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Operating Systems

+ - 186 The Linux Foundation's UEFI Secure Boot Pre-bootloader Delayed->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "The Linux Foundation’s plans of releasing a signed pre-bootloader that will enable users to install Linux alongside Windows 8 systems with UEFI have been reportedly delayed. TLF proposed a signed pre-bootloader that will chain-load a bootloader which in turn will boot the desired operating system thus keeping Linux installations for novice users as simple as it were before. Further, this particular component is meant for small-time Linux distros which otherwise wouldn’t have the required expertise or resources to develop their own system to tackle the secure boot issue. This was going as per plans up until James Bottomley, Parallels’ CTO disclosed that he has been having rather bizarre experiences with Microsoft sysdev centre. Bottomley, when asked about the status of the project, told Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet, "We're all done and dusted with the signed contract with Microsoft and the binary ready to release. However, I've been having bizarre experiences with the Microsoft sysdev centre.""
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Google

+ - 228 Google releases raw election polling results->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, Nate Silver ranked Google Consumer Surveys as one of the most accurate polling firms of the 2012 US election. This week, Google has released the raw data that went into its election-day prediction, and is running a contest for interesting visualizations of that data. They provide a few examples of their own, including a WebGL globe view."
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Transportation

+ - 346 With Pot Legal, Scientists Study Detection of Impaired Drivers

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "A recent assessment by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, based on random roadside checks, found that 16.3% of all drivers nationwide at night were on various legal and illegal impairing drugs, half them high on marijuana. Now AP reports that with marijuana soon legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado, setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement because unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there's no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use and if scientists can't tell someone how much marijuana it will take for him or her to test over the threshold, how is the average pot user supposed to know? "We've had decades of studies and experience with alcohol," says Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. "Marijuana is new, so it's going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it." Driving within three hours of smoking pot is associated with a near doubling of the risk of fatal crashes. However, THC can remain in blood and saliva for highly variable times after the last use of the drug. Although the marijuana “high” only lasts three to five hours, studies of heavy users in a locked hospital ward showed THC can be detected in the blood up to a week after they are abstinent, and the outer limit of detection time in saliva tests is not known. "A lot of effort has gone into the study of drugged driving and marijuana, because that is the most prevalent drug, but we are not nearly to the point where we are with alcohol," says Jeffrey P. Michael, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired-driving director. "We don't know what level of marijuana impairs a driver.""
Privacy

+ - 193 That was fast, Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill->

Submitted by
Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace writes "Under the right conditions, online activism can be very effective. Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power — including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts — than they possess under current law.

"

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+ - 149 NTP glitch reverts clocks back to 2000->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It seems a glitch of some sort wreaked havoc on some NTP servers yesterday, causing many machines to revert to the year 2000. It seems the Y2K bug that never happened is finally catching up with us in 2012."
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Security

+ - 213 Israel Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous-> 1

Submitted by Mephistophocles
Mephistophocles (930357) writes "Ever since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, hackers have been working overtime to strike a blow against the Israeli government’s computer systems, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Sunday. No fewer than 44 million attacks have been recorded since the operation began five days ago — with nearly all of them failing, thanks to the recent strengthening of computer defense systems in Israel.

Speaking at a special press conference at the Government Computing Center in Jerusalem about the cyber war against Israel that has accompanied Hamas’s rocket attacks, Steinitz said that hackers “are trying to disable the symbols of Israeli sovereignty, to enter web sites and install anti-Israel content, thus compromising information and data and damaging the government’s ability to serve the public.” Most of the attacks, he said, were against government sites, like the Prime Minister’s Office site, and security-related sites, such as that of the Home Front Command, the body charged with informing Israelis on how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Out of those 44 million-plus attacks on government and defense related sites, said Steinitz, only one succeeded – partially. One site, which he did not name, was “wobbly for a few minutes,” but quickly recovered. Even though the government has been successful in warding off hack attacks, Steinitz said that government sites were fully backed up and mirrored, meaning that they could be replaced by a duplicate site instantly if the original site were compromised."

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Firefox

+ - 173 Firefox 17 Launches with Click-to-Play Plugin Blocks

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As expected, Mozilla on Tuesday officially launched Firefox 17 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest addition in this release is click-to-play plugins, announced back in October. In short, the addition means Mozilla will now prompt Firefox users on Windows with old versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight (more will be added eventually)."
Software

+ - 265 Google Glass could be the virtual dieting pill of the future->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "In a year or two, augmented reality (AR) headsets such as Google Glass may double up as a virtual dieting pill. New research from the University of Tokyo shows that a very simple AR trick can reduce the amount that you eat by 10% — and yes, the same trick, used in the inverse, can be used to increase food consumption by 15%, too. The AR trick is very simple: By donning the glasses, the University of Tokyo’s special software “seamlessly” scales up the size of your food. You pick up an Oreo cookie, and then the software automatically scales it up to 1.5 times its natural size. Using a deformation algorithm, the person’s hand is manipulated so that the giant Oreo appears (somewhat) natural. In testing, this simple trick was enough to reduce the amount of food eaten by 10%. The inverse is also true: shrinking the Oreo down to two-thirds its natural size increased food consumption by 15%. This new research dovetails neatly with an area of nutritional science that has received a lot of attention in the United States of Obesity recently: That the size of the serving/plate/cup/receptacle directly affects your intake. The fact is, there’s a lot more to dieting than simply reducing your calorific intake and exercising regularly. Your state of mind as you sit down to eat, and your perception of what you’re eating, are just as important — which is exciting news, because both of those factors can be hacked."
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HP

+ - 219 Meg Whitman & HP defrauded by Autonomy; HP stock plunges->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "CNBC is reporting (http://www.cnbc.com/id/49900639) that Meg Whitman claims HP was defrauded in its purchase of Autonomy.

"We believed there is a willful effort on the part of certain members of Autonomy management to mislead shareholders when Autonomy was a publicly traded company, and to mislead potential buyers including HP, Whitman said. "We stand by the forensic review that we’ve seen," she added.

I wish her the same level of success I had when I filed an eBay claim."

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Music

+ - 161 Highway to Sell - AC/DC iTunes Snub Finally Over

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The LA Times reports that after years of stubbornly arguing that iTunes was, in the words of singer Brian Johnson, “going to kill music if they’re not careful,” the band has reached a deal with Apple to sell its entire catalog — 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations — through the service. AC/DC was one of the last high-profile holdouts from the digital music marketplace outlasting the Beatles, Led Zeppeli, and Pink Floyd, all of which jumped into the realm long after much of the population had accepted the downloading future. Angus Young, AC/DC’s lead guitarist (known for wearing a schoolboy’s uniform when performing), had long argued against hawking the band’s music because he didn’t like the idea of allowing for individual song downloads — submitting that the group’s albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end. “It’s like an artist who does a painting,” he said in 2008. “If he thinks it’s a great piece of work, he protects it. It’s the same thing: This is our work.”"
Security

+ - 161 New Linux Rootkit Emerges->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "A new Linux rootkit has emerged and researchers who have analyzed its code and operation say that the malware appears to be a custom-written tool designed to inject iframes into Web sites and drive traffic to malicious sites for drive-by download attacks. The rootkit is designed specifically for 64-bit Linux systems, and while it has some interesting features, it does not appear to be the work of high-level programmer or be meant for use in targeted attacks.

The Linux rootkit does not appear to be a modified version of any known piece of malware and it first came to light last week when someone posted a quick description and analysis of it on the Full Disclosure mailing list. That poster said that his site had been targeted by the malware and some of his customers had been redirected to malicious sites."

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Chrome

+ - 169 $250 Chromebook With Ubuntu Linux Is Very Fast->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Google Samsung Chromebook was already interesting for its competitive $250 price-tag and that it can be loaded with Linux distributions beyond Chrome OS, but it turns out that its performance is particularly good too. When loaded with Ubuntu Linux, the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual ARM SoC on the Chrome notebook had outperformed a 1.8GHz Intel Atom, a quad-core Calxeda ARM server, and a TI OMAP4 PandaBoard."
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Businesses

+ - 179 Sharp Overwhelmed By Volunteers For Early Retirement->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Sharp, the Japanese LCD supplier in dire financial straits, is trying to cut staffing by offering an early retirement package. Unfortunately, it seems Sharp employees are eager to scuttle off the sinking ship. The company was planning on cutting its headcount by about 2,000 employees with the move; instead, it had to cut short the program after getting nearly 3,000 applicants."
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Microsoft

+ - 168 Poop Powers Experimental Microsoft Data Center->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Microsoft, FuelCell Energy and a collection of local Cheyenne, Wyoming companies are collaborating on a project to supply one of Microsoft’s local data centers with biogas, in a bid to determine if what we poop can be turned into power. FuelCell and Microsoft will test a small 200-kilowatt data center with a fuel cell that can produce up to 300 kilowatts in a carbon-neutral manner. Microsoft estimates the total carbon savings at about 1,833 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour, compared to a typical fossil fuel plant. Although other data centers rely on biogas as a power source, Microsoft claims this is the first time a biogas source—specifically, a wastewater treatment facility—will be integrated directly with a data center."
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Your Rights Online

+ - 165 Pirate MEP Christian Engström helps draft new Credit Card Company controls->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "Today, the European Parliament ordered new legislation to regulate credit card companies’ ability to refuse service. This regulation follows the unilateral and rightless cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks, as well as similar trampling on small entrepreneurs. The Pirate Party took the initiative to the new regulation.

It has become an increasingly large problem that Visa, MasterCard, and Paypal control the valve to any money flow on the planet. Today, the European Parliament established this as a clear problem, and initiated regulation of the companies, limiting and strictly regulating their right to refuse service. The Pirate Party was the initiator of this regulation, following the damaging cutoff of donations to WikiLeaks. after said organization had performed journalism that was embarrassing to certain governments."

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Television

+ - 220 Giant Boxing Robots Reality Show Unveiled->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the next generation of "Battle Bots" is here:

Syfy has greenlit and shot the first season of a new show where eight-foot-tall state-of-the-art humanoid robots will rock ‘em and sock ‘em in a boxing cage until one is defeated. The future-shock new series is called Robot Combat League and the project has been kept under wraps until today. The action resembles a real-life version of last year’s hit movie Real Steel, with large menacing robots pounding away at each other in a satisfying shower of sparks and gushing hydraulic fluid.

There's pics with the story."

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Science

+ - 163 Harvard develops drug-filled, injectable sponge that expands inside the body-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Harvard bioengineers have perfected injecteing us with a drug-filled sponge instead of just a liquid.

It may seem strange to want to inject a piece of sponge into your body, but it does actually help solve a number of invasive problems. For example, sometimes it is necessary to have drugs released slowly into our bodies, and/or some kind of bio-scaffold is required to be positioned so that it can help support a damaged organ or to engineer new tissue.

This new, injectable sponge is incredibly useful because not only can it be filled with drugs that then are slowly released, it also has a memory and can be collapsed down to a tiny fraction of its original size."

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Data Storage

+ - 163 Facebook condemns European data protection fines->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Facebook claims companies could start court battles with data protection authorities if the regulators are given powers to levy fines of 2% of global turnover for data protection law breaches.

Facebook said the European Commission's proposed sanctions regime — which is contained in its draft General Data Protection Regulation — could also put off US and other businesses from trading within the EU, meaning less jobs being created."

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Privacy

+ - 208 Why big data could sink Europe's "right to be forgotten"->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "Europe’s proposed ‘right to be forgotten’ has been the subject of intense debate, with many people arguing it’s simply not practical in the age of the internet for any data to be reliably expunged from history.

Well, add another voice to that mix. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published its assessment of the proposals, and the tone is sceptical to say the least. And, interestingly, one of the biggest problems ENISA has found has to do with big data."

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Government

+ - 227 Senate bill rewrite lets Feds read your e-mail without warrants-> 1

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge."

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Government

+ - 192 Jail Looms for Man Who Revealed AT&T Leaked iPad User E-Mails->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "AT&T screwed up in 2010, serving up the e-mail addresses of over 110,000 of its iPad 3G customers online for anyone to find. But today Andrew Auernheimer, an online activist who pointed out AT&T’s blunder to Gawker Media, which went on to publicize the breach of private information, is the one in federal court this week.

Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) worry that should that charge succeed it will become easy to criminalize many online activities, including work by well-intentioned activists looking for leaks of private information or other online security holes. Weev’s case hasn’t received much attention so far, but should he be found guilty this week it will likely become well known, fast."

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Encryption

+ - 175 Quantum cryptography conquers noise problem->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Quantum-encryption systems that encode signals into a series of single photons have so far been unable to piggyback on existing telecommunications lines because they don't stand out from the millions of others in an optical fiber. But now, physicists using a technique for detecting dim light signals have transmitted a quantum key along 90 kilometres of noisy optical fibre. The feat could see quantum cryptography finally enter the mainstream.
The researchers developed a detector that picks out photons only if they strike it at a precise instant, calculated on the basis of when the encoded photons were sent.
The team’s ‘self-differentiating’ detector activates for 100 picoseconds, every nanosecond. The weak charge triggered by a photon strike in this short interval would not normally stand out, but the detector measures the difference between the signal recorded during one operational cycle and the signal from the preceding cycle — when no matching photon was likely to be detected. This cancels out the background hum. Using this device, the team has transmitted a quantum key along a 90-kilometre fiber, which also carried noisy data at 1 billion bits per second in both directions — a rate typical of a telecommunications fiber."

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Security

+ - 190 Hosting provider automatically fixes vulnerabilities in customers' websites-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dutch hosting provider Antagonist today announced their in-house developed technology that automatically detects and fixes vulnerabilities in their customers’ websites. The service is aimed at popular software such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. Antagonist is the first hosting provider on the planet to offer this service, and plans to license the technology to other hosting providers as well."
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Mars

+ - 229 What has Curiosity found that is "earth-shaking"?->

Submitted by Randym
Randym (25779) writes "NASA scientists have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. "We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting," says John Grotzinger. He's the principal investigator for the rover mission. SAM (Sample Analysis at Mars) is a suite of instruments onboard NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.

Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something Earth-shaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says."

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Firefox

+ - 228 Mozilla Makes Prototype of Firefox OS Available->

Submitted by Thinkcloud
Thinkcloud (1901664) writes "Even though the operating system hasn't arrived in a version for smartphones and tablets just yet, it is available as a prototype module that you can run on Windows, Mac or Linux computers. The initial Firefox OS phones are expected to arrive in 2013, and it's been reported that Alcatel and ZTE are the first manufacturers on board."
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+ - 171 Should conferences embrace diversity?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Register is reporting how Josh Susser has managed to get a Ruby conference in the UK cancelled as the speakers are 100% white male.

Should conferences embrace diversity from the start or should they put the best speakers up even if they are all white and male or should we have quotas, say 10% need to be non-white, 50% women, 6% gay to better reflect the mix of your local population? How far do we have to go to ensure we are diverse? Do we need to ensure that all minorities are represented?"

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Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. -- R. S. Barton

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