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+ - Significant BASH vulnerability found-> 2

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "US-CERT is aware of a Bash vulnerability affecting Unix-based operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X. Exploitation of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.

US-CERT recommends users and administrators review the Redhat Security Blog (link is external) for additional details and to refer to their respective Linux or Unix-based OS vendor(s) for an appropriate patch. A GNU Bash patch is also available for experienced users and administrators to implement.
Operating systems with updates include:
CentOS
Debian
Redhat (link is external)
Ubuntu"

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Comment: Just skip college and make it big in the NFL (Score 2) 716

by SpuriousLogic (#42168511) Attached to: Just Say No To College
or NBA, or music, etc, etc, etc The VAST majority of people who skip college will never achieve anywhere near the financial level they could have achieved by going to school. Skipping college and becoming a billionaire is akin to being the lead point scorer in the NBA without ever playing in college. Yes, it happens, to one person out of millions that play basketball.

Comment: We are in the middle of this transition (Score 1) 182

by SpuriousLogic (#41621595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Do You Push To Production?
The company I work for is right smack in the middle of this transition. We had something akin to a SaaS model, before SaaS was a "thing". We have 40+ applications, some are desktop thick net .Net clients, others are web based, all of which interact with one another to varying degrees. Myself and one other person were instrumental in getting the company to a point where it is possible to release in a semi-automated fashion. Our challenges were similar to what you described - manual work with lots of process wrapped around it to ensure some modicum of governance, which often failed. Our number one task was getting our software dependencies under control and automating building. We settled on Maven/Hudson/Nexus as the tools of choice. We have a corporate POM that defines many of our baselines that each of the software projects inherit from. We use Hudson both for automated builds as well as one touch deploys (some are even totally automated) to environments, including production (which is not automatic - it requires a human to initiate). We then spent over a year "cleaning" our old ant build structures and refactoring into Maven. It cost a lot of money. A whole lot. Maven found numerous cyclical dependencies that Ant hid. We defined all the core libraries, versioned and released them, then built the apps outward from there. Today, 99% of our software builds are totally automated (a few stragglers of low priority products have not yet been converted to Maven). We have total control of our dependency structure. We have a totally automated release process. We have a totally automated deployment process. It took a lot of work, and a lot of money. The other side of the coin is our runtime environments. This has been a disaster. The teams that run these systems don't have the concepts of automating anything unless it comes shrinkwrapped form a vendor. Plus there was a management structure in place that encouraged manual work with large numbers of employees. Firefighting was highly rewarded (both in cash and prestige). Eventually, the balance has shifted. The management on this side has either been terminated or left when they saw the writing on the wall. Slowly this side is embracing virtualization and a move toward generic environments whose buildouts are automated. There is a long way left to go here. The goal eventually is that we can automatically provision a VM for a product and deploy to it as we need (think a mini-AMI model). It is hard. Really hard. A lot of companies won't have the energy to go through with this, and it has a lot of ways to go wrong. We have gone through multiple executive level people during this as well as countless mid-level managers. This type of change is not just technical, itis a massive cultural change for a company. But today, we have a totally automated process for code release all the way from the developers desktop through to production. Depending on the interactions of a piece of software (if it is an edge or core piece), it can moved daily or monthly. The technology itself can allow multiple production moves a day if people so wanted , but for customer reasons we usually limit this to once a day.
Japan

+ - Mt Fuji may be close to erupting->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "The pressure in Mount Fuji's magma chamber is now higher than it was in 1707, the last time the nearly 4,000-metre-high Japanese volcano erupted, causing volcanologists to speculate that a disaster is imminent.

The new readings, taken by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, reveal that the pressure is at 1.6 megapascals, nearly 16 times the 0.1 megapascals it takes to trigger an eruption.

This, lead volcanologist on the case Eisuke Fujita told Kyodo News, is "not a small figure".

Researchers have speculated for some time that the volcano, located on Honshu Island 100km southwest of Tokyo, is overdue an eruption. In 2000 and 2001 a series of low-frequency earthquakes were recorded beneath the volcano, leading to widespread predictions of an imminent blow. Since the March 2011 tsunami and the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that followed four days later, Japan has been on tenterhooks, and in May 2012 a professor from Ryukyu University warned that a massive eruption within three years would be likely because of several major factors: steam and gases are being emitted from the crater, water eruptions are occurring nearby, massive holes emitting hot natural gases are appearing in the vicinity and finally, the warning sign that pushed the professor to make the announcement, a 34km-long fault was found underneath the volcano. The fault, experts suggested, could indicate a total collapse of the mountainside if there is another significant shift, and it would probably cause a collapse in the event of an eruption, leading to huge mud and landslides.

The new readings prove that the localised tectonic shifts of 2011 have indeed put immense pressure on the magma chamber, but the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention has qualified its warning by noting that pressure is just one contributory factor to an eruption. The 1707 quake, however, was itself caused by a recent earthquake that amped up the pressure in its magma chamber.

"It's possible for Mount Fuji to erupt even several years after the March 2011 earthquake, therefore we need to be careful about the development," a representative said.

A 2004 government report originally estimated that an eruption would cost the country £19.6 billion. However, new studies are underway by Honshu Island's Shizuoka prefectural government. The study is focussing on the potential damage that would be caused by a series of simultaneous earthquakes in the Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai regions located along the Nankai Trough, where it is feared another earthquake will soon take place. The most recent models have revealed that, in the worst-case scenario, 323,000 people would die and the tremors could trigger an eruption at Mount Fuji.

Regions that would be affected, including Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka, plan to hold a test run of an evacuation by 2014, with a meeting of local governments covering progress of the plans and of shelter preparations slated for April 2013."

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Transportation

+ - Boeing's X--51 WaveRider Jet Crashes in Mach 6 Attempt->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Boeing's experimental hypersonic X--51 WaveRider aircraft crashed today while attempting to hit Mach 6 while traveling over the Pacific Ocean. The cause of the crash was a faulty control fin, which compromised the test before the Scramjet engine could be lit. A vehicle traveling at Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) would be able to travel from New York to London in just one hour."
Link to Original Source

+ - Air Force Hypersonic Test: Crash & Burn->

Submitted by
donaggie03
donaggie03 writes "The Air Force's X-51A Waverider crashed into the Pacific Ocean after being dropped from the wing of a B-52 bomber. 16 seconds into the test flight, a faulty control fin caused the Waverider lost control.

The Air Force had hoped the craft would be able to reach speeds of up to 4,600 mph. The service said it will release details of the failed test in a few weeks, after researchers are able to analyze the data from the flight."

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Science

+ - Hypersonic X-51A WaveRider lost over the Pacific->

Submitted by gambit3
gambit3 (463693) writes "After approximately 15 seconds of flight, the experimental aircraft designed to fly at six times the speed of sound was unable to maintain control during a test run Tuesday and was lost, the Air Force said in a statement.

The unmanned X-51A WaveRider was expected to reach Mach 6 after it was dropped by a B-52 bomber off the Southern California coast near Point Mugu, but a faulty control fin compromised the flight.

"It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine," Charlie Brink, the X-51A program manager said in a statement. "All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives.""

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Apple

+ - Samsung overtakes Apple as leading phone manufacturer->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd increased its lead over Apple Inc. and Nokia in the global cellphone market in the second quarter, helped by strong demand and large marketing campaigns for its latest flagship model, the Galaxy S III, according to a Reuters poll.

Samsung and Apple have been neck-and-neck for several quarters in the battle to be the largest smartphone vendor, but the May launch of the new Samsung model created a clear gap between the two, the poll of 41 analysts showed.

Samsung is expected to have sold 50 million smartphones in the quarter, compared with Apple's forecast sales of 30.5 million iPhones.

"Samsung is expected to be the smartphone hero in the second quarter," said IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo. "We are also expecting to see the biggest smartphone volumes ever shipped from one single vendor in one quarter, driven by strong demand of the Galaxy portfolio, particularly the Galaxy S II and S III," he said.

Samsung is benefiting from its wide smartphone portfolio when competing against Apple, whose sales are dependent on launch schedules for the next versions of the iPhone.

In the overall cellphone market, when also including basic cellphones, Samsung ended Nokia's 14-year reign as the world's largest in the first quarter and is expected to stretch that lead. Samsung is estimated to have sold 15.7 million more phones than Nokia in the second quarter, the poll showed. In the first quarter, it sold 3.4 million more phones than Nokia, according to Gartner.

The poll also underscored the growing importance of Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei in the industry."

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Censorship

+ - Google today began censoring search results about guns and ammunition-> 2

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "Yesterday, after searching for whatever firearm-related term on Google — “5.56 ammo,” for example — not only would one see general search results, but also a few shopping results.

Not anymore, it seems. According to an online retailer who contacted us to shed light on this outrage, they received a lengthy email from Google Shopping stating per the company’s new policies, all firearms, ammo and accessories will not be approved to be listed.

Indeed, it seems Google is sticking to their guns, if you’ll pardon the expression; search results for even the broadest terms turn up no results on Google shopping (see screenshot at left).

Google Shopping outlined its new policy — part of the company’s transition to its new identity, Google Commercial — in an email sent to the retailer that they were kind enough to forward directly to Guns & Ammo:

Dear Merchant,

We’re writing to let you know about some upcoming changes to the product listings you submit to Google. As we recently announced, we are starting to transition our shopping experience to a commercial model that builds on Product Listing Ads. This new shopping experience is called Google Shopping. As part of this transition, we’ll begin to enforce a set of new policies for Google Shopping in the coming weeks. A new list of the allowed, restricted, and prohibited products on Google Shopping is available on our new policy page – http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd.

Based on a review of the products you’re currently submitting, it appears that some of the content in your Merchant Center account, HamLund Tactical, will be affected by these policy changes. In particular we found that your products may violate the following policies:

Weapons

When we make this change, Google will disapprove all of the products identified as being in violation of policies. We ask that you make any necessary changes to your feeds and/or site to comply, so that your products can continue to appear on Google Shopping.

To help you through this new set of policies and how to comply with them, we would like to give you some specific suggestions regarding the changes needed to keep your offers running on Google Shopping.

Weapons
As highlighted on our new policy page http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/ApI7UWRj6OCZpd, in order to comply with the Google Shopping policies you need to comply first with the AdWords policies http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/StQ08jAzM4fVtG. We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping. In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed and then re-submit your feed in the Merchant Center. For more information on this policy please visit http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/GbBNIGHOribLzf.

We’re constantly reviewing our policies, and updating them when necessary, to ensure we’re offering the best experience possible to our users. We’ve identified a set of policy principles to govern our policy efforts on Google Shopping in the U.S. These principles are:

1) Google Shopping should provide a positive experience to users. Showing users the right products at the right time can truly enhance a user’s experience. When people trust us to deliver them to a destination that’s relevant, original, and easy to navigate this creates a positive online experience to the benefit of both users and merchants.

2 ) Google Shopping should be safe for all users. User safety is everyone’s business, and we can’t do business with those who don’t agree. Scams, phishing, viruses, and other malicious activities on the Internet damage the value of the Internet for everyone. Trying to get around policies or “game the system” is unfair to our users, and we can’t allow that.

3) Google Shopping should comply with local laws and regulations. Many products and services are regulated by law, which can vary from country to country. All advertising, as well as the products and services being advertised, must clearly comply with all applicable laws and regulations. For the most part, our policies aren’t designed to describe every law in every country. All advertisers bear their own responsibility for understanding the laws applicable to their business. Our policies are often more restrictive than the law, because we need to be sure we can offer services that are legal and safe for all users.

4) Google Shopping should be compatible with Google’s brand decisions. Google Shopping must be compatible with company brand decisions. Our company has a strong culture and values, and we’ve chosen not to allow ads that promote products and services that are incompatible with these values. In addition, like all companies, Google sometimes makes decisions based on technical limitations, resource constraints, or requirements from our business partners. Our policies reflect these realities.

