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Submission + - Malaysian Police: VX nerve gas killed N Korea leader's brother in airport attack (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Malaysian police have announced their finding that Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jon Un, was killed by assassins using VX nerve gas in an attack in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysian authorities plan to decontaminate the airport and other sites visited by the attackers. Police are holding the two female attackers, one of whom was affected by the chemical agent, as well as two other men. They are seeking seven more North Koreans connected to the case. VX is the most toxic of the nerve gasses and the UN has declared it a weapon of mass destruction. The manufacture and stockpiling of more than 100 grams of VX per year is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. It has no commercial uses. The Malaysian police are trying to discover if it was smuggled into their country, or manufactured there. The Malaysian government has recalled its ambassador to North Korea for consultation. North Korea is blaming the death of Kim Jong Nam on Malaysia. North Korea is believed to have major stockpiles of chemical weapons, and is alleged to conduct experiments on prisoners and social undesirables.

Submission + - Autism Risk Linked to Herpes Infection During Pregnancy (neurosciencenews.com)

baalcat writes: Women with signs of active genital herpes had twice the odds of giving birth to offspring with autism spectrum disorder.

Women actively infected with genital herpes during early pregnancy had twice the odds of giving birth to a child later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The study is the first to provide immunological evidence on the role of gestational infection in autism, reporting an association between maternal anti-herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) antibodies and risk for ASD in offspring. Results appear in mSphere, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Submission + - Cellebrite can now unlock iPhone 6 and 6+ (cyberscoop.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: A year after the battle between the FBI and Apple over unlocking an iPhone 5s, smartphone cracking company Cellebrite announced it can now unlock the iPhone 6 and 6+ for customers at rates ranging from $1,500 to $250,000. The company's newest products also extract and analyze data from a wide range of popular apps including all of the most popular secure messengers around.

Submission + - A.T.F. Filled Secret Bank Account With Millions From Shadowy Cigarette Sales (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: “Working from an office suite behind a Burger King in southern Virginia, operatives used a web of shadowy cigarette sales to funnel tens of millions of dollars into a secret bank account. They weren’t known smugglers, but rather agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The operation, not authorized under Justice Department rules, gave agents an off-the-books way to finance undercover investigations and pay informants without the usual cumbersome paperwork and close oversight, according to court records and people close to the operation.”

Laws and rules are for the little people.

Submission + - Google: 99.95% of Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus (torrentfreak.com)

AmiMoJo writes: In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes. “For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place.”

Submission + - Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality (dailycaller.com)

schwit1 writes: “So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Submission + - Norwegian cyber command warns against supply chain security risks in F35 project (safecontrols.blog)

hrdo writes: The commander of the Norwegian CYFOR (a branch of the military) held a speach Monday night in Oslo where he warned that large military projects like the F35 fighter jet project can be threatened by attacks on the supply chain. The warnings follow several media stories about security breaches due to outsourcing and lack of controls. In one case an Indian IT company was contracted to operate the emergency communications network for Norwegian police, ambulances and fire departments — without security clearances or background checks.

The general should keep preaching security to his peers, not only within his own organization and on the battle field, but also in the procurement trenches. The initianl penetration of advanced persistent threats targeting high-security organizations is tyically coming via a less secure supply chain partner. Still, coordinated security management in large projects remains a fantacy in most cases.

Submission + - Apple doesn't like Philip K. Dick's novels

lesincompetent writes: We all heard our fair share of kafkian AppStore rejection stories but this might be a new low for Apple.
This developer had his app rejected just because it dared mention Philip K. Dick's famous sci-fi novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?".
The problem of course is that apparently barely mentioning the word "android" is enough to infringe on rule #2.3.10 of the App Store Review Guidelines which mandates don’t include names, icons, or imagery of other mobile platforms.

Comment Re:Chicken breeds preserved for posterity (Score 3, Informative) 33

That's part of it. The chicken you get from a store is almost certainly a Cornish Cross, which reaches market weight in something like 5 weeks for a fryer and 8 weeks for a broiler. Heritage breeds (read: "real" chickens) take 20-22 weeks to reach maturity. The meat is very, very different -- dark meat is *dark*, far more flavorful, and requires more time / different methods to cook since the muscles have actually been used. CC's mostly do two things: eat and shit. They really don't move around a whole lot.

Anyway, CC's don't really forage a whole lot anyway, so even if they're raised in a manner that they can eat grass, bugs, etc. they usually don't -- they plop down in front of a feeder and just gorge. They're *amazing* birds, but their quality of life is horrible. It's impossible to beat them on feed conversion ratio, though, which is why that's pretty much all you see. There are some other breeds making their way into the market that take 3-4 more weeks to reach maturity but they're still very, very much in the minority.

Submission + - Techdirt asks judge to throw out suit over "Inventor of E-mail" (arstechnica.com)

walterbyrd writes: Michael Masnick, who founded the popular Techdirt blog, filed a motion today asking for a defamation lawsuit against him to be thrown out. Masnick was sued last month by Shiva Ayyadurai, a scientist and entrepreneur who claims to have invented e-mail in 1978 at a medical college in New Jersey.

