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!

NASA has chosen Boeing and SpaceX to build manned spacecraft

schwit1 (797399) writes | 1 hour ago

0

schwit1 (797399) writes "The competition heats up: NASA has made a decision and has chosen two companies to ferry astronauts to and from ISS, and those companies are Boeing and SpaceX. Some quick details from NASA here.

This is a reasonable political and economic decision. It confirms that SpaceX is ready to go and gives the company the opportunity to finish the job, while also giving Boeing the chance to show that it can compete while also giving that pork to congressional districts.

Some details: After NASA has certified that each company has successfully built its spacecraft they will have then fly anywhere from four to six missions. The certification process will be step-by-step, similar to the methods used in the cargo contracts, and will involve five milestones. They will be paid incrementally as they meet these milestones.

One milestone will be a manned flight to ISS, with one NASA astronaut on board.

One more detail. Boeing will receive $4.2 billion while SpaceX will get $2.6 billion. These awards were based on what the companies proposed and requested."

Why Is It Taking So Long to Secure Internet Routing?

CowboyRobot (671517) writes | 1 hour ago

0

CowboyRobot (671517) writes "We live in an imperfect world where routing-security incidents can still slip past deployed security defenses, and no single routing-security solution can prevent every attacks. Research suggests, however, that the combination of RPKI (Resource Public Key Infrastructure) with prefix filtering could significantly improve routing security; both solutions are based on whitelisting techniques and can reduce the number of autonomous systems that are impacted by prefix hijacks, route leaks, and path-shortening attacks."
Link to Original Source

A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect at Fighting Wildfires

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes | 1 hour ago

0

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Friday night in Southern California's Silverado Valley, relief flew in on an old airliner. In this summer of drought and fire the DC-10, an airplane phased out of passenger service in February, has been spotted from Idaho to Arizona delivering up to 12,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single acrobatic swoop.

The three-engine DC-10 entered service in 1970 as a passenger jet, and the last airplane working in that capacity, operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, made its final flight on February 24. But some designs defy obsolescence. The DC-10 had already been converted to function as a mid-air refueling airplane for the Air Force, and in 2006, the first fire-fighting DC-10 was unleashed on the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County, California."

Link to Original Source

NSA Director Says Agency is Still Trying to Figure Out Cyber Operations

Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes | 1 hour ago

0

Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "In a keynote speech at a security conference in Washington Tuesday, new NSA Director Mike Rogers emphasized a need to establish behavioral norms for cyber war.

“We’re still trying to work our way through distinguishing the difference between criminal hacking and an act of war,” said Rogers. “If this was easy, we would have figured it out years ago. We have a broad consensus about what constitutes an act of war, what’s an act of defense.”

Rogers went on to explain that we need to better establish standardized terminology and standardized norms like those that exist in the realm of nuclear deterrence. Unfortunately, unlike in traditional national defense, we can not assume that the government will be able to completely protect us against cyber-threats because the threat ecosystem is just too broad."

The Case for a Federal Robotics Commission

hmcd31 (3784079) writes | 2 hours ago

0

hmcd31 (3784079) writes "In a new paper for Brookings’ series on the future of civilian robotics, University of Washington Law Professor Ryan Calo argues the need for a Federal Robotics Commission. With advancements such as driverless cars and drones taking to the roads and skies, Calo sees a need for a government agency to monitor these changes. His paper details many benefits a robotics commission could bring, from funding to assisting in law and policy issues. The policies developed by this FRC are argued to be particularly important, as their impact in creating an early infrastructure for robotics could create an environment that lets the technology grow even more."
Link to Original Source

Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph for Weeks Into Local Communities

Anonymous Coward writes | 2 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Fresh research out of the UNC Gillings and JHU Bloomberg schools of public health shows industrial farm workers are carrying livestock-associated, multidrug-resistant staph into local communities for weeks at a time. This problem has grown since its last mention on Slashdot. Unfortunately, massive industrial lobbying continues to neuter government action."
Link to Original Source

Dell, Emerson, HP and Intel propose Redfish; an open and RESTful replacement for

Phelan (30485) writes | 2 hours ago

0

Phelan (30485) writes "(Full disclosure: I work for one of these companies) As presented at last weeks Intel Developer Forum the Redfish Specification proposal aims to replace the much older and sometimes criticized IPMI over LAN interface. It offers significant improvements in scalability, ease of development and security by utilizing well understood JSON Schema, data model and secure web services.
A preliminary version of the specification proposal is available for review and feedback at RedfishSpecification.org (registration required for deep dive) and is being submitted as an open proposal to the Distributed Management Task Force's Scaleable Platform Management Forum."

