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Crime

Secret Security Questions Are a Joke 408

Posted by timothy
from the totally-true-thesis dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Rebecca Rosen writes that when hackers broke into Mat Honan's Apple account last week, they couldn't answer his security questions but Apple didn't care and issued a temporary password anyway. This was a company disregarding its own measure, saying, effectively, security questions are a joke and we don't take them very seriously. But even if Apple had required the hackers to answer the questions, it's very likely that the hackers would have been able to find the right answers. 'The answers to the most common security questions — where did you go to high school? what is the name of the first street you lived on? — are often a matter of the public record,' writes Rosen, 'even more easily so today than in the 1980s when security questions evolved as a means of protecting bank accounts.' Part of the problem is that a good security question is hard to design and has to meet four criteria: A good security question should be definitive — there should only be one correct answer; Applicable — the question should be possible to answer for as large a portion of users as possible; Memorable — the user should have little difficulty remembering it; and Safe — it should be difficult to guess or find through research. Unfortunately few questions fit all these criteria and are known only by you. 'Perhaps mother's maiden name was good enough for banking decades ago, but I'm pretty sure anyone with even a modicum of Google skills could figure out my mom's maiden's name,' concludes Rosen. Passwords have reached the end of their useful life adds Bruce Schneier. 'Today, they only work for low-security applications. The secret question is just one manifestation of that fact.'"
Biotech

EU Blocks France's Ban of Monsanto's GM Maize 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the renamed-to-freedom-corn dept.
redletterdave writes with an update to news from a few months ago that France had banned the growing of Monsanto's genetically modified corn. After reviewing the evidence France submitted in support of the ban, the European Food Safety Authority has now rejected it. An official opinion (PDF) stated that they "could not identify any new science-based evidence indicating that maize MON 810 cultivation in the EU poses a significant and imminent risk to the human and animal health or the environment."

Comment: Re:Doomed, try cinnamon. (Score 1) 194

by stef0x77 (#39707853) Attached to: MATE Desktop 1.2 Released

That said, one of the issues with prompting the shift to Gnome 3 was that the code base for Gnome 2 was unwieldy. Hopefully, they will be able to maintain it.

It was that GTK+ 2.x code was becoming unwieldly and so GTK+ 3.x started a big cleanup. That principle may have also applied to some other individual packages. But the desktop as a whole wasn't really in that position.

Slashdot.org

SlashTweaks Let YOU Micro-Edit Slashdot 257

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the do-my-job-for-me dept.
Here at Slashdot, we watched as Twitter discourse to just the perfect 140 characters, while showed us that everyone's voice mattered equally when creating the experience. We've taken the next step with SlashTweaks. Within each Slashdot you will be presented with several opportunities to make micro-edits: ranging from factual errors or tonal shifts to simple typos. Since Tweaks are just a single word, there is very little barrier to entry... you have no excuse not to participate. Stories will incorporate the highest rated socially and mathematically guaranteeing the best story possible. Our highest users can start new tweaks on individual words, while everyone else will be rating existing tweaks. Thanks for your participation and patience while we iterate on this, making sure that we are able to stay ahead of the edge of webbovation!
Image

Oil Leak Could Be Stopped With a Nuke 799 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the lesser-of-two-disasters dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts underground. The idea is simple, KP writes: 'The underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel.' It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn't work once."
Security

A New Wi-Fi Exploit, Limited But Clever 77

Posted by kdawson
from the out-of-thin-air dept.
eggboard writes "Martin Beck, who in 2008 co-wrote a paper describing a way to inject packets into a secured Wi-Fi system, is back with a more extensive exploit. His 'Enhanced TKIP Michael Attacks' still don't allow extraction of a key, and are limited to TKIP (not AES-CCMP) WPA-protected networks. Still, he's figured out how to put in large payloads, and to extract data sent from an access point to a client — all without cracking the network key. The attack requires proximity to sniff and inject data, but it's another crack in the older key standard (TKIP) that no one with serious security interests should still be using." Here is Beck's paper (PDF) describing the new attacks.
Science

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Posted by kdawson
from the like-a-banana dept.
Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.
Medicine

Visual Hallucinations Are a Normal Grief Reaction 550

Posted by kdawson
from the who-goes-there dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Vaughn Bell has written an interesting essay at Scientific American about grief hallucinations. This phenomenon is a normal reaction to bereavement that is rarely discussed, although researchers now know that hallucinations are more likely during times of stress. Mourning seems to be a time when hallucinations are particularly common, to the point where feeling the presence of the deceased is the norm rather than the exception. A study by Agneta Grimby at the University of Goteborg found that over 80 percent of elderly people experience hallucinations associated with their dead partner one month after bereavement, as if their perception had yet to catch up with the knowledge of their beloved's passing. It's not unusual for people who have lost a partner to clearly see or hear the person about the house, and sometimes even converse with them at length. 'Despite the fact that hallucinations are one of the most common reactions to loss, they have barely been investigated and we know little more about them. Like sorrow itself, we seem a little uncomfortable with it, unwilling to broach the subject,' writes Bell. 'We often fall back on the cultural catch all of the "ghost" while the reality is, in many ways, more profound.' "
Image

Programming .NET 3.5 224 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
lamaditx writes "The world of the .NET framework is taken to the next level by the release of .NET 3.5. The intended audience of this book are experienced .NET programmers. There are no sections that tell you details about C#, SQL servers or anything like that. I don't recommend this book if you never worked on a .NET project and don't know how to set up a SQL database. You should be aware that the code is written in C#. You might use one of the software code converters if you prefer Visual Basic instead. I think the code is still readable even if you do not know C#. I appreciate the fact that the authors decided to use one language only because it keeps the book smaller. The authors assume you are using Visual Studio 2008. You don't necessarily need to update to 2008 if you are working with an older edition because you can use the free Express Edition to get started." Keep reading for the rest of Adrian's review.
Space

NASA Plans Probe to the Sun 352

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hope-they-bring-suntan-lotion dept.
FudRucker writes "For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there. 'We are going to visit a living, breathing star for the first time,' says program scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA Headquarters. 'This is an unexplored region of the solar system and the possibilities for discovery are off the charts.'"
Power

Interconnecting Wind Farms To Smooth Power Production 112

Posted by Zonk
from the sounds-like-a-plan dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Wind power is one of the world's fastest growing electric energy sources, but as wind is intermittent, a single wind farm cannot deliver a steady amount of energy. This is why scientists at Stanford University want to connect wind farms to develop a cheaper and more reliable power source. Interconnecting wind farms with a transmission grid should reduce the power swings caused by wind variability and provide a somewhat constant and reliable electric power (or 'baseload' power) provided by other power plants."

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