengths to avoid detection, building massive radiators that give off heat so cool it would be undetectable, a solution that would involve building a sphere that was a hundred times larger than necessary. 'If a civilization wants to hide, it's certainly possible to hide,' says Wright, 'but it requires massive amounts of deliberate engineering across an entire civilization.'"

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Lab-Made Eggs Produce Healthy Mice
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's built-to-order department:
ananyo writes "Japanese researchers have coaxed mouse stem cells into becoming viable eggs that produce healthy offspring. Last year, the same team successfully used mouse stem cells to make functional sperm (other groups have produced sperm cells in vitro). The researchers used a cocktail of growth factors to transform stem cells into egg precursors. When they added these egg precursor cells to embryonic ovary tissue that did not contain sex cells, the mixture spontaneously formed ovary-like structures, which they then grafted onto natural ovaries in female mice. After four weeks, the stem-cell-derived cells had matured into oocytes. The team removed the oocytes from the ovaries, fertilized them and transplanted the embryos into foster mothers. The offspring that were produced grew up to be fertile themselves."

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Electric Car Environmental Impact: Power Source Matters
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '12 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-not-easy-being-green department:
another random user writes with news of a study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, which looked into the environmental impact of electric vehicles — not just how they do when driven, but how they are produced and by what means they are charged. The study pointed out that the production of EVs has twice as much of an environmental impact as the production of typical gas-powered cars, which must be taken into account when comparing the two. Also, they say it's important to consider the source of the electricity used to charge the vehicles. In places like Europe, where a good chunk of the electricity comes from renewable sources, EVs do indeed provide a benefit to the environment. However, "In regions where fossil fuels are the main sources of power, electric cars offer no benefits and may even cause more harm." The study says, "It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

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