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Linode Exploit Caused Theft of Thousands of Bitcoins
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's say-goodbye department:
Sabbetus writes "Popular web hosting service Linode had a serious exploit earlier today. Apparently the super admin password for their server management panel was leaked and allowed a malicious attacker to target multiple Bitcoin-related servers. The biggest loss happened to a major Bitcoin mining pool that lost over 3000 BTC, which is currently worth almost 15 000 USD. Now the question is, will Linode compensate for lost bitcoins?"

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Big Data's Invisible Open Source Community
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's always-the-bridesmaid department:
itwbennett writes "Hadoop, Hive, Lucene, and Solr are all open source projects, but if you were expecting the floors of the Strata Conference to be packed with intense, boostrapping hackers you'd be sorely disappointed. Instead, says Brian Proffitt, 'community' where Big Data is concerned is 'acknowledged as a corporate resource', something companies need to contribute back to. 'There is no sense of the grass-roots, hacker-dominated communities that were so much a part of the Linux community's DNA,' says Proffitt."

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NSA Publishes Blueprint For Top Secret Android Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-keep-using-that-word-I-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means department:
mask.of.sanity writes "The National Security Agency has designed a super-secure Android phone from commercial parts, and released the blueprints(Pdf) to the public. The doubly-encrypted phone, dubbed Fishbowl, was designed to be secure enough to handle top secret phone calls yet be as easy to use and cheap to build as commercial handsets. One hundred US government staff are using the phones under a pilot which is part of a wider project to redesign communication platforms used in classified conversations."

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LinkedIn Profiles Contain Fewer Lies Than Resumes
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-you-honest department:
RichDiesal writes "New research reveals that personal information provided on LinkedIn may contain fewer deceptions about prior work experience and prior work responsibilities than traditional resumes. However, LinkedIn profiles contain more deceptions about personal interests and hobbies. This researchers believe this may be because participants are equally motivated to deceive employers in both settings, but perceive lies about work experience on LinkedIn as more easily verifiable."

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RIAA CEO Hopes SOPA Protests Were a "One-Time Thing"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wishful-thinking department:
hapworth writes "After posting a controversial op-ed in The New York Times saying Wikipedia and Google 'misinformed' the public about SOPA and PIPA, Cary Sherman, CEO of the RIAA said in an interview yesterday that he hopes the SOPA protests were a 'one-time experience.' He also said that Wikipedia and Google users were duped into thinking SOPA was a bad bill because they assume "if it comes from these sources, it must be true." In another hilarious comment, Sherman blames the Internet for making it impossible for Congress to get out its side of the story, and for not spreading information with the same 'clarity and integrity' of broadcast journalists."

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NASA Squandering Technology Commercialization Opportunities
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's commercial-space-elevator department:
coondoggie writes "The commercialization of all manner of space technologies has always been a forte of NASA, but the space agency faces a number of economic and internal challenges if that success is to continue. A report by released this week (PDF) by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin that assesses NASA's technology commercialization efforts is highly critical of the space agency's ability to identify and get important technologies out of the lab and out the door to commercial applications."

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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin Beta 1 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's grappling-gnus department:
donadony writes with news about what will become the next LTS release of Ubuntu. From the article: "It's time to take another look at what is happening with the development of Ubuntu 12.04. As it stands, the first Beta of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin has been released. I just updated my own system. What changed since Alpha? Not much, really. In fact, there's really nothing groundbreaking or any new features added. Unity has been updated to version 5.4.0 which also sees the introduction of the new HUD feature. HUD still apparently has many outstanding bugs, but developers maintain that all bugs will be ironed out before Ubuntu 12.04 goes gold. also added recommendations to Ubuntu software center, new tool called 'privacy'and other small new features."

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Is Stratfor a "Joke"?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 01:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's wikileaks-releases-back-issues-of-the-economist department:
daveschroeder writes with an opinion piece that seems to differ from the usual thinking on the Wikileaks release of Stratfor emails: "Max Fisher writes in The Atlantic: 'The corporate research firm has branded itself as a CIA-like "global intelligence" firm, but only Julian Assange and some over-paying clients are fooled. [...] The group's reputation among foreign policy writers, analysts, and practitioners is poor; they are considered a punchline more often than a source of valuable information or insight. [...] So why do Wikileaks and their hacker source Anonymous seem to consider Stratfor, which appears to do little more than combine banal corporate research with media-style freelance researcher arrangements, to be a cross between CIA and Illuminati? The answer is probably a combination of naivete and desperation.'"

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Majorana Fermion May Have Been Spotted At TU Delft
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 12:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's secrets-of-the-universe department:
vikingpower writes "A research group at Technical University Delft around prof. Kouwenhoven, has probably not only spotted pairs of so-called Majorana Fermions for the first time (these had been predicted to exist by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana), but also demonstrated that, by generating them at the end of an Indium-Arsenide microwire, quantum computing with them may have come one more step closer to reality. The excitement around prof. Kouwenhoven at the American Physical Society annual congress in Boston, after he completed his presentation, was considerable. A nice illustration is provided by this newspaper article( in Dutch )"

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Controversial Bioethicist Resigns From Celltex
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's tweet-two-for-ethics department:
ananyo writes "Bioethicist Glenn McGee has resigned his position as president of ethics and strategic initiatives at the stem-cell firm Celltex Therapeutics in Houston, Texas. Yesterday, slashdot posted a story that suggested Celltex may have administered unproven treatments to several patients. The move comes at the end of a turbulent three months, which has seen McGee blasted by other bioethicists for working at the controversial stem-cell company while also holding the post of editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics, the most cited bioethics journal in the world. McGee announced that he had resigned, effective 28 February, on Twitter last night — the move came just two weeks after the 13 February press release by Celltex announcing that he would take the position."

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US, China Face Mutually Assured Destruction In Cyberwar
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bad-movie-plot department:
chicksdaddy writes with a tidbit from the RSA conference. From the article: "A panel of security and policy experts speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday said that, despite dire warnings about the information warfare capabilities of China and other developing nations, the risk of an all-out cyberwar is remote, and that the U.S. still holds many of the cards. Rather than trying to deliver a knock-out cyberwar capability, the U.S. should embrace the Cold War notions of containment and mutually assured destruction with advanced nations like China and Russia. Tried and true methods to win security from cyberattacks include international diplomacy, multilateral agreements that clarify the parameters for peaceful and hostile cyberactions and — of course — a strong offensive capability."

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Photographing Police: Deletion Is Not Forever
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's evidence-of-evidence department:
Geoffrey.landis writes "The courts have now ruled that the public has the right to videotape the police in the performance of their duties. Of course, that doesn't stop the police from harassing people who do so — even journalists, who sometimes have their cameras confiscated. As it turns out, though, they're not always very knowledgeable about how deletion works. I would say that erasing, or attempting to erase, a video of police arresting somebody illegally (How can a journalist be charged with 'resisting arrest' when he was not being arrested for anything other than resisting arrest?) is a clear case of destruction of evidence by the officers. Destroying evidence is obstruction of justice. That's illegal. Why haven't these police officers been arrested?"

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Sony Ditching Cell Architecture For Next PlayStation?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-trick-pony department:
RogueyWon writes "According to reports in Kotaku and Forbes, Sony is planning to ditch the Cell processor that powered the PlayStation 3 and may be planning to power the console's successor using a more conventional PC-like architecture provided by AMD. In the PS3's early years, Sony was keen to promote the benefits of its Cell processor, but the console's complicated architecture led to many studios complaining that it was difficult to develop for."

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Stolen NASA Laptop Had Space Station Control Code
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's a-bit-more-serious-than-an-iphone-prototype department:
astroengine writes "NASA had 5,408 computer security lapses in 2010 and 2011, including the March 2011 loss of a laptop computer that contained algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station, the agency's inspector general told Congress Wednesday. According to his statement (PDF), 'These incidents spanned a wide continuum from individuals testing their skill to break into NASA systems, to well-organized criminal enterprises hacking for profit, to intrusions that may have been sponsored by foreign intelligence services seeking to further their countries’ objectives.'"

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Khan Academy Chooses JavaScript As Intro Language
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thus-speaks-khan department:
jfruh writes "Slashdotters (many of whom cut their teeth on much-maligned BASIC) have long debated what language kids should learn programming in. Khan Academy, the wildly popular producer of educational videos, has come up with an unorthodox choice: JavaScript, not least because of its ability to keep kids' attention with something fun and graphical."

