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Microsoft Revokes Trust In 28 of Its Own Certificates
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-just-been-revoked department:
Trailrunner7 writes "In the wake of the Flame malware attack, which involved the use of a fraudulent Microsoft digital certificate, the software giant has reviewed its certificates, found nearly 30 that aren't as secure as the company would like, and revoked them. Microsoft also released its new updater for certificates as a critical update for Windows Vista and later versions as part of today's July Patch Tuesday. Microsoft has not said exactly what the now-untrusted certificates were used for, but company officials said there were a total of 28 certificates affected by the move. However, the company said it was confident none of them had been compromised or used maliciously. The move to revoke trust in these certificates is a direct result of the investigation into the Flame malware and how the attackers were able to forge a Microsoft certificate and then use it to impersonate a Windows Update server."

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The Swirling Vortex of Titan
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bring-a-life-jacket department:
sighted writes "New images from the robotic spacecraft Cassini show the ongoing formation of a massive vortex in the atmosphere of Saturn's planet-sized moon Titan. (See also this animation.) The same moon has recently provided tantalizing hints of an underground ocean as well. Future missions, if any are ever funded, will have plenty to explore."

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No, You Can't Claim 'Negligence' In a Copyright Case
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's inspect-every-bit-manually department:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In one of the myriad BitTorrent downloading cases against individuals, one plaintiff's law firm thought they'd be clever and insert a 'negligence' claim, saying that the defendant was negligent in failing to supervise his roommate's use of his WiFi access. Defendant moved to dismiss the negligence claim on the ground that it was preempted by the Copyright Act, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief (PDF) agreeing with him. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan agreed, and dismissed the complaint, holding that the 'negligence' claim was preempted by the Copyright Act."

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SOPA Provisions Being Introduced Piecemeal From Lamar Smith
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's will-be-hard-to-blackout-the-internet-every-other-week department:
bricko sends this disappointing but not unexpected news from Techdirt:
"While it didn't get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.'s 'IP attaches.' If you're unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are 'diplomats' (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood's personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for 'aggressive support for enforcement action' throughout the world. ... In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the U.S. government. It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA... but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal."

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Linux.org Quietly Comes Back To Life
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-feast-upon-the-penguin-food-of-the-living department:
jfruh writes "The venerable Linux.org site quietly relaunched some weeks ago, offering much of the original useful content on Linux as well as some new articles. The site is still associated with Michael McLagen, a somewhat controversial figure due to the fights around the Linux Standards Association back in the late '90s. McLagen has not responded to requests for comments on the relaunched site."

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Steve Ballmer: We Won't Be Out-Innovated By Apple Anymore
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's innovators-innovators-innovators department:
An anonymous reader tips an article about comments from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer regarding Microsoft's attitude toward Apple. It seems Microsoft is tired of being behind the curve in most areas of the tech market, and will be trying very hard to prevent Apple and other companies from beating them to the punch in the future. From the article:
"In a recent interview, Ballmer explained that the company had ceded innovations in hardware and software to Apple, but that the-times-they-are-a-'changin. 'We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,' Ballmer explained. 'Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.' ... An admirable goal, but it's fair to argue that attempting to innovate everywhere results in innovation nowhere. A big part of the reason Apple has been so successful is that they devote the bulk of their attention to only a few select market areas. By trying to innovate everywhere, so to speak, Microsoft runs the continued risk of spreading itself too thin and not really having a fundamental impact in any one market."

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Valve Will Let Gamers Pick Games To Appear On Steam
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's looking-forward-to-more-games-about-hats department:
Valve has announced a new system called Greenlight, which will allow the gaming community to select which games get chosen for distribution via Steam. Developers will post information about their games — this can be screenshots and videos, or even concepts and potential game mechanics for titles still in development. Once posted, the Steam community will be able to vote on which ones are the best. This will prioritize which games become available on Steam first. Greenlight is Valve's attempt to solve what they call an "intractable problem" — figuring out ahead of time what games players will like. They also hope to facilitate the development of interesting games. "We think it's going to encourage this virtuous development cycle. The problem we had of, how do we encourage somebody when they're not done developing yet? This we think will work. We think a bunch of people will be looking at it going, 'oh my gosh, I want that.'"

