Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

+ - Surveillance Court: NSA Can Resume Bulk Surveillance->

An anonymous reader writes: We all celebrated back in May when a federal court ruled the NSA's phone surveillance illegal, and again at the beginning of June, when the Patriot Act expired, ending authorization for that surveillance. Unfortunately, the NY Times now reports on a ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which concluded that the NSA may temporarily resume bulk collection of metadata about U.S. citizens's phone calls. From the article: "In a 26-page opinion (PDF) made public on Tuesday, Judge Michael W. Mosman of the surveillance court rejected the challenge by FreedomWorks, which was represented by a former Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican. And Judge Mosman said that the Second Circuit was wrong, too. 'Second Circuit rulings are not binding' on the surveillance court, he wrote, 'and this court respectfully disagrees with that court’s analysis, especially in view of the intervening enactment of the U.S.A. Freedom Act.' When the Second Circuit issued its ruling that the program was illegal, it did not issue any injunction ordering the program halted, saying that it would be prudent to see what Congress did as Section 215 neared its June 1 expiration."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:FreeNAS (Score 1) 209 209

> ZFS can be unstable if not fed enough RAM.

--I have seen ZFS (FreeBSD and Linux) be "stable" with ~2GB of RAM, as long as you are using a 64-bit OS. In my experience, these days ZFS only needs lots of RAM if you are doing de-duplication - although this can be gotten around to a certain extent if you use an SSD drive for L2ARC; it will just be slower. Maxing out your RAM is recommended if you want max speed and you can afford it, but there are other ways. As long as you're not doing de-dup and not expecting miracles; my ZFS backup/fileserver only has 6GB of RAM and is doing fine running Ubuntu 14.04-64-LTS.

+ - Study: Major ISPs Slowing Traffic Across the US->

An anonymous reader writes: A study based on test results from 300,000 internet users "found significant degradations on the networks of the five largest internet service providers" in the United States. This group includes Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and AT&T. "The study, supported by the technologists at Open Technology Institute’s M-Lab, examines the comparative speeds of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which shoulder some of the data load for popular websites. ... The study, supported by the technologists at Open Technology Institute’s M-Lab, examines the comparative speeds of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), which shoulder some of the data load for popular websites." These findings arrive shortly after the FCC's new net neutrality rules took effect across the U.S.
Link to Original Source

+ - Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks->

schwit1 writes: The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The spy agencies have reverse engineered software products, sometimes under questionable legal authority, and monitored web and email traffic in order to discreetly thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence from companies about security software and users of such software. One security software maker repeatedly singled out in the documents is Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which has a holding registered in the U.K., claims more than 270,000 corporate clients, and says it protects more than 400 million people with its products.

Link to Original Source

+ - TRIM and Linux: Tread Cautiously, And Keep Backups Handy

An anonymous reader writes: Algolia is a buzzword-compliant ("Hosted Search API that delivers instant and relevant results") start-up that uses a lot of open-source software (including various strains of Linux) and a lot of solid-state disk, and as such sometimes runs into problems with each of these. Their blog this week features a fascinating look at troubles that they faced with ext4 filesystems mysteriously flipping to read-only mode: not such a good thing for machines processing a search index, not just dishing it out. The NGINX daemon serving all the HTTP(S) communication of our API was up and ready to serve the search queries but the indexing process crashed. Since the indexing process is guarded by supervise, crashing in a loop would have been understandable but a complete crash was not. As it turned out the filesystem was in a read-only mode. All right, let’s assume it was a cosmic ray :) The filesystem got fixed, files were restored from another healthy server and everything looked fine again. The next day another server ended with filesystem in read-only, two hours after another one and then next hour another one. Something was going on. After restoring the filesystem and the files, it was time for serious analysis since this was not a one time thing. https://blog.algolia.com/when-... The rest of the story explains how they isolated the problem and worked around it; it turns out that the culprit was TRIM, or rather TRIM's interaction with certain SSDs: The system was issuing a TRIM to erase empty blocks, the command got misinterpreted by the drive and the controller erased blocks it was not supposed to. Therefore our files ended-up with 512 bytes of zeroes, files smaller than 512 bytes were completely zeroed. When we were lucky enough, the misbehaving TRIM hit the super-block of the filesystem and caused a corruption. Since SSDs are becoming the norm outside the data center as well as within, some of the problems that their analysis exposed for one company probably would be good to test for elsewhere. One upshot: As a result, we informed our server provider about the affected SSDs and they informed the manufacturer. Our new deployments were switched to different SSD drives and we don’t recommend anyone to use any SSD that is anyhow mentioned in a bad way by the Linux kernel.

+ - Voat overloaded as people abandon Reddit ..->

nickweller writes: So many people are leaving Reddit that its closest competitor crashed and had to ask for donations to stay up.

Many users of the site protested and left when last week it banned five subreddits for harassment. And since, users have been making good on threats to leave the site — going instead to a Swiss clone of the site, Voat.

Link to Original Source

+ - LastPass reporting a security breach, including authentication hashes and salts->

hawkeyeMI writes: They have posted a notice, which begins, "We want to notify our community that on Friday, our team discovered and blocked suspicious activity on our network. In our investigation, we have found no evidence that encrypted user vault data was taken, nor that LastPass user accounts were accessed. The investigation has shown, however, that LastPass account email addresses, password reminders, server per user salts, and authentication hashes were compromised."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:aside from the HD, the same (Score 1) 558 558

> There's some funny BIOS problem connected with the hard drives. Occasionally, the computer fails to detect any drives at all and waits on "press F10 to enter setup". More often it detects the drive but fails to boot

--Have you tried replacing the CMOS battery and SATA cables? Also might want to check the power supply, if it's more than 4 years old it might be worth replacing with a higher wattage/more efficient model.

+ - Notepad++ Leaves SourceForge->

An anonymous reader writes: SourceForge was a good place; unfortunately, sometimes good places don't last.

Recently SF hijacked its hosted projects to distribute their wrapped crapware:

        SourceForge grabs GIMP for Windows' account, wraps installer in bundle-pushing adware
        Black “mirror”: SourceForge has now taken over Nmap audit tool project
        What happened to Sourceforge? The full story between VLC and Sourceforge

Obviously, the paid component per installation system is one of their important income generating scams. I would be fine with that, if they were the actual owners of the legitimate software. The real problem is, they are polluting these open source software installations for the purpose of filling their pockets by this scam, and worst of all, without even notifying the authors/creators of this software, while the creators are struggling against such parasitic software in order to keep their installers cleaner and safer.

Such a shameless policy should be condemned, and the Notepad++ project will move entirely out of SourceForge.

I humbly request that Notepad++ users not encourage such scams, and educate others not to download any software from SourceForge. I request as well that the project owners on SourceForge move out of SourceForge, in order to preserve the purpose of the Open Source Community and encourage the works of true authors/creators.

Link to Original Source

+ - Why So Many Robots Struggled with the DARPA Challenge->

stowie writes: DARPA deliberately degraded communications (low bandwidth, high latency, intermittent connection) during the challenge to truly see how a human-robot team could collaborate in a Fukushima-type disaster. And there was no standard set for how a human-robot interface would work. So, some worked better than others. The winning DRC-Hubo robot used custom software designed by Team KAIST that was engineered to perform in an environment with low bandwidth. It also used the Xenomai real-time operating system for Linux and a customized motion control framework. The second-place finisher, Team IHMC, used a sliding scale of autonomy that allowed a human operator to take control when the robot seemed stumped or if the robot knew it would run into problems.
Link to Original Source

+ - Disney Blacklisted Displaced American Workers-> 1 1

schwit1 writes: The American tech workers Disney laid off in January after forcing them to train their foreign replacements were put on a "black list" that disqualified them from hire by any contractor that works with Disney, emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation between one of the laid off workers and a recruiting firm show.
Link to Original Source

+ - The world's first water computer->

Okian Warrior writes: Stanford's Manu Prakash created a computer clock made of water droplets trapped in a magnetic field that could have biological and chemical applications, as well as change the way scientists think about computation.

Check out the video of the computer in action.

[[You guys keep complaining that no one submits good videos to the feed, well here's one. Check out the video accompanying the article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

[[Also not the video technique. People talking, but interspersed with interesting images of their system in action. Still scenes are made more interesting by camera movement.]]

Link to Original Source

+ - Congress Didn't Notice the FBI Creating a 'Small Air Force' for Surveillance->

Errorcod3 writes: Last week, Americans learned that even as the NSA collected information on their telephone and Internet behavior, the FBI was using fictitious companies to secretly operate what the AP called “a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cell phone surveillance technology.”

The news organization reported that surveillance flights may be more than a decade old, and identified “more than 100 flights since late April orbiting both major cities and rural areas.”

The merits of this program will now be debated.

What’s already clear, however, is the anti-democratic nature of keeping it hidden all these years. The U.S. is supposed to be governed by the people. Whether Americans want a federal law-enforcement agency using planes to conduct surveillance on vast swaths of the country is a question properly aired and debated.

It is for Americans to choose.

Instead, an executive branch that has grown alarmingly powerful since the September 11 terrorist attacks, or perhaps even before, imposed its preferred policy in secret. The vast majority of Americans were completely unaware of its choice.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What do we get? (Score 1) 468 468

> What if I wanted to go back to 7/8?

--Running a full image backup with the free bootable system rescue cd and ntfsclone to an external USB drive is probably a very good bet... HOWTOs are available if you do a search. See distrowatch.com to download system rescue cd. Oh, you should also do an ' fdisk -l ' from the cd and DD backup the boot partition as well. ;-)

Work expands to fill the time available. -- Cyril Northcote Parkinson, "The Economist", 1955

Working...