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Linus Responds To RdRand Petition With Scorn
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '13 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's never-a-dull-moment department:
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds, in response to a petition on Change.org to remove RdRand from /dev/random, has lambasted the petitioner by called him ignorant for not understanding the code in Linux Kernel. Kyle Condon from UK raised a petition on Change.org to get Linus to remove RdRand from /dev/random in a bid "to improve the overall security of the linux kernel." In his response, Torvalds asked the Condon and the supports of the petition to gain an understanding of Linux drivers, cryptography and then "come back here and admit to the world that you were wrong." Torvalds stressed that kernel maintainers knew what they were doing and the petitioner didn't. Torvalds, in a similar outburst just yesterday, hoped that "ARM SoC hardware designers all die in some incredibly painful accident." This came in response to a message from Kevin Hilman when he noted that there were quite a few conflicts in the ARM SoC pull request for Linux 3.12, which were a result of the platform changes conflicting with driver changes going in to the V4L tree."

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John McAfee Triggers the Ultimate False Positive
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '13 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-will-miss-him-but-celebrate-his-life department:
Barence writes "The wild man of antivirus software, John McAfee, has been forced to deny reports of his own death. Internet reports circulating last night claimed the hard-living security software entrepreneur had died after one too many drink and drugs sessions. However, McAfee has taken to his Twitter account in the past few hours to assure everyone that he's still alive, and hasn't mislaid his sense of humour.'"I felt great when I went to bed last night. I had such great plans,' tweeted McAfee, alongside a link to a report — now hastily withdrawn — that claimed he had died from an overdose."

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How To Foil NSA Sabotage: Use a Dead Man's Switch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '13 at 04:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's do-i-smell-methane department:
mspohr writes "Cory Doctorow has an interesting idea published in today's Guardian on how to approach the problem of NSA 'gag orders' which prevent web sites, etc. from telling anyone that they have been compromised. His idea is to set up a 'dead man' switch where a site would publish a statement that 'We have not been contacted by the government' ... until, of course, they were contacted and compromised. The statement would then disappear since it would no longer be true. He points out a few problems... Not making the statement could be considered a violation of disclosure... but, can the government force you to lie and state that you haven't been contacted when you actually have?"

Rsync.net has been doing this for years; rather than the statement disappearing in case of an NSL being issued, it simply would stop updating. Indeed, their canary text also points out the same possible flaws: "This scheme is not infallible. Although signing the declaration makes it impossible for a third party to produce arbitrary declarations, it does not prevent them from using force to coerce rsync.net to produce false declarations. The news clip in the signed message serves to demonstrate that that update could not have been created prior to that date. It shows that a series of these updates were not created in advance and posted on this page."

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Icahn Abandons Bid To Prevent Dell From Going Private
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '13 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's everyone-wants-out department:
Via El Reg comes news that Carl Icahn has, after a brief battle with Michael Dell for control over the company, thrown in the towel. From the article: "Icahn said in an open letter to shareholders that he still thought that Big Mike's $13.88 per share offer for the firm undervalued it, but had decided that it would be
'almost impossible' to win the battle
at the shareholder vote on Thursday. 'I realize that some stockholders will be disappointed that we do not fight on,' he wrote. 'However, over the last decade, mainly through "activism," we have enhanced stockholder value in many companies by billions of dollars. We did not accomplish this by waging battles that we thought we would lose.'"


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Interview With Professor Potrykus, Inventor of Golden Rice
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 11:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's better-living-through-genetic-engineering department:
crabel writes "According to WHO, 127 millions of pre-school children worldwide suffer from vitamin A deficiency, causing some 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness every year. This deficiency is responsible for 600,000 deaths among children under the age of 5. Golden Rice might be a solution to this problem. The only problem? It's GMO. In an interview inventor Potrykus, now close to 80 years old, answers questions about the current state of approval, which might happen in the next couple of months."

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German Federal Police Helicopter Circles US Consulate
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 08:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-checking department:
New submitter mwissel writes "The German Federal Police ('Bundespolizei') had sent out an helicopter in late August to fly over the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt and take photos from only 60 meters height — reportedly to search for spy antennae and other espionage related equipment on the building rooftops. A government spokesmen more or less confirmed the purpose of the flight and it is said, that Merkel's chief of staff Ronald Pofalla himself had been giving the order. This is remarkable, because Pofalla so far stood out with a very U.S.-friendly attitude in the debate around NSA surveillance programs. There was, of course, no word about any findings. It also remains unclear whether this was just plain provocation or a PR-stunt for the upcoming federal elections in Germany on September 22nd."

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Research Shows "Three Strikes" Anti-piracy Laws Don't Work
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 06:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's who'd-thunk-it department:
Bismillah writes "Graduated response regimes that warn and then penalize users for infringing file sharing do not appear to work, new research from Monash University in Australia has found. The paper studied 'three strikes' laws (abstract, freely downloadable as a PDF from there) in France, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and the UK, as well as other anti-filesharing regimes in the U.S. and Ireland, but found scant evidence that they're effective."

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A Tale of Two MySQL Bugs
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-buy-our-more-expensive-widget-instead department:
New submitter Archie Cobbs writes "Last May I encountered a relatively obscure performance bug present in both MySQL 5.5.x and MariaDB 5.5.x (not surprising since they share the same codebase). This turned out to be a great opportunity to see whether Oracle or the MariaDB project is more responsive to bug reports. On May 31 Oracle got their bug report; within 24 hours they had confirmed the bug — pretty impressive. But since then, it's been radio silence for 3 months and counting. On July 25, MariaDB got their own copy. Within a week, a MariaDB developer had analyzed the bug and committed a patch. The resulting fix will be included in the next release, MariaDB 5.5.33."

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Instagram Rolls Out Plan For In-Feed Advertisments
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's imagemagick-to-remain-ad-free department:
New submitter cagraham writes "The currently ad-free Instagram has announced a plan to monetize its services by selling premium placement to brands. 35 year old Emily White is in charge of making Instagram profitable, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move shows the new priorities of parent-company Facebook, who now has to worry about appeasing shareholders, as well as fending off rivals such as Twitter. Whether Instagram's young and growing user base will balk at the ads, or even notice them, remains to be seen."

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Yahoo and Facebook Join Google In FISC Petition After Government Talks Fail
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 03:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's victory-in-secret-court-still-considered-failure department:
msm1267 writes "Google, Yahoo and Facebook filed amended requests today with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reiterating their desire to publish numbers on requests for user data related to national security. Google, meanwhile, went a step further asking for an open, public hearing with the court so that the issue could be publicly debated."

Statements from Yahoo's general counsel (filed motion [PDF]) and Facebook's general counsel (filed motion [PDF]). According to Facebook, "In recent weeks, it has become clear that the dialogue with the U.S. government that produced some additional transparency at the outset is at this point unlikely to result in more progress. As a result, today we are joining others in the industry in petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to require the government to permit companies to disclose more information about the volume and types of national security-related orders they receive."

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Sony Unveils the PS Vita TV and Slimmer Vita Handheld
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 02:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's but-does-it-run-xbmc department:
Dave Knott writes "Sony today announced the PS Vita TV box. Measuring 6.5cm by 10.5cm, it can play Vita games on your television, stream content via HDMI or wirelessly, and play all the existing PlayStation Network content available on the standard Vita platform. This is seen by some analysts as an attempt by Sony to compete with such devices as the Ouya and Apple TV. The PS Vita TV is so far announced for a Japan-only release in early 2014 at a price of approximately $100 US. In related news, Sony also announced a lighter, slimmer, more colorful iteration of the standard Vita handheld console."

The $100 model does not come with a controller; a $150 model was also announced that will include a Dualshock 3 and an 8G memory card.

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Keeping Data Secret, Even From Apps That Use It
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-information department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "Datacenters wanting to emulate Google by encrypting their data beyond the ability of the NSA to crack it may get some help from a new encryption technique that allows data to be stored, transported and even used by applications without giving away any secrets. In a paper to be presented at a major European security conference this week, researchers from Denmark and the U.K. collaborated on a practical way to implement a long-discussed encryption concept called Multi-Party Computation (MPC). The idea behind MPC is to allow two parties who have to collaborate on an analysis or computation to do so without revealing their own data to the other party. Though the concept was introduced in 1982, ways to accomplish it with more than two parties, or with standardized protocols and procedures, has not become practical in commercial environments. The Danish/British team revamped an MPC protocol nicknamed SPDZ (pronounced 'speeds'), which uses secret, securely generated keys to distribute a second set of keys that can be used for MPC encryptions. The big breakthrough, according to Smart, was to streamline SPDZ by reducing the number of times global MAC keys had to be calculated in order to create pairs of public and private keys for other uses. By cutting down on repetitive tasks, the whole process becomes much faster; because the new technique keeps global MAC keys secret, it should also make the faster process more secure."

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Tricorder Project Releases Prototype Open Source 3D Printable Spectrometer
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's scan-me department:
upontheturtlesback writes "As part of developing the next open source science tricorder model, Dr. Peter Jansen of the Tricorder project has released the source to an inexpensive 3D printable visible spectrometer prototype intended for the next science tricorder, but also suitable for Arduino or other embedded electronics projects for science education. With access to a Makerbot-class 3D printer, the spectrometer can be build for about $20 in materials. The source files including hardware schematics, board layouts, Arduino/Processing sketches and example data are available on Thingiverse, and potential contributors are encouraged to help improve the spectrometer design."

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New Research Could Slow Human Aging
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's slowing-things-down department:
schliz writes "A team of scientists from Japan and New Zealand have helped baker's yeast live 50% longer than usual by artificially stabilizing a genetic sequence called ribosomal DNA. The study's authors say that rDNA is a 'hot spot for production of the aging signal.' Because rDNA genes are very similar in yeast and humans, they say their experiment is a first step towards anti-aging drugs."

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China Allows Most Online Criticism But Cracks Down On Mobilization and Gossip
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sticks-and-stones department:
hackingbear writes "Harvard sociologist Gary King has just completed two studies that peer into the Chinese censorship machine — including a field experiment within China that was conducted with extraordinary secrecy. Together, the studies refute popular intuitions about what Chinese censors are after. He found that the censors actually permit 'vitriolic criticism' of China's leaders and governmental policies but the censors crack down heavily on any move to get people physically mobilized to act on such criticism. In a related development, China's top court issued a ruling on Monday to threaten a 3-year sentence for people posting online rumors viewed by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times. Though, in the same ruling, the court also clarified that a person reposting false rumor should not be punished if he or she does not clearly know the information is false, even if real harm is done. "

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Aeroscraft Begins Flight Testing Following FAA Certification
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I'm-floating department:
Zothecula writes "After a 70-year absence, it appears that a new rigid frame airship will soon be taking to the skies over California. Aeros Corporation, a company based near San Diego, has received experimental airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin flight testing the Aeroscraft airship, and it appears that the company has wasted no time getting started."

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Final Mars One Numbers Are In, Over 200,000 People Applied
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's go-to-mars department:
An anonymous reader writes "The first round of the Mars One Astronaut Selection Program has now closed for applications. In the 5 month application period, Mars One received interest from 202,586 people from around the world, wanting to be amongst the first human settlers on Mars."

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Big Jump For Tablet Storage: Seagate Intros 5mm Hard Disk For Tablets
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's give-me-more department:
cold fjord writes "ZDNet reports, 'Seagate on Monday took the wraps off a hard drive designed for tablets that brings 7x the storage capacity of a 64GB device with the same performance as a Flash drive. The drive, the Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD, uses software to boost performance. The idea is that Android tablet manufacturers will use the Seagate drive, along with the company's mobile enablement kit and caching software, to up the storage. The 2.5-inch drive is 5 mm thin and weighs 3.3 ounces. As for capacity, the drive has 500GB---enough for 100,000 photos and 125,000 songs.' More at The Wall Street Journal."

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Book Review: The Practice of Network Security Monitoring
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
benrothke writes "It has been about 8 years since my friend Richard Bejtlich's (note, that was a full disclosure 'my friend') last book Extrusion Detection: Security Monitoring for Internal Intrusions came out. That and his other 2 books were heavy on technical analysis and real-word solutions. Some titles only start to cover ground after about 80 pages of introduction. With this highly informative and actionable book, you are already reviewing tcpdump output at page 16. In The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response, Bejtlich takes the approach that your network will be attacked and breached. He observes that a critical part of your security posture must be that of network security monitoring (NSM), which is the collection and analysis of data to help you detect and respond to intrusions." Read below for the rest of Ben's review. The Practice of Network Security Monitoring: Understanding Incident Detection and Response
author Richard Bejtlich
pages 376
publisher No Starch Press
rating 9/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 978-1593275099
summary Definitive guide to the new world of Network Security Monitoring (NSM)

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The iPhone 5S Hasn't Been Officially Announced, Already Has Line
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '13 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's but-I-want-it-now department:
Daniel_Stuckey writes "The iPhone 5S line has already begun, despite Apple not even having made its announcement yet. From the looks of the invite to the unveiling in San Francisco on Sept. 10 (and another event the following day in Beijing, where iPhones are all the rage), the company will not only be announcing a next generation iPhone, the 5S, but also the lower-priced 5C model, in a variety of cheaper-looking colors."

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