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Submission + - Mistigris releases 21st-anniversary artpack! (

An anonymous reader writes: Following 16 years in the wilderness, area code 604's underground computer art group Mistigris unexpectedly returned to life in October of 2015; one year later, over 50 artists (including guests from ACiD and Blocktronics) celebrate with over 100 artworks in a 216-meg artpack release including traditional textmode art (and non-traditional — PETSCII, Shift JIS, teletext and typewriter art) as well as new frontiers for artpacks: photography, painting, sculpture, digital video, and even a textile work. All that plus an hour and a half of music! Some submissions are lost & unreleased Amiga works dating to the early '90s and even late '80s, while others were made last week, but the sum of the enterprise is technologically timeless.

Submission + - The e-voting machine anyone can hack

Presto Vivace writes: Meet the e-voting machine so easy to hack, it will take your breath away

Virginia election officials have decertified an electronic voting system after determining that it was possible for even unskilled people to surreptitiously hack into it and tamper with vote counts.

The AVS WINVote, made by Advanced Voting Solutions, passed necessary voting systems standards and has been used in Virginia and, until recently, in Pennsylvania and Mississippi. It used the easy-to-crack passwords of "admin," "abcde," and "shoup" to lock down its Windows administrator account, Wi-Fi network, and voting results database respectively, according to a scathing security review published Tuesday by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. The agency conducted the audit after one Virginia precinct reported that some of the devices displayed errors that interfered with vote counting during last November's elections.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Practical alternatives to systemd?

systemDead writes: I looked mostly with disinterest at Debian's decision last February to switch to systemd as the default init system for their future operating system releases. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution is, after all, famous for allowing users greater freedom to choose what system components they want to install. This appeared to be the case with the init system, given the presence of packages such as sysvinit-core, upstart, and even openrc as alternatives to systemd.

Unfortunately, while still theoretically possible, installing an alternative init system means doing without a number of useful, even essential system programs. By design, systemd appears to be a full-blown everything-including-the-kitchen-sink solution to the relatively simple problem of starting up a Unix-like system. Systemd, for example, is a hard-coded dependency for installing Network Manager, probably the most user-friendly way for a desktop Linux system to connect to a wireless or wired network. Just this week, I woke up to find out that systemd had become a dependency for running PolicyKit, the suite of programs responsible for user privileges and permissions in a typical Linux desktop.

I was able to replace Network Manager with connman, a lightweight program originally developed for mobile devices. But with systemd infecting even the PolicyKit framework, I find myself faced with a dilemma. Should I just let systemd take over my entire system, or should I retreat to my old terminal-based computing in the hope that the horde of the systemDead don't take over the Linux kernel itself?

What are your plans for working with or working around systemd? Are there any mainstream GNU/Linux distros that haven't adopted and have no plans of migrating to systemd? Or is migrating to one of the bigger BSD systems the better and more future-proof solution?

Submission + - Medialink Sues Redditor Who Wrote Negative Review on Amazon

An anonymous reader writes: The review written by the redditor in question happened to be ranked as the most helpful critical review on Amazon for the Medialink router it was written for. The current review is updated to reflect the libel suit, but in his original review, the redditor claimed that most if not all of the positive reviews are fake and that the product is actually a re-branded version of a much cheaper router also sold on Amazon. '[T]hink about it,' he wrote, 'They only sell these routers on Amazon, so the whole success of their company depends on Amazon reviews.' Medialink's lawyers have informed him that litigation will only be avoided if he deletes his Amazon review, stops posting negative reviews of any Medialink products, and no longer buys Medialink products at all.

Submission + - Famous paintings help study the Earth's past atmosphere

houghi writes: From European Geosciences Union:
A team of Greek and German researchers has shown that the colours of sunsets painted by famous artists can be used to estimate pollution levels in the Earth’s past atmosphere. In particular, the paintings reveal that ash and gas released during major volcanic eruptions scatter the different colours of sunlight, making sunsets appear more red.

The original paper can be found right here

Furthermore, in the last 150 years, the sunsets have become redder, likely refelecting increased manmade polution.

