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+ - Yes. The NSA did know about, exploit Heartbleed-> 1

Submitted by squiggleslash
squiggleslash (241428) writes "One question arose almost immediately upon the exposure of Heartbleed (Original Slashdot story), the infamous OpenSSL exploit that can leak confidential information and even private keys to the Internet: Did the NSA know about it, and did they exploit if so? The answer is "Yes". Bloomberg reports that "The agency found the Heartbeat glitch shortly after its introduction, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, and it became a basic part of the agency’s toolkit for stealing account passwords and other common tasks." Some National Security experts are upset about this, given the same flaw could just as easily be used by foreign governments against Americans as vice versa."
Link to Original Source

+ - Algorithm Reveals Objects Hidden Behind Other Things In Camera Phone Images->

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Imaging is undergoing a quiet revolution at the moment thanks to various new techniques for extracting data from images. Now physicists have worked out how to create an image of an object hidden behind a translucent material using little more than an ordinary smartphone and some clever data processing. The team placed objects behind materials that scatter light such as onion skin, frosted glass and chicken breast tissue. They photographed them using a Nokia Lumina 1020 smartphone, with a 41 megapixel sensor. To the naked eye, the resulting images look like random speckle. But by treating the data from each pixel separately and looking for correlations between pixels, the team was able to produce images of the hidden objects. They even photographed light scattered off a white wall and recovered an image of the reflected scene--a technique that effectively looks round corners. The new technique has applications in areas such as surveillance and medical imaging."
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Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS? 197

Posted by timothy
from the yes-but-how dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am a middle school math teacher and I also run a programming club. I recent completed my M.Ed in math education and was inspired to try to do the new GT online MS in Computer Science in a couple of years. I have some background in programming: two intro to comp sci courses, Java, C++, Python, the main scripting languages, and a bunch of math background. I also read through this great article on getting these pre-requisites completed through Coursera but unfortunately you need to wait for courses to enroll. I would like to just learn these on my own time, no credit necessary. Suggestions?"

TrustyCon Session Videos Now Online 6

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the grab-some-popcorn dept.
The RSA conference counter-conference TrustyCon livestreamed its videos and made the seven hour video available. Al Billings wasn't happy with that, and split the videos into segments for easy viewing. Quoting: "I don't know about you but I like my viewing in smaller chunks. I also tend to listen to talks and presentations, especially when there is no strong visual component, by saving the audio portion of it to my huffduffer account and listening to the resulting feed as a podcast. I took it on myself to do a quick and dirty slice and dice on the seven plus hour video. It isn't perfect (I'm a program manager, not a video editor!) but it works. ... Additionally, I extracted the audio from each of these files and put an audio collection up on the Internet Archive, for people like me who just want to listen to them." The videos are collected into a Youtube playlist.

HTTPS More Vulnerable To Traffic Analysis Attacks Than Suspected 17

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the working-out-the-bugs dept.
msm1267 writes "Researchers have built new attack techniques against HTTPS traffic that have been effective in learning details on users' surfing habits, leaking sensitive data that could impact privacy. They tested against 600 leading healthcare, finance, legal services and streaming video sites, including Netflix. Their attack, they said in a research paper, reduced errors from previous methodologies more than 3 ½ times. They also demonstrate a defense against this attack that reduces the accuracy of attacks by 27 percent by increasing the effectiveness of packet level defenses in HTTPS, the paper said. 'We design our attack to distinguish minor variations in HTTPS traffic from significant variations which indicate distinct traffic contents,' the paper said. 'Minor traffic variations may be caused by caching, dynamically generated content, or user-specific content including cookies. Our attack applies clustering techniques to identify patterns in traffic.'"

Comment: Bring back undomesticated food (Score 0) 168

by Khopesh (#46383393) Attached to: The Mammoth Cometh: Revive & Restore Tackles De-Extinction

The core tenant behind the increasingly popular paleo diet is that food has been over-domesticated, favoring things like size, portability, and crop yield rather than health. Taste is often also low on the priority list (though higher than health). Wild plants like dandelion greens and ramps are significantly healthier than our domesticated cabbages for example.

The same goes for meat. Wild game meat is far healthier than meat from a factory farm. It's often tastier as well, though the farmed stuff tends to be fattier (and fat equals flavor). I'd love to try the meat of an ancestor of the cow that pre-dates its domestication. (It should also be eating and excersizing similar to the way it would in the wild rather than eating corn and living in tight quarters.)

Input Devices

Gesture Recognition Without Batteries 22

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-talking-with-your-hands-becomes-untenable dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from the University of Washington: "[C]omputer scientists have built a low-cost gesture recognition system that runs without batteries and lets users control their electronic devices hidden from sight with simple hand movements. The prototype, called 'AllSee,' uses existing TV signals as both a power source and the means for detecting a user's gesture command (PDF). 'This is the first gesture recognition system that can be implemented for less than a dollar and doesn't require a battery,' said Shyam Gollakota, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering. 'You can leverage TV signals both as a source of power and as a source of gesture recognition.' The researchers built a small sensor that can be placed on an electronic device such as a smartphone. The sensor uses an ultra-low-power receiver to extract and classify gesture information from wireless transmissions around us. When a person gestures with the hand, it changes the amplitude of the wireless signals in the air. The AllSee sensors then recognize unique amplitude changes created by specific gestures."

Comment: Re:I don't think so (Score 1) 124

by Khopesh (#46369975) Attached to: Why We Need To Teach Hacking In High School

Times have changed - when I did my computer science degree, most of the students were at the geeky end of the spectrum and were there because that's what they were really into. Compare to the present-day cross section of computer science students: most of them are there because computers are seen as a good career. The extra-curricular interest is giving way to people who just want a job.

