Submission + - Google security engineer issues Sophos warning (

angry tapir writes: "Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy discovered several flaws in Sophos antivirus and says the product should be kept away from high value information systems unless the company can avoid easy mistakes and issue patches faster. Ormandy has released a scathing 30-page analysis (PDF) “Sophail: Applied attacks against Sophos Antivirus”, in which he details several flaws “caused by poor development practices and coding standards”, topped off by the company’s sluggishly response to the warning he had working exploits for those flaws. One of the exploits Ormandy details is for a flaw in Sophos‘ on-access scanner, which could be used to unleash a worm on a network simply by targeting a company receiving an attack email via Outlook. Although the example he provided was on a Mac, the “wormable, pre-authentication, zero-interaction, remote root” affected all platforms running Sophos. (Ormandy released the paper as an independent researcher, not in his role as a Google employee.)"
The Internet

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What is the best way to become a rural ISP? 1

hawkeyeMI writes: "I live in a small, rural town nestled in some low hills. Our town has access to only one DSL provider, and it's pretty terrible. However, a regional fiber project is just being completed, and some of the fiber is in fact running directly past my house.

Currently, there are no last-mile providers in my area, and the regional project only considers itself a middle-mile provider, and will only provide service to last-mile providers. Assuming this will not be my day job, that the local populace is rather poor, and that because of the hills, line-of-sight service will be difficult, how could I set myself up as an ISP? I have considered WiFi mesh networking, and even running wires on the power/telephone polls, but the required licensing and other issues are foreign to me. What would you do?"

Submission + - A Trail of Clicks, Culminating in Conflict (

NotSanguine writes: Technology companies are up in arms about the FTC's pending rules change which would require explicit parental permission allowing websites to gather a wide range of data on children 13 and under.

From the NYT Article:

“If adopted, the effect of these new rules would be to slow the deployment of applications that provide tremendous benefits to children, and to slow the economic growth and job creation generated by the app economy,” Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple, wrote in comments to the agency.

But would that be a bad thing? As reported in the New York Times last week, Matt Richtel of the NYT writes:

There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.

So, will the new FTC rules end up helping children (by enhancing their privacy and, if industry pundits are right, reducing the amount of content available online for children — thus enhancing their attention spans), or will the negative effects on corporations have as deleterious an effect on the economy as to measurably reduce the quality of education?


Submission + - Voting Machines Should Be as Secure as Slot Machines ( 2

CowboyRobot writes: "The problems with elections in the U.S. are well-known, yet we seem to need reminding every four years about how bad it's getting.
Howard Marks at NetworkComputing has an essay, pointing out exactly what we need for reliable, accurate voting:
"A valid audit trail, such as a printed ballot the voter can verify; A mechanism for recounting the printed ballots on a machine made by another vendor so the results can be compared; and An audit of the software by an independent third party to insure that the software accurately records and tabulates the voter's true intent."
He then looks at his own experience working with casinos, who would never tolerate the kinds of problems voting machines have. So why not take a lesson from gaming machines and build voting machines the same way?
"The slot machine industry is several times bigger, and significantly more competitive, than the voting machine industry. If IGT, Bally's and Aristocrat can compete for the slot market, then Diebold and Election Systems and Software can stand the same level of scrutiny.""

Submission + - MIT Develops Open Source Game A Slower Speed of Light (

sfcrazy writes: Are you a science buff who is curious how the world would look like if you travel at the speed of light? Will it twist everything around you as the light from different objects reach you at a different interval as per the special theory of relativity? How will everything look like if the speed of light is slowed down? This is what an open source game developed by MIT Game Lab tried to do.

Submission + - Why Google Went Offline Today and a Bit about How the Internet Works

mc10 writes: Google went temporarily offline for about 27 minutes at around 6:24pm PST / 02:24 UTC (5 Nov. 2012 PST / 6 Nov. 2012 UTC), when CloudFlare realized that Google's services went offline. CloudFlare explains how the Internet is glued together by the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and how Moratel, an Indonesian ISP, was announcing a network that wasn't actually behind them.

Submission + - The Privacy Illusion

LoLobey writes: Scott Adams has an entertaining entry on his Dilbert Blog about perceptions of privacy-
“It has come to my attention that many of my readers in the United States believe they have the right to privacy because of something in the Constitution. That is an unsupportable view. A more accurate view is that the government divides the details of your life into two categories:
1. Stuff they don't care about.
2. Stuff they can find out if they have a reason.

Written in response to some reader comments on another entry about privacy guardians and how swell life would be if we voluntarily gave up certain personal info.
Do slashdotters need privacy given that they don’t have it now?

Submission + - Superman's Home Star System Discovered (

kmoser writes: Everybody's favorite astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson makes an appearance in upcoming Superman #14, in which Superman visits the Hayden Planetarium to view his original planet. Meanwhile, back in reality, DC Comics explains that NdGT has used his "astronomical" powers to select the red dwarf LHS 2520 as the most likely real-life red star to fit with Superman's back story.

Submission + - Neuromorphic Algorithms Allow MAVs to Avoid Obstacles with Single Camera (

aurtherdent2000 writes: IEEE Spectrum magazine says that Cornell University has developed neuromorphic algorithms that enable MAVs to avoid obstacles using just a single camera. This is especially relevant for small and cheap robots, because all you need is a single camera, minimal processing power, and even more minimal battery power. Now, will we see more of the drones and aerial vehicles flying all around us?

Link from Voice of America:


Submission + - Gate One 1.1 Released: Run vim In Your Browser (

Riskable writes: "Version 1.1 of Gate One (HTML5 terminal emulator/SSH client) was just released (download). New features include security enhancements, major performance improvements, mobile browser support, improved terminal emulation, automatic syntax highlighting of syslog messages, PDFs can now be captured/displayed just like images, Python 3 support, Internet Explorer (10) support, and quite a lot more (full release notes). There's also a new demo where you can try out vim in your browser, play terminal games (nethack, vitetris, adventure, zangband, battlestar, greed, robotfindskitten, and hangman), surf the web in lynx, and a use full suite of IPv6-enabled network tools (ping, traceroute, nmap, dig, and a domain name checker)."

Submission + - Microsoft Sponsors Linux Foundation Event (

darthcamaro writes: There was a time when the Linux Foundation wouldn't take money from Microsoft. That time is not today — Microsoft is listed as a Gold Sponsor of the LinuxCon Europe event, paying $20,000 for the privilege and also getting a guaranteed speaking slot as a result.

Submission + - Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel for Mac (

concealment writes: "Apple Inc. (AAPL) is exploring ways to replace Intel Corp. (INTC) processors in its Mac personal computers with a version of the chip technology it uses in the iPhone and iPad, according to people familiar with the company’s research.

Apple engineers have grown confident that the chip designs used for its mobile devices will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops, said three people with knowledge of the work, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are confidential. Apple began using Intel chips for Macs in 2005."

Submission + - David Braben Kickstarts an Elite reboot ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC report that David Braben has launched a Kickstarter for a remake of Elite, the classic space trading game that he co-wrote in the 1980s. It has already received £122,000 in less than a day. Can it reach its goal of £1,250,000?
The Internet

Submission + - Welsh Scientists Develop 2,000 Times Faster Fibre Optic Broadband (

Mark.JUK writes: "Scientists working under an EU funded (3 Million Euros) project out of Bangor University in Wales (United Kingdom) have developed a commercially-exploitable way of boosting broadband speeds over end-user fibre optic lines by using Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OOFDM) technology, which splits a laser down to multiple different optical frequencies (each of which can be used to carry data), and low-cost off-the-shelf components.

The scientists claim that their solution has the ability to "increase broadband transmission by up to two thousand times the current speed and capacity" (most UK Fibre-to-the-Home or similar services currently offer less than 100 Megabits per second) and it can do this alongside a “significant reduction in electrical power consumption“."