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Instagram Launches Account Switching On iOS and Android
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 03:04 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's whats-new-on-instagram department:
Today, Instagram announced that users will be able to switch between up to five different accounts when using the app on iOS and Android. This new feature will be available later this week, when users download version 7.15 of the app. According to a blog post from the company, "Go to your profile settings to add an additional account. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you'll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you're using at the moment."

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Sen. Blumenthal Demands Lifting of IT 'Gag' Order
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 03:04 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's truth-should-always-be-a-defense department:
dcblogs writes: U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the layoff and replacement of IT workers by foreign workers at a state energy utility. But he is also demanding that the utility, Eversource Energy, drop a particularly restrictive non-disparagement clause that laid off employees had to sign to receive their severance. This clause bars discussion "that would tend to disparage or discredit" the utility. [emphasis added] He wants the employees, who had to train foreign replacements, to be able to state "honestly what happened to them."

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Anti-Piracy Group BREIN Demands Torrents Time Cease and Desist
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 01:43 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-did-you-expect? department:
An anonymous reader writes: Not even a week has gone by since Torrents Time appeared on the scene, and the site has already been served with a cease-and-desist letter. Anti-piracy group BREIN, based in the Netherlands, has deemed the streaming tool an "illegal application" and demands the administrators "cease and desist the distribution of Torrents Time immediately."

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GitHub Open Sources Their Internal Testing Tool
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 01:43 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's good-works department:
destinyland writes: Last week GitHub released a new open source tool called Scientist, a Ruby-based library they've been using in-house for several years. "It's the most terrifying moment when you flip the switch,"GitHub engineer Jesse Toth told one technology reporter, who notes that the tool is targeted at developers transitioning from a legacy system. "Scientist was born when GitHub engineers needed to rewrite the permissions code — one of the most critical systems in the GitHub application." The tool measures execution duration and other metrics for both test and production code during runtime, and Toth reports that they're now also developing new versions in Node.js, C#, and .Net..

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The Hyperloop Industrial Complex
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 12:12 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's watch-for-the-rent-seekers department:
Jason Koebler writes: Two and a half years after Elon Musk pitched the technology, actually traveling on a hyperloop is still theoretical, but its effect on business is not. There is a very real, bonafide industry of people whose job description is, broadly speaking "make the hyperloop into a tangible thing." The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Weekend at Texas A&M University earlier this weekend was the coming out party for people in that industry.

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Listen To Hawking's Second Reith Lecture On Black Holes, Illustrated
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 12:12 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's he-calls-it-a-hawking-hole department:
An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has now put the second of Stephen Hawking's Reith Lectures up on their web site, with accompanying illustrations. It's not 'All you ever wanted to know about Black Holes', but it's an easy introduction to some of the latest thinking on them.

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Researcher Finds Tens of Software Products Vulnerable To Simple Bug
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 12:12 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's everything's-simple-to-somebody department:
An anonymous reader writes: There's a German security researcher that is arduously testing the installers of tens of software products to see which of them are vulnerable to basic DLL hijacking. Surprisingly, many companies are ignoring his reports. Until now, only Oracle seems to have addressed this problem in Java and VirtualBox. Here's a short (probably incomplete) list of applications that he found vulnerable to this attack: Firefox, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader, 7Zip, WinRAR, OpenOffice, VLC Media Player, Nmap, Python, TrueCrypt, and Apple iTunes. Mr. Kanthak also seems to have paid special attention to antivirus software installers. Here are some of the security products he discovered vulnerable to DLL hijacking: ZoneAlarm, Emsisoft Anti-Malware, Trend Micro, ESET NOD32, Avira, Panda Security, McAfee Security, Microsoft Security Essentials, Bitdefender, Rapid7's ScanNowUPnP, Kaspersky, and F-Secure.

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Talos Secure Workstation Is FSF-Certified — and $3100
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 10:54 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tradeoffs-are-everywhere department:
jones_supa writes: These days, the motivation to use open source software for many people is to avoid backdoors placed by intelligence organizations and to avoid software that has hidden privacy-intruding characteristics. For the operating system and userspace software, open choices are already available. The last remaining island has been the firmware included in various ROM chips in a computer. Libreboot has introduced an open BIOS, but it is not available for newer systems featuring the Intel ME or AMD PSP management features. Talos' Secure Workstation fills this need, providing a modern system with 8-core POWER8 CPU, 132 GB RAM, and open firmware. The product is currently in a pre-release phase where Raptor Engineering is trying to understand if it's possible to do a production run of the machine. If you are interested, it's worth visiting the official website. Adds an anonymous reader about the new system, which rings in at a steep $3100: "While the engineers found solace in the POWER8 architecture with being more open than AMD/Intel CPUs, they still are searching for a graphics card that is open enough to receive the FSF Respect Your Freedom certification." Update: 02/08 18:44 GMT by T : See also Linux hacker and IBM employee Stewart Smith's talk from the just-completed linux.conf.au on, in which he walks through "all of the firmware components and what they do, including the boot sequence from power being applied up to booting an operating system."

