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Remembering The Creator of Marvel's Doctor Strange, Steve Ditko
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 11:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's expanding-your-mind department:
An anonymous reader writes:
As Marvel publicizes its Doctor Strange movie, "there's one key figure you won't be hearing from: the person who created the Sorcerer Supreme." Steve Ditko (who also co-created Spider-Man with Stan Lee in 1962) introduced Doctor Strange in 1963, remembers The Hollywood Reporter, then abruptly left Marvel in 1966 to work for other publishers. "He would more or less be done with mainstream comics by the 1970s, though he would pop up from time to time (he co-created Squirrel Girl for Marvel in the 1990s)."

Ditko was recently involved in a Kickstarter campaign to honor the anniversaries of famous comics (in which 152 backers ultimately pledged $5,462). He celebrated his 89th birthday this week, but "He is private and has intentionally stayed out of the spotlight like J.D. Salinger," says the director of Doctor Strange, adding "I hope he goes to see the movie wherever he is, because I think we paid homage to his work." The article includes fond memories of working with Ditko from both Jim Starlin and Stan Lee, who also praised his work in a book called The Art of Steve Ditko. "All I had to do was give Steve a one-line description of the plot and he'd be off and running. He'd take those skeleton outlines I had given him and turn them into classic little works of art that ended up being far cooler than I had any right to expect."

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Windows 10's Store Locks 'Call of Duty' Purchasers Into Windows-10-Only Battles
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 10:22 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's some-men-fight-alone department:
An anonymous reader writes:

Two Call of Duty games have been remastered for Windows 10, but if you buy them through the Windows 10 Store there's a problem. "Windows 10 Store players will be isolated from other PC versions of the game," reports the Windows Central site, noting a statement from Microsoft which implies that the decision was made by Activision.

"For unknown reasons, Windows 10 Store customers are segregated from customers who bought the game from Steam, which is by far the most popular platform on PC," reports Motherboard. "Call of Duty fans who made the unfortunate of mistake of giving Microsoft their cash are left sitting in lonely multiplayer lobbies waiting for games that'll never start."
Motherboard reports that at least one player successfully requested a refund, calling the situation "another black eye for a digital storefront that PC gamers already avoid like the plague."

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User Forks FileZilla FTP Client After Getting Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 08:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's transfer-complete department:
Slashdot reader Entropy98 writes: A frustrated FileZilla user took matters into his own hands after getting hacked due to the fact that his saved passwords were being saved in plain text files. Despite years of numerous requests over almost 10 years the FileZilla devs refused to add a Master Password option to encrypt the stored passwords. Finally fed up one user forked FileZilla and created FileZilla Secure with the Master Password option.

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Researchers Create An Undetectable Rootkit That Targets Industrial Equipment
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 08:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ghost-in-the-machines department:
An anonymous reader quotes Bleeping Computer: "Two researchers presenting at the Black Hat Europe security conference in London revealed a method of infecting industrial equipment with an undetectable rootkit component that can wreak havoc and disrupt the normal operations of critical infrastructure all over the world. The attack targets PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), devices that sit between normal computers that run industrial monitoring software and the actual industrial equipment, such as motors, valves, sensors, breakers, alarms, and others."
Researchers say they packed their attack as a loadable kernel module [PDF], which makes it both undetectable and reboot persistent. The attack goes after PLC pin configurations, meaning the PLC won't be able to tell which are the actual input and output pins, allowing the attacker full-control to make up bogus sensor data, send fake commands, or block legitimate ones.
The researchers acknowledge that the attack is extremely complicated, but the article argues it would still be of interest to a state-sponsored actor.

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Mythbuntu Linux Has Been Discontinued
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 07:33 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's mythbuntu-busted department:
"Mythbuntu as a separate distribution will cease to exist. We will take the necessary steps to pull Mythbuntu specific packages from the repositories unless someone steps up to take these packages over," read Friday's announcement. prisoninmate writes: Mythbuntu was an operating system based on the widely-used Ubuntu Linux distro and built around the MythTV free and open source digital video recorder (DVR) project... The Mythbuntu team recommends users who want to use Mythbuntu to install the latest release of the Xubuntu Linux operating system and then add the Mythbuntu PPA (Personal Package Archive), which will continue to provide the latest MythTV releases and other related packages... The first release of the OS was back when Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) was announced, and the last one was Mythbuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus). From this point...there will be no new ISO images anymore. Also, the mythbuntu-desktop and Mythbuntu-Control-Centre packages are now discontinued and won't be available from the Ubuntu repositories anymore. However, users will still be able to install the MythTV software and configure it as they see fit.

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Blizzard Launches A Professional Sports League For 'Overwatch'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 06:01 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's World-Series-of-frags department:
An anonymous reader quotes USA Today:
One of Blizzard Entertainment's hottest video games is making the jump into a professional sports league. [Blizzard] announced Friday the launch of Overwatch League, a professional video gaming league kicking off its inaugural season during the second half of 2017... Blizzard says the league will combine competitive video gaming -- better known as eSports with hallmarks of professional sports leagues like the National Football League, complete with teams based in various cities worldwide featuring owners who will cultivate team and player development... Blizzard will start by recruiting prospective owners representing cities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and other parts of the globe... Players who get picked up by a team are guaranteed contracts complete with benefits, and owners will be required to take steps to develop their players and grow their fan bases.
Overwatch already has 20 million players after just four months. Could professional videogame competitions someday become more popular than football?

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Steve Ballmer Says Smartphones Came Between Him and Bill Gates
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 04:40 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's CEO-vs-former-CEO department:
Steve Ballmer once said Apple's iPhone would flop because it cost too much -- though he now admits that he failed to anticipate carriers subsidizing the cost of the phone. But that was only the beginning. An anonymous reader quotes Fortune:
The former CEO of Microsoft says he and Gates drifted apart over Microsoft's move into the hardware business in the early 2010s, according to Bloomberg. Ballmer says he was the one who pushed for Microsoft to design smartphones and tablets at a time when Apple was already well established. He says Gates and the board seemed reluctant to do so. "There was a fundamental disagreement about how important it was to be in the hardware business," Ballmer told Bloomberg. "I had pushed Surface. The board had been a little -- little reluctant in supporting it. And then things came to a climax around what to do about the phone business."

Microsoft eventually took a $900 million write down for its first tablet, the Surface RT -- plus most of the value of their $9.5 billion acquisition of Nokia Oyj's handset unit as Microsoft pushed into hardware. "Ballmer's only regret: not doing it sooner," Bloomberg reports, adding that Surface is now profitable and this year will generate more than $4 billion in sales.

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IT Workers Facing Layoffs Jolted By CEO's Message
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '16 at 12:20 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's lowering-the-boom-on-boomers department:
HCSC recently announced layoffs for more than 500 IT workers, and expects them to train their replacements from an India-based contractor. But a few days earlier, CEO Paula Steiner said, "As full-time retiring baby boomers move on to their next chapter, the makeup of our organization will consist more of young and non-traditional workers, such as part-time workers or contractors." dcblogs quotes ComputerWorld:
What Steiner didn't say in the employee broadcast is that some of the baby boomers moving "on to the next chapter" are being pushed out the door. "Obviously not all of us are 'retiring' -- a bunch of us are being thrown under the bus," said one older employee.
The insurance provider argues that its members want easier technology solutions that "help keep rising costs in check. Our IT teams are being transformed...focusing on those and other member needs." But Slashdot reader ErichTheRed writes:
Having a CEO actually say in public that their company wants to engage in age discrimination and eliminate full-time employment, rather than just carry out the work in secret, is new to me... for those mid- to late-career technical folks, how have you managed to adjust to new realities like this?

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Secret Service, DHS Scramble To Secure America's Election
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 08:20 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's eternal-vigilance department:
Secret service agents rushed Donald Trump off a stage in Nevada Saturday night, CNN reports. "A scuffle could be seen breaking out in the audience, but it was not immediately clear what happened... Secret Service and police tactical units rushed in to detain a man [who] was then rushed by a throng of police officers, Secret Service agents and SWAT officers armed with assault rifles to a side room... A law enforcement official told CNN no weapon was discovered. The GOP nominee was apparently unharmed and returned to the stage minutes later to finish his speech." Meanwhile, an anonymous reader writes:
"All but two U.S. states have accepted help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to probe and scan voter registration and election systems for vulnerabilities, a department official told Reuters." Ohio is relying on the National Guard's cyber protection unit, while Arizona says they've held discussions with the FBI, DHS and state-level agents on cyber security. But in addition, "U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia's electric grid, telecommunications networks and the Kremlin's command systems, making them vulnerable to attack by secret American cyber weapons should the U.S. deem it necessary, according to a senior intelligence official and top-secret documents reviewed by NBC News." American officials believe Russian hacking efforts will continue through 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal. "By hacking and dumping emails, Russia is trying 'to denigrate the American electoral system, to make it look chaotic, make it look manipulable, make it look subject to intrusion, cheating and vulnerable so you can't trust it...to make us look no better than the Russian electoral system,'" said one senior White House official. Russia is also expected to extend their efforts toward elections in Europe.

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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way to Browse the Web Anonymously?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 05:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's watching-the-watchmen department:
An anonymous reader asks:
In an age of evercookies, zombie cookies, and always expanding efforts to track browsers, devices, and people -- is there any way to browse totally anonymous to the sites you are visiting?
With so many technologies quietly monitoring your activity, "How can a user today browse with confidence that they can't be tracked or identified, avoiding even being identified anonymously as a returning user or device?" Leave your best answers in the comments. What's the best way to browse the web anonymously?

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The FBI Spent Two Years Investigating An Online Cult That Didn't Exist
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 04:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's phantom-menace department:
A two-year FBI investigation apparently centered on the satirical web site "GodHatesGoths". Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes:
In 2005, the FBI launched an investigation into the "Church of the Hammer," a fundamentalist Christian sect which called for the wholesale slaughter of practitioners of the goth subculture. Two years later, the investigation was closed, on grounds that the Church didn't exist.
The FBI's threat assessment detailed "an extremely right-wing Christian group that adheres to a Middle Ages Catholic text called the 'Malleus Malificarum.'" But MuckRock.com reports that "The Bureau's main source on the case was a goth who had engaged with members of the Church via their Yahoo Group...trying to dispel their misconceptions about the relationship between the subculture and Satanism." After two years of scouring through crime databases and making phone calls to the Salem police department, FBI investigators actually visited the GodHatesGoths web site -- which turned out to be a parody.

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First Color Images Produced By an Electron Microscope
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 02:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's color-your-judgments department:
Slashdot reader sciencehabit quotes Science magazine: Imagine spending your whole life seeing the world in black and white, and then seeing a vase of roses in full color for the first time. That's kind of what it was like for the scientists who have taken the first multicolor images of cells using an electron microscope. Electron microscopes can magnify an object up to 10 million times, allowing researchers to peer into the inner workings of, say, a cell or a fly's eye, but until now they've only been able to see in black and white. The new advance -- 15 years in the making -- uses three different kinds of rare earth metals called lanthanides...layered one-by-one over cells on a microscope slide. The microscope detects when each metal loses electrons and records each unique loss as an artificial color.

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Will The New 'Starship Troopers' Reboot Stay Faithful To The Book?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 02:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's another-bug-hunt department:
HughPickens.com shares news from the Hollywood Reporter:
"Columbia Pictures is rebooting Starship Troopers, the 1997 sci-fi film directed by Paul Verhoeven... The studio is not remaking the film but is said to be going back to the original Heinlein novel for an all-new take." The original movie, considered a mixed success at the time of its release, went on to achieve a cult following, and during the DVD boom of the 2000s it became a mini-franchise for the studio, which produced three additional direct-to-DVD movies... "Starship Troopers has been decried as promoting fascism and being racist in its creation of a society where democracy has been severely restricted..." writes Graeme McMillan. "The question then becomes: in updating Starship Troopers to make it more acceptable to today's audience, can it still manage to remain faithful enough to Heinlein's original to please the existing fan base?"

The script will be written by the writers of the upcoming Baywatch film starring Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson.

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A Powerful New Android Spyware Targets Business Executives
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 01:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's exploits-for-executives department:
Orome1 quotes HelpNetSecurity: "Researchers from mobile security outfit Skycure have recently analyzed a malicious app they found on an Android 6.0.1 device owned by a vice president at a global technology company. The name of the malicious package is 'com.android.protect', and it comes disguised as a Google Play Services app. It disables Samsung's SPCM service in order to keep running, installs itself as a system package to prevent removal by the user (if it can get root access), and also hides itself from the launcher." The spyware is able to collect chats and messages sent and received via SMS, MMS, and popular email and IM apps; record audio and telephone calls; collect pictures and take screenshots; collect contacts, browser histories, the contents of the calendar, and so on.

According to the article, "chances are someone took advantage of the physical access they had to the device to do the dirty deed."

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The NES Classic is a $60 Single Board Computer Running Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 12:01 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's boards-vs-booths department:
"Nintendo's accurate NES emulator apparently needs no less than a quad-core CPU," joked Ars Technica. "The next step, of course, is unscrewing of the nostalgic little box to see how it ticks -- and whether its limited functionality might ever be expanded, either officially or by hackers." Slashdot reader romiz summarizes what's inside Nintendo's new miniature emulator for classic games:
With a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7, 256 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of NAND Flash, it is typical of the hardware found in Linux single board computers, like the Raspberry Pi 2. Surprisingly for Nintendo, there does not seem to be any custom components in it, and it looks like it even does run Linux. [YouTube video] The GPL license for the kernel and many other open source components is visible in the legal information screen. The source, however, is not yet available on Nintendo's open source page.
But it is the re-edition a 1980s video console: there is no network access, no hardware expansion port, and the 30 games cannot be changed. Changing the system running on it will probably be difficult.

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A New Process Turns Sewage Into Crude Oil
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 10:42 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's renewable-resource department:
Big Hairy Ian shares this report from New Atlas:
The U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has found a way to potentially produce 30 million barrels of biocrude oil per year from the 34 billion gallons of raw sewage that Americans create every day... [T]he raw sewage is placed in a reactor that's basically a tube pressurized to 3,000 pounds per square inch and heated to 660 degrees Fahrenheit, which mimics the same geological process that turned prehistoric organic matter into crude oil by breaking it down into simple compounds, only...it takes minutes instead of epochs... The end product is very similar to fossil crude oil with a bit of oxygen and water mixed in and can be refined like crude oil using conventional fractionating plants.

After six years of development, they've licensed the process for a $6 million pilot plant that's expected to launch in 2018.

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New Software Remembers Everything Your Computer Has Ever Displayed
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 10:42 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's search-engineering department:
A Napster co-founder launched a new software this week which lets you search for anything you've ever looked at on your computer. schwit1 shared this report from CNNMoney:
Atlas Informatics Founder and CEO Jordan Ritter calls the software "a photographic memory for your digital life"... This includes web pages, emails, Slack chats, Netflix films, Spotify songs, or anything else that's appeared in front of your eyes on your screen... You can search by keyword, content type or time, and it displays all related information based on relevancy. For instance, if two documents were open at the same time and you toggled between them, they will both appear whether or not they contain a keyword. Once installed on your hard drive and browser, Atlas Recall runs in the background and begins collecting your activity. The company captures all the content you've looked at and stores it on its servers.
It's encrypted before transmission to the Atlas Cloud servers, though you can block it from capturing data from certain applications, files, and web sites. "The platform wars are over, nobody won, and no one will ever win them again..." Ritter told CNNMoney. "What we want is something that works the way we use our devices and data."

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Two Critical MySQL Bugs Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 09:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's debasing-the-database department:
An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld:
Two critical privilege escalation vulnerabilities in MySQL, MariaDB, and PerconaDB can help take control of the whole server, which is very bad for shared environments... Administrators need to check their database versions, as attackers can chain two critical vulnerabilities and completely take over the server hosting the database...
The first vulnerability, a privilege escalation/race condition flaw, gives elevated privileges to a local system user with access to a database and allows them to execute arbitrary code as the database system user. This gives an attacker access to all of the databases on the affected server... The privilege escalation/race condition flaw can be chained with another critical vulnerability, a root privilege escalation vulnerability, to further elevate the system level user to gain root on the server.

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Teenagers In Macedonia Launch Fake Pro-Trump Sites To Earn Money
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 07:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's smells-like-teen-spirit department:
"In Macedonia the economy is very weak and teenagers are not allowed to work, so we need to find creative ways to make some money," one 17-year-old told BuzzFeed News, which reports on a "strange hub" of over 140 political sites, all being run in the same small town in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
These sites have American-sounding domain names such as WorldPoliticus.com, TrumpVision365.com, USConservativeToday.com, DonaldTrumpNews.co, and USADailyPolitics.com. They almost all publish aggressively pro-Trump content aimed at conservatives and Trump supporters in the U.S...
The young Macedonians who run these sites say they don't care about Donald Trump. They are responding to straightforward economic incentives... The fraction-of-a-penny-per-click of U.S. display advertising -- a declining market for American publishers -- goes a long way in Veles. Several teens and young men who run these sites told BuzzFeed News that they learned the best way to generate traffic is to get their politics stories to spread on Facebook -- and the best way to generate shares on Facebook is to publish sensationalist and often false content that caters to Trump supporters... Most of the posts on these sites are aggregated, or completely plagiarized, from fringe and right-wing sites in the U.S...

Earlier this year they experimented with fake sites supporting Bernie Sanders, "but nothing performed as well on Facebook as Trump content," according to the 16-year-old who operates BVANews.com. The largest Macedonian sites now have hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, and sources close to one site say it earns $5,000 per month, and has even earned $3,000 in a single day.

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Aaron Swartz Remembered With Annual Hackathon In San Francisco
Posted by News Fetcher on November 05 '16 at 07:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's remember-remember department:
"This weekend you have the chance to add to Aaron Swartz's legacy by boosting tools for whistleblowers," the EFF writes. An anonymous reader quotes their report.
The 2016 Aaron Swartz International Hackathon -- held in honor of the late Internet and political activist -- will take place during the day Saturday and Sunday at the Internet Archive in San Francisco. The hackathon will focus on whistleblower submission system SecureDrop, which was created by Swartz and Kevin Poulsen to connect media organizations and anonymous sources and is managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. This weekend's events -- timed to what would have been his 30th birthday on Nov. 8 -- will also feature a series of speakers on Saturday night, including SecureDrop's Conor Schaefer, Fight for the Future Co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng, and EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, as well as a special statement from Chelsea Manning.

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