JamieKitson writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
tsu doh nimh writes "Brian Krebs follows up on a recent Slashdot discussion about a cybercrime gang that is recruiting botmasters to help with concerted heists against U.S. financial institutions. The story looks at the underground's skeptical response to this campaign, which is being led by a criminal hacker named vorVzakone ('thief in law'), who has released a series of videos about himself. vorVzakone also is offering a service called 'insurance from criminal prosecution,' in which miscreants can purchase protection from goons who specialize in bribing or intimidating Russian/Eastern European police into scuttling cybercrime investigations. For $100,000, the service also claims to have people willing to go to jail in place of the insured. Many in the criminal underground view the entire scheme as an elaborate police sting operation."
An anonymous reader writes "I have a cottage at the end of a long dirt road, no electricity nor internet, and recently some (insert expletive here) wads are using the area as a trash dump: countertops, sofas, metal scraps, tvs — all the stuff they don't want to pay to dump at the landfill. I can't block the road because it's a fire access. But I would really like to have a way to catch who is doing this. Are there any a) waterproof, b) self-contained, c) self-powered, and (ideally) d) inexpensive video-recording units out there? Are there any other creative ways to get the guys? I was thinking of something like a device that will cycle, so that the last week of video is recorded. It could take photos or video, and as long as it's small enough that I could camouflage it well, I suspect I'd be able to figure this out soon. And any idea of what my legal rights are to videotape or record?" Hunters have been doing this for years (with film, and now digital) to figure out prey patterns with cameras that are built for concealment; what else would you recommend?
concealment writes with this extract from GigaOm: "'We buy lots and lots of hard drives . . . . [They] are the single biggest cost in the entire company.' Those are the words of Backblaze Founder and CEO Gleb Budman, whose company offers unlimited cloud backup for just $5 a month, and fills 50TB worth of new storage a day in its custom-built, open source pod architecture. So one might imagine the cloud storage startup was pretty upset when flooding in Thailand caused a global shortage on internal hard drives last year. Backblaze details much the process in a Tuesday-morning blog post, including the hijinks that followed as the company got creative trying to figure out ways around the new hard drive limits. Maps were drawn, employees were cut off from purchasing hard drives at Costco — both in-person throughout Silicon Valley and online (despite some great efforts to avoid detection, such as paying for hard drives online using gift cards) — and friends and family across the country were conscripted into a hard-drive-buying army."
concealment writes "A new lawsuit targets Google for reading e-mails to target ads, according to TechCrunch. But the issue isn't that Google is reading e-mails from registered users; rather, the company is using e-mails sent from other services to Google users to target ads as well. Google has gotten the side-eye a few times in the past for using e-mail content to serve context-based ads to its Gmail users. And for those Gmail users, Google's hide is covered: the terms of service explicitly state that users' e-mail content determines what ads they see."
First time accepted submitter Tator Tot writes "A small radioactive cylinder that went missing from a Halliburton Co. truck last month was found on a Texas road late Thursday, the company said, ending a weeks-long hunt that involved local, state and federal authorities."
Hugh Pickens writes "Nokia has seen better days. The Finnish phone maker continues to struggle to gain traction in a marketplace dominated by Apple and Android, and its new flagship device, the Windows-powered Lumia 920, failed to impress investors when it was announced last month, subsequently causing the company's stock to dive. Now Tristan Louis argues that there are four good reasons Apple should dig into its deep pockets and buy Nokia. First Nokia has really powerful mapping technology. Apple Maps isn't very good, and Apple has been feeling the heat from a critical tech press but Nokia has been doing maps 'for a long time now, and they a have access to even more data than Google.' Next, Nokia has a treasure chest of patents and as Apple's recent smackdown of Samsung proves, the future of the mobile space 'will be dictated by the availability and ownership of patents.' Nokia's exhaustive portfolio of patents might be worth as much as $6 billion to $10 billion, a drop in the bucket from Apple's $100 billion war chest. Nokia could also help with TV. If Apple truly wants to dominate the TV arena, it'll have to beam shows and movies to iPhones or iPads in real time, and that's a field Nokia has some expertise in. Finally Microsoft has a lot riding on the release of Windows Phone 8, and Nokia is its primary launch partner. Buying Nokia would 'knock Microsoft on its heels,' says Forbes' Upbin."
thomst writes "Reuters is reporting that French scientist Serge Haroche and American David Wineland will share the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on measuring quantum particles. (The article is very skimpy on details.)" The Associated Press article carried by the Washington Post is also quite thin, but along with the Reuters story says the Haroche and Wineland were selected for demonstrating "how to observe individual quantum particles without destroying them."
Jafafa Hots writes "The Supreme Court is set to decide, in the case of Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, whether or not First Sale Doctrine applies to products made with parts sourced from outside the United States. If the Supreme Court upholds an appellate ruling, it would mean that the IP holders of anything you own that has been made in China, Japan or Europe, for example, would have to give you permission to sell it. Your old used CDs, cell phone, books, or that Ford truck with foreign parts? It may not be yours to sell unless you get explicit permission and presumably pay royalties. 'It would be absurd to say anything manufactured abroad can't be bought or sold here,' said Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment lawyer and Schwartz Fellow at the New American Foundation who specializes in technology issues."
An anonymous reader writes "The Mesa developers released Mesa 9.0 with open-source OpenGL 3.1 driver support. This de facto OpenGL Linux implementation now supports the several year old OpenGL 3.1 specification for Intel hardware while the other drivers are still at OpenGL 3.0 or worse. Other features to Mesa 9.0 include completing MPEG1/MPEG2 video acceleration, early OpenCL support, bug-fixes, and new hardware support." OpenGL 3.1 support is limited to Intel hardware, but at least ATI/AMD hardware supports some of OpenGL 3.1. A few features from OpenGL 4 were also added.
mask.of.sanity writes "New privacy threats have been uncovered by security researchers that could allow every device operating on 3G networks to be tracked. The vulnerabilities could be exploited with cheap commercial off-the-shelf technology to reveal the location of phones and other 3G-capable devices operating on all 3G compliant networks. It was similar, but different, to previous research that demonstrated how attackers could redirect a victim's outgoing traffic to different networks."
An anonymous reader writes with a quick bite from Nature World News: "The contribution of economic decline in reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very low, reveals a new study. Researcher Richard York of the University of Oregon studied data collected between 1960 and 2008 from more than 150 nations in order to analyze the impact of economic decline on greenhouse gas emissions." From the paper: "In Model 2, the percentage of the population living in urban areas and the percentage of GDP from the manufacturing sector were included as control variables. This model has lower data coverage than Model 1 (154 versus 160 nations, and 4,134 versus 5,630 nation-year observations) owing to missing data on the control variables. The coefficients, at 0.752 for growth and 0.346 for decline, are similar to those from Model 1 and, as in Model 1, are both significantly different from 0 and significantly different from each other."
judgecorp writes "The British government's plan to subsidize rural broadband in the UK is about to get approval from the European Union, even though every contract so far has been awarded to BT, according to sources. The Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project has been examined under EU state aid rules, but apparently has passed despite all the money going to one dominant telecom operator"
CowboyRobot writes "The story begins when GunnAllen, a financial company, outsourced all of its IT to The Revere Group. Before long, it was discovered that 'A senior network engineer had disabled the company's WatchGuard firewalls and routed all of the broker-dealer's IP traffic--including trades and VoIP calls--through his home cable modem.' In addition to the obvious security concerns of sending information such as bank routing information and driver's license numbers, the act violated SEC rules because the routed information was not being logged. Regardless of whether the cause was negligence, incompetence, or sabotage, the matter was swept under the rug for a time until unpaid SQL Server licenses meant threatening calls from Microsoft as well. The rest of the story is one of greed, mismanagement, and neglect, and ends with the SEC's first-ever fine for failure to protect customer data."
SchrodingerZ writes "PETA, the same group that last November protested Mario for 'wearing fur,' has condemned the Pokémon media franchise and video game series. In light of the recent release of Pokemon Black and White Versions 2, the activist group is protesting that the Pokemon game series 'paints a rosy picture of what amounts to thinly veiled animal abuse.' As many of us know Pokemon is about young children who capture wild animals for the sole purpose of having them battle in non-fatal sparing matches. 'Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods,' says a statement from the group. Ironically within Pokemon B/W 2 there an organization known as Team Plasma , which deals with taking Pokemon and retuning them to the wild. PETA is so up in arms that they have even created an anti-pokemon parody game in which you play as an escaped Pokemon battling your trainer. I recommend trying it, just for the laughs."