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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom Thinks Websites Should Be Rated Like Films
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '16 at 06:41 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's no-minors-allowed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report fro The Register: The UK's possible future prime minister thinks all websites should be classified with minimum age ratings, just like films. Andrea Leadsom is one of two candidates left in the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party; the winner of which will become the country's Prime Minister. Although many are concerned with the authoritarian stance taken by her rival, Theresa May, Leadsom's views on many topics -- including the internet -- have come under scrutiny following her unexpected success in the leadership election. Key among those is Leadsom's apparent belief that the best solution to troublesome content on the internet is to have film-rating organization the British Board of Film Classification rate all websites, and have any unrated websites blocked by ISPs. [Writing in the New Statesman back in 2012, she focused, initially, on the need to protect children. "There are two sound ways to ensure that children are not exposed to dangerous or disturbing content," she argued. "At the level of Internet Service Provider, individual sites can be blocked 'at source' by ISPs [...] The other way is with a move away from the standard '.co.uk' and '.com' top level domains (TLDs) for more explicit content, to separate entirely inappropriate sections of the web."] She argues: "Outside of cyberspace, we have bodies such as Ofcom and the British Board of Film Classification that continually work to ensure our children are not exposed to the wrong things. This could be implemented in some way online, whereby a website would have to have its content 'rated' before being accessible online. While it sounds like a massive leap, the majority of new websites already go through testing when they are hosted to make sure that a site is intact and that files and content are free of viruses. This would simply be adding another check to the list, and in reality it is a burden already carried by film-makers."

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Bitcoin 'Miners' Face Fight For Survival As New Supply Halves
Posted by News Fetcher on July 09 '16 at 02:41 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's every-four-years department:
SpzToid quotes a report from Reuters: On Saturday, the reward for [bitcoin] miners will be slashed in half. Written into bitcoin's code when it was invented in 2008 was a rule dictating that the prize would be halved every four years, in a step designed to keep a lid on bitcoin inflation. From around 1700 GMT on Saturday, instead of 25 bitcoins up for grabs globally every 10 minutes, worth around $16,000 at the current rate BTC=BTSP, there will be just 12.5. That means only the mining companies with the leanest operations will survive the ensuing profit hit. "The most important thing is to be the most efficient miner," said Streng, the 26-year-old co-founder of German firm Genesis Mining, which has "mining farms" in Canada, the United States and eastern Europe, as well as in Iceland. "When the others drop out, that means that they leave the market and give you a bigger share of the pie."

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First Water Clouds Reported Outside The Solar System
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 11:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bigger-than-a-planet-smaller-than-a-star department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: For the first time ever, astronomers have found strong evidence of water clouds on a body outside the solar system. New observations of a frigid object called WISE 0855, which lies 7.2 light-years from Earth, suggest that the "failed star" has clouds of water, or water ice, in its atmosphere, the researchers said. "We would expect an object that cold to have water clouds, and this is the best evidence that it does," study lead author Andrew Skemer, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a statement released by the university. Scientists discovered WISE 0855 in 2014, using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. A later paper in 2014 (co-authored by Skemer) uncovered some evidence of water clouds in the object's atmosphere, based on limited photometric data (how bright the object is in specific light wavelengths). In the new study, Skemer and his colleagues used the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii to study the brown dwarf for 13 nights. Gemini North is located on the highest Hawaiian mountain (Mauna Kea), at an altitude with little water vapor to interfere with telescopic observations. These observations allowed the astronomers to make the first spectroscopy (light fingerprint) measurements of WISE 0855. The team found water vapor and also confirmed the object's temperature, which is about minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 degrees Celsius, or 250 kelvins).

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George Takei Opposes Gay Sulu In 'Star Trek Beyond'
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 07:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you department:
HughPickens.com writes: Seth Abramovitch reports in the Hollywood Reporter that actor and LGBT activist George Takei says Paramount's plans to have Sulu's character in the upcoming 'Star Trek Beyond' the first LGBTQ lead character in Star Trek history is out of step with what creator Gene Roddenberry would have wanted. [Roddenberry] "was a strong supporter of LGBT equality," says Takei, now 79. "But he said he has been pushing the envelope and walking a very tight rope -- and if he pushed too hard, the show would not be on the air." Takei says he'd much prefer that Sulu stay straight. "I'm delighted that there's a gay character," says Takei. "Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate." The timeline logic of the new revelation is enough to befuddle even the most diehard of Trek enthusiasts, as the rebooted trilogy takes place before the action of the original series. In other words, assuming canon orthodoxy, this storyline suggest Sulu would have had to have first been gay and married, only to then go into the closet years later. Simon Pegg, who has co-written the latest Star Trek movie, as well as starring as Scotty, has responded to criticism by the actor George Takei at the film-makers' decision to make the character he used to play openly gay. "He's right, it is unfortunate, it's unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn't featured an LGBT character until now. We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the 'gay character,' rather than simply for who they are, and isn't that tokenism?" says Pegg. "Our Trek is an alternate timeline with alternate details. Whatever magic ingredient determines our sexuality was different for Sulu in our timeline. I like this idea because it suggests that in a hypothetical multiverse, across an infinite matrix of alternate realities, we are all LGBT somewhere."

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Nintendo Stock Price Up 9% After Pokemon Go Launch
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's revolutionary-new-way-to-exercise department:
An anonymous reader writes: Following the release of the location-based mobile game Pokemon Go, Nintendo's stock is up 9 percent on the Tokyo Exchange. VentureBeat reports: "The iOS and Android app debuted Wednesday evening in the United States, and it has fans outside walking around looking for digital creatures to catch on a GPS-powered world map. The free download shot to No. 1 on the top-grossing chart in less than a day. With that level of demand, developer Niantic is having trouble keeping its servers up, and players are complaining about outages and connection issues. It comes from The Pokemon Company International, which is a separate entity that Nintendo only owns one-third of in partnership with Pokemon developers Creature Inc. and Game Freak. Having even just a piece of the Pokemon Go party should mean significant revenue for Nintendo, but this also keeps the brand relevant."

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Researchers Develop A Way To Stop Ransomware By Watching The Filesystem
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's always-watching department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Ransomware -- what hackers use to encrypt your computer files and demand money in exchange for freeing those contents -- is an exploding global problem with few solutions, but a team of University of Florida researchers says it has developed a way to stop it dead in its tracks. The answer, they say, lies not in keeping it out of a computer but rather in confronting it once it's there and, counterintuitively, actually letting it lock up a few files before clamping down on it. "Our system is more of an early-warning system. It doesn't prevent the ransomware from starting [...] it prevents the ransomware from completing its task [...] so you lose only a couple of pictures or a couple of documents rather than everything that's on your hard drive, and it relieves you of the burden of having to pay the ransom," said Nolen Scaife, a UF doctoral student and founding member of UF's Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research. Scaife is part of the team that has come up with the ransomware solution, which it calls CryptoDrop. "Antivirus software is successful at stopping them when it recognizes ransomware malware, but therein lies the problem," reports Phys.Org. "'These attacks are tailored and unique every time they get installed on someone's system,' Scaife said. 'Antivirus is really good at stopping things it's seen before [...] That's where our solution is better than traditional anti-viruses. If something that's benign starts to behave maliciously, then what we can do is take action against that based on what we see is happening to your data. So we can stop, for example, all of your pictures form being encrypted.' The results, they said, were impressive. 'We ran our detector against several hundred ransomware samples that were live,' Scaife said, 'and in those case it detected 100 percent of those malware samples and it did so after only a median of 10 files were encrypted.'" The University of Florida uploaded a video briefly explaining its software.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Fails Consumer Reports Water-Resistance Test
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's false-advertising department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is apparently not-so-active. It should be the more durable version of the Galaxy S7 family but apparently it's not. Because of this, Consumer reports is not going to mark it as "Recommended" even though it performed very well in all the other tests it ran. [Jerry Beilinson writes from Consumer Reports:] "Consumer Reports technicians placed a Galaxy S7 Active in a water tank pressurized to 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch, the equivalent of just under five feet of water, and set a timer for 30 minutes. When we removed the phone, the screen was obscured by green lines, and tiny bubbles were visible in the lenses of the front- and rear-facing cameras. The touchscreen wasn't responsive. Following our standard procedure when a sample fails an immersion test, we submitted a second Galaxy S7 Active to the same test. That phone failed as well. After we removed it from the tank, the screen cycled on and off every few seconds, and moisture could be seen in the front and back camera lenses. We also noticed water in the slot holding the SIM card. For a couple of days following the test, the screens of both phones would light up when the phones were plugged in, though the displays could not be read. The phones never returned to functionality." Samsung has said "The Samsung Galaxy S7 active device is one of the most rugged phones to date and is highly resistant to scratches and IP68 certified. There may be an off-chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be." Although, given the fact that Consumer Reports tested multiple devices, Samsung could have a widespread issue on their hands. They company said it is investigating the issue.

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Mesa 12.0 Released With OpenGL 4.3 Support, Intel Vulkan and More
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 03:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's official-release department:
An anonymous reader writes: Mesa3D developers have announced the release of Mesa 12.0. Mesa 12 notably adds open-source OpenGL 4.3 drivers for Intel, Radeon, and NVIDIA on Linux, and it also integrates the previously open-sourced Intel Vulkan graphics API driver. From the Phoronix analysis, "Mesa 12.0 is easily one of the biggest updates to this important open-source user-space OpenGL driver stack in quite some time and will offer much better support and features especially for Intel, Radeon, and NVIDIA open-source Linux desktop users/gamers." You can download Mesa 3D Graphics Library 12.0.0 via Softpedia.

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Ask Slashdot: Should You Upgrade To Windows 10 For Accessibility Features?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 03:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's visually-impaired department:
BarbaraHudson writes: Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free screen reader that is only available for Windows and comes with lots of features for people with visual handicaps. NVDA recommends to delay moving to Windows 10 because of problems with the Edge browser, PDF reading, Cortana, and applications designed for the Windows Store. There's only a few weeks to "upgrade" to Windows 10. My question is, does Windows 10 have compelling reasons for the visually handicapped to switch to it that are worth putting up with these (hopefully temporary) problems? Please note that NVDA doesn't require an internet connection to work; any Windows 10 assistive technologies that require one are a minus because they can leave the user high and dry with no notice. By the way, I've tried the KNOPPIX Adriane Audio Desktop and unfortunately it's really not there yet in comparison. Microsoft did highlight several accessibility features in the Windows 10 Anniversary update. Some of the features include faster text to speech, improved keyboard navigation, verbosity, AutoSuggest results, and support for more languages. In many of the core Windows 10 apps, Microsoft has made changes to Microsoft Edge, Mail, Cortana, and Groove to provide various features like modern web accessibility standards, improved account setup experience when using a screen reader, more reliable search and navigation functionality when using a keyboard, and better support for high DPI scaling and high contrast. There are also new accessibility resources available to developers, including an updated Visual Studio App Analysis tool to make it easier to find and fix accessibility errors, and support for Mnemonics in the Universal Windows Platform to help developers more easily provide Access Key customizations.

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Fair Use Threatens Innovation, Copyright Holders Warn
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 02:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's defining-innovation department:
An anonymous reader shares a TorrentFreak report: Various music and movie industry groups have warned that fair use exceptions are a threat. The groups were responding to proposals put forward in Australia by the Government's Productivity Commission. They claim that content creators will be severely disadvantaged if fair use is introduced Down Under
. Several rightsholder groups argue that strong copyright protections are essential for the survival of their businesses. This includes a long copyright term of 70 years, as well as the ability to block access to content based on the location of a consumer. In addition, many believe that fair use exceptions will do more harm than good. For example, music group IFPI warns that fair use will threaten innovation and create legal uncertainty. "Licensing, not exceptions to copyright, drives innovation. Innovation is best achieved through licensing agreements between content owners and users, including technological innovators," IFPI writes.

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Researchers Discover Over 100 Tor Nodes Designed To Spy On Hidden Services
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 02:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's lurking-in-the-shadows department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Schneier on Security: Two researchers have discovered over 100 Tor nodes that are spying on hidden services. Cory Doctorow from Boing Boing reports: "These nodes -- ordinary nodes, not exit nodes -- sorted through all the traffic that passed through them, looking for anything bound for a hidden service, which allowed them to discover hidden services that had not been advertised. These nodes then attacked the hidden services by making connections to them and trying common exploits against the server-software running on them, seeking to compromise and take them over. The researchers used 'honeypot' .onion servers to find the spying computers: these honeypots were .onion sites that the researchers set up in their own lab and then connected to repeatedly over the Tor network, thus seeding many Tor nodes with the information of the honions' existence. They didn't advertise the honions' existence in any other way and there was nothing of interest at these sites, and so when the sites logged new connections, the researchers could infer that they were being contacted by a system that had spied on one of their Tor network circuits. No one knows who is running the spying nodes: they could be run by criminals, governments, private suppliers of 'infowar' weapons to governments, independent researchers, or other scholars (though scholarly research would not normally include attempts to hack the servers once they were discovered)." The Tor project is aware of the attack and is working to redesign its system to try and block it. Security firm Bitdefender has issued an alert about a malicious app called EasyDoc that hands over control of Macs to criminals via Tor.

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YouTube Looking To Launch Online TV Service Next Year With ESPN, ABC, and CBS
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 01:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's come-together department:
An anonymous reader writes: Bloomberg reported in May that YouTube is working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a selection of TV channels streamed via the internet. Now, The Information (Warning: source may be paywalled) is reporting that deals are starting to come together, and ESPN, ABC, and CBS are "firmly expected" to be available through the service. Other major broadcasters are expected to try and get involved with the service, but the report notes that YouTube may purposely choose to pass on smaller networks, like HGTV, to try and market YouTube videos instead. The question remains to be answered as to how YouTube plans to make anyone interested in its service. ESPN, ABC, and CBS are already offered through other online TV services, like Sling TV. CBS has its own standalone subscription service, and ESPN will soon have its own as well. Also, The Information notes that YouTube Red -- YouTube's existing subscription service -- isn't doing so well. Although, it's worth noting that service is completely different than what Unplugged is rumored to feature.

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Apple Devices Held For Ransom, Rumors Claim 40M iCloud Accounts Hacked; Apple-Related Forums Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 01:01 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Steve Ragan, reporting for CSOOnline: Since February, a number of Apple users have reported locked devices displaying ransom demands written in Russian. Earlier this week, a security professional posted a message to a private email group requesting information related a possible compromise of at least 40 million iCloud accounts. Salted Hash started digging around on this story after the email came to our attention. In it, a list member questioned the others about a rumor concerning "rumblings of a massive (40 million) data breach at Apple." The message goes on to state that the alleged breach was conducted by a Russian actor, and vector "seems to be via iCloud to the 'locate device' feature, and is then locking the device and asking for money."In a separate report, the publication reports that three websites owned by Penton Technology -- MacForums.com, HotScripts.com, and WebHostingTalk.com -- have been compromised and their databases are now being sold on the Darknet. While nothing is confirmed, there is a possibility that some of the rumored 40M compromised Apple ID credentials may have come from these forums, or from LinkedIn's recent hack.

