Aguazul2 writes "I live in Peru and use OpenVPN to connect to my own Linux VPS in the UK for non-live TV. Recently the VPN connection has slowed to a crawl (5% previous rate). Further investigation shows that all connections to my VPS from Peru (even HTTP) are equally slow, whilst the rest of the 'net seems fine. My VPS host says they do no traffic shaping, and connections from Germany to the VPS are fast. This leaves the NSA and Telefonica (Movistar) as suspects. Could the NSA be slowing all VPNs to/from South America because of Snowden and Greenwald? A traceroute shows traffic going through domains with NYC in their name — are my packets being indefinitely detained in transit? Or maybe it is Telefonica and their Sandvine traffic management? Either way this certainly isn't network neutrality, especially on an 'unlimited' plan. Is there a way to tell for certain who is throttling me? If Telefonica have throttled traffic to/from that one IP address, what options do I have to work around it? It seems that separate connections are throttled independently, so can I multiplex over many UDP ports without having to hack OpenVPN myself? This is really frustrating, especially with two untrustworthy parties on the route. I wonder, is this kind of mess the future of the internet?"
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oneiros27 writes "Although the initial search for Evi Nemeth (and some other people who didn't write Unix books) ended, family and friends of the missing crew are funding a private search effort for the crew. They've managed to get more images from DigitalGlobe of the drift area, but now need help looking through the pictures. If you've got some free time, you might be able to help save some lives."
onehitwonder writes "Lawrence Lessig has teamed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Liberation Music, which recently demanded that YouTube take down a lecture Lessig had posted that features clips from the song 'Lisztomania' by the French band Phoenix (on Liberation Music's label). Liberation claimed copyright infringement as the reason it demanded the takedown, but in his countersuit, Lessig is claiming Liberation's 'overly aggressive takedown violates the DMCA and that it should be made to pay damages,' according to Ars Technica."
Frosty Piss writes with this excerpt from The Register: "The Guardian's editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger fears journalists – and, by extension, everyone – will be reduced to using pen and paper to avoid prying American and British spooks online. And his reporters must fly around the world to hold face-to-face meetings with sources ('Not good for the environment, but increasingly the only way to operate') because they believe all their internet and phone chatter will be eavesdropped on by the NSA and GCHQ. 'It would be highly unadvisable for any journalist to regard any electronic means of communication as safe,' he wrote. El Reg would like to save The Guardian a few bob, and reduce the jet-setting lefty paper's carbon footprint, by suggesting some handy tips – most of them based on the NSA's own guidance."
Lasrick writes "Maryn McKenna at Wired explores fears of a pandemic of MERS after October's hajj to Saudi Arabia, the annual pilgrimage to Islam's holy sites: 'The reason is MERS: Middle East respiratory syndrome, a disease that has been simmering in the region for months. The virus is new, recorded in humans for the first time in mid-2012. It is dire, having killed more than half of those who contracted it. And it is mysterious, far more so than it should be—because Saudi Arabia, where the majority of cases have clustered, has been tight-lipped about the disease's spread, responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome.'"
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Despite a record year, like every year before it, 2013 remained fraught with its fair share of box office disasters. What if studios could minimize their loses and predict when the next Pluto Nash-level flop was imminent? According to new research published in PLoS One, they may actually be able to. Using data gleaned from Wikipedia articles, researchers measured the likelihood of a film's financial success based on four parameters: number of total page views; number of total edits made; number of users editing; and the number of revisions in the article's revision history, or 'collaborative rigor.'"
