By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's amazon-is-the-new-walmart department
schwit1 quotes The Washington Post
: "The Senate aimed to help traditional retailers and financially strapped state and local governments Monday by passing a bill that would widely subject online shopping — for many a largely tax-free frontier — to state sales taxes. The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from Republicans and Democrats alike."
schwit1 adds "Unfortunately online businesses could be in for a rude awakening
when it comes to the law's interpretation." Passage in the House is not certain, and companies like eBay are lobbying to raise the minimum sales required to collect state sales tax to $10 million instead of $1 million per year.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's never-trust-malware department
wiredmikey writes "A group of researchers from Northwestern University and North Carolina State University tested ten of the most popular AV products on Android, and discovered that they were easily fooled by common obfuscation techniques. In a paper (PDF), the researchers said they tested AV software from several well-know security vendors. In order to evaluate the mobile security software, the researchers developed a tool called DroidChameleon, which applies transformation techniques to Android applications. Known malware samples were transformed to generate new variants that contain the exact malicious functions as before. These new variants were then passed to the AV products, and much to the surprise of the paper's authors, they were rarely flagged — if at all. According to the research, 43% of the signatures used by the AV products are based on file names, checksums or information obtained by the PackageManager API. This means that, as mentioned, common transformations will render their protection useless for the most part. For example, the researchers transformed the Android rootkit Droid Dream for their test. DroidDream is a widely-known and highly dangerous application. Yet, when it was transformed, every AV program failed to catch at least two variants."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's death-wish department
An anonymous reader tipped us to news of an interesting
hack for the Oculus Rift: a simulation of being beheaded
by a Guillotine. Thrown together in a couple of days at the Exile Code Jam
, the simulation lets you... "look around to see the blade above, the crowd of onlookers around them, and the executioner who signals the blade be dropped. It also enhances the experience when someone watches the blade falling on a nearby screen and taps the user on the back of the neck at the time of impact."
Just a bit morbid. There's a video of people "playing"
(nsfw language in a few reactions to being virtually beheaded).Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's diagnose-like-it's-1899 department
New submitter Big Nemo '60 writes with news that the National Institute of Mental Health is seeking to modernize the diagnosis of mental illness
through the use of neuroscience, genetics, etc. From the article: "The world's biggest mental health research institute is abandoning the new version of psychiatry's 'bible' — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — questioning its validity and stating that 'patients with mental disorders deserve better.' This bombshell comes just weeks before the publication of the fifth revision of the manual, called DSM-5."
< article continued at Slashdot
>Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's what-happens-if-we-mix-some-of-this-and-some-of-that? department
in Seattle is not the world's first community-based biology lab, but it may be the first one started by a high school student. Her name is Katriona Guthrie-Honea
, and her co-founder is Bergen McMurray
. They managed to get a lot of equipment and supplies donated to their new venture, along with a successful Microryza Campaign
that raised $6425 even though their target was only $5100. They're renting space from a local hackerlab, and getting an insane amount
for a venture that's just starting out. But why not? If Bergen's and Katriona's example can spur others to learn and create, whether in mechanical engineering, physics, electronics, computer science or biology, it's all good -- not only for the participants, but for anyone who might someday benefit from creations or discoveries made by people who got their first taste of hands-on science or engineering in a hackerspace or community biology lab.Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's better-late-than-never department
An anonymous reader writes "Terrafugia has unveiled plans to build a semi-autonomous, hybrid-electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicle for personal aviation. The new design, called TF-X, is in the works even as the company's first product, Transition, is still awaiting production because of technical and regulatory hurdles. Terrafugia's founder says the goal of TF-X, if it can get past the safety issues in both aviation and automotive industries, is to 'open up personal aviation to all of humanity.' But it will have a lot of competition from companies including AgustaWestland, Pipistrel, and the stealthy Zee.Aero, all of which are working on vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles for consumers."Read Replies (0)
By samzenpus from Slashdot's major-learning department
colinneagle writes "I have spent the last couple of days at the StarEast conference, listening to people explain to a roomful of testers about modeling workflows and data transitions, managing test environments in the cloud, writing automation scripts for regression tests, best methods for exploratory testing, running mobile test lab. And as I look around the room at the raw intelligence of the people who are not only absorbing that information but probing deeper into it during the Q&A sessions, I have to wonder how much easier their careers could have been if they had been able to major in Software Testing in college. It's time to give employers a testing workforce that is competitive and trained so they can stand toe-to-toe with the development team. Imagine the power of being able to hire a recent college graduate who has been taught how to develop system diagrams, build complex SQL, run log analysis, set up a cloud test environment, and write automation scripts. No more crossing your fingers that this eager young face in front of you can really pick up those skills, and no more investing so much time and money in training them on the job. We ask no less from Technical Writing and Development. Why do we have such different expectations for one of the most important functions on the team?"Read Replies (0)