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Amazon Wants People to Pay for Podcasts
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 11:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's if-you-love-it,-maybe-you-can-pay-for-it department:
An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report: There are several hundred thousand podcasts available through Apple's podcast app, and all of them cost the same amount: nothing. Starting today, you can have access to a far smaller slate of podcasts for a few bucks a month over at Audible, the audio books service owned by Amazon. Audible is betting that avid podcast fans will pay $4.95 per month for Channels, an exclusive selection of ad-free original podcasts, comedy performances, and audio renditions of written articles. The subscription is free for current Audible members. While Apple has always loomed large over podcasting, other big companies like Amazon, Google, and Spotify are beginning to inch into the space. Channels is Amazon's first major foray into the business and puts it in a position to be both a platform for and creator of new shows. "They are doing to audio what they did with Prime Video -- it's vertical integration, and it puts them in a position where they can firmly participate in the larger development of culture," said Nick Quah, who writes the podcasting newsletter Hot Pod.Is the right move? Will people for it? AdAge writes:A lot of people don't think there will be a Netflix of podcasting. Andy Bowers, chief content officer of Slate's Panoply Network, said the best chance for a subscription model to work would be to offer one that offers ad-free versions of many of the most popular podcasts that exist today. "Short of that -- and I don't see anyone doing that at the moment -- I think the ad-supported version is here to stay for a while," he said. Still, a handful of other podcasting businesses have begun experimenting with paid premium services. Acast, a podcast app, created an option for its podcasters to begin charging for content earlier this year. Midroll Media charges $4.99 a month for a service called Howl that offers access to original shows and archives of popular podcasts like "WTF with Marc Maron."

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The Great Tablet Gold Rush Is Over
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 11:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's you-want-to-believe department:
Earlier this month, Dell announced that it will no longer sell Android tablets. The company added that slate tablet market is "over-saturated" and is "experiencing declining demand from consumers." The company says it will focus more on 2-in-1 -- otherwise known as hybrid laptops -- devices moving forward. Dell is right. According to IDC, tablet sales have fallen greatly in the last few years. Mashable goes on to say that the "great tablet gold rush is over." From an article: Pretty much every major tablet maker's growth fell year-over-year. Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tabs, the two most popular brands of tablets, were down 18.8% and 28.1%, respectively. [...] In the beginning, the pitch was: The tablet is the future of computing. It'll replace your phone and your laptop. Then it became: A small tablet will replace your smartphone. Today, the pitch: It's good enough to replace your laptop. But only for some people, and only if you're willing to get by with a mobile OS. Long story short: Tablets are a complete mess right now. We can't seem to decide if we want them to replace all of our devices or only a few of them.

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Using a Bomb Robot to Kill a Suspect Is an Unprecedented Shift in Policing
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 10:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's unprecedented-shift department:
A police standoff with a suspect in the killing of five police officers in Dallas came to an abrupt end on Friday morning in an unusual way. The police said that negotiations broke down, an exchange of gunfire happened, but then they had no option but to use "bomb robot and place a device on its extension for it to detonate where the suspect was." Motherboard explains the unprecedented shift in policing. From an article: Peter W. Singer, an expert in military technology and robot warfare at the New America Foundation, tweeted that this is the first known incident of a domestic police force using a robot to kill a suspect. Singer tweeted that in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have strapped claymore mines to the $8,000 MARCbot using duct tape to turn them into jury-rigged killing devices. Singer says all indications are that the Dallas Police Department did something similar in this case -- it improvised to turn a surveillance robot into a killing machine. Improvised device or not, the concerns here mirror a debate that's been going on for a few years now: Should law enforcement have access to armed drones, or, for that matter, weaponized robots? In 2013 Kentucky Senator Rand Paul staged a 13-hour filibuster that was focused entirely on concerns about the use of armed drones on US soil. Last year, North Dakota became the first state to legalize nonlethal, weaponized drones for its police officers. [...] The ability for police to remotely kill suspects raises due process concerns. If a shooter is holed up and alone, can they be qualified as an imminent threat to life? Are there clear protocols about when a robot can be used to engage a suspect versus when a human needs to engage him or her? When can the use of lethal force be administered remotely?

