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Submission A redcoat solution to government surveillance->

schwit1 writes: Efforts to halt the government's mass surveillance of ordinary citizens have taken two forms: urging Congress to do the right thing (something it rarely does anymore) or suing spy agencies under the 4th Amendment (which prohibits most warrantless searches and seizures). Neither strategy has been particularly effective.

Perhaps another route is available, using an amendment so rarely cited that the American Bar Assn. called it the "runt piglet" of our Constitution. It's the 3rd Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from lodging military personnel in your home.

Many Americans know that the 1st Amendment protects free speech and religious freedom, that the 2nd protects the right to bear arms and that others establish the right to a jury trial and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. Very few know what the 3rd Amendment does, and understandably so. Since colonial times and the early days of the republic, no one has been routinely forced to feed and house soldiers. There has never been a Supreme Court case primarily based on the 3rd Amendment.

But let's examine whether a case may be made. The National Security Agency is part of the Department of Defense and therefore of our nation's military. By law, the NSA director must be a commissioned military officer, and per its mission statement, the NSA gathers information for military purposes. That's strong evidence that NSA personnel would qualify as soldiers under the 3rd Amendment.

And why did the framers prohibit the government lodging soldiers in private homes? Besides a general distaste for standing armies, quartering was costly for homeowners; it was also an annoyance that completely extinguished a family's sense of privacy and made them feel violated. Sound familiar?

The British could spy on American colonists by keeping soldiers among them. Today, the government can simply read your email. Centuries ago, patriots wrote angry letters about soldiers observing the ladies of the house at various stages of undress. Now, as John Oliver joked, the NSA can just view your intimate selfies.

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Submission New way for Spys to listen in on us->

gurps_npc writes: Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech.
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Submission HP gives OpenVMS new life and path to x86 port ->

dcblogs writes: Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors. Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision. VSI plans to validate the operating system on Intel's Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015, as well as support for HP hardware running the upcoming "Kittson" chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn't specifying a timeframe. And it plans to develop new versions of OpenVMS
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Submission Does Slashdot deliver Malware?!->

sandro writes: I have been a regular reader of Slashdot for decades, and it is my home page. I always have one tab open to slashdot, and that's why I have noticed over the past few days a troubling trend. I find numerous tabs open to trying to get me to download their new "free open source cross platform media player". Of course I don't click on the link, it's got to be bad, but what gives?! It looks like slashdot's new advertising model is open to malware, and that can't be good...
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Submission One week of OpenSSL cleanup ->

CrAlt writes: After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls.

Then Jonathan Grey (jsg@) and Reyk Flöter (reyk@) come next, followed by a group of late starters. Also, an honorable mention for Christian Weisgerber (naddy@), who has been fixing issues in ports related to this work.

All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week. Some of these are simple or small changes, while other commits carry more weight. Of course, occasionally mistakes get made but these are also quickly fixed again, but the general direction is clear: move the tree forward towards a better, more readable, less buggy crypto library.

Check them out at

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Submission The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

theodp writes: "Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore," explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, "have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year 'National Talent Development Plan' to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields." It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, "we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student" and "risk shortchanging the country in a different way." The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to "find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality." And address it we must. "How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?" asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital."

Submission Scientists extract RSA key from GnuPG using sound of CPU->

kthreadd writes: In their research paper titled RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis Daniel Genkin, Adi Shamir and Eran Tromer et. all. present a method for extracting decryption keys from the GnuPG security suite using an interesting side-channel attack. By analysing the acoustic sound made by the CPU they were able to extract a 4096 bit RSA key in about an hour. A modern mobile phone placed next to the computer is sufficient to carry out the attack, but up to four meters have been successfully tested using specially designed microphones.
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Submission Dice Ruins Slashdot-> 12

An anonymous reader writes: In an attempt to modernize Slashdot, Dice has removed everything that made Slashdot unique and worthwhile and has turned it into a generic blog site. User feedback has been unanimously negative, but this is to no avail, and users will have to head elsewhere for insightful and entertaining commentary on tech news.
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Comment Re:There are no rules. (Score 2) 117

The last two shops I've been at have tuition reimbursement programs, but they only apply to 2 or 4 year accredited colleges and universities. This leads to a weird situation where they could pay $10500 over 3 years to help pay for a diploma mill MBA but can't approve $3500 to pay for industry coursework from vmware/emc/redhat/etc that actually interests me.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen