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Technology

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”
Security

Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the guess-who dept.
Advocatus Diaboli writes The Regin malware, whose existence was first reported by the security firm Symantec on Sunday, is among the most sophisticated ever discovered by researchers. Symantec compared Regin to Stuxnet, a state-sponsored malware program developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage computers at an Iranian nuclear facility. Sources familiar with internal investigations at Belgacom and the European Union have confirmed to The Intercept that the Regin malware was found on their systems after they were compromised, linking the spy tool to the secret GCHQ and NSA operations.
Open Source

Critical XSS Flaws Patched In WordPress and Popular Plug-In 41

Posted by timothy
from the switch-to-slashcode dept.
itwbennett writes The WordPress development team on Thursday released critical security updates that address an XSS vulnerability in the comment boxes of WordPress posts and pages. An attacker could exploit this flaw to create comments with malicious JavaScript code embedded in them that would get executed by the browsers of users seeing those comments. 'In the most obvious scenario the attacker leaves a comment containing the JavaScript and some links in order to put the comment in the moderation queue,' said Jouko Pynnonen, the security researcher who found the flaw.
Yahoo!

Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine 400

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-couple dept.
mpicpp writes with news that Yahoo will soon become the default search engine in Firefox. Google's 10-year run as Firefox's default search engine is over. Yahoo wants more search traffic, and a deal with Mozilla will bring it. In a major departure for both Mozilla and Yahoo, Firefox's default search engine is switching from Google to Yahoo in the United States. "I'm thrilled to announce that we've entered into a five-year partnership with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default search experience on Firefox across mobile and desktop," Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer said in a blog post Wednesday. "This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years." The change will come to Firefox users in the US in December, and later Yahoo will bring that new "clean, modern and immersive search experience" to all Yahoo search users. In another part of the deal, Yahoo will support the Do Not Track technology for Firefox users, meaning that it will respect users' preferences not to be tracked for advertising purposes. With millions of users who perform about 100 billion searches a year, Firefox is a major source of the search traffic that's Google's bread and butter. Some of those searches produce search ads, and Mozilla has been funded primarily from a portion of that revenue that Google shares. In 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, that search revenue brought in the lion's share of Mozilla's $311 million in revenue.
Security

US Postal Service Suspends Telecommuting Following Massive Breach 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-go-home-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The folks at the USPS have responded to the recent breach that exposed data on 800K employees and another some 2.8 million customers. They have suspended telecommuting for all employees until further notice while they replace their VPN with a more secure version. "Additionally, the postal service will upgrade some of its equipment and systems in the coming weeks and months as part of a broad security overhaul in response to the breach."
Google

Ask Slashdot: Single Sign-On To Link Google Apps and Active Directory? 168

Posted by timothy
from the all-in-the-same-gang dept.
trazom28 writes to seek answers to a problem faced by many businesses (and, as in this case, schools): "We are looking for a solution to a single sign on to coordinate Active Directory and Google. You can sync the passwords easily enough with Google Apps Password Sync, but ideally we would like the students and staff to be able to sign in once and be done. Additionally, the Google login requires the @domain.k12.wi.us so it would have to take the AD username, pass it along and tack on the domain to log into Google.

Has anyone seen any solution for this that actually works, or is this the Holy Grail of all IT? Please hold off on any Google haters, that's a different discussion for a different forum.
Microsoft

Microsoft Exec Opens Up About Research Lab Closure, Layoffs 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the story-behind-the-story dept.
alphadogg writes It's been a bit over a month since Microsoft shuttered its Microsoft Research lab in Silicon Valley as part of the company's broader restructuring that will include 18,000 layoffs. This week, Harry Shum, Microsoft EVP of Technology & Research, posted what he termed an "open letter to the academic research community" on the company's research blog. In the post, Shum is suitably contrite about the painful job cut decisions that were made in closing the lab, which opened in 2001. He also stresses that Microsoft will continue to invest in and value "fundamental research".
Patents

Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights 187

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
Florian Mueller is a blogger, software developer and former consultant who writes about software patents and copyright issues on his FOSSPatents blog. In 2004 he founded the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, and has written about Microsoft's multi-billion-dollar Android patent licensing business and Google's appeal of Oracle's Android-Java copyright case to the Supreme Court. Florian has agreed to give us some of his time in order to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.
Cellphones

Mobile Phone Use Soon To Be Allowed On European Flights 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-questionable-values-of-"soon" dept.
New submitter jchevali writes: The BBC reports that mobile phone use on European flights is soon to be allowed. This follows official safety agency findings that their use on the aircraft really poses no risk. Details on the implementation and the timeline for changes will depend on each individual airline.
Debian

Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the go-gnome-or-go-home dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Debian will switch back to using GNOME as the default desktop environment for the upcoming Debian 8.0 Jessie release, due out in 2015. The decision is based on accessibility and systemd integration, along with a host of other reasons. Debian switched away from GNOME back in 2012 .
Chrome

Netflix Now Works On Linux With HTML5 DRM Video Support In Chrome 201

Posted by timothy
from the better-than-impossible dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Beginning with the Chrome 38 Beta it's now possible to watch Netflix without any Wine/Silverlight plug-ins but will work natively using Chrome's DRM-HTML5 video capabilities with Netflix. The steps just involve using the latest beta of Chrome and an HTTP user-agent switcher to tell Netflix you're a Windows Chrome user, due to Netflix arbitrarily blocking the Linux build."

Comment: certification of FOSS baseband (Score 1) 143

China only does assembly. They do not design the chips, and they do not write the software.

Not only that, there is the problem that nearly everyone chooses to ignore, the insecure baseband system and processor. One of the biggest moves China could make would be to both design and certify a processor and a baseboand OS. Then they could just run their own version of Replicant or whatever on the other processor while knowing that the 'hidden' part of the system is also clean. It's the certification that is a big barrier for most teams but China could squash it easily.

Television

Fox Moves To Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish Streaming Service 210

Posted by timothy
from the crossing-the-streams dept.
An anonymous reader writes A day after a surprise U.S. Supreme Court decision to outlaw streaming TV service Aereo, U.S. broadcaster Fox has moved to use the ruling to clamp down on another internet TV service. Fox has cited Wednesday's ruling – which found Aereo to be operating illegally – to bolster its claim against a service offered by Dish, America's third largest pay TV service, which streams live TV programming over the internet to its subscribers and allows them to copy programmes onto tablet computers for viewing outside the home.

Comment: ithkuil (Score 2) 176

"natural langauges" are too imprecise. Even native speakers often get confused talking to each other. It's just that most people don't notice the back and forth with clarifying questions since it comes "naturally". It seems that for any high level of natural language processing a fully sentient AI would be needed for the interpreter.

An interesting experiment might be to use ithkuil for the UI at first to reduce ambiguity and imprecision. That might make it easier to gauge how much AI would ultimately be needed.

Security

The Security Industry Is Failing Miserably At Fixing Underlying Dangers 205

Posted by Soulskill
from the closing-the-barn-door dept.
cgriffin21 writes: The security industry is adding layers of defensive technologies to protect systems rather than addressing the most substantial, underlying problems that sustain a sprawling cybercrime syndicate, according to an industry luminary who painted a bleak picture of the future of information security at a conference of hundreds of incident responders in Boston Tuesday. Eugene Spafford, a noted computer security expert and professor of computer science at Purdue University, said software makers continue to churn out products riddled with vulnerabilities, creating an incessant patching cycle for IT administrators that siphons resources from more critical areas.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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