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Amnesty International Releases Tool To Combat Government Spyware 20

Posted by timothy
from the doing-the-right-thing dept.
New submitter Gordon_Shure_DOT_com writes Human rights charity Amnesty International has released Detekt to tool which finds and removes known government spyware programs. Describing the free software as the first of its kind, Amnesty commissioned the tool from prominent German computer security researcher and open source advocate Claudio Guarnieri, aka 'nex'. While acknowledging that the only sure way to prevent governments surveillance of huge dragnets of individuals is legislation, Marek Marczynski of Amnesty nevertheless called the tool ( downloadable here ) a useful countermeasure versus spooks. According to the app's instructions, it operates similarly to popular malware or virus removal suites, though systems must be disconnected from the Internet prior to it scanning.
Supercomputing

Does Being First Still Matter In America? 87

Posted by timothy
from the by-jingo dept.
dcblogs writes At the supercomputing conference, SC14, this week, a U.S. Dept. of Energy offical said the government has set a goal of 2023 as its delivery date for an exascale system. It may be taking a risky path with that amount of lead time because of increasing international competition. There was a time when the U.S. didn't settle for second place. President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous "we choose to go to the moon" speech in 1962, and seven years later a man walked on the moon. The U.S. exascale goal is nine years away. China, Europe and Japan all have major exascale efforts, and the government has already dropped on supercomputing. The European forecast of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was so far ahead of U.S. models in predicting the storm's path that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was called before Congress to explain how it happened. It was told by a U.S. official that NOAA wasn't keeping up in computational capability. It's still not keeping up. Cliff Mass, a professor of meteorology at the University of Washington, wrote on his blog last month that the U.S. is "rapidly falling behind leading weather prediction centers around the world" because it has yet to catch up in computational capability to Europe. That criticism followed the $128 million recent purchase a Cray supercomputer by the U.K.'s Met Office, its meteorological agency.
SuSE

A Brilliant Mind: SUSE's Kernel Guru Speaks 24

Posted by timothy
from the celebrities-are-the-ones-you-celebrate dept.
An anonymous reader writes The man who in every sense sits at the nerve centre of SUSE Linux has no airs about him. At 38, Vojtch Pavlík is disarmingly frank and often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about his achievements, which are many and varied. He is every bit a nerd, but can be candid, though precise. As director of SUSE Labs, it would be no exaggeration to call him the company's kernel guru. Both recent innovations that have come from SUSE — patching a live kernel, technology called kGraft, and creating a means for booting openSUSE on machines locked down with secure boot, have been his babies.
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop? 92

Posted by timothy
from the clever-little-devil dept.
An anonymous reader writes So for a variety of reasons (some related to recent events, some ongoing for a while) I've kinda soured on Linux and have been looking at giving BSD a shot on the desktop. I've been a Gentoo user for many years and am reasonably comfortable diving into stuff, so I don't anticipate user friendliness being a show stopper. I suspect it's more likely something I currently do will have poor support in the BSD world. I have of course been doing some reading and will probably just give it a try at some point regardless, but I was curious what experience and advice other slashdot users could share. There's been many bold comments on slashdot about moving away from Linux, so I suspect I'm not the only one asking these questions. Use-case wise, my list of must haves is: Minecraft, and probably more dubiously, FTB; mplayer or equivalent (very much prefer mplayer as it's what I've used forever); VirtualBox or something equivalent; Firefox (like mplayer, it's just what I've always used, and while I would consider alternatives, that would definitely be a negative); Flash (I hate it, but browsing the web sans-flash is still a pain); OpenRA (this is the one I anticipate giving me the most trouble, but playing it is somewhat of an obsession).

Stuff that would be nice but I can live without: Full disk encryption; Openbox / XFCE (It's what I use now and would like to keep using, but I could probably switch to something else without too much grief); jackd/rakarrack or something equivalent (currently use my computer as a cheap guitar amp/effects stack); Qt (toolkit of choice for my own stuff).
What's the most painless way to transition to BSD for this constellation of uses, and which variety of BSD would you suggest?

Comment: Re:why can't we go back to the old shareware syste (Score 3, Informative) 70

You paid for WinZip? That bloated piece of crap? When there's only about three dozen different free compression applications? You don't even have to resort to classical freeware, there are FOSS programs that will do the job quite nicely, with a polished GUI for those who don't like CLIs.

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 2) 323

by Shakrai (#48428591) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

How about we start with the fact that your senior MALE engineer doesn't disappear for several months (with pay) in the middle of a big crunch so he can be a daddy.

I'm sorry but I think you've mistaken the United States for a Nordic Social Democracy or something. If a new parent (male or female) receives several months off with pay that's a benefit willingly provided their employer so it stands to reason they're not going to bellyache about it. The only benefit employers are mandated to offer in the United States is provided for by the Family Medical Leave Act. Mom is entitled to no more than 12 weeks off work, without pay, and that's only if she works for a company with >=50 employees. Kudos to her employer if they offer more than that but they're not required to do so.

