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+ - Assange: Facebook Has A CIA Interface-> 2

Submitted by hydrofix
hydrofix (1253498) writes "In an interview with Russia Today's Laura Emmett Jullian Assange hinted that the CIA has a backdoor interface to Facebook, calling the site 'the most appalling spying machine ever invented.'

"Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people: their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations, their communications, their relatives – all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence."

"Facebook, Google, Yahoo all these major US organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It's not a matter of serving a subpoena, they have an interface they have developed for US intelligence to use."

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Programming

+ - Why The New Guy Can't Code 4

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "'We've all lived the nightmare,' writes Jon Evans. 'A new developer shows up at work, and you try to be welcoming, but he can't seem to get up to speed; the questions he asks reveal basic ignorance; and his work, when it finally emerges, is so kludgey that it ultimately must be rewritten from scratch by more competent people.' Evans takes a stab at explaining why the new guy can't code when his interviewers and HR swear that they only hire above-average/A-level/top-1% people. Evans fingers the technical interview as the culprit, saying the skills required to pass today's industry-standard software interview are not those required to be a good software developer. Instead, Evans suggests: 'Don't interview anyone who hasn't accomplished anything. Ever. Certificates and degrees are not accomplishments; I mean real-world projects with real-world users. There is no excuse for software developers who don't have a site, app, or service they can point to and say, 'I did this, all by myself!' in a world where Google App Engine and Amazon Web Services have free service tiers, and it costs all of $25 to register as an Android developer and publish an app on the Android Market.'"
Iphone

+ - Apple Lied: Filed Patent for Mobile Device Trackin->

Submitted by Nyder
Nyder (754090) writes "Apple filed for a patent in September of 2009 titled "Location Histories for Location Aware Devices" with the intent to develop services based around the company's ability to locate and track mobile devices running the iOS operating system.

The abstract of the patent reads as follows:

"A location aware mobile device can include a baseband processor for communicating with one or more communication networks, such as a cellular network or WiFi network. In some implementations, the baseband processor can collect network information (e.g., transmitter IDs) over time. Upon request by a user or application, the network information can be translated to estimated position coordinates (e.g., latitude, longitude, altitude) of the location aware device for display on a map view or for other purposes. A user or application can query the location history database with a timestamp or other query to retrieve all or part of the location history for display in a map view."

The patent text goes on to outline how the tracking data could be accessed by applications, indicating Apple intends to build salable services around the collected data and allow third parties the ability to access it:

"A user or application can query the location history database with a timestamp or other query to retrieve all or part of the location history for display in a map view. In some implementations, the size and "freshness" of the location history database can be managed by eliminating duplicate entries in the database and/or removing older entries. The location history can be used to construct a travel timeline for the location aware device. The travel timeline can be displayed in a map view or used by location aware applications running on the location aware device or on a network. In some implementations, an Application Programming Interface (API) can be used by an application to query the location history database."

The patent application then goes on to describe how the location tracking data can include transmitter identifiers that correlate the data to a specific phone — which means a specific user — and how the data can be transmitted to network servers for processing:

"In some implementations, the network information can include transmitter identifiers (IDs). For example, Cell IDs can be tracked and recorded. The Cell IDs can be mapped to corresponding cell tower locations which can be used to provide estimated position coordinates of the location aware device. When a location history is requested by a user or application (e.g., through an API), the transmitter IDs can be translated to position coordinates of the location aware device which can be reverse geocoded to map locations for display on a map view or for other purposes. In other implementations, the network information can include WiFi scan data (e.g., access point IDs) which can be used to determine position coordinates of the location aware device, which can be reverse geocoded for display on a map view. In some implementations, the network information can be sent to a network server, which can translate the network information into position coordinates, which can be returned to the location aware device for processing by a location aware application."

Revelations of the patent application now confirm suspicions that Apple was quite aware of the storage of geolocation tracking data, that it was not merely a database of Wi-Fi locations, and the building of location histories on their customers was not due to a software glitch."

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Social Networks

+ - The HB Gary email that should concern us all-> 1

Submitted by
bstender
bstender writes "According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it [speaks of] creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated "persona management" software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

Persona management entails not just the deconfliction of persona artifacts such as names, email addresses, landing pages, and associated content. It also requires providing the human actors technology that takes the decision process out of the loop when using a specific persona. For this purpose we custom developed either virtual machines or thumb drives for each persona. This allowed the human actor to open a virtual machine or thumb drive with an associated persona and have all the appropriate email accounts, associations, web pages, social media accounts, etc. pre-established and configured with visual cues to remind the actor which persona he/she is using so as not to accidentally cross-contaminate personas during use.
And all of this is for the purposes of infiltration, data mining, and (here's the one that really worries me) ganging up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise "real" people to smear enemies and distort the truth."

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Lord of the Rings

+ - LOTR Rewritten from Perspective of Mordor

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "It's been said that history is written by the winners but Laura Miller writes in Salon about a counterexample as she reviews a new version of "Lord of the Rings" published to acclaim in Russia by Kirill Yeskov, a professional paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life from fossil remnants. Yeskov performs essentially the same feat in "The Last Ring-bearer," reconstructing the real world of Tolkien's Arda from "The Lord of the Rings" set during and after the end of the War of the Ring and told from the perspective of the losers. In Yeskov's retelling, available in translation as a free download, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men" and Aragorn is depicted by Yeskov as a ruthless Machiavellian schemer who is ultimately the puppet of his wife, the elf Arwen. Sauron's citadel Barad-dur is, by contrast, described as "that amazing city of alchemists and poets, mechanics and astronomers, philosophers and physicians, the heart of the only civilization in Middle-earth to bet on rational knowledge and bravely pitch its barely adolescent technology against ancient magic." According to Miller "in Yeskov's scenario, "The Lord of the Rings" is a highly romanticized and mythologized version of the fall of Mordor, perhaps even outright propaganda; "The Last Ringbearer" is supposed to be the more complicated and less sentimental true story.""
Hardware Hacking

+ - Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide 1

Submitted by Muad
Muad (11989) writes "BOX DATA Title: Arduino: A Quick_Start Guide Author: Maik Schmidt Pages: 263 Rating: 8/10 Reviewer: Federico Lucifredi ISBN: 9781934356661 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Quick-Start-Pragmatic-Programmers/dp/1934356662/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297643169&sr=8-1 END BOX DATA

Maik Schmidt, Arduino: A Quick-Start Guide — The Pragmatic Bookshelf, $35

Maik Schmidt is our guide in the Pragmatic Bookshelf's venture into the world of electronics. This is a compact work, like all others in the series, it goes straight to applicable examples and makes you get your hands dirty with real work. The Arduino platform has been described in many ways, but the best I have heard so far insightfully labels it "The 555 of the future," referring to the ubiquitous timer chip so many simple electronic projects make use of. If you haven't been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you have doubtlessly seen the plethora of material on the subject that's out there: even O'Reilly, which usually does not ship multiple titles on a single subject, has a variety of them. Most of these works are rather similar, the ones I prefer are Massimo Banzi's Getting Started with Arduino (O'Reilly, 2008), by one of the original developers of the platform, and the strongly related Getting started with Processing by Casey Reas and Ben Fry. These are brief books in the 100-page range, not exhaustive works, but covering the core philosophy and basic operation of the tools is sometimes the best way to jump into a new subject.

There is a lot of material on the subject, even the current issue of Make magazine has a very good roundup (and not for the first time, if I may add). So, how does Maik's work stand out in the fray? Right after a brief introduction to ease you into the Arduino environment, the book turns to interesting projects, more sophisticated than the usual fare (read: not the usual LED-blinking using pulse-width modulation that every tutorial out there walks you through). Examples of this include connecting with a Wii Nunchuk, motion sensing, networking, infrared remote control interfaces, and more. These projects are the high-note of the book, and span almost two-thirds of its length — and are significantly better than most other project material currently in print.

This is a hands-on book, theory is kept to a minimum, as you don't really need previous experience to tackle an Arduino: the platform was specifically designed to cater to artists and designers, it is meant to be approachable by users who are not EE wizards. That said, if what you are after is learning the underpinnings of low-level electronics or hardcore embedded systems programming, this book is not for you: pick up a copy of Horowitz and Hill's The Art of Electronics (possibly including the student manual), and check back with us in a year or so for the digital followup recommendation. But if you have less time on your hands, and you just want to network-enable a coffeepot or build some interactive art display, the introduction to Arduino Maik delivers is quite sufficient for your aims, and it spans material other authors have been remiss to include, like developing libraries and (Appendix C) use of serial line protocols.

Zooming in on the details, perhaps the comment can be made that it would be good if there was a single kit available including all components used in the text: perhaps Makershed or Adafruit Industries will supplement their existing kits with one comprising the full range of the author's selection. On the plus side, I must highlight the extensive illustrations, which visually represent the breadboard linkage between the Arduino and the sensor or actuator being used with extreme clarity, and are much more effective in teaching neophytes than more traditional circuit designs. Where these are not actual pictures, they were generated using the alpha release of Fritzing, a very interesting piece of software (see fritzing.org) aiming at facilitating circuit design for those of us without a background in electronics.

The landscape of Arduino publications is shifting faster than many other subjects in print, and doubtlessly Maik's status as "king of the Hill" is but temporary — however, among those books on the subject I have personally surveyed, I am pleased to say that he currently holds the championship cup.

Federico Lucifredi is the maintainer of man (1) and a Product Manager for the SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE distributions."
Idle

+ - Dead People Scientists Keep Messing With->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Some historical figures are just too interesting to leave alone, even when they're supposed to be moldering in the grave. That's why medical researchers dug up Tycho Brahe, bombarded Napoleon's hair with neutrons in a nuclear reactor, and did everything they could think of to King Tut. Discover Magazine has 8 stories of delayed diagnoses and extreme postmortems."
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+ - House Fails to Extend Patriot Act Spy Powers->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The House failed to extend three key expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Tuesday, elements granting the government broad and nearly unchecked surveillance power on its own public.

  The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.

  The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

  The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

The failure of the bill, sponsored by Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis), for the time being is likely to give airtime to competing measures in the Senate that would place limited checks on the act's broad surveillance powers. The White House, meanwhile, said it wanted the expiring measures extended through 2013."

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Debian

+ - Debian 6.0 Released->

Submitted by Tubal-Cain
Tubal-Cain (1289912) writes "The Debian Project has announced the release of version 6.0 (codenamed "Squeeze") of their popular operating system. This version, the first first since they adopted a release schedule a year and a half ago, features KDE 4.4.5, Gnome 2.30, X.org 2.7, and the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. They are also introducing a port to a FreeBSD kernel on x86 and x86_64 platforms. Accompanying this new version is an updated layout for their websites, bringing a bit of consitency between their home page, wiki, package search, etc."
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The Internet

+ - Internode preps production IPv6 environment->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Australian ISP Internode will move to a native internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) production environment later this year, following an extensive public trial that included more than 200 “power users”. The migration this year will enable dual stack IPv6 capability for all aspects of Internode’s broadband, Web, mail and hosting services. During the transition, new and existing Internode users must opt in to use the IPv6 environment, but the service provider intends to offer the service to users automatically by the end of the year."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:technically iran is not dictatorship (Score 1) 280

by daliman (#28426589) Attached to: Siemens, Nokia Helped Provide Iran's Censoring Tech
I would say it's closer to an oligarchy/theocracy, with a sham government to placate the people.
  • Only candidates approved by non elected officials can stand.
  • The same officials can veto any law.
  • The same officials can veto election results.

Yes, technically they have elections, but that isn't enough to make it a democracy.

Comment: Re:IDE (Score 1) 405

by daliman (#25285703) Attached to: Mono 2.0 and .NET On Linux

Well I use Slackware

Ah, well, there's your problem right there ;)

More seriously, I've recently come into a workplace with a bunch of Slackware 10.2 servers and no remaining sysadmins. I'm used to Debian, so the lack of package management capabilities seems to leave me with a hideously manual process to update any available security updates for the installed packages. What's the correct procedure for this on Slack?

Software

Software Spots Spin In Political Speeches 438

Posted by samzenpus
from the liars-and-filthy-liars dept.
T.S. Ackerman writes "According to an article in NewScientist Tech, there is now software that can identify the amount of spin in a politician or candidate's speech. From the article, 'Blink and you would have missed it. The expression of disgust on former US president Bill Clinton's face during his speech to the Democratic National Convention as he says "Obama" lasts for just a fraction of a second. But to Paul Ekman it was glaringly obvious. "Given that he probably feels jilted that his wife Hillary didn't get the nomination, I would have to say that the entire speech was actually given very gracefully," says Ekman, who has studied people's facial expressions and how they relate to what they are thinking for over 40 years.' The article goes on to analyze the amount of spin in each of the candidates running for president, and the results are that Obama spins the most."
The Almighty Buck

+ - Congress Considers Orphaned Works Act->

Submitted by
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Congress is considering an orphaned works act that would limit the penalties for infringement in cases where the author could no longer be identified. The idea is that one could declare their intent to use the work with the Copyright Office and if the copyright holder didn't care to respond, they would only be able to get 'reasonable compensation' instead of excessive statutory penalties. Of course, there's still the question of whether this can pass before election time."
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Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line

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