Submission + - Carmen Ortiz's former office lies to Swartz's judge about next hacktivism case?

Danngggg writes: Regular readers of Slashdot will remember Martin “MartyG” Gottesfeld, alleged hacktivist behind the 2014 DDoS against Boston Children’s Hospital over its apparently brutal (mis)treatment of then-14-year-old patient Justina Pelletier. Recently, federal prosecutors from former U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office in Boston filed a motion before same federal judge who presided over the tragic prosecution of Aaron Swartz – Nathaniel M. Gorton. Despite features from Rolling Stone, Daily Wire and others
containing detailed account of abuse, including from Justina herself, Ortiz’s former underlings are disputing that Pelletier’s human rights were violated and they are seeking to prevent Gottesfeld’s defense from introducing evidence that Justina was being “tortured” at his upcoming trial. Thickening the plot, it turns out that Judge Gorton’s 2012 financial disclosure places him as a member of the corporation at the Home for Little Wanderers, a 501(c)3 which accepted $50,000 from Boston Children’s Hospital in September 2015, a mere 5 months before Gottesfeld was arrested. Read more at Daily Wire:

On February 28, the prosecution in the Martin Gottesfeld case submitted a “motion in limine,” asking Federal Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to disallow one of Gottesfeld’s primary defenses – that he was reacting in defense of Justina Pelletier, who he believed was being “tortured.”

Submission + - Lead even more dangerous than previously thought (

Bruce66423 writes: "Last week, a massive new study concluded that lead is 10 times more dangerous than thought, and that past exposure now hastens one in every five US deaths.... The study found that deaths, especially from cardiovascular disease, increased markedly with exposure, even at the lowest levels. It concluded that lead kills 412,000 people a year – accounting for 18% of all US mortality, not much less than the 483,000 who perish as a result of smoking."

NB — another instance where scientific experts were proved disastrously wrong...

Submission + - Democrat consultant's pro-Clinton Twitter sockpuppet army revealed ( 1

Rujiel writes: Despite much ado about Russian trolling during the last election cycle, it certainly wasn't the only common variety of it. Paul Blumenthal writes of one "Sally Albright, a pro-Clinton Democratic Party communications consultant" and her army of fake accounts that would share her anti-Sanders material during the election:

"Within this pro-Albright Twitter force, many of the accounts have taken on false personas with stolen photographs just like the Russian trolls that tried to interfere in the 2016 election.The account named for Iris Winter, which is temporarily suspended, uses a picture of Spanish ice dancer Sara Hurtado. Minnie Casera’s supposed picture comes from the Facebook account of Martina Painter, an Alaskan who died on Jan. 11, 2017. The picture used by Georgia Miles is actually Deja Farrior-Quinones, a New Jersey woman who was killed in September 2016 by a car involved in a high-speed police chase.."

It's also noted: "Journalists in the U.S. experienced a similar flood during the 2016 election from pro-Trump, neo-Nazi sock-puppet accounts posting anti-Semitic death threats". So now how do we tell exactly who the Russian trolls are?

Submission + - How can I prove my ISP is slowing certain traffic? 1

GerryGilmore writes: I live in North Georgia where we have a monopoly ISP provider — Windstream — whose service overall could charitably be described as iffy.
Sometimes, I have noticed that certain services like Netflix and/or HBONow will be ridiculously slow but — when I run an internet speed test from my Linux laptop — the basic throughput is what it's supposed to be for my DSL service. That is, about 3Mbps due to my distance from the nearest CO. Other basic web browsing seems to be fine.
I know that this is laughably slow to most /. readers, but it should still be consistent at least.
So, to my question: as a basically pretty knowledgeable Linux guy totally comfortable with the command line (I've written some pretty nice shell scripts and C fragments, plus a SCO UNIX device driver), but I don't know enough about network tracing to be able to identify where/why such severe slowdowns in certain circumstances are occurring.
PS — my goal in gathering this info is to try to pressure my local reps to put pressure (Hah!) on Windstream.
Any other suggestions, etc. are greatly appreciated. (Aside from moving! I live on a riverside lot that is to die for and I'd sacrifice the internet before I'd ever leave.)

Submission + - Chrome Extension Protects Against JavaScript-Based CPU Side-Channel Attacks (

An anonymous reader writes: A team of academics has created a Chrome extension that can block side-channel attacks that use JavaScript code to leak data from a computer's RAM or CPU. The extension's name is Chrome Zero and is currently only available on GitHub, and not through the official Chrome Web Store. Researchers created the extension to rewrite and protect JavaScript functions, properties, and objects that are often used by malicious JavaScript code aimed at leaking CPU or memory data.

Experts said that despite the extension's intrusive behavior, tests showed a minimum performance impact of only 1.54% on resource usage, and an indiscernible page loading latency ranging from 0.01064s and 0.08908s —depending on the number of protection policies active at runtime. Furthermore, as a side-effect of the extension's "protective measures," the research team says Chrome Zero would have been able to block 50% of the Chrome zero-days detected in the real world since the release of Chrome 49.

Submission + - 50 million Facebook profiles harvested (

umafuckit writes: A whistleblower has revealed how Cambridge Analytica stole personal information from Facebook in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters. The data analytics firm, that worked with Trump’s election team and the Brexit campaign, harvested millions of Facebook profiles in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach. This has been confirmed by a Facebook statement, says The Guardian.

Submission + - The Ordinary Engineering Behind the Horrifying Florida Bridge Collapse (

An anonymous reader writes: The people of Sweetwater, Florida were supposed to wait until early 2019 for the Florida International University-Sweetwater University City Bridge to open. Instead, they will wait about that long for an official assessment from the National Transportation Safety Board of why it collapsed just five days after its installation, killing at least six people. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, many queries have centered on the unconventional technique used to build the bridge, something called Accelerated Bridge Construction, or ABC. But ABC is more complicated than its acronym suggests—and it’s hardly brand new. ABC refers to dozens of construction methods, but at its core, it’s about drastically reducing on-site construction time. Mostly, that relies on pre-fabricating things like concrete decks, abutments, walls, barriers, and concrete topped steel girders, and hauling them to the work site. There, cranes or specialized vehicles known as Self-Propelled Modular Transporter install them. A video posted online by Florida International University, which helped fund the bridge connects to its campus, showed an SPMT lifting and then lowering the span into place.

In a now-deleted press release, the university called the “largest pedestrian bridge moved via SPMT in US history,” but that doesn’t seem to mean much, engineering-wise. SPMTs have been around since the 1970s, and have moved much heavier loads. In 2017, workers used a 600-axle SPMT to salvage the 17,000 ton ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea in 2014. The ABC technique is much more expensive than building things in place, but cities and places like FIU like it for a specific reason: Because most of the work happens far away, traffic goes mostly unperturbed. When years- or months-long construction projects can have serious effects on businesses and homes, governments might make up the money in the long run. Workers installed this collapsed span in just a few hours. These accelerated techniques are also much safer for workers, who do most their work well away from active roads.

Submission + - CEO of encryption services company arrested.

BitterOak writes: Vincent Ramos, CEO of the Vancouver company Phantom Secure was arrested in Washington on March 7. He is accused of selling encryption technology which was used in the facilitation of drug trafficking. It is the first time someone in America has been arrested for selling encryption technology which was subsequently used in the illegal drug trade.

According to the article: "Phantom Secure, which has a public website promoting its encrypted email and chat service plans, advertised its products as 'impervious to decryption, wiretapping or legal third-party records requests,' according to court documents."

Submission + - Power Outage At Samsung's Fab Destroys 3.5 Percent of Global NAND Flash Output (

An anonymous reader writes: A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s fab near Pyeongtaek, South Korea, disrupted production and damaged tens of thousands of processed wafers. Media reports claim that the outage destroyed as much as 3.5% of the global NAND supply for March, which may have an effect on flash memory pricing in the coming weeks. The outage happened on March 9 and lasted for about 30 minutes, according to a news story from Taiwain-based TechNews that cites further South Korean reports. The report claims that the outage damaged 50,000 to 60,000 of wafers with V-NAND flash memory, which represent 11% of Samsung’s monthly output. The report further estimates that the said amount equates to approximately 3.5% of global NAND output, but does not elaborate whether it means wafer output or bit output. Samsung uses its fab near Pyeongtaek to produce 64-layer V-NAND chips used for various applications. The fab is among the largest flash production facilities in the world and therefore any disruption there has an effect on the global output of non-volatile memory. Meanwhile, since production lines have not been damaged and the fab is back online, the significance of such an effect is limited.

Submission + - How a Norwegian comment section turned chaos into order—with a simple quiz (

jebrick writes: The five-person team behind a simple WordPress plugin, which took three hours to code, never expected to receive worldwide attention as a result. But NRKbeta, the tech-testing group at Norway's largest national media organization, tapped into a meaty vein with the unveiling of last February's Know2Comment, an open source plugin that can attach to any WordPress site's comment section.

"It was a basic idea," NRKbeta developer Ståle Grut told a South By Southwest crowd on Tuesday. "Readers had to prove they read a story before they were able to comment on it."

Submission + - Man fined for implanting NFC train ticket in hand (

Unhappy Windows User writes: An Australian man, when checked by a ticket inspector, claimed his smartcard was implanted in his hand. He took the case to court and lost; the fine and legal fees add up to AUD 1220 (USD 950). The man, who self-identifies as a biohacker and is a member of the Science Party, accepts the ruling but states that it won't discourage him from further biohacking. He claimed he was ahead of the law. The prosecution argued that, by cutting the chip out of the card, the ticket was invalidated. It is not clear from the article whether the NFC chip was working correctly and could be read by the inspector, or not.

Submission + - Walmart Whistleblower Claims Cheating In Race With Amazon (

An anonymous reader writes: In its race to catch in online retailing, Walmart issued misleading e-commerce results and fired an executive who complained the company was breaking the law, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit. Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at Walmart, claims he was terminated “under false pretenses” after repeatedly raising concerns about the company’s “overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible — even, illegitimate ones.” Under Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, Walmart has invested billions to catch up with Amazon in e-commerce over the past few years, and last year enjoyed quarterly online sales growth rates surpassing 50 percent, well above peers that include Target Corp. and Best Buy Huynh claims Walmart mislabeled products so that some third-party vendors received lower commissions, failed to process customer returns, and allowed offensive items onto the site. Huynh’s dismissal in January 2017 — just a day after a retail-industry publication singled him out as one of the sector’s rising stars — was in retaliation for warning senior executives about the misdeeds, he said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday by employment litigation attorney David M. deRubertis in San Francisco federal court.

Submission + - The Controversial CLOUD Act: Privacy Plus or Minus? (

Lauren Weinstein writes: Over the last few days you may have seen a bunch of articles about the “CLOUD Act” — recently introduced U.S. bipartisan legislation that would overhaul key aspects of how foreign government requests for the data of foreign persons held on the servers of U.S. companies would be handled.

I’m being frequently asked for my position on this, and frankly the analysis has not been a simple one.

Submission + - DIY Explosives Experimenter Blows Self Up, Contaminates Building. (

hey! writes: Benjamin D. Morrison of Beaver Dam Wisconsin was killed on March 5 while synthesizing explosives in his apartment. The compound in question has not been named in news sources, but the accident has left the apartment building so contaminated that it will be demolished in a controlled burn today (Thursday), and residents are not being allowed in to retrieve any of their belongings.

People who knew Morrison say he was unlikely to be a bomb-maker; given his background as a pre-pharmacy major with a chemistry minor he may well have been experimenting with explosives synthesis.

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