Open Source

Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin Pioneer, Dies At 58

Slashdot - 3 hours 12 min ago
New submitter brokenin2 writes Hal Finney, the number two programmer for PGP and the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction, has passed away. From the article on Coindesk: "Shortly after collaborating with Nakamoto on early bitcoin code in 2009, Finney announced he was suffering from ALS. Increasing paralysis, which eventually became near-total, forced him to retire from work in early 2011."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Google Introduces HTML 5.1 Tag To Chrome

Slashdot - 5 hours 54 min ago
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Forget about HTML5, that's already passe — Google is already moving on to HTML5.1 support for the upcoming Chrome 38 release. Currently only a beta, one of the biggest things that web developers will notice is the use of the new "picture" tag which is a container for multiple image sizes/formats. Bottom line is it's a new way to think about the "IMG" tag that has existed since the first HTML spec."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Anti-Ebola Drug ZMapp Makes Clean Sweep: 18 of 18 Monkeys Survive Infection

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 9:35pm
Scientific American reports, based on a study published today in Nature, that ZMapp, the drug that has been used to treat seven patients during the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa, can completely protect monkeys against the virus, research has found. ... The drug — a cocktail of three purified immune proteins, or monoclonal antibodies, that target the Ebola virus — has been given to seven people: two US and three African health-care workers, a British nurse and a Spanish priest. The priest and a Liberian health-care worker who got the drug have since died. There is no way to tell whether ZMapp has been effective in the patients who survived, because they received the drug at different times during the course of their disease and received various levels of medical care. NPR also has an interview with study lead Gary Kobinger, who says that (very cautious) human trials are in the works, and emphasizes the difficulites of producing the drug in quantity.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 7:45pm
Foreign Policy has an in-depth look at the contents of a laptop reportedly seized this year in Syria from a stronghold of the organization now known as the Islamic State, and described as belonging to a Tunisian national ("Muhammed S."). The "hidden documents" folder of the machine, says the report, contained a vast number of documents, including ones describing and justifying biological weapons: The laptop's contents turn out to be a treasure trove of documents that provide ideological justifications for jihadi organizations -- and practical training on how to carry out the Islamic State's deadly campaigns. They include videos of Osama bin Laden, manuals on how to make bombs, instructions for stealing cars, and lessons on how to use disguises in order to avoid getting arrested while traveling from one jihadi hot spot to another. ... The information on the laptop makes clear that its owner is a Tunisian national named Muhammed S. who joined ISIS in Syria and who studied chemistry and physics at two universities in Tunisia's northeast. Even more disturbing is how he planned to use that education: The ISIS laptop contains a 19-page document in Arabic on how to develop biological weapons and how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals. ... "The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge," the document states.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 7:04pm
An anonymous reader writes: It's the year 2014, and I still have a floppy drive installed on my computer. I don't know why; I don't own any floppy disks, and I haven't used one in probably a decade. But every time I put together a PC, it feels incomplete if I don't have one. I also have a Laserdisc player collecting dust at the bottom of my entertainment center, and I still use IRC to talk to a few friends. Software, hardware, or otherwise, what technology have you had a hard time letting go? (I don't want to put a hard limit on age, so you folks using flip-phones or playing on Dreamcasts or still inexplicably coding in Perl 4, feel free to contribute.)

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Gadget Lab Podcast: Can I Use My iPhone’s NFC to Pay for My Uber?

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:31pm
This week, Mat and Mike talk about the latest leaks out of Cupertino, the ongoing fight between Uber and Lyft, and the hot gadget on everyone's holiday wish list, the Knee Defender.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Mathematical Predictions for the iPhone 6

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:16pm
Ok, this isn’t really math. Let’s instead call this a plain old model (you could argue it’s math if you like). Suppose I look at the historical progression of features on the previous iPhones. Could I use this to make a prediction about future iPhone models? In particular, what can I say about the rumored […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Study: Social Networks Have Negative Effect On Individual Welfare

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 6:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: A study of 50,000 people in Italy has found the impact of social networking on individual welfare to be "significantly negative." The researchers found that improvements in self-reported well-being occurred when online networking led to face-to-face interactions, but this effect was overwhelmed by the perceived losses in well-being (PDF) generated by interaction strictly through social networks. The researchers "highlight the role of discrimination and hate speech on social media which they say play a significant role in trust and well-being. Better moderation could significantly improve the well-being of the people who use social networks, they conclude."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Particle Physics To Aid Nuclear Cleanup

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 5:25pm
mdsolar sends this report from Symmetry Magazine: Cosmic rays can help scientists do something no one else can: safely image the interior of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. ... [M]uon tomography is similar to taking an X-ray, only it uses naturally produced muons. These particles don't damage the imaged materials and, because they already stream through everything on Earth, they can be used to image even the most sensitive objects. Better yet, a huge amount of shielding is needed to stop muons from passing through an object, making it nearly impossible to hide from muon tomography. ... By determining how muons scatter as they interact with electrons and nuclei within the item, the team's software creates a three-dimensional picture of what's inside. ... To prove the technology, the Los Alamos team shipped a demo detector system to a small, working nuclear reactor in a Toshiba facility in Kawasaki, Japan. There, they placed one detector on either side of the reactor core. "When we analyzed our data we discovered that in addition to the fuel in the reactor core, they had put a few fuel bundles off to the side that we didn't know about," says Morris. "They were really impressed that not only could we image the core, but that we also found those bundles."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Mozilla To Support Public Key Pinning In Firefox 32

