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Uber Banned in Germany and France, and Faces Lawsuits in Multiple States
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '16 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hit-the-road,-Jack department:
An anonymous reader writes that Uber "has suffered double-losses in Europe, as both France and Germany continue to reject the company's validity in their regions." Meanwhile, a Boston Uber driver filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday accusing Uber of illegally classifying drivers as independent contractors to avoid providing full employee benefits. An Indianapolis driver has filed a similar suit, which also complains that Uber won't let them accept tips, and keeps any tips that customer's pay them through Uber's app. And remember when Uber and Lyft left Austin after losing a local election which would've required all their drivers to be fingerprinted? Now two lawsuits charge the companies were required to give 60 days notice to all their employees, and is demanding back pay and benefits.

But an anonymous reader quotes this column from the Los Angeles Times arguing that a federal judge's ultimate question is just "how sleazy" Uber really is.
We're familiar with the Uber that talked about responding to bad publicity by digging up dirt on reporters following the company. Also the Uber that allegedly stalked passengers using its service, following their travel routes for the amusement of its party-goers... What about the Uber that secretly investigated a lawyer representing an adversary in a lawsuit, and then lied about it? That's the Uber that Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff of New York wants to hear a lot more about. On Thursday he ordered Uber to turn over to the other side a pile of documents related to the investigation.

Slashdot reader chasm22 points out that the high-powered investigator hired by Uber is apparently a retired senior CIA officer -- a former chief strategy officer, chief of cyberthreat analysis and chief of counterintelligence.

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Playing Politics With Agile Projects
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '16 at 07:22 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's speaking-of-manifestos department:
A harsh perspective on agile software development, shared by Slashdot reader itwbennett: Politicians would be utter failures as agile project managers, writes David Taber, and for all the reasons you might imagine, but mainly because they wantonly make promises they have no hope or thought of keeping. But then he gets into the political attributes successful project managers need. And that's where things get interesting because, while he points out that agile was 'conceived of as a way of bypassing bureaucracy and internal politics,' the attributes he says are required for success are pretty much the worst of the political behavior we've all witnessed in our organizations. For example, "A key success factor for agile projects is the ability for every team member to talk expectations down at every possible juncture. Agile should inherently involve frequent 1:1 contact with users: use that time to lower expectations! Without this habit, the inevitable scope creep and the impulse to believe "of course the system will do X for me" will get you."

His submission ends with this question. "Is it any wonder why users hate agile?"

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How Activist DeRay Mckesson's Twitter Account Was Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '16 at 06:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Racial justice activist DeRay Mckesson became the most recent victim of a high-profile Twitter account hack. Mckesson this week started to endorse for Donald Trump and posted a self-defamatory tweet. Later he announced that his account was hacked. What's interesting about this hack was that Mckesson had two-factor authentication enabled on "all" of his accounts. Hackers apparently resorted to a much-sophisticated attack: Hacker or hackers were able to take over by convincing Verizon to reset his SIM. With the SIM reset, the person responsible was able to receive text messages intended for Mckesson and therefore bypass the two-factor authentication the activist used to keep his account secure.

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Ask Slashdot: What's The Best CMS?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '16 at 04:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's intermittent-updates department:
Slashdot reader pipingguy recently inherited a 2012 installation of Joomla 1.5.26, and while performing four years worth of updates, began wondering about other content management systems. I've built more than a few static websites (I use Sublime Text 3 or Atom, not some fancy-pants WYSIWYG doohickey) and am quite familiar with CSS, but databases not so much. I've been through lots of online documentation and am a bit bewildered, but I'm following the recommendations regarding backups and the like.

What are Slashdot readers' latest opinions on the three most popular CMSes -- Drupal, Joomla and WordPress? Any tips for me before I accidentally blow away the existing site and have to rebuild everything...?

Leave your educated opinions in the comments...

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It Took 33 Years To Find the Easter Egg In This Apple II Game
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '16 at 12:32 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's what-took-you-so-long department:
Jason Koebler writes: Gumball, a game released in 1983 for the Apple II and other early PCs, was never all that popular. For 33 years, it held a secret that was discovered this week by anonymous crackers who not only hacked their way through advanced copyright protection, but also became the first people to discover an Easter Egg hidden by the game's creator, Robert A. Cook. Best of all? Cook congratulated them Friday for their work.
The article attributes the discovery to a game-cracker named 4am, who's spent years cracking the DRM on old Apple II games to upload them to the Internet Archive. "Because almost all of the games are completely out of print, all-but-impossible to find, and run only on old computers, 4am is looked at as more of a game preservation hero than a pirate."

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NSA Couldn't Hack San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone; Now Working On Exploiting IoT
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 08:32 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's act-surprised department:
The FBI did turn to NSA when it was trying to hack into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, according to an NSA official. But to many's surprise, one of the world's most powerful intelligence agencies couldn't hack into that particular iPhone 5c model. "We don't do every phone, every variation of phone," said Richard Ledgett, the NSA's deputy director. "If we don't have a bad guy who's using it, we don't do that." According to Ledgett, apparently the agency has to prioritize its resources and thus it doesn't know how to get into every popular gadget. According to the report, the agency is now looking to exploit Internet of Things, including biomedical devices. The Intercept reports: Biomedical devices could be a new source of information for the NSA's data hoards -- "maybe a niche kind of thing ... a tool in the toolbox," he said, though he added that there are easier ways to keep track of overseas terrorists and foreign intelligence agents. When asked if the entire scope of the Internet of Things -- billions of interconnected devices -- would be "a security nightmare or a signals intelligence bonanza," he replied, "Both."

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Microsoft Mistakenly Sold Fallout 4 For Free On Xbox
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 05:41 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's gaming-the-system department:
On Thursday the $110 Deluxe Edition Bundle of Fallout 4 appeared in the Xbox store priced at $0.00. The Escapist reports that "The mistake went viral, and there's no telling how people were able to take advantage before the error was corrected..." An anonymous reader shares their report:
If you grabbed Fallout 4 for free on Xbox One, it will be disappearing from your account... Microsoft has confirmed that any copies obtained due to the error will have their license revoked, and the games will disappear from the user's Xbox One library.

Now Microsoft is telling affected users that "your free download will no longer work. For the inconvenience we will deposit $10 by the end of June in your Microsoft Account."

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Thousands of Email Addresses Accidentally Disclosed By Let's Encrypt
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 04:22 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's let's-also-disclose-email-addresses department:
An anonymous reader writes "Let's Encrypt, the certificate authority best known for offering free SSL/TLS certificates, has reported that it accidentally disclosed thousands of user email addresses due to a bug with an automated emailing system." Executive Director Josh Aas posted this announcement:
On June 11 2016 (UTC), we started sending an email to all active subscribers who provided an email address, informing them of an update to our subscriber agreement. This was done via an automated system which contained a bug that mistakenly prepended between 0 and 7,618 other email addresses to the body of the email... The problem was noticed and the system was stopped after 7,618 out of approximately 383,000 emails (1.9%) were sent. Each email mistakenly contained the email addresses from the emails sent prior to it, so earlier emails contained fewer addresses than later ones.

We take our relationship with our users very seriously and apologize for the error... If you received one of these emails we ask that you not post lists of email addresses publicly.

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Facebook Threatens To Delete Users' Photos If They Don't Install Moments app
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 03:02 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's facebook-things department:
Mark Wilson, reporting for BetaNews: Not content with forcing people into using its Messenger app, Facebook is continuing its aggressive tactics and driving users to install its photo-sharing app, Moments. The social network has warned users that their photos face deletion if they fail to use the Moments app. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a huge surge in interest in the app, pushing it to the top of the download charts. Facebook says it is going to delete Synced Albums and Synced Photos if Moments is not installed by July 7, sending warning emails to a number of users. This has understandably led to panic installations of Moments as people sought to protect the photos that have been automatically synchronized from their phone. It's important to note that it is only these synced photos that are at risk, but it's clear that there is an element of confusion about what Facebook is planning to delete.

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Twitter Denies Breach of 32 Million Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 03:02 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's gullible-media? department:
An anonymous reader writes: "We have investigated reports of Twitter usernames/passwords on the dark web, and we're confident that our systems have not been breached," posted the company's security office, Michael Coates. In a blog post, he wrote that Twitter use HTTPS "everywhere" and secures account credentials with bcrypt, while also watching for suspicious account activity based on location, device type, and login history. Responding to recent reports of 32 million compromised accounts, he blamed malware and also recycled passwords, which mean "a breach of passwords associated with website X could result in compromised accounts at unrelated website Y."

"When so many breaches are announced in a short window of time, it may be natural to assume that any mention of 'another breach' is true and valid. Nefarious individuals leverage this environment in order to either bundle old breached data or repackage accounts from a variety of breaches, and then claim they have login information and passwords for website Z."
A security expert gave the same explanation to InformationWeek. And Brian Krebs recently pointed out that a Tweet claiming 73 million compromised Dropbox accounts was actually just recycling credentials from a 2013 breach at Tumblr. A recent breach of Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter account was attributed to a low-security password.

