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Submission + - Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked to Insert NSA Backdoor (

darthcamaro writes: At the Linuxcon conference in New Orleans today, Linus Torvalds joined fellow kernel developers in answering a barrage of questions about Linux development. One question he was asked was whether a government agency had ever asked about inserting a back-door into Linux.

Torvalds responded "no" while shaking his head "yes," as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter.

Torvalds also admitted that while he as a full life outside of Linux he couldn't imagine his life without it.

While Torvalds has a full life outside Linux, it is at the core of his existence, he said. "I don't see any project coming along being more interesting to me than Linux," Torvalds said. "I couldn't imagine filling the void in my life if I didn't have Linux." /blockquote.

Submission + - Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys? 9

vik writes: The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?

Submission + - Top Factor In Successful IT Projects: Speed (

itwbennett writes: There's a new trend in CIO circles: The need for speed. Whether they achieve that speed by adopting Agile development, cloud computing, or predictive analytics, the fact is that, increasingly, the only way for IT to deliver business advantage is to be faster than the competition. Or maybe it's just that IT is finally realizing that in business it's better to be fast than to be perfect. As my piano teacher used to say, 'if you can't play it right, play it loud.'

Submission + - Researchers reverse-engineer Dropbox cracking heavily obfuscated Python app

rjmarvin writes: Two developers were able to successfully reverse-engineer Dropbox to intercept SSL traffic, bypass two-factor authentication and create open-source clients. They presented their paper, "Looking inside the (drop) box" at USENIX 2013, explaining step-by-step how they were able to succeed where others failed in reverse-engineering a heavily obfuscated application written in Python. They also claimed the generic techniques they used could be applied to reverse-engineer other Frozen python applications: OpenStack, NASA, and a host of Google apps, just to name a few...

Submission + - Why I had to quit using Chromium ( 1

lads writes: Firefox or Chromium, which is better? I like both, and have used both in parallel for years. Chromium's interface is slightly more appealing, lean and easy to use. But Firefox has all those useful extensions, most especially Firebug, and other utilities like BYM. I got used to do programming related stuff on Firefox, like web app debugging, and leaving the personal or recreational stuff for Chromium. I was quite happy with this, until one day.

Submission + - 55-Character Passwords Aren't Safe Anymore (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: This weekend, the popular password cracker software Hashcat rolled out an update that makes it possible to break passwords up to 55 characters long—a big leap from the previous 15-character limit. To retrieve the original word, password recovery systems run millions of guesses through the same cryptographic function that first generated the hash value, and wait for a match. As you can imagine, the longer and more complicated the sequence, the more time this takes. But the process is advancing rapidly—now, the new version of Hashcat can conduct 8 billion guesses per second, with an unlimited number of tries.

Submission + - We must—but can't—untangle law enforcement surveillance & state (

Snowmit writes: Eleanor Saitta argues that calls from civil society to reduce the scope of surveillance misunderstand the blurry line between law enforcement and state intelligence. "Enforcement of law requires the state to either know of or suspect a violation of the law has occurred," where state intelligence "has a mission to both find previously unknown threats and to find secret information about the lawful activities of entities the state has a structurally adverse relationship with." Can we separate these functions? Saitta isn't optimistic.

Submission + - Newly Public 1981 Monsanto Patent: "Aspartame Is The Excrement Of GM Bacteria" ( 4

dryriver writes: In 1999, The Independent published an article entitled "World's top sweetener is made with GM bacteria," which revealed that Monsanto was knowingly adding Aspartame to soft drinks in the United States — and that Aspartame is made from GM — "Genetically Modified" — bacteria. The report created very little public reaction or attention at the time, and was quickly forgotten. Fortunately, a 1981 patent for Aspartame production, once confined to the drawers of patent offices, is now available online for everyone to see — and it confirms everything that Monsanto was happy to tell us in 1999 before their meteoric growth necessitated greater prudence. NaturalNews summarizes Aspartame production as follows: 1.) 'Cloned microorganisms' (which the patent later reveals to be genetically modified E. coli) are cultivated in tanks whose environments are tailored to help them thrive. 2.) The well-fed E. coli cultures defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment needed to make aspartame. 3.) The proteins containing the Asp-Phe segments are 'harvested' (i.e. lab assistants collect the bacteria's feces). 4.) The feces are then treated. This includes a process of methylation (adding an excess of the toxic alcohol, methanol, to the protected dipeptide). While common sense dictates that this abomination doesn't belong anywhere near our bodies, the patent's authors made no secret about their belief that aspartame constitutes a safe and nutritious sweetener: "Aspartame is not only sweeter than sucrose, but is preferable as a food to sucrose. While sucrose can provide the body with little more than energy, aspartame is composed of amino acids, the building blocks of body proteins, and like other proteins is broken down by the digestive enzymes in the stomach to its constituent amino acids thus providing nutritive value. [...] For these reasons, aspartame holds significant promise in replacing sugar as a sweetener."

Submission + - Age discrimination

Presto Vivace writes: Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed?

But just who are the long-term unemployed? Well, that's the question Josh Mitchell of the Urban Institute looked at, and the answer is at once reassuring and terrifying. It turns out the long-term unemployed aren't much different from the other unemployed — with two exceptions. They're just as educated (if not more so). And they're pretty much the same racially. But they're older.

Age discrimination has special relevance for IT and quality control

Oh, and here's the devastating secret about that 59-year-old mainframe guy you already employ: He can learn mobile development; maybe even as fast as any kid out of school. And he would if you hadn't relegated him (and his 30 years of experience) to keeping the lights on. Blame risk management if you want. I blame structural ageism, cowardice and a lack of imagination.


Submission + - Email Trails Show Bankers Behaving Badly

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Times is running a pair of stories about US financial institutions being investigated by the Federal government and courts for alleged systemic and illegal activities that helped bring about the housing crisis and collapse of the world economy in 2008. Emails produced during courtroom discovery reveal that insiders at JP Morgan Chase knew that the bundles of securities they were marketing to investors were rotten with bad loans. And emails show the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (a division of McGraw-Hill) was determined to stop losing deals to its competitors by being too tough on the banks whose products they were evaluating

Submission + - French censorship shields the british court, but not the Prophet. (

An anonymous reader writes: A french court of law has banned the press from publishing topless photos of the so-called Princess Kate of Britain. (Please note: the US Constitution expressly does not recognize titles of nobility and peerage.) The photos were made using tele-lenses while standing on publicly available pedestrian paths.

How come it is banned to display topless members of the "Saxo-Coburg-Gotha" dynasty, a 150 year old german concoction that pretends to be "House of Windsor" to mislead the born britons, yet media is allowed and encouraged to display and over-report heinous internet video accusations against Mohammed, the 1300 years old founding prophet of the 900+ million strong islamic religion?

How could the republican France of revolutionary fame sink so low as to kiss the toe of british monarchs? Where is liberty and where is egality, when the monarchs are "more equally" protected from the consequences of their own silly, lewd conduct?

I hope Wikileaks and Anonymous will stand up to publish each and every Kate photo in the original RAW resolution, all around the web. President Obama should also speak up and condemn the FR-GB censorshhip pact, because the 1st Amendment guarantee of free speech and of the press is either universally sancto-sanct or just a piece of paper to wipe derriere. It cannot be both ways at the same time, one for the itinerant merchant's daugher created princess and another for a widely revered Prophet, who founded a world religion. That is a paradox the unveils the greed and hubris of "free world" elite!


Submission + - Dice Holdings buys Slashdot and other Geeknet websites for $20M ( 3

Angostura writes: Dice Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it acquired Geeknet Inc.'s online media business, including its Slashdot and SourceForge websites, for $20 million in cash.
The New York-based careers website company said the acquisition of the technology websites is part of its strategy of providing content and services geared toward technology professionals.


Submission + - Google Bans Online Anonymity While Patenting It

theodp writes: 'It's important to use your common name,' Google explains in its Google+ ground rules, 'so that the people you want to connect with can find you.' Using a 'secondary online identity,' the search giant adds, is a big Google+ no-no. 'There are lots of places where you can be anonymous online,' Betanews' Joe Wilcox notes. 'Google+ isn't one of them.' Got it. But if online anonymity is so evil, then what's the deal with Google's newly-awarded patent for Social Computing Personas for Protecting Identity in Online Social Interactions? 'When users reveal their identities on the internet,' Google explained to the USPTO in its patent application, 'it leaves them more vulnerable to stalking, identity theft and harassment.' So what's Google's solution? Providing anonymity to social networking users via an 'alter ego' and/or 'anonymous identity.' So does Google now believe that there's a genuine 'risk of disclosing a user's real identity'? Or is this just a case of Google's left hand not knowing what its right hand is patenting?

Submission + - Microsoft: We're Eliminating Backup Generators (

1sockchuck writes: Data centers operators often tout their diesel backup generators as a symbol of their reliability. So why does Microsoft want to get rid of them? Microsoft says diesel generators are "inefficient and costly" and is looking at alternatives to supply emergency backup power for its server farms, including fuel cells powered by natural gas. One possible option is the "Bloom box," which both Apple and eBay are using in their data centers (albeit with biogas as the primary fuel). Bloom is positioning its fuel cells as a way to forego expensive UPS units and generators, using the Bloom box for primary power and the utility grid for backup. It's a pitch that benefits from the current low price of natural gas.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.