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Submission + - Typing 'http://:' into a Skype message trashes the installation beyond repair (

An anonymous reader writes: A thread at Skype community forums [] has brought to light a critical bug in Microsoft’s Skype clients for Windows, iOs and Android — typing the incorrect URL initiator 'http://:' into a text message on Skype will crash the client so badly that it can only be repaired by installing an older version and awaiting a fix from Microsoft. The bug does not affect OSX or the 'Metro'-style Windows clients — which means, effectively, that Mac users could kill the Skype installations on other platforms just by sending an eight-character message.

Submission + - Features That Windows 10 Will Deprecate 1

jones_supa writes: Following the exciting news that Windows will be free for everyone currently on Windows 7 or 8.1, providing they upgrade within the first year, users should also be aware of a few features that will no longer work with Windows 10 after that upgrade. The features that will no longer work are taken from the official specifications page at Microsoft's Windows website. The good news is that in some cases alternatives are available. Prepare to say goodbye to: Media Center, out-of-the-box DVD playback and USB floppy support, desktop gadgets, deferring updates (Home edition), old versions of Windows games, and Windows Live Essentials version of OneDrive.

Submission + - Sourceforge Hijacks the Nmap Sourceforge Account ( 2

vivaoporto writes: Gordon Lyon (better known as Fyodor, author of nmap and maintainer of the internet security resource sites,,, and warns on the nmap development mailing list that the Sourceforge Nmap account was hijacked from him.

According to him the old Nmap project page (located at, screenshot) was changed to a blank page and its contents were moved to a new page (, screenshot) which controlled by sf-editor1 and sf-editor3, in pattern mirroring the much discussed the takeover of GIMP-Win page discussed last week on Ars Technica, IT World and eventually this week Slashdot.

That happens after Sourceforge promises to stop "presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects. At this time, we present third party offers only with a few projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or if the project is already bundling third party offers."

To their credit Fyodor states that "So far they seem to be providing just the official Nmap files (as long as you don't click on the fake download buttons) and we haven't caught them trojaning Nmap the way they did with GIMP" but reiterates "that you should only download Nmap from our official SSL Nmap site:"

Submission + - Five treated in hospital following chemical gas leak at Apple data center (

An anonymous reader writes: A chlorine gas leak at an Apple data center in North Carolina has hospitalized five workers. The Catawba emergency services received an alert call at 2pm local time from the Apple site based on Startown Road in Maiden. Footage was captured at the scene of the building being evacuated, people being treated by medical crews and supplied with oxygen masks. Initially authorities said that there had been two unidentified chemicals involved in the leak, later confirming that it had been chlorine gas. When cooled chlorine can be stored as a liquid, but turns to gas if exposed to air. If breathed in by humans the chemical can be damaging to the respiratory system, dissolving the mucous membrane causing fluid to build up in the lungs which can lead to suffocation by drowning. An investigation has revealed that the noxious chemical leak was given off from on-site water-cooling equipment used to cool the center's servers. The five injured workers were treated at the nearby Catawba Valley Medical Center and were all discharged shortly after. Neither the medical center nor Apple have provided further details on the incident.

Submission + - Linux Kernel Switching To Linux v4.0, Coming With Many New Addons (

An anonymous reader writes: Following polling on Linus Torvald's Google+ page, he's decided to make the next kernel version Linux 4.0 rather than Linux 3.20. Linux 4.0 is going to bring many big improvements besides the version bump with there being live kernel patching, pNFS block server support, VirtIO 1.0, IBM z13 mainframe support, new ARM SoC support, and many new hardware drivers and general improvements. Linux 4.0 is codenamed "Hurr durr I'ma sheep."

Submission + - Why tech activists must become campaign finance reform activists (

Funksaw writes: In a blog post called: 'Why we in tech must support Lawrence Lessig', former Twitter engineer Nathan Marz makes the argument that technological issues, such as net neutrality, broadband monopolies, and extended copyrights, can't be addressed until campaign finance reforms are enacted, and that initiatives such as Lawrence Lessig's Mayday PAC need to be supported. FTA:

This issue is so important and touches so many aspects of our society that I believe it's our duty as citizens to fight for change any way we can. We have to support people who are working day and night on this, who have excellent ideas on how to achieve reform.

Submission + - Astronomers Identify the Sun's Long-Lost Sister 1

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers led by astronomer Ivan Ramirez of the University of Texas — Austin has identified the first 'sibling' of the sun, a star almost certainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. 'Astronomers had been observing the star for almost two decades without realizing it's the long-lost sister of the Sun. No doubt we have catalogued other solar siblings whose common heritage has yet to be discovered. Indeed, the UT team, lead by astronomer Ivan Ramirez, is confident that the identification of HD 162826 is just the beginning. “We want to know where we were born,” Ramirez said in a statement. “If we can figure out in what part of the galaxy the Sun formed, we can constrain conditions on the early solar system. That could help us understand why we are here.”'

Submission + - Developer Who Introduced 'Heartbleed' Flaw Denies He Inserted It Deliberately

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Ben Grubb reports that German software developer Robin Seggelmann says he did not insert the "Heartbleed" flaw deliberately as some have suggested. "It was a simple programming error in a new feature, which unfortunately occurred in a security relevant area. It was not intended at all, especially since I have previously fixed OpenSSL bugs myself, and was trying to contribute to the project," says Seggelmann. "I was working on improving OpenSSL and submitted numerous bug fixes and added new features. In one of the new features, unfortunately, I missed validating a variable containing a length." After he submitted the code, a reviewer "apparently also didn’t notice the missing validation," Seggelmann added, "so the error made its way from the development branch into the released version." Logs show that reviewer was Dr Stephen Henson. Despite denying he put the bug into the code intentionally, Seggelmann says it was entirely possible intelligence agencies had been making use of it over the past two years. "It is a possibility, and it's always better to assume the worst than best case in security matters." If anything has been demonstrated by the discovery of the bug, Seggelmann says it is awareness that more contributors are needed to keep an eye over code in open source software. "It’s unfortunate that it’s used by millions of people, but only very few actually contribute to it," Seggelmann concludes. "The more people look at it, the better, especially with a software like OpenSSL."

Submission + - Remembering the women in America's nuclear weapons history (

Lasrick writes: Wonderful essay that asks us to remember and honor the women in America's 'rich nuclear history,' from the women in the 1940's who worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (and who were kept in the dark about the nature of their work), to the women in recent years who have been involved in nuclear weapons policy. The author draws on information from the essay "Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals" and "The Girls of Atomic City" to describe 'the barrier(s) to entry unique to the brave new world of nuclear politics.' Great read.

Submission + - New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Lucy Mangan reports at The Guardian that a new labor agreement in France means that employees must ignore their bosses' work emails once they are out of the office and relaxing at home – even on their smartphones. Under the deal, which affects a million employees in the technology and consultancy sectors (including the French arms of Google, Facebook, and Deloitte), employees will also have to resist the temptation to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones – or any other kind of malevolent intrusion into the time they have been nationally mandated to spend on whatever the French call la dolce vita. “We must also measure digital working time," says Michel De La Force, chairman of the General Confederation of Managers. "We can admit extra work in exceptional circumstances but we must always come back to what is normal, which is to unplug, to stop being permanently at work.” However critics say it will impose further red tape on French businesses, which already face some of the world's tightest labor laws. However according to Simon Kelner French productivity levels outstrip those of Britain and Germany, and French satisfaction with their quality of life is above the OECD average. "No wonder, we may say. We'd all like to take a couple of hours off for lunch, washed down with a nice glass of Côtes du Rhône, and then switch our phones off as soon as we leave work. It's just that our bosses won't let us."

Submission + - Canada halts online tax returns in wake of Heartbleed (

alphadogg writes: Canada Revenue Agency has halted online filing of tax returns by the country's citizens following the disclosure of the Heartbleed security vulnerability that rocked the Internet this week. The country's Minister of National Revenue wrote in a Twitter message on Wednesday that interest and penalties will not be applied to those filing 2013 tax returns after April 30, the last date for filing the returns, for a period equal to the length of the service disruption. The agency has suspended public access to its online services as a preventive measure to protect the information it holds, while it investigates the potential impact on tax payer information, it said.

Submission + - Duo fought file-encrypting malware until Symantec let a secret slip (

SpacemanukBEJY.53u writes: Two researchers managed to find a gaping fault in a ransomware program called CryptoDefense, one in a long line of insidious programs that encrypt people's files and demands payment to free the data. They started a low-key project to help victims decrypt their files, but Symantec blogged about the fault. The cybercriminals subsequently updated the program to close the hole. Ransomware scams similar to CryptoDefense have been around for at least a decade but have suddenly surged because of their effectiveness in spooking people and strong profitability. Users have been left enraged and helpless.

Submission + - Chinese XP users Decline to Blink (

gitbox writes: While others pay extortionate fees to Microsoft to extend XP support, a majority of Chinese see "business as usual" in their future. (To be fair, most never paid for the OS in the first place.)
From the article,"A Wednesday report by Beijing-based China Internet Network Information Center indicates that only about 25 percent of survey participants plan to upgrade to a newer generation operating system and more than half of them intend to continue using Windows XP as long as possible."
Can private domestic firms keep Chinese XP boxes safe?

Submission + - Windows 8.1 Update released, adds a vast amount of improvements for non-touch co

DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft has released the highly anticipated Windows 8.1 Update, adding numerous improvements for non-touch consumers based on feedback. It is also a required update for Windows 8.1, otherwise consumers will no get any future security updates after May 2014. Most of the changes in the update are designed to appease non-touch users, with options to show apps on the desktop taskbar, the ability to see show the taskbar above apps, and a new title bar at the top of apps with options to minimize, close, or snap apps.

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"Though a program be but three lines long, someday it will have to be maintained." -- The Tao of Programming