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LG G5 Gets a High 8/10 Repairability Score
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 08:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's diy-repairing department:
An anonymous reader shares an article from Geek.com: The one thing that makes LG's G5, the flagship smartphone it launched in February, stand out from the crowd is its modularity. As iFixit learned, that means more than just being able to quickly swap the battery for a camera grip or DAC. In its teardown, iFixit found that LG has made it easy to replace lots of the G5's parts. The process might not be as simple as giving the phone a squeeze and sliding a module out, but it's a heck of a lot easier than it is with many phones and tablets. [...] All in all, it makes for a pretty tidy teardown and it earned the G5 an impressive 8/10.

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Google ReCAPTCHA Cracked In New Automated Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 07:23 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's breaking-the-code department:
An anonymous reader writes: A trio of security researchers have devised a new automated attack that can break the CAPTCHA systems employed by Google and Facebook. On Google's reCAPTCHA system, researchers recorded a 70.78 percent success rate over 2,235 CAPTCHAs. Average CAPTCHA solving time was 19.2 seconds. They achieved a better success rate on Facebook's system, where they had a success rate of 83.5 percent on over 200 CAPTCHAs, but this was mainly because of higher quality images, and photos were selected from different topics, and were also easier to recognize and classify. For attackers, the whole automated system would cost only $110 a day, per IP address, and would allow them to crack around 63,000 CAPTCHAs in 24 hours from one IP address without being detected and getting banned.

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Spies In The Skies: FBI Planes Are Circling US Cities
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 07:23 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's don't-feel-lonely,-FBI-is-watching-you department:
Peter Aldhous, and Charles Seife, reporting for BuzzFeed News: Each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft take to the skies and slowly circle over American cities. Piloted by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the planes are fitted with high-resolution video cameras, often working with "augmented reality" software that can superimpose onto the video images everything from street and business names to the owners of individual homes. At least a few planes have carried devices that can track the cell phones of people below. Most of the aircraft are small, flying a mile or so above ground, and many use exhaust mufflers to mute their engines -- making them hard to detect by the people they're spying on. [...] The government's aerial surveillance programs deserve scrutiny by the Supreme Court, said Adam Bates, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. "It's very difficult to know, because these are very secretive programs, exactly what information they're collecting and what they're doing with it," Bates told BuzzFeed News.

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Reddit Launches New Block Tools To Help Temper Harassment
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 06:03 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's everyone-has-a-voice department:
An anonymous reader writes: Reddit users can now use the new "block user" feature to better deal with harassment. The new feature was announced Wednesday and while the site has had [a "block user"] feature for quite some time now, the new tool allows users to block other users from replies and comments in addition to private messages, which was what the old tool was limited to previously. If users click the "Block User" button when viewing a reply in their inbox, it will remove replies, comments, messages and posts from that user from your view. Admins will however still see all the messages and replies, and if you're a moderator, you can still see content from users who are blocked on the subreddits you moderate.

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Christie's Set To Auction Space Rocks For Out Of This World Prices
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 02:02 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's outer-space department:
coondoggie quotes a report from Networkworld: It's not everyday you could have the opportunity to buy a piece of space -- but Christie's London auction house will on April 20 offer about 80 meteorite pieces and a bunch of space-rock paraphernalia to go along with them. The collection -- consisting of a variety of space rocks from private and public collections -- is expected to sell for over a million dollars at the auction. The Valera Meteorite may be the most famous rock in the collection as it is purported to have killed a cow.

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Monster Black Holes May Lurk All Around Us
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 11:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's watch-your-step department:
Taco Cowboy quotes a report from Yahoo News: Astronomers have stumbled upon a supermassive black hole in an unexpected corner of the Universe, implying these galactic monsters are much more common than once thought, a study said Wednesday. The giant, with an estimated mass 17 billion times that of our Sun, was discovered in a relative desert, astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in the journal Nature. "While finding a gigantic black hole in a massive galaxy in a crowded area of the Universe is to be expected -- like running across a skyscraper in Manhattan -- it seemed less likely they could be found in the Universe's small towns," said a university statement. Big, star-rich galaxies where supermassive black holes had previously been found, are very rare. Smaller ones like the NGC 1600 galaxy housing the newly-discovered whopper, are much more common, but were not previously thought to be appropriate host. "So the question now is: 'Is this the tip of an iceberg?'" said study co-author Chung-Pei Ma. "Maybe there are a lot more monster black holes out there that don't live in a skyscraper in Manhattan, but in a tall building somewhere in the Midwestern plains." The largest supermassive black hole spotted to date tipped the scales at about 21 billion solar masses, said the study authors.

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Mapping The Brain To Build Better Machines
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 07:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's government-funded-projects department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quanta Magazine: An ambitious new program, funded by the federal government's intelligence arm, aims to bring artificial intelligence more in line with our own mental powers. Three teams composed of neuroscientists and computer scientists will attempt to figure out how the brain performs these feats of visual identification, then make machines that do the same. "Today's machine learning fails where humans excel," said Jacob Vogelstein, who heads the program at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). "We want to revolutionize machine learning by reverse engineering the algorithms and computations of the brain." By the end of the five-year IARPA project, dubbed Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (Microns), researchers aim to map a cubic millimeter of cortex. That tiny portion houses about 100,000 neurons, 3 to 15 million neuronal connections, or synapses, and enough neural wiring to span the width of Manhattan, were it all untangled and laid end-to-end.

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FBI Telling Congress How It Hacked iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 05:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's next-in-line department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: According to a new report in National Journal, the FBI has already briefed Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on the methods used to break into the iPhone at the center of Apple's recent legal fight. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is also scheduled to be briefed on the topic in the days to come. [Feinstein and Burr are both working on a new bill to limit the use of encryption in consumer technology, expected to be made public in the weeks to come.] The disclosures come amid widespread calls for the attack to be made public, particularly from privacy and technology groups. However the FBI's new method works, the ability to unlock an iPhone without knowing its passcode represents a significant break in Apple's security measures, one Apple would surely like to protect against if it hasn't already. Just days after the FBI broke into the terrorist's iPhone, the FBI told law enforcement agencies it would assist them with unlocking phones and other electronic devices. We still do not know how the iPhone was hacked, nor do we know how many iPhones may be able to be unlocked from the hack. The FBI did tell USA Today the hack has not been used in any other case beyond San Bernardino.

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Outdated and Vulnerable WordPress, Drupal Versions Contributed To Panama Papers Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 04:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's contributing-factors department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from WordPress Tavern: Authorities have not yet identified the hacker behind the Panama Papers breach, nor have they isolated the exact attack vector. It is clear that Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm that protected the assets of the rich and powerful by setting up shell companies, had employed a dangerously loose policy towards web security and communications. The firm ran its unencrypted emails through an outdated (2009) version of Microsoft's Outlook Web Access. Outdated open source software running the frontend of the firm's websites is also now suspected to have provided a vector for the compromise. Forbes has identified outdated WordPress and Drupal installations as security holes that may have led to the data leak. [WordPress Tavern Editor Sarah Gooding] found that the firm's WordPress-powered site is currently running on version 4.1 (released in December 2014), based on its version of autosave.js, which is identical to the autosave.js file shipped in 4.1. The main site is also loading a number of outdated scripts and plugins. Its active theme is a three-year-old version of Twenty Eleven (1.5), which oddly resides in a directory labeled for /twentyten/. The Mossack Fonseca client portal changelog.txt file is public, showing that its Drupal installation hasn't been updated for three years. Since the release of version 7.23, the software has received 25 security updates, which means that the version it is running includes highly critical known vulnerabilities that could have given the hacker access to the server.

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Samsung Receives Patent For Smart Contact Lenses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 04:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's part-human-part-machine department:
An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has received a patent in South Korea for interactive contact lenses. The lenses will be formed of a transmitter, a camera, a display unit, and movement sensors. The lenses will be controlled by blinking. The contact lenses will be able to receive [videos or images] from a nearby smartphone, which will double as a processing unit for interactive controls and a storage device for pictures taken with the lens' camera. While Google and Swiss healthcare startup Sensimed have been working on contact lenses to cure medical diseases, Samsung's lenses are for experimenting with new methods of delivering augmented reality interfaces and data.

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Facebook Rolls Out Major Live Video Update
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's instant-self-gratification department:
An anonymous reader writes: Facebook Live was launched last year, allowing public figures and celebrities to live stream to their timeline. Today, Facebook has released a host of new features to its live broadcasting tool, which lets anyone post live streams of themselves to their timeline. Not only can users add filters to their videos, but they can also draw and add doodles as well. "Live Reactions" lets people react in a similar way to live videos as they do to posts, and it will also allow people to replay the comments they receive during their stream. The site has also added new ways of finding videos, either by location or by inviting friends. It also features a new button for people to ask their friends to watch a live video alongside them, for example. The live streaming features are limited to people in the U.S. right now, with new features rolling out to iOS and Android devices "in the coming weeks," the company said.

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Computer Created A 'New Rembrandt' After Analyzing Paintings
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's computer-art department:
TechnoidNash quotes a report from Techie News: Rembrandt van Rijn was one of the most influential classical painters, and the world lost his amazing talent when he died nearly four centuries ago. And yet his newest masterpiece was unveiled only yesterday. How? By scanning and analyzing Rembrandt's works, a computer was able to create a new painting in near-perfect mimicry of Rembrandt's style. It has been named, appropriately, "The Next Rembrandt."

The computer used machine-learning algorithms to create the portrait, which was then 3D-printed to give it the same texture as an oil painting. "The Next Rembrant," was a collaboration between Microsoft, ING, Delft University of Technology and two Dutch art museums -- Mauritshuis and Rembrandthuis.

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White House Redirects $589M In Funds To Fight Zika Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 01:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's time-is-running-out department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The White House said on Wednesday it will redirect $589 million in funds to prepare for the Zika virus before the mosquito that carries it begins to emerge in the continental United States, but urged Congress to act quickly on its request for more money. Most of the $589 million will come from $2.7 billion in funds set aside for public health projects aimed at the Ebola virus. White House budget director Shaun Donovan said the use of money previously provided for fighting another health crisis, the Ebola virus, was only a temporary fix for Zika funding. Donovan said some measures to fight Zika would have to be delayed, curtailed or stopped unless the U.S. Congress approves more than $1.8 billion in emergency funds requested by the Obama administration in February. The Zika virus, linked to a growing number of cases of the birth defect microcephaly in Brazil, is spreading rapidly in Latin America and the Caribbean and heading north as the weather gets warmer.

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Snowden Ridicules David Cameron For Defending 'Private' Matter of Panama Papers Leak
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 01:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's utter-hypocrisy department:
An anonymous reader writes: Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the NSA who worked with journalist to reveal a number of classified mass surveillance programs, has criticized the UK Prime Minister's insistence that his father's implication in the list of high-profile tax avoiders was a "private matter." Ian Cameron's firm Blairmore Holdings Inc managed tens of millions of pounds for the wealthy but has never paid taxes on the profits. Cameron responded to the news saying: "This is a private matter, I am focused on what the government is doing." In response to a Reuters story on Cameron's response, Snowden wrote: "Oh, now he's interested in privacy." Snowden followed up with a second tweet after the Prime Minister of Iceland resigned over his implication in the Panama Papers leak: "Resignation of Iceland's PM may explain why the UK PM is so insistent public has no right to know a PM's 'private' finances."

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New Windows 10 Preview For PCs With Bash, Cross-Device Cortana Released
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's microsoft-camp department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs. The preview, dubbed build 14316, comes with a range of features including support for Bash, which Microsoft had announced at its developer conference Build last week. Users interested in it can enable the feature by turning on Developer Mode (Settings > Update > Security > For developers), searching for "Windows Features," choosing "Turn Windows features on or off," and enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta). To get Bash installed, open Command Prompt and type in "bash" (without the quotes.) Other features included in the new build include low battery notification, find my phone (ring my phone), and the ability to share map directions across devices. Additionally, the company has also released a new universal Skype app.

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Top FBI Attorney Worried About WhatsApp Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's fbi-despises-encryption department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on USNews:WhatsApp on Tuesday announced that all types of messages on the latest version of its app are now automatically protected by end-to-end encryption, and the FBI's top attorney is worried some of the platform's more than 1 billion global users will take advantage of the move to hide their crime- or terrorism-related communications. FBI General Counsel James Baker said in Washington on Tuesday that the decision by the Facebook-owned messaging platform to encrypt its global offerings "presents us with a significant problem" because criminals and terrorists could "get ideas." "If the public does nothing, encryption like that will continue to roll out," he said. "It has public safety costs. Folks have to understand that, and figure out how they are going to deal with that. Do they want the public to bear those costs? Do they want the victims of terrorism to bear those costs?"Maybe the government shouldn't have imposed so many surveillance programs on its citizens -- and kept quiet about it for years -- that they now feel the need to use sophisticated security technologies.

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A Lot of People Carelessly Plug In Random USB Drives Into Their Computers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's human-habits department:
An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have proven that a lot of people will carelessly plug in a USB drive found on the ground, exposing themselves to potential infections from malware. The researchers dropped 297 USB flash drives on a university campus and saw that in 48% of the cases, people picked them up, plugged them in, and opened files from the drive on their computers. Should such people be mocked? Would you plug in a USB drive that you found on the ground? Bruce Schneier, an American cryptographer, computer security and privacy specialist makes a good point: People get USB sticks all the time. The problem isn't that people are idiots, that they should know that a USB stick found on the street is automatically bad and a USB stick given away at a trade show is automatically good. The problem is that the OS trusts random USB sticks. The problem is that the OS will automatically run a program that can install malware from a USB stick. The problem is that it isn't safe to plug a USB stick into a computer.

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Google Reveals Own Security Regime Policy Trusts No Network, Ever
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's trust-issues department:
Darren Pauli, reporting for The Register: Google sees little distinction between boardrooms and bars, cubicles and coffee shops; all are untrusted under its perimeter-less security model detailed in a paper published this week. The "BeyondCorp model" under development for more than five years is a zero-trust network model where the user is king and log in location means little. Staff devices including laptops and phones are logged into a device inventory service which contains trust information and snapshots of the devices at a given time. Employees are awarded varying levels of trust provided they meet minimum criteria which authors Barclay Osborn, Justin McWilliams, Betsy Beyer, and Max Saltonst all say reduces maintenance cost and improves device usability (PDF).

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Twitter To Give All New Parents 20 Weeks of Paid Leave
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's work-and-family-balance department:
Michal Lev-Ram, reporting for Fortune: May 1 will be a happy day for Twitter employees -- at least those expecting a baby. The social media site is the latest tech player to offer so-called "gender-neutral" parental leave, guaranteeing any parent up to 20 weeks of fully paid time off. Other companies that have embraced such policies include Etsy, Facebook, and Change.org. The rationale? Family structures have changed, and allowing for more evenly distributed parenting equals happier employees, both male and female (within, of course, both heterosexual and same-sex couples).

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Phishing Email That Knows Your Address
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '16 at 12:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's evolution-of-phishing-emails department:
An anonymous reader writes: BBC is reporting about a new type of phishing email that includes the recipient's home address. The publication, citing sources, claims that thousands of people have already received such malicious emails. Clicking on the email apparently installs malware such as Cryptlocker ransomware on the recipient's computing device. From the report, "Members of the BBC Radio 4's You and Yours team were among those who received the scam emails, claiming they owed hundreds of pounds to UK firms. The firms involved have been inundated with phone calls from worried members of the public. 'The email has good spelling and grammar and my exact home address...when I say exact I mean, not the way my address is written by those autofill sections on web pages, but the way I write my address.'"

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