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Researchers Find Hybrid GozNym Malware, 24 Financial Institutions Already Affected
Posted by News Fetcher on April 16 '16 at 07:13 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's keep-an-eye-on-your-bank department:
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers are warning about a new hybrid Trojan -- dubbed GozNym-- which is a combination of Nymaim dropper and the Gozi financial malware. IBM researchers say that the malware has been designed to target banks, ecommerce websites, and retail banking, adding that GozNym has already targeted 22 financial institutions in the United States and two in Canada. A ComputerWorld report sheds more light into it, "Nymaim is what researchers call a dropper. Its purpose is to download and run other malware programs on infected computers. It is usually distributed through Web-based exploits launched from compromised websites. Nymaim uses detection evasion techniques such as encryption, anti-VM and anti-debugging routines, and control flow obfuscation. In the past, it has primarily been used to install ransomware on computers. The integration between Nymaim and Gozi became complete in April, when a new version was discovered that combined code from both threats in a single new Trojan -- GozNym."

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Drone-Shooting is Now a Federal Crime, FAA Confirms
Posted by News Fetcher on April 16 '16 at 05:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's unfriendly-fire department:
An anonymous reader writes: At least 12 different drones have been shot from the sky in the United States, including drone shootings in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky, and New Jersey. Now the FAA is confirming that drone shooting is a federal offense, citing regulations against aircraft sabotage. An aviation attorney (teaching drone law at New York's Vaughn College of Aeonautics) tells Forbes this means penalties of up to 20 years in prison for interfering with the "authorized" operation of an aircraft, while threatening a drone or a drone operator would also be a federal crime subject to five years in prison.
Slate notes that "This is bad news if you were planning to invest in the DroneDefender, a goofy-looking gun that promised to disrupt intrusive drones by bombarding them 'with radio waves that disrupt [their] remote control and GPS signals'." And Popular Science adds that "It also poses a complication for some local and state laws, like Utah's proposed HB 420, which would let police shoot down drones in emergency situations." Meanwhile, police in the Netherlands are actually training eagles to attack drones. And last week in South Africa, a drone crashed through the window of an office building and hit an unarmed office worker on the head.

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New Full Duplex Radio Chip Transmits and Receives Wireless Signals At Once
Posted by News Fetcher on April 16 '16 at 05:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-in-one department:
Wave723 writes: A new chip by Columbia University researchers uses a circulator made of silicon transistors to reroute signals and avoid interference from a transmitter and receiver that share the same antenna. This technology instantly doubles data capacity and could eventually be built into smartphones and tablets. The chip enables them to work around the principle of Lorentz Reciprocity, in which electromagnetic waves are thought to always travel along the same path both forward and backward. Traditionally, electronic devices required two antennas -- a transmitter and receiver -- that took turns or operated on different frequencies in order to exchange signals.

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Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster Isn't a Real Religion, Court Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on April 16 '16 at 05:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's holy-noodles department:
WheezyJoe writes: A court in Nebraska has officially ruled that Pastafarianism is not a real religion, and therefore a prison inmate with "several tattoos proclaiming his faith" will not get $5 million or privileges to order and wear religious clothing and pendants, nor meet for weekly worship services and classes and receive communion. The Federal judge ruled that The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a "real" religion eligible for protection under the First Amendment... In ruling against the inmate and the church of Pastafarianism, the judge wrote "there must be a line beyond which a practice is not 'religious' simply because a plaintiff labels it as such... A prisoner could just as easily read the works of Vonnegut or Heinlein and claim it as his holy book, and demand accommodation of Bokononism or the Church of All Worlds [citing Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land]. The Flying Spaghetti Monster Gospel is plainly a work of satire, meant to entertain while making a pointed political statement," and thus not a "real" religion.

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Google Fiber Wants To Beam Wireless Internet To Your Home
Posted by News Fetcher on April 16 '16 at 03:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cable-management department:
An anonymous reader writes: When Google Fiber first launched in Kansas, its main goal was to provide high-speed internet and cable services for reasonable prices. Now, Google wants to beam wireless broadband directly into homes all across America. They haven't figured out all of the logistics, but the technology would solve the "last mile problem," which is typically addressed by the slow, pricey process of connecting a series of cables into homes. Google Fiber is currently working on connecting wireless towers to existing fiber lines by experimenting with different wireless technologies. Alphabet, Google's parent company, will be able to build a nationwide network able to compete with ATT, Verizon and Comcast -- if it develops such a solution. Google Access CEO, who oversees Fiber, said the plan is to develop "abundant and ubiquitous networks" that will provide "some real benefit to the internet as a whole."

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Obama Urges Opening Cable TV Boxes To Competition
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 11:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's participation-is-key department:
An anonymous reader writes: President Obama is publicly supporting the FCC's proposal to help viewers buy cable boxes to spur competition and help subscribers save money. Basically, the proposal would require TV channels to sell their content to third-party groups, like Google and others who would sell their own devices. The president's backing of the FCC proposal is part of a broader White House initiative to spur competition. In a Yahoo News interview, Obama compared the cable box issue to earlier moves by the government to open up the telephone system in the 1980's. Obama said, "Across the board, if we have more players who can potentially participate, fewer barriers to entry, the rules aren't rigged, then you get more people trying to get your business and you get better products at cheaper prices."

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Apple's Recycling Initiatives Recover $40 Million In Gold
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 08:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's reuse-and-recycle department:
An anonymous reader writes: Apple released its latest annual environmental report yesterday with numbers detailing how much the company has been able to recover from old devices. Business Insider notes that Apple was able to recover over 61 million pounds of steel, aluminum, glass, and other materials from its computers and iPhones. This includes a total of 2,204 pounds of gold worth $40 million at current prices ($1,229.80 per troy ounce of gold). Cult of Mac ran the figures quoted by Apple through today's metal prices, and came up with individual figures for copper ($6.4 million), aluminum ($3.2 million), silver ($1.6 million), nickel ($160,426), zinc ($109,503), and lead ($33,999). Last month, Apple unveiled an iPhone recycling robot, named Liam, that salvages old parts.

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Sharp Unveils Cute Robot Phone At A Not-So-Cute $1,800 Price
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 07:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's shouldn't-you-get-to-know-me-first department:
An anonymous reader writes: Japanese manufacturer Sharp officially launched a small robot named RoboHon that doubles as an Android smartphone. The foot-tall robot phone features a two-inch, QVGA display on its back, and a 720p projector embedded in its head. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor powers the robot with Android 5.0 Lollipop running on the software side of things. It can be controlled by voice commands, allowing it to walk and dance -- features like taxi hailing and recipe assistance are apparently in the works. But here's the catch -- RoboHon costs $1,800 or 198,000 yen. If you want to have access to the 3 different voice recognition technologies found in the RoboHon, you'll have to pay an additional "small monthly fee."

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MIT Bug Finder Uncovers Flaws In Web Apps In 64 Seconds
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's record-time department:
itwbennett quotes a report from CSO: A new tool from MIT exploits some of the idiosyncrasies in the Ruby on Rails programming framework to quickly uncover new ones, writes Katherine Noyes. In tests on 50 popular web applications written using Ruby on Rails, the system found 23 previously undiagnosed security flaws, and it took no more than 64 seconds to analyze any given program. Ruby on Rails is distinguished from other frameworks because it defines even its most basic operations in libraries. MIT's researchers took advantage of that fact by rewriting those libraries so that the operations defined in them describe their own behavior in a logical language.

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FBI May Be Hoarding a Firefox Zero-Day
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hide-and-seek department:
An anonymous reader writes: Vice reported at the end of March that the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice are fighting tooth and nail to keep a Tor Browser exploit hidden from the public eye. Computer experts were quick to point out that this Tor Browser exploit, technically speaking, is a Firefox exploit, since Tor's browser is based on Firefox's ESR platform. Taking into account that Firefox follows open-source philosophy and reveals all security flaws reported, the effort which the FBI puts into restricting access to its exploit leads to only one conclusion, and that is that the FBI is hoarding a Firefox zero-day, currently unpatched in the browser's core -- something it hopes to use once again.

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Ubuntu Linux Continues To Dominate OpenStack and Other Clouds
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's returning-champion department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: One reason Ubuntu is increasing its lead is that Jujo, Canonical's application modeling and deployment DevOps tool, has been gaining in popularity. In the latest OpenStack user survey, we see that OpenStack is finally gaining real momentum in private clouds. We also see that Ubuntu Linux is continuing to dominate OpenStack. As Canonical cloud marketing manager Bill Bauman said, "Ubuntu OpenStack continues to dominate the majority of deployments with 55 percent of production OpenStack clouds. The previous survey showed Ubuntu OpenStack at 33 percent of production clouds. Ubuntu has seen almost 67 percent growth in an area where Ubuntu was already the market leader. These numbers are a huge testament to the community support Ubuntu OpenStack receives every day." The Cloud Market's latest analysis of operating systems on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) shows Ubuntu with just over 215,000 instances. Ubuntu is followed by Amazon's own Amazon Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI), with 86,000 instances. Further back, you'll find Windows with 26,000 instances. In fourth and fifth place, respectively, you'll find Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with 16,500 instances and then CentOS with 12,500 instances.

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Sarah Palin Says 'Bill Nye Is As Much A Scientist As I Am'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's who's-the-better-scientist department:
ClickOnThis quotes a report from CNN: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked Bill Nye on Thursday, using the premier of a film that criticizes climate change scientists to call into question Nye's credentials. "Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am," the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said, according to The Hill. "He's a kids' show actor, he's not a scientist." Palin, who was speaking at the Washington premiere of the anti-climate change film "Climate Hustle," targeted Nye during a rant against the "alarmism" of climate change activists. Palin urged parents to teach their children to "ask those questions and not just believe what Bill Nye the Science Guy is trying to tell them" about climate change. Just because Bill Nye may be best known for his role in the popular educational TV series "Bill Nye the Science Guy," doesn't mean he isn't a scientist. In fact, he graduated from Cornell University's School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. From Wikipedia: In the early 2000s, Nye assisted in the development of a small sundial that was included in the Mars Exploration Rover missions. He holds several U.S. patents, including one for ballet pointe shoes and another for an educational magnifying glass created by filling a clear plastic bag with water.

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Apple's iTunes Movies and iBooks Stores Mysteriously Go Down In China
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 03:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's something-smells-fishy department:
tedlistens writes: China-based customers of the iTunes movies and books stores reported network errors beginning on Thursday. Apple did not comment, but Apple Insider offers an unverified report that the storefronts have been closed "due to a pending government investigation into Apple's business practices." Apple first opened its doors to its movie and e-book online stores in China last September, which included the activation of Apple Music services. While the music streaming services remain operational, the movie and e-book stores are not. China's censorship laws and strict regulations in general have been tough for U.S. companies like Apple to navigate. Last year, Apple was actively disabling its iOS News app for its Chinese customers, a move many believe to be in adherence of China's censorship policies. Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services, denied those claims.

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Mitel Buys Polycom For $1.96B In Enterprise Communications Consolidation Play
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 03:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hungry-hungry-hippos department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Mitel announced that it would acquire Polycom in a cash-and-stock deal with a total value of $1.96 billion, creating a company with combined sales of $2.5 billion and 7,700 employees. Polycom's acquisition by Mitel comes at a key time in the world of enterprise communications and collaboration. On one hand, it is a time of massive change and evolution. For years a lot of the services that companies used were based on legacy networking, but in the last decade there has been a big shift to IP-based networks for many of these services. However, at the same time the whole space has been massively disrupted by startups that are upsetting by tapping into the next phase of digital services -- the internet. Companies like Microsoft by way of services like Skype and Yammer, and smaller startups like Slack, are overturning the whole idea of how people who are not in the same office floor can communicate and collaborate for work. These solutions are way cheaper than a lot of the legacy offerings; they tap into the cloud-based services that are now ubiquitous to share and work on files; and they are also built in very user-friendly ways, based around tech that ordinary consumers are using. Both companies compete against the likes of Cisco and Avaya. Mitel is perhaps best known for its IP telephony solutions, including PBX systems, while Polycom is a leader in conferencing services. They also cover SIP technology, and customers span 82% of Fortune 500 companies.

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US Anti-Encryption Law Is So 'Braindead' It Will Outlaw File Compression
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 01:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's zombie-legislation department:
An anonymous reader writes: The bill released Thursday by Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein to force U.S. companies to build backdoors into their encryption systems has been further dissected by experts. In less than 24 hours after the Court Orders Act of 2016 draft was released, 43,000 signatures have been added to a petition calling for the bill to be withdrawn. Bruce Schneier, the writer of the books on modern cryptography, said the bill would make most of what the NSA does illegal, unless no such agency is willing to backdoor its own encrypted communications. "This is the most braindead piece of legislation I've ever seen," Schneier told The Register. "The person who wrote this either has no idea how technology works or just doesn't care." Schneier says cryptographic code will be affected by this legislation, as well as "lossy compression algorithms" that are used to reduce the size of images for sending through email, which won't work in reverse and add back the data removed. Files that can't be decrypted on demand to their original state, and files that can't be decompressed back to their exact originals, all look the same to this draft now. He said even deleted data could be covered in this legislation.

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Google Updates Chrome Web Store Policy, Requires Devs To Be More Transparent About User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 01:43 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's bolstering-security department:
An anonymous reader writes: On Friday, Google announced it is making changes to Chrome Web Store's User Data Policy to ensure developers are more transparent about how their extensions handle customer data. The company has notified developers and is giving them three months to comply with the changes. Come July 15, 2016, company says, extensions that violate the policy will be removed from the Chrome Web Store.The announcement comes amid a report that pointed out a rogue extension in the Chrome Web Store. The incident was one of many we have seen in the past few months. Following are the requirements that a developer must meet: 1. Be transparent about the handling of user data and disclose privacy practices. 2. Post a privacy policy and use encryption, when handling personal or sensitive information. 3. Ask users to consent to the collection of personal or sensitive data via a prominent disclosure, when the use of the data isn't related to a prominent feature.

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Facebook Employees Ask Mark Zuckerberg If They Should Try To Stop a Donald Trump Presidency
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 12:12 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's don't-mess-with-Facebook department:
An anonymous reader writes: Mark Zuckerberg didn't shy from condemning several of Trump's views at his company's developer conference earlier this week. Things are getting tenser now. Gizmodo's Michael Nunez is reporting about a political discussion inside Facebook wherein employees appear to be asking Zuckerberg whether the company should try to "help prevent President Trump in 2017." Every week, Facebook employees vote in an internal poll on what they want to ask Zuckerberg in an upcoming Q&A session. A question from the March 4 poll was: "What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?"An excerpt from the report which talks about Facebook's position :But what's exceedingly important about this question being raised -- and Zuckerberg's answer, if there is one -- is how Facebook now treats the powerful place it holds in the world. It's unprecedented. More than 1.04 billion people use Facebook. It's where we get our news, share our political views, and interact with politicians. It's also where those politicians are spending a greater share of their budgets. And Facebook has no legal responsibility to give an unfiltered view of what's happening on their network.

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Google Play Music To Add Podcast Support on April 18, Says Report
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 12:12 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-podcasts department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google Play Music could add a hub for podcasts on Monday, April 18. The speculation comes as news outlets spotted a leaked NPR email member-only newsletter which claims that the company 'worked with Google to ensure that public radio is represented in the Google Play environment' and reveals the launch date. Google announced plans to add podcasts to Google Play Music app in October last year. It's a welcome move -- whenever it actually happens. Google, unlike Apple and Microsoft, as of today doesn't offer any built-in app in its mobile operating system which could allow users to subscribe and listen to their favorite podcasts. And podcasts are increasingly becoming popular.

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Apple Considering Google-Like 'Paid Search' On App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 10:52 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's squeeze-more-money department:
Apple is considering big changes to the App Store, according to a Bloomberg report. The publication claims that the iPhone maker has a team working on "paid searches" -- something similar to Google's model. Under this, the company will charge its developers for showing their apps among top search results. Apple critic John Gruber writes: This sounds like a terrible idea. The one and only thing Apple should do with App Store search is make it more accurate. They don't need to squeeze any more money from it. More accurate, reliable App Store search would help users and help good developers. It's downright embarrassing that App Store search is still so bad. Google web search is better for searching Apple's App Store than the App Store's built-in search. That's the problem Apple needs to address.

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Scientists Build Smallest, Single Atom, Working Heat Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on April 15 '16 at 10:52 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's going-smaller department:
William Herkewitz, writing for Popular Mechanics: Physicists have just built the smallest working engine ever created. It's a heat-powered motor barely larger than the single atom it runs on. Designed and build by a team of experimental physicists led by Johannes at the University of Mainz in Germany, the single atom engine is about as efficient as your car at transforming the changing temperature into mechanical energy. While scientists have previously created several micro-engines consisting of a mere 10,000 particles, Johannes's new engine blows these out of the water by paring down the machine to a singular atom housed in a nano-sized cone of electromagnetic radiation. The project is outlined today in the journal Science. "The engine has the same working principles as the well-known [combustion] car engine," Johannes says. It follows the same four strokes; expanding then cooling, contracting then heating.There's some confusion here. The article says it's a "four-stroke" engine. But as we know, a four-stroke engine consists of an intake stroke, a compression stroke, a power stroke, and an exhaust stroke -- things that the engine in the article doesn't seem to have. The article doesn't mention how a single atom is able to mimic all the effects of a combustion engine. Update: 04/15 18:24 GMT by M :The article appears to have been updated for clarification.

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