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+ - 11% Of Android Banking And Finance Apps Are Dangerous

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "RiskIQ found that more than 40,000 of the 350,000 apps which reference banking in the world’s top 90 app stores contain malware or suspicious binaries. Another 40,000 contained dangerous permissions. These findings show that criminals are using look-a-like banking apps to distribute malware and capture data on the device in order to commit crimes. Of the more than 40,000 mobile apps listed as suspicious: 21,076 contained adware, 20,000 contained Trojan malware and 3,823 contained spyware."

+ - Police nation-wide use wall-penetrating radars to peer into homes->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside.

The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what's happening inside. The Range-R's maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.

Other radar devices have far more advanced capabilities, including three-dimensional displays of where people are located inside a building, according to marketing materials from their manufacturers. One is capable of being mounted on a drone. And the Justice Department has funded research to develop systems that can map the interiors of buildings and locate the people within them."

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+ - Latest Firefox 35.0 Breaks Some Kerberos

Submitted by barbariccow
barbariccow (1476631) writes "Bug in the latest Firefox 35.0 breaks Kerberos authentication when used with an alias. This affects many corporate and university users. A patch has been submitted, and a point-release requested, but as of this moment there is nothing on the "stable-track" available which fixes this, other than rolling back to 34, or using the "Extended Support" release of firefox."

+ - Microsoft Windows 8.1 OEM Pricing As Low As $0.00 After Discounts 1

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "ZDNet has obtained the OEM pricing for Windows 8.1 and Office365, which reveal that, after discounts, the price per copy can be as low as $0.00.

Windows 8.1 with Bing is listed at $10 per copy for Intel-based tablets under nine inches in screen size. But after a "configuration discount," of $10, OEMs get that SKU for those tablets for free. For tablets with screen sizes of smaller than or equal to 10.1 inches, the Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU is listed at $25 per copy, with the same $10 "configuration discount," resulting in a $15 per copy cost for OEMs.

There's another related SKU that is also meant to help stimulate the market for mobile devices running Windows. The "Windows 8.1 with Bing and Office 365 Personal" is another low-price SKU available to OEMs. Like the Windows with Bing SKU, this one also requires OEMs to set Bing search and as the defaults (changeable by users) on new PCs. This SKU also includes a free, 12-month subscription to Office 365 Personal.

The prices with Office 365 are identical to those for the Bing SKU without Office 365, meaning Microsoft effectively is giving away a year subscription to Office 365 Personal to OEMs for free."

+ - Climate Change, the Fermi Paradox, and the Fate Of Our Planet

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Astrophysicist Adam Frank has an interesting article in the NYT postulating one answer to the Fermi paradox — that human evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis and that climate change is fate and nothing we do today matters because civilization inevitably leads to catastrophic planetary changes. According to Frank, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact. Some excerpts:

The defining feature of a technological civilization is the capacity to intensively “harvest” energy. But the basic physics of energy, heat and work known as thermodynamics tell us that waste, or what we physicists call entropy, must be generated and dumped back into the environment in the process. Human civilization currently harvests around 100 billion megawatt hours of energy each year and dumps 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the planetary system, which is why the atmosphere is holding more heat and the oceans are acidifying.

All forms of intensive energy-harvesting will have feedbacks, even if some are more powerful than others. A study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, found that extracting energy from wind power on a huge scale can cause its own global climate consequences. When it comes to building world-girdling civilizations, there are no planetary free lunches.

By studying these nearby planets, we’ve discovered general rules for both climate and climate change (PDF). These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can’t just disappear.

As we describe in a recent paper, using what’s already known about planets and life, it is now possible to create a broad program for modeling co-evolving “trajectories” for technological species and their planets. Depending on initial conditions and choices made by the species (such as the mode of energy harvesting), some trajectories will lead to an unrecoverable sustainability crisis and eventual population collapse. Others, however, may lead to long-lived, sustainable civilizations.


