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Submission + - Church of Piracy rallies for legal battle in Russia (

colinneagle writes: File-sharing advocates are seeking to spread the Missionary Church of Kopimism, a religion steeped in file sharing as a philosophical concept, to Russia in an effort to overturn the country's controversial new anti-piracy law. Activists in several parts of Russia — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Khabarovsk — are applying to form an officially recognized church of Kopimism, which they hope will enable them to challenge the anti-piracy law. One couple even participated in Russia's first Kopimi wedding over the weekend, which involves the exchange of vows and silicon chips.

Activists are reportedly planning to file lawsuits challenging the law as soon as the applications are filed. However, Russian lawyers and lawmakers told a Russian news site that the country's separation of church and state will make it difficult to make any progress through this approach.

Kopimism was legally recognized by Sweden's government, where the religion was first founded, in January 2012.

Submission + - Abused children smoke more as teens and adults (

vinces99 writes: Researchers have long suspected some kind of link between childhood abuse and smoking. But in an interesting twist, a new study finds a connection not between whether or not abused children will ever begin smoking but to how much they smoke if they do start. “In other words, people are as likely to smoke whether or not they were sexually or physically abused, but they’re inclined to smoke more if they were abused and have a history of smoking,” said Todd Herrenkohl, a University of Washington professor of Social Work. A paper documenting the work is published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Submission + - SOPA died in 2012, but Obama administration wants to revive part of it 1

wabrandsma writes: The Washington Post writes:

You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony.

As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.

Submission + - First Artificial Burger Gets Tepid Reviews, Billionaire Financier Unmasked (

sciencehabit writes: "Close to meat. Not that juicy." That was Austrian food trend researcher Hanni Rützler's verdict on the world's first lab-grown beef patty, presented in London today at a tightly orchestrated and widely covered media event. Rützler was one of two people invited to taste the burger assembled from thousands of tiny strips of beef grown by Dutch researcher Mark Post at his lab at Maastricht University in the Netherlands; the other guinea pig was Chicago, Illinois-based author Josh Schonwald. Perhaps the most concrete news to come out of the event was the unmasking of the mysterious billionaire who financed the project to the tune of $375,000. He is Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who has an interest in environmental issues and who praised Post in a video message for thinking big. "There are basically three things that can happen going forward. One is that we all become vegetarian," Brin said. "The second is we ignore the issue and that leads to continued environmental harm, and the third option is we do something new."

Comment Mitigation strategies (Score 3, Interesting) 167

TFA is correct that there isn't anything to patch per se. However, it's possible to mitigate the effects of this by using multiple completely isolated browser sessions for different purposes. Your banking VM should always be used for banking, nothing else. Clear cookies and browser history at the end of the session. All that while other VMs should be used for their own specific purposes with their own security configuration.

This is very well implemented in Qubes OS but can also be implemented via regular VMs. The guys at Bromium have also an interesting approach to this issue via microvirtualization using hardware.

Net/net, the important thing is to make sure that whatever the attacker can get, it's irrelevant in the big picture of things.

Submission + - NSA Surveillance Can Penetrate VPNs (

CowboyRobot writes: The National Security Agency has a system that allows it to collect pretty much everything a user does on the Internet even when those activities are done under the presumed protection of a virtual private network (VPN). This information comes from whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now protected by asylum in Russia. Described in a 2008 presentation, the system, called XKeyscore, can reportedly track email addresses, logins, phone numbers, IP addresses and online activities (files, email contents, Facebook chats, etc.) and can cross-reference this information with other metadata. The NSA may not be able to crack all encryption but is likely to be able to handle weaker encryption such as PPTP and MS-Chap.

Submission + - Uber Collected Just $9M of Fares in 15 Months in Boston, Barely Denting Cabs

curtwoodward writes: Uber, the well-funded startup that hails cabs and black cars with a smartphone app, is a pretty slick way to book a ride. But how competitive is Uber with the traditional, highly regulated cab market? According to results from the startup's move into Boston, not very. Figures released in a court case show that, over 15 months, Uber processed just $9 million in gross fares (the drivers get most of that). Meanwhile, Boston's overall cab industry is pegged at doing about $250 million a year in fares. Despite the publicity, Uber still has a long way to go.

Submission + - Doctor Who? Find out this Sunday... (

b06r011 writes: The 12th actor to play Doctor Who will be revealed on BBC1 this Sunday at 1900. Rupert Grint and Peter Capaldi have been tipped as favourites to replace Matt Smith but that is no reason to stop idle speculation on a Friday afternooon. This all raises an interesting point though — particularly for Dr Who, where the replacement of an actor whilst maintaining the character is a key part of the plot. Would you rather find out in advance or wait until the end of the regeneration sequence?

Submission + - Seattle off the deep end deeming 'brown bag' and 'citizen' offensive (

schwit1 writes: Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions.

The city's Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive.

Submission + - Pwnie Awards 2013 winners: Barnaby Jack, Edward Snowden, NMap, Evad3rs (

hypnosec writes: Winners of the Pwnie Awards 2013 were announced at a special event during Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas and the highlight of the awards were Edward Snowden, NMap and Barnaby Jack (ofcourse). Barnaby Jack was given posthumous Pwnie award for ‘lifetime achievement’ while Edward Snowden and NSA were jointly given the award of ‘Epic 0wnage’. Nmap on the other hand was awarded ‘Most Epic FAIL’. Best Privilege Escalation Bug award went to David Wang aka planetbeing and the Evad3rs team.

Submission + - Version Control for Writers? (

dylan_k writes: I'm interested in using version control software to help writers, editors, publishers, scholars and archivists. In my efforts to figure this out, I've been introduced to Git, and to Flashbake, and to Git-Annex Assistant. These powerful tools are great! Because I'm a web developer in my day job, I'm sure I'll be able to learn them quickly enough and put them to work. The trouble is, most of the people I work on writing with are not so skilled with computers. They may not want to use the command line, and they probably prefer a word processor over a text editor. Since most of this stuff is open source, I'm looking for ways to make these tools a little more user friendly, for the average writer, editor, etc.

Here is a link to a blog post where I detailed some of my early thoughts on the subject.

I would be grateful for any thoughts, comments, advice, etc. that any of you might be able to provide.

Comment Force behavioral change (Score 1) 173

The whole idea of SDDC and Cloud Computing is to basically end up with "IT as a Service". The rest are just marketing words. The goal is to have a service pretty much like electricity: you don't necessarily care where it comes from or how it's delivered to your premises. All you care is that it's there, it's reliable, it's consistent and you know exactly how much you are paying for.

The problem I've seen in the 10 years I've been in this particular industry, is that very few large companies are doing chargeback from IT to their internal customers or business units. IT has been historically seen as a shared cost for the company which adds tremendous pressure every year to cut more and more and try to leverage economies of scale whenever possible. Once you implement chargeback (even if it starts as a showback only) you can effectively pass that cost to the internal customer so you end up shaping their behavior depending on their own funds allocation, not IT's.

The next step is to have accurate forecasting so you know exactly how much infrastructure to have available, particularly if you implement service tiering. This doesn't mean that IT will have a free ride, and it will still be expected to be competitive with external cloud providers, but at least is something more manageable than the status quo.

Comment Use it as a starting point (Score 2) 27

OpenStack has the potential to become the ultimate IaaS multi-vendor glue API, and now that the Foundation is established and a number of large players are committing resources and actual code (VMware, HP, IBM, Rackspace, etc, etc), things are taking shape at an amazing rate.

I'd say yes, embrace the AWS API as a baseline, just to make sure developers can port their applications as seamlessly as possible from AWS to OpenStack and viceversa. Just don't think this has to be all or nothing. Since not every use case can be fulfilled by AWS, I see absolutely nothing wrong with creating brand new APIs and operational models to address the needs of whomever is implementing OpenStack out there, as long as it's clear that using them would make your application incompatible with AWS. For many use cases, that's irrelevant.

Kudos to AWS to having come out with that model, but innovation cannot stop for fear of incompatibilities.

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