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Submission + - Easy to exploit critical BIND DoS bug affects all DNS (

mask.of.sanity writes: Attackers now have the ability to disrupt large swathes of the web through a remote denial of service vulnerability found in the most widely used software for DNS servers. The BIND bug (CVE-2015-5477) patched overnight affects all DNS servers running the software, and can be attacked with ease. Attackers can send a crafted DNS query packet to trigger a REQUIRE assertion failure, causing BIND to exit.

Submission + - German Intel Agency Helps NSA Tap Fiber Optic Cables in Germany 2

An anonymous reader writes: Der Spiegel has written a piece on the extent of collaboration between Germany's intelligence agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), and the U.S.'s National Security Agency (NSA). The sources cited in the piece do reveal BND's enthusiastic collusion in enabling the NSA to tap fiber optic cables in Germany, but they seem inconclusive as to how much information from the NSA's collection activity in the country is actually shared between the NSA and BND. Of note is evidence that the NSA's collection methods do not automatically exclude German companies and organizations from their data sweep; intelligence personnel have to rectro-actively do so on an individual basis when they realize that they are surveilling German targets. Germany's constitution protects against un-warranted surveillance of correspondence, either by post or telecommunications, of German citizens in Germany or abroad and foreigners on German soil.

Submission + - The Big Biz of Spying on Little Kids

theodp writes: "The NSA," writes POLITICO's Stephanie Simon in her eye-opening Data Mining Your Children, "has nothing on the ed tech startup known as Knewton. The data analytics firm has peered into the brains of more than 4 million students across the country. By monitoring every mouse click, every keystroke, every split-second hesitation as children work through digital textbooks, Knewton is able to find out not just what individual kids know, but how they think. It can tell who has trouble focusing on science before lunch — and who will struggle with fractions next Thursday." Simon adds, "Even as Congress moves to rein in the National Security Agency, private-sector data mining has galloped forward — perhaps nowhere faster than in education. Both Republicans and Democrats have embraced the practice. And the Obama administration has encouraged it, even relaxing federal privacy law to allow school districts to share student data more widely."

Submission + - Slashdot forces a beta site by default

kelk1 writes: As a poor submitter found out (, Slashdot ( suddenly forced a preview of its beta site without any warning on all its viewers.

Judging by the comments, the feedback was immediate and clearly negative.

I cannot speak for the forum moderation side, but my reaction to the front page was an knee jerk: "Oh no!, not another portal full of noise I cannot speed-read through." Text and hyperlinks are what we need, please, and as little graphics as possible. Think lynx, thank you.

Submission + - What site would you recommend to replace Slashdot? 1

koreanbabykilla writes: Now that it looks like I'm no longer going to be able to use Slashdot due to, I need somewhere to kill a few hours a day at work. Any suggestions?

Submission + - Can I buy the Classic interface? 3

Max Hyre writes: LWN almost went under a number of years ago because its volunteer editors couldn't afford to keep it up. The readers rose up and insisted that they be allowed to pay for it.

Can we do the same for Classic?

I'm a nerd. I read. I'm the one in the museum ignoring the display and reading the description. I want text, easily accessible, clearly laid out, and plenty of it. I'll pay to keep the UI I know and love.

The Beta has none of those characteristics. The Beta site is repellent, unusable, and unneeded. I won't use it, and if ``Classic'' goes away, I won't visit /., and it'll be a pity.

How much do you actually receive in revenue for each user? I suspect I'll match it to keep the status quo. Ask us what it's worth to us. I'd certainly pay $1/month, and would think about $5/month. I bet that I'm not alone.

Submission + - Slashdot References in Popular Culture? 1

The Living Fractal writes: "So I'm reading Century Rain, a great SF book by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds, and at about page 80 or so I stumble onto a hidden Slashdot reference. Reynolds' character "Niagara" runs a finger diagonally across his chest then 'dots' next to the slash, then goes on to talk about a community of progressive thinkers on one of the earliest computer networks (today's internet) who eventually founded his society. They're even called Slashers! Maybe old news to some of you, but a nice surprise for me nevertheless.
Does anyone else have /. easter eggs they've found that they can share with us?"

Google's Second-Class Citizens 320

theodp writes "Valleywag reports on a new caste system at Google, which will mean compulsory lunch breaks, two additional unpaid 15-minute breaks, limited OT, and e-clock punching for those reclassified as hourly workers starting April 1. Could be worse, though. Google also offers gigs through WorkforceLogic (the company that helped Microsoft deal with its pesky permatemps), which come with a guarantee of unemployment after one year. Guess that's what passes for the Best Employer in the US these days."

Changing The World With Videogames 33

Will Wright gave the keynote address at the Texas SXSW event, showing off Spore to a packed crowd and offering up hopes that 'Toys' will change the world. His hope is that offerings like Spore might force kids to rethink their understandings of nature. Likewise, non-linear storytelling via 'branching' gaming is what he sees as the future of the medium. He cites the movie Groundhog Day as an example, a movie which told the same story over and over again but never did it the same way twice. "'I think if we can teach the computer to listen to the story that players are telling,' Wright said, a game could detect patterns of what the player wants, and adjust music, lighting, and other immersive elements to reflect the story that a player wants to play. He thinks this modeling would best be accomplished by networks that constantly mine and refine player information." Alice, of the Wonderland blog, helpfully provides extensive notes, and Kotaku has a video of the demo the attendees saw.

World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade Review 329

It would be hard to argue that World of Warcraft hasn't been a huge success. Not only has it been a financial success in the MMO market, but it has introduced many new people to Massive gaming that might not have otherwise given it a shot. With their first expansion, The Burning Crusade, Blizzard has made huge advances in many areas of the game. Long-standing complaints have been addressed, and the structure of the popular title has been reinforced. The casual players have gotten a large injection of content that is both accessible and enjoyable to someone who doesn't have huge amounts of time to play. At the same time, hardcore players who thirst for new challenges on a daily basis have quite a bit of work ahead of them. This is not to say that The Burning Crusade (BC) doesn't have its pitfalls, but overall I get the feeling that this is closer to what Blizzard's World of Warcraft dream was meant to be. Read on for my opinions of this new round of addiction.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar