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Security

Stuxnet Authors Made Key Errors 228

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the sorry-about-that dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "There is a growing sentiment among security researchers that the programmers behind the Stuxnet attack may not have been the super-elite cadre of developers that they've been mythologized to be in the media. In fact, some experts say that Stuxnet could well have been far more effective and difficult to detect had the attackers not made a few elementary mistakes."
Privacy

Unsecured IP Cameras Accessible To Everyone 146

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the big-brother-is-you dept.
Orome1 writes "In the last couple of decades, we have become so accustomed to the idea that the public portion of our everyday life is watched and recorded — in stores, on the street, in institutions — that we often don't even notice the cameras anymore. Analog surveillance systems were difficult to hack into by people who lacked the adequate knowledge, but IP cameras — having their own IPs — can be quite easily physically located and their stream watched in real-time by anyone who has a modicum of computer knowledge and knows what to search for on Google."
Government

Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux 500

Posted by Soulskill
from the putin-on-his-tux dept.
Glyn Moody writes "Vladimir Putin has signed an order calling for Russian federal authorities to move to GNU/Linux, and for the creation of 'a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power.' There have been a number of Russian projects to roll out free software, notably in the educational sector, but none so far has really taken off. With the backing of Putin, could this be the breakthrough free software has been waiting for?"
Science

North Magnetic Pole Racing Toward Siberia 187

Posted by kdawson
from the slowly-swinging-needles dept.
RogerRoast sends along a backgrounder from Scientific American on the best current theory as to why the north magnetic pole drifts. "The NMP, also known as the dip pole, is the point on Earth where the planet's magnetic field points straight down into the ground. Scottish explorer James Clark Ross first located the NMP in 1831 on the Boothia Peninsula in what is now northern Canada... [T]he NMP drifts from year to year as geophysical processes within Earth change. For more than 150 years after Ross's measurement its movement was gradual, generally less than 15 kilometers per year. But then, in the 1990s, it picked up speed, ... bolting north–northwest into the Arctic Ocean at more than 55 kilometers per year. If it keeps going it could pass the geographic north pole in a decade or so and carry on toward Siberia."
The Almighty Buck

PayPal Withdraws WikiLeaks Donation Service 794

Posted by timothy
from the no-funds-for-you dept.
ItsIllak writes "The BBC are reporting that PayPal is the latest company to abandon WikiLeaks. The list now includes their DNS providers (EveryDNS) and their hosts (Amazon). PayPal's move is unlikely to result in many more people boycotting the company, as most knowledgeable on-line users will have been refusing to use them for years for a wide variety of abusive practices." Adds reader jg21: "As open source freedom fighter Simon Phipps writes in his ComputerWorldUK blog, behavior like this by Amazon and Tableau [and now PayPal] 'informs us as customers of web services and cloud computing services that we are never safe from intentional outages when the business interests of our host are challenged.'"
Government

IAEA Forms Nuclear Fuel Bank 224

Posted by timothy
from the no-withdrawals dept.
Kemeno writes "The International Atomic Energy Agency voted on Friday to form a nuclear fuel bank to help developing countries acquire nuclear fuel without having to enrich uranium themselves. Warren Buffet contributed 50 million dollars to a pool of 150 million with contributions from many different countries. The goal of the program is to provide countries with a source of low-grade enriched uranium suitable for fueling reactors but not for creating nuclear weapons."
Censorship

Graduate Students Being Warned Away From Leaked Cables 685

Posted by timothy
from the we're-checking-your-history dept.
IamTheRealMike writes "The US State Department has started to warn potential recruits from universities not to read leaked cables, lest it jeopardize their chances of getting a job. They're also showing warnings to troops who access news websites and the Library of Congress and Department of Education have blocked WikiLeaks on their own networks. Quite what happens when these employees go home is an open question." Update: 12/04 17:48 GMT by T : The friendly warning to students specifically cautioned them not to comment online or otherwise indicate that they'd read any of the leaked information; reading them quietly wasn't specifically named as a deal-breaker.
Transportation

Bruce Schneier vs. the TSA 741

Posted by Soulskill
from the sees-right-through-them dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier has posted a huge recap of the controversy over TSA body scanners, including more information about the lawsuit he joined to ban them. There's too much news to summarize, but it covers everything from Penn Jillette's and Dave Barry's grope stories, to Israeli experts who say this isn't needed and hasn't ever stopped a bomb, to the three-year-old girl who was traumatized by being groped and much, much more." Another reader passed along a related article, which says, "Congressman Ron Paul lashed out at the TSA yesterday and introduced a bill aimed at stopping federal abuse of passengers. Paul’s proposed legislation would pave the way for TSA employees to be sued for feeling up Americans and putting them through unsafe naked body scanners."
Government

National Opt-Out Day Against Virtual Strip Searches 647

Posted by kdawson
from the hobson's-choice dept.
An anonymous reader writes in about a protest called for the busiest airline travel day of the year. "An activist opposed to the new invasive body scanners in use at airports around the country just designated Wednesday, Nov. 24 as a National Opt-Out Day. He's encouraging airline passengers to decline the TSA's technological strip searches en masse on that day as a protest against the scanners, as well as the new 'enhanced pat-downs' inflicted on refuseniks. 'The goal of National Opt-Out Day is to send a message to our lawmakers that we demand change,' reads the call to action at OptOutDay.com, set up by Brian Sodegren. 'No naked body scanners, no government-approved groping. We have a right to privacy, and buying a plane ticket should not mean that we're guilty until proven innocent.' The US Airline Pilots Association and other pilot groups have urged their members to avoid the scanners and have also condemned the new pat-down policy as humiliating to pilots. They've advised pilots who don't feel comfortable undergoing pat-downs in front of passengers to request they be conducted in a private room. Any pilots who don't feel comfortable after undergoing a pat-down have been encouraged to 'call in sick and remove themselves from the trip.'"
Censorship

Facebook Postings Lead To Arrest for Heresy In the West Bank 496

Posted by timothy
from the not-better-or-worse-just-different dept.
forand writes "Using screen shots of a customer's Facebook profile, owners of a West Bank internet cafe helped Palestinian intelligence forces capture a man accused of heresy." According to sources quoted in the story, residents of both Gaza and the West Bank face ongoing scrutiny of their online activities; in Gaza, "Internet cafe owners are forced to monitor customers' online activity and alert intelligence officials if they see anything critical of the militant group or that violates Hamas' stern interpretation of Islam."
Software

CDE — Making Linux Portability Easy 385

Posted by timothy
from the namespace-collision dept.
ihaque writes "A Stanford researcher, Philip Guo, has developed a tool called CDE to automatically package up a Linux program and all its dependencies (including system-level libraries, fonts, etc!) so that it can be run out of the box on another Linux machine without a lot of complicated work setting up libraries and program versions or dealing with dependency version hell. He's got binaries, source code, and a screencast up. Looks to be really useful for large cluster/cloud deployments as well as program sharing. Says Guo, 'CDE is a tool that automatically packages up the Code, Data, and Environment involved in running any Linux command so that it can execute identically on another computer without any installation or configuration. The only requirement is that the other computer have the same hardware architecture (e.g., x86) and major kernel version (e.g., 2.6.X) as yours. CDE allows you to easily run programs without the dependency hell that inevitably occurs when attempting to install software or libraries. You can use CDE to allow your colleagues to reproduce and build upon your computational experiments, to quickly deploy prototype software to a compute cluster, and to submit executable bug reports.'"
Idle

The Placebo Effect Not Just On Drugs 824

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-actions-are-futile dept.
dvdme writes "It seems the placebo effect isn't just valid on drugs. It's also a fact on elevators, offices and traffic lights. An article by Greg Ross says: 'In most elevators installed since the early 1990s, the 'close door' button has no effect. Otis Elevator engineers confirmed the fact to the Wall Street Journal in 2003. Similarly, many office thermostats are dummies, designed to give workers the illusion of control. "You just get tired of dealing with them and you screw in a cheap thermostat," said Illinois HVAC specialist Richard Dawson. "Guess what? They quit calling you." In 2004 the New York Times reported that more than 2,500 of the 3,250 "walk" buttons in New York intersections do nothing. "The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on."'"

Comment: Re:Oh, hey, look -- (Score 1) 196

by hbush (#34086714) Attached to: KDE Developers Discuss Merging Libraries With Qt

KDE considers yet another massive reorganization and new version! Certainly this won't affect usability or the long term future of the project at all, just like the transition from KDE3 to KDE4 didn't!

Yep. Time to leave these growing rolling buggy monsters and return to xfce.

Or maybe somebody might fork old good KDE 3.5 and keep it in the nice "maintenance mode" without spasmodic revolutions each year or so? I could easily live (in fact would prefer) without plasmoids and semantic desktop pipe dreams.

Software

Electronic Life Makes Evolving Art 54

Posted by timothy
from the would-make-a-good-new-order-video dept.
brilanon writes "Good news! On Sept 4, critterdrug, the a-life lab for the twenty-teens, was updated to make generating a species almost trivial. A new video shows semi-random artificial animals gaining neurons and synapses as they compete to draw a gradient on an animated shared canvas which constitutes 1024 frames spread through time. The canvas is a 10-megabyte digital background for the lossy neural nets that populate the world. What you get are cellular automata run by psychic neural nets that are bound by the rules of a survival contest with physics. Features implementations of telepathy, Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields and five types of drugs. The key assignments have changed since critterding; check the changelog on the web page for the new ones. Happy hacking!"

You can observe a lot just by watching. -- Yogi Berra

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