TheGift73 writes with a link to (and this excerpt from the beginning of) a brief description at TorrentFreak of recently signed agreements between the U.S. and Australia: "Figures.... File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with U.S. authorities."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
First time accepted submitter wokie78 writes "The PlanetSolar, a Swiss solar powered catamaran, has just arrived to Monaco (French original), its initial port of departure, after finishing its voyage around the world which it started in September 2010. Its five-member crew completed a 60,006 km trip fully powered by 537 square meters of solar panels, which produced from 500 to 600 kw/h in fair weather — which meant it could go for 300 km on a single charge. Everything on the boat was solar powered."
Lucas123 writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have shown they can increase the density, performance and the durability of phase-change memory (PSM) by using diamonds to change the base alloy material. Instead of using the more typical method of applying heat to the alloy to change its state from amorphous to crystalline, thereby laying down bits in the material, the researchers used pressure from diamond-tipped tools. Using pressure versus heat allowed them to slow down the change in order to produce many varying states allowing more data to be stored on the alloy. 'This phase-change memory is more stable than the material used in current flash drives. It works 100 times faster and is rewritable millions of times,' said the study's lead author, Ming Xu, a doctoral student at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. 'Within about five years, it could also be used to replace hard drives in computers and give them more memory.'"
An anonymous reader writes "I guess is was inevitable, now that BMW is letting you view and make tweets from behind the wheel, but is it really a good idea to let people run smartphone apps from their dashboard monitor? I guess for navigation you could run your favorite map-app there, but there is nothing to stop people from running other apps on their dashboard too. It might be better than texting from the handset, but I'm not sure I want people playing Angry Birds while they drive."
New submitter brabq writes "Now that I have a couple of CableCard tuner devices in the house (including the network-based HDHomeRun Prime), I'm thinking of buying one of those all-in-one touchscreen PCs for our kitchen (yeah, something I've always sworn against for future repair reasons). The idea is that it would be used primarily for (1) watching TV, via the aforementioned Prime and WMC, and (2) light web surfing (recipes, some sort of video chat possibly). Does anyone have any experience with these types of devices in a kitchen-like setting (where I'd like to use a touchscreen over having a keyboard/mouse on a kitchen counter)? I keep hearing that Windows 8 is going to have some added benefits to this type of setup — is it worth waiting for its release? My end goal is it has to have a high WAF ... if my wife doesn't like its appearance on the counter or finds it useless, then the whole thing will be a waste."
longacre writes "Suzy Harriston wanted to be friends on Facebook. The profile said she was from Clayton [Missouri] and had more than 300 friends, many of them from Clayton High School. No one seemed to question who Harriston was. That is, until the night of April 5, when a 2011 grad and former Clayton quarterback posted a public accusation. '"Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal," wrote Chase Haslett.' Suzy Harriston quickly disappeared from Facebook, and Louise Losos, the principal, subsequently took a leave of absence, and then resigned."
AmiMoJo writes "Japan's last active reactor is shutting down today, leaving the country without nuclear energy for the first time since 1970. All 50 commercial reactors in the country are now offline. 19 have completed stress tests but there is little prospect of them being restarted due to heavy opposition from local governments. Meanwhile activists in Tokyo celebrated the shutdown and asked the government to admit that nuclear power was no longer needed in Japan and to concentrate on safety. If this summer turns out to be as hot as 2010 some areas could be asked to make 15% power savings to avoid shortages, while other areas will be unaffected due to savings already made."
choongiri writes "Canada's election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party's CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign."
Hugh Pickens writes "Sascha Segan writes that although Verizon adamantly denies steering customers away from Apple's iPhones in favor of 4G LTE-enabled Android devices, he is convinced that Verizon has a strong reason to push buyers away from the iPhone. 'Here's the problem,' writes Segan. 'Verizon has spent millions of dollars rolling out its massive LTE network' but the carrier can't easily add capacity on its old 3G network. Since the iPhone isn't a 4G phone, sales of Verizon iPhones just crowd up their already busy 3G network while their 4G network has plenty of space. 'The iPhone is a great device. But it's making a crowded network more crowded. Until the LTE iPhone comes along, to rebalance its network, Verizon may quietly push Android phones.'"
skipkent writes "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared global warming a national security threat [Wednesday] during a speech before an environmentalist group in Washington, D.C. 'The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,' Panetta told the Environmental Defense Fund last night. 'Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.'"
wiredmikey writes "On Wednesday, a remote code execution vulnerability in PHP was accidentally exposed to the Web, prompting fears that it may be used to target vulnerable websites on a massive scale. The bug itself was traced back to 2004, and came to light during a recent CTF competition. 'When PHP is used in a CGI-based setup (such as Apache's mod_cgid), the php-cgi receives a processed query string parameter as command line arguments which allows command-line switches, such as -s, -d or -c to be passed to the php-cgi binary, which can be exploited to disclose source code and obtain arbitrary code execution,' a CERT advisory explains. PHP developers pushed a fix for the flaw, resulting in the release of PHP 5.3.12 and 5.4.2, but as it turns out it didn't actually remove the vulnerability."
yyzmcleod writes with this excerpt: "A research team at Queen's University has created a human-scale 3D hologram pod that allows people in different locations to videoconference as if they are standing in front of each other. Called TeleHuman, the technology is the creation of professor Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab, and his graduate team at the Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Similar to the Star Trek holodeck, participants can walk around the 3D hologram of the remote person they're talking to and view them from all sides. More importantly, the system captures 3D visual cues that 2D video miss, such as head orientation, gaze and overall body posture."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft researchers have analyzed a new piece of Mac malware that uses a multi-stage attack similar to typical Windows malware infection routines. In a post titled 'An interesting case of Mac OSX malware' the Microsoft Malware Protection Center closed with this statement: 'In conclusion, we can see that Mac OSX is not safe from malware. Statistically speaking, as this operating system gains in consumer usage, attacks on the platform will increase. Exploiting Mac OSX is not much different from other operating systems. Even though Mac OSX has introduced many mitigation technologies to reduce risk, your protection against security vulnerabilities has a direct correlation with updating installed applications.'"
MatthewVD writes "A new, user interface-enabled generation of electronics that you wear under your skin could be used for convenience, or even pleasure, rather than medical reasons. Scientists at Autodesk Research in Toronto have implanted electronics with user buttons, pressure sensors and LEDs under the skin of a cadaver's arm and wrapped in artificial skin. The electronics could buzz you when you have an appointment, carry memory cards with data, or connect you in a social network with others wearing electronics."
New submitter unmole writes "It seems that India's Department of Telecom has instructed ISPs to block popular torrent trackers like the Pirate Bay and IsoHunt. Visitors now see a page (Screenshot) informing them that 'This site has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecom (DOT),' with no additional details. The Department of Telecom has not made any public announcement to this effect. This comes months after an Indian court gave the green signal for prosecuting social networking sites."