dryriver writes "Autodesk will detail in October an 'evolution' of its business model that includes more options to rent its software, rather than buying it, CEO Carl Bass said in an earnings conference call yesterday. Bass promised an array of new rental options by the end of the year that he said will give customers more subscription options and increase the predictability of the company's revenue over time. Bass stressed that Autodesk wasn't upending its existing model, but augmenting it. 'Recall that, just 10 years ago, we added subscription maintenance to our revenue stream,' he said. 'That was a big change at the time, and there was no shortage of skeptics. Today, that's a billion-dollar business and represents over 40% of our revenue. Suffice it to say that transition was a huge success.' Analysts on the call immediately started drawing comparisons with Adobe's move earlier this year to a subscription-only pricing model for its Creative Cloud software. Bass said that Adobe's success made Autodesk more confident about the feasibility of rental pricing, but suggested that Autodesk's move wouldn't be quite as aggressive."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Any number of executives could take Ballmer's place, including a few he unceremoniously kicked to the curb over the years. Whoever steps into that CEO role, however, faces a much greater challenge than if Ballmer had quietly resigned several years ago. Ballmer famously missed the boat on tablets and smartphones; Windows 8 isn't selling as well as Microsoft expected; and on Websites and blogs such as Mini-Microsoft (which had a brilliant posting about Ballmer's departure), employees complain bitterly about the company's much-maligned stack-ranking system, its layers of bureaucracy, and its inability to innovate. Had Ballmer left years ago, replaced by someone with the ability to more keenly anticipate markets, the company would probably be in much better shape to face its coming challenges. In its current form, Microsoft often feels like it's struggling in the wake of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook." In an interview with ZDNet, Ballmer said his biggest regret as CEO was in how Windows Vista was developed. Opinions are divided on both the nature of his resignation and what it will mean for Microsoft. While the stock price is up, BusinessWeek and others suggest the purpose of the transition is to find somebody better able to anticipate future trends. That would certainly lead to more organizational changes within Microsoft, something employees suffered through just last month. Ben Kuchera at the Penny Arcade Report points out that this could mean Microsoft will try to re-enter markets it has abandoned. He asks the company to "stay the hell away from PC gaming."
An anonymous reader writes "Star Trek veterans such as Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), Tim Russ (Tuvok), Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and others are busy in pre-production of a professionally produced pilot episode for a suggested new online Star Trek series named Star Trek: Renegades, which will be faithful to the original Star Trek canon. The events of the series are placed a decade after Voyager's return from Delta Quadrant. When the pilot is complete, they'll present it to CBS in the hopes that it'll be picked up. They have also opened an Indiegogo campaign, seeking more funds from Star Trek fans to help make the production even more professional. They've already reached their primary funding goal."
cartechboy writes "Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have unveiled a crazy foldable, compact electric vehicle that, well, folds up like an armadillo. What's more, you can engage the armadillo-like folding process as well as actually park the car with a smartphone. Yes, there's an app for that. Not sure if it's the folding part or the idea of people trying to park any car using their cellphones that makes this concerning. The shrinking process takes only around 15 seconds, and reduces the car's 110-inch length to just 65 inches as it essentially curls into a ball."
Dave_Minsky writes "About 600 students will enter Lynn University's freshman class this year, the largest since 2007, and they will all be using iPad Minis instead of textbooks. The iPads will cost $475, saving students up to 50% of what a semester's worth of textbooks would cost, estimates Lynn. Students will be able to access core curriculum classes on their iPads that are 'enhanced with custom multimedia content,' and will come with 'at least 30 education, productivity, social and news-related iOS apps — some free and some paid for by the university.' This seems to be the beginning of a new era for American colleges. The Boca Raton university is not the first to give iPads to students instead of textbooks. Back in 2010, New Jersey-based Seton Hill University announced it would give students the tablets rather than books."
Kristian von Bengtson is one of the founders of Copenhagen Suborbitals, a private organization dedicated to cheap, manned spaceflight. He says, 'This week the space suit branch of Copenhagen Suborbitals from the U.S. is visiting and testing suits in capsules is being performed." The testing process is being chronicled in a series of articles at Wired. You can take a look at some images of getting suited up, and read about the process in detail. von Bengtson writes, "I have to say this suit is incredible, and wearing it today was a remarkable experience. Not only did it fit like a neatly tailored jacket, you instantly become very aware of isolation, the risks involved in this mission, and the complexity of the suit when the 'visor down' command is effectuated. Even though you have a bunch of people next to you – operating life support and with cameras – you feel all alone and all sounds disappear. They’re replaced by the hissing of the breathing-gas and pressure-gas." There's another article about getting into and out of the capsule while in the space suit, which is quite a complicated procedure. "All three of us tried to perform the fast egress and this was a very intense experience. While pressurized inside the capsule (app 1 psi) arms and legs want to expand your body like a balloon and even just reaching out toward the hatch opening was almost impossible. Each of us spend at least 30-50 seconds on this procedure desperately trying to reach toward anything nearby, feet and leg kicking and general nonsense body-wobbling. A simple procedure like this required all the power and muscle we had while John Haslett tried to keep up with dumping CO2 and adding breathing gas."
Zothecula writes "In three years, if you happen to be 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) beneath the surface of the ocean, keep an eye out for the Cyclops. No, not the hairy giant, but the 5-passenger submersible. Once it's commercially available in 2016, it should be 'the only privately owned deep-water manned submersible available for contracts.' 'That 7-inch-thick hull will be made of carbon fiber, in which individual strips of pre-impregnated fiber are individually placed within the carbon fiber matrix. Developed by Boeing, this technique is said to offer finer production control than the more traditional filament winding process, and should allow the Cyclops to withstand the 4,300 psi (300 bar) of water pressure it will encounter at its maximum diving depth – the earlier-mentioned 3,000 meters.' As for why it's called the Cyclops, just check out its one-big-eye-like 180-degree borosilicate glass observation dome."
Trailrunner7 writes "Like most major Web and software companies, Facebook receives a lot of bug reports. And since the company started its bug bounty program, security researchers have become even more interested in looking for vulnerabilities in the Facebook ecosystem. But, as one researcher learned recently, not all bugs are created equal, and Facebook doesn't like people messing with its users – or its executives. That researcher, Khalil Shreateh, discovered a bug in the Facebook platform that enabled him – or any other user – to post comments on the walls of other users who aren't their friends. That shouldn't be possible under normal circumstances, so Shreateh reported the problem to Facebook through its bug bounty program, hoping to earn a reward from the company. Instead, the company told him he didn't provide enough information. So Shreateh went a step further and demonstrated the technique by posting a message to the wall of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. On Aug. 19, after details of the incident became public, Marc Maiffret, a well-known security researcher and CTO of BeyondTrust, started a crowdfunding campaign to get Shreateh a reward for his work. As of Aug. 23, that campaign has raised more than $12,000 and Maiffret is in the process of transferring the funds to the researcher."
New submitter cadenceaniya sends this excerpt from Polygon: "Online games are a 'playground' for organized crime and cyber criminals, JD Sherry, vice president of technology and solutions at Trend Micro said following the news that League of Legends accounts were compromised. Earlier this week, account information — usernames, email addresses, salted password hashes, and some first and last names — for some North American League of Legends players were 'compromised' by hackers. Riot was also 'investigating that approximately 120,000 transaction records from 2011 that contained hashed and salted credit card numbers have been accessed.' The increase of free-to-play online gaming across all platforms over the years 'have opened the doors to micro-transactions in-game.' The simple and functional systems created so players can spend money effortlessly creates 'playgrounds' for cyber criminals take advantage of. 'Game platforms can have millions of users all storing sensitive information or code access for more features,' Sherry said. 'These are highly sought after in the cyber-crime underground for trading and selling in the black market. These platforms can fall victim to cyber-attacks just like any organization, especially if they have vulnerabilities that go unpatched.'"
rastos1 writes "Spacecraft from NASA recently observed an eruption on the Sun sending billions of tons of particles toward Earth. The solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, occurred Tuesday at 1:24 a.m. EDT (0524 GMT) and sent charged particles streaking outward at 380 miles per second. That's just over 1.3 million mph (2.2 million km/h). The solar fallout from the sun storm is expected to reach Earth over the next few days. Interestingly, an unnamed icy comet from the outer solar system dove into the sun and disintegrated nearly a the same time (video)."