In his motion, Masnick claims that Ayyadurai "is seeking to use the muzzle of a defamation action to silence those who question his claim to historical fame."

Submission + - India to launch 104 satellites in record mission (phys.org)

schwit1 writes: India hopes to make history by launching a record 104 satellites from a single rocket Wednesday as its famously frugal space agency looks to zoom ahead in the commercial space race.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle would be carrying a 714 kilogram main satellite for earth observation and 103 smaller "nano satellites" which would weigh a combined 664 kilograms.

Nearly all of the nano satellites are from other countries, including Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and 96 from United States, said the state-run ISRO.

If successful, India will set a world record as the first country to launch the most satellites in one go, surpassing Russia which launched 39 satellites in a single mission in June 2014.

Submission + - GoDaddy CEO: Americans Won't Be Smart Enough to Fill Tech Jobs for Decades

theodp writes: A day after his company joined the likes of Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Facebook in the Technology Companies amicus motion and brief against Trump's Executive Order on immigration, GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving advises Americans in FORTUNE that If You’re Against Outsourcing, You Should Support U.S. Visas For Skilled Foreigners. "With so much technical illiteracy in the US," Irving writes, "the H-1B visa program has become America’s secret weapon warding off economic catastrophe. Though STEM education is the clear long-term solution, the US is not going to see a vastly greater pipeline of domestic technical talent coming from our universities anytime soon. It will take us years, if not decades, to educate a new wave of students from elementary thru their advanced degrees. Until that next generation enters the elite technical workforce in mass, the most technical jobs (all 545,000 of them) will simply sit open if H-1B visas shrink or disappear." If Irving's piece gives you a sense of deja vu, Microsoft President Brad Smith similarly argued in 2012 that "an effective national talent strategy therefore needs to combine long-term improvements in STEM education in the United States with targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms." To bring this about, Smith suggested producing a crisis (video) would be key: "Sometimes when a small problem proves intractable, you have to make it bigger," Smith explained. "You have to make the problem big enough so that the solution is exciting enough to galvanize people’s attention and generate the will to overcome the hurdles that have been holding us back. I believe that if we can combine what we’re doing with respect to education with what we need to do with respect to immigration we have that opportunity ahead of us." So, is Big Tech now trying to make lemonade out of Trump's immigration lemons?

Submission + - US Navy formally decomissions USS Enterprise

mmell writes: The US Navy today formally decommissioned the USS Enterprise CVN-65 , the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The military vessel which saw action in Korea, Southeast Asia and the Middle East (among other assignments) was the only aircraft carrier of her class and was removed from service in 2012. Removal of her fuel and all radioactive components has been completed and the ship will now be taken apart and used as a source of metal for recycling. In her day, she represented the cutting edge of naval and military design boasting eight nuclear reactors and the most advanced weapons and electronic systems available (which doubtlessly led to the high construction cost associated with her). The high initial cost, combined with the fact that the advanced technology didn't quite fully live up to expectations led to her being the only ship of her class. Nonetheless, Enterprise and her crew provided distinguished service throughout her lifespan and of course lent her name to an even more famous starship. Even those who were fans of neither the military or science fiction have heard of her, and I wonder if the Enterprise — B will be far behind?

Submission + - Its time to have a talk about Slashdot technology 3

hackwrench writes: On top of not fixing the problems that Slashdot has. the new owners have added an annoying ad that persistently blocks actual usage on every load.
Slashdot also frequently launches users some distance into comments for no explicable reason.
It doesn't do Unicode.
The new interface is horrendous. Fortunately it can be switched off.
Features that used to be free are now subscription-only items.
Let's all hash it out. Not just technological issues but editorial grievances as well. And how many of us are on a moderation ban list for some long forgotten stupid reason?

Submission + - Paypal disguises 13% price hike as 'Policy Update'. (paypal.com) 2

turbotalon writes: In an email sent to users February 7th, Paypal is disguising a 13% rate hike as a 'Policy Update.' Roughly one quarter of the 'policy changes' are rate hikes, yet their emailed summary glosses over the rate hike, focussing instead on a few of the 'policy changes' with one sentence at the end about 'changing some of the fees we charge'.

Additionally, they have added a "non-discouragement clause" for sellers that provides:

"In representations to your customers or in public communications, you agree not to mischaracterize PayPal as a payment method. At all of your points of sale (in whatever form), you agree not to try to dissuade or inhibit your customers from using PayPal; and, if you enable your customers to pay you with PayPal, you agree to treat PayPal’s payment mark at least at par with other payment methods offered."

Reading the full text of the update reveals the following fees are increasing:
  Standard transaction fee
  International currency exchange fees
  In-store transaction fees
  Micro-payment fees
  Cross-border transaction fees

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