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Submission Summary: 1 pending, 1060 declined, 727 accepted (1788 total, 40.66% accepted)

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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Submission + - US Court: 'Pocket-Dialed' Calls Are Not Private->

itwbennett writes: In a case of a pocket-dialed call, a conscientious secretary, and sensitive personnel issues, a federal appeals court in Ohio has ruled pocket-dialers shouldn't have any expectation of privacy. 'Under the plain-view doctrine, if a homeowner neglects to cover a window with drapes, he would lose his reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to a viewer looking into the window from outside of his property,' the court said. The same applies to pocket-dialed calls, according to the court. If a person doesn’t take reasonable steps to keep their call private, their communications are not protected by the Wiretap Act.
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Submission + - New York Judge Rules Against Facebook In Search Warrant Case->

itwbennett writes: Last year, Facebook appealed a court decision requiring it to hand over data, including photos and private messages, relating to 381 user accounts. (Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, among other companies backed Facebook in the dispute). On Tuesday, Judge Dianne Renwick of the New York State Supreme Court ruled against Facebook, saying that Facebook has no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of search warrants served on its users.
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Submission + - Bug Exposes OpenSSH Servers To Brute-Force Password Guessing Attacks->

itwbennett writes: OpenSSH servers with keyboard-interactive authentication enabled, which is the default setting on many systems, including FreeBSD ones, can be tricked to allow many authentication retries over a single connection, according to a security researcher who uses the online alias Kingcope, who disclosed the issue on his blog last week. According to a discussion on Reddit, setting PasswordAuthentication to 'no' in the OpenSSH configuration and using public-key authentication does not prevent this attack, because keyboard-interactive authentication is a different subsystem that also relies on passwords.
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Submission + - What's the Oldest Technology You've Used In a Production Environment?->

itwbennett writes: Sometimes it's a matter of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it,' sometimes corporate inertia is to blame, but perhaps even more often what keeps old technology plugging away in businesses large and small is the sense that it does a single, specific job the way that someone wants it done. George R.R. Martin's preference for using a DOS computer running WordStar 4 to write his Song of Ice and Fire series is one such example, but so is the hospital computer whose sole job was to search and print medical images, however badly or slowly it may have done the job. We all have such stories of obsolete tech we've had to use at one point or another. What's yours?
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Submission + - Former Hacking Team Supplier Stops Selling Zero-Day Exploits On Ethical Grounds->

itwbennett writes: Italian surveillance software maker Hacking Team may not have lost any customers after it was hacked two weeks ago, or at least not yet. But it has lost at least one business partner. Over the weekend, U.S.-based penetration testing specialist and zero-day exploit broker Netragard announced that it is terminating its long-time running Exploit Acquisition Program (EAP), citing revelations about Hacking Team’s customers as one of the reasons.
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Submission + - Baby, I'm Worth It: 13% of CompSci Grads Have Starting Salaries Over $100K->

itwbennett writes: That was one of the findings of a survey of 50,000 U.S. college students and recent graduates by Looksharp, a marketplace for internships and entry-level jobs. For general findings across all majors, check out Looksharp's State of College Hiring Report 2015. But the company shared some more computer science-specific findings with ITworld's Phil Johnson. Among them: 'Of all majors, students studying in CS had the highest average starting salary, $66,161.' And, what's more, they know the value of their degree: 'On average, they expected a starting salary of $68,120, slightly above the actual average starting salary of $66,161.'
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Submission + - Microsoft Becomes First 2015 'Gold' Contributor To OpenBSD Foundation->

itwbennett writes: OpenBSD Journal on Tuesday announced that Microsoft has become the OpenBSD Foundation's first-ever Gold contributor (Google and Facebook are both Silver contributors). The move makes good on an earlier comment by Angel Calvo in a post on the Windows PowerShell Blog that they won't be just adopting the openSSH, they will also be contributing to it. (OpenSSH is an OpenBSD Foundation project.) The dollar amount of the contribution won't blow you away, though: $25,000-$50,000 will get you the Gold.
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Submission + - Hacker Group That Hit Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft Intensifies Attacks->

itwbennett writes: The hacker group, which security researchers from Kaspersky Lab and Symantec call Wild Neutron or Morpho, has broken into the networks of over 45 large companies since 2012. After the 2013 attacks against Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft were highly publicized, the group went underground and temporarily halted its activity. However, its attacks resumed in 2014 and have since intensified, according to separate reports released Wednesday by Kaspersky Lab and Symantec.
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Submission + - United's Woes Show What's Hard About Networking->

itwbennett writes: A router failure is reportedly to blame for yesterday's grounding of United Airlines planes. 'While it might seem like redundant routers and cables could keep that kind of problem from having a nationwide impact on an airline, networking problems are rarely as simple as routing around a failure,' writes Stephen Lawson. And that's because a router failure can mean a lot of things besides a total shutdown, and simple failover mechanisms only work for total failures that can be immediately detected, says Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa.
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Submission + - With A Wink and a Lolling Tongue, Emojis May Replace Passcodes->

itwbennett writes: Intelligent Environments, a UK-based company that provides security solutions for banks, has just launched the first emoji-only passcode. The security firm’s emoji system uses 44 images, giving you 3,498,308 unique permutations in comparison with '7,290 unique permutations of four non-repeating numbers,' the company said in a press release. And those strings of little images might be easier to remember than your typical 4-digit passcode. According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, humans 'have a remarkable ability to remember pictures' that 'consistently exceeds our ability to remember words.'
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Submission + - Judge Dimisses Second Conviction Of Ex-Goldman Sachs Coder->

itwbennett writes: Back in May, former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov was convicted by a jury for stealing 32MB of code for Goldman's high-frequency trading system, code that Aleynikov maintained he copied for intellectual pursuits and was, in fact, open-source. On Monday, Judge Daniel P. Conviser of New York's State Supreme Court dismissed the conviction, saying that Aleynikov acted wrongfully by taking the code, but his actions did not meet the standard under the law in which he was charged. 'The evidence did not prove he intended to appropriate all or a major portion of the code’s economic value,' Conviser wrote.
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