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FBI's Smartphone Surveillance Tool Explained In Court Battle
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's spying-made-simple department:
concealment writes with news that a court battle has brought to light details on how the FBI's "stingray" surveillance tool works, and how they used it with Verizon's help to collect evidence about an alleged identity thief. Quoting:
"Air cards are devices that plug into a computer and use the wireless cellular networks of phone providers to connect the computer to the internet. The devices are not phones and therefore don’t have the ability to receive incoming calls, but in this case Rigmaiden asserts that Verizon reconfigured his air card to respond to surreptitious voice calls from a landline controlled by the FBI. The FBI calls, which contacted the air card silently in the background, operated as pings to force the air card into revealing its location. In order to do this, Verizon reprogrammed the device so that when an incoming voice call arrived, the card would disconnect from any legitimate cell tower to which it was already connected, and send real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI. This allowed the FBI to position its stingray in the neighborhood where Rigmaiden resided. The stingray then "broadcast a very strong signal" to force the air card into connecting to it, instead of reconnecting to a legitimate cell tower, so that agents could then triangulate signals coming from the air card and zoom-in on Rigmaiden’s location. To make sure the air card connected to the FBI’s simulator, Rigmaiden says that Verizon altered his air card’s Preferred Roaming List so that it would accept the FBI’s stingray as a legitimate cell site and not a rogue site, and also changed a data table on the air card designating the priority of cell sites so that the FBI’s fake site was at the top of the list."

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Google Fiber's Austin, Texas Rollout Confirmed
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's assuming-north-korea-leaves-it-intact department:
skade88 writes "As earlier rumors suggested, Google Fiber will indeed roll out in Austin, Texas, with the first homes receiving service in mid-2014. The delay is due to the need for a whole new fiber network to be deployed for the service. It will only be deployed within the Austin City limits. Google says in early 2014 they will allow people in Austin register their address for service. They plan to deploy to the neighborhoods with the most interest."

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Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's last-best-hope-for-answers department:
He has written for many different comic book titles including Superman and The Amazing Spider-Man, and wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated movie Changeling, but J. Michael Straczynski (jms) is probably best known as being the creator, writer, and producer of Babylon 5. Recently, jms has teamed up with the Wachowskis and Netflix to create a new original sci-fi series, Sense8, coming out in late 2014. Straczynski has agreed to take a few minutes from writing sci-fi epics in order to answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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G2 Crowd Wants to Crowdsource Enterprise Software Reviews (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's actual-users-often-know-more-about-software-than-anyone-else department:
All reviews are opinions. In theory, they are based on a reviewer's careful test of the product. But what about enterprise software? How can a reviewer do a real-world test of a CRM program designed to run on dozens or hundreds of workstations and to be used by dozens or hundreds of people? The idea behind G2 Crowd is crowdsourcing. Not just any old crowd, but people who use or administer enterprise software as part of their jobs. In other words, experts -- who get rewards if they supply detailed reviews. Logins require a LinkedIn identity in order to prevent bogus reviews. Will G2 Crowd work? It's still in beta, and this Slashdot interview is one of the first times it has been shown to the public, in part because our interviewee, co-founder Matt Gorniak, is a long-time Slashdot reader. So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Is their business model viable? Matt sounds nervous in this interview not only because he's not a PR pro, but also because he's anxiously waiting to see what you (yes, you) think of G2 Crowd, a business he and the rest of the company's management team hope is not only viable but really takes off.

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Climate Change Will Boost Plane Turbulence, Suggests Study
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ready-made-climate-change-panic-movie-plot department:
sciencehabit writes "Get used to a bumpy ride. The strength and frequency of atmospheric turbulence affecting transatlantic flights will increase by midcentury, a new study suggests. During winter months, 16 of the 21 often-used ways in which scientists measure turbulence suggest that the average intensity of the plane-rattling phenomenon will be between 10% and 40% stronger when CO2 concentrations are double their preindustrial value. Accordingly, the frequency of moderate-or-greater turbulence—intensities at which passengers will experience accelerations of 0.5 g or more, which are strong enough to toss items about the cabin—will rise by between 40% and 170%. As a result of pilots needing to dodge strong turbulence, flight paths will become longer, and fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions will increase—possibly leading to even more turbulence."

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Fox, Univision May Go Subscription To Stop Aereo
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-like-bluffing department:
GTRacer writes "In response to Aereo's recent win allowing per-user over-the-air antenna feeds to remote devices, Fox COO Chase Carey said, "We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue [...]", that path being a switch to a subscription model. Spanish-language stalwart Univison may join Fox, per CEO Haim Saban. Aereo replied, in part, "When broadcasters asked Congress for a free license to digitally broadcast on the public's airwaves, they did so with the promise that they would broadcast in the public interest and convenience, and that they would remain free-to-air. Having a television antenna is every American's right." A switch to a pay-TV subscription model would stymie Aereo but could hurt affiliate stations."

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Gecko May Drop the Blink Tag
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you'll-notice-we-eschew-it department:
AmiMoJo writes "It looks like Mozilla are finally going to remove the much hated blink tag from the Gecko rendering engine that powers Firefox. Work to remove support for the tag, which was always non-standard and is not supported by the most popular HTML layout engines WebKit and Blink (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Android), is progressing and should show up in a future version of the browser." A comment attached to the discussion of this (not completed) move points out the odd possibility that Google's new Blink rendering engine may feature the blink tag via CSS animation, which would be "hilarious/awesome."

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OpenWLANMap: Free WLAN-Based GPS Replacement
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's another-side-to-crowd-mapping department:
flok writes "There are a couple of commercial products which can tell you where you are by the MAC addresses of access points in your neighbourhood. E.g. the iphone uses a system like this. There's now an open offering for this: OpenWLANMap. With this website, you can enter your access point mac address with your GPS location and then others can use that to navigate. There is also an app for your mobile which automatically enters this data, and you can upload data from e.g. Airomap and other wardriving applications."

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No Such Thing As a Tax-Free Lunch At Google?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's nothing-but-beans-and-rice-your-honor department:
theodp writes "In search of the best corporate cafeteria in the world, Gourmet Live's Tanya Steel visited the Googleplex, where she found Petaluma chicken cacciatore, porcini-encrusted grass-fed beef, whole-wheat spaghetti pomodoro, and Parmesan-creamed onions on the menu in one of the search giant's 25 cafes. So, must all good things come to an end? The WSJ's Mark Maremont reports that it's debatable whether Silicon Valley's daily fringe-benefit meals are taxable, and the issue is now on the IRS's radar. 'What would a food tax on Google's meals look like for the average employee?' Maremont asks. 'Assuming a fair-market value of between $8 and $10 per meal, a Googler chowing down two squares a day could get dinged for taxes on an extra $4,000 to $5,000 a year.' That'd be just fine with UF tax-law Prof. Martin J. McMahon. 'I buy my lunch with after-tax dollars,' said McMahon. 'And I have to pay taxes to support free meals for those Google employees.'"

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Vendors Combine To Standardize Virtual Networking With OpenDayLight
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 06:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-is-the-case-that-camels department:
alphadogg writes "Software-defined networking, a set of technologies to help networks better adapt to user needs with less manual effort, may at last be getting the common foundation it has needed for interoperability and efficient development. Most of the major vendors working on SDN have joined in on OpenDaylight, a project being announced this week that will develop an open-source SDN framework. The vendors, which include Cisco Systems, VMware, Juniper Networks and Ericsson, will contribute software and engineers to the effort, according to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, which is hosting the project."

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Competitors Complain To EC That Free Android Is a 'Trojan Horse'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's takes-exactly-one-to-know-exactly-one department:
First time accepted submitter DW100 writes "Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle have taken it upon themselves to moan to the European Commission about Google's Android dominance, which they say is an underhand bid to control the entire mobile market. The firms are part of the FairSearch group, which has just filed a complaint that Google is using Android as a 'Trojan Horse' to take control of the mobile market and all the related advertising revenue. Microsoft would of course know all about this, being at the end of several similar anti-competitive complaints in the past."

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Teachers Know If You've Been E-Reading
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's outsourceable-page-flipping-tasks department:
RougeFemme writes with this story in the New York Times about one disconcerting aspect of the ongoing move to electronic textbooks: "Teachers at 9 colleges are testing technology from a Silicon Valley start-up that lets them know if you're skipping pages, highlighting text, taking notes — or, of course, not opening the book at all. '"It's Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent," said Tracy Hurley, the dean of the school of business" at Texas A&M.' 'Major publishers in higher education have already been collecting data from millions of students who use their digital materials. But CourseSmart goes further by individually packaging for each professor information on all the students in a class — a bold effort that is already beginning to affect how teachers present material and how students respond to it, even as critics question how well it measures learning.'"

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Energy Use From Wireless Networks Will Dwarf Data Center Use By 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 04:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's iphone-using-hippie-not-concerned department:
angry tapir writes "New research (PDF) from an Australian university argues that increased carbon emissions from powering data centers aren't the biggest environmental threat from the growth of cloud computing. Instead, the problem is the Wi-Fi and cellular networks increasingly used to access cloud services. By 2015, the energy used to run data centers will be a 'drop in the ocean' compared to the energy used to power wireless access to services. By 2015 the energy consumption associated with 'wireless cloud' will reach 43 terawatt-hours, compared to 9.2 terawatt-hours in 2012 (an increase in carbon footprint from 6 megatons of CO_2 in 2012, up to 30 megatons of CO_2 in 2015). Data centers will comprise only 9 per cent on this increased energy consumption, compared to up to 90 per cent for wireless access."

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"Dark Lightning" Could Expose Airline Passengers To Radiation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '13 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's amtrak-doesn't-cause-cancer department:
mbstone writes "Lightning researcher Joseph Dwyer of the Florida Institute of Technology claims that thunderstorms unleash sprays of X-rays and even intense bursts of gamma rays which could cause airline passengers to receive in an instant the maximum safe lifetime dose of ionizing radiation — the kind that wreaks the most havoc on the human body. Dwyer hopes his sensor aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, will provide more data."

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Mendeley Acquired By Elsevier
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 11:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's that'll-be-$49-per-bookmark department:
First time accepted submitter alexgieg writes "Academic reference manager Mendeley has announced they're joining Elsevier. They say this won't change anything for Mendeley users and that they're still committed to their Open API efforts, all the while acknowledging that Elsevier's reputation hasn't been the best as of late. If you're currently a Mendeley user will you continue using it from now on? Or will this move prompt you to start evaluating alternatives such as the Open Source, Firefox-based Zotero?"

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HP Launches Moonshot
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 09:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's everyone's-doing-it department:
New submitter linatux writes "HP has announced their 'Moonshot 1500 server' — up to 1,800 servers per 47U rack are supported. The tech certainly seems to be an advance on what is currently available — will it be enough to revive HP's server fleet?"

From Phoronix: "Moonshot began with Calxeda-based ARM SoCs, but in the end HP settled for Intel Atom processors. Released today were HP's Moonshot system based on the Intel Atom S1200. Hewlett-Packard claims that their Moonshot System uses 89% less energy, 80% less space, 77% less cost, and 97% less complexity than traditional servers."

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New Thunderbolt Revision Features 20 Gbps Throughput, 4K Video Support
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 06:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lots-of-bits department:
hooligun writes "The next-gen Thunderbolt tech (code-named Falcon Ridge) enables 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously in addition to running at 20 Gbps. It will be backward-compatible with previous-gen Thunderbolt cables and connectors, and production is set to ramp up in 2014. An on-stage demo with fresh-off-the-press silicon showed the new Thunderbolt running 1,200 Mbps, which is certainly a step up from what's currently on the market."

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Fake Academic Journals Are a Very Real Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's as-seen-on-tv department:
derekmead writes "Because its become so easy to start a new publication in this new pixel-driven information economy, a new genre of predatory journals is emerging at an alarming rate. The New York Times just published an exposée of sorts on the topic. Its only an exposée of sorts because the scientific community knows about the problem. There are blogs set up to shame the fake journals into halting publishing. There are tutorials online for spotting a fake journal. There's even a list created and maintained by academic librarian Jeffrey Beall that keeps an eye on all the new fake journals coming out. When Beall started the list in 2010, it had only 20 entries. Now it has over 4,000. The journal Nature even published an entire issue on the problem a couple of weeks ago.So again, scientists know this is a problem. They just don't know how to stop it."

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Microsoft: Facebook Home Is a Copycat, Windows Phone Is the 'Real Thing'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's our-interface-sucked-first department:
colinneagle writes "Frank X. Shaw, VP of Corporate Communications at Microsoft, did not seem happy about Facebook's Home announcement when he wrote, 'I tuned into the coverage of the Facebook Home event yesterday and actually had to check my calendar a few times. Not to see if it was still April Fools Day, but to see if it was somehow still 2011. Because the content of the presentation was remarkably similar to the launch event we did for Windows Phone two years ago.' Shaw also posted Microsoft's 'Put people first with Windows Phone 7.5' video before writing, 'We understand why Facebook would want to find a way to bring similar functionality to a platform that is sadly lacking it.'"

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Method Found To Unlock Qualcomm Based Motorola Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '13 at 03:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's take-that-qfuse department:
FlatEric521 writes "In a blog post over at Azimuth Security, Dan Rosenberg explains how certain models of Motorola Android phones based on the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset (including the Atrix HD, Razr HD, and Razr M) can be permanently unlocked. He writes, 'I will present my findings, which include details of how to exploit a vulnerability in the Motorola TrustZone kernel to permanently unlock the bootloaders on these phones.'"

It's a long read, but interesting.

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