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Submission + - 18-Year-Old Random Number Generator Flaw Fixed In Libgcrypt, GnuPG (helpnetsecurity.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have discovered a “critical security problem” that affects all versions of the Libgcrypt cryptographic library and, therefore, all versions of the GnuPG (a.k.a. GPG) hybrid-encryption software. The bug has now been fixed, and he advises users of GnuPG-2 to update Libgcrypt to version 1.7.3, 1.6.6, or 1.5.6, and users of GnuPG-1 to upgrade to version 1.4.21.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Anachronistic computational devices? 1

tgibson writes: For some time I have been thinking about designing and delivering a one- or two-credit course on the use of computational devices that are either no longer used or are given short shrift due to technological advances. Examples include the abacus, slide rule, and astrolabe. More exotic examples might include the Antikythera mechanism, the E6B flight computer or even archaeoastronomical sites. I would also like to have some of the simpler, unavailable tools 3D-printed for the students and incorporate them into activities.

Although I have been accumulating a list of such devices and other background material, I'm sure there are many "must-haves" I am unaware of. What anachronistic computational devices would be well-suited for such a course?

Submission + - CacheBleed - OpenSSL Vulnerability That Affects Intel-Based Cloud Servers

An anonymous reader writes: Besides the DROWN attack, yesterday OpenSSL update also fixed another attack called CacheBleed that affects only Intel CPUs. The attack is the first ever successful cache-bank side-channel attack, known (theoretically) since 2004. The good thing is that it's hard to carry out and only affects older Intel architectures. The bad thing is if attackers manage to get the necessary permissions to run the attack on a cloud server, they could break both 2048-bit and 4096-bit RSA secret keys for ongoing communications.

Submission + - Regulator tells BT to open up cable network (bbc.co.uk)

AmiMoJo writes: Communications regulator, Ofcom has told BT to open up its cable network, allowing competitors to connect the internet to homes and offices. Ofcom also says that the country is suffering from a digital divide between those who have the latest technologies, and those who do not. It has proposed that decent, affordable broadband should be a universal right. The regulator has so far stopped short of demanding a complete break-up of BT, but said this was still an option. But BT will be told to allow easier access for rivals to lay their own fibre cables along Openreach's telegraph poles and in its underground cable ducts.

Comment It's not just the neighbors that are worried (Score 5, Insightful) 319

Speaking as a Belgian, I'm worried about a French multinational in control of the plants not giving a damn about anything but their own profit margins. We hear about incidents (so far in the non-nuclear parts of the plants) at least once per month. The problem is that unlike Chernobyl, Belgium's nuclear plants are in highly populated areas. In case of a real incident, we might have to evacuate and relocate several million people. Not to mention that the parts of our neighbors that could be affected are also pretty densely populated. The deal referred to exists purely to transfer a lot more money to said multinational. This money might be better spent either on a new generation of nuclear plant, or better, reusable energy. Unfortunately, said multinational also appears to have zero interest in investing in new power plants in Belgium.

Submission + - "Get Windows 10" turns itself on and nags Win7 and 8.1 users twice a day (infoworld.com)

LichtSpektren writes: As you may recall, Microsoft has delivered KB3035583 as 'recommended update' to users of Windows 7 and 8.1. What this update does is install GWX ("Get Windows 10"), a program which diagnoses the system to see if it is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10, and if so, asks the user if they would like to upgrade (though recently, the option to decline has been removed). Some users have gotten around this by editing Windows Registry values for "AllowOSUpgrade", "DisableOSUpgrade", "DisableGWX", and "ReservationsAllowed" in order to disable the prompt altogether. This advice was endorsed by Microsoft on their support forums.

According to a report by Woody Leonhard at InfoWorld, the newest version of KB3035583 update includes a background process which scans the system's Windows Registry twice a day to see if the values for the four aforementioned registry inputs were manually edited to disable the upgrade prompt. If they were, the process will alter the values, silently re-download the Windows 10 installation files (about 6 GB in total), and prompt the user to upgrade.

Submission + - Open source router crowd-funded seven times over

beda writes: The open source router Turris Omnia already mentioned on Slashdot has collected 700k USD, i. e. 7× the original goal, in its Indiegogo campaign. While it is unlikely to go much higher in the last 24 hours of its campaign, it is still a great success which shows that there might be an interesting niche market for powerful and open source routers.

Submission + - This New Bandage Can Suck Bacteria Out Of A Wound (gizmocrazed.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The technology, in development at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, hasn't been tested on human skin yet, only on tissue-engineered skin models. The results can be seen in Applied Materials & Interfaces and Biointerfaces.

The bacterial species investigated included Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, both of which are known to cause chronic wound infection.

The bandage is created from a mesh of polymer filaments. Each strand is so fine that it is 100 times thinner than a human hair. They are made by squeezing the material out of an electrified nozzle in a technique called electrospinning.

Submission + - City of Munich Having Problems With Basic Linux Functionality 2

jones_supa writes: Just like the city planned a year ago, Munich is still calling for switching back to Windows from LiMux, which is their Ubuntu derivative. The councillors from Munich's conservative CSU party have called the operating system installed on their laptops "cumbersome to use" and "of very limited use". The letter from the two senior members of the city's IT committee asks the mayor to consider removing the Linux-based OS and to install Windows and Office. "There are no programs for text editing, Skype, Office etc. installed and that prevents normal use," it is argued in the letter. Another complaint from councillors is that "the lack of user permissions makes them of limited use". These kind of arguments raise eyebrows, as all that functionality is certainly found from Linux.

Submission + - Politicians at city that dumped Microsoft for Linux ask to switch to Windows (techrepublic.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Munich spent years migrating about 15,000 staff away from Windows to a custom-version of Ubuntu and other open-source software. Now two senior politicians on the city's IT committee are calling for the Linux-based OS to be ditched on councillor's laptops in favour of Windows and Microsoft Office. They claim their current Linux-based OS is "cumbersome to use" and "of very limited use". However much of the software they claim to be missing seems to be easily accessible on their machines.

Submission + - How Viking 1 Won the Martian Space Race (vice.com)

derekmead writes: Forty years ago today, NASA launched the Viking 1 spacecraft to Mars, where it would become the first probe to achieve a soft landing on the Martian surface. The touchdown was a major milestone in the exploration of Mars, providing the first images and data from the red planet, which had been obsessively studied from afar for centuries.

Moreover, on a geopolitical level, NASA’s success with Viking 1 was kind of like winning the Martian Triple Crown against the Soviet space program. Over the course of the 1960s and early 1970s, the USSR desperately tried to get a jump on NASA with regards to Mars exploration, and launched well over a dozen flyby, orbiter, and landing attempts.

Submission + - World's Most Powerful Laser Diode Arrays Deployed (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) under construction in the Czech Republic is designed to generate a peak power of more than 1 quadrillion watts (1 petawatt, 1015 watts). The key component to this instrument – the laser "pump" – will be a set of solid-state laser diode arrays recently constructed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). At peak power, this electronic assemblage develops a staggering 3.2 million watts of power and are the most powerful laser diode arrays ever built.

Submission + - Issue tracker for non-engineers?

purplie writes: My non-technical spouse is an analyst in a small county government department, a handful of people plus some contractors for projects. Their project/task management is mouth-to-mouth, sticky notes, and emails, and it's driving them crazy.

I want to suggest something like an issue tracker. It would have to work for tasks both large (year-long investigations) and small (arranging catering for a meeting).

The issue trackers I'm familiar with with are too software-development-oriented, or make too many assumptions about your "agile" religion. Are there any good options for non-engineers?

They use mainly Windows and have iPads. I don't like web-based tools, but that might work better for them because they don't have administrative privs on their machines. Something that also incorporates a wiki might be nice. There will be resistance if it's not really easy to use.

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If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke