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Steam Hacker Says More Vulnerabilities Will Be Found
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 10:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's pointing-holes department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on Ars Technica: The teenager who grabbed headlines earlier this week for hacking a fake game listing on to Valve's Steam store says there are "definitely" more vulnerabilities to be found in the popular game distribution service. But he won't be the one to find them, thanks to what he sees as Valve "giv[ing] so little of a shit about people's [security] findings." Ruby Nealon, a 16-year-old university student from England, says that probing various corporate servers for vulnerabilities has been a hobby of his since the age of 11. His efforts came to the attention of Valve (and the wider world) after an HTML-based hack let him post a game called "Watch paint dry" on Steam without Valve's approval over the weekend."It looks like their website hasn't been updated for years," Nealon told Ars. "Compared to even other smaller Web startups, they're really lacking. This stuff was like the lowest of the lowest hanging fruit."

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Newly Discovered Star Has an Almost Pure Oxygen Atmosphere
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 10:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's in-the-galaxy-far-far-away department:
William Herkewitz, reports for Popular Mechanics: A newly discovered star is unlike any ever found. With an outermost layer of 99.9 percent pure oxygen, its atmosphere is the most oxygen-rich in the known universe. Heck, it makes Earth's meager 21 percent look downright suffocating. The strange stellar oddity is a radically new type of white dwarf star, and was discovered by a team of Brazilian astronomers led by Kepler de Souza Oliveira at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. The star is unique in the known pool of 32,000 white dwarf stars, and is the only known star of any kind with an almost pure oxygen atmosphere. The new white dwarf has a mouthful of a name -- SDSSJ124043.01+671034.68 -- but has been nicknamed 'Dox' (pronounced Dee-Awks) by Kepler's team. The discovery was reported today in a paper in the journal Science.

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Months After Hacks, DHS Sends a Warning About Hospital Ransomware
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 08:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's a-day-late-and-a-dollar-short department:
An anonymous reader writes: Since February, at least a dozen hospitals have been affected by ransomware, malware that encrypts a victim's files until they cough up a bounty to the hackers. In response, US-CERT, the country's Computer Emergency Readiness Team, issued an alert on March 31 warning potential victims of the risks, and how to protect themselves. But, considering that some hospitals have already had to divert emergency services, push high-risk operations to future dates, and even turn away some patients, is the alert too little, too late?

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Egypt Blocked Facebook Free Basics For Not Letting It Spy On Users
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 08:43 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-snooping department:
Yasmeen Abutaleb and Joseph Menn, reporting for Reuters: Facebook wouldn't let the government circumvent the service's security to conduct surveillance. Egypt blocked Facebook's Free Basics Internet service at the end of last year after the U.S. company refused to give the Egyptian government the ability to spy on users, two people familiar with the matter said. Two sources with direct knowledge of discussions between Facebook and the Egyptian government said Free Basics was blocked because the company would not allow the government to circumvent the service's security to conduct surveillance.

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MIT Demos Wi-Fi That's So High-Tech It Doesn't Need a Password
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 07:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's pretty-high-for-wifi department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on MIC: Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology want to change how we connect to Wi-Fi. To avoid the cumbersome network login process, a team has come up with a way to grant computers access to a Wi-Fi network based on their proximity to a router. Applied practically, that means you could walk into a cafe and your device would automatically connect to a network -- no annoying password necessary. The same could be true for a home network. When your friends come over, they could immediately be granted access to your Wi-Fi. The paper (PDF), sadly, doesn't offer details on the security aspect. Security researchers advise that one should be careful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi. Say you forget to turn off Wi-Fi on your device, and you walk into a cafe. Your phone will automatically establish a connection with this supposed network. If the network is compromised, plenty of devices will be exposed to attack.

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Berlin Gets First Taste of In-Store Vertical Micro-Farms
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 07:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's one-stone-two-birds department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on RT: German shoppers now have the chance to buy fresh greens and herbs in supermarkets with tiny vertical farms which both grow and display the produce. The new delivery method for the freshest possible produce is being pioneered by INFARM which is currently testing its live herb gardens at METRO stores in Berlin. The people behind the project say these are the first indoor farming installations of their kind, placed directly in supermarkets. "Imagine a future where cities become self-sufficient in their food production, where autonomous farms grow fresh premium produce at affordable prices, eliminating waste and environmental impact," The farms look like a tiny greenhouse inside the store where shoppers can pick their own freshly harvested salad greens and herbs right from the growing plants. The advantages of the indoor micro-farms are lower transport costs and associated emissions. They use less water, energy and space than conventional farms and horizontal greenhouses.

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No Joke. April Fools' Day Has Been Banned In China
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 06:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's there-is-no-spoon department:
Reader schwit1 quotes an article by Simon Denyer, who heads The Washington Post's China bureau: The ancient tradition of hoaxing and playing practical jokes on the first day of April has fallen victim to China's crackdown. Like democracy and free speech, it is a Western concept that simply isn't welcome here."'April Fools' Day' is not consistent with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values," state news agency Xinhua announced on social media Friday. "Hope nobody believes in rumors, makes rumors or spreads rumors." As part of a long-running effort to win control of the narrative on social media and deter dissent, China's Communist Party launched a campaign three years ago to criminalize the spreading of rumors. Xinhua's post suggests an April Fools' Day prank that mocked or undermined the Party could have potentially serious consequences.

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Gmail's Mic Drop April Fool Backfires Horribly Costing People Their Jobs
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 06:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's prank-gone-wrong department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report on The Telegraph: Google is facing a fierce backlash after introducing a new tool for April Fools' Day that has cost some people potential jobs. The new Gmail Mic Drop button, which sits next to the normal send button, ends an email thread forever by muting all future replies to the sender, and firing off a gif of a minion 'mic dropping' at the same time. After an immediate backlash the feature was taken down early on Friday morning. Some people using it had failed to see the funny side, saying that by accidentally pressing the button instead of simply sending the email, they have appeared rude or unprofessional, in some cases costing them jobs.

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Reddit Deletes Surveillance 'Warrant Canary' In Transparency Report
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 04:32 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's deductive-reasoning department:
Arthur Dent '99 writes: Today, Reddit deleted wording in its transparency report that would normally indicate that they had not received any "national security letters" or "other classified requests for user information." Such "national security letters" contain penalties for telling others about the request, as the government wishes to keep the request secret. However, because Reddit had placed pre-existing wording in their transparency report in the event of such a letter, they were able to simply delete the existing wording to passively inform others that a request had been received, without actually saying anything at all. This usage of pre-existing wording is known as a "warrant canary" to indicate danger, such as real canaries were used in the past to indicate the presence of deadly gases in coal mines.

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Tesla Receives 115,000 Model 3 Preorders Worth $115 Million In 24 Hours
Posted by News Fetcher on April 01 '16 at 01:42 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's spare-some-change department:
An anonymous reader writes: Over 115,000 reservations at $1,000 each were placed for the Model 3 in the first 24 hours. This gives Tesla a little extra operating cash.

If each tech-savvy enthusiast who preordered the Model 3 in the first 24 hours follows through with their $35,000 purchase, Tesla would make $4 billion in sales. Right now, they're sitting pretty with $115 million from the down payment required for preordering. It looks like Tesla may have a big hit on their hands.

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Elon Musk Announces $35,000 Tesla Model 3 Electric Car
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 09:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's electric-vehicles department:
Elon Musk has officially unveiled the Tesla Model 3 electric car at the company's facility in Hawthorne, California. The Model 3 is being dubbed as a "mass market affordable car." The base-model Model 3 will be able to travel 0-60MPH in less than 6 seconds, with "versions of the Model 3 that go much faster." In terms of range, it features an EPA range of at least 215 miles per charge. All Model 3's will come standard with autopilot hardware and autopilot safety features. The Model 3 will also fit five adults comfortably, thanks largely in part to the large, rear piece of glass on the roof area. You'll find front and rear trunks, offering more cargo capacity than any cargo gas car with the same external dimensions. Safety is a big concern for Tesla so they've manufactured the Model 3 with a 5 star safety rating in every category. The Model 3 starts at $35,000 with a release date scheduled for 2017. Tesla will take your preorder now for a $1,000 down payment.

