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Volkswagen Says Carbon Deviations Much Smaller Than Suspected ( 84

An anonymous reader writes: Back in November, shortly after the Volkswagen emissions scandal broke, the company voluntarily disclosed the results of a quick internal probe which found that 800,000 more vehicles had inconsistencies with their CO2 output. After investigating the issue more fully, the company now says the vast majority of those cars — all but 36,000 — check out just fine. "Following extensive internal investigations and measurement checks, it is now clear that almost all of these model variants do correspond to the CO2 figures originally determine," they said. A report at the Wall Street Journal (paywalled) notes that this is good news, but reminds us that "Volkswagen has yet to clarify the much larger issue of how it came to outfit some 11 million diesel vehicles to cheat in emissions testing for nitrogen oxide."

Apple A8X IPad Air 2 Processor Packs Triple-Core CPU, Hefty Graphics Punch 130

MojoKid writes When Apple debuted its A8 SoC, it proved to be a modest tweak of the original A7. Despite packing double the transistors and an improved GPU, the heart of the A8 SoC is the same dual-core Apple "Cyclone" processor tweaked to run at higher clock speeds and with stronger total GPU performance. Given this, many expected that the Apple A8X would be cut from similar cloth — a higher clock speed, perhaps, and a larger GPU, but not much more than that. It appears those projections were wrong. The Apple A8X chip is a triple-core variant of the A8, with a higher clock speed (1.5GHz vs. 1.4GHz), a larger L2 cache (2MB, up from 1MB) and 2GB of external DDR3. It also uses an internal metal heatspreader, which the Apple A8 eschews. All of this points to slightly higher power consumption for the core, but also to dramatically increased performance. The new A8X is a significant power house in multiple types of workloads; in fact, its the top-performing mobile device on Geekbench by a wide margin. Gaming benchmarks are equally impressive. The iPad Air 2 nudges out Nvidia's Shield in GFXBench's Manhattan offscreen test, at 32.4fps to 31 fps. Onscreen favors the NV solution thanks to its lower-resolution screen, but the Nvidia device does take 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited by a wide margin, clocking in at 30,970 compared to 21,659.

Comment ISP Failure, not Application Failure (Score 4, Insightful) 101

This trick is as old as it gets. BGP will accept a more specific route as superior to a more general route, and there is no authentication in the exchange. The flaw here is the upstream providers involved did not properly filter the routing announcements allowed from this attacker, and instead let them announce net blocks that were not their own, then intercept the traffic to those net blocks.

In other words, nothing to see here, move along.


Torvalds Uses Profanity To Lambaste Romney Remarks 1223

netbuzz writes "Last night Linux creator Linus Torvalds took to his Google+ page and called Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney 'a f***ing moron.' Torvalds' stated reason? Romney's much-ridiculed suggestion that air passengers would be safer in emergencies if aircraft windows could be opened (a suggestion which some, including, have taken as a joke). Torvalds also recently called Mormonism, Romney's religion, 'bats**t crazy.' Is this just Linus being Linus? Or does such outspokenness on non-technical matters reflect poorly on the Linux community that Torvalds leads?"

World Population Expected To Hit 7 Billion In Late October 522

kkleiner writes "A new report documents the prodigious rate at which the world's population is growing. It was just 1999 when we reached 6 billion. And now within the next month or two we will have surpassed 7 billion. What does the continued increase in world population mean for humanity and for the the planet?"

Comment How do you change human nature? (Score 3, Insightful) 307

With respect to TBL, he seems to be suggesting censorship. Twitter is designed to allow users to spew whatever arises in their minds, and to retransmit the ideas of others that you believe others should see. Who decides what's "reasoned debate" when it comes down to it?

It's been shown that human nature gravitates towards sensationalism. The craziest of rumors always travel the fastest and the furthest. The free speech model of Twitter, for better or for worse, only amplifies this tendency by making so much easier for it to happen.

Give everyone a soap box, and you get a lot of noise pollution.


Sharks Seen Swimming Down Australian Streets 210

As if the flood waters weren't bad enough for the people of Queensland, it now appears that there are sharks swimming in the streets. Two bull sharks were spotted swimming past a McDonald’s in the city of Goodna, Butcher Steve Bateman saw another making its way past his shop on Williams street. Ipswich councillor for the Goodna region Paul Tully said: "It would have swam several kilometres in from the river, across Evan Marginson Park and the motorway. It’s definitely a first for Goodna, to have a shark in the main street."
Lord of the Rings

LotR Online's Free-To-Play Switch Tripled Revenue 91

Last June, Turbine made the decision to switch Lord of the Rings Online from a subscription-based business model to a free-to-play model supported by microtransactions. In a podcast interview with Ten Ton Hammer, Turbine executives revealed that the switch has gone well for the company, with game revenues roughly tripling. The active player base has also grown significantly in that time. Executive Producer Kate Paiz said, "This really echoes a lot of what we've seen throughout the entertainment industry in general. It's really about letting players make their choices about how they play."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Fark Creator Slams 'the Wisdom of Crowds' 507

GovTechGuy writes with some harsh words from founder Drew Curtis, speaking at a conference Tuesday in Washington, DC: "'The "wisdom of the crowds" is the most ridiculous statement I've heard in my life. Crowds are dumb,' Curtis said. 'It takes people to move crowds in the right direction, crowds by themselves just stand around and mutter.' Curtis pointed to his own experience moderating comments on Fark, which allows users to give their often humorous take on the news of the day. He said only one percent of Web comments have any value and called the rest 'garbage.' Another example Curtis pointed to is the America Speaking Out website recently launched by House Republicans to allow the public to weigh in on the issues and vote for policy positions they support. Curtis called the site an 'absolute train wreck.' 'It's an absolute disaster. It's impossible to tell who was kidding and who wasn't,' Curtis said."

Wisconsin DA Threatens Arrests Over Sex Ed 703

WrongSizeGlass writes "USA Today is reporting that the DA of Juneau County, Wisconsin, is warning teachers that they could face arrest over the new sex-ed curriculum. District Attorney Scott Southworth said a new state law that requires students learn to use condoms and other contraceptives 'promotes the sexualization — and sexual assault — of our children.' Southworth also said, 'I'm not looking to charge any teachers. I've got enough work to do.'"

NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s 314

adeelarshad82 writes "After originally rejecting the story, online retailer NewEgg confirmed that a shipment of Core i7s were indeed fake, and apologized for the affair. NewEgg has also broken off its relationship with IPEX, the supplier of the phony lot. The retailer said that it has already contacted affected customers and would continue to reach out and replace the counterfeit parts. We discussed the fake Core i7s over the weekend."

PayPal Freezes the Assets of 403

matsh sends word that PayPal has frozen the assets of From their Web site: "Paypal has as of 23rd of January 2010 frozen WikiLeaks assets. This is the second time that this happens. The last time we struggled for more than half a year to resolve this issue. By working with the respected and recognized German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung we tried to avoid this from happening again — apparently without avail." The submitter adds: "Hopefully we can pressure PayPal to resolve this quickly, since this seems like a dangerous political decision."

Comment Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 237

Relatedly, if they hate having Google do so, it's trivially easy to get off the page. Why don't they? Because for all their whining, they know that Google does drive traffic to them. "I don't have a business model, and you do," isn't a valid reason to ask for Google's money.

Google has drawn away direct traffic to these news sites into their own service. I don't believe its so much "hey, thanks for the traffic!" as "Well, a little bit is better than nothing..". Removing yourself from what has become your only option is not helpful when it just hurts you. Of course, we're both playing on opinions here since there is no evidence either way.

"Though Google is driving some traffic to newspapers, it's also taking a significant share away," Doctor said. "A full 44 percent of visitors to Google News scan headlines without accessing newspapers' individual sites."

Those two sentences have absolutely nothing to do with each other, despite Doctor's and the article's author's implication that they do. What really matters is, what portion of those 56% visitors would not have visited the news site in the absence of Google News. I'm guessing the answer is less. New result: Google is a net win for news sites.

The implication is that if the users were not skimming Google News' headlines, they would instead be skimming them on the content provider's site, and whether or not they actually found an article of interest, the provider would end up with the view and the ad dollar.

The article has shown nothing of the sort. It's entirely possible that in the absence of Google News that total news consumption would drop.

Not sure what your reasoning is on this statement. Is Google somehow forcing people to visit Google News? If not, why would people stop wanting the product if Google did not offer it? News is not a medium created by Google.

My take on Google News is this: Harmful to large organizations who have their own clout to draw viewers on brand recognition (Reuters, ABC, CBS, etc), but helpful to smaller news sites without that level of draw.

Which, if you look at who exactly is complaining, plays out as true.


Ethics of Releasing Non-Malicious Linux Malware? 600

buchner.johannes writes "I was fed up with the general consensus that Linux is oh-so-secure and has no malware. After a week of work, I finished a package of malware for Unix/Linux. Its whole purpose is to help white-hat hackers point out that a Linux system can be turned into a botnet client by simply downloading BOINC and attaching it to a user account to help scientific projects. The malware does not exploit any security holes, only loose security configurations and mindless execution of unverified downloads. I tested it to be injected by a PHP script (even circumventing safe mode), so that the Web server runs it; I even got a proxy server that injects it into shell scripts and makefiles in tarballs on the fly, and adds onto Windows executables for execution in Wine. If executed by the user, the malware can persist itself in cron, bashrc and other files. The aim of the exercise was to provide a payload so security people can 'pwn' systems to show security holes, without doing harm (such as deleting files or disrupting normal operation). But now I am unsure of whether it is ethically OK to release this toolkit, which, by ripping out the BOINC payload and putting in something really evil, could be turned into proper Linux malware. On the one hand, the way it persists itself in autostart is really nasty, and that is not really a security hole that can be fixed. On the other hand, such a script can be written by anyone else too, and it would be useful to show people why you need SELinux on a server, and why verifying the source of downloads (checksums through trusted channels) is necessary. Technically, it is a nice piece, but should I release it? I don't want to turn the Linux desktop into Windows, hence I'm slightly leaning towards not releasing it. What does your ethics say about releasing such grayware?"

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