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+ - Unnoticed For Years, Malware Turned Linux Servers Into Spamming Machines

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: For over 5 years, and perhaps even longer, servers around the world running Linux and FreeBSD operating systems have been targeted by an individual or group that compromised them via a backdoor Trojan, then made them send out spam, ESET researchers have found.

What's more, it seems that the spammers are connected with a software company called Yellsoft, which sells DirectMailer, a "system for automated e-mail distribution" that allows users to send out anonymous email in bulk.

+ - Scientists have paper on gender bias rejected because they're both women->

Submitted by ferrisoxide.com
ferrisoxide.com writes: A paper co-authored by researcher fellow Dr. Fiona Ingleby and evolutionary biologist Dr. Megan Head — on how gender differences affect the experiences that PhD students have when moving into post-doctoral work — was rejected by peer-reviewed PLoS One journal because they didn’t ask a man for help.

A (male) peer reviewer for the journal suggested that the scientists find male co-authors, to prevent “ideologically biased assumptions.” The same reviewer also provided his own ironically biased advice, when explaining that women may have fewer articles published because men's papers "are indeed of a better quality, on average", "just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile race a bit faster".

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+ - Debian GNU/Hurd 2015 released for DVD, NETINST, etc->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: It is with huge pleasure that the Debian GNU/Hurd team announces the release of Debian GNU/Hurd 2015. This is a snapshot of Debian "sid" at the time of the stable Debian "jessie" release (April 2015), so it is mostly based on the same sources. It is not an official Debian release, but it is an official Debian GNU/Hurd port release. The installation ISO images can be downloaded from Debian Ports [1] in the usual three Debian flavors: NETINST, CD, or DVD. Besides the friendly Debian installer, a pre-installed disk image is also available there, making it even easier to try Debian GNU/Hurd. The easiest way to run it is inside a VM such as qemu [2]
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+ - New Test Suggests NASAs EM Drive Works-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Last year, NASAâ(TM)s advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum.

NASA Eagleworks made the announcement quite unassumingly via NASASpaceFlight.com. Thereâ(TM)s also a major discussion going on about the engine and the physics that drives it at the siteâ(TM)s forum.

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+ - OpenBSD 5.7 Released

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Just as per the schedule, OpenBSD 5.7 was released today, May 1, 2015. The theme of the 5.7 release is "Source Fish". There are some big changes in OpenBSD 5.7. The nginx httpd server removed from base in favor of an internally developed httpd server in 5.7. BIND (named) from base in 5.7 in favor of nsd(8) (authoritative DNS) and unbound(8) (recursive resolver). Packages will exist for BIND and nginx. This version include a new control utility, rcctl(8), for managing daemons/services, USB 3 support and more. See a detailed log of changes between the 5.6 and 5.7 releases for more information. If you already have an OpenBSD 5.6 system, and do not want to reinstall, upgrade instructions and advice can be found in the Upgrade Guide. You can order the 5.7 CD set from the new OpenBSD Store and support the project.

+ - NSA Reform Bill Backed by Both Parties Set to Pass House of Representatives

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that after more than a decade of wrenching national debate over the intrusiveness of government intelligence agencies, a bipartisan wave of support has gathered to sharply limit the federal government’s sweeps of phone and Internet records. A bill that would overhaul the Patriot Act and curtail the metadata surveillance exposed by Edward J. Snowden overwhelmingly passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of a 25-2 vote and is heading to almost certain passage in the House of Representatives while an identical bill in the Senate — introduced with the support of five Republicans — is gaining support over the objection of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who is facing the prospect of his first policy defeat since ascending this year to majority leader. "The bill ends bulk collection, it ends secret law,” says Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the original author of the Patriot Act who has now helped author the Freedom Act. “It increases the transparency of our intelligence community and it does all this without compromising national security.”

The Patriot Act is up for its first reauthorization since the revelations about bulk data collection. The impending June 1 deadline for reauthorization, coupled with an increase of support among members of both parties, pressure from technology companies and a push from the White House have combined to make changes to the provisions more likely. The Snowden disclosures, along with data breaches at Sony Pictures, Target and the insurance giant Anthem, have unsettled voters and empowered those in Congress arguing for greater civil liberties protection — who a few years ago “could have met in a couple of phone booths,” says Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. The Freedom Act very nearly passed both chambers of Congress last year, but it failed to garner the 60 votes to break a filibuster in the Senate. It fell short by two votes.

However some say the bill doesn't go far enough. The bill leaves intact surveillance programs conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency and levies high penalties against those offering “material support” to terrorists. It also renews the expiring parts of the Patriot Act through 2019. "This bill would make only incremental improvements, and at least one provision – the material-support provision – would represent a significant step backwards,” says American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer. “The disclosures of the last two years make clear that we need wholesale reform.”

+ - Results are in from psychology's largest reproducibility test: 39/100 reproduced->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A crowd-sourced effort to replicate 100 psychology studies has successfully reproduced findings from 39 of them. Some psychologists say this shows the field has a replicability problem. Others say the results are "not bad at all". The results are nuanced: 24 non-replications had findings at least "moderately similar" to the original paper but which didn't quite reach statistical significance.
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+ - Tesla announces batteries to power businesses and homes in blackouts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors has unveiled a new range of batteries that store solar energy to power homes and businesses as a back-up during grid blackouts. In a move beyond its vehicle business, Tesla said that its new battery would be able to provide consumers with a source of off-grid power, particularly targeting those living in remote areas not supported by national energy frameworks. CEO Elon Musk announced at an event in Los Angeles that the carmaker would start shipping the battery units to U.S. installation companies over the next few months. Musk suggested that the new design would transform the “entire energy infrastructure of the world.” In a statement the company added that the device was “a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation.”
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+ - How an open standard API could revolutionize banking->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Open bank data will give us the freedom to access all banks in real time and from a single view, automatically calculating the best deals in complete transparency, which will be a significant step forward for social good and give people more control over their finances. Meanwhile, financial tech incubators, accelerators, and startups are creating a more experienced talent pool of developers ready to act upon these newly available assets.
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+ - UK High Court orders block on Popcorn Time->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Five ISPs have been given orders by the UK High Court to restrict access to sites offering downloads of popular movie streaming service Popcorn Time – a move which follows complaints from the Motion Picture Association referring to the software’s use as a platform for viewing pirated content. According to the new regulation, Virgin, BT, Sky, EE and TalkTalk are now required to block access to popcorntime.io, flixtor.me, popcorntime.se and isoplex.isohunt.to – all sites which link to Popcorn Time downloads. In the High Court order, Justice Birss cites under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, that the “Popcorn Time application is used in order to watch pirated content on the internet.” Popcorn Time operates as a BitTorrent client, despite its slick user interface, and is used mainly for illegal content – although, as its supporters argue, it is also a handy tool for streaming public domain films. It is unclear how successful the ban will be – the blocked sites are not the only places to find Popcorn Time online. Additionally, at ISP level, it will be challenging to monitor as there is not a single version or developer to seek out, with the code available as open source.
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+ - New solar telescope capture the images of sun's interior structure

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The high-resolution images, taken by the New Solar Telescope (NST), show the atmosphere above the umbrae(interior structure of umbrae – the dark patches in the center of sunspots) to be finely structured, consisting of hot plasma intermixed with cool plasma jets as wide as 100 kilometers. These ground breaking images being captured by scientists at NJIT’s Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). Sunspots are formed when strong magnetic fields rise up from the convection zone, a region beneath the photosphere that transfers energy from the interior of the Sun to its surface. At the surface, the magnetic fields concentrate into bundles, which prevent the hot rising plasma from reaching the surface. This energy deficit causes the magnetic bundles to cool down to temperatures about 1,000 degrees lower than their surroundings. The NST takes snapshots of the Sun every 10 seconds, which are then strung together as a video to reveal fast-evolving small explosions, plasma flows and the movement of magnetic fields. Relatively, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory(SDO) captured image of the sun emitting a significant solar flare on January 7th 2014.

+ - Once a Forgotten Child, OpenSSL's Future Now Looks Bright

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 writes: Rarely does anything have a defined turning point in its history, a single day where people can point and say that was the day everything changed.

For OpenSSL, that day was April 7, 2014, the day that Heartbleed became part of the security lexicon. Heartbleed was a critical vulnerability in the venerable crypto library. OpenSSL is everywhere, in tens of thousands of commercial and homespun software projects. And so too, as of last April, was Heartbleed, an Internet-wide bug that leaked enough memory that a determined hacker could piece together anything from credentials to encryption keys.

“Two years ago, it was a night-and-day difference. Two years ago, aside from our loyal user community, we were invisible. No one knew we existed,” says Steve Marquess, cofounder, president and business manager of the OpenSSL Foundation, the corporate entity that handles commercial contracting for OpenSSL. “OpenSSL is used everywhere: hundreds, thousands of vendors use it; every smartphone uses it. Everyone took that for granted; most companies have no clue they even used it.”

To say OpenSSL has been flipped on its head—in a good way—is an understatement.

Heartbleed made the tech world realize that the status quo wasn’t healthy to the security and privacy of ecommerce transactions and communication worldwide. Shortly after Heartbleed, the Core Infrastructure Initiative was created, uniting The Linux Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Dell, Google and other large technology companies in funding various open source projects. OpenSSL was the first beneficiary, getting enough money to hire Dr. Steve Henson and Andy Polyakov as its first full-timers. Henson, who did not return a request to be interviewed for this article, is universally known as the one steady hand that kept OpenSSL together, an unsung hero of the project who along with other volunteers handled bug reports, code reviews and changes.

+ - Mozilla Wants To Deprecate Non-Secure HTTP

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today announced its intent to phase out non-secure HTTP, and that it will be making some proposals to the W3C WebAppSec Working Group soon. Specifically, the company says it is committed to "new development efforts on the secure web and to start removing capabilities from the non-secure web." Richard Barnes, Firefox's security lead, emphasized the company needs to work with the broader Internet community to achieve this ambitious objective. "Since the goal of this effort is to send a message to the web developer community that they need to be secure, our work here will be most effective if coordinated across the web community," Barnes said, and then outlined Mozilla's plans as two-fold, though details on how exactly Firefox will be impacted are still unclear.

+ - FAA: 2 million lines of code process new air traffic system->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie writes: he Federal Aviation Administration this week said it had completed the momentous replacement of 40-year old main computer systems that control air traffic in the US. Known as En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), the system is expected to increase air traffic flow, improve automated navigation and strengthen aircraft conflict detection services, with the end result being increased safety and less flight congestion.
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