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+ - Why I'm Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft->

Submitted by DrJimbo
DrJimbo (594231) writes "Dan Gillmore says; "When I became a technology columnist in the mid-1990s, the public Internet was just beginning its first big surge. Back then, I advised my readers to avoid the semi-political, even religious battles that advocates of this or that technology platform seemed to enjoy. Appreciate technology, I urged, for what it is—a tool—and use what works best.

So why am I typing this on a laptop running GNU/Linux, the free software operating system, not an Apple or Windows machine? And why are my phones and tablets running a privacy-enhanced offshoot of Android called Cyanogenmod, not Apple’s iOS or standard Android?""

Link to Original Source

+ - VLC Gets First Major Cross-Platform Release

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "VideoLAN today launched what is arguably the biggest release of VLC to date: an update for the desktop coordinated with new versions across all major mobile platforms. Theworld's most used media player just got massive a cross-platform push. The company told VentureBeat that the releases are the result of more than a year of volunteer work on the VLC engine and the libVLC library. As a result, VLC has gained numerous new features, has seen more than 1,000 bugs fixed, and has significantly increased its scope of supported formats."

+ - 5G speeds of 1Tbps acheived at UK university->

Submitted by DW100
DW100 (2227906) writes "Speeds of a staggering 1Tbps have been achieved during tests at the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC). The speed achieved is more than 10 times faster than anything before. Professor Rahim Tafazolli (pictured below), director of the 5GIC said the speed was akin to fibre optic communications and would be taken out of the lab for real-world testing next year."
Link to Original Source

+ - Adware Privdog worse than Superfish

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Comodo ships Adware Privdog worse than Superfish

tl;dr There is an adware called Privdog that gets shipped with software from Comodo. It totally breaks HTTPS security.

From Naked Capitalism's summary:

So here we have the CEO of a Certificate Authority (CA), Comodo, who is also the CEO of Privdog, whose product subverts the certificate authority system. Oh, and Comodo ships that very product with its software. These bottom feeders make Bill Gates look like St. Francis of Assisi. How deep does the rot in the software industry go, anyhow?

I am beginning to believe that Richard Stallman is right, living in freedom means using free and open software."

+ - Driverless Car Beats Skilled Racing Driver For First Time

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The racetrack is the ultimate test of driving skill, managing power, traction, and braking to produce the fastest times. Now BBC reports that engineers at Stanford University have raced their souped-up Audi TTS dubbed ‘Shelley’ on the racetrack at speeds above 120 mph. When they time tested it against David Vodden, the racetrack CEO and amateur touring class champion, the driverless race car was faster by 0.4 of a second. "We’ve been trying to develop cars that perform like the very best human drivers,” says Professor Chris Gerdes who tested Shelley at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Northern California. “We’ve got the point of being fairly comparable to an expert driver in terms of our ability to drive around the track.”

To get the cars up to speed, the Stanford team studied drivers, even attaching electrodes to their heads to monitor brain activity in the hope of learning which neural circuits are working during difficult maneuvers. Scientists were intrigued to find that during the most complex tasks, the experts used less brain power. They appeared to be acting on instinct and muscle memory rather than using judgment as a computer program would. Although there was previously very little difference between the path a professional driver takes around the course and the route charted by Shelley's algorithms until now the very best human drivers were still faster around the track, if just by a few seconds. Now the researchers predict that within the next 15 years, cars will drive with the skill of Michael Schumacher. What remains to be seen is how Shelly will do when running fender to fender with real human race drivers."

+ - Linux Foundation: Bugs Can Be Made Shallow With Proper Funding->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "The record amount of security challenges in 2014 undermined the confidence many had in high quality of open source software. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, addressed the issue head-on during last week's Linux Collaboration Summit. Zemlin quoted the oft-repeated Linus' law, which states that given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow. "In these cases the eyeballs weren't really looking", Zemlin said. "Modern software security is hard because modern software is very complex", he continued. Such complexity requires dedicated engineers, and thus the solution is to fund projects that need help. To date, the foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative has helped out the NTP, OpenSSL and GnuPG projects, with more likely to come. The second key initiative is the Core Infrastructure Census, which aims to find the next Heartbleed before it occurs. The census is looking to find underfunded projects and those that may not have enough eyeballs looking at the code today."
Link to Original Source

+ - New York firefighter robbed of bitcoin(s)->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "Bitcoin, the technology that’s meant to revolutionize the way we think of money, is simultaneously revolutionizing the way we get mugged. A New York City firefighter named was recently held up, stabbed and robbed by thieves who were after his bitcoin. Mr. Dwayne Richards — who is a firefighter in lower Manhattan — was mugged and left bleeding after meeting the robbers under the pretense of exchanging bitcoin for cash in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He’s alive, well, and refusing comment.

Apparently, robbing someone of his bitcoin in person can be an astonishingly effective way to make off with vast sums of capital quickly and untraceably. And Mr. Richards is far from the first to fall victim to bitcoin-related brutality."

Link to Original Source

+ - When it comes to surveillance gear, many police ignore public records laws in fa->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "What should take precedence: State public records laws, or contractual agreements between local police, the FBI, and the privately owned Harris Corporation? That's the question being played out across the country, as agencies are strongly divided on releasing much information, if any, on how they're using Stingray technology to collect and monitor phone metadata without judicial oversight."
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+ - The threat of certificate-authority fraud, and how it's being fixed->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "The Lenovo adware that's in the news today reportedly inserts itself via man-in-the-middle attack via certificate-authority fraud. The technique presents real dangers for the entire web, and most people don't know about it. The good news is that several fixes are on their way. At Fast Company, my colleague Glenn Fleishman takes a look at the risks and the solutions."
Link to Original Source

+ - Credit Card Fraud Could Peak in 2015, as the US Moves To EMV, 10 Years Late

Submitted by dkatana
dkatana (2761029) writes "Some analysts expect fraud to increase this year as thieves will step up their efforts to capture more credit card details before the EMV conversion goes into full throttle.

The next time US cardholders receive a new card it will probably be equipped with an EMV chip, and most likely be contactless. The US is finally making the transition to secure cards based on the European EMV standard, mostly because the liability shift imposed by the three big credit card brands — Visa, MasterCard and American Express — will start on October... ten years later than Europe

the European Union, where EMV became standard ten years ago, has the lowest level of credit card fraud in the world, the US accounted for 47.3% of the worldwide payment card fraud losses but generated only 23.5% of total volume."

+ - Strong Encryption Will Not Protect You from The NSA-> 2

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "This past October FBI director James Comey proposed that hi-tech companies implement key escrow encryption as a way for online service providers to give law enforcement officials access to user data. However in a recent interview President Obama reassured viewers that "There's no scenario in which we don’t want really strong encryption." To an extent this echoes Ed Snowden’s assertion that “Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.”

Unfortunately a report released by Moscow-based anti-virus vendor Kaspersky reveals that even strong cryptograph might not be enough. It would appear that the NSA was has poured its vast resources into hacking hardware platforms across the board, creating firmware exploits that allow U.S. spies to “capture a machine’s encryption password, store it in ‘an invisible area inside the computer’s hard drive’ and unscramble a machine’s contents.”

While these sophisticated subversion programs afford the intelligence community with an impressive array of collection tools, no doubt with more than a little help from the private sector, there are people who view this as sacrificing society’s collective security on behalf of murky clandestine objectives. In other words: it’s no accident that cyber security sucks, it’s a matter of official policy. Perhaps we should be surprised that more banks don’t get hacked?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Google: FBI's Plan to Expand Hacking Power a 'Monumental' Constitutional Threat->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Any change in accessing computer data should go through Congress, the search giant said.

The search giant submitted public comments earlier this week opposing a Justice Department proposal that would grant judges more leeway in how they can approve search warrants for electronic data.

The push to change an arcane federal rule "raises a number of monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal, and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide," wrote Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement and information security.

The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, generally permits judges to grant search warrants only within the bounds of their judicial district. Last year, the Justice Department petitioned a judicial advisory committee to amend the rule to allow judges to approve warrants outside their jurisdictions or in cases where authorities are unsure where a computer is located.

Google, in its comments, blasted the desired rule change as overly vague, saying the proposal could authorize remote searches on the data of millions of Americans simultaneously—particularly those who share a network or router—and cautioned it rested on shaky legal footing."

Link to Original Source

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