I could contrast this experience with the foreign country I'm most familiar with (Finland) but it doesn't look very good for the United States. Different culture and country of course, I doubt we could ever match what they offer, but we certainly could do a lot better than we're doing right now....

Comment: Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 323

by Shakrai (#48428507) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

I think it's funny that people are surprised that burglaries are skyrocketing in Seattle (and to a lesser extent the rest of Washington). Legalized drugs and outlawed firearms has consistently lead to property crimes

Outlawed firearms? Washington has shall issue concealed carry and relatively liberal (by American standards) firearm laws. It's not exactly Utah but it ain't New York either....

Advertising

Apple Swaps "Get" Button For "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases 70

Posted by timothy
from the for-the-low-low-price dept.
New submitter lazarus (2879) writes Apple is falling in line with the European Commission's request that app sellers do more to stop inadvertent in-app purchases. Following Google's lead, Cupertino has removed all instances of the word "free" within its iOS and Mac app stores (with the exception of its own apps, like iMovie), and replaced them with the term "Get." The new label clarifies what users can expect when downloading an app. Apps previously labeled as "Free" will now have a "Get" label. If those apps include in-app purchases, a small gray "In-App Purchase" label will appear below the "Get" button.

+ - Over 70,000 robotic vacuum cleaners sold on a single day->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "This September Dyson and Samsung both released robotic vacuum cleaners to market, going head to head with iRobot's Roomba, as well as competing products by LG and Ecovacs. Then on November 11th of this year – Singles Day, a made-up holiday for the Chinese singles and youth market – Ecovacs sold $24.8 million worth of robotic products, mostly their robotic vacuum cleaners. Robotic vacuums are a niche market no more."
Link to Original Source
Science

CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video 2) 10

Posted by Roblimo
from the the're-still-looking-for-unobtanium dept.
Yesterday we ran video #1 of 2 about the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) at the Iowa State Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. They have partners from other national laboratories, universities, and industry, too. Obviously there is more than enough information on this subject that Dr. King can easily fill two 15-minute videos, not to mention so many Google links that instead of trying to list all of them, we're giving you one link to Google using the search term "rare earths." Yes, we know Rare Earth would be a great name for a rock band. But the mineral rare earths are important in the manufacture of items ranging from strong magnets to touch screens and rechargeable batteries, so please watch the video(s) or at least read the transcript(s). (Alternate Video Link)

+ - A brilliant mind: SUSE's kernel guru speaks ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The man who in every sense sits at the nerve centre of SUSE Linux has no airs about him. At 38, Vojtch Pavlík is disarmingly frank and often seems a bit embarrassed to talk about his achievements, which are many and varied. He is every bit a nerd, but can be candid, though precise. As director of SUSE Labs, it would be no exaggeration to call him the company's kernel guru. Both recent innovations that have come from SUSE — patching a live kernel, technology called kGraft, and creating a means for booting openSUSE on machines locked down with secure boot, have been his babies."
Link to Original Source

+ - Android Lollipop lockscreen quick settings kinda breaks security

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm hoping that enough eyes looking at this issue will prompt Google to do something about this issue. Here goes...

I just recently updated my Android Nexus 4 device to Android Lollipop and encountered what I believe to a security bug. While playing with the bluetooth trusted device features I discovered that you can enable bluetooth on the phone without being required to enter a passcode. Example scenario:

  1. entered vehicle with bluetooth stereo
  2. tried to access playlist to start music for commute home
  3. realized that phone isn't connected to stereo (device asked for a pin to unlock phone)
  4. instead of entering pin I accessed the quick settings from lockscreen and enabled bluetooth (phone doesn't ask me to provide a pin to do this)
  5. phone was unlocked without having to enter a passcode

My scenario was best case: I was trying to access my phone within close proximity of a car stereo that only I could turn on at the time. Provided I keep my key and phone on me this shouldn't be an issue. But what if it's someone that always forgets their phone on their desk with their laptops bluetooth as a trusted device? I know I've left my phone on my desk while I was in meetings many times and I'm assuming that a few of you have done so as well.

I did a little digging and found two bugs, https://code.google.com/p/andr... and https://code.google.com/p/andr..., both of which are marked as low priority. The priority for the second bug is a bit more startling when you realize that a security group has already gone through and shown how to exploit this issue when Apple introduced the same bug in iOS7: http://www.cnet.com/news/easy-.... They even hijack a persons GMail account in the example."

+ - Apple Swaps "Get" Button for "Free" To Avoid Confusion Over In-App Purchases

Submitted by lazarus
lazarus (2879) writes "Apple is falling in line with the European Commission's request that app sellers do more to stop inadvertent in-app purchases.
Following Google's lead, Cupertino has removed all instances of the word "free" within its iOS and Mac app stores (with the exception of its own apps, like iMovie), and replaced them with the term "Get."
The new label clarifies what users can expect when downloading an app. Apps previously labeled as "Free" will now have a "Get" label. If those apps include in-app purchases, a small gray "In-App Purchase" label will appear below the "Get" button."

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