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+ - 217 Is Wikipedia for Sale?->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Insiders have encountered something altogether more worrying: a concerted attack on the very fabric of Wikipedia by PR companies that have subverted the online encyclopedia’s editing hierarchy to alter articles on a massive scale—perhaps tens of thousands of them. Wikipedia is the world’s most popular source of cultural, historical, and scientific knowledge—if their fears are correct, its all-important credibility could be on the line... Adam Masonbrink, a founder and Vice-President of Sales at Wiki-PR, boasts of new clients including Priceline and Viacom. Viacom didn’t respond to my requests for comment, but Priceline—a NASDAQ listed firm with over 5,000 employees and William Shatner as their official spokesman—did. Sadly, Priceline didn't choose to respond to us via Captain Kirk; instead Leslie Cafferty, vice president of corporate communications and public relations, admitted, “We are using them to help us get all of our brands a presence because I don’t have the resources internally to otherwise manage.”"
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+ - 262 DNA Sequence Withheld From New Botulism Paper

Submitted by rex.clts
rex.clts (2791393) writes "In the IT security world, it is common practice to withhold specifics when announcing a newly discovered software vulnerability. The exact details regarding a buffer overflow or race condition are typically kept secret until a patch is available, to slow the proliferation of exploits against the hole. For the first time, this practice has been extended to medical publishing. A new form of Botulism has been identified, but its DNA sequence (the genetic code that makes up the toxin) has been withheld, until an antidote has been found. It seems that censorship in the name of "security" is spreading (with DHS involved this comes as no surprise.) Is this the right move?"

+ - 301 Huawei Using NSA Scandal to Turn Tables on Accusations of Spying-> 2

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecom giant banned from selling to U.S. government agencies due to its alleged ties to Chinese intelligence services, is trying to turn the tables on its accusers by offering itself as a safe haven for customers concerned that the NSA has compromised their own IT vendors. “We have never been asked to provide access to our technology, or provide any data or information on any citizen or organization to any Government, or their agencies,” Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu said in the introduction to a 52-page white paper on cybersecurity published Oct. 18. Huawei was banned from selling to U.S. government entities and faced barriers to civilian sales following a 2012 report from the U.S. House of Representatives that concluded Huawei’s management had not been forthcoming enough to convince committee members to disregard charges it had given Chinese intelligence services backdoors into its secure systems and allowed Chinese intelligence agents to pose as Huawei employees. But the company promises to create test centers where governments and customers can test its products and inspect its services as part of an “open, transparent and sincere” approach to questions about its alleged ties, according to a statement in the white paper from Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei. Can Huawei actually gain more customers by playing off the Snowden scandal?"
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+ - 222 No Zombie Uprising, But Problems Persist With Emergency Alert System->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "More than six months after hacked Emergency Alert System (EAS) hardware allowed a phony warning about a zombie uprising to air in several U.S. states, a security consulting company is warning that serious issues persist in software from Monroe Electronics, whose equipment was compromised in the earlier attack.

In a blog post (http://blog.ioactive.com/2013/10/strike-two-for-emergency-alerting.html), Mike Davis of the firm IOActive said patches issued by Monroe Electronics, the Lyndonville, New York firm that is a leading supplier of EAS hardware, do not adequately address problems raised earlier this year, including the use of “bad and predictable” login credentials. Further inspection by Davis turned up other problems that were either missed in the initial code review or introduced by the patch. They include the use of “predictable and hard-coded keys and passwords,” as well as web-based backups that were publicly accessible and that contained valid user credentials.

Monroe’s R-189 CAP-EAS product was the target of a hack in February during which EAS equipment operated by broadcasters in Montana, Michigan and other states was compromised and used to issue an alert claiming that the “dead are rising from their graves,” and advising residents not to attempt to apprehend them. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/us-usa-zombie-montana-idUSBRE91B1IA20130212) CAP refers to the Common Alerting Protocol, a successor to EAS.

A recent search using the Shodan search engine by University of Florida graduate student Shawn Merdinger found more than 200 Monroe devices still accessible from the public Internet. 66% of those were running vulnerable versions of the Monroe firmware, The Security Ledger reports."

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+ - 384 Is OCZ On Its Last Legs?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "OCZ, one of the first commercial solid-state drive (SSD) makers has been blaming a shortage of NAND for its woes for some time now, but things have taken a precipitous turn for the worse: The company has burned through cash, its stock collapsed, and now so have sales. Meanwhile, other SSD makers are doing well. So what is happening here?"
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+ - 227 Samsung Offers To End Mobile Patent Wars->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: Samsung has said that it will stop taking rivals to court over certain patent infringements for the next five years. The white flag in the patent battle has been raised because the South Korean electronics firm faces a huge fine for alleged abuses of the system. The move could help end a long-running patent war between the world's largest mobile makers. The EU said that a resolution would bring 'clarity to the industry'. 'Samsung has offered to abstain from seeking injunctions for mobile SEPs (standard essential patents) for a period of five years against any company that agrees to a particular licensing framework,' the European Commission said in a statement. Standard essential patents refer to inventions recognised as being critical to implementing an industry standard technology. Examples of such technologies include the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), a cellular standard at the heart of 3G data; and H.264, a video compression format used by YouTube, Blu-ray disks and Adobe Flash Player among others. The EU had accused the Samsung of stifling competition by bringing a series of SEP lawsuits against Apple and other rivals. Google's Motorola Mobility has been charged with similar anti-competitive practice. Samsung faced a $18.3bn (£11.3bn) fine if it was found guilty of breaching anti-trust laws. 'Enforcing patents through injunctions can be perfectly legitimate,' said Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission's vice-president in charge of competition policy. 'However, when patents are standard-essential, abuses must be prevented so that standard-setting works properly and consumers do not have to suffer negative consequences from the so-called patent wars. If we reach a good solution in this case, it will bring clarity to the industry,' he added."
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+ - 140 LED Light Bulb Based 'Li-Fi' Closer, Say Chinese Scientists->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: Wi-fi connectivity from a light bulb — or 'li-fi' — has come a step closer, according to Chinese scientists. A microchipped bulb can produce data speeds of up to 150 megabits per second (Mbps), Chi Nan, IT professor at Shanghai's Fudan University told Xinhua News. A one-watt LED light bulb would be enough to provide net connectivity to four computers, researchers say. But experts told the BBC more evidence was needed to back up the claims. There are no supporting video or photos showing the technology in action. Li-fi, also known as visible light communications (VLC), at these speeds would be faster — and cheaper — than the average Chinese broadband connection. In 2011, Prof Harald Haas, an expert in optical wireless communications at the University of Edinburgh, demonstrated how an LED bulb equipped with signal processing technology could stream a high-definition video to a computer. He coined the term 'light fidelity' or li-fi and set up a private company, PureVLC, to exploit the technology. 'We're just as surprised as everyone else by this announcement,' PureVLC spokesman Nikola Serafimovski told the BBC. 'But how valid this is we don't know without seeing more evidence. We remain sceptical.' This year, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute claimed that data rates of up to 1Gbit/s per LED light frequency were possible in laboratory conditions, making one bulb with three colours potentially capable of transmitting data at up to 3Gbit/s."
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+ - 218 Electrical Grid Is Called Vulnerable to Power Shutdown->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "An interesting article in the NY Times: "Two researchers discovered that they could freeze, or crash, the software that monitors a substation, thereby blinding control center operators from the power grid."
These two engineers wrote software to test for vulnerabilities in the control systems of electrical power grids which use a protocol called DNP3 to communicate with sub-stations. They first tested an open source implementation of the protocol and didn't find any problems. They were worried that their software test wasn't adequate so they started testing proprietary systems. The broke every single one of the 16 proprietary systems they tested initially and found a further 9 systems vulnerable in later testing. They were able to install malware and also found firewalls ineffective.
They reported this to the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, I.C.S.-C.E.R.T. and didn't get much of a response.
Scary that our electrical grid is so vulnerable and there doesn't seem to be much urgency to get it fixed. A few patches have been issued but who knows if the systems have been updated?"

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+ - 342 US Should Cancel Plutonium Plant

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Rachel Oswald reports that the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent science advocacy organization, says that the United States should cancel plans to build a multi-billion dollar plutonium research facility in New Mexico and criticizes Obama administration plans for nuclear facilities and weapons, arguing the plans to build new fissile-material handling plants are unnecessarily ambitious given the expected future downward trajectory of the US nuclear arsenal. The proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement plant (CMRR) building at Los Alamos would replace a Cold War-era site at a cost of $6 billion. It is intended to assist in ensuring new and existing plutonium pits are in working order absent a return by the country to nuclear-weapons testing. The 81-page UCS report, "Making Smart Security Choices," (PDF) says if the United States carries out limited reductions of its nuclear arsenal over the next-quarter century — as President Obama has said he would like to do — current facilities at Los Alamos can produce sufficient plutonium cores to maintain the warhead stockpile. The CMRR complex is designed to have the capacity to produce between 50 and 80 plutonium pits annually even though no more than 50 cores are needed yearly and Los Alamos currently has that production capability, says report co-author Lisbeth Gronlund. The idea that you would need to produce up to 80 [cores] is not warranted," says Gronlund. “We think it’s time just to cancel the whole thing."

+ - 287 USS ZUMWALT (DDG 1000) running on Linux->

Submitted by SanDogWeps
SanDogWeps (2882399) writes "Sean Gallagher over at ARS Technica reports that when the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) puts to sea later this year, it will be different from any other ship in the Navy's fleet in many ways. The $3.5 billon ship is designed for stealth, survivability, and firepower, and it's packed with advanced technology. And at the heart of its operations is a virtual data center powered by off-the-shelf server hardware, various flavors of Linux, and over 6 million lines of software code."
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+ - 249 Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers?-> 1

Submitted by waderoush
waderoush (1271548) writes "'Dear Cable TV Subscriber: I don’t think I’ve ever told you how grateful I am,' Xconomy editor Wade Roush writes in a tongue-in-cheek commentary this week. 'I haven’t paid a cent for cable television since 2009. Yet I have on-demand access via the Internet to a growing cornucopia of great shows like Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, at reasonable à la carte prices. And it’s all because you continue to pay exorbitant and ever-increasing monthly fees for your premium cable bundle (around $80 per month, on average). After all, your money goes straight to the studios and networks that produce and distribute all the expensive first-run programming that I’m perfectly happy to watch later at heavily discounted prices. So in effect, you’re subsidizing my own footloose, freeloading, cord-cutting TV habits. I don’t know how to thank you!'"
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+ - 157 NVIDIA's G-Sync Is VSync Designed for LCDs (not CRTs).

Submitted by Phopojijo
Phopojijo (1603961) writes "A monitor redraws itself top to bottom because of how the electron guns in CRT monitors used to operate. VSync was created to align the completed frames, computed by a videocard, to the start of each monitor draw; without it, midway through a monitor's draw process, a break (horizontal tear) would be visible on screen between the two time-slices of animation.

Pixels on LCD monitors do not need to wait for above lines of pixels to be drawn, but they do. G-Sync is a technology from NVIDIA to make monitor refresh rates variable. The monitor will time its draws to whenever the GPU is finished rendering. A scene which requires 40ms to draw will have a smooth "framerate" of 25FPS instead of trying to fit in some fraction of 60 FPS."

+ - 253 No, the Earth (almost certainly) won't be hit by an asteroid in 2032

Submitted by The Bad Astronomer
The Bad Astronomer (563217) writes "Last week, astronomers discovered 2013 TV135, a 400-meter wide asteroid that will swing by the Earth in 2032. The odds of an impact at that time are incredibly low — in fact, the chance it will glide safely past us is 99.99998%! But that hasn't stopped some venues from playing up the apocalypse angle. Bottom line: we do not have a good orbit for this rock yet, and as observations get better the chance of an impact will certainly drop. We can breathe easy over this particular asteroid."

+ - 306 Overcoming Racism in Cinema... From the Technical Side->

Submitted by barlevg
barlevg (2111272) writes "Since the birth of film, shooting subjects of darker complexion has been a technical challenge: light meters, film emulsions, tone and color models, and the dynamic range of the film itself were all calibrated for light skin, resulting in dark skin appearing ashy and washed-out. Historically, filmmakers have used workarounds involving "a variety of gels, scrims and filters." But now we live in the age of digital filmmaking, and as film critic Ann Hornaday describes in the Washington Post, and as is showcased in recent films such as "12 Years a Slave," "Mother of George" and "Black Nativity," a collection of innovators have set to work developing techniques in lighting, shooting and post-processing designed to counteract century-old technological biases as old as the medium itself."
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+ - 231 Barbarians at the Gateways-> 1

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "Former high-frequency trader Jacob Loveless gives an in-depth description of the math and technology involved in HFT. FTA: "The first step in HFT is to place the systems where the exchanges are. Light passing through fiber takes 49 microseconds to travel 10,000 meters, and that's all the time available in many cases. In New York, there are at least six data centers you need to collocate in to be competitive in equities. In other assets (foreign exchange, for example), you need only one or two in New York, but you also need one in London and probably one in Chicago. The problem of collocation seems straightforward: 1. Contact data center. 2. Negotiate contract. 3. Profit. The details, however, are where the first systems problem arises. The real estate is extremely expensive, and the cost of power is an ever-crushing force on the bottom line. A 17.3-kilowatt cabinet will run $14,000 per month. Assuming a modest HFT draw of 750 watts per server, 17 kilowatts can be taken by 23 servers. It's also important to ensure you get the right collocation. In many markets, the length of the cable within the same building is a competitive advantage. Some facilities such as the Mahwah, New Jersey, NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) data center have rolls of fiber so that every cage has exactly the same length of fiber running to the exchange cages.""
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+ - 332 The Hardest Things Programmers Have To Do-> 6

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Software development isn't a cakewalk of a job, but to hear programmers tell it (or at least those willing to grouse about their jobs on Quora and Ubuntu Forums), what makes programming hard has little to do with writing code. In fact, if the list compiled by ITworld's Phil Johnson has it right, the #1 hardest thing developers do is name things. Are you a software developer? What's the hardest part of your job?"
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+ - 184 Aeromobil Flying Car Prototype Gets Off the Ground for the First Time->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "There is a saying in flying: “If it looks good, it will fly well.” Stefan Klein, a designer from the Slovak Republic, has announced the first flight of his Aeromobil Version 2.5, a flying car prototype he has been developing over the last 20 years. This vehicle is a strikingly beautiful design with folding wings and a propeller in the tail. But will its flight capabilities match its looks?"
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+ - 228 Report: Fisker Automotive Sold To Hong Kong Billionaire Richard Li

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Its looks like an investor group led by Hong Kong tycoon (and early Fisker investor) Richard Li is the likely winner of a government loan owed by Fisker Automotive, the dormant maker of plug-in hybrid sports cars. Buying the loan would allow Li to try and restructure the company even as its still at risk for bankruptcy. The originally company won a $529 million government loan in 2009, took venture capital investment, and created a lot of buzz around its flagship car, the $100,000 Karma plug-in hybrid. But the company had delays launching the car, struggled financially and has not built any cars since July of 2012. Is Li the new savior?"

+ - 235 Full Screen Mario: Making the Case for Shorter Copyrights

Submitted by barlevg
barlevg (2111272) writes "A college student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute spent nine months meticulously remaking Super Mario Bros. based on the latest web standards. His project is open source and the code freely available through Github. The site recently gained widespread media attention, which unfortunately brought it to the attention of Nintendo, which has requested that the site be taken down.

In a column on the Washington Post website, tech blogger Timothy Lee makes the case for how this is a prime example of copyrights hindering innovation and why copyright lengths should be shortened. Among his arguments: copyrights hinder innovation by game designers seeking to build upon such games, and shortening copyright would breathe new life into games who have long since passed into obsolescence."

+ - 247 1.8 million-year-old skull suggests three early human species were one->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "A 1.8 million-year-old human skull dramatically simplifies the textbook story of human evolution, suggesting what were thought to be three distinct species of early human (Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus) was just one. 'Skull 5', along with four other skulls from the same excavation site at Dmanisi, Georgia, also shows that early humans were as physically diverse as we are today (paper abstract)."
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+ - 211 Black Death Predated "Small World" Effect, Say Network Theorists-> 1

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Epidemiologists know that modern diseases can spread almost simultaneously in different parts of the planet because an individual who becomes infected in Hong Kong, for example, can infect friends in New York the following day. This is known as the small world effect. It is the same property that allows any individual to link to another individual anywhere in the world in just a few steps. But in the 14th century, the Black Death spread in a very different way, moving slowly across Europe at a rate of about 2 kilometres a day. Now network theorists have simulated this spread and say it is only possible if the number of long distances travellers in those days was vanishingly small. In other words, people in medieval society were linked almost exclusively to others nearby and so did not form a small world network. That raises an interesting question. If society in 14th century Europe was not a small world but today's society is, when did the change occur? The researchers say the finger of blame points to the invention of railways and steamships which allowed large numbers of people, and the diseases they carried, to travel long distances for the first time."
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+ - 239 Your Next Network Operating System is Linux->

Submitted by jrepin
jrepin (667425) writes "Everywhere you look, change is afoot in computer networking. As data centers grow in size and complexity, traditional tools are proving too slow or too cumbersome to handle that expansion. Dinesh Dutt is Chief Scientist at Cumulus Networks. Cumulus has been working to change the way we think about networks altogether by dispensing with the usual software/hardware lockstep, and instead using Linux as the operating system on network hardware. In this week's New Tech Forum, Dinesh details the reasons and the means by which we may see Linux take over yet another aspect of computing: the network itself."
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+ - 162 Wireshark switches to Qt->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Beginning with Wireshark 1.11.0 the project has switched its user interface library from GTK+ to Qt. "Both libraries make it easy for developers write applications that will run on different platforms without having to rewrite a lot of code. GTK+ has had a huge impact on the way Wireshark looks and feels and on its popularity but it doesn’t cover our supported platforms as effectively as it should and the situation is getting worse as time goes on.""
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