Submission + - MtGox files for bankruptcy protection, confirms rumours 4

Sockatume writes: The beleaguered MtGox bitcoin exchange has officially filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo, as reported in various news sources via AFP. According to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled; see The Verge for re-reporting) Bitcoin held an impromptu press conference that addressed recent rumours. They state that they have over $60m in liabilities against just $30m in assets, and confirm the loss of over $500m worth of Bitcoins, split between customers' balances (750,000 BTC) and company assets (100,000 BTC).

Submission + - Public Citizen sues for $75,000 over $3500 fine... 1

BUL2294 writes: Public Citizen has followed through on their threat to sue over their decision to "fine" Utah resident John Palmer $3500 over a negative review posted by his wife, Jennifer Palmer. The review, posted to in 2009 when the $20 order was not received & the couple had difficulties in getting a refund, was made 3 years before a "non-disparagement" clause was added to KlearGear's Terms of Sale and Use, to which all customers agree to before purchasing from them. In 2012, KlearGear informed credit reporting agencies of the $3500 "debt", sent a debt collection agency against the Palmers, and validated the "debt" to credit reporting agencies (adding a $50 dispute charge) when John Palmer attempted to dispute it. Since then, the Palmers have had difficulties obtaining credit, which included going 3 weeks without heat while trying to obtain a new furnace. KlearGear has publicly stated on KUTV and CNN that the fine was valid and would stand. Now, on behalf of the Palmers, Public Citizen is suing KlearGear 'after ignored a Nov. 25 demand letter sent by Public Citizen on behalf of the Palmers requesting that contact the relevant credit agencies immediately and inform them that the debt it had reported concerning John was in error. The letter also asked for compensation of $75,000 and permanent removal of the “non-disparagement clause” from its website’s terms of use. // Today’s complaint seeks punitive damages as well as damages for the economic, emotional and other harms that the Palmers suffered as a result of’s actions.'

Submission + - iphone4/ipad2 US import ban (

Bent Spoke writes: The US trade agency has banned the import of older Apple models due to violating a patent held by Samsung. It's getting so complicated, we need a score card to keep track of who's winning these offensive patent battles in the smartphone colosseum.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: US takes Apple to trial over e-books price-fixing - Reuters (

Sky News Australia

US takes Apple to trial over e-books price-fixing
By Nate Raymond. NEW YORK | Sun Jun 2, 2013 8:06am EDT. NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc goes to trial Monday over allegations by federal and state authorities that it conspired with publishers to raise the price of e-books. The trial pits the maker of the ...
Steve Jobs as JD RockefellerFortune
Apple in court to fight ebook conspiracySky News Australia

all 6 news articles

Submission + - Snapchat Doesn't Delete Your Photos (

An anonymous reader writes: So, apparently Snapchat stores its 'self-destructing' images in a cache on your flash storage. A data-recovery expert has pointed out that you could recover the deleted images with software, however a larger danger could be a system daemon designed to 'sniff out' Snapchat images, and then copy them elsewhere before the application trashes them.

Either way, if you Snapchat your junk, you might soon be sharing it with more than your sext-buddy.

Submission + - 'Liberator' 3D Printed Gun Blueprints Removed By US State Department (

coolnumbr12 writes: A notification on Defense Distributed’s website, says that the blueprints for the “Liberator,” the world’s first 3D-printed handgun, have been removed by the US Department of Defense Trade Controls.
The U.S. State Department has issued the following letter. In summary, the letter states that the Liberator may fall under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation and that Defense Distributed did not have the proper authorization to publish the blueprints.

Submission + - Microsoft Managers Now In Charge of Washington State's Budget (

reifman writes: The Seattle Times reports 'For the first time in state history, the Washington state budget is being written by Microsofties,' Representative Ross Hunter has 'tamed his Microsoft-style head-butting with a politician’s trust-building.' While Senator Andy Hill is 'the first Senate budget chair ever to request Excel files instead of paper spreadsheets.' 'The two must find $1 billion in new money for the state’s K-12 system.' Unfortunately, The Times neglects to mention that Hunter and Microsoft are behind the deficit and cutbacks in the first place. Hunter helped pass the amnesty bill for Microsoft's $1.5 billion dollar Nevada tax dodge ($4.37 billion if you include impacts from its lobbying to reduce tax rates) that contributed to $4 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education since 2008. The state has resorted to taxing using Yelp to tax dancing to try to make up the shortfall (for real).
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous