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Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the countdown-to-crying dept.
Several readers sent word that we're now less than six months away from the end of support for Windows Server 2003. Though the operating system's usage peaked in 2009, it still runs on millions of machines, and many IT departments are just now starting to look at replacements. Although Microsoft publishes support deadlines long in advance -- and has been beating the drum to dump Server 2003 for months -- it's not unusual for customers to hang on too long. Last year, as Windows XP neared its final days of support, there were still huge numbers of systems running the aged OS. Companies lined up to pay Microsoft for extended support contracts and PC sales stabilized in part because enterprises bought new replacement machines. Problems replacing Windows Server 2003 may appear similar at first glance, but they're not: Servers are critical to a business because of the applications that run on them, which may have to be rewritten or replaced.

[In many cases, legacy applications are the sole reason for the continued use of Server 2003.] Those applications may themselves be unsupported at this point, the company that built them may be out of business or the in-house development team may have been disbanded. Any of those scenarios would make it difficult or even impossible to update the applications' code to run on a newer version of Windows Server. Complicating any move is the fact that many of those applications are 32-bit -- and have been kept on Windows Server 2003 for that reason -- and while Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a compatibility mode to run such applications, it's not foolproof.

Paris Terror Spurs Plan For Military Zones Around Nuclear Plants 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-no-toothpaste-allowed dept.
mdsolar sends this report from Bloomberg: Lawmakers in France want to create military zones around its 58 atomic reactors to boost security after this month's Paris terror attacks and almost two dozen mystery drone flights over nuclear plants that have baffled authorities.

"There's a legal void that needs to be plugged," said Claude de Ganay, the opposition member of the National Assembly spearheading legislation to be considered by parliament on Feb. 5. The proposals would classify atomic energy sites as "highly sensitive military zones" under the control of the Ministry of Defense, according to an outline provided by de Ganay.


Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Uber is set to begin providing cities with its transit data, according to a blog post from the company released earlier today. Boston will be the first city to get Uber’s data, which is anonymized trip-level data by ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) – the U.S. Census’ geographical representation of zip codes.

This isn’t the first time Uber has shared its data, but it is the first time it is doing so as part of a broader effort to work with municipal governments where it operates. Notably, despite the flowery and positive language surrounding the program in the company’s blog post, Uber is currently in a fight with New York City over sharing the exact same data. In fact, New York suspended nearly all of Uber’s bases last week and is demanding data be turned over. Uber is also the only car service in New York that opposes proposed measure to require this kind of transit data from car services.

No details were provided in the blog post on the specifics of the deal between Uber and Boston, which could explain its opposition in NYC, if the company plans to make money from data sharing. We have reached out to the city to find out what, if anything the deal will cost local taxpayers.

Boston recently voted to recognize Uber’s services, but the company has had a contentious relationship with most local regulators where it operates. That relationship is poised to get worse before it gets better, with a handful of municipalities currently considering regulatory reactions to the service. Popular outrage over Uber’s practice of price gouging consumers with its so-called “surge pricing” have also made it a target for regulatory scrutiny.

Uber has recently hired several new faces to focus on issues ranging from user privacy, to improving the public image of the company. The data sharing initiative is just the latest in these efforts.

Newly elected Mayor Marty Walsh had this to say in a statement – “We are using data to change the way we deliver services and we welcome the opportunity to add to our resources. This will help us reach our transportation goals, improve the quality of our neighborhoods and allow us to think smarter, finding more innovative and creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges.”"

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+ - Authors alarmed as Oxford Junior Dictionary drops nature words 1

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Margaret Atwood, Andrew Motion, and Michael Morpurgo are among 28 authors criticizing Oxford University Press's decision to scrap a number of words associated with nature from its junior dictionary. In an open letter (PDF) released on Monday, the acclaimed writers said they are 'profoundly alarmed' and urged the publisher to reinstate words cut since 2007 in the next edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Amongst words to be dropped are acorn, blackberries, and minnows."

+ - Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug or a Feature?->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "SimCity players have discussed a variety of creative strategies for their virtual homelessness problem. They’ve suggested waiting for natural disasters like tornadoes to blow the vagrants away, bulldozing parks where they congregate, or creating such a woefully insufficient city infrastructure that the homeless would leave on their own.

You can read all of these proposed final solutions in Matteo Bittanti's How to Get Rid of Homelessness, "a 600-page epic split in two volumes documenting the so-called 'homeless scandal' that affected 2013's SimCity." Bittanti collected, selected, and transcribed thousands of these messages exchanged by players on publisher Electronic Arts' official forums, Reddit, and the largest online SimCity community Simtropolis, who experienced and then tried to "eradicate" the phenomenon of homelessness that "plagued" SimCity."

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+ - European Union Effectively Bans Anonymous Online Purchases

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When the European Union changed it's VAT rules on the first to require tax be gathered in Country of Customer rather than Country of Business, they may have effectively banned the anonymous sale of online goods and services by requiring that evidence of the buyer's location, such as physical and IP addresses, for up to 10 years."

+ - UK considers new Internet surveillance powers->

Submitted by Ellie K
Ellie K (1804464) writes "UK Prime Minister David Cameron is trying, again, to introduce legislation to expand data retention requirements. Specifically, that would mean compelling ISPs to log more online activity, e.g. Skype usage and Facebook chat logs, regardless of whether or not a crime was committed. Cameron also suggested banning encryption for secure communications."
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+ - Bernie Sanders offers amendment declaring human caused global warming to be real->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "As deliberations for the Keystone XL pipeline continue in the Senate, the new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has allowed any amendments any senator might offer to be considered and voted on. Taking full advantage of that indulgence, the independent senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has proposed one of the strangest amendments ever to make its way to the United States Senate. The amendment will state that it is the opinion of the Senate that human-caused global warming is real, according to a Tuesday story in the Hill."
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+ - 300 Million Year Old Fossil Fish Likely Had Color Vision ->

Submitted by westlake
westlake (615356) writes "Nature is reporting the discovery of mineralized rods and cones in a 300 million year old fossil fish found in Kansas. The soft tissues of the eye and brain decay rapidly after death, within 64 days and 11 days, respectively, and are almost never preserved in the fossil record — making this is the first discovery of fossil rods and cones in general and the first evidence for color vision in a fossilized vertebrate eye."
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Did North Korea Really Attack Sony? 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Many security experts remain skeptical of North Korea's involvement in the recent Sony hacks. Schneier writes: "Clues in the hackers' attack code seem to point in all directions at once. The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea, as well as similarities in the networks used to launch the attacks. Korean language in the code also suggests a Korean origin, though not necessarily a North Korean one, since North Koreans use a unique dialect. However you read it, this sort of evidence is circumstantial at best. It's easy to fake, and it's even easier to interpret it incorrectly. In general, it's a situation that rapidly devolves into storytelling, where analysts pick bits and pieces of the "evidence" to suit the narrative they already have worked out in their heads.""

+ - Many DDR3 modules vulnerable to bit rot by a simple program->

Submitted by Pelam
Pelam (41604) writes "Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Intel report that a large percentage of tested regular DDR3 modules flip bits in adjacent rows when a voltage in a certain control line is forced to fluctuate. The program that triggers this is dead simple, just 2 memory reads with special relative offset and some cache control instructions in a tight loop. The researchers don't delve deeply into applications of this, but hint at possible security exploits. For example a rather theoretical attack on JVM sandbox using random bit flips has been demonstrated before."
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+ - Oracle finally release Java MSI file. 1

Submitted by nosfucious
nosfucious (157958) writes "Oracle Corporation, one of the largest software companies and leading supplier of database and enterprise software quietly started shipping a MSI version of their Java Runtime (https://www.java.com/en/download/help/msi_install.xml). Java is the worlds leading software security vulnerability and keeping up with the frequent patches of nearly a job in itself. Added to this is the very corporate (read: Window on a large scale) unfriendly EXE packaging of the Java RTE. Sysadmins around the world should be rejoicing. However, nothing from Oracle is free. MSI versions of Java are only available to those with Java SE Advanced (and other similar products). Given that urgency and frequency of Java updates, what can be done to force Oracle release MSI versions publicly (and thereby reduce impact of their own bugs and improve Sysadmin sanity)."

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold