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Most Healthcare Managers Admit Their IT Systems Have Been Compromised

Slashdot - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 01:55
Lucas123 writes: Eighty-one percent of healthcare IT managers say their organizations have been compromised by at least one malware, botnet or other kind of cyber attack during the past two years, and only half of those managers feel that they are adequately prepared to prevent future attacks, according to a new survey by KPMG. The KPMG survey polled 223 CIOs, CTOs, chief security officers and chief compliance officers at healthcare providers and health plans, and found 65% indicated malware was most frequently reported line of attack during the past 12 to 24 months. Additionally, those surveyed indicated the areas with the greatest vulnerabilities within their organization include external attackers (65%), sharing data with third parties (48%), employee breaches (35%), wireless computing (35%) and inadequate firewalls (27%). Top among reasons healthcare facilities are facing increased risk, was the adoption of digital patient records and the automation of clinical systems.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Learn FPGAs With a $25 Board and Open Source Tools

Slashdot - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 01:11
An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday has a 3 part tutorial with videos of using open source tools with a cheap ($25) FPGA board. The board isn't very powerful, but this could be the 'gateway drug' to FPGAs for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and install 100s of megabytes of software and license keys just to get their feet wet. The videos are particularly good--like watching them over their shoulder. As far as I know, this is the only totally open source FPGA toolchain out there.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Canadian Nuclear Accident Study Puts Risks Into Perspective

Slashdot - Fri, 08/28/2015 - 00:28
An anonymous reader writes: A Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) study has concluded that there would be no detectable increase in cancer risk for most of the population from radiation released in a hypothetical severe nuclear accident. The CNSC's study is the result of a collaborative effort of research and analysis undertaken to address concerns raised during public hearings on the environmental assessment for the refurbishment of Ontario Power Generation's (OPG's) Darlington nuclear power plant in 2012. The draft study was released for public consultation in June 2014. Feedback from the Commission itself and comments from over 500 submissions from the public, government and other organizations have been incorporated in the final version. The study involved identifying and modelling a large atmospheric release of radionuclides from a hypothetical severe nuclear accident at the four-unit Darlington plant

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Google May Try To Recruit You For a Job Based On Your Search Queries

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 23:46
HughPickens.com writes: If Google sees that you're searching for specific programming terms, they may ask you to apply for a job as Max Rossett writes that three months ago while working on a project, he Googled "python lambda function list comprehension." The familiar blue links appeared on the search page, and he started to look for the most relevant one. But then something unusual happened. The search results split and folded back to reveal a box that said "You're speaking our language. Up for a challenge?" Clicking on the link took Rossett to a page called "foo.bar" that outlined a programming challenge and gave instructions on how to submit his solution. "I had 48 hours to solve it, and the timer was ticking," writes Rossett. "I had the option to code in Python or Java. I set to work and solved the first problem in a couple hours. Each time I submitted a solution, foo.bar tested my code against five hidden test cases." After solving another five problems the page gave Rossett the option to submit his contact information and much to his surprise, a recruiter emailed him a couple days later asking for a copy of his resume. Three months after the mysterious invitation appeared, Rossett started at Google. Apparently Google has been using this recruiting tactic for some time.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

NASA Scientists Paint Stark Picture of Accelerating Sea Level Rise

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 23:05
A NASA panel yesterday announced widely reported finding that global sea levels have risen about three inches since 1992, and that these levels are expected to keep rising as much as several more feet over the next century -- on the upper end of model-based predictions that have been made so far. From the Sydney Morning Herald piece linked above: NASA says Greenland has lost an average of 303 gigatons [of ice] yearly for the past decade. Since it takes 360 gigatons to raise sea level by a millimetre, that would suggest Greenland has done this about eight times over just in the last 10 years or so. "People need to be prepared for sea level rise," said Joshua Willis, an oceanographer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. "It's not going to stop."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Former Apple CEO Creates an iPhone Competitor

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 22:22
An anonymous reader links to Fast Company's profile of Obi Worldphone, one-time Apple CEO John Sculley's venture into smartphones. The company's first two products (both reasonably spec'd, moderately priced Android phones) are expected to launch in October. And though the phones are obviously running a different operating system than Apple's, Sculley says that Obi is a similarly design-obsessed company: "The hardest part of the design was not coming up with cool-looking designs," Sculley says. "It was sweating the details over in the Chinese factories, who just were not accustomed to having this quality of finish, all of these little details that make a beautiful design. We had teams over in China, working for months on the floor every day. We intend to continue that process and have budgeted accordingly." Obi is also trying to set itself apart from the low-price pack by cutting deals for premium parts. "Instead of going directly to the Chinese factories, we went to the key component vendors, because we know that ecosystem and have the relationships," Sculley says. "We went to Sony. It’s struggling and losing money on its smartphone business, but they make the best camera modules in the world."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

