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Benefits of a Homebrew Router
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '16 at 02:03 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-for-confusing-comcast-techs department:
An anonymous reader writes: Jim Salter has posted an article explaining why it can be a good idea to build your own router, and how he put his together. Quoting: "In the consumer world, routers mostly have itty-bitty little MIPS CPUs under the hood without a whole lot of RAM (to put it mildly). These routers largely differentiate themselves from one another based on the interface: How shiny is it? ... I wanted to go a different route. A lot of interesting and reasonably inexpensive little x86-64 fanless machines have started showing up on the market lately. The trick for building a router is finding one with multiple NICs." Once assembled, the homebrew router blows away even high-end SOHO routers for throughput and performance. "Given that nobody's offering any Internet connections over 200mbps in my area yet, that makes my inner crypto nerd dance with glee. I could literally encrypt every single byte of my Internet traffic, in either direction, without a performance penalty." Of course, it won't do wireless, but you can get separate wireless access points to handle that.

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Estimating Damages From the VW Emissions Scandal
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '16 at 02:03 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's grim-accounting department:
ckwu writes: Last year, the news broke that in the U.S. almost 600,000 Volkswagen diesel vehicles, model years 2009 to 2015, contain software that altered engine performance and lowered emissions of toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) during emissions tests but not during normal driving. A new study calculates the societal impact of this extra NOx: 46 excess expected deaths and $430 million in excess damages. U.S. regulators have filed a federal lawsuit against the automaker alleging violations of the Clean Air Act.

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Ask Slashdot: Good Introductory SW Engineering Projects? (HS Level)
Posted by News Fetcher on January 20 '16 at 02:03 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's traveling-salesmen-need-not-apply department:
New submitter mtapman writes: I'm looking for suggestions on introductory software engineering projects for a high school level student. Assume the student can do basic math (up through Algebra I or Statistics I) but is new to logic and computer science. Each project should take no more than four hours to complete including research, coding, and testing. The intent is to introduce the student to software engineering (and computer science) through practical and fun examples. Classic CS problems are welcome. One of the key criteria is available research/reference material to allow the student to make progress with 30-60 minutes of online research.

Some ideas that came to my mind (not necessarily good ones) are: (1) pick a sorting algorithm and sort a list of ten words alphabetically, (2) write a program to convert characters from lower to upper case, (3) write a program to divide two numbers in two different programming languages and compare the results to determine the differences between the languages.

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Empty Toner Cartridges?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's using-them-as-ice-cream-dishes-is-popular department:
New submitter MoarSauce123 writes: Over time I accumulated a number of empty toner cartridges for a Brother laser printer. Initially, I wanted to take a local office supply chain store up on their offer to give me store credit for the returned cartridge. For that credit to be issued I would have to sign up for their store card providing a bunch of personal information. The credit is so lousy that after the deduction from the sales price of a new toner cartridge the price is still much higher than from a large online retailer. And the credit only applies to one new cartridge, so I cannot keep collecting the credit and then get a cartridge 'for free' at some point.

I also looked into a local store of a toner refill chain. Their prices are a bit better, but the closest store is about half an hour away with rather odd business hours. Still, at the end they charge more than the large online retailer asks for a brand new cartridge. For now I bring the empty cartridges to the big office supply store and tell them that I do not want their dumb store credit. I rather have big corp make some bucks on me than throw these things in the trash and have it go to a landfill. Are there any better options? Anything from donating it to charity to refilling myself is of interest.


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What If You Could See Asteroids In the Night Sky?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 09:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hard-rain department:
An anonymous reader writes: As part of Asteroid Day a 360-degree video rendering the night sky with the population of near-earth asteroids included has been created by 'Astronogamer' Scott Manley. The video shows how the Earth flies through a cloud of asteroids on its journey around the sun, and yet we've only discovered about 1% of the near earth asteroid population.

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Interviews: Brian Krebs Answers Your Questions
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's asked-and-answered department:
A few weeks ago you had a chance to ask Brian Krebs about security, cybercrime and what it's like to be the victim of Swatting. Below you will find his answers to your questions.

