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Submission + - 'Calibration error' changes GOP votes to Dem in Illinois (foxnews.com) 1

Okian Warrior writes: Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.

Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan: “I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Moynihan said. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”

The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.

Submission + - Quantum Research Achieves 10-Fold Boost In Superposition Stability

An anonymous reader writes: A team of Australian researchers has developed a qubit offering ten times the stability of existing technologies. The computer scientists claim that the new innovation could significantly increase the reliability of quantum computing calculations. The new technology, developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), has been named a ‘dressed’ quantum bit as it combines a single atom with an electromagnetic field. This process allows the qubit to remain in a superposition state for ten times longer than has previously been achieved. The researchers argue that this extra time in superposition could boost the performance stability of quantum computing calculations. Previously fragile and short-lived, retaining a state of superposition has been one of the major barriers to the development of quantum computing. The ability to remain in two states simultaneously is the key to scaling and strengthening the technology further.

Submission + - Android Devices That Contain Foxconn Firmware May Have a Secret Backdoor (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Some Android devices that contain firmware created by Foxconn may be vulnerable via a debugging feature left inside the bootloader, which acts as a backdoor and bypasses authentication procedures for any intruder with USB access to a vulnerable phone. By sending the "reboot-ftm" command to Android devices that contain Foxconn firmware, an attacker would authenticate via USB, and boot the device, running as root with SELinux disabled.

There isn't a list of affected devices available yet, but Jon Sawyer, the researchers that discovered this hidden command provides instructions on how to detect if a phone is affected.

"Due to the ability to get a root shell on a password protected or encrypted device, Pork Explosion would be of value for forensic data extraction, brute forcing encryption keys, or unlocking the boot loader of a device without resetting user data. Phone vendors were unaware this backdoor has been placed into their products," Sawyer says.

Submission + - SPAM: Nintendo Suffers 90% Drop in Third-Party Support 1

SlappingOysters writes: Despite the success of Pokémon Go, not everything is going well in the Mushroom Kingdom. Just released figures show a dramatic decline in the amount of third-party support for Nintendo's Wii U console when compared to its five predecessors. It's a timely update on Nintendo's current place in the console market, given the gaming world is expecting an official reveal of its next console — the NX — any day now. The NX is due for release in March 2017.

Submission + - SPAM: Class of Large but Very Dim Galaxies Discovered

schwit1 writes: Astronomers have now detected and measured a new class of large but very dim galaxy that previously was not expected to exist.

‘Ultradiffuse’ galaxies came to attention only last year, after Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and Roberto Abraham of the University of Toronto in Canada built an array of sensitive telephoto lenses named Dragonfly. The astronomers and their colleagues observed the Coma galaxy cluster 101 megaparsecs (330 million light years) away and detected 47 faint smudges.

“They can’t be real,” van Dokkum recalls thinking when he first saw the galaxies on his laptop computer. But their distribution in space matched that of the cluster’s other galaxies, indicating that they were true members. Since then, hundreds more of these galaxies have turned up in the Coma cluster and elsewhere.

Ultradiffuse galaxies are large like the Milky Way — which is much bigger than most — but they glow as dimly as mere dwarf galaxies. It’s as though a city as big as London emitted as little light as Kalamazoo, Michigan.

More significantly, they have now found that these dim galaxies can be as big and as massive as the biggest bright galaxies, suggesting that there are a lot more stars and mass hidden out there and unseen than anyone had previously predicted.

Submission + - Cisco: Potent ransomware is targeting the enterprise at a scary rate (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: Enterprise-targeting cyber enemies are deploying vast amounts of potent ransomware to generate revenue and huge profits – nearly $34 million annually according to Cisco’s Mid-Year Cybersecurity Report out this week.
Ransomware, Cisco wrote, has become a particularly effective moneymaker, and enterprise users appear to be the preferred target.

Submission + - Why Belgium leads in IPv6 adoption (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: Every time you read a story devoted to worldwide IPv6 adoption rates, sitting atop the list of highest achievers is Belgium, otherwise better known for chocolate, waffles, beer and diamonds. Google, for example, has worldwide IPv6 adoption at about 12%, Belgium leading at 45%. Why Belgium? Eric Vyncke, co-chair of Belgium’s IPv6 Council, explains a unique set of circumstances involving technology, geography, politics and culture.

Submission + - $5000 Student Loans Default the Most (theatlantic.com)

minstrelmike writes: You can read horror stories about people with $150,000 student loans, but they aren't the ones with the most problems. The "typical for-profit student is a 24-year-old from a first-generation family earning less than $40,000, who eventually drops out of school. The completion rates for two-year and four-year for-profit institutions is about 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively." These are the people most at risk of default.

Submission + - SPAM: Almost Half of All TSA Employees Have Been Cited for Misconduct

schwit1 writes: Almost half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and the citations have increased by almost 30 percent since 2013.

Of the total allegations filed, 90.8 percent were against TSA officers, while 4.8 percent were filed against managers or administrators. Of the areas of misconduct, “Attendance & Leave” sees the highest number of offenders, while “Failure to Follow Instructions,” “Screening & Security,” “Neglect of Duty,” and “Disruptive Behavior” round out the top five.

It also appears that the TSA has been reducing the sanctions it has been giving out for this bad behavior.

Submission + - Library of Congress Hit With A Denial-Of-Service Attack (fedscoop.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Library of Congress (LOC) announced via Twitter Monday that they were the target of a denial-of-service attack. The attack was detected on July 17 and has caused other websites hosted by the LOC, including the U.S. Copyright Office, to go down. In addition, employees of the Library of Congress were unable to access their work email accounts and to visit internal websites. The outages continue to affect some online properties managed by the library. "In June 2015, the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, published a limited distribution report — undisclosed publicly though it was sourced in a 2015 GAO testimony to the Committee on House Administration — highlighting digital security deficiencies apparent at the Library of Congress, including poor software patch management and firewall protections," reports FedScoop.

Submission + - Resolving IP address ranges conflicts in a corporate merger

SwingMonkey writes: Hoping the Slashdot audience may be able to offer some insight on this topic.

Caveat: I'm not a Network Engineer per se, but have spent some time playing in the networking space.

Currently I'm involved in a corporate merger. Both entities use extensive private IP address spaces internally, in the A, B and C class ranges, and the consolidated IP Routing table on each side runs into the thousands (expressed as a list of CIDRs) including inherited/aggregated collections of networks i.e. a /8 is further broken into a set of /16 which might be further divided into /23's or /24's. Inevitably there are entire network ranges that are in use on both sides, or overlap to some degree.

I've encountered this before, but never to this degree. Previously it has generally been a mostly manual effort to resolve the conflicts, but the size of the data sets in this case are somewhat daunting.

I've been looking for a data analysis tool, or visualization approach that would simply reviewing the data set, and develop a model of the conflicted spaces, but haven't been able to find much — hence turning to this forum (in desperation ;)


Submission + - Clinton Statistically Has 945 Ways to Win the Presidency, Trump 72

HughPickens.com writes: Josh Katz has an interesting statistical analysis of the presidential race at the NYT that concludes that Hillary Clinton has about a 76% chance of winning the presidency, about the same probability that an NBA player will hit a free throw. To forecast each party’s chance of winning the presidency, the model calculates win probabilities for each state using a state’s past election results and national polling. But the most interesting part of the analysis is an interactive tree diagram (at the bottom of the page) that shows the paths to victory for each candidate depending on the results from the most important swing states and what would be required to compensate for a states' loss. Clinton starts out with 186 electoral votes from solidly Democratic states while Trump starts out with 149. What's left are the toss-ups states- states whose electoral votes could potentially be in play.

As it turns out Florida is the big prize. If Clinton wins Florida, Trump's only path to victory involves winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire. Although Florida is a state that tilted just slightly to the right of the country in previous elections, Republicans might not be able to keep up with Florida’s demographic shift any longer. Here’s the unsurprising reason: Trump has alienated Hispanic voters, making the last decade of demographic shifts even more potent. According to estimates, Trump is losing among Hispanic voters in Florida by a 30-point margin, up from Romney’s 22-point deficit in similar estimates of 2012. Without Florida, the Republican path to the presidency gets very rocky.

Submission + - 15 Year Old Bug in fMRI Software Could Invalidate 40,000 Brain Research Studies

HughPickens.com writes: Bec Crew reports at Science Alert that a new study suggests that a bug in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) software that has been in the system for the past 15 years could invalidate the results of some 40,000 papers. Since fMRI is one of the best tools scientists have to measure brain activity, and if it’s flawed, it means all those conclusions about what our brains look like during things like exercise, gaming, love, and drug addiction are wrong. "Despite the popularity of fMRI as a tool for studying brain function, the statistical methods used have rarely been validated using real data," say researchers led by Anders Eklund from Linköping University in Sweden. Scientists use fMRI scans to find sparks of activity in certain regions of the brain. During an experiment, a participant will be asked to perform a certain task, while a massive magnetic field pulsates through their body, picking up tiny changes in the blood flow of the brain. The trouble is that when scientists are interpreting data from an fMRI machine, they’re not looking at the actual brain. What they're looking at is an image of the brain divided into tiny 'voxels', then interpreted by a computer program. In their paper the researchers write: “the most common software packages for fMRI analysis (SPM, FSL, AFNI) can result in false-positive rates of up to 70%. These results question the validity of some 40,000 fMRI studies and may have a large impact on the interpretation of neuroimaging results.” A bug that's been sitting in a package called 3dClustSim for 15 years, fixed in May 2015, produced the bad results. The researchers also criticize the fMRI community for their “lamentable archiving and data-sharing practices” that prevent most of the discipline's body of work from ever being re-analysed.

Submission + - SPAM: Alzheimer's gene already shrinking brain by age of three

schwit1 writes: The Alzheimer’s gene, which dramatically raises the risk of developing dementia, is already affecting carriers by the age of three, shrinking their brains and lowering cognition, a new study suggests.

Children who carry the APOEe4 gene mutation , which raises the chance of dementia by 15 fold, were found to do less well in memory, attention and function tests.

Areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease, such as the hippocampus and parietal gyri, were also found to be up to 22 per cent smaller in volume.

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