A "Public Health" Approach To Internet of Things Security

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:39
New submitter StewBeans writes: Guaranteeing your personal privacy in an era when more and more devices are connecting our daily lives to the Internet is becoming increasingly difficult to do. David Bray, CIO of the FCC, emphasizes the exponential growth we are facing by comparing the Internet we know today to a beachball, and the Internet of Everything future to the Sun. Bray says unless you plan to unplug from the Internet completely, every consumer needs to assume some responsibility for the security and overall health of the Internet of Everything. He says this might look similar to public health on the consumer side — the digital equivalent of hand washing — and involve an open, opt-in model for the rapid detection of abnormal trends across global organizations and networks.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Docs: Responding To Katrina, FBI Made Cell Phone Surveillance Its Priority

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 21:01
v3rgEz writes: There's a lot of lessons that the federal government should have learned in the aftermath of Katrina. Increased domestic surveillance, however, appears to be the one the FBI took to heart, using the natural disaster as a justification for ramping up its use of Stingray cell phone tracking throughout Louisiana after the storm, according to documents released under FOIA to MuckRock.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Open Source, Collaborative Rich-Text, Web-Based Editor Almost Available

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 20:20
johanneswilm writes: Open source web-based editors such as CKEditor and TinyMCE have been available for more than a decade, and some closed source collaborative editors such as Google Docs have been available since 2007. Creating open source, collaborative, rich-text, web-based editors has proven difficult due to lack of standardization of the lower-level browser features. Now Marijn Haverbeke, the developer behind the popular CodeMirror has started such an editor, called Prosemirror, financed through a crowd-funding campaign. Meanwhile the W3C has installed a task force to rapidly standardize and fix the features needed in browsers to easily create richtext and semantic editors.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Kansas Secretary of State Blocks Release of Voting Machine Tapes

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 19:39
PvtVoid writes: Wichita State University statistician Beth Clarkson has filed a lawsuit under Kansas' open records law to force the state to release paper tape records from voting machines, to be used as data in her research on statistical anomalies in voting patterns in the state. Clarkson, a certified quality engineer with a Ph.D. in statistics, has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere over several elections that indicate 'a statistically significant' pattern where the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct. The pattern could be voter fraud or a demographic trend that has not been picked up by extensive polling. Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued that the records sought by Clarkson are not subject to the Kansas open records act, and that their disclosure is prohibited by Kansas statute.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Tech Nightmares That Keep Turing Award Winners Up At Night

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 19:00
itwbennett writes: At the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany this week, RSA encryption algorithm co-inventor Leonard Adelman, "Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf, and cryptography innovator Manuel Blum were asked "What about the tech world today keeps you up at night?" And apparently they're not getting a whole lot of sleep these days. Cerf is predicting a digital dark age arising from our dependence on software and our lack of "a regime that will allow us to preserve both the content and the software needed to render it over a very long time." Adelman worries about the evolution of computers into "their own species" — and our relation to them. Blum's worries, by contrast, lean more towards the slow pace at which computers are taking over: "'The fact that we have brains hasn't made the world any safer,' he said. 'Will it be safer with computers? I don't know, but I tend to see it as hopeful.'"

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Categories: Tech/Science News

UNC Scientists Open Source Their Genomic Research

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 18:18
ectoman writes: The human genome specifies more than 500 "kinases," enzymes that spur protein synthesis. Four hundred of them are still mysteries to us, even though knowledge about them could spark serious medical innovations. But scientists at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, have initiated an open source effort to map them all—research they think could pioneer a new generation of drug discovery. As members of the Structural Genomics Consortium, the chemical biologists are spearheading a worldwide community project. "We need a community to build a map of what kinases do in biology," one said. "It has to be a community-generated map to get the richness and detail we need to be able to move some of these kinases into drug facilities. But we're just doing the source code. Until someone puts the source code out there and makes it available to everybody, people won't have anything to modify."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

AMD Unveils Radeon R9 Nano, Targets Mini ITX Gaming Systems With a New Fury

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 17:37
MojoKid writes: AMD today added a third card to its new Fury line that's arguably the most intriguing of the bunch, the Radeon R9 Nano. True to its name, the Nano is a very compact card, though don't be fooled by its diminutive stature. Lurking inside this 6-inch graphics card is a Fiji GPU core built on a 28nm manufacturing process paired with 4GB of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). It's a full 1.5 inches shorter than the standard Fury X, and unlike its liquid cooled sibling, there's no radiator and fan assembly to mount. The Fury Nano sports 64 compute units with 64 stream processors each for a total of 4,096 stream processors, just like Fury X. It also has an engine clock of up to 1,000MHz and pushes 8.19 TFLOPs of compute performance. That's within striking distance of the Fury X, which features a 1,050MHz engine clock at 8.6 TFLOPs. Ars Technica, too, takes a look at the new Nano.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Analysis Reveals Almost No Real Women On Ashley Madison

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 16:56
gurps_npc writes: Ashley Madison claimed to have about 31 million men and 5.5 million woman enrolled. Those odds are not good for the men, 6:1. But unfortunately, most of those 'women' were fake. This researcher analyzed the data and found only 12,000 actual, real women using Ashley Madison. That means for every 7750 men, there were 3 women. There are reports that Ashley Madison paid people to create fake female profiles. Their website admits that 'some of the users may be there for "entertainment purposes."' The article itself is well written, including a description of the analysis. A charitable person would say that Ashley Madison was selling a fantasy, not reality. But a realist would say Ashley Madison is just a thief stealing money from lonely, unhappy men.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

North Dakota Legalizes "Less Than Lethal" Weapon-Equipped Police Drones

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 16:17
According to the Daily Beast, writes reader schwit1, North Dakota police will be free to fire 'less than lethal' weapons from the air thanks to the influence of a pro-police lobbyist. That means beanbags, tear-gas, and Tasers, at the very least, can be brought to bear by remote. It's worth noting that "non-lethal" isn't purely true, even if that's the intent behind such technologies. From the article, based partly on FOIA requests made by MuckRock into drone use by government agencies: The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones. Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Contiki 3.0 Released, Retains Support For Apple II, C64

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 15:36
An anonymous reader writes that on Wednesday the Contiki team announced the release of Contiki 3.0, the latest version of the open source IoT operating system. The 3.0 release is a huge step up from the 2.x branch and brings support for new and exciting hardware, a set of new network protocols, a bunch of improvements in the low-power mesh networking protocols, along with a large number of general stability improvements. And, yes, the system still runs on the Commodore 64/128, Apple II, Atari.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Since-Pulled Cyanogen Update For Oneplus Changes Default Home Page To Bing

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:54
ourlovecanlastforeve writes: Nestled into GSMArena's report on the Cyanogen OS 12.1 update for Oneplus [ Note: an update that the story reports has since been pulled.] is this tasty bite: "...you'll find out that your Chrome homepage has been changed to Bing." Then it's casually dismissed with "Thankfully though, you can easily get rid of Microsoft's search engine by using Chrome settings." as if this were the most normal thing to have to do after an OTA update. Is this the new normal? Has Microsoft set a new precedent that it's okay to expect users to have to go searching through every setting and proactively monitor network traffic to make sure their data isn't being stolen, modified or otherwise manipulated?

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Categories: Tech/Science News

In Praise of the Solo Programmer

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 14:13
HughPickens.com writes: Jean-Louis Gassée writes that once upon a time, we were awestruck by the solo programmer who could single-handedly write a magnum opus on a barebones machine like the Apple ][ with its 64 kilobytes of memory and an 8-bit processor running at 1MHz. Once such giant was Paul Lutus, known as the Oregon Hermit, who won a place next to Jobs and Wozniak in the Bandley Drive Hall of Fame for his Apple Writer word processor. "Those were the days Computers and their operating systems were simple and the P in Personal Computers applied to the programmer," writes Gassée. "There's no place for a 2015 Paul Lutus. But are things really that dire?" As it turns out, the size and complexity of operating systems and development tools do not pose completely insurmountable obstacles; There are still programs of hefty import authored by one person. One such example is Preview, Mac's all-in-one file viewing and editing program. The many superpowers of Apple's Preview does justice to the app's power and flexibility authored by a solo, unnamed programmer who has been at it since the NeXT days. Newer than Preview but no less ambitious, is Gus Mueller's Acorn, an "Image Editor for Humans", now in version 5 at the Mac App Store. Mueller calls his Everett, WA company a mom and pop shop because his spouse Kristin does the documentation when she isn't working as a Physical Therapist. Gus recently released Acorn 5 fixing hundreds of minor bugs and annoyances. "It took months and months of work, it was super boring and mind numbing and it was really hard to justify, and it made Acorn 5 super late," writes Mueller. "But we did it anyway, because something in us felt that software quality has been going downhill in general, and we sure as heck weren't going to let that happen to Acorn."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

Many Drivers Never Use In-Vehicle Tech, Don't Want Apple Or Google In Next Car

Slashdot - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 13:27
Lucas123 writes: Many of the high-tech features automakers believe owners want in their vehicles are not only not being used by them, but they don't want them in their next vehicle, according to a new survey by J.D. Power. According to J.D. Power's 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report, 20% of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of 33 of the latest technology features. The five features owners most commonly report that they "never use" are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); heads-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). Additionally, there are 14 technology features that 20% or more of owners don't even want in their next vehicle. Those features include Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. When narrowed to just Gen Yers, the number of vehicle owners who don't want entertainment and connectivity systems increases to 23%.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Tech/Science News

No Changes Please

The Daily WTF - Thu, 08/27/2015 - 12:30

A new codebase at a new job is a lot like a new relationship: everything’s great until you really get to know each other. Just ask Bradley, who joined Javatechsoft Industries a few months ago. He was brought on to lend a hand with an overdue project. The pay was good, the job came with life insurance, and he had plenty of experience with Enterprise Java. It seemed like the perfect fit.

Specs came in, Bradley shipped code out, and their honeymoon was smooth sailing. The bad things crept up slowly, poking their heads out of the code in funny little ways that didn’t seem like a big deal, they were kind of cute, until…

273 warnings

“What’s this?” Bradley had just compiled a module he hadn’t seen before. There were a lot of warnings, sure, but they were all pretty straightforward:

WARNING: Import xxx is never used. WARNING: Import yyy is never used. WARNING: Type SomeType is a raw type. References to generic type SomeType<E> should be parameterized

It looked like code written in a hurry. Bradley was more than happy to clean it up. He started by removing the unused imports, and committed his changes. He had left the module far behind by the time the project lead, Bill, caught up to him on instant message.

BILL: brad, hey, we need to revert your changes ok? plz dont make changes other than whats in specs

It was pedantic and poorly spelled, but Bradley understood where Bill was coming from. Still, he hoped that cleaning up the sloppy code was on the roadmap.

BRADLEY: Sorry about that. When’s this code due to be fixed?
BILL: we need to run tests on all affected modules b4 we touch any code
BRADLEY: Even when we’re just removing unused imports?
BILL: yup
BRADLEY: Okay, but I can run the unit tests for that module…
BILL: there are none. all code to be tested live!1!

No wonder they hadn’t cleaned anything up. Bradley kept delivering the new functionality, but he itched to leave every codebase a little better than he found it. Finding himself with some extra time, he decided to get them off the ground with more unit tests. The first step was to mock out the data access layer. He found all beans inherited from an abstract base class, like so:

class MyAbstractBean { private JDBCTemplate jdbcTemplate; }

That was a problem. They were using the database adapter object by explicitly naming its type, instead of using its interface, JDBCOperations. With the interface, he could have mocked out DB access in his tests. He fired up the IM to ask Bill about this.

BILL: whats jdbc operatoins?
BRADLEY: It’s the interface that JDBCTemplate implements. By switching the declaration I can automate testing for this code
BILL: we dont have time for new stuff rite now
BRADLEY: It’s not new. It’s been in Java since 2.5…
BILL: anyway, we can’t change the base class then we have to test everything in the code! just stick to the specs! PLZ!!!1!

Javatechsoft Industries had backed themselves into the classic testing trap: it was too risky to make changes, because they had no automated tests, but the only way to get automated test was to make changes. It was an anti-pattern Bradley had seen many times before, and he had to admit, he hadn’t been hired to drag them kicking and screaming out of the hole they’d dug. He put his head down, and focused on writing the best code he could while sticking to the specs. If he did that, he’d be safe… he thought.

His latest assignment was simple: implement a SOAP call to the service FooService, following these steps:

  1. Open a connection. If an error results, return –1.
  2. Attempt to send the message. If an error results, return –2.
  3. Close connection.
  4. Open connection. If an error results, return –1.
  5. Retrieve response. If an error results, return –4.
  6. Close connection.
  7. Attempt to parse the XML response. If an error results, return –5.

The functions for each step already existed, so implementing this should have been a cakewalk. He pulled up the Javatechsoft Industries class:

class MySOAPHelper { Connection openConnection(...params ...) throws Exception { ... } void sendMessage(...params ...) throws Exception { ... } String retrieveMessage(...params...) throws Exception { ... } void closeConnection(...params ...) throws Exception { ... } }

“WHAT?” Bradley asked his monitor. The methods all threw Exception, with no customized type. He could still trap the errors and map them to the integer error codes requested, but it made for a lot more work. This time, he figured improving the codebase was in line with the spec:

Connection openConnection(...params ...) throws SOAPOpenConnectionException { ... } void sendMessage(...params ...) throws SOAPSendMessageException { ... } String retrieveMessage(...params...) throws SOAPRetrieveMessageException { ... } void closeConnection(...params ...) throws SOAPCloseConnectionException { ... }

With those custom Exception types, the rest of the assignment was easy. So easy, Bradley took an extra-long lunch. When he came back:

BILL: why did you change all these functoins?!? they affect 23% of the code! we cant change them! EVER!
BRADLEY: I could either write broken, fragile code, or they can throw typed exceptions. I could write a separate wrapper class?
BILL: NO. then u have 2 different ways of doing things. code should be CONSISTENT.

Only the instant messenger’s lack of emoji support saved Bradley’s job.

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