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Nvidia Details 'Gameworks VR', Aims To Boost Virtual Reality Render Performance
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's here's-a-mud-in-your-eye department:
An anonymous reader writes: In a guest article published to Road to VR, Nvidia graphics programmer Nathan Reed details Nvidia's 'Gameworks VR' initiative which the company says is designed to boost virtual reality render performance, including support for 'VR SLI' which will render one eye view per GPU for low latency stereoscopy. While many Gameworks VR features will be supported as far back as GeForce 6xx cards, the company's latest 'Maxwell' (9xx and Titan X) GPUs offer 'Multi-projection' which Reed says, 'enables us to very efficiently rasterize geometry into multiple viewports within a single render target at once... This better approximates the shading rate of the warped image that will eventually be displayed—in other words, it avoids rendering a ton of extra pixels that weren't going to make it to the display anyway, and gives you a substantial performance boost for no perceptible reduction in image quality.'

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Cisco To Acquire OpenDNS
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-I-thought-open-dns-was-the-alternative department:
New submitter Tokolosh writes: Both Cisco and OpenDNS announced today that the former is to acquire the latter. From the Cisco announcement: "To build on Cisco's advanced threat protection capabilities, we plan to continue to innovate a cloud delivered Security platform integrating OpenDNS' key capabilities to accelerate that work. Over time, we will look to unite our cloud-delivered solutions, enhancing Cisco's advanced threat protection capabilities across the full attack continuum—before, during and after an attack." With Cisco well-embedded with the US security apparatus (NSA, CIA, FBI, etc.) is it time to seek out alternatives to OpenDNS?

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RFC 7568 Deprecates SSLv3 As Insecure
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's must-not-is-in-all-caps department:
AmiMoJo writes: SSLv3 should not be used, according to the IETF's RFC 7568. Despite being replaced by three versions of TLS, SSLv3 is still in use. Clients and servers are now recommended to reject requests to use SSLv3 for secure communication. "SSLv3 Is Comprehensively Broken," say the authors, and lay out its flaws in detail.

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UK Researchers Find IPv6-Related Data Leaks In 11 of 14 VPN Providers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-working-as-intended department:
jan_jes writes: According to researchers at Queen Mary University of London, services used by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK to protect their identity on the web are vulnerable to leaks. The study of 14 popular VPN providers found that 11 of them leaked information about the user because of a vulnerability known as 'IPv6 leakage'. The leakage occurs because network operators are increasingly deploying a new version of the protocol used to run the Internet called IPv6. The study also examined the security of various mobile platforms when using VPNs and found that they were much more secure when using Apple's iOS, but were still vulnerable to leakage when using Google's Android. Similarly Russian researchers have exposed the breakthrough U.S. spying program few months back. The VPNs they tested certainly aren't confined to the UK; thanks to an anonymous submitter, here's the list of services tested: Hide My Ass, IPVanish, Astrill, ExpressVPN, StrongVPN, PureVPN, TorGuard, AirVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, VyprVPN, Tunnelbear, proXPN, Mullvad, and Hotspot Shield Elite.

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First Fedora Image For the MIPS Available For Testing
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's beldar-conehead's-favorite-chip department:
New submitter alexvoica writes: Today Fedora contributor Michal Toman has announced that the first Fedora 22 image for 32-bit MIPS CPUs is available for testing; this version of the operating system was developed using our Creator CI20 microcomputer, which includes a 1.2 GHz dual-core MIPS processor. In addition, Michal announced he is working on a 64-bit version designed to run on MIPS-based Cavium OCTEON III processors.

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8 Yelp Reviewers Hit With $1.2 Million Defamation Suits
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's slapp-on-the-back department:
New submitter goodboi writes: A Silicon Valley building contractor is suing 8 of its critics over the reviews they posted on Yelp. The negative reviews were filtered out by Yelp's secretive ranking system, but in court documents filed earlier this month, Link Corporation claims that the bad publicity cost over $165,000 in lost business.

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SMS Co-Inventor Matti Makkonen Dead At 63
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 05:16 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's too-shrt department:
An anonymous reader writes: The BBC News reports that Matti Makkonen, one of the 'grand old man of mobile industry' who helped launch the worldwide sensation of texting, has died at the age of 63 after an illness. Although planning to retire later in 2015 from the board of Finnet Telecoms, Makkonen constantly remained fascinated with communications technologies, from the Nokia 2010 mobile phone to 3G connections. He lived just enough to witness the last remnants of former Finnish mobile industry giant Nokia disappear, as Redmond announced its intent last month to convert all Nokia stores into Microsoft-branded Authorised Reseller and Service Centres, offering Xbox game consoles alongside the Nokia-drived Lumia range of smartphones.

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European Government Agrees On Net Neutrality Rules, With Exemptions
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bit-by-identically-treated-bit department:
An anonymous reader writes: The European Union's three main legislative bodies, the European Council, the European Parliment, and the European Commision, have reached an agreement on "Open Internet" rules that establish principles similar to Net Neutrality in the EU. The rules require that all internet traffic and users be treated equally, forbidding paid-for prioritisation of traffic. However, exemptions are permitted for particular "specialised services" where the service is not possible under the open network's normal conditions, provided that the customer using the service pays for the privilege. (The examples given are IPTV, teleconferencing, and telepresence surgery.) Zero-rating — exempting particular data from traffic caps — is also permitted, but will be subject to oversight. Notably, this means (if all goes as promised) the elimination of cellphone roaming fees within the EU; however, that's been promised and delayed before.

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How Computer Science Education Got Practical (Again)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 03:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-to-the-basics department:
jfruh writes: In the 1980s and 1990s, thousands of young people who had grown up tinkering with PCs hit college and dove into curricula designed around the vague notion that they might want to "do something with computers." Today, computer science education is a lot more practical — though in many ways that's just going back to the discipline's roots. As Christopher Mims put it in the Wall Street Journal, "we've entered an age in which demanding that every programmer has a degree is like asking every bricklayer to have a background in architectural engineering."

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Asteroid Day On June 30 Aims To Raise Awareness of Collision Risks
Posted by News Fetcher on June 30 '15 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's extinction-level-event department:
benonemusic writes: International organizers--including Queen's Brian May, an astrophysicist--have organized the world's first Asteroid Day on June 30, as a means to raise awareness for future collision risks and encourage actions to minimize the threats from such events. "If we can track the trajectories of asteroids and monitor their movement in our solar system, then we can know if they are on a path to impact Earth," former Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart told the organizers of Asteroid Day in a statement. "If we find them early enough, we can move them out of Earth's orbit, thus preventing any kind of major natural disaster."

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Creating Bacterial "Fight Clubs" To Discover New Drugs
Posted by News Fetcher on June 29 '15 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let's-get-ready-to-rumble department:
Science_afficionado writes: Vanderbilt chemists have shown that creating bacterial 'fight clubs' is an effective way to discover natural biomolecules with the properties required for new drugs. They have demonstrated the method by using it to discover a new class of antibiotic with anti-cancer properties. From the Vanderbilt website: "That is the conclusion of a team of Vanderbilt chemists who have been exploring ways to get bacteria to produce biologically active chemicals which they normally hold in reserve. These compounds are called secondary metabolites. They are designed to protect their bacterial host and attack its enemies, so they often have the right kind of activity to serve as the basis for effective new drugs. In fact, many antibiotics and anticancer compounds in clinical use are either secondary metabolites or their derivatives."

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The Programmer's Path To Management
Posted by News Fetcher on June 29 '15 at 08:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's moving-on-up department:
snydeq writes: The transition from command line to line-of-command requires a new mind-set — and a thick skin, writes InfoWorld's Paul Heltzel in a tips-based article aimed at programmers interested in breaking into management. "Talented engineers may see managing a team as the next step to growing their careers. So if you're moving in this direction, what tools do you need to make the transition? We'll look at some possible approaches, common pitfalls — and offer solutions."

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How IKEA Patched Shellshock
Posted by News Fetcher on June 29 '15 at 06:17 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
jones_supa writes: Magnus Glantz, IT manager at IKEA, revealed that the Swedish furniture retailer has more than 3,500 Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. With Shellshock, every single one of those servers needed to be patched to limit the risk of exploitation. So how did IKEA patch all those servers? Glantz showed a simple one-line Linux command and then jokingly walked away from the podium stating "That's it, thanks for coming." On a more serious note, he said that it took approximately two and half hours to upgrade their infrastructure to defend against Shellshock. The key was having a consistent approach to system management, which begins with a well-defined Standard Operating Environment (SOE). Additionally, Glantz has defined a lifecycle management plan that describes the lifecycle of how Linux will be used at Ikea for the next seven years.

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Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety
Posted by News Fetcher on June 29 '15 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-your-eyes-on-the-road-your-hands-upon-the-wheel department:
Zothecula writes: Having a heads-up display constantly feed you information while cruising down the road may make you feel like a jet pilot ready to avoid any potential danger but recent findings suggest otherwise. Studies done at the University of Toronto show that the HUD multi-tasking method of driving a vehicle is dangerous. "Drivers need to divide their attention to deal with this added visual information," said Department of Psychology professor Ian Spence, who led the research. "Not only will drivers have to concentrate on what’s happening on the road around them as they’ve always done, they’ll also have to attend to whatever warning pops up on the windshield in front of them."

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