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Thousands of Email Addresses Accidentally Disclosed By Let's Encrypt
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 04:22 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's let's-also-disclose-email-addresses department:
An anonymous reader writes "Let's Encrypt, the certificate authority best known for offering free SSL/TLS certificates, has reported that it accidentally disclosed thousands of user email addresses due to a bug with an automated emailing system." Executive Director Josh Aas posted this announcement:
On June 11 2016 (UTC), we started sending an email to all active subscribers who provided an email address, informing them of an update to our subscriber agreement. This was done via an automated system which contained a bug that mistakenly prepended between 0 and 7,618 other email addresses to the body of the email... The problem was noticed and the system was stopped after 7,618 out of approximately 383,000 emails (1.9%) were sent. Each email mistakenly contained the email addresses from the emails sent prior to it, so earlier emails contained fewer addresses than later ones.

We take our relationship with our users very seriously and apologize for the error... If you received one of these emails we ask that you not post lists of email addresses publicly.

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Facebook Threatens To Delete Users' Photos If They Don't Install Moments app
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 03:02 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's facebook-things department:
Mark Wilson, reporting for BetaNews: Not content with forcing people into using its Messenger app, Facebook is continuing its aggressive tactics and driving users to install its photo-sharing app, Moments. The social network has warned users that their photos face deletion if they fail to use the Moments app. Unsurprisingly, this has led to a huge surge in interest in the app, pushing it to the top of the download charts. Facebook says it is going to delete Synced Albums and Synced Photos if Moments is not installed by July 7, sending warning emails to a number of users. This has understandably led to panic installations of Moments as people sought to protect the photos that have been automatically synchronized from their phone. It's important to note that it is only these synced photos that are at risk, but it's clear that there is an element of confusion about what Facebook is planning to delete.

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Twitter Denies Breach of 32 Million Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 03:02 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's gullible-media? department:
An anonymous reader writes: "We have investigated reports of Twitter usernames/passwords on the dark web, and we're confident that our systems have not been breached," posted the company's security office, Michael Coates. In a blog post, he wrote that Twitter use HTTPS "everywhere" and secures account credentials with bcrypt, while also watching for suspicious account activity based on location, device type, and login history. Responding to recent reports of 32 million compromised accounts, he blamed malware and also recycled passwords, which mean "a breach of passwords associated with website X could result in compromised accounts at unrelated website Y."

"When so many breaches are announced in a short window of time, it may be natural to assume that any mention of 'another breach' is true and valid. Nefarious individuals leverage this environment in order to either bundle old breached data or repackage accounts from a variety of breaches, and then claim they have login information and passwords for website Z."
A security expert gave the same explanation to InformationWeek. And Brian Krebs recently pointed out that a Tweet claiming 73 million compromised Dropbox accounts was actually just recycling credentials from a 2013 breach at Tumblr. A recent breach of Mark Zuckerberg's Twitter account was attributed to a low-security password.

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Air Force Has Lost 100,000 Inspector General Records
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 01:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Backups?-What-backups? department:
schwit1 shares an article from The Hill: The Air Force announced on Friday that it has lost thousands of records belonging to the service's inspector general due to a database crash. "We estimate we've lost information for 100,000 cases dating back to 2004," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told The Hill in an email. "The database crashed and there is no data..." The database, called the Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS), holds all records related to IG complaints, investigations, appeals and Freedom of Information Act requests.... "We also use ACTS to track congressional/constituent inquiries."

The Air Force said they were "aggressively" trying to recover the data, adding that they had no evidence of malicious intent.

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The World's Oldest Computer May Have Predicted the Future
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 12:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's the-way-back-machine department:
Gizmodo reports: Discovered in an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901, the freakishly advanced Antikythera Mechanism has been called the world's first computer. A decades-long investigation into the 2,000 year-old-device is shedding new light onto this mysterious device... It wasn't programmable in the modern sense, but it's considered the world's first analog computer.

schwit1 shares a report from the Associated Press:: For over a century since its discovery in an ancient shipwreck, the exact function of the Antikythera Mechanism -- named after the southern Greek island off which it was found -- was a tantalizing puzzle.... After more than a decade's efforts using cutting-edge scanning equipment, an international team of scientists has now read about 3,500 characters of explanatory text -- a quarter of the original -- in the innards of the 2,100-year-old remains.
They say it was a kind of philosopher's guide to the galaxy, and perhaps the world's oldest mechanical computer.

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DEA Wants Access To Medical Records Without Warrant
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 10:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's wealth-of-knowledge department:
mi writes from a report via The Daily Beast: Unlike in cases of commercially-held data, where the Third Party doctrine allows police warrantless access, prescription drug monitoring databases are maintained by state-governments. The difference is lost to the Obama Administration, which argues that "since the records have already been submitted to a third party (a state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) that patients no longer enjoy an expectation of privacy." The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the states' prescription drug databases using only an "administrative subpoena." These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what's required to obtain a warrant. Some states, like Oregon, fight it; some, like Wisconsin, do not. "The federal government is eager to see all these databases linked," reports The Daily Beast. "The Department of Justice has developed a software platform to facilitate sharing among all state PDMPs. So far 32 states already share their PDMP data through a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy program. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which passed Congress in March, calls for expanding sharing of PDMP data."

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Bitdefender Finds 'Hypervisor Wiretap' For Reading TLS-Encrypted Communications
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 10:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's cracking-the-cloud department:
Orome1 quotes a report from HelpNetSecurity: Bitdefender has discovered that encrypted communications can be decrypted in real-time using a technique that has virtually zero footprint and is invisible to anyone except extremely careful security auditors. The technique, dubbed TeLeScope, has been developed for research purposes and proves that a third-party can eavesdrop on communications encrypted with the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol between an end-user and a virtualized instance of a server.
Bitdefender says the new technique "works to detect the creation of TLS session keys in memory as the virtual machine is running." According to HelpNetSecurity, this vulnerability "makes it possible for a malicious cloud provider, or one pressured into giving access to three-letter agencies, to recover the TLS keys used to encrypt every communication session between virtualized servers and customers. CIOs who are outsourcing their virtualized infrastructure to a third-party vendor should assume that all of the information flowing between the business and its customers has been decrypted and read for an undetermined amount of time."

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Ask Slashdot: Why Do Most Tablet Specs Suck?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 09:31 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's low-battery-warning department:
Slashdot reader Qbertino describes himself as a "happy tablet user," moving from an old HTC Flyer to his Yoga 2. But he notes that most other tablets "have laughable battery times," and "I've yet to find a tablet that does not give me storage or memory problems in some way or other, lasts for a day or two in power and doesn't feel chintzy and like it won't stand a month of regular everyday use and carrying around..." He asks why none of the manufacturers seem willing to offer more than one gigabyte of RAM -- and why they're so stingy with storage. "Where is the rugged 16GB RAM / 1TB Storage / 20-hour battery tablet?"

So leave your educated opinions in the comments. What are your thoughts on the current tablet market? And are they the ultimate all-purpose "convergence" device that Apple and Ubuntu seem to think they are?

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Apple Is Fighting A Secret War To Keep You From Repairing Your Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 08:13 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-vs-right-to-repair department:
It's no secret that Apple makes a ton of money by charging 'astronomical' fee for replacing and fixing display and other components of iPhone and iPad (as well as Mac line). For instance, the company charges $599 for replacing the display on the iPad Pro tablet. Which sounds insane when you realize that you can almost certainly purchase a new iPad Pro under $700. And this is what most people do. A Huffington Post article notes that this behavior has contributed significantly in "generating heaps of e-waste." Citing many advocates, the publication claims that Apple has "opposed legislation that could help curb it." From the report: The Huffington Post spoke with politicians in two states who support such legislation, and confirmed through government filings that Apple has lobbied on the issue. Four states -- Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and New York -- have considered adopting "right to repair" amendments, which would update existing laws regarding the sale of electronic equipment. Amending these laws would make it easier to fix your devices and would help reduce "e-waste," a catch-all term for any electronic detritus. The New York State Senate and Assembly could approve one of these amendments next week. This would help unofficial repair shops get the information they need to fix your iPad, ideally driving down repair costs and encouraging you to squeeze more life out of your old devices -- thus cutting down on the e-waste generated by our voracious appetites for new gadgets. Apple asserts that it helps recycle millions of pounds of electronics equipment every year. But it won't support right to repair amendments.One would ask what is preventing a user from getting their device repaired by unofficial service person? In addition to the security implication, you also run a risk of getting your device bricked by Apple. To recall, the iPhone maker was found bricking the handsets that had been repaired by third-party vendors earlier this year.