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Oracle Says It Is 'Committed' To Java EE 8 -- Amid Claims It Quietly Axed Future Development
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 10:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's assurances-and-inconsistencies department:
Media reports, citing anonymous Oracle engineers, noted earlier this week that development of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) projects at Oracle had been "practically ceased" since last fall. This led many to wonder about the future of Java. Well, it's all cosy, says Oracle. The software firm assures that it is "committed" to Java. The Register reports: The Redwood City titan said it will present fresh plans for the future of Java EE 8 at its JavaOne conference in San Francisco in September. Version eight is due to be released in the first half of 2017. However, over the past six months, it appeared Oracle had pretty much ceased development of the enterprise edition -- a crucial component in hundreds of thousands of business applications -- and instead quietly focused its engineers on other products and projects. Oracle spokesman Mike Moeller tonight sought to allay those fears, and said a plan for the future of Java EE is brewing. "Oracle is committed to Java and has a very well defined proposal for the next version of the Java EE specification -- Java EE 8 -- that will support developers as they seek to build new applications that are designed using micro-services on large-scale distributed computing and container-based environments on the Cloud," said Moeller.

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Researchers Add Software Bugs To Reduce the Number of Software Bugs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's innovative-techniques department:
Reader alphadogg writes: Researchers are adding bugs to experimental software code in order to ultimately wind up with programs that have fewer vulnerabilities. The idea is to insert a known quantity of vulnerabilities into code, then see how many of them are discovered by bug-finding tools. By analyzing the reasons bugs escape detection, developers can create more effective bug-finders, according to researchers at New York University in collaboration with others from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and Northeastern University. They created large-scale automated vulnerability addition (LAVA), which is a low-cost technique that adds the vulnerabilities."The only way to evaluate a bug finder is to control the number of bugs in a program, which is exactly what we do with LAVA," says Brendan Dolan-Gavitt, a computer science and engineering professor at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering.

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Free Upgrade To Windows 10 Mobile Will Continue Past July 29
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's who-wants-a-free-update? department:
Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott writes: After I asked about whether the free upgrade for Windows 10 Mobile would end on July 29 as it is for Windows 10 for PCs, Microsoft's Dona Sarkar clarified the firm's evolving strategy: The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will now continue to be free past the end of the month. "So, the free upgrade to Windows 10 ends for Windows phones on July 29, too. Right?" I tweeted yesterday morning, seeking clarification for a reader who had asked me this question. After all, Microsoft had said nothing about the expiration of the free Mobile upgrade since last year. "Clarification from this morning," Ms. Sakar tweeted later in the day. "The free upgrade offer for PC ends on July 29 but as always there are no implications or cost on phone." Hm. Not sure about the "as always" bit, as Microsoft's plans for the free Windows 10 Mobile upgrade have changed repeatedly since the firm announced this upgrade in January 2015. And over time, many of these changes enraged users who had believed earlier promises. You may recall that the original plan was to upgrade all Windows Phone 8.1 handsets to Windows 10 Mobile ... for the first year only. But over time, that changed. It was going to be all handsets with at least 1 GB of RAM. And then it was going to be some subset of handsets sold over the previous two years, but not the Lumia Icon for some reason.

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Facebook Messenger To Get End-To-End Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on July 08 '16 at 07:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-privacy department:
Reader wiredmikey writes: Facebook announced Friday it would roll out optional "end to end encryption" for its Messenger application, following a trend aimed at stronger security and protection against snooping. The new feature will be known as "secret conversations" which can be read only by the sender and recipient. Facebook shared technical details about its implementation of the security in a technical white paper (PDF). Facebook earlier this year began implementing this end-to-end encryption on its WhatsApp messaging service.ZDNet's Zack Whittaker, however, warns about a catch in Facebook's effort. He writes: But already the company has faced some criticism for not encrypting messages by default, instead making the service opt-in, like Apple's iMessage, or even Facebook's other chat app, WhatsApp, which recently switched on default end-to-end encryption earlier this year. Cryptographer and Johns Hopkins professor Matthew Green, who reviewed an early version of the system, said in a tweet that though you "have to turn on encryption per thread," he added that providing encryption to almost a billion people makes it hard to "put that genie back in the bottle."

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