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Submission + - Should Everybody Learn to Code?

theodp writes: In July, the Association for Computing Machinery announced it was partnering with, with ACM contributing funding and its Director of Public Policy to in a push to 'ensure that every K-12 student in the US has the opportunity to study computer science.' Interestingly, joining others questioning the conventional Presidential wisdom that everybody-must-get-code is the Communications of the ACM, which asks in its February issue, Should Everybody Learn to Code? By the way, is bringing its Hour of Code show to the UK in March. The new National Curriculum for England that is to be taught in all primary and secondary schools beginning in September includes a new emphasis on Computer Science curricula, said to have been sparked by a speech given by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2011.

Submission + - Oracle broadens legal fight against third-party Solaris support providers ( 1

angry tapir writes: Oracle is continuing its legal battle against third-party software support providers it alleges are performing such services in a manner that violates its intellectual property. Last week, Oracle sued StratisCom, a Georgia company that offers customers support for Oracle's Solaris OS, claiming it had "misappropriated and distributed copyright, proprietary software code, along with the login credentials necessary to download this code from Oracle's password-protected websites."

Submission + - Hackers Steal Law Enforcement Documents from Microsoft (

wiredmikey writes: Microsoft on Friday said that attackers breached the email accounts of a “select number” of employees, and obtained access to documents associated with law enforcement inquiries. According to the company, a number of Microsoft employees were targeted with attacks aiming to compromise both email and social media accounts

“..We have learned that there was unauthorized access to certain employee email accounts, and information contained in those accounts could be disclosed,” said Adrienne Hall, General Manager at Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group. “It appears that documents associated with law enforcement inquiries were stolen,” Hall said.

Targeted attacks like this are not uncommon, especially for an organization like Microsoft. What’s interesting about this is that the incident was significant enough to disclose, indicating that a fair number of documents could have been exposed, or that the company fears some documents will make their way to the public if released by the attackers—which may be the case if this was a “hacktivist” attack.

Submission + - Russian Admits Arming 'Potato' Malware Fired At Target (

judgecorp writes: A Russian programmer has admitted creating the modified Kaptoxa (or "Potato") malware, which was used to steal 110 million credit card details from Target customers. Rinat Shabayev said he himself did not carry out the attack or profit from it, but he did modify and sell the software which was eventually used. He wanted the money — and now has job offers appearing in the comments on the Russian site

Submission + - As Target breach unfolds, security companies scrub data from the Web (

An anonymous reader writes: Technical details about the Target data breach have been hastily removed or redacted by at least three security companies. The information may have been removed so as to not tip off hackers or jeopardize the criminal investigation, but it has left many scratching their heads.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Can Nintendo Recover? (

Nerval's Lobster writes: Nintendo’s revenue and profits are tumbling faster than Mario into a bottomless pit. Company executives recently suggested the next-generation Wii U console would sell 2.8 million units between April 2013 and March 2014—significantly below the 9 million units predicted in previous estimates. Contrast that with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which sold 4.2 million and 3 million units, respectively, in their first six weeks of release. In lowering its hardware and software estimates, Nintendo also expects to take a loss by the end of its fiscal year in March. Nintendo’s attempt to carve a niche for itself as an ecosystem for casual gamers has also run into a massive obstacle in the form of smartphones and tablets, which quickly developed into popular gaming platforms. Nintendo is reportedly considering a “new business model,” according to Bloomberg , with its CEO telling a gathering of reporters in Osaka: “Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.” While Nintendo could probably made some good money off legacy gamers by bringing its (much loved) portfolio of older titles to iOS, Android, and other platforms, that move to mobile might further weaken its hardware sales. So what do you think? If you were in charge of Nintendo, how would you turn it around?

Submission + - Edward Snowden has more US-Israel secrets to expose, Glenn Greenwald says (

Xhamster writes: JERUSALEM — Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has more secrets to reveal that relate to Israel, the journalist who first brought his leaks to the world's attention said on Monday.

Among allegations aired by Snowden last year were that the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ had in 2009 targeted an email address listed as belonging to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and monitored emails of senior defense officials.
Israel played down the disclosures. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had ordered the matter examined and that "there are things that must not be done" between allies.

Glenn Greenwald, who as a writer for Britain's Guardian met face-to-face with the fugitive Snowden and has written or co-authored many of the newspaper's stories based on his material, was asked in an Israeli television interview whether the ex-contractor had more secrets to tell that related to Israel.

"Yes. I don't want to preview any stories that aren't yet published, but it is definitely the case that there are a huge number of very significant stories that are left to report," said the Brazil-based Greenwald, speaking to Channel Ten TV by video link.

"We have only had these documents for seven months, which, given their volume and complexity, is not a very long time. There definitely are stories left that involve the Middle East, that involve Israel. The reporting is going to continue at roughly the same pace that has been happening."

Last month, several Israeli cabinet members and lawmakers said news of US spying on Israel was an opportunity to press Washington to free jailed Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst, was sentenced to a life term in 1987 in the United States for spying for Israel. A succession of US presidents have spurned Israeli calls for his pardon.

In what appeared to be a bid to calm the clamor, Netanyahu said Israel constantly sought Pollard's release and did not need a "special occasion" to discuss his case with Washington.

Greenwald voiced understanding for the Pollard linkage.

"I think you are absolutely right to contrast the Jonathan Pollard case with revelations of American spying on their closest allies within the Israeli government, because it does underlie, underscore exactly the hypocrisy that lies at the center of so much of what the US government does," he said.

Submission + - Google shows Doodle for the 180th birthday of Carlos Juan Finlay (

An anonymous reader writes: Google is showing a Doodle today (Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013) for honoring Carlos Juan Finlay on his 180th birthday.

Carlos Juan Finlay was a Cuban physician and scientist recognized as a pioneer in yellow fever research.The doodle features Carlos Juan Finlay and a mosquito that causes yellow fever.

Finlay was born in 1833 in Puerto Príncipe from French and Scottish decent.He studied at Jefferson medical college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1855 he opened a medical practice.

Submission + - SC13: GPUs would make terrific network monitors (

alphadogg writes: A network researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has found a potential new use for graphics processing units — capturing data about network traffic in real time. GPU-based network monitors could be uniquely qualified to keep pace with all the traffic flowing through networks running at 10Gbps or more, said Fermilab's Wenji Wu. Wenji presented his work as part of a poster series of new research at the SC 2013 supercomputing conference this week in Denver.

Submission + - Microsoft Warns of Zero-Day Under Attack (

wiredmikey writes: Microsoft released an advisory today warning users about a new zero-day under attack in targeted campaigns occurring in the Middle East and South Asia.

According to Microsoft, the vulnerability resides in the Microsoft Graphics component and impacts certain versions of Windows, Microsoft Office and Lync. The problem exists in the way specially-crafted TIFF images are handled. To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker would have to convince a user to preview or open a specially-crafted email message, open a malicious file or browse malicious Web content. If exploited successfully, the vulnerability can be used to remotely execute code.

The vulnerability affects Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 as well as Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista. Right now, Microsoft Word documents are the current vector for attack.

Submission + - Google Ends Internet Explorer 9 Support In Google Apps 1

An anonymous reader writes: Google today announced it has discontinued support for Internet Explorer 9 in Google Apps, including its Business, Education, and Government editions. Google says it has stopped all testing and engineering work related to IE9, given that IE11 was released on October 17 along with Windows 8.1. This means that IE9 users who access Gmail and other Google Apps services will be notified "within the next few weeks" that they need to upgrade to a more modern browser. Google says this will either happen through an in-product notification message or an interstitial page.

Submission + - CAPTCHA crushed, new era of threats emerges (

Mark Gibbs writes: It was just a matter of time before the relentless march of computer science knocked down the challenge of CAPTCHA. Vicarious, a San Francisco startup specializing in artificial intelligence recently announced that its software can handle up to 90% of CAPTCHA challenges from Google, Yahoo, PayPal,, and other sources.

Submission + - Surface Pro 2 Gets Significant Battery Boost

SmartAboutThings writes: The original Surface Pro didn’t have quite a good battery life and that’s why Microsoft tried to fix this with the Surface Pro. After the Surface Pro 2 has hit general availability, Microsoft has silently pushed out a firmware update which, according to some new battery benchmarks run by Anandtech, made significant improvements to the battery life of the Surface Pro 2. After the new web browsing battery life test it was discovered that the Surface Pro 2 now manages better battery life than the ARM Surface 2, which is pretty impressive. With the firmware update, Microsoft was targeting over 8 hours, and AnadTech’s benchmarks show Microsoft has succeeded, registering a 25% increase in battery life over the no-firmware version. The unpatched Surface Pro 2 lasted for 6.68 hours while with the firmware update installed, its battery life increased to 8.33 hours. The video playback test involved playing a movie until the battery died, and here, albeit smaller, improvements with the battery life have also been noticed: 7.73 hours compared to 6.65 hours.

How many Bavarian Illuminati does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three: one to screw it in, and one to confuse the issue.