By EditorDavid from Slashdot's wayback-wayback department
20 years ago this week, Archive.org started with just 500,000 sites. An anonymous reader quotes the San Francisco Chronicle:
Now, the nonprofit San Francisco organization -- which celebrated the milestone with a party Wednesday night -- curates a vast digital archive that includes more than 370 million websites and 273 billion pages, many captured before they disappeared forever. It's more than an archive of Internet sites. The organization, founded by computer scientist and entrepreneur Brewster Kahle, now has a virtual storehouse ranging from digitally converted books and historic film to funny memes and audio recordings of Grateful Dead concerts...
The Internet Archive has survived through community donations and by working with about 1,000 libraries around the world that pay the group to help digitize books and other material. But the site itself remains free.
We've written about Archive.org over the years, and its collection of 2,400 DOS games, over 10,000 Amiga games (and other software) and a massive collection of arcade machine emulators. And here's what Slashdot looked like back in 1998. But what's your favorite page on Archive.org?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's think-different department
The teenager created several weaponized versions of this bug which would constantly dial a phone number, or show annoying popups. The teenager says he wanted to prank his friends, thinking it would be "funny," but when he shared the weaponized link online, he shared a version that instead of showing annoying popups, redialed a phone number, which in this case was 911.
In September researchers calculated just 6,000 smartphones can take down an entire state's 911 system, while more than 1,849 people clicked on this link, according to the article. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office searched the teenager's home -- "several items were seized" -- and they've charged him with three felony counts for computer tampering.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's crime-in-Crimea department
Ukrainian activists have compromised 2,337 messages in the Microsoft Outlook accounts of two assistants to a top aide of Vladimir Putin. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes NBC News:
A Ukrainian group calling itself Cyber Hunta has released more than a gigabyte of emails and other material from the office of one of Vladimir Putin's top aides, Vladislav Surkov, that show Russia's fingerprints all over the separatist movement in Ukraine. While the Kremlin has denied the relationship between Moscow and the separatists, the emails show in great detail how Russia controlled virtually every detail of the separatist effort in the Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, which has torn the country apart and led to a Russian takeover of Crimea...
"This is a serious hack," said Maks Czuperski, head of the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council, which has searched through the email dump and placed selected emails online. "We have seen so much happen to the United States, other countries at the hands of Russia," said Czuperski. "Not so much to Russia. It was only a question of time that some of the anonymous guys like Cyber Hunta would come to strike them back."
A senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News that the U.S. "had no role" in the breach -- but when asked if the material was authentic, replied there was "nothing to indicate otherwise."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's impending-doom department
A U.S. banking regulator says an employee was found to have downloaded a large number of files onto thumb drives a week before he retired. When the former employee was contacted, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said he "was unable to locate or return the thumb drives to the agency." The reassuring news is that the information appears to not have been disclosed to the public or misused in any way, according to the OCC. Metro.us reports: Before he retired in November 2015, the former employee downloaded a large number of files onto two removable thumb drives though the incident was only detected last month during a routine security review, the OCC said in a statement. The stolen data was encrypted, the agency said. The Office of the Comptroller, along with the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is one of the nation's three most influential bank regulators that is tasked with protecting consumers and financial markets. The OCC has deemed the breach a "major incident" because the devices containing the information are not recoverable and more than 10,000 records were removed, the agency said. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the case, noted that a large batch of unclassified personnel records were among the cache.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's sweet-roof department
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk today unveiled the "residential roof" -- pegged as a roofing replacement -- with solar energy gathering powers. Unlike other solar systems which must be mounted on top of a traditional roof, these new panels are actually integrated within glass roof tiles, replacing a home's roof, Musk said. And because they're made of glass, Musk says they will last "quasi indefinitely," even in harsh conditions where snow and ice make short work of traditional asphalt shingles. Musk said that 50 years of lifespan should be no problem, and they offer efficiency that is 98 percent as good as a traditional, ugly photovoltaic panel. From a report on The Verge: There are a number of different versions of solar panels: Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile. Tesla says its glass tiles are much more durable than conventional roof tile -- something that's important in areas with risk of hail.The products are a "joint collaboration" between SolarCity and Tesla, according to SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. Tesla is attempting to acquire SolarCity for $2.6 billion and shareholders of both companies will vote on the proposed acquisition in the middle of November. The Powerwall 2 can store 14 kWh of energy, with a 5 kW continuous power draw, and 7 kW peak. The battery is warranted for unlimited power cycles for up to 10 years. It can be floor or wall mounted, inside or outside. It can be used for load shifting or back-up power. Musk says there are three parts to the solar energy solution: generation (solar panels), storage (batteries), and transportation (electric cars). Musk's plan is to sell all three of those products through Tesla.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's old-vs-new department
Apple released new MacBook Pros yesterday that feature Intel's year-old Skylake microarchitcure, as opposed to the newer Kaby Lake architecture. Two days earlier, Microsoft did the same thing when it released the Surface Studio. Given the improvements Kaby Lake processors have over Skylake processors, one would think they would be included in the latest and greatest products from Microsoft and Apple. Gizmodo explains why that's not the case: In the case of the new 15-inch MacBook the answer is simple. "The Kaby Lake chip doesn't exist yet," an Apple rep told Gizmodo. Kaby Lake is being rolled out relatively slowly, and it's only available in a few forms and wattages. The 15-inch MacBook Pro uses a quad-core processor that has no Kaby Lake equivalent currently. That particular laptop really does have the fastest processor available. The same goes for the Microsoft Surface Studio and updated Surface Book -- both also use a quad-core Skylake processor with no Kaby Lake counterpart. But the Studio and Surface Book are also using much older video cards from the Nvidia 900 series. Nvidia has much faster and less power-hungry chips (the 1000 series) available based on the Pascal architecture. Microsoft's reasoning for going with older video cards is nearly identical to Apple's for going with a slower processor in its 13-inch MacBook Pro: the Nvidia 1000 series came out too late. The major intimation was that Kaby Lake and Pascal came so late in the design process that it would have delayed the final products if they'd chosen to use them. New technology, no matter how amazing an upgrade it might be, still requires considerable testing before it can be shipped to consumers. One minor bug, particularly in a system as engineered as the Surface Studio or MacBook Pro, can turn catastrophic if engineers aren't careful. In the case of Microsoft, it's frustrating, because that old GPU is significantly slower than the Pascal GPUs available. It's a little less frustrating in Apple's case, largely because of the old processor microarchitecture that Apple elected to shove into its new 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple went with a new Skylake dual core processor that draws a lot of power -- more so than any Kaby Lake processor available. It then uses all that extra power to ramp up the speeds of the processor. Which means it is capable of pulling off speeds that can actually match those of the fastest Kaby Lake processor out there. The only downside to this decision is battery life.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's third-party department
The launch and marketing push of the 27-inch 5K UltraFine Display made in partnership with LG all but confirms that Apple is out of the standalone display business. Previously, it was rumored Apple was working on its own branded Thunderbolt Display powered by an integrated GPU, but with the launch of LG's display it appears to indicate Apple gave up those plans. The Verge's Nilay Patel also confirms the news, tweeting: "Good notes by @jsnell. I can add that Apple told me it's out of standalone display biz." 9to5Mac reports: The two new LG displays, which will be available later this year, feature Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for an easy one-cable-solution for new MacBook owners. Apple will sell both displays, a 4K model for $699.95 and a 5K model for $1299.95, on its online store. Back in June, Apple officially discontinued its lone company-branded monitor, the Thunderbolt Display, after it had languished for a period of time without a substantial update. Apple's statement on the discontinuation made it appear as if it may be the last of the Apple-branded display, and this has been seemingly confirmed: "We're discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users," said an Apple spokesperson.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's world-economy department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from USA Today: Amazon is bringing its popular Prime service to China. Chinese Prime is different from that available in other nations, with no video offering but instead a focus on no minimum, unlimited free domestic and international shipping. That is a nod to Chinese consumers' growing desire for products from the West, which they perceive as often being of better quality. Chinese Prime members will be able to shop for over 4 million international products from the Amazon Global Store, a storefront the company launched in 2014 to cater to that interest in international goods. The most popular products for Chinese consumers to buy on Amazon are apparel, shoes, baby, toys, home, kitchen and beauty, the company said. The Prime China orders from Amazon's Global Store will be processed at Amazon fulfillment centers in the United States, then flown to China and delivered to the customer's door via Amazon's global logistics network. Amazon says it will deliver the packages to 82 Chinese cities within five to nine days. Amazon has an extremely tiny footprint in China, where it is estimated to account for 1.5% of the online commerce market, according to iResearch. In China, online sales are dominated by Alibaba and JD.com. Last year Amazon quietly launched a store on Alibaba's Tmall site as a way to reach the Chinese market. The Prime service will cost 388 yuan a year, about $58.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's tethered-to-a-wall-outlet department
The new MacBooks Pros have been improved in nearly every way -- except when it comes to RAM capacity. With faster, more energy efficient Skylake processors, faster SSDs, and better GPUs, one would think the amount of RAM wouldn't be capped off at 16GB. However, that is the case. The reason why the MacBook Pros continue to max out at 16GB RAM is due to battery life concerns, according to marketing chief Phil Schiller. MacRumors reader David emailed Apple to get an explanation: Question from David: "The lack of a 32GB BTO option for the new MBPs raised some eyebrows and caused some concerns (me included). Does ~3GBps bandwidth to the SSD make this a moot issue? I.e. memory paging on a 16GB system is so fast that 32GB is not a significant improvement?" Schiller's answer: "Thank you for the email. It is a good question. To put more than 16GB of fast RAM into a notebook design at this time would require a memory system that consumes much more power and wouldn't be efficient enough for a notebook. I hope you check out this new generation MacBook Pro, it really is an incredible system." For the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple was able to reach "all-day battery life," which equates to 10 hours of wireless web use or iTunes movie playback. That's an hour improvement over the previous generation in the 15-inch machine, and a small step back in the 13-inch machine. While none of Apple's portable machines offer more than 16GB RAM, 32GB of RAM is a high-end custom upgrade option in the 27-inch iMac.Read Replies (0)
Let Researchers Try New Paths
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '16 at 02:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's let-there-be-light department
Writing for Nature journal, scientists and professors Tolu Oni, Fabio Sciarrino, Gerardo Adesso, and Rob Knight, discuss an issue researchers have been facing a lot lately. The scientific enterprise is stuck in a catch-22, they say. Researchers are charged with advancing promising new questions, but receive support and credit only for revisiting their past work. They say that often times while examining one thing researchers are able to uncover several other important things, but deviating from the path is something frowned upon for various reasons among the industry. From the article (condensed): Most striking are the barriers to achieving impact. Our research often led us to questions that had greater potential than our original focus, typically because these new directions encompassed the complexities of society. We realized that changing tack could lead to more important work, but the policies of research funders and institutions consistently discourage such pivots. When reviewers assess grants or academic performance, they focus largely on track records in a particular field. Young scientists, who must focus on developing their careers, are thus discouraged from exploration. Our own experiences provide a glimpse of the well-intentioned forces that can keep researchers from trying other paths. This challenge is not new. Physicist-turned-structural biologist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who is president of the Royal Society, worked for several years in a job with funding that was contingent on a steady stream of publications. This forced him to ask safe but incremental questions. To pursue what became his Nobel-prizewinning work (on the structure of the ribosome), he moved to another institution where he could ask the questions that interested him, irrespective of the chances for publication. As he describes in his Nobel biography, the decision required an international move and a large pay cut.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's violation-of-rights department
schwit1 quotes a report from ProPublica: Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers. That's basically what Facebook is doing nowadays. The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls "Ethnic Affinities." Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment. You can view a screenshot of a housing advertisement that ProPublica's Julia Angwin and Terry Parris Jr. purchased from Facebook's self-service advertising portal here. The report adds: "The ad we purchased was targeted to Facebook members who were house hunting and excluded anyone with an "affinity" for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people. (Here's the ad itself.) The Fair Housing Act of 1968 makes it illegal "to make, print, or publish, or cause to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin." Violators can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits the "printing or publication of notices or advertisements indicating prohibited preference, limitation, specification or discrimination" in employment recruitment. Facebook's business model is based on allowing advertisers to target specific groups -- or, apparently to exclude specific groups -- using huge reams of personal data the company has collected about its users. Facebook's micro-targeting is particularly helpful for advertisers looking to reach niche audiences, such as swing-state voters concerned about climate change. Facebook says its policies prohibit advertisers from using the targeting options for discrimination, harassment, disparagement or predatory advertising practices.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tech-saving-life department
Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate said Friday he is "fine" following his plane skidding off the runway at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night, adding there were about 10 seconds of "uncertainty." The Indiana governor said, "It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty last night, but we're just so grateful to the pilots and to the first responders on the scene and (that) everybody came off the plane safely." From a CNN report: The press pool in the back of the aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 chartered from Eastern Airlines that was painted with the campaign's logo, could also feel the plane fishtailing as it touched down and slid off the runway before coming to a very sharp halt in the grass off the side of the runway. Once the plane came to a full stop, the Indiana governor walked to the back of the plane to check on the press. As everyone on board deplaned, Pence could be seen speaking with emergency responders. Donald Trump said, I just spoke to our future vice president, and he's OK. Do you know he was in a big accident with the plane?" A report on Business Insider explains how "crushable runway technology" saved Pence's plane: The positive resolution to a potentially disastrous event can be attributed to the Engineered Material Arresting System located at the end of the runway. The system is designed to prevent a runaway airplane from careening into the roads, buildings, and bodies of water commonly found near many airports. EMAS is made up of massive blocks of material designed to collapse as the wheels of an airplane roll over it, sinking the plane into the runway and bringing it to a safe and gradual stop. The system is designed to be able to stop aircraft traveling at speeds up to 80 mph. The Federal Aviation Administration began studying the technology in the early 1990s in conjunction with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the company Zodiac Arresting Systems in New Jersey. According to the FAA, more than 60 US airports -- including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and O'Hare in Chicago -- have installed the technology.Read Replies (0)