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Google Permits India To Download YouTube Content Overnight
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's check-out-this-video department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google India has announced that users of the YouTube app in India can now download content during cheaper night-time connectivity periods for offline viewing later. Downloaded videos can be viewed for up to 30 days...

Streaming providers are currently conflicted between the low-risk policy of denying offline viewing, and the risk of alienating the lesser-connected markets where they're keen to grab an early foothold. In late 2014 a Netflix executive said offline viewing was "never going to happen", but in April of this year CEO Reed Hastings backtracked in a letter to shareholders, commenting "as we expand around the world, where we see an uneven set of networks, it's something we should keep an open mind about."

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jQuery 3.0 Stops Supporting Internet Explorer Workarounds
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's ghost-of-browsers-past department:
An anonymous reader writes: Thursday's release of jQuery 3.0 is "the first version that features absolutely no workarounds for old Internet Explorer browsers," reports Softpedia. "If customers are still asking you to work with IE6, IE7, and IE8, then you should stick with jQuery 1.0 for the foreseeable future." The jQuery blog explains that over 18 months of development, "We set out to create a slimmer, faster version of jQuery (with backwards compatibility in mind)... It is a continuation of the 2.x branch, but with a few breaking changes that we felt were long overdue." Besides jQuery's free, open source JavaScript library, they also released a "slim" version that excludes ajax and effects modules (as well as deprecated code), and a new version of the jQuery Migrate plugin.

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A Tour of Campus 2, Apple's Upcoming Headquarters
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '16 at 02:41 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's revolutionary-design department:
Dave Knott writes from a report via Popular Science: Popular Science has an article detailing Campus 2, Apple's upcoming headquarters, including a video with a tour of the complex which is still under construction. The Spaceship, as many have nicknamed it, is over one mile in circumference and when it is completed later this year it will house 13,000 employees. Its exterior will largely be composed of thousands of huge curved glass planes; the floors and ceilings will be constructed from hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to "breathe," bolstering its eco-friendly qualities. Campus 2 will run entirely on renewable energy, with rooftop solar panels providing an output of 16 megawatts of power and acting as the campus's primary energy supplier. Upon completion, the main building will have four stories above ground and three below, with numerous other facilities including seven cafes, a fitness center and a 120,000 square-foot theater where Apple will hold its famous product announcements. Construction on the building is expected to be finished by the end of 2016. Interesting facts: Apple used 4,300 concrete slabs, weighing a total of 212 tons, to create the structure. The Spaceship also features 330-ton, 92-foot-tall steel reinforced doors for its restaurant -- the dining-hall doors alone span 60,000 square feet and collectively weigh 330 tons. The campus boasts 900 panels of vertical glass, 1,600 panes of canopy glass, 510 panes of clerestory glass, and 126 panes for skylight glass (3,000 total). The total cost of the project is approximately $5 billion.

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Google Announces Support of the Controversial TPP
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 11:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's controversial-announcements department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has announced in a blog post Friday their support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP). Recode reports: "The trade agreement includes key provisions about the global passage of digital data, intellectual property and copyright -- measures that have drawn criticism from both the political right and left, including several outspoken tech groups. Google's endorsement isn't exactly full-throated, but its stake clearly demonstrates another key area of support with the Obama administration, to which Google is close." Google's SVP and general counsel Kent Walker wrote: "The TPP is not perfect, and the trade negotiation process would certainly benefit from greater transparency. We will continue to advocate for process reforms, including the opportunity for all stakeholders to have a meaningful opportunity for input into trade negotiations." The company has already shown support of the TPP behind the Internet Association, which endorsed the trade agreement in March. Google joins a list of other tech titans, like Apple and Microsoft, who have shown their support as well. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the TPP a "secretive, multinational trade agreement" that will restrict IP laws and enforce digital policies that "benefit big corporations at the expense of the public." The TPP is still awaiting congressional approval after being signed in February.

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What Star Trek Owes To Robert Heinlein
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 09:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's in-memory-of department:
HughPickens.com writes: As we come up on the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, Manu Saudia, author of Trekonomics, has an interesting article on BoingBoing about how according to Gene Roddenberry himself, no author had more influence on The Original Star Trek than Robert Heinlein, and more specifically his juvenile novel Space Cadet. That book, published in 1948, is considered a classic. It is a bildungsroman, retelling the education of young Matt Dodson from Iowa, who joins the Space Patrol and becomes a man. (In a homage from Roddenberry, Star Trek's Captain James Tiberius Kirk is also from Iowa.) The Space Patrol is a prototype of Starfleet: it is a multiracial, multinational institution, entrusted with keeping the peace in the solar system. In Space Cadet, Heinlein portrayed a society where racism had been overcome. Not unlike Starfleet, the Space Patrol was supposed to be a force for good. According to Saudia, the hierarchical structure and naval ranks of the first Star Trek series (a reflection of Heinlein's Annapolis days) were geared to appeal to Heinlein's readers and demographics, all these starry-eyed kids who, like Roddenberry himself, had read Space Cadet and Have Spacesuit -- Will Travel. Nobody cared about your sex or the color of your skin as long as you were willing to sign up for the Space Patrol or Starship Troopers' Federal service. Where it gets a little weird is that Heinlein's Space Patrol controls nuclear warheads in orbit around Earth, and its mission is to nuke any country that has been tempted to go to war with its neighbors. This supranational body in charge of deterrence, enforcing peace and democracy on the home planet by the threat of annihilation, was an extrapolation of what could potentially be achieved if you combined the UN charter with mutually assured destruction. "The fat finger on the nuclear trigger makes it a very doubtful proposition," concludes Saudia. "The Space Patrol, autonomous and unaccountable, is the opposite of the kind democratic and open society championed by Star Trek."

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How a Bad UI Decision From Microsoft Helped Macro Malware Make a Comeback
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Rocky-Balboa department:
An anonymous reader writes: Macro malware is a term to describe malware that relies on automatically executed macro scripts inside Office documents. This type of malware was very popular in the '90s, but when Microsoft launched Office 97, it added a popup before opening Office files that warned users about the dangers of enabling macros. Microsoft's decision had a huge impact on macro malware, and by the 2000s, this type of malware went almost extinct. Lo and behold, some smart Microsoft UI designers start thinking that users might get popup fatigue, so in Office 2007, Microsoft makes the monumental mistake of removing the very informative popup, and transforming the warning into a notification bar at the top of the document with only six words warning users about macros. Things get worse in Office 2010, when Microsoft even adds a shiny button that reads "Enable Content," ruining everything it had done in the past 10-15 years, and allowing macro malware to become the dangerous threat it is today. The U.S.-CERT team issued an official threat yesterday warning organizations about the resurging threat of malware that uses macro scripts in Office documents.

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Scientists In Iceland Turn CO2 Into Stone
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 06:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's turned-to-stone department:
New submitter Zmobie quotes a report from The Guardian: [Carbon dioxide has been pumped underground and turned rapidly into stone, demonstrating a radical new way to tackle climate change.] The unique project promises a cheaper and more secure way of burying CO2 from fossil fuel burning underground, where it cannot warm the planet. Such carbon capture and storage (CCS) is thought to be essential to halting global warming, but existing projects store the CO2 as a gas and concerns about costs and potential leakage have halted some plans. The new research pumped CO2 into the volcanic rock under Iceland and sped up a natural process where the basalts react with the gas to form carbonate minerals, which make up limestone. The researchers were amazed by how fast all the gas turned into a solid -- just two years, compared to the hundreds or thousands of years that had been predicted. One of the downsides for the project is that it requires 25 tons of water for each ton of CO2 buried. However, seawater can be used. The Iceland Project (also referred to as the CarbFix Project) is already being upscaled to bury 10,000 tons of CO2 each year, in addition to the hydrogen sulphide which also turns into minerals.

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Facebook Now Lets Users Comment With a Video
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 05:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's media-consumption department:
An anonymous reader writes: As internet users continue to consume more videos than ever before, Facebook has decided to further add to the trend and officially launch video comments. Users are watching so many videos that the Cisco Visual Networking Index forecasts internet video traffic will represent 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020. Facebook said via a blog post that the new feature was developed at Facebook's 50th Hackathon. The team that built the feature included: Bob Baldwin who lead the initiative with Hermes Pique and Sameer Madan working on iOS, Muhammed Ibrahim worked on the web, and Billy Ng worked on Android. Baldwin's past projects consisted of features that let Facebook users include photos or stickers in the comments. The new video comments feature may help Facebook catch up to Snapchat in terms of daily videos viewed on the social media platform.

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Microsoft Analyzes Web Searches, Finds Clues For Early Cancer Detection
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 05:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's less-invasive-prostate-exam department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Computerworld: Analyzing online activities can provide clues as to a person's chances of having cancer, Microsoft researchers showed in a paper published this week. Specifically, the researchers demonstrated that by analyzing web query logs they were able to identify internet users who had pancreatic cancer even before they'd been diagnosed. The study suggest that "low-cost, high-coverage surveillance systems" can be created to passively observe search behavior and to provide early warning for pancreatic cancer, and with extension of the methodology, for other challenging cancers," the researchers concluded. "Surveillance systems could also provide for automated capture and summarization of data and landmarks over time so as to provide patients with talking points in their discussion with medical professionals." The researchers used proprietary logs of 9.2 million web queries on Microsoft's own Bing search engine but focused exclusively on English-speaking people in the U.S. from October 2013 to May 2015. First, the team identified searchers in logs of online search activity who made "special queries" that are suggestive of a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Those queries included phrases such as "Why did I get cancer in pancreas," and "I was told I have pancreatic cancer, what to expect." The team then went back "many months" before the initial queries were made to examine patterns of symptoms as they were expressed by web searches about pancreatic cancer symptoms. "We showed specifically that we can identify 5% to 15% of cases, while preserving extremely low false-positive rates," the researchers said in their paper. The false positives ranged from one in 10,000 to one in 100,000.

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There's No Evidence That Google Is Manipulating Searches To Help Hillary Clinton
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 03:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's conspiracy-theory department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Vox: A recent report via SourceFed surfaced suggesting that Google is suppressing the phrase "Hillary Clinton crimes" from autocomplete results, thus helping her candidacy. In the video, it shows that if you type "Donald Trump rac," Google will suggest the word "racist" to complete the phrase. However, if you type "Hillary Clinton cri," Google will suggest "crime reform" and "crisis" but not "crimes," despite the fact that Google Trend results show that people search for "Hillary Clinton crimes" a lot more than "Hillary Clinton crime reform." The video suggests some sort of reliance between the Clinton campaign and Eric Schmidt. But Vox reports there's a simpler explanation: "Choose any famous American who has been accused of a serious crime and Google their name followed by the letters "cri," and in no case does Google suggest the word "crimes." Apparently, Google has a policy of not suggesting that customers do searches on people's crimes. I have no inside knowledge of why it runs its search engine this way. Maybe Google is just uncomfortable with having an algorithm suggesting that people search for other people's crimes. In any event, there's no evidence that this is specific to Hillary Clinton, and therefore no reason to think this is a conspiracy by Google to help Clinton win the election." Earlier this week, Julian Assange stated Google is "directly engaged" with the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. It goes hand-in-hand with SourceFed's report, as they both mention Eric Schmidt's role in helping the Clinton campaign. Assange said, "The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, set up a company to run the digital component of Hillary Clinton's campaign."

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Amazon To Launch Streaming Music Service In Late Summer Or Early Fall: Report
Posted by News Fetcher on June 10 '16 at 03:52 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's another-music-service department:
If Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, YouTube, and Apple Music aren't enough to meet your music demands, you will be delighted to know that Amazon is also working on a streaming music service that it intends to launch in late summer or early fall. According to Reuters, Amazon's upcoming subscription-based service will be offered at $9.99 per month, in line with major rivals. From the report: Although it will be a late entrant to the crowded streaming space, Amazon believes a comprehensive music service is important to its bid to be a one-stop shop for content and goods, the sources said. The new music offering also is intended to increase the appeal of the Amazon Echo, its home speaker, which searches the Internet and orders products from the retailer with voice commands.

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