Astronomers find star-inside-star 40 years after first theorized

derekmead (2466858) writes | 2 hours ago

0

derekmead (2466858) writes "After 40 years, astronomers have likely found a rather strange celestial body known as a Thorne–ytkow object (TZO), in which a neutron star is absorbed by a red supergiant. Originally predicted in the 1970s, the first non-theoretical TZO was found earlier this year, based on calculations presented in apaper forthcoming in MNRAS .

TZOs were predicted by astronomer Kip Thorne and Anna ytkow, who wasthen postdoctoral fellow at CalTech. The pair imagined what might happen if a neutron star in a binary system merged with its partner red supergiant.

This wouldn’t be like two average stars merging. Neutron stars are the ancient remnants of stars that grew too big and exploded. Their cores remain small—about 12.5 miles—as they shed material out into space. Red supergiants are the largest stars in the galaxy with radii up to 800 times that of our sun, but they aren’t dense."

Link to Original Source

Oklahoma Lawmaker Suggests Execution by Nitrogen Gas

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes | 2 hours ago

0

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The Daily Oklahoman reports that Oklahoma Representative Mike Christian, convinced that execution by injection is quickly becoming unworkable, has been examining an alternate technique — death by nitrogen gas. “We’re going to have to find something else because I think lethal injection, most would agree, is probably on its way out,” says Christian, a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper. “For lack of a better term, it’s innovative for what we’re looking at.” Legislation would be required because current Oklahoma law requires lethal injection be used for executions, and specifies that if that were found unconstitutional, the electric chair could be used. If the electric chair were found unconstitutional, a firing squad could be used.

Pharmaceutical companies have become reluctant to provide drugs for lethal injections and many doctors don’t want to participate in the process. The lethal injection of Clayton Lockett at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in April went awry, with the condemned man seemingly suffering or taking longer than expected to die. Lockett was pronounced dead about 43 minutes after his execution began and seemed to strain, grimace and moan during the procedure."

What to Expect With Windows 9

snydeq (1272828) writes | 3 hours ago

0

snydeq (1272828) writes "Two weeks before the its official unveiling, Woody Leonhard provides a roundup of what to expect and the open questions around Windows 9, given Build 9834 leaks and confirmations springing up all over the Web. The desktop's Start Menu, Metro apps running in resizable windows on the desktop, virtual desktops, Notification Center, and Storage Sense, are among the presumed features in store for Windows 9. Chief among the open questions are the fates of Internet Explorer, Cortana, and the Metro Start Screen. Changes to Windows 9 will provide an inkling of where Nadella will lead Microsoft in the years ahead. What's your litmus test on Windows 9?"

German judge lifts temporary ban on Uber ride-sharing

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 3 hours ago

0

mpicpp (3454017) writes "FRANKFURT, Sept 16 (Reuters) — A Frankfurt judge granted a reprieve to Uber, the online transportation service, setting aside a temporary injunction issued two weeks ago against the Silicon Valley company from operating a novel car-sharing service across Germany.

Frankfurt Regional Court Judge Frowin Kurth said on Tuesday that the issues in the case brought against Uber by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland deserved a fuller airing in court, but lacked the urgency for a temporary injunction.

"There could still be grounds for an injunction" against Uber, Kurth said in deciding on the company's appeal of the court's original decision. "But during our deliberations it became clear there were no grounds for an immediate injunction."

The lawsuit, which pits taxi operators against the fast-growing U.S. start-up recently valued at around $18 billion, has underscored Germany's mounting unease over the impact of digital technology on established businesses and institutions.

Taxi Deutschland had sought the injunction as part of a civil lawsuit to bar the company's ride-sharing service, citing what it saw as unfair competition by Uber against the professional taxi drivers whom it represents.

The original injunction barred Uber from using its Uberpop mobile phone app to connect ride-sharing drivers to potential passengers, ruling that Uber's network of volunteer drivers lacked the commercial licences to charge passengers for rides.

Each infraction of the court's injunction carried fines of up to 250,000 euros ($323,775). Uber quickly appealed the ruling, leading to Tuesday's hearing."

Link to Original Source

Ask slashdot: Remote support for disconnected, computer-illiterate relatives.

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "I use email to communicate with my folks overseas. Their "ISP" only allows dial-up access to their email account (there is no option of chaning ISP), that can receive messages no larger than 1MB nor hold more than 15MB (no hope of changing that either). They are computer-illiterate, click on everything they receive, and take delight on sending their information to any nigerian prince that contacts them, "just in case this one is true". Needless to say, thir PC is always full of viruses and spyware. In my next yearly visit, instead of just cleaning it up, I'd like to gift them with some "hardened" PC to use for email only that would hopefully last the year before someone has to fix it. So far, these are the things I have in mind:

  • Some kind of linux distro, or maybe even mac. Most viruses over there are windows only and propagate via Autorun.inf or by email attachments, not having Windows could prevent both.
  • Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone. For this, Ubuntu's Unity seems like a particularily bad solution, but a Gnome desktop with non-removable desktop shortcuts (is this possible?) for the file manager, browser, email client and dial-up program could work. An android system is unlikely to work (they have no wifi, and they were utterly confused with Android's UI).
  • This could be a life saver: some kind of extension to the email client that executes commands on specially formated emails (e.g., signed with my private key), so that I can do some basic diagnostics or install extra software if I have to. This las point is important: they currently rely on aquaintances who may not be competent (they can't evaluate that) if something happens between my visits. They, most likely, wont know how to deal with anything non-windows, so all tech support would fall on me. (This is the reason I haven't moved them from windows yet.)
  • Another very useful extension would be something to automatically re-assemble attachments split into several emails, to overcome the 1MB message limit.

Does any of that exist? If I have to build that system myself (or parts of it), do you have other suggestions? For the inevitable and completely reasonable suggestion of getting someone competent for tech support: I've tried that too. The competent ones don't last beyond the third visit."

Neuroscientists Working to Push the Boundaries of Perception Through Wearables

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "A pair of neuroscientists from Houston, Texas, Dr. David Eagleman and his graduate student, Scott Novich, have teamed up to work on the ultimate test of pushing the boundaries of our sensory perceptions: giving deaf individuals the ability to 'hear' through their sense of touch. The two are experimenting with raising funds for the project through a crowdfunding campaign via Kickstarter. At the moment, it looks like they have a working prototype developed along with some preliminary data. If the science works out, they plan to utilize the technology to provide atypical information streams to people, like Twitter feeds or stock market data."
Link to Original Source

New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes | 4 hours ago

0

HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Reuters reports that plans for a major rewriting of international tax rules have been unveiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that could eliminate structures that have allowed companies like Google and Amazon to shave billions of dollars off their tax bills. For more than 50 years, the OECD’s work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits hampering trade and limit global growth. But companies have been using such treaties to ensure profits are not taxed anywhere. A Reuters investigation last year found that three quarters of the 50 biggest U.S. technology companies channelled revenues from European sales into low tax jurisdictions like Ireland and Switzerland, rather than reporting them nationally. For example, search giant Google takes advantage of tax treaties to channel more than $8 billion in untaxed profits out of Europe and Asia each year and into a subsidiary that is tax resident in Bermuda, which has no income tax. “We are putting an end to double non-taxation,” says OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans.

For the recommendations to actually become binding countries will have to encode them in their domestic laws or amend their bilateral tax treaties. The OECD says that it plans to hold an international conference on amending the network of existing tax treaties. Sol Picciotto, an emeritus professor at Lancaster University in Britain, says the recommendations are at least five to 10 years from becoming law, and that the jury is still out on whether they will accomplish their stated goals. “These are just tweaks,” says Picciotto. “They’re trying to repair an old motorcar, but what they need is a new engine.”"

