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.
We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!
schwit1 (797399) writes "Air-gap networks were once considered the "magic bullet" for securing data, but researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel have found a way to compromise those machines. Once a computer is infected with a particular kind of virus, hackers can trick the PC into relaying information that can be wirelessly retrieved from a mobile phone located outside of the room." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "A private consortium of scientists and entrepreneurs is planning to fund its unmanned lunar lander with a Kickstarter campaign followed by private sales..
The mission is raising initial development funding through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform. Following the initial public phase the remaining funding requirements will be met through sales of ‘digital memory boxes’ in which donors can have their biographies recorded and taken to the Moon. These will also include a strand of hair so that their DNA can exist in space. The team has claimed that around one per cent of the global population who can afford a memory box will buy one. Also included in the time capsule will be record of life on Earth. The archive will include a record of human history and civilisation to date alongside a species database showing the biodiversity of animals and plants.
This is essentially a UK project, backed by the government but with little funding. They hope to launch in 2024, with two missions planned, the first to drill into the lunar soil and the second to bring back samples."
schwit1 (797399) writes "Senate leaders failed to get the 60 votes needed to advance The USA Freedom Act — which would have limited the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records — and as Bloomberg reports, it's unlikely a new version can be drafted for another vote before the congressional term expires this year. The 58-42 vote to move the measure forward came mostly along party lines as Senator Saxby Chambliss — the top Republican on the intelligence committee — rambling that the bill "eliminates tools critical to the intelligence community’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks, and its adoption would greatly degrade our ability to fight domestic terrorism in particular." In other words — it's for own good, now shut up!" Link to Original Source top
Battlestar Galactica creator, Glen A. Larson, Dead at 77
schwit1 (797399) writes "Glen A. Larson, the wildly successful television writer-producer whose enviable track record includes 'Six Million Dollar Man', Quincy M.E., Magnum, P.I., Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and The Fall Guy, has died. He was 77." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "There's no easy way to say this: You're eating too much chocolate, all of you. And it's getting so out of hand that the world could be headed towards a potentially disastrous (if you love chocolate) scenario if it doesn't stop.
Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "What do the White House and the Magic Kingdom have in common? Each is protected by a federally imposed no-fly zone.
That's because for the past decade, Disney World and Disneyland have benefited from a deal slipped into a 300-page spending bill that designates airspace above both parks as no-fly zones. That means anyone caught trying to chopper into Cinderella’s castle could risk federal prosecution and jail time.
The no-fly zones were put in place ostensibly for security reasons following 9/11 but have stayed in place in what some say is a cleverly crafted plan by Disney to keep pesky aerial advertisers out of its pristine airspace." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "The next time you're in the City of Lights and are about to snap nighttime pictures of the Eiffel Tower don't: you could be fined.
An obscure clause in EU law states that the tower's evening light display is an "art work" — and therefore is copyrighted.According to the Daily Mail, under the EU's 2001 information society directive, tourists could be fined for taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, or online.
Built in 1889, the structure is the most-visited paid monument in the world that attracts almost seven million of tourists to Paris each year. Tourist flock to see the glittering lightshow, which made its first appearance in 1985. Originally the work of Pierre Bideau, an electrician and lighting engineer, the golden lights that flank the sides of the tower sparkle for five minutes every hour from dusk til dawn.
The tower is classified as public domain, so when the lights are off, picture taking and sharing is permitted." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "Nineteen automakers accounting for most of the passenger cars and trucks sold in the U.S. have signed onto a set of principles they say will protect motorists' privacy in an era when computerized cars pass along more information about their drivers than many motorists realize.
The principles were delivered in a letter Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission, which has the authority to force corporations to live up to their promises to consumers. Industry officials say they want to assure their customers that the information that their cars stream back to automakers or that is downloaded from the vehicle's computers won't be handed over to authorities without a court order, sold to insurance companies or used to bombard them with ads for pizza parlors, gas stations or other businesses they drive past, without their permission.
The principles also commit automakers to "implement reasonable measures" to protect personal information from unauthorized access.
It's a meaningless gesture without being codified into law. A greedy car manufacturer or NSL trumps any 'set of principles'." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "The government is getting near-daily reports — and sometimes two or three a day — of drones flying near airplanes and helicopters or close to airports without permission, federal and industry officials tell The Associated Press. It's a sharp increase from just two years ago when such reports were still unusual.
Many of the reports are filed with the Federal Aviation Administration by airline pilots. But other pilots, airport officials and local authorities often file reports as well, said the officials, who agreed to discuss the matter only on the condition that they not be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Michael Toscano, president of a drone industry trade group, said FAA officials also have verified the increase to him.
While many of the reports are unconfirmed, raising the possibility that pilots may have mistaken a bird or another plane in the distance for a drone, the officials said other reports appear to be credible." Link to Original Source top
Learning breakthrough - Returning the human brain to a child-like state
schwit1 (797399) writes "It sounds like something out of a film, but scientists may have discovered a way to make you smarter – by reverting the brain to a “plastic” child-like state.
Researchers at Stanford University experimented by interfering with PirB, a protein expressed in animal brain cells that allows skills to be recalled but which also hampers the ability to learn new skills, and realised they could disrupt the receptor’s regular function, allowing the brain to make faster connections." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "Moves by some U.S. states to legalize marijuana are not in line with international drugs conventions, the U.N. anti-narcotics chief said on Wednesday, adding he would discuss the issue in Washington next week.
