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Which best describes your internet connection?

  • 0—5 Mbps
  • 5—15 Mbps
  • 15—50 Mbps
  • 50—100 Mbps
  • 100—300 Mbps
  • 300—1,000 Mbps
  • 1,000—10,000 Mbps
  • I don't HAVE an internet connection, you insensitive clod!

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:58 | Votes:269

posted by mrpg on Saturday July 21, @06:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the deep-packet-inspection dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon.

The study, presented July 16, 2018 at a meeting of internet network researchers, portrays critical communications infrastructure that could be submerged by rising seas in as soon as 15 years, according to the study's senior author, Paul Barford, a UW-Madison professor of computer science.

"Most of the damage that's going to be done in the next 100 years will be done sooner than later," says Barford, an authority on the "physical internet" -- the buried fiber optic cables, data centers, traffic exchanges and termination points that are the nerve centers, arteries and hubs of the vast global information network. "That surprised us. The expectation was that we'd have 50 years to plan for it. We don't have 50 years."

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Saturday July 21, @03:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the be-nice-to-kids dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Childhood adversity permanently alters the peripheral and central immune systems, increasing the sensitivity of the body's immune response to cocaine, reports a study by researchers at the IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation and University of Rome "La Sapienza," Italy.

The study, published in Biological Psychiatry, showed that exposure to psychosocial stress early in life altered the structure of immune cells and inflammatory signals in mice and led to increased drug-seeking behavior. Exposure to early psychosocial stress in mice, or a difficult childhood in humans, increased the immune response to cocaine in adulthood, revealing a shared mechanism in the role of immune response in the effects of early life stress on cocaine sensitivity in mice and humans.

The findings help explain why as many as 50 percent of people who experience childhood maltreatment develop addiction problems. The results in mice and humans suggest that exposure to adversity during childhood triggers activation of the immune system, leading to permanent changes that sensitize the immune system and increase susceptibility to the effects of cocaine in adulthood.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Saturday July 21, @01:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the the-ad-team-prevailed dept.

Bloomberg reports that Google's Project Fuchsia may eventually succeed Android.

Here's what's already known about Fuchsia: Alphabet Inc.'s Google started quietly posting code online in 2016, and the company has let outside app developers tinker with bits of the open-source code. Google has also begun to experiment with applications for the system, such as interactive screen displays and voice commands for YouTube.

But members of the Fuchsia team have discussed a grander plan that is being reported here for the first time: Creating a single operating system capable of running all the company's in-house gadgets, like Pixel phones and smart speakers, as well as third-party devices that now rely on Android and another system called Chrome OS, according to people familiar with the conversations.

According to one of the people, engineers have said they want to embed Fuchsia on connected home devices, such as voice-controlled speakers, within three years, then move on to larger machines such as laptops. Ultimately the team aspires to swap in their system for Android, the software that powers more than three quarters of the world's smartphones, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. The aim is for this to happen in the next half decade, one person said.

[...] The company must also settle some internal feuds. Some of the principles that Fuchsia creators are pursuing have already run up against Google's business model. Google's ads business relies on an ability to target users based on their location and activity, and Fuchsia's nascent privacy features would, if implemented, hamstring this important business. There's already been at least one clash between advertising and engineering over security and privacy features of the fledgling operating system, according to a person familiar with the matter. The ad team prevailed, this person said.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @11:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the sue-or-be-suet? dept.

Rolling Stone:

When a U.S. citizen heard he was on his own country’s drone target list, he wasn’t sure he believed it. After five near-misses, he does – and is suing the United States to contest his own execution
With Reprieve’s help, Kareem did what the system asks a law-abiding American citizen with a grievance to do. He sued, filing a complaint in district court in Washington, D.C., on March 30th, 2017, asking the U.S. government to take him off the Kill List, at least until he had a chance to challenge the evidence against him.

The case, still unresolved more than a year later, has awesome implications not just for Kareem but for all Americans – all people everywhere, for that matter.

It’s not a stretch to say that it’s one of the most important lawsuits to ever cross the desk of a federal judge. The core of the Bill of Rights is in play, and a wrong result could formalize a slide into authoritarianism that began long ago, but accelerated after 9/11.

He needs to take the matter to Information Retrieval, but heaven help him if he doesn't get his receipt stamped first.

[Ed note: It's a long read, but provides extensive background on the US government's kill list development, implementation, and complications in trying to do anything about it.]

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @09:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the All-your-Health-data-are-belong-to-us-dept dept.

The Australian government online medical health record system is failing due to the number of people trying to opt out. The MyHealthRecord was introduced to store patients health records online so multiple doctors can access them. Many privacy and IT security advocates have warned that this type of system can be compromised. For most people it does not provide a great benefit. A key criticism is that users can't delete data only a provider can mark data as being hidden, and data is never actually deleted. With the Australian government throwing millions at this system to try to make it relevant this opt out may put a nail in its coffin. The government plans to sell data from this system to third parties, a fact which has not endeared it to the public with the recent government data breaches and census fiasco. People in Australia are voting with their feet to not be a part of it before it evens starts which says a lot about how people in Australia value their privacy.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @07:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the they've-come-a-long-way dept.


Best Buy, the last national electronics chain, is counting on these advisors to distinguish it from Inc., the company’s competitor, partner, and would-be vanquisher. With more than 1,000 big-box stores in North America and about 125,000 employees, Best Buy was supposed to have succumbed to the inevitable. “Everyone thought we were going to die,” says Hubert Joly, who was hired as chief executive officer in August 2012 after profits shrunk about 90 percent in one quarter and his predecessor resigned amid an investigation into his relationship with an employee.

Instead, Best Buy has become an improbable survivor led by an unlikely boss. Joly was raised and educated in France, trained at McKinsey & Co., and previously employed by hospitality company Carlson, based outside Minneapolis, and media conglomerate Vivendi SA, where he greenlighted a little game called World of Warcraft. He’s the first outside CEO in the chain’s 52-year history. He had no retail experience—Best Buy’s stock fell 10 percent the day he was named CEO—but Joly understands how to value, and capture, customers’ time. Comparable sales rose 5.6 percent last year and 9 percent during the Christmas season, the biggest holiday gain since 2003. The stock price has quadrupled. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is impressed. “The last five years, since Hubert came to Best Buy, have been remarkable,” he said at an appearance in April.

Geek Squad to the rescue?

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @06:09PM   Printer-friendly
from the Windows-TCO dept.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been getting more polished, in what, who, and how they target their victims. Threatpost has an article looking at some of the changes over the recent years regarding new techniques, new targets, and a new class of attackers.

Several new themes are emerging in the 2018 distributed denial of service (DDoS) threat landscape, including a shift in tactics to reach new heights in volumetric campaigns, attacks that rely on a sheer wall of large amounts of packet traffic to overwhelm the capacity of a website and take it town.

However, while these traditional, opportunistic brute-force DDoS attacks remain a menace has emerged. These DDoS threats are more sophisticated and micro-targeted attacks. They take aim at, say, a specific application rather than a whole website. These type DDoS attacks are a rapidly growing threat, as are “low and slow” stealthier offensives. At the same time, bot herders are working on expanding their largely IoT-based botnet creations, by any means possible, often to accommodate demand from the DDoS-as-a-service offerings that have created a flood of new participants in the DDoS scene. Those new entrants are all competing for attack resources, creating a demand that criminals are all too happy to fulfill.

[...] One of the most notable evolutions in the DDoS landscape is the growth in the peak size of volumetric attacks. Attackers continue to use reflection/amplification techniques to exploit vulnerabilities in DNS, NTP, SSDP, CLDAP, Chargen and other protocols to maximize the scale of their attacks. Notably however, in February the world saw a 1.3 Tbps DDoS attack against GitHub—setting a record for volume (it was twice the size of the previous largest attack on record) and demonstrating that new amplification techniques can give unprecedented power to cybercriminals. Just five days later, an even larger attack launched, reaching 1.7 Tbps. These showed that DDoS attackers are more than able to keep up with the growing size of bandwidth pipes being used by businesses.

Original Submission

posted by chromas on Friday July 20, @04:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the critical-hit dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

July’s critical patch update addresses 334 security vulnerabilities (including 61 rated critical) covering a vast swathe of the Oracle enterprise portfolio.

Oracle has released a massive Critical Patch Update (CPU) for July, addressing 334 security vulnerabilities covering a vast swathe of its enterprise portfolio.

Of the 334 vulnerabilities covered this month, 61 are rated critical, with a CVSS rating between nine and 10. Oracle said in its advisory Tuesday that it has observed several exploits operating in the wild, across the spectrum of security holes, so applying the update should be at the top of the to-do list for administrators.

The update marks an all-time high for CPU fixes for the vendor, overtaking its previous record of 308 in July 2017. Not that large numbers of fixes are uncommon: In its previous CPU in April, it fixed 251 flaws; and before that, in January, it addressed 233.

Oracle’s business-critical applications are heavily represented, with the majority of the patches in the CPU issued for the widely deployed PeopleSoft enterprise resource planning platform, the E-Business Suite, the MySQL database, Siebel CRM, the Fusion middleware, JD Edwards products and more. Taken together, these systems house the most sensitive information for any company, including financial information, HR data, vertical-specific information like student grades and loans or healthcare PHI, plus strategic operational data on business processes and intellectual property.

[...] In all, Oracle credited 43 independent researchers as well as analysts from Apple, GE, Google, Pulse Security, Trend Micro, Secunia and others.

[...] The Zero Day Initiative said that the number of bugs reported in 2018 is on track to trump its previous busiest year, 2017.

-- submitted from IRC

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @02:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the never-surf-alone dept.

Roblox[*] blames 'gang rape' on hacker adding code to game

A popular children's video game has blamed a virtual "gang rape" on a hack of its systems. Amber Petersen's seven-year-old daughter was playing Roblox, when [her online avatar] was attacked by two male characters staging violent sexual acts.

The firm said the incident was caused by an attack on one of its computer servers that has been dealt with. But experts have cautioned parents not to let young children play online without supervision. They warn it is unlikely this will be the last time such a hack occurs.

After Ms Petersen witnessed the attack on her family iPad, she posted screenshots and an account of the event on her Facebook page, detailing the experience. Ms Petersen said that when her daughter had asked what was happening on the screen, she had viewed a "horrific" scene of her child's avatar being sexually assaulted by two male characters. Towards the end of the incident, she said, a third, female character interfered by jumping on the victim's body.

The BBC understands that the hacker responsible managed to subvert the California-based company's cyber-protection systems, allowing them to upload code that changed the game's rules and made customised animations appear. Roblox previously confirmed that it had identified the account responsible and blocked it from its platform.

[*] From the company web site, Roblox:

Roblox is the best place to Imagine with Friends. With the largest user-generated online gaming platform, and over 15 million games created by users, Roblox is the #1 gaming site for kids and teens (comScore). Every day, virtual explorers come to Roblox to create adventures, play games, role play, and learn with their friends in a family-friendly, immersive, 3D environment.

A victim of dank memes? Or the powerful scripting system?

Original Facebook post. Also at TechCrunch and The Washington Post.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @01:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the mermaid:-a-fishy-tail-tale dept.

Fossil discoveries from the Devonian rocks of Scotland and Australia first revealed that the earliest jawed fishes, the placoderms, reproduced using copulation in much the same way as sharks and rays do today.

They also had the first paired pelvic skeletons, the precursor to the hind paired fins – and legs – of all animals. Their paired reproductive organs, called "claspers", probably developed in the same way as limbs.

The appearance of jaws and teeth in the first vertebrates was thus intimately linked to the origin of paired hind limbs (pelvic girdles) and an advanced kind of sexual reproduction.

The researchers found evidence that anatomical developments that enable copulation appeared earlier, in jawless fishes.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @11:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the maybe-he-is-just-up-in-the-air-about-them dept.

The Verge:

One flying car seems absurd; Larry Page has three.

He started with Cora, a two-seater flying taxi, then added a sporty flying boat called Flyer, both developed by a company called Kitty Hawk. And last week, The Verge discovered a third: Opener, which just came out of stealth mode. There was no mention of the Google co-founder in the startup’s announcement, but when confronted with evidence of Page’s involvement, Opener quickly issued a press release admitting it.

Flying cars (more formally known as eVTOLs — for electric vertical takeoff and landing) are the electric scooters of aviation. Everyone from Uber to Airbus is working to build the lightweight aircraft and the aerial networks they will require, to say nothing of a host of well-funded startups, including Joby in the US, Volocopter in Germany, and China’s EHang.

Just last week the airline companies got upset at how disruptive SpaceX and Blue Origin are to their flight plans.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @10:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the story-not-written-by-Ernest-Hemingway dept.


It’s with a heavy heart that we must report Printrbot has announced they are ceasing operations. Founded in 2011 after a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, the company set out to make 3D printing cheaper and easier. Their first printer was an amalgamation of printed parts and wood that at the time offered an incredible deal; when the Makerbot CupCake was selling for $750 and took 20+ hours to assemble, the Printrbot kit would only run you $500 and could be built in under an hour.

Printrbot got their foot in the door early, but the competition wasn’t far behind. The dream of Star Trek style replicators fueled massive investment, and for a while it seemed like everyone was getting into the 3D printing game. Kit built machines gave way to turn-key printers, and the prices starting coming down. Printrbot’s products evolved as well, dropping wood in favor of folded steel and pioneering impressive features like automatic bed leveling. In 2014 they released the Printbot Simple Metal, which ultimately became their flagship product and in many ways represents the high water mark for the company.

Too bad they couldn't have used them to print money.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @08:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the silence-is-golden^Wgreen dept.

Noise barriers muffle the transmission of traffic noise and constitute a relevant factor in urban action plans. However, their effectiveness varies according to multiple factors. The new green noise barrier developed by two researchers from the School of Building at UPM [(Universidad Politécnica de Madrid)] use the raw material resulting from the pruning of plants and gardens. The combination of this vegetable waste with a local substrate and water result in a new mixture of suitable acoustic and structural characteristics for these types of barriers.

Today, the commercial noise barriers are made of different materials such as concrete, brick, wood, and glass that consume material resources in the manufacturing process and generate a large amount of waste at the end of their useful life.

Researchers have now developed barriers made of recycled elements that reduce the use of materials and reuse carpet waste, scraps of paper and fibrous materials. In this study, the raw materials used by UPM researchers come from garden waste, specifically palm leaves. Using local materials provides savings for both transport and environmental impact, offering a solution to the excessive amount of waste.

This one comes with electrolytes.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @06:50AM   Printer-friendly
from the oh-chute! dept.

The parachute system for Orion, America's spacecraft that will carry humans to deep space, deployed as planned after being dropped from an altitude of 6.6 miles on July 12, at the U.S. Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. Data from the successful seventh drop in a series of eight qualification tests will help NASA engineers certify Orion's parachutes for missions with astronauts.

[...] To demonstrate the system's robustness, this test evaluated parachute deployment under conditions that exceeded the requirements for a system carrying crew. Engineers dropped the dart-shaped test article from an altitude that allowed it to generate enough speed to simulate almost twice as much force on the main chutes as would be expected under normal conditions. Orion's full parachute system includes 11 parachutes—three forward-bay cover parachutes, two drogue parachutes, three pilot parachutes, and three main parachutes that will reduce the capsule's speed after reentry in support of a safe landing in the ocean.

[...] For storage, the parachutes are compacted with hydraulic presses at forces of up to 80,000 pounds, baked for two days and vacuumed sealed. Once packed, they have a density of about 40 pounds per cubic foot, which is roughly the same as wood from an oak tree.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday July 20, @05:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the layoffs-are-no-fun-for-anyone dept.


In a notice to the California Employment Development Department, eBay said that it plans to slash nearly 300 jobs from Bay Area locations by July 20. The company, which called the cuts a “mass layoff,” said that it informed those being laid off at the end of June, according to The Mercury News, which obtained a copy of the notice. The layoffs will span eBay’s locations in San Jose, San Francisco, and Brisbane, according to the report. The San Jose office has been affected most by the layoffs, with 224 of the cuts coming to that location.

The online auction site’s decision comes after eBay has been experiencing some problems in its business. While the company’s revenue was up to $9.6 billion last year from $9 billion in the prior year, it took a loss of $1 billion. In the first quarter of this year, eBay’s profits slipped 60.7% year over year to $407 million.

In online retailing, there can be only one.

Original Submission