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+ - Does Heartbleed Disprove 'Open Source is Safer'?->

Submitted by jammag
jammag (1021683) writes ""Almost as devastating is the blow Heartbleed has dealt to the image of free and open source software (FOSS). In the self-mythology of FOSS, bugs like Heartbleed aren't supposed to happen when the source code is freely available and being worked with daily. As Eric Raymond famously said, 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'...Tired of FOSS's continual claims of superior security, some Windows and OS X users welcome the idea that Heartbleed has punctured FOSS pretensions. But is that what has happened?""
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+ - The lack of US cybersecurity across the electric grid->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Meghan McGuinness of the Bipartisan Policy Center writes about the Electric Grid Cybersecurity Initiative, a collaborative effort between the center’s Energy and Homeland Security Projects. She points out that over half the attacks on US critical infrastructure sectors last year were on the energy sector. Cyber attacks could come from a variety of sources, and 'a large-scale cyber attack or combined cyber and physical attack could lead to enormous costs, potentially triggering sustained power outages over large portions of the electric grid and prolonged disruptions in communications, food and water supplies, and health care delivery.' ECGI is recommending the creation of a new, industry-supported model that would create incentives for the continual improvement and adaptation needed to respond effectively to rapidly evolving cyber threats. The vulnerability of the grid has been much discussed this last week; McGuinness's recommendations are a good place to start."
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+ - Snowden Used the Operating System Designed for Internet Anonymity

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "When Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. Now Klint Finley reports that Snowden also used The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) to keep his communications out of the NSA’s prying eyes. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box using a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity that you install on a DVD or USB drive, boot your computer from and you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. "Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn’t store any data locally," writes Finley. "This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources." The developers of Tails are, appropriately, anonymous. They’re protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. “The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,” the group says. But since we don’t know who wrote Tails, how do we now it isn’t some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it’s bad for the NSA, it’s safe to say it’s good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. "With Tails", say the distro developers, "we provide a tongue and a pen protected by state-of-the-art cryptography to guarantee basic human rights and allow journalists worldwide to work and communicate freely and without fear of reprisal.""

+ - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment-> 1

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out."

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+ - The Security Of The Most Popular Programming Languages

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Deciding which programming language to use is often based on considerations such as what the development team is most familiar with, what will generate code the fastest, or simply what will get the job done. How secure the language might be is simply an afterthought, which is usually too late. A new WhiteHat Security report approaches application security not from the standpoint of what risks exist on sites and applications once they have been pushed into production, but rather by examining how the languages themselves perform in the field. In doing so, we hope to elevate security considerations and deepen those conversations earlier in the decision process, which will ultimately lead to more secure websites and applications."

+ - Microsoft Brings Office Online to Chrome OS

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "While we are still waiting for the official Windows 8.1 touch-enabled apps to get launched on the Windows Store, Microsoft went and decided that it’s time to finally bring the Office online apps to the Chrome Web Store, instead. Thus, Microsoft is making the Web versions of its Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote apps available to users through the Chrome Web Store and also improving all of them with new features, along with several bug fixes and performance improvements."
Government

Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings 391

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-right-on-the-surface dept.
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. The concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe. Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

+ - So much for Scroogled: Microsoft makes it easier for Chromebooks to use Office->

Submitted by mattydread23
mattydread23 (2793761) writes "Yesterday, barely mentioned and buried at the very end of an announcement about some new features coming to Office Online, Microsoft said that most Office Online apps are now available in the Chrome App Launcher. It's another example of how Microsoft under Satya Nadella is willing to embrace platforms other than Windows. It also belies Microsoft's Scroogled ads that portrayed Chromebooks as unsuitable for "real" work."
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+ - Not Everyone Needs Probiotics, Suggests Study of Hunter-Gatherer Guts->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "After taking an antibiotic or catching an intestinal bug, many of us belt down probiotic drinks to restore the “natural balance” of organisms in our intestines. Probiotics are one of the fastest growing products in the food industry, now added to yogurts, drinks, and baby food. Yet, not everyone needs them to stay healthy. A new study of the gut bacteria of hunter-gatherers in Africa has found that they completely lack a bacterium that is a key ingredient in most probiotic foods and considered healthy. What’s more, the Hadza don’t suffer from colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s, or other diseases of the colon that are found in humans eating modern diets in Western nations."
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+ - Intuit, maker of Turbotax, lobbies against simplied tax filings-> 1

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Or that, under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. Or that the concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe.

Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."

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+ - PowerVR "Wizard" GPU Is First Mobile Gaming GPU With Hardware Ray Tracing->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Imagination Technologies, the people who make the PowerVR line of mobile GPUs, have unveiled a new mobile gaming GPU ("Wizard") that does realtime ray tracing in hardware, at gaming frame rates. It has long been predicted that 3D games would eventually begin to employ true ray tracing to create computationally expensive visual effects like realistic reflections, refractions, shadows and lighting in realtime games. The PowerVR "Wizard" GPU is the first mobile GPU that can do just that in hardware. It remains to be seen how many commercial game engines, game development studios and mobile games will decide to make use of this new interesting new hardware capability. The question whether rival GPU manufacturers like Nvidia or AMD will also jump on the ray tracing bandwagon and put hardware ray tracing units in their future GPUs is also open at this point. If the hardware ray tracing trend catches on, however, and the hardware needed for it becomes mainstream, and more powerful in time, it could make for interesting virtual experiences like "true photoreal VR" when used in conjunction with a VR headset like the Oculus Rift for example."
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Security

OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL 275

Posted by timothy
from the devil-you-say dept.
First time accepted submitter Iarwain Ben-adar (2393286) writes "The OpenBSD has started a cleanup of their in-tree OpenSSL library. Improvements include removing "exploit mitigation countermeasures", fixing bugs, removal of questionable entropy additions, and many more. If you support the effort of these guys who are responsible for the venerable OpenSSH library, consider a donation to the OpenBSD Foundation. Maybe someday we'll see a 'portable' version of this new OpenSSL fork. Or not."

+ - World's First Algae Canopy Produces the Oxygen Equivalent of 4 Woodland Hectares->

Submitted by Taffykay
Taffykay (2047384) writes "The world's first urban algae canopy controls the flow of energy, water and CO2 based on weather patterns, visitor's movements, and other environmental variables. Once completed in time for the 2015 Milan Expo, this groundbreaking bio-digital project from ecoLogic Studio will produce the oxygen equivalent of four hectares of woodland, along with nearly 330 pounds of biomass per day."
Link to Original Source

+ - OpenBSD Team Cleaning Up OpenSSL

Submitted by Iarwain Ben-adar
Iarwain Ben-adar (2393286) writes "The OpenBSD has started a cleanup of their in-tree OpenSSL library. Improvements include removing "exploit mitigation countermeasures", fixing bugs, removal of questionable entropy additions, and many more. If you support the effort of these guys who are responsible for the venerable OpenSSH library, consider a donation to the OpenBSD Foundation. Maybe someday we'll see a "portable" version of this new OpenSSL fork. Or not.
 "

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