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New Ransomware Business Cashing In On CryptoLocker's Name ( 62

itwbennett writes: A new service launched this week on a standalone Darknet website offering ransomware called CryptoLocker Service to anyone willing to pay a small fee and 10% of the collected ransom. The new venture is being run by a person using the handle Fakben, who was a former user of the Evolution (Evo) marketplace, writes CSO Online's Steve Ragan. Customers pay $50 to get the basic Ransomware payload. Once the victim pays the demanded ransom, the payment address will forward the funds – less a ten percent fee – to the Bitcoin wallet designated by the CryptoLocker Service customer. The ransom fee itself can be determined by the customer, but the recommended fee is $200. 'I prefer to be less expensive, more downloads and more infections,' Fakben said during a brief chat with Ragan.

Comment Re:It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

I feel as though it would be wise for the markets to move to another timebase, such as the one used by GPS (TAI if I recall correctly)
It has a correspondence with wall time but it doesn't change to match wall time, the difference is merely changed when a leap second is added (or taken away, which has not happened).

I presume that if they don't use a timebase such as this it is for historical reasons, but I'd be curious to know!

Comment Re: It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

If you are doing precision timing it would be wise to not use wall time. Wall time is adjusted on an ongoing basis on computers using NTP. Many times this is done by adding or subtracting microseconds smoothly, 'slewing' time so it is monotonic and all that, but that means wall time is only accurate in the long run, not at any particular moment.

What you'd want is something that has a fixed timebase which is trained to the wall clock but doesn't correspond to adjustments to the wall time. I'm not sure as to all the details, but something like this:
        Clock that cannot be set and represents monotonic time since some unspecified starting point.

Comment Re:Cheating? (Score 1) 109

Actually the driver could enable those things. I don't have enough knowledge to implement it myself, but the driver does control everything that goes to the GPU in some form or another. The GPU does what it is told, the driver tells it what to do. The short version is that if you control the driver you own the card.

Comment Re: Linux (Score 1) 109

I'm an outlier, but I am very happy with using Linux as my desktop OS.

To stave off holy wars I won't bring up my distro and I must mention that while I dislike using Windows I respect things like Powershell (monad! AHHH!) and the administrative capabilities.

Mostly I like Linux because I can get things done. I code professionally and have become accustomed to the tools at my disposal. Everything from a first class shell to being able to install utilities with a few keystrokes. For me this is the desktop experience that I want. I even got my mother on Linux 5 years ago and she was pleased as punch at its speed and lack of scary pop-ups. That is highly subjective, and her needs are minimal, but to me the Windows desktop is dead. At most it might be a platform for PC games, but I've long since relegated Windows to the same mental 'bin' as a console or phone OS. It is what it is and it doesn't want to be anything else (even if it can be persuaded to some degree).

Thats okay, but it doesn't suit me. Your Mileage May Vary.

Comment Re:Teensy 3.1 (Score 1) 94

I'm just getting into FPGA stuff and I gotta say it is REALLY nice to get down to the metal in that sort of intimate way. I might grumble at the tools compared to what I'm spoiled with but my GOODNESS designing a tiny little soft core to do structured I/O at clock-speed (1 transfer per clock with routing and such, not that impressive but REALLY cool to dig into compared to hundreds or thousands of cycles in software!).

I don't know if I'm wired differently or if more people don't give it a try, but with the price point of some things coming out I feel like its going to get really popular. I'm using a ~$150 Zybo to develop for the Xilinx 7 series at work and Vivado is free for that chip (targeting a larger one later, and that DID cost but its obviously worth it). Thats a game changer. That brings it on par with the cost of buying a compiler in the 90s. There are even cheaper ones out there. The sucker even runs Linux so you can ship things from the pins to the kernel via DMA.

Honestly until I started working on this level I didn't appreciate it properly. Now its a world of possibilities opening up for me, and the software know-how is critical to do things like write drivers and applications on top of this hardware. No better cure for hubris than going outside of your comfort zone and starting from scratch.

Comment Re:All the proof we need (Score 3, Informative) 260

The parent is drawing their own conclusions from the article. Here is a key quote, but please read the whole article. It is actually quite good.

At this point, it’s time to ask what the heck is going on here. And while there may not yet be any scientific consensus on the matter, at least some scientists suspect that the cooling seen in these maps is no fluke but, rather, part of a process that has been long feared by climate researchers — the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation.

The Atlantic ocean's circulation patterns for that area are driven by density differences. Warm water from further south moves north along the surface and when it gets to Greenland it freezes as sea ice. That process greatly increases the salinity, and therefore density, of the remaining water and so it sinks and circulates south again.
This loop is critically important for certain favorable climate features of Western Europe.

If this is in fact what is occurring then this isn't evidence against climate change, it was one of the more extreme predictions OF climate change.

Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 1) 260

It is a thing.

One anecdote that is related indirectly to the topic is the ignorance of the nature of stars. Someone in my family didn't know that stars are like our sun but much further away. There was no malice or contradiction of beliefs and they took it as a VERY awesome fact, but that sort of gap in knowledge combined with religious fervor can, and does, lead to the outright denial of even the possibility of life elsewhere.

Bear in mind that many people are in the dark about the nature of the universe as we understand it. There is no need to know and religious teachings are more accessible and repeated very often and so are positioned to become a, if not THE, dominant factor in shaping world-views. Those world views have a tendency to exclude that which the person perceives as 'other'.

Comment Re:so nasa is really a pr machine? (Score 1) 58

Is worship really the right word to use? It seems to be chosen to mock unjustly.

Adoration is natural when one appreciates something. There seems to be the implication that this is wrong, or that the attention is undue.
Certainly you aren't obliged to participate yourself, and it is natural that if one express hostile opinions then there is a natural urge to sway or discredit that person.

There is no way to know your mind from the outside, but it really does seem that you've got an axe to grind here.
If you have a specific criticism then express it, please. if not then it might be better to question your own feelings, as should everyone from time to time.

Comment Re:Need a new cryptocurrency (Score 2) 59

I tend to not think of Bitcoin as currency. A commodity fits rather well but isn't quite perfect.
I view it as a medium for the transfer of value. That gives it some value since it is competing with costly and complex alternatives such as credit card processors.

Everything else that people do with it can be seen as being derived from that. Speculation and trading are natural consequences of anything that people ascribe value to.

When used as an individual not wanting to engage in futures or investment, but only in the exchange of value for goods and services Bitcoin is interesting.

People mining bitcoins are the facilitators of that exchange, hence the reward for mining a block. The focus for many has been on the act of mining, but the actual use of it in buying / selling is much more compelling for most. You can use the exchanges to turn money into bitcoins and vice-versa and then use them to buy goods or services.

You're right that is isn't money, but that is the goal. To take it from a commodity-like to a full blown fiat currency. It is a great experiment.

Comment Re:Earth brighter than Moon - surprise? (Score 1) 77

There is actually a concept that explains this sort of thing!
It is called 'qualia'
The big idea is that no matter how much you understand an idea, no matter how detailed your mathematics, abstract understanding, or information about underlying biological processes may be the actual experience is different than be be imagined or described. These experiences are qualia.

Another way of thinking about it is a short story:
    Anne lives in a world that is monochrome. There is only shades of grey to her eyes. She has studied color, however. She understands the quantum mechanics of light emission, the wave particle duality, the idea of perception of color using cones in the eye, how that information is combined in the brain and can be distinguished. She has several PhDs on the topic of color in various disciplines.
    Anne then leaves the world without color and enters ours. She sees a blue sky for the first time.
    On that day Anne has learned something new about color.

Even though that scientist could conceive of the brightness difference the experience could still surprise him.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.