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Google's Project Zero Aims To Find Exploits Before Attackers Do
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's evil-hackers-respond-with-negative-one-day-exploits department:
DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Google has announced Project Zero, a group of security experts who will hunt down security flaws in all software which touches the Internet. Among the group is a 24-year-old called George Hotz who shot to fame in 2007 when he was the first to unlock the iPhone before reverse engineering the PlayStation 3."

Quoting the Project Zero announcement: You should be able to use the web without fear that a criminal or state-sponsored actor is exploiting software bugs to infect your computer, steal secrets or monitor your communications. Yet in sophisticated attacks, we see the use of "zero-day" vulnerabilities to target, for example, human rights activists or to conduct industrial espionage. This needs to stop. ...
We're not placing any particular bounds on this project and will work to improve the security of any software depended upon by large numbers of people, paying careful attention to the techniques, targets and motivations of attackers.


All issues will be reported to the usual public vulnerability databases after vendors are given a short period to fix their systems and software.

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OpenWRT 14.07 RC1 Supports Native IPv6, Procd Init System
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 08:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bofh-excuse-#3847-replacing-router-os department:
An anonymous reader writes Release Candidate One of OpenWRT 14.07 "Barrier Breaker" is released. Big for this tiny embedded Linux distribution for routers in 14.07 is native IPv6 support and the procd init system integration. The native IPv6 support is with the RA and DHCPv6+PD client and server support plus other changes. Procd is OpenWRT's new preinit, init, hotplug, and event system.

Perhaps not too exciting is support for upgrading on devices with NAND, and file system snapshot/restore so you can experiment without fear of leaving your network broken. There's also experimental support for the musl standard C library.

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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 07:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's not-imagining-things department:
New submitter NatasRevol (731260) writes The last three months were collectively the warmest ever experienced since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. From the article: "Taken as a whole, the just-finished three-month period was about 0.68 degrees Celsius (1.22 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average. That may not sound like much, but the added warmth has been enough to provide a nudge to a litany of weather and climate events worldwide. Arctic sea ice is trending near record lows for this time of year, abnormally warm ocean water helped spawn the earliest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in North Carolina, and a rash of heat waves have plagued cities from India to California to the Middle East." Also, it puts to bed the supposed 'fact' that there's been a pause in temperature increase the last 17 years. Raw data shows it's still increasing.

bizwriter also wrote in with some climate related news: A new report from libertarian think tank Heartland Institute claims that new government data debunks the concept of global climate change. However, an examination of the full data and some critical consideration shows that the organization, whether unintentionally or deliberately, has inaccurately characterized and misrepresented the information and what it shows.

The Heartland Institute skews the data by taking two points and ignoring all of the data in between, kind of like grabbing two zero points from <tt>sin(x)</tt> and claiming you're looking at a steady state function.

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Brazil Nut Effect Explains Mystery of the Boulder-Strewn Surfaces of Asteroids
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's asteroids-go-well-with-moon-cheese department:
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes When Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft gently maneuvered into a parking orbit around the asteroid Itokawa in September 2005, it conducted a comprehensive photographic survey, the most detailed ever taken of an asteroid. This survey revealed that Itokawa is covered in large boulders that look like ejecta from craters in other parts of the asteroid. But when astronomers added up the total volume of these boulders, it turned out to be greater than the volume of the craters there were supposed to have come from. Other asteroids also show a similarly skewed distribution of large boulders. That has caused some significant head-scratching among astronomers who are at a loss to explain where the boulders come from.

Now an international team has solved the mystery. They say the boulders float to the surface of asteroids in an astrophysical example of the Brazil nut effect. This is the long observed phenomenon in which shaking a mixture of big and small particles causes the larger ones to rise to the top. That's because the shaking creates gaps beneath the large particles that small particles fall into. The result is that the large particles float. The team simulated the shaking effect that collisions between asteroids would produce and say that these vibrations would cause large boulders to float to the surface in a few hours, finally explaining why asteroids have such boulder-strewn surfaces. Problem solved!


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Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 05:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's hope-you-don't-work-at-nokia department:
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes with news that Microsoft is reportedly planning a major staff reduction that would top Steve Ballmer's record 5,800-head layoff in 2009. From the article: The reductions — which may be unveiled as soon as this week — will probably be in areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

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Led By Nest, 'Thread' Might Be Most Promising IoT Initiative Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 05:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's n+1-standards department:
An anonymous reader writes "Nest, Big A%@ Fans, Yale door locks, ARM, Freescale, Samsung and Silicon Labs launch the Thread Group, a standards initiative for using 6LoWPAN-based network technology with mesh capabilities optimized for home automation. Because it blends IPv6 with low-power 802.15.4 radios, a layer of security, peer-to-peer communications, and other special sauce for whole-house connectivity, Thread looks extremely promising in an increasingly crowded field. Plus, millions of units of enabled products are already deployed by way of Nest's little-known Weave technology."

There's a press release. Thread is based on open technology, but it's not clear that the protocol specifications will be available for non-members.

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Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's spacetime-shifting-is-not-a-crime department:
Fox and Dish have been locking horns over Dish over its streaming and PVR services for a while now, and immediately after the Aereo ruling Fox sought an injunction against Dish's services. The court rejected the request. From the article: Fox pointed out the Supremes had reflected Aereo's argument (which it said was Dish's as well) that a performance was not public under the Copyright Act if each sub watches a unique stream. Fox's lawyer, Richard Stone, argued that Aereo was also essentially about attaching a Slingbox to a DVR. But that got some pushback. One judge countered that it was "completely different technology" and said that while that was the argument, "the Supreme court has all sorts of caveats in the opinion about how this was about Aereo and nothing else and a lot of the 'nothing elses' seem to be pretty similar to Slingbox."

The underlying case will continue moving forward (going to trial in early 2015).

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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 01:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's how-to-tell-wikileaks-is-winning department:
mpicpp (3454017) writes with news that Germany may be joining Russia in a paranoid switch from computers to typewriters for sensitive documents. From the article: Patrick Sensburg, chairman of the German parliament's National Security Agency investigative committee, now says he's considering expanding the use of manual typewriters to carry out his group's work. ... Sensburg said that the committee is taking its operational security very seriously. "In fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it's even a non-electronic typewriter," he said. If Sensburg's suggestion takes flight, the country would be taking a page out of the Russian playbook. Last year, the agency in charge of securing communications from the Kremlin announced that it wanted to spend 486,000 rubles (about $14,800) to buy 20 electric typewriters as a way to avoid digital leaks.

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Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '14 at 12:00 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's no-ambien-walrus-we-can't-drive-to-the-circle-k department:
cartechboy (2660665) writes Cars already have the technology to determine when you're drowsy, that's nothing new. But having seats with sensors in them monitoring your heart rate to determine if you're falling asleep, that's new, and creepy. A new project from Nottingham Trent University in the UK is working on an electrocardiogram (ECG) built into the driver's seat to detect heart rate and determine when the driver is too fatigued — or worse, falling asleep — in order to improve road safety. ... The system could take over using active cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other safety technology after warning the drive to pull over. Of course, the creepy part is the car knowing your health and determining whether it would be more fit to drive than you.

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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 08:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-build-a-few-nuclear-reactors department:
schwit1 (797399) writes with news that a UK study has found that folks concerned about climate change don't do much to conserve power at home. From the article: Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is "too far into the future to worry about," the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and climate change found. That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. However, even when pensioners are discounted, there is only a "weak trend" to show that people who profess to care about climate change do much to cut their energy use. The findings were based on the Household Electricity Survey, which closely monitored the electricity use and views of 250 families over a year. The report (PDF), by experts from Loughborough University and Cambridge Architectural Research, was commissioned and published by DECC.

High power use doesn't have to be dirty: Replace coal, methane, and petroleum with nuclear, wind, solar, etc.

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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 07:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's spread-the-computing department:
New submitter jorge_salazar (3562633) writes Pieces of the decommissioned Ranger supercomputer, 40 racks in all, were shipped to researchers in South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana to help seed their supercomputing aspirations. They say they'll need supercomputers to solve their growing science problems in astronomy, bioinformatics, climate modeling and more. Ranger's own beginnings were described by the co-founder of Sun Microsystems as a 'historic moment in petaflop computing."

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'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 04:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's freedom-eagle department:
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Hidden From Google, the brainchild of a web programmer in New Jersey, archives each website that Google is required to take down from European Union search listings thanks to the recent court decision that allows people to request that certain pages be scrubbed from Google's search results if they're outdated or irrelevant. That decision has resulted in takedown requests from convicted sex offenders and huge banking companies, among thousands of others."

