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Networking

CERN Engineers Have To Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables (vice.com) 169

An anonymous reader writes: CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider, has grand plans to update the world's largest particle accelerator complex in the next few years. But engineers have identified a barrier to the upgrade: there's no space for new cables in the injectors that accelerate particles before they enter the LHC. In the past, when parts of the accelerators have been upgraded or added to, engineers would often additionally replace the cables that connected them. In the process, they would leave in place the old cables that were no longer in use. Now, a heap of obsolete cables are blocking the way to install new ones needed for the accelerator’s next big upgrade. To make space, CERN engineers have set out to identify and remove the old, unused cables. All 9,000 of them.
Data Storage

Six Missing HDDs Contain Health Information of Nearly a Million Patients (corporate-ir.net) 87

Lucas123 writes: Health insurer Centene Corp. revealed that it is looking for six HDDs with information on 950,000 customers that went missing during a data project that was using laboratory results to improve the health outcomes of patients. The drives not only contain sensitive personal identification information, such as addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers, but they also contain health information. "While we don't believe this information has been used inappropriately," said Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene.
Networking

Advantech Industrial Serial-To-Internet Gateways Left Wide Open (rapid7.com) 35

itwbennett writes: Researchers from Rapid7 have discovered a vulnerability in serial-to-IP gateway devices from Advantech that would allow the Internet-connected industrial devices to be accessible to anyone, with no password. In October, the Taiwanese firm patched the firmware in some of these devices to remove a hard-coded SSH (Secure Shell) key that would have allowed unauthorized access by remote attackers. But it overlooked an even bigger problem: Any password will unlock the gateways, which are used to connect legacy serial devices to TCP/IP and cellular networks in industrial environments around the world.
Bug

Zero-Day Vulnerability Discovered In FFmpeg Lets Attackers Steal Files Remotely 72

prisoninmate writes: A zero-day vulnerability in the FFmpeg open-source multimedia framework, which is currently used in numerous Linux kernel-based operating systems and software applications, also for the Mac OS X and Windows platforms, has been discovered recently by Russian programmer Maxim Andreev in the current stable builds of the software. It appears to let anyone with the necessary skills hack a computer to read local files on a remote machine and send them over the network using a specially crafted video file. Arch Linux devs already rebuilt their FFmpeg packages without the AppleHTTP and HLS demuxers.
Medicine

Major Health Organization Stops Forcing Doctors To Adopt New Technology (internalmedicinenews.com) 111

nbauman writes: The administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told an investors' conference that they will be backing off the unpopular requirement that doctors show "meaningful use" of their new computer systems. Andy Slavitt, acting administrator, admitted that "physician burden and frustration levels are real. Programs that are designed to improve often distract. Done poorly, measures are divorced from how physicians practice and add to the cynicism that the people who build these programs just don't get it."

Dr. James L. Madara, CEO of the American Medical Association, agreed that EHRs were having a negative impact on physicians' practices. Many physicians are spending at least two hours each workday using their EHR and may click up to 4,000 times per 8-hour shift, he said. Instead, CMS will reward health care providers for patient outcomes through the merit-based incentive pay systems created by last year's Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) legislation.CMS is calling on the private sector to create apps and analytic tools that will keep data secure while fostering true and widespread interoperability.

Input Devices

Video Api.ai CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn Talks About Conversational Voice Interfaces (Video) 32

Api.ai makes an Android voice-controlled utility called Assistant. I have it on my Android phone. It is one of many simiar apps, and I have been trying them a little at a time. Are any of them as good as Siri? Let's just say, "Quality varies."

And Android voice assistants aren't the point of this interview, anyway. It's more about the process of developing interactive, voice-based IO systems. This whole voice/response thing is an area that's going to take off any year now -- and has been in that state for several decades -- but may finally be going somewhere, spurred by intense competition between the many companies working in this field, including Ilya's.
Security

Pwnd Aethra Routers Used To Brute-Force WordPress Sites (voidsec.com) 27

An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers found around 8,000 Aethra routers (with no admin passwords) as part of a botnet that attacked WordPress sites, trying to brute-force admin accounts. Most routers were deployed in enterprise networks in Italy. Each device could have be used to launch DDoS attacks with a capability between 1 to 10 Gbps, based on the company's bandwidth. Things could be worse, though: Additional investigation also revealed that some of the routers were also susceptible to various reflected XSS and CSRF attacks that would also allow attackers to take control of the device, even if using different login credentials. Using Shodan, a search engine for locating Internet-connected devices, researchers found over 12,000 of Aethra routers around the world, 10,866 in Italy alone, and over 8,000 of these devices were of the model detected in the initial brute-force attack (Aethra Telecommunications PBX series). At that time, 70% of these Aethra routers were still using their default login credentials
Bug

Steam Bug Shows You Other Users' Account Details (kotaku.com) 92

An anonymous reader writes: The Steam game distribution platform is suffering from a particularly bad bug right now. If you log in and try to look at your account details, you're shown the details of another user's account — seemingly picked at random. This includes email address, last 4 digits of a phone number, whether SteamGuard (their two-factor authentication) is enabled, and the last 2 digits of an associated credit card. If you play a game, Steam will show you as being logged in as somebody else while in that game. Many users are being shown pages in other languages, as they are mistaken for players in different regions. This bug follows an apparent DDoS attack that took the service down for several hours. The bug doesn't seem to allow people to purchase games using a different account. That's good, though that means most, perhaps all players, are unable to buy games on Christmas during Steam's huge Winter Sale.
Businesses

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Programmer Jobs Will Decline 8% (computerworld.com) 349

theodp writes: Two weeks ago, as the nation's schools 'taught kids to program' with an Hour of Code, Microsoft and others celebrated a 6-year lobbying effort that culminated in the passage of legislation that made Computer Science a core K-12 subject, which the software giant said "will advance some of the goals outlined in Microsoft's National Talent Strategy." But on Tuesday, Computerworld reported that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has put somewhat of a buzzkill on the learn-to-code party, saying IT jobs will grow 12% over the next decade, although computer programmers will see an 8% decline. "Computer programming can be done from anywhere in the world, so companies sometimes hire programmers in countries where wages are lower," explained the government. The silver lining is that software developers, the largest occupational group in IT, will increase by 17% or 186,600, over this period. The nomenclature here is a little muddy, since "programmers" and "software developers" are often used interchangeably. Here's how they're distinguished in this article: "Programmers are focused on coding and implementing requirements, and that’s why they may be more susceptible to offshoring, in contrast to software developers who may be more engaged with the business, analyzing needs and collaborating with multiple parties."
Oracle

Oracle Settles FTC Charges Regarding Deceptive Java Security Updates (ftc.gov) 33

An anonymous reader writes: The FTC and Oracle have come to an agreement regarding Oracle's deceptive Java security updates, which only removed recent versions of vulnerable Java SE, but left behind older, insecure versions. Oracle got away without a fine, but will have to overhaul its Java update process to remove older versions as well.
Cloud

The Data Center Density Debate: Generational Change Brings Higher Densities (datacenterfrontier.com) 45

1sockchuck writes: Over the past decade, there have been repeated predictions of the imminent arrival of higher rack power densities. Yet extreme densities have remained focused in high performance computing. Now data center providers are beginning to adapt their designs for higher densities. One of these companies is Colovore, which is among a cliuster of companies adopting chilled-water cooling doors for their cabinets (LinkedIn is another). They say the move to higher densities is driven in part by a generational change in IT teams, as younger engineers are less worried about high-density strategies using water in the data center. "A lot of them grew up with PC gaming and water cooling right in their living room," said a Colovore executive.
Communications

Replacement For Mozilla Thunderbird? 388

maxcelcat writes: I've used Thunderbird for about a decade, and Netscape Mail before that (I have an email from 1998 from Marc Andreessen, welcoming me to Netscape Email, telling me different fonts can add impact to my emails). Thunderbird has served me well, but it's getting long in the tooth. Given the lack of development and the possibility that it's going End of Life, what should I use instead? I have multiple email accounts and an archive of sixteen years of email. I could get a copy of Outlook, but I don't like it.

Things I like about Thunderbird: Supports multiple email accounts; simple interface; storage structure is not one monolithic file; plain text email editor; filtering. Things I don't like: HTML email editor; folders are hard to change and re-arrange.
Businesses

Ted Cruz Wants Minimum H-1B Wage of $110,000 (computerworld.com) 543

dcblogs writes: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, has morphed from a vocal supporter of the H-1B program to a leading critic of it. He has done so in a new H-1B reform bill (PDF) that sets a minimum wage of $110,000 for H-1B workers. By raising the cost of temporary visa workers, Cruz is hoping to discourage their use. Cruz also wants to eliminate Optional Practical Training Program (OPT). The co-sponsor of this bill, The American Jobs First Act of 2015, is U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who called the OPT program "a backdoor method for replacing American workers."
Businesses

Tech Giant SAP Seeks To Hire More Autistic Adults (cio.com) 165

itwbennett writes: In May 2013, SAP launched its Autism at Work program, with the goal of recruiting and hiring 'hundreds of people' with autism worldwide. Now the company is expanding the program, and is looking to have people on the autism spectrum make up 1 percent of its total workforce (~650 people) by 2020, says José Velasco, head of the Autism at Work program at SAP. So far, autistic workers fulfill all kinds of roles in IT — from software testing, data analysis, quality assurance to IT project management, graphic design, finance administration and human resources, Velasco says, and the potential for new roles is expanding rapidly.
Programming

Signs You're Doing Devops Wrong (infoworld.com) 166

snydeq writes: Misconceptions and flawed implementations may have many organizations missing the true upsides of devops, writes Adam Bertram in his article on devops practices gone wrong. "Saying that your company embraces devops and regularly practices devops techniques is popular nowadays, and it can serve as great PR for bringing in great talent to your team. But in truth, many companies — and technical recruiters — that are proclaiming their devotion to devops from the hilltops aren't really devops organizations."

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