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Submission + - SPAM: Waterloop

Scribbler'sEmporium writes: A team of 150 University of Waterloo students revealed, what they call, the world’s first functional pneumatic levitation system for the Hyperloop. They are one of 22 teams competing for SpaceX’s International Hyperloop Competition.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Level 3 under DDOS (chicagotribune.com)

Archangel Michael writes: From The Linked Article:

Parts of the internet were down across the U.S. and in the U.K. Wednesday morning, as service provider Level 3 Communications reported an outage.

Level 3, which provides internet and voice services to businesses, said the company did not yet know the cause of the outage, which temporarily disrupted or slowed service to some customers.

"Our technical team is looking into this issue to determine the cause. Our priority is to ensure the reliability of our network and services. We will provide updates as more information becomes available," Nikki Wheeler, senior director of media relations, wrote in an email.

Submission + - Strange signals from star survey may be evidence of intelligent life (iop.org)

Okian Warrior writes: A recent paper reporting on strange artifacts in the spectra of 234 stars is raising eyebrows in the Astronomical community.

A Fourier transform analysis of 2.5 million spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey was carried out to detect periodic spectral modulations. Signals having the same period were found in only 234 stars overwhelmingly in the F2 to K1 spectral range. The signals cannot be caused by instrumental or data analysis effects because [various reasons...]

Finally, we consider the possibility, predicted in a previous published paper, that the signals are caused by light pulses generated by ETI to makes us aware of their existence. We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis. The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the Sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis. However, at this stage, this hypothesis needs to be confirmed with further 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."

Submission + - First New US Nuclear Reactor In 20 Years Goes Live (cnn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Tennessee Valley Authority is celebrating an event 43 years in the making: the completion of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. In 1973, the TVA, one of the nation's largest public power providers, began building two reactors that combined promised to generate enough power to light up 1.3 million homes. The first reactor, delayed by design flaws, eventually went live in 1996. Now, after billions of dollars in budget overruns, the second reactor has finally started sending power to homes and businesses. Standing in front of both reactors Wednesday, TVA President Bill Johnson said Watts Bar 2, the first US reactor to enter commercial operation in 20 years, would offer clean, cheap and reliable energy to residents of several southern states for at least another generation. Before Watts Bar 2, the last time an American reactor had fired up was in 1996. It was Watts Bar 1--and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it cost $6.8 billion, far greater than the original price tag at $370 million. In the 2000s, some American power companies, faced with growing environmental regulations, eyed nuclear power again as a top alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil. A handful of companies, taking advantage of federal loan guarantees from the Bush administration, revived nuclear reactor proposals in a period now known as the so-called "nuclear renaissance." Eventually, nuclear regulators started to green light new reactors, including ones in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2007, the TVA resumed construction on Watts Bar 2, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The TVA originally said it would take five years to complete. The TVA, which today serves seven different southern states, relies on nuclear power to light up approximately 4.5 million homes. Watts Bar 2, the company's seventh operating reactor, reaffirms its commitment to nukes for at least four more decades, Johnson said Wednesday. In the end, TVA required more than five years to build the project. The final cost, far exceeding its initial budget, stood at $4.7 billion.

Submission + - U.S. Officially Accuses Russia of Election Hacks

wiredmikey writes: The U.S. government has officially accused Russia of being behind cyberattacks against American political organizations with the intent of interfering with the upcoming Presidential election in November.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” a joint statement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said.

"We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," the statement adds.

In August, researchers from two security firms uncovered evidence that they say linked a Russian threat actor to the cyberattack targeting the U.S. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Submission + - Multiple Linux Distributions Affected by Crippling Bug in systemd (agwa.name) 1

An anonymous reader writes: System administrator Andrew Ayer has discovered a potentially critical bug in systemd which can bring a vulnerable Linux server to its knees with one command. "After running this command, PID 1 is hung in the pause system call. You can no longer start and stop daemons. inetd-style services no longer accept connections. You cannot cleanly reboot the system." According to the bug report, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS are among the distros susceptible to various levels of resource exhaustion. The bug, which has existed for more than two years, does not require root access to exploit.

Submission + - What is employers obsession with programming languages? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Just got off the phone with a recruiter for a company and the lady asked if I had 3-4 years C++ and 3-4 years Java experience. Okay, so first off, C++ and Java are two different programming languages used for two completely different purposes.

