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+ - Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group is headed for the axe, and its responsibilities will be taken over either by the company's Cloud & Enterprise Division or its Legal & Corporate Affairs group. Microsoft’s disbanding of the group represents a punctuation mark in the industry’s decades-long conversation around trusted computing as a concept. The security center of gravity is moving away from enterprise desktops to cloud and mobile and 'things', so it makes sense for this security leadership role to shift as well. According to a company spokesman, an unspecified number of jobs from the group will be cut. Also today, Microsoft has announced the closure of its Silicon Valley lab. Its research labs in Redmond, New York, and Cambridge (in Massachusetts) will pick up some of the closed lab's operations."

+ - Dropbox And Google Want To Make Open Source Security Tools Easy To Use

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dropbox, Google, and the Open Technology Fund today announced a new organization focused on making open source security tools easier to use. Called Simply Secure, the initiative brings together security researchers with experts in user interaction and design to boost adoption rates for consumer-facing security solutions. The companies point out that various security options already do exist, and are technically effective. Features like two-factor authentication remain useless, however, because users don’t adopt them due to inconvenience or technical difficulty."

+ - Canadian Regulator Threatens to Impose New Netflix Regulation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Netflix appeared before the Canadian broadcast regulator today, resulting in a remarkably heated exchange with threats of new regulation. The discussion was very hostile with the CRTC repeatedly ordering Netflix to provide subscriber and other confidential information. As temperatures increased, the Canadian regulator expressed disappointment over the responses from a company that it said "that takes hundreds of millions of dollars out of Canada" and implicitly threatened to regulate the company by taking away its ability to rely on the new media exception if it did not co-operate with its orders."
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+ - Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "Phys.org reports, "The life sciences have come under fire recently with a study published in PLOS ONE that investigated the level of sexual harassment and sexual assault of trainees in academic fieldwork environments. The study found 71% of women and 41% of men respondents experienced sexual harassment, while 26% of women and 6% of men reported experiencing sexual assault. The research team also found that within the hierarchy of academic field sites surveyed, the majority of incidents were perpetrated by peers and supervisors. — More at The New York Times where it notes, "Most of these women encountered this abuse very early in their careers, as trainees. The travel inherent to scientific fieldwork increases vulnerability as one struggles to work within unfamiliar and unpredictable conditions..." ""
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+ - The Minecraft Parent

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Michael Agger has an interesting article in the New Yorker about parenting in the internet era and why Minecraft is the one game parents want their kids to play.

Screens are no longer simply bicycles for the mind; they are bicycles that children can ride anywhere, into the virtual schoolyard where they might encounter disturbing news photos, bullies, creeps, and worse. Setting a child free on the Internet is a failure to cordon off the world and its dangers. It’s nuts. We inure ourselves to this craziness by relying on the basic innocence of kids: they could type all sorts of unseemly things into that Google search box, but they usually don’t.

The comfort of games is that they are partially walled off from the larger Internet, with their own communities and leaderboards. But what unsettles parents about Internet gaming, despite fond memories of after-school Nintendo afternoons, is its interconnectivity.

Minecraft is played by both boys and girls, unusually. Players can join together to build worlds together: airports, castles, cave systems, roller coasters, an accurate replica of Westeros. At its best, the game is not unlike being in the woods with your best friends. Parents also join in. The Internet is full of testimonials of parents playing with their kids, of children reading their first word in Minecraft, and other milestones usually performed in the analog world.

According to Agger the significance of Minecraft is how the game shows us that lively, pleasant virtual worlds can exist alongside our own, and that they are places where we want to spend time, where we learn and socialize. “To me what Minecraft represents is more than a hit game franchise,” says new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “It’s this open-world platform. If you think about it, it’s the one game parents want their kids to play.” We need to meet our kids halfway in these worlds, and try to guide them like we do in the real world concludes Agger. "Who knows how Minecraft will change under Microsoft’s ownership, but it’s a historic game that has shown many of us a middle way to navigate the eternal screens debate.""

+ - Why Banana skins are slippery wins IgNobel->

Submitted by gbjbaanb
gbjbaanb (229885) writes "This year's Ig Nobel prize was won by Japanese researchers investigating why banana skins produced a frictionless surface compared to apple and orange peels.
(apparently "The polysaccharide follicular gels that give banana skins their slippery properties are also found in the membranes where our bones meet." so its not all fun and jollity)

Other prizes were awarded for noting that dogs only defecate when aligned with north-south magnetic fields, and that 'night owl' people are more likely to be psychopaths than early risers. Yes, that probably includes you."

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+ - Native Netflix support is coming to Linux, for real->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Native support for Netflix is coming to Linux, thanks to their move from Sliverlight to HTML5, Mozilla and Google Chrome. Paul Adolph from Netflix proposed a solution to Ubuntu developers: "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed. If this version is generally installed across 14.02, Netflix would be able to make a change so users would no longer have to hack their User-Agent to play."

The ball is now in the court of Canonical developers."

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+ - Home Depot Says Breach Affected 56 Million Cards->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Home Depot said on Thursday that a data breach affecting its stores across the United States and Canada is estimated to have exposed 56 million customer payment cards between April and September 2014. While previous reports speculated that Home Depot had been hit by a variant of the BlackPOS malware that was used against Target Corp., the malware used in the attack against Home Depot had not been seen previously in other attacks. "Criminals used unique, custom-built malware to evade detection," the company said in a statement.

The home improvement retail giant also that it has completed a “major payment security project” that provides enhanced encryption of payment card data at point of sale in its U.S. stores. The security improvements required writing tens of thousands of lines of new software code and deploying nearly 85,000 new pin pads to its stores.

According to a recent report from Trend Micro, six new pieces of point-of-sale (PoS) malware have been identified so far in 2014. Four of these six variants were discovered between June and August: Backoff, BlackPOS version 2, BrutPoS and Soraya."

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+ - Ask slashdot: Remote support for disconnected, computer-illiterate relatives.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I use email to communicate with my folks overseas. Their "ISP" only allows dial-up access to their email account (there is no option of chaning ISP), that can receive messages no larger than 1MB nor hold more than 15MB (no hope of changing that either). They are computer-illiterate, click on everything they receive, and take delight on sending their information to any nigerian prince that contacts them, "just in case this one is true". Needless to say, thir PC is always full of viruses and spyware. In my next yearly visit, instead of just cleaning it up, I'd like to gift them with some "hardened" PC to use for email only that would hopefully last the year before someone has to fix it. So far, these are the things I have in mind:
  • Some kind of linux distro, or maybe even mac. Most viruses over there are windows only and propagate via Autorun.inf or by email attachments, not having Windows could prevent both.
  • Some desktop environment that hides anything unrelated to connecting to the net and accessing their account (dial-up software, email client, web browser, exchanging files between their hard disk/email attachments and USB drives). By "hide", I just want the rest to be out of the way, but not entirely removed, so that if necessary, I can guide them over the phone. For this, Ubuntu's Unity seems like a particularily bad solution, but a Gnome desktop with non-removable desktop shortcuts (is this possible?) for the file manager, browser, email client and dial-up program could work. An android system is unlikely to work (they have no wifi, and they were utterly confused with Android's UI).
  • This could be a life saver: some kind of extension to the email client that executes commands on specially formated emails (e.g., signed with my private key), so that I can do some basic diagnostics or install extra software if I have to. This las point is important: they currently rely on aquaintances who may not be competent (they can't evaluate that) if something happens between my visits. They, most likely, wont know how to deal with anything non-windows, so all tech support would fall on me. (This is the reason I haven't moved them from windows yet.)
  • Another very useful extension would be something to automatically re-assemble attachments split into several emails, to overcome the 1MB message limit.

Does any of that exist? If I have to build that system myself (or parts of it), do you have other suggestions? For the inevitable and completely reasonable suggestion of getting someone competent for tech support: I've tried that too. The competent ones don't last beyond the third visit."

+ - eBay redirect attack puts buyers' credentials at risk

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "EBay has been compromised so that people who clicked on some of its links were automatically diverted to a site designed to steal their credentials. The spoof site had been set up to look like the online marketplace's welcome page. The firm was alerted to the hack on Wednesday night but removed the listings only after a follow-up call from the BBC more than 12 hours later. One security expert said he was surprised by the length of time taken. "EBay is a large company and it should have a 24/7 response team to deal with this — and this case is unambiguously bad," said Dr Steven Murdoch from University College London's Information Security Research Group. The security researcher was able to analyse the listing involved before eBay removed it. He said that the technique used was known as a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack."

+ - Wave Power Fails to Live Up to Promise->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "One of the leading companies developing wave power devices, Ocean Power Technologies, has dramatically scaled down its ambitions. The company had planned to install the world's first commercial-scale wave farms off the coast of Australia and Oregon, but has now announced that it's ending those projects. Instead it will focus on developing next-gen devices. Apparently the economics of wave power just don't make sense yet."
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+ - iOS 8 Review->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apple is releasing iOS 8 today, and Ars Technica has posted one of their huge, thorough reviews of the updated operating system. They have this to say about the UI: "iOS 8 tries to fit a whole lot more stuff onto a single screen than iOS 7 did. The operating system was clearly developed in anticipation of iPhones with larger screens." The biggest new feature is Extensions: "Older versions of iOS limited what third-party applications could do to communicate with external services and other third-party applications. ... Extensions remove some (but not all) of those barriers." The biggest examples of extensions are custom keyboards, a feature iOS users have been requesting for years. Downsides to iOS 8 include increased storage and processing requirements, which are bad news for older iPhones, and a host of new bugs associated with the new features."
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+ - Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Household devices are getting smarter these days: the so-called internet of things is bringing software-controlled thermostats, lighting, and other appliances into the mainstream. Many companies are fighting for a piece of the pie, but Logitech is taking a different approach. They're mostly known for computer peripherals, but they also make multi-function remote controls, and now they're trying to build remotes that will control all of a home's smart devices. "Logitech doesn’t want to own the device, it wants to own the app experience. But to do that, it had to build a software overlay and a controller that would convince people to put it in their homes. So it’s offering a $100 hub that combines IR, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RF that will let you use the Logitech Harmony app to control gear that uses those protocols. This means if you have a SmartThings, a Peq or a Lutron hub, the Wi-Fi in the Logitech device will let you control the others’ gear from Logitech, which so far seems to have a much nicer interface." They've worked out partnerships with a lot of companies that are big in the home, like Nest, Honeywell, and Philips, all of whom seem to want this extra layer of control for the user."
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+ - Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Released

Submitted by ildon
ildon (413912) writes "Recently, the rights holder of former game publisher Softdisk's game library put the rights to some of their old titles up for sale, including Commander Keen: Keen Dreams, one of the few games in the series not to be published by Apogee. A group of fans created an Indiegogo campaign to purchase those rights. We are just now seeing the fruits of that effort with the full source code of the game being published to GitHub. About a year ago, Tom Hall found the sources to episodes 4-6, but it's not clear what, if any, progress has been made on getting Bethesda to allow that code to be released."

+ - Scotland independence seen as 'cataclysmic' ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Scotland is not a major high-tech employment center, but it has good universities and entrepreneurial energy. About 70,000 people work in tech out of a total workforce of about 2.5 million, or about 3%. By contrast, financial services accounts for about 15% of employment in Scotland. But passions are high. "Honest, I've never been so scared in my life," said Euan Mackenzie about the prospect of separating from the U.K. He runs a 16-employee start-up, 1partCarbon, in Edinburgh, a platform that builds medical systems. "For tech start-ups, funding will be tougher to find and more expensive, there will be no local banks, access to EU markets and the freedom of movement will be curtailed," said Mackenzie. "As someone who enjoys risk and new opportunities, my company will remain in Scotland and make the best of whichever side prevails on Thursday, but the effect of independence on tech start-ups and the whole Scottish economy will be cataclysmic," he said."
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