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AMD FirePro W9100 16GB Workstation GPU Put To the Test
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 04:01 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's more-power department:
Dputiger (561114) writes "It has been almost two years since AMD launched the FirePro W9000 and kicked off a heated battle in the workstation GPU wars with NVIDIA. AMD recently released the powerful FirePro W9100, however, a new card based on the same Hawaii-class GPU as the desktop R9 290X, but aimed at the professional workstation market. The W9100's GPU features 2,816 stream processors, and the card boasts 320GB/s of memory bandwidth, and six mini-DisplayPorts, all of which support DP1.2 and 4K output. The W9100 carries more RAM than any other AMD GPU as well, a whopping 16GB of GDDR5 on a single card. Even NVIDIA's top-end Quadro K6000 tops out at 12GB, which means AMD sits in a class by itself in this area. In terms of performance, this review shows that the FirePro W9100 doesn't always outshine its competition, but its price/performance ratio keep it firmly in the running. But if AMD continues to improve its product mix and overall software support, it should close the gap even more in the pro GPU market in the next 18-24 months."

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Coming Soon(ish) From LG: Transparent, Rollup Display
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's animated-wall-paper department:
jfruh (300774) writes Korean electronics manufacturer LG has shown off experimental see-through, l roll-up displays, paper thin and flexible and capable of letting through about 30% of the light that strikes it. The company is eager to sell the concept and promises it'll be arriving soon, though they've shown of similar (though less capable) technology over the past few years and have yet to bring any products to market.

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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-your-data-are-belong-to-us department:
An anonymous reader points out this story about the U.S. Justice Department's claim that companies served with valid warrants for data must produce that data even if the data is not stored in the U.S. Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border. A magistrate judge has already sided with the government's position, ruling in April that "the basic principle that an entity lawfully obligated to produce information must do so regardless of the location of that information." Microsoft appealed to a federal judge, and the case is set to be heard on July 31.

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Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek To Control the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's learning-to-troll department:
Advocatus Diaboli writes The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, "amplif[y]" sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be "extremist." The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call. The tools were created by GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG's use of "fake victim blog posts," "false flag operations," "honey traps" and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users.

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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-soon department:
Billly Gates writes A leaked alpha of Windows 9 has been brewing on the internet. Today a screenshot shows what MS showed us at BUILD which includes a start menu with additional tiny tiles for things like people, calendar, pc settings, and news etc. "The new hybridized Start menu appears to be part of build 9788, which was compiled on July 4. While no one seems to have leaked the ISOs for build 9788 yet, the general consensus seems to be that the build does indeed exist somewhere at Microsoft — and that it might also feature Windows NT kernel version 6.4 (i.e. the complete version number is 6.4.9788). The screenshots show a Windows 8.1 Pro watermark, but this isn’t unusual for a very early alpha of a new build of Windows. If this really is the next version of the Windows NT kernel, then we’re most likely looking at an early build of Windows 9 (Threshold) rather than Windows 8.2."

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Three-Year Deal Nets Hulu Exclusive Rights To South Park
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you've-sold-Kenny! department:
First time accepted submitter gunner_von_diamond writes with news about a deal between the creators of South Park and Hulu. If you're a fan of South Park, you better be a fan of Hulu as well. Specifically, Hulu Plus. The creators of the funny, foul-mouthed animated TV show have signed a deal with the online streaming service. Valued at more than $80 million, the three-year deal grants Hulu exclusive rights to stream the 240+ episode back catalog of South Park in addition to all new episodes (as soon as they've aired on Comedy Central). "This is a natural partnership for us. We are excited that the entire library will be available on Hulu and that the best technology around will power South Park Digital Studios," said creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in a statement.

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FCC Public Comment Period For Net Neutrality Ends Tomorrow, July 15
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's use-your-outside-voice department:
samzenpus (5) writes "The deadline for the FCC's public comment period on their proposed net neutrality rule is coming up fast. The final day to let the FCC know what you think is tomorrow, July 15. A total of 647,000 comments have already been sent. Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and other tech companies are making a final push for net neutrality saying that the FCC decision, "shifts the balance from the consumers' freedom of choice to the broadband Internet access providers' gatekeeping decisions." The Consumerist has a guide to help you through the comment process, so make sure your voice is heard."

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From Florida
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '14 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's final-countdown department:
An anonymous reader writes After two months of delays, SpaceX was successful today with its launch of six Orbcomm telecommunications satellites. All six satellites have been successfully deployed in orbit. The 375-pound satellites will offer two-way data links to help customers track, monitor and control transportation and logistics assets, heavy equipment, oil and gas infrastructure, ships and buoys, and government-owned equipment. From the article: "SpaceX plans to use Monday's launch to test a landing system it is developing to fly its rockets back to the launch site for refurbishment and reuse. During Falcon 9's last flight in April, the first stage successfully restarted some of its engines as it careened toward the ocean, slowing its descent. The rocket also was able to deploy stabilizing landing legs before toppling over in the water. The booster, however, was destroyed by rough seas before it could be retrieved by recovery ships. Monday's launch was the 10th flight of Falcon 9 rocket, all of which have been successful."

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