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More People On Earth Now Obese Than Underweight, Says Study
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 08:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fourth-meal department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to a new study published in the Lancet, obese people now outnumber the underweight population for perhaps the first time in global history. Majid Ezzati, an environmental health researcher at Imperial College London who led the study, analyzed data from 1975 to 2014 across 19.2 million adults from 186 countries. They found that over the 40-year-span, the proportion of obese men worldwide more than tripled, to roughly 11 percent, and the proportion of obese woman more than doubled, to about 15 percent. Researchers estimate 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women worldwide will be obese by 2025. What some may consider more surprising is that more than 25 percent of the world's severely obese men and almost 20 percent of the world's severely obese women are American. However, the rapid rise of obesity in developing nations is most concerning as it's more difficult for obese people to modify their diet and have access to medication.

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PHP, Python and Google Go Fail To Detect Revoked TLS Certificates
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 07:05 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's problematic-encounters-of-the-SSL/TLS-certificates-kind department:
An anonymous reader writes: Four years after the release of a groundbreaking study on the state of SSL/TLS certificates in non-browser applications (APIs [to be exact]), some programming languages fail to provide developers with the appropriate tools to validate certificates. Using three simple test scripts connected to a list of known vulnerable HTTPS servers, researchers logged their results to see which programming languages detected any problems. According to the results, all tested programming languages (PHP, Python, Go), in various configurations, failed to detect HTTPS connections that used revoked SSL/TLS certificates. This is a problem for HTTPS-protected APIs since users aren't visually warned, like in browsers, that they're on an insecure connection.
"PHP, Python, and Google Go perform no revocation checks by default, neither does the cURL library. If the certificate was compromised and revoked by the owner, you will never know about it," noted Sucuri's Peter Kankowski.

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Microsoft Denies Edge Is Getting A Native Ad Blocker
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's misleading-reports department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: On top of the slew of news coming out of Microsoft's Build 2016 developer conference, a story broke yesterday that Microsoft was building an ad blocker into its Microsoft Edge browser. While this would be a big deal, it apparently isn't true. "We have no plans to build a native ad blocker into Microsoft Edge," a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Microsoft was originally referencing the extension support it is building into Edge, which would allow ad blocking to work exactly like any other desktop browser. For those hoping for an Edge browser with built-in ad blocking, well, you're stuck with 'niche browsers' like Brave from Mozilla cofounder Brendan Eich and Adblock Browser.

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Bitcoin Could Consume As Much Electricity As Denmark By 2020
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's pick-on-someone-your-own-size department:
JustAnotherOldGuy writes: The numbers are very back-of-the-envelope and assume a worst case: widespread adoption of Bitcoin and not much improvement in Bitcoin mining activity, along with long replacement cycles for older, less efficient mining rigs. But even the best case [scenario] has Bitcoin consuming a shocking amount of electricity. [As mentioned in a report from Motherboard,] "The results show that in an optimistic scenario, the increase in electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network compared to now is not shocking, from around 350 MW to around 417 MW, but still on the order of one small power station. If things play out a little less favorably, however, the Bitcoin network may draw over 14 Gigawatts of electricity by 2020, equivalent to the total power generation capacity of a small country, like Denmark for example.

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FCC Proposes New Restrictions On How Broadband Providers Share Data
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 04:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's problematic-for-cable-providers department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a 3-2 vote, the FCC agreed to propose new privacy rules for broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon, as part of the FCC's new powers under Section 222 of Title II. The proposal will now enter a comment period, in which providers and other stakeholders will weigh in, before the commission can vote on whether to approve it. Under the proposed rules, providers would have implicit permission to collect any data necessary for providing internet service, typically including name, IP address and other basic subscriber information. Unless the customer opts out, providers would also be able to collect and share data specifically for the purpose of marketing other communications services. Any other use of the data, like sharing it with third-party marketing programs, would require explicit consent from the customer. The rules would also institute new transparency and data security requirements.

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California Bill AB 2867 Proposed To Allow You To Cancel Comcast With 'Click Of The Mouse'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 03:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's save-me-from-a-headache department:
An anonymous reader writes: Los Angeles Assemblyman Mike Gatto has introduced a bill that would allow Californians to cancel their internet or cable services online with 'one click.' The bill reads, ''AB 2867 allows Californians to conveniently unsubscribe from a service with a simple click of the mouse,' said Assemblyman Gatto. 'It just makes sense, that if you are able to sign-up for a service online, you should also be able to cancel it the same way.' Rapid advancements in technology grant consumers a wide variety of cable, internet and phone service products from which they may choose, and while companies make it simple to buy or upgrade services, a cancellation request is usually a prolonged ordeal where customers are sometimes pressured into extending their contracts. AB 2867 provides a convenient and consumer-friendly option for Californians to remove unwanted services without a long phone call.'
Bill AB 2867 would in theory spare you from an 18-minute call with a Comcast representative in regard to cancelling your service.

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Intel Launches Xeon E5 v4 Family of Processors Based On Broadwell-EP
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 03:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-family department:
MojoKid writes: Intel is officially launching a brand new series of Xeon processors today, the Xeon Processor E5 v4. The Xeon Processor E5 v4 family is based on Broadwell, specifically Broadwell-EP, though they are socket compatible with the previous generation v3 series. The new Xeon E5 v4 family, however, features a number of updates and enhancements. The Broadwell-EP based Xeon E5 v4, for example, is built using Intel's more advanced 14nm process node, and the largest chips can feature up to 22 processor cores (44 threads). The E5 v4 series still supports up to quad-channel DDR4 memory, but the maximum supported speed now tops out at 2400 MT/s, up from 2133 MT/s. Also, because of its additional cores, the E5-2600 v4 series now features up to 55MB of last-level cache. Support for 3D die-stacked LRDIMMs has been added too, along with DDR4 write CRC, and of course the higher speeds. Performance with a 2P dual-socket Xeon E5-2697 v4 system, with 36 total cores and 72 threads, rips through Cinebench in testing, unlike any desktop chip could. It's impressive to see in action.

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AT&T Caps Are A Giant Con And An Attack On Cord-Cutters
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 01:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's back-in-the-good-old-days department:
An anonymous reader writes: Following a report from DSLReports that ATT would be imposing usage caps on the company's U-Verse broadband customers, ATT has announced it would now be following Comcast's lead by "allowing" users to pay $30 more a month if they wanted to avoid usage caps entirely. However, ATT has taken it to a new level by "allowing" users to graciously avoid the $30 fee -- if they subscribe to DirecTV or U-Verse TV service. These data caps allow ISPs like ATT and Comcast to cash in on internet video and make cord-cutting less viable by making streaming more expensive. And now, ATT is using caps to force users to subscribe to traditional TV if they want their broadband connection to work like it used to.

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'Hack The Pentagon' Bug Bounty Program Opens For Registration
Posted by News Fetcher on March 31 '16 at 01:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's man-your-battle-stations department:
wiredmikey writes: Starting today, security researchers can register to test their hacking skills against the Department of Defense
(DoD) through "Hack the Pentagon," a new bug bounty program that will award security researchers who discover vulnerabilities on the Pentagon's public web pages. The initiative, run through a partnership with bug bounty platform provider HackerOne, is the first of its kind in the history of the federal government. The Hack the Pentagon bug bounty pilot will start on Monday, April 18 and end by Thursday, May 12. "Critical, mission-facing computer systems will not be involved in the program," the DoD stated.

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