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We deployed some changes to fix some bugs, and added some new features that just happened to get merged recently. Can you spot the changes?
The First Draft of the SN manifesto is available

What is your favorite method of data storage?

  • CD/DVDs
  • A spare HDD/SSD
  • Magnetic tape
  • Floppy disk
  • The cloud
  • Lots of flash drives
  • I write down the 1s and 0s on sticky notes
  • Something the creator did not think of

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:31 | Votes:213

posted by LaminatorX on Friday August 22, @04:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the in-security dept.

The Register reports of a rogue antivirus blocking legit websites and instead displays a warning.

from TFA:

A rogue anti-virus program called Defru has taken to the browser to find a smarter way of infecting users, Microsoft researchers say.

The Defru malware blocks users from visiting certain websites and instead displays warnings about fake perceived threats while the correct intended web address was still displayed.

Most victims are based in Russia, with the US and Kazakhstan trailing behind, Microsoft researcher Daniel Chipiristeanu (@Chipiristeanu) said.

Rogue anti-virus programs have been devastated in recent years by the security industry's fightback. Chipiristeanu showed that infections from the top wares, including Winwebsec, Onescan and FakePAV had plummeted across all global regions since October last year.

Infections were most prolific in the Asia Pacific.

posted by LaminatorX on Friday August 22, @02:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the Next-year-in-Jerusalem dept.

ZDNet reports that from supercomputers to stock markets to smartphones, Linux dominates most computing markets, but Linus Torvalds still wants Linux to rule on one place it doesn't: The desktop. "The challenge on the desktop is not a kernel problem. It's a whole infrastructure problem. I think we'll get there one day," said Torvalds at the LinuxCon Convention in Chicago. "Year of the Linux desktop?" asked Kroah-Hartman. "I'm not going there," replied Torvalds with a smile.

Torvalds also discussed the issue of kernel code bloat as Linux is now being run in small-form-factor embedded devices. "We've been bloating the kernel over the last 20 years, but hardware has grown faster," Torvalds said. Torvalds wants to push the envelope for the embedded market despite some challenges. He noted that some of the small-form-factor device vendors have their own operating system technologies in place already, and those vendors don't always make hardware readily available to Linux kernel developers.

The issue of Linux code maintainers was another hot-button topic addressed by Torvalds, who noted that some Linux kernel code has only a single maintainer and that can mean trouble when that maintainer wants to take time off. Torvalds said that a good setup that is now used by the x86 maintainers is to have multiple people maintaining the code. It's an approach that ARM Linux developers have recently embraced, as well. "When I used to do ARM merges, I wanted to shoot myself and take a few ARM developers with me," Torvalds said. "It's now much less painful and ARM developers are picking up the multiple maintainer approach."

posted by LaminatorX on Friday August 22, @12:40AM   Printer-friendly
from the fractal dept.

According to this article on c|net:

Two … users have now revealed functioning hard drives built inside Minecraft that can read and write data. The first, created by Reddit and Imgur user smellystring can store 1KB of data, while a second, larger unit created by The0JJ can store 4KB of data.

"One day we will build a full computer in Minecraft, then play Minecraft on it. then the universe will crash," writes Imgur user mkat10z. Turns out, someone has already done that, creating a 2D platformer version of Minecraft that you play within Minecraft on a redstone computer.

posted by LaminatorX on Thursday August 21, @11:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the WinCE dept.

The Register has a nice review for the new Microsoft surface 3 fondleslab.

From TFA:

Review Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.0 tablet sees its UK release on 28 August. But why is the Surface fondleslab called Surface?

Microsoft hijacked the name from one of its own existing products, the niche tabletop display now called PixelSense, but a remark by vice president Panos Panay at the October 2012 launch of the first Surface tablet shows why the team liked the name.

“We talk about it as a stage for Windows 8,” he said. “To work with the hardware and software teams together, to pull out everything that Windows is bringing to the surface of Surface.”

In other words, Surface was designed to show off Windows 8, which back then meant TIFKAM (The Interface Formerly Known As Metro), Windows Store apps, and multi-tasking with a split screen.

“The 10.6-inch screen is the perfect expression of Windows,” said Panay.

Customers did not buy it though: neither Surface RT, which was the subject of a $900m write-down in July 2013, nor Windows 8 in general. At least not if they could help it. Look for a business laptop today, and “Windows 7 preloaded” is the constant refrain. Further, the dismal selection of apps in the Windows Store means that even those who do have Windows 8 tend to use it in desktop mode most of the time.

Fast-forward to May 2014 and the press event for Surface Pro 3.0. “This is the tablet that can replace your laptop,” says Panay, explaining that the larger 12-inch screen is necessary for a device on which you can do all your work. There is a new focus on desktop applications. Whereas the competitive target of the original Surface was Apple’s iPad, Surface 3 is aimed at the MacBook Air.

Seems to me a nice, if expensive, machine; I just wonder how fast I could get Linux installed on it .

posted by LaminatorX on Thursday August 21, @09:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the physical-access-FTW dept.

With enough technical savvy, simply touching a laptop can suffice to extract the cryptographic keys used to secure data stored on it.

The trick is based on the fact that the “ground” electrical potential in many computers fluctuates according to the computation that is being performed by its processor—including the computations that take place when cryptographic software operates to decrypt data using a secret key.

Measuring the electrical potential leaked to your skin when you touch the metal chassis of such laptops, and analyzing that signal using sophisticated software, can be enough to determine the keys stored within, says Eran Tromer, a computer security expert at Tel Aviv University.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/530251/how-to-break-cryptography-with-your-bare-hands/

[Paper] http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~tromer/handsoff/

posted by martyb on Thursday August 21, @08:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-see-icy-sea-creatures dept.

Stuff.co.nz reports

Russian space officials have confirmed traces of plankton and other micro-organisms were found living on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS), and it appears they've been living there for years.

This was also reported by c|net and ITAR-TASS.

How does this affect your views on finding life of some sort elsewhere in the universe?

posted by LaminatorX on Thursday August 21, @07:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the Maximum-Effort dept.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports

The San Diego City Council voted Monday to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer's veto of gradual increases in the local minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017, starting the clock on a referendum campaign that business leaders have said they'll pursue.

If opponents can collect the 34,000 valid signatures required for a referendum by Sept. 17, the wage increases will be held in abeyance pending an election in June 2016.

If the signature drive falls short, the wage hikes will go into effect in January with an increase for local minimum wage workers from $9 an hour to $9.75.

Faulconer's veto, which he issued Aug. 8, was overridden by six members of the council, the two-thirds of the nine-member panel required by city law. All of those who voted to override are Democrats.

Of the council's three Republicans, two voted against the override and one — Lorie Zapf — was absent from the vote. The mayor is a Republican.

Bob Filner, a Progressive Democrat who previously represented a San Diego district in Congress, got himself elected mayor in 2012.
There would have been a lot less drama to this workers' rights issue if he hadn't had to resign after a groping scandal.

posted by LaminatorX on Thursday August 21, @05:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the Soylent+ dept.

I've been trying to research 3D printing for a page on the Shapeoko wiki on 3D printing, with a reasonable bit of success, but now am stymied by trying to browse through all the posts to the 3D Printing Community on Google+. The default is for such Circles to show the newest posts, and for older posts to be added at the bottom as one scrolls down, but attempting to do that to access the entire archive results in an unmanageably long page which brings the performance of the web browser to a crawl and makes it awkward to pull out the specific posts as distinct URLs — is there some feature I'm not finding which would allow browsing all these posts?

posted by n1 on Thursday August 21, @04:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the tasers-are-so-2007 dept.

One News Page reports:

A reporter for Glenn Greenwald's news agency, the Intercept, is the latest to be targeted by police in Ferguson, Mo.

Intercept editor-in-chief John Cook said a St. Louis County police tactical team shot reporter Ryan Devereaux in the back with a non-lethal projectile and subsequently arrested while him while his hands were raised in the air and he shouted, "Press! Press! Press!"

Cook said the police also shot Lukas Hermsmeier, a German reporter for De Bild, with a projectile and arrested him.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation reports that at least 13 journalists have been arrested in Ferguson, Missouri since August 13 amid the protests.

posted by n1 on Thursday August 21, @02:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the kittens-are-a-more-robust-fuel dept.

RT and many others report that China's coal consumption dropped for the first time in this century. These reports echo an analysis produced by Lauri Myllyvirta and Greenpeace International for the first half of this year:

China’s coal use doubled in the past 10 years, causing more than half of rapid global CO2 growth over the period, bringing the country’s per capita emissions at par with the EU and culminating in the current air pollution crisis.

[...] China’s coal consumption was seems to have dropped in the first half of 2014. The growth of imports ground almost to a halt, while domestic production dropped by 1.8% [in Chinese]. While there is uncertainty over the changes in coal stockpiles - running down stockpiles could have enabled consumption to grow while production and imports declined - stockpiles are reported to be high and increasing, making it very likely that consumption did indeed drop.

[...] Two easy short-term explanations have been offered for the slowing coal demand. The first is that China’s economic growth is slowing and coal consumption growth will resume when the economy picks up. However, there are signs that the link between coal consumption and economic growth has changed substantially. In the first five years of the century, coal use and GDP grew almost hand in hand. In the second half of last decade, while coal consumption growth remained incredibly fast, a gap opened between the growth rates of coal and GDP, widening in the first years of this decade. Finally, in the first half of 2014, the Chinese economy registered a year-on-year growth rate of 7.4% while coal consumption remained stable.

I hope that we are just witnessing the peak coal consumption in China.

posted by n1 on Thursday August 21, @01:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the data-breaches,-faster-than-the-speed-of-business dept.

Ars Technica reports:

Dozens of UPS stores across 24 states, including California, Georgia, New York, and Nebraska, have been hit by malware designed to suck up credit card details. The UPS Store, Inc., is a subsidiary of UPS, but each store is independently owned and operated as a licensed franchisee.

In an announcement posted Wednesday to its website, UPS said that 51 locations, or around one percent of its 4,470 franchised stores across the country, were found to have been penetrated by a “broad-based malware intrusion.” The company recorded approximately 105,000 transactions at those locations, but does not know the precise number of cardholders affected.

UPS did not say precisely how such data was taken, but given the recent breaches at hundreds of supermarkets nationwide, point-of-sale hacks at Target, and other major retailers, such systems would be a likely attack vector. Earlier this month, a Wisconsin-based security firm also reported that 1.2 billion usernames and passwords had been captured by a Russian criminal group.

posted by janrinok on Thursday August 21, @11:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the fans-can-dream dept.

Recently, there has been a circle-jerk of clickbait, gleefully consumed and hyperlinked by the anti-FOSS crowd. The claim is that a certain (unspecified) number of city employees are whining that Linux isn't Windows and FOSS apps aren't good enough and that Munich city fathers have decided to go back to Windows. It's all wishful nonsense from Microsoft fans.

Nick Heath at TechRepublic spoke to city council spokesman Stefan Hauf.

He said the council's recently elected mayor Dieter Reiter has instead simply commissioned a report into the future IT system for the council.

"The new mayor has asked the administration to gather the facts so we can decide and make a proposal for the city council how to proceed in future," he said.

"Not only for LiMux but for all of IT. It's about the organisation, the costs, performance and the useability and satisfaction of the users." [...] "Nothing is decided because first we have to see the report and then we can decide," he said, adding the review has not been triggered by any dissatisfaction with LiMux but is rather part of a review of how to proceed now the LiMux migration project is complete.

In the Spring of 2013, Munich noted that over 94 percent of its computers were running Linux and that the city had already saved more than €10 million over what they would have paid for EULA-ware--even with the fire sale prices initially offered by Ballmer personally.

That anyone thinks the mayor would survive re-election after blowing tens of millions on MSFT licenses and tens of millions more for more-powerful hardware to run it defies all logic.

...and, as Nick notes there, it was never about money; the move to Linux was always about freedom.

posted by janrinok on Thursday August 21, @10:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the pew,-pew,-pew! dept.

According to the article on Engineering.com Italian aerospace company Avio (a part of GE Aviation) is using an electron gun 10 times more powerful than the laser beams currently used for printing metal parts to fabricate blades for jet engine turbines.

The material used is called titanium aluminide (TiAl) which is 50 percent lighter than the nickel-based alloys typically used for low pressure turbine blades. But titanium aluminide is also notoriously hard to work with. Companies normally use lost-wax casting or spin casting to make TiAl parts. However, the material has a very high contraction ratio and can become fragile and prone to cracks as it cools.

The electron beam melting or EBM technology created by Avio together with Sweden's Arcam solves these problems.

posted by janrinok on Thursday August 21, @09:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the chickened-out dept.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Adam Carolla's Settlement with the Podcasting Troll

Adam Carolla has settled(PDF) with the podcasting patent troll Personal Audio. Although the settlement is confidential, we can guess the terms. This is because Personal Audio sent out a press release(PDF) last month saying it was willing to walk away from its suit with Carolla. So we can assume that Carolla did not pay Personal Audio a penny. We can also assume that, in exchange, Carolla has given up the opportunity to challenge the patent and the chance to get his attorney's fees.

EFF's own challenge to Personal Audio's patent is on a separate track and will continue. Our case is before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the Patent Office. We are on schedule for a hearing in December with a ruling likely by April 2015. Carolla's settlement does not impact our case.

Carolla and Personal Audio have agreed to a "quiet period" where they won't make any public statements about the settlement before September 30, 2014. Not coincidentally, Personal Audio is still scheduled to go to trial against a number of television companies (NBC, CBS, and Fox) in September. Since Carolla is muzzled, we'll do our best to explain the significance of the settlement. In short, it's a mixed result.

posted by janrinok on Thursday August 21, @08:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-go-stand-in-the-corner! dept.

The amount of personal data traveling to and from the Internet has exploded, yet many applications and services continue to put user information at risk by not encrypting data sent over wireless networks. Software engineer Tony Webster has a classic solution — shame.

Webster decided to see if a little public humiliation could convince companies to better secure their customers' information. On Saturday, the consultant created a website, HTTP Shaming ( http://httpshaming.tumblr.com/ ) , and began posting cases of insecure communications, calling out businesses that send their customers' personal information to the Internet without encrypting it first.

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