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Networking

Scientists Overcome One of the Biggest Limits In Fiber Optic Networks 62 62

Posted by timothy
from the ok-everyone-this-time-together dept.
Mark.JUK writes: Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have demonstrated a way of boosting transmissions over long distance fiber optic cables and removing crosstalk interference, which would mean no more need for expensive electronic regenerators (repeaters) to keep the signal stable. The result could be faster and cheaper networks, especially on long-distance international subsea cables. The feat was achieved by employing a frequency comb, which acts a bit like a concert conductor; the person responsible for tuning multiple instruments in an orchestra to the same pitch at the beginning of a concert. The comb was used to synchronize the frequency variations of the different streams of optical information (optical carriers) and thus compensate in advance for the crosstalk interference, which could also then be removed.

As a result the team were able to boost the power of their transmission some 20 fold and push data over a "record-breaking" 12,000km (7,400 miles) long fiber optic cable. The data was still intact at the other end and all of this was achieved without using repeaters and by only needing standard amplifiers.
Software

Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly, Version-Preserving File Sharing For Linux? 207 207

Posted by timothy
from the when-diff+cron-isn't-the-right-answer dept.
petherfile writes: I've been a professional with Microsoft stuff for more than 10 years and I'm a bit sick of it to be honest. The one that's got me stuck is really not where I expected it to be. You can use a combination of DFS and VSS to create a file share where users can put whatever files they are working on that is both redundant and has "previous versions" of files they can recover. That is, users have a highly available network location where they can "go back" to how their file was an hour ago. How do you do that with Linux?

This is a highly desirable situation for users. I know there are nice document management things out there that make sharepoint look silly, but I just want a simple file share, not a document management utility. I've found versioning file systems for Linux that do what Microsoft does with VSS so much better (for having previous version of files available.) I've found distributed file systems for Linux that make DFS look like a bad joke. Unfortunately, they seem to be mutually exclusive. Is there something simple I have missed?
Space

Stellar Rejuvenation: Some Exoplanets May Get Facelifts 29 29

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new-look dept.
astroengine writes: Astronomers may have discovered an exoplanet that has found the elixir to planetary youth, knocking billions of years off its age. Until now, stellar rejuvenation has been pure conjecture, but after studying a white dwarf star called PG 0010+280, it turns out that one very interesting explanation for an excess in detected infrared radiation may be down to the presence of an exoplanet that was given a facelift. "When planets are young, they still glow with infrared light from their formation," said Michael Jura of the University of California, Los Angeles, co-author of the study published in The Astrophysical Journal. "But as they get older and cooler, you can't see them anymore. Rejuvenated planets would be visible again." This rejuvenation happens when stellar material shedding from a dying red giant star falls onto an exoplanet, causing heating and making it appear younger.
Open Source

NVIDIA Begins Supplying Open-Source Register Header Files 77 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the opening-it-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes: NVIDIA's latest mark of their newly discovered open-source kindness is beginning to provide open-source hardware reference headers for their latest GK20A/GM20B Tegra GPUs while they are working to also provide hardware header files on their older GPUs. These programming header files in turn will help the development of the open-source Nouveau driver as up to this point they have had to do much of the development via reverse-engineering. Perhaps most interesting is that moving forward they would like to use the Nouveau kernel driver code-base as the primary development environment for new hardware.
Government

Mayday PAC's Benjamin Singer Explains How You can Help Reform American Politics (Video) 232 232

Posted by Roblimo
from the if-it's-our-government-why-doesn't-it-do-what-we-want-it-to-do? dept.
Larry Lessig's Mayday PAC is a SuperPac that is working to eliminate the inherent corruption of having a government run almost entirely by people who manage to raise -- or have their "non-connected" SuperPACs raise -- most of the money they need to run their campaigns. The Mayday PAC isn't about right or left wing or partisan politics at all. It's about finding and supporting candidates who are in favor of something like last year's Government by the People Act. As we noted in our Mayday Pac interview with Larry Lessig last June, a whole panoply of tech luminaries, up to and including Steve Wozniak, are in favor of Mayday PAC.

