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Analysis of Linux Backdoor Used In Freenode Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's silent-but-deadly department:
An anonymous reader writes "A detailed analysis has been done of the Linux backdoor used in the freenode hack. It employed port knocking and encryption to provide security against others using it. This seems a little more sophisticated than your average black-hat hacker.

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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-only-works-for-left-handed-people department:
New submitter chaosdivine69 writes: According to Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU), they have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only two minutes and have a 20-year lifespan (10,000 charges). The impact of this is potentially a game changer for a lot of industries reliant on lithium ion batteries. In the car industry, for example, consumers would save on costs for battery replacement and manufacturers would save on material construction (the researchers are using a nanotube structure of Titanium dioxide, which is an abundant, cheap, and safe material found in soil). Titanium dioxide is commonly used as a food additive or in sunscreen lotions to absorb harmful ultraviolet rays. It is believed that charging an electric car can be done in as little as 5 minutes, making it comparable to filling up a tank of gasoline.

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How Women Became Gamers Through D&D
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's century-of-exclusion department:
An anonymous reader writes: To add some historical context to the currently controversy surrounding attitudes toward women in gaming, Jon Peterson provides an in-depth historical look at the unsurprisingly male origins of the "gamer" identity. It also examines how Dungeons & Dragons helped to open the door for women in gaming — overturning a sixty-year-old dogma that was born when Wells's Little Wars first assumed the "disdain" of women for gaming.

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Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nobody-needs-wyoming-for-anything-important department:
1sockchuck writes: A massive solar array in central New Jersey provides the daytime power for a server farm delivering online financial services for McGraw Hill. The 50-acre field of photovoltaic solar panels symbolizes a new phase in the use of renewable energy in data centers. Massive arrays can now provide tens of megawatts of solar power for companies (including Apple) that can afford the land and the expense. But some data center thought leaders argue that these huge fields are more about marketing than genuinely finding the best approach to a greener cloud.

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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's spider-goat-spider-goat-does-whatever-a-spider-goat-does department:
gthuang88 writes: Spider silk is touted for its strength and potential to be used in body armor, sports gear, and even artificial tendons and implants. Now several companies including EntoGenetics, Kraig Labs, and Araknitek have developed genetic approaches to producing commercial quantities of the stuff. One method is to implant spider genes into silkworms, which then act as spider-silk factories. Another is to place the gene that encodes spider web production into the DNA of goats; these "spidergoats" then produce milk containing spider-silk proteins that can be extracted. There's still a long way to go, however, and big companies like DuPont and BASF have tried and failed to commercialize similar materials.

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The Subtle Developer Exodus From the Mac App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's grass-is-greener department:
An anonymous reader writes: Milen Dzhumerov, a software developer for OS X and iOS, has posted a concise breakdown of the problems with the Mac App Store. He says the lack of support for trial software and upgrades drives developers away by preventing them from making a living. Forced sandboxing kills many applications before they get started, and the review system isn't helpful to anyone. Dzhumerov says all of these factors, and Apple's unwillingness to address them, are leading to the slow but steady erosion of quality software in the Mac App Store.

"The relationship between consumers and developers is symbiotic, one cannot exist without the other. If the Mac App Store is a hostile environment for developers, we are going to end up in a situation where, either software will not be supported anymore or even worse, won't be made at all. And the result is the same the other way around – if there are no consumers, businesses would go bankrupt and no software will be made. The Mac App Store can be work in ways that's beneficial to both developers and consumers alike, it doesn't have to be one or the other. If the MAS is harmful to either developers or consumers, in the long term, it will be inevitably harmful to both."


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Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-many-eyes-something-something department:
iONiUM writes: According to a few news articles, the general public has taken notice of all the recent security breaches in open source software. From the article: "Hackers have shaken the free-software movement that once symbolized the Web's idealism. Several high-profile attacks in recent months exploited security flaws found in the "open-source" software created by volunteers collaborating online, building off each other's work."

While it's true that open source means you can review the actual code to ensure there's no data-theft, loggers, or glaring security holes, that idealism doesn't really help out most people who simply don't have time, or the knowledge, to do it. As such, the trust is left to the open source community, and is that really so different than leaving it to a corporation with closed source?"


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Rosetta Takes Stunning Self-Portrait 10 Miles From Comet's Surface
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's pretty-pictures department:
astroengine writes: At a distance of only 10 miles from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's surface, the European Rosetta mission has captured yet another dazzling self portrait with the dark comet lurking in the background. But the orbiter couldn't have snapped this picture without the help of a little friend — the attached Philae lander that is currently undergoing preparations for its historic comet surface landing in November.

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Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 33 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. Additions include OpenH264 support as well as the ability to send video content from webpages to a second screen. Firefox 33 for the desktop is available for download now on Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. As always, the Android version is trickling out slowly on Google Play. Full changelogs are available here: desktop and Android."

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ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's connecting-pipe-a-to-tab-q department:
Dupple writes One of the most frequent refrains from the big broadband players and their friends who are fighting against net neutrality rules is that there's no evidence that ISPs have been abusing a lack of net neutrality rules in the past, so why would they start now? That does ignore multiple instances of violations in the past, but in combing through the comments submitted to the FCC concerning net neutrality, we came across one very interesting one that actually makes some rather stunning revelations about the ways in which ISPs are currently violating net neutrality/open internet principles in a way designed to block encryption and thus make everyone a lot less secure.

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How English Beat German As the Language of Science
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's allgegenwart-und-einfachkeit department:
HughPickens.com writes German was the dominant scientific language in 1900. Today if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it's most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English. Look no further than the Nobel Prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English. How did English come to dominate German in the realm of science? BBC reports that the major shock to the system was World War One, which had two major impacts. According to Gordin, after World War One, Belgian, French and British scientists organized a boycott of scientists from Germany and Austria. They were blocked from conferences and weren't able to publish in Western European journals. "Increasingly, you have two scientific communities, one German, which functions in the defeated [Central Powers] of Germany and Austria, and another that functions in Western Europe, which is mostly English and French," says Gordin.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's killjoys-in-uniform department:
stephendavion writes You might be super happy to toil away on your phone or tablet the entire time you're on a plane, but not everyone is pleased to see your face buried in your device during takeoff and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration's new, more relaxed rules on gadget use aren't sitting well with one group — flight attendants. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the nation's largest flight attendant union is now suing the FAA to have the ban on gadget use during takeoff and landing reinstated. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA argues that the change has caused many passengers to ignore flight attendants' emergency announcements, and that the new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing.

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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-for-body-surfing department:
gurps_npc (621217) writes "CNN has a very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy. The system is made out of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it. The exoskeleton does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carrying the heavy tool.

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Navy Tests Unpowered Exoskeleton
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-for-body-surfing department:
gurps_npc (621217) writes "CNN has a very interesting article about an unpowered exoskeleton system called Fortis. Unlike the more famous TALOS system, this exoskeleton uses zero electricity, so it does not need batteries or an extension cord. Power requirements have always been the problem with powered exoskeletons, as batteries are heavy. The system is made out of lightweight aluminum and heavy tools connect directly to it. The weight of the tools is supported by the exoskeleton, so your arms, back and legs don't have to carry it. You only need to use muscle to move the tool, not simply carry it. The exoskeleton does not make you stronger. Instead it effectively increases your stamina by relieving fatigue caused by carrying the heavy tool.

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Will New European Commission Leaders Welcome Open Source and Open Standards?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-are-you-people department:
First time accepted submitter jenwike writes As Neelie Kroes leaves the office of the European Commission's VP of the Digital Agenda, we need to take a look the new, incoming leadership and ask where they stand on open source software and open standards. The Public Policy Director for Red Hat, Paul Brownell, gives thoughts on the two politicians that President-Elect Junker has named to lead on ICT for the new Commission: former Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has been named as Vice President for Digital Single Market; and incumbent European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger (a German politician and lawyer) has been named as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

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Too Much Privacy: Finnish Police Want Big Euro Notes Taken Out of Circulation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's convenience-of-the-state department:
jones_supa writes The Finnish Police is concerned that larger banknotes, namely the 200 euro and 500 euro banknotes, encourage criminal activity and should therefore be removed from the Finnish cash circulation. Head of the Money Laundering Clearing House of Finland, Markku Ranta-aho, says criminals prefer cash because it is harder for police to track. In contrast, a record of electronic money transfers remains in the banking system, which makes the police's job considerably easier. Ranta-aho also says that citizens rarely use the larger banknotes anyway, with which The Bank of Finland's advisor Kari Takala agrees. However, The Bank of Finland is sceptical about the ability of a ban on 500 euro banknotes to eliminate underground labour and trade in Finland. Takala suggests that criminals would just switch to smaller bills. More illegal transactions take place via bank transfers, he says.

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Dropbox Wasn't Hacked, Says Leaked Credentials Are From Unrelated Services
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's effect-is-the-same-to-users department:
An anonymous reader writes Dropbox has denied that they have been hacked, and that the login credentials leaked by a unknown individual on Pastebin are those of Dropbox users. "Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox," Anton Mityagin from the Dropbox security department noted in a post.

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Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 04:32 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's fighting-for-reasoned-debate department:
An anonymous reader writes: Developer Paul Chiusano thinks much of programming culture has been infected by a "worse is better" mindset, where trade-offs to preserve compatibility and interoperability cripple the functionality of vital languages and architectures. He says, "[W]e do not merely calculate in earnest to what extent tradeoffs are necessary or desirable, keeping in mind our goals and values -- there is a culture around making such compromises that actively discourages people from even considering more radical, principled approaches." Chiusano takes C++ as an example, explaining how Stroustrup's insistence that it retain full compatibility with C has led to decades of problems and hacks.

He says this isn't necessarily the wrong approach, but the culture of software development prevents us from having a reasoned discussion about it. "Developing software is a form of investment management. When a company or an individual develops a new feature, inserts a hack, hires too quickly without sufficient onboarding or training, or works on better infrastructure for software development (including new languages, tools, and the like), these are investments or the taking on of debt. ... The outcome of everyone solving their own narrow short-term problems and never really revisiting the solutions is the sea of accidental complexity we now operate in, and which we all recognize is a problem."


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Windows Flaw Allowed Hackers To Spy On NATO, Ukraine, Others
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '14 at 01:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hand-in-the-cookie-jar department:
An anonymous reader writes: Reuters reports that a cybersecurity firm has found evidence that a bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system has allowed hackers located in Russia to spy on computers used by NATO, Ukraine, the European Union, and others for the past five years. Before disclosing the flaw, the firm alerted Microsoft, who plans to roll out a fix on Tuesday. "While technical indicators do not indicate whether the hackers have ties to the Russian government, Hulquist said he believed they were supported by a nation state because they were engaging in espionage, not cyber crime. For example, in December 2013, NATO was targeted with a malicious document on European diplomacy. Several regional governments in the Ukraine and an academic working on Russian issues in the United States were sent tainted emails that claimed to contain a list of pro-Russian extremist activities, according to iSight."

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Netflix Video Speed On FiOS Doubles After Netflix-Verizon Deal
Posted by News Fetcher on October 13 '14 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
An anonymous reader writes: Verizon now joins AT&T and Time Warner Cable in the list of ISPs on which Netflix streaming has significantly improved after Netflix paid for access to their networks. Ars Technica notes that "[t]he interconnection deals give Netflix a direct connection to the edge of the Internet providers' networks, bypassing congested links, but without receiving priority treatment after entering the networks." The success of these deals, however, gives the ISPs no incentive whatsoever to fix their congested links. Toll roads have, in essence, been created for the internet.

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