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Web Exploit Found That Customizes Attack For Windows, Mac, and Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-everyone-feel-special department:
phaedrus5001 writes with this quote from Ars:
"Security researchers have found a live Web exploit that detects if the target is running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux and drops a different trojan for each platform. The attack was spotted by researchers from antivirus provider F-Secure on a Columbian transport website, presumably after third-party attackers compromised it. The unidentified site then displayed a signed Java applet that checked if the user's computer is running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Based on the outcome, the attack then downloads the appropriate files for each platform."

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Startup Aims For $99, Android-Powered TV Game Console
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's unification-of-devices department:
rodrigoandrade writes "Ouya is a new Android-based home console that aims to bring to the living room the $0.99 games business model that has worked so well for Apple. The device 'will allow developers to easily create and sell their games and be fully “hackable” — anyone will be able to pull the machine apart and tinker with it to their heart’s content.' They're planning on shipping by March 2013. Admittedly, it's vaporware so far, but it could turn the industry on its head, effectively putting an end to the things we all hate about modern console gaming ($60 games, DLC, DRM, endless sequels, movie tie-ins, etc.)"

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Hackers Steal Keyless BMW In Under 3 Minutes
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-wait-for-the-upgrade department:
An anonymous reader writes with this bit from ZDNet: "It's cool to have a keyless BMW, until you no longer have a keyless BMW. Hackers have figured out how to break into such cars with ease. BMW has acknowledged there is a problem, but is not doing enough to protect its customers (video)."

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FTC To Revisit Robocall Menace
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's isn't-enough-garrotte-wire-in-the-world department:
coondoggie writes "While there are legal measures in place to stop most robocalls, the use of the annoying automated calling process seems to be on the rise. The Federal Trade Commission, which defined the rules that outlawed most robocalls in 2009 has taken notice and this October 18th will convene a robocall summit to examine the issues surrounding what even it called the growing robocall problem." A true robocall summit would be a great way to field candidates for the Loebner Prize! But since these will be humans (regulators, etc), I hope, but doubt, they can somehow do something to stop the constant fraudulent robocalls I get from credit-card scammers. In the meantime, it's good to keep a whistle handy.

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Executive Order Grants US Gov't New Powers Over Communication Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's or-did-you-think-the-state-was-your-friend? department:
An anonymous reader writes "President Obama has issued a new executive order: 'Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.' EPIC reports: 'The Executive Order grants new powers to the Department of Homeland Security, including the ability to collect certain public communications information. Under the Executive Order the White House has also granted the Department the authority to seize private facilities when necessary, effectively shutting down or limiting civilian communications.' A few key excerpts from the exec order: 'The views of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) [National Security/Emergency Preparedness] communications policies, programs, and capabilities. ... Sec. 5.2. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall: (a) oversee the development, testing, implementation, and sustainment of NS/EP communications, including: communications that support Continuity of Government; Federal, State, local, territorial, and tribal emergency preparedness and response communications; non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration; .... (e) satisfy priority communications requirements through the use of commercial, Government, and privately owned communications resources, when appropriate."

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Trying to Untangle Anarchist Attacks On Scientists
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-all-the-nonconformists-look-alike department:
bricko writes with an analysis at New Scientist of recent violence by self-described anarchists against scientist or scientific establishments, including the non-fatal shooting in Genoa in May of the head of a nuclear energy company. That attack "was the latest in a series of alleged anarchist attacks on scientists and engineers, including the attempted bombing of nanotechnology labs in Switzerland and Mexico. This wave of politically motivated violence has raised the question: why do anarchists hate science? Beyond the unsubtle threat of brute force, there are deeper issues that merit attention." The "hate science" line is just a line; the author is under no illusion that there is a single conspiracy, or that all who claim the "anarchist" mantle have identical (or even similar) views of science. "Despite the recent attacks and propaganda, anarchists actually have a complex relationship with science and technology. Some leading figures from anarchist history were scientists, notably Russian biologist Peter Kropotkin. Many hacktivists are anarchists who embrace technology; fiction authors sometimes look toward a future 'technotopia' based on anarchist ideals."

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Why Were So Many "Crazy" Higgs Boson Stories Published?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 07:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-can't-it-do? department:
The presumed discovery of the Higgs boson may be one of the most important scientific discoveries ever, but it did bring out quite a bit of "strange" science reporting. In addition to blogs, many mainstream news sites jumped on the crazy headline bandwagon. The ability to soon travel at the speed of light, the building of a Star Trek style transporter, and many stories of the particle proving God doesn't exist have made the rounds in the past week. Is the particle's discovery just on the fringe of common scientific knowledge and therefore prone to wild speculation, or does this all come down to having the most sensational headline?

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Algorithmic Pricing On Amazon 'Could Spark Flash Crash'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's these-tulips-on-special department:
DerekduPreez writes "Sellers on Amazon's retail site are increasingly using high-speed algorithmic trading tools to automatically set prices, which could lead to a malfunction similar to the 2010 flash crash. According to the Financial Times, prices on Amazon's website change as often as every 15 minutes, where sellers are using tools traditionally developed by data miners at banks to ensure that their prices are always below their rivals'. Third-party software is allowing sellers to detect a competitor's price and automatically undercut that price by, for example, £1. However, this could lead to a situation similar to the U.S. flash crash, where algorithmic trading was blamed for stock prices falling to near zero and then bouncing back within 20 minutes."

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Cloned Horses Ok To Compete In Olympics
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's horse-is-a-horse-of-course-of-course-of-course department:
wisebabo writes with the news of a forward-thinking decision handed down by the Federation Equestre Internationale (reversing an earlier ban, so it's been on their minds) to not prohibit cloned horses from competing in the events it sanctions, including the Olympics. "Of course they'll still be restricted to the equestrian events (ha ha). One wonders if they'll be allowed to do the same in say, horse or dog racing. It'll then just come down to the ability of the jockeys I guess (or training). I wonder why they don't make all Olympic athletes use the same exact
'equipment' as their competitors. That would get rid of situations like with those super efficient swimsuits that were banned. Of course they really should return to the spirit of the original Games and compete naked. That would really improve ratings! (But it would make the winter games rather hazardous.) When do you think cloning athletes will become legal?"
(Note to those who wish to enter more than one event: ultra-slippery swimsuits are back).

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Ubuntu Still Aims For Wayland in Quantal Quetzal
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hard-to-please-everyone department:
jones_supa writes "While there's still more than one month until the Ubuntu 12.10 feature freeze, Ubuntu developers continue to work towards their tight schedule of having Wayland serve as the compositor for the Quantal Quetzal release due out in October. Canonical's intends to provide smooth transitions from boot to shutdown. Wayland is also used for session switching and other operations, avoiding traditional VT switching, providing a consistent monitor layout, using the greeter as the lock screen, ensuring that locked sessions are actually secure from displaying, and showing the greeter while the session loads. Phoronix remains skeptical about Ubuntu making the deadline."

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Paul Vixie On DNS Changer: We're Dealing With Malware the Wrong Way
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's should-be-using-branding-irons department:
AlistairCharlton writes with this snippet: "Victims of the DNS Changer malware think they have better things to do than check their internet security, and as a digital society we're dealing with malware in completely the wrong way. These are the thoughts of Paul Vixie who worked with the FBI in intercepting servers used by a gang of Estonian hackers who made millions of dollars from redirecting internet users away from the websites they requested, directing them to advertisements instead." The linked article also offers an interesting description of how the FBI's quiet takeover of a botnet came to be.

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Microsoft Buys Multi-Touch Pioneer Perceptive Pixel
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-sounds-very-sensitive department:
theodp writes "Back in 2006, a post on Jeff Han's multi-touch screen technology — a real TED crowd-pleaser — gave Slashdot readers a taste of the iPhone and iPad future. Han spun off his NYU Research into a company called Perceptive Pixel which, among other things, gave the world CNN's Amazing Magic Wall. On Monday, Steve Ballmer announced that Microsoft is acquiring Perceptive Pixel, which not only means you'll be able to run Windows 8 on an 82-inch touchscreen, but that the Apple v,. Motorola Mobility lawsuit is about to get more interesting!"

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Weak Solar Convection 100 Times Slower Than Predicted
Posted by News Fetcher on July 10 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's magnetic-field-a-lie department:
An anonymous reader writes about an observation that convection in the outer layer of the Sun seems not to behave how it ought to: "These new findings based on SDO imagery, if verified, would upend our understanding of how heat is transported outwards by the Sun and challenges existing explanations of the formation of sunspots, the magnetic field generation of the sun, not to mention the concept of convective mixing of light and heavy elements in the solar atmosphere. 'However, our results (PDF) suggest that convective motions in the Sun are nearly 100 times smaller than these current theoretical expectations,' continued Hanasoge, also a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Plank Institute in Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany. 'These motions are indeed that slow in the Sun, then the most widely accepted theory concerning the generation of solar magnetic field is broken, leaving us with no compelling theory to explain its generation of magnetic fields and the need to overhaul our understanding of the physics of the Sun's interior.'"

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