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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the defective-by-design dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Cory Doctorow has an article in Wired explaining why crafting laws to restrict software is going to hurt us in the long run. The reason? Because we're on an irreversible trajectory toward integrating technology with our cars and houses, bodies and brains. If we don't control the software, then at some point, we won't control parts of our homes and our selves. Doctorow writes, "Any law or regulation that undermines computers' utility or security also ripples through all the systems that have been colonized by the general-purpose computer. And therein lies the potential for untold trouble and mischief.

Code always has flaws, and those flaws are easy for bad guys to find. But if your computer has deliberately been designed with a blind spot, the bad guys will use it to evade detection by you and your antivirus software. That's why a 3-D printer with anti-gun-printing code isn't a 3-D printer that won't print guns—the bad guys will quickly find a way around that. It's a 3-D printer that is vulnerable to hacking by malware creeps who can use your printer's 'security' against you: from bricking your printer to screwing up your prints to introducing subtle structural flaws to simply hijacking the operating system and using it to stage attacks on your whole network."

Comment: Re: now that cell phones are powerful computers (Score 2) 74

by zugmeister (#48602809) Attached to: Govt Docs Reveal Canadian Telcos Promise Surveillance Ready Networks
I'm fairly sure you were going for the "funny" tag, but just in case you were serious...
When a company assures you your information is secure, look at what recompense you will receive as a result of them being wrong. That figure is a great indicator of how confident the company is in the security of your information.

Comment: Re:But why? (Score 1) 74

by zugmeister (#48602619) Attached to: Govt Docs Reveal Canadian Telcos Promise Surveillance Ready Networks

I just don't get why doing this voluntarily is a good thing.

My read on it is that the telcos don't want to have to comply with laws forcing them to cooperate, so they're just willing to do it in the first place. As a happy side effect, the voluntary implementation would be much less "noisy", saving the telcos from looking like they would happily sell out their customers.
From the Telco's POV, it's the closest to a win this situation has.

Comment: Re:The "Protesters" (Score 1) 1128

by zugmeister (#48464615) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting
If you take a moment and carefully read what I wrote, you will notice I said nothing about weather this execution / lethal shooting was justified, or weather the rioters were justified in their acts of destruction, vandalism and looting. I'm presenting some facts in the hope some people may see the situation from a different viewpoint. I'm saying that we have a problem with our police in the US and people are getting angry, as they have lost faith in our legal system's ability to protect them from the police leaving them stuck between a rock and a hard place. If your problem is the police, and the courts won't help, where do you go? In my opinion, this is the problem we need to be addressing.

Comment: Re:The "Protesters" (Score 1) 1128

by zugmeister (#48458323) Attached to: Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

They're not interested in any kind of justice. They're only interested in revenge

And you are surprised?...

Can we consider for a moment the possibility that they've given up on the "justice" angle and are now left with "revenge"?
Regardless of everything else, a man under cover of authority has shot and killed an unarmed teenager. Again. Some would consider this a serious crime. Some would even think there should be repurcussions as a result of killing another person. Yesterday evening we learned there will be no criminal charges. How did we think this was going to turn out?


Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the hip-to-be-square dept.
jones_supa writes: Eizo has introduced an interesting new PC monitor with a square aspect ratio: the Eizo FlexScan EV2730Q is a 26.5-inch screen with 1:1 aspect ratio and an IPS panel with resolution of 1920 x 1920 pixels. "The extended vertical space is convenient for displaying large amounts of information in long windows, reducing the need for excess scrolling and providing a more efficient view of data," the firm writes. The monitor also offers flicker-free (non-PWM) backlight and reduced blue light features to avoid scorching users' eyes. Would a square display be of any benefit to you?

Top NSA Official Raised Alarm About Metadata Program In 2009 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the should-have-listened dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from the Associated Press: "Dissenters within the National Security Agency, led by a senior agency executive, warned in 2009 that the program to secretly collect American phone records wasn't providing enough intelligence to justify the backlash it would cause if revealed, current and former intelligence officials say.

