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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails to US Government

schwit1 (797399) writes | 4 minutes ago

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schwit1 (797399) writes "Despite a federal court order directing Microsoft to turn overseas-held email data to federal authorities, the software giant said Friday it will continue to withhold that information as it waits for the case to wind through the appeals process. The judge has now ordered both Microsoft and federal prosecutors to advise her how to proceed by next Friday, September 5.

Let there be no doubt that Microsoft's actions in this controversial case are customer-centric. The firm isn't just standing up to the US government on moral principles. It's now defying a federal court order.

"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal," a Microsoft statement notes. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."

Judge Loretta Preska, the chief of the US District Court in Manhattan ruled on July 31 that Microsoft was required to hand over email messages stored in an Ireland data center to US prosecutors investigating a criminal case. But she suspended the order temporarily amid complaints from international companies—and tech companies in the US—that argued that allowing US authorities to search and seize data held internationally was illegal.

On Friday, however, she lifted that suspension after prosecutors successfully convinced her that her order was not appealable. The removal of the suspension legally requires Microsoft to hand over the email immediately.

This is the first time a technology company has resisted a US search warrant seeking data that is held outside the United States.

In the view of Microsoft and many legal experts, federal authorities have no jurisdiction over data stored outside the country. It says that the court order violates Ireland's sovereignty and that prosecutors need to seek a legal treaty with Ireland in order to obtain the data they want."

Link to Original Source

Mapping Out The American Deep State

Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes | 1 hour ago

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Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "In recent coverage of events taking place in the Ukraine, the New York Times refers to the country as being under the sway of a group of oligarchs:

“The ultra-wealthy industrialists wield such power in Ukraine that they form what amounts to a shadow government, with empires of steel and coal, telecoms and media, and armies of workers.”

Note the mention of a “shadow government,” also known as a “Deep State.” This terms was originally coined in Turkey to refer to an entrenched cabal of spies, politicians, and organized crime bosses who manipulated events to maintain political control.

Does this sound familiar? You might have noticed the mass death sentence passed down by a court in Egypt. Very odd, how could 500 people be responsible for killing a single police officer? Thus leading journalists at FRONTLINE to suggest that Egypt is also under the influence of a deep state.

There are those who postulate that deep states aren’t limited to third-world nations. Readers might notice that none of the bankers involved in the 2008 financial collapse have gone to prison. Or that officials like DNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan are able to flout the law with little or no consequences. Not to mention our leadership's cognitive dissonance over the origins of ISIS and the quandary of self-perpetuating conflict in the Middle East. Is the beast of the American Deep State peeking its head above the surface of the body politic?"

Link to Original Source

RAYA - realtime audio engine simulation in Quake

bziolko (3805813) writes | 1 hour ago

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bziolko (3805813) writes "RAYA is a realtime game audio engine that utilizes beamtracing to provide user with realistic audio auralization. All audio effects are computed based on the actual geometry of a given game level as well as its acoustic properties (acoustic materials, air attenuation). The sound changes dynamically along with movement of the game character and sound sources, so the listener can feel as if they were right there — in the game."
Link to Original Source

Facebook's Ukrainian office is in Russia. Blocks Ukrainians...

mi (197448) writes | 2 hours ago

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mi (197448) writes "Ukrainian media are reporting (link in Ukrainian), that Facebook is getting increasingly heavy-handed blocking Ukrainian bloggers. The likely explanation for the observed phenomenon is that Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia and is headed by a Russian citizen (Catherine Skorobogatov). For example, a post calling on Russian mothers to not let their sons go to war was blocked "Due to multiple complaints". Fed up, Ukrainian users are writing directly to Zukerberg to ask him to replace Catherine with someone, who would not be quite as swayed by the "complaints" generated by Russian bots. The last link (in both Ukrainian and English) is also on Facebook. Will it survive for long?"

The X-37B just keeps going

schwit1 (797399) writes | 4 hours ago

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schwit1 (797399) writes "The Energizer bunny of space: The X-37B has now completed more than 600 days in orbit, with no indication when it will return to Earth.

The Air Force is believed to have only two X-37B space planes. These space planes have flown at otal of three missions, which are known as OTV-1, OTV-2 and OTV-3. (“OTV” is short for Orbital Test Vehicle.) The first mission blasted off in April 2010, and the craft circled Earth for 225 days. The second X-37B vehicle launched in March 2011, performing the OTV-2 mission. This spaceflight lasted 469 days, ultimately landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in June 2012. That was the same landing site OTV-1 used after completing its mission.

