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Hackers Completely Shut Down DDoS Protection Firm Staminus

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 18:40
An anonymous reader writes: Hackers have breached DDoS protection firm Staminus, a US-based company that offers protection against a range of network security attacks including, well, DDoS. The fraudsters have also reportedly stolen sensitive data from Staminus' database and dumped it online. Apparently the company was using the same root password for all its servers, and had stored credit card details in plain text. The alleged security nightmare doesn't end there, unfortunately. Hackers managed to expose crucial services via external Telnet, and reset all of Staminus' routers to factory settings, causing a network and services downtime. Staminus acknowledged network and services issues, which apparently last for more than 20 hours, on Thursday, and later assured that its global services have been restored.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Fukushima Cleanup, 5 Years On

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 18:03
AmiMoJo writes: Today is five years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami, leading to a series of meltdowns. Nearly half a million people were evacuated at the time, with 100,000 still unable to return to their homes. The government has set a goal of 20mSv/year before people are allowed to live in affected areas again, and while progress is being made hotspots are still a problem in many areas. Reconstruction has been largely waiting for decontamination to be completed, allowing homes and businesses to fall into ruin. Those who do wish to return find their communities gutted, with essential services and jobs gone. Meanwhile, engineers are still unable to determine exactly what happened at Daiichi, particularly what saved reactor 2's pressure vessel from exploding. The initial reports were scary even before the nuclear plant problems were evident. Engadget notes that even now, the worst part of the cleanup remains a grueling work in progress, tough even for robots. Reader the_newsbeagle writes, too, with a link to the New York Times' take on the 5-year mark, and notes that The state and location of the melted fuel inside the reactors is still a mystery. The meltdown zone is too dangerous for human workers to enter, and robots have had limited success navigating in the wreckage. So Japan is recruiting subatomic particles called muons to map the reactors' insides. These particles, born of cosmic rays, constantly stream down from the atmosphere, passing through most matter unimpeded. But their occasional interactions with the subatomic components of uranium allow physicists to locate the blobs of the deadly stuff.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

AMD's XConnect Brings Native Driver Support For Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Cards

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 17:21
AnandTech writes about AMD's XConnect technology: Last night AMD issued a driver update that brought support for a new technology, XConnect. In a nutshell, XConnect is AMD's trade name for running external video cards via Thunderbolt 3, a long-awaited development that Thunderbolt owner Intel is finally getting behind and allowing. [...] AMD is also laying out the technical requirements for supporting XConnect. Not just any laptop/desktop with Thunderbolt 3 can support an external GPU, as there are specific hardware and software requirements, which is why the Blade Stealth is the first qualified laptop. In particular, laptops need to support what is being called the Thunderbolt 3 external graphics standard, or eGFX for short.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Some Root For a Tech Comeuppance In San Francisco

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:39
HughPickens.com writes: David Streitfeld writes in the NYT that cities do not usually cheer the downfall or even the diminishment of the hometown industry, but the relationship between San Francisco and the tech community has grown increasingly tense as the consequences for people who do not make their living from technology become increasingly unpleasant. "It's practically a ubiquitous sentiment here: People would like a little of the air to come out of the tech economy," says Aaron Peskin. "They're like people in a heat wave waiting for the monsoon." Signs of distress are plentiful. The Fraternite Notre Dame's soup kitchen was facing eviction after a rent increase of nearly 60 percent. Two eviction-defense groups were evicted in favor of a start-up that intended to lease the space to other start-ups. The real estate site Redfin published a widely read blog post that said the number of teachers in San Francisco who could afford a house was exactly zero. "All the renters I know are living in fear," says Derrick Tynan-Connolly. "If your landlord dies, if your landlord sells the building, if you get evicted under the Ellis Act" — a controversial law that allows landlords to reclaim a building by taking it off the rental market — "and you have to move, you're gone. There's no way you can afford to stay in San Francisco."

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Stephen Hawking and 150 Royal Society Scientists: Brexit Disaster For UK

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 16:00
cold fjord writes: Steven Hawking, 150 fellows of the Royal Society (three Nobel laureates among them), and the Astronomer Royal, are warning that exit from the EU by the UK could be a disaster for science in the UK. An immediate issue would be restrictions on travel and how that would result in scientists from around the EU no longer coming to the UK to work. That would make the UK less competitive for new talent. It would also mean that scientists in the EU with grant money would be less likely to bring their research and grant money to the UK to perform their work. Switzerland is listed as an example of the resulting harm. The scientists make the point that freedom of travel for scientists is as important for science as free trade is for economies. This point of view is not shared by all.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

One Solution to MITRE's Overworked CVE System: Build a New One

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 15:19
An anonymous reader writes: For the last 17 years, the American not-for-profit MITRE Corporation has been editing and maintaining the list of Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). According to a number of researchers, MITRE has lately been doing a lousy job when it comes to assigning these numbers, forcing researchers to do without them or to delay public disclosure of vulnerabilities indefinitely. The problem is getting worse by the day, and the situation has spurred Kurt Seifried, a "Red Hat Product Security Cloud guy" and a CVE Editorial Board member, to create a complementary system for numbering vulnerabilities.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Chicagoan Arrested For Using Cell-phone Jammer To Make Subway Commute Tolerable