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Metel Hackers Roll Back ATM Transactions, Steal Millions
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 10:54 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-metal-mettle-meddle-or-medal department:
msm1267 writes: Researchers from Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team today unveiled details on two new criminal operations that have borrowed heavily from targeted nation-state attacks, and also shared an update on a resurgent Carbanak gang, which last year, it was reported, had allegedly stolen upwards of $1 billion from more than 100 financial companies. The heaviest hitter among the newly discovered gangs is an ongoing campaign, mostly confined to Russia, known as Metel. This gang targets machines that have access to money transactions, such as call center and support machines, and once they are compromised, the attackers use that access to automate the rollback of ATM transactions. As the attackers empty ATM after ATM—Metel was found inside 30 organizations—the balances on the stolen accounts remained untouched.

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NAND Flash Density Surpasses HDDs', But Price Is Still a Sticking Point
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 09:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's daddy-what-were-spinning-media-and-what-was-their-areal-density? department:
Lucas123 writes: With the introduction of 3D or stacked NAND flash memory, non-volatile memory has for the first time surpassed that of hard disk drives in density. This year, Micron revealed it had demonstrated areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77 terabits per square inch (Tbpsi) for its 3D NAND. That compares with the densest HDDs of about 1.3Tbpsi. While NAND flash may have surpassed hard drives in density, it doesn't mean the medium has reached price parity with HDDs — nor will it anytime soon. One roadblock to price parity is the cost of revamping existing or building new 3D NAND fabrication plant, which far exceeds that of hard drive manufacturing facilities, according to market research firm Coughlin Associates. HDD makers are also preparing to launch even denser products using technologies such as heat assisted magnetic recording.

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Meteorite Strike Kills Man In India
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 09:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's as-go-ways-to-die department:
knwny writes: In what is believed to be the first such incident in modern times, a meteorite strike in India killed a man and injured three others. According to police sources, a loud blast was heard at the site of the strike which also left a four-feet deep crater. Preliminary investigation by forensic and bomb experts showed no sign of any explosive substance at the scene. The second link has a picture of the supposed crater which I believe will interest Slashdotters with experience in this area.

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Where Are the Raspberry Pi Zeros?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 09:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hiding-with-the-other-zeros department:
mikejuk writes: The Pi Zero was supposed to be available from November 26, 2015. It is now the start of February and all of the stockists, including the Pi Swag Shop, are still showing out of stock. That's two whole months, and counting, of restricted supply which is more than an initial hiccup. Of course you would expect enough to be made available initially to meet the expected demand. The Pi sells something in the region of 200,000 per month so what do you think the initial run of the Pi Zero actually was? The answer is 20,000 units. Of which 10,000 were stuck to the cover of MagPi and "given away" leaving just 10,000 in the usual distribution channels. And yet Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, commented: "You'd think we'd be used to it by now, but we're always amazed by the level of interest in new Raspberry Pi products," Well yes, you really would think that they might be used to it by now and perhaps even prepared for it. At the time of writing the Pi Zero is still out of stock and when it is briefly in stock customers are limited to one unit.A victim of its own success, yes, but the real victims are the Raspberry Pi's competitors.

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Why Facebook Really Shut Down Parse
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 09:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's parse-this-buddy department:
New submitter isisilik writes: For those working in the 'aaS' business the Parse shutdown was the main topic of conversation this weekend. So why did Facebook decide to shut down their developer platform? The author claims that Facebook never wanted to host apps to begin with, they just wanted developers to use Facebook login. And he builds up a good case.

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Hackers Leak DHS Staff Directory, Claim FBI Is Next
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 09:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's soon-we'll-leak-your-mailing-address department:
itwbennett writes: On Sunday, the name, title, email address, and phone number of more than 9,000 DHS employees, with titles ranging from engineers, to security specialists, program analysts, InfoSec and IT, all the way up to director level was posted on Twitter. 'The account went on to claim that an additional data dump focused on 20,000 FBI employees was next,' writes CSO's Steve Ragan. The hacker told Motherboard that the data was obtained by "compromising the email account of a DoJ employee, although he would not elaborate on how that account was accessed in the first place."

