By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hatching-a-plan department
HughPickens.com shares an article from The Verge: Bill Gates' philanthropic efforts are usually greeted with near-universal praise, but a recent attempt by the US billionaire to donate 100,000 chickens ruffled some feathers. The leftist government of Bolivia...has refused the donation, describing Gates' gift as "offensive." "He does not know Bolivia's reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce," said Cesar Cocarico [Bolivia's minister of land and rural development]... "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us."
Gates' "Coop Dreams" initiative partnered with Heifer International, a group which fights poverty by delivering livestock and agricultural training, to deliver 100,000 chickens around the world, mostly to sub-Saharan Africa, as a way to improve the lives of people making $2 a day. In a blog post Gates noted that chickens are cheap and easy to take care, while selling flocks of chickens can be a profitable business, and raising chickens offers other benefits to children and families. "Our foundation is betting on chickens..." Gates writes, adding "if I were in their shoes, that's what I would do -- I would raise chickens."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's technology-and-money department
In an interview with The Atlantic, Ev Williams, best known for co-founding Blogger, Twitter, and Medium, says the web is about money now -- and not creativity. According to him, the burst of creativity has repeatedly been followed by big companies showing up and locking it down. From the article: But the thing about dreaming up a future, and making it real, is then you have to live in it. Back in San Francisco, coming out of the BART station on Market Street, he admits that the web game has changed since he came up. [Editor's note: he is talking about web services that allow you to book a taxi with an app, pay for stuff you purchase with your phone]. "There were always ecommerce startups," he says. "I was never part of that world, and we kind of looked down on them when the whole boom was happening. We were creating businesses, but ours had more creativity, ours weren't just for the money. Or maybe ours were even for utility but not just money, whereas clearly there are ways for both." He laughs. "Even the Google guys -- they were trying to create something really useful and good for the world, and they made all the money." Software developer and writer Dave Winer disagrees. He believes that not all technologies are money-driven -- at least when you look at it from a different perspective. He writes: The fun is over. Now it's about money. I guess that's what you see from his perspective. And from Facebook, Apple and Google, and maybe Oracle and Salesforce, and a few others. But there are technologies that went a different way. My favorite example is Manhattan's relationship to Central Park. The apartment buildings around the park are the money, and the creativity is in the park. The buildings are exclusive, the most expensive real estate in the world. The park is open to anyone, rich or poor, from anywhere in the world. The park is the engine of renewal. It's where the new stuff comes from. The buildings are where the money is parked. In the interview Williams did with the Atlantic, in NYC, they looked into the park from a nearby hotel. That's one valid perspective of course. Or you could go for a walk and see wha''s happening inside the park. You can see a great concert at Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall, but there's great music in the park too. It's different. But it's good music. And the price is right.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Flash-in-the-pan department
An anonymous reader quotes an article from BankInfoSecurity:
Security experts are once again warning enterprises to immediately update -- or delete -- all instances of the Adobe Flash Player they may have installed on any system in the wake of reports that a zero-day flaw in the web browser plug-in is being targeted by an advanced persistent threat group.... The bug exists in Adobe Flash Player 18.104.22.168 and earlier versions -- running on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS -- and "successful exploitation could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system."
Thursday Adobe released an updated version of Flash patching 36 separate vulnerabilities, including the critical vulnerability which "if exploited would allow malicious native-code to execute, potentially without a user being aware." While applauding Adobe's quick response, researchers at Kaspersky Lab say it's already been exploited in Russia, Nepal, South Korea, China, India, Kuwait and Romania, and BankInfoSecurity writes that "The latest warning over this campaign reinforces just how often APT attackers target Flash, thus making a potential business case for banning it for inside the enterprise."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's this-should-be-fun department
Even if you pay only a fraction of your time on security news, you probably already know Mikko Hypponen (Twitter, Wikipedia). He is the Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, a security firm he joined over two decades ago. Hypponen has assisted law enforcement in the United States, Europe and Asia on cybercrime cases, and has also made several appearances on BBC, TED talks, TEDx, DLD, SXSW, Black Hat, DEF CON, and Google Zeitgeist among others. He has also written for CNN, The New York Times, Wired, and BetaNews. Hypponen has closely watched computers, networks, and security spaces grow over the years. In 2011, Hypponen tracked down the authors of the first PC virus in history -- Brain.A. Whether you want to know about the early days of malware -- when they were mostly created by hobbyists, or an inside view of the challenges security firms face today, or how exactly does one keep himself or herself safe in the increasingly terrifying world, use the comments section to leave your question.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's data-field-maneuvers department
The Air Force now says it will be able to recover those 100,000 investigation files dating back to 2004, after "aggressively leveraging all vendor and department capabilities." An anonymous reader quotes a report from Government Executive about the mysteriously corrupted database:
In a short, four-sentence statement released midday on Wednesday, service officials said the Air Force continues to investigate the embarrassing incident in which the files and their backups were corrupted. "Through extensive data recovery efforts over the weekend and this week, the Air Force has been able to regain access to the data in the Air Force Inspector General Automated Case Tracking System..." the statement reads. Earlier on Wednesday, the Air Force chief of staff said that the effort to recover the files involved Lockheed Martin and Oracle, the two defense contractors that run the database, plus Air Force cyber and defense cyber crime personnel.
The Chief of Staff hopes "there won't be a long-term impact, other than making sure we understand exactly what happened, how it happened and how we keep it from ever happening again." The Air Force is conducting an independent review, while Lockheed Martin is now also performing a separate internal review.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's envelope,-please department
chicksdaddy shares an article from Security Ledger: The Pwnies, a long-running awards ceremony that is the hacker community's equivalent of The Oscars (or at least The People's Choice Awards) is adding an award for "Junk Hacking" to its 2016 roster... [I]n a nod to the security industry's penchant for stunt hacking and the technology industry's penchant for unwarranted complexity, the award will be given to researchers who "discovered and performed the most needlessly sophisticated attack against the most needlessly Internet-enabled 'Thing.'"
Among other new categories that are being added are Pwnies for the "Best Cryptographic Attack," the "Best Backdoor," and the closely related "Best Stunt Hack," awarded to "the researchers, their PR team, and participating journalists for the best, most high-profile, and fear-inducing public spectacle that resulted in the most panic-stricken phone calls from our less-technical friends and family members"... Anyone can nominate a recipient for a Pwnie using the organizationâ(TM)s web site.
Though the award targets pointless products on the Internet of Things, one judge points out that "It may be that there's some exploit in your connected toothbrush that could also be used against a home security system..."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's check-please department
Business have lost over $3 billion because of compromised e-mail accounts, the FBI reports, citing "a sophisticated scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments." 22,143 business have been affected -- 14,302 within the U.S. -- with a total dollar loss of $3,086,250,090, representing an increase of 1,300% since January of 2015.
Using social engineering or "computer intrusion techniques," the attackers target employees responsible for wire transfers (or issuing checks) using five scenarios, which include bogus invoices or executive requests for a wire transfer of funds, with some attackers even impersonating a corporate law firm. "Victims report that IP addresses frequently trace back to free domain registrars," warns the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, which also urges businesses to avoid free web-based e-mail accounts.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's let's-settle-this department
New submitter monkeyman.kix quotes a report from Gizmodo: Even though it sounded like we may be getting close to ending the battle between the fan film Axanar and the studios that own Star Trek, the latest court action hints that it's just starting. Last month at a Star Trek fan event, J.J. Abrams indicated that they believed that CBS and Paramount's lawsuit against the fan film Axanar would be settled. At the time, he said that Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin was "outraged by this as a longtime fan" and that they both realized "this was not an appropriate way to deal with the fans." Except that the legal proceedings haven't stopped yet. The parties were back in court today, with CBS and Paramount (the plaintiffs) taking center stage. The state of the case is this: Paramount and CBS sued Axanar Productions for copyright infringement in late 2015. The judge rejected the defendant's motion to dismiss the case, finding that the studios had sufficient cause and provided enough notice to the fan film to proceed. He also dismissed a separate brief, refusing to decide on whether Klingon as a language was copyrightable. The Hollywood Reporter writes: "Now, instead of asking for an extension, Paramount and CBS have filed their own answer to the counterclaim admitting public statements, saying such items speak for themselves, but otherwise acting as though the lawsuit is moving forward. The plaintiffs, for example, deny that the works in controversy represent a fair use of their copyrights. "Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's time-a-time-out department
schwit1 quotes a report from ScienceAlert: Two scientists have come up with a depressing new hypothesis that attempts to explain why cancer is so hard to stop. Maybe, they suggest, cancer's not working against us. Maybe the disease is actually an evolutionary 'final checkpoint' that stops faulty DNA from being passed down to the next generation. To be clear, this is just a hypothesis. It hasn't been tested experimentally, and, more importantly, no one is suggesting that anyone should die of cancer. In fact, it's quite the opposite -- the researchers say that this line of thinking could help us to better understand the disease, and come up with more effective treatment strategies, like immunotherapy, even if a cure might not be possible. So let's step back a second here, because why are our bodies trying to kill us? The idea behind the paper is based on the fact that, in the healthy body, there are a whole range of inbuilt safeguards, or 'checkpoints,' that stop DNA mutations from being passed onto new cells. One of the most important of these checkpoints is apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Whenever DNA is damaged and can't be fixed, cells are marked for apoptosis, and are quickly digested by the immune system -- effectively 'swallowing' the problem. No mess, no fuss. But the new hypothesis suggests that when apoptosis -- and the other safeguards -- don't work like they're supposed to, cancer just might be the final 'checkpoint' that steps in and gets rid of the rogue cells before their DNA can be passed on... by, uh, killing us, and removing our genetic material from the gene pool.Read Replies (0)