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Security

LivingSocial Hacked: 50 Million Users Exposed 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-end-to-the-low-hanging-fruit dept.
wiredmikey writes "Daily deals site and Groupon competitor LivingSocial said on Friday it had fallen victim to a cyber attack that put its roughly 50 million users at risk. 'LivingSocial recently experienced a cyber-attack on our computer systems that resulted in unauthorized access to some customer data from our servers,' the company said in a brief note on its site while prompting users to reset their passwords. Attackers reportedly obtained information including names, email addresses, date of birth for some users, and passwords, which fortunately were hashed and salted. Additionally, the database holding credit card information was not accessed by the attacker, the company said. 'While it is good that the passwords stolen from LivingSocial are hashed and salted as this likely slow down the cracking process, it won't stop it,' Rapid7's Ross Barrett said. 'Once they had cracked the first round with the tools at their disposal, they posted the hashes in a Russian hacker forum where other motivated individuals with the necessary skills and more advanced cracking tools were able to help decode the remaining passwords,' Barrett continued. 'While salting the passwords will slow this process down further, eventually the attackers or their network will get the information they're after.' LivingSocial said they are actively working with law enforcement to investigate the incident but have not provided any additional details."
Medicine

Belief In God Correlates With Better Mental Health Treatment Outcomes 931

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-two-communion-wafers-and-call-me-in-the-morning dept.
Hatta writes "According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, belief in god is correlated with improved outcomes of treatment for depression. Quoting: 'In the study, published in the current issue of Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers comment that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without. "Belief was associated with not only improved psychological well-being, but decreases in depression and intention to self-harm," says David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D., an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.' This raises interesting questions. Does this support the concept of depressive realism? If the association is found to be causal, would it be ethical for a psychiatrist to prescribe religion?"
Movies

Hollywood Studios Fuming Over Indie Studio Deal With BitTorrent 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the steam-shooting-from-ears dept.
silentbrad sends this quote from TheWrap: "'It's a deal with the devil,' one studio executive [said]. 'Cinedigm is being used as their pawn.' Cinedigm announced this weekend that it would offer the first seven minutes of the Emily Blunt-Colin Firth indie Arthur Newman exclusively to BitTorrent users, which number up to 170 million people.... Hollywood studios have spent years and many millions of dollars to protect their intellectual property and worry that by teaming up with BitTorrent, Cinedigm has embraced a company that imperils the financial underpinnings of the film business and should be kept at arm's length. 'It's great for BitTorrent and disingenuous of Cinedigm,' said the executive. 'The fact of the matter is BitTorrent is in it for themselves, they're not in it for the health of the industry.' Other executives including at Warner Brothers and Sony echoed those comments, fretting that Cinedigm had unwittingly opened a Pandora's box in a bid to get attention for its low-budget release. ... 'Blaming BitTorrent for piracy is like blaming a freeway for drunk drivers, ' Jill Calcaterra, Cinedigm's chief marketing officer said. 'How people use it can be positive for the industry or it can hurt the industry. We want it help us make this indie film successful.' ... 'We'll be working with all of [the studios] one day,' [Matt Mason, BitTorrent's vice president of marketing] said. 'It's really up to them how quickly they come to the table and realize we're not the villain, we're the heroes.'"
Spam

Suspect Arrested In Spamhaus DDoS Attack 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the distributed-denial-of-liberty-attack dept.
New submitter apenzott writes "According to the BBC, a Dutch citizen has been arrested by Spanish police who suspect he was behind the recent Spamhaus DDOS attack, one of the biggest such attacks ever. 'The man arrested is believed to be Sven Kamphuis, the owner and manager of Dutch hosting firm Cyberbunker that has been implicated in the attack.' According to a press release from the Dutch Public Prosecutor (Google translation of Dutch original), the 35-year-old man's computers and other devices have been seized as evidence. The man will be transferred from Spain to the Netherlands shortly. 'Spamhaus is delighted at the news that an individual has been arrested and is grateful to the Dutch police for the resources they have made available and the way they have worked with us,' said a Spamhaus spokesman."
Open Source

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Assess the Status of an Open Source Project? 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-its-name-three-times-in-front-of-a-mirror-site dept.
Chrisq writes: "Our software landscape includes a number of open source components, and we currently assume that these components will follow the same life-cycle as commercial products: they will have a beta or test phase, a supported phase, and finally reach the end of life. In fact, a clear statement that support is ended is unusual. The statement by Apache that Struts 1 has reached end of life is almost unique. What we usually find is:
  • Projects that appear to be obviously inactive, having had no updates for years
  • Projects that are obviously not going to be used in any new deployments because the standard language, library, or platform now has the capability built in
  • Projects that are rapidly losing developers to some more-trendy alternative project
  • Projects whose status is unclear, with some releases and statements in the forums that they are 'definitely alive,' but which seem to have lost direction or momentum.
  • Projects that have had no updates but are highly stable and do what is necessary, but are risky because they may not interoperate with future upgrades to other components.