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 14:40
McGruber writes with this story from the Chicago Tribune: Last Fall, certified public accountant Dennis Nicholl boarded a Chicago subway train while carrying a plastic bag of Old Style beer. Nicholl popped open a beer and looked around the car, scowling as he saw another rider talking on a cellphone. He pulled out a black device from his pocket and switched it on. Commuters who had been talking on their phones went silent, checking their screens for the source of their dropped calls. On Tuesday, undercover officers arrested Nicholl. Cook County prosecutors and Chicago police allege he created his own personal 'quiet car' on the subway by using an illegal device he imported from China. He was charged with unlawful interference with a public utility, a felony. This is not the first time Nicholl has been charged with jamming cell calls. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in June 2009, according to court records. He was placed under court supervision for a year, and his equipment was confiscated and destroyed.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

A California Jury Finds Copyright Infringement In an Interface

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 13:56
whoever57 writes: A California jury in one of the cases between Synopsys and Atoptech found copyright infringement in Atoptech's use of the "Primetime commands". These companies compete in the field of EDA ("Electronic Design Automation") software: software that is used by semiconductor companies to design ICs. The Primetime commands are merely an interface. Atoptech has their own implementation of the functionality that these commands [provide]. This can be seen as similar to the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit, in which an appeals court has found that providing a similar interface (via header files) can constitute copyright infringement. Naturally, there will be appeals in this case.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Error'd: In Soviet Russia, Birthday Translates You!

The Daily WTF - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 12:00

"Chrome translator apparently has issue with the numbers 11 and 30 when translating mail.ru to English," wrote Marc B., "Interestingly, the Russian version of the site displays the numbers properly, so WTF Chrome?"

 

"Well, apparently according to Wikipedia's article on 'Shades of brown', purple is the new brown," writes Naram Q.

 

"I'll show them and give different answers for both questions," Jay wrote.

 

"Wow! 7 bytes isn't even enough to spell 'database'," Sam B. wrote.

 

Gareth H. writes, "Looking to state what's important for me when thinking about cyber threats, I felt that I was being steered towards "Detection" as an option."

 

"Somehow I thought that the device driver for a baggage carousel would be prepared for infinite loops," writes Florian.

 

"Okay! I get it! I unsubscribed," Malhar S. wrote, "Or did I?"

 

Steve writes, "I was trying to search for VMWare Player's free edition because their website was trying to push the Pro trial, and well, it looks like their SEO could use some work."

 

[Advertisement] Otter, ProGet, BuildMaster – robust, powerful, scalable, and reliable additions to your existing DevOps toolchain.
Categories: Fun/Other

Research Establishes 13-Hour Gap Between Viral Misinformation and Correction

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 11:18
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in China and America will soon launch a platform called Hoaxy, designed to identify and analyze what happens when misinformed news goes viral, and the processes which lead to a correction of the misinformation. The study, which compared 71 likely and prominent sources of inaccurate internet news over a period of three months to the same news stories on fact-checking sites, concludes that the average interval between viral diffusion of inaccurate news and the discovery of facts which disprove it stands at about 13 hours. Hoaxy uses a custom crawler written in Python and diffused via the Scrapy web crawling framework.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Android Banking Trojan Masquerades As Flash Player, Circumvents 2FA

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 09:41
A newly found Android trojan is targeting customers of large banks in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. The banking malware, flagged as Android/Spy.Agent.SI by ESET security firm, disguises itself as Flash Player and spreads via unofficial app stores. It can steal login credentials of users from 20 mobile banking apps, and can also mimic login screens of popular services such as PayPal, eBay, Skype, WhatsApp and several Google services. The Android trojan is able to intercept SMS communications, which in turn, allows it to circumvent the two-factor authentication.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Software Bug in F-35 Radar Causes Mid-Flight System Reboot

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 08:41
Reader Lisandro writes: The F-35 Fighter jet can't seem to catch a break. An advanced AN/APG-81 AESA F35 radar system has been found riddled with a software bug that causes it to degrade and stop working. The solution? Rebooting the system while in the air. Major General Jeffrey Harrigian, director of the Air Force's F-35 integration office at the Pentagon, was quoted as saying "radar stability - the radar's ability to stay up and running. [...] What would happen is they'd get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail - "something that would force us to restart the radar." The issue was spotted in late 2015, and thankfully, it was caught during the testing period. The software version "3i" is affected. An update aimed to resolve the bug is expected to be delivered to the US Air Force by the end of March.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Apple Announces 'Let Us Loop You In' Event For March 21st

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 06:02
An anonymous reader writes: The official Apple Events page has been updated in advance of the newly announced media event. Invitations were sent out earlier Thursday inviting members of the press to "let us loop you in." The event will be streamed using Apple's HTTP Live Streaming technology and will require an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 7.0 or later. The company is expected to announce a new, smaller iPhone SE, that will be the same size as the iPhone 5 but with improved specs like a A9 processor and 8-megapixel rear camera. In addition, Apple is expected to announce a new, smaller iPad Pro. It is rumored to feature a 9.7" display and a Smart Connector to support Smart Keyboard -- it may even be compatible with the Apple Pencil. We can expect some kind of update for the Apple Watch, most likely new Apple Watch bands. A black version of the Milanese Loop may be in the works to match the Space Black Apple Watch. Of course, Apple will talk encryption as the event is scheduled one day before the next hearing between Apple and the FBI on March 22. Apple may surprise us with new MacBooks or OS X updates but we will most likely have to wait until Apple's developer conference in June.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Tor Users Can Be Tracked Based On Their Mouse Movements

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 03:12
An anonymous reader writes: The way you move your mouse is unique, like fingerprints, and can be used by dark forces to track you on supposedly anonymous and secure networks like Tor, according to a Barcelona researcher. Because the Tor Project has failed to address a ten-month-old issue regarding "time measurement via JavaScript," there are a series of user fingerprinting techniques that are quite accurate at identifying users based on their mouse movements, scrolling speed, and how their browser and hardware reacts to certain JavaScript code. If a user visits a "fingerprinting" website via Tor and then via a normal browser, an attacker can have a general idea about their identity and can even pinpoint them to real IPs. The data that is usually logged in fingerprinting schemes is not 100% reliable or accurate for that matter, but it provides a starting point for future investigations.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Federal Judge Admits Existence Of NSA's PRISM Program

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 02:25
An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. judge has just admitted the existence of the NSA's infamous PRISM program by name, apparently the first time any federal judge has done so. PRISM has been an open secret since June 2013, when documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were first made public. An ominous NSA PowerPoint training slide claimed that PRISM allowed "collection [of user data] directly from the servers" of major American tech companies like Yahoo, Google, and Apple, though those tech companies immediately and fiercely protested that no, to their knowledge, they didn't give the NSA such access. It's since been generally accepted that the NSA wasn't physically accessing those companies' servers with PRISM, but instead creating a streamlined legal process to compel those companies, via orders processed in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to turn over users' data. Since the program's disclosure, most government reports and redacted FISA court orders have referred to PRISM by the legal authority the NSA claims authorizes it, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But that's confusing, because 702 also authorizes what's called Upstream collection, which gives the NSA access to raw internet data -- not the same thing as PRISM, which is more specifically targeted.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Miniature Fuel Cell To Keep Drones Aloft For Over An Hour

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 01:39
Zothecula writes: Drones are being utilized in everything from parcel delivery to search and rescue, but their limited flight times are restricting their ability to travel great distances or stay for extended periods of time in the field. Simply adding more batteries, however, affects flight characteristics and reduces the load the drone can carry. To help solve this problem, researchers at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) have created a miniature fuel cell they claim not only provides enough energy to keep a drone in the sky for over an hour, but may well find applications in powering everything from smartphones to cars in the not-too-distant future. Developed by Professor Gyeong Man Choi and his Ph.D. student Kun Joong Kim at Postech, the new solid oxide fuel cell is claimed by the researchers to be the first to use porous stainless steel in combination with thin-film electrolyte, all brought together using a technique known as tape casting-lamination-cofiring. Allied with electrodes of low heat capacity, this amalgamation not only results in increased performance, but also in higher long-term durability. The Postech device generates power by converting hydrogen (in this case, "Wet" H2 gas comprising 97 percent H2 and 3 percent H2O mixture) supplied as fuel gas to the anode to create electricity. It does this through the use of a solid oxide material acting as the electrolyte that allows the conduction of negative oxygen ions from the cathode to the anode. These ions diffuse through the solid oxide electrolyte to the anode where they oxidize the fuel. This reaction produces electrons, which then flow through an external circuit to provide power.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

Report Finds OpenStack Still Being Debated In The Industry

Slashdot - Fri, 03/11/2016 - 00:52
mmoorebz writes: Talligent, a provider of cost- and capacity-management solutions for OpenStack and hybrid clouds, announced its 2016 State of OpenStack Report yesterday. In the report, it identified some concerns IT professionals have with OpenStack, its use cases, and some barriers professionals are facing. John Meadows, vice president of business development at Talligent, said that businesses should have confidence in the path OpenStack is taking. "Companies considering adopting OpenStack should understand that there are still challenges with regards to complexity and deployment," said Meadows. "A successful OpenStack deployment will include some mix of technical expertise, operational tools, and the support of a solid OpenStack partner." Additionally, the shift to an on-demand cloud for IT service delivery requires a new approach to tracking, managing and comparing IT resources, said Meadows. Management tools should be designed to support automation, and deliver real-time insight for OpenStack adoption.

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Categories: Tech/Science News

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