Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Bruce Schneier, security expert (and rational voice in the wilderness), explains in an editorial on CNN, why "Connecting the Dots" is a "Hindsight Bias". In heeding calls to increase the amount of surveillance data gathered and shared, agencies like the FBI have impaired their ability to discover actual threats, while guaranteeing erosion of personal and civil freedom. "Piling more data onto the mix makes it harder, not easier. The best way to think of it is a needle-in-a-haystack problem; the last thing you want to do is increase the amount of hay you have to search through. The television show 'Person of Interest' is fiction, not fact."
derGoldstein writes: Slashdot has previously followed attempts to create server architectures from netbook processors, specifically the FAWN project. Now that Cortex-A8 based systems are available on SODIMM modules, will new attempts be made at creating very dense arrays of systems for application where fast, concurrent data retrieval is important — primarily web servers?
judgecorp writes: Engineering giant General Electric (GE) has warned that open source is risky. A European CIO for the company told a conference today that open source is only useful for internal "playground" uses, despite other parts of GE having deployed Linux for healthcare platforms. The comment follows an equally equivocal comment from the European Commission. While announcing a plan to make a level playing field for open source, EC vice president Siim Kallas warned that open source software might have security risks.
Ponca City, We love you writes: "GCN reports that in testimony before the the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee, the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Director, Richard Schaeffer Jr., told the committee that computer systems with proper security and network controls should be able to withstand about 80 percent of known cyberattacks and identified three measures in particular as being especially effective: implementing best security practices, proper network configurations, and strong network monitoring. “We believe that if one institutes best practices, proper configurations [and] good network monitoring that a system ought to be able to withstand about 80 percent of the commonly known attack mechanisms against systems today,” Schaeffer said in his testimony. “You can actually harden your network environment to raise the bar such that the adversary has to resort to much, much more sophisticated means (PDF), thereby raising the risk of detection." Schaeffer added that there are no "silver bullets" when it comes to cybersecurity, but over time, increased awareness of cybersecurity issues, new standards, better education, and expanded information sharing, more uniform practices, and improved technology can make a meaningful differece."
longacre writes: "Americans practically take safe commercial flight for granted these days: out of over 50 million takeoffs over the past five years, there has been only one fatal crash (Comair flight 5191). It wasn't always this way... much of the technology that makes air travel so extraordinarily safe today has come as a direct result of fatal accidents of the past. Popular Mechanics lists eight crashes and two emergency landings whose influence is felt — for the good — each time you step on a plane."