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Machine Learning Used For JavaScript Code De-obfuscation
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cleaning-up-the-digital-streets department:
New submitter velco writes: "ETH Zurich Software Reliability Lab announced JSNice, a statistical de-obfuscation and de-minification tool for JavaScript. The interesting thing about JSNice is that it combines program analysis with machine learning techniques to build a database of name and type regularities from large amounts of available open source code on GitHub. Then, given new JavaScript code, JSNice tries to infer the most likely names and types for that code by basing its decision on the learned regularities in the training phase."

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Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wouldn't-beginning-to-end-work-better department:
Nexus Unplugged (2495076) writes 'On their security blog today, Google announced a new Chrome extension called "End-To-End" intended to make browser-based encryption of messages easier for users. The extension, which was rumored to be "underway" a couple months ago, is currently in an "alpha" version and is not yet available pre-packaged or in the Chrome Web Store. It utilizes a Javascript implementation of OpenPGP, meaning that your private keys are never sent to Google. However, if you'd like to use the extension on multiple machines, its keyring is saved in localStorage, which can be encrypted with a passphrase before being synced. The extension still qualifies for Google's Vulnerability Reward Program, and joins a host of PGP-related extensions already available for Chrome.'
Google also published a report showing how much email is encrypted in transit between Gmail addresses and those from other providers.

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Tech Worker Groups Boycott IBM, Infosys, Manpower
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can't-we-all-just-get-along department:
itwbennett writes: "Three U.S. tech worker groups have launched a labor boycott of IBM, Infosys and Manpower, saying the companies have engaged in a pattern that discourages U.S. workers from applying for U.S. IT jobs by tailoring employment ads toward overseas workers. For its part, Infosys disputed the charges, saying that 'it is incorrect to allude that we exclude or discourage U.S. workers. Today, we are recruiting for over 440 active openings across 20 states in the U.S.' Representatives from IBM and Manpower didn't respond to requests for comment on the boycott."

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Local Police Increasingly Rely On Secret Surveillance
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's show-of-hands,-who's-surprised? department:
v3rgEz writes: 'The Wall Street Journal reports on how local law enforcement is increasingly requesting (and receiving) sealed wiretap requests and surveillance that doesn't require a warrant for cellular data, a move that is making some courts uneasy — but not uneasy enough to stop the practice. "Across the U.S., thousands of similar law-enforcement requests for electronic monitoring are likewise locked away from public view, even after the investigations that spawned them have ended. In most cases, they stay sealed indefinitely—unlike nearly all other aspects of American judicial proceedings. Courts long have presumed that search warrants, for example, eventually should be made public." One group has set up a crowdfunding campaign to research how far the practice has spread, hoping to raise money to file and follow up on public records requests across the country for policies, invoices, and other "surveillance metadata."'

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Pixar To Give Away 3D RenderMan Software
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's building-a-community department:
nairnr sends this news from the BBC:
'The 3D rendering software behind films such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Harry Potter is to be given away free for non-commercial use. RenderMan, which is developed by Pixar, has faced increased competition from rival animation rendering programmes such as VRay and Arnold. Although Pixar, which is owned by Disney, produces its own films, it licenses RenderMan to rival studios. In a statement, the firm said it would release a free version of RenderMan "without any functional limitations, watermarking, or time restrictions." "Non-commercial RenderMan will be freely available for students, institutions, researchers, developers, and for personal use," it added.'

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GnuTLS Flaw Leaves Many Linux Users Open To Attacks
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-many-eyes-all-maintainers-are-grumpy department:
A new flaw has been discovered in the GnuTLS cryptographic library that ships with several popular Linux distributions and hundreds of software implementations. According to the bug report, "A malicious server could use this flaw to send an excessively long session id value and trigger a buffer overflow in a connecting TLS/SSL client using GnuTLS, causing it to crash or, possibly, execute arbitrary code." A patch is currently available, but it will take time for all of the software maintainers to implement it.
A lengthy technical analysis is available. "There don't appear to be any obvious signs that an attack is under way, making it possible to exploit the vulnerability in surreptitious "drive-by" attacks. There are no reports that the vulnerability is actively being exploited in the wild."

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EU Launches World's Largest Civilian Robotics Program; 240,000 New Jobs Expected
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's skynet-will-have-a-weird-accent department:
Hallie Siegel writes: "The European Commission and 180 companies and research organizations (under the umbrella of euRobotics) have launched the world's largest civilian research and innovation program in robotics. Covering manufacturing, agriculture, health, transport, civil security and households, the initiative – called SPARC – is the E.U.'s industrial policy effort to strengthen Europe's position in the global robotics market (€60 billion a year by 2020). This initiative is expected to create over 240,000 jobs in Europe, and increase Europe's share of the global market to 42% (a boost of €4 billion per year). The European Commission will invest €700 million and euRobotics will invest €2.1 billion."

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'Godfather of Ecstasy,' Chemist Sasha Shulgin Dies Aged 88
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's rest-in-more-peace-than-most department:
EwanPalmer (2536690) writes "Alexander 'Sasha' Shulgin, the chemist, pharmacologist and author known for popularizing the drug MDMA as well as creating and synthesizing hundreds of psychoactive drugs, has died aged 88. Shulgin was known for discovering, creating and personally testing hundreds of psychoactive chemicals and documenting the results, along with his wife, in his books and papers. He is also known for introducing the positive aspects of MDMA to psychologists, which in term helped it become a popular recreational drug in the 1980s." With less irritation from auto-playing video sound, try the BBC.

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Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's multi-sim-multi-carrier department:
First time accepted submitter Viv Savage (3679171) writes "I live in the USA but my daughter will be attending college overseas next year (Scotland specifically). I need to purchase a new phone for her and I'm curious what the Slashdot community would recommend. I understand that a GSM world phone supporting 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies would give her the best voice support. There doesn't appear to be a solution for getting high-speed data (i.e., 4G) here and abroad with one phone. Have any worldly Slashdotters figured this out?"

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3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's comfortable-truths-aren't-the-ones-to-worry-about department:
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Cody Wilson, the 26-year-old former law school student who published plans for printing 3D guns online, disputed claims by universities and government agencies that his thermoplastic gun design is unsafe. Wilson claims the agencies that tested the guns did not build them to spec. In a Q&A with Computerworld, he also addressed why he's continuing to press regulatory agencies to allow him to offer the plans again for upload after being ordered to take them down, saying it's less about the Second Amendment and more about the implications of open source and the digital age. "If you want to talk about rights, what does it mean to respect a civil liberty or civil right? Well, it means you understand there are social costs in having that right; that's why it deserves protection in the first place," he said. Wilson is also planning to release other gun-related project, though not necessarily a CAD design."

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Matthew Miller Named New Fedora Linux Project Leader
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's congratulations-and-good-luck department:
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Barely a week after Robyn Bergeron announced her intention to step down, Red Hat today announced that Matthew Miller is now the new Fedora Project Leader. Miller is the guy that came up with the whole Fedora.next proposal which is now reshaping Red Hat's community Linux project. Miller has a clear view of how his leadership will work in the cat-herding world of open source: 'As the FPL, you've got the responsibility, but no actual authority to tell anyone to do things,' Miller said. 'So you have to find people that have an interest and are aligned with the direction you want to go.'"

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This 360-Degree, 4K Video Camera isn't Getting Kickstarted (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 07:15 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's not-everything-makes-the-cut-even-if-we-like-it department:
This is something that caught Tim Lord's eye as he cruised the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire: A 360 4K-resolution video camera. It's not out yet for retail sale, but if you look at the Centrcam website you can see a number of videos their cameras have shot, including some high-motion ones that they say, truthfully, are excellent to watch full-screen. The people who came up with this aren't college students who have never done any professional design work. Rather, they're "the same team that engineered and built the Apple iPhone cameras." So it's no wonder they have made something pretty cool that has already been used to make videos for Fox Sports, National Geographic, and the U.S. Army, among others. Their Kickstarter blurb is pretty cool, too. It is one of the most detailed ones we've ever seen. It's sad that they only got $607,628 of their $900,00 funding goal, considering all the work they've put into their product, along with the great presentation. They didn't know this would happen at the time this video was shot at the Maker Faire; their Kickstarter time window didn't close until four days ago. But there are other ways to fund a startup, and we hope they manage find one -- because we would eventually like to get our hands on one of their cameras and test it for ourselves, possibly with a little help from some of the Bradenton Riverwalk Skatepark regulars. (Alternate Video Link)

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Apple Says Many Users 'Bought an Android Phone By Mistake'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thought-it-was-a-protocol-droid department:
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Apple CEO Tim Cook during his keynote said that around 130 million customers have purchased their first Apple device in the last twelve months states, "Many of these customers were switchers from Android," he said. "They had bought an Android phone by mistake, and then had sought a better experience and a better life." He added that almost half of those who have purchased an iPhone in China since December have switched from Android. However, it is worth noting that iPhones were not actually available in China until December, when pre-orders began, so it is unclear how much of the device's popularity there is simply down to the novelty factor, rather than a burning desire to flee from Android."

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Bill Blunden's Rejected DEF CON Presentation Posted Online
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-I-was-going-to-say department:
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "Though the Review Board at DEF CON squelched Bill Blunden's presentation on Chinese cyber-espionage, and the U.S. government has considered imposing visa restrictions to keep out Chinese nationals, Bill has decided to post both the presentation's slide deck and its transcript online. The talk focuses on Mike Rogers, in all his glory, a former FBI agent who delivers a veritable litany of hyperbolic misstatements (likely to be repeated endlessly on AM radio). Rather than allow the DEFCON Review Board to pass judgement as supposed .gov 'experts,' why not allow people to peruse the material and decide for themselves who is credible and who is not?" "Squelched" seems a little harsh (only so many talks can fit, and there's no accounting for taste), but it's certainly good to see any non-accepted DEF CON presentations made public.

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Intel Announces Devil's Canyon Core I7-4790K: 4GHz Base Clock, 4.4GHz Turbo
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's let-the-bleeding-edge-do-the-bleeding department:
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Last year, Intel launched two new processor families based on the Haswell and Ivy Bridge-E based Core i7 architecture. Both chips were just incremental updates over their predecessors. Haswell may have delivered impressive gains in mobile, but it failed to impress on the desktop where it was only slightly faster than the chip it replaced. Enthusiasts weren't terribly excited about either core but Intel is hoping its new Devil's Canyon CPU, which launches today, will change that. The new chip is the Core i7-4790K and it packs several new features that should appeal to the enthusiast and overclocking markets. First, Intel has changed the thermal interface material from the paste it used in the last generation over to a new Next Generation Polymer Thermal Interface Material, or as Intel calls it, "NGPTIM." Moving Haswell's voltage regulator on-die proved to be a significant problem for overclockers since it caused dramatic heat buildup that was only exacerbated by higher clock speeds. Overclockers reported that removing Haswell's lid could boost clock speeds by several hundred MHz. The other tweak to the Haswell core is a great many additional capacitors, which have been integrated to smooth power delivery at higher currents. This new chip gives Haswell a nice lift. If the overclocking headroom delivers on top of that, enthusiasts might be able to hit 4.7-4.8GHz on standard cooling."

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Tracking Tesla's Quiet Changes To the Model S
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's silent-upgrades department:
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla won't reveal its production figures every quarter, but it has now likely built about 50,000 all-electric Model S luxury sport sedans. Unlike other automakers, Tesla doesn't group its changes to a model year, rather it makes running changes to cars whenever updates are tested, validated, and ready to roll out. Which raises the question, are model year 2012 Model S sedans already outdated? The answer is it depends how you look at it. From a powertrain perspective, no. There are still two battery-size options and the shape is still the same. But under the surface of the car there are a surprisingly number of updates and new options. Not including software changes which there are dozens of and are pushed to the car, changes range from power folding mirrors and a new cold-weather package (which cannot be retrofitted) to a new ultra-high-fidelity sound package and three-zone, three-mode rear seat heaters. It's worth noting that none of these are mandatory changes--there are merely options that have been added to the roster of available equipment."

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Whistleblowers Enter the Post-Snowden Era
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 04:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's exile-not-optional department:
Presto Vivace (882157) writes GovExec Magazine reporting on the aftermath of Snowden's disclosures: '...At the Intelligence Community's Office of the Inspector General, Meyer told Government Executive that a communitywide policy directive signed in March by the director of the Office of National Intelligence "is an affirmative statement that you have to blow the whistle" upon encountering wrongdoing, noting that in the past it was seen as an option. The new directive, he added, "shows firm support for the IC IG Whistleblowing program that actively promotes federal whistleblowing through lawful disclosures, which ultimately strengthens our nation's security." The key to the campaign of openness to whistleblowers, as distinct from criminal leakers and publicity seekers, Meyer stresses, is that it "must aid the agency mission. It is developmental and helps all stakeholders understand that we have rules in effect," he added. Meyer is expecting a bow wave of whistleblower retaliation cases (which can involve punishments ranging from demotion to pay cuts to required psychiatric evaluation) to come through his office directly or through a hotline in the coming months.'

Given the realities of the insider threat program and war on whistleblowers I can't say that I am optimistic about the new directive."


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Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage
Posted by News Fetcher on June 03 '14 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's only-sort-of-starving-now department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Seattle City Council announced on Monday that it has unanimously approved a $15 per hour minimum wage mandate. The new rate will go into effect starting April 1, 2015 in a tiered, gradual manner that depends on employer size. In the first year of implementation, hourly minimum wage will be raised to either $10 or $11 according to the employer size category. By 2021, hourly minimum wage across the board should be at or above $15. Seattle is the first city to implement a living wage for its lowest earners."

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Red Dwarfs Could Sterilize Alien Worlds of Life
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '14 at 11:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's not-very-habitable-zone department:
astroengine (1577233) writes "Red dwarf stars — the most common stars in the galaxy — bathe planets in their habitable zones with potentially deadly stellar winds, a finding that could have significant impacts on the prevalence of life beyond Earth, new research shows. About 70 percent of stars are red dwarfs, or M-type stars, which are cooler and smaller than the sun. Any red dwarf planets suitable for liquid water, therefore, would have to orbit much closer to their parent star than Earth circles the sun. That presents a problem for life — at least life as we know it on Earth, says physicist Ofer Cohen, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Cohen and colleagues used a computer model based on data from the sun's solar wind — a continuous stream of charged particles that permeates and defines the solar system –- to estimate the space environment around red dwarf stars. 'We find that the conditions are very extreme. If you move planets very close to the star, the force of this flow is very, very strong. Essentially it can strip the atmosphere of the planet unless the planet has a strong magnetic field or a thick atmosphere to start with,' Cohen told Discovery News."

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The Latest Wave of Cyberattacks On the West Is Coming From the Middle East
Posted by News Fetcher on June 02 '14 at 08:16 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-more-bits-for-oil department:
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A hacker group from the Middle East known as Molerats attacked a wide range of major public sector organizations over April and May, including the BBC and a smattering of European governments, researchers revealed today. The latest attacks, which sought to establish espionage operations on targets' digital infrastructure, took place between 29 April and 27 May, according to security technology vendor FireEye. The Molerats' actions have added weight to concerns around growing cyber capability stemming from the Middle East. Yet researchers are somewhat perplexed as to the motivation of the perpetrators, whose targets included both Israel and Palestine, as well as Turkey, Slovenia, Macedonia, New Zealand and Latvia. The hackers also went after government bodies in the U.S. and the UK."

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