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India Blocks Facebook's Free Basics Internet Service
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's rich-and-poor-equally-free-to-buy-bread department:
An anonymous reader writes: India's leading telecom regulator, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), has today voted against differential pricing, ruling with immediate effect that all data prices must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content. The call is a significant blow to Facebook's Free Basics (previously Internet.org) initiative and Airtel Zero – projects which work to make internet access more accessible by providing a free range of "basic" services. The watchdog confirmed that providers would no longer be able to charge for data based on discriminatory tariffs but instead that pricing must be "content agnostic." It added that fines of Rs. 50,000 – 50 Lakh would be enforced should the regulations be violated.

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SpaceX Sets Feb. 24th Target Date For Next Launch
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's safely-after-groundhog-day department:
Rei writes: After some consternation about the pacing of Falcon 9 upgrades, SpaceX has announced that it plans to launch again from Cape Canaveral with a target date of February 24th. While the primary mission will be to place the SES-9 communications satellite in orbit, this will also mark their fourth attempt to land the first stage on an autonomous drone ship, after their last launch touched down softly but fell over when one leg failed to latch. SpaceX is working to significantly accelerate the rate of production and launches — they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year. After the upcoming launch, they expect to launch one rocket every two to three weeks.

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Adblock Plus Maker Seeks Deal With Ad Industry Players
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 05:22 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's listen-fellas department:
An anonymous reader writes with Yahoo's report that the makers of Adblock Plus are "looking to reach out to advertisers and identify an 'acceptable' level and form of advertising on the net." That involves convincing advertisers to conform to the company's own guidelines for advertising, or an alternative path much disliked by some of the software's users — to pay the company to ignore ads that don't meet those guidelines. From the article:

Big websites can pay a fee not to be blocked. And it is these proceeds that finance the Cologne-based company and its 49-strong workforce. While Google and Amazon have paid up, others refuse.

Axel Springer, which publishers Germany's best-selling daily Bild, accuses [Adblock Plus maker] Eyeo of racketeering.

"We believe Eyeo's business model is against the law," a spokesman for Springer told AFP.

"Clearly, Eyeo's primary aim is to get its hands on a share of the advertising revenues."

Ultimately, such practices posed a threat to the professional journalism on the web, he suggested, an argument Eyeo rejects.

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Linux Kernel Patch Hints At At 32-Core Support For AMD Zen Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on February 08 '16 at 02:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's more-like-seeds-than-cores department:
New submitter Iamthecheese points to an article which says that a patch published on the Linux Kernel Mailing List indicates that AMD's forthcoming Zen processors will have as many as 32 cores per socket, but notes that while the article's headline says "Confirms," "the article text doesn't bear that out." Still, he writes,

There are hints of such from last year. A leaked patch for the 14 nanometer AMD Zeppelin (Family 17h, Model 00h) reveals support for up to 32 cores. Another blog says pretty much the same thing. We recently discussed an announced 4+8 core AMD chip, but nothing like this.

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NASA Is Building a Virtual Mars For VR Viewing
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '16 at 11:51 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's nothing-but-potatoes department:
An anonymous reader writes: NASA will release a free virtual reality program this year that will simulate exploring the surface of Mars. "Players will be able to walk on the Red Planet as well as drive the Mars Rover..." reads the official announcement at UnrealEngine.com. The Mars 2030 Experience will be available on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR, and will also "expand" to Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, with additional versions for Android and iOS devices, and it will even be streamed on Twitch. NASA plans to reveal more details at this year's South by Southwest conference in March.

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Video Gamers From the '90s Have Turned Out Mostly OK
Posted by News Fetcher on February 07 '16 at 09:11 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's totally-shocking department:
A study reported on by Ars Technica indicates that video games, much ballyhooed (alleged) source of mental, physical and psycho-social ills for the kids who spent a lot of time playing them, don't seem to have had quite as big a negative effect on those kids as the moral panic of the past few decades would have you believe. Instead, There didn't seem to be an association between the number of games the children reported owning and an increase in risk for conduct disorder. When examining depression among shoot-em-up players, there was evidence for increased risk before the researchers controlled for all the confounding factors, but not afterwards. Of course, there's a lot of data to go around in the several studies referred to here, and the upshot seems to both less exciting and less simple than "Video games are good, not bad!"

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