Ethical trap: robot paralysed by choice of who to save

wabrandsma (2551008) writes | 4 hours ago

1

wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From New Scientist:

Can a robot learn right from wrong? Attempts to imbue robots, self-driving cars and military machines with a sense of ethics reveal just how hard this is

In an experiment, Alan Winfield and his colleagues programmed a robot to prevent other automatons – acting as proxies for humans – from falling into a hole. This is a simplified version of Isaac Asimov's fictional First Law of Robotics – a robot must not allow a human being to come to harm.

At first, the robot was successful in its task. As a human proxy moved towards the hole, the robot rushed in to push it out of the path of danger. But when the team added a second human proxy rolling toward the hole at the same time, the robot was forced to choose. Sometimes, it managed to save one human while letting the other perish; a few times it even managed to save both. But in 14 out of 33 trials, the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision that both humans fell into the hole.

Winfield describes his robot as an "ethical zombie" that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn't understand the reasoning behind its actions. Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, "my answer is: I have no idea".

As robots integrate further into our everyday lives, this question will need to be answered. A self-driving car, for example, may one day have to weigh the safety of its passengers against the risk of harming other motorists or pedestrians. It may be very difficult to program robots with rules for such encounters."

Link to Original Source

Canon printer hacked to run Doom video game

Anonymous Coward writes | 5 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "Noone would suspect you slacking off standing at the printer, right ?

From the article:
A wireless Canon Pixma printer has been hacked to run classic video game Doom.

The hack was carried out by security researcher Michael Jordon, and it took four months to get the game running on the hardware.

He said he had undertaken the project to demonstrate the security problems surrounding devices that would form the "internet of things".

Canon said it planned to fix the loopholes on future printers to make them harder to subvert."

Link to Original Source

Digia Spins off Qt as Subsidiary

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes | 5 hours ago

0

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Digia has spun off a subsidiary called The Qt Company to unify Qt's commercial and open source efforts, and debuted a low-cost plan for mobile developers. The Linux-oriented Qt cross-platform development framework has had a tumultuous career, having been passed around Scandinavia over the years from Trolltech to Nokia and then from Nokia to Digia. Yet, Qt keeps rolling along in both commercial and open source community versions, continually adding support for new platforms and technologies, and gaining extensive support from mobile developers. Now Qt is its own company, or at least a wholly owned subsidiary under Digia. Finland-based Digia has largely been involved with the commercial versions of Qt since it acquired the platform from Nokia in 2012, but it has also sponsored the community Qt Project as a relatively separate project. Now, both efforts are being unified under one roof at The Qt Company and the new QT.io website, says Digia. Meanwhile, Digia will focus on its larger enterprise software business."
Link to Original Source

NASA to announce private space shuttle deal

mpicpp (3454017) writes | 5 hours ago

0

mpicpp (3454017) writes "NASA will make a "major announcement" later Tuesday about its plans to partner with the private sector to transport astronauts to the international space station.
The space agency said it will hold a news conference at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4 p.m. ET to discuss "the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States," according to a brief statement on its website.

The agency is expected to award a contract to one or more private aerospace companies to shuttle astronauts back and forth to the space station.

The contract to be announced Tuesday will be difficult to compare with the current arrangement, since it will involve "additional capabilities," such as development and certification programs, as well as shuttle services, the spokeswoman said.

The leading contender is Boeing (BA), according to the Wall Street Journal. Other bidders include SpaceX, which is backed by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, and Sierra Nevada Corp."

Link to Original Source

College Students: Want To Earn More? Take A COBOL Class

jfruh (300774) writes | 5 hours ago

0

jfruh (300774) writes "With a lot of debate over the value of a college education, here's a data point students can use: at one Texas college, students who took an elective COBOL class earned on average $10,000 more a year upon graduation than classmates who hadn't. COBOL, dropped from many curricula years ago as an outdated language, is tenaciously holding on in the industry, as many universities are belatedly starting to realize."
Link to Original Source

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>