Beta

×

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!

USB thumb drives may be more vulnerable than we think

Chickenlips (33524) writes | 18 minutes ago

0

Chickenlips (33524) writes "Two researchers plan to demonstrate sample malware inserted into USB drive firmware. The implications are serious. The focus of the article is ability to trust a USB drive once it has been plugged into a non-trusted computer. I wonder, though, if a 3 letter government agency (or anyone with the necessary reach) could have their own version of malware baked into the firmware at the factory? Or, say, intercepted while on their way to the market?"
Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: Should I fight against online voting in our municipality?

RobinH (124750) writes | 1 hour ago

0

RobinH (124750) writes "Our small-ish municipality (between 10,000 to 15,000 in population) has recently decided to switch to online voting. I should note that they were previously doing voting-by-mail. I have significant reservations about online voting, particularly the possibility of vote-selling and the general lack of voter secrecy, not to mention the possible lack of computer security. However, it's only a municipal election, and apparently a lot of municipalities around here are already doing online voting. I'm not sure if the rank and file citizens care, or if they would listen to my concerns. Should I bother speaking up, or should I ignore it since municipal elections are not that important anyway?"

NASA Confirms New EM Thruster Violates Laws Of Conservation

Crudely_Indecent (739699) writes | 1 hour ago

0

Crudely_Indecent (739699) writes "Mentioned here in a previous story ( http://slashdot.org/story/06/0... ), the EM thruster that generates thrust using no fuel, only electricity has been tested by NASA and confirmed to work!

Is this the Star Trek future tech we've been waiting for?

The NASA report titled "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum" was published 3 days ago and can be found here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.js... From the abstract:

This paper describes the eight-day August 2013 test campaign designed to investigate and demonstrate viability of using classical magnetoplasmadynamics to obtain a propulsive momentum transfer via the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.

"

Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive

schwit1 (797399) writes | 3 hours ago

0

schwit1 (797399) writes "Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

A working microwave thruster would radically cut the cost of satellites and space stations and extend their working life, drive deep-space missions, and take astronauts to Mars in weeks rather than months. In hindsight, it may turn out to be another great British invention that someone else turned into a success."

Link to Original Source

Hackers Can Control Your Phone Using a Tool That's Already Built Into It

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "A lot of concern about the NSA’s seemingly omnipresent surveillance over the last year has focused on the agency’s efforts to install back doors in software and hardware. Those efforts are greatly aided, however, if the agency can piggyback on embedded software already on a system that can be exploited.

Two researchers have uncovered such built-in vulnerabilities in a large number of smartphones that would allow government spies and sophisticated hackers to install malicious code and take control of the device.

The vulnerabilities lie within a device management tool carriers and manufacturers embed in handsets and tablets to remotely configure them. Though some design their own tool, most use a tool developed by a specific third-party vendor—which the researchers will not identify until they present their findings next week at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The tool is used in some form in more than 2 billion phones worldwide. The vulnerabilities, they say, were found so far in Android and BlackBerry devices and a small number of Apple iPhones used by Sprint customers. They haven’t looked at Windows Mobile devices yet."

Link to Original Source

The CIA Does Las Vegas

Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes | 5 hours ago

0

Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "Despite the long line of covert operations that Ed Snowden’s documents have exposed public outcry hasn’t come anywhere near the level of social unrest that characterized the 1960s. Journalists like Conor Friedersdorf have suggested that one explanation for this is that the public is “informed by a press that treats officials who get caught lying and misleading (e.g., James Clapper and Keith Alexander) as if they're credible.”

Certainly there are a number of well-known popular venues which offer a stage for spies to broadcast their messages from while simultaneously claiming to “cultivate conversations among all members of the security community, both public and private.” This year, for instance, Black Hat USA will host Dan Greer (the CISO of In-Q-Tel) as a keynote speaker.

But after all of the lies and subterfuge is it even constructive to give voice to the talking points of intelligence officials? Or are they just muddying the water? As one observer put it, “high-profile members of the intelligence community like Cofer Black, Shawn Henry, Keith Alexander, and Dan Greer are positioned front and center in keynote slots, as if they were glamorous Hollywood celebrities. While those who value their civil liberties might opine that they should more aptly be treated like pariahs”"

Link to Original Source

Bulletproof video conferencing for Alzheimers home?

Milo_Mindbender (138493) writes | 6 hours ago

0

Milo_Mindbender (138493) writes "I'm trying to find a bulletproof near zero maintenance video conferencing client for shared use in an Alzheimers living facility. It's used so the patients can regularly see their relatives who are often out of town. Most everything I've tried on PC or Mac requires tweeks/updates from time to time to keep it working, not good in a place where there are no computer savvy people. It looks like most of the low cost dedicated boxes have died out too. The ideal setup will be turnkey with little-to-no maintenance and if possible support auto-answering calls from approved users. It needs to be compatible with video conferencing apps the relatives can easily get on phone/tablet/pc such as Skype, Facetime, Hangouts...etc.

Any suggestions?"

Was America's #1 Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI thought so.

IMissAlexChilton (3748631) writes | 7 hours ago

0

IMissAlexChilton (3748631) writes "Frank Malina masterfully led the World War II effort to build U.S. rockets for jet-assisted takeoff and guided missiles. As described in IEEE Spectrum, Malina’s motley crew of engineers and enthusiasts (including occultist Jack Parsons) founded the Jet Propulsion Lab and made critical breakthroughs in solid fuels, hypergolics, and high-altitude sounding rockets, laying the groundwork for NASA’s future successes. And yet, under suspicion by the Feds at the war’s end, Malina gave up his research career, and his team’s efforts sank into obscurity. Taking his place: the former Nazi Wernher von Braun. Read “Frank Malina: America’s Forgotten Rocketeer”. Includes cool vintage footage of early JPL rocket tests. Disclosure: I am a staff editor with IEEE Spectrum."

Researchers Create Virtual Reality 'Parties' to Treat Drug Addiction

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes | 7 hours ago

0

Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "To help people overcome drug addiction, researchers at the University of Houston’s Graduate School of Social Work are building hyper-realistic virtual worlds to recreate situations that trigger cravings for nicotine, alcohol, weed, and now, hard drugs like heroin.
Traditional relapse therapy usually involves roleplaying: Therapists often pretend to be a friend or some other familiar person and offer the patient their drug of choice in order to teach them avoidance strategies. By strapping patients into a virtual reality headset and running them through a familiar scenario where they commonly use the drug, like a party, the treatment can be much more realistic and effective, researchers say."

Ask SlashDot: What should the NSA be able to do without a warrant?

LessThanObvious (3671949) writes | 7 hours ago

0

LessThanObvious (3671949) writes "We have a general consensus in the U.S. and abroad that says the NSA has overstepped their boundaries in data collection and surveillance. The costs to liberty, free speech, privacy rights as well as economic and foreign policy costs outlined in the New America Open Technology Institute July 2014 Policy Paper — "Surveillance Costs" have been broadly discussed. It seems now that there is enough political inertia post Snowden and enough economic incentive to make changes to protect U.S. competitive position and international trust relationships for real change to come about. It is also pretty much a given that an organization like the NSA with a multibillion dollar budget is not going to simply dry up and blow away.

In a world where we are trying to defend our nation and others around the globe from highly sophisticated cyber-crime, cyber-attack and serious terror threats at home and abroad, it does seem that the NSA and other agencies have a legitimate role to play. Let's imagine a world where the NSA and other agencies rewrite the rules of when and where information could be collected, allowing for adequate transparency and protections for U.S. and foreign individuals rights. How can we find the needle in a stack of haystacks if they are no longer permitted to disturb the haystack?

Now under those circumstances what should the NSA be allowed to do without a warrant?"

Link to Original Source

Private Bittorrent Trackers - A Misleading Name

ktetch-pirate (1850548) writes | 8 hours ago

0

ktetch-pirate (1850548) writes "At some point in any P2P story, you will come across a comment saying how 'Private Trackers are better'. Yet Private Tracker users have less privacy than those that use public/open trackers, with the sites logging your activities and then sharing that info in a big database with dozens of other sites.
TorrentFreak's lead researcher explains how they got the name, and why, along with a more appropriate term for these kids of sites, that's more accurate."

Link to Original Source

HP gives OpenVMS new life and path to x86 port

dcblogs (1096431) writes | 9 hours ago

0

dcblogs (1096431) writes "Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors. Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision. VSI plans to validate the operating system on Intel's Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015, as well as support for HP hardware running the upcoming "Kittson" chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn't specifying a timeframe. And it plans to develop new versions of OpenVMS"
Link to Original Source

French provider Free could buy US branch of T-Mobile

Guybrush_T (980074) writes | 9 hours ago

0

Guybrush_T (980074) writes "Iliad, the parent company of Free, confirmed today having made an offer to buy 56% of the US branch of T-Mobile. This could be very good news for the US, since the provider reduced significantly the average price of mobile plans in France since they entered the mobile market two years ago. Their disruptive strategy, featuring an all-inclusive €20/month plan and a €2/month plan gathered 11% of the French market in only two years and lowered the price of plans by a 5 to 10 factor."

Ask Slashdot: When is It Better to Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

yeshuawatso (1774190) writes | yesterday

0

yeshuawatso (1774190) writes "I work for one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the world. We've currently spent millions of dollars investing in an ERP system from Oracle (via a third-party implementor and distributor) that handles most of our global operations, but it's been a great ordeal getting the thing to work for us across SBUs and even departments without having to constantly go back to the third-party, whom have their hands out asking for more money. What we've also discovered is that the ERP system is being used for inputting and retrieving data but not for managing the data. Managing the data is being handled by systems of spreadsheets and access databases wrought with macros to turn them into functional applications. I'm asking you wise and experienced readers on your take if it's a better idea to continue to hire our third-party to convert these applications into the ERP system or hire internal developers to convert these applications to more scalable and practical applications that interface with the ERP (via API of choice)? We have a ton of spare capacity in data centers that formerly housed mainframes and local servers that now mostly run local Exchange and domain servers. We've consolidated these data centers into our co-location in Atlanta but the old data centers are still running, just empty. We definitely have the space to run commodity servers for an OpenStack, Eucalyptus, or some other private/hybrid cloud solution, but would this be counter productive to the goal of standardizing processes. Our CIO wants to dump everything into the ERP (creating a single point of failure to me) but our accountants are having a tough time chewing the additional costs of re-doing every departmental application. What are your experiences with such implementations?"

Why TiVo's founders crashed and burned with Qplay

Velcroman1 (1667895) writes | 10 hours ago

0

Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton created a revolution with TiVo, a device that challenged the notion that we had to watch TV shows when they aired. And they hoped to do it again with Qplay, a device that challenged the notion that short-form videos had to be consumed one at a time, like snacks instead of meals. Qplay streamed curated queues of short-form Internet video to your TV using a small, simple box controlled by an iPad app. So what went wrong? Unlike TiVo, the Qplay box was difficult to justify owning, and thevalue of the service itself is questionable. And as of last week, Qplay is closed."
Link to Original Source

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>