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Microsoft Brings SQL Server To Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's look-to-the-cloud department:
Mark Wilson writes: The new Microsoft has place an increased importance on the cloud, and with other companies following suit, reliance on server solutions has increased. Today the company announces that it is bringing SQL Server to Linux. Both cloud and on-premises versions will be available, and the news has been welcomed by the likes of Red Hat and Canonical. Although the Linux port of SQL Server is not due to make an appearance until the middle of next year, a private preview version is being available to testers starting today. While the full launch of SQL Server for Linux is not due until the middle of 2017, SQL Server 2016 is expected to launch later this year.

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Hacker May Have Discovered Plans For A Tesla P100D
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's white-hat department:
One computer wiz claims to have hacked into Tesla's firmware and discovered a reference to a juicier battery. Self-proclaimed white hat hacker, Jason Hughes, says he discovered a secret in Tesla's firmware 7.1, but he didn't want to tell the world outright what he discovered, so he made Tesla Motors Club forum-members work for it by obfuscating the secret with a hash. TheSHA256 hash, a one-way function, would either require forum members to guess and check to decrypt this code, or to look it up in a hash directory. Forum member LuckyLuke decrypted Hughes' hash and discovered its meaning: P100D. P100D is the nickname given to Tesla's upcoming 100-kWh battery pack that would give the Model S a range of 300 miles or more. In response to a fellow forum-member decrypting his secret code, Hughes responded on Twitter. On the forum, Hughes had some additional information to mention, saying: There have been references to the P100D in firmwares as early as 2 months ago. They finally added the badges to 2.13.77. I mucked it up a bit by adding a crappy background (it's a PNG with transparency in the firmware)... There are quite a few things that are in the firmware that I'm not prepared to share publicly. Just like the P100D has been in there for months with my lips mostly sealed. I don't want to spoil all of Tesla's surprises.

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Verizon To Pay $1.35 Million Fine To Settle U.S. Privacy Probe
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 03:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's inedible-desserts-that-are-anything-but-super department:
chasm22 writes: Verizon Communications Inc agreed to pay a $1.35 million fine after the Federal Communications Commission said on Monday it found the company's wireless unit violated the privacy of its users. Verizon Wireless agreed to get consumer consent before sending data about "supercookies" from its more than 100 million users, under a settlement. The largest U.S. mobile company inserted unique tracking codes in its users traffic for advertising purposes. Supercookies are unique, non-removable identifiers inserted into web traffic to identify customers in order to deliver targeted ads from Verizon and others. The FCC said Verizon Wireless failed to disclose the practice from late 2012 until 2014, violating a 2010 FCC regulation on internet transparency. The FCC also said the supercookies overrode consumers privacy practices they had set on web browsers, which led some advocates to call it a "zombie cookie." Under the agreement, consumers must opt in to allow their information to be shared outside Verizon Wireless, and have the right to "opt out" of sharing information with Verizon.

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Valve Announces New Portal Content For Virtual Reality
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 01:41 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's look-deep-into-my-portals department:
An anonymous reader writes: Although I'm sure we'd all love to see Half-Life in virtual reality, Valve has been focusing on its Portal universe for SteamVR. The company announced today a "compilation of new VR experiments" called 'The Lab', which will be set inside one of Aperture Science's "pocket universes". One of Valve's earlier VR demos, 'Aperture Robot Repair', had players interact with Atlas, one of the robots from Portal 2 (with a brief GLaDOS cameo). The company says they'll be showing off The Lab at GDC 2016 next week and that they'll release it for free to SteamVR this spring.

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Fighting Food Poisoning In Las Vegas With Machine Learning
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 01:41 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's stick-to-the-rio-all-suites-hotel-and-casino department:
aarondubrow writes: Computer science researchers from the University of Rochester developed an app for health departments that uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence to identify likely food poisoning hot spots. Las Vegas health officials recently used the app, called nEmesis, to improve the city's inspection protocols and found it was 63% more effective at identifying problematic venues than the current state of the art. The researchers estimate that if every inspection in Las Vegas became adaptive, it could prevent over 9,000 cases of foodborne illness and 557 hospitalizations annually. The team presented the results at the 30th Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference in February.

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Apple Has Shut Down the First Fully-Functional Mac OS X Ransomware
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 12:11 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's functional-seems-a-polite-word-for-it department:
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has shut down what appears to have been the first, fully-functional ransomware targeting Mac computers. This particular form of cyber threat involves malware that encrypts the data on your personal computer so you can no longer access it. Afterwards, the hackers request that you pay them in a hard-to-trace digital currency — in this case, bitcoin — in order for you to retrieve your files. This ransomware, called KeRanger, was first reported by researchers at Palo Alto Networks. They also noted that Apple has now revoked the abused certificate that was used in the attack and updated its built-in anti-malware system XProtect with a new signature to protect customers.

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32,000 Workers At Fukushima No. 1 Got High Radiation Dose, Tepco Data Show
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 12:11 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-way-transform department:
mdsolar writes: A total of 32,760 workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant had an annual radiation dose exceeding 5 millisieverts as of the end of January, according to an analysis of Tokyo Electric Power Co. data. A reading of 5 millisieverts is one of the thresholds of whether nuclear plant workers suffering from leukemia can be eligible for compensation benefits for work-related injuries and illnesses. Of those workers, 174 had a cumulative radiation dose of more than 100 millisieverts, a level considered to raise the risk of dying after developing cancer by 0.5 percent. Most of the exposure appears to have stemmed from work just after the start of the crisis on March 11, 2011. The highest reading was 678.8 millisieverts.

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Facebook Fixes Bug That Allowed Users To Set Other Users' Passwords
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 10:52 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cross-pollination department:
An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has paid $15,000 (€13,600) to an independent security researcher who discovered a simple way of resetting passwords for other people's Facebook accounts, setting a new passphrase and effectively taking over profiles. The problem was in the fact that Facebook also runs a Beta platform on beta.facebook.com. This platform's "reset password" feature did not include brute-force protection and allowed anyone to guess the six-digit verification code sent to someone's phone when resetting the password. This issue also raises another question: How many unsafe features are on Facebook's beta platform that have not been patched simultaneously with the main platform?

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Sweeping Changes At Microsoft Studios Kill Lionhead Studios and Fable
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 10:52 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's schumpeterian-growth department:
Mark Wilson writes: Microsoft has announced sweeping changes at Microsoft Studios, affecting development teams in the UK and Denmark. In sad news for gamers, development of Fable Legends has been brought to an end. The Fable series is one that has suffered numerous setbacks and delays over the years, but this is the biggest blow yet. More than this, the team behind Fable — Lionhead Studios — is at risk of closure, and Microsoft is in talks with employees about this. General Manager of Microsoft Studios Europe, Hanno Lemke, also announced that Press Play Studios in Denmark will close, leading to the end of development on Project Knoxville.

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Anonymous Claims Twitter Is Suspending 'OpISIS' Member Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 09:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's trouble-with-the-bank-robber-masks department:
An anonymous reader writes: Anonymous has claimed that Twitter mistakenly shut down several of its activist accounts in a widespread cull of pages belonging to terrorist supporters. In an effort to rid the site of an extremist presence, Twitter has recently suspended over 125,000 accounts for 'threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.' However, the international activist group Anonymous is now reporting that among this number were multiple member accounts, which were actively supporting the fight against the Islamic State and helping to seek out terrorist supporters and recruiters online. Twitter has typically re-opened the Anonymous accounts within a matter of hours, bombarded with requests by hacktivists and the wider online community.

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McAfee Says He Lied About iPhone Hacking Method To Get Public Attention
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 09:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's the-greater-good department:
blottsie writes: McAfee, who founded of one of the first companies to offer antivirus software, claimed on CNN and Russia Today, as well as in a Business Insider column, that he could bypass the advanced encryption protecting the phone without Apple's help. But he lied in these interviews, he said in an interview with the Daily Dot, to "get a shitload of public attention."

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Seagate Hit By Targeted Phishing Attacks Seeking W2 Data
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 08:12 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tax-system-downsides-part-43276543-subsection-(b) department:
itwbennett writes: You can add Seagate to the growing list (now up to 7) of companies hit by malware seeking W2 data on employees. As reported on Slashdot, Snapchat disclosed the last weekend of February that someone had posed as the company's CEO and received payroll data on 700 employees. The other companies hit by similar phishing scams so far are Central Concrete Supply Co., Mercy Housing Inc., Magnolia Health Corporation, BrightView, and Polycom. Seagate learned of the incident on March 1, and the story was broken by Brian Krebs after a former employee received a notice and reached out to him.

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Google Challenge Results In Astoundingly Efficient Inverters
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 06:43 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-multiply-by-a-few-million department:
AmiMoJo writes: A few summers ago, Google and IEEE announced a one million dollar prize to build the most efficient and compact DC to AC inverter. It was called the Little Box Challenge, with the goal of a 2kW inverter with a power density greater than 50 Watts per cubic inch. Typical solar inverters have a density of about 5 W/cubic inch. Now the results are in, with the winners hitting 143 W/cubic inch using GaN transistors, and two other teams meeting Google's goal.

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MIT's Eyebrowse To Rank and Review Internet Sites, While Retaining Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 06:43 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's click-here-and-here-and-here department:
An anonymous reader writes: MIT has launched a new scheme whereby participating users can voluntarily share data on their website viewing habits, via the use of a Google Chrome extension and by signing up to an MIT website. The scheme, called Eyebrowse, began development in 2010 and has been in closed beta for the last 18 months. Cornell information science professor Mor Naaman says of the project: "Data has traditionally been used by anyone from corporations to the government...but the goal of this system is to make the data more useful for the individuals themselves, to give them more control, and to make it more useful to communities."

