Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Porting should be given priority (Score 2) 67

by kxra (#48355731) Attached to: Pitivi Video Editor Surpasses 50% Crowdfunding Goal, Releases Version 0.94
Aside from achieving stability, there are no set priorities, and donors have been given the opportunity to vote. Porting has not been of significant interest. It could be an issue of self-selection (probably is), but there is no way that the expanded donor base would be greater than the cost of doing those ports. Plus what's the point of porting to a platform which has way more competition available for no charge?

+ - Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Discovering a new type of bacteria or virus or, hell, even a mammal at this point isn't exactly news. It happens all the time, and there are tens of millions of species out there that aren't described. Scientists can at least place newly discovered life into specific categories, but that's because they've been using the same methods of finding it for decades.

New microbes are often discovered by doing what's known as environmental sampling, in which all the DNA and RNA from, say, a soil sample or an ocean sample is amplified and replicated so that it can be sequenced, and then researchers try to separate it out into species as best as they can."

Link to Original Source

+ - The DOJ worked with local PDs to get around state asseThe DOJ wot seizure limits->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "Civil forfeiture allows police to seize cash, cars, houses, and more, all without law enforcement even needing to charge, let alone convict, suspected drug dealers with a crime. While those who have had their assets seized have judicial remedies, the lower bar for confiscation has enough states concerned that they've placed severe limits over what and how much local police can take. New documents and data, however, show that the Justice Department has partnered with local police in order to get around these state laws, with the federal government acting as a "proxy" — in exchange for a cut (often around 20%) of the proceeds."
Link to Original Source

+ - Telecom providers strike back on Obama's net neutrality support 1

Submitted by mwagner
mwagner (413143) writes "The cable and phone industries came out swinging following President Obama's surprise endorsement of net neutrality Monday. The industry says strong net neutrality regulation would hurt broadband by freezing investment. They threatened to take the fight to Congress and the courts, as they've done in the past. National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) President & CEO Michael Powell said "Congress and only Congress should make a policy change of this magnitude." Verizon said Title II "would apply 1930s-era utility regulation to the Internet.""

+ - Tor Project Mulls How Feds Took Down Hidden Websites

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jeremy Kirk writes at PC World that in the aftermath of US and European law enforcement shutting down more than 400 websites, including Silk Road 2.0 which used technology that hides their true IP addresses, Tor users are asking : How did they locate the hidden services? "The first and most obvious explanation is that the operators of these hidden services failed to use adequate operational security," writes Andrew Lewman, the Tor project’s executive director. For example, there are reports of one of the websites being infiltrated by undercover agents and one affidavit states various operational security errors." Another explanation is exploitation of common web bugs like SQL injections or RFIs (remote file inclusions). Many of those websites were likely quickly-coded e-shops with a big attack surface. Exploitable bugs in web applications are a common problem says Lewman adding that there are also ways to link transactions and deanonymize Bitcoin clients even if they use Tor. "Maybe the seized hidden services were running Bitcoin clients themselves and were victims of similar attacks."

However the number of takedowns and the fact that Tor relays were seized could also mean that the Tor network was attacked to reveal the location of those hidden services. "Over the past few years, researchers have discovered various attacks on the Tor network. We've implemented some defenses against these attacks (PDF), but these defenses do not solve all known issues and there may even be attacks unknown to us." Another possible Tor attack vector could be the Guard Discovery attack. The guard node is the only node in the whole network that knows the actual IP address of the hidden service so if the attacker manages to compromise the guard node or somehow obtain access to it, she can launch a traffic confirmation attack to learn the identity of the hidden service. "We've been discussing various solutions to the guard discovery attack for the past many months but it's not an easy problem to fix properly. Help and feedback on the proposed designs is appreciated."

According to Lewman, the task of hiding the location of low-latency web services is a very hard problem and we still don't know how to do it correctly and it seems that there are various issues that none of the current anonymous publishing designs have really solved. "In a way, it's even surprising that hidden services have survived so far. The attention they have received is minimal compared to their social value and compared to the size and determination of their adversaries.""

+ - Pitivi Video Editor surpasses 50% crowdfunding goal, releases version 0.94

Submitted by kxra
kxra (2826067) writes "With the latest developments, Pitivi is proving to truly be a promising libre video editor for GNU distributions as well as a serious contender for bringing libre video production up to par with its proprietary counterparts. Since launching a beautifully well-organized crowdfunding campaign (as covered here previously), the team has raised over half of their 35,000 € goal to pay for full-time development and has entered "beta" status for version 1.0. They've released two versions, 0.94 (release notes) being the most recent, which have brought full MPEG-TS/AVCHD support, porting to Python 3, lots of UX improvements, and—of course—lots and lots of bug fixes. The next release (0.95) will run on top of Non Linear Engine, a refined and incredibly more robust backend Pitivi developers have produced to replace GNonLin and bring Pitivi closer to the rock-solid stability needed for the final 1.0 release."

+ - U.S. Postal service hacked and 500k+ employess and public data breached->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Postal Service has admitted that it has suffered a massive security breach, with the disclosure to hackers of the personal details of over 500,000 USPS workers, along with details supplied by members of the public when contacting Postal Service call centers between January and mid-August of 2015.

The breach is a hard blow to the integrity and reputation of the USPS's internal security set-up, the Corporate Information Security Office (CISO). In 2012 CISO reports that it blocked 257 billion unauthorised attempts to access the USPS network, 66,734 attempts to distribute credit-card information, 1,278 attempts to reveal USPS-ordained credit-card transactions and 345,342 attempts to distribute social security numbers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, And Ads 1

Submitted by Krystalo
Krystalo (1580077) writes "In addition to the debut of the Firefox Developer Edition, Mozilla today announced new features for its main Firefox browser. The company is launching a new Forget button in Firefox to help keep your browsing history private, adding DuckDuckGo as a search option, and rolling out its directory tiles advertising experiment."

+ - German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Germany's foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend €300 million (about $375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic. The agency, which already spent €6.22 million in preparation for this online surveillance push, also wants to use the money to set up an early warning system for cyber attacks, the report said. A prototype is expected to be launched next June with the aim of monitoring publicly available data on Twitter and blogs."
Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists' Glass Breakthrough Paves Way For Super-Fast Light-Based Computers->

Submitted by concertina226
concertina226 (2447056) writes "Scientists from three UK universities have found a way to fine-tune the electrical conductivity of glass, which could finally pave the way for optical light-based computers that harness the power and speed of light to transfer data.

Researchers working together from the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton and Cambridge University used a technique known as "ion doping" on amorphous chalcogenides, a type of material made from glass that is widely used in CD and DVD solid-state memory technology.

The ion doping technique was able to accommodate several different computing functions into one all-optical system by fine-tuning the electrical conductivity of the material, which has never been possible before."

Link to Original Source

+ - How to end online harassment

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "With Gamergate, it’s not enough to ignore the trolls

Gendered bigotry against women is widely considered to be “in bounds” by Internet commenters (whether they openly acknowledge it or not), and subsequently a demographic that comprises half of the total human population has to worry about receiving rape threats, death threats, and the harassment of angry mobs simply for expressing their opinions. This needs to stop, and while it’s impossible to prevent all forms of harassment from occurring online, we can start by creating a culture that shames individuals who cross the bounds of decency..

We can start by stating the obvious: It is never appropriate to use slurs, metaphors, graphic negative imagery, or any other kind of language that plays on someone’s gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Not only is such language inappropriate regardless of one’s passion on a given subject, but any valid arguments that existed independently of such rhetoric should have been initially presented without it. Once a poster crosses this line, they should lose all credibility.

Similarly, it is never acceptable to dox, harass, post nude pictures, or in any other way violate someone’s privacy due to disagreement with their opinions. While most people would probably agree with this in theory, far too many are willing to access and distribute this humiliating (and often illegal) content. Instead of simply viewing stories of doxing, slut-shaming, and other forms of online intimidation as an unfortunate by-product of the digital age, we should boycott all sites that publish these materials.


+ - Questions about DRM? Visit Defective by Design's new FAQ->

Submitted by william_at_FSF
william_at_FSF (3111067) writes "Defective by Design has compiled an FAQ to address the most common misconceptions regarding Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). We hope this will serve as a reference material for those working to educate others about DRM and digital media. Even seasoned anti-DRM activists can learn something new about what DRM does and why it is so harmful to software users. Give it a read through and use this resource heavily in online discussions around DRM!"
Link to Original Source

+ - What's actually wrong with DRM in HTML5? ->

Submitted by kxra
kxra (2826067) writes "The Free Culture Fondation has posted a thorough response to the most common and misinformed defenses of the W3C's Extended Media Extensions (EME) proposal to inject DRM into HTML5. They join the EFF and FSF in a call to send a strong message to the W3C that DRM in HTML5 undermines the W3C’s self-stated mission to make the benefits of the Web “available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.” The FCF counters the three most common myths by unpacking some quotes which explain that 1. DRM is not about protecting copyright. That is a straw man. DRM is about limiting the functionality of devices and selling features back in the form of services. Second, that DRM in HTML5 doesn’t obsolete proprietary, platform-specefic browser plug-ins; it encourages them. And third, that the Web doesn’t need big media; big media needs the Web."
Link to Original Source

+ - New DRM-free label increasing recognition and value of DRM-free downloads->

Submitted by kxra
kxra (2826067) writes "Defective by Design, the Free Software Foundation's campaign against DRM has just released a new graphic to mark DRM-free works on the web. The new iteration of the DRM-free label quickly communicates the DRM-free status of files, increases in value as more distributors adopt the label, and adds value to being DRM-free by linking to an informational page about DRM. The logo is already in use by O'Reilly, Momentum, the Pragmatic Bookshelf, and Magnatune. It is available in a few different styles with source files under CC-BY-SA 3.0."
Link to Original Source

+ - FSF and EFF petition to tell the W3C and member orgs to keep DRM out of HTML5->

Submitted by kxra
kxra (2826067) writes "The EFF and FSF are pushing a Defective by Design petition to tell the W3C and it's member organizations that "We don't want the Hollyweb", and they aim to have 50,000 signers by May 3rd. Even after the EFF published a comprehensive breakdown of why the Encrypted Media Extensions proposal puts the web as we know it at stake, a lot of myths are still floating around about how this could bring about a timely death for proprietary plugins like Silverlight and Flash. A detailed FAQ on Reddit explains that this proposal would only serve to put the restrictive functionality of those proprietary plugins into the HTML5 standard itself, and with that comes the very same proprietary software requirements, platform incompatibilities, and device limitations. This is toxic to the web regardless of how easily-cracked DRM is. You can also send a personal message to the W3C directly."
Link to Original Source

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval