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Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Spinoff Pools Donor Dollars To Prevent WikiLeaks-Style Payment Blockades 95

nonprofiteer writes "Two years ago, Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America cut off all funding to WikiLeaks. A group of free information advocates wants to prevent a similar financial blockade on information from happening again. Daniel Ellsberg, John Perry Barlow, and EFF staffers are founding the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an org that will raise money and channel it to edgy media groups that might suffer from a WikiLeaks-style embargo. When donors give to the Foundation, they can choose to have their funding passed on to any media group under the Foundation's umbrella (currently WikiLeaks, Muckrock, The National Security Archives and UpTake). That strategy aims to make it harder to cut funding to any of those organizations, or any added in the future. And because the site is encrypted, donors who worry about being identified as giving to any particularly controversial group can do so without being identified. It's like Tor for charitable giving."

Tor Network Used To Command Skynet Botnet 105

angry tapir writes "Security researchers have identified a botnet controlled by its creators over the Tor anonymity network. It's likely that other botnet operators will adopt this approach, according to the team from vulnerability assessment and penetration testing firm Rapid7. The botnet is called Skynet and can be used to launch DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, generate Bitcoins — a type of virtual currency — using the processing power of graphics cards installed in infected computers, download and execute arbitrary files or steal login credentials for websites, including online banking ones. However, what really makes this botnet stand out is that its command and control (C&C) servers are only accessible from within the Tor anonymity network using the Tor Hidden Service protocol."

Comment Re:Perfect for parents PC (Score 1) 259

The boot time isn't the point-- it's an indicator of the problem. The problem is that Grandma doesn't know how to maintain her computer. It's full of crap (see above post). That crap typically loads at boot time. After it's loaded, it sits around stealing processor cycles and memory.

My core2duo laptop with 2GB of RAM running Windows 7 works great. I'm not compiling a lot of code on it, but it works for basic computer tasks. If I give my laptop to Grandma, after one year I expect it to be painful to use for basic computer tasks. See above re: crap.

So, if we want Grandma to have a computer to use that doesn't run dog slow, we have three options:

  1. Train Grandma not to install stupid shit, and not to click 'OK' and 'Accept' without reading what it's for, and how to use msconfig.
  2. Constantly maintain Grandma's computer to keep it free of crap.
  3. Give Grandma a computer with a powerful multicore processor and lots of memory.

For most users, #1 is a lost cause. They just don't get it. If you have lots of free time, fuck it, do #2. Otherwise, it's better to do #3.

TLDR For basic computer uses, "Grandma" needs a significantly more powerful computer than you.

Comment Re:Perfect for parents PC (Score 2, Funny) 259

For non-technical parents and other users, I actually like lots of cores and lots of memory-- more so than 'power users.'

Have you ever seen some people boot up their machines? It will take 5 minutes because of the sheer amount of crap installed.

It will be shit like two different anti-virus suites (the first one's subscription expired, and they installed a new one without uninstalling the old). There will be a update checker for every conceivable thing that's been installed. There's the preloader software that loads whatever crappy application it is into memory at boot time so that the application starts faster when you click on it's associated file type. Then, there are all the various helpful toolbars for Internet Explorer that "enhance your internet experience" and delivery dollars to your inbox. Of course, the user will probably go through two or more inkjet printer/scanner/copier all-in-one devices that require the manufacturer's 300 MB "printing experience suite" to enhance user experience by making pop-up windows when the ink is low and will helpfully tell you where you can order more special photo printing paper. There's the two different desktop search tools that got installed when the user downloaded the kitten screensavers pack and accompanying mouse cursors. Then, there is the sidebar app showing the weather outside and what time it is in Fiji.

That's stuff I can think of off the top of my head. I have no idea how average users manage to cruft up their machines so much, but they do. Keep in mind also that they're probably not going to upgrade hardware for a few years, but they'll likely install iTunes 32, Internet Explorer 17, and Office 2016, which will have >1 GB memory footprints.

By having lots of cores, and lots of memory, you can give them a decent user experience even on a machine that they've bogged to shit.

Comment Re:How about idle?? (Score 1) 259

Umm.. 12W difference is for an IDLE system. At load the difference is clearly closer to 80-100W.

No shit, Sherlock. Look at comment subject line.

Maybe for a desktop this doesn't matter. But given the decline of desktops and consumers moving to laptops (and even more mobile devices), these results are downright TERRIBLE for AMD.

If you think desktop chips (AMD or Intel) are used in laptops, you are an idiot.

Comment Re:How about idle?? (Score 5, Insightful) 259

I agree about multithreaded performance being important thing moving forward.

Regarding power consumption, anandtech review puts total system power consumption for Vishera tested at 12-13W more than Ivy Bridge. Scroll to bottom of page for chart. Bar and line graphs at top of page are misleading-- they put x axis at 50W, not 0W.

If you are concerned about power consumption, find 100W lightbulb in your house. Replace with CFL. You will have greater energy saving.

Data Storage

Reiser4 File System Still In Development 317

An anonymous reader writes "Reiser4 still hasn't been merged into the mainline Linux kernel, but it's still being worked on by a small group of developers following Hans Reiser being convicted for murdering his wife. Reiser4 was updated in September on SourceForge to work with the Linux 3.5 kernel and has been benchmarked against EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and ReiserFS. Reiser4 loses out in most of the Linux file-system performance tests, has much stigma due to Hans Reiser, and Btrfs is surpassing it feature-wise, so does it have any future in Linux ahead?"
United States

Cables Show US Seeks Assange 488

prakslash writes "The Sydney Morning Herald reports that diplomatic cables they obtained show the U.S. investigation into possible criminal conduct by Julian Assange has been ongoing for more than a year, despite denials by the U.S. State Department and the Australian Foreign Minister. Further, the Australian diplomats expect that the U.S. will seek to extradite Assange to the U.S. on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to the release of classified information by WikiLeaks."

Comment I'm one of those people signing up for VPN (Score 1) 373

I'm part of that "ten fold increase" in VPN subscriptions. I had been meaning to sign up for VPN for a while (to protect anonymity online and to get access to BBC iPlayer), and the Olympics were just the push I needed to finally sign up. If getting access to the Olympics on BBC is the spark that makes other people sign up for VPN, I think it's great. Pervasive use of VPN helps defeat the surveillance state.

KegDroid: Combining Arduino, Android, and NFC to Dispense Beer 48

mikejuk writes, quoting I Programmer: "If you are looking for an exciting hardware project, KegDroid deserves a look. It is a sophisticated system that involves Android, Arduino, NFC, plumbing and — beer. Perhaps the final stroke of genius is to package the whole thing in a Droid body. Some how the little green fella looks at home on the bar. You have heard of desktop and laptop apps now we have bartop apps to add to the list" Details are fuzzy currently, but from all appearances this is a repackaged KegBot in a very fancy shell. (Video for those without Flash.)

Comment Perfect for me-- one fewer Windows license at home (Score 1) 324

I have a few computers at home running a variety of operating systems, but the two I use most frequently both run Windows 7. One is my work PC. I need to run Windows on that one because there are a few applications I need for work that are Windows only. The other is my gaming machine. I play a couple of Source mods on it,and I use Windows because it's much easier than trying to run the games on Linux.

If Valve would release Steam on Linux, and make it easy and straightforward to install Source mods on Linux, I will happily switch to Linux on my gaming machine. I'd even put up with Ubuntu if that were the distro they targeted. It would save me having to use a Windows license just to do gaming.

Perhaps Steam/Source on Linux wouldn't appeal to hardcore gamers who buy the latest AAA title every couple of months, but, for me, it's excellent.

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