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Submission + - UK govt still fails to understand encryption

Jumbo Jimbo writes: The UK's Home Secretary, responsible for the country's internal affairs, again demonstrated a failure to understand encryption while asking technology companies to combat criminal's use of secure messaging. Stating that she wanted neither backdoors, nor to put a stop to end-to-end encryption, she neverless asked tech companies to help the police read encrypted messages. While government ministers shouldn't be expected to understand technical and implementation details, this demonstrates a deep failure to engage with the high-level issue on behalf of the government. But this is the same person who does not "understand the necessary hashtags"

Submission + - Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It's Gone Too Far (nytimes.com)

cdreimer writes: According a report in The New York Times (possibly paywalled, counter viewpoint), some men in tech think that the push for gender equality has gone too far.

Their complaints flow on Reddit forums, on video game message boards, on private Facebook pages and across Twitter. They argue for everything from male separatism to an end to gender diversity efforts. Silicon Valley has for years accommodated a fringe element of men who say women are ruining the tech world. Now, as the nation’s technology capital — long identified as one of the more hostile work environments for women — reels from a series of high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination scandals, these conversations are gaining broader traction. One of those who said there had been a change is James Altizer, an engineer at the chip maker Nvidia. Mr. Altizer, 52, said he had realized a few years ago that feminists in Silicon Valley had formed a cabal whose goal was to subjugate men. At the time, he said, he was one of the few with that view. [...] Mr. Altizer is part of a backlash against the women in technology movement. While many in the tech industry had previously dismissed the fringe men’s rights arguments, some investors, executives and engineers are now listening. Though studies and surveys show there is no denying the travails women face in the male-dominated industry, some said that the line for what counted as harassment had become too easy to cross and that the push for gender parity was too extreme a goal. Few were willing to talk openly about their thinking, for fear of standing out in largely progressive Silicon Valley.


Submission + - Coding Boot Camps Get the Boot: Why the Industry Is Shutting Down (thetechladder.com)

Justin Baker writes: According to the New York Times, the number of coding boot camps in the United States has tripled to more than 90 since 2013. While this growth may seem positive at first, it’s actually been rather strenuous for many leaders in the industry. In the past summer alone, two large coding boot camps (Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard) announced they are closing their doors nationwide. Combined, the two schools owned a total of 21 locations across the United States, creating quite a large dent in the industry after their respective closures.

Full Article

Submission + - The inexplicable case of conciousness locality and continuity (arstechnica.com) 1

Artem Tashkinov writes: Ars has published a monumental article on beaming in Star Trek and its implications, and more importantly whether it's plausible or not to beam consciousness without killing us in the process. It seems possible in the Star Trek universe, however currently physicists find the idea absurd and unreal because there's no way you can transport matter and its quantum state without first destroying it and then recreating it perfectly due to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. The biggest conundrum of all is the fact that pretty much everyone understands that conciousness is a physical state of the brain, which features continuity as its primary principle, yet it surely seems like copying the said state produces a new person altogether which brings the problem of conciousness becoming local to one's skull and inseparable from gray matter which sounds a bit unscientific because it introduces the notion that there's something about our brain which cannot be described in terms of physics, almost like soul. This also brings another very difficult question: how do we know if we are the same person when we wake up in the morning or after we were put under during general anaesthesia?

What do slashdotters think about all of that?

Submission + - The Attack Vector "BlueBorne" Exposes Almost Every Connected Device (armis.com) 1

al0ha writes: BlueBorne is an attack vector by which hackers can leverage Bluetooth connections to penetrate and take complete control over targeted devices. BlueBorne affects ordinary computers, mobile phones, and the expanding realm of IoT devices. The attack does not require the targeted device to be paired to the attacker’s device, or even to be set on discoverable mode.

Submission + - New Antibody Attacks 99% of HIV Strains (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates. It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus — making it harder for HIV to resist its effects. The work is a collaboration between the US National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi. Our bodies struggle to fight HIV because of the virus' incredible ability to mutate and change its appearance. These varieties of HIV — or strains — in a single patient are comparable to those of influenza during a worldwide flu season. So the immune system finds itself in a fight against an insurmountable number of strains of HIV. But after years of infection, a small number of patients develop powerful weapons called "broadly neutralizing antibodies" that attack something fundamental to HIV and can kill large swathes of HIV strains. Researchers have been trying to use broadly neutralizing antibodies as a way to treat HIV, or prevent infection in the first place. The study, published in the journal Science, combines three such antibodies into an even more powerful "tri-specific antibody."

Submission + - Java 9 is out (oracle.com)

rastos1 writes: Oracle today announced the general availability of Java SE 9 (JDK 9), Java Platform Enterprise Edition 8 (Java EE 8) and the Java EE 8 Software Development Kit (SDK). JDK 9 is a production-ready implementation of the Java SE 9 Platform Specification, which was recently approved together with Java EE 8 in the Java Community Process (JCP). Java SE 9 provides more than 150 new features, including a new module system and improvements that bring more scalability, improved security, better performance management and easier development to the world’s most popular programming platform.

Submission + - Florida's Ayahuasca Church Wants to Go Legal (vice.com)

ar2286 writes: When the government contacted Soul Quest church in Orlando in August of last year, founder Chris Young had already administered illegal hallucinogens to thousands of his congregation members without federal approval.

In the letter, the US Drug Enforcement Agency asked Young and his cohort to apply for exemption status, which would allow them to provide ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic Amazonian tea, legally. It would also make Soul Quest the first homegrown psychedelic healing center in the US, permanently altering the way the government views the intersection of drugs and faith.

The DEA's letter was unprecedented—the agency has never solicited an organization to apply for an exemption, although several others have attempted petitions. And the exemption process is an open-ended timeline, entirely dependent on the DEA's opaque policy bureau. (Other cases have taken up to three years.)

Submission + - Chrome Extension Embeds In-Browser Cryptocurrency Miner That Drains Your CPU (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The authors of SafeBrowse, a Chrome extension with more than 140,000 users, have embedded a JavaScript library in the extension's code that mines for the Monero cryptocurrency using users' computers and without getting their consent. The additional code drives CPU usage through the roof, making users computers sluggish and hard to use.

Looking at the SafeBrowse extension's source code, anyone can easily spot that its authors embedded the Coinhive JavaScript Miner, an in-browser implementation of the CryptoNight mining algorithm used by CryptoNote-based currencies, such as Monero, Dashcoin, DarkNetCoin, and others. This is the same technology that The Pirate Bay experimented as an alternative to showing ads on its site.

The extension's author claims he was "hacked" and the code added without his knowledge. Because of the attention the Coinhive JavaScript Miner got over the weekend, many expect it to become a favorite tool for all shady extension developers looking to make a quick buck off their users.

Submission + - China Orders Bitcoin Exchanges In Capital City To Close (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: China is moving forward with plans to shut down Bitcoin exchanges in the country, starting with trading platforms in key cities. All Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai have been ordered to submit plans for winding down their operations by 20 September. The move follows the Chinese central bank's decision to ban initial coin offerings in early September. Top exchange BTCC said it would stop trading at the end of the month. Chinese authorities decided to ban digital currencies as part of a plan for reducing the country's financial risks. All exchanges are required to send regulators a detailed "risk-free" plan of how they intend to exit the market before 18:30 local time on Wednesday 20 September. The regulator also ordered the exchanges to submit DVDs containing all user trading and holding data to the local authorities. Shareholders, controllers, executives, and core financial and technical staff of exchanges are also required to remain in Beijing during the shutdown and to co-operate fully with authorities.

Submission + - SPAM: NASA's Hubble Captures Blistering Pitch-Black Planet

schwit1 writes: The oddball exoplanet, called WASP-12b, is one of a class of so-called “hot Jupiters,” gigantic, gaseous planets that orbit very close to their host star and are heated to extreme temperatures. The planet’s atmosphere is so hot that most molecules are unable to survive on the blistering day side of the planet, where the temperature is 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, clouds probably cannot form to reflect light back into space. Instead, incoming light penetrates deep into the planet’s atmosphere where it is absorbed by hydrogen atoms and converted to heat energy.

“We did not expect to find such a dark exoplanet,” said Taylor Bell of McGill University and the Institute for Research on Exoplanets in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, lead researcher of the Hubble study. “Most hot Jupiters reflect about 40 percent of starlight.”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Electronic Frontier Foundation resigns from Web Consortium (eff.org)

Frobnicator writes: Four years ago the W3C began standardizing Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME. Several organizations, including the EFF, have argued against DRM within web browsers. Earlier this year, after the W3C leadership officially recommended EME despite failing to reach consensus, the EFF filed the first-ever official appeal that the decision be formally polled for consensus. That appeal has been denied, and for the first time the W3C is endorsing a standard against the consensus of its members. In response the EFF published their resignation from the body:

The W3C is a body that ostensibly operates on consensus. Nevertheless, as the coalition in support of a DRM compromise grew and grew — and the large corporate members continued to reject any meaningful compromise — the W3C leadership persisted in treating EME as topic that could be decided by one side of the debate. ... Today, the W3C bequeaths an legally unauditable attack-surface to browsers used by billions of people.

Effective today, EFF is resigning from the W3C.


Submission + - Stack Overflow Launches Salary Calculator For Developers 1

An anonymous reader writes: Stack Overflow today launched Salary Calculator, a tool that lets developers check out typical salaries across the industry. The calculated results are based on five factors: location, education, years of professional coding experience, developer type, and technologies used professionally. Stack Overflow is releasing the tool because it believes developers should be empowered with more information around job searches, careers, and salary. The company noticed ads on Stack Overflow Jobs that include salary information get 75 percent more clicks than ads without salary information. Even in cases when the salary range is below average, the ads still get 60 percent more clicks.

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