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Google Is Testing Self-Promotion Ads On Search Results
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 05:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's promotions-for-popular-people department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google Inc. is testing a new feature to allow local businesses, celebrities, and organizations to post self-promoting information and ads on the company's search results. The information would be displayed on a design similar to Google's "mobile cards." This new type of self-promoting campaigns impulsed by Google appears to be an extension of "Google Podium," a beta that started last month with the collaboration of the U.S. presidential candidates. "This is an experimental search feature we are testing, but it is not tied to Google+. We are currently experimenting with presidential candidates and just started with some SMBs for a select pilot period," said a Google representative, as quoted by Modern Readers on Sunday.

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France's Oldest Nuclear Plant To Close This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on March 07 '16 at 02:41 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's the-future-of-renewables-is-green department:
mdsolar writes: France is to close down its oldest nuclear power plant, at the center of a row with neighboring Germany and Switzerland, by the end of this year, a green minister said Sunday. "The timeline is one the president has repeated to me several times, it's 2016," said Emmanuelle Cosse, who was named to President Francois Hollande's cabinet last month, referring to the Fessenheim plant. Cosse was speaking to French media after a row sparked Friday when Germany demanded that France close down Fessenheim following reports that a 2014 incident there was worse than earlier portrayed. France's Nuclear Safety Agency said that safety at the plant was "overall satisfactory" but that the government's energy policy "could lead to different choices" regarding the facility, which is near the German and Swiss borders. It said there was "no need" to shut the plant from a nuclear safety point of view. France has promised to cut reliance on nuclear energy from more than 75 percent to 50 percent by shutting 24 reactors by 2025, while stepping up reliance on renewable energy.

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Raspberry Pi 3 Is a Nice Upgrade, But Alternatives Exist With Faster Performance
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 11:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's if-not-this-then-that department:
An anonymous reader writes: With the Raspberry Pi 3 now available, benchmarks have been done comparing the Raspberry Pi 3 to other ARM SBCs. The Raspberry Pi 3 was found to be a faster upgrade compared to the Raspberry Pi 2, but the ODROID-C2 is a much faster alternative. For only $5 more than the Raspberry Pi 3, it includes twice the amount of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and a faster SoC. The ODROID-C2 also has HDMI 2.0 and superior Ethernet while the Raspberry Pi 3 has an advantage of 802.11n WiFi. The ODROID-C2 also has a heatsink for ensuring the SoC doesn't get as toasty as the Raspberry Pi 3.

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High-Tech 'Bazooka' Fires a Net To Take Down Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 09:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's foiled-again department:
An anonymous reader writes: The brainchild of U.K.-based OpenWorks Engineering, SkyWall 100 uses a compressed air launcher to fire smart projectiles at targeted drones. The system, which has a range of 328 feet, uses a high-tech scope to lock on to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). An onboard computer then tracks the target's flight path and calculates the trajectory required for the projectile to intercept either a hovering or flying drone. The canister-style projectile opens up when it reaches the drone and uses a net to capture the flying device. The projectile then deploys a parachute to bring the captured drone and the canister components safely back to the ground. "Once captured it can be impounded, forensically investigated or simply handed back with some words of education where appropriate," OpenWorks Engineering explained, adding that the risk of damaging the drone is also reduced.

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Comcast Hit With FCC Complaint Over Net Neutrality Violations
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 06:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's level-playing-field department:
An anonymous reader writes: Non-profit public interest group Public Knowledge has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission regarding Comcast's Stream TV service. The complaint says that Comcast excludes Stream TV traffic from its own data cap, which is both a violation of its merger agreement and counter to the FCC's Open Internet rules. Stream TV is a $15 per month offering for Xfinity internet customers. It includes local channels, some basic cable, HBO, and the use of a cloud DVR. Most content is streamed over the home network. Public Knowledge's senior staff attorney, John Bergmayer says, "Comcast's actions could result in fewer online video choices for viewers nationwide, while increasing its dominance as a video gatekeeper. If its behavior persists, prices will go up, the number of choices will go down, creators will have a harder time reaching an audience, and viewers will have a harder time accessing diverse and independent programming."

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Transmission BitTorrent App Contained Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on March 06 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's late-to-the-party department:
An anonymous reader writes: Apple users were targeted in the first known Mac ransomware campaign. Hackers targeted Transmission, which is one of the most popular Mac applications used to download software, videos, music, and other data from the BitTorrent peer-to-peer information sharing network. As per this forum post (English screenshot of warning), OS X detected malware called OSX.KeRanger.A. This is the first one in the wild that is functional as it encrypts your files and seeks a ransom. An Apple representative said the company had taken steps over the weekend to prevent attacks by revoking a digital certificate from a legitimate Apple developer that enabled the rogue software to install on Macs.

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