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Security

Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid? 435

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-would-you-put-on-your-grandma's-computer dept.
CryoKeen writes: I got a new laptop recently after trading in my old laptop for store credit. While I was waiting to check out, the sales guy just handed me some random antivirus software (Trend Micro) that was included with the purchase. I don't think he or I realized at the time that the CD/DVD he gave me would not work because my new laptop does not have a CD/DVD player.

Anyway, it got me wondering whether I should use it or not. Would I be better off downloading something like Avast or Malwarebytes? Is there one piece of antivirus software that's significantly better than the others? Are any of the paid options worthwhile, or should I just stick to the free versions? What security software would you recommend in addition to anti-virus?
Encryption

Researchers Moot "Teleportation" Via Destructive 3D Printing 161

Posted by timothy
from the don't-tell-the-mpaa dept.
ErnieKey writes Researchers from German-based Hasso Plattner Institute have come up with a process that may make teleportation a reality — at least in some respects. Their 'Scotty' device utilizes destructive scanning, encryption, and 3D printing to destroy the original object so that only the received, new object exists in that form, pretty much 'teleporting' the object from point A to point B. Scotty is based on an off-the-shelf 3D printer modified with a 3-axis milling machine, camera, and microcontroller for encryption, using Raspberry Pi and Arduino technologies." This sounds like an interesting idea, but mostly as an art project illustrating the dangers of DRM. Can you think of an instance where you would actually want the capabilities this machine claims to offer?
Biotech

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild 128

Posted by timothy
from the we've-decided-to-put-this-in-everyone dept.
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes In Jurassic Park, scientists tweak dinosaur DNA so that the dinosaurs were lysine-deficient in order to keep them from spreading in the wild. Scientists have taken this one step further as a way to keep genetically modified E. coli from surviving outside the lab. In modifying the bacteria's DNA to thwart escape, two teams altered the genetic code to require amino acids not found in nature. One team modified the genes that coded for proteins crucial to cell functions so that that produced proteins required the presence of the synthetic amino acid in the protein itself. The other team focused on 22 genes deemed essential to a bacterial cell's functions and tied the genes' expression to the presence of synthetic amino acids. For the bacteria to survive, these synthetic amino acids had to be present in the medium on which the bacteria fed. In both cases, the number of escapees was so small as to be undetectable."

Comment: Re:Now all we need to do (Score 5, Insightful) 308

by v1 (#48835297) Attached to: Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

The problem wasn't that they weren't following the laws. The problem was what they were doing wasn't illegal in the first place.

It can be difficult to get the cops to follow the law. But it's often impossible to get them to "do the right thing".

So this is definitely a good step in the right direction. Don't complain just because we've gone from "impossible" to merely "difficult". Sometimes these things take awhile to straighten out. Be thankful we made some significant progress today.

Comment: Re:No evidence (Score 2) 261

by v1 (#48835241) Attached to: Google Releases More Windows Bugs

Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited.

"...so we're going to wait until the bot herders have sucked in a few million more machines before bothering to patch it."

WHAT is WRONG with you, ms?? If I'm reading that right, google is doing precisely what is necessary to light a fire under MS's ass to get the bugs fixed. It isn't really even that. They're basically telling us they don't consider it to be a big deal until it starts getting exploited. By making that comment, they completely justify (and encourage) Google's actions.

Comment: Re:Wait a minute (Score 1) 248

by v1 (#48835195) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

but that means you have to carry more fluid. Unless there's very little fluid normally needed, I don't see how ditching the pumps and motors saved enough weight to put enough additional fluid in the reservoir to matter. I see two lines on a weight graph, a horizontal one for the closed-loop, and a curved line representing the open-loop. At some point these lines cross, and the open-loop becomes a worse option. I'm just surprised that point isn't way earlier for them.

Businesses

Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid 450

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
An anonymous reader writes: For years, the Deluxe edition of TurboTax was enough for investors and the self-employed to do their taxes. With this year's edition, Intuit removed Schedules C, D, and E, covering self-employment, investment income and asset depreciation. Those features now require an extra charge of $40. The company is getting murdered on Amazon reviews for it, with 900 users giving the software a 1-star rating.
Sony

Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman 391

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Walkman is one of the most recognizable pieces of technology from the 1980s. Unfortunately for Sony, it didn't survive the switch to digital, and they discontinued it in 2010. Last year, they quietly reintroduced the Walkman brand as a "high-resolution audio player," supporting lossless codecs and better audio-related hardware. At $300, it seemed a bit pricey. But now, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony has loudly introduced its high-end digital Walkman, and somehow decided to price it at an astronomical $1,200.

What will all that money get you? 128GB of onboard storage and a microSD slot to go with it. There's a large touchscreen, and the device runs Android — but it uses version 4.2 Jelly Bean, which came out in 2012. It also supports Bluetooth and NFC. Sony claims the device has 33 hours of battery life when playing FLAC files, and 60 hours when playing MP3s. They appear to be targeting audiophiles — their press release includes phrasing about how pedestrian MP3 encoding will "compromise the purity of the original signal."

Comment: Re:Carriers (Score 1) 312

by v1 (#48711327) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

I think we're all in agreement that something needs to be done, but the ethics of disrupting a business's capacity for staying in business is shaky ground.

Imagine... a large car rental place in your city rents out cars on the cheap. They're all identical, impossible to tell apart visually. They have very lax security on them, a basic door lock that's easily broken into without damage, no car alarm.

A criminal gang in the city has started targeting these cars, they're being stolen frequently, used as getaway cars for store robberies and even an occasional bank heist. Security foortage is worthless because all the cars look alike. The thieves apparently have realized if they just dump the cars off where they stole them after they're done without really damaging them, nobody cares. Not the rental place, not the customers. The criminals are impossible to identify or prossicute.

The mayer however is getting pissed off that the rental company is refusing to take any action. The rental co simply does not care, because it's not hurting them or upsetting their customers. Why should they spend money to fix someone else's problem?

What does the mayer do about it? What can he do about it?

This is the botnet problem. So, approach it from that perspective.

The rental co already has a few policies in place. They have monitoring software in the car that is used exclusively to watch for road-rage or dangerous driving. If a customer is driving recklessly and risks damaging the car, they may get a warning from the rental co, or even have their rental remotely disabled for a few days. (copyright DMCA letter anyone?)

So.... since they already have this monitoring system in place, and should already be able to tell when a car is stolen and being used in a robbery.... the mayer forces the rental company to use this information to help curb the problem of their cars being used for public harm.

This is how it would work in any other arena. So why does no one take action against the botnets? Does the rental company's right to run their business like they want to outweigh the serious problem they are facillitating? Of course not.

Comment: Re:Carriers (Score 2) 312

by v1 (#48709437) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

It's trivial to cut off service, yes, but if an ISP and upstream providers to cut off all offending networks from access, the internet would pretty much go silent.

I think that's exactly why it's necessary. Most ISPs take very little notice of an obviously infected customer's machine, unless of course it's trying to pour its spam through their SMTP server. Then they immediately get their panties in a twist and pull your plug until you clean up your machine.

The difference here of course being who is the victim. You or me? Not gonna bother. US? Red Alert Ban Hammer Time!

So, your upstream pulling (or threatening to pull) your plug is precisely what's needed to motivate those ISPs. Some are lazy. Most are just too cheap to invest in fixing the problem and would rather bank the dollars than spend them to fix "someone else's problem". Make it their problem. Light a fire under their seat and watch them redirect a processes they already have in place, to fix the problem.

Comment: stealth (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by v1 (#48679813) Attached to: Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets'

Those "sensor pods" are shaped like external fuel tanks. They've got that rounded and curved shape, to make them aerodynamic. Which is horrible for stealth. The F35 has to pack all its baggage inside the fuselage, with minimal openings.

A huge part of this question then becomes a tradeoff between stealth and features. You have to gve up some stuff if you want to be stealthy. So far, on the F35, most of those drawbacks have been "bought out" by spending a crapton on working around them. Stealt VTOL for example was a major PITA.

Considering the already absurd cost of the avionics electronics developed for the F35, tacaking on a completely new ground sensor package (and finding a place to PUT it inside the airframe) would have raised the cost quite a bit. Those sensor pods have been a work in progres for the last 15 years, the R&D is already mostly done. You can't compare that to a completely new package. (and you thought the rest of the new F35 had bugs and glitches?)

Comment: video demo? (Score 2) 71

by v1 (#48630031) Attached to: Ars Reviews Skype Translator

how can you possibly not link to an a/v demo or review of this, in the thread OR in the review???

I went looking on youtube and found a metric crapton of copies of the MS demo. I don't want to watch the publisher's demo, of course it's going to be flawless. (and quite possibly rigged) They've successfully flooded the actual honest review demos into oblivion on youtube. Anyone got a link to a review with A/V test?

Biotech

Brain Stimulation For Entertainment? 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the volunteer-your-neighbors-as-guinea-pigs dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been used for years to diagnose and treat neural disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer's, and depression. Soon the medical technique could be applied to virtual reality and entertainment. Neuroscientist Jeffrey Zacks writes, "it's quite likely that some kind of electromagnetic brain stimulation for entertainment will become practical in the not-too-distant future." Imagine an interactive movie where special effects are enhanced by zapping parts of the brain from outside to make the action more vivid. Before brain stimulation makes it to the masses, however, it has plenty of technical and safety hurdles to overcome.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.

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