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+ - 214 DEF CON Advises Feds Not to Attend Conference->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh (609154) writes "One of the more time-honored traditions at DEF CON — the massive hacker convention held each year in Las Vegas — is "Spot-the-Fed," a playful and mostly harmless contest to out undercover government agents that attend the show each year. But that game might be a bit tougher when the conference rolls around again next month: In an apparent reaction to recent revelations about far-reaching U.S. government surveillance programs, DEF CON organizers are asking feds to just stay away: "I think it would be best for everyone involved if the feds call a âtime-outâ(TM) and not attend DEF CON this year," conference organizer Jeff Moss wrote in a short post at Defcon.org. Krebsonsecurity writes that after many years of mutual distrust, the hacker community and the feds buried a lot of their differences in the wake of 911, with the director of NSA even delivering the keynote at last year's conference. But this year? Spot the fed may just turn into hack-the-fed."
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+ - 141 No U.S. college in top 10 for ACM international programming contest 2013

Submitted by michaelmalak
michaelmalak (91262) writes "The annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest finished up last week for 2013, but for the first time since its inception in the 1970's, no U.S. college placed in the top 10. Through 1989, a U.S. college won first place every year, but there has been no U.S. college in first place since 1997. The U.S. college that has won most frequently throughout the contest's history, Stanford, hasn't won since 1991. The 2013 top 10 consists entirely of colleges from Eastern Europe, East Asia, and India."

+ - 198 Android Master Key Vulnerability Checker now Live->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Last week, Rain Forrest Puppy (aka Jeff Forristal) first disclosed the initial public report about an Android Master Key flaw. Code was released earlier this week for attackers to exploit the flaw — but what about users? Google has claimed that it has patched the issue but how do you know if your phone/carrier is safe? Forristal's company now has an app for that. But even if your phone is not patched, don't be too worried that risks are limited if you still to a 'safe' app store like Google Play.

The only way an Android user can be attacked via this master key flaw is if they download a vulnerable application. "It all comes down to where you get your applications from," Forristal said.

"

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+ - 163 Microsoft reveals its 3D printing strategy for Windows 8.1-> 1

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "At the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago, Microsoft senior product manager Jesse McGatha discussed why Microsoft recently announced that Windows 8.1 will support 3D printing, even giving a demo of a sample app for printing a design file. But in the presentation it became clear that Microsoft is capitalizing on the recent hype of 3D printing and positioning itself to capitalize on the future consumer markets for 3D printing.

However, a Gartner analyst recently warned that 3D printing may not become the household consumer item that some are making it out to be. So, by capitalizing on the buzz, Microsoft may attract makers, innovators, and even enterprise customers that use 3D printing, but avoids any risk if the consumer market fails to reach its potential."

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+ - 160 Android Co-Founder: Fragmentation "an Overblown Issue"

Submitted by curtwoodward
curtwoodward (2147628) writes "Sure, developers might pull their hair out trying to keep track of all the versions of the Android operating system scattered across hundreds of millions of mobile devices worldwide. But a co-founder of Android says the OS's fragmentation problem is being blown out of proportion. At an event this week in Boston, Rich Miner — now a partner at Google Ventures — said some level of fragmentation is inevitable with Android's reach and the number of partners in the ecosystem. But things are getting better, he said, and in any case most consumers don't notice the difference: `This is a bit of an overblown issue, frankly.'"

+ - 145 Global study stresses importance of public Internet access->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Millions of people in low-income countries still depend on public computer and Internet access venues despite the global proliferation of mobile phones and home computers. However, interest in providing such public access has waned in recent years, especially among development agencies, as new technologies become available. But a five-year, eight-country study recently concluded by researchers at the University of Washington Information School has found that community access to computer and Internet technology remains a crucial resource for connecting people to the information and skills they need in an increasingly digital world. The Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information & Communication Technologies surveyed 5,000 computer users at libraries, telecenters and cybercafés and 2,000 nonusers at home to learn about patterns of public access use. The researchers also surveyed 1,250 operators of public access venues and conducted seven in-depth case studies to examine issues that have generated controversy. The study was conducted in eight low- and middle-income countries on three continents: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, Philippines and South Africa."
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+ - 229 Dwarf Planet Ahoy! Spacecraft Spies Pluto and Charon->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "As NASA’s New Horizons probe powers through interplanetary space, it’s keeping a careful eye forward, watching its target gradually loom larger on the proverbial celestial horizon. But earlier this month the spacecraft spotted something right next to Pluto — a pixelated Charon, the dwarf planet’s largest moon. “The image itself might not look very impressive to the untrained eye, but compared to the discovery images of Charon from Earth, these ‘discovery’ images from New Horizons look great!” said New Horizons Project Scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD. “We’re very excited to see Pluto and Charon as separate objects for the first time from New Horizons.”"
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+ - 228 NASA wants to bring back hunks of Mars in future unmanned mission->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "The space missions to Mars have so far been one way — satellites and robotic rovers have all gone up but not come back. NASA, as part a of a new, ambitious Mars visit wants to change that by sending a rover to the surface of the Red Planet which can dig up chunks of the surface and send them back to Earth for highly detailed examination."
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+ - 261 The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

Submitted by MrMetlHed
MrMetlHed (518539) writes "A portion of this Reuters article about the Pentagon's inability to manage paying soldiers properly mentions that their payroll program has "seven million lines of Cobol code that hasn’t been updated." It goes on to mention that the documentation has been lost, and no one really knows how to update it well. In trying to replace the program, the Pentagon spent a billion dollars and wasn't successful."

