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Submission + - Apple knew of iCloud brute-force vulnerability since March

blottsie writes: Apple knew as early as March 2014 of a security hole that left the personal data of iCloud users vulnerable, according to leaked emails between the company and a noted security researcher.

In a March 26 email, security researcher Ibrahim Balic tells an Apple official that he’s successfully bypassed a security feature designed to prevent “brute-force” attacks. Balic goes on to explain to Apple that he was able to try over 20,000 passwords combinations on any account.

Submission + - How a Coalition of Civil Rights Groups Sold Us Out on Net Neutrality (

Crayz9000 writes: From The Nation Institute's reporting fellow Lee Fang comes the disturbing news that

[J]ust before the Federal Communication Commission closed its comment period for its upcoming rule on “network neutrality,” a massive coalition of Asian, Latino and black civil rights groups filed letters arguing that regulators should lay off of Internet Service Providers regarding Title II reclassification and accept FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s original plan. In other words, something close to half of the entire civil rights establishment just sold out the Internet.

The civil rights groups letters argue that Title II reclassification of broadband services as a public utility—the only path forward for real net neutrality after a federal court ruling in January—would somehow “harm communities of color.” The groups wrote to the FCC to tell them that “we do not believe that the door to Title II should be opened.” Simply put, these groups, many of which claim to carry the mantle of Martin Luther King Jr., are saying that Comcast and Verizon should be able to create Internet slow lanes and fast lanes, and such a change would magically improve the lives of non-white Americans.

The filings reveal a who’s who of civil rights groups willing to shill on behalf of the telecom industry. One filing lists prominent civil rights groups NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Urban League, the National Council on Black Civil Participation and the National Action Network. The other features the Council of Korean Americans, the Japanese American Citizens League, the National Black Farmers Association, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, OCA, Asian Pacific American Advocates, the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, the Latino Coalition and many more.

He finally concludes that...

Times have changed. Just as Martin Luther King Jr.’s children have embarrassingly descended into fighting bitterly over what’s left of his estate, the civil rights groups formed to advance Dr. King’s legacy seem willing to sell out their own members for a buck.

Comment Re:Lock-in? (Score 2) 589

Ribbon was driven directly by monitoring how actual users were using the software. There's a fascinating series of blog posts about where it came from and how it developed. And although my initial reaction as a "power user" was similarly sceptical, the fact for me is that most people I know who've tried it came around to preferring it after a short time.

The fact of the matter remains that while the Ribbon is clearly superior to toolbar buttons for organizing shortcuts, it should have never completely replaced the menu system. For the 20% of the time you need to find the one function that isn't immediately obvious on the Ribbon, you spend about 80% of your time hunting fruitlessly for it. If they had simply hidden the original menus with the Alt key -- the same way they did for Internet Explorer and everything else in Windows 7 -- it would have made Office more tolerable.

I won't even get into Word's continued inability to manage any sort of list, or its propensity for fucking up formatting that LibreOffice manages to handle just fine. I have refused to touch Office since 2003, and would rather switch jobs than be forced to use that horrible monstrosity of an office suite.

Comment Re:Efficiency? (Score 3, Interesting) 234

Mechanical losses are a major issue with cars, particularly when dealing with power losses through differentials. Friction will quickly make you its bitch, which is why everything must be kept well-lubricated, and even then you have to keep the viscosity to an absolute minimum to avoid fluid load.
A completely electric drivetrain, if done right, can eliminate almost all of the moving parts that contribute to power loss. Electricity, wires, and motors. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

Comment Re:What now? 1 billion! (Score 1) 285

Pivot tables have been present in the product since at least StarOffice version 5. They were called Data Pilots until recently, when the developers realized that nobody knew a Data Pilot was the same as a Pivot Table. OpenOffice Calc has perhaps 98% of the features of Excel. Most of the confusion results from slightly different function names and other inconsistencies found with Excel (at which point I should mention that no version of Excel is 100% feature-equivalent to another, and every Excel upgrade requires retraining.)

Submission + - TPP Fast-Track Bill Hits US Congress

Crayz9000 writes: Slashdot previously covered the unwanted elements of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Now a bill has hit the floor of the US Congress which would grant Congress the ability to fast-track it and future trade agreements into becoming law. Fight for the Future has a tool to allow US citizens to look up and contact their Congressmen. Full text of the bill is available on the Senate site. From the Senate brief:

WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) joined together today to introduce legislation that will establish strong rules for trade negotiations and Congressional approval of trade pacts, to deliver trade agreements that boost U.S. exports and create American jobs.

"Create jobs", of course, being the catch-all euphemism for enriching Big Media.

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