C++ being used mainly for low-level platform specific programming and Java being platform independent. My response was I programmed in C++ throughout college, but haven't worked any jobs specifically writing C++ and I've had Java experience in past jobs, but mostly used C# which was similar.

She said, "Oh well we are only looking for those two languages so thanks anyways". Is it just me or is this absolutely insane? It's like wanting to hire a mechanic who has 3-4 years experience working with just 1978 ford trucks. I mean really? How did we get to this point as engineers?

As any developer worth their weight in salt can attest, the languages are so similar it's kind of difficult to distinguish between them looking at syntax alone and if you've got a computer science background or equiv what's it really matter if the underlying OOP concepts are the same.

Is this just a result of incompetent managers and ignorant recruiters or as engineers have we set ourselves up by succumbing to a label such as Java Engineer or C# Programmer.

Should I just say yes, and move forward with the interview? I mean, I could probably answer most C++/Java programming questions unless they are truly looking for people who spend all their time memorizing specific libraries or API's which in my opinion is insane. I equate that to trying to memorize a phone book. You can but why would you want to?

Not only is it frustrating as a job candidate, but it seems to really be limiting your hiring pool to a small few who by chance happen to work in a couple different programming languages over the course of their career. How do most of you handle this sort of thing?

Submission + - Philae Found! Rosetta Spies Dead Comet Lander (seeker.com)

astroengine writes: With only a month before its mission ends, the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission swooped low over Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko to see the stranded Philae lander jammed in a crack. After months of searching for the lander, which made its dramatic touchdown on Nov. 14, 2014, mission scientists had a good idea as to the region the robot was in, but this is the first photographic proof of the lander, on its side, stuck in the craggy location called Abydos. "This wonderful news means that we now have the missing 'ground-truth' information needed to put Philae's three days of science into proper context, now that we know where that ground actually is!" said Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor in a statement.

Submission + - Compromising Linux Virtual Machines Via FFS Rowhammer Attack (helpnetsecurity.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A group of Dutch researchers have demonstrated a variant of the Rowhammer attack that can be used to successfully compromise Linux virtual machines on cloud servers. The Flip Feng Shui (FFS) attack is not performed by triggering a software vulnerability. Instead, it relies on exploiting the widespread Rowhammer DRAM glitch to induce bit flips in controlled physical memory pages, and the Linux’ memory deduplication system.

Submission + - Cisco patches 'ExtraBacon' zero-day exploit leaked by NSA hackers (dailydot.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: After a group of hackers stole and published a set of NSA cyberweapons earlier this week, the multibillion dollar tech firm Cisco is now updating its software to counter two potent leaked exploits that attack and take over crucial security software used to protect corporate and government networks.

  “Cisco immediately conducted a thorough investigation of the files released, and has identified two vulnerabilities affecting Cisco ASA devices that require customer attention,” the company said in a statement. “On Aug. 17, 2016, we issued two Security Advisories, which deliver free software updates and workarounds where possible.”

Submission + - Wrong chemical dumped into Olympic pools made them green (arstechnica.com)

Z00L00K writes:

After a week of trying to part with green tides in two outdoor swimming pools, Olympic officials over the weekend wrung out a fresh mea culpa and yet another explanation—neither of which were comforting. According to officials, a local pool-maintenance worker mistakenly added 160 liters of hydrogen peroxide to the waters on August 5, which partially neutralized the chlorine used for disinfection. With chlorine disarmed, the officials said that “organic compounds”—i.e. algae and other microbes—were able to grow and turn the water a murky green in the subsequent days. The revelation appears to contradict officials’ previous assurances that despite the emerald hue, which first appeared Tuesday, the waters were safe.

I would personally have avoided using the green pools, but that's just me.

Submission + - Adblock Plus Offers Workaround To block Facebook Ads Again 1

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, Facebook announced it will begin showing ads in desktop browsers “for people who currently use ad blocking software.” Adblock Plus, the most popular ad blocking tool with over 500 million downloads, responded the same day by calling the move “a dark path against user choice.” Today, just two days later, Adblock Plus is offering a workaround that users can implement themselves now, and which will automatically take effect for all users in “a couple of days.”

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