This interview is being posted, appropriately, just before the 4th of July, but it's also just one day before the Mayday PAC Day of Action to Reform Congress. They're big on calling members of Congress rather than emailing, because our representatives get email by the (digital) bushel, while they get comparatively few issue-oriented phone calls from citizens. So Mayday PAC makes it easy for you to call your Congressional representatives and even, if you're too shy to talk to a legislative aide in person, to record a message Mayday PAC will leave for them after hours.

The five specific pieces of legislation Mayday PAC currently supports are listed at the RepsWith.US/reforms page. Two are sponsored by Republicans, two by Democrats, and one by an Independent. That's about as non-partisan as you can get, so no matter what kind of political beliefs you hold, you can support Mayday PAC with a clear conscience. (Note: the transcript has more information than the video, which is less than six minutes long.)
Operating Systems

Linux 4.1 Kernel Released With EXT4 Encryption, Performance Improvements 111 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Linux 4.1 kernel has been announced and its release brings expanded features for the Linux kernel including EXT4 file-system encryption, open-source GeForce GTX 750 support, performance improvements for Intel Atom / Bay Trail hardware, RAID 5/6 improvements, and other additions.
Government

Is the End of Government Acceptance of Homeopathy In Sight? 666 666

Posted by timothy
from the if-your-belief-is-only-dilute-enough dept.
cold fjord writes: It looks like homeopathy is in for a rough stretch ahead as shown in a chart and noted by Steven Novella at NEUROLoOGICAblog, "Homeopathy is perhaps the most obviously absurd medical pseudoscience. It is also widely studied, and has been clearly shown to not work. Further, there is a huge gap in the public understanding of what homeopathy is; it therefore seems plausible that the popularity of homeopathy can take a huge hit just by telling the public what it actually is. ... In 2010 the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee completed a full report on homeopathy in which they concluded it is witchcraft – that it cannot work, it does not work, and support for homeopathy in the national health service should be completely eliminated. In 2015 the Australian government completed its own review, concluding that there is no evidence that homeopathy works for anything. Homeopathy is a placebo. ... The FDA and the FTC in the United States are now both receiving testimony, questioning their current regulation of homeopathy. ... There is even a possibility that the FDA will decide to do their actual job – require testing of homeopathic products to demonstrate efficacy before allowing them on the market. If they do this simple and obvious thing, the homeopathic industry in the US will vanish over night, because there is no evidence to support any homeopathic product for any indication." — More on the FDA hearings at Science-Based Medicine.
Spam

86.2 Million Phone Scam Calls Delivered Each Month In the US 193 193

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-an-undercount-to-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a report from Help Net Security which assigns some numbers to the lucrative fraud-by-phone business in the U.S. -- and it's not just the most naive who are vulnerable. "Phone fraud continues to threaten enterprises across industries and borders, with the leading financial institutions' call centers exposed to more than $9 million to potential fraud each year," says the article. "Pindrop analyzed several million calls for threats, and found a 30 percent rise in enterprise attacks and more than 86.2 million attacks per month on U.S. consumers. Credit card issuers receive the highest rate of fraud attempts, with one in every 900 calls being fraudulent."

What's been your experience with fraudulent robocalls? I've been getting them on a near-daily basis -- fake credit card alerts, "computer support" malware-install attempts, and more -- for a few years now, which makes whitelisting seem attractive. ("Bridget from account services" has been robo-calling a lot lately, and each time she says it is my final notice.) My biggest worry is that the people behind these scams, like spammers, will hire copywriters who can fool many more people.
Security

Malware Attacks Give Criminals 1,425% Return On Investment 124 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the bang-for-your-buck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Trustwave released a new report which reveals the top cybercrime, data breach and security threat trends. According to their findings, attackers receive an estimated 1,425 percent return on investment for exploit kit and ransomware schemes ($84,100 net revenue for each $5,900 investment). Retail was the most compromised industry making up 43 percent of investigations followed by food and beverage (13 percent) and hospitality (12 percent).
Security

Rethinking Security: Securing Activities Instead of Computers 55 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the whole-package dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Security is not a property of a technical system," says independent security consultant Eleanor Saitta. "Security is the set of activities that reduce the likelihood of a set of adversaries successfully frustrating the goals of a set of users." But software development teams that understand what users want and what adversaries they face are very rare. And security engineers forgot — or misunderstood — what their job is: not securing computers, but securing activities that lead to the realization of greater goals.
Space

'Warm Neptune' Exoplanets May Have Lots of Helium 20 20

Posted by Soulskill
from the aliens-with-chipmunk-voices dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Phil Plait reports on new research into exoplanets that came to an unexpected and non-obvious conclusion. Throughout the galaxy, astronomers have been finding exoplanets they call "warm Neptunes" — bodies about the size of Neptune, but which orbit their parent star more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun. When astronomers looked at spectra for these planets, they found something surprising: no methane signature (PDF). Methane is made of carbon and hydrogen, and it's generally assumed that most large, gaseous planets will have a lot of hydrogen. But this class of exoplanet, being significantly smaller than, say, Jupiter, may not have the mass (and thus the gravity) to hold on to its hydrogen when it's heated by the close proximity to the star. The result is that the atmosphere may be largely made up of helium instead. If so, the planet would look oddly colorless to our eyes, very unlike the planets in our solar system.
Networking

M0n0wall Fork SmallWall Has First Official Release 34 34

Posted by timothy
from the now-with-less-shift-key dept.
New submitter houstonbofh writes: When the m0n0wall project ended back in February, many people just did not want to lose their small and lean firewall. And now, one of the forks, SmallWall, has released it's first non-beta release. It has some small improvements to the GUI, and now has added L2TP support. The announcement with the changes can be found here. Also, a partnership with MIXTPC was announced, allowing firewalls with SmallWall preloaded to be purchased. Their web store is here.
PHP

PHP At 20: From Pet Project To Powerhouse 281 281

Posted by timothy
from the son-have-you-considered-a-career? dept.
snydeq writes: Ben Ramsey provides a look at the rise of PHP, the one-time 'silly little project' that has transformed into a Web powerhouse, thanks to flexibility, pragmatism, and a vibrant community of Web devs. "Those early days speak volumes about PHP's impact on Web development. Back then, our options were limited when it came to server-side processing for Web apps. PHP stepped in to fill our need for a tool that would enable us to do dynamic things on the Web. That practical flexibility captured our imaginations, and PHP has since grown up with the Web. Now powering more than 80 percent of the Web, PHP has matured into a scripting language that is especially suited to solve the Web problem. Its unique pedigree tells a story of pragmatism over theory and problem solving over purity."
Security

Kaspersky Lab Reveals Cyberattack On Its Corporate Network 73 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Kaspersky Lab has revealed that it was recently subject to a major cyberattack. The company launched an investigation, which led to the discovery of a new malware platform from Duqu. Kaspersky has revealed that the attack exploited zero-day vulnerabilities and the malware has spread in the network through MSI (Microsoft Software Installer) files. "The attack is extremely sophisticated, and this is a new generation of what is most likely state-sponsored malware," Kaspersky said during the press conference. "It's a kind of a mix of Alien, Terminator and Predator, in terms of Hollywood."
Education

San Francisco Public Schools To Require Computer Science For Preschoolers 179 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the while-jack-&&-jill:-hill++ dept.
theodp writes: Never underestimate the ability of tech and its leaders to create a crisis. The S.F. Chronicle's Jill Tucker reports that the San Francisco School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to ensure every student in the district gets a computer science education, with coursework offered in every grade from preschool through high school, a first for a public school district. Tech companies, including Salesforce.com, as well as foundations and community groups, are expected to pitch in funding and other technical support to create the new coursework, equip schools and train staff to teach it. From Resolution No. 155-26A2 (PDF), In Support of Expanding Computer Science and Digital Learning to All Students at All Schools from Pre-K to 12th Grade: 1. "All students are capable of making sense of computer science in ways that are creative, interactive, and relevant." 2. "All students, from pre-K to 12, deserve access to rigorous and culturally meaningful computer science education and should be held to high expectations for interacting with the curriculum." 3. "Students' access to and achievement in computer science must not be predictable on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, language, religion, sexual orientation, cultural affiliation, or special needs." MissionLocal has a two-page SFUSD flyer on the project, which aims to illustrate the "importance of computer science" with the same Code.org jobs infographic that Microsoft used to help achieve its stated goal of creating a national K-12 CS crisis, and demonstrate "disparities in accessing CS education" for SFUSD's 57,000 students with a small-sample-size-be-damned bar chart of the racial demographics of the school district's 209 AP Computer Science participants (181 Asian, 0 African American, 6 Latino, 1 Native American, 14 White, 7 Other).
Crime