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Air Force Has Lost 100,000 Inspector General Records
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 01:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Backups?-What-backups? department:
schwit1 shares an article from The Hill: The Air Force announced on Friday that it has lost thousands of records belonging to the service's inspector general due to a database crash. "We estimate we've lost information for 100,000 cases dating back to 2004," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The Hill in an email. "The database crashed and there is no data..." The database, called the Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS), holds all records related to IG complaints, investigations, appeals and Freedom of Information Act requests.... "We also use ACTS to track congressional/constituent inquiries."

The Air Force said they were "aggressively" trying to recover the data, adding that they had no evidence of malicious intent.

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The World's Oldest Computer May Have Predicted the Future
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 12:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's the-way-back-machine department:
Gizmodo reports: Discovered in an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901, the freakishly advanced Antikythera Mechanism has been called the world's first computer. A decades-long investigation into the 2,000 year-old-device is shedding new light onto this mysterious device... It wasn't programmable in the modern sense, but it's considered the world's first analog computer.

schwit1 shares a report from the Associated Press:: For over a century since its discovery in an ancient shipwreck, the exact function of the Antikythera Mechanism -- named after the southern Greek island off which it was found -- was a tantalizing puzzle.... After more than a decade's efforts using cutting-edge scanning equipment, an international team of scientists has now read about 3,500 characters of explanatory text -- a quarter of the original -- in the innards of the 2,100-year-old remains.
They say it was a kind of philosopher's guide to the galaxy, and perhaps the world's oldest mechanical computer.

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DEA Wants Access To Medical Records Without Warrant
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 10:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's wealth-of-knowledge department:
mi writes from a report via The Daily Beast: Unlike in cases of commercially-held data, where the Third Party doctrine allows police warrantless access, prescription drug monitoring databases are maintained by state-governments. The difference is lost to the Obama Administration, which argues that "since the records have already been submitted to a third party (a state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) that patients no longer enjoy an expectation of privacy." The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the states' prescription drug databases using only an "administrative subpoena." These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what's required to obtain a warrant. Some states, like Oregon, fight it; some, like Wisconsin, do not. "The federal government is eager to see all these databases linked," reports The Daily Beast. "The Department of Justice has developed a software platform to facilitate sharing among all state PDMPs. So far 32 states already share their PDMP data through a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy program. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which passed Congress in March, calls for expanding sharing of PDMP data."

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Bitdefender Finds 'Hypervisor Wiretap' For Reading TLS-Encrypted Communications
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 10:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's cracking-the-cloud department:
Orome1 quotes a report from HelpNetSecurity: Bitdefender has discovered that encrypted communications can be decrypted in real-time using a technique that has virtually zero footprint and is invisible to anyone except extremely careful security auditors. The technique, dubbed TeLeScope, has been developed for research purposes and proves that a third-party can eavesdrop on communications encrypted with the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol between an end-user and a virtualized instance of a server.
Bitdefender says the new technique "works to detect the creation of TLS session keys in memory as the virtual machine is running." According to HelpNetSecurity, this vulnerability "makes it possible for a malicious cloud provider, or one pressured into giving access to three-letter agencies, to recover the TLS keys used to encrypt every communication session between virtualized servers and customers. CIOs who are outsourcing their virtualized infrastructure to a third-party vendor should assume that all of the information flowing between the business and its customers has been decrypted and read for an undetermined amount of time."

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Ask Slashdot: Why Do Most Tablet Specs Suck?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 09:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's low-battery-warning department:
Slashdot reader Qbertino describes himself as a "happy tablet user," moving from an old HTC Flyer to his Yoga 2. But he notes that most other tablets "have laughable battery times," and "I've yet to find a tablet that does not give me storage or memory problems in some way or other, lasts for a day or two in power and doesn't feel chintzy and like it won't stand a month of regular everyday use and carrying around..." He asks why none of the manufacturers seem willing to offer more than one gigabyte of RAM -- and why they're so stingy with storage. "Where is the rugged 16GB RAM / 1TB Storage / 20-hour battery tablet?"

So leave your educated opinions in the comments. What are your thoughts on the current tablet market? And are they the ultimate all-purpose "convergence" device that Apple and Ubuntu seem to think they are?

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Apple Is Fighting A Secret War To Keep You From Repairing Your Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 08:13 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-vs-right-to-repair department:
It's no secret that Apple makes a ton of money by charging 'astronomical' fee for replacing and fixing display and other components of iPhone and iPad (as well as Mac line). For instance, the company charges $599 for replacing the display on the iPad Pro tablet. Which sounds insane when you realize that you can almost certainly purchase a new iPad Pro under $700. And this is what most people do. A Huffington Post article notes that this behavior has contributed significantly in "generating heaps of e-waste." Citing many advocates, the publication claims that Apple has "opposed legislation that could help curb it." From the report: The Huffington Post spoke with politicians in two states who support such legislation, and confirmed through government filings that Apple has lobbied on the issue. Four states -- Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and New York -- have considered adopting "right to repair" amendments, which would update existing laws regarding the sale of electronic equipment. Amending these laws would make it easier to fix your devices and would help reduce "e-waste," a catch-all term for any electronic detritus. The New York State Senate and Assembly could approve one of these amendments next week. This would help unofficial repair shops get the information they need to fix your iPad, ideally driving down repair costs and encouraging you to squeeze more life out of your old devices -- thus cutting down on the e-waste generated by our voracious appetites for new gadgets. Apple asserts that it helps recycle millions of pounds of electronics equipment every year. But it won't support right to repair amendments.One would ask what is preventing a user from getting their device repaired by unofficial service person? In addition to the security implication, you also run a risk of getting your device bricked by Apple. To recall, the iPhone maker was found bricking the handsets that had been repaired by third-party vendors earlier this year.

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Google Permits India To Download YouTube Content Overnight
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's check-out-this-video department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google India has announced that users of the YouTube app in India can now download content during cheaper night-time connectivity periods for offline viewing later. Downloaded videos can be viewed for up to 30 days...

Streaming providers are currently conflicted between the low-risk policy of denying offline viewing, and the risk of alienating the lesser-connected markets where they're keen to grab an early foothold. In late 2014 a Netflix executive said offline viewing was "never going to happen", but in April of this year CEO Reed Hastings backtracked in a letter to shareholders, commenting "as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it's something we should keep an open mind about."

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jQuery 3.0 Stops Supporting Internet Explorer Workarounds
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ghost-of-browsers-past department:
An anonymous reader writes: Thursday's release of jQuery 3.0 is "the first version that features absolutely no workarounds for old Internet Explorer browsers," reports Softpedia. "If customers are still asking you to work with IE6, IE7, and IE8, then you should stick with jQuery 1.0 for the foreseeable future." The jQuery blog explains that over 18 months of development, "We set out to create a slimmer, faster version of jQuery (with backwards compatibility in mind)... It is a continuation of the 2.x branch, but with a few breaking changes that we felt were long overdue." Besides jQuery's free, open source JavaScript library, they also released a "slim" version that excludes ajax and effects modules (as well as deprecated code), and a new version of the jQuery Migrate plugin.

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A Tour of Campus 2, Apple's Upcoming Headquarters
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 02:41 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's revolutionary-design department:
Dave Knott writes from a report via Popular Science: Popular Science has an article detailing Campus 2, Apple's upcoming headquarters, including a video with a tour of the complex which is still under construction. The Spaceship, as many have nicknamed it, is over one mile in circumference and when it is completed later this year it will house 13,000 employees. Its exterior will largely be composed of thousands of huge curved glass planes; the floors and ceilings will be constructed from hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to "breathe," bolstering its eco-friendly qualities. Campus 2 will run entirely on renewable energy, with rooftop solar panels providing an output of 16 megawatts of power and acting as the campus's primary energy supplier. Upon completion, the main building will have four stories above ground and three below, with numerous other facilities including seven cafes, a fitness center and a 120,000 square-foot theater where Apple will hold its famous product announcements. Construction on the building is expected to be finished by the end of 2016. Interesting facts: Apple used 4,300 concrete slabs, weighing a total of 212 tons, to create the structure. The Spaceship also features 330-ton, 92-foot-tall steel reinforced doors for its restaurant -- the dining-hall doors alone span 60,000 square feet and collectively weigh 330 tons. The campus boasts 900 panels of vertical glass, 1,600 panes of canopy glass, 510 panes of clerestory glass, and 126 panes for skylight glass (3,000 total). The total cost of the project is approximately $5 billion.

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Google Announces Support of the Controversial TPP
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 11:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's controversial-announcements department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced in a blog post Friday their support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). Recode reports: "The trade agreement includes key provisions about the global passage of digital data, intellectual property and copyright -- measures that have drawn criticism from both the political right and left, including several outspoken tech groups. Google's endorsement isn't exactly full-throated, but its stake clearly demonstrates another key area of support with the Obama administration, to which Google is close." Google's SVP and general counsel Kent Walker wrote: "The TPP is not perfect, and the trade negotiation process would certainly benefit from greater transparency. We will continue to advocate for process reforms, including the opportunity for all stakeholders to have a meaningful opportunity for input into trade negotiations." The company has already shown support of the TPP behind the Internet Association, which endorsed the trade agreement in March. Google joins a list of other tech titans, like Apple and Microsoft, who have shown their support as well. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the TPP a "secretive, multinational trade agreement" that will restrict IP laws and enforce digital policies that "benefit big corporations at the expense of the public." The TPP is still awaiting congressional approval after being signed in February.

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