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+ - Google Explains Why WebView Vulnerability Will Go Unpatched On Android 4.3->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "If you're running Android 4.3 or earlier, you're pretty much out of luck when it comes to a baked-in defense against a WebView vulnerability that was discovered earlier this month by security analyst Tod Beardsley. The vulnerability leaves millions of users open to attack from hackers that choose to exploit the security hole. WebView is a core component of the Android operating system that renders web pages. The good news is that the version of WebView included in Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop is based on Chromium and is not affected by the vulnerability. The bad news is that those running Android 4.3 and earlier are wide open, which means that 60 percent of Android users (or nearly one billion customers) are affected. What's most interesting is that Google has no trouble tossing grenades at the feet of Microsoft and Apple courtesy of its Project Zero program, but doesn't seem to have the resources to fix a vulnerability that affects a substantial portion of the Android user base."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 3, Interesting) 97

by rwa2 (#48899485) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

http://fark.com/ is as close to a bipartisan "internet tavern" as I've ever seen. They used to have a "political balance meter" to try to link to a roughly equal number of stories / threads with a "leftist" and "rightist" spin. Anyway, it's useful to (occasionally) see well-articulated thoughts and opinions from "the other side", or even just discussion of news events from different perspectives... stuff that more often devolves into flamewars or gets stuck or pigeonholed on other social media.

That said, yeah, I know next to nothing about Drew, but it sounds like he might be a good moderator of useful discussion. Over beer.

Comment: Re: Still no cure for cancer. (Score 1) 97

by rwa2 (#48899427) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Hah, boobies!

No, they always called it foobies, and moved that stuff to their own domain once they got "serious".


They also used to have a "weeners" tag for the ladies (and dudes of a certain persuasion), but not sure what happened to all that content after they cleaned up.

Comment: Re:No need (Score 1) 456

by rwa2 (#48890697) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

For personal use?
You don't need an anti-virus program. It's a racket. Use the built-in protections for your OS, and learn some common sense. If you do something that gets you infected, wipe and reload your OS, and DON'T DO THAT AGAIN. Once you have a trimmed group of common, trusted applications and games and settings, you'll be cruising fine. You'll more likely be wiping and reloading your OS due to hardware failures every few years than from virus attacks. Notice that you will need to make backups and treat your computers as disposable. You'll be happier this way.

For work? CYA!
Find out what the company security policy is. Use/Buy one (and only one) that will take the liability WHEN (not if) a virus manages to sneak through. Make sure updates are turned on and up-to-date so they can't weasel out of liability coverage. That is all.

+ - Verizon Nearing the End of its FIOS Builds

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "If you've been holding out hope that FIOS would rescue you from your local cable monopoly, it's probably time to give up. Making good on their statements five years ago, Verizon announced this week they are nearing "the end" of its fiber construction and is reducing wireline capital expenditures while spending more on wireless.
Verizon CFO Fran Shammo says "we are getting to the end of our committed build around FiOS". The expense of replacing old copper lines with fiber has allegedly led Verizon to stop building in new regions and to complete wiring up the areas where it had already begun. So, if Verizon hasn't started in your neighborhood by now, they never will, and you'd best ignore all those sexy ads for FIOS."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Best Personal Archive 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "What would be the best media to store a backup of important files in a lockbox?

like a lot of people we have a lot of important information on our computers, and have a lot of files that we don't want backed up in the cloud, but want to preserve. Everything from our personally ripped media, family pictures, important documents, etc..

We are considering BluRay, HDD, SSD but wanted to ask the Slashdot community what they would do."

+ - Scientists Create Slow Light

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "From the life-imitates-sci-fi dept "Slow light" has been used as a plot device in science fiction over the decades, but now the speed of light travelling through air has been slowed down for the first time, breaking what was thought to be a constant physical measurement.

Physicists at the University of Glasgow sent photons through a mask to change their shape and then raced an altered photon against an unaltered one. Over a distance of one metre the team observed that the altered photon was slowed by up to 20 wavelengths, demonstrating for the first time that light can be slowed in free space.

While light slows down when passing through water or glass it returns to the speed of light when it comes out the other side. As light behaves both like a wave and a particle it is possible to change the shape of an individual photon as if it were a wave and then race the two particles of light. In this experiment the speed of the shaped photon remains slightly slower over the test distance of 1 meter. More here and here."

+ - 'I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend and I Think I Might Be in Love'

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Caitlin Dewey writes in the Washington Post that she's been using a new service called "Invisible Boyfriend" and that she's fallen in love with it. When you sign up for the service, you design a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to your specifications. "You pick his name, his age, his interests and personality traits. You tell the app if you prefer blonds or brunettes, tall guys or short, guys who like theater or guys who watch sports. Then you swipe your credit card — $25 per month, cha-ching! — and the imaginary man of your dreams starts texting you." Invisible boyfriend is actually boyfriends, plural: The service’s texting operation is powered by CrowdSource, a St. Louis-based tech company that manages 200,000 remote, microtask-focused workers. "When I send a text to the Ryan number saved in my phone, the message routes through Invisible Boyfriend, where it’s anonymized and assigned to some Amazon Turk or Fivrr freelancer. He (or she) gets a couple of cents to respond. He never sees my name or number, and he can’t really have anything like an actual conversation with me." Dewey says that the point of Invisible Boyfriend is to deceive the user’s meddling friends and relatives. "I was newly divorced and got tired of everyone asking if I was dating or seeing someone," says co-founder Matthew Homann. "There seems to be this romance culture in our country where people are looked down upon if they aren't in a relationship."

Evidence suggests that people can be conned into loving just about anything. There is no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life , the game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game, and one anthropologist argues that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. “The Internet is a disinhibiting medium, where people’s emotional guard is down,” says Mark Griffiths. “It’s the same phenomenon as the stranger on the train, where you find yourself telling your life story to someone you don’t know.” It’s not exactly the stuff of fairytales, concludes Dewey. "But given enough time and texts — a full 100 are included in my monthly package — I’m pretty sure I could fall for him. I mean, er them.""

+ - Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "Business Insider is reporting that almost nobody is publicly active on Google+ From his 2015 analysis particularly, Morbius covers hundreds of Google+ profiles in detail. "We've got a grand spanking total of 24 profiles out of 7,875 whose 2015 post activity isn't YouTube comments but Google+ posts. That a 0.3% rate of all profile pages, going back to our 2.2 billion profiles. No wonder Dave Besbris (Google+ boss) doesn't want to talk about numbers,"

For those interested in duplicating this, both the methodology and the scripts used can be found here."

Comment: Re:follow the money (Score 1) 630

by rwa2 (#48858137) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Mod AC parent up.

If VB is what the teacher is most comfortable with, and he and the students can do the most impressive "first projects" with it, then by all means use VB6.

I started learning by myself with Turbo Pascal. And ostensibly my first exposure to "programming" was with MS Office macros. Neither were great languages, but I got them to do interesting things, which were motivational. They were also useful, in that in my first temp jobs I could help office people set up mail merges and do stuff to their inventory and things like that. And then, finally I was also motivated to learn other, "better" languages when I hit their limitations. Sounds perfect for a HS course.

Comment: Re:Communication skills (Score 1) 219

by rwa2 (#48857129) Attached to: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

Hey, that's pretty cool, thanks!

I also find it interesting that NASA kind of goes off another way, where the only people at Mission Control who are permitted to communicate with astronauts while they're performing a procedure are also former astronauts. Part of the rationale is to serve as a filter, so any conflict or uncertainty on the ground doesn't contribute to the stress of the operator in space. Wonder how they're doing now that there are a few more former female astronauts now than previously...

Comment: U-cubed (Score 1) 265

by rwa2 (#48855813) Attached to: Best Cube?

I don't understand why University of Washington students prefer to refer to themselves as "yoo-dub" as short for U-Double-U when they could simply be U^3.

On the other hand, prospective Washington University candidates like to say they want to go Wash-U, which just sounds dirty.

Comment: Re:There's nothing wrong now... (Score 1) 487

by rwa2 (#48851077) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

But the interface still sucks. I've used 8.1 as my primary desktop OS for almost a year now (Stock install, no Start Menu third party add-ons), and while it's a solid OS, there's still so much missing from the Metro interface.

Recently used documents is the thing I miss the most.

And just exploring through the tree-based Start Menu is something I really miss. I end up with so much stuff installed I forget some of it. Would occasionally just surf thru the Start menu to re-discover stuff. But with 8.1, if you don't remember it, you're not going to find it. Sure you can go page by page through all the listed stuff, but that's far more inefficient than being able to walk through a tree-based menu.

Does "Start Menu Classic" still work on Win8.1 ? I remember using it on Win8 for a little while before I went back to Win7 on my gaming box.

I think the main question on everyone's mind, though, is whether Win8.1 counts as a major "release" or not so we'll know where Win10 falls in the "good / shit" cycle: http://www.globalnerdy.com/wor... .

Though I guess we're damned either way... if Win8.1 counts as the "good" release, then Win10 will be "shit". If Win8/Win8.1 collectively count as the "shit" release in the cycle, then MS might have just skipped Win9 "good" to get to Win10 "shit".

Comment: Communication skills (Score 3, Interesting) 219

by rwa2 (#48850115) Attached to: Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

Doesn't the USAF have a study somewhere that women are better at communicating data, period?

They would use female radio operators since they found it easier to understand female voices over lossy radio channels. Maybe something to do with the higher pitched voices, or better use of intonation in language, or maybe something empathic or psychological that we don't understand but the effect was there.

Then there are the Germans who refuse to take orders from female voices to the extent that GPS manufacturers have to make special male recordings for those markets. Was that a factor during WWII as well?

On the flip side, was it the USAF or NASA that was investigating the long term social groups for extended space missions, and found that grous of all-men could get along, but introduce one female and they start fighting for her attentions? But that was still better than an all-female crew, who would eventually but almost always turn on each other after too much time working together?

Are we running light with overbyte?