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BorgBackup 1.0.0 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 09:52 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's two-is-one-and-one-is-none department:
An anonymous reader writes: After almost a year of development, bug fixing and cleanup, BorgBackup 1.0.0 has been released. BorgBackup is a fork of the Attic-Backup project — a deduplicating, compressing, encrypting and authenticating backup program for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and other unixoid operating systems (Windows may also work using CygWin, but that is rather experimental/unsupported).
It works on 32bit as well as on 64bit platforms, x86/x64 and ARM CPUs (maybe as well on others, but these are the tested ones).

For Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X, there are single-file binaries which can be just copied onto a system and contain everything needed (Python, libraries, BorgBackup itself). Of course, it can be also installed from source.

BorgBackup is FOSS (BSD License) and implemented in Python 3 (91%), speed critical parts are in C or Cython (9%).

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Oregon Set To Become First Coal-Free State
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 09:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-a-first-for-everything department:
New submitter daubney writes: Oregon lawmakers have approved legislation to eliminate coal from the state's electrical supply by 2035, the first U.S. state to do so. The bill, called the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition plan, commits the state to doubling its use of renewable energy, including solar and wind, to 50 percent by 2040. The bill, passed this week by both legislative branches, now heads to Gov. Kate Brown. Brown said in a statement that the legislation "equips Oregon with a bold and progressive path towards the energy resource mix of the future." Today, roughly one-third of Oregon's power is produced from coal, according to the Oregon Department of Energy. The measure makes Oregon the first state to eliminate coal by legislative action, The Associated Press reports. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is matched only by Hawaii, with a 100 requirement by 2045, Vermont, with a 75 percent target by 2032, and California and New York, with 50 percent goals by 2030.

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Email Inventor Ray Tomlinson Dies At 74
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 08:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
vikingpower writes: ARPAnet pioneer and networking legend Ray Tomlinson, who is best known for his contributions in developing email standards, has died at 74. Tomlinson was best known for choosing the @ symbol to indicate a message should be sent to a different computer on a network. He also led development of standards for the from, subject, and date fields found in every email message sent today.
When Tomlinson first showed his invention to his colleague Jerry Burchfiel, Tomlinson said, "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on." May Ray rest in peace in /dev/null.

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It Turns Out the F-35 Can Dogfight
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 08:21 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's dogfighting-with-the-stars-is-next department:
An anonymous reader writes: Writing for Defense News Lara Seligman reports, "For the first time since a controversial report detailing how the F-35 performs in a dogfight emerged last summer, an F-35 pilot gave an in-depth analysis of his experience flying the jet in a close-range battle scenario. Norwegian Air Force Maj. Morten 'Dolby' Hanche, the first Norwegian to fly the F-35, analyzed the jet's performance in a dogfight in a March 1 blog post published on Norway's Ministry of Defense website. Although Hanche never mentions the 2015 report, 'F-35A High Angle of Attack Operational Maneuvers' revealed last summer by blogger David Axe on WarisBoring.com, he counters many of the anonymous author's claims."

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Amazon Backpedals On Encryption, But Fire "Still Sucks"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 05:42 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's gift-for-one's-enemies department:
Just a day after it made headlines for announcing that it would remove encryption from its line of FireOS devices, reports Ars Technica, the company has reverted the change, and says that encryption will again be a user-selectable option, with an update to come sometime this Spring. Judging from comments here on Slashdot, that ought to please a lot of people. However, encryption isn't the Fire's only problem; Ricki Jennings at ComputerWorld has collected some of the user reaction to the change, and says that anemic hardware means that even with this small course correction, the Fire tablets themselves "still suck." I'm not so sure; I bought one of the low-end Fire tablets and returned it, disappointed not in the hardware (seemed not bad at all for $50, with a decent screen, snappy video, and sound that was better than reviews had led me to expect) but rather by the intentional limitations of the OS itself.

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Kremlin Falls For Its Own Fake Satellite Imagery
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 02:51 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-my-department department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Turkish downing of the Russian SU-24 jet last November saw a predictable series of statements from each side claiming complete innocence and blaming the other entirely. Social media was a key battleground for both sides — the Turkish and Russian governments, along with their supporters — as each tried to establish a dominant narrative explanation for what had just happened. In the midst of the online competition, a little-observed, funhouse mirror of an online hoax was brilliantly perpetrated, one with consequences likely exceeding the expectation of the hoaxster. The Russian Ministry of Defense was duped by a fake image that Russian state media itself had circulated more than a year earlier, as a way to deny Moscow's involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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Fingerprint-Protected Phones Vulnerable To Inkjet Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 12:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ordinary-household-materials department:
An anonymous reader writes: Two researchers have come up with a new method of hacking smartphones that use fingerprint biometrics to protect and lock the user's data. Their method only needs a regular inkjet printer, three AgIC silver conductive ink cartridges, a normal black ink cartridge, and special AgIC paper. The entire attack takes no more than 15 minutes. Current tests only included a Samsung Galaxy S6 and a Huawei Hornor 7. The researchers said that while the Samsung was easy to crack, the Huawei phone needed more tries.

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San Bernadino D.A. Says Shooter's Phone Could Harbor "Cyber Pathogen"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 09:22 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-they-say-law-school-stifles-the-imagination department:
Mr.Intel writes with the Guardian's report that : San Bernadino D.A. has a novel argument for why Apple should be forced to provide the FBI with tools to decrypt the iPhone once used by mass-shooter Syed Rizwan Farook: a "dormant cyber pathogen," he says, could have been unleashed by the county's electronic infrastructure, and only by examining the phone's content can any really be sure. From the article: The questionable claim comes from Ramos's amicus brief in the case, filed with the US District Court on Thursday afternoon. In it, Ramos supports the FBI's argument that Apple should be compelled to build a one-use version of its operating system to load on to the seized phone – used by the mass-murderer, but still technically property of his employer, San Bernardino county – in order to weaken the security and allow the Government to brute-force the shooter's passcode. ... Ramos said: 'The iPhone is a county owned telephone that may have connected to the San Bernardino County computer network. The seized iPhone may contain evidence that can only be found on the seized phone that it was used as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County's infrastructure and poses a continuing threat to the citizens of San Bernardino County'.

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A Phone App Helps Day Laborers Attack Wage Theft
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 06:42 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-will-watch-the-foremen? department:
An anonymous reader writes with this story from the New York Times, excerpting "After three years of planning, an immigrant rights group in Jackson Heights is set to start a smartphone app for day laborers, a new digital tool with many uses: Workers will be able to rate employers (think Yelp or Uber), log their hours and wages, take pictures of job sites and help identify, down to the color and make of a car, employers with a history of withholding wages. They will also be able to send instant alerts to other workers. The advocacy group will safeguard the information and work with lawyers to negotiate payment."

Adds the submitter: "Although I completely support the app, personally, I see this encountering some significant legal challenges. Hope they've lawyered up." Though the use case is different, this is similar in spirit to "cop watch" apps, like Cell411 and the ACLU's Mobile Justice. (And of course there's Periscope.)

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Hundreds of Hackers Celebrate Open Data Day
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 05:21 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's never-too-late department:
An anonymous reader writes: Hundreds of different data-hacking events are being held around the globe this weekend to celebrate International Open Data Day. It's the fifth installment of an annual event promoting government data-sharing with a series of loosely joined hackathons, "to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments," according to the event's web site. "Data science is a team sport," says Megan Smith, the former Google executive turned U.S. CTO, who points out over 200,000 new federal data sets have been opened to the public since 2009 on Data.gov. Each hackathon will culminate with a demo or brainstorm proposal that can be shared with the other participating groups around the world.

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Record-Breaking 11000ft Flight Sparks Criticism In Pilot Community
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 04:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's guesswork-and-luck department:
An anonymous reader writes: In an attempt to break the world 'how high can you fly a consumer drone' record, an anonymous person from the Netherlands flew a Phantom 2 Quadcopter to a height of up to 3.4 km. That is more than 3 km above the maximum European Union legal height of 120 meters, which has applied since July 1, 2015 to hobby drones. Undoubtedly he set a new record of sorts, which also led to substantial discussions among the drone pilot community on the safe use of drones. At a height of 3.4 kilometers or 11000 feet you can indeed run into regular air traffic, or cause a lot of damage in case of a crash. Fortunately not in this flight -- but the battery had only 4% capacity at the moment of landing.

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Scientists To Drill Into 'Ground Zero' of the Impact That Killed the Dinosaurs
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 02:42 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's haven't-they-read-any-michael-crichton? department:
sciencehabit writes: This month, a drilling platform will rise in the Gulf of Mexico, but it won't be aiming for oil. Scientists will try to sink a diamond-tipped bit into the heart of Chicxulub crater — the buried remnant of the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs, along with most other life on the planet. They hope that the retrieved rock cores will contain clues to how life came back in the wake of the cataclysm, and whether the crater itself could have been a home for novel microbial life. And by drilling into a circular ridge inside the 180-kilometer-wide crater rim, scientists hope to settle ideas about how such 'peak rings,' hallmarks of the largest impact craters, take shape.

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Anonymous Hacks Donald Trump's Voicemail and Leaks the Messages
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 02:42 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-be-a-dear-darling-and-lend-me-your-credit-card department:
Mark Wilson writes: In the run-up to the presidential election, few days go by when Donald Trump isn't hitting the headlines for something he's said or done. The bombastic billionaire looks set to become the Republican candidate, and his journey towards the White House is littered with offense and controversy, and back in December Anonymous declared war on him. The loose collective of hackers and activist made its declaration after Trump announced plans to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. One of the first strikes in Anonymous' war sees the group hacking the businessman's voicemail and leaking the messages. The messages appear to show that Trump had a surprisingly cosy relationship with the more left-leaning section of the media than one might imagine.

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Join the Hunt For the Government's Oldest Computer
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 01:12 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's around-here-somewhere department:
v3rgEz writes: As the saying goes, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' If a machine is doing its job, reliably and without error, then common sense dictates that you just shouldn't mess with it. This is doubly true for computers and quadruply true for government computers. This lends itself to an obvious question: what's the government computer most in need of an upgrade? MuckRock has launched a new FOIA project to find out, and has already started receiving some interesting results.

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Why You May Not Like Ted Cruz's Face, According To Science
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 11:41 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-stuff-cuts-more-than-one-way department:
An anonymous reader writes: Ted Cruz pitches himself as an overcomer, an underdog, an outsider who beats the odds. While the Republic candidate has won four states in this nomination race so far, a neurologist says he still faces a big obstacle with voters: his own face. In an interview with Quartz, George Washington University's Richard E. Cytowic said the unusual movements of Cruz's face may make him seem less sincere to the human brain than other candidates. "The normal way a face moves is what's called the Duchenne smile, named after the 19th century French neurologist. So the mouth goes up, the eyes narrow and the eyes crinkle at the outside, forming crows feet," said Cytowic, a professor of neurology.

"Cruz doesn't give a Duchenne smile. His mouth goes in a tight line across or else it curves down in an anti-Duchenne smile. So he doesn't come across as sincere at all."

Visceral reactions probably drive a lot more of politics than anyone likes to admit; seeming trustworthy isn't the same as being trustworthy, but it sure helps win people over.

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Another Windows 10 Update Causing Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 10:21 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's price-of-progress department:
New submitter sexconker writes: The recently-released cumulative update for Windows 10 (KB3140743) is reportedly causing problems. Symptoms include crashes, BSODs, and the inability to boot, even in safe mode. The Windows 10 subreddit has many threads detailing the inability to boot. The only fix seems to be booting to a recovery ISO, uninstalling the update / rolling back, and hoping you don't get hit again. W10Privacy 2 claims to be able to (among other things) give Windows 10 users control over the automatic updates.

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NASA's New Horizons Shows Methane Ice-Capped Mountains On Pluto
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 09:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's wonder-what-homes-cost-on-cthulhu-regio department:
Last week, it was ice canyons; now, as an anonymous reader writes: The latest images to come from NASA's New Horizons space probe's encounter with Pluto last July 2015 is of a methane snow-capped mountain range around that dwarf planet's equator located in the region known to scientists as Cthulhu. Cthulhu starts from the west of Sputnik Planum, a great nitrogen ice plain, and stretches 1,850 miles long and 450 miles wide, half way around Pluto's equator, making it slightly larger than the state of Alaska. Cthulhu appears to be a dark surface on all of the images returned by New Horizons. Scientists theorize that the darkness is caused by thorins, molecules that result when methane is exposed to sunlight. Cthulhu is a complex region, containing both smooth and heavily cratered plains and the mountain range already mentioned.

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New Ransomware-as-a-Service Speaks To Victims
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 09:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's gps-was-bad-enough department:
itwbennett writes: Cerber, a new file-encrypting ransom ware, has a couple of interesting features. First, according to cyber intelligence outfit SenseCy, it is available for sale 'as a service' on a private Russian-language forum, which makes it 'available to low-level criminals who might not have the coding skills or resources to create their own ransom ware,' writes Lucian Constantin. Second, one of the 3 files it drops on a victim's desktop is a VBS (Visual Basic Scripting) file containing text-to-speech code that converts text into an audio message. 'When the above script is executed, your computer will speak a message stating that your computer's files were encrypted and will repeat itself numerous times,' said Lawrence Abrams, administrator of the technical support forum BleepingComputer.com, in a blog post.

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SpaceX's Latest Launch Successful, But Ends With a "Hard Landing"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 07:41 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that's-some-soft-pedalling department:
Eloking writes with this news from The Verge: SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space this afternoon, but — as expected — failed to land the vehicle on a drone ship at sea afterward. CEO Elon Musk said the rocket 'landed hard' on the drone ship. The mission requirements made a successful landing unlikely. This was SpaceX's fourth attempt to land the Falcon 9 post-launch on an autonomous drone ship floating in the ocean. All of the previous sea landings failed too, though the third attempt came very close. The company had low hopes of a successful landing from the start of this mission, since the rocket had to send a heavy satellite into a high orbit. That requires a lot of fuel for the launch itself, so there wasn't much fuel left for the rocket's return to Earth and powered landing.

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Paperless Statements Not Always Best Choice, Says New Report
Posted by News Fetcher on March 05 '16 at 07:41 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's listen-carefully-to-the-following-menu-option department:
HughPickens.com writes: Ann Carrns reports at the NYT that despite a push by financial institutions to switch customers to digital statements from paper, the traditional hard-copy version may work better for some people, in particuar particular, older, less educated and lower-income consumers who may lack fast Internet connections at home. According to a new report from the National Consumer Law Center, even consumers who know the Internet may simply prefer paper, because statement notifications can easily be overlooked in a deluge of email. Also unlike paper statements, which can be neatly collected and filed away, going paperless on multiple accounts will mean having that information scattered under different user names and passwords. You may also be surprised to learn you have to pay for copies of some older statements. "If you have a system for organizing your paper statements, you should think about how that's going to translate online," says Jim Bruene. Finally you may not be able to go back as far with paperless statements. At Verizon, cellphone customers get up to 12 months of past statements. Customers can also request older statements dating back seven years for $5 per copy.

Under federal law, banks must obtain consent from consumers to deliver statements electronically. But banks are sometimes aggressive in encouraging customers to opt out of receiving paper statements. Last summer, holders of some Chase credit cards received pop-up ads when they logged into their accounts online, asking them to switch to electronic statements. The notice said "Action Required," even though no action was necessary if cardholders simply wanted to continue receiving paper statements. The screen showed buttons for "accept" and "manage my preferences," but not for "decline."

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