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+ - Gmail is no longer acceptable - Slashdot, please opine on alternatives! 3

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Bettering security, I enable a VPN now (Avast Secureline) before accessing my banking and any other financial sites. Difficulty: gmail then thinks I'm a bot, and requires a captcha. In the past, after a few days of answering captchas, Google disabled access to my gmail, without recourse. It lasted 48 hours. I don't need this happening again. So, Google has now gone far enough IMHO. I need a reliable, secure email provider, with calendaring. So, (ahem, apprehensively) /.r's, you know the history (and can you see into the future?) of this sordid tale, what email service do -you- recommend to keep -my- email communications private? Or do you succumb idly to the false sense of security that accompanies the services of the almighty Goog?

(with a semi-faux-sheepish, yet vaguely wicked grin)"

+ - New Snowden Revelation: GCHQ/NSA 'Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations'

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Extracted from the recent Snowden cache, Glenn Greenwald at NBC News has posted a GCHQ presentation demonstrating how the NSA incubated a covert "dirty tricks" group known as JTRIG — the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. The purpose of JTRIG is to infiltrate groups online and destroys people's reputations — going far beyond terrorist threats to national security.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

NSA and GCHQ were self-described "signals intelligence" agencies, supposedly merely understanding and decoding signals, without taking offensive action. The Snowden docs have now revealed that the mandate of these organizations swings to the offensive, and they actively employ tactics which destroy people's lives to meet their own agendas.

Is this really a power you want to trust — a secretive government agency without any accountable oversight?"

+ - FDA wants to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida->

Submitted by MikeChino
MikeChino (1640221) writes "In an attempt to curb outbreaks of two devastating tropical diseases in the Florida Keys, the FDA is proposing the release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes into the area. Scientists have bred male mosquitoes with virus gene fragments, so when they mate with the females that bite and spread illness, their offspring will die. This can reduce the mosquito population dramatically, halting the spread of diseases like dengue fever."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Amazon Looks the Other Way, Acts Innocent (Score 2) 79

by Press2ToContinue (#48937081) Attached to: Alibaba Face Off With Chinese Regulator Over Fake Products

Alibabi is not unique in this regard, Amazon is due for a dressing-down for quite similar negligence. I have bought many supposedly name-brand items, only to realize upon receiving that they are cheap, fraudulent knock-offs. Yet Amazon seems unable or unwilling to address the issue. Reading recent comments, you can sometimes tell, but Amazon does not associate the product supplier with the comments, so there is no way to track which suppliers are providing authentic goods, and which are taking you for a ride.

+ - Falcon Heavy To Be Reusable: Animation

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Despite SpaceX's recent epic fail, aka Elon's RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event, or depending on how you look at it, their most recent almost-success, Falcon Heavy is slated to be the world’s most powerful rocket when it flies, and will also attempt to return it’s core stage and boosters for rapid refurbishment and reuse, as this animation demonstrates. SpaceX is confident its accuracy will be sufficient to park the booster elements on land near the process and re-launch site.

Now with bonus Infographic: SpaceX's Huge Falcon Heavy Rocket: How It Works"

+ - The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics is a free PDF download->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you wanted to pinpoint the beginning of the PC era, you could do worse than to declare that it began when the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine came out. It cover-featured the MITS Altair 8800, the first successful PC, and inspired Paul Allen and Bill Gates to found "Micro-Soft." I wrote about the issue, which is now available for free in PDF form (along with every other issue of Popular Electronics)."
Link to Original Source

+ - ATM Bombs Coming Soon to United States

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Nick Summers has an interesting article at Bloomberg about the epidemic of 90 ATM bombings that has hit Britain since 2013. ATM machines are vulnerable because the strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. "Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem," writes Summers. "Gas is pumped in, and when it’s detonated, the weakest part—the large hinged door—is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic." The rise in gas attacks has created a market opportunity for the companies that construct ATM components. Several manufacturers now make various anti-gas-attack modules: Some absorb shock waves, some detect gas and render it harmless, and some emit sound, fog, or dye to discourage thieves in the act.

As far as anyone knows, there has never been a gas attack on an American ATM. The leading theory points to the country’s primitive ATM cards. Along with Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and not many other countries, the U.S. doesn’t require its plastic to contain an encryption chip, so stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM. Encryption chip requirements are coming to the U.S. later this year, though. And given the gas raid’s many advantages, it may be only a matter of time until the back of an American ATM comes rocketing off."