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Speech-Jamming Gun Silences From 30 Meters
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shut-up-cannon department:
MrSeb writes "Japanese researchers have created a hand-held gun that can jam the words of speakers who are more than 30 meters (100ft) away. The gun has two purposes, according to the researchers: At its most basic, this gun could be used in libraries and other quiet spaces to stop people from speaking — but its second application is a lot more chilling. The researchers were looking for a way to stop 'louder, stronger' voices from saying more than their fair share in conversation. The paper reads: 'We have to establish and obey rules for proper turn-taking when speaking. However, some people tend to lengthen their turns or deliberately interrupt other people when it is their turn in order to establish their presence rather than achieve more fruitful discussions. Furthermore, some people tend to jeer at speakers to invalidate their speech.' In other words, this speech-jamming gun was built to enforce 'proper' conversations."

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Azure Failure Was a Leap Year Glitch
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's azure-wish-they'd-looked-at-a-calendar department:
judgecorp writes "Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud service was down much of yesterday, and the cause was a leap year bug as the service failed to handle the 29th day of February. Faults propagated making this a severe outage for many customers, including the UK Government's recently launched G-cloud service."

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Ann Arbor Schools Want $45M For Tech, Partly For Computers To Run Google Docs
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's air-force-bake-sale-any-day department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Ann Arbor Public Schools defended their request for a $45 million bond for new computers by claiming that Apple eMacs aren't good enough for their Advanced Journalism class. A teacher told reporters that new PCs are needed to run WordPress, Google Docs, and Adobe InDesign CS6. WordPress and Google Docs are server-based applications that can be accessed with nearly any web browser. InDesign CS6 has not been released yet and its system requirements are unknown. As a web developer, I am impressed by the online newspaper published by the journalism class, but I question the need for new hardware. The district previously claimed that the old computers couldn't run its standardized testing software, although they far surpass the vendor's specifications. Does modern education really require cutting-edge computers, or are schools screaming 'think of the children' to win over tech-illiterate voters?" Whatever the answer to that question, exaggerated system requirements aren't the only driving force; the $45 million bond sought would not be dedicated only to replacing journalism program computers, note; it would also be used to fund other infrastructure upgrades, including some lower-tech updates, like new sound amplifiers in the district's classrooms. Ann Arbor schools' web site says that the district has (as of 2010, at least) 16,440 students. What are tech outlays like in the public schools where you live?

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Stealthy Pen Test Unit Plugs Directly Into 110 VAC Socket (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 06:45 AM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's monitor-your-people-without-them-ever-finding-out department:
Pwnie Express is a cute name for this tiny (and easily hidden) group of Pen Test devices. Their website says, 'Our initial hardware offering, the Pwn Plug, is the first-to-market commercial penetration testing drop box platform. This low-cost plug-and-play device is designed for remote security testing of corporate facilities, including branch offices and retail locations. A security professional or service provider can ship this device to a corporate facility and conduct a security test over the Internet without travel expenses.' Hardware buffs will recognize this unit as a SheevaPlug, but the value-add is that it's preloaded with Ubuntu Linux and and a rich suite of intrusion/testing tools. The company's 'Founder and CEO and everything else' is Dave Porcello. The video is an interview with Dave, in which he shows off and demonstrates some Pwnie Express products.

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The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon
Posted by News Fetcher on March 01 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's petroleum-human-engineering department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that gas prices are already at record highs for the winter months — averaging $4.32 in California and $3.73 a gallon nationally and as summer approaches, demand for gasoline rises, typically pushing prices up around 20 cents a gallon, but gas prices could rise another 50 cents a gallon or more, analysts say, if the diplomatic and economic standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions escalates into military conflict or there is some other major supply disruption. 'If we get some kind of explosion — like an Israeli attack or some local Iranian revolutionary guard decides to take matters in his own hands and attacks a tanker — than we'd see oil prices push up 20 to 25 percent higher and another 50 cents a gallon at the pump,' says Michael C. Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research. A sharp rise in the prices of oil and gas would crimp the nation's budding economic recovery would cause big political problems at home for President Obama, who is already being attacked by Republican presidential candidates over gas prices and his overall energy policies. On the other hand, environmentalists see high gas prices as a helpful step toward the development of alternative energy. Secretary Treasury Steven Chu notably said in 2008 'we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe' to make Americans trade in their 'love affair with the automobile' for a marriage to mass transit. In the meantime President Obama is in a bind because any success in tightening sanctions on Iran could squeeze global oil supplies, pushing up prices and causing serious economic repercussions at home and abroad."

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