49 Suspected Members of Cybercriminal Group Arrested In Europe 23 23

Posted by Soulskill
from the going-for-the-high-score dept.
An anonymous reader writes: A joint international operation led to the arrests of 49 suspected members of a cybercriminal group in Europe. The operation involved law enforcement agencies from several different nations, including Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Georgia, and the UK. Police searched 58 separate properties, seizing laptops, hard disks, telephones, tablets, credit cards and cash, SIM cards, memory sticks, forged documents and bank account documents. The criminals came to the attention of police after repeatedly initiating man-in-the-middle attacks against European companies, using intrusions and social engineering to route corporate payments to their own bank accounts.
Intel

How Today's Low-Power X86 & ARM CPUs Compare To Intel's Old NetBurst CPUs 77 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-versus-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes: In trying to offer a unique look at how Intel x86 CPU performance has evolved since their start, Phoronix celebrated their 11th birthday by comparing modern CPUs to old Socket 478 CPUs with the NetBurst Celeron and Pentium 4C on an Intel 875P+ICH5R motherboard. These old NetBurst processors were compared to modern Core and Atom processors from Haswell, Broadwell, Bay Trail and other generations. There were also some AMD CPUs and the NVIDIA Tegra K1 ARM processor. Surprisingly, in a few Linux tests the NetBurst CPUs performed better than AMD E-Series APUs and an Atom Bay Trail. However, for most workloads, the 45+ other CPUs tested ended up being multiple times faster; for the systems where the power consumption was monitored, the power efficiency was obviously multiple times better.
Medicine

Rare 9-way Kidney Swap a Success 130 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the healing-with-math dept.
Okian Warrior sends news that a complex set of 18 surgeries has been successfully completed at California Pacific Medical Center and the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center that resulted in nine donors sending kidneys to recipients in need. This web of kidney swaps arose because many of the people with failing kidneys had donors willing to help them, but weren't a biological match. Rather than give up on the transplant altogether, doctors were able to arrange the willing donors in a way such that each patient who needed a kidney was able to get one. "Software matching programs have been driving the trend. The programs use blood type and other patient data from medical tests to connect people who are compatible."
Intel

Intel Skylake & Broxton Graphics Processors To Start Mandating Binary Blobs 193 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-the-people-what-they-want-or-actually-maybe-not dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Intel has often been portrayed as the golden child within the Linux community and by those desiring a fully-free system without tainting their kernel with binary blobs while wanting a fully-supported open-source driver. The Intel Linux graphics driver over the years hasn't required any firmware blobs for acceleration, compared to AMD's open-source driver having many binary-only microcode files and Nouveau also needing blobs — including firmware files that NVIDIA still hasn't released for their latest GPUs. However, beginning with Intel Skylake and Broxton CPUs, their open-source driver will now too require closed-source firmware. The required "GuC" and "DMC" firmware files are for handling the new hardware's display microcontroller and workload scheduling engine. These firmware files are explicitly closed-source licensed and forbid any reverse-engineering. What choices are left for those wanting a fully-free, de-blobbed system while having a usable desktop?
Android

LG Arbitrarily Denying Android Lollipop Update To the G2 In Canada? 131 131

Posted by timothy
from the arbitrary-lines dept.
Lirodon writes: Its funky rear-mounted buttons may have left critics divided, but the LG G2 is still a pretty capable Android device. While it has gotten an update to Android 5.0 "Lollipop" in some major markets (including the United States, of course), one major holdout is Canada. Reports are surfacing that LG's Canadian subsidiary has decided not to release the update for unknown reasons. But, what about custom ROMs? Well, they handled that too: they have refused to release Lollipop kernel source for the Canadian variant of the device. It is arbitrary actions like this that cause Android's fragmentation problems. A curious note, LG has not specifically made reference to the bugs other users have been having with the update.