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+ - With Hobbit and LoTR in the can, Trolls no longer welcome in New Zealand->

An anonymous reader writes: New Zealand has become the latest country to think bad online manners are amenable to legislation.

The country last night passed a controversial bill, the Harmful Digital Communications Bill, in the hope of stemming “cyber-bullying”.

The bill creates a regime under which digital communications causing “serious emotional distress” are subject to an escalating regime that starts as “negotiation, mediation or persuasion” but reaches up to creating the offences of not complying with an order, and “causing harm by posting digital communication”.

The bill covers posts that are racist, sexist, or show religious intolerance, along with hassling people over disability or sexual orientation.

There's also a new offence of incitement to suicide (three years' jail).

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+ - Rocket Labs picks New Zealand for its launch site

schwit1 writes: The small sat rocket company Rocket Labs has chosen a location in New Zealand as its future launch site.

Rocket Lab's all-black Electron booster offers launch for less than $5 million. The company, whose investors include Lockheed Martin, is targeting clients such as university programs and small start-ups, Beck said, and it already has 30 potential clients.

The company didn't specify how much it was investing in the site, which is due to be completed in the fourth quarter. New Zealand, which has been used in the past by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, is considered a prime location because rockets launched from that deep in the Southern hemisphere can reach a wide range of Earth orbits. Rocket Lab's remote site on the Kaitorete Spit in the Canterbury region also means it has less air and sea traffic, which translates into more frequent launches and economies of scale, the company said. It also will no longer compete for airspace with the U.S. government.

Rocket Labs will have to actually launch something to really make the competition heat up. This announcement, however, illustrates that in the long run, the United States has some significant disadvantages as a spaceport location.

+ - UK government illegally spied on Amnesty International->

Mark Wilson writes: A court has revealed that the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ, illegally spied on human rights organization Amnesty International. It is an allegation that the agency had previously denied, but an email from the Investigatory Powers Tribunal backtracked on a judgement made in June which said no such spying had taken place.

The email was sent to Amnesty International yesterday, and while it conceded that the organization was indeed the subject of surveillance, no explanation has been offered. It is now clear that, for some reason, communications by Amnesty International were illegally intercepted, stored, and examined. What is not clear is when the spying happened, what data was collected and, more importantly, why it happened.

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+ - Cameron reaffirms there will be no "safe spaces" from UK government snooping->

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's prime minister, David Cameron, has re-iterated that the UK government does not intend to "leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other." This confirms remarks he made earlier this year about encryption, when he said: "The question is are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read. My answer to that question is: no, we must not."

David Cameron was replying in the House of Commons on Monday to a question from the Conservative MP David Bellingham, who asked him whether he agreed that the "time has come for companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to accept and understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?" To which Cameron replied: "we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on."

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+ - Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists->

An anonymous reader writes: In a deceptively drab black crystal, physicists have stumbled upon a baffling behavior, one that appears to blur the line between the properties of metals, in which electrons flow freely, and those of insulators, in which electrons are effectively stuck in place. The crystal exhibits hallmarks of both simultaneously.

“This is a big shock,” said Suchitra Sebastian, a condensed matter physicist at the University of Cambridge whose findings appeared today in an advance online edition of the journal Science. Insulators and metals are essentially opposites, she said. “But somehow, it’s a material that’s both. It’s contrary to everything that we know.”

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+ - MOD to release UK's top secret UFO 'X-Files' that 'could prove aliens exist'->

schwit1 writes: The major boost for alien hunters can be exclusively revealed by Express.co.uk on World UFO Day, which campaigners are using to call for the release of all such records globally.

UFO researchers, backed by House of Lords peer, have been fighting for the release of 18 top secret Ministry of Defence (MoD) files about UFO sightings from more than 30 years ago.

The Government faced claims of a cover-up from conspiracy theorists when their release was stalled at the end of 2013.

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+ - Ask Slashdot: How to build a better political system?

Sefert writes: Most people would agree that our current democratic system has flaws, and that certain interest groups can unduly influence decision making. Also, elected representatives are often woefully unqualified to lead or make decisions in certain fields. It is, however, the best system that 18th century Europe could come up with.

With the advent of technology though — could we perhaps come up with a more effective form of decision making? Programmers have been using collaborative tools for years to help them write better code. Could one adapt this to designing cities and societies? How would we ensure that special interest groups are not disproportionately represented?

+ - Angler Exploit Kit Evasion Techniques Keep Cryptowall Thriving->

msm1267 writes: Since the Angler Exploit Kit began pushing the latest version of Cryptowall ransomware, the kit has gone to great lengths evade detection from IDS and other security technologies. The latest tactic is an almost-daily change to URL patterns used by the kit in HTTP GET requests for the Angler landing page, requests for a Flash exploit, and requests for the Cryptowall 3.0 payload. Traffic patterns as of yesterday are almost unrecognizable compared to those of as recent as three weeks ago.
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+ - Introducing s2n, a New Open Source TLS Implementation->

Pigskin-Referee writes: At Amazon Web Services, strong encryption is one of our standard features, and an integral aspect of that is the TLS (previously called SSL) encryption protocol. TLS is used with every AWS API and is also available directly to customers of many AWS services including Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and Amazon SES.

The last 18 months or so has been an eventful time for the TLS protocol. Impressive cryptography analysis highlighted flaws in several TLS algorithms that are more serious than previously thought, and security research revealed issues in several software implementations of TLS. Overall, these developments are positive and improve security, but for many they have also led to time-consuming operational events, such as software upgrades and certificate rotations.

Part of the challenge is that the TLS protocol, including all of its optional extensions, has become very complex. OpenSSL, the de facto reference implementation, contains more than 500,000 lines of code with at least 70,000 of those involved in processing TLS. Naturally with each line of code there is a risk of error, but this large size also presents challenges for code audits, security reviews, performance, and efficiency.

In order to simplify our TLS implementation and as part of our support for strong encryption for everyone, we are pleased to announce availability of a new Open Source implementation of the TLS protocol: s2n. s2n is a library that has been designed to be small, fast, with simplicity as a priority. s2n avoids implementing rarely used options and extensions, and today is just more than 6,000 lines of code. As a result of this, we’ve found that it is easier to review s2n; we have already completed three external security evaluations and penetration tests on s2n, a practice we will be continuing.

Over the coming months, we will begin integrating s2n into several AWS services. TLS is a standardized protocol and s2n already implements the functionality that we use, so this won’t require any changes in your own applications and everything will remain interoperable.

If you are interested in using or contributing to s2n, the source code, documentation, commits and enhancements are all publically available under the terms of the Apache Software License 2.0 from the s2n GitHub repository.

s2n isn’t intended as a replacement for OpenSSL, which we remain committed to supporting through our involvement in the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative. OpenSSL provides two main libraries: “libssl”, which implements TLS, and “libcrypto,” which is a general-purpose cryptography library. Think of s2n as an analogue of “libssl,” but not “libcrypto.”

Oh and the name? s2n is short for “signal to noise” and is a nod to the almost magical act of encryption—disguising meaningful signals, like your critical data, as seemingly random noise.

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+ - Solar Impulse 2 Breaks Three Records en Route to Hawaii->

Zothecula writes: Solar Impulse 2 has started smashing records even before the longest leg of its round-the-world flight is complete. At around three quarters of the way to its next touch down in Hawaii, the single-pilot aircraft has broken the world records for longest distance and duration for solar aviation, with the record for longest ever solo flight of any kind thrown in for good measure.
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+ - What are available options for mirroring open source project files? 1 1

laffer1 writes: With the recent issues around sourceforge, what are the current recommendations for mirroring ISO files and other large files for open source projects?

Background: I run a small BSD project that has an FTP server with approximately 90GB of data. This includes all release ISOs for each platform, packages and tarballs of source used to build packages (for GPL compatibility). I'd like to mirror ISOs and package binaries on other sites. Previously, I had mirrors at the ISC, Secution and other sites, but many have shutdown.

+ - Dubai to print the world's first 3D-printed office building->

Taffykay writes: The United Arab Emirates likes to be first when it comes to amazing feats of construction and technology, and it often is. Recently, it was announced that Dubai will be home to the world’s first floating luxury homes and the world’s tallest building already towers over the skyline. Now, plans have been released for the world’s first fully 3D-printed office building, and it’s a cool, space-age structure that will save a bundle on construction costs and material waste.
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+ - How the next US nuclear accident will happen->

Lasrick writes: Anthropologist Hugh Gusterson analyzes safety at US nuclear facilities and finds a disaster waiting to happen due to an over-reliance on automated security technology and private contractors cutting corners to increase profits. Gusterson follows on the work of Eric Schlosser, Frank Munger, and Dan Zak in warning us of the serious problems at US nuclear facilities, both in the energy industry and in the nuclear security complex.
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+ - Depression: The secret struggle startup founders won't talk about->

mattydread23 writes: In May, Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz committed suicide. The news stunned friends and family, and sparked a conversation about the growing problem of depression among startup founders. Some estimates say 30% of startup founders suffer from depression, but many are reluctant to talk about their struggle for fear of alienating investors and employees. This feature by Business Insider includes conversations with a friend of Heinz, plus many investors and other startup founders who are starting to talk about the problem and figure out how to make things better.
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+ - Google apologizes for labeling black people 'gorillas'->

Mark Wilson writes: Google has issued an apology after the automatic tagging feature of its Photos apps labeled a black couple as 'gorillas'. This is not the first time an algorithm has been found to have caused racial upset. Earlier in the year Flickr came under fire after its system tagged images of concentration camps as sports venues and black people as apes.

The company was criticized on social networks after a New York software developer questioned the efficacy of Google's algorithm. Accused of racism, Google said that it was "appalled" by what had happened, branding it as "100% not OK".

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