We’ve given much thought to our stance on this content, as well as the potential effect our policy decision could have on our Merchants, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Sincerely,

The Google Shopping Team

© 2012 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google Merchant Center account.

Well. This is disappointing — and pretty odd, considering gun sales are through the roof. So exactly what criteria is this ban based on? Let’s break it down point by point.

Google Shopping should provide a positive experience to users.
This, of course, applies to all who are opposed to guns, or to criminals looking to score a Saturday Night Special. But what about law-abiding, responsible gun owners? Clearly Google hasn’t taken us into account.
Google Shopping should be safe for all users.
As was stated, Google isn’t necessarily referring to weapons or keeping users physically safe, but rather their computers from malware and viruses — which admittedly is a smart move, but that should be a no-brainer for any website. Even if Google was referring to the physical well-being of its users, we could point out that it’s still OK to shop for kitchen knives, which work just the same on people as they do on veggies.
Google Shopping should comply with local laws and regulations.
So in which state is it absolutely, 100-percent illegal to purchase guns, ammo or accessories? Sure, there are plenty of regulations in place, but just saying, “Ah screw it,” and banning a legal practice rather than comply with state regulations — no matter how much of a pain in the you-know-what it is — on every sale is just laziness.
Google Shopping should be compatible with Google’s brand decisions.
Ah yes, Almighty Google and its moral high horse. We’d actually love to see Google’s official ethical code, considering this is the same company that was keen on limiting search results in China, per the request of the country’s Communist government.
For a company whose unofficial motto is, “Don’t be evil,” Google has some pretty questionable business practices. If they think limiting gun sales won’t make much of a difference, their sorely mistaken, and chances are, it’s a lesson they’re about to learn the hard way.

Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/2012/06/28/google-sparks-outrage-censors-guns-ammo-and-accessories/#ixzz1zJG2qwcf"

Link to Original Source
Media

+ - Chicago Tribune takes steps towards paywall->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "The Chicago Tribune is launching a redesigned website that will give it the ability to sell digital subscriptions.

Beginning this week, registration will be required to access premium features such as columnists, reviews, in-depth and investigative reporting and new content from outside news sources.

No fees for premium content will be required at this time, and visitors who don't sign up will still have unlimited access to basic content. Rather, newspaper executives described the new website as a first step toward putting up a pay wall.

"We know there has been a lot of buzz in the media lately about our plans for launching a pay model around our content," Bill Adee, vice president for digital development and operations at the Chicago Tribune, said in a memo to employees Tuesday. "We expect to eventually charge for some level of premium content and are looking at several options, but we want user feedback to help shape our next steps. "

The relaunched site will include a number of new features including "drop-down" navigation, linking Facebook comments to a user's social profile and the full integration of TribLocal suburban coverage into chicagotribune.com.

The site will also include new premium content from The Economist and Forbes, available for registered users.

A new mobile-friendly version of chicagotribune.com is several weeks away from being released, according to the memo.

Requiring registration for premium content sets the table for digital subscriptions down the road, but the Tribune has offered no specific timetable for putting the "pay" into its pay wall.

"We'll be testing content and our readers' reactions to the expanded, relaunched site, and we're going to sort through all of that before we determine how much to charge," said Maggie Wartik, Tribune spokeswoman."

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Science

+ - A 200-pound person could harbor as much as 6 pounds of bacteria->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "WASHINGTON— They live on your skin, up your nose, in your gut — enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds.

Now scientists have mapped just which critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that healthy people can share their bodies with more than 10,000 species of microbes.

Don't say "eeew" just yet. Many of these organisms work to keep humans healthy, and results reported Wednesday from the government's Human Microbiome Project define what's normal in this mysterious netherworld.

One surprise: It turns out that nearly everybody harbors low levels of some harmful types of bacteria, pathogens that are known for causing specific infections. But when a person is healthy — like the 242 U.S. adults who volunteered to be tested for the project — those bugs simply quietly coexist with benign or helpful microbes, perhaps kept in check by them.

The next step is to explore what doctors really want to know: Why do the bad bugs harm some people and not others? What changes a person's microbial zoo that puts them at risk for diseases ranging from infections to irritable bowel syndrome to psoriasis?

Already the findings are reshaping scientists' views of how people stay healthy, or not.

"This is a whole new way of looking at human biology and human disease, and it's awe-inspiring," said Dr. Phillip Tarr of Washington University at St. Louis, one of the lead researchers in the $173 million project, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

"These bacteria are not passengers," Tarr stressed. "They are metabolically active. As a community, we now have to reckon with them like we have to reckon with the ecosystem in a forest or a body of water."

And like environmental ecosystems, your microbial makeup varies widely by body part. Your skin could be like a rainforest, your intestines teeming with different species like an ocean.

Scientists have long known that the human body coexists with trillions of individual germs, what they call the microbiome. Until now, they've mostly studied those that cause disease: You may recall health officials saying about a third of the population carries Staphylococcus aureus harmlessly in their noses or on their skin but can infect others.

But no one knew all the types of microbes that live in healthy people or where, and what they do. Some 200 scientists from nearly 80 research institutions worked together for five years on this first-ever census to begin answering those questions by unraveling the DNA of these microbes, with some of the same methods used to decode human genetics. The results were published Wednesday in a series of reports in the journals Nature and the Public Library of Science.

First, the researchers had to collect tissue samples from more than a dozen body sites — the mouth, nose, different spots of skin, the vagina in women, and from feces. Then they teased apart the bacterial DNA from the human DNA, and started analyzing organisms with some daunting names: Lactobacillus crispatus, Streptococcus mitis, Corynebacterium accolens.

Our bodies are thought to be home to about 10 bacterial cells for every human cell, but they're so small that together microbes make up about 1 percent to 3 percent of someone's body mass, explained Dr. Eric Green, director of NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute. That means a 200-pound person could harbor as much as 6 pounds of bacteria.

There are about 22,000 human genes. But the microbes add to our bodies the power of many, many more — about 8 million genes, the new project estimated.

Those bacterial genes produce substances that perform specific jobs, some of which play critical roles in the health and development of their human hosts, said Dr. Bruce Birren of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, another of the project's investigators. Genes from gut bacteria, for example, lead to digestion of certain proteins and fats. They also produce certain beneficial compounds, like inflammation-fighting chemicals.

Another surprise: There isn't one core set of bacteria that perform those functions. A wide variety can do the same jobs, the researchers found.

That's fortunate considering people carry a customized set of microbes, one that varies dramatically depending on where you live, your diet and a host of other factors. Your microbial zoos also can change, such as when taking antibiotics that kill infection-causing germs as well as good intestinal bacteria that may be replaced with different but equally effective bugs.

"We don't all have the same bacteria although they all seem to have been organized to do the same things," Birren said. It may be that our lifestyle and environment "induces each of us to have arrived at a solution that works for us."

With this first snapshot of what normal looks like, studies now are under way to see how the microbes differ in people with certain diseases, in hopes of learning how to prevent or treat the illnesses.

Consider the intestinal superbug named C. difficile that people all too often catch while they're in the hospital, and that sometimes kills. Washington University's Tarr wants to know what mixture of gut bacteria can fend off the diarrhea-causing germ or make it more likely to infect — so that doctors might one day know who's more vulnerable before they enter a hospital.

Also, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reported Wednesday that the kind of bacteria living in the vagina changes during pregnancy, perhaps to give the fetus as healthy a passage as possible. Previous research has found differences in what first bacteria babies absorb depending on whether they're born vaginally or by C-section, a possible explanation for why cesareans raise the risk for certain infections.

All new information in some ways is humbling, because it shows how much more work is needed to understand this world within us, noted infectious disease specialist Dr. David Relman of Stanford University, who wrote a review of the project's findings for the journal Nature.

For example, the project included mostly white volunteers who live around Houston and St. Louis. Relman said more work is needed to define a normal microbiome in people with different racial, ethnic and geographic backgrounds.

And there are many remaining questions about how these microbes interact with human genetics.

"We are essentially blind to many of the services that our microbial ecosystems provide — and on which our health depends," Relman wrote."

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