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+ - Kaspersky discovers hard-drives riddled with NSA spyware->

Submitted by Tasha26
Tasha26 (1613349) writes "The NSA has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard-drives made by top brands including: Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, Toshiba, Samsung and Maxtor, giving the agency a means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers.

An analysis by Russian firm Kaspersky Labs revealed that NSA found a way to install its spyware inside your hard-dirve’s firmware meaning the malware (nls_933w.dll) capable of persisting across machine wipes to re-infect targeted systems. Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, China, Syria, Yemen and Algeria."

Link to Original Source

+ - TrueCrypt Audit Back on Track After Silence and Uncertainty->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In October 2013 Cryptography professor Matthew Green and security researcher Kenneth White launched a project to perform a professional security audit of TrueCrypt, partly prompted by the leaks from Edward Snowden that suggested the NSA was engaged in efforts to undermine encryption. Their report, published in April 2014, covered the first phase of the audit. Phase two was supposed to involve a formal review of the program’s encryption functions, with the goal of uncovering any potential errors in the cryptographic implementations—but then the unexpected happened. In May 2014, the developers of TrueCrypt, who had remained anonymous over the years for privacy reasons, abruptly announced that they were discontinuing the project and advised users to switch to alternatives. Now, almost a year later, the project is back on track."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seems ripe for abuse (Score 1) 112

by fey000 (#49093753) Attached to: AT&T Patents System To "Fast-Lane" File-Sharing Traffic

I don't know, is att a big owner of content, like time warner an their ilk? Maybe they are trying to deferentiate from the competition. Seems like a good strategy to me.

It looks like fast lanes and slow lanes to me, just from a different perspective. Of course, if I'm wrong, and they build a better protocol for torrent traffic, I'm all for it. Improvements are great, and necessary.

If the new tactic is to simply prioritise torrent traffic, then it's a fast lane. What's the difference between prioritising 9 types of traffic and throttling the 10th? None at all. This could just as well be used to throttle unwanted traffic (let's say WB starts prioritising everything *except* torrent traffic).

Much like an overly broad law, it's great when it's used to improve the things we care about, but it could just as easily be used for the opposite. And should this new *great* idea be used as an argument to curtail the net neutrality rules (let's allow fast lanes but not slow lanes instead of banning both types), then you can expect the opposite usecase to come about shortly.

The one thing I'm certain of is that AT&T will happily screw you over for a dime, and any consumer-friendly initiative from them should be scoured under the looking glass several times over for the devils signature.

Comment: Re:I blame the FDA (Score 2, Informative) 365

by fey000 (#49054503) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

Not sure if troll or srs...

Smoking is pretty close to the worst thing you can do if you wish to lead a long and pleasant life (including the endgame).
Smoking has an unwanted effect on almost every cancer probability (including cervical/breast cancer for you women), every bronco-, cardio-, aortic-, pharyngeal- (all kinds), and endocrine- disease available (to name *but a few*). If this wasn't enough, the damage caused is from the smoke, meaning that second hand smoke is just as bad (and therefor affecting those in your vicinity to some degree as well). As a result, it's expensive as bloody hell to society, leading to a *deficit* in high-quality medical care socialist countries. Oh, and the nicotine itself, separate from ingestion method, also causes sleeping problems, gastro-intestinal problems, and headaches. So enjoy that.

For the poor epidemiologists around, smoking is a major pain in the ass, because it's a confounder in almost every damn longitudinal cohort study ever, meaning more math, more matching, more controlling for additional factors, and more tables.

On the plus side:
There are only two benefits that I know; the calming effect of nicotine can be helpful in reducing point stress (often negated by the *increase* in stress that comes from nicotine abstinence), and the *possibly* mild protection it offers from late-onset Alzheimer's disease. I say possibly because the evidence of this protection is no consistent.

+ - What tools to cleanup a large C/C++ project?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to 'cleanup' a relatively large C/C++ project. We are talking ~200 files, 11MB of source code, 220K lines of code...

A superficial glance shows that they are a lot of functions that seems to be doing the same things, a lot of 'unused' stuff and a lot of inconsistency between what is declared in .h files and what is implemented in the corresponding .cpp files.

Is there any tools that will help me catalog this mess and make it easier for me to locate/erase unused things, cleanup .h files, find functions with similar names?"

+ - Up to 80 million records stolen in Anthem security breach->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Account information on as many as 80 million customers of US health insurance company Anthem has been stolen, the company has announced in a statement. “Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyberattack,” said Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish in a post on a website dedicated to the incident. The hack directly targeted Anthem’s computer network, stealing data including customer names, dates of birth, medical ID numbers, Social Security numbers, as well as home addresses and salary information."
Link to Original Source

+ - Mississippi - The Nation's Leader in Vaccination Rates

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The NYT reports that Mississippi — which ranks as one of the worst states for smoking, obesity and physical inactivity — seldom is viewed as a leader on health issues. But it is one of two states that permit neither religious nor philosophical exemptions to its vaccination program. Only children with medical conditions that would be exacerbated by vaccines may enroll in Mississippi schools without completing the immunization schedule, which calls for five vaccines. With a vaccination rate of greater than 99.7%, Mississippi leads the national median by five percentage points and has the country’s highest immunization rate among kindergarten students.

However, in recent weeks, the nearly unbending nature of Mississippi’s law requiring students to be vaccinated has been in jeopardy, with two dozen lawmakers publicly supporting an exemption for “conscientious beliefs” turning Mississippi into one more battleground between medical experts who champion vaccinations and parents who fear the government’s role in medical decision-making. “We have been a victim of our success, and people don’t realize how bad these diseases are,” said Mississippi state epidemiologist, Dr. Thomas E. Dobbs III, before lawmakers met to consider a bill that would have expanded exceptions to the vaccine requirement. Members of the education committee for the House of Representatives, in effect, endorsed the state’s current approach. By a voice vote, they advanced a heavily amended version of the bill that now calls for only technical changes to Mississippi’s law, which has been largely untouched since the late 1970s. The amended version of House Bill 130 puts into law the state's existing practice of granting medical waivers to children whose physicians request them, and in doing so, removes the Mississippi Department of Health's ability to deny such requests. "If a medical professional thinks it's wise not to vaccinate, then that will be the gospel," said House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, R-Brandon."

Comment: Re:This thread will be a sewer of misogyny (Score 1) 779

by fey000 (#48961479) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes

I don't think they do. And judging by the two kinds of of people that complain about the under-representation of women in tech...
The first person is doing absolutely nothing about it except throwing a patreon account around and begging for more money...
The second uses it as a PR campaign (without realizing that the outragists that care about the whole thing have no interest in tech)...

Not a single complainer decided to go into tech to improve the ratio. But you hear about it. From "journalists". From bloggers, vloggers, and podders. And high ups that don't do any of that stuff themselves, but have a chief of public relations.

How come the programmers aren't complaining? If this is such a problem, why is it only ever raised from the outside in the form of clickbait, PR, or justification for getting more money?

Comment: Excellent idea (Score 5, Insightful) 779

by fey000 (#48960005) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes

Great idea. Let's take all the enthusiastic, optimistic, and insightful CS students and throw them out the window, then try to coax and cajole the uninterested into replacing them. I don't see how this plan could possibly fail.

Seriously, guys?

What happened to merit? What happened to "the heart wants what the heart wants"? What happened to free choice?
Why must there be more girls in CS to the point of excluding those *actually* interested in the subject itself? And why is this situation not repeated in welding, or mining? Why don't you want women to make up their own minds on what they want to do?

I see lots of women every day that somehow managed to pick a career and/or interest without anyone having to invest lots of money into convincing or cajoling them, so I'm pretty sure it can be done.

Comment: Re:I don't know enough about this stuff (Score 3, Informative) 63

by fey000 (#48957785) Attached to: MIT Randomizes Tasks To Speed Massive Multicore Processors

If I'm not mistaken, you are thinking about branch prediction, not out-of-order-executions in an otherwise serial pipe.

To elaborate, OOE deals with computing as much as possible without having to wait for a result first.
Branch prediction is a cache separate from the execution tray that attempts to predict the outcome of an if/switch or other branching evaluation and then load the pipelines to the execution tray with the computations following that branching, since the time it takes to evaluate an if/switch can be long, and without a prediction the cpu would have to stall until the evaluation is complete.

+ - Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Jennifer Abel writes at the LA times that according to a recent survey over 80% of Americans says they support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.” Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical “dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense"

Information is the inverse of entropy.

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