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Submission + - Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable on Smart TVs (softpedia.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Apparently even the easiest-to-remove ransomware is painfully hard to uninstall from smart TVs, if they're running on the AndroidOS platform, and almost all are. This didn't happen in a real-world scenario (yet), and was only a PoC test by Symantec. The researcher managed to remove the ransomware just because he enabled the Android ADB tool beforehand, knowing he would infect the TV with the ransomware.

"Without this option enabled, and if I was less experienced user, I’d probably still be locked out of my smart TV, making it a large and expensive paper weight," said the researcher.

Via: Softpedia

Submission + - Another Giant XKCD Comics Experiment

Dave Knott writes: XKCD creator Randall Munroe has decided to celebrate the release of his new book, Thing Explainer, by creating a "small game" called Hoverboard. In actuality, it is a gigantic scrolling comic in the same style as his previous Click And Drag. However, this time there is a game element as one navigates the comic. Explore giant starships and volcanoes, or search for hidden lairs, all in the name of finding as many hidden gold coins as possible.

Submission + - Apple's Swift Makes Its Move Towards Android App Development! (fortune-softtech.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple’s Swift Language which was intended only for iOS and OS X apps will become available for Android development as Apple has decided to open source Swift. But Romain Goyet (developer) writes on a recent blog post that the developers can now start using Swift for building Android apps.

Goyet, who gained a huge fame by reverse engineering Apple’s Siri notes that Swift uses LLVM compiler and the current Swift compiler plugs into LLVM to generate binaries. LLVM actually generates assembly for an imaginary machine instead of generating a code for specific architecture. The intermediate representation will later be converted into actual code for the targeted architecture.

Swift Compiler and SwiftCore Library

Goyet, in his blog post describes the process in which the Swift compiler is asked to generate LLVM-IR (Intermediate Representation); the LLVM also generates the ARM ELF file format. Later, the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) which lets you use native code languages generates binary linking against the generated object file.

The biggest issue in using Swift for Android app development is the missing SwiftCore library. Currently, Apple is shipping the SwiftCore Library for iOS, OSX and WatchOS; they obviously don’t ship an Android version. But it has to be noted that, not all the Swift code requires SwiftCore Library. So as long as we make use of the Swift subset that doesn’t hit SwiftCore, it will not be a big problem.

Apple’s open-sourcing effort for Swift to include SwiftCore

Goyet also writes that he’s foreseeing Apple to include SwiftCore in its Swift outsourcing effort. If it is included, getting a SwiftCore library on Android will just be a matter of rebuilding it. Goyet is not the only developer to come up with the approach to use Swift for Android app development.

Last year a mobile development studio called ArcTouch wrote a proof-of-concept calculator app for both iOS and Android. ArcTouch used a custom compiler which parsed Swift code and output Java source code. The Swift code was written in Apple’s Xcode IDE. Eventually, the code was moved to Android Studio IDE to complete the build process and produce an Android APK.

So when Swift is available as an open source language, the development companies will be able to write the IDEs in which the developers write in Swift and compile to Android. As a programming language Swift is very much similar to Java and C#. So it is not that hard to get Swift to compile towards Android. Though, it’s not very clear that Swift is better than Java, it certainly has some newer constructs.

Submission + - Why Are Engineers More Likely to Become Terrorists? 1

HughPickens.com writes: Henry Farrel writes in the Washington Post that there's a group of people which appears to be highly prone to violent extremism — engineers — who are nine times more likely to be terrorists as you would expect by chance. In a forthcoming book, "Engineers of Jihad," published by Princeton University Press, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog provide a new theory for why it is that engineers seem unusually prone to become involved in terrorist organizations. Gambetta and Hertog find strongly suggestive evidence that engineers are more likely to become terrorists because of the way that they think about the world. Survey data indicates that engineering faculty at universities are far more likely to be conservative than people with other degrees, and far more likely to be religious. They are seven times as likely to be both religious and conservative as social scientists. Gambetta and Hertog speculate that engineers combine these political predilections with a marked preference towards finding clearcut answers. This preference has affinities with the clear answer that radical Islamist groups propose for dealing with the complexities of modernity: Get rid of it.

Gambetta and Hertog suggest that this mindset combines with frustrated expectations in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, and among many migrant populations, where people with engineering backgrounds have difficulty in realizing their ambitions for good and socially valued jobs. This explains why there are relatively few radical Islamists with engineering backgrounds in Saudi Arabia (where they can easily find good employment) and why engineers were more prone to become left-wing radicals in Turkey and Iran.

Some people might argue that terrorist groups want to recruit engineers because engineers have valuable technical skills that might be helpful, such as in making bombs. This seems plausible – but it doesn’t seem to be true. Terrorist organizations don’t seem to recruit people because of their technical skills, but because they seem trustworthy and they don’t actually need many people with engineering skills. "Bomb-making and the technical stuff that is done in most groups is performed by very few people, so you don’t need, if you have a large group, 40 or 50 percent engineers," says Hertog. "You just need a few guys to put together the bombs. So the scale of the overrepresentation, especially in the larger groups is not easily explained."

Submission + - Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Shipping with Linux Kernel 4.4 LTS

prisoninmate writes: The current daily build of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) remains based on the Linux 4.2 kernel packages of the stable Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) operating system, while the latest and most advanced Linux 4.3 kernel is tracked on the master-next branch of the upcoming operating system. In the meantime, the Ubuntu Kernel Team announced plans for moving to Linux kernel 4.4 for the final release of the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system.

Comment Not Disney's first labor dispute (Score 1) 246

Watch PBS American Experience "Walt Disney." Disney has been abusing it's workforce for a long time.

Like other corporations, the only way to stop is to make them stop. You need to organize, and fight back, or the abuse will continue.


Comment Re:Maybe US IT deserve what they get? (Score 1) 246

> I think it's going to have to get much worse before people get mad enough to fight.

I think you are right. But I also think that, by that point, it may be too late.

Fairly soon, Americans are get disgusted, and stop studying for STEM. When that the happens, the tech companies will point to declining enrollment as evidence that Americans don't want the jobs.

Submission + - Insurer Refuses to Cover Cox in Massive Piracy Lawsuit (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Trouble continues for one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, with a Lloyds underwriter now suing Cox Communications over an insurance dispute. The insurer is refusing to cover legal fees and potential piracy damages in Cox's case against BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.
Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

Submission + - Hospitals Can 3D Print A Patient's Vasculature For Aneurism Pre-Op Practice (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: University of Buffalo physicians and researchers from two institutes working with 3D printer maker Stratasys have successfully 3D printed anatomically correct models of patients' vascular systems — from their femoral artery to their brain — in order to test various surgical techniques prior to an actual operation. The new 3D printed models not only precisely replicate blood vessels' geometry, but the texture and tissue tension, allowing surgeons a realistic preoperative experience when using catheterization techniques. The printed models are also being used by physicians in training.

Submission + - Windows 10 Fall Update Uninstalls Desktop Software Without Informing Users (ghacks.net)

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: Martin Brinkmann of GHacks writes: Beware, latest Windows 10 Update may remove programs automatically. Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system may uninstall programs — desktop programs that is — from the computer after installation of the big Fall update that the company released earlier this month. I noticed the issue on one PC that I upgraded to Windows 10 Version 1511 but not on other machines. The affected PC had Speccy, a hardware information program, installed and Windows 10 notified me after the upgrade that the software had been removed from the system because of incompatibilities. There was no indication beforehand that something like this would happen, and what made this rather puzzling was the fact that a newly downloaded copy of Speccy would install and run fine on the upgraded system.

Comment Re:Wages in America (Score 1) 246

Why not the same for other professions?

Healthcare is a huge issue. Part of the problem is the astronomical salaries enjoyed by many US physicians - will over one million dollars a year in many cases.

Why does Greenspan scoff that US IT workers want to be a "privileged elite" but he says nothing about doctors earning over $1 million a year?

So let's flood the US with offshore physicians who don't earn anything near that, and thereby reduce our healthcare costs.

Of course, that will never happen. The AMA will not allow it (for the patients good of course).


Submission + - Japan launches its first commercial payload

schwit1 writes: Using its H-IIA rocket, upgraded to lower cost, Japan launched its first commercial payload today, putting Canada’s Telestar 12V into geosynchronous orbit.

It is not clear if Japan’s government-run space program can compete. The rocket is built by Mitsubishi, but it appears owned and operated by JAXA, the equivalent of Japan’s NASA. It has also been a very expensive rocket to launch, as for much of its existence it has been like SLS, more dedicated to producing pork jobs than actually competing with other rocket companies. Whether they can upgrade it sufficiently to compete in price with other rockets is highly questionable.

Nonetheless, that Japan is trying to compete is good news. The more competition, the better. The effort alone will produce new ideas, which in turn can only help lower the cost to get into space, thus making it possible for more people to afford it.

Submission + - New Desalination Method Shocks The Salts Out Of Water (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: As more and more people live in areas affected by drought or contaminated water, desalination is becoming an important way to meet global drinking water needs. So scientists continue to develop ever simpler and less expensive desalination methods.

Current technologies, for example, frequently rely on membranes to filter out ions. These membranes eventually get clogged and must be replaced, increasing costs.

A new method for water desalination separates salt water into briny and fresh streams with the help of an electric shock wave.

Submission + - Second Root Cert-Private Key Pair Found on Dell Computer (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: A second root certificate and private key, similar to eDellRoot, along with an expired Atheros Authenticode cert and private key used to sign Bluetooth drivers has been found on a Dell Inspiron laptop.
The impact of these two certs is limited compared to the original eDellRoot cert. The related eDellRoot cert is also self-signed but has a different fingerprint than the first one. It has been found only on two dozen machines according to the results of a scan conducted by researchers at Duo Security.
Dell, meanwhile, late on Monday said that it was going to remove the eDellroot certificate from all Dell systems moving forward, and for existing affected customers, it has provided permanent removal instructions, and starting today will push a software update that checks for the eDellroot cert and removes it.

Submission + - Blue Origin "New Shepherd" makes it to space... and back again

Geoffrey.landis writes: Blue Origin's "New Shepherd" suborbital vehicle made its first flight into space (defined as 100 km altitude)... and successfully landed both the capsule (by parachute) and the booster rocket (vertical landing under rocket power). This is the first time that a vehicle has made it into space and had all components fully recovered for reuse since the NASA flights of the X-15 in the 1960s.
Check out the videos at various places on the web

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.