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Fastest 4.5 Watt Core M 5Y71 In Asus T300 Chi Competitive With Full Core i5 CPUs

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 11:33pm
MojoKid writes: Asus unveiled its latest addition to the Transformer series at CES in January, the Transformer Book Chi, which just recently began shipping. Available in three sizes, the new Transformer Book Chi Series features a 2-in-1 detachable design. The flagship Transformer Book T300 Chi offers a 12.5-inch screen, an Intel Core M processor, and a fanless cooling solution. The 2-in-1 detachable design employs a magnetic hinge that supports four usage modes: Attached, Detached, Flipped, and Tented. The T300 Chi measures about 0.65 inches when docked, making it slightly thinner than an Apple Macbook Air. Asus claims the T300 Chi is the world's thinnest Windows tablet, measuring just 0.28 inches thick. More interestingly, perhaps, is that Asus built this machine with Intel's fastest Core M chip, the Core M 5Y71. In the benchmarks, it competes well even with full-sized ultrabooks, though battery life does take a hit due to the system's mechanical limitations and smaller 31Whr battery. At prices from $400 to $900, this might be an interesting choice for anyone considering the new Surface 3, too.

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Dropbox Moves Accounts Outside North America To Ireland

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 10:51pm
monkeyzoo writes: Similar to a previous announcement by Twitter, Dropbox has changed its Terms of Service for users outside of North America (USA/Canada/Mexico) such that services will now be provided out of Ireland. Will other companies follow this trend and leave the USA (and the jurisdiction of the NSA)? Note, the announcement states that North American users are not able to opt into the Irish Terms of Service.

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Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 10:10pm
dcblogs writes: A survey of IT professionals that has been conducted in each of the last four years is showing an increase in IT work stress levels. It's a small survey, just over 200 IT workers, and it doesn't account for the age of the respondents. But some are asking whether Millennials, those ages 18 to 34, are pushing up stress levels either as IT workers or end users. The reason Millennials may be less able to handle stress is that they interact with others in person far less than other generations do, since most of their social interactions have been through Internet-based, arms-length contact, said Billie Blair, who holds a doctorate in organizational psychology. This generation has also been protected from many real-life situations by their parents, "so the workplace tends to be more stressful for them than for others," she said. Others are wondering if Millennials are more demanding of IT workers. Millennials are also expert users, and "are no longer in awe of technology specialists and therefore demand higher service levels," said Mitch Ellis, managing director of executive search firm Sanford Rose Associates in St. Louis.

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Ebola Lurked In Cured Patient's Eye

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 9:29pm
An anonymous reader writes: During the Ebola outbreak last year, Dr. Ian Crozier was infected. He was eventually airlifted to Emory University for treatment, and a couple months later he was cured of the disease — or so physicians thought. Not long after he was released, his left eye began bothering him. His sight faded, and he felt intense pressure and pain in his eye. Examination of the eye found it teeming with Ebola. His doctors were surprised. Cured patients frequently deal with health issues long after the virus is gone, but this adds a new dimension to the course of the disease. Doctors say Crozier posed no threat to others through casual contact; the virus did not exist in his tears or on the surface of his eye. But in addition to the new symptoms, his eye turned from blue to green. And doctors had to rush to disinfect the exam area used for what they thought was an Ebola-free patient. Research is ongoing to determine whether and how to protect from this lingering ebola infection. One theory suggests the virus survived, but was damaged somehow. Crozier was treated with antiviral drugs, and his eye improved, but doctors aren't sure whether the drug actually helped. Either way, it's made the medical community realize this is a longer battle than they had thought.

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Going Beyond the 'Stock' Arduino with Justin Mclean (Video)

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 8:46pm
Justin McLean is probably best-known for his work with Apache Flex. He also started playing with open source hardware before Arduino, and now works with systems like Fritzing, an open source hardware intiative that can take you all the way from initial concept to production-ready PCBs you can have made by a production house -- or make yourself if that's the way you roll. This can be an educational activity, a way to make prototype boards for potential Internet of Things products or even just a fun way to occupy yourself by making LEDs light up.

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Poor, Homegrown Encryption Threatens Open Smart Grid Protocol

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 8:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: Millions of smart meters, solar panels, and other grid-based devices rely on the Open smart grid protocol for communication and control — it's similar to SCADA's role for industrial systems. But new research shows that its creators made the common mistake of rolling their own encryption, and doing a poor job of it. The researchers believe this threatens the entire system. They say, "This function has been found to be extremely weak, and cannot be assumed to provide any authenticity guarantee whatsoever." Security analyst Adam Crain added, "Protocol designers should stick to known good algorithms or even the 'NIST-approved' short list. In this instance, the researchers analyzed the OMA digest function and found weaknesses in it. The weaknesses in it can be used to determine the private key in a very small number of trials."

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Subsurface Ocean Waves Can Be More Than 500 Meters High

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 7:17pm
An anonymous reader writes: New field studies out of MIT found that "internal waves" — massive waves below the surface of the ocean — can reach enormous sizes. The most powerful internal waves known to science are in the South China Sea, and they can be over 500 meters high. These waves mix disparate layers of ocean water, and contribute to evening temperatures between various bodies of water (abstract). The waves grow larger as they propagate, and carry on all year. These waves have enough mass to affect the earth-moon system: "To cut a long story short, it's not unreasonable to say internal waves play a role in the moon moving away or receding from the Earth. They are big enough that they affect large-scale celestial motions."

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28-Year-Old Businessman Accused of Stealing $1 Billion From Moldova

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 6:35pm
An anonymous reader writes: You could be excused for not knowing much about Moldova — the small, Eastern European country has a population of around 3 million and occupies about 13,000 square miles of territory. Its GDP is just over $6 billion — which makes accusations that 28-year-old Ilan Shor stole close to a billion dollars from the country's banks quite interesting. A recent report (PDF) says Shor led a group that bought controlling stakes in three Moldovan banks and then passed transactions between them to increase their liquidity. The banks then issued massive loans to companies owned or related to Shor. $767 million disappeared from the banks, and the country's central bank thinks that total will rise to $1 billion. It was forced to bail out the banks to keep the economy from crashing. Widespread corruption led to many records of Shor's actions being "lost" or outright deleted. He's now charged and placed under house arrest while the investigation continues.

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Proof-of-Concept Linux Rootkit Leverages GPUs For Stealth

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 5:52pm
itwbennett writes: A team of developers has created a rootkit for Linux systems that uses the processing power and memory of graphics cards instead of CPUs in order to remain hidden. The rootkit, called Jellyfish, is a proof of concept designed to demonstrate that completely running malware on GPUs is a viable option. Such threats could be more sinister than traditional malware programs, according to the Jellyfish developers, in part because there are no tools to analyze GPU malware, they said.

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Technology and Ever-Falling Attention Spans

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 5:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has an article about technology's effect on concentration in the workplace. They note research finding that the average information worker's attention span has dropped significantly in only a few years. "Back in 2004 we followed American information workers around with stopwatches and timed every action. They switched their attention every three minutes on average. In 2012, we found that the time spent on one computer screen before switching to another computer screen was one minute 15 seconds. By the summer of 2014 it was an average of 59.5 seconds." Many groups are now researching ways to keep people in states of focus and concentration. An app ecosystem is popping up to support that as well, from activity timing techniques to background noise that minimizes distractions. Recent studies are even showing that walking slowly on a treadmill while you work can have positive effects on focus and productivity. What tricks do you use to keep yourself on task?

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A Visual Walk Through Amazon's Impact On One Seattle Neighborhood

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 4:27pm
reifman writes: If you live in Seattle, it's easy to see Amazon.com's impact on downtown construction and growth but not everyone sees what's happening in neighborhoods like formerly sleepy Ballard. One by one, traditional Seattle homes are being razed and replaced by 3 1/2 story behemoths without regard for aesthetics of any kind. The new townhomes offer 12 foot wide living spaces for Amazon's brogrammer class. Take a walk with me down my friend's street to see what it's like to live amongst the returns of e-commerce success. Ballard is also home of the late octogenarian Edith Macefield, who refused to sell her house to developers as construction went up around her.

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NASA Images Massive Solar Flare

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 3:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, has sent back pictures of a massive, X-class solar flare. The X-class flares are the strongest, and this one received an X2.7 rating. It wasn't pointed at us, and there was no notable harm done, but there was a brief radio blackout (and a burst of static) over the Pacific Ocean and western North America. This flare follows news of a presentation (PDF) from the Space Weather Workshop that there is evidence for a phenomenon known as a "superflare", which can be up to a thousand times stronger than the flares we routinely see. Such behavior is seen in other stars, and may be expected from the Sun once every 10,000 years, on average.

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Cybersecurity Company Extorted Its Clients, Says Whistleblower

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 3:02pm
An anonymous reader writes: Richard Wallace used to be an investigator for Tiversa, a cybersecurity company that sells services like "breach protection" and "incident response." These days, Wallace is testifying in federal court that Tiversa faked breaches to encourage sales, and extorted clients that weren't interested. For example, Wallace said Tiversa targeted a cancer testing center called LabMD in 2010, tapping into their computers and downloading medical records. Tiversa then used those records as evidence to convince LabMD they had been hacked, offering its "incident response" service at the same time. LabMD didn't fall for it, so Tiversa told the FTC about the "hack." The FTC, none-the-wiser, went after LabMD in court, eventually destroying the business. Wallace has also cast suspicion on reports Tiversa has issued, including one saying President Obama's helicopter blueprints were found on Iranian computers.

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Top Advisor To Australian Gov't Says Climate Change is a UN Conspiracy

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 2:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Maurice Newman, the top business advisor to conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, today published an opinion piece (paywalled) in which he claims, "It's a well-kept secret, but 95 per cent of the climate models ... have been found ... to be in error." He goes on to write "This is not about facts or logic. It's about a new world order under the control of the UN." While Newman's 'skeptical' views have long been on record, it's unclear when he came to believe in this vast global conspiracy. Last year, the Abbott government removed Australia's Emissions Trading Scheme, and recently gave $4 million in funding to contrarian Bjorn Lomberg, while cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from science across the country.

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$9 Open Source Computer Blows Past Crowdfunding Goal

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 1:37pm
An anonymous reader writes: A team of engineers and artists has launched a Kickstarter campaign for C.H.I.P., a small computer that costs $9. The campaign met and far exceeded its $50,000 goal on the first day. The device runs an R8 ARM CPU clocked at 1 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and runs a version of Debian. The price was enabled by two things: super-cheap Chinese tablets pushing down processor costs, and support from manufacturer Allwinner to make it even cheaper. The team is also building breakout boards for VGA and HDMI connections, as well as one with a tiny LCD screen, keyboard, and battery. Importantly, "all hardware design files schematic, PCB layout and bill of materials are free for you the community to download, modify and use."

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Doomed Russian Spacecraft Re-Enters Atmosphere Over Pacific Ocean

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 12:56pm
astroengine sends word that the Russian cargo ship that spun out of control after launching on a mission to the ISS on April 28 has re-entered the atmosphere somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Orbital tracking indicated the re-entry took place at 2:20 UTC. Its orbital speed and location were not known with perfect precision, but any bits of the spacecraft that didn't burn up are believed to have landed in the ocean between 350 and 1,300 kilometers off the west coast of Chile. According to Spaceflight 101, "The component with the highest probability of reaching the ground is the docking mechanism of the spacecraft as one of the most dense spacecraft systems. The docking system hosts an 80-centimeter hatch that is surrounded by the docking interface hosting the hooks and pressure seals facilitated on a massive metal ring. Overall, the system has a mass of 200 Kilograms much of which could reach the ground since the closed hatch would most likely not separate from the docking system and the unit will return mostly intact."

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