Residents of Oregon, Alaska, and the U.S. capital voted this month to allow the use of marijuana, boosting the legalization movement as cannabis usage is increasingly recognized by the American mainstream.
"I don't see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions," Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told reporters." Link to Original Source top
Industry bodies that represent banks are urging lawmakers to introduce legislation during the new session of Congress next year that would make retailers pay for cleanup costs themselves.
Banks have complained – particularly in the string of breaches that have started with Target and most recently capped off with Target’s successor as the “biggest breach in history” Home Depot – that their institutions are picking up tab for breaches caused by lapses in merchant security protocols." Link to Original Source top
Federal workers, contractors reportedly behind half of government cyber breaches
schwit1 (797399) writes "Federal employees and contractors are unwittingly undermining a $10 billion-per-year effort to protect sensitive government data from cyberattacks, according to a published report.
The AP says that workers in more than a dozen agencies, from the Defense and Education departments to the National Weather Service, are responsible for at least half of the federal cyberincidents reported each year since 2010, according to an analysis of records." Link to Original Source top
Police officer suspended for slapping citizen for refusing a warrantless search
schwit1 (797399) writes "This story demonstrates why it is becoming essential for every citizen to begin recording their interactions with the police every single time.
Yesterday police were contacted in regard to a video posted online which appeared to show an inappropriate interaction between an on-duty member of the Sheriff’s Office and a civilian, resulting from a suspicious vehicle complaint in the Town of Halfmoon.
The Sheriff’s Office has identified and interviewed all parties involved in the interaction and as a result, the police officer has been suspended without pay effective immediately, pending the outcome of the investigation and possible disciplinary action.
Make sure you watch the video. It is very clear that the officer did not know he was being recorded. It is also clear to me that his behavior in this situation was not unusual, that this police officer is quite used to using violence to get his way, regardless of the law. Had the recording not existed, however, he would not have been suspended, and would not be likely to lose his job.
The recording did exist, however, which has forced the Saratoga police force to take action."
schwit1 (797399) writes "U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the bureau's Next Generation Identification program represents a "significant public interest" due to concerns regarding its potential impact on privacy rights and should be subject to rigorous transparency oversight." Link to Original Source top
Rap Sheets, Watchlists and Spy Networks Now Available With Single Click
schwit1 (797399) writes "Law enforcement officials nationwide now have the ability to search multiple sensitive databases, including spy agency intranets and homeland security suspicious activity reporting – with a single login.
The databases now accessible include the Homeland Security Information Network, a key exchange between state-run intelligence fusion centers and the federal government, as well as the Justice Department's Regional Information Sharing Systems, which tracks local crime and gang activity.
Also available are the intelligence community's internal networks, collectively described as "Intelink," and the FBI's Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal, the gateway to background check data, facial recognition tools and other criminal records. The four networks are each labeled sensitive but unclassified.
schwit1 (797399) writes "If you feel a disturbance in the Force, it’s millions of voices suddenly crying out the new title of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. The reveal comes as the movie finishes its final day of shooting (with many more months of post-production to come.)
Although there were still a few days left of shooting, the cast of the J.J. Abrams film already celebrated their wrap party last weekend, following a bumpy few months of principal photography thrown into crisis when Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, broke his leg on set in an accident involving a falling door on the Millennium Falcon." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "News reports suggest that — following last week’s SpaceShipTwo crash — more than thirty of the seven hundred people who placed deposits with Virgin Galactic to fly on SpaceshipTwo have pulled out, demanding their money back.
In response to the claim that more than 30 customers are considering their position in the aftermath of the crash, a spokesperson for Virgin Galactic admitted a number of people have asked for their money back. “We can confirm that less than three per cent of people have requested refunds,” the spokesman said.
This is not a surprise, nor should it be. A company can only survive a crisis like this by responding honestly, quickly, and directly. If Virgin Galactic does this, finding the cause of the crash and fixing it, they will likely hold onto most of their customers. If they don’t, those remaining customers will leave. This week’s cancellations are the first immediate response to the crash. The future of the company, however, will be determined by what happens in the next six months."
schwit1 (797399) writes "Under section 280E of the tax code the federal government stands to make more money from the sale of marijuana than those legally selling it. And that could be enough to shut down many shops.
In 1982, Congress amended the U.S. tax code, which says businesses selling a Schedule I or II drug — like marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine — cannot deduct all of their regular business expenses. The rule means that the "costs of the product," like the soil and fertilizer used to grow plants, are deductible. But the "costs of selling," like advertising, rent and utilities — even salaries for employees — are not deductible." Link to Original Source top
schwit1 (797399) writes "While east Ukraine, aka the Donetsk Republic, was voting over the weekend in what the west pre-emptively classified as another sham vote as its outcome would merely push east Ukraine even closer to the Kremlin, Russia was busy conducting its most comprehensive Nuclear preparedness drill in recent history, one involving the entire "nuclear triad" consisting of strategic bombers; submarines and an the ICBM shown below on Saturday morning.
As reported by the Barents Observer, the silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast. A few minutes later, the dummy nuclear warhead hits its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far eastern corner, the Ministry of Defense reports. The Ministry adds that the Topol-M missile has an “extremely high accuracy of target destruction.”
This took place after a close encounter on Friday, when Norwegian F-16s were scrambled from Bodø airbase for the second time this week as a group of four Tu-95 strategic bombers were approaching from the northeast, Norway’s TV2 reports. The bombers, flying out over the Barents Sea from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, were accompanied by four Il-78 tankers.