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Airport Using Google Glass For Security and Passenger Information
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-the-better-to-see-you-with department:
An anonymous reader notes this story about how an Amsterdam airport is putting Google Glass to use. "One of Europe's busiest airports, Amsterdam's Schiphol hub in the Netherlands, is trialling Google Glass for use by airport authority officers as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information. It's also testing Google's face computer on travelers passing through the terminal in a bid to better understand the 'customer journey', thanks to Glass' first person perspective....Google has pulled back on 'Glass for the masses' — at least for now. It shuttered its Glass Explorer program last month. Although far from killing off Glass, it has handed the project to Nest's Tony Fadell to oversee. Glass lives, as a standalone division within Google that's yet to prove its worth — but which Google evidently isn't willing to give up on, even though it's been forced to have a rethink about its go-to-market strategy. And, in all likelihood, the entire product proposition/design of the hardware."

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The Technologies That Betrayed Silk Road's Anonymity
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's little-mistakes department:
itwbennett writes Silk Road was based on an expectation of anonymity: Servers operated within an anonymous Tor network. Transactions between buyers and sellers were conducted in bitcoin. Everything was supposedly untraceable. Yet prosecutors presented a wealth of digital evidence to convince the jury that Ross Ulbricht was Dread Pirate Roberts, the handle used by the chief operator of the site. From Bitcoin to server logins and, yes, Facebook, here's a look at 5 technologies that tripped Ulbricht up.

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Rich Olson Embodies the Spirit of the Maker Movement (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 02:00 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's we-really-need-4d-printing department:
What kind of person builds a cloud chamber at home in his spare time -- and wants to make it easy for other people to make them, too? How about someone who uses a 3-D printer to make shifters for his bicycle? And then there's the spherical speaker enclosures and the alarm clock that shreds money if you don't wake up. The clock isn't original. Seattle resident Rich Olson (whose URL is nothinglabs.com) says someone else originally made it and he liked the idea. No 3-D printing or laser cutting required; just buy and hook up some inexpensive, easy-to-find components and off you go. Despite its lack of originality (which Rich freely admits), this little project got Rich mentioned everywhere from financial publications to the New York Daily News to Huffington Post's UK edition, which is somewhat amusing when you realize that Rich is not famous (outside of a small circle of maker-type people) and doesn't have anyone doing PR for him.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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DEA Hands MuckRock a $1.4 Million Estimate For Responsive Documents
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-the-man department:
An anonymous reader writes with news about what might be the largest Freedom of Information Act fee yet. "The EFF recently kicked off a contest for the 'most outrageous response to a Freedom of Information Act request' and we already have a frontrunner for the first inaugural 'Foilie.' MuckRock's loose confederation of FOIA rabblerousers has been hit with a $1.4 million price tag for John Dyer's request for documents related to the 'localization and capture' of Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo.'"

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New Multi-Purpose Backdoor Targets Linux Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
An anonymous reader writes A new multi-purpose Linux Trojan that opens a backdoor on the target machine and can make it participate in DDoS attacks has been discovered and analyzed by Dr. Web researchers, who believe that the Chinese hacker group ChinaZ might be behind it. "First, Linux.BackDoor.Xnote.1 sends information about the infected system to the server. It then goes into standby mode and awaits further instructions. If the command involves carrying out some task, the backdoor creates a separate process that establishes its own connection to the server through which it gets all the necessary configuration data and sends the results of the executed task," the researchers explained.

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Alleged Bitcoin Scam Leaves Millions Missing
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 12:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-think-I've-heard-this-story department:
First time accepted submitter OutOnARock writes Yahoo Finance is reporting on the latest Bitcoin scam, this time from Hong Kong. "Investors in a Hong Kong-based Bitcoin trading company fear they have fallen victim to a scam after it closed down, a lawmaker said Monday, adding losses could total HK$3 billion ($387 million). Leung Yiu-chung said his office recently received reports from dozens of investors in Hong Kong who paid a total of HK$40 million ($5.16 million) into the scheme run online by MyCoin, but the total loss may be vastly more. 'The number of cases is increasing. These two days I received calls about more than 30 cases. We estimate more than 3,000 people and HK$3 billion are involved,' he told AFP."

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Netflix Now Available In Cuba
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's binge-away department:
aBaldrich writes Streaming video service Netflix will be available to Cuban customers starting today, at the $7.99 U.S. per month rate that it offers in the U.S., the company announced today. It'll still require an international payment method for now, as well as Internet access (which still isn't ubiquitous in the U.S.), but it's an early start that Netflix says it wanted to offer in order to have it available as Cuban Internet access expands, and debit and credit cards become more available to Cuban citizens.
Until now, Cubans have had little access to this kind of American entertainment. The U.S. government maintains a floating balloon tethered to an island in the Florida Keys that broadcasts the pro-democracy TV Marti network. The Cuban government constantly jams the signal.
"Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture, and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience," Reed Hastings, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.


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The IPCC's Shifting Position On Nuclear Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cooling-off department:
Lasrick writes Suzanne Waldman writes about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its stand on nuclear power over the course of its five well-known climate change assessment reports. The IPCC was formed in 1988 as an expert panel to guide the drafting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, ratified in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty's objective is to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a safe level. Waldman writes: 'Over time, the organization has subtly adjusted its position on the role of nuclear power as a contributor to de-carbonization goals.," and she provides a timeline of those adjustments.

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The Prickly Partnership Between Uber and Google
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's can't-we-all-just-get-along? department:
HughPickens.com writes Google, with billions of dollars in the bank and house-by-house maps of most of the planet, seemed like the perfect partner for Uber, the hugely popular ride-hailing service. But Mike Isaac writes in the NYT that just two years after Google's venture capital arm poured more than $250 million into Uber there are signs that the companies are more likely to be ferocious competitors than allies. Uber recently announced plans to develop self-driving cars, a longtime pet project at Google. Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO, has publicly discussed what he sees as the inevitability of autonomous taxis, saying they could offer cheaper rides and a true alternative to vehicle ownership. "The Uber experience is expensive because it's not just the car but the other dude in the car," Kalanick said at a technology conference in 2014, referring to the expense of paying human drivers. "When there's no other dude in the car, the cost [of taking an Uber] gets cheaper than owning a vehicle." Uber is also adding engineers who are experts on mapping technology. And the company, based in San Francisco, has been in talks with Google's advertising archrival, Facebook, to find ways to work together.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Report: Automakers Fail To Fully Protect Against Hacking
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's two-cyber-hands-on-the-wheel department:
An anonymous reader writes with news about a report by Senator Edward Markey on the security of new vehicles. "Automakers are cramming cars with wireless technology, but they have failed to adequately protect those features against the real possibility that hackers could take control of vehicles or steal personal data, a member of the U.S. Senate is asserting. Basing his argument on information provided by manufacturer, Sen. Edward Markey has concluded that "many in the automotive industry really don't understand what the implications are of moving to this new computer-based era" of the automobile. The Massachusetts Democrat has asked automakers a series of questions about the technologies — and any safeguards against hackers — that may or may not have been built into the latest models of their vehicles. He also asked what protections have been provided to ensure that information computers gather and often transmit wirelessly isn't used in a harmful or invasive manner."

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Microsoft Trademarks "Windows 365"
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 08:31 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-easy-payment department:
jones_supa writes The talks about a subscription-based Windows have begun again. With Windows 10 those ideas did not materialize in the way that many had speculated. Even though Microsoft has not fully detailed its Windows 10 pricing strategy, it is not believed that Microsoft is targeting an annual subscription charge for Windows at this time. However, it turns out that Microsoft has recently filed for a trademark for Windows 365, which adds a bit of fuel to the subscription based version of Windows. As of right now, Microsoft has only claimed this branding right, but as for what they will do with it, only time will tell. Deep inside the company, the idea is clearly still bubbling there.

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Samsung SmartTV Customers Warned Personal Conversations May Be Recorded
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-in-front-of-the-television department:
An anonymous reader writes Samsung's privacy policy includes details that its Smart TV voice recognition feature may pick up on personal conversations and transmit private communications to third parties. Buried in the privacy policy related to the smart television, Samsung advises users to be aware that any snippets of conversation might be captured by the software which allows them to control their television sets with a series of commands. Questions have been raised about who these third parties could be, what the information is used for, and how the data is being transmitted – with potentially unencrypted voice clips left exposed to hackers.

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Hobbyists Selling Tesla Coil Kits To Fund Drone Flight Over North Korea
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's beats-lightbulbs department:
An anonymous reader writes Imagine for a moment having at your fingertips the ability to send a small robotic messenger — a minion if you will — virtually anywhere in the world and back. Sure, you've seen those fun little drone toys at the mall and perhaps you have had a friend that likes to tinker around with model airplanes, but what you are about to see unfold here is genuinely an unprecedented work of good 'ol fashioned American ingenuity. Apparently a group of hackers has started a kickstarter to build and fly a small drone over North Korea and back and is selling mini tesla coils to do this. "All of the money from this project will be used to extend the distance our drone can fly, so the more backers we have, the farther it will be able to go," they say.

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Alibaba Bets $590 Million On Becoming Smartphone Player
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's piece-of-the-pie department:
An anonymous reader was one of many to note that Alibaba has bought a $590 million minority stake in Chinese smartphone manufacturer Meizu. "China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a $590 million stake in an obscure domestic smartphone maker as the e-commerce giant tests ways to expand its mobile operating system in a shrinking, cut-throat handset market. Extending a previously muted push into hardware, Alibaba said on Monday it will buy an unspecified minority stake in smartphone maker Meizu Technology Co. Dwarfed by rivals like Xiaomi Inc, privately owned Meizu's slice of China's smartphone market is estimated by analysts at below 2 percent. The deal, unlike U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's foray into smartphones with its own-brand Fire Phone, is designed to help Alibaba push its mobile operating system within China through Meizu's handsets. In return, Zhuhai, Guangdong-based Meizu will get access to Alibaba's e-commerce sales channels and other resources, the companies said in a joint statement."

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Will Elementary School Teachers Take the Rap For Tech's Diversity Problem?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's would-blame-middle-school-teachers-myself department:
theodp (442580) writes "Citing a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (free to Federal employees), the NY Times reports on how elementary school teachers' pro-boy biases can discourage girls from math and science. "The pipeline for women to enter math and science occupations narrows at many points between kindergarten and a career choice," writes Claire Cain Miller, "but elementary school seems to be a critical juncture. Reversing bias among teachers could increase the number of women who enter fields like computer science and engineering, which are some of the fastest growing and highest paying. 'It goes a long way to showing it's not the students or the home, but the classroom teacher's behavior that explains part of the differences over time between boys and girls,' said Victor Lavy, an economist at University of Warwick in England and a co-author of the paper." Although the study took place in Israel, Lavy said that similar research had been conducted in several European countries and that he expected the results were applicable in the United States."

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Underwater Vehicle Uses a Balloon To Dart Like an Octopus
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 03:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's in-like-a-lion-out-like-an-octopus department:
Zothecula writes When you inflate a balloon and then release it without tying the valve shut, it certainly shoots away quickly. Octopi utilize the same basic principle, although they suck in and then rapidly expel water. An international team of scientists have now replicated that system in a soft-bodied miniature underwater vehicle, which could pave the way for very quickly-accelerating full-size submersibles.

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Demonii Tracker Tops 30 Million Connected Peers
Posted by News Fetcher on February 09 '15 at 12:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-every-large-number-is-a-barrier department:
An anonymous reader writes Demonii is the tracker behind the scenes for many BitTorrent sites serving pirated content. This week the tracker broke through the barrier of 30 million connected peers, handling no less than 2 billion connections per day. In other words, the scale of operation has become massive. TorrentFreak interviewed an operator of the site, and it was revealed that the tracker runs smoothly on just three dedicated servers, communicating at 180 Mb/s while serving 4 million torrents. Some people have argued that trackers are obsolete in the first place, as DHT and PEX allow peers to share the same information among each other, but Demonii's operator reminds that having trackers speeds up the initial peer finding significantly. In any case, Demonii is not going away anytime soon. The tracker is already on its way to another milestone. The 40 million peer milestone will probably come into view later this year, but first there are a trillion more connections to process.

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The Bizarre and Complex Story of a Failed Wikipedia Software Extension
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's mythical-man-month department:
metasonix writes Originally developed by Wikia coders, "Liquid Threads" was intended to be a better comment system for use on MediaWiki talkpages. When applied to Wikipedia, then each Wikipedia talkpage or noticeboard would become something resembling a more modernized bulletin board, hopefully easier to use. Unfortunately, the project was renamed "Flow" and taken over by the Wikimedia Foundation's developers. And as documented in this very long Wikipediocracy post, the result was "less than optimal." After seven years and millions of dollars spent, even WMF Director Lila Tretikov admits "As such it is not ready for 'prime time' for us."

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An Argument For Not Taking Down Horrific Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what's-actually-happening department:
A few days ago, we posted a story that asked whether posting horrific videos online served a legitimate journalistic purpose; some images that are shocking in their violence are now routinely available, including and especially the recent video of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive. Matthew Ingram writes at GigaOm that, whatever you think of the motives or results of the traditional news media showing such videos or choosing not to, there's good reason for social media sites not to reflexively remove such content.

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Tracking System Bug Delays SpaceX's DSCOVR Launch
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '15 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-want-of-a-highly-sophisticated-tracking-system department:
The SpaceX two-fer launch that was scheduled for today has been scrubbed. NBC News reports that the launch
was postponed until Monday at the earliest due to a problem with the range-tracking system in Florida. That means an ambitious second attempt to land the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage on an oceangoing platform will also have to be delayed. ... Satellites such as the Advanced Composition Explorer and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, which are already located at the L1 point, can provide up to an hour's warning of major storms. Both those satellites are well past their anticipated lifetimes, however, and DSCOVR is designed to provide a much-needed backup. SpaceX's two-stage Falcon 9 rocket will boost DSCOVR into a preliminary orbit, but it will take 110 days of in-space maneuvers to get the probe into the right position. This launch would mark the first time that SpaceX has sent a spacecraft so far, and it will be judged a success if DSCOVR reaches its intended orbit.

The delayed launch could take place as soon as tomorrow (Monday) evening.

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