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Sci-Hub Faces Millions Of Dollars In Damages, Elsevier Complaint Shuts Down Domain
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's some-people-want-to-watch-the-world-burn department:
Reader Taco Cowboy writes: Sci-Hub is facing millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. As a result of the legal battle the site just lost one of its latest domain names. However, the site has no intentions of backing down, and will continue its fight to keep access to scientific knowledge free and open. Several 'backup' domain names are still in play, including Sci-Hub.bz and Sci-Hub.cc. In addition to the alternative domain names users can access the site directly through the IP-address 31.184.194.81. Its TOR domain is also still working -- http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/. Authorized or not, there is definitely plenty of interest in Sci-Hub's service. The site currently hosts more than 51 million academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month. Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia or China. But even in countries where access is more common, many researchers visit the site, an analysis from Science magazine revealed last week. Late last month we learned that plenty of people were downloading academic papers from Sci-Hub. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub had served over 28 million documents, with Iran, China, India, Russia, and the United States being the leading requestors.

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Windows 10 Now Runs On 300M Active Devices; Upgrade To Cost $119 After July 29
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's free-upgrade,-no-more department:
On Thursday (May 5), Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices, up from 270 million monthly active devices as of March 30. The feat comes nine months after Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of its desktop operating system, after offering it for months to developers. The company also announced today that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows 8) users with a valid license wouldn't be eligible for the free upgrade starting July 29. After July 29th, Microsoft says, users will be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119. Windows 10 offers a range of interesting features including virtual digital assistant Cortana. While these features and a substantial boost to performance and speeds could be a big reason for the fast adoption of Windows 10, it's also no secret that Microsoft continues to push Windows 10 update to computers ... sometimes even when users don't want that.

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'Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 08:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-and-music department:
Vellum's James has written about his ordeal with Apple Music which many people can relate to. Apple Music, the Cupertino-based giant's online music streaming service, deleted 122GB of music files that James had stored on his computer. He writes: What Amber (supposed Apple Support representative) explained was exactly what I'd feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize -- which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself -- it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted. This isn't the first time Apple Music has deleted a user's locally stored music files. Long-time Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple canceled his subscription last year and called Apple Music a "nightmare" after the service allegedly deleted over 4,700 of his previously bought songs. At the time, he wrote: At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me -- Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I've spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.Incidentally, Apple Music is rumoured for a reboot at the company's developer conference in June. It's not clear if fixing the aforementioned glitch is among Apple's imminent agenda.

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Old Qualcomm Vulnerability Exposes Android User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 08:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's Android-security-woes department:
Reader wiredmikey writes: Researchers from FireEye have disclosed the details of a serious information disclosure vulnerability affecting a Qualcomm software package found in hundreds of Android device models (Editor's note: the link could have pop-up ads, here's an alternate source). The vulnerability is in the Qualcomm tethering controller (CVE-2016-2060) and could allow a malicious application to access user information. While the flaw could expose millions of Android devices, the vulnerability has limited impact on devices running Android 4.4 and later, which include significant security enhancements, and also does not affect Nexus devices. FireEye said its researchers informed Qualcomm about the vulnerability in January and the vendor developed a fix by early March and started reaching out to OEMs to let them know about the issue. Now it's up to the device manufacturers to push out the patch to customers.FireEye said: "The OEMs will now need to provide updates for their devices; however, many devices will likely never be patched."

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Bitcoin 'Creator' Reneges On Promise To Provide More Proof, Says He's Sorry
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 06:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's he's-sorry,-guys department:
Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto -- the creator of bitcoin -- has backtracked on a pledge to provide more proof of his earlier claims. Wright says that he lacks the courage to face allegations. On May 1, Wright claimed that he was the creator of bitcoin, offering digital signature, signed using a private key that was thought to be held by Nakamoto. We later learned that the "proof" Wright offered was simply copied from an older transaction. At the time, Wright assured that he will be moving early bitcoins as "extraordinary evidence". On Thursday, Wright wrote in a blog post that he is "sorry," and that he cannot do this. He writes: I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I'm sorry.

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Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because Of Antivirus Scan
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 05:32 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Windows-10-Update department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: The device in question is Merge Hemo, a complex medical equipment used to supervise heart catheterization procedures, during which doctors insert a catheter inside blood veins and arteries in order to diagnose various types of heart diseases. According to one such report filed by Merge Healthcare in February, Merge Hemo suffered a mysterious crash right in the middle of a heart procedure when the screen went black and doctors had to reboot their computer. Merge investigated the issue and later reported to the FDA that the problem occurred because of the antivirus software running on the doctors' computer. The antivirus was configured to scan for viruses every hour, and the scan started right in the middle of the procedure. Merge says the antivirus froze access to crucial data acquired during the heart catheterization. Unable to access real-time data, the app crashed spectacularly.

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Scientists Grow Two-Week-Old Human Embryos In Lab For The First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 02:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's controversial-science department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to Reuters, "Using a culture method previously tested to grow mouse embryos outside of a mother, the teams were able to conduct almost hour by hour observations of human embryo development to see how they develop and organize themselves up to day 13."
Brave new world, here we come From the report: "The work, covered in two studies published on Wednesday in the journal Nature and Nature Cell Biology, showed how the cells that will eventually form the human body self-organize into the basic structure of a post-implantation human embryo. As well as advancing human biology expertise, the knowledge gained from studying these developments should help to improve in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments and further progress in the field of regenerative medicine, the researchers said. But the research also raises the issue of an international law banning scientists from developing human embryos beyond 14 days, and suggests this limit may have to be reviewed. 'Longer cultures could provide absolutely critical information for basic human biology,' said researcher Zernicka-Goetz. 'But this would of course raise the next question - of where we should put the next limit.'"

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Star Wars Buttons And Lights You May Have Missed
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 12:04 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's buttons-levers-vector-graphics-oh-my department:
tedlistens writes: At Motherboard, Alex Pasternack writes: "Star Wars is set in a world of wildly advanced technology. But take a good look at the machinery of Star Wars, and you may be surprised to see how wonderfully analog it all is -- buttons! levers! vector graphics! Yes, there are hyperdrives and lightsabers and hologram Princess Leias and droids that know six million languages (including the language of moisture vaporators, along with various etiquette and diplomatic protocols useful across the galaxy). But it's also a world where sometimes you have to hit a robot to get it to work, like an old dashboard radio, a place where the supercomputers are operated manually and where buttons and control panels and screens seem far removed from our own galaxy: tactile, lo-fi, and elegantly simple." May the 4th be with you.

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Hacker Guccifer Claims He Easily and Repeatedly Broke Into Hillary Clinton's Email Server
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 08:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that-was-easy department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fox News: The infamous Romanian hacker known as "Guccifer," speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily -- and repeatedly -- breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal email server in early 2013. In the process of mining data from the Blumenthal account, Lazar said he came across evidence that others were on the Clinton server. "As far as I remember, yes, there were up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world," he said. From the report: "'For me, it was easy ... easy for me, for everybody,' Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker 'Guccifer,' told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held. Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar's claims. The 44-year-old Lazar said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clintonâ(TM)s server 'like twice,' though he described the contents as 'not interest[ing]' to him at the time." Guccifer was sent to prison last month, which is when his potential role in the Clinton email investigation became apparent.

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DuckDuckGo Is Giving Away $225,000 To Support Open Source Projects
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 06:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's share-the-love department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo announced it will be giving away a total of $225,000 to support nine open source projects, each project will receive $25,000. DuckDuckGo said it performed 3 billion searches in 2015. It differs from many other search engines as it offers private, anonymous internet search. It doesn't gather information about you to sell ads to marketeers, like Google. Instead, it shows generic ads as it's part of the Microsoft/Bing/Yahoo ad network. It also has revenue-sharing agreements with certain companies in the Linux Open Source worlds, and makes money from select affiliate links. The $225,000 DuckDuckGo is giving away is chump change compared to the $100 million Google gives away in grants ever year. However, for the select projects, it should still be very beneficial. Last year, DuckDuckGo gave away a total of $125,000 to open source projects, so it's nice to see them donate an extra $100,000 to a good cause.

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Microsoft Overhauls SharePoint To Compete With Slack In The Mobile Era
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft is overhauling SharePoint today, and introducing iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile apps. The iOS SharePoint app will arrive by the end of June, with the Android and Windows 10 Mobile versions due for release later this year. All of the mobile apps are designed to make SharePoint more accessible on the go, allowing users to access things like corporate intranet sites and content. Alongside the new apps, Microsoft is also providing access to SharePoint Online document libraries in OneDrive mobile apps, and the ability to copy from OneDrive to SharePoint. Microsoft plans to synchronize SharePoint Online document libraries with the new OneDrive sync client by the end of the year, and integrate SharePoint sites with Office 365 Groups. Microsoft's new Flow service, which lets you automate tasks, will also be integrated into SharePoint by the end of the year.

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Man Sets World Record With 25 Continuous Hours In Virtual Reality
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's world-record department:
An anonymous reader writes: Derek Westerman has made it in the Guinness Book of World Records by spending 25 straight hours in virtual reality. He used the HTC Vive and spent his entire time playing Tilt Brush. "Guinness has a whole set of rules and regulations, one of those being 'one game only the whole time.' I wanted to pick something that gave me the most freedom," Westerman says, "And painting in 3D space for 25 hours seemed like the best bet." At around the 17th hour mark, Westerman reportedly experienced some vertigo and threw up into a bucket provided for him by an assistant. The same bucket was used around the 6th hour mark when Westerman had to urinate. Then around the 21st hour, he starts babbling incoherently while waving the Vive controllers around, saying at one point, "I don't know where I'm at..." The video of the event has been released on Wednesday, even though Guinness lists the record as being achieved on April 7th.

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In Search Of A Healthy Gut, One Man Turned To An Extreme DIY Fecal Transplant
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 03:53 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's DIY-projects department:
Josiah Zayner writes: Arielle Duhaime-Ross at The Verge followed Dr. Josiah Zayner, a former Scientist at NASA turned BioHacker, as he attempted the first ever full-body microbiome transplant. She writes "Over the course of the next four days, Zayner would attempt to eradicate the trillions of microbes that lived on and inside his body -- organisms that helped him digest food, produce vitamins and enzymes, and protected his body from other, more dangerous bacteria. Ruthlessly and methodically, he would try to render himself into a biological blank slate. Then, he would inoculate himself with a friend's microbes -- a procedure he refers to as a 'microbiome transplant.'".

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'Largest Recall In American History': Takata To Recall Nearly 70 Million Airbags
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 03:53 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's deadly-safety-equipment department:
An anonymous reader writes: Federal regulators are ordering Japanese supplier Takata to recall as many as 40 million additional airbags linked to a defect already blamed for at least 11 deaths, bringing the total number of faulty airbags in the U.S. to 69 million. Previously, the recall involved about 24 million vehicles sold in the U.S. over roughly the last decade, with 14 manufacturers impacted. With the latest recall, almost every other major carmaker will now be pulled. "This is the largest recall in American history," National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator Mark Rosekind told reporters on Wednesday. Initial estimates said 35-40 million airbags were to be recalled. And because some vehicles use more than one Takata airbag, the total number of vehicles will likely be smaller. Now it's considered highly likely that the total number of cars, trucks and crossovers will now top the 50 million mark, and as many as a quarter of all vehicles on U.S. roads could be covered. The NHTSA has reported that just over 8 million vehicles had been fixed as of April 22. The airbags have so far been tied to at least 10 U.S. deaths and more than 100 injuries -- two more fatalities in Malaysia were confirmed Wednesday. "The exploding airbags can send shrapnel into the faces and necks of victims, leaving them looking as if they had been shot or stabbed," according to Fox 59.

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YouTube To Launch 'Unplugged' Online TV Service In 2017
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's everybody's-doing-it department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: YouTube is working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels streamed over the Internet, people familiar with the plan said. The project, for which YouTube has already overhauled its technical architecture, is one of the online video giant's biggest priorities and is slated to debut as soon as 2017, one of the people said. YouTube executives have discussed these plans with most major media companies, including Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and CBS Corp., but have yet to secure any rights, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. There are reportedly several different ways YouTube could package TV channels in the service. "In one scenario, it would build a bundle of channels with the four U.S. broadcast networks and a smattering of popular cable channels, a concept known in the industry as a skinny bundle," reports Bloomberg. "YouTube has also discussed offering a collection of less-watched TV channels and creating smaller groups of channels around themes. A YouTube Unplugged comedy bundle might include three or four TV channels such as Comedy Central, while a lifestyle bundle might include the Style Network." Apparently, sources familiar with the matter said YouTube would charge one subscription for the main bundle, and extra, smaller monthly fees for said theme-based groups.

