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Submission + - Lennart Poettering Announces the First systemd Conference (

jones_supa writes: Lennart Poettering, the creator of the controversial init system and service manager for Linux-based operating systems, had the great pleasure of announcing the first systemd conference event. Dubbed systemd.conf, the event will take place later this year, between November 5-7, in Berlin, Germany. systemd developers and hackers, DevOps professionals, and Linux distribution packagers will be able to attend various workshops, as well as to collaborate with their fellow developers and plan the future of the project. Attendees will also be able to participate in an extended hackfest event, as well as numerous presentations held by important names in the systemd project, including Poettering himself.

Submission + - Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots writes: Benny Evangelista reports at the San Francisco Chronicle that a class-action suit has been filed in District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Toyer Grear and daughter Joycelyn Harris claiming that Comcast is “exploiting them for profit” by using their home router as part of a nationwide network of public hotspots. Comcast is trying to compete with major cell phone carriers by creating a public Xfinity WiFi Hotspot network in 19 of the country’s largest cities by activating a second high-speed Internet channel broadcast from newer-model wireless gateway modems that residential customers lease from the company. Although Comcast has said its subscribers have the right to disable the secondary signal, the suit claims the company turns the service on without permission and places “the costs of its national Wi-Fi network onto its customers" and quotes a test conducted by Philadelphia networking technology company Speedify that concluded the secondary Internet channel will eventually push “tens of millions of dollars per month of the electricity bills needed to run their nationwide public Wi-Fi network onto consumers.” The suit also says “the data and information on a Comcast customer’s network is at greater risk” because the hotspot network “allows strangers to connect to the Internet through the same wireless router used by Comcast customers.”

Submission + - iCloud security disasters. 1

countach writes: Apparently Apple's attempts to avoid more nude celebrity leaks has caused Apple to to change their security so that attempts to hack your account can cause you to lose your iTunes account despite you having your password and other trusted IOS devices to authenticate from. Apple's attempt to stop your entire digital life getting stolen is causing people to lose their entire digital life, and they seem to think this is an improvement. Wasn't two factor supposed to solve this? And why can't Apple recover according to their own policies?

Submission + - Microsoft tells US: The worldâ(TM)s servers are not yours for the taking (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's fight against the US position that it may search its overseas servers with a valid US warrant is getting nasty.

Microsoft, which is fighting a US warrant that it hand over e-mail to the US from its Ireland servers, wants the Obama administration to ponder a scenario where the "shoe is on the other foot."

"Imagine this scenario. Officers of the local Stadtpolizei investigating a suspected leak to the press descend on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany," Microsoft said. "They serve a warrant to seize a bundle of private letters that a New York Times reporter is storing in a safe deposit box at a Deutsche Bank USA branch in Manhattan. The bank complies by ordering the New York branch manager to open the reporter's box with a master key, rummage through it, and fax the private letters to the Stadtpolizei."

Submission + - DOJ Wants Companies To Trust the Government on Cybersecurity (

itwbennett writes: During a forum on cybersecurity in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general with the DOJ's Criminal Division, called for private companies to put more trust in the country's law enforcement agencies. Caldwell pointed to smartphone encryption as one area that is likely to become a problem for law enforcement. ‘We really need to think long and hard about whether we want to create a zone of lawlessness that law enforcement can't access,’ she said. ‘I think that's a very dangerous precedent that's been set.’

Submission + - Apple Glosses Over Vulnerabilities Patched in iOS 8, Snubs Security Researcher ( 1

PainMeds writes: At this year's HOPE conference, security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski discussed his findings (slides) of a number of iOS vulnerabilities which made national news. Apple quickly addressed the issues in iOS 8 Beta 5, and Zdziarski explained the fixes in detail. Now that iOS 8 has been officially released, the security release notes appear to avoid mentioning the vulnerabilities that were addressed altogether, except for an out-of-place mention of some "diagnostics changes" in a note at the very bottom, and fail to give any credit to the researcher for finding the problems. Zdziarski has published an open letter to Tim Cook and Apple's Security Team highlighting this:
"I am very glad to see that Apple has taken security seriously enough lately to address vulnerabilities quickly, and – from what I’ve seen – elegantly. I’ve even written up a paper praising Apple for their quick and thorough response to these issues. ... What I’m not glad about at all is that Apple has seemingly swept these issues under the rug, to the degree that they’re not even acknowledged in your security notes. Apple’s code fixes can be clearly observed right in the iOS 8 firmware, and yet there is not a single mention of them in the release notes, nor any acknowledgments for the researcher. If there is any ethical practice to be expected in information security – or science of any kind for that matter – it is to properly acknowledge those who’s research you’ve consumed. In many settings, failure to do so is considered plagiarism." ... "there has been no mention of the more serious issues being fixed, or ever existing." ... "Not one mention of file relay, wireless lockdown vulnerabilities, packet sniffer access control vulnerabilities, or backup encryption bypass vulnerabilities."


Apple Pushes Unwanted Software To PCs, Again 267

itwbennett writes "Blogger Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wags his finger at Apple for indiscriminately pushing the iPhone Configuration Utility 2.1 update out to Windows users, since it is a tool for business system administrators to set up and administer corporate iPhones — the blogger himself (and practically every other iPhone user) not being of the corporate iPhone user persuasion. But more than just unnecessary, the update actually puts him and millions of other iPhone owners/Windows PC users at increased risk by installing 'not just a configuration program, but the Apache Web server as well,' says Vaughan-Nichols. 'A Web server like the one Apple [is] adding to your PC... [is] a gateway just asking to be hammered on by an attacker. Managed properly Apache is as safe a Web server as you'll ever find, but ordinary PC users shouldn't try to manage it, and even an expert can't do anything with it if they don't know it's there.'" Reader CWMike notes that Apple pulled the iPhone Configuration Utility from the update list after a few hours.

Submission + - Street View Driver Kills Deer

sexconker writes: A street view was found showing street view driver hitting a deer, and driving off. The deer died after rolling around for a while. Google has removed the images (first saying they were unavailable due to high demand, and later saying they had been removed), but they can be found below. The images show the deer before and after the impact. There was no other vehicle near the vicinity at the time.

Submission + - Microsoft to Pull Seinfeld Ads

sexconker writes: According to valleywag, Microsoft is pulling its recent series of ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld. The decision to drop the ads likely stemmed from the fact that most viewers just didn't get them. MS reps are spinning the decision to drop Seinfeld as "planned" and say that Seinfeld could be involved in future projects. The ads cost Microsoft in excess of $10 million.

Submission + - Making the Big Time at Best Buy

SpleenVenter writes: I recently received an "exclusive member update" email from Best Buy's "rewardzone" program, congratulating me as follows:

We'd like to welcome you to the Best Buy® Reward Zone® program at our most elite membership level — Premier Black. Premier Black is a pilot in select areas that rewards our best customers for shopping at Best Buy stores.

Out of curiosity, I clicked the 'Locate you Premier Black Concierge' link — which led me to:

"Due to heavy server volume we are unable to process your request at this time. Please try again later."

I'm really feelin' that 'elite' status!

Prisoners Win Right to Magic Wands 8

Pagan prisoners in England have won the right to keep twigs in their cells to use as wands. The new policy regarding pagans was announced by Justice Reform Minister Maria Eagle who said, "Prison service policy is to enable prisoners of different faith traditions, including paganism, to practice their religion. Religious artifacts are allowed for relevant faiths within the constraints of good order and discipline. The religious artifacts for pagan prisoners include a flexible twig for a wand." Now that wands have been allowed, it can only be a matter of time before inmates have access to rods, staves and miscellaneous magic items.

Man Hides Castle Behind Hay Bales

A UK farmer built an entire mock castle and kept it hidden behind bales of hay for 4 years to avoid building regulations. The builder wants to take advantage of a provision of planning law that allows buildings without planning permission to be declared legal if no objections have been made after four years. The county council is not happy and is moving their mock seige weaponry towards the farm.

Submission + - Open source has sec flaw every 1000 lines of code

Stony Stevenson writes: Open source code tends to contain one security exposure for every 1,000 lines of code, according to a program launched by the Department of Homeland Security to review and tighten up open source code's security. Popular open source projects, such as Samba, the PHP, Perl, and Tcl dynamic languages used to bind together elements of Web sites, and Amanda, the popular open source backup and recovery software running on half a million servers, were all found to have dozens or hundreds of security exposures and quality defects. A total of 7,826 open source project defects have been fixed through the Homeland Security review, or one every two hours since it was launched in 2006, according to David Maxwell, open source strategist for Coverity, maker of the source code checking system, the Prevent Software Quality System, that's being used in the review.
Media (Apple)

DRM-Free Means Apple-Free?

Technical Writing Geek sends us an opinion piece from Microsoft Watch that contends that the music labels, finally letting go of DRM, have the additional goal of freeing themselves from Apple's choke-hold on the music business. Quoting: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs is getting exactly what he asked for nearly a year ago: Industry movement away from DRM music. But the DRM freedom he wanted is looking more like DRM freedom from Apple. There has been a whole lot of shakin' going on the last two weeks with respect to DRM-free content: Warner made its library available to Amazon, as unprotected MP3s. Sony BMG announced plans to release its catalog DRM free. In the second quarter, Napster will go back to its MP3 roots, with a library available in the unprotected format... While the DRM-free moves may be good for consumers, many labels have another motivation: DRM freedom from Apple."

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison