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English Teenager Invents a Better Doorbell
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 08:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-coming-from-inside-the-house department:
Several readers have written with word of a new doorbell, invented by 13-year-old Laurence Rook. What's so special about a doorbell? This one lets you answer the door from wherever you can receive a call from its embedded 3G chip; to your in-person caller (facing the doorbell), that means it sounds like you're answering the door over an intercom system, even if you're really across town. Pretty clever way to make it harder for a thief to know if a home is actually occupied, though Rook says that he initially just wanted a system to avoid missed packages.

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Pranksters Post Giant Windows Logo On Hamburg Apple Store
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 04:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's city-named-after-a-delicious-sandwich department:
theodp writes "Working calmly in broad daylight and filming their efforts for YouTube posterity, a fake construction crew attached a large Microsoft Windows logo to the black facade of a soon-to-open Hamburg Apple Store. Neat hack in the MIT vein, but next time the crew might want to take along a pic of the Windows logo — with the adrenaline flowing, some of the colors got rearranged and were hung upside down."

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Syria Reportedly Back On the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's back-to-your-scheduled-programming department:
angry tapir writes "The Internet in Syria was back on Saturday, a day after it was reported that two-thirds of Syrian networks had been cut off from the rest of the world in the wake of civil unrest in the country."

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CERN Ups Antimatter Confinement Record to 15+ Minutes
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-so-negative? department:
A team at CERN has vastly increased its ability to confine antimatter, says an article published today at Scientific American. Last year, the same researchers managed to trap atoms of antihydrogen. "But," says the SciAm report, "the antihydrogen had at that time been confined for less than two tenths of a second. That interval has now been extended by a factor of more than 5,000. In a study published online June 5 in Nature Physics, the ALPHA group reports having confined antihydrogen for 16 minutes and 40 seconds. The more relevant number for physicists, who often deal in powers of 10, is 1,000 seconds."

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Cheap GPUs Rendering Strong Passwords Useless
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-have-8-billion-login-attempts department:
StrongGlad writes with a story at ZDNet describing how it's getting easier to use GPU processing against passwords once considered quite strong.
"Take a cheap GPU (like the Radeon HD 5770) and the free GPU-powered password busting tool called 'ighashgpu' and you have yourself a lean, mean password busting machine. How lean and mean? Working against NTLM login passwords, a password of 'fjR8n' can be broken on the CPU in 24 seconds, at a rate of 9.8 million password guesses per second. On the GPU, it takes less than a second at a rate of 3.3 billion passwords per second. Increase the password to 6 characters (pYDbL6), and the CPU takes 1 hour 30 minutes versus only four seconds on the GPU. Go further to 7 characters (fh0GH5h), and the CPU would grind along for 4 days, versus a frankly worrying 17 minutes 30 seconds for the GPU."

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Hackers Attack Nintendo, But Company Claims Data Safe
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's 15-minutes-of-fame department:
Dr Herbert West writes with this from the Wall Street Journal: "Nintendo said Sunday that a server for its US unit's website had been hacked into but that no company or customer information was compromised.
The hacker group Lulzsec, which allegedly was behind other breaches of Sony websites earlier this week, claimed responsibility. Lulzsec posted a server configuration file as proof of its involvement yet said it wasn't targeting Nintendo. 'We just got a config file and made it clear that we didn't mean any harm,' the group said this morning via its Twitter.' Nintendo had already fixed it anyway. The attack comes as Nintendo this week launches its new online service for its 3DS hand-held game machine."


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Compressed Time at the Australia Telescope Compact Array
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-ok-it's-an-illusion department:
epaell writes "I've been playing a little bit with time-lapse and video editing over the last week while Duty Astronomer at the CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) near Narrabri in country New South Wales (Australia). Playing with video is all quite a new experience for me but I had fun putting this together and thought others may enjoy it. I've captured a number of videos of and around the telescope and attempted to highlight not only the instrument and the skies but also some of the wildlife we encounter on a daily basis while observing there. It also includes an obligatory video of cockatoos taking a hayride on one of the dishes and the frogs in the control room that are our constant companions during long observing sessions :-) I recommend switching from 360p to 1080p and setting on full-screen mode to get the full effect of the video."

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Ask Slashdot: Compensating Technical People For Contributing to Sales?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's better-snacks-and-more-espresso department:
cloud-yay writes "I work for an IT consulting firm and recently I've been tasked with heading up our engineering consulting team — which without the fancy corporate speak means that we're trying to empower our engineering team to think a little like sales people instead of being purely service orientated. To clarify, our technical people are viewed by our customers as trusted advisors and when they see a opportunity for a complementary sale/network refresh/project they often involve our sales team, however when the customer sees the sales people, they always clam up because they're 'sales people' and customers think they are just interested in alleviating them of their money! I'm interested in what the Slashdot community thinks of how we should remunerate engineering teams for this 'sales' work (which would cost us commission to sales people anyway) but in a way that doesn't foster any animosity between sales and tech staff because in the end sales people live and die on commission. Has anyone worked in this environment anywhere and what works/doesn't work in your experience?"

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Wikileaks Cables Say No Bloodshed Inside Tiananmen Square
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bloodshed-all-confined-to-freedom-square department:
netchaos writes "Secret cables from the United States embassy in Beijing have shown there was no bloodshed inside Tiananmen Square when China put down student pro-democracy demonstrations 22 years ago." Which is not to say that everything was flowers and wine: "Instead, the cables show that Chinese soldiers opened fire on protesters outside the centre of Beijing, as they fought their way towards the square from the west of the city."

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Collatz Proof Proposed: Hailstone Sequences End In 1
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's baseball-hailstones-also-a-tough-problem department:
mikejuk writes "A proof [preprint PDF] has been proposed for the Collatz conjecture about hailstone sequences. A hailstone sequence starts from any positive integer n the next number in the sequence is n/2 if n is even and 3n+1 if n is odd. The conjecture is that this simple sequence always ends in one. Simple to state but very difficult to prove and it has taken more than 60 years to get close to a solution."

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NSA Trial Evidence 'Riddled With Boxes and Arrows'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-didn't-mean-to-imply-anything department:
decora writes "In the Espionage Act trial of NSA IT Whistleblower Thomas Drake, the main evidence against him are five documents he allegedly 'willfully retained' in his basement. The government, for the first time, is using the Silent Witness Rule to 'substitute' words in this evidence so that the public will not be able to see the allegedly sensitive information. The result of this 'substitution' process has been described by the defense as a tangled mess of boxes, arrows, and code words [PDF] that will impossibly confuse the facts of the case. 'Two weeks before trial, Mr. Drake and his counsel still do not know what evidence the jury will see.'"

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India's Schooling Experiment Tests Rich and Poor
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's caste-aside department:

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Integrating Capacitors Into Car Frames
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's integrating-is-just-a-fancy-word-for-duct-taping department:
necro81 writes "It has long been recognized that adding capacitors in parallel with batteries can improve the performance of hybrid and electric vehicles by accepting and supplying spikes of power, which reduces stress on the battery pack, extending range and improving cycle life. The challenge has been figuring out where to put them, when batteries already compete for space. A new research prototype from Imperial College London has integrated them into the body panels and structural frame of the vehicle itself. In their prototype, carbon fiber serves as both the structure for the vehicle and electrode for the energy storage sandwiched within."

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Student Suspended For Posting On YouTube
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '11 at 01:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-bring-none-of-that-innernet-'round-these-parts department:
An anonymous reader writes "A Canadian student has been suspended from school and had the police called on him due to satirical animations that he posted to YouTube. Jack Christie, a 12th-grade student at the Donald A. Wilson Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, created the videos in his own time, off-campus."

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France Bans Facebook and Twitter From Radio and TV
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-you-ban-it-from-the-web-too-please department:
An anonymous reader writes "In France, radio and television news anchors are no longer allowed to say the words 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' on air, unless the terms are specifically part of a news story. The ban stems from a decree issued by the French government on March 27, 1992, which forbids the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs."

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Ask Slashdot: Is SHA-512 the Way To Go?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
crutchy writes "When I was setting up my secure website I got really paranoid about SSL encryption, so I created a certificate using OpenSLL for SHA-512 encryption. I don't know much about SHA (except bits that I can remember from Wikipedia), but I figure that if you're going to go to the trouble (or expense) of setting up SSL, you may as well go for the best you can get, right? Also, what would be the minimum level of encryption required for, say, online banking? I've read about how SHA-1 was 'broken', but from what I can tell it still takes many hours. What is the practical risk to the real internet from this capability? Would a sort of rolling key be a possible next step, where each SSL-encrypted stream has its own private/public key pair generated on the fly, and things like passwords and bank account numbers were broken up and sent in multiple streams with different private/public key pairs? This would of course require more server grunt to generate these keys (or we could take a leaf from Google's book and just have separate server clusters designed solely for that job), but then if computing performance was a limiting factor, the threat to security of these hashes wouldn't be a problem in the first place."
(Continued below.)

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Solar Powered Laptops
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 05:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-not-easy-being-green department:
smitty777 writes "Greentech is running a story on a solar powered laptop concept. The device was created by industrial designer Andrea Ponti, and includes a solar panel on the outside of the case as well as one below the keyboard. The idea seems to be taking shape; Samsung has a design they've been developing as well."

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New Superbug Strain Found In Cows and People
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's biological-warfare-in-the-bovine-revolution department:
sciencehabit writes "A novel form of deadly drug-resistant bacteria that hides from a standard test has turned up in Europe. Researchers found the so-called MRSA strain in both dairy cows and humans in the United Kingdom, suggesting that it might be passed from dairies to the general population. But before you toss your milk, don't panic: The superbug isn't a concern in pasteurized dairy products."

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Man Ordered At Gunpoint To Hand Over Phone For Recording Cops
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-shoot-or-we'll-shoot department:
HungryHobo writes with this excerpt from a story at Pixiq:
"Miami Beach police did their best to destroy a citizen video that shows them shooting a man to death in a hail of bullets on Memorial Day. First, police pointed their guns at the man who shot the video, according to a Miami Herald interview with the videographer. Then they ordered the man and his girlfriend out of the car and threw them down to the ground, yelling, 'you want to be f****** paparazzi?' Then they snatched the cell phone from his hand and slammed it to the ground before stomping on it. Then they placed the smashed phone in the videographer's back pocket as he was laying down on the ground."

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National Academies Release Over 4,000 Free Science Books
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's price-is-right department:
Shipud writes "The National Academies Press are offering all their books for free in PDF format. These are all the publications of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. Lots of great stuff there, and now for free."

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