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Firefox

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cycle-is-nearly-complete dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
Networking

Misconfigured Open DNS Resolvers Key To Massive DDoS Attacks 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the check-your-sources dept.
msm1267 writes with an excerpt From Threat Post: "While the big traffic numbers and the spat between Spamhaus and illicit webhost Cyberbunker are grabbing big headlines, the underlying and percolating issue at play here has to do with the open DNS resolvers being used to DDoS the spam-fighters from Switzerland. Open resolvers do not authenticate a packet-sender's IP address before a DNS reply is sent back. Therefore, an attacker that is able to spoof a victim's IP address can have a DNS request bombard the victim with a 100-to-1 ratio of traffic coming back to them versus what was requested. DNS amplification attacks such as these have been used lately by hacktivists, extortionists and blacklisted webhosts to great success." Running an open DNS resolver isn't itself always a problem, but it looks like people are enabling neither source address verification nor rate limiting.

Comment: Isn't this backwards? (Score 3, Insightful) 317

by Vario (#43204743) Attached to: We Should Be Allowed To Unlock Everything We Own

Especially sensitive devices such as medical and safety relevant devices should not be a black box where it is illegal to look into the inner workings. While third-party liability is nice this is still just based on trust and not on tests. My trust into these system would increase quite a bit if a hacker plays around with a utility meter and finds no obvious vulnerability.

I want all my devices unlocked, the liability can be linked to a tamperproof soft/hardware seal as it is already done today. This is fine with me, I do not expect the manufacturer to be liable if I took it apart, hacked it and reassembled it but I do not see any advantage in making hacking illegal.

Comment: How can we implement this in practice? (Score 3, Insightful) 74

by Vario (#40999091) Attached to: Independent Labs To Verify High-Profile Research Papers

The idea to reproduce important results is good and is part of the scientific method. In practice this is much harder to accomplish due to several constraints. I can only speak for my field but I think this applies to other fields as well that the reproduction is hard by itself.

This leads us to a bunch of problems. If it takes a graduate student a year to collect a data set on a custom made machine that is expensive and time consuming who has the resources to reproduce the results? In most branches we are limited by the available personnel. It is hard to imagine giving someone the task of 'just' reproducing someone else's result, as this does not generate high-impact publications nor can be used for grant applications.

The thought behind this would benefit the scientific progress, especially to weed out questionable results that can lead you far off track but someone needs to do it. And it better not be me, as I need time for my own research to publish new results. Any reviewer always asks him/herself whether this is really an achievement that it is worth publishing, which reviewer would accept a paper stating "We reproduced X and did not find any deviations from the already published results" ?

Comment: The whole experiment is ridiculous. (Score 1) 1027

by Vario (#40325785) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone?

This is exactly what someone would come up with as some kind of "challenge" where the outcome is so obviously biased.

In none of these videos the speed of any smartphone or operating system is on the test. It is the speed of the individual people using their phones. I tried some of these challenges, like a local search for a restaurant. After a bit of practice I could get an answer on my 3 year old and slow smartphone after 6 seconds. From those 6 seconds I spend about 1 second waiting for my phone, the rest is the network connection and my typing speed.
So any improvement on the hardware or software side can only influence the 1 second. Other than that the phone has to guess what I think to prevent the slow typing or speech recognition part.
My first try took 20 seconds as I missed a few shortcuts and this is how you can beat almost everybody by claiming to have a faster phone when you just know exactly what to touch/type.

Comment: False premise (Score 1) 349

by Vario (#40164859) Attached to: IT Desktop Support To Be Wiped Out Thanks To Cloud Computing

And it's *always* cheaper to in-source [...] You can either do it yourself, or you can pay someone their cost, which could be your cost, plus 20% or more overhead and profit.

I agree that in-sourcing can be cheaper as you do not have to pay for overhead and profit. Your argument relies on one premise, which is completely broken.

Your cost to do something is almost never their cost. So if they can get to the same result with 50% or sometimes far less due to economies of scale adding another 20% is still much cheaper than paying for in-source. Even if you in-source you have to pay for the whole infrastructure. Your email server needs a backup, UPS and staff, whereas the cost of a UPS in a large datacenter is split over millions of users.

China

+ - Flooded by counterfeit parts: The US military blames China->

Submitted by Vario
Vario (120611) writes "After a series of military components failing in the Seahawk helicopter, the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and a modified Boeing 737, the Senate Armed Services Committee investigation claims that counterfeit electronic parts are the primary source for these problems. Tracing the supply chain back by buying at several vendors the report authors state: "China is the dominant source for counterfeit electronic parts that are infiltrating the defense supply chain" (Senate report).While it is regularly discussed whether backdoors can and are installed in electronic parts actual failing components might be much more damaging to the US military."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Helping bring LaTeX to the masses->

Submitted by Velimir
Velimir (1680794) writes "Few among us would argue that LaTeX is useless, but I'm sure we can agree that it is not the easiest way of creating a document. I would like to introduce a new resource for users of LaTeX or those that are interested but have been put off by the time required to master it: http://www.latextemplates.com./ I have made this website to provide a free resource for LaTeX templates which look great and are easy to edit. The idea is that you download a template, fill in your content where instructed and hit compile to generate a completed document. I believe this makes LaTeX more accessible to everyone and is of use to the LaTeX community."
Link to Original Source
Your Rights Online

+ - Adobe's latest critical security update pushes scareware->

Submitted by PatPending
PatPending (953482) writes "Summary: Adobe just released a critical Flash Player security update. Good news: it includes a new automatic updater for Windows. Bad news: Adobe’s download page pushes a misleading “system optimizer” designed to scare users into paying for unneeded repairs.

A video of the entire process (approximately 10 minutes) is here.

This year alone, three Flash Player security updates have been issued by Adobe: one on February 15, one on March 5, and one on March 28."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:It's a general problem of the software industry (Score 4, Interesting) 124

by Vario (#39223605) Attached to: Video Games: Goods Or Services?

Unfortunately the situation is not as simple. Just one example: With physical items it takes time and effort to share them. You own a book, the neighbor down the street might own the same book. The likelihood that you are reading it at the same time is pretty low, so why not share it? In a digital world this is no problem, just send some bits, use dropbox or something similar.

Or think of network licences in a company. For a lot of special programs we only have around 10 licences for 250 employees. It's never a problem usually, as very few people are working with the same software at the same time. So we only pay for 10 instead of 250 because sharing the licences is seamless. If the software company would charge the same amount for the 10 network licences than for 250 regular licences they would damage their business model quite a bit. In comparison we use a lot of reference books. I would guess we have around 100 copies of the most used ones, so that you don't waste your time looking for one. It would be painful to only have 10 and then search the whole place to get hold of one.

This is just one aspect but illustrates that there is a conflict. I personally also prefer a game that I can buy and sell as I want to like a physical item but I have tons of games that I only play for a few days per year. In principle I could give away all those games for most of the time on some kind of lending model but that would definitely influence sales of all those companies that produce games, software or other digital items.

Comment: Re:What's the point of journals? (Score 1) 206

by Vario (#38839541) Attached to: Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott

While I do not want to defend the journals I think your comparison with Bernie Madoff does not work here.

While he might have been well respected, he had an incentive to cheat and abuse the trust by putting the money in his own pocket. Why should any journal profit from suppressing or pushing a certain kind of research? It is more the other way around: as an editor I would be looking for breakthroughs and unusual findings as they increase the influence of the journal.

Comment: Skip the newspaper article... (Score 5, Informative) 326

by Vario (#38207878) Attached to: Physicist Uses Laser Light As Fast, True-Random Number Generator

The newspaper article is not giving any information that is not already included in the summary.

The paper is published in Optics Express, the abstract can be read here. The full article is behind a paywall unfortunately. The author claim that this concept could deliver random numbers at a rate of 100 GHz which is quite fast compared to other true random number generators out there that are based on thermal noise, radiation or other processes.

Remember the good old days, when CPU was singular?

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