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Submission + - How the Internet Broke the Planet (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: So we come to today, and I’m still sitting here in L.A. — the city where I’ve always lived — and I see how the Internet has been fundamentally broken by evil forces only some of which I foresaw years ago.

Our wonderful technology has been hijacked by liars, Nazis, pedophile and other sexual abusing politicians, and an array of other despicable persons who could only gladden the hearts of civilization’s worst tyrants.

Our work has been turned into tools for mass spying, mass censorship, political oppression, and the spreading of hateful lies and propaganda without end.

Submission + - Move over centenarians, the race is on to collect DNA from 110-year-olds (nytimes.com)

biobricks writes: Scientists looking for clues to healthy longevity in people in their 90's and 100's haven't turned up a whole lot. The DNA of the VERY old, it is thought, may be a better bet. But people over 110 are one in five million in the United States. New York Times science story chronicles one scientific quest to collect their DNA.

Submission + - $300 Million in Ethereum Cryptocurrency "Lost" Due to Bug (theguardian.com)

ytene writes: As reported by the UK's Guardian newspaper, a very significant amount of Ethereum cryptocurrency was lost thanks to the actions of support operator, "devops199". As the article explains, "Effectively, a user accidentally stole hundreds of wallets simultaneously, and then set them on fire in a panic while trying to give them back."

Although this story will catch headlines due to the cryptocurrency nature of the context and the significant sum of money involved, perhaps this is also interesting because the story suggests that the failure was caused by a "DevOp" — a user role that combines the functions of Developer and Production Support into a single person. Whilst it's true to say that anyone in technology can make mistakes, does this story also hint at the idea that the combined role of "DevOps" is inherently more risky, given that it invites people to combine the experimental mindset of a developer with the greater authority granted to Production Support staff?

Submission + - Flaw crippling millions of crypto keys is worse than first disclosed (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A crippling flaw affecting millions—and possibly hundreds of millions—of encryption keys used in some of the highest-stakes security settings is considerably easier to exploit than originally reported, cryptographers declared over the weekend. The assessment came as Estonia abruptly suspended 760,000 national ID cards used for voting, filing taxes, and encrypting sensitive documents. The critical weakness allows attackers to calculate the private portion of any vulnerable key using nothing more than the corresponding public portion. Hackers can then use the private key to impersonate key owners, decrypt sensitive data, sneak malicious code into digitally signed software, and bypass protections that prevent accessing or tampering with stolen PCs. When researchers first disclosed the flaw three weeks ago, they estimated it would cost an attacker renting time on a commercial cloud service an average of $38 and 25 minutes to break a vulnerable 1024-bit key and $20,000 and nine days for a 2048-bit key. Organizations known to use keys vulnerable to ROCA—named for the Return of the Coppersmith Attack the factorization method is based on—have largely downplayed the severity of the weakness.

On Sunday, researchers Daniel J. Bernstein and Tanja Lange reported they developed an attack that was 25 percent more efficient than the one created by original ROCA researchers. The new attack was solely the result of Bernstein and Lange based only on the public disclosure information from October 16, which at the time omitted specifics of the factorization attack in an attempt to increase the time hackers would need to carry out real-world attacks. After creating their more efficient attack, they submitted it to the original researchers. The release last week of the original attack may help to improve attacks further and to stoke additional improvements from other researchers as well.

Submission + - FDA Advisers Endorse Gene Therapy To Treat Form of Blindness (cbsnews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A panel of U.S. health advisers has endorsed an experimental approach to treating inherited blindness, setting the stage for the likely approval of an innovative new genetic medicine. A panel of experts to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously in favor of Spark Therapeutics' injectable therapy, which aims to improve vision in patients with a rare mutation that gradually destroys normal vision. The vote amounts to a recommendation to approve the therapy. According to Spark Therapeutics' website, inherited retinal diseases are a group of rare blinding conditions caused by one of more than 220 genes. Some living with these diseases experience a gradual loss of vision, while others may be born without the ability to see or lose their vision in infancy or early childhood. Genetic testing is the only way to verify the exact gene mutation that is the underlying cause of the disease.

Scientists Discover Ring Around Dwarf Planet Haumea Beyond Neptune 49

A ring has been discovered around one of the dwarf planets that orbits the outer reaches of the solar system. Until now, ring-like structures had only been found around the four outer planets -- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Guardian reports: "In 2014 we discovered that a very small body in the Centaurs region [an area of small celestial bodies between the asteroid belt and Neptune] had a ring and at that time it seemed to be a very weird thing," explained Dr Jose Ortiz, whose group at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia in Granada made the discovery described in the journal Nature. "We didn't expect to find a ring around Haumea, but we were not too surprised either." Haumea was recognized by the International Astronomical Union in 2008 and is one of five dwarf planets, alongside Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Makemake. They are located beyond Neptune -- 50 times farther away from the sun than Earth. Haumea, named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, is unusual because of its elongated shape, comparable to a rugby ball, and its rapid rotation, spinning around once every 3.9 hours. Its diameter is approximately a third of the size of Earth's moon.

Submission + - Intel's Just Launched 8th Gen Core Processors Bring The Heat To AMD's Ryzen

bigwophh writes: The upheaval of the high-end desktop processor segment continues today with the official release of Intel’s latest Coffee Lake-based 8th Generation Core processors. The flagship in the new line-up is the Core i7-8700K. It is a 6C/12T beast, with a base clock of 3.7GHz, a boost clock of 4.7GHz, and 12MB of Intel Smart Cache. The Core i5-8400 features the same physical die, but has only 9MB of Smart Cache, no Hyper-Threading, and base and boost clocks of 2.8GHz and 4GHz, respectively. The entire line-up features more cores, support for faster memory speeds, and leverages a fresh platform that’s been tweaked for more robust power delivery and, ultimately, more performance. The Core i7-8700K proved to be an excellent performer, besting every other processor in single-threaded workloads and competing favorably with 8C/16T Ryzen 7 processors. The affordably-priced 6-core Core i5-8400 even managed to pull ahead of the quad-core Core i7-7700K in some tests. Overall, performance is strong, especially for games, and the processors seem to be solid values in their segment.

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 + - CBS All Access Fails to Launch Star Trek Discovery!! 1

GuyverDH writes: Across the nation, Star Trek fans paid extra and tuned in to watch the live premiere of Star Trek Discovery in their local time zone only to have Oprah Winfrey and 60 Minutes show up with the "Star Trek Discovery" title on screen.

Complete and Utter Failure

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?

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