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Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-you-say-you-are department:
IamTheRealMike (537420) writes "In recent months fake PGP keys have been found for at least two developers on well known crypto projects: Erinn Clark, a Tor developer and Gavin Andresen, the maintainer of Bitcoin. In both cases, these PGP keys are used to sign the downloads for popular pieces of crypto software. PGP keys are supposed to be verified through the web of trust, but in practice it's very hard to find a trust path between two strangers on the internet: one reply to Erinn's mail stated that despite there being 30 signatures [attached to] her key, [the respondent] couldn't find any trust paths to her. It's also very unclear whether anyone would notice a key substitution attack like this. This leaves three questions: who is doing this, why, and what can be done about it? An obvious candidate would be intelligence agencies, who may be trying to serve certain people with backdoored binaries via their QUANTUMTHEORY man-in-the-middle system. As to what can be done about it, switching from PGP to X.509 code signing would be an obvious candidate. Both Mac and Windows support it, obtaining a forged certificate is much harder than simply uploading a fake PGP key, and whilst X.509 certs can be issued in secret until Google's Certificate Transparency system is fully deployed, finding one would be strong evidence that an issuing CA had been compromised: something that seems plausible but for which we currently lack any evidence. Additionally, bad certificates can be revoked when found whereas beyond making blog posts, not much can be done about the fake PGP keys."

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Navy Database Tracks Civilians' Parking Tickets, Fender-Benders
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's great-now-you're-on-the-paranoid-list department:
schwit1 (797399) writes with this excerpt from the Washington Examiner: "A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person's name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.
The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred."


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Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pinkie-swear department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Dana Goldstein writes in The Atlantic that while one of the central tenets of raising kids in America is that parents should be actively involved in their children's education — meeting with teachers, volunteering at school, and helping with homework — few parents stop to ask whether they're worth the effort. Case in point: In the largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement researchers combed through nearly three decades' worth of longitudinal surveys of American parents and tracked 63 different measures of parental participation in kids' academic lives, from helping them with homework, to talking with them about college plans, to volunteering at their schools. What they found surprised them. Most measurable forms of parental involvement seem to yield few academic dividends for kids, or even to backfire — regardless of a parent's race, class, or level of education. Once kids enter middle school, parental help with homework can actually bring test scores down, an effect Robinson says could be caused by the fact that many parents may have forgotten, or never truly understood, the material their children learn in school. 'As kids get older—we're talking about K-12 education — parents' abilities to help with homework are declining,' says Keith Robinson. 'Even though they may be active in helping, they may either not remember the material their kids are studying now, or in some cases never learned it themselves, but they're still offering advice. And that means poor quality homework.'" (More, below.)

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Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I'm-a-people-person! department:
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier in my career, when I switched jobs every year or so, I was pretty good at interviewing. I got offers about 75% of the time if I got to a in person. But times have changed... my last 2 jobs have been, longer term gigs.. 5 and 3 years respectively, and I am way out of practice. My resume often gets me the phone interview and I am actually really good at the phone screen.. I am 12 for 12 in the last 6 months phone screen to in person interview. It is the in person interview where I am really having issues. I think I come off wrong or something.. I usually get most of the technical questions, but I am not doing something right because I don't come off very likeable or something. It is hard to get very much feedback to know exactly what I am doing wrong. I have always gotten very good performance reviews and I am well liked at work, but if there is one area for improvement on my reviews it has always been communication. So I ask, can anyone give out some advice, I have tried toastmasters a few times, but does anyone have other tips or ideas? Has anyone else had a similar experiences?"

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Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's crowdsource-my-pension department:
An anonymous reader writes "Last Friday may turn out to have marked the beginning of Silicon Valley's organized labor movement--startup employees met in Palo Alto 'to share war stories and to start developing what organizers called a 'Startup Employee Equity Bill of Rights'.'" That probably should include the right to work late, for little pay, and to trade less certainty now for greater hoped-for benefits down the road. If you've been a startup employee, or started one of your own, what would you put on the wishlist?

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Neovim: Rebuilding Vim For the 21st Century
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's vigor-next-to-be-upgraded department:
An anonymous reader writes "Neovim is a major overhaul of the vim editor to provide better scripting, cleaner support for plugins and integration with modern graphical interfaces. Modernising the large and complex codebase of Vim is a formidable task, but the developer has a clear plan, and has already begun work. There's a Bountysource fundraiser running to support the effort. If Vim is your editor of choice, check it out." (The crowd-funding effort has only one more day to go, but has well exceeded already the initial goal of $10,000.)

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Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's 13-or-so-billion-years-then? department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Travis Gettys reports that creationist Danny Falkner appeared Thursday on "The Janet Mefford Show" to complain that the Fox television series and its host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, had marginalized those with dissenting views on accepted scientific truths. "I don't recall seeing any interviews with people – that may yet come – but it's based upon the narration from the host and then various types of little video clips of various things, cartoons and things like that," said Falkner of Answers In Genesis who also complained that Tyson showed life arose from simple organic compounds without mentioning that some believe that's not possible. "I was struck in the first episode where he talked about science and how, you know, all ideas are discussed, you know, everything is up for discussion – it's all on the table – and I thought to myself, 'No, consideration of special creation is definitely not open for discussion, it would seem." To be fair, there aren't a ton of shows on TV specifically about creationism says William Hamby. "However, there are entire networks devoted to Christianity, and legions of preachers with all the airtime they need to denounce evolution. Oh, and there was that major movie from a few years back. And there's a giant tax-payer subsidized theme park in Kentucky. And the movie about Noah. And entire catalogs of creationist movies and textbooks you can own for the low low price of $13.92.""

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Mute Witness: Forensic Sketches From Nothing But DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on March 22 '14 at 03:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-is-your-yearbook-too-squishy? department:
First time accepted submitter Todd Palin (1402501) writes "Researchers at Penn State university are trying to reconstruct images of faces based only on a DNA sample of the individual. As far out as this sounds, they did a pretty good job at matching the actual appearance of the faces. This is a pretty good start on a whole new use for DNA samples. Imagine a mug shot of a rapist based only on a DNA sample."

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Oppo's New Phone Hits 538 PPI
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's how's-your-vision? department:
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oppo Electronics has taken off the wraps on its first LTE phone, and it packs more technology than most if not all laptops. The Find 7 is a 5.5" phone and is the first to support 2560 x 1440 resolution [538 PPI] (by comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has 441 PPI). 'Another striking and unique feature of the phone is its 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor,' writes blogger Andy Patrizio. 'This is Qualcomm's first chip to feature its Gobi True 4G LTE World Mode, supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA, CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM4. Translation: this phone will work on LTE all over the world.'"

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New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 08:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-that-hard-to-lose-a-plane department:
mdsolar (1045926) writes with this excerpt from Slate on the still-missing Malaysian Airline flight "In a case that is swirling with uncertainties, a few pieces of evidence have stood apart for seeming reliability. Among them was the revelation last Saturday by Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak that his country's investigators, in collaboration with U.S. authorities, had analyzed an electronic ping that MH370 had broadcast to the Inmarsat satellite at 8:11 a.m. on the morning of the disappearance. Based on this data, the investigators had determined that at that moment MH370 must have been somewhere along one of two broad arcs: one which passed through Central Asia, and the other of which covered a swath of largely empty Indian Ocean, far to the south. The revelation left a burning question unresolved: what about the six earlier pings, which had been exchanged between the aircraft and the satellite about once per hour? Could any position data be deduced from them? Today, Inmarsat revealed some crucial information. 'The ping timings got longer,' Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin stated via email. That is to say, at each stage of its journey, the aircraft got progressively farther away from the geostationary satellite's position, located over a spot on the equator south of Pakistan, and never changed its heading in a direction that took it closer—at least for very long."

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WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's relatively-absolute department:
An anonymous reader writes "Achilleas Tsitroulis of Brunel University, UK, Dimitris Lampoudis of the University of Macedonia, Greece and Emmanuel Tsekleves of Lancaster University, UK, have investigated the vulnerabilities in WPA2 and present its weakness. They say that this wireless security system might now be breached with relative ease [original, paywalled paper] by a malicious attack on a network. They suggest that it is now a matter of urgency that security experts and programmers work together to remove the vulnerabilities in WPA2 in order to bolster its security or to develop alternative protocols to keep our wireless networks safe from hackers and malware."

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Docker Turns 1: What's the Future For Open Source Container Tech?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 06:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's within-and-beneath-additional-layers department:
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Docker has become one of the most hyped open-source projects in recent years, making it hard to believe the project only started one year ago. In that one year, Docker has now gained the support of Red Hat and other major Linux vendors. What does the future hold for Docker? Will it overtake other forms of virtualization or will it just be a curiosity?"

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Wireless Carriers In Huge Washington Lobby Fight Over Spectrum Auction
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's rent-seeking-on-display department:
First time accepted submitter techpolicy (3586897) writes "The big four wireless carriers are spending millions of dollars to hire professors, fund Washington think tanks and to meet with the Federal Communications Commission to try to convince the agency to write rules for an upcoming auction of spectrum that favor them, according to an article posted by the Center for Public Integrity in Washington. The frequencies are needed to bolster or build out their nationwide networks — and this kind of low-band spectrum won't be up for sale for a very long time. The biggest fight is over a rule that would limit how much AT&T and Verizon can get of these valuable frequencies. How it plays out will determine who has control over your smartphone."

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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can't-we-all-just-get-along department:
An anonymous reader writes "A central theme for several talks at this week's Game Developers Conference has been how to deal with the abuse generated by a small segment of gamers. BioWare's Manveer Heir says he wants the industry to stop being scared of challenging the most outspoken and vituperative members of the gaming community. His GDC talk focused on 'misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, queerphobia and other types of social injustice.' He said, 'We should use the ability of our medium to show players the issues first-hand, or give them a unique understanding of the issues and complexities by crafting game mechanics along with narrative components that result in dynamics of play that create meaning for the player in ways that other media isn't capable of.' Meanwhile, Adam Orth, who became the center of an internet hatestorm last year after an offhand comment about always-online DRM, said game developers should make an effort to encourage their playerbase to behave in a more civilized manner."

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More On the Disposable Tech Worker
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 02:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's always-recycle-them-when-you're-finished-using-them department:
Jim_Austin writes "At a press conference this week, in response to a question by a Science Careers reporter, Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America, argued that retraining workers doesn't make sense for IT companies. For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. 'It's not easy to retrain people,' Corley said. 'The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward.'"

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The Net Routes Around Censorship In Turkey
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's working-as-intended department:
lpress writes: "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been embarrassed by social media over corruption, vowed yesterday to 'eradicate Twitter.' He followed through by cutting off access, but users soon found work-arounds like posting by email and using VPNs. The hashtag #TwitterOlmadanYaayamam (I can't live without Twitter) quickly rose to the top of Twitter's worldwide trending topics."

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Spacecraft Returns Seven Particles From Birth of the Solar System
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's science-by-mote department:
sciencehabit writes "After a massive, years-long search, researchers have recovered seven interstellar dust particles returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft. The whole sample weighs just a few trillionths of a gram, but it's the first time scientists have laid their hands on primordial material unaltered by the violent birth of the solar system. Once the sample panel was back on Earth, the problem quickly became finding any collected particles embedded in the aerogel. Out of desperation, Stardust team members called on 30,714 members of the general public. The 'dusters' of the Stardust@home project volunteered to examine microscopic images taken down through the aerogel. They used the world's best pattern-recognition system — the human eye and brain — to pick out the telltale tracks left by speeding particles."

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Level 3 Wants To Make Peering a Net Neutrality Issue
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's first-among-peers department:
New submitter thule writes "A story at Gigaom talks about how Level 3 is trying to pull peering into the net neutrality issue. Regulating peering could hamper how the Internet is interconnected, potentially turning it into a bureaucratic mess. Should peering be regulated?"
Reader raque points out that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is banging the net neutrality drum, too:
"Some major ISPs, like Cablevision, already practice strong net neutrality and for their broadband subscribers, the quality of Netflix and other streaming services is outstanding. But on other big ISPs, due to a lack of sufficient interconnectivity, Netflix performance has been constrained, subjecting consumers who pay a lot of money for high-speed Internet to high buffering rates, long wait times and poor video quality. ... Once Netflix agrees to pay the ISP interconnection fees, however, sufficient capacity is made available and high quality service for consumers is restored. If this kind of leverage is effective against Netflix, which is pretty large, imagine the plight of smaller services today and in the future. Roughly the same arbitrary tax is demanded from the intermediaries such as Cogent and Level 3, who supply millions of websites with connectivity, leading to a poor consumer experience."

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Speedy Attack Targets Web Servers With Outdated Linux Kernels
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's update-your-junk department:
alphadogg writes "Web servers running a long-outdated version of the Linux kernel were attacked with dramatic speed over two days last week, according to Cisco Systems. All the affected servers were running the 2.6 version, first released in December 2003. 'When attackers discover a vulnerability in the system, they can exploit it at their whim without fear of it being remedied,' Cisco said. After the Web server has been compromised, the attackers slip in a line of JavaScript to other JavaScript files within the website. That code bounces the website's visitors to a second compromised host. 'The two-stage process allows attackers to serve up a variety of malicious content to the visitor,' according to Cisco."

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Google's Project Tango Headed To International Space Station
Posted by News Fetcher on March 21 '14 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's much-cheaper-than-testing-in-somebody's-basement department:
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A pair of Google's Project Tango phones, the prototype smartphone packed with sensors so it can learn and sense the world around it, is heading to the International Space Station on the upcoming Orbital 2 mission where they will be used to help develop autonomous flying robots. Work on the robots is already going on at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, and this week the space agency let a small group of reporters visit its lab and see some of the research."

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