The current OTV-3 mission is reusing the first X-37B space plane from the OTV-1 flight, showcasing the reusability aspect of the program.

"

Hidden Obstacles for Google's Self-Driving Cars

Paul Fernhout (109597) writes | 5 hours ago

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Paul Fernhout (109597) writes "Lee Gomes at Technology Review wrote an article on the current limits of Google self-driving car technology: "Would you buy a self-driving car that couldn't drive itself in 99 percent of the country? Or that knew nearly nothing about parking, couldn't be taken out in snow or heavy rain, and would drive straight over a gaping pothole? If your answer is yes, then check out the Google Self-Driving Car, model year 2014. Google often leaves the impression that, as a Google executive once wrote, the cars can "drive anywhere a car can legally drive." However, that's true only if intricate preparations have been made beforehand, with the car's exact route, including driveways, extensively mapped. Data from multiple passes by a special sensor vehicle must later be pored over, meter by meter, by both computers and humans. It's vastly more effort than what's needed for Google Maps. ... Maps have so far been prepared for only a few thousand miles of roadway, but achieving Google's vision will require maintaining a constantly updating map of the nation's millions of miles of roads and driveways. Urmson says Google's researchers "don't see any particular roadblocks" to accomplishing that. When a Google car sees a new permanent structure such as a light pole or sign that it wasn't expecting it sends an alert and some data to a team at Google in charge of maintaining the map. ... Among other unsolved problems, Google has yet to drive in snow, and Urmson says safety concerns preclude testing during heavy rains. Nor has it tackled big, open parking lots or multilevel garages. ... Pedestrians are detected simply as moving, column-shaped blurs of pixels — meaning, Urmson agrees, that the car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop. ..."

A deeper issue I wrote about in 2001 is whether such software and data will be FOSS or proprietary? As I wrote there: "We are about to see the emergence of companies licensing that publicly funded software and selling modified versions of such software as proprietary products. There will eventually be hundreds or thousands of paid automotive software engineers working on such software no matter how it is funded, because there will be great value in having such self-driving vehicles given the result of America's horrendous urban planning policies leaving the car as generally the most efficient means of transport in the suburb. The question is, will the results of the work be open for inspection and contribution by the public? Essentially, will those engineers and their employers be "owners" of the software, or will they instead be "stewards" of a larger free and open community development process?""

Link to Original Source

Wi-Fi Router Attack Only Requires a Single PIN Guess

Anonymous Coward writes | 5 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "New research shows that wireless routers are still quite vulnerable to attack if they don't use a good implementation of Wi-Fi Protected Setup. Bad implementations do a poor job of randomizing the key used to authenticate hardware PINs. Because of this, the new attack only requires a single guess at the hardware PIN to collect data necessary to break it. After a few hours to process the data, an attacker can access the router's WPS functionality. Two major router manufacturers are affected: Broadcom, and a manufacturer to be named once they get around to fixing it. "Because many router manufacturers use the reference software implementation as the basis for their customized router software, the problems affected the final products, Bongard said. Broadcom's reference implementation had poor randomization, while the second vendor used a special seed, or nonce, of zero, essentially eliminating any randomness.""
Link to Original Source

Reformatting a Machine 125 Million Miles Away

Anonymous Coward writes | 5 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "NASA's Opportunity rover has been rolling around the surface of Mars for over 10 years. It's still performing scientific observations, but the mission team has been dealing with a problem: the rover keeps rebooting. It's happened a dozen times this month, and the process it a bit more involved than rebooting a typical computer, taking a day or two to get back into operation every time. To try and fix this, the Opportunity team is planning a tricky operation: reformatting the flash memory from 125 million miles away. "Preparations include downloading to Earth all useful data remaining in the flash memory and switching the rover to an operating mode that does not use flash memory. Also, the team is restructuring the rover's communication sessions to use a slower data rate, which may add resilience in case of a reset during these preparations." The team suspects some of the flash memory cells are simply wearing out. The reformat is scheduled for some time in September."
Link to Original Source

Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

1

An anonymous reader writes "The phone app ecosystem has matured nicely over the past several years. There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not. Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new apps are you aware of? This can be anything from incredibly slick, well-designed single purpose apps to powerful multi-function apps to entertainment-oriented apps."
Link to Original Source

States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Narcotic painkillers aren't one of the biggest killers in the U.S., but overdoses do claim over 15,000 live per year and send hundreds of thousands to the emergency room. Because of this, it's interesting that a new study (abstract) has found states that allow the use of medical marijuana have seen a dramatic reduction in opioid overdose fatalities. "Previous studies hint at why marijuana use might help reduce reliance on opioid painkillers. Many drugs with abuse potential such as nicotine and opiates, as well as marijuana, pump up the brain’s dopamine levels, which can induce feelings of euphoria. The biological reasons that people might use marijuana instead of opioids aren’t exactly clear, because marijuana doesn’t replace the pain relief of opiates. However, it does seem to distract from the pain by making it less bothersome." This research comes at a time when the country is furiously debating the costs and benefits of marijuana use, and opponents of the idea are paying researchers to paint it in an unfavorable light."
Link to Original Source

NASA's Competition For Dollars

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "We often decry the state of funding to NASA. Its limited scope has kept us from returning to the moon for over four decades, maintained only a minimal presence in low-Earth orbit, and failed to develop a capable asteroid defense system. But why is funding such a problem? Jason Callahan, who has worked on several of NASA's annual budgets, says it's not just NASA's small percentage of the federal budget that keeps those projects on the back burner, but also competition for funding between different parts of NASA as well. "[NASA's activities include] space science, including aeronautics research (the first A in NASA), technology development, education, center and agency management, construction, maintenance, and the entire human spaceflight program. The total space science budget has rarely exceeded $5 billion, and has averaged just over half that amount. Remember that space science is more than just planetary: astrophysics, heliophysics, and Earth science are all funded in this number. Despite this, space science accounts for an average of 17 percent of NASA’s total budget, though it has significant fluctuations. In the 1980s, space science was a mere 11 ½ percent of NASA’s budget, but in the 2000s, it made up 27 percent.""
Link to Original Source

Western water rights and the NSA

mdsolar (1045926) writes | 6 hours ago

0

mdsolar (1045926) writes "A perfect slashdot story, the NSA and Yucca Mountain rolled into one:

"Whenever I explain the OffNow Project to someone, they initially respond enthusiastically. Something to the effect of, “Wow! That’s cool! The federal government shouldn’t be spying on us!” But when I further explain that the idea behind OffNow includes shutting off state supplied resources to NSA facilities – like the water necessary to cool the super-computers at the Bluffdale, Utah spy facility – those same people get nervous. “Shutting off the water seems like an extreme move. Can we even do that?” they ask.

Yes, we can do that.

And it will work.

It’s been done before at a place called Yucca Mountain, Nevada....." The water rights case in Nevada is described here: http://www.law360.com/articles..."

Link to Original Source

Judge Allows L.A. Cops to Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

Anonymous Coward writes | 6 hours ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that the Los Angeles Police Department is not required to hand over a week's worth of license plate reader data to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He cited the potential of compromising criminal investigations and giving (un-charged) criminals the ability to determine whether or not they were being targeteted by law enforcement. The ACLU and the EFF sought the data under the California Public Records Act, but the judge envoked Section 6254(f), "which protects investigatory files". ACLU attorney Peter Bibring notes, "New surveillance techniques may function better if people don't know about them, but that kind of secrecy is inconsistent with democratic policing.""

Scientists found the origin of the Ebola outbreak

Taco Cowboy (5327) writes | 7 hours ago

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Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "One of the big mysteries in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is where the virus came from in the first place — and whether it's changed in any significant ways

In a new paper in Science, researchers reveal that they have sequenced the genomes of Ebola from 78 patients in Sierra Leone who contracted the disease in May and June. Those sequences revealed some 300 mutations specific to this outbreak

Among their findings, the researchers discovered that the current viral strains come from a related strain that left Central Africa within the past ten years. Using genetic sequences from current and previous outbreaks, the researchers mapped out a family tree that puts a common ancestor of the recent West African outbreak some place in Central Africa roughly around 2004. This contradicts an earlier hypothesis that the virus had been hanging around West Africa for much longer than that

Researchers are also planning to study the mutations to see if any of them are affecting Ebola's recent behavior. The number of mutations found is completely normal, and it isn't necessarily the case that they'll have a big effect. But it's possible that something intriguing could turn up. For example, this outbreak has had a higher transmission rate and lower death rate than others, and researchers are curious if any of these mutations are related to that

The scientific paper on Ebola is also a sad reminder of the toll that the virus has taken on those working on the front lines. Five of the authors died of Ebola before it was published

There is a graph of the "family tree" of the Ebola virus @ http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbo..."

Link to Original Source

Firefox 31 Garbage Collection

Anonymous Coward writes | 7 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 31 now has the Generational Garbage Collection and now the future of Garbage Collection in Firefox is about adding Compaction to this GGC (Generational Garbage Collection). After implementing Exact Rooting this is the most natural transition. As a Research Student I want to study the Generational Garbage Collection followed by Firefox 31. According to the Benchmark results (http://www.arewefastyet.com/) Firefox have seen some performance improvements but somewhere they seem to degrade as well. So I want to know what is the reason behind this.

I am curious to know what is the exact algorithm that is being followed for GGC in Firefox 31. Even a link where it is described with enough details will be a great help."

MIPS Tempts Hackers with Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes | 2 days ago

1

DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "In a bid to harness the energy and enthusiasm swirling around today’s open, hackable single board computers, Imagination Technologies, licensor of the MIPS ISA, has unveiled the Creator C120 development board, the ISA's counter to ARM's popular Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black SBCs. The MIPS dev board is based on a 1.2GHz dual-core MIPS32 system-on-chip and has 1GB RAM and 8GB flash, and there's also an SD card slot for expansion. Ports include video, audio, Ethernet, both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, and a bunch more. OS images are already available for Debian 7, Gentoo, Yocto, and Arch Linux, and Android v4.4 is expected to be available soon. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the board is that there's no pricing listed yet, because the company is starting out by giving the boards away free to developers who submit the most interesting projects."
Link to Original Source

Dell-Alienware Revamps Area-51 Gaming PC With Unique Trapezoid Chassis Design

MojoKid (1002251) writes | yesterday

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MojoKid (1002251) writes "Dell's enthusiast Alienware brand has always stood out for its unique, other-worldly looks (sometimes good, sometimes, not so good) and there's such a thing as taking things to the next level, this might be it. However, there's more to this refresh than just shock value. It's actually a futuristic aesthetic with a rather purposeful design behind it. Today Alienware gave a sneak peek at their completely redesigned Alienware Area 51 desktop system. This refreshed system is unlike any previous Alienware rig you've seen. With a trapezoidal shape to its chassis, Dell-Alienware says you can place the Area-51 against a wall and not have to worry about thermals getting out of the control. That's because there's a controlled gap and a sharp angle to the chassis that ensures only a small part of the system actually rests near the wall, leaving extra room for hot air to escape up and away. This design also offers users easy access to rear IO ports. Despite the unique design, there's plenty of room for high end components inside. The retooled chassis can swallow up to three 300W double-wide full-length graphics cards. It also brings to the table Intel's latest and greatest Haswell-E in six-core or eight-core options, liquid cooled and nestled into Intel's X99 chipset. No word from Dell on the price but the new Area-51 is slated to start shipping in October."
Link to Original Source

Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

Anonymous Coward writes | 10 hours ago

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An anonymous reader writes "For information, anyone who might have been interested in the minature Raspberry Pi compatible board mentioned here a month ago should know the board has been cancelled due to problems sourcing the Broadcom SoC. Given the less than welcoming response from the rpi community to the board's release, there is some speculation as to why Hardkernel is having trouble buying the chip."

Watch This Inventor Survive a Fireworks Blast in a Metal Suit

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes | yesterday

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Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Labor Day is nigh, and with it the official end of summer. It’s time to pack away the umbrellas and beach towels, and perhaps spend a few minutes flipping through photos of all the fun times you had over the past couple months: the grilling, the trips, the fireworks oh yes, the fireworks Chances are pretty good that you’ve set off more than a few fireworks in your time. But Colin Furze, the British inventor and YouTube celebrity who once co-hosted Sky1’s Gadget Geeks? Well, he puts everybody’s love of fireworks to shame. He loves fireworks so much, in fact, that he built a giant metal suit so he could stand in the middle of an epic pyrotechnic display. No matter how good your own engineering skills (or strong your courage), it's inadvisable to try this at home. But it's sure fun to watch."
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