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+ - Debian to be forked->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After all the problems around systemd, journald and the recent proposal for the RC issued by Ian Jackson, a team of volunters plan to fork debian."
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+ - FBI: backdoors in software may need to be mandatory->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "The New York Times:

The director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, said on Thursday that the "post-Snowden pendulum" that has driven Apple and Google to offer fully encrypted cellphones had "gone too far." He hinted that as a result, the administration might seek regulations and laws forcing companies to create a way for the government to unlock the photos, emails and contacts stored on the phones.

But Mr. Comey appeared to have few answers for critics who have argued that any portal created for the F.B.I. and the police could be exploited by the National Security Agency, or even Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies or criminals. And his position seemed to put him at odds with a White House advisory committee that recommended against any effort to weaken commercial encryption."

Link to Original Source

+ - Debian talks about systemd begins once again->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A couple of months ago the TC of Debian decided for systemd. This is now subject for discussion once again and Ian Jackson has stated that he wants a general resolution, so every developer within the Debian project can decide. After a short time the required amount of supportes has been reached and the discussion can start once again."
Link to Original Source

Comment: RPi could have been better (Score 3, Informative) 146

by xonen (#48131413) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Sales Approach 4 Million

Mine is currently actively used to fill a box which would otherwise be useless. I'm very happy for the box now having a meaningful purpose in life.

For what i was planning to do, one plan did not work due to obscure compatibility reasons which boiled down to floating points and a buggy database connection. The other plan - using it as motion capture, did not work as the USB webcam driver / or webcam / would crash on occasion but definitively overnight. Might have to do with the bad USB power output causing instability.

I would have used it as media player if the sound output wasn't of such bad quality.

Overall, i think the project is nice and all but the hardware is of inferior quality. If you are serious about embedded devices or building robots or so there is, and existed for long, much better hardware.

I admit the price is low. However, to me the key sales point is that it's a standardized platform with several linux distributions ready to roll. So, the community around it makes it great. But for any serious project the hardware s*x big time. I'd rather have that community and a slightly more expensive device that performs as expected (as in: proper USB, total open hardware without vague GPU blobs, more and better IO pins with for example a 12-bit A/D converter arduino style, quality audio in and out, etc etc).

Nevertheless i'm impressed by the momentum. I also think newer generations might fix the hardware issues they have. But just in my view, just focusing on 'as cheap as possible' was a terrible design decision. Had all hardware be high-end, like USB conforming specs, then it would be golden.

Comment: Re:I'm sorry (Score 1, Informative) 280

by xonen (#48128357) Attached to: Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

Wrong again.

In the Netherlands, you may pay 30% taxes, but on top of that come contributions to the welfare system, since you are insured against unemployment by law.

Typically, the average worker cost the employer about 3 times as much as the employee will receive netto on their bank account. This because employers pay a large amount of healthcare costs and other things.

So, for the average worker, they will see their salary `taxed` by about 65-70%. Just, they don't call it tax but insurance fees. As your income climbs, taxes raises but social security fees are capped. So yes, someone with a 200k income or more pays in procents less taxes and fees.

On topic. The Netherlands are killing all kind of active entrepreneurship. Seems only multinationals are welcome. Small businesses are not appreciated here, and even if you succeed, taxes and (local) governments will make your live miserable by regulations. Uber is just the latest example in this. Meanwhile, only few people take taxi's because no-one can or is willing to afford them, partly because their is no competitive market since its all being regulated. Paying 30 euro for a 2 km trip is not uncommon, and that's not even night tariff.

Comment: Alternate solutions (Score 1) 174

by xonen (#48122831) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: VPN Setup To Improve Latency Over Multiple Connections?

Instead of thinking complex solutions, you could also think of simpler solutions. Why don't you focus on improving your mobile connection.

Like: make extension cord to tether your phone, and place the phone near or even outside the window.

Or, buy a 'real' (seperate) G2/3/4 modem with a big (and seperate) antenna for $150.

Or. See if you have local interference. Or, see if another type or brand of phone has a better connection.

And of course you already stripped all apps from your tethering phone and disabled wifi, as your phones processor isn't that fast and may easily be stale to other tasks for a few hundred ms.

Also, you could / should check which provider has the strongest signal at your place, may well be a 3rd provider.

I'd seek solution in optimizing one mobile connection. My personal experiences with tethering are that in general it is actually more reliable than wifi, with less latency and less packet loss, but obviously this may vary depending on your location. However, i'd go for all 'low tech' solutions first, starting by putting you cellphone antenna at the most optimal location, like the roof of the building (...).

+ - Microsoft's Handwriting Recognition keyboard for Android Wear devices->

Submitted by Frankie70
Frankie70 (803801) writes "Here is a video of Microsoft's prototype software handwriting recognition keyboard for Android wear devices. Looks really cool.