+ - Patriot Act Idea Rises in France, and Is Ridiculed->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "After shootings last week at a satirical newspaper and a kosher market in Paris, France finds itself grappling anew with a question the United States is still confronting: how to fight terrorism while protecting civil liberties. The answer is acute in a country that is sharply critical of American counterterrorism policies, which many see as a fearful overreaction to 9/11.

Valérie Pécresse, a minister under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, said France needed its own version of the USA Patriot Act, which gave the United States more authority to collect intelligence and pointed America’s surveillance apparatus at its citizens. Politicians and civil rights advocates on both sides of the Atlantic bristled at that suggestion, and at a string of arrests in which French officials used a new antiterrorism law to crack down on what previously would have been considered free speech.

Dominique de Villepin, the former French prime minister, warned against the urge for “exceptional” measures. “The spiral of suspicion created in the United States by the Patriot Act and the enduring legitimization of torture or illegal detention has today caused that country to lose its moral compass,” he wrote in Le Monde, the French newspaper."

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+ - Ocean Floor Mining May Lead to Mass Extinction->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "There are clear signs already that humans are harming the oceans to a remarkable degree, according to research published in the journal Science.
Overharvesting, warming, and large-scale habitat loss are likely to accelerate as technology advances the human footprint. Ocean floor mining contracts, the paper says, could be the last straw."

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+ - Andy Wolber explores how well Google Docs supports Open Document Format (ODF)

Submitted by TechCurmudgeon
TechCurmudgeon (3904121) writes "Does using proprietary document formats make any more sense than buying a coffee maker that uses only one type of coffee, or an ebook you can only read on one device, or a nail that you can only hit with one type of hammer? Why do we use document formats that lock us into only one specific piece of software? Why are we limiting ourselves to only one type of tool?

Control of a format or distribution channel can make it harder to use a competitive solution. That's one problem of proprietary formats: a switch costs you time and/or money. You don't want to buy a new coffee maker to try different coffee, a new e-reader to read a different book, or new software to edit a new document. Open formats or distribution channels make it easier for people to choose a different solution. Fortunately, Google re-enabled support for ODF in December 2014. That means you can leverage the collaborative capabilities of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, then export your completed work to a file in an open, non-proprietary format. Spoiler alert: On balance, both Google Docs and Word Online handle ODT files reasonably well."

+ - KDE Frameworks 5.3 and Plasma 2.1 – First Impressions->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Ken Vermette has done a write-up on his experience with the new KDE desktop encompassing Frameworks 5.3 and Plasma 2.1. For starters, some patience is still needed for apps to be ported to KF5, and most of them will be KF4-based for now. Many of the widgets you may have used don’t exist yet either, but the good news is that the Plasma goodies which do make an appearance are universally improved. The new search widget is shockingly fast and the notifications tray has been reworked. Visual outlook of desktop has been simplified and things don't feel so tightly packed together anymore. The system settings application has been completely regrouped more by goal than underlying mechanics. Unfortunately the desktop stability leaves a lot to desire: there was several crashes and Plasma had at one point managed to forget colour and wallpaper settings. However the developers seem to be knowing what they are doing, and there's a real feeling that this software will reach rock-solid stability very quickly given the state of it as it stands."
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+ - Ansel Adams Act Would Allow Photographs in Public Spaces-> 1

Submitted by davidannis
davidannis (939047) writes "Photographers have been harassed for taking pictures in public places since 9/11. One was arrested for participating in an Amtrak contest. The park service is charging fees. Representative Steve Stockman (R, Texas) addresses the problem with the Ansel Adams Act which he introduced today. It says "It is contrary to the public policy of the United States to prohibit or restrict photography in public spaces, whether for private, news media, or commercial use." The act prohibits government agencies from prohibiting photography for National Security Reasons without a court order, from charging photographers fees, and prohibits equipment from being confiscated.

