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Submission + - HTTPS everywhere via a free Certificate Authority

l2718 writes: A major barries to universal encryption of web traffic is the difficulty of obtaining and managing server certificates,. including the costs imposed by current Certificate Authorities.

Let's Encrypt, an initiative announced today by a group of secutiry researchers together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, Akamai, Cisco and IdenTrust, is aimed at solving these problems via automated certificate-handling scripts and an automated CA offering the certificates for free. Prospective users will install a client program on their webservers that will autonomously handle verification (proving to the CA that the client indeed controls the domain), installation of certificates, renewal and (on user request) revocation. The proposed protocal specification for client-CA communcations has been posted to Github.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents (

l2718 writes: The Electronic Frontiers Foundation announced today a large donation by Mark Cuban and Markus Persson to the EFF Patent Project. Notably, part of Cuban's donation is for the creation of the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents" (the first holder is current staff attorney Julie Samuels). Time will tell if the new title will help her advocacy work.

Submission + - Predicting extreme longevity using genetic tests (

l2718 writes: Cue the Howard foundation? Boston University researchers published yesterday a paper in Science, claiming to be able to predict using genetic testing whether (controlling for lifestyle-based risks) someone will have "average longevity" or "exceptional longevity" with 77% accuracy. The densely written paper itself is only available to subscribers.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike