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Comment Unix 'file' is not sufficient (Score 5, Insightful) 74

Sadly Unix's 'file' utility is not sufficient for security purposes. Generally, file only checks for magic numbers near the beginning of the file. Many file formats remain valid, even with prepended data. For example, Python programs with several source files can be archived into a single zip file and still be executed, but you can stick a shebang onto the beginning, and still have Python (or most zip programs) recognise the archive as a zip file. There's a good video on youtube about this kind of thing: tl;dr: This is security. It goes wrong in amusing and unobvious ways.

Comment Secure blogging (Score 1) 108

As an alternative (particularly if a DIY type), the OP could write a blog that is presented using only static HTML. I have a fairly simple set of Python scripts that compile a set of pages into a (if you can forgive my lack of visual design skills) presentablely formatted website: This would avoid the potential for security vulnerabilites that might come from using a dynamically generated CMS like Wordpress.

Submission + - How to sell an open source Android game?

Techmeology writes: A while ago, I wrote a simple strategy game based on Reversi, but with a few key differences in the rules. I showed it to some of my friends, who really enjoyed it, so I wrote an open source Android version called Chain Reversi over the summer, and published it on the Android app store. I had hoped to earn some money from it, but so far I haven't managed to get anyone other than my friends interested in buying it since my skills are mainly in technology rather than marketing. I decided to make the game open source because I figured that might get a few people (who care about stuff like that) interested who might then share it with their friends and get some exposure for my game, but that hasn't happened. How have my fellow Shashdotters gotten their success in selling on the Android app store?

Submission + - FBI Considers CALEA II - Mandatory Wiretapping on End Users' Devices ( 1

Techmeology writes: In response to declining utility of CALEA mandated wiretapping backdoors due to more widespread use of cryptography, the FBI is considering a revamped version that would mandate wiretapping facilities in end users' computers and software. Critics have argued that this would be bad for security, as such systems must be more complex and thus harder to secure. CALEA has also enabled criminals to wiretap conversations by hacking the infrastructure used by the authorities. I wonder how this could ever be implemented in FOSS.

Submission + - Most GPs Prescribe Placebos (

Techmeology writes: "In a survey of UK GPs, 97% said they'd recommended placebo treatments to their patients, with some doctors telling patients that the treatment had helped others without telling them that it was a placebo. While some doctors admitted to using a sugar pill or saline injection, some of the placebos offered had side effects such as antibiotic treatments used as placebos for vial infections."
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Submission + - New Pirate Bay Proxies (

Techmeology writes: "Just days after the UK Pirate Party was forced to kill its proxy service Pirate Parties in Argentina and Luxembourg have created their own proxies. In a statement, the Pirate Party in Argentina said: “We wish the UK Pirate Party best of luck in their continued fight for free access to culture and knowledge. We have put up our own Pirate Bay proxy which is accessible from anywhere in the world, including the UK and other places where it has been censored.”"
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Submission + - BPI Threatens to Sue The UK Pirate Party over Proxy (

Techmeology writes: "The BPI has threatened to sue the Pirate Party for allowing people access to The Pirate Bay through its proxy service. The leader of the Pirate Party UK, Loz Kaye said his party would go to court over the issue. Kaye said that he was determined to defend his party's principles even in the face of an expensive legal battle."
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Submission + - Automated DMCA Takedown Notices Request Censorship of Legitimate Sites (

Techmeology writes: "Microsoft has sent automated DMCA notices to Google demanding the removal of several legitimate URLs from its search results that it claims were facilitating the distribution if illegal copies of Windows 8, including links to BBC news articles, Wikipedia pages, US government websites, and even Bing! The erroneous DMCA notices are being sent automatically by rights holders, who are increasingly using such techniques."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Does Open-Source "Donationware" work?

An anonymous reader writes: We've been developing an algorithm for 3 years that could be useful to a lot of different people working in a variety of fields. Our attempts to commercialize it, however haven't been successful. No corporate entity that we have contacted to date has agreed to invest in it, or to participate in commercializing it. We are sitting on something really useful, but industry doesn't seem to understand its usage potential fully. Now we are thinking "How about if we Open Source the algorithm?". We would put our source code online for anybody to use, and place a "Please Donate Money if this is useful to you" link on the website. Has anybody does this in the past? Do people donate to you if you give them something useful for free? Or are most people natural-born "Free Riders", who use your software with gusto, but clam up when it comes to donating some Dollars in return for that? We have spent over 140,000 Dollars developing this algorithm, so if no money comes our way, we'd have to pick up the financial tab for that. Any help or advice on this from Slashdotters would be most welcome!
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Submission + - The Pirate Bay Back After 2 Days (

Techmeology writes: "Having been down for two days — leading to speculation that they had been targetted in a raid on the company it used to be hosted with, PRQ — The Pirate Bay has returned to the Internet. The cause of the down time was a broken Power Distribution Unit that had to be replaced."

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long