I disagree. People like you and me merely congregated together and ignored the others. (Also, you went to school in Wales. Different world.) My above statement was about "my most IT-savvy freshman colleagues," which is to say under a dozen total (and I was friends with all of them). I'd say about 75% of my freshman peers in CS declared the major for its salaries and/or a passion for video games. I imagine today's breakdown is roughly the same, more due to the fact that most freshmen are blank slates than any measure of incoming freshman tech savviness (which brings us back on topic...).

I even chose CS over History and other things I was roughly equally interested in because it better mapped to a better career. (Also because my grades were stronger in CS and advanced math, but that had more to do with my odds of acceptance.) I had lots of classmates who were horrible at math but had chosen the program for the money it represented. Most of them failed out and migrated to the business program (which was less academically rigid at that school at that time; these days, they'd fail there too).

Comment: Re:I don't think so (Score 2) 124

by Khopesh (#46361985) Attached to: Why We Need To Teach Hacking In High School

When I went off to college, many of my most IT-savvy freshman colleagues were versed in networks and system administration because they had run the computer labs of their high schools. Some of them had been caught cracking or otherwise mucking about in ways that the school staff lacked the ability to revert and been forced to clean up after themselves, others saw messes and volunteered to help out. They got paid and had responsibilities. From this new perspective, they learned the "damage" students could deal and then had the hands-on task of cleaning it up. I wish I had had that opportunity.

In this sort of environment, especially given the ubiquity of virtual machines and virtual networks, a well-facilitated capture the flag (CTF) event should be easy enough to facilitate. Even without virtualization (or even any lab at all), any school could reach out to a local hacker group and ask them to host a CTF event. The cost of scrounging up a bunch of computers and networking equipment for a one-shot event should be decently low given the spare parts in your typical hacker group or Linux users group. Maybe the school or city could even provide a budget for the event.

+ - Camlanta: Police instaling 12,000 Camera's in Georgia's Capital City->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports ( that Atlanta Police plan to have as many as 12,000 cameras installed in the city.

“Atlanta is really on the leading edge of work in this area,” said William Flynn, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputy assistant secretary of infrastructure protection. “We spend a lot of our attention on preparedness, protection, prevention. This kind of technology is the best use of those efforts and the best use of our resources.

“We’ve even been able to capture a murder on film,” said Atlanta Police Lt. LeAnne Browning, a supervisor at the video integration center where footage from more than 2,700 cameras is monitored.

I'm sure that was of great comfort to the murder victim and his/her loved ones."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cuba-specific Tor + long range wifi (802.22?) (Score 1) 119

by Khopesh (#46243479) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

"The island is 1,250 km (780 mi) long and 191 km (119 mi) across its widest points and 31 km (19 mi) across its narrowest points.[1] The largest island outside the main island is the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) in the southwest, with an area of 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi)."

Sorry, Slashdot killed my squared symbol and I missed it in the content preview. Wikipedia says Cuba is 110 km^2 in area.

If 802.22 can cover a 100km radius (200km diameter), width isn't an issue. The 1,250km length would need only seven full-powered 802.22 antennae to provide a "backbone" across the main island (1250/200 = 6.25). Maybe each of those can have either a satellite uplink or a wired connection. Surely, another few hundred cheaper and/or lower-powered antennae (perhaps 802.11y or 802.11af?) would be able to saturate valleys and high density areas.

Comment: Cuba-specific Tor + long range wifi (802.22?) (Score 2) 119

by Khopesh (#46240771) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

If Cuba built its own onion routing network (perhaps using Tor software though not connected to the Tor network), then each satellite dish or other internet connection would automatically be able to facilitate connectivity for the rest of the network. No need to wire anything (except some of the exit nodes), this can all happen over wifi.

Don't forget that 802.11af, 802.11y, and 802.22 have ranges measured in miles (802.22 can cover 100km). Blanketing an island of 110km would still take a good number of antennae (especially given the dead zones created by dense buildings in cities), but at a governmental budget scale, it seems quite feasible.

+ - Why P-values cannot tell you if a hypothesis is correct ->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "P values, the 'gold standard' of statistical validity, are not as reliable as many scientists assume. Critically, they cannot tell you the odds that a hypothesis is correct. A feature in Nature looks at why, if a result looks too good to be true, it probably is, despite an impressive-seeming P value."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Comment view (Score 4, Insightful) 2219

by Khopesh (#46181067) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Thanks for taking the time for this, Soulskill (et al).

I really missed the ability to set comment thresholds in the GET of an article (removed in the last major UI upgrade). I have a lot of friends that do not frequent slashdot, and when I link them an article that I want them to read the better comments of, it needs to be at a threshold they'll tolerate (typically, 5/4 for full/abbrev if there are enough comments).

I have other suggestions as well, but getting comments right is by far #1. I can fix the rest with Greasemonkey.

+ - Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Speeding is against the law, and yes, even going 5 mph over the speed limit is breaking the law. But everyone does it, right? You do it, your friends do it, heck, your grandmother does it. But what about when you see a cop? Some cops are ticketing people for notifying fellow motorists about speed traps. In Florida, Ryan Kintner simply flashed his high-beams to warning oncoming cars that there was a cop ahead. He was given a ticket for doing so. He went to court to fight the ticket, and a judge ruled that flashing lights are the equivalent of free speech, thus he had every right to flash his lights to warn oncoming cars. So what have we learned here? Basically, if you are a good Samaritan, flash your lights and warn oncoming traffic of speed traps, because this is America ,and we are allowed freedom of speech."

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke