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Submission + - Researchers create Mac "firmworm" that spreads via Thunderbolt Ethernet adapters

BIOS4breakfast writes: Wired reports that later this week at BlackHat and Defcon, Trammel Hudson will show the Thunderstrike 2 update to his Thunderstrike attack on Mac firmware (previously covered on Slashdot). Trammel teamed up with Xeno Kovah and Corey Kallenberg from LegbaCore, who have previously shown numerous exploits for PC firmware. They found that multiple vulnerabilities that were already publicly disclosed were still present in Mac firmware. This allows a remote attacker to break into the Mac over the network, and infect its firmware. The infected firmware can then infect Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapters' PCI Option ROM. And then those adapters can infect the firmware of any Mac they are plugged into — hence creating the self-propagating Thunderstrike 2 "firmworm". Unlike worms like Stuxnet, it never exists on the filesystem, it only ever lives in firmware (which no one ever checks.) A video showing the proof of concept attack is posted here.

Submission + - Inside the Failure of Google+->

An anonymous reader writes: An article at Mashable walks through the rise and fall of Google+, from the company's worries of being displaced by Facebook to their eventual realization that Google services don't need social hooks. They have quotes from a number of employees and insiders, who mostly agree that the company didn't have the agility to build something so different from their previous services. "Most Google projects started small and grew organically in scale and importance. Buzz, the immediate predecessor to Plus, had barely a dozen people on staff. Plus, by comparison, had upwards of 1,000, sucked up from divisions across the company." Despite early data indicating users just weren't interested in Google+, management pushed for success as the only option. One employee said, "The belief was that we were always just one weird feature away from the thing taking off." Despite a strong feature set, there was no acknowledgement that to beat Facebook, you had to overcome the fact that everybody was already on Facebook.
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Comment Re:Troll (Score 2) 568

Sweden. Better example than Norway, because Sweden's economy is based in manufacturing and export of those manufactured goods, rather than dependent on a single intrinsically valuable but eventually limited natural resource.

On the other hand, look at how Norway handles their oil wealth, as opposed to other oil rich countries. Norway invests their oil money in the future of all citizens, rather than using it to line the pockets of the wealthy few.

Comment Re:I'm surprised (Score 1) 109

For better examples of liberalism at work, on the international stage look at the nordic countries, and how they somehow manage to stay at the top of the world quality-of-life indexes, and domestically

The Nordic countries have significant advantages over most of the world: great access to natural resources, a relatively small, homogeneous, well educated population; limited border access (and much of that is trackless wilderness); little need to spend much on research or defense (they can just mooch off the USA and others), and so on. They can afford to experiment with liberal policies that might destroy other country's economies.

The nordic countries have had liberal politics for decades. That's not experimentation. That's established policy. Norway has great natural resource wealth with their oil reserves, but Sweden has a much more manufacturing & trade oriented economy, with several major private companies that play on the world stage such as Ericsson, SAAB, and IKEA. And somehow these corporations are wildly successful in a country known for high taxes.

Also, investment in education is a liberal policy known to benefit society immensely.

The Greek political mess is due to massive entitlement, which believe it or not has nothing to do with liberal politics.

I don't believe it. The vast majority of entitlements in the USA result from liberal policies. Why would Greece be any different? Conservatives believe in balanced budgets and not going into debt except under very special circumstances: in their worldview, running a government should be no different than running a home. or a farm, or a ranch, or a business, at least from a financial perspective. This viewpoint is why so many people that actually have to manage budgets, support conservative politics. Those who routinely over-spend their means support liberal politics.

Conservatives believe in destroying revenue sources, and then spending all the money they don't have on the military. Over the last few decades, the highest deficits have been with Republican presidents, and the last time we had a budget surplus was during Clinton's presidency. Conservatives might run the government like they do businesses, so it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump's corporations have filed for bankruptcy four times.

look at the policies of Minnesota, and specifically how Minnesota has fared economically since Dayton became governor, compared to how Wisconsin has done since Walker came

As Paul Tosto notes in his article at NPR news, "Essentially, Minnesota has an advantage over Wisconsin in key growth sectors — education, health services and professional and business services. (Those sectors have also driven U.S. job growth, as the Wall Street Journal reported recently.) Wisconsin has a bigger stake in manufacturing, which has been in steady decline for years as a jobs creator. The Great Recession accelerated those changes and Minnesota benefited.".

Hence, liberalism has nothing to do with Minnesota's economic success.

Investing in education and health services is a liberal policy. Also, Scott Walker's "open for business" tea party policies were supposed to attract large corporations and therefore result in job growth. This hasn't happened. Meanwhile, a focus on investing in education in Minnesota (not a major source of jobs itself - you can only have so many professors) has resulted in a well-educated workforce that big companies see as more valuable than rock-bottom tax rates. So yes, liberalism has had a positive effect on Minnesota's economy while conservatism has only hindered Wisconsin's.

Comment Re:I'm surprised (Score 4, Insightful) 109

Can't believe I'm replying to a downrated AC, but here we go. Chicago politics have nothing to do with 'liberalism'. Chicago politics are all about cronyism, and Chicago politicians just belong to the Democrat party because they need a national party to belong to. The Greek political mess is due to massive entitlement, which believe it or not has nothing to do with liberal politics. For better examples of liberalism at work, on the international stage look at the nordic countries, and how they somehow manage to stay at the top of the world quality-of-life indexes, and domestically, look at the policies of Minnesota, and specifically how Minnesota has fared economically since Dayton became governor, compared to how Wisconsin has done since Walker came. Wisconsin's economic numbers have improved since the recession, but a rising tide lifts all ships, and Minnesota's numbers and rankings on various economic lists are consistently significantly better than Wisconsin's, despite (or I would argue because of) Dayton's liberal policies vs. Walker's tea party approach.

Comment Re:With stock tires on my local road? (Score 2) 171

The 3.2 second 0-60 of the P85D model S has been independently verified, so I don't see why it would be so outrageous to expect an upgraded model to do better.

The Tesla is in fact specifically engineered to not leave rubber on the road. The computer actively measures the car's acceleration and adjusts the torque on the wheels so that they apply the maximum possible force to the road without slipping.

Comment Re:Who? (Score 2) 574

Bose products are good enough that a human with average hearing can definitely tell them apart from whatever cheap headphones/earbuds originally shipped with your mp3 player or diskman. They might not be good enough for audiophiles (who are generally deluded anyway) or recording engineers, but they are definitely sufficient to provide a whole new enjoyment of music to someone who has only ever heard stuff over cheap crap speakers or headphones before. A set of Bose headphones were my first non-crap headphones back in the day, and when I got them I immediately had to get rid of anything in my mp3 collection encoded at bitrates less than 192, as I could immediately tell the difference with higher compression where I couldn't before.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032

A generation ago, it was not unheard of for a student from a middle class family to be able to graduate from a relatively prestigious private liberal arts college with zero debt. And professors who made a livable wage back then certainly aren't one-percenters now, so the difference in tuition can't possibly be because the professors themselves are costing the institution more. Something else changed between then and now, and it needs to change back.

Comment Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 5, Insightful) 1032

The hundreds of thousands of dollars are a part of the problem. There is no reason a bachelors degree should cost that much regardless of the institution you go to, and regardless of whether it is in computer science or art history. The loans themselves aren't the problem, aside from enabling the actual problem - that tuition costs are being allowed to grow without bounds. There is no reason a bachelors degree that costs as much as a house should be simply waved off as "a fact of life".

Comment Re:There is no such thing as non-empirical science (Score 1) 364

Perhaps it's both. We have an overabundance of ideas like m-theory and inflation that are still looking for relevant data to indicate that they are even falsifiable let alone confirmed. Meanwhile we have massive amounts of data that so far just confirms what we already know, and it is like looking for a needle in a universe of haystacks to find evidence in all that data for the aforementioned theories.

Comment Re:Sunset provisions are good. (Score 1) 69

To expand on your footnote, a good way to formalize your point is that your rights/liberty stops where another's starts. Shouting fire in a theatre is not covered under your right to free speech, as it impinges on the rights of others' safety and security. Therefore the maximum state of liberty is where you are permitted as many rights as possible without simultaneously reducing the rights of others. This is the ideal that all laws should tend towards (and this one obviously does not).

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller