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Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide
Posted by News Fetcher on March 10 '15 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's getting-time-to-reconsider department:
HughPickens.com writes: Experts and laymen have long assumed that people who died by suicide will ultimately do it even if temporarily deterred. Now Celia Watson Seupel reports at the NY Times that a growing body of evidence challenges this view, with many experts calling for a reconsideration of suicide-prevention strategies to stress "means restriction." Instead of treating individual risk, means restriction entails modifying the environment by removing the means by which people usually die by suicide. The world cannot be made suicide-proof, of course. But, these researchers argue, if the walkway over a bridge is fenced off, a struggling college freshman cannot throw herself over the side. If parents leave guns in a locked safe, a teenage son cannot shoot himself if he suddenly decides life is hopeless.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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UK Parliament: Banning Tor Is Unacceptable and Technologically Impossible
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's moments-of-clarity department:
An anonymous reader writes: Months after UK prime minister David Cameron sought to ban strong encryption, a new parliamentary briefing contradicts that, at least when it comes to Tor. The briefing says, "there is widespread agreement that banning online anonymity systems altogether is not seen as an acceptable policy option in the UK. Even if it were, there would be technical challenges." The briefing cites Tor's ability to circumvent such censorship in countries like China as well as looking at both legal and illegal uses of Tor.

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Exploiting the DRAM Rowhammer Bug To Gain Kernel Privileges
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 08:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's flipping-tables-over-flipped-bits department:
New submitter netelder sends this excerpt from the Project Zero blog:
'Rowhammer' is a problem with some recent DRAM devices in which repeatedly accessing a row of memory can cause bit flips in adjacent rows. We tested a selection of laptops and found that a subset of them exhibited the problem. We built two working privilege escalation exploits that use this effect. One exploit uses rowhammer-induced bit flips to gain kernel privileges on x86-64 Linux when run as an unprivileged userland process. When run on a machine vulnerable to the rowhammer problem, the process was able to induce bit flips in page table entries (PTEs). It was able to use this to gain write access to its own page table, and hence gain read-write access (PDF) to all of physical memory.

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SpaceX Worried Fake Competitors Could Disrupt Its Space Internet Plan
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 06:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's give-us-all-the-spectrum department:
Jason Koebler writes: The biggest impediment to SpaceX's plan to create a worldwide, satellite broadband network might not be the sheer technological difficulty of putting 4,000 satellites into space. Instead, outdated international and domestic regulations on satellite communications could stand in the way, according to a new Federal Communications Commission filing by the company. The company's attorneys wrote that the FCC might make it too easy for competitors to reserve communications bandwidth that they will never use. "Spectrum warehousing can be extremely detrimental and unprepared, highly speculative, or disingenuous applicants must be prevented from pursuing 'paper satellites' (or 'paper constellations'), which can unjustly obstruct and delay qualified applicants from deploying their systems."

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Microsoft Asks US Court To Ban Kyocera's Android Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 04:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's because-kyocera-is-totally-making-bank-off-your-patents department:
angry tapir writes: Microsoft has asked a court in Seattle to ban Kyocera's DuraForce, Hydro and Brigadier lines of cellular phones in the U.S., alleging that they infringed seven Microsoft patents. The software giant charged in its complaint that some Kyocera phone features that come from its use of the Android operating system infringe Microsoft's patents.

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Dog Sniffs Out Cancer In Human Urine
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 03:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's and-you-thought-your-job-was-bad department:
randomErr writes: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found out that a scent-trained dog can identify thyroid cancer in human urine samples 88.2 percent of the time. Frankie, a male German shepherd mix identified the presence of cancerous cells in 30 out of 34 samples. The shepherd was only slightly less accurate than a standard thyroid biopsy. This offers the possibility of a cheaper, less invasive approach to diagnosis of the illness said Donald Bodenner, M.D., PhD, the study's senior investigator.

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Google Announces Android 5.1
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 03:01 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has officially announced Android Lollipop 5.1. This is a small update to the mobile operating system that focuses on stability and performance. The main new features include support for multiple SIM cards, high definition voice calls on supported devices, and the ability to join Wi-Fi networks and manage Bluetooth pairings through Quick Settings. The biggest new feature is "Device Protection." They say, "With Device Protection, your lost or stolen device will remain locked until you sign in with your Google account — even if someone resets your device to factory settings. This feature will be available on most Android phones and tablets shipped with Android 5.1 in addition to Nexus 6 and Nexus 9."

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Obama Administration Claims There Are 545,000 IT Job Openings
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 02:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's are-you-hiring? department:
dcblogs writes The White House has established a $100 million program that endorses fast-track, boot camp IT training efforts and other four-year degree alternatives. But this plan is drawing criticism because of the underlying message it sends in the H-1B battle. The federal program, called TechHire, will get its money from H-1B visa fees, and the major users of this visa are IT services firms that outsource jobs. Another source of controversy will be the White House's assertion that there are 545,000 unfilled IT jobs. It has not explained how it arrived at this number, but the estimate will likely be used as a talking point by lawmakers seeking to raise the H-1B cap.

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Intel Announces Xeon D SoC Line Based On Broadwell Core Architecture
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 01:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
MojoKid writes Intel is targeting big core performance and intelligence in a microserver form factor with its new Xeon D family of processors, the company's first ever Xeon-based System-on-Chip (SoC) design. The Xeon D line Intel is announcing today is built on their 14nm process technology and combines the performance and features of its traditional Xeon chips with the size and power savings of an SoC. According to Intel, Xeon D delivers up to 3.4x faster performance node and up to 1.7x better performance per watt compared to the company's Atom C2750. The Xeon D is the third generation of the family and it's actually based on Intel's Broadwell architecture. Intel unveiled two new Xeon D processors today, the D-1540 (8 cores, 16 threads, 2GHz, 45W TDP) and D-1520 (4 cores, 8 threads, 2.2GHz, 45W TDP). These chips have memory controllers capable of addressing up to 128GB. They also feature an integrated platform controller hub (PCH), integrated I/Os, and two integrated 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Again, all of this is based on Intel's Broadwell core CPU architecture, so performance per watt should be strong.

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Scotland Yard Chief: Put CCTV In Every Home To Help Solve Crimes
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 01:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-the-better-to-see-you-with department:
schwit1 writes Homeowners should consider fitting CCTV to trap burglars, the country's most senior police officer declared yesterday. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said police forces needed more crime scene footage to match against their 12 million images of suspects and offenders. And he called on families and businesses to install cameras at eye level – to exploit advances in facial recognition technology.

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Martian Canyons May Have Been Carved By Wind
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 12:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's blowing-through-the-canyon department:
sciencehabit writes Ancient canyons scar the surface of Mars, a relic from a time billions of years ago when rivers flowed on its surface. But water may not be the only factor that shaped these canyons—the wind whipping through them could be just as important, according to a new study of river canyons on Earth. Scientists studying chasms in the Andes mountains in northeast Chile have found that wind carves some canyons 10 times faster than water. The discovery may be significant for understanding how much water flowed on the surface of ancient Mars.

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Kali Linux On a Raspberry Pi (A/B+/2) With LUKS Disk Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 12:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
An anonymous reader writes With the advent of smaller, faster ARM hardware such as the new Raspberry Pi 2 (which now has a Kali image built for it), we've been seeing more and more use of these small devices as 'throw-away computers'. While this might be a new and novel technology, there's one major drawback to this concept – and that is the confidentiality of the data stored on the device itself. Most of the setups do little to protect the sensitive information saved on the SD cards of these little computers.

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YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 11:31 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watch-what-you-say department:
HughPickens.com writes The NYT reports that after a video was posted on YouTube that appeared to show members of the members Sigma Alpha Epsilon at University of Oklahoma singing a racist chant, the organization's board decided "with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately." The video shows a group of young white people in formal wear riding a bus and singing a chant laden with antiblack slurs and at least one reference to lynching. A grinning young man wearing a tuxedo and standing in the aisle of the bus pumps his fist in the air as he chants, while a young woman seated nearby claps. The chant vows that African-Americans will "never" be allowed to join the campus chapter.

The nine-second video was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by a student group, the Unheard Movement, that first identified the people in it as members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, although the group did not indicate how it obtained the video or when it was filmed. University president, David Boren, said in an emailed statement that the administration was also investigating the video. "I have just been informed of the video, which purports to show students to show students engaging in a racist chant. We are investigating to determine if the video involved OU students. If O.U. students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly," said Boren. "This behavior is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values." Students marched on the campus of the University of Oklahoma on Monday to protest the video.


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Apple's "Spring Forward" Event Debuts Apple Watch and More
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 10:46 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here's-what-happened department:
samzenpus (5) writes There was a lot of news at Apple's Spring Forward keynote today. Here's a list of some of the most eye-catching announcements.


HBO Now standalone streaming service coming to Apple TV and iOS apps in early April for $14.99 a month.

Lowered price of Apple TV to $69.

Apple Pay accepted at up to 100,000 Coca-Cola machines by the end of the year.

ResearchKit Announced: Is open source and allows medical researchers to create apps, and use the iPhone as a diagnostic tool.

New MacBook: Lightest ever at 2 pounds, 13.1mm at its thickest point. 2304x1440 display, consumes 30% less energy. Fanless, powered with Intel's Core M processor. 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0. and 9 hours of web browsing battery life. Supports many protocols through one connector USB-C. Ships April 10, starting at $1,299.

iOS 8.2 is available today

Apple Watch: Accurate within 50ms of UTC. Read and delete email, built-in speaker and mic so you can receive calls. It tracks your movement and exercise. Use Apple Pay, play your music, use Siri and get any notification you get on iPhone today. 18 hour battery life in a typical day. Sport model starting at $349, stainless steel price: $549-$1049 for 38mm, 42mm is $599-$1099, and gold edition starting at $10k. Pre-orders begin April 10th, available April 24th.

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Book Review: Data and Goliath
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 10:46 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
benrothke writes Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, author Bruce Schneier could have justifiably written an angry diatribe full of vitriol against President Obama and the NSA for their wholesale spying on innocent Americans and violations of myriad laws. Instead, he was written a thoroughly convincing and brilliant book about big data, mass surveillance and the ensuing privacy dangers facing everyone. A comment like what's the big deal? often indicates a naiveté about a serious significant underlying issue. The idea that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear is a dangerously narrow concept on the value of privacy. For many people the notion that the NSA was performing spying on Americans was perceived as not being a big deal, since if a person is innocent, then what do they have to worry about. In the book, Schneier debunks that myth and many others, and defends the importance of privacy. Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review. Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World
author Bruce Schneier
pages 400
publisher W. W. Norton and Company
rating 10/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-0393244816
summary Important defense of privacy and expose on the dangers of NSA domestic mass surveillance

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California's Hot, Dry Winters Tied To Climate Change
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 10:01 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-getting-hot-in-here department:
mdsolar sends word that hot dry winters may be the norm in the future for California. "Climate change is one of the most prominent public health issues currently on the CDC's radar. The organization's Climate and Health Program attempts to help state and city health departments to prepare for the health impacts of climate change, which can come in the form of things like temperature extremes, air pollution, allergens, and changes in disease patterns; they can also be felt indirectly through issues like food security. Since 2012, California has been in the midst of a record-setting drought, with extremely warm and dry conditions characterizing the last three years in that state. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes that warming caused by humans is responsible for the conditions that have led to this California drought. This study, published by scientists affiliated with the Department of Environmental Earth System Science and the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, used historical statewide data for observed temperature, precipitation, and drought in California. The investigators used the Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI) and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI), collected by the National Climatic Data Center, as measures of the severity of wet/dry anomalies. They also used global climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) to compare historical predictions for anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic historical climates."

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Do Tech Companies Ask For Way Too Much From Job Candidates?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 09:31 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's are-you-a-good-swimmer? department:
Nerval's Lobster writes The short answer: Yes. Many employers' "required" skill sets seem to include everything but the ability to teleport and build a Shaker barn; the lengthy requisites of skills and experience seem achievable only by candidates who've spent the past four decades using a hundred different programming languages and platforms to excel at fifty different, complicated jobs. Why do a lot of tech companies do that? Dice asked around and discovered a bunch of different reasons. Companies want to make investments in talent, but the inherent costs of that talent also make them wary of hiring anyone but the absolute best. The need to find the right talent, and the concern over cost, often leads to employers producing job descriptions too broad for the actual position. There's also pure idiocy: PHBs don't know what they want, don't understand the technology, and throw just anything into the description that pops to mind. Is there any way to stop this scourge?

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Listen To a Microsoft Support Scam As It Happened
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 09:16 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's can-I-trust-you? department:
itwbennett writes You know full well that Microsoft will never call you and ask to "access your computer" to help fix a problem. Yet this is a ruse that many unsuspecting computer users fall for and wind up with their machine hacked. CSO writer Steve Ragan, turns the tables during a phone call with a scammer — and he records it all for us to hear. Do yourself a favor and play it for your parents.

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NSA Director Argues For "Red Button" Autonomy Against Unattributed Cyber-Attacks
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's candy-like-shiny-red-button department:
An anonymous reader writes U.S. Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers — director of the National Security Agency and Commander of United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) — has suggested that cyber-attacks can begin and escalate so quickly that USCYBERCOM would need powers to retaliate immediately, without (as it is currently obliged) referring the matter to the United States Strategic Command. In testimony to the "House Armed Services Committee on cyber operations and improving the military's cybersecurity posture" on March 4th, Adm. Rogers argues for "development of defensive options which do not require full attribution to meet the requirements of law and international agreement."

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PrintDisplay: DIY Displays and Touchscreens Anyone Can Print
Posted by News Fetcher on March 09 '15 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's print-and-watch department:
Zothecula writes For years now, we've been promised miraculous new flexible touchscreen displays, but the deployment of such technology in big consumer products, like say the LG G Flex, hasn't started any revolutions just yet. That could soon change thanks to a team of computer scientists from Germany's Saarland University who have developed a technique that could allow anyone to literally print their own custom displays, including touchscreens."

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