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Ubuntu Lays Plans For Getting Past UEFI SecureBoot
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's first-you-fake-an-injury department:
An anonymous reader writes "Canonical has laid out their plans for handling UEFI SecureBoot on Ubuntu Linux. Similar to Red Hat paying Microsoft to get past UEFI restrictions, Canonical does have a private UEFI key. Beyond that they will also be switching from GRUB to the more liberal efilinux bootloader, and only require bootloader binaries be signed — and they want to setup their own signing infrastructure separate from Microsoft."

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PayPal Starts Bug Bounty Program
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bug-hunt department:
Trailrunner7 writes "PayPal is the latest company to join the ranks of software vendors and Web properties that offer bounties to security researchers who privately disclose new bugs to them. The company isn't saying how much it will pay for each bug, just that its security team will determine the severity of each flaw as well as the ultimate payout. PayPal's decision to offer financial incentives to researchers follows the establishment of similar programs by companies including Google, Mozilla, Facebook, Barracuda and others. Google's bug bounty program may be the most well-known and comprehensive, as it includes bugs not just in its software products such as Chrome, but also its Web properties. The company has paid out more than $400,000 in rewards to researchers since the program began and researchers who consistently find bugs in Google's products can make a nice side income off the program."

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Interview With Mozilla's Ryan Merkley: Tracking the Trackers
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's listen-but-don't-track department:
colinneagle writes "Among the eye-opening statements in his recent TED talk, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said, 'Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet. Our voices matter and our actions matter even more.' After you download and install Collusion in Firefox, you can 'see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods,' Kovacs stated. 'Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don't know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It's now time for us to watch the watchers.' I've been using Collusion for some time now and it is jaw-dropping to watch all the sites that still stalk us across the web even with DNT and privacy add-ons. The Collusion page states: 'The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.'"

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Judge Suggests Apple, Motorola Should Play Nice
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-your-litigation-to-yourself department:
sl4shd0rk writes "Federal Judge Richard Posner seems to be a man who gets the screwed up patent system in the U.S.. As Apple pressed for more injunctions against Motorola regarding alleged patent infringement, Judge Posner has stressed the two companies should just 'get along' and pay each other royalties. A jury trial set to start last week was cancelled when Posner ruled that neither side could prove damages, and grilled Apple's legal team saying an injunction against Motorola would be 'contrary to the public interest.' Furthermore, as Apple tried to plead its injunction case concerning four patents, Posner called the U.S. patent system 'chaos' and said an order barring the sale of Motorola phones could have 'catastrophic effects.'"

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China Pirates Austrian Village
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery department:
First time accepted submitter thecoolstacks writes "Knockoff Apple Stores are one thing...but a knockoff Austrian village? That's some hardcore piracy right there, but we guess leave it China to do what it does best. From the article: 'After a year of construction and a price tag of $940 million dollars, the Chinese have successfully recreated the Austrian village of Hallstatt in its entirety over in the Southern Guangzhou Province. And let’s just say not every Austrian’s a fan of having their UNESCO heritage site ripped off. But since China is Austria’s second largest trading partnerwhat are you gonna do?'"

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Ask Slashdot: Good Low Cost Free Software For Protecting Kids Online?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children department:
An anonymous reader writes "I have two kids, 7 and 8. I would love to allow them internet access on a regular basis. The problem is whats out there, I really don't want them to deal with porn ads and such, but making either a blacklist, or a whitelist myself would take months. So I figured I would ask you, what free software would you use with preferably prebuilt lists to protect your kids online? What is out there with fairly easy configuration ability (to allow for game servers, they love minecraft), but secure enough they can't just bypass it using a google search?"

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Details of the Second Controversial Mutant Bird Flu Study Finally Published
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 06:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's terrorist-handbook department:
An anonymous reader writes "The second of the two controversial bird flu studies once considered too risky to publish in fears that they would trigger a potentially devastating global influenza epidemic was published Thursday. The study describes how scientists created H5N1 virus strains that could become capable of airborne transmission between mammals. Scientists said that the findings, which had been censored for half a year, could help them detect dangerous virus strains in nature."