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 4:45pm
Trailrunner7 writes: Mozilla is planning to add support for public-key pinning in its Firefox browser in an upcoming version. In version 32, which would be the next stable version of the browser, Firefox will have key pins for a long list of sites, including many of Mozilla's own sites, all of the sites pinned in Google Chrome and several Twitter sites. Public-key pinning has emerged as an important defense against a variety of attacks, especially man-in-the-middle attacks and the issuance of fraudulent certificates. The function essentially ties a public key, or set of keys, issued by known-good certificate authorities to a given domain. So if a user's browser encounters a site that's presenting a certificate that isn't included in the set of pinned public keys for that domain, it will then reject the connection. The idea is to prevent attackers from using fake certificates in order to intercept secure traffic between a user and the target site.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Game|Life Podcast: Nintendo Announcements, Nintendo Leaks

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 4:13pm
Did Nintendo announce that, or was it a leak? Rumors become facts on this week's Game|Life podcast.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 4:02pm
Jason Koebler writes: Peter Richie spent eight months planning and building a megacity in vanilla SimCity 4, and the end result is mind-boggling: 107.7 million people living in one massive, sprawling region (video). "Traffic is a nightmare, both above ground and under," Richie said. "The massive amount of subway lines and subway stations are still congested during all times of the day in all neighborhoods of each and every mega-city in the region. The roadways are clogged at all times, but people still persist in trying to use them."

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Eat-Commerce: How Technology and E-Commerce Are Redefining How We Eat

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:57pm
There’s little question that we live in an era that values time with an on-demand solution for nearly every need. While the desire for ultimate convenience isn’t entirely new in the food industry, it is just now becoming more seamless through the proliferation of digital consumer technology. In the US, we often associate food delivery […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Flying a Blimp Is Way Trickier Than You’d Expect

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:57pm
Despite their slow speeds, blimps are notoriously difficult to fly.






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Robot Printer Brings Documents To Your Desk

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:21pm
mrspoonsi sends this news from the BBC: Fuji Xerox has developed a new robotic printer that can move around a lounge or office to bring documents to the person who printed them. The printer is designed to be used primarily in public places as a way to keep sensitive documents secure. Sensors on the machine prevent it from bumping into people on the way. However, some analysts argued that the idea was not cost effective when compared with other secure printing methods. Fuji Xerox — a joint venture between the two firms — has been testing the printer this month at a business lounge in Tokyo. Each desk in the lounge is given a unique web address from which to print. Users access the address and upload documents to be printed. Once the printer receives the job, it moves to the intended recipient who then has to display a smart card to activate printing.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

This Elderly Man Was Born With His Brain Hemispheres Disconnected. Did It Affect His Life? Hardly

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 3:11pm
One of the most distinctive physical features of the human brain is the fact that the cortex is divided into two hemispheres. The main connection between the two halves is a thick bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum. This is no quiet lane, it’s a major freeway constituting around 200 million neural tracts. In […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:35pm
crookedvulture writes: Intel has updated its high-end desktop platform with a new CPU-and-chipset combo. The Haswell-E processor has up to eight cores, 20MB of cache, and 40 lanes of PCI Express 3.0. It also sports a quad-channel memory controller primed for next-gen DDR4 modules. The companion X99 chipset adds a boatload of I/O, including 10 SATA ports, native USB 3.0 support, and provisions for M.2 and SATA Express storage devices. Thanks to the extra CPU cores, performance is much improved in multithreaded applications. Legacy comparisons, which include dozens of CPUs dating back to 2011, provide some interesting context for just how fast the new Core i7-5960X really is. Intel had to dial back the chip's clock speeds to accommodate the extra cores, though, and that concession can translate to slower gaming performance than Haswell CPUs with fewer, faster cores. Haswell-E looks like a clear win for applications that can exploit its prodigious CPU horsepower and I/O bandwidth, but it's clearly not the best CPU for everything. Reviews also available from Hot Hardware, PC Perspective, AnandTech, Tom's Hardware, and HardOCP.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

The War for Our Digital Future: Virtual Reality vs. Integral Reality

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:25pm
Like most people I spend much of the day digitally connected, gazing at screens that make my life and work more interesting and productive. Yet for all the positives that connectivity provides us there’s also a downside lurking in those glowing pixels. They’re just not real. So as we extend our Internet time, we risk […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology

IEEE Guides Software Architects Toward Secure Design

Slashdot - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 1:47pm
msm1267 writes: The IEEE's Center for Secure Design debuted its first report this week, a guidance for software architects called "Avoiding the Top 10 Software Security Design Flaws." Developing guidance for architects rather than developers was a conscious effort the group made in order to steer the conversation around software security away from exclusively talking about finding bugs toward design-level failures that lead to exploitable security vulnerabilities. The document spells out the 10 common design flaws in a straightforward manner, each with a lengthy explainer of inherent weaknesses in each area and how software designers and architects should take these potential pitfalls into consideration.

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Categories: Open Source, Technology

Switchboard Is Like Craigslist Without the Creeps and Flakes

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 1:39pm
Most startups want to grow as fast as they can. For many in the tech game, including as Paul Graham, the founder Y Combinator, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startup incubators, rapid growth is the very definition of a startup. So called “growth hackers” obsess over A/B testing and analytics, trying to maximize app downloads […]






Categories: Open Source, Technology