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Submission + - Apple Pay arrives in Spain, But it isn't good news for everyone (medium.com)

dkatana writes: Spain is the fourth European country (after the UK, France and Switzerland), and the second in the Euro Zone, to get Apple Pay.

Apple has teamed up with Banco Santander and American Express to introduce their popular payment app, just in time for the holidays.

But not everyone is happy. Other banks will be under pressure to join the service, for which Apple charges a hefty setup fee, and then 15 basis points per transaction, which will have to come from merchants' processing fees.

That is why Apple Pay is not available everywhere in Europe. The European Central Bank (ECB) is pushing for lower interchange fees to boost electronic payments, and banks can't pay Apple without losing money.

Submission + - Teething Banana Bisquits For 6-9 Months Babies (babyfoodlovingblog.com)

An anonymous reader writes: There are a couple of new things with Omar. He started crawling and sitting up – last week! He started teething a long time ago but I didn’t pay much attention to it, since that’s the way it goes. He’s almost 8 months now and still didn’t cut his first tooth. I am trully hoping (for the love of God please!) he will soon

Submission + - Sysadmin Gets Two Years in Prison for Sabotaging ISP (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dariusz J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, will have to spend 2 years in prison for hacking his former employee, Pa Online, an internet service provider (ISP) formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania. According to authorities, Prugar had used his old credentials to log into the ISP's network and "take back" some of the scripts and software he wrote while as an employee there, after being fired in June 2010.

Seeking to hide his tracks, Prugar used an automated script that deleted various logs. As a side effect of removing some of these files, the ISP's systems crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers. When the former ISP couldn't fix the issue, they asked Prugar to help. During negotiations, instead of requesting money as payment, Prugar insisted that he'd be paid using the rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left. This tipped off the company, who detected foul play, contacted the FBI and rebuilt its entire network. The ISP shut down operations in 2015.

Submission + - How to View the SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: Silicon Valley folks should, sometime, take the opportunity to view a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lompoc is 4-5 hours from the Bay, 2.5 hours from LA if there's ever no traffic. An upcoming SpaceX launch is notable because it's their return to flight, months after their last attempt blew up on the pad during a pre-launch test. Read how to view the launch.

Submission + - Chinese Scientist Found Breakthrough Vaccine/Cures for All Viral Infections (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: Chinese scientists may have found the key to creating effective vaccines for the world’s deadly viruses including bird flu, SARS, Ebola, and HIV. An experiment by a research team at Beijing University was hailed as “revolutionary” in the field in a paper published in the latest issue of Science magazine on Friday. The live virus used in the vaccine used by the researchers had its genetic code tweaked to disable the viral strains’ self-replication mechanism. But it was kept fully infectious to allow the host animal cells to generate immunity. Using live viruses in their fully infectious form was considered taboo, as viruses spread rapidly. Vaccines sold and used widely today generally contain either dead or weakened forms of viruses. The animals infected with virus were cured after receiving the injection, according to the paper. This breakthrough promises to simplify the process of producing vaccines, which may help scientists develop effective vaccines or even cures for various viruses – such bird flu, SARS, Ebola and HIV – within weeks of an outbreak.

Submission + - ForgeRock Seem to be Distancing Themselves from Open Source (forgerock.org) 1

Guy Paddock writes: As recently reported on Hacker News, ForgeRock — the company who develops OpenAM, OpenDJ, and OpenIDM — has cut off public access to the latest CDDL code for their projects.

Based on revision history, ForgeRock quietly updated "How to Build" pages in Confluence on November 14th, 2016 to point to different, "public" repositories that only have source code from the last major version of each of their products. Then, in the early morning of November 29th, ForgeRock sealed off both source code and pull request access to all of the original repositories. Only the repositories containing the older, major release code are now available for public consumption.

The open source community is now left to speculate what role, if any, they will play in helping to shape the future of ForgeRock products. This may also have repercussions for small-shop deployments who rely on the open source edition for bug fixes and security updates.

To date, the company has made no formal press release or public statement about their plans, but rumblings in user forums have prompted Aaron Kozak, the Digital Marketing Coordinator for ForgeRock, to weight in.

Mr. Kozak responded to users' concerns by stating, "We apologise for any inconvenience our recent changes may have caused. We are preparing for the next major release of the ForgeRock Identity Platform and as part of this process, we are no longer providing public access to our nightly builds and source code for the upcoming platform release. Open source downloads are still available via https://backstage.forgerock.co...."

When asked whether access to the latest code (the "trunk") would be restored after the upcoming releases, Kozak did not speculate, and offered only a statement that, "I’m sure that more details will be made available with the new release in the near future, but unfortunately I do not have any more information at this time."

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Submission + - An Emacs Lisp JIT Compiler Released (github.com)

kruhft writes: An Emacs Lisp JIT compiler has been released showing a 25% speedup improvement with the benchmarked raytracer. Using libjit, it 'compiles down the spine' of the bytecode vectors, moving the overhead of the interpreter loop into the hardware execution unit. Work in progress, but a good start on speeding up emacs overall. Thoughts?

Submission + - Chrome 55 Now Blocks Flash, Uses HTML5 by Default (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Chrome 55, released earlier this week, now blocks all Adobe Flash content by default, according to a plan set in motion by Google engineers earlier this year, in May. While some of the initial implementation details of the "HTML5 By Default" plan changed since then, Flash has been phased out in favor of HTML5 as the primary technology for playing multimedia content in Chrome.

Google's plan is to turn off Flash and use HTML5 for all sites. Where HTML5 isn't supported, Chrome will prompt users and ask them if they want to run Flash to view multimedia content. The user's option would be remembered for subsequent visits, but to avoid overprompting, Chrome 55 will use a system called Site Engagement (chrome://site-engagement).

Submission + - The Lack of Women in Cybersecurity is a Problem and a Threat (securityledger.com)

chicksdaddy writes: The devaluation of traditionally “soft” skills like empathy, communication and collaboration in the information security space may be hampering the ability of IT security teams to respond to human-focused threats and attacks, according to this article at The Security Ledger. (https://securityledger.com/2016/12/cybers-lack-of-women-a-problem-and-threat/)

Failing to prioritize skills like empathy, communication, and collaboration and the people who have them (regardless of their gender) and focusing on "hard skills" (technical expertise) "limits our conceptions of security solutions and increases risks to our systems and users."

The problem goes beyond phishing attacks and social engineering, too. “Studies have shown that projects that embrace diversity are more successful. It’s a simple truth that people with different life backgrounds and life experiences bring unique perspectives to problem-solving,” says Amie Stepanovich, the U.S. policy manager at Access Now.

In short: "when we keep hiring technologists to solve problems, we get keep getting technical solutions." Too often, such technical fixes fail to account for the human environment in which they will be deployed. “It’s prioritizing a ‘tech first’—not a ‘human first’ or ‘empathy first’—perspective,” says Dr. Sara “Scout” Sinclair Brody, the executive director of Simply Secure.

This isn’t the first article to raise a red flag over the technology sector's glaring shortage of empathy. (http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/silicon-valley-has-an-empathy-vacuum).

And while instilling empathy and compassion in adults who lack it might seem like a tall order, the piece argues that it isn't an unsolvable problem: there are entire fields—like user experience and human-centered design—dedicated to improving the way humans and technology interact. “Shockingly little of that,” says Brody, “has made it into the security domain.”

Submission + - President Obama's $4.2B CS for All K-12 Initiative Pronounced Dead 1

theodp writes: In a late Friday blog post entitled An Update on Computer Science Education and Federal Funding, tech-backed Code.org explains that Congress's passage of a 'continuing resolution' extending the current budget into 2017 spelled the death knell for President Obama's proposed $4B Computer Science For All initiative, which enjoyed support from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. So, wait'll next year? Perhaps not. "We don’t have any direct feedback yet about the next administration’s support for K-12 CS," wrote CEO Hadi Partovi and Govt. Affairs VP Cameron Wilson, "other than a promise to expand 'vocational and technical education' as part of Trump’s 100-day plan which was published in late October. I am hopeful that this language may translate into support for funding K-12 computer science at a federal level. However, we should assume that it will not." The nonprofit may have ruffled the new administration's feathers — among the recent WikiLeaks disclosures was correspondence from Code.org's founders advising the Clinton campaign that the issue of K-12 CS education could be used to win Hillary the election.

Submission + - Nikola Motor Company Reveals Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck With Range of 1,200 Miles (valuewalk.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Nikola Motor Company just unveiled a huge class 8 truck which will run on hydrogen fuel cells. Nikola claimed that the truck’s operational range will be as much as 1,200 miles (1,900 km), and it will be released in 2020. Nikola designed the Nikola One for long-haul transport across a large landmass. The truck will deliver over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. Provided these claims are true, the vehicle will provide nearly double the power of the current-gen diesel-powered semis/articulated lorries, notes Ars Technica. The leasing cost of the trucks will include the fuel price, servicing costs and warranty, but exactly how the lease will work is not known now, notes Ars Technica. The company says it has already accepted nearly $3 billion in future orders. A fully-electric drivetrain which gets power from high-density lithium batteries runs the vehicle, and a hydrogen fuel cell charges the batteries on the go. Its reach is presently limited, as hydrogen fueling stations currently exist in only small numbers. This made Nikola decide to construct a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada, just like Tesla with its network of Superchargers. Milton claims it will come with a smart dashboard which has the capability of picking the most cost-efficient route for drivers. Also one or two full-size beds will be included inside the vehicle’s enormous cab. It will have other luxuries and necessities as well, such as Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, 4G LTE connectivity, freezer, a 40-inch curved 4K TV with Apple TV and a microwave.

Submission + - Codefights online game leads to job offers for coders

rmdingler writes: James Johnston, 31, was designing software for orthodontists and living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he landed a better-paid software engineering job in Silicon Valley at a major tech startup.
The key to this career upgrade and cross-country move? CodeFights, an online game that offers programmers the chance to improve their skills and get noticed by Silicon Valley titans like Uber and Dropbox.
Johnston told CNNMoney he discovered the game through a Facebook ad in June.

Submission + - Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI Is Going To Decimate Middle Class Jobs (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a column in The Guardian, the world-famous physicist wrote that "the automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining." He adds his voice to a growing chorus of experts concerned about the effects that technology will have on workforce in the coming years and decades. The fear is that while artificial intelligence will bring radical increases in efficiency in industry, for ordinary people this will translate into unemployment and uncertainty, as their human jobs are replaced by machines. Automation will, "in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world," Hawking wrote. "The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive." He frames this economic anxiety as a reason for the rise in right-wing, populist politics in the West: "We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent." Combined with other issues — overpopulation, climate change, disease — we are, Hawking warns ominously, at "the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity." Humanity must come together if we are to overcome these challenges, he says.

Submission + - Social media is not your friend

Presto Vivace writes: Of 8 Tech Companies, Only Twitter Says It Would Refuse to Help Build Muslim Registry for Trump

The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Submission + - Nuclear Bailout for Excelon Again (bnd.com)

mdsolar writes: A nuclear power plant “bailout” bill appears set to become law after making its way through the Illinois House and Senate on Thursday.
The legislation funnels $235 million a year to power-producing giant Exelon Corp. for 13 years. The money subsidizes unprofitable nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities that Exelon said would be shuttered over the next 18 months.
Opponents argued that it was wrong to subsidize a company that remains profitable, and that coal-fired power companies haven’t gotten such help. They also argued it will cost consumers.

“Here we go again, picking winners and losers,” said Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon. “The money has to come from somewhere. This is a bailout for a very profitable company.”

Submission + - Has any of you worked through TAOCP? (wikipedia.org)

Qbertino writes: I've got TAOCP ("The Art of Computer Programming") on my book-buying list for just about two decades now and I'm still torn here and there about actually getting it. I sometimes believe I would mutate into some programming demi-god if I actually worked through this beast, but maybe I'm just fooling myself.

This leads me to the question:
Have any of you worked or with through TAOCP or are you perhaps working through it? And is it worthwhile? I mean not just for bragging rights. And how long can it reasonably take? A few years?

Please share your experiences with TAOCP below. Thank you.

Submission + - USB Death Sticks for Sale (arstechnica.com)

npslider writes: "A USB Killer", a USB stick that fries almost everything that it is plugged into has been mass produced—available online for about £50/$50. Arstechnica first wrote about this diabolical device that looks like a fairly humdrum memory stick a year ago. From the ARS article:

"The USB Killer is shockingly simple in its operation. As soon as you plug it in, a DC-to-DC converter starts drawing power from the host system and storing electricity in its bank of capacitors (the square-shaped components). When the capacitors reach a potential of -220V, the device dumps all of that electricity into the USB data lines, most likely frying whatever is on the other end. If the host doesn't just roll over and die, the USB stick does the charge-discharge process again and again until it sizzles.

Since the USB Killer has gone on sale, it has been used to fry laptops (including an old ThinkPad and a brand new MacBook Pro), an Xbox One, the new Google Pixel phone, and some cars (infotainment units, rather than whole cars... for now). Notably, some devices fare better than others, and there's a range of possible outcomes—the USB Killer doesn't just nuke everything completely."


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