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Comment Another starter resource (Score 4, Informative) 106

Before you develop any bad habits it would be excellent to get a good handle on how to organize data. _Database Design for Mere Mortals_ by Michael Hernandez is an excellent source for this and you will be able to breeze through it with your programming knowledge. You already know data types, but this book, which does not contain a single line of code, is a good primer on data organization and techniques for making relational databases function efficiently.

Submission + - Widespread issues with Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (google.com)

tbg58 writes: Users of Google Apps for Business who use Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GASMO) are reporting widespread issues since Google deployed an updated version (3.3.x) of the sync utility designed to accommodate Microsoft Office Outlook 2013. Previous versions of GASMO did not support Outlook 2013. The most frequently reported issues are being caught in an access authorization loop, Outlook repeatedly going into offline mode. Although nothing about the issue has been published in the news, issues are widespread, as a visit to the GASMO Google Group (link included) shows.

Comment No directional antenna needed...use free tools. (Score 1) 884

Step 1: Isolate. Use a spare PC, add a NIC and use Untangle Lite (free) http://untangle.com/ which has very good. Turn off DHCP in your router, use it as an access point only. Let Untangle hand out addresses. Get the perp's MAC address and reserve his IP addresses. Use Untangle's report feature to build up a dossier of all his activities over a few weeks. See what he's doing.

Step 2: While compiling the reports, use HeatMapper (free) http://www.ekahau.com/products/heatmapper/overview.html on a notebook or netbook to locate him. It won't be any problem to find his AP in the signal map.

Step 3: After you have the data, mail him a copy of the reports and the heatmap to let him know you know what he's doing, and invite him over for a cup of coffee or other beverage of your choice. Be sure to tell him you don't want to turn him in or blackmail him, but you would like to talk geek to geek. Tell him you're going to disable WPS and change the WPA key, but you'd like him to try to hack in again, and tell you if you've left any open vulnerabilities. You can end the leeching and might just gain a buddy worth having.

Caveat: Of course you want to send a copy of the report to someone else to hand over to Law Enforcement in case he turns out to be a terrorist or freakazoid with implements of destruction to use against you.

Submission + - Computer-Designed Enzymes may provide help for Celiac Disease (acs.org) 2

tbg58 writes: An article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society describes how researchers used computers to modify the structure of a naturally-existing enzyme to target the immunogenic peptide implicated in celiac disease.

"The application of computational protein design tools has been demonstrated to introduce functional properties beyond those obtained by natural evolution, such as producing enzymes that perform functions not found in nature, altered specificity of proteins for their binding partners, and the de novo design of fold topologies"

Researchers report the use of computational protein design to engineer an endopeptidase with the desired traits for an oral enzyme therapy (OET) for celiac disease which not only targets the desired peptide, but is also resistant to digestive proteases and the acidic environment of the digestive system.

Submission + - California's Surreal Retroactive Tax on Tech Startup Investors (xconomy.com)

waderoush writes: "Engineers and hackers don't think much about tax policy, but there's a bizarre development in California that they should know about, since it could reduce the pool of angel-investment money available for tech startups. Under a tax break available since the 1990s, startup founders and other investors in California were allowed to exclude or defer their gains when they sold stock in California-based small businesses. Last year, a California appeals court ruled that the tax break was unconstitutional, since it discriminated against investors in out-of-state companies. Now the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version of the IRS, has issued a notice saying how it intends to implement the ruling — and it’s a doozie. Not only is the tax break gone, but anyone who claimed an exclusion or deferral on the sale of small-business stock since 2008 is about to get a big retroactive tax bill. Investors, entrepreneurs, and even the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit are up in arms about the FTB’s notice, saying that it goes beyond the court’s intent and that it will drive investors out of the state. This Xconomy article takes an in-depth look at the history of the court case, the FTB’s ruling, and the reaction in the technology and investing communities."
Networking

Submission + - Active Defense Drives Attack Costs Up (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Active defense and hacking back is turning up in a lot of conversations between vendors and customers, CIOs and executives and executives and general counsel. There's plenty of debate from security experts on the viability of active defense, and plenty of caution against hacking back. Experts explain some of the popular tactics and techniques being used on networks to frustrate attackers and hopefully move them on to their next targets.
Piracy

Submission + - Antigua Government Set to Launch "Pirate" Website To Punish United States (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Government of Antigua is planning to launch a website selling movies, music and software, without paying U.S. copyright holders. The Caribbean island is taking the unprecedented step because the United States refuses to lift a trade “blockade” preventing the island from offering Internet gambling services, despite several WTO decisions in Antigua’s favor. The country now hopes to recoup some of the lost income through a WTO approved “warez” site.
Encryption

Submission + - GitHub Search Exposes Encryption Keys, Passwords In Code (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: GitHub's new internal search has made it easy to uncover passwords, encryption keys, and other security missteps in software development projects that are hosted on the site. GitHub announced its internal search on Jan.23, which lets users search for any string through public and private repositories they have access to.

Some users discovered yet another way to use the search tool: finding files containing private encryption keys and source code with login credentials. Scarily enough, there were thousands of them.

Searching on id_rsa, a file which contains the private key for SSH logins, returned over 600 results. Other developers had hardcoded passwords for privileged user accounts, such as root, sa, and admin.

"With a simple script or tool, external hackers or malicious insiders can quickly discover these lost keys and use them to gain access to critical information assets," Jason Thompson, director of global marketing, SSH Communications Security said. "If the key grants a high level of administrative access, such as root, the potential threat to the business grows exponentially.

To be clear, GitHub is not at fault, since the company is just a hosting service. It just stores whatever files the developer wants to save. The search engine is not accidentally leaking confidential information. The data was already saved on GitHub, it is just making it easier for someone to find these mistakes.

Developers should note that GitHub has a Help page on how to make sure sensitive data is not saved to the repository.

Graphics

Submission + - Can A New GPU Rejuvenate A 5 Year Old Gaming PC? (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "New video card launches from AMD and NVIDIA are almost always reviewed on hardware less than 12 months old. That's not an arbitrary decision — it helps reviewers make certain that GPU performance isn't held back by older CPUs and can be particularly important when evaluating the impact of new interfaces or bus designs. That said, an equally interesting perspective might be to compare the performance impact of upgrading a graphics card in an older system that doesn't have access to the substantial performance gains of integrated memory controllers, high speed DDR3 memory, deep multithreading or internal serial links. As it turns out, even using a midrange graphics card like a GeForce GTX 660, substantial gains up to 150 percent can be achieved without the need for a complete system overhaul."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - DMCA exemption ends on Jan 26th. Unlocking a cellphone becomes illegal (mashable.com)

Acapulco writes: Apparently an exemption to the DMCA, determined by the Librarian of Congress will expire this Saturday, January 26th, which will make unlocking phones illegal (although not jailbreaking).

From the article:

"The new rule against unlocking phones won't be a problem for everybody, though. For example, Verizon's iPhone 5 comes out of the box already unlocked, and AT&T will unlock a phone once it is out of contract."

And:

"Advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) questions whether the DMCA has the right to determine who can unlock a phone. In an email to TechNewsDaily, EFF attorney Mitch Stoltz said, "Arguably, locking phone users into one carrier is not at all what the DMCA was meant to do. It's up to the courts to decide." "

Also:

"Christopher S. Reed from the U.S. Copyright Office noted in an email to TechNewsDaily that "only a consumer, who is also the owner of the copy of software on the handset under the law, may unlock the handset." "

Networking

Submission + - Internet connection crucial to everyday life, German federal court rules (computerworlduk.com)

Qedward writes: Internet access is as crucial to everyday life as having a phone connection and the loss of connectivity is deserving of financial compensation, the German Federal Court of Justice has ruled.

Because having an internet connection is so significant for a large part of the German population, a customer whose service provider failed to provide connectivity between December 2008 and February 2009 is entitled to compensation, the court ruled today.

"It is the first time the court ruled that an internet connection is as important a commodity as having a phone," said court spokeswoman Dietlind Weinland.

The court, however, denied the plaintiff's request of €50 a day for his fax machine not working.

EU

Submission + - Billion-euro brain simulation and graphene projects win European funds (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "The European Commission has selected the two research proposals it will fund to the tune of half-a-billion euros each after a two-year, high-profile contest.
The Human Brain Project, led by neuroscientist Henry Markram at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, plans to simulate everything known about the human brain in a supercomputer — a breathtaking ambition that has been met with some skepticism.
The other project, called Graphene, is led by theoretical physicist Jari Kinaret at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. It will develop the potential of graphene — an ultrathin, flexible and conducting form of carbon — along with related materials for applications in computing, batteries and sensors.
The projects expect to receive €1 billion over ten years, half to be provided by the European Commission and half by participants. The commission will make its formal announcement on 28 January."

Submission + - Sri Lankan Meteroite claimed to contain fossilized extraterrestrial diatoms (journalofcosmology.com) 1

tbg58 writes: An article in the January 10 issue of the Journal of Cosmology reports the discovery of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite which fell in Sri Lanka in December of last year. The article includes micrographs of structures in the meteorite which resemble fossilized diatoms. If verified, the significance of this find is historic.

Submission + - Computer-designed enzymes may help alleviate celiac disease (acs.org)

tbg58 writes: Computational protein design tools have allowed researchers to create enzymes that perform functions unknown in nature. Researchers have applied the technique to develop an enzyme specifically aimed at neutralizing the peptide alpha-gliadin contained in gluten, which triggers the autoimmune attack that causes celiac disease. The design of -Gliadin Endopeptidase began with the search for a naturally occurring endopeptidase with stability in an acidic-pH environment, the reproducing and modifying the naturally occurring enzyme to have the specific structure of the designer enzyme using recombinant-DNA modified strain of e. coli.

This development is only made possible by computational cataloguing and modeling of enzymes. The resulting enzyme, given the name KumaMax, shows eventual promise as an oral enzyme therapy for celiac disease taken prior to the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. It is attractive as a non-invasive oral therapeutic which can break down over 95% of the immunogenic peptide under physiologically relevant conditions.

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