With the Analog Keyboard Project, Microsoft is exploring handwriting recognition for text input on small touch screens. Handwriting, unlike speech, is discreet and not prone to background noise. And unlike soft keyboards, where many keys have to share the small touch surface, handwriting methods can offer the entire screen (or most of it) for each symbol. This allows each letter to be entered rather comfortably, even on small devices. In fact, it has been shown that some handwriting systems can be used without even looking at the screen. Finally, handwriting interfaces require very little design changes to run on round displays, which are becoming increasingly popular."

Link to Original Source

+ - Flash IDE will integrate with open source, cross-platform Haxe/OpenFL platform

Submitted by lars_doucet
lars_doucet (2853771) writes "Flash CC now has an SDK for creating custom project file formats; this lets you use the Flash IDE to prepare and publish content for (not-the-flash-player) compile targets.

Among these new platforms is OpenFL, a fully open-source re-implementation of the Flash API that exports to Javascript and C++ (no Flash Player!), among other targets:

When Adobe demoed the custom project feature at Adobe MAX the other night, they brought out Joshua Granick (lead maintainer of OpenFL) to show off a custom OpenFL project format that lets you make Flash Art in Flash CC, then compile it out to Flash, HTML5, and native C++ (desktop+mobile) targets.

Maybe Adobe heard us after all?"

Comment: Re:Practice colony in Antarctica first? (Score 1) 269

by xonen (#48101681) Attached to: MIT Study Finds Fault With Mars One Colony Concept

You can breath pure oxygen perfectly fine, especially when you lower the atmospheric pressure. On Mars, it would make total sense to breath pure oxygen at 1/5 earth atmospheric pressure. It's also what mountain climbers use to compensate for the pressure drop.

The real issue is fire danger - anything combustible might spontaneously catch fire, so all materials in such environment would have to be fire-resistant. That, or you must wear a helmet all day.

A good example of this is the American vs Russian space technology - the Russians choose for 1 atmosphere pressure and normal (earth) levels of oxygene, while the Americans standardized initially on pure oxygen. Quote: ``The docking module was designed as both an airlock — as the Apollo was pressurized at 5.0 psi using pure oxygen, while the Soyuz used a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere at sea level pressure`` (from )

Comment: Combined (Score 1) 120

by xonen (#47897219) Attached to: The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

The most obvious approach is to combine the 2 methods - much like humans do, especially in noisy environments. It might improve the accuracy of current speech recognition which is, too be honest, still sub-standard.

Speech recognition as is now is way too limited. Sure, Siri and the likes may work. And some computerized phone systems use it to nag us instead of using reliable button clicking. But it is still far from transcribing an accurate memo. Let alone automated subtitling or other fancy applications.

So yes, please, develop it, and use it to improve overall speech recognition.

+ - C++14 Is Set In Stone

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Apart from minor editorial tweaks, the ISO C++14 standard can be considered completed. Implementations are already shipping by major suppliers. C++14 is mostly an incremental update over C++11 with some new features like function return type deduction, variable templates, binary literals, generic lambdas, and so on. The official C++14 specification release will arrive later in the year, but for now Wikipedia serves as a good overview of the feature set."

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 0) 406

by xonen (#47620827) Attached to: Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

You are missing the facts that:

* Trees are a wind barrier, making it easier and safer to drive in windy weather

* Trees block sunlight especially when the sun is low, making driving a lot more safer

* Trees reduce noise from the vehicles so people living nearby the road perceive less hinder

There are many good reasons to have trees near the roads. Also, falling leaves is a seasonal effect and falling branches/trees only happens during stormy weather (assuming the trees are well maintained).

Of course situations may differ from place to place, but there are good reasons for the trees to be there and they may actually make the roads safer for the driver. Added bonus for pedestrians and bicylists if they are on a lane seperated by trees from the cars.

The only real exception i can think of when trees block sight on crossroads. But to solve that you certainly not have to remove all trees. [And playing advocate of the devil: some people say this actually makes the crossroad safer as people really have to stop and look carefully]

Comment: Real time clock (Score 1) 47

by xonen (#47568671) Attached to: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Released
The board integrates a real time clock. This makes it ideal in remote, disconnected or power-safe configurations. From a wild-life camera to an embedded dishwasher controller. Being compatible, low-cost, running Linux and 'just works an community supported' is a big plus. I'd say, bring more of those clones.

+ - Book review: Introduction to Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Submitted by benrothke
benrothke (2577567) writes "Introduction to Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Author: Paulo Shakarian, Jana Shakarian and Andrew Ruef

Pages: 336

Publisher: Syngress

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer: Ben Rothke

ISBN: 978-0124078147

Summary: Outstanding overview and guide to cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare is a controversial topic. At the 2014 Infosec World Conference, Marcus Ranum gave a talk on Cyberwar: Putting Civilian Infrastructure on the Front Lines, Again.

Whether it was the topic or just Marcus being Marcus, about a third of the participants left within the first 15 minutes. They should have stayed, as Ranum, agree with him or not, provided some riveting insights on the topic.

While a somewhat broad term, in Wikipedia, cyberwarfare (often called information warfare)is definedas politically motivated hacking to conduct sabotage and espionage. It is a form of information warfare sometimes seen as analogous to conventional warfare.

The authors define cyber war as an extension of policy by actions taken in cyber space by state or nonstate actors that either constitute a serious threat to a nation's security or are conducted in response to a perceived threat against a nation's security.

As to a book on the topic, for most readers, cyberwarfare is something that they may be victims of, but will rarely be an actively part of.

In Introduction to Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approach, authors Paulo Shakarian, Jana Shakarian and Andrew Ruef provide an excellent overview of the topic. The book takes a holistic, or as they call it multidisciplinary, approach to the topic. It looks at the information security aspect of cyberwarfare, as well the military, sociological and other aspects of the topic.

The book is divided into 3 parts and 13 densely packed and extremely well-researched and footnoted chapters, namely:

Part I: Cyber Attack

Chapter 2: Political Cyber Attack Comes of Age in 2007

Chapter 3: How Cyber Attacks Augmented Russian Military Operations

Chapter 4: When Who Tells the Best Story Wins: Cyber and Information Operations in the Middle East

Chapter 5: Limiting Free Speech on the Internet: Cyber Attack Against Internal Dissidents in Iran and Russia

Chapter 6: Cyber Attacks by Nonstate Hacking Groups: The Case of Anonymous and Its Affiliates

Part II: Cyber Espionage and Exploitation

Chapter 7: Enter the Dragon: Why Cyber Espionage Against Militaries, Dissidents, and Nondefense Corporations Is a Key

Component of Chinese Cyber Strategy

Chapter 8: Duqu, Flame, Gauss, the Next Generation of Cyber Exploitation

Chapter 9: Losing Trust in Your Friends: Social Network Exploitation

Chapter 10: How Iraqi Insurgents Watched U.S. Predator Video—Information Theft on the Tactical Battlefield

Part III: Cyber Operations for Infrastructure Attack

Chapter 11: Cyber Warfare Against Industry

Chapter 12: Can Cyber Warfare Leave a Nation in the Dark? Cyber Attacks Against Electrical Infrastructure

Chapter 13: Attacking Iranian Nuclear Facilities: Stuxnet

The book provides numerous case studies of the largest cyberwarfare events to date. Issues around China and their use of cyberwarfare constitute a part of the book. Chapter 7 details the Chinese cyber strategy and shows how the Chinese cyber doctrine and mindset is radically different from that of those in the west.

The book compares the board games of chess (a Western game) and Go (a Chinese game) and how the outcomes and strategies of the games are manifest in each doctrine.

The chapter also shows how the Chinese government outlawed hacking, while at the same time the military identified the best and most talented hackers in China, and integrated them into Chinese security firms, consulting organizations, academia and the military.

One of the more fascinating case studies details the cyber war against the corporate world from China. The book provides a number of examples and details the methodologies they used, in addition to providing evidence of how the Chinese were involved.

For an adversary, one of the means of getting information is via social networks. This is often used in parallel by those launching some sort of cyberwarfare attack. LinkedIn is one of the favorite tools for such an effort. The authors write of the dangers of transitive trust; where user A trusts user B, and user B trusts user C. Via a transitive trust, user A will then trust user C based simply on the fact that user B does. This was most manifest in the Robin Sageexercise.

This was where Thomas Ryan created a fictitious information security professional names Robin Sage. He used her fake identity and profile to make friends with others in the information security world, both commercial, federal and military and he was able to fool even seasoned security professionals. Joan Goodchild wrote a good overview of the experiment here.

In chapter 10, the book details how Iraqi insurgents viewed Predator drones video feeds. Woody Allen said that eighty percent of success is just showing up. In this case, all the insurgents had to do was download the feed, as it was being transmitted unencrypted. Very little cyberwarfare required.

When the drone was being designed, the designers used security by obscurity in their decision not to encrypt the video feed. They felt that since the Predator video feeds were being transmitted on frequencies that were not publically known, no access control, encryption or other security mechanisms would be needed.

The downside is that once the precise frequency was determined by the insurgency, in the case of the Predator drone, the Ku-band, the use of the SkyGrabber satellite internet downloader made it possible for them to effortless view the video feeds.

The only negative about the book is a minor one. It has over 100 pictures and illustrations. Each one states: for the color version of this figure, the reader is referred to the online version of the book. Having that after every picture is a bit annoying. Also, the book never says where you can find the online version of the book.

How good is this book? In his review of it, Krypt3ia said it best when he wrote: I would love to start a kickstarter and get this book into the hands of each and every moron in Congress and the House. The reality is that this book should indeed be read by everyone in Washington, as they are making decisions on the topic, without truly understanding it.

For most readers, this will be the book that tells them everyone they need to know that their congressman should know. Most people will never be involved with any sort of warfare, and most corporate information security professional will not get involved with cyberwarfare. Nonetheless, Introduction to Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approachis a fascinating read about a most important subject.

Reviewed by Ben Rothke"

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken