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Ruby On Rails Exploit Used To Build IRC Botnet
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '13 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bad-script-kiddie department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Developers who have not updated their Ruby on Rails installations with a five-month-old security patch would do well to secure the Web development framework now. Exploit code has surfaced for CVE-2013-0156 that is being used to build a botnet of compromised servers. Exploit code has been publicly available since the vulnerability was disclosed in January on Github and Metasploit, yet the vulnerability had not been exploited on a large scale until now, said security researcher Jeff Jarmoc."

One reason your web server firewall might want to block IRC connections to arbitrary hosts.

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Interpreting Global Flight Maps
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '13 at 06:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's pictures-depict-message-of-satan department:
kodiaktau writes "Five experts including: artist, environmentalist, aviation consultant, data visualization expert and philosopher interpret a flight map showing global flights. While the imagery of the visualization is intriguing, the interpretations are particularly interesting and show how individual background and experience impact they way they view the data."

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Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '13 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's honey-i-couldn't-shrink-the-transistor department:
An anonymous reader writes "SanDisk sampling its 1Y-based NAND flash memory products and has revealed they are manufactured at same minimum geometry as the 1X generation: 19 nm. The author speculates that this is one of the first instances of a Moore's Law 'fail' since the self-fulfilling prophecy was made in 1965 — but that it won't be the last."

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Apple Leaves Journalists Jonesing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '13 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's irony-noted department:
Hodejo1 writes "Apple traditionally has big product announcements in the early spring, so around February both the mainstream press and the tech blogs began to circulate their favorite rumors (the iWatch, iTV). They also announced the date of the next Apple event, which this year was in March — except it didn't happen. 'Reliable sources' then confirmed it would be in April, then May and then — nothing. In withdrawal and with a notoriously secretive Apple offering no relief the tech journalists started to get cranky. The end result is a rash of petulant stories that insist Apple is desperate for new products, in trouble (with $150 billion dollars in the bank, I should be in such trouble) and in decline. The only ones desperate seem to be editors addicted to traffic-generating Apple announcements. Good news is on the horizon, though, as the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference starts June 10th."
This was in evidence last night, as Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke to the press at the All Things D conference. Cook's statements were mostly the sort of vague, grandiose talk that gets fed to investors on an earnings call, but it's generating article after article because, hey, it's Tim Cook.

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$30,000 For a Developer Referral?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '13 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'll-send-you-a-dozen department:
itwbennett writes "Are good developers really that hard to find? Cambridge, MA-based inbound marketing company HubSpot seems to think so. The company has upped its developer referral bonus from $10,000 to $30,000 — and you don't have to be an employee to get in on the deal. Beats a free puppy. What has your experience been with referral bonuses?"

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Canon DSLR Hack Allows It To Shoot RAW Video
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's features-added-by-users department:
When the Canon 50D DSLR camera was released back in 2008, it could take nice pictures, but it had no support for video recording. Now, through an enterprising hack by members of the Magic Lantern forums, the 50D can capture RAW video. From the article:
"The tech inside the 50D looks like it borrows a lot more from its higher-end siblings, like the 5D Mark II, and it’s possible we may actually get better RAW video quality out of the 50D than we do out of any of the non-CF Canon cameras. ... The camera doesn’t have playback or audio recording as it was never designed to shoot video, but this isn’t too different from the RAW recording on the other Canon DSLRs at the moment."

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Texas Poised To Pass Unprecedented Email Privacy Bill
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-mess-with-texas-emails department:
An anonymous reader writes "A bill has reached the desk of Texas Governor Rick Perry that would give stronger privacy protections to email accounts than exist in any other state. If Perry signs it (or simply declines to veto it before June 16th), the legislation would force law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before reading somebody's email, even if the email has been sitting on the server for a long time. 'As we've noted many times before, there are no such provisions in federal law once the e-mail has been opened or if it has been sitting in an inbox, unopened, for 180 days. In March 2013, the Department of Justice acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that this distinction no longer makes sense and the DOJ would support revisions to ECPA.' This bill passed the state legislature unanimously. The article points out that the legislation won't protect from federal investigations, but it will set a precedent that the U.S. Congress will surely notice. An attorney with the EFF said, 'It's significant as proof that privacy reform is not only needed, but also politically-feasible with broad bipartisan support. And hopefully that will impact federal ECPA reform efforts by getting people on both of sides of the political aisle to work together to make meaningful electronic privacy reform a reality. The more states that pass similar legislation, the more pressure it will put on Congress to keep up with the changing legal landscape.'"

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Dao, a New Programming Language Supporting Advanced Features With Small Runtime
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-to-be-confused-with-the-chinese-sword department:
New submitter NeoHermit writes "This language (Dao) has never been mentioned on Slashdot before, but it might be interesting to many people here. As it has recently become feature-complete and just made its first beta release, it may be the right time to mention it here. Dao is an optionally-typed programming language that supports many advanced features with a small runtime. The feature list is probably as long as that of Python, but they are supported by a much smaller runtime (somewhere between Lua and Python, but closer to Lua). Besides optional typing, the other major features that worth mentioning include: built-in support for concurrent programming for multicore computers, very friendly C programming interfaces for embedding and extending, a LLVM-based JIT compiler, a Clang-based module for embedding C/C++ codes in Dao, and a Clang-based tool for automatic binding generation from C/C++ header files. You can also see many familiar features from other languages."

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Blizzard's Unannounced 'Titan' MMO Rebooted, Development Team Reduced
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 06:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's back-to-the-drawing-board department:
An anonymous reader writes "VentureBeat reports that the next-gen MMO Blizzard Entertainment has been hinting at since 2007, codenamed 'Titan,' is getting restarted with a drastically reduced development team. It was originally being built by a 100-person 'dream team' of developers that had their roots in other popular Blizzard games. Many people were expecting an announcement about Titan at this year's Blizzcon, but now that looks unlikely. 'Blizzard's development teams aren't known for their speed. The publisher often cancels projects that have been in the works for years if it believes that those games don't meet its standard of quality.' VentureBeat's sources say the game is now looking at a 2016 release at the earliest."

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Criminal Complaint Filed Against Facebook After Girl's Death
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's blame-the-medium-for-the-content department:
An anonymous reader writes "A prosecutor has opened an investigation into how Facebook allowed the publication of insults and bullying posts aimed at 14-year-old Carolina Picchio, who took her own life after a gang of boys circulated a video on Facebook of her appearing drunk and disheveled in a bathroom at a party. The Italian Parents Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook for allegedly having a role in the instigation of Carolina's suicide. 'This is the first time a parents' group has filed such a complaint against Facebook in Europe,' said Antonio Affinita, the director. 'Italian law forbids minors under 18 signing contracts, yet Facebook is effectively entering into a contract with minors regarding their privacy, without their parents knowing.''

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Internet Payment Processor Liberty Reserve Accused of Laundering $6 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's go-big-or-go-home department:
pdclarry writes with a followup to this weekend's story that Liberty Reserve, a huge international payment processor, had been shut down and its founder had been arrested.
"Liberty Reserve, apparently the Internet bank of choice for criminals, as reported by the NY Times, Wired and Business Week, has been accused of laundering over $6 billion dollars. Incorporated in Costa Rica in 2006, Liberty Reserve allegedly 'facilitated global criminal conduct' and was created and structured 'as a criminal business venture, one designed to help criminals conduct illegal transactions and launder the proceeds of their crimes,' Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in an indictment (PDF) unsealed today. Chatter on criminal web sites show a rising sense of panic as fortunes have disappeared in an instant."

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Aussie Government Proposes OpenDocument As the Standard Format
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's need-a-format-that-works-for-all-those-upside-down-computers department:
Bismillah writes "The Australian government chief technical officer wants some views on proposals for the official standard operating environment, which features OpenDocument as the proposed document format. Otherwise, the Aussie government is pretty much a Microsoft shop, with Windows 7 x64 and IE10 as the standard platform. 'Interoperability and support for several versions of Microsoft Office is cited by the AGCTO as reasons to go with ODF, along with flexibility and the fact that the format is continously updated and developed. Spreadsheet formulae are now included in the ODF 1.2 specification as well and the AGTO believes that this, along with Microsoft Office 2013 supporting the format, will help to reliably transfer formulae between applications.' According to the CTO's call for opinions, 'Standardizing on a format supported by a wide range of office suites provides for the greatest possible degree of interoperability without mandating the use of a specific product, as well as providing the best basis for reliable interchange of information between agencies deploying differing office productivity suites.'"

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A Commencement Speech For 2013 CS Majors
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's enjoy-all-of-your-debt department:
blackbearnh writes "Most commencement speeches are long on platitudes and short on practical advice. O'Reilly blogger James Turner has tailored a speech aimed specifically at the current batch of graduating CS majors. Among the advice that the 35-year industry veteran offers are to find a small company for your first job, but not one that is going to burn you out. Also, keep learning new things, but don't fall into the trap of learning the flavor of the day technology. Quoting: 'Being passionate about software is critical to being successful, because the field is a constantly moving target. What will net you $130K today will be done by junior programmers in five years, and unless you're constantly adding new tools to your belt, you’re going to find yourself priced out of the market. ... You are rarely going to get an opportunity to have your current employer pay for you to learn things, so learn them on your own and be in a position to leverage the skills when a new project comes along. But if you have a passion for technology, you'll already be doing it, and enjoying it without needing me to tell you to."

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Supercomputers At TACC Getting a Speed Boost
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's finally-found-the-turbo-button department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is going to get a major speed boost this summer, and it won't come from new CPUs. Internet2, the research project that acts as a test bed for new Internet technologies, will take TACC's massive computing system from 10GB to 100GB of Ethernet throughput. TACC supercomputers are regularly found near the top of the Top 500 supercomputer list, which ranks the world's fastest supercomputers. But while the supercomputers were fast, the connectivity wasn't quite up to snuff. So TACC began the emigration to the Internet2 network. TACC is a key partner in the UT Research Cyberinfrastructure, which provides a combination of advanced computing, high-bandwidth network connectivity, and large data storage to all 15 of the UT system schools. So not only is TACC upgraded to Internet2s 100GB and 8.8 terabit-per-second optical network, platform, services and technologies, so is the entire UT system. 'This Internet2 bandwidth upgrade will enable researchers to achieve a tenfold increase in moving data to/from TACC's supercomputing, visualization and data storage systems, greatly increasing their productivity and their ability to make new discoveries,' TACC director Jay Boisseau wrote in a statement."

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Researchers Regenerate 400-Year-Old Frozen Plants
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-are-they-in-a-salad? department:
Several readers sent word of a group of University of Alberta researchers, who were exploring the edge of the Teardrop Glacier in northern Canada when they noticed a 'greenish tint' coming out from underneath the glacier. It turned out to be a collection of bryophytes, which likely flourished there the last time the land in that area was exposed to sunlight before the Little Ice Age. They collected samples of plants estimated to be 400 years old, and the researchers were able to get them to sprout new growths in the lab (abstract).
"The glaciers in the region have been receding at rates that have sharply accelerated since 2004, at about 3-4m per year. ... Bryophytes are different from the land plants that we know best, in that they do not have vascular tissue that helps pump fluids around different parts of the organism. They can survive being completely desiccated in long Arctic winters, returning to growth in warmer times, but Dr La Farge was surprised by an emergence of bryophytes that had been buried under ice for so long. 'When we looked at them in detail and brought them to the lab, I could see some of the stems actually had new growth of green lateral branches, and that said to me that these guys are regenerating in the field, and that blew my mind.'"

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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's build-an-office-inside-a-rental-truck department:
An anonymous reader writes "I really want to go travel the world with the money I've saved up at my day job, but I also want to grow as a developer in the process. This is a long-term engagement: 2-3 years or more depending on whether my software is successful. I'll probably be hopping from hostel to hostel at first, with a few weeks at each. How do I find a good work environment in these conditions? Do hostels generally have quiet areas where work could be done? Is it OK to get out your laptop and spend the day in a cafe in Europe, assuming you keep buying drinks? What about hackerspaces — are those common on the other side of the globe? (Apartments are an option for later on, but I'm concerned about losing the social atmosphere that's built in with the hostel lifestyle.) I've never done anything like this before, but I'm really excited about the idea! Any advice would be greatly appreciated."

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Transform Any Unity Project Into a Relativistic Playground With OpenRelativity
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's aim,-calculate-lorentz-transform,-fire department:
schirra writes "The MIT Game Lab has just released the graphics/physics engine from its popular game A Slower Speed of Light as an open-source project, allowing anyone to play around with the effects of special relativity using Unity3D. While the hope is that game developers and educators will use OpenRelativity to develop new kinds of relativistic games and simulations, that shouldn't stop those with a casual interest from playing around with these wicked cool effects. For the physics inclined, these effects include Lorentz contraction, time dilation, Doppler shift, and the searchlight effect--though a PhD in theoretical physics isn't required to enjoy or use the project."

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Jeremy Hammond of LulzSec Pleads Guilty To Stratfor Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's overcharging-wins-another-court-case department:
eldavojohn writes "After facing 30 years to life imprisonment and pleading not guilty to charges last year, Jeremy Hammond has pleaded guilty to his alleged involvement in Anonymous' hacking of Stratfor. The self proclaimed hacktivist member of LulzSec, who has compared his situation to that of the late Aaron Swartz, explained his reasoning in his plea: 'Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline. During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government's case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. ... I did what I believe is right.'"

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BSA Study Demonstrates Open Source's Economic Advantage
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
jrepin writes "The fundamental premise of the latest Software Alliance study — that licensed, proprietary software is better in many ways than pirated copies — actually applies to open source software even more strongly, with the added virtues that the software is free to try, to use and to modify. That means the potential economic impact of free software is also even greater than that offered by both licensed and unlicensed proprietary software. It's yet another reason for governments around the world to promote the use of open source in their countries by everyone at every level."

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WeVideo Helps You Edit Your Videos Online (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '13 at 10:00 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's lights!-camera!-action!-edit! department:
This video is WeVideo CEO Jostein Svendsen talking about his company's service, not a demo of it, although we surely should do a demo/review of WeVideo before long. If you are involved in casual video production, this is something you need to check out. And if you want to try editing a video or two but have no idea if you're going to be good enough that it will be worth spending money on video editing software, plus the time to learn how to use it, <a>WeVideo's free version</a> (which puts a watermark on your finished video) might be a good way to try your hand at this necessary but unheralded part of the videomaking process.

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