+ - 193 50-year-old assumptions about muscle strength tossed aside->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "The basics of how a muscle generates power remain the same: Filaments of myosin tugging on filaments of actin shorten, or contract, the muscle – but the power doesn’t just come from what’s happening straight up and down the length of the muscle, as has been assumed for 50 years. Instead, new research shows that as muscles bulge, the filaments are drawn apart from each other, the myosin tugs at sharper angles over greater distances, and it’s that action that deserves credit for half the change in muscle force scientists have been measuring."
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+ - 196 Apple Found Guilty In eBook Trial->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "A federal judge found Apple Inc. guilty of conspiring to raise the retail prices of electronic books back in 2010. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of Manhattan said the U.S. government and various states are entitled to injunctive relief, and Apple will await a separate trial to determine damages for violating antitrust law."
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+ - 232 VLC threatens Secunia with legal action in row over vulnerability report

Submitted by benjymouse
benjymouse (756774) writes "Following a blog post by security company Secunia, VideoLAN (vendor of popular VLC media player) president Jean-Baptiste Kempf accuses Secunia of lying in a blob post titled More lies from Secunia. It seems that Secunia and Jean-Baptiste Kempf have different views on whether a serious vulnerability has been patched. At one point VLC threatened legal action unless Secunia updated their SA51464 security advisory to show the issue as patched. While Secunia changed the status pending their own investigation, they later reverted to "unpatched". Secunia claimed that they had PoC illustrating that the root issue still existed and 3rd party confirmation (an independent security researcher found the same issue and reported it to Secunia)."

+ - 204 How Do You Get Better Bug Reports From Users?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "You can try to train them, you can try to streamline or automate the process, you can demand that all bug reports go through a middleman (i.e., a QA tester) or you can throw up your hands and accept that users will forever submit bug reports that in no way help you solve the problem. Like the stages of grief, you've probably tried or experienced all of these at some point. But have you found any approach that really works for getting useful bug reports from your users?"
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+ - 223 How to manage development when requirements change but deadlines do not? 1

Submitted by cyclomedia
cyclomedia (882859) writes "Over a number of years my company has managed to slowly shift from a free for all (pick a developer at random and get them to do what you want) to something resembling Agile development with weekly builds. But we still have to deal with constant incoming feature changes and requests that are expected to be included in this week's package. The upshot is that builds are usually late, not properly tested and developers get the flak when things go wrong. I suspect the answer is political but how do we make things better? One idea I had was that every time a new request comes in — no matter how small — the build gets pushed back by 24 or even 48 hours. I'd love to hear your ideas or success stories. (Unfortunately quitting is not an option)"

+ - 149 Study Finds Bug Bounty Programs Extremely Cost-Effective->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "U.C. Berkeley researchers have determined that crowdsourcing bug-finding is a far better investment than hiring employees to do the job. Here's the math: Over the last three years, Google has paid $580,000 and Mozilla has paid $570,000 for bugs found in their Chrome and Firefox browsers — and hundreds of vulnerabilities have been fixed. Compare that to the average annual cost of a single North American developer (about $100,000, plus 50% overhead), 'we see that the cost of either of these VRPs (vulnerability reward programs) is comparable to the cost of just one member of the browser security team,' the researchers wrote. And the crowdsourcing also uncovereed more bugs than a single full-time developer could find."
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+ - 174 Dropbox wants to replace your hard disk-> 1

Submitted by Barence
Barence (1228440) writes "Dropbox has kicked off its first developer conference with the stated goal of replacing the hard disk. "We are replacing the hard drive," said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. "I don’t mean that you’re going to unscrew your MacBook and find a Dropbox inside, but the spiritual successor to the hard drive is what we’re launching."

The new Dropbox Platform includes tools for developers that will allow them to use Dropbox to sync app data between devices. The company's new APIs will also make it easier for app developers to include plugins that save to Dropbox, or choose files stored in the service for use within apps."

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+ - 223 India to overtake U.S. on number of developers by 2017->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "There are about 18.2 million software developers worldwide, a number that is due to rise to 26.4 million by 2019, a 45% increase, says Evans Data Corp. in its latest Global Developer Population and Demographic Study. Today, the U.S. leads the world in software developers, with about 3.6 million. India has about 2.75 million. But by 2018, India will have 5.2 million developers, a nearly 90% increase, versus 4.5 million in the U.S., a 25% increase though that period, Evans Data projects. India's software development growth rate is attributed, in part, to its population size, 1.2 billion, and relative youth, with about half the population under 25 years of age. Rapid economic growth is fueling interest in development. India's services firms hire, in many cases, thousands of new employees each quarter. Consequently, IT and software work is seen as clear path to the middle class for many of the nation's young. For instance, in one quarter this year, Tata Consultancy Services added more than 17,000 employees, gross, bringing its total headcount to 263,600. In the same quarter of 2010, the company had about 150,000 workers."
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+ - 163 All-optical transistor could be a big leap for quantum computing->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Researchers at MIT, Harvard and the Vienna University of Technology have developed a proof-of-concept optical switch that can be controlled by a single photon and is the equivalent of a transistor in an electronic circuit. The advance could improve power consumption in standard computers and have important repercussions for the development of an effective quantum computer."
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+ - 187 Upside-down sensors cause rocket crash 3

Submitted by Michi
Michi (41795) writes "According to Anatoly Zak, the crash of the Russion Proton rocket on 1 July was apparently caused by several angular velocity sensors having been installed upside down.

Each of those sensors had an arrow that was supposed to point toward the top of the vehicle, however multiple sensors on the failed rocket were pointing downward instead.

It seems amazing that something as fundamental as this was not caught during quality control. Even more amazing is that the design of the sensors permits them to be installed in the wrong orientation in the first place. Even the simplest of mechanical interlocks (such as a notch at one end that must be matched with a corresponding projection) could have prevented the accident."

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