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+ - Mysterious osmosis lets spiders weave graphene-reinforced webs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Italian researchers in Trent have enabled 15 Pholcidae spiders to spin graphene-strengthened dragline silk just by spraying them with a solution containing carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes. The resulting fiber is as strong as Kevlar 49, and ranks among the most resilient and ductile in the world of manufacturing. But Emiliano Lepore’s research [http://arxiv.org/pdf/1504.06751v1] has not succeeded in understanding by what process the spiders are able to incorporate the ambient materials into their webs. Since spider-farming is historically unproductive, the possibility of continuing the research on silk-worms has been presented.
Link to Original Source

+ - Top Cyber Attack Vectors For Critical SAP Systems

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Despite housing an organization’s most valuable and sensitive information, SAP systems are not protected from cyber threats by traditional security approaches. Based on assessments of hundreds of SAP implementations, the Onapsis Research Labs study found that over 95 percent of SAP systems were exposed to vulnerabilities that could lead to full compromise of the company’s business data and processes. Most companies are also exposed to protracted patching windows averaging 18 months or more. In 2014 alone, 391 security patches were released by SAP, averaging more than 30 per month. Almost 50 percent of them were ranked as “high priority” by SAP.

+ - Centimeter-Resolution GPS for Smartphones, VR, Drones->

Submitted by agent elevator
agent elevator writes: UT Austin engineers have come up with a software fix that corrects for the errors GPS has when using the tiny antennas on smartphones. They demoed it using a VR setup and got 2-cm accuracy. For now it runs on a separate processor from the smartphone, but they say they'll fix that. The demo appears to have been done on a rooftop. VR. Outside. On a roof. Doesn't seem like a good idea, does it?
Link to Original Source

+ - Why Companies Should Hire Older Developers->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: Despite legislation making it overtly illegal, ageism persists in the IT industry. If you’re 40 or older, you’ve probably seen cases where younger developers were picked over older ones. At times we’re told there’s a staffing crisis, that companies need to import more developers via H-1B, but the truth is that outsourcing and downsizing eliminated a subset of viable developers from the market. Those developers, in turn, had to figure out if they wanted to land another job, freelance, or leave the technology industry entirely. But older developers still have a lot to offer, developer David Bolton writes in a new column: They have decades of experience (and specialist knowledge), they have a healthy disregard for office politics (but can still manage, when necessary), they're available, and they're (generally) stable. So why does it seem like a lot of them aren't being hired?
Link to Original Source
Government

Voting With Dollars: Politicians and Their Staffers Roll With Uber 132

Posted by timothy
from the al-franken's-demonstrated-preferences dept.
The Center for Public Integrity, an anonymous reader writes, has conducted an analysis of the relationship between one interesting group of riders (275 federal politicians and political committees) and ride-sharing services like Uber. From their report, it seems this group "together spent more than $278,000 on at least 7,625 Uber rides during the 2013-2014 election cycle." That's a roughly 18-fold spending increase from the previous election cycle, when federal committees together spent about $15,000 on Uber services. It represents a veritable monopoly, too: Almost no political committee used Uber's direct competitors, Lyft and Sidecar, according to the analysis, and traditional taxi use declined precipitously. Bipartisan love of Uber abounds, with politicos of all stripes composing a de facto Uber caucus, voting with their money for a wildly popular but controversial company.

+ - What to Say When the Police Tell You to Stop Filming Them 3

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Robinson Meyer writes in The Atlantic that first of all, police shouldn’t ask. “As a basic principle, we can’t tell you to stop recording,” says Delroy Burton, a 21-year veteran of DC's police force. “If you’re standing across the street videotaping, and I’m in a public place, carrying out my public functions, [then] I’m subject to recording, and there’s nothing legally the police officer can do to stop you from recording.” What you don’t have a right to do is interfere with an officer's work. "“Police officers may legitimately order citizens to cease activities that are truly interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations,” according to Jay Stanley who wrote the ACLU’s “Know Your Rights” guide for photographers, which lays out in plain language the legal protections that are assured people filming in public. Police officers may not confiscate or demand to view your digital photographs or video without a warrant and police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances.

What if an officer says you are interfering with legitimate law enforcement operations and you disagree with the officer? “If it were me, and an officer came up and said, ‘You need to turn that camera off, sir,’ I would strive to calmly and politely yet firmly remind the officer of my rights while continuing to record the interaction, and not turn the camera off," says Stanley. The ACLU guide also supplies the one question those stopped for taking photos or video may ask an officer: "The right question to ask is, ‘am I free to go?’ If the officer says no, then you are being detained, something that under the law an officer cannot do without reasonable suspicion that you have or are about to commit a crime or are in the process of doing so. Until you ask to leave, your being stopped is considered voluntary under the law and is legal."
Microsoft

Microsoft Releases PowerShell DSC For Linux 265

Posted by timothy
from the do-what-you-want-to-do dept.
jones_supa writes: Microsoft is announcing that PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) for Linux is available for download in form of RPM and DEB packages. DSC is a new management platform that provides a set of PowerShell extensions that you can use to declaratively specify how you want your software environment to be configured. You can now use the DSC platform to manage the configuration of both Windows and Linux workloads with the PowerShell interface. Microsoft says that bringing DSC to Linux is another step in the company's "broader commitment to common management of heterogeneous assets in your datacenter or the public cloud." Adds reader benjymouse: DSC is in the same space as Chef and Puppet (and others); but unlike those, Microsofts attempts to build a platform/infrastructure based on industry standards like OMI to allow DSC to configure and control both Windows, Linux and other OSes as well as network equipment like switches, etc.
Privacy

Sorority Files Lawsuit After Sacred Secrets Posted On Penny Arcade Forums 257

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-secret-handshake dept.
Limekiller42 writes: Lawyers for the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority have filed suit in Seattle's King County Superior Court against an unidentified person for "publicizing the sorority's secret handshake, robe colors and other practices." The well-written article is by Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and states that the sorority is seeking a restraining order and financial compensation for damages.

+ - Sorority Files Lawsuit After Sacred Secrets Posted on Penny Arcade Forums-> 1

Submitted by Limekiller42
Limekiller42 writes: Lawyers for the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority have filed suit in Seattle's King County Superior Court against an unidentified person for "publicizing the sorority’s secret handshake, robe colors and other practices." The well-written article is by Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and states that the sorority is seeking a restraining order and financial compensation for damages.
Link to Original Source

+ - Workplace Stress Dramatically Impacting IT Professionals

Submitted by Orome1
Orome1 writes: High workplace stress levels for IT professionals are dramatically impacting both employees and employers. These impacts are illustrated by increases in those staff looking to find another job, and in those working increasing amounts of unpaid overtime to cope with workloads. A growing number of IT staff are also experiencing substantial disruption to their personal lives as a result of work demands. 90% of respondents are actively considering leaving their current IT job due to workplace stress and dissatisfaction with working conditions.

+ - LinkedIn used to create database of 27,000 US Intelligence personnel->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A new group, Transparency Toolkit, has mined LinkedIn to reveal and analyse the resumes of over 27,000 people in the US intelligence community. In the process, Transparency Toolkit said it found previously unknown secret codewords and references to surveillance technologies and projects. It aims to use the database for crowd-sourced data mining to "watch the watchers".
Link to Original Source
Programming

C Code On GitHub Has the Most "Ugly Hacks" 264

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-of-the-beholder dept.
itwbennett writes: An analysis of GitHub data shows that C developers are creating the most ugly hacks — or are at least the most willing to admit to it. To answer the question of which programming language produces the most ugly hacks, ITworld's Phil Johnson first used the search feature on GitHub, looking for code files that contained the string 'ugly hack'. In that case, C comes up first by a wide margin, with over 181,000 code files containing that string. The rest of the top ten languages were PHP (79k files), JavaScript (38k), C++ (22k), Python (19k), Text (11k), Makefile (11k), HTML, (10k), Java (7k), and Perl (4k). Even when controlling for the number of repositories, C wins the ugly-hack-athon by a landslide, Johnson found.
Security

Self-Destructing Virus Kills Off PCs 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the worst-in-class dept.
mpicpp sends word about particularly bad virus making the rounds, with this snippet from the BBC: "A computer virus that tries to avoid detection by making the machine it infects unusable has been found. If Rombertik's evasion techniques are triggered, it deletes key files on a computer, making it constantly restart. Analysts said Rombertik was 'unique' among malware samples for resisting capture so aggressively. On Windows machines where it goes unnoticed, the malware steals login data and other confidential information. Rombertik typically infected a vulnerable machine after a booby-trapped attachment on a phishing message had been opened, security researchers Ben Baker and Alex Chiu, from Cisco, said in a blogpost. Some of the messages Rombertik travels with pose as business inquiry letters from Microsoft. The malware 'indiscriminately' stole data entered by victims on any website, the researchers said. And it got even nastier when it spotted someone was trying to understand how it worked. 'Rombertik is unique in that it actively attempts to destroy the computer if it detects certain attributes associated with malware analysis,' the researchers said."

+ - DEA steals life savings of innocent man

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In another example of civil forfeiture, DEA agents confiscated the life savings of a man heading to California based on no evidence.

There was no evidence of a crime, the man was never charged, but three weeks later he still has not gotten his money back.

Sean Waite, the agent in charge for the DEA in Albuquerque, said he could not comment on the Rivers case because it is ongoing. He disputed allegations that Rivers was targeted because of his race. Waite said that in general DEA agents look for "indicators" such as whether the person bought an expensive one-way ticket with cash, if the person is traveling from or to a city known as a hot spot for drug activity, if the person's story has inconsistencies or if the large sums of money found could have been transported by more conventional means.

"We don't have to prove that the person is guilty," Waite said. "It's that the money is presumed to be guilty."

Read the whole article. This is entirely unconstitutional. The fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights expressly forbids the taking of private property "without just compensation."

+ - Extreme Exoplanet Volcanism Possibly Detected on 55 Cancri e->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine writes: Using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have revealed wild atmospheric changes on a well studied exoplanet — changes that they suspect are driven by extreme volcanic activity. Over a period of 2 years, the team, led by University of Cambridge researchers, noted a 3-fold change in temperature on the surface of 55 Cancri e. The super-Earth planet orbits a sun-like star 40 light-years away in the constellation of Cancer. It is twice the size of Earth and 8-times our planet’s mass. 55 Cancri e is well-known to exoplanet hunters as the “diamond planet” — a world thought to be carbon-rich, possibly covered in hydrocarbons. But this new finding, published today in the arXiv pre-print service, has added a new dimension to the planet’s weird nature. “This is the first time we’ve seen such drastic changes in light emitted from an exoplanet, which is particularly remarkable for a super-Earth,” said co-author Nikku Madhusudhan, of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, in a press release. “No signature of thermal emissions or surface activity has ever been detected for any other super-Earth to date.”
Link to Original Source

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