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Free Speech For Computers?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's answers-to-questions-you-never-asked department:
snydeq writes "Law professor Tim Wu sheds light on a growing legal concern: the extent to which computers have a constitutional right to free speech. 'This may sound like a fanciful question, a matter of philosophy or science fiction. But it's become a real issue with important consequences,' Wu writes. First it was Google defending — and winning — a civil suit on grounds that search results are constitutionally protected speech. Now it is doubling down on the argument amidst greater federal scrutiny. 'Consider that Google has attracted attention from both antitrust and consumer protection officials after accusations that it has used its dominance in search to hinder competitors and in some instances has not made clear the line between advertisement and results. Consider that the "decisions" made by Facebook's computers may involve widely sharing your private information. ... Ordinarily, such practices could violate laws meant to protect consumers. But if we call computerized decisions "speech," the judiciary must consider these laws as potential censorship, making the First Amendment, for these companies, a formidable anti-regulatory tool.'"

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Fedora Introduces Offline Updates
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's while-you-sleep department:
itwbennett writes "Thanks to a new feature approved this week by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee, you won't hear Fedora 18 users bragging about systems that have been running continuously for months on end. 'Fedora's new Offline System Update feature will change the current system to something that is more Windows- and OS X-like: while many updates can still be made on the fly, certain package updates will require the system to be restarted so the patches can be applied in a special mode, according to the Fedora wiki page on the feature,' writes blogger Brian Proffitt."

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Kaspersky Says Lack of Digital Voting Will Be Democracy's Downfall
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's vote-online-or-die department:
hapworth writes "Eugene Kaspersky, founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, has warned that one of the greatest cyber threats facing the world is the lack of effective online voting systems, claiming that unless young people can vote online they won't bother at all and the whole democratic system will collapse. Not everyone is buying that theory, however (and there's reason to suspect Kaspersky has a vested interest in online voting, which may need his firm's cybersecurity products). As producer James Lambie writes, 'Ultimately, the digital native's disenchantment with voting is based less on a lack of suitable technology and more on disillusionment with the craven and anemic political choices they are presented with.'"

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Reddit Cofounder Says Site Was Built By a Horde of Fake Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's setting-the-tone department:
derekmead writes "How, exactly, did Reddit get so big? Well, according to Reddit cofounder Steve Huffman, in the early days the Reddit crew just faked it 'til they made it.' In a video for Udacity, Huffman describes how the first Redditors populated the site's content with tons of fake accounts. These days, with the site's users are wary of people using expendable accounts to try to seed their own content. But early on, Huffman said that using fake accounts driven by the founders was key to building the tone they wanted to the site. Early on the Reddit crew could shape the discourse of the site in the direction they wanted, and as the real user base grew, those standards held allowing the fake accounts to fade away."

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RIAA Goes After CNET For Media-Conversion Software
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-you-know-this-pen-could-be-used-in-a-crime? department:
First time accepted submitter moj0joj0 writes "Two days after YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files, was blocked from accessing YouTube, the RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function. The RIAA focused its criticism on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader. The organization also pointed out that there are many other similar applications available at the site, 'which can be used to steal content from CBS, which owns Download.com.' CNET's policy is that Download.com is not in any position to determine whether a piece of software is legal or not or whether it can be used for illegal activity." For a sufficiently broad definition of "steal," you could argue that all kinds of software (from word processors to graphics programs to security analysis tools) could be implicated.

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Google Launches Endangered Languages Project
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's quickly-growling-klingon-community department:
redletterdave writes "About half of all of the languages in the world — more than 3,000 of them — are currently on the verge of extinction. Google hopes to stem the tide with its latest effort that launched Thursday, called The Endangered Languages Project. Google teamed up with the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, a newly formed coalition of global language groups and associations, to give endangered-language speakers and their supporters a place to upload and share their research and collaborations. The site currently features posts submitted by the Endangered Languages community, including linguistic fieldwork, projects, audio interviews, and transcriptions."

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Fastest Growing US Export To China: Education
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's portable-wealth department:
hackingbear writes "While we are importing billions of 'cheap' products labeled 'Made in China,' the fastest growing export from U.S. to China does not even need a label. Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization, so Chinese students have flocked to overseas universities and now even secondary schools, despite the high cost of attending programs in America. Chinese enrollment in U.S. universities rose 23% to 157,558 students during the 2010-2011 academic year, making China by far the biggest foreign presence. Even the daughter of Xi Jinping, the presumed next president of China, studies as an undergraduate at Harvard. This creates opportunities for universities to bring American education directly to China. Both Duke and New York University are building campuses in the Shanghai area to offer full-time programs to students there."

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Will Microsoft Extend Surface Model And Manufacture Windows Phones?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-control-the-vertical-integration department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "A day after Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8, a company executive explained why the company never implemented native code in Windows Phone 7, declined to say whether Windows Phone 7.x would be upgraded beyond version 7.8, and said Microsoft has no plans to acquire an OEM to manufacture smartphones in-house. Of course, in theory that wouldn't stop Microsoft from building its own hardware in-house, similar to what Google did with the Nexus One. In any case, Microsoft's decision to construct its hardware and software in-house for the Surface tablet project has led to some chatter that it could do the same for smartphones."

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The World's First Supercavitating Boat?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's introducing-the-samsung-cavitate department:
An anonymous reader writes "For decades, researchers have been trying to build boats, submarines, and torpedoes that make use of supercavitation — a bubble layer around the hull that drastically reduces friction and enables super-fast travel. Now a company in New Hampshire called Juliet Marine Systems has built and tested such a craft, and says it is the world's fastest underwater vehicle. The ship, called the 'Ghost,' looks like two supercavitating torpedoes with a command module on top, and can carry 18 people plus weapons and supplies. The company is in talks with the U.S. Navy to build a version of the ship that can guard the fleet against swarm attacks by small boats. The question is how well it really works, and whether it can be used reliably and effectively on the high seas."

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SSD Prices Down 46% Since 2011
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's filthy-exploitative-capitalists-at-it-again department:
crookedvulture writes "Hard drive prices have yet to return to normal after last year's Thailand flooding. There's good news on the solid-state front, though. The current generation of SSDs has steadily become much cheaper over the last year or so. SSD prices have dropped an average of 46% since early 2011. Intel has largely shied away from discounting its drives, but the aggressive competition between other players in the market seems to have forced its hand. There's no indication that competition is waning, suggesting the downward trend will continue. Right now, an impressive number of drives are available for less than a dollar per gigabyte."

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The NTP Pool Needs More Servers — Yours, If Available
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-you'll-start-waking-up-last-week department:
Do you have a static IP or two? If so, you might be able to spread some Internet infrastructure well-being with very little effort. An anonymous reader writes "The NTP Pool project is turning 10 soon, and needs more servers to continue serving reasonably accurate time to anyone in the world."

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Have Your Fingerprints Read From 6 Meters Away
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's give-'em-the-finger-prints department:
First time accepted submitter Burdell writes "A new startup has technology to read fingerprints from up to 6 meters away. IDair currently sells to the military, but they are beta testing it with a chain of 24-hour fitness centers that want to restrict sharing of access cards. IDair also wants to sell this to retail stores and credit card companies as a replacement for physical cards. Lee Tien from the EFF notes that the security of such fingerprint databases is a privacy concern."

Since the last time this technology was mentioned more than a year ago, it seems that the claimed range for reading has tripled, and the fingerprint reader business has been spun off from the company at which development started.

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do Before College?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's buy-a-house-with-the-tuition department:
First time accepted submitter MtownNaylor writes "I graduated high school two days ago and am currently enrolled to attend college for studying Computer Science. I spent last summer working as a contractor, programming in Java doing work for a single company. I am looking to further either my career, my education, or both this summer. The problem is that I have found it difficult to find summer employment or internships programming for a multitude of reasons (lack of opportunities, lack of experience, lack of degree.) So what is a high school graduate who wants to work as a programmer to do?"

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