By the treating Open Source in the same way as commercial software we only start registering risks when there is an official announcement. We have no metric we can use to accurately gauge the state of an open source component — but there are a number of components that we have a 'bad feeling' about. Are there any standard ways of assessing the status of an open source project? Do you use the same stages for open source as commercial components? How do you incorporate these in a software landscape to indicate at-risk components and dependencies?"

Businesses

Salesforce, a Pillow Maker and a $125k AmEx Bill 228

Posted by Soulskill
from the Carnac-the-Magnificent-punchline-needed dept.
itwbennett writes "Salesforce.com, pillow manufacturer My Pillow, and an employee of My Pillow are caught up in a complex three-way legal battle. At issue is an allegedly failed software implementation and a $125,000 charge on a personal card. In short, there was an aggressive go-live date, a demand for immediate payment, and a system that was ultimately 'not functional'. Now, AmEx won't remove the charge, Salesforce.com is suing My Pillow for breach of contract and wants $550,000 in damages, My Pillow denies it owes anyone anything and is seeking unspecified damages from Salesforce.com, and the employee with the big bill wants his account credited. Still unclear is why My Pillow had no choice but to use the employee's personal credit card — and why the employee was naive enough to hand it over."
Space

2014: Planetary Resources To Launch Their First Satellites 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamandis dept.
symbolset writes "Planetary Resources wants to mine asteroids for their sweet, sweet minerals and make a business of it. The sparky little company has been writ up here on Slashdot numerous times. With the backing of such billionaires as Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, James Cameron, and many others, and such luminaries as major NASA project managers, engineers and scientists, you have to think they might have a good shot at it. Recently they picked up a huge engineering, procurement and construction partner: Bechtel. Their operations are already cash-flow positive by selling tech invented to pursue their goals, so they're a legitimate business running lean and intending to make good. Yesterday they announced the plan to launch their first space missions — the Arkyd Series 100 LEO Space Telescopes — as soon as next year. Beginning in 2014 their satellites will be scanning the skies from Low Earth Orbit for lucrative rocks that happen to be heading our way, and incidentally doing for-pay work to keep the lights on. For a reasonable fee they'll sell you the right to retask one of these telescopes to take a picture of anything you want that it can see, for a fair price. The plan is to follow up with harvester craft to go get these asteroids, mulch them, and sell their bits for profit. Some talk has been made of selling what are uncommon terrestrial minerals like gold and platinum, refined on orbit and deorbited at great expense as a business plan, but frankly that's absurd. 'Extraterrestrial Asteroid Bits' ought to go for a higher price on the collector market than gold or platinum ever would, and the temporal preeminence should draw a premium price. 'This 69 mg specimen (769 of 10,000) was one of the first commercially harvested bits of asteroid returned to Earth. Lucite embedded for permanent display, with case. Certificate of authenticity included.'"
Television

Should TV Networks Put Pilots Online For Judgement Like Amazon Is Doing? 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the prime-time-programming-brought-to-you-by-4chan dept.
An anonymous reader writes "EW debates how broadcasters might (and might not) benefit from letting the Internet help decide which of their pilots get series orders (like Amazon is doing with their new original content efforts). If NBC had posted its pilots online, would we have been spared 'Animal Practice'? It's an interesting idea, but not without faults: 'According to Nielsen’s research, the vast majority of TV viewing is still on a traditional set. Having pilots judged by online viewers would give networks a skewed sense of what might work in the fall — the entire broadcast schedule might be nothing but sci-fi shows, tween-lit adaptions and whatever Joss Whedon wants to do ... "If something isn’t picked up, for whatever reason, but people really liked it, that could be a problem," one network insider said. "Or if people hated something, and we pick it up — again, for whatever reason — you’re starting off on a bad note." ... Noted a major network programming researcher: "Great pilots don’t always make great television series." Conversely, if you’re a network executive, you usually don’t need millions of people to tell you a show sucks."
Space

Why We'll Never Meet Aliens 629

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-immigration-laws dept.
iggychaos writes "The idea that aliens will come visit us is fundamentally flawed. Paul Tyma ponders the technology that would be required for such an event and examines how evolution of that technology would preclude any reason to actually make the trip. He writes, 'Twenty years ago if I asked you how many feet were in a mile (and you didn't know) you could go to a library and look it up. Ten years ago, you could go to a computer and google it. Today, you can literally ask your phone. It's not a stretch at all with the advent of wearable computing that coming soon - I can ask you that question and you'll instantly answer. ... How would you change if you had instant brain-level access to all information. How would you change if you were twice as smart as you are now. How about ten times as smart? (Don't answer, truth is, you're not smart enough to know). Now, let's leap ahead and think about what that looks like in 100 years. Or 1000. Or whenever it is you'll think we'd have the technology to travel to another solar system. We'd be a scant remnant of what a human looks like today. ... The question of why aliens might 'want to come here' is probably fundamentally flawed because we are forming that question from our current (tiny) viewpoint. The word 'want' might not apply at all to someone 1000 times smarter than us."
Transportation

From 'Quantified Self' To 'Quantified Car' 173

Posted by timothy
from the soon-the-game-will-be-mandatory dept.
waderoush writes "A San Francisco startup called Automatic Labs came out of stealth mode in March, offering a Bluetooth gadget that connects to your car's onboard data port and sends engine performance data to an app on your smartphone (iPhone only right now, Android coming this fall). Xconomy went on a test drive with Automatic's chief product officer and captured video of the system in action. The app chirps at you when it notices rough braking, aggressive acceleration, or speeding over 70 mph. It also keeps a record of your fuel economy and gives you a gamified 'driving score' to encourage more efficient driving habits and fuel savings. It's all a sign that that the ethic of ubiquitous mobile/cloud sensing and analytics that 'quantified selfers' are applying to their personal health and fitness is spilling over to neighboring areas of consumer technology, including transportation. The Automatic Link device costs $70 and will begin shipping in May." Along similar lines, the Kiwi Drive Green has been available for several years.
Input Devices

$5 Sensor Turns LCD Monitors Into Touchscreens 98

Posted by timothy
from the later-comes-the-voice-control dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from ExtremeTech: "Researchers at the University of Washington's aptly named Ubiquitous Computing Lab can turn any LCD monitor in your house into a touchscreen, with nothing more than a $5 sensor that plugs into the wall and some clever software." The system works by measuring changes that your hand creates in the electromagnetic signature of the monitor. Surprisingly, it offers some pretty fine-grained detection, too: "full-hand touch, five-finger touch, hovering above the screen, pushing, and pulling." The "$5 sensor" part is mostly theoretical for now to those of us who don't live in a lab, though; on the other hand, "co-author Sidhant Gupta tells Technology Review that the $5 sensor uses off-the-shelf parts, and the algorithms are included in the paper, so it would be fairly easy for you — or a commercial entity — to recreate the uTouch system."
Crime

Kenya Police: Our Fake Bomb Detectors Are Real 151

Posted by timothy
from the but-how-are-the-elephant-detectors? dept.
First time accepted submitter NF6X writes "Following the conviction of British conman James McCormick for selling fake bomb detectors which were in fact rebadged novelty golf ball divining rods, Nairobi police chief Benson Githinji stated to reporters that his department's fake bomb detectors are serviceable, and contributed towards a recent elimination of successful grenade attacks."
Microsoft

Was Google's Motorola Mobility Acquisition a Mistake? 189

Posted by timothy
from the press-one-to-find-out dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Even before the Google acquisition, Motorola Mobility was engaged in a major legal battle with Microsoft, insisting that the latter needed to pay around $4 billion per year if it wanted to keep using Motorola's patents related to the H.264 video and 802.11 WiFi standards. (The patents in question affected the Xbox and other major Microsoft products.) Had that lawsuit succeeded as Motorola Mobility originally intended, it would have made Google a boatload of cash—but on April 25, a federal judge in Seattle ruled that Microsoft's royalty payments should total around $1.8 million per year. 'Based on Motorola's original demand of more than $4 billion per year from Microsoft,' patent expert Florian Mueller wrote in an April 26 posting on his FOSS Patents blog, 'it would have taken only about three years' worth of royalties for Microsoft to pay the $12.5 billion purchase price Google paid (in fact, way overpaid) for Motorola Mobility.' This latest courtroom defeat also throws into question the true worth of Motorola Mobility's patents. After all, if the best Google can earn from those patents is a few pennies-per-unit from its rivals' products, that may undermine the whole idea of paying $12.5 billion primarily for Motorola Mobility's intellectual-property portfolio.
Power

Maryland Team Hopes To Nab $250k Prize For Leg-Powered Copter 33

Posted by timothy
from the go-terps dept.
daltec writes "The $250,000 American Helicopter Society Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition prize, unclaimed since 1980, is now closer than ever to being won. With flights up to ten feet in altitude and lasting over 65 seconds, the prize's strict requirements (thought by many to be impossible to satisfy) have all been met — but not on the same flight. Two teams — AeroVelo in Canada and Gamera II at the University of Maryland — are tantalizingly close to claiming the prize. The Gamera team will be making its latest attempt this weekend."
Crime

NYC Police Comm'r: Privacy Is 'Off the Table' After Boston Bombs 508

Posted by timothy
from the for-your-own-safety dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly thinks that now is a great time to install even more surveillance cameras hither and yon around the Big Apple. After the Boston Marathon bombing, the Tsarnaev brothers were famously captured on security camera footage and thereby identified. That just may soften up Americans to the idea of the all-seeing glass eye. 'I think the privacy issue has really been taken off the table,' Kelly gloats."
Education

New Study Suggests No Shortage of American STEM Graduates 344

Posted by timothy
from the shortage-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A study released Wednesday by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute reinforces what a number of researchers have come to believe: that the STEM worker shortage is a myth. The EPI study found that the United States has 'more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM occupations.' Basic dynamics of supply and demand would dictate that if there were a domestic labor shortage, wages should have risen. Instead, researchers found, they've been flat, with many Americans holding STEM degrees unable to enter the field and a sharply higher share of foreign workers taking jobs in the information technology industry. (IT jobs make up 59 percent of the STEM workforce, according to the study.)"
Microsoft

Paul Thurrot Predicts November Debut, $500 Tag For Xbox 720 232

Posted by timothy
from the luckily-not-one-of-my-needs dept.
New submitter inkribbon writes that Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott has now predicted that Microsoft's Xbox 720 console will actually hit the market this November. Thurrott offers a mix of what he considers cold, known facts and "clearly identified conjecture" about the upcoming device. Important to users is this confidently offered claim about the price: "Microsoft will initially offer two pricing models for the console: a standalone version for $499 and a $299 version that requires a two-year Xbox LIVE Gold commitment at an expected price of $10 per month."
Earth

Earth's Core Far Hotter Than Thought 189

Posted by timothy
from the might-as-well-be-walking-on-the-earth dept.
hessian writes "New measurements suggest the Earth's inner core is far hotter than prior experiments suggested, putting it at 6,000C — as hot as the Sun's surface. The solid iron core is actually crystalline, surrounded by liquid. But the temperature at which that crystal can form had been a subject of long-running debate. Experiments outlined in Science used X-rays to probe tiny samples of iron at extraordinary pressures to examine how the iron crystals form and melt."
Data Storage

Btrfs Is Getting There, But Not Quite Ready For Production 268

Posted by timothy
from the delicious-on-popcrnfs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Btrfs is the next-gen filesystem for Linux, likely to replace ext3 and ext4 in coming years. Btrfs offers many compelling new features and development proceeds apace, but many users still aren't sure whether it's 'ready enough' to entrust their data to. Anchor, a webhosting company, reports on trying it out, with mixed feelings. Their opinion: worth a look-in for most systems, but too risky for frontline production servers. The writeup includes a few nasty caveats that will bite you on serious deployments."
Google

Lawrence, KS To Get Gigabit Fiber — But Not From Google 83

Posted by timothy
from the kickstarting-of-a-different-kind dept.
symbolset writes "Just 40 miles west on the Kansas Turnpike from Kansas City Kansas sits Lawrence, KS. With the slow rollout of Google fiber in their neighbor city, it was looking like their 89,000 people were not going to get the gigabit fiber to the home for quite some time. Up steps Wicked Broadband, a local ISP. With a plan remarkably similar to Google's they look to build out fiber to the home, business, and so on with gigabit speed and similar rates, symmetric bandwidth and no caps. Wicked Fiber's offer is different than Google Fiber's, with more tiers — with cute names. The "Flying Monkey" gigabit plan is $100/month, "Tinman" at 100Mbps is $70/month. They offer TV as well but strangely put Internet streaming and Roku to the fore. They are even using Google's method of installing first in the neighborhoods with the most pre-registration to optimize efficiency, and installing only where there is enough demand. It seems Google's scheme to inspire competition in broadband access is working — if Wicked Fiber gets enough subscribers to make it pay. If this succeeds it may inspire similar ISPs near us to step up to gigabit fiber so let's root for them."
United States

CISPA Seems Dead In the US Senate 76

Posted by timothy
from the in-the-senate-dead-is-a-good-disguise dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from The Daily Dot: "A Senate committee aide, who requested to not be named, told the Daily Dot that 'there is no possible plan to bring up CISPA,' in the Senate. The aide cited the fact that the Senate tried to pass its own cybersecurity bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (CSA). While unsuccessful, it underscored a desire for legislation that took more explicit efforts to protect individuals' Internet privacy. 'There are just too many problems with it,' the aide said of CISPA. This is backed up by U.S. News and World Report, which has reported that a staffer on the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation explicitly claims CISPA is no longer a possibility, and senators are 'drafting separate bills' to include some CISPA provisions."
China

Chinese Court Fines Apple For Copyright Violations 102

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
hackingbear writes "The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled in favor of a group of Chinese authors, and Apple will have to pay them in excess of 730,000 yuan (US$118,000) for infringement. Apple had not gotten permission before selling their books on the Apple App Store, it noted. These cases were the second batch of lawsuits filed against Apple by the Writers' Right Protection Union, which includes prominent members like prolific blogger and novelist Han Han who have become a pop culture star through his creative and cynical writings criticizing the (Chinese) government."
Government

WikiLeaks Donations By Visa Ruled OK In Iceland 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-it-on-the-card dept.
angry tapir writes "The three-year blockade against donations to WikiLeaks may have just been chiseled away, in Iceland, by a ruling handed down by the European country's Supreme Court. The verdict says that the Visa subcontractor Valitor had unlawfully terminated its contract with WikiLeaks' donation processor, DataCell, and must re-open the processing of donations to the whistle-blowing site within 15 days or else face a fine of ISK800,000, or US$6,830, per day."
EU

Europe Needs Genetically Engineered Crops, Scientists Say 586

Posted by samzenpus
from the feed-me-seymour dept.
First time accepted submitter Dorianny writes in with a story about the ongoing battle over genetically engineered crops in Europe. "The European Union cannot meet its goals in agricultural policy without embracing genetically engineered crops (GMOs). That's the conclusion of scientists who write in Trends in Plant Science, a Cell Press publication, based on case studies showing that the EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector to its own detriment and that of its humanitarian activities in the developing world. 'Failing such a change, ultimately the EU will become almost entirely dependent on the outside world for food and feed and scientific progress, ironically because the outside world has embraced the technology which is so unpopular in Europe, realizing this is the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture,' said Paul Christou of the University of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center and Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats in Spain."
The Military

CenturyLink Providing DoD's Equivalent of Internet2 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the working-for-the-man dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Network provider CenturyLink has won a $750 million contract from the Department of Defense to network the latter's sites together as part of the military equivalent of Internet2. The contract calls for CenturyLink to connect as many as 150 DoD locations nationwide with a dedicated high-speed fiber-optic network, with speeds ranging from 50 Mbits/s to up to 100 Gbits/sec. Given that the contract also calls for the telco to deploy Ethernet, IP and optical services, it's likely that the 50-Mbits/s threshold is a per-user basis, with site-to-site communications in the gigabit range. It's all part of the U.S. Department of Defense's High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DoD HPCMP), which aims to solve complicated and time-consuming problems with massively-parallel computing and very high-speed networking. The HPCMP program was formed in 1992, with the aim of connecting what had been separate facilities and test labs developed and maintained by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. That network is known as the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) network, which currently uses an OC-48 optical network providing 2.4 Gbit/s between facilities, according to the military."
Technology

3D-Printed Gun May Be Unveiled Soon 625

Posted by samzenpus
from the print-and-shoot dept.
colinneagle writes "A 3D-printed gun capable of firing multiple rounds may be unveiled soon. Cody Wilson, the 25-year-old founder and director of nonprofit organization Defense Distributed, recently told Mashable that the end product of Wiki Weapon, the initiative to create an operational 3D-printed gun, may soon be ready to unveil to the public. In a March interview with CNN, Wilson said he hoped to have a printable gun ready by the end of April, so his most recent comments suggest that he may fulfill that promise. While Wilson was sparse with details, he did tell Mashable that the prototype would be a handgun consisting of 12 parts made out of ABS+ thermoplastic, which is known for its durability and is commonly used in industrial settings. The firing pin would be the only steel component of the 3D-printed gun, which will be able to withstand a few shots before melting or breaking. Wilson reportedly anticipates making an official announcement soon."

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly

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