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Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 09:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-one-reads-my-posts department:
First time accepted submitter catparty (3600549) writes An examination of what we can know about Facebook's new machine learning News Feed algorithm. From the article: "Facebook's current News Feed algorithm might be smarter, but some of its core considerations don't stray too far from the groundwork laid by EdgeRank, though thanks to machine learning, Facebook's current algorithm has a better ear for 'signals from you.' Facebook confirmed to us that the new News Feed ranking algorithm does indeed take 100,000 weighted variables into account to determine what we see. These factors help Facebook display an average 300 posts culled from roughly 1,500 possible posts per day, per user."

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The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 08:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's beards-give-you-science-powers department:
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes Based on all the experiments we've ever been able to perform, we're quite certain that our Universe, from the largest scales down to the microscopic, obeys the physical laws of three spatial dimensions (and one time dimension): a four-dimensional spacetime. But that's not the only possibility mathematically. People had experimented with bringing a fifth dimension in to unify General Relativity with Electromagnetism in the past, but that was regarded as a dead-end. Then in the 1970s, an unknown theoretical physicist working on the string model of the strong interactions discovered that by going into the 26th dimension, some incredibly interesting physics emerged, and String Theory was born.

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PayPal's Two-Factor Authentication Can Be Bypassed Using eBay Bug
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 07:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's get-your-60day-exploits department:
About six weeks ago, a hole in Paypal's two factor authentication and their mobile client was discovered. hypnosec (2231454) wrote in with news of another trivial way to bypass Paypal's two-factor authentication. A bug in a feature for eBay integration allows passing a GET parameter to completely bypass two-factor authentication, and you don't even need to be coming from eBay to use it. You still need the password, but additional protection is lost. From the article: eBay, in conjunction with Paypal, provide a service as to where you can link your eBay account to your Paypal account, and when you sell something on eBay, the fees automatically come out of your Paypal account. ... When you are redirected to the login page, the URL contains "<tt>=_integrated-registration</tt>." ... Once you're actually logged in, a cookie is set with your details, and you're redirected to a page to confirm the details of the process. And this is where the exploit lays. Now just load http://www.paypal.com/ , and you are logged in, and don't need to re-enter your login.

So, the actual bug itself is that the "<tt>=_integrated-registration</tt>" function does not check for a 2FA code, despite logging you into Paypal.

You could repeat the process using the same <tt>"=_integrated-registration</tt>" page unlimited times.


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Open Source Pioneer Michael Tiemann On Open Source Business Success
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's smash-the-system department:
ectoman (594315) writes Opensource.com has a summary of an interview with Michael Tiemann, co-founder of Cygnus Solutions and one of the world's first open source entrepreneurs. Now VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, Tiemann offers an historical perspective on what makes open source businesses successful, and shares how he dealt with the open source movement's early skeptics. "A lot of the skepticism is a response to the abstract; it's a response to the unknown," Tiemann says, "And when you bring a concrete success story with just absolutely stellar credentials that doesn't just outperform the field, but embarrasses the field, then the skeptics begin to look like they're on the wrong side."

The full audio interview on Hacker Public radio (~1 hour).

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Ex-Autonomy CFO: HP Trying To Hide Truth
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 06:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bad-decisions department:
jfruh (300774) writes The fallout from HP's Autonomy acquisition keeps getting more dramatic. Autonomy's ex-CFO is trying to block the settlement of lawsuits that arsoe the botched deal, claiming that HP is trying to hide its "own destruction of Autonomy's success after the acquisition." HP hit back, saying the ex-CFO "was one of the chief architects of the massive fraud on HP that precipitated this litigation."

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Leaked Docs Offer Win 8 Tip: FinFisher Spyware Can't Tap Skype's Metro App
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 05:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's never-trust-proprietary-software department:
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "A string of documents detailing the operations and effectiveness of the FinFisher suite of surveillance platforms appears to have been leaked. The documents, some dated 4 April this year, detail the anti-virus detection rates of the FinFisher spyware which German based Gamma Group sold to governments and law enforcement agencies. The dump also reveals Windows 8 users should opt for the Metro version of Skype rather than the desktop client because it cannot be tapped by FinFisher."

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LinkedIn Busted In Wage Theft Investigation
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's sudden-outbreak-of-workers-rights department:
fiannaFailMan (702447) writes that LinkedIn was just fined for the all too common practice of requiring workers to work off the clock Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, LinkedIn has agreed to pay over $3 million in overtime back wages and $2.5 million in liquidated damages to 359 former and current employees working at company branches in four states. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires companies to have record-keeping systems in place to record overtime hours worked and to ensure that employees are paid for those hours, requirements that the company was not meeting.

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Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Requests Suppression Of Silk Road Evidence
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 04:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's go-long department:
Despite a failed attempt to have charges dismissed, the alleged Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht's lawyer has filed a new motion to have evidence dismissed, citing recent court rulings in an argument that the Silk Road related searches were overly broad. From the article:

Dratel [Ulbricht's lawyer] argues in his 102-page motion filed last Friday that "the government conducted a series of 14 searches and seizures of various physical devices containing electronically stored information ('ESI'), and of ESI itself from Internet providers and other sources. Some of the ESI was obtained via search warrant, but other ESI was obtained via court order, and still other ESI was obtained without benefit of any warrant at all." ...

The defense lawyer argues that even the searches for which the government had a warrant were overbroad and based on evidence that may have been obtained illegally. The attorney writes: " As set forth ante, all of the searches and seizures conducted pursuant to warrants and/or orders were based on the initial ability of the government to locate the Silk Road Servers, obtain the ESI on them, and perform extensive forensic analysis of that ESI. Thus, all subsequent searches and seizures are invalid if that initial locating the Silk Road Servers, obtaining their ESI, and gaining real-time continued access to those servers, was accomplished unlawfully."


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Synolocker 0-Day Ransomware Puts NAS Files At Risk
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '14 at 01:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's you-have-an-offsite-backup-right? department:
Deathlizard (115856) writes "Have a Synology NAS? Is it accessible to the internet? If it is, You might want to take it offline for a while. Synolocker is a 0-day ransomware that once installed, will encrypt all of the NAS's files and hold them for ransom just like Cryptolocker does for windows PC's. The Virus is currently exploiting an unknown vulnerability to spread. Synology is investagating the issue."

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Australia Rebooting Search For MH370
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 11:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's soon-to-be-best-mapped-area-on-earth department:
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that two months after pausing its search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is ready to reboot its search. The ATSB is poised to select among bids from the world's most-advanced deep-water specialists, including offshore oil-and-gas companies, maritime research institutions and treasure hunters eager to use their technologies and experience to solve the Flight 370 riddle—and potentially raise their own profiles in the process. ... With no hard evidence of where the plane went down, the search will test the recovery industry's abilities like nothing before. In June, Australian authorities shifted the search zone for a third time — by about 600 miles to the southwest — after reanalyzing satellite transmissions. Even then, they said it was impossible to know whether the fresh search area would prove correct."

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Harvesting Wi-Fi Backscatter To Power Internet of Things Sensors
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 08:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's energy-everywhere department:
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Imagine a world in which your wristwatch or other wearable device communicates directly with your online profiles, storing information about your daily activities where you can best access it – all without requiring batteries. Or, battery-free sensors embedded around your home that could track minute-by-minute temperature changes and send that information to your thermostat to help conserve energy. This not-so-distant 'Internet of Things' reality would extend connectivity to perhaps billions of devices. Sensors could be embedded in everyday objects to help monitor and track everything from the structural safety of bridges to the health of your heart. But having a way to cheaply power and connect these devices to the Internet has kept this from taking off. Now, University of Washington engineers have designed a new communication system that uses radio frequency signals as a power source and reuses existing Wi-Fi infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity to these devices. Called Wi-Fi backscatter, this technology is the first that can connect battery-free devices to Wi-Fi infrastructure. The researchers will publish their results at the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Data Communication's annual conference this month in Chicago. The team also plans to start a company based on the technology.

The Pre-print research paper.

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SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 06:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's to-the-moon department:
AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes Today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that SpaceX has chosen a site at Boca Chica Beach, Texas, as the location where SpaceX will build its rocket launch facility. The Boca Chica site, at the southern tip of Texas near Brownsville and South Padre Island, had been competing with sites in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, but had been named the frontrunner to land the site by Musk when he testified to the Texas state legislature in 2013. The spaceport will be the first privately-owned vertical rocket launch facility in the world, and will target commercial customers. State and local governments have pledged to provide a total of about $20 million in incentives to attract SpaceX to the site.

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Least Secure Cars Revealed At Black Hat
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 04:31 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's why-bother-cutting-the-brake-lines department:
Lucas123 (935744) writes Research by two security experts presenting at Black Hat this week has labeled the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and the 2014 Toyota Prius as among the vehicles most vulnerable to hacking because of security holes that can be accessed through a car's Bluetooth, telematics, or on-board phone applications. The most secure cars include the Dodge Viper, the Audi A8, and the Honda Accord, according to Researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. Millar and Valasek will reveal the full report on Wednesday, but spoke to Dark Reading today with some preliminary data. The two security experts didn't physically test the vehicles in question, but instead used information about the vehicles' automated capabilities and internal network. "We can't say for sure we can hack the Jeep and not the Audi," Valasek told Dark Reading. "But... the radio can always talk to the brakes" because both are on the same network. According to the "Connected Car Cybersecurity" report from ABI Research, there have been "quite a few proof of concepts" demonstrating interception of wireless signals of tire pressure monitoring systems, impairing anti-theft systems, and taking control of self-driving and remote control features through a vehicle's internal bus, known as controller area network (CAN).

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Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 04:01 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's end-of-line department:
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes Sony has decided to follow up closing its ebook stores in the U.S. and Europe by getting out of the consumer ebook reader market entirely. (Yes, Sony was still making ereaders.) The current model (the Sony Reader PRS-T3) will be sold until stock runs out, and Sony won't be releasing a new model. This is a sad end for what used to be a pioneering company. This gadget maker might not have made the first ebook reader but it was the first to use the paper-like E-ink screen. Having launched the Sony Librie in 2004, Sony literally invented the modern ebook reader and it then went on to release the only 7" models to grace the market as well as the first ereader to combine a touchscreen and frontlight (the Sony Reader PRS-700). Unfortunately Sony couldn't come up with software or an ebook retail site which matched their hardware genius, so even though Sony released amazing hardware it had been losing ground to Amazon, B&N, and other retailers ever since the Kindle launched in 2007.

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"Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 03:16 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's illuminati-controlled-anti-virals-of-course department:
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with news that the two Americans infected with Ebola in Liberia and transported to Atlanta for treatment were given an experimental drug, and their conditions appear to be improving. From the article: While some people do fight off the disease on their own, in the case of the two Americans, an experimental serum may have saved their lives. As Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol waited in a Liberian hospital, someone from the National Institutes of Health reached out to Samaritan's Purse, one of the two North Carolina-based Christian relief groups the two were working with, and offered to have vials of an experimental drug called ZMapp sent to Liberia, according to CNN's unnamed source. Although the Food and Drug Administration does allow experimental drugs to occasionally be distributed in life-threatening circumstances without approval under the expanded access or "compassionate use" conditions. It's not yet clear whether that approval was granted in this case or not. ... Brantly, who had been sick for nine days already ... [received] the first dose ... within an hour, he was able to breathe better and a rash on his body started to fade. The next day he was able to shower without help before boarding the air ambulance that flew him to Atlanta.

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Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 02:30 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's not-everybody-loved-the-idea-of-putting-the-masses-online department:
Back in the dawn of prehistory, only universities, government agencies, and a few big corporations could get on the Internet. The rest of us either had computers connected to nothing (except maybe an electric outlet), Compuserve, Prodigy, AOL or another service or possibly to an online bulletin board service (BBS). And then, one day in 1989, Barry Shein hooked a server and some modems to an Internet node he managed for a corporate/academic wholesale Internet provider -- and started selling dialup accounts for $20 per month to individuals, small companies, and just about anyone else who came along. Barry called his ISP The World, which is still out there with a retro home page ("Page last modified April 27, 2006"), still selling shell accounts. We may run a second interview with Barry next week, so please stay tuned. (<a>Alternate Video Link</a>)

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Want To Work Without Prying Eyes? Try Wearing a Body Sock
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cover-yourself department:
Nerval's Lobster writes The "Compubody Sock," which anyone with knitting skills can make at home, is a giant sock-hoodie-bag in which you place your laptop or tablet, along with your head and hands, giving you total privacy while freaking out anyone who happens to be sitting next to you. Designer Becky Stern told Forbes' Kashmir Hill that the Sock was meant more as commentary on privacy and device addiction; even so, considering how NSA employees reportedly drape themselves in hoods in order to thwart hidden cameras while typing in passwords, it's not outside the realm of possibility that an ultra-paranoid someone could find a practical use for a body sock. But that paranoid android better have expert knitting skills: putting together the Sock necessitates a whole lot of steps ("Purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn the work," etc.). Your other option, of course, is to simply avoid working on sensitive stuff in public.

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Robotic Suit Gives Shipyard Workers Super Strength
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's power-up department:
An anonymous reader writes Ship-builders Daewoo have been testing robotic exoskeletons in South Korean shipyards that provide the wearer with super-human strength. From the article: "The exoskeleton fits anyone between 160 and 185 centimetres tall. Workers do not feel the weight of its 28-kilogram frame of carbon, aluminium alloy and steel, as the suit supports itself and is engineered to follow the wearer's movements. With a 3-hour battery life, the exoskeleton allows users to walk at a normal pace and, in its prototype form, it can lift objects with a mass of up to 30 kilograms."

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Comcast Gives 6 Months Free Internet To Poor and Unpaid Bill Amnesty
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-some-internet department:
An anonymous reader writes with news about a controversial Comcast program designed to give internet access to the poor that just got a little better. After complaints about a program that offers cheap Internet service to poor people, Comcast today announced it will provide "up to six months" of free Internet to new subscribers and an "amnesty" program for families with unpaid bills. Comcast's Internet Essentials, mandated by the federal government when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal, gives $10-per-month Internet service to low-income households with schoolchildren. Critics have argued that the program is too hard to sign up for, that eligibility criteria should be less strict, and that further requirements should be implemented if Comcast is allowed to buy Time Warner Cable.

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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '14 at 12:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's moving-to-better-quarters-on-campus department:
cartechboy writes Remember four years ago when Tesla's new headquarters in Palo Alto, California seemed like a big risk? Yeah, time flies and now the Silicon Valley startup is already running out of room. Apparently the electric-car maker is already looking for 200,000-300,000 square feet of office space in the lower Peninsula market. Part of the motivation is that the company would like to have employees closer to its Fremont factory, which is 20 miles from its current headquarters. With heavy traffic that journey can take up to an hour or more. While not looking to relocate its headquarters, Tesla's simply looking to expand its space. Meanwhile, we all eagerly await to hear if the Gigafactory will indeed end up being built in Nevada.

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