Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA's Dawn spacecraft Delayed 1 month due to radiation

ordirules (2874769) writes | 9 minutes ago


ordirules (2874769) writes "NASA's Dawn spacecraft has been delayed 1 month due to a suspected radiation blast, causing the spacecraft to enter into safe mode and disable its ion engine. From JPL:
"Although they have not yet specifically pinpointed the cause of this issue, it could also be explained by a high-energy particle corrupting the software running in the main computer. Ultimately the team reset the computer, which restored the pointing performance to normal. "
One of the goals of this mission was to test their ion engine. With technology containing less and less moving parts, it is clear that space travel relies heavily on the ability of software to recover from a malfunction."

Senate Report: Military In The Dark As China Hacked Transportation Command

chicksdaddy (814965) writes | 21 minutes ago


chicksdaddy (814965) writes "The Security Ledger reports ( on a Senate Armed Services Committee investigation that found evidence that hackers associated with the Chinese government compromised the computer systems of U.S. Transportation Command contractors at least 20 times in a single year. The attacks pose a serious risk to the system that moves military troops and equipment.

U.S. Transportation Command – a joint military/civilian program – was targeted by hackers believed to be affiliated with the Chinese government, a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation found.

The Committee released the report on Wednesday. ( It found a serious gap in awareness and reporting requirements. TRANSCOM was only aware of two of the 20 intrusions, while U.S. Transportation Command remained mostly unaware of the computer compromises of contractors during and after the attacks.
The incidents include an attack that spanned two years – from 2008 to 2010 – and that captured emails, documents, passwords and computer code. A 2012 attack gained access to “multiple systems” onboard a commercial ship contracted by TRANSCOM, the Committee found.

Information sharing about cyber attacks was woeful. An audit of a subset of TRANSCOM contractors uncovered 11 cyber intrusions believed to be linked to China. The Committee said the FBI or DoD had already identified another 9 linked to TRANSCOM contractors. Of those 20, however, information on just two was relayed back to TRANSCOM."

Link to Original Source

Apple updates privacy policy, moves to reassure users - Computerworld

feedfeeder (1749978) writes | 41 minutes ago



Apple updates privacy policy, moves to reassure users
Apple outlined its new privacy policy and set up a site to explain what information it collects from users and how it handles it, as the company enters new areas like health tracking and mobile payments that have potential privacy implications. "We don't build a...
Cook: We have never allowed GOVERNMENT access to Apple serversRegister
Apple says iOS 8 will shield your data from policeCNNMoney
Apple is using iPhone privacy as a sales pitch—too bad nobody seems to careQuartz
USA TODAY-Daily Mail-Maine News Online
all 272 news articles

Link to Original Source

FCC May Raise Broadband Speed Requirements for Subsidies to ISPs

Anonymous Coward writes | 12 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "On Wednesday at a hearing in front of the US House Committee on Small Business, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated that for ISPs to be eligible for government broadband subsidies, they would have to deliver speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Said Wheeler: "What we are saying is we can't make the mistake of spending the people's money, which is what Universal Service is, to continue to subsidize something that's subpar." He further indicated that he would remedy the situation by the end of 2014. The broadband subsidies are collected through bill surcharges paid for by phone customers."

Future Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes | 2 hours ago


KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way, Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002."

Hackers Penetrated Systems Of Key Defense Contractors

Anonymous Coward writes | 3 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Hackers associated with the Chinese government successfully penetrated the computer systems of U.S. Transportation Command contractors at least 20 times in a single year, intrusions that show vulnerabilities in the military’s system to deploy troops and equipment in a crisis, a Senate Armed Services Committee investigation has found. The year-long investigation found that TRANSCOM, which is responsible for global movement of U.S. troops and equipment, was only aware of two of those intrusions. It also found gaps in reporting requirements and a lack of information sharing among government entities that left the command largely unaware of computer compromises by China of contractors that are key to the mobilization and deployment of military forces."

Irate NSA Staffer Doesn't Like Being Filmed in Public, for Some Reason

Anonymous Coward writes | 3 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "The Intercept writes "The NSA sent someone bearing the nametag “Neal Z.” to the University of New Mexico’s Engineering and Science Career Fair today, in the hopes of recruiting young computer geniuses to help manage the yottabytes of data it is collecting about you. But instead of eager young applicants, Mr. Z. encountered University of New Mexico alumnus Andy Beale and student Sean Potter, who took the rare opportunity of being in the room with a genuine NSA agent to ask him about his employer’s illegal collection of metadata on all Americans. Mr. Z. did not like that one bit.""

NASA Inspector General lobs big rocks at agency's asteroid hunting program

coondoggie (973519) writes | yesterday


coondoggie (973519) writes "Lack of money, management structure and staff are hampering NASA’s ability to effectively identify and track comets, meteorites and asteroids that might threaten Earth. The space agency’s Inspector General, Paul Martin, issued a scathing report this week that said while NASA’s Near Earth Object program has done substantial work in identifying the sometimes massive rocks hurtling around the planet it is substantially behind in its goal of cataloging 90% of those 140 meters in diameter by 2020, among other issues."
Link to Original Source

Swedish underground forum Flashback is down, counterattack from Researchgruppen?

Glam Casvaluir (3831567) writes | 4 hours ago


Glam Casvaluir (3831567) writes "Some speculate it is an counterattack from the left-wing extremist group Researchgruppen who lately got their database service Piscatus hacked and published to the public on the Sedish election day. There is a underground digital war going on in Sweden with the culprit on the election day, and this is the latest act. The liberal forum Flashback is one of the most popular Forum for Sweden, and all writers there are anonymous."
Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: How hard is it to pick-up astronomy and physics as an adult?

samalex01 (1290786) writes | 6 hours ago


samalex01 (1290786) writes "I'm 38, married, two young kids, and I have a nice job in the IT industry, but since I was a kid I've had this deep love and passion for astronomy and astrophysics. This love and passion though never evolved into any formal education or anything beyond just a distant fascination as I got out of high school, into college, and started going through life on more of an IT career path.

So my question, now that I'm 38 is there any hope that I could start learning more about astronomy or physics to make it more than just a hobby? I don't expect to be a Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but I'd love to have enough knowledge in these subjects to research and experiment to the point where I could possibly start contributing back to the field. MIT Open Courseware has some online courses for free that cover these topics, but given I can only spend maybe 10 hours a week on this would it be a pointless venture? Not to mention my mind isn't as sharp now as it was 20 years ago when I graduated high school.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions."

Top 50 science stars of Twitter: Not wasting time after all

nbauman (624611) writes | 6 hours ago


nbauman (624611) writes "Genomicist Neil Hall proposed a “Kardashian Index” (K-index), which divides a scientist’s Twitter followers by his or her citations. Scientists with a high score should “get off Twitter” and write more papers, wrote Hall.

Science magazine calculated the K-index of the 50 most followed scientists on Twitter. Actually, many of the high tweeters also had high citation counts too. The converse wasn't true: Many high-ranking scientists think Twitter is a waste of time. But others were converted.

The 3 scientists with the highest K-index are:

1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, @neiltyson
2. Brian Cox, @ProfBrianCox
3. Richard Dawkins, @RichardDawkins

The top 50 list is here."

Link to Original Source

Wikipedia's page view counts are off by nearly one-third

The ed17 (2834807) writes | 7 hours ago


The ed17 (2834807) writes "A prominent Wikipedia researcher has discovered that Wikipedia's widely used article traffic statistics are missing out on approximately one-third of all views. Why? The Wikimedia Foundation's official article traffic data segregates desktop and mobile hits, and the hit counter linked from every Wikipedia page is only using the former.

This carries particularly large implications for the Global South, where far more individuals own web-capable mobile devices than computers."

Link to Original Source

Europeans came from three ancestry groupings

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 7 hours ago


Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A recent study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of Tübingen in Germany has found that present day Europeans are descendants of three different groups of people — A near east farmer group, an indigenous hunter gatherer group, and an ncient North Eurasian group from Siberia

"Nearly all Europeans have ancestry from all three ancestral groups," said Iosif Lazaridis, a research fellow in genetics in Reich's lab and first author of the paper. "Differences between them are due to the relative proportions of ancestry. Northern Europeans have more hunter-gatherer ancestry — up to about 50 percent in Lithuanians — and Southern Europeans have more farmer ancestry."

The most surprising part of the project, however, was the discovery of the Basal Eurasians

Before Australian Aborigines and New Guineans and South Indians and Native Americans and other indigenous hunter-gatherers split, they split from Basal Eurasians

The study also found that Mediterranean groups such as the Maltese, as well as Ashkenazi Jews, had more Near East ancestry than anticipated, while far northeastern Europeans such as Finns and the Saami, as well as some northern Russians, had more East Asian ancestry in the mix"

Link to Original Source

Scientists Twist Radio Beams to Send Data at 32 Gigabits p/s, Faster Than LTE

concertina226 (2447056) writes | yesterday


concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists from three international universities have succeeded in twisting radio beams in order to transfer data at the speed of 32 gigabits per second, which is 30 times faster than 4G LTE wireless technology in use today.

The researchers, led by Alan Willner, an electrical engineering professor with the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, successfully demonstrated data transmission rates of 32 gigabits per second across 2.5m of free space in a basement laboratory.

Millimetre waves occupy the 30GHz to 300GHz frequency bands. They are found in the spectrum between microwaves, which take up the 1GHz to 30GHz bands, and infrared waves, which are sometimes known as extremely high frequency (EHF)."

Link to Original Source

Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

onproton (3434437) writes | 9 hours ago


onproton (3434437) writes "The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance, a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health."

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>