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Medicine

Ebola Has Made It To the United States 449

Posted by Soulskill
from the cdc-recommends-chaos-and-panic dept.
An anonymous reader sends news that the CDC has confirmed the first case of Ebola diagnosed on U.S. soil. An unnamed patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas was placed in isolation while awaiting test results for the dreaded virus. Apparently, the patient had traveled recently to a West African country, where the disease is spreading, and later developed symptoms that suggested Ebola. A blood specimen from the patient was sent to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, a testing process that can take 24 to 48 hours to confirm an Ebola infection — or not. The results came back about 3:32 p.m. In other Ebola news, outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal appear to be completely contained.
Networking

Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities? 238

Posted by timothy
from the thick-pipes-and-sturdy-valves dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I currently connect to the internet via a standard router, but I'm looking at bulking up security. Could people provide their experiences with setting up a dedicated firewall machine with VPN capabilities? I am a novice at Linux/BSD, so would appreciate pointers at solutions that require relatively little tweaking. Hardware-wise, I have built PC's, so I'm comfortable with sourcing components and assembling into a case. The setup would reside in my living room, so a quiet solution is required. The firewall would handle home browsing and torrenting traffic. Some of the questions knocking around in my head: 1. Pros and cons of buying an off-the-shelf solution versus building a quiet PC-based solution? 2. Software- versus hardware-based encryption — pros and cons? 3. What are minimum requirements to run a VPN? 4. Which OS to go for? 5. What other security software should I include for maximum protection? I am thinking of anti-virus solutions."
Security

Akamai Warns: Linux Systems Infiltrated and Controlled In a DDoS Botnet 230

Posted by timothy
from the strutting-around-like-they-own-the-place dept.
An anonymous reader writes Akamai Technologies is alerting enterprises to a high-risk threat of IptabLes and IptabLex infections on Linux systems. Malicious actors may use infected Linux systems to launch DDoS attacks against the entertainment industry and other verticals. The mass infestation of IptabLes and IptabLex seems to have been driven by a large number of Linux-based web servers being compromised, mainly by exploits of Apache Struts, Tomcat and Elasticsearch vulnerabilities. Attackers have used the Linux vulnerabilities on unmaintained servers to gain access, escalate privileges to allow remote control of the machine, and then drop malicious code into the system and run it. As a result, a system could then be controlled remotely as part of a DDoS botnet. The full advisory is available for download only with registration, but the (Akamai-owned) Prolexic page to do so is quite detailed.
The Internet

Internet Transit Provider Claims ISPs Deliberately Allow Port Congestion 210

Posted by timothy
from the please-open-the-porthole-a-bit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Level 3, an internet transit provider, claimed in a recent blog post that six ISPs that it regularly does business with have refused to de-congest most of their interconnect ports. 'Congestion that is permanent, has been in place for well over a year and where our peer refuses to augment capacity.' Five of the six ISPs that Level 3 refers to are in the U.S., and one is in Europe. Not surprisingly, 'the companies with the congested peering interconnects also happen to rank dead last in customer satisfaction across all industries in the U.S. Not only dead last, but by a massive statistical margin of almost three standard deviations.' Ars Technica reports that ISPs have also demanded that transit providers like Level 3 pay for access to their networks in the same manner as fringe service providers like Netflix."

Comment: last mile access (Score 1) 135

by jaredmauch (#46867007) Attached to: Netflix Confirms Deal For Access To Verizon's Network

Now is the time if you care to have everyone you know stand-up for *decreased* regulation in the last mile and locally, not more. The cost of building high speed access to your location is not in the long-haul but the local access network. Long-haul costs are at their lowest point ever, but getting to the major locations is always the expensive part. Labor costs, including engineering and permits make the cost of installing fiber or other technology insignificant.

Comment: Re:Build refineries in ND (Score 1) 206

by Zeinfeld (#46802907) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

There is plenty of capacity in St Louis and room to build more.

The cost of the pipeline is much more than the cost of a refinery. The 'surplus capacity' claim is total nonsense. The tar sludge isn't anything like the crude that the existing refineries process. There would have to be major upgrades in any case. And building a two thousand mile pipeline costs a heck of a lot more than any refinery would.

Comment: Re:after november... (Score 1) 206

by Zeinfeld (#46802895) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again

The decision was made years ago: No pipeline.

Not announcing the decision stops the Koch bros and the Keystone corp from starting their appeal. Its like an administrative filibuster.

There is already a pipeline that runs to St Louis, the only reason to build the second pipeline is to sell the sludge to China. Having that option available will allow the price to be jacked up when the sludge is sold to the US market as it will fetch the international price which is a lot higher than the refiners currently pay in St Louis.

There is absolutely no reason for the US to OK a pipeline that will increase the cost of supply to the US market. The only reason the GOP backs the pipeline is that the Koch bros stand to make $100 billion from the increase in the value of their shale tar sands.

It is a purely tactical decision because nobody outside the GOP wants the pipeline built. Everyone who wants the pipeline will vote GOP in November whatever the decision. Obama could make a short term political gain by announcing that there will be no pipeline but that would allow the appeals to start. Better for the country to wait until there have been some GOP deaths on the SCOTUS.

Comment: Re:Control vs. Prosperity (Score 2) 119

by Zeinfeld (#46241413) Attached to: A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

What I find problematic with that mode of argument is that it tends to turn McCarthyite very quickly. Castro attempted to cut a deal with the US before going to the Soviets, he is rather less committed to communism than either his supporters or his opponents believe. He also gave the CIA the location of Che Guavera when he decided he was a liability. So there has been a basis for cooperation for a long time.

The list of crimes committed by US Presidents panicking about communism is very long. Snuffing out a democracy in Iran to replace it with a bloodthirsty dictator, supporting the Khumer Rouge after Vietnam ejected them, installing Pinochet, a mass murderer in Chile. George W Bush just managed to cause the deaths of a half million Iraqis and wonders why he isn't being praised for his efforts.

The problem isn't capitalism of communism, the problem is authoritarianism and elites who believe that brute force is the solution to every problem. Castro is a thug and a murderer but its the US who set up a torture chamber in Cuba.

Since the US government has been spending a large amount of money to get the Internet into Cuba, giving them a pipe and letting them rip with it seems like the best way forward. They will try to control it but everyone knows that Cuba is going to liberalize in the near future.

The logical way forward would be for the US to lift the blockade and let the commerce flood in. The communist system would collapse pretty quickly when there was money to be made. But the problem is that there is a faction that is less interested in bringing democracy to cuba as returning their assets that were nationalized. Since they stole the assets under the corrupt Batista regime, there aren't going to be many interested in that happening.

Comment: Re:Tor (Score 1) 83

by Zeinfeld (#46239485) Attached to: Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

The Dutch government is very clear about not being a haven for drug dealers shipping to other countries. Unlike the US police, they don't spend time going after domestic pushers or users. But anyone who is shipping through the Netherlands to another country is in for serious grief.

>Hmm... perhaps their mistake was even dumber than simply believing tor is magic.

Magical thinking is very common in security. Lots of people think BitCoin is anonymous despite the fact the transaction log is public.

Call Tor services 'hidden' and some people think that means the NSA and GCHQ can't find them. Call them the 'dark Web' and they think its protected by Professor Dumbledore himself.

Comment: Re:The Surprised Dutch Prosecutor (Score 1) 83

by Zeinfeld (#46237363) Attached to: Utopia, Silk Road's Latest Replacement, Only Lasted Nine Days

No, Tor is not compromised. Tor isn't really designed to protect the privacy of Web Sites. Tor is designed to protect the privacy of Web Site users.

If you have a server that is visible to any client on the Tor network then either the server IP itself must be visible to an exit node put up by Law Enforcement or an intermediary node that is directly conspiring with the server has to be visible to law enforcement.

That is just a basic limitation of onion routing. A client can hide because it gets to choose the entry node. A server can't hide because anyone can set up an exit node.

This illustrates one of the big problems with computer security, people want to believe that security claims are true so they tend to be very gullible. They often rely on claims being made about a product by people talking about it on Web sites rather than the people who built it. And note I said 'rely'. Taking note of someone saying 'steer clear, this is why' on a Web site is very different to following the advice of people playing the pied piper.

There are lots of people who are convinced that Bitcoin is anonymous. This despite the fact that every transaction is public and every wallet tracks every one of them. The BitCoin people don't like hearing that their scheme might not be the future of currency or that it really isn't very different from e-Gold or GoldAge or Liberty Reserve which the FBI had no trouble rolling up. Take a look at the comments on my Bitcoin podcast, not a single substantive comment from a BitCoin supporter. Just a regurgitation of the ideology as fact:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

I think this is coming close to the endgame for BitCoin. The FBI might be nervous about the influence that the Winkelvoss twins and other rich supporters of BitCoin might be able to buy (but Senators probably don't take bribes/campaign contributions in Bitcoin). So the logical tactic to make them radioactive would be to arrest them too.

Funny how an ideology that holds the government is an oppressive freedom destroying force can be self-fulfilling. But Bitcoin can't possibly survive when LE believes that the vast majority of Bitcoin transactions involve drugs or kiddie porn or gambling. And I see no evidence to the contrary.

Science

Amherst Researchers Create Magnetic Monopoles 156

Posted by timothy
from the can-we-call-them-dirac's-revenge? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nearly 85 years after pioneering theoretical physicist Paul Dirac predicted the possibility of their existence, an international collaboration led by Amherst College Physics Professor David S. Hall '91 and Aalto University (Finland) Academy Research Fellow Mikko Möttönen has created, identified and photographed synthetic magnetic monopoles in Hall's laboratory on the Amherst campus. The groundbreaking accomplishment paves the way for the detection of the particles in nature, which would be a revolutionary development comparable to the discovery of the electron." That's quite a step beyond detecting monopoles; the Nature abstract is online, but the full paper is paywalled.
Oracle

Oracle Broadens Legal Fight Against Third-party Solaris Support Providers 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the friendly-neighborhood-corporation-looking-out-for-you dept.
angry tapir writes "Oracle is continuing its legal battle against third-party software support providers it alleges are performing such services in a manner that violates its intellectual property. Last week, Oracle sued StratisCom, a Georgia company that offers customers support for Oracle's Solaris OS, claiming it had 'misappropriated and distributed copyright, proprietary software code, along with the login credentials necessary to download this code from Oracle's password-protected websites.'"
Programming

FreeBSD 10.0 Released 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new dept.
An anonymous reader writes "FreeBSD 10.0 has been released. A few highlights include: pkg is now the default package management utility. Major enhancements in virtualization, including the addition of bhyve, virtio, and native paravirtualized drivers providing support for FreeBSD as a guest operating system on Microsoft Hyper-V. Support for the high-performance LZ4 compression algorithm has been added to ZFS and TRIM support for SSD has been added to ZFS. clang is the default compiler. This release has official Raspberry Pi support. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and a quick FreeBSD installation video is here. FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE may be downloaded via ftp or via a torrent client that supports web seeding."

Comment: Re:Windows keys? (Score 2) 459

by Zeinfeld (#45998913) Attached to: Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

Symbolics machines had the key well before Microsoft even talked about ripping off DOS

The serviceable 16 bit CP/M clone was the Holy Grail for every geek in his garage who saw the potential of the 8086. What the geek didn't have was a full suite of programming languages ready to port and the resources to build on the launch of the new IBM micro,

Except Gary Kildal who famously refused to sign the IBM NDA on the advice of his wife going surfing instead. Microsoft then bought MSDOS 1.0 from one of said garage geeks. But all they needed it for was to be undetected long enough to be able to sell MSBasic while they worked on a clone.

The Windows key was appearing on DEC keyboards before it was a Windows thing. And that is from Symbolics as many of the DEC engineers were Symbolics graduates. And when DEC crashed, Microsoft bought up most of the talent. Given the state of Apple at the time, it was pretty much the only option if you hated UNIX.

I am surprised that nobody has brought up a pathetic piece of bought-by-lobbyists research 'the fable of the keys' written by a couple of K-street hacks for an organization calling itself 'the independent institute'. This tried to claim that path dependence and network effects don't exist. Microsoft funded the 'study' while they were fending off the anti-trust suit.

One of the examples that the authors tried to expose as 'myth' is that Dvorak was more efficient. And they do actually have some evidence to suggest that the studies on efficiency are unreliable. But that does not prove their case. All it actually shows is that the Navy realized that there was no point in performing further tests because they were not going to switch from Qwerty regardless of what the result was. A 10% improvement in typist productivity was not worth the cost of retraining. Many typists would refuse to be retrained. Nobody would want to learn a keyboard that was only used in the Navy under a program that might be cancelled at any moment.

The same goes for their effort to 'prove' that VHS was better than Betamax. Like the idiots trying to disprove evolution, they don't make their case and all they do is to show that things are a little more complex than the naive version of the theory they are attacking suggests. The point of VHS and Betamax is that what made a VCR better than a competitor was not picture quality, it was how many movies you could buy and watch on it.

Comment: Re:Fuck religion. (Score 1) 903

by Zeinfeld (#45845697) Attached to: US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

The "separation of church state" works both ways.

You don't like religions dictating how your government is run? The price to be paid for this is not having your government dictating how religions operate.

LK

Since the Catholic church under Benedict threatened to excommunicate Kerry for supporting abortion, they are clearly not holding up their end of any bargain.

It is completely consistent to insist that no law be made based on or requiring religious observances and that what religion is permitted be regulated by the state. The price religion has always paid to be allowed to operate is to obey the laws of the land and support the government order.

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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