User Journal

Journal + - Journal: Rant: I hate Firefox 1

I hate firefox. I hate firefox. I HATE firefox. I hate it, i hate it, i hate it.

I have hated firefox since the beginning. I installed it, and immediately went back to mozilla because it was so bad. I eventually got used to it, loved the addons, and was happy that firefox had a path in life.

Submission + - Windows 10 Spring update improves Linux on WSL with Unix Sockets and more (anandtech.com)

Billly Gates writes: Windows 10 build 1803 has come out this month, but with some problems. Anandtech has a link with the review examing many new features which include much better support for Linux. WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) now has native Curt and Tar from the command prompt as well as a utility to convert Unix to Windows pathnames called WSLpath.exe which is documented here. In addition it was mentioned on slashdot in the past about OpenSSH being ported natively to win32 in certain early builds. It now seems the reason was for Linux interoperability with this spring update 2. Unix sockets mean you can run Kali Linux on Windows 10 for penetration testing or run an Apache server in the background with full Linux networking support. Deemons now run in the background even with the command prompt closed. I do have to wonder if Microsoft's critics with Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish, is planned as it seems Windows 10 is being test ground for the eventual running Linux apps on Windows Sever the ultimate plan? So far it is just a geek thing to run a few Linux utilities on a corporate desktop or debug mobile apps on Android. This could be a sign that Microsoft is serious on running Linux apps on Windows if Microsoft wants to go this way.

Submission + - Revoking my support for the T-Mobile/Sprint merger (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: UPDATED (May 26, 2018): With word today that T-Mobile is paying duplicitous, lying fascists like former Trump campaign manager and current confidant Corey Lewandowski — and other members of the same consulting firm — for “how to kiss up to sociopathic, racist Donald Trump” advice, I hereby revoke my support for this merger. On its own terms, in an isolated universe, it makes sense. But if the cost of success for the merger is this kind of disgusting kowtowing and feeding of the beast, then the price is far too high. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has one hell of a lot to answer for on this one. ANYTHING for the merger, right John? The road to hell is paved with attitudes like yours.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Does 3D Graphics In 2018 Still Depend So Much On Polygons?

OpenSourceAllTheWay writes: 3D graphics rendered to the screen in realtime by defining vertices in 3D space and drawing straight connecting lines between them was very impressive in the 8-bit era. In the 16-bit era computers could also fill those polygons with solid color or Gouraud or Phong shading quickly enough for realtime games. Then came bitmap texture mapping, shaders, multiple dynamic light sources in a scene, realtime shadowing and so on, much of it handled on GPUs from the late 1990s onwards. But polygon graphics were really just used in the early days of computer graphics for high processing speed, low memory usage and programming simplicity — alternatives like NURBS and Voxels were simply too processor and RAM intensive then — and never intended to be used forever and ever. There are actually dozens of ways of creating a mathematical representation of a complex, realistic 3D object and rendering it to the computer screen, not just polygons. And polygons still suffer from an unsolved problem that has been around since the very early days — it is actually quite difficult and labor- and click-intensive to model realistic looking 3D objects like humans with polygons manually without running into horrible surface topology and animation deformation problems half the time. Part of the high cost of making commercial quality computer and console games is that polygon modeling of 3D characters, weapons, vehicles and 3D environments is a slow and tedious process. So why still use polygons all the time in 2018? Why don't companies like Sony, MS, Nvidia, AMD and so forth ditch polygons at some point and compete with each other on who can create a faster, more usable and less labor- and cost-intensive mathematical way of creating, manipulating, animating and rendering 3D objects to the screen or VR headset? Why continue using something as old-school as polygons when much better ways of doing 3D realtime graphics may be possible with current and next-gen 3D graphics hardware?

Submission + - Hacker Makes Over $18 Million in Double-Spend Attack on Bitcoin Gold Network (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An unidentified hacker has mounted several "double spend" attacks on the infrastructure of the Bitcoin Gold cryptocurrency and has managed to amass over $18 million worth of BTG (Bitcoin Gold) coins in the process. The hacker stole money by deploying a large number of servers to take over 50% of the network's hashrate. This allowed the attacker the ability to modify details of blockchain transactions, an ability he used to perform "double spend" attacks, which as the name implies, allowed him to spend the same amount of coins twice.

The hacker didn't steal money from regular users, but from exchanges. For almost a week the hacker deposited money with exchanges, converted them in altcoins, and withdrew funds, while also depositing the original sum of Bitcoin Gold in other wallets. By the time the Bitcoin Gold blockchain invalidated the transaction, the attacker doubled his money, causing losses to exchanges, who converted and allowed him to withdraw nonexistent funds. The Bitcoin Gold team admitted to the attacks, and said it was preparing network updates to prevent this from happening.

Submission + - Hey Google, you have bugs (google.com)

burhop writes: I woke up to my wife this morning saying "Google won't play my song". Sure enough, asking for a song to be played returns the error "“I can't do that here, but you can ask me to play it on one of your other devices.” First, I went to my phone to check the commands. Everything was good there.

I headed over to Twitter and saw my European friends were also complaining that google home now thinks it is in US Pacific time. Being in US Eastern time, I gave it a try to. Asking it to set an alarm for 5 minutes from now actually set it for 2h 55m in the past. Here is the video : https://twitter.com/burhop/sta...

There is no story yet but the google forums are hopping https://productforums.google.c...

Submission + - GPDR - just leave them begging, your data is safer that way.

MindPrison writes: Right now, millions of users are receiving GPDR begging mail in their inboxes, this is from places most users have visited at some point, or are currently using — and they're panicking, because the information about YOU — is worth a TON of money to them, and now — they're forced to let you have your say about whether they get to keep it or not.

So my simple security advice to my fellow Slashdotters, is to simply don't click on any links from the past. Sure, click on the Slashdot link and other sites you use frequently if you feel that the agreement they ask you to "okay" is okay with you, but for your own sake — keep the beggars from your past in the dark, you don't use their sites anymore, chances are — they're in love with the facts they collected about you many years ago, and they want to HOLD on to your data.

Simply don't answer — and your data will be deleted!

Submission + - Mozilla creates a free, encrypted, ephemeral file upload service (firefox.com)

ed.mps writes: Mozilla created a new service for uploading files, with encryption, and self-destructive links/files.

  As they are marketing it: "Upload, encrypt, and send files up to 1GB. Links self-destruct and files will auto-delete from the server.

We made it, but you can use it on any browser"

Submission + - Jeff Bezos announces the Expanse will be renewed

techmage writes: While attending The National Space Society's annual conference (ISDC), Jeff Bezos let the audience know that The Expanse would be moving to Amazon. He said the news was official about ten minutes before he was scheduled to speak.

Submission + - GDPR causes unexpected consequences to media outlets, ICANN and EU citizens (bloomberg.com)

Submission + - A Middle-Aged Writer's Quest To Start Learning To Code For The First Time (1843magazine.com)

OpenSourceAllTheWay writes: The Economist's 1843 magazine details one middle-aged writer's (Andrew Smith) quest to learn to code for the first time, after becoming interested in the to him "alien" logic mechanisms that power completely new phenomena like crypto-currency and effectively make the modern world function in the 21st Century. The writer discovers that there are over 1,700 actively used computer programming languages to choose from, and that every programmer that he asks "Where should someone like me start with coding?" contradicts the next in his or her recommendation. One seasoned programmer tells him that programmers discussing what language is best is the equivalent of watching "religious wars". The writer is stunned by how many of these languages were created by unpaid individuals who often built them for "glory and the hell of it". He is also amazed by how many people help each other with coding problems on the internet every day, and the computer programmer culture that non-technical people are oblivious of. Eventually the writer finds a chart of the most popular programming languages online, and discovers that these are Python, Javascript and C++. The syntax of each of these languages looks indecipherable to him. The writer, with some help, and online tutorials then learns how to write a basic Python program that looks for keywords in a Twitter feed. The article is interesting in that it shows what the "alien world of coding" looks like to people who are not already computer nerds and in fact know very little about how computer software works. There are many interesting observations on coding/computing culture in the article, seen through the lens of someone who is not a computer nerd and who has not spent the last 2 decades hanging out on Slashdot or Stackoverflow.

Submission + - How Canada ended up as an AI superpower

pacopico writes: Neural nets and deep learning are all the rage these days, but their rise was anything but a sudden happening. A handful of determined researchers scattered around the globe spent decades developing neural nets while most of their peers thought they were mad. An unusually large number of these academics — including Geoff Hinton, Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun and Richard Sutton — were working at universities in Canada. Bloomberg Businessweek has put together an oral history of how Canada brought them all together, why kept chasing neural nets in the face of so much failure and why their ideas suddenly started to take off. There's also a documentary featuring the researchers and Prime Minster Justin Trudeau that tells more of the story and looks at where AI technology is heading — both the good and the bad. Overall, it's a solid primer for people wanting to know about AI and the weird story of where the technology came from but might be kinda basic for hardcore AI folks.

Submission + - FBI Sucker Punches Russian Hackers

doom writes: But you need to reset your router and change your passwords.

From Dominic Gwinn at wonkette:

Yesterday the DOJ announced that the FBI had taken control of a major server in a Kremlin-linked Russian botnet that has infected 500,000 home and office routers in 54 countries. Computer nerds and authorities believe this to be one of the missing pieces in the 2016 DNC hacking puzzle, and are urging people to reset both their home and office routers.

Known as VPNFilter, the malware infected routers from Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, and TP-Link. (Yep, one of those is your router!) Once installed, the malware could quietly download add-ons that allow attackers to spy on incoming and outgoing Internet traffic, steal website credentials, and brick (AKA: kill) any infected hardware.

The FBI, DOJ, and nerds are recommending people immediately reset routers to wipe out potential infections, as well as installing firmware and software updates, and changing your passwords.

Some more detail, from Ars Technica:

Both Cisco and Symantec are advising users of any of these devices to do a factory reset, a process that typically involves holding down a button in the back for five to 10 seconds. Unfortunately, these resets wipe all configuration settings stored in the device, so users will have to reenter the settings once the device restarts. At a minimum, Symantec said, users of these devices should reboot their devices. That will stop stages 2 and 3 from running, at least until stage 1 manages to reinstall them.

Users should also change all default passwords, be sure their devices are running the latest firmware, and, whenever possible, disable remote administration. (Netgear officials in the past few hours started advising users of "some" router models to turn off remote management. TP-Link officials, meanwhile, said they are investigating the Cisco findings.

There's no easy way to determine if a router has been infected. It's not yet clear if running the latest firmware and changing default passwords prevents infections in all cases. Cisco and Symantec said the attackers are exploiting known vulnerabilities, but given the general quality of IoT firmware, it may be possible the attackers are also exploiting zeroday flaws, which by definition device manufacturers have yet to fix.

Submission + - Why does Android require Location services now for Bluetooth and Wifi functions

labr01 writes: Android's new requirements for Location Services to be turned on for an increasing amount of functions is worrisome. Take a Wifi analyzer on Google Play for instance. The new version requires location services to be turned one which caused comments pounding the author to arrive. The author had to respond that this was google and google will NOT explain why this is. Bluetooth options such as syncing a fitbit also require location services now. Doesn't this seem quite wrong?

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