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Submission + - WikiLeaks Supporters Likely Behind Dyn DDoS Attacks, Assange Possibly In Danger (

MojoKid writes: The Internet took a turn for the worst turn this morning, when large parts of the DNS network were brought down by a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) targeting DNS provider Dyn. If you couldn't access Amazon, Twitter, and a host of other large sites and on-line services earlier today, this was why. Now, if a couple of additional tweets are to be believed, it appears supporters of WikiLeaks are responsible for this large scale DDoS attack on Dynamic Nework Services Inc's, Dyn DNS service. WikiLeaks is alleging that a group of its supporters launched today's DDoS attack in retaliation for the Obama administration using its influence to push the Ecuadorian government to limit Assange's internet access. Another earlier tweet reassures supporters that Mr. Assange is still alive, which — along with a photo of heavily armed police posted this morning — implies that he may have been (or may still be) in danger, and directly asks said supporters to stop the attack.

Submission + - IBM Exec Claims Macs Cost Far Less To Maintain Versus Windows PCs (

MojoKid writes: Which is more expensive to own, a Windows PC or a Mac? Conventional wisdom says Macs typically cost more than comparable Windows PCs, but if you look beyond the initial price and also factor in time and money spent maintaining each system, do things change? IBM's VP of Workplace as a Service Fletcher Previn came to the conclusion that Macs are by far the better buy after analyzing post-sales costs. While speaking at the Jampf Nation User Conference this week, Previn broke it down like this. The initial cost of purchasing a Mac system runs anywhere from $117 to $454 more than a similarly configured Windows PC, but over a four-year span that follows, IBM saves between $273 (MacBook Pro 13 versus Lenovo T460) up to a whopping $543 (MacBook Pro 13 versus Lenovo X1 Yoga) on Mac maintenance costs.

Submission + - Intel Haswell Processor Flaw Could Allow Malware To Bypass Security Safeguards (

MojoKid writes: There is a reported flaw present in processors based on Intel's Haswell microarchitecture that could allow attackers to effectively sidestep security roadblocks and install malware onto systems. The method works on most operating systems, including Windows 10, and unless a fix is issued it could lead to more prominent malware attacks. Security researchers developed a bypass for Intel's Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) technology present on Haswell processors and demonstrated the technique at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture in Taipei, Taiwan, this week. ASLR is a built-in defense against against a common form of attack that attempts to install malware by exploiting vulnerabilities in an OS or program. It was discovered that by exploiting a flaw in the part of a Haswell CPU known as the branch predictor, they could load a small application that identifies the memory addresses where specific parts of code are loaded. Armed with that information, traditional memory-based malware techniques are once again effective, allow attackers to mess with a system as if ASLR was disabled.

Submission + - Your robot doctor overlords will see you now (

coondoggie writes: Seems the days of the annual trip to your doctor’s office may be fading in favor of a virtual healthcare provider. At least if you follow the research presented by Gartner this week which predicted by 2025, 50% of the population will rely on what it called virtual personal health assistants (VPHAs) for primary care, finding them more responsive and accurate than their human counterparts.

Submission + - RIP, David Bunnell, founder of more major computer magazines than anyone (

harrymcc writes: David Bunnell has passed away. He stumbled into a job at PC pioneer MITS in the 1970s and went on to create the first PC magazine and first PC conference--and, later on, PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, and Macworld Expo. He was a remarkable guy on multiple fronts, and I shared some thoughts about why he mattered so much at Fast Company.

Comment Re:Whatever it is, it's out and not "Linux" (Score 1) 163

Functionally, however, I don't see a great deal of difference between this and Cygwin as in both cases one ends up with a lot of the same programs running atop Microsoft Windows.

For some value of "functionally," perhaps not -- at least not for now. But in future, maybe, if you wanted to test against some Linux software and you needed to be sure you're using the actual binary that ships with an actual, commercial distro, you could potentially do that with Windows Subsystem for Linux (but you could never do it with Cygwin).

Submission + - Microsoft speech recognition tech understands a conversation as well a human (

coondoggie writes: Microsoft researchers say they have created a speech recognition system that understands human conversation as well as the average person does. In a paper published this week the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group said its speech recognition system had attained “human parity” and made fewer errors than a human professional transcriptionist.

Submission + - Samsung SSD 960 Pro NVMe SSD Launched, Fastest Consumer SSD In Benchmarks (

MojoKid writes: Samsung announced its latest, consumer-class NVMe M.2 based SSD 960 Pro solid state drive a few weeks back but today marks the official launch of the product. Samsung's new drive is an absolute beast with peak transfer speeds in the 3.5GB/s range and ultra-high endurance ratings too. The Samsung SSD 960 PRO NVMe M.2 series tested here will be offered in three capacities: 512GB, 1TB, and a beefy 2TB. All of the drives have the same M.2 (2280) "gumstick" form factor and offer peak read bandwidth of 3.5GB/s with 2.1GB/s writes, while their max IOPS ratings vary at higher queue depths, as do endurance ratings, which start at 400TBW (Terabytes Written) and scale to 1200TBW for the 2TB drive. At about $.63 — $.65 per GiB, they aren't the cheapest NVMe drives on the market (the 512GB drive drops in at $329) but the new SSD 960 Pro is definitely the fastest consumer SSD currently as benchmark testing clearly proves out.

Submission + - 7 Types of Bugs Plaguing the Web

snydeq writes: From video glitches to memory leaks, today’s browser bugs may be rarer, but they are even harder to pin down, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner, in his roundup of the types of bugs troubling today's Web. ' Of course, it used to be worse. The vast differences between browsers have been largely erased by allegiance to W3C web standards. And the differences that remain can be generally ignored, thanks to the proliferation of libraries like jQuery, which not only make JavaScript hacking easier but also paper over the ways that browsers aren’t the same. These libraries have a habit of freezing browser bugs in place. If browser companies fix some of their worst bugs, the new “fixes” can disrupt old patches and work-arounds. Suddenly the “fix” becomes the problem that’s disrupting the old stability we’ve jerry-rigged around the bug. Programmers can’t win.' What hard-to-pin-down browser bugs have given you the most fits?

Submission + - WikiLeaks Transmits Cryptic Hashes As Assange's Internet Link Is Cut (

MojoKid writes: If you follow WikiLeaks on Twitter, you may have noticed a series of cryptic tweets consisting of strings of numbers and letters. These are hashes that appear to be related to another WikiLeak post on Twitter claiming its co-founder, Julian Assange, is without Internet access after his connection was "intentionally severed by a state party." That action has reportedly activated WikiLeaks' "appropriate contingency plans" in response. The announcement surfaced several hours after the site posted the aforementioned cryptic hash posts, three in all with references to Ecuador, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the UK FCO (United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth Office). Each tweet contained a 64-character hash, which led to rumors that Assange was dead and that the strings of characters were "dead man's keys" or a "dead man's switch," codes to reveal classified secrets in the event of his death. That doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, those hashes, which are preceded by "pre-commitment" labels, are unique codes that can prove the legitimacy of documents leaked in the future that contain the same hashes. Any changes to the documents would alter the 64-character code assigned to them.

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