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Overeager Compilers Can Open Security Holes In Your Code 199

jfruh writes: "Creators of compilers are in an arms race to improve performance. But according to a presentation at this week's annual USENIX conference, those performance boosts can undermine your code's security. For instance, a compiler might find a subroutine that checks a huge bound of memory beyond what's allocated to the program, decide it's an error, and eliminate it from the compiled machine code — even though it's a necessary defense against buffer overflow attacks."
Data Storage

Neglect Causes Massive Loss of 'Irreplaceable' Research Data 108

Nerval's Lobster writes "Research scientists could learn an important thing or two from computer scientists, according to a new study (abstract) showing that data underpinning even groundbreaking research tends to disappear over time. Researchers also disappear, though more slowly and only in terms of the email addresses and the other public contact methods that other scientists would normally use to contact them. Almost all the data supporting studies published during the past two years is still available, as are at least some of the researchers, according to a study published Dec. 19 in the journal Current Biology. The odds that supporting data is still available for studies published between 2 years and 22 years ago drops 17 percent every year after the first two. The odds of finding a working email address for the first, last or corresponding author of a paper also dropped 7 percent per year, according to the study, which examined the state of data from 516 studies between 2 years and 22 years old. Having data available from an original study is critical for other scientists wanting to confirm, replicate or build on previous research – goals that are core parts of the evolutionary, usually self-correcting dynamic of the scientific method on which nearly all modern research is based. No matter how invested in their own work, scientists appear to be 'poor stewards' of their own work, the study concluded."

Hackers Clone Passports In Driveby RFID Heist 251

pnorth writes "A hacker has shown how easy it is to clone US passport cards that use RFID by conducting a drive-by test on the streets of San Francisco. Chris Paget, director of research and development at Seattle-based IOActive, used a $250 Motorola RFID reader and an antenna mounted in a car's side window and drove for 20 minutes around San Francisco, with a colleague videoing the demonstration. During the demonstration he picked up the details of two US passport cards. Using the data gleaned it would be relatively simple to make cloned passport cards he said. Paget is best known for having to abandon presenting a paper at the Black Hat security conference in Washington in 2007 after an RFID company threatened him with legal action." Apparently this is a little unfair — he sniffed the data, he didn't actually make a fake passport.

Microchip Powered by Body Heat 73

An anonymous reader writes "MIT and Texas Instruments researchers have designed a chip that they say could be up to 10 times more energy efficient than current technology. The chip's power consumption is so low that devices with the chip may even be able to be recharged using the owner's body heat." The intent is to use these in medical applications like pacemakers where one would expect to have the free power source.

A Look Back At 10 Years of OSI 73

blackbearnh notes that this week marks the 10th anniversary of the Open Source Initiative. He points us to O'Reilly's ONLamp site, where Federico Biancuzzi (who frequently interviews notables in the Open Source community for O'Reilly) has a collection of interviews with some of the founders of the OSI, including Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond. "Eric Raymond: There is a pattern that one sees over and over again in failed political and religious reform movements. A charismatic founder launches the movement, attracts followers, and enjoys significant successes; then he dies or leaves or attempts to name a successor, and the movement disintegrates rapidly. One of the classic, much-studied cases is that of John Humphrey Noyes and the Oneida Community, 1848-1881. It was especially clear in that case that its succession crisis and eventual collapse was due to over-reliance on Noyes's personal leadership. At the time I co-founded OSI in 1998 I judged that FSF would very likely undergo a similar crackup if it lost RMS, and was determined to avoid that if possible for OSI."

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