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Submission + - SPAM: 20 Years of MAME

AmiMoJo writes: Way back in 1997, Nicola Salmoria merged a few stand-alone arcade machine emulators into the first Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Could he have possibly imagined the significance of what he’d built? Over the past two decades, MAME has brought together over a thousand contributors to build a system that emulates more machines than any other program. But MAME is more than that: MAME represents the idea that our digital heritage is important and should be preserved for future generations. MAME strives to accurately represent original systems, allowing unmodified software to run as intended. Today, MAME documents over thirty thousand systems, and usably emulates over ten thousand.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Iridium flares phasing out (skyandtelescope.com)

g01d4 writes:

Reflective surfaces of other satellites occasionally catch the Sun and temporarily brighten by several magnitudes as they glide across the sky, but there's nothing like the flare produced by an Iridium satellite. Each of the approximately 66 Iridiums in orbit have three door-sized aluminum antennae treated with highly reflective, silver-coated Teflon for temperature control. When the angle between observer and satellite is just right, sunlight reflecting off an antenna can cause the satellite to surge from invisibility up to magnitude –8.5 in a matter of seconds.

The existing constellation of satellites is being replaced with newer models with less reflecting antenna. A few older models might be left in parking orbits but in a few years the flares will mostly be a thing of the past.

Several years ago the Smithsonian had an Iridium conveniently hanging such that you could create your own flare with your camera's flash. Anyone else do that?

Submission + - Twitter Releases National Security Letters (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Today, Twitter joined the ranks of Yahoo, Cloudflare and Google by announcing it had received two national security letters, one in 2015 and one in 2016. The NSLs came with gag orders that prevented Twitter from telling the public or the targeted users about the government’s demands. The FBI recently lifted these gag orders, allowing Twitter to acknowledge the NSLs for the first time. In the newly-published NSLs, the FBI asked Twitter to turn over “the name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records” of two users. Twitter associate general counsel Elizabeth Banker said that the company provided a “very limited set of data” in response to the requests, but did not make clear exactly what kind of data Twitter provided. “Twitter remains unsatisfied with restrictions on our right to speak more freely about national security requests we may receive,” Banker wrote in a blog post. “We would like a meaningful opportunity to challenge government restrictions when ‘classification’ prevents speech on issues of public importance.”

Submission + - U.S. Senate Quietly Passes The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" (zerohedge.com)

lwmv writes: On December 8, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed the Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report for fiscal year 2017. The bipartisan bill was written in March 2016 by U.S. Senators Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Chris Murphy, and designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations. In the version of the bill incorporated into the 2017 NDAA, the U.S. Congress would ask the United States Secretary of State to collaborate with the United States Secretary of Defense and create a Global Engagement Center to monitor information warfare from foreign governments, and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work.

Submission + - "Most serious" Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit (arstechnica.com)

operator_error writes: Lurking in the kernel for nine years, flaw gives untrusted users unfettered root access.

By Dan Goodin — 10/20/2016

A serious vulnerability that has been present for nine years in virtually all versions of the Linux operating system is under active exploit, according to researchers who are advising users to install a patch as soon as possible.

While CVE-2016-5195, as the bug is cataloged, amounts to a mere privilege-escalation vulnerability rather than a more serious code-execution vulnerability, there are several reasons many researchers are taking it extremely seriously. For one thing, it's not hard to develop exploits that work reliably. For another, the flaw is located in a section of the Linux kernel that's a part of virtually every distribution of the open-source OS released for almost a decade. What's more, researchers have discovered attack code that indicates the vulnerability is being actively and maliciously exploited in the wild.

"It's probably the most serious Linux local privilege escalation ever," Dan Rosenberg, a senior researcher at Azimuth Security, told Ars. "The nature of the vulnerability lends itself to extremely reliable exploitation. This vulnerability has been present for nine years, which is an extremely long period of time."

The underlying bug was patched this week by the maintainers of the official Linux kernel. Downstream distributors are in the process of releasing updates that incorporate the fix. Red Hat has classified the vulnerability as "important."

Comment Tor router (Score 1) 184

There are a lot of posts here about scary legal problems for the router owner. But what if the routers allowed access to the Internet only through Tor, for example, so the router owner is not in danger of what people do with it? Couldn't the router help by running an internal Tor relay to help that network too?
Government

Leak Shows US Lead Opponent of ACTA Transparency 164

An anonymous reader writes "Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, the secret copyright treaty, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement. A new leak from the Netherlands fingers who the chief opponents of transparency are: the United States, South Korea, Singapore, and Denmark lead the way, with Belgium, Germany, and Portugal not far behind as problem countries."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Open Source FPS Game Alien Arena 2009 Released 142

Alienkillerrace writes "The open sourced, freeware FPS game Alien Arena 2009 has been released (Windows and Linux). The improvements to the game engine are very significant, and have surely raised the bar for free games of this genre. All surfaces in the game are now rendered using GLSL, not only improving the visual quality, but the performance as well. Interesting new effects like post-process distortions using GLSL have been implemented, as well as light volumes, better per-pixel lighting (reminiscent of UT3), and shaded water. Equally notable is that the sound system has been completely rewritten using OpenAL, allowing for effects such as Doppler, and adding Ogg Vorbis support. The game is free to play and available for download on its official website. It has a stats system and a built-in IRC client in its front-end game browser."
The Courts

iPhone Antitrust and Computer Fraud Claims Upheld 273

LawWatcher writes "On October 1, 2008, a federal judge in California upheld a class action claiming that Apple and AT&T Mobility's five-year exclusive voice and data service provider agreement for the iPhone violates the anti-monopoly provisions of the antitrust laws. The court also ruled that Apple may have violated federal and California criminal computer fraud and abuse statutes by releasing version 1.1.1 of its iPhone operating software when Apple knew that doing so would damage or destroy some iPhones that had been 'unlocked' to enable use of a carrier other than AT&T."

Comment Re:less microsoft bias please? (Score 1) 685

I love how there is an article that has first hand accounts of why actual people are leaving Google to work at Microsoft and there still seems to be argument against Microsoft.

There really is an unsurprising argument against Microsoft to be found here in the article. First, it reeks of propaganda, who else calls a mystery number over 8 people coming back to work at Microsoft an "exodus"? Why is Google suddenly so much worse to work for? Couldn't it simply be related to the latest push to hire workers to bolster Microsoft's search engine development? They have just recently run ads trying to hire disgruntled Yahoo workers too because they couldn't buy them out. It seems a pretty obvious attempt to attract competitor workers, or it's really conveniently timed.

Now a lot of people do frequently rush off to defend Microsoft for some strange reason, often one tied to a paycheck. But for most people, they have an understandably harder time wiping off the "dirty tricks Microsoft has pulled this month" slate and thinking maybe, just maybe, this time there are no tricks involved.
Software

Open Source Growing At an Exponential Rate 146

sipmeister writes "Two computer scientists who work for enterprise software giant SAP have shown that open source is growing at an exponential rate. Not only is the code base growing exponentially, but also the number of viable projects. Researchers Amit Deshpande and Dirk Riehle analyzed the database of open source startup ohloh.net and looked at the last 16 years of growth in open source. They consistently got the best fit for the data using an exponential model. Relating this to open source market revenue, Desphande and Riehle conclude that open source is eating into closed source at a non-trivial pace."

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