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Earth's Libration Visualized For the First Time Above the Moon's Far Side
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's can-you-see-your-house-from-there department:
StartsWithABang writes Thanks to the fact that the Moon is tidally locked, we can only see 50% of it's surface on any given night. Over time, the fact that the Moon's orbit is elliptical, and that it moves faster at perigee and slower at apogee means that up to another 9% is visible over the course of many years. The observed "rocking" and growing/shrinking of the Moon over time is known as lunar libration, an incredibly interesting phenomenon. But now, for the first time, we've been able to visualize how the Earth appears to move as seen from above the far side of the Moon.

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Sites Featuring "Terrorism" Or "Child Pornography" To Be Blocked In France
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's whose-definitions-though department:
Advocatus Diaboli writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: Now, the General Directorate of the National Police and its cybercrimes unit will be able to request that sites serving terrorist or pedophilia-related content be blocked by Internet Service Providers serving people in France and its territories. ISPs then have to comply with the request within 24 hours. ISPs will be able to request compensation from the French government for any extra costs incurred in blocking the sites. Users who navigate to a site 'to which access is prohibited will be led to an informational page from the Ministry of the Interior,' the text of the decree said. The informational page will list the grounds for the blocking as well as any possibly remedies. Every quarter, French authorities will check whether the blocked pages still contain the offending material. If not, then the authorities will contact ISPs, which will have to unblock the sites, again within 24 hours.

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Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's consequences-of-not-being-nice department:
Ars Technica reports that a Las Vegas teenager is in custody for multiple instances of swatting:

Brandon Wilson, who goes by the online handle "Famed God," was arrested Thursday in Nevada and faces an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be sent to face hacking and other charges. Illinois prosecutors said there was evidence on his computers about the July 10 swatting incident, in which he allegedly reported a murder to Naperville's emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded, but the call was a hoax. The Chicago-Sun Times said that, in addition to the Naperville incident, the suspect's computers held evidence "of similar incidents across the country."

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Dell Venue 8 7000, "World's Thinnest Tablet" With Intel Moorefield Atom Reviewed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's straight-outta-round-rock department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell recently launched their Android-based Venue 8 7000 slate, claiming it's the "world's thinnest" tablet. It measures a mere 6 millimeters thick, or 0.24 inches and change. That's 0.1mm slimmer than Apple's iPad Air 2 and 1.5mm flatter than the iPad mini 3, giving Dell full bragging rights, even if by a hair. Dell also opted for an Intel Atom Z3580 processor under the hood, clocked at up to 2.3GHz. This quad-core part is built on Intel's 22nm Moorefield microarchitecture. Compared to its Bay Trail predecessor, Moorefield comes in a smaller package with superior thermal attributes, as well as better graphics performance, courtesy of its PowerVR G6430 graphics core. The Venue 8 7000 also features one of the best 8-inch OLED displays on the market, with edge-to-edge glass and a 2560x1600 resolution. Finally, the Venue 8 7000 is also the first to integrate Intel's RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera, which offers interesting re-focusing and stereoscopic effects, with potentially other, more interesting use cases down the road. Performance-wise, the Venue 8 7000 is solid enough though not a speedster, putting out metrics in the benchmarks that place it in the middle of the pack of premium tablets on the market currently."

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The Man Squatting On Millions of Dollars Worth of Domain Names
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-name-here department:
Jason Koebler writes For the last 21 years, Gary Millin and his colleagues at World Accelerator have been slowly accumulating a veritable treasure trove of seemingly premium generic domain names. For instance, Millin owns, has sold, or has bartered away world.com, usa.com, doctor.com, lawyer.com, comic.com, email.com, cyberservices.com, and more than 1,000 other domain names that can be yours (including yours.com, which he owns), as long as you've got the startup idea to back it up. Millin doesn't sell domain names anymore, instead, he trades them to startups in exchange for a stake in the company.

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NYPD Creates Fake Social Media Profiles To Track Loud Parties, Underage Drinking
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's kid-vs-the-state department:
v3rgEz writes Is that Facebook friend request from the cute girl in third period, or an undercover officer looking to bust up the next high shool kegger? That's the question more students in New York City might be asking, as newly released documents from the NYPD disclose its process for agents creating undercover social media aliases with the aims of uprooting terrorist plots, tracking "political activity," and other nefarious crimes like underage drinking or pre-meditated loud partying. Fake profiles must be approved by bureau brass, unless it would "seriously impair" an investigation or risk life or property damage.

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Dell Venue 8 7000, "Word's Thinnest Tablet" With Intel Moorefield Atom, Reviewed
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's straight-outta-round-rock department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell recently launched their Android-based Venue 8 7000 slate, claiming it's the "world's thinnest" tablet. It measures a mere 6 millimeters thick, or 0.24 inches and change. That's 0.1mm slimmer than Apple's iPad Air 2 and 1.5mm flatter than the iPad mini 3, giving Dell full bragging rights, even if by a hair. Dell also opted for an Intel Atom Z3580 processor under the hood, clocked at up to 2.3GHz. This quad-core part is built on Intel's 22nm Moorefield microarchitecture. Compared to its Bay Trail predecessor, Moorefield comes in a smaller package with superior thermal attributes, as well as better graphics performance, courtesy of its PowerVR G6430 graphics core. The Venue 8 7000 also features one of the best 8-inch OLED displays on the market, with edge-to-edge glass and a 2560x1600 resolution. Finally, the Venue 8 7000 is also the first to integrate Intel's RealSense Snapshot Depth Camera, which offers interesting re-focusing and stereoscopic effects, with potentially other, more interesting use cases down the road. Performance-wise, the Venue 8 7000 is solid enough though not a speedster, putting out metrics in the benchmarks that place it in the middle of the pack of premium tablets on the market currently."

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Ask Slashdot: Automated Tool To OCR CCGs Like Magic: the Gathering?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's very-specific-requirements department:
An anonymous reader writes I buy massive collections of trading card games, Magic:The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Weiss Schwarts, Cardfight Vanguard, etc, etc. And I've gotten the process fairly streamlined as far as price checking, grading, sorting, etc. Part of my process involves using higher-quality web cams positioned over the top of the cards which are in a stack. I keep a cam window on the screen to show a larger, brighter version of the card. What I'm wondering: Is there is an OCR solution out there that will look at the same spot on the screen, capture, ocr, dump to clipboard, etc.? I've tried several open source solutions but none of them quite fit my needs. What I'd really like is to be able to hit a hotkey, and have my clipboard populated with the textual data of the graphics in a pre-set x,y window range. All this should be done via a hotkey. I may be asking for a lot, but then again, I'm sure someone out there has had need of this type of set-up before. Anyone have any recommendations?

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Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's watch-the-upstream department:
Beeftopia (1846720) writes In a case reported in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases , a woman suffering from a drug-resistant intestinal infection gained 36 pounds after receiving a fecal transplant from her overweight daughter. Previous mouse studies have shown thin mice gain weight after ingesting fecal bacteria from obese mice. The woman previously was not overweight. After the procedure, despite a medically supervised liquid protein diet and exercise regimen, the woman remained obese. Her doctor said, "She came back about a year later and complained of tremendous weight gain... She felt like a switch flipped in her body, to this day she continues to have problems... as a result I'm very careful with all our donors don't use obese people."

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Utah Cyberattacks, Up To 300 Million Per Day, May Be Aimed At NSA Facility
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's knock-knock department:
schwit1 writes Five years ago, Utah government computer systems faced 25,000 to 30,000 attempted cyberattacks every day. At the time, Utah Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires thought that was massive. "But this last year we have had spikes of over 300 million attacks against the state databases" each day: a 10,000-fold increase. Why? Squires says it is probably because Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems. "I really do believe it was all the attention drawn to the NSA facility. In the cyberworld, that's a big deal," Squires told a legislative budget committee Tuesday. "I watched as those increases jumped so much over the last few years. And talking to counterparts in other states, they weren't seeing that amount of increase like we were."

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Canadian Climate Scientist Wins Defamation Suit Against National Post
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's conclusions-in-advance department:
Layzej writes A leading Canadian climate scientist has been awarded $50,000 in a defamation suit against The National Post newspaper. Andrew Weaver sued the Post over four articles published between December 2009 and February 2010. The articles contain "grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet," and they "poison" the debate over climate change, Weaver asserted in a statement at the time the suit was filed. The judge agreed, concluding "the defendants have been careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts. As evident from the testimony of the defendants, they were more interested in espousing a particular view than assessing the accuracy of the facts."

This is the first of several law suits launched by climate scientists against journalists who have published alleged libels and falsehoods. Climate scientist Ben Santer suggests the following explanation for these types of defamations: "if you can't attack the underlying science, you go after the scientist."


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The Man Who Invented the Science Fiction Paperback
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's debt-of-gratitude department:
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Clay Latimer writes at IBD that Ian Ballantine, called by many the father of the mass-market paperback, helped change American reading habits in the 1940s and '50s founding no fewer than three prestigious paperback houses — Penguin USA, Bantam Books and Ballantine Books. But Ballantine's greatest influence on mass culture was publishing science-fiction paperback originals, with writers including Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Theodore Sturgeon, and Frederik Pohl and publishing the first authorized paperback editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's books. "These were great classics of world fiction," says Loren Glass. "He published in original form some of the greatest works in the golden age of science fiction. One of the interesting things about Ballantine is that he was not only a businessman trying to make money in books; he was a student of literature and publishing, and something of an intellectual."

< article continued at Slashdot >

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How To Hack a BMW: Details On the Security Flaw That Affected 2.2 Million Cars
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ultimate-something-machine department:
0x2A (548071) writes BMW recently fixed a security hole in their ConnectedDrive software, which left 2.2 million cars open to remote attacks. Security expert Dieter Spaar reverse engineered the system and found some serious flaws [note: if you'd prefer English to German, try this translation], including using the same symmetric keys in all vehicles, not encrypting messages between the car and the BMW backend or using the outdated DES.

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Employees In Swedish Office Complex Volunteer For RFID Implants For Access
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '15 at 02:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-for-all-the-butter-in-smaland department:
Lucas123 writes A Swedish office building is enabling corporate tenants to implant RFID chips into employee's hands in order to gain access through security doors and use services such as photocopiers. The employees working at Epicenter, a 15,000-square-foot building in Stockholm, can even pay for lunch with a swipe of their hand. Hannes Sjöblad, founder of Bionyfiken, a Swedish association of Biohackers, said Epicenter is not alone in a movement to experiment with uses for implanted chips that use RFID/NFC technology. There are also several other offices, companies, gyms and education institutions in Stockholm where people access the facilities with implanted chips. Bionyfiken just began a nationwide study using volunteers implanted with RFID/NFC. "It's a small, but indeed fast-growing, fraction which has chosen to try it out." The goal of the Bionyfiken project is to create a user community of at least 100 people with RFID implants who experiment with and help develop possible uses. But, not everyone is convinced it's a good idea.

John Kindervag, a principal security and privacy analyst at Forrester Research, said RFID/NFC chip implants are simply "scary" and pose a major threat to privacy and security. The fact that the NFC can't be shielded like a fob or chip in a credit card can with a sleeve means it can be activated without the user's knowledge, and information can be accessed. "I think it's pretty scary that people would want to do that [implant chips]," Kindervag said.


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Facebook Will Soon Be Able To ID You In Any Photo
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 11:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-shall-call-it-facebook department:
sciencehabit writes Appear in a photo taken at a protest march, a gay bar, or an abortion clinic, and your friends might recognize you. But a machine probably won't — at least for now. Unless a computer has been tasked to look for you, has trained on dozens of photos of your face, and has high-quality images to examine, your anonymity is safe. Nor is it yet possible for a computer to scour the Internet and find you in random, uncaptioned photos. But within the walled garden of Facebook, which contains by far the largest collection of personal photographs in the world, the technology for doing all that is beginning to blossom.

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How a Hardware Designer Was Saved By His Own Creation
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 08:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-you-don't-like-this-you-have-no-heart department:
szczys writes Would you do a better job designing hardware if your life depended on it? Chris Nefcy is in that exact position. Years ago he developed an Automatic External Defibrilator for First Medic. The device allows non-doctors to restart a human heart in the field. When Chris had a heart attack his ticker was restarted with shocks from his own hardware. His story isn't just heartwarming, he also covers the path that led him into developing the AED and the bumpy road encountered getting the hardware to market.

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Verizon Sells Off Wireline Operations, Blames Net Neutrality Plans
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's seems-a-reasonable-reason department:
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Verizon Communications will sell its local wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas for $10.5 billion, citing uncertainty around federal Internet regulation as one reason for the move, although Verizon executives said the sale has been in the works for several years. It's no secret that local wireline phone service has been a shrinking industry, and Verizon and other carriers see mobile as their greatest growth opportunity. Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam cited the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming net neutrality proposal as another potential threat to the growth of wired services. 'Washington should be very thoughtful how they go forward here,' he said. 'This uncertainty is not good for investment, and it's not good for jobs here in America.'"

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TurboTax Halts E-filing of State Tax Returns Because of Potential Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's tis-the-season department:
mpicpp writes with this news from Marketwatch: Intuit, the parent company of TurboTax, has stopped e-filing all state tax returns due to increased suspicion of fraud. The company says it is investigating criminal attempts to use stolen data to file fraudulent returns and claim refunds, after hearing concerns from a handful of states, Intuit spokeswoman Diane Carlini told MarketWatch. After a preliminary examination with security experts, Intuit believes its systems weren't breached, but crooks may have used TurboTax software to file fraudulent returns after stealing identities, she said. Intuit said in a release that "the information used to file fraudulent returns was obtained from other sources outside the tax preparation process." The company called pausing e-filings to states a "precautionary step." Utah, the first state to reach out to Intuit, issued a notice Thursday saying the state tax commission has discovered 28 fraud attempts that "originate from data compromised through a third-party commercial tax preparation software process," as well as 8,000 returns flagged as potentially fraudulent.

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Kickstarted Firefox OS HDMI Dongle Delayed, DRM Support Being Added
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's surprise! department:
An anonymous reader writes: You may recall last September when Mozilla and a new company named Matchstick announced a Kickstarter project for a new device that would compete with Google's Chromecast. It was an HDMI dongle for streaming media that runs on Firefox OS. They easily quadrupled their $100,000 funding goal, and estimated a ship date of February, 2015. Well, they emailed backers today to say that the Matchstick's release is being pushed back to August. They list a few reasons for the delay. For one, they want to upgrade some of the hardware: they're swapping the dual-core CPU for a quad-core model, and they're working on the Wi-Fi antenna to boost reception. But on the software side, the biggest change they mention is that they're adding support for DRM. This is a bit of a surprise, since all they said on the Kickstarter about DRM was that they hoped it would be handled "either via the playback app itself or the OS." Apparently this wasn't possible, so they're implementing Microsoft PlayReady tech on the Matchstick.

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MPAA Considers Major Changes After Sony Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on February 06 '15 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's changing-things-up department:
Earthquake Retrofit shares this story about changes that may be coming to the MPAA prompted by the Sony hack. "Fissures revealed by the hacking at Sony Pictures Entertainment have raised the prospect of profound change at one of Hollywood's oldest institutions: the Motion Picture Association of America. In a behind-the-scenes drama, the Sony Pictures chairman, Michael Lynton, last month told industry colleagues of a plan to withdraw from the movie trade organization, according to people who have been briefed on the discussions. He cited the organization’s slow response and lack of public support in the aftermath of the attack on Sony and its film The Interview, as well as longstanding concerns about the cost and efficacy of the group. Reversing course in mid-January, as the Oscar nominations were being announced, Mr. Lynton stayed in. But he and other studio executives are now discussing proposals that could alter the structure, mandate and governance of a 93-year-old organization that has been the policy front for Hollywood’s major film studios."

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