Submission + - Can you write a device driver in shell script? (drdobbs.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A Dr. Dobb's Blogger asks the question if you can write a device driver using a shell script. His answer is a qualified yes, although it is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion.

Submission + - Why SMS is still an important communications platform (theconversation.edu.au)

An anonymous reader writes: In 2011, nearly 8 trillion SMS messages were sent by about 3.7 billion users. These numbers are staggering for a technology that is limited to being able to send 160 characters from one mobile phone to another.
It turns out that there are a few reasons why SMS has become so popular as a communications technology.

Firstly, the simplicity of a text message of 160
characters is enough to carry important information and restrictive enough to ensure that people are concise and to-the-point.

Secondly, there is the pervasiveness of SMS-capable phones. There are approximately 6 billion SMS capable subscribers world-wide.

Finally, there is the cost, with SMS messages being affordable and certainly cheaper than a phone call.
All of the characteristics of SMS have led to its use in a range of applications aimed at fostering improved communication in rural and remote regions, especially in the so-called developing world.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Dr. Dobb's 2012 Salary Survey (drdobbs.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "It's that time of year again and Dobbs has posted the results of their survey of salaries of 3,500 developers and managers. "While many salaries are flat, they are increasing overall, except for some heavily disfavored niches.""
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers, Says Mark Cuban (wsj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Billionaire Mark Cuban talks in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about how he thinks high-frequency trading can be quite damaging to stock markets. He goes so far as to call high-frequency traders the 'ultimate hackers.' He says, 'They’re running software programs that have one goal, and that’s to exploit the trading systems as early and often as possible. As someone who wrote software for eight years and who keeps up very closely with the technology world, that scared the hell out of me. The only certainty in the software world is that there is no such thing as bug-free software. When software programs are trying to outsmart other software programs and hack the world’s trading platforms, that is a recipe for disaster. ... How many times an hour are there failures across individual equities around the world because of software running algorithms battling each other for supremacy to make a profitable trade? We have no idea. It’s not a question of if or when we have meltdowns, it’s just a question of how big and where. It’s straight out of War Games. And that’s before we even get to the possibility of nefarious or sovereign hackers getting involved.'

Submission + - Dropbox for source control?

An anonymous reader writes: A consultant brought in to do an IT audit recommend Dropbox as a cheap alternative to source control software. Am I out of the loop or is this a real trend? This is for a major, and highly regulated, public company.

Submission + - Pentagon's Zombie Satellite Program Comes to Life (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A year old DARPA program which aims to recycle satellites in orbit has started it's next phase... looking for a guinea pig defunct satellite to use for evaluating the technology required. The program involves a Dr Frankensat 'complete with mechanical arms and other “unique tools”' and blank "satlets" to build upon.

Need parts! Kill the little one!


Submission + - Raspberry Pi To Cross The Ocean In Autonomous Boat (gizmodo.com.au)

lukehopewell1 writes: The Raspberry Pi is a triumph in computing, and it's now set to become a triumph in robotics as one developer plans to build a model boat around it and sail it across the Atlantic Ocean, completely unmanned.

It's codenamed "FishPi" and will see a model boat sail across the Atlantic all by itself save for a camera, GPS module, compass and solar panels. It's only a proof of concept right now, but if this guy set it up on Kickstarter and offered a live stream of the crossing, I'd be opening my wallet.

Submission + - "Flame" didn't take a nation state to develop (netsq.com)

mrheckman writes: Security researcher Todd Heberlein shows how easy it is to create AV-evading viruses:
http://www.netsq.com/Podcasts/Data/2012/GlowingEmbers/ (HTML5 video)

"Flame is the latest high profile cyber espionage attack, and two things stand out about it: how long it has been around without being noticed and its size and breadth of capabilities. This has led to a lot of handwringing in the anti-virus community and computer security community in general. One explanation given for the fact that such capable malware could have gone so long without being noticed is that it was developed by a nation state with huge budgets. Glowing Embers sets out to show that this is not the case. A single person in a single week can accomplish many of the things Flame can all while evading anti-virus software. "

Submission + - New Mineral found in Metorite. (wired.com)

Virtucon writes: The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite.
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Lying Online No Longer a Crime in RI (yahoo.com)

stevegee58 writes: In an outbreak of common sense, Rhode Island repealed an obscure law enacted in 1989 that made it a crime to lie in online postings. Violations of this law carried a maximum penalty of $500 and up to a year in prison.

From the article:

""This law made virtually the entire population of Rhode Island a criminal," said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. "When this bill was enacted nobody had any idea what its ramifications were. Telling fibs may be wrong, but it shouldn't be criminal activity."

The law aimed to stop fraud, con artists and scammers, but also outlawed the "transmission of false data" regardless of whether liars stood to profit from their deception or not."

Submission + - Carderprofit.cc was FBI Carding Sting, Nets 26 Arrests (krebsonsecurity.com)

tsu doh nimh writes: The U.S. Justice Department today unveiled the results of a two-year international cybercrime sting that culminated in the arrest of 26 people accused of trafficking in hundreds of thousands of stolen credit and debit card accounts. Among those arrested was an alleged core member of “UGNazi,” a malicious hacking group that has claimed responsibility for a flood of recent attacks on Internet businesses.

Submission + - Is Aaron Walker too conservative for the Electronic Frontier Foundation? (mypetjawa.mu.nu) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Is free speech a partisan issue? The Jawa Report alerts us that "The EFF Ignores Walker's Plight". Apparently the "swatting" and subsequent arrest of right-leaning Aaron Walker along with the "swatting" of Patterico doesn't elevate the issue to worthiness in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's concern. Are Walker and Patterico too far right to merit the EFF's interest? "Swatting" is a spoofed phone call of a self-confessed murder or other heinous crime into the police resulting in the deploying of SWAT teams.

Submission + - Android Microwave Oven Cooks Food, Suggest Recipes Too (muktware.com)

sfcrazy writes: SectorQube, a Kerela based IT company, has claimed to make a micro-oven that runs on Android. The Microwave Android Integrated Device (MAID) has the capability to guide you to cook over 52,000 recipes (plus more downloadable from the Internet) via voice instructions. This is the first device of its kind in India, and now it seems that after smartphones and tablets, its time for Android to take over home and consumer devices too.

Submission + - Bill Gates Says Tablets Aren't Much Help in Education (chronicle.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a detailed interview on the future of education, Bill Gates was surprisingly down on tablets in education — considering that Microsoft just released Surface. He said low-cost PCs are the thing for students. And he dismissed the idea that giving gadgets to students will bring change, saying that approach has "a really horrible track record."

Submission + - Immigrants Are Crucial to Innovation, Study Says (nytimes.com)

gollum123 writes: Arguing against immigration policies that force foreign-born innovators to leave the United States, a new study to be released on Tuesday shows that immigrants played a role in more than three out of four patents at the nation’s top research universities. Conducted by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonprofit group co-founded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, the study notes that nearly all the patents were in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields that are a crucial driver of job growth. The Partnership for a New American Economy released a paper in May saying that other nations were aggressively courting highly skilled citizens who had settled in the United States, urging them to return to their home countries. The partnership supports legislation that would make it easier for foreign-born STEM graduates and entrepreneurs to stay in the United States. the study notes that nine out of 10 patents at the University of Illinois system in 2011 had at least one foreign-born inventor. Of those, 64 percent had a foreign inventor who was not yet a professor but rather a student, researcher or postdoctoral fellow, a group more likely to face immigration problems.

Submission + - Eben Moglen: Time To Apply Asimov's First Law Of Robotics To Smartphones (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Free software lawyer and activist Eben Moglen plans to give a talk at the Hackers On Planet Earth conference in New York next month on the need to apply Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics to our personal devices like smartphones. Here's a preview:

"In [1960s] science fiction, visionaries perceived that in the middle of the first quarter of the 21st century, we’d be living contemporarily with robots.

They were correct. We do...We carry them everywhere we go. They see everything, they’re aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream about us, which allows other people to predict and know our conduct and intentions and capabilities better than we can predict them ourselves.

But we grew up imagining that these robots would have, incorporated in their design, a set of principles...We imagined that robots would be designed so that they could never hurt a human being. These robots have no such commitments. These robots hurt us every day.

They work for other people. They’re designed, built and managed to provide leverage and control to people other than their owners. Unless we retrofit the first law of robotics onto them immediately, we’re cooked.

Open Source

Submission + - Hip hop artists developing open source beat making software (opensource.com)

caseyb89 writes: "Beat making software is incredibly expensive, and the high price limits usage to those who can afford it. Two professors at UNC have a dream of allowing all artists access to beat making software, regardless of income level. They are rallying the community on a project to create open source beat making software. The two professors double as DJs and hip hop artists, and they recently spoke at Rio+Social."

Submission + - Zeus Malware Strain Infecting 1 in 50 PCs (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: ThreatMetrix Labs came across a new variant of the P2P version of the Zeus Trojan. The latest Zeus variant catches victims off-guard by waiting to attack until after a website’s login page appears to be functioning normally. After the victim logs in, the Zeus Trojan attempts to steal confidential information. What puts social media websites, financial institutions, online retailers, and payment processers at such high risk with this particular variant of the Zeus Trojan is that all of the fraudulent pages and windows described in the report appear legitimate to most users. Pages include the branding and messaging typical to each of the industries the cybercriminals are targeting. They are even personalized with the victim’s name.

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