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High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race To Irrelevance
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's gaming-the-game department:
hype7 (239530) writes 'The Harvard Business Review is running a fascinating article on how finance is increasingly abstracting itself — and the gains it makes — away from the creation of value in the real world, and how High Frequency Trading is the most extreme version of this phenomenon yet. From the article: "High frequency trading is a different phenomenon from the increasing focus on short term returns by human investors. But they're borne from a similar mindset: one in which financial returns are the priority, independent of whether they're associated with something innovative or useful in the real world. What Lewis's book demonstrated to me isn't just how "bad" HFTs are per se, but rather, what happens when finance keeps walking down the path it seems to be set on — a path that involves abstracting itself from the creation of real-world value. The final destination? It will enter a world entirely of its own — a world in which it is fighting to capture value that is completely independent of whether any is created in the first place."'

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ISS-Above Tells You When the International Space Station is Overhead (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 11:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's look-up-in-the-sky-it's-a-bird-it's-a-plane-it's-a-space-station department:
It's a device, and quite a small one, based on the Raspberry Pi. It tells you when the ISS is visible from your part of the world and when it will soon be visible so you can grab the kids and dogs and run outside to wave at the astronauts. Or just to watch the closest thing humanity has to a space colony orbit the Earth. Liam Kennedy, ISS-Above's creator, points out that the ISS passes over most of the inhabited parts of the Earth five or six times a day, which is more than most people know. And about ISS-Above and Kickstarter: It's too late to climb on that wagon, and it already was when this interview was recorded in mid-May. But don't despair. Liam managed to raise $17,731 -- which was far more than his $5000 goal. Can you buy one of these things in its various manifestations? Yes. But you need to look long and hard at the ISS-Above website to spot the all-caps word HERE that takes you to the order page. Liam also points out that you can get all kinds of smartphone apps that will tell you where the ISS is at any given moment, but the ISS-Above has an advantage or two over those apps that will be revealed only to those who watch the video or read the transcript. (Alternate Video Link)

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AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's canadian-dollars-count department:
reifman (786887) writes "Last week, AT&T shut down my data service after I turned roaming on in Canada for one minute to check Google maps. I wasn't able to connect successfully but they reported my phone burned through 50 MB and that I owed more than $750. Google maps generally require 1.3 MB per cell. They adamantly refused to reactivate my U.S. data service unless I 'agreed' to purchase an international data roaming package to cover the usage. They eventually reversed the charges but it seems that the company's billing system had bundled my U.S. data usage prior to the border crossing with the one minute of international data roaming."

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Nanoparticles Used To Create Thermal 'Barcodes'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's 'coz-what-he-thought-was-H20-was-NHN02 department:
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes 'Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, have developed nanoparticles with distinct melting points, which they suggest be used as forensic "barcodes" to identify the origins and integrity of things such as explosives and currency [PDF]. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers used the explosive, TNT, as a test case. Commenting on the viability of the approach, researcher Dr Ming Su said, 'The nanoparticle does not participate in any chemical reaction, and it will not effect the function of the existing object. The only thing it will do is to provide a thermal signature.' He added, 'Nanoparticles are so small, they can be put into any objects.' The BBC has more approachable coverage.'

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A Year After Snowden's Disclosures, EFF, FSF Want You To Fight Surveillance
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-make-it-easy-for-'em? department:
Today, as the EFF notes, marks one year from Edward Snowden's first document leaks, and the group is using that as a good spur to install free software intended to make it harder for anyone (the NSA is certainly not the first, and arguably far from the worst) to spy on your electronic communications. Nowadays, that means nearly everything besides face-to-face communication, or paper shipped through the world's postal systems. Reader gnujoshua (540710) highlights one of the options: 'The FSF has published a (rather beautiful) infographic and guide to encrypting your email using GnuPG. In their blog post announcing the guide they write: "One year ago today, an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden went public with his history-changing revelations about the NSA's massive system of indiscriminate surveillance. Today the FSF is releasing Email Self-Defense, a guide to personal email encryption to help everyone, including beginners, make the NSA's job a little harder.'" Serendipitous timing: a year and a day ago, we mentioned a UN report that made explicit the seemingly obvious truth that undue government surveillance, besides being an affront in itself, chills free speech. (Edward Snowden agrees.)

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AT&T To Use Phone Geolocation To Prevent Credit Card Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-be-good-for-goodness-sake department:
jfruh (300774) writes "Imagine you've spent years making credit card purchases in your home state of California, and suddenly a bunch of charges appear the card in Russia. Your bank might move to shut the card down for suspected fraud, which would be great if your account number had been stolen by hackers — but really irritating if you were on vacation in Moscow. AT&T is proposing a service that would allow customers to let their bank track their movements via their cell phone, to confirm that you (or at least your phone) and your credit card are in the same place."

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Microsoft Confirms Disconnecting Kinect Gives Devs 10% More GPU Horsepower
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's remove-airbags-install-rollcage department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes 'Microsoft confirmed a development rumor that's been swirling around its next-generation console ever since it announced Kinect would become an optional add-on rather than a mandatory boat anchor. Lifting that requirement will give game developers 10 percent additional graphics power to play with and help close the gap between the Xbox One and PS4. The story kicked off when Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted that June's Xbox One dev kit gave devs access to more GPU bandwidth. Further, another Microsoft representative then confirmed that the performance improvement coming in the next version of the Xbox SDK was the result of making Kinect an optional accessory. No matter how Microsoft may try to spin it, cancelling Kinect isn't just a matter of giving game developers freedom, it's a tacit admission that game developers have no significant projects in play that are expected to meaningfully tap Kinect to deliver a great game experience — and they need those GPU cycles back.'

Also on the Xbox capabilities front: Reader BogenDorpher (2008682) writes 'In August of last year, a Microsoft spokesman confirmed that the Xbox One controller will be compatible for PC users sometime in 2014. That time has finally come. Windows gamers can now use the Xbox One controller to play games on their computer. If a game supports a USB gamepad or the Xbox 360 controller, it will also support the Xbox One controller.'

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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Atlanta's Airport
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's terminal-illness department:
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Passengers can now access free Wi-Fi at the world's busiest airport. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has dropped its $5 fee to access Wi-Fi in its terminals. "Now, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and airport officials plan to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of the amenity at the airport Wednesday," reports Kelly Yamanouchi of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ... Interm airport manager Miguel Southwell tells Yamanouchi officials believe dropping the Wi-Fi charge will alleviate a "competitive disadvantage" for Hartsfield-Jackson." I'm puzzled sometimes that so many airports do not yet offer free Wi-Fi, especially ones loaded with businesses (like Starbucks and McDonalds) that have made this a big draw in their non-airport locations. On the other hand, given a captive audience and the temptation for exclusive contracts, maybe I should be grateful that so many do have at least limited free coverage, and that the trend seems positive.

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New OpenSSL Man-in-the-Middle Flaw Affects All Clients
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's disclosure-of-diclosure department:
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "There is a new, remotely exploitable vulnerability in OpenSSL that could enable an attacker to intercept and decrypt traffic between vulnerable clients and servers. The flaw affects all versions of the OpenSSL client and versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2-beta1 of the server software. The new vulnerability could only be exploited to decrypt traffic between a vulnerable client and a vulnerable server, and the attacker would need to have a man-in-the-middle position on a network in order to do so. That's not an insignificant set of conditions that must be present for a successful attack, but in the current environment, where open wireless networks are everywhere and many users connect to them without a second thought, gaining a MITM position is not an insurmountable hurdle. Researchers who have looked at the vulnerable piece of code say that it appears to have existed, nearly unchanged, in the OpenSSL source since 1998."

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Big Telecom: Terms Set For Sprint To Buy T-Mobile For $32B
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-come-up-with-some-slogans department:
First time accepted submitter Randy Davis (3683081) writes 'A report from Forbes says that Sprint buying T-mobile for $32 billion is almost done. This will clearly rock the top two telecommunication companies in the U.S., Verizon and AT&T. The news report also said that T-mobile will give up 67% share in exchange of 15% share of the merged company. Officials of both Sprint and T-Mobile are confident that FCC will approve this deal since AT&T's $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV got approved.' One reason for that confidence: "The predominant feeling is that combined T-Mobile and Sprint will be able to offer greater competition to Verizon and AT&T , ranked first and second respectively in the U.S. market. It will also give Sprint greater might in the upcoming 600 megahertz spectrum auction, especially since part of it excludes both Verizon and AT&T from bidding."

InforWorld puts the potential price even higher, and points out that the deal could still fall apart.

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SpaceX Landing Video Cleanup Making Progress
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's from-worse-to-bad department:
Maddog Batty (112434) writes "The fine people at the Nasa Space Flight Forum are making good progress on restoring the corrupted landing video reported earlier. It worth looking at the original video to see how bad it was and then at the latest restored video. It is now possible to see the legs being deployed, the sea coming closer and a big flame ball as the rocket plume hits the water. An impressive improvement so far and it is still being actively worked on so further refinements are likely." I'd suggest watching the restored version first (the video is lower on the page), to see just what a big improvement's been made so far.

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Group Demonstrates 3,000 Km Electric Car Battery
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 04:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-on-trucking department:
Jabrwock (985861) writes 'One of the biggest limitations on lithium battery-powered electric cars has been their range. Last year Israeli-based Phinergy introduced an "aluminum-air" battery. Today, partnering with Alcoa Canada, they announced a demo of the battery, which is charged up at Alcoa's aluminum smelter in Quebec. The plant uses hydro-electric power to charge up the battery, which would then need a tap-water refill every few months, and a swap (ideally at a local dealership) every 3,000km, since it cannot be recharged as simply as Lithium. The battery is meant to boost the range of standard electric cars, which would still use the Lithium batteries for short-range trips. The battery would add about 100 kg to an existing Tesla car's battery weight.'

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Life Sentences For Serious Cyberattacks Proposed In Britain
Posted by News Fetcher on June 05 '14 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-not-pass-go department:
Bismillah (993337) writes 'The British government wants life in prison for hackers who cause disruption to computer networks, resulting in loss of life or threat to the country's national security. From the article: "The UK government will seek to amend the 1990 Computer Misuse Act "to ensure sentences for attacks on computer systems fully reflect the damage they cause. Currently, the law provides for a maximum sentence of ten years' imprisonment for those who commit the offence of impairing a computer. A new, aggravated offence of unauthorised access to a computer will be introduced into the Computer Misuse Act by the government, carrying far longer sentences."'

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UK Seeks To Hold Terrorism Trial In Secret
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's for-our-eyes-only department:
hazeii (5702) writes in with news about a secret trial set to take place in England. 'A major terrorism trial is set to be held entirely in secret for the first time in British legal history in an unprecedented departure from the principles of open justice, the court of appeal has heard. The identities of the two defendants charged with serious terror offences are being withheld from the public, and the media are banned from being present in court to report the forthcoming trial against the two men, known only as AB and CD.'

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Google Has Received Over 41,000 Requests To "Forget" Personal Information
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 09:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forget-me department:
itwbennett (1594911) writes 'In the three weeks since a key ruling by the European Court of Justice about the so-called right to be forgotten, Google has already received around 41,000 requests to delete links to personal information from its search results (within 24 hours of putting the form online, Google had reportedly received 12,000 deletion requests). It should be noted, though, that there is no absolute right to have information deleted, and Google will have to weigh a number of criteria in responding to the requests to delete links, including relevance of the information, and the time passed since the facts related.'

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Ear Grown From Van Gogh DNA On Display
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's great-things-are-not-done-by-impulse-but-by-a-series-of-small-things-printed-together department:
First time accepted submitter afeeney (719690) writes 'The Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, is displaying an ear grown from DNA contributed by a relative of artist Vincent Van Gogh. The Center said artist Diemut Strebe made the replica using living cells from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. Using a 3D-printer, the cells were shaped to resemble the ear that Vincent van Gogh is said to have cut off during a psychotic episode in 1888. “I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint,” Strebe told The Associated Press. Historians argue about whether Van Gogh cut off his own ear and if so, why, but it remains one of the most famous acts of self-mutilation in the Western world.'

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Plastic Trash Forming Into "Plastiglomerate" Rocks
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 06:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's earth-plus-plastic department:
sciencehabit (1205606) writes 'Plastic may be with us a lot longer than we thought. In addition to clogging up landfills and becoming trapped in Arctic ice, some of it is turning into stone. Scientists say a new type of rock cobbled together from plastic, volcanic rock, beach sand, seashells, and corals has begun forming on the shores of Hawaii. The new material--which the researchers are calling a "plastiglomerate"--may be becoming so pervasive that it actually becomes part of the geologic record.'

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EFF Tells Court That the NSA Knowingly and Illegally Destroyed Evidence
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 04:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's was-that-wrong? department:
An anonymous reader writes in with this latest bit of EFF vs NSA news. 'We followed the back and forth situation earlier this year, in which there were some legal questions over whether or not the NSA needed to hang onto surveillance data at issue in various lawsuits, or destroy it as per the laws concerning retention of data. Unfortunately, in the process, it became clear that the DOJ misled FISA court Judge Reggie Walton, withholding key information. In response, the DOJ apologized, insisting that it didn't think the data was relevant — but also very strongly hinting that it used that opportunity to destroy a ton of evidence. However, this appeared to be just the latest in a long history of the NSA/DOJ willfully destroying evidence that was under a preservation order.

The key case where this evidence was destroyed was the EFF's long running Jewel v. NSA case, and the EFF has now told the court about the destruction of evidence, and asked the court to thus assume that the evidence proves, in fact, that EFF's clients were victims of unlawful surveillance. The DOJ/NSA have insisted that they thought that the EFF's lawsuit only covered programs issued under executive authority, rather than programs approved by the FISA Court, but the record in the case shows that the DOJ seems to be making this claim up.'


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Inside Ford's 3D Printing Center Where More Than 20K Parts Are Made Each Year
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 04:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's print-and-drive department:
Lucas123 (935744) writes 'Ford has been using 3D printing for rapid prototyping since the mid-1980s, but in recent years it has ramped up its efforts adding new machines and materials. A tour of the facility revealed four different methods of 3D printing being used to prototype parts. For example, Ford uses Nylon 11 and laser sintering to make parts that can be retrofitted to working vehicles and tested over thousands of miles. The center also uses binder jet printing to form molds for metal prototypes by laying down layers of sand that are then epoxied together. Just one of its five 3D prototyping centers churns out more than 20,000 parts a year. Today, Ford could not meet new vehicle deadlines without 3D printing.'

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NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on June 04 '14 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-going-to-happen department:
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes 'The National Research Council issued its report on the future of space exploration. The report stated that the "horizon goal" for any program of space exploration in the near term (i.e. the next two decades) is a Mars surface expedition. It also stated that the current NASA program, which includes a mission that would snag an asteroid, put it in lunar orbit, and visit it with astronauts is inadequate to meet that goal.

The report gave two reasons for its critique of the current NASA program. First the asteroid redirect mission would not create and test technologies necessary to conduct a crewed Mars mission. Second, NASA projects essentially flat budgets for the foreseeable future. Any space exploration program worthy of the name will cost considerably more money, with five percent increases in NASA funding for a number of years.'


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