Federal law enforcement officers or private contractors shall not seize any photographic equipment or their contents or memory cards or film, and shall not order a photographer to erase the contents of a camera or memory card or film.


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+ - mathematical universe and the hard problem of consciousness->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the beautiful words of David Chalmers – consciousness poses the most baffling problem in science. There is nothing that we know more intimately than conscious experience, but there is nothing that is harder to explain. All sorts of phenomena have yielded to scientific investigation in recent years, but consciousness has stubbornly resisted. Many have tried to explain it, but the explanations always seem to fall short of the target. Some have been led to suppose that the problem is intractable, and that no good explanation can be given.

I am sorry — the article is not very short, so please go to the source http://theproblemofconsciousne..."

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+ - Experiments create matter from nothing using nutrinos

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "In experiments partially funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, scientists have reported:

Ten trillion neutrinos pass through your hand every second, and fewer than one actually interacts with any of the atoms that make up your hand. When neutrinos do interact with another particle, it happens at very close distances and involves a high-momentum transfer.

A new paper published in Physical Review Letters shows that neutrinos sometimes can also interact with a nucleus but inflict no more than a "glancing blow" — resulting in a particle being created out of a vacuum.

Producing an entirely new particle — in this case a charged pion — requires much more energy than it would take to blast the nucleus apart — which is why the physicists are always surprised that the reaction happens as often as it does.


+ - Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors are 10 Years Behind Older Jets->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "America’s $400 billion, top-of-the-line aircraft can’t see the battlefield all that well. Which means it’s actually worse than its predecessors at fighting today’s wars.

The problem stems from the fact that the technology found on one of the stealth fighter’s primary air-to-ground sensors—its nose-mounted Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS)—is more than a decade old and hopelessly obsolete. The EOTS, which is similar in concept to a large high-resolution infrared and television camera, is used to visually identify and monitor ground targets. The system can also mark targets for laser-guided bombs.

Older jets currently in service with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps can carry the latest generation of sensor pods, which are far more advanced than the EOTS sensor carried by the F-35.

The end result is that when the F-35 finally becomes operational after its myriad technical problems, cost overruns, and massive delays, in some ways it will be less capable than current fighters in the Pentagon’s inventory."

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+ - Judge Rejects HP's Settlement of Shareholder Suit Over Autonomy->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Slashdot readers will remember that back in August, Autonomy's ex-CFO was trying to block the settlement between Hewlett-Packard and shareholders of a lawsuit centering on the 2012 botched Autonomy acquisition, saying that HP wanted to hide its 'own destruction of Autonomy's success after the acquisition.' On Friday last week the settlement hit another snag, when a federal judge rejected HP’s proposal for being too broad, potentially releasing the company from potential liabilities beyond Autonomy. 'The shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices with no factual predicates that overlap the Autonomy acquisition,' wrote Charles Breyer, judge for the U.S. District Court for Northern California."
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+ - Deep neural networks are easily fooled: Is this Snowcrash for AI?-> 1

Submitted by anguyen8
anguyen8 (3736553) writes "Deep neural networks (DNNs) trained with Deep Learning have recently produced mind-blowing results in a variety of pattern-recognition tasks, most notably speech recognition, language translation, and recognizing objects in images, where they now perform at near-human levels. But do they see the same way we do?

Nope. Researchers recently found that it is easy to produce images that are completely unrecognizable to humans, but that DNNs classify with near-certainty as everyday objects. For example, DNNs look at TV static and declare with 99.99% confidence it is a school bus. An evolutionary algorithm produced the synthetic images by generating pictures and selecting for those that a DNN believed to be an object (i.e. “survival of the school-bus-iest”). The resulting computer-generated images look like modern, abstract art. The pictures also help reveal what DNNs learn to care about when recognizing objects (e.g. a school bus is alternating yellow and black lines, but does not need to have a windshield or wheels), shedding light into the inner workings of these DNN black boxes."

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