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Why Your Sysadmin Hates You
Posted by News Fetcher on June 20 '13 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-wouldn't-like-me-when-I'm-angry department:
jfruh writes "We've learned many lessons in the fallout from Edward Snowden's whistleblowing and flight to Hong Kong, but here's an important one: Never make your sysadmin mad. Even if your organization isn't running a secret, civil-rights violating surveillance program, you're probably managing to annoy your admins in a number of more pedestrian ways that might still have blowback for you. Learn to stay on their good side by going along with their reasonable requests and being specific with your complaints."

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21 Financial Sites Found To Store Sensitive Data In Browser Disk Cache
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's out-in-the-open department:
An anonymous reader writes "The LA Times mentions that after visiting well known sites such as ADP, Verizon Wireless, Scottrade, Geico, Equifax, PayPal and Allstate, sensitive data remains in the browser disk cache despite those sites using SSL. This included full credit reports, prescription history, payroll statements, partial SSNs, credit card statements, and canceled checks. Web servers are supposed to send a Cache-Control: no-store header to prevent this, but many of the sites are sending non-standard headers recognized only by Internet Explorer, and others are sending no cache headers at all. While browsers were once cautious about writing content received over SSL to the disk cache, today, most do so by default unless the server specifies otherwise."

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US and Russia Set Up Cyber Cold War Hotline
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's don't-say-that-you're-the-more-sorry-than-I-am-because-I-am-capable-of-being-just-as-sorry-as-you-ar department:
judgecorp writes "In a move reminiscent of the 1960s Cold War days, Presidents Obama and Putin have set up a hotline between their respective cyber-security authorities, to defuse any possible crises and prevent them from escalating into an online equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 'We recognise that threats to or in the use of ICTs include political-military and criminal threats, as well as threats of a terrorist nature, and are some of the most serious national and international security challenges we face in the 21st Century,' a joint statement from the presidents read."

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Amazon Vows To Fight Government Requests For Data
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's why-don't-you-make-me department:
itwbennett writes "Speaking at a cloud panel discussion hosted by Reuters on Wednesday, Terry Wise, head of global partner ecosystem for Amazon Web Services, explained how the company handles government requests for data stored on Amazon's cloud: 'If a U.S. entity is serving us with a legally binding subpoena, we contact our customer and work with that customer to fight the subpoena.' But Wise's best advice to customers is to encrypt their data: 'If the data is encrypted, all we'd be handing over would be the cypher text,' he said."

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2 Men Accused of Trying To Make X-Ray Weapon
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's firing-the-cancer-gun department:
gurps_npc writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray weapon. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel. But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting. The men were arrested before the machine was in working order."

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Monsanto Executive Wins World Food Prize
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-of-brand department:
sfcrazy writes "A top Monsanto executive has won the prestigious World Food Prize. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the award where Robert T. Fraley, the executive vice president and CTO of Monsanto, won the prize along with two other scientists from Belgium and the US. The award was given for devising a method to insert genes from another organism into plant sell, which could produce new genetic lines with highly favorable traits."

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Microsoft Launches $100k Bug Bounty Program
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bug-hunt department:
Trailrunner7 writes "After years of saying that the company didn't need a bug bounty program, Microsoft is starting one. The company today will announce the start of a new program that will pay security researchers up to $100,000 for serious vulnerabilities and as much as $50,000 for new defensive techniques that help protect against those flaws. Microsoft security officials say that the program has been a long time in development, and the factor that made this the right time to launch is the recent rise of vulnerability brokers. Up until quite recently, most of the researchers who found bugs in Microsoft products reported them directly to the company. That's no longer the case. The system that Microsoft is kicking off on June 26 will pay researchers $100,000 for a new exploit technique that is capable of bypassing the latest existing mitigations in the newest version of Windows."

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The Plight of Star Wars Droids
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's george-lucas-doesn't-care-about-metal-people department:
malachiorion writes "Does George Lucas hate metal people? I know, sounds like standard click-bait, but I think I present a relatively troll-free argument in the piece I wrote for Slate. We stuck to the Star Wars canon, pointing out the relatively grim state of affairs for droid rights, and the lack of any real sympathy for their plight from the heroes, or, it would seem, George Lucas. C-3PO is more correct than he might realize, when the says that droids 'seem to be made to suffer.'"

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Java API and Microsoft's .NET API: a Comparison
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's similar-and-yet-not department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Previously, developer Jeff Cogswell focused on the respective performances of C# and Java. Now he's looking at yet another aspect of the languages: the runtime libraries—what exactly the libraries are, how they are called, and what features the languages provide for calling into them. Examining the official Java API (now owned by Oracle) and the official .NET API owned by Microsoft, he finds both pretty complete and pretty much a 'tie' with regard to ease-of-use and functionality, especially since Java version 7 release 6 allows for automatic resource management. Read on and see if you agree."

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MakerBot Merging With Stratasys
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's layer-by-layer department:
MakerBot Industries, creators of the popular Thing-O-Matic and Replicator line of 3-D printers, is being acquired by Stratasys, a company that's been working on 3-D printing and production systems since 1989. '[Stratasys] facilitates the printing of prototypes, concepts, components, parts and more on an industrial scale and for commercial applications. ... Stratasys has demonstrated it’s going to be aggressive about owning the 3D printing space, and the MakerBot buy is the consumer-focused piece in that puzzle. For MakerBot, it gives the startup access to Stratasys’ wealth of industry experience.' According to the official news release, 'MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy.' MakerBot has sold 11,000 of its Replicator 2 devices in the past 9 months, accounting for half of all its 3-D printer sales since 2009.

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Microsoft Kills Xbox One Phone-Home DRM
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-this-cloud-and-shove-it department:
One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft's recently-announced Xbox One console was that it would require an internet connection once every 24 hours in order to keep playing games. Enough people complained about the DRM, and Microsoft listened. Today, they announced that they're removing the phone-home requirement. "After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360." They've also scrapped the game trading and resale system they'd built, which allowed publishers to set their own rules with regard to used game sales. "There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360." Unfortunately, that also means users won't be able to take advantage of the good parts of the original system, such as trading and gifting games without needing the disc, or sharing games with remote family members. "While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds." Also noteworthy: they've dropped region-locks as well.

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Billion-Pixel View of Mars Snapped By Curiosity
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's see-any-good-landing-spots? department:
astroengine writes "If you were in any doubt as to Curiosity's photography prowess, this panorama of Gale Crater should allay your concerns. In this billion-pixel photo from Mars, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory snapped nearly 900 separate images that were then stitched together to create a wonderful high-definition view from the robot's mast-mounted cameras. 'It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras' capabilities,' said Bob Deen of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who assembled the scene. 'You can see the context and also zoom in to see very fine details.'"

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Deb Nicholson Talks About the Open Invention Network (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 12:45 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's fighting-patent-trolls-and-other-dark-forces-for-the-good-of-all-humanity department:
The OIN (Open Invention Network) site's front page starts out by saying, "Open source software development has been one of the greatest sources of innovation. It has reduced costs, improved functionality and spurred new industries." After another few sentences it says, "Open Invention Network® is an intellectual property company that was formed to promote the Linux system by using patents to create a collaborative ecosystem." Go a little deeper, on the About page, and you learn that: "Patents owned by Open Invention Network® are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. This enables companies to make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux — helping to fuel economic growth." Today's interviewee, Deb Nicholson, is the OIN's Community Outreach Director. We did a video interview with OIN CEO Keith Bergelt back in February. This one adds to what he had to say. And once again, we remind you: "...if you or your company is being victimized by any entity seeking to assert its patent portfolio against Linux, please contact [OIN] so that we can aid you in your battle with these dark forces." Make your first contact through Linux Defenders 911 -- and may the OIN be with you!

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Five predictions for (Bit)coin
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's invest-in-apc department:
Contributor Tom Geller writes: "I recently wrote an article about Bitcoin and the law for Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery. In researching it I ran into plenty of wishful thinkers, ridiculous greedheads, and out-and-out nutbags promising a rosy future. I also found the expected blowback from vehement naysayers who think the best way to combat crazy is with more crazy. But despite that, I walked away believing that Bitcoin — or a decentralized cryptocurrency like it (let's call it "Coin") — is here to stay. As an interested outsider to the Coin economy, and a long-time technology commentator, here's what I think its future holds." Read on for Tom's predictions.

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Researchers Crack iOS Mobile Hotspot Passwords In Less Than a Minute
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's algorithm-to-guess-your-cat's-name department:
msm1267 writes "Business travelers who tether their iPhones as mobile hotspots beware. Researchers at the University of Erlanger-Nuremberg in Germany have discovered a weakness in the way iOS generates default passwords for such connections that can leave a user's device vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks, information leakage or abuse of the user's Internet connection. Andreas Kurtz, Felix Freiling and Daniel Metz published a paper (PDF) that describes the inner workings of how an attacker can exploit the PSK (pre-shared key) authentication iOS uses to establish a secure WPA2 connection when using the Apple smartphone as a hotspot. The researchers said that attackers would find the least resistance attacking the PSK setup rather than trying their hand at beating the operating system's complex programming layers."

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U.S. House Wants 'Sustained Human Presence On the Moon and the Surface of Mars'
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody-had-them-read-kim-stanley-robinson department:
MarkWhittington writes "Politico reports in a June 18, 2013 story that House Republicans have added a Mars base to its demands for a lunar base in the draft 2013 NASA Authorization bill. Both the Bush-era Constellation program and President Obama space plan envisioned eventual human expeditions to Mars. But if Politico is correct, the new bill will be the first time an official piece of legislation will call for permanent habitation of the Red Planet. The actual legislative language states, 'The [NASA] Administrator shall establish a program to develop a sustained human presence on the Moon and the surface of Mars.'"

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FBI Admits To Domestic Surveillance Drone Use
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's seeds-of-the-panopticon department:
An anonymous reader writes "At a hearing today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI director Robert Mueller confirmed the agency is using unmanned drones for surveillance within the U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley asked, 'Does the FBI own or currently use drones and for what purpose?' Mueller replied, 'Yes, for surveillance.' Grassley then asked, 'Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on U.S. soil?' Mueller said, 'Yes, in a very, very minimal way, and seldom.' With regard to restricting the use of drones to protect citizens' privacy, Mueller said, 'It is still in nascent stages but it is worthy of debate and legislation down the road.' According to article, 'Dianne Feinstein, who is also chair of the Senate intelligence committee, said the issue of drones worried her far more than telephone and internet surveillance, which she believes are subject to sufficient legal oversight.'"

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Millions At Risk From Critical Vulnerabilities From WordPress Plugins
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-use-ur-web department:
First time accepted submitter dougkfresh writes "Checkmarx's research lab identified that more than 20% of the 50 most popular WordPress plugins are vulnerable to common Web attacks, such as SQL Injection. Furthermore, a concentrated research into e-commerce plugins revealed that 7 out of the 10 most popular e-commerce plugins contain vulnerabilities. This is the first time that such a comprehensive survey was prepared to test the state of security of the leading plugins."

It does seem that Wordpress continues to be a particularly perilous piece of software to run. When popularity and unsafe languages collide.

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Ubuntu Phone Carrier Advisory Group Announced
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 09:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's open-phone-war-was-the-only-good-war department:
An anonymous reader writes "With the focus from Ubuntu on phones, seven carriers have signed onto their Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group including Deutsche Telekom, Everything Everywhere, Telecom Italia, Korea Telecom, LG UPlus, Portugal Telecom, and SK Telecom. The group is designed for the carriers to let 'mobile operators shape Ubuntu's mobile strategy. Members receive advance confidential briefings and provide us with industry insight to ensure that Ubuntu meets their needs.'"

Looks like Ubuntu Phone is getting serious. Mark Shuttleworth writes about their first meeting: "We mapped out our approach to the key question I’ve been asked by every carrier we’ve met so far: how can we accommodate differentiation, without fragmenting the platform for developers? We described the range of diversity we think we can support initially, received some initial feedback from carriers participating immediately, and I’m looking forward to the distilled feedback we’ll get on the topic in the next call. CAG members get a period of exclusivity in their markets."

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Cumulus Releases GNU/Linux For Datacenter Routers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '13 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's scale-up department:
alphadogg writes "Start-up Cumulus Networks this week has emerged with a Linux network operating system designed for programmable data centers like the ones Google and Facebook are building. The company's Cumulus Linux OS operating system includes IPv4 and IPv6 routing, plus data center and network orchestration hooks. Much like OpenFlow for independent, software-defined control of network forwarding, Cumulus Linux is intended to run on commodity network hardware and bring Open Source extensibility to high capacity data centers. The head of the company used to work for Cisco and Google."

The distribution is based on Debian and ported to several router platforms. They claim to release most of their code Open Source, but there are at least a few proprietary bits for interfacing to the routing hardware itself.

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