The NSA took the concerns seriously, and many senior officials shared them. But after an internal debate that has not been previously reported, NSA leaders, White House officials and key lawmakers opted to continue the collection and storage of American calling records, a domestic surveillance program without parallel in the agency's recent history.

Linux Foundation Comments On Microsoft's Increasing Love of Linux 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
LibbyMC writes Executive Director Jim Zemlin writes, "We do not agree with everything Microsoft does and certainly many open source projects compete directly with Microsoft products. However, the new Microsoft we are seeing today is certainly a different organization when it comes to open source. The company's participation in these efforts underscores the fact that nothing has changed more in the last couple of decades than how software is fundamentally built."

333 Km/h Rocket-Powered Bicycle Sets New Speed Record 51

Posted by timothy
from the hope-they-used-a-good-zamboni dept.
Dave Knott writes François Gissy of France has claimed a new bicycle speed record. As you might guess, he was not pedalling – he was seated atop a hydrogen peroxide-powered rocket with three thrusters fastened to the frame of an elongated, but otherwise ordinary-looking bicycle. In a video posted on YouTube that announces the record, a Ferrari racing the bike is left far behind within seconds of leaving the starting line. The bike, designed by Gissy's friend, Arnold Neracher, reached its top speed of 333 km/h (207mph) in just 4.8 seconds and 250 metres. According to Guinness World Records, the fastest speed ever for a bicycle that wasn't rocket powered was 268.831 km/h by Fred Rompelberg of the Netherlands, riding behind a wind-shield fitted dragster in 1995 and assisted by the slipstream of the car. The current unassisted bicycle speed record is 133.8 km/h — a record that a team in Toronto is trying to break.

Physicists Resurrect an Old, Strange Dark Matter Theory 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the throwing-dark-matter-at-a-wall-and-seeing-what-sticks dept.
New submitter rossgneumann writes: Dark matter might not be nearly as exotic as most theories suggest. Instead, it could be macroscopic clumps of material formed from common particles already found within the Standard Model of particle physics. This argument comes courtesy of physicists at Case Western University (PDF). Dark matter is usually thought of in terms of exotic, so-far undiscovered particles. The leading candidates are known as weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs. But the Case Western theory suggests that there are no dark matter particles, at least none that exist outside of current knowledge. Instead, there are baseball-sized clumps of "regular" matter formed from unexpected combinations of Standard Model particles.

Kubuntu 15.04 Will Be Based On KDE5 45

Posted by timothy
from the projects-to-admire dept.
jones_supa writes Kubuntu Vivid is the development name for what will be released in April next year as Kubuntu 15.04. The exciting news is that following some discussion and some wavering, the Kubuntu team will be switching to Plasma 5 by default. They claim that it has shown itself as a solid and reliable platform and it's time to show it off to the world. There are some bits which are missing from Plasma 5 which are planned to be filled in over the next six months. As another technical detail, Debian git is now used to store the packaging in a Kubuntu branch, so hopefully it will be easier to share updates.

Fiber Optics In Antarctica Will Monitor Ice Sheet Melting 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-penguins dept.
sciencehabit writes: Earth is rapidly being wired with fiber-optic cables — inexpensive, flexible strands of silicon dioxide that have revolutionized telecommunications. They've already crisscrossed the planet's oceans, linking every continent but one: Antarctica. Now, fiber optics has arrived at the continent, but to measure ice sheet temperatures rather than carry telecommunication signals. A team of scientists using an innovative fiber-optic cable–based technology has measured temperature changes within and below the ice over 14 months. This technology, they say, offers a powerful new tool to observe and quantify melting at the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Comment: Re:Maybe a Mini (Score 1) 355

by zugmeister (#48161827) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and More
Well, depending on your application (and I'm assuming here it's not too demanding if you're using a mini as a server), you could always stick an external HDD and schedule Carbon Copy Cloner to dupe the boot drive over every now and then and the data portion rather more often. That'll give you a bootable volume in case of primary failure. It's not a raid 1 but for home or small office purposes it would probably do the trick just fine.

The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete. For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*. -- Bart Miller