+ - New Malware Makes Drone Hijacking a Reality->

Submitted by Molly McHugh
Molly McHugh (3774987) writes "A nasty but fascinating little software experiment called Maldrone makes it possible to sneak into a drone's computing brain via a backdoor style intrusion and take over. The drone can then be disabled instantly—in which case it will literally fall out of the sky—or be steered away from the drone owner, escaping to the "bot master" who has taken control."
Link to Original Source

+ - Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope" For World's Highest Elevator 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Halfway up the Shard, London’s tallest skyscraper, you are asked to step out of the elevator at the transfer floor or “sky lobby,” a necessary inconvenience in order to reach the upper half of the building, and a symptom of the limits of elevators today. To ascend a mile-high (1.6km) tower using the same technology could necessitate changing elevators as many as 10 times because elevators traveling distances of more than 500m [1,640 ft] have not been feasible because the weight of the steel cables themselves becomes so great. Now BBC reports that after nine years of rigorous testing, Kone has released Ultrarope — a material composed of carbon-fiber covered in a friction-proof coating that weighs a seventh of the steel cables, making elevators of up to 1km (0.6 miles) in height feasible to build. Kone's creation was chosen to be installed in what's destined to become the world's tallest building, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When completed in 2020, the tower will stand a full kilometer in height, and will boast the world's tallest elevator at 660m (2,165ft). A 1km-tall tower may seem staggering, but is this the buildable limit? Most probably not, according to Dr Sang Dae Kim. “With Kingdom Tower we now have a design that reaches around 1 km in height. Later on, someone will push for 1 mile, and then 2 km,” says Kim adding that, technically speaking, a 2 km might be possible at the current time. “At this point in time we can build a tower that is 1 km, maybe 2 km. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework.”"

+ - Google apologizes for homophobic slurs in its translator

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Google has apologised after it emerged that its translation tool has been replacing the word ‘gay’ with homophobic slurs. Google introduced a fix to the software and offered an apology yesterday (January 26) after an AllOut petition calling on the company to address the problem amassed over 50,000 signatures. When translating ‘gay’ from English into Spanish, French or Portuguese, Google Translate had been offering words like ‘faggot,’ ‘poof,’ ‘fairy’ and ‘dyke’ as synonyms. When the Russian word for ‘gay’ is translated into English, some of the results shown included ‘pansy boy’, ‘fairy’ and ‘sodomite.’ “Imagine learning English and being taught to say hateful insults instead of neutral language for ‘gay’. Google Translate – used by over 500 million people every month – was suggesting slurs as synonyms for the word ‘gay’, AllOut said in a statement. Google translate is based on the Google Brain, using AI which has recently been enhanced by the purchase of DeepMind Technologies."

+ - Researchers Tie Regin Malware to NSA, Five Eyes Intel Agencies

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered shared code and functionality between the Regin malware platform and a similar platform described in a newly disclosed set of Edward Snowden documents 10 days ago by Germany’s Der Spiegel.

The link, found in a keylogger called QWERTY allegedly used by the so-called Five Eyes, leads them to conclude that the developers of each platform are either the same, or work closely together.

“Considering the extreme complexity of the Regin platform and little chance that it can be duplicated by somebody without having access to its source codes, we conclude the QWERTY malware developers and the Regin developers are the same or working together,” wrote Kaspersky Lab researchers Costin Raiu and Igor Soumenkov today in a published report."

+ - DEA Cameras Tracking Hundreds of Millions of Car Journeys Across the US->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program set up in 2008 to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects. The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request."
Link to Original Source

+ - Young Cubans Set Up Mini-Internet->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Internet connections remain illegal for Cuban households, but many of the country's citizens still want to tap into the power of networked information exchange. A group of tech-savvy young Cubans has set up a network comprising thousands of computers to serve as their own miniature version of the internet. They use chat rooms, play games, and connect to organize real-life activities. Cuban law enforcement seems willing to tolerate it, so far, though the network polices itself so as not to draw undue attention. One of the engineers who helped build the network said, "We aren't anonymous because the country has to know that this type of network exists. They have to protect the country and they know that 9,000 users can be put to any purpose. We don't mess with anybody. All we want to do is play games, share healthy ideas. We don't try to influence the government or what's happening in Cuba ... We do the right thing and they let us keep at it.""
Link to Original Source

+ - EFF Unveils Plan For Ending Mass Surveillance-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a detailed, global strategy for ridding ourselves of mass surveillance. They stress that this must be an international effort — while citizens of many countries can vote against politicians who support surveillance, there are also many countries where the citizens have to resort to other methods. The central part of the EFF's plan is: encryption, encryption, encryption. They say we need to build new secure communications tools, pressure existing tech companies to make their products secure against everyone, and get ordinary internet-goers to recognize that encryption is a fundamental part of communication in the surveillance age. They also advocate fighting for transparency and against overreach on a national level. "[T]he more people worldwide understand the threat and the more they understand how to protect themselves—and just as importantly, what they should expect in the way of support from companies and governments—the more we can agitate for the changes we need online to fend off the dragnet collection of data." The EFF references a document created to apply the principles of human rights to communications surveillance, which they say are "our way of making sure that the global norm for human rights in the context of communication surveillance isn't the warped viewpoint of NSA and its four closest allies, but that of 50 years of human rights standards showing mass surveillance to be unnecessary and disproportionate.""
Link to Original Source

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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