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Encryption

Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the NSA-can't-make-heads-or-something-of-it dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "When Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. Now Klint Finley reports that Snowden also used The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) to keep his communications out of the NSA's prying eyes. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box using a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity that you install on a DVD or USB drive, boot your computer from and you're pretty close to anonymous on the internet. 'Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn't store any data locally,' writes Finley. 'This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources.'

The developers of Tails are, appropriately, anonymous. They're protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. 'The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,' the group says. But since we don't know who wrote Tails, how do we know it isn't some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it's bad for the NSA, it's safe to say it's good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. 'With Tails,' say the distro developers, 'we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.'"
Mozilla

Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO 204

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-chris-beard-hates-kittens dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Following the contentious and ultimately failed appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO last month, the Mozilla Corporation has appointed Chris Beard to the board of directors and made him interim CEO. Beard starting working as chief marketing officer for Mozilla in 2004, and oversaw the launch of its current browser, Firefox, in 2005. Beard also managed the launches of Firefox on Android and the Firefox OS for mobile phones." See the official announcement. Quoting: "We began exploring the idea of Chris joining the Board of Directors some months ago. Chris has been a Mozillian longer than most. He’s been actively involved with Mozilla since before we shipped Firefox 1.0, he’s guided and directed many of our innovative projects, and his vision and sense of Mozilla is equal to anyone’s. I have relied on his judgement and advice for nearly a decade. This is an excellent time for Chris to bring his understanding of Mozilla to the Board."
Bug

Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs? 266

Posted by timothy
from the linux-on-the-desktop dept.
dotancohen (1015143) writes "It is commonly said that open source software is preferable because if you need something changed, you can change it yourself. Well, I am not an Xorg developer and I cannot maintain a separate Xorg fork. Xorg version 1.13.1 introduced a bug which breaks the "Sticky Keys" accessibility option. Thus, handicapped users who rely on the feature cannot use Xorg-based systems with the affected versions and are stuck on older software versions. Though all pre-bug Linux distros are soon scheduled for retirement, there seems to be no fix in sight. Should disabled users stick with outdated, vulnerable, and unsupported Linux distros or should we move to OS-X / Windows?

The prospect of changing my OS, applications, and practices due to such an ostensibly small issue is frightening. Note that we are not discussing 'I don't like change' but rather 'this unintentional change is incompatible with my physical disability.' Thus this is not a case of every change breaks someone's workflow."
Ubuntu

Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the change-your-ways dept.
jones_supa writes "In a new blog post, the Ubuntu main man Mark Shuttleworth calls for an end to proprietary firmwares such as ACPI. His reasoning is that running any firmware code on your phone, tablet, PC, TV, wifi router, washing machine, server, or the server running the cloud your SAAS app is running on, is a threat vector against you, and NSA's best friend. 'Arguing for ACPI on your next-generation device is arguing for a trojan horse of monumental proportions to be installed in your living room and in your data center. I've been to Troy, there is not much left.' As better solutions, Shuttleworth suggests delivering your innovative code directly to the upstream kernel, or using declarative firmware that describes hardware linkages and dependencies but doesn't include executable code."
Music

Neil Young's "Righteous" Pono Music Startup Raises $1 Million With Kickstarter 413

Posted by samzenpus
from the I've-been-a-miner-for-a-format-of-gold dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jose Pagliery reports at CNN that the 68-year-old rock star unveiled his startup, Pono, at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas raising $1.4 million in a single day. Young has developed a portable music player that stores high-resolution recordings and promises to deliver all the delicate details that get chopped out of modern-day formats, like MP3s and CDs. 'Pono' is Hawaiian for righteous. 'What righteous means to our founder Neil Young is honoring the artist's intention, and the soul of music. That's why he's been on a quest, for a few years now, to revive the magic that has been squeezed out of digital music.' With 128 GB of space, the PonoPlayer can carry about 3,200 tracks of high-resolution recordings while an MP3 player of the same size can hold maybe 10 times that many songs. Young says the MP3 files we're all listening to actually are pretty poor from an audio-quality standpoint and only contains about five percent of the audio from an original recording. But isn't FLAC already lossless? What makes Pono better?"
Privacy

Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal 519

Posted by timothy
from the just-because-you-can dept.
cold fjord writes with this CNN report: "Massachusetts' highest court ruled Wednesday that it is not illegal to secretly photograph underneath a person's clothing — a practice known as "upskirting" — prompting one prosecutor to call for a revision of state law. The high court ruled that the practice did not violate the law because the women who were photographed while riding Boston public transportation were not nude or partially nude."
Earth

3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced Ocean 266

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-the-magic-out dept.
sciencehabit writes "About 1000 meters down in a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean sits an unusual legacy of humanity's love affair with the automobile. It's a huge mass of seawater infused with traces of the toxic metal lead, a pollutant once widely emitted by cars burning leaded gasoline. Decades ago, the United States and Europe banned leaded gas and many other uses of the metal, but the pollutant's fingerprint lingers on—as shown by remarkably detailed new 3-D maps released this week. The 3D maps and animations are the early results of an unprecedented $300 million international collaboration to document the presence of trace metals and other chemicals in the world's oceans. The substances, which often occur in minute quantities, can provide important clues to understanding the ocean's past—such as how seawater masses have moved around over centuries—and its future, such as how climate change might shift key biochemical processes."
The Military

US War Machine Downsizing? 506

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the how-will-we-defeat-zombie-stalin-now? dept.
mrspoonsi writes "BBC Reports: 'Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled plans to shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest size since before World War Two. Outlining his budget plan, the Pentagon chief proposed trimming the active-duty Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 personnel — from 520,000 currently. The U.S. currently spends more on defense than the combined total of the next 12 countries, as ranked by defense spending.'"
The Internet

White House Responds To Net Neutrality Petition 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the sanitized-to-remove-any-promises-or-useful-information dept.
bostonidealist writes "The White House has officially responded to a We The People petition created on January 15, 2014, which urged the President to 'direct the FCC to classify ISPs as "common carriers"' after the D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals 'struck down the Federal Communications Commission's open internet rules.' The White House statement says, 'absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries,' but notes, 'The FCC is an independent agency. Chairman Wheeler has publicly pledged to use the full authority granted by Congress to maintain a robust, free and open Internet — a principle that this White House vigorously supports.'"

Comment: Why lynx (Score 4, Insightful) 2219

by SgtChaireBourne (#46183603) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!
Why lynx? Because if it works with lynx it not only works with all browsers, it works with the search engines. That ensures that even the comments are searchable. As it is, the javascript is not only a major security hole it slows things down noticeably, even on fast hardware. I didn't buy this fast machine for Dice to use, I bought it because I want a snappy and responsive UI even when browsing the web. That includes Slashdot. Further, working in lynx ensures that screen readers can use the page, meaning that those with little or no sight can still use the web site. It's less work to avoid the javascript and reaches more people and search engines. Beta sucks and just needs to go away. If the powers that be still feel compelled to make changes, scrap Beta and start over beginning with usability and accessiblity.

Comment: Go after the advertisers (Score 5, Insightful) 2219

by SgtChaireBourne (#46183561) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Our support is important to you, Slashdice. And if you refuse to listen, you shan't have it.

Dice has had months of feedback to change or improve the situation with Beta but has chosen instead to respond with a giant "fuck you" to its user base. That includes Timothy's non-answer, which is just another "fuck off" in so many fine words. Needless to say, it is that user base which the site is about. It is why people come here and what advertisers pay money to reach. Since Dice has demonstrated an unresponsiveness for months, including this last message from Timothy, it is time to escalate to Dice's bosses, the advertisers.

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