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+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

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+ - Jolla's tablet will be able to run Linux and Android apps->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Jolla's tablet campaign on Indiego has crossed the desired $380,00 goal and hit the half million mark with $731,764 raised. While there are Firefox OS and Android, Sailfish like Ubuntu Touch, is the only Linux based OS which can install and run traditional Linux applications. So Jolla is really going to be exciting tablet for Linux users."
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+ - If You Want Better Cybersecurity, Break Up The NSA->

Submitted by electronic convict
electronic convict (3600551) writes "People often forget that the NSA has a second mission beyond surveillance (or surveillance-plus): It's also supposed to take the lead in protecting federal information systems and critical national infrastructure from criminals and foreign attackers.

If the recent spate of cyberattacks is any indication, though, the NSA has bungled that job pretty badly. And small wonder: As we've known for a year, the agency actively works to introduce vulnerabilities into encryption systems, to discourage the use of strong security and to use its industry-outreach program to further both aims. So why should anyone trust it to help actually guard against hackers?

There's a simple, if currently impractical solution: Break up the NSA.

This isn't an entirely new idea; Bruce Schneier, for instance, has been pushing for an NSA breakup since February, primarily on the grounds that the agency is simply too large and out of control. His proposed division, however, would still task the NSA with both security and surveillance, keeping its inherent conflict of interest intact. A better solution would be to move the security function out of the NSA entirely, allowing its staff to plug holes as fast as their offense-minded NSA peers can create them.

Yes, the USA Freedom Act just went down in flames, and the odds of serious NSA reform look about as dim as ever. But wouldn't everyone be better off if some of the best cryptographers and security experts in the U.S. weren't working side-by-side with the spies bent on undermining their work?"

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+ - Canadians fighting to share details of "Canada's Steubenville." ->

Submitted by o_ferguson
o_ferguson (836655) writes "Last year, Canada was rocked by allegations surrounding the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, a teenager from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, who killed herself after being raped and having images if the assault circulated on social media by her classmates. While she reported the crime, and the photos were widely available, she receiving no help or justice, eventually committing suicide. Once this tragic case became known, Canadians demanded action, and police eventually re-opened their instigation, charging one participant with manufacturing child pornography for his role in photographing the assault. He eventually pled guilty, and received a very lenient sentence (one year supervision, no criminal record.)

However, one bizarre offshoot this prosecutorial tactic is that it effectively made it illegal to publish Rehtaeh's name in Canada, as child pornography laws there explicitly protect the names of victims whose assailants have been prosecuted. Her name, which had become a rallying call for Canadian activists against online bullying and sexual exploitation, was effectively removed from the general lexicon overnight.

Needless to say, the reaction from regular people has been swift, with many tanking to twitter in an open defiance of the ban and others moving to US-based sites where they can freely publish not just Rehtaeh's name, but the until-now highly protected names of her attackers. As in the Steubenville case, the actions of Anonymous have played a central role."

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+ - Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Singleplayer

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The developers behind the sequel to legendary videogame Elite has, to the anger and dismay of fans, dropped the offline singleplayer mode it promised. The game is due for full release in under a month. With the title having raised about $1.5 million from Kickstarter, and millions more in subsequent campaigns that advertised the feature, gamers are livid. A complaints thread on the official Elite forums has swelled to 450+ pages in only three days, while refunds are being lodged in the thousands. It is down to the discretion of Frontier, the game's developer, whether to process refund requests of original backers."

+ - Is it possible to apply an open source license to seeds?->

Submitted by jenwike
jenwike (2888285) writes "Find out where seeds for our food stand on being licensed in this investigative report. Lisa Hamilton spends time with the Open Source Seed Initiative, a passionate group who wants to ensure their seeds are never patented, but it might not be as possible as you think to make sure seeds are free for use and distribution by anyone. Part of the equation are plant characteristics, like an extended head on lettuce — is that an invention? Or, would you argue that it the collective sharing of material that improves the whole crop over time? In this report, one farmer says, "If you’re not exchanging germplasm, you’re cutting your own throat.""
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+ - Do science celebrities owe anything to the public science infrastructure?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has "retired" and is now on a speaker's circuit making $50k a gig. A Canadian news source was unpleased with a recent public talk in Halifax not because of what he talked about, but because of what he avoided...

"Chris Hadfield, the most prominent person to benefit from Canadian science education and government underwriting of scientific research, came to town and charged people up to 75 bucks to hear him not talk about the Harper government’s attacks on science. Hadfield did not talk about the elimination of the position of national science adviser, Hadfield did not talk about the closure of science libraries across Canada. Hadfield did not talk about Harper’s decimation of the Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas, and Energy Research at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Hadfield did not talk about Harper eliminating 700 positions at Environment Canada. Hadfield did not talk about Harper’s defunding of the National Roundtable for the Environment and Economy. Hadfield did not talk about deep cuts to the ozone monitoring program. Hadfield did not talk about the muzzling of scientists. Hadfield did not talk about Harper siccing Soviet-style government minders on scientists lest they speak the truth.

What did Hadfield talk about? Well, that his success was all a personal thing: “By challenging yourself you’ll get more education, you will find ways to make more of yourself than you would have otherwise.” It’s all about you and your will to succeed. Public funding for science has nothing to do with it.

Yes, hard work and resilience are important in life. But also we all owe our successes to the society from which we come, the opportunities it makes available, and the deep financial commitments to public works and education that allow our hard work and resilience to bear fruit. And those of us who have benefited greatly from the public support for our chosen fields have the responsibility to defend that support from attack. Hadfield has an enormous public platform, but refuses to say one word about Harper’s attacks on science. Hadfield is failing science. He is failing young people who want to follow his lead and get into science. And by not speaking up about Harper’s attacks on the environment, Hadfield is failing the very Earth he circled above."

Does Hadfield have any responsibility to make comments about the current government's dramatic slashing of science, destruction of science data supposedly "owned" by the public, and cuts to university funding for science? (Canadian universities are mostly publicly funded, unlike those in the US)."

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+ - Open source self-healing software for virtual machines->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Computer scientists have developed Linux based software that not only detects and eradicates never-before-seen viruses and other malware, but also automatically repairs damage caused by them. If a virus or attack stops the service, A3 could repair it in minutes without having to take the servers down. The software then prevents the invader from ever infecting the computer again. "It's pretty cool when you can pick the Bug of the Week and it works.""

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+ - Low cost ground robot chassis that can traverse challenging obstacles->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "In order for a robot to be useful in our world, it must be able to traverse unpredictable obstacles, including stairs. But currently available robot chassis tend to be either too small or extremely expensive, and most platform kits cannot leave a controlled environment – a huge problem for makers who want to get outside the lab or workshop. This has been an extremely hard problem for roboticists to solve, but the Ground Drone Project wants to change all that with its low cost ground robot chassis. Check out this innovative design."
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+ - Who's the Doctors Without Borders of technology? 1

Submitted by danspalding
danspalding (560127) writes "I'm transitioning into full time tech work after 10 years in education. To that end, after years of tooling around with command line and vim, I'm starting a programming bootcamp in early December. I used to think I wanted to go into ed tech. But the more I think about it, the more I just want to contribute to the most important work I can using my new skills — mostly JavaScript (with a strong interest in graph databases). Ideally an organization that does bold, direct humanitarian work for the people who need it most. So where should I apply to work when I finish bootcamp next March? Who's the MSF of the tech world?"

+ - FCC Says Net Neutrality Decision Delay Is About Courts, Not Politics

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "The Federal Communications Commission's seemingly suspicious timing in delaying its net neutrality decision has absolutely nothing to do with recent politics, according to an FCC official. Instead, it's a matter of some people in the agency insisting they be more prepared before going to court to defend their eventual plan.

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled in favor of Verizon, which challenged the FCC's 2010 Open Internet rules, striking down the agency's net neutrality protections. The court found that the FCC did not use the proper legal structure to establish its regulatory authority over broadband service—something that many legal experts say would not be the case if the FCC invokes Title II.

The FCC's move to delay the net neutrality decision, which followed President Obama's support of Title II reclassification, was just a coincidence, according to the FCC official:

Before the president weighed in, several of our staff felt like the record was a little thin in areas, and the last thing you want when you go to court for the third time is for a court to say the record was too thin, or you didn't give adequate notice. We are going to be so careful this time that we have crossed every T and dotted every I. Some of the staff felt we're not quite there yet.


+ - Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins-> 5

Submitted by sparkydevil
sparkydevil (261897) writes "Almost all Wikipedia criticism comes is about the vandalism, hoaxes and scandals. There's very little about how the software model creates the many problems on the site. As an ex-Wikipedia editor and founder of a crowdfunding startup I examine Wikipedia's problems and trace them back to the core Wiki software."
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+ - U.S. Navy Deploys Its First Laser Weapon in the Persian Gulf ->

Submitted by Beck_Neard
Beck_Neard (3612467) writes "FTA: "The U.S. Navy has deployed on a command ship in the Persian Gulf its first laser weapon capable of destroying a target.

"The amphibious transport ship USS Ponce has been patrolling with a prototype 30-kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System since late August, according to officials. The laser is mounted facing the bow, and can be fired in several modes — from a dazzling warning flash to a destructive beam — and can set a drone or small boat on fire.""

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The difficult we do today; the impossible takes a little longer.