Today Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring within the next 12 months. He said, "There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time. ... My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction." Ballmer, 57, has been Microsoft's CEO since taking over the role from Bill Gates in January, 2000. The company's board of directors has formed a committee to find a replacement for Ballmer, and he will continue his duties until a new CEO is found. Questions about Ballmer's fitness to remain CEO have been circulating for the past several years, particularly after the company struggled to get a foothold in the mobile market. It will be interesting to see how this affects Microsoft's stock price. Upon retirement, Ballmer will be able to cash out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Microsoft stock.
An anonymous reader sends in a harrowing story from Aditya Mukerjee about his recent attempt to fly from New York to Los Angeles. After being pulled aside in the security line, he faced hours of interrogation by uncommunicative officials from several different agencies. When he was finally cleared, his airline, Jet Blue, wouldn't let him on the plane anyway. When he got home, he found evidence that it had been searched. He writes, "It was 2:20PM by the time I was finally released from custody. My entire body was shaking uncontrollably, as if I were extremely cold, even though I wasn’t. I couldn’t identify the emotion I was feeling. Surprisingly, as far as I could tell, I was shaking out of neither fear nor anger - I felt neither of those emotions at the time. The shaking motion was entirely involuntary, and I couldn’t force my limbs to be still, no matter how hard I concentrated. In the end, JetBlue did refund my flight, but they cancelled my entire round-trip ticket. Because I had to rebook on another airline that same day, it ended up costing me about $700 more for the entire trip. .. But no matter how I’ve tried to rationalize this in the last week and a half, nothing can block out the memory of the chilling sensation I felt that first morning, lying on my air mattress, trying to forget the image of large, uniformed men invading the sanctuary of my home in my absence, wondering when they had done it, wondering why they had done it."
An anonymous reader writes "The Times has an article about how people coming out of the Pentagon are helping create a boom in technology start-ups. From the article: 'In the last year, former Department of Defense and intelligence agency operatives have headed to Silicon Valley to create technology start-ups specializing in tools aimed at thwarting online threats. Frequent reports of cyberattacks have expanded the demand for security tools, in both the public and private sectors, and venture capital money has followed. In 2012, more than $1 billion in venture financing poured into security start-ups, more than double the amount in 2010, according to the National Venture Capital Association.'"
An anonymous reader writes "A major security hole in the City of Johannesburg's online billing system has meant that customer invoices have been visible on the open web with a bit of simple parameter phishing. Change a digit in the URL for your bill, and someone else's appears. Including major corporations like the roads agency, SANRAL (which is R55 000 in arrears, apparently). Neighboring Ekhuruleni had a similar problem too. Both problems were discovered by regular visitors at a local IT forum, and it's interesting to compare the two cities reactions. Ekhuruleni quietly and quickly fixed the problem, while Joburg has threatened legal action against the user — who tried to raise the issue with the city IT team several times before going public. Legal experts say there's a potential case for a class action."
itwbennett writes "If you think there's a glut of contract IT workers now, just wait. 10,000 U.S. baby boomers will turn 65 every day from now until 2030, and at least some of them will want to ease into retirement. This may sound like music to the ears of IT organizations who already would rather hire temporary staff with specialized expertise — especially for working on legacy technologies. 'The contractor ratio, already high in tech, will continue to increase as companies allow retiring staff to work part-time hours or hire them for short-term projects,' says Matthew Ripaldi, senior vice president at IT staffing firm Modis."
Bismillah writes "Police affidavits show that the New Zealand Police requested and received assistance from the country's signals intelligence agency, the GCSB, which appears to have used PRISM to intercept Kim and Mona Dotcom and the Megaupload associates' communications."