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Submission + - .Horse? .Moe? Who's Buying Weird Top-Level Domains -- And Why->

jfruh writes: When the .horse generic top-level domain was launched, it was pitched as a home for equine enthusiasts. But nobody's using race.horse or saddle.horse today — the highest-profile action on the TLD comes from pranksters who snapped up trademarks like walmart.horse for their own silly purposes. The ballad of .horse raises the question of who exactly is buying into the slew of weird top-level domains that have come out recently -- .boo, .moe, and .fly among others — and why you might (or might not) want to join them.
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Submission + - Cleaning Up Botnets Takes Years, May Never Be Completed->

itwbennett writes: That's the finding of researchers in the Netherlands who analyzed the efforts of the Conficker Working Group to stop the botnet and find its creators. Seven years later, there are still about 1 million computers around the world infected with the Conficker malware despite the years-long cleanup effort. 'These people that remain infected — they might remain infected forever,' said Hadi Asghari, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The research paper will be presented next week at the 24th USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.
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Submission + - Fake iOS Crash Reports Can Wreak Havoc For Users->

jfruh writes: You've probably encountered at least one tech support scam, where nefarious website causes your browser to spawn a difficult-to-close dialogue box that urges you to call a pay phone number to fix a nonexistant virus. These scams can be irritating on a laptop, but on iOS they can make Safari basically unusable, with a nonintuitive series of steps required to end the trouble.
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Submission + - Magazine Publisher Spends Half A Billion Dollars On Big Data Company->

jfruh writes: Advance is best known as a publishing company, owning through various subsidiaries high-presitage print magazines like the New Yorker and Vogue, and various regional newspapers; it's also the largest shareholder in Reddit. But it just spent $500 million to buy 1010data, a data analytics firm that provides services to companies in a number of industries. Will better data about readers save publishing?
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Submission + - Counterterrorism Expert: It's Time To Give Companies Offensive Cybercapabilities->

itwbennett writes: Juan Zarate, the former deputy national security advisor for counterterrorism during President George W. Bush’s administration says the U.S. government should should consider allowing businesses to develop 'tailored hack-back capabilities,' deputizing them to strike back against cyberattackers. The government could issue cyberwarrants, giving a private company license 'to protect its system, to go and destroy data that’s been stolen or maybe even something more aggressive,' Zarate said Monday at a forum on economic and cyberespionage hosted by think tank the Hudson Institute.
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Submission + - US Navy Tests 3D-Printing Custom Drones On Its Ships->

itwbennett writes: Researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School are testing the use of 3D printers on ships to produce custom drones outfitted for specialized missions. The idea, said Alan Jaeger, a faculty research associate at the school, is that ships could set sail with kits of the core electronics parts, since they are common to most drones, but have the bodies designed according to specific requirements for each mission. A prototype drone was designed by engineers on shore based on requirements of the sailors at sea, and the 3D design file was emailed to the USS Essex over a satellite link. Flight tests revealed some of the potential problems, most of which were associated with operating the drone rather than the printing itself, Jaeger said. 'Even with a small amount of wind, something this small will get buffeted around,' he said. They also had to figure out the logistics of launching a drone from a ship, getting it back, how it integrated with other flight operations, and interference from other radio sources like radar.
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Submission + - Symantec: Hacking Group Black Vine Behind Anthem Breach->

itwbennett writes: Symantec said Tuesday in a report that the hacking group Black Vine, which has been active since 2012 and has gone after other businesses that deal with sensitive and critical data, including organizations in the aerospace, technology and finance industries, is behind the hack against Anthem. The Black Vine malware Mivast was used in the Anthem breach, according to Symantec.
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Submission + - Maliciously Crafted MKV Video Files Can Be Used To Crash Android Phones->

itwbennett writes: Just days after the so-called 'Stagefright' flaw, which could allow attackers to compromise devices with a simple MMS message, was revealed, researchers have found another Android media processing flaw. The latest vulnerability is located in Android’s mediaserver component, more specifically in how this service handles files that use the Matroska video container (MKV), the Trend Micro researchers said in a blog post Wednesday.
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Submission + - Survey: Software Engineering Isn't "Meaningful" Work->

itwbennett writes: A recent PayScale survey set out to rank the meaningfulness of more than 500 job titles (as measured by a yes response to the question 'Does your work make the world a better place?'). Not surprisingly, the clergy and surgeons ranked their jobs very high on the meaningfulness scale, while parking lot attendants, again, not surprisingly, were at the bottom. Where did tech jobs fall? Most were in the bottom half, with software engineer coming in last among tech job titles (484 out of 505 job titles).
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Submission + - Computer science enrollments match NASDAQ's rises and fall ->

dcblogs writes: In March 2000, the NASDAQ composite index reached a historic high of 5,048, at just about the same time undergrad computer science enrollments hit a peak of nearly 24,000 students at Ph.D.-granting institutions in the U.S. and Canada, according to data collected by the Computing Research Association in its most recent annual Taulbee Survey. By 2005, computer science enrollments had halved, declining to just over 12,000. On July 17, the NASDAQ hit its highest point since 2000, reaching a composite index of 5,210. In 2014, computer science undergrad enrollments reached nearly, 24,000, almost equal to the 2000 high. Remarkably, it has taken nearly 15 years to reach the earlier enrollment peak.
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Submission + - Trillion-Dollar World Trade Deal Aims To Make IT Products Cheaper->

itwbennett writes: A new (tentative) global trade agreement, struck on Friday at a World Trade Organization meeting in Geneva, eliminates tariffs on more than 200 kinds of IT products, ranging from smartphones, routers, and ink cartridges to video game consoles and telecommunications satellites. A full list of products covered was published by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which called the ITA expansion 'great news for the American workers and businesses that design, manufacture, and export state-of-the-art technology and information products, ranging from MRI machines to semiconductors to video game consoles.' The deal covers $1.3 trillion worth of global trade, about 7 percent of total trade today.
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Submission + - Researchers: Mobile Users Will Trade Mobile Data For Fun and Profit->

itwbennett writes: Even as mobile users become more security and privacy conscious, researchers and other mobile data collectors still to collect user data in order to build products and services. The question: How to get users to give up that data? Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology tested two incentives: gamification and micropayments. The test involved building a campus Wi-Fi coverage map using user data collected from student participants who either played a first-person shooter game or who were payed to complete certain tasks (e.g., taking photos). The game turned out to be a quick and efficient way to build the Wi-Fi coverage map. But data from the micropayments group was found to be 'sometimes unreliable, and individuals were trying to trick the system into thinking they had accomplished tasks.'


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Submission + - Nineteen-year-old Gets DARPA Contract for Chip Design->

itwbennett writes: Thomas Sohmers, an electrical engineering prodigy who started working at the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at age 13, has just scored $1.25 million from DARPA to develop a new kind of chip that could deliver on exascale high performance computing. Sohmers told The Platform that Neo cores are 1/145 the size of a fourth-generation Haswell core. He expects to deliver a 256 core chip by the end of 2016 at the earliest using a 28 nanometer process, which will offer 65 gigaflops per watt. It will also offer 256 gigaFLOPS of double precision math.
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Submission + - Study: Push Notifications As Distracting As Taking A Call->

itwbennett writes: Researchers at Florida State University have found that simply being aware of a missed call or text can have the same damaging effect on task performance as actually using a mobile phone. 'Although these notifications are short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind-wandering,' the researchers wrote in their paper. In further bad news for chronic multitaskers, a new study by researchers at the University of Connecticut finds that 'students who multitasked while doing homework had to study longer, and those who frequently multitasked in class had lower grades on average than their peers who multitasked less often.'
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