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Robot Stitches Tissue By Itself Without A Real Doctor Pulling The Strings
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's no-strings-attached department:
An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have created a robotic system that is capable of stitching up tissue in living animals without a human doctor pulling the strings. Wednesday's research brings us one step closer toward autonomous surgical robots. While doctors did supervise the robot, the robot performed as well, and in some cases a bit better, as some competing surgeons in stitching together intestinal tissue of pigs used in the tests. Wednesday's project is "the first baby step toward true autonomy," said Dr. Umamaheswar Duvvuri of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He cautioned others to not expect to see doctors leave entire operations in a robot's digital hands -- yet. The tissue-stitching robot is designed to do one specific tasks, similar to machines in other industries. For example, robot arms do the welding and painting in most U.S. car assembly lines. The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) system is equipped with suturing equipment plus smart imaging technologies to let it track moving tissue in 3D and with an equivalent of night vision. Sensors have been added to help guide each stitch and tell how tightly to pull. All the surgeons have to do is place fluorescent markers on the tissue that needs stitching, and the robot takes aim. Human studies should begin within the next few years. The STAR system is just one of many up and coming robots to put surgery into the hands of non-surgeons.

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Google Encrypts All Blogspot Domains With HTTPS
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 01:03 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's https-everywhere department:
Reader Mickeycaskill writes: Google is continuing its crusade to encrypt the web by enabling an HTTPS version of every single domain hosted on Blogspot. The search giant started the rollout last September, but as an opt-in service. Now users can opt to visit an HTTPS version of a site without its participation, while administrators can turn on an automatic redirect so all visitors are sent to the encrypted version. "HTTPS is fundamental to internet security; it protects the integrity and confidentiality of data sent between websites and visitors' browsers," said Milanda Perera, security software engineer at Google. Google already encrypts its search results, Google Drive and Gmail, while it also ranks HTTPS-enabled sites higher in the search. Blogspot rival WordPress began rolling out HTTPS in 2014.

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Students Can Now Fly Drones At School, FAA Says
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 01:03 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's fly-like-nobody's-watching department:
An anonymous reader writes: It will now be easier for students to pilot drones as part of their schoolwork, thanks to new Federal Aviation Administration rules that exempt high schools and colleges from the more stringent aircraft regulations placed on businesses. In a memo released Wednesday outlining the new guidelines, federal regulators have designated drone schoolwork as a hobby or recreational -- as opposed to commercial -- activity, allowing students for the first time to fly unmanned aircraft without a pilot's license or special authorization from the government. "Schools and universities are incubators for tomorrow's great ideas, and we think this is going to be a significant shot in the arm for innovation," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta during a drone conference in New Orleans. But the agency's policy prohibits teachers from being the primary operators of unmanned aircraft, because they are paid for their work and therefore "would not be engaging in a hobby or recreational activity" while flying a drone. (They can, however, pilot drones in a limited way -- in case of emergency, for instance.)

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No One Should Have To Use Proprietary Software To Communicate With Their Government
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 11:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's hate-for-all-things-proprietary department:
Donald Robertson, writing for Free Software Foundation: Proprietary JavaScript is a threat to all users on the Web. When minified, the code can hide all sorts of nasty items, like spyware and other security risks. [...] On March 1st, 2016, the Copyright Office announced a call for comments on an update to their technology infrastructure. We submitted a comment urging them to institute a policy that requires all software they develop and distribute to be free software. Further, we also urged them to not require people to run proprietary software in order to communicate or submit comments to them. Unfortunately, once again, the Copyright Office requires the use of proprietary JavaScript in order to submit the comment and they are only accepting comments online unless a person lacks computer or Internet access. [...] The most absurd part of all this is that other government agencies, while still using Regulations.gov, are perfectly capable of offering alternatives to submission.

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Aging and Bloated OpenSSL Is Purged of 2 High-Severity Bugs
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '16 at 11:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's oh-openssl department:
An anonymous reader cites a story on Ars Technica: Maintainers of the OpenSSL cryptographic library have patched high-severity holes that could make it possible for attackers to decrypt login credentials or execute malicious code on Web servers. The updates were released Tuesday morning for both versions 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 of OpenSSL, which a large portion of the Internet relies on to cryptographically protect sensitive Web and e-mail traffic using the transport layer security protocol. OpenSSL advisories labeled the severity of both vulnerabilities "high," meaning the updates fixing them should be installed as soon as possible. The fixes bring the latest supported versions to 1.0.1t and 1.0.2h. The decryption vulnerability is the result of what cryptographers call a padding oracle weakness, which allows attackers to repeatedly probe an encrypted payload for clues about the plaintext content inside. According to TLS expert Filippo Valsorda, the bug allows for only 16 bytes of encrypted traffic to be recovered, and even then only when an end user sends it repeatedly.

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