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+ - Researchers reverse-engineer Dropbox cracking heavily obfuscated Python app

Submitted by rjmarvin
rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Two developers were able to successfully reverse-engineer Dropbox http://sdt.bz/64049 to intercept SSL traffic, bypass two-factor authentication and create open-source clients. They presented their paper, "Looking inside the (drop) box" at USENIX 2013, explaining step-by-step how they were able to succeed where others failed in reverse-engineering a heavily obfuscated application written in Python. They also claimed the generic techniques they used could be applied to reverse-engineer other Frozen python applications: OpenStack, NASA, and a host of Google apps, just to name a few..."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Enterprise level network devices for home use? 3

Submitted by osho741
osho741 (2441180) writes "I was wondering if anyone has enterprise level networking devices set up at home? I seem to go through at least 1 wireless consumer grade router a year or so. I can never seem to find one that last very long under just normal use. I thought maybe I would have better luck throwing together a network using used enterprise equipment. Has anyone done this? What would you recommend for a network that maxes out at 30mbps downstream from the ISP and an internal network that should be able to stream 1080p movies to 3 or 4 devices from a media server?

Any thoughts and or suggestions are welcome."

+ - Ancient Roman Concrete Is About to Revolutionize Modern Architecture-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever—Roman concrete—has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we build cities of the future.

Researchers have analyzed 11 harbors in the Mediterranean basin where, in many cases, 2,000-year-old (and sometimes older) headwaters constructed out of Roman concrete stand perfectly intact despite constant pounding by the sea. The most common blend of modern concrete, known as Portland cement, a formulation in use for nearly 200 years, can’t come close to matching that track record. In seawater, it has a service life of less than 50 years. After that, it begins to erode.

The secret to Roman concrete lies in its unique mineral formulation and production technique. As the researchers explain in a press release outlining their findings, “The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated—incorporating water molecules into its structure—and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.”"

Link to Original Source

+ - What happens to your digital inheritance?

Submitted by ron-l-j
ron-l-j (1725874) writes "The last few months a digital inheritance idea has been floating around in my head, and I am sure the thought has crossed your mind as well.With Google talking about the inactive account program it made me wonder, will my children get my iTunes, and amazon movies? I have plenty of mp4 movies on my server that will just set itself to admin with no password after I do not log in within a 6 month time frame.

  But what about the millions of dollars spent on digital content?
We all know your favorite DVD will become scratched, and will be worthless after a few years. But the possibility of your purchases lasting a long time is more relevant today with more reliable storage. Will it be the case of my boring 2D movies being laughed at by my kids and their 3D holographic displays? I do have a collection of written material, photos, home video, and a database I would like my descendants to have access to.

I can see the lawyers now grabbing for a fee, and the government digging in to tax your digital life in an inheritance tax."

+ - Coding competition. Like checkmate in five

Submitted by Peter (Professor) Fo
Peter (Professor) Fo (956906) writes "You know those chess puzzles that go 'Black to move, checkmate in five', what about code-fixing of a spot the bug type puzzle that might go: 'Add two sets of brackets to ...' or 'Add one line of not more than ten characters to fix this sort routine.' or 'rewrite the inner function to increase the speed by an order of magnitude by changing up to four lines'

This is the sort of mental challenge that should be bread and butter to programmers, can be set at different levels of difficulty and provide a diversion from our own bloody code-knots. The emphasis to be on coding algorithms rather than stupid bugs or quirks.

I'm curious too know if there is a home for such puzzles, people have examples and if anyone would be generally interested."
Security

Malware Could Grab Data From Stock iPhones 127

Posted by timothy
from the swamp-of-bog-standard dept.
Ardisson writes "Swiss iPhone developer Nicolas Seriot presented last night a talk on iPhone Privacy in Geneva. He showed how a malicious application could harvest personal data on a non-jailbroken iPhone (PDF) and without using private APIs. It turns out that the email accounts, the keyboard cache content and the WiFi connection logs are fully accessible. The talk puts up several recommendations. There is also a demo project on github."
Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the download-compile-reboot-repeat dept.
diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."
Mozilla

Firefox Faster In Wine Than Native 493

Posted by timothy
from the that-sounds-hard-to-swallow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Tuxradar did some benchmarks comparing Firefox's Windows and Linux JavaScript performance. 'We did some simple JavaScript benchmarks of Firefox 3.0 using Windows and Linux to see how it performed across the platforms — and the results are pretty bleak for Linux.' Later on, they tried Wine. 'The end result: Firefox from Mozilla or from Fedora has almost nil speed difference, and Firefox running on Wine is faster than native Firefox.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Accused of Squandering Billions On R&D 580

Posted by kdawson
from the billion-here-billion-there dept.
Julie188 writes "Even as Microsoft celebrates its 10,000th patent, angry shareholders are starting to speak out against what they say is the squandering of billions of dollars on pointless R&D projects. The 10,000th patent covers a technology that allows a device to associate data with objects placed on its surface, and is likely eventually to become part of the Surface table PC. But shareholders are fed up with the $8 billion annually spent. Said one, 'I believe Bill Gates is a charlatan because what he has said, implied, promised to shareholders and stakeholders and all of these visionary things that he mumbles and jumbles about and doesn't make reality of. MS is spending billions of dollars on R&D. Where is the return on investment?' In contrast, Apple had almost the same revenue gains as Microsoft while spending one-tenth as much."
Intel

VIA Nano Bests Intel Atom In Netbook Benchmarks 130

Posted by kdawson
from the still-too-slow dept.
Glib Piglet writes "ZDNet UK has a whole set of benchmarks comparing a 1.8 GHz Nano in VIA's Epia SN motherboard and a 1.6 GHz Atom in Intel's 'Little Falls' D945GCFL mobo. It's not good news for Chipzilla: 'As far as memory performance is concerned, the Nano is clearly superior in every test' and 'The VIA Nano emerges as the better processor for internet tasks. While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds.' The Nano even outperforms Nehalem on one test. It's not all a win for VIA, though. The benchmark concludes that in some ways all netbooks, underpowered as they are, remain in the IT stone ages."
Software

Vim 7.2 Released 106

Posted by kdawson
from the vigor-too dept.
sanguisdex writes "After fifteen months of work: a brand new Vim release! This is a stable version. There are many bug fixes and updated runtime files. The only new feature worth mentioning is support for floating point. Upgrading from a previous version is highly recommended: a few crashing bugs and several security issues were fixed. For the details see the announcement or go directly to the download page."
Unix

Why Do We Name Servers the Way We Do? 1397

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the just-no-more-muppets-please dept.
jfruhlinger writes "If you use a Unix machine, it probably has a funny name. And if you work in an environment where there are multiple Unix machines, they probably have funny names that are variations on a theme. No, you're not the only one! This article explores the phenomenon, showing that even the CIA uses a whimsical server naming scheme." What are some of your best (worst?) naming schemes?
Intel

Retailer Planning Laptops With Intel Core i7 Chips 142

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-say-luggable dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian PC retailer Eurocom is planning to ship a 12-pound laptop with Intel's Core i7 chip, which might go down well with deep-pocketed geeks. The Core i7 was designed with desktop computers and servers in mind; later members of the Nehalem chip family are planned to address portables. The 17" notebook's price, not yet announced, will certainly be in excess of $5,000."
Java

Java EE 6 Platform Draft Published 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the rather-drafty dept.
synodinos writes "The public draft of the Java EE 6 Platform specification has been published and will remain open for public review and feedback until the 23rd of Feb, 2009. Perhaps the most notable part of this delayed draft is the Web Profile, which is first profile in the history of the Java EE platform. The draft is available for download and contains both the Java EE 6 Spec and the Web Profile Spec. There is a poll running at java.net regarding what the community thinks about the new spec. Although participation is yet rather small the results tend to show that the released draft did not cause any excitement."
Programming

Survey Says C Dominated New '08 Open-Source Projects 378

Posted by timothy
from the take-that-25-other-letters dept.
svonkie writes "C overwhelmingly proved to be the most popular programming language for thousands of new open-source projects in 2008, reports The Register (UK). According to license tracker Black Duck Software, which monitors 180,000 projects on nearly 4,000 sites, almost half — 47 per cent — of new projects last year used C. 17,000 new open-source projects were created in total. Next in popularity after C came Java, with 28 per cent. In scripting, JavaScript came out on top with 20 per cent, followed by Perl with 18 per cent. PHP attracted just 11 per cent, and Ruby six per cent. The numbers are a surprise, as open-source PHP has proved popular as a web-site development language, while Ruby's been a hot topic for many."

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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