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Chrome

Google Reducing Trust In Symantec Certificates Following Numerous Slip-Ups (bleepingcomputer.com) 69

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes from a report via BleepingComputer: Google Chrome engineers announced plans to gradually remove trust in old Symantec SSL certificates and intent to reduce the accepted validity period of newly issued Symantec certificates, following repeated slip-ups on the part of Symantec. Google's decision comes after the conclusion of an investigation that started on January 19, which unearthed several problems with Symantec's certificate issuance process, such as 30,000 misused certificates. In September 2015, Google also discovered that Symantec issued SSL certificates for Google.com without authorization. Symantec blamed the incident on three rogue employees, whom it later fired. This move from Google will force all owners of older Symantec certificates to request a new one. Google hopes that by that point, Symantec would have revamped its infrastructure and will be following the rules agreed upon by all the other CAs and browser makers.

Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 3, Interesting) 150

I actually really like this idea:
Define a Star as a body that has achieved a nuclear fusion reaction.
Define a Planet as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Planetoid as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that does not orbit a star.
Define a Moon as a body that has enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet.
Define an Asteroid as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a star.
Define a Natural Satellite (here's to you, potato shaped Phobos) as a body that does not have enough mass to be spherical that orbits a planet. Maybe call it a Moonoid?


Define Pluto and Charon as a binary planet; since they appear to orbit each other (and binary stars are already defined).
If this means Sedna and a few other bodies become planets -- fine. But at least the definitions are easy.

Comment Re:Failure is always an option (Score 1) 200

>60MPH in San Francisco is going to get you some pretty bad fines most of the time :).

A friend of mine Ubers in SF, and tries to do runs to and from SFO for maximum money. He doesn't live in SF either, but commutes a long way every weekend to work there because the money is so good.

>(1) You're assuming all miles and hours are 'billable', while in reality you would be driving empty towards a pickup and waiting for the next pickup.

There's a pickup fee which offsets this, and in reality you can usually chain together rides.

Also, there's an additional bill per minute if you are in traffic.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 269

If every bank involved agrees the invalid signature is valid, what happens to the money?

Stealing a coin here or there from a wallet that hasn't been touched in a while would be more "practical", and for all we know, is being done now.

Anyone can audit the blockchain, not just miners.

It'd be possible to find every bitcoin not traded in the past 3 years, assert it "lost" then the attacker fraudulently claim them with the attack given, and it's possible he could liquidate after the theft without anyone noticing until he's cashed out.

It's not just miners checking the transactions.

Comment Re:I guess /. still approves this crap (Score 1) 269

I do understand Bitcoin, and what you are describing is impossible. Bitcoins cannot be transferred from one account to another unless you have the private keys to the account that currently holds them. It's like a signed check - it can't be transferred to another account without a valid signature.

Comment Re:This is bullcrap (Score 1) 517

They get a saw and cut your nice expensive safe open.

And then everyone whines and complains because Apple (or the encrypted device manufacturer) has the knowledge of how to use a saw to cut this type of nice, expensive safe open.

Frankly, I think using the physical device analogy is good though. If the hard-coded decryption key is etched into silicon and only readable by physical access and some very expensive equipment then having an unlock brings us to almost exactly the same point: legal custody (whether of the safe or the device) means that eventually the authorities will be able to get into it with a warrant and/or subpoena.

Comment Re:Failure is always an option (Score 1, Informative) 200

>There are plenty of people who haven't figured out how much money they're going to end up spending on vehicle maintenance as a result of all that extra driving.

The IRS mileage rate is supposed to be an average cost for operating a vehicle. It is 53.5 cents per mile. Uber pays about twice that per mile in San Francisco. So if you can go at 60 MPH you'll be making about 30 bucks an hour, which is not bad for unskilled labor.

The Military

The US Army Finally Gets The World's Largest Laser Weapon System (bizjournals.com) 130

It's been successfully tested on trucks, as well as UAVs and small rockets, according to a video from Lockheed Martin, which is now shipping the first 60kW-class "beam combined" fiber laser for use by the U.S. Army. An anonymous reader quotes the Puget Sound Business Journal: Lockheed successfully developed and tested the 58 kW laser beam earlier this year, setting a world record for this type of laser. The company is now preparing to ship the laser system to the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command in Huntsville, Alabama [according to Robert Afzal, senior fellow for Lockheed's Laser and Sensor Systems in Bothell]. "We have shown that a powerful directed energy laser is now sufficiently light-weight, low volume and reliable enough to be deployed on tactical vehicles for defensive applications on land, at sea and in the air..." Laser weapons, which complement traditional kinetic weapons in the battlefield, will one day protect against threats such as "swarms of drones" or a flurry of rockets and mortars, Lockheed said.
Medicine

West African Village Weighs Using Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Malaria Fight (scientificamerican.com) 112

New submitter omaha393 writes: A public engagement campaign is underway in the hopes of convincing Burkina Faso residents to allow the release of genetically modified mosquitoes to combat deadly mosquito-borne pathogens. GM mosquitoes rely on a technology called "gene drives." Different gene drives offer different solutions, typically leading to subsequent broods being sterile, predominantly male, resistant to infection or nonviable due to toxic traits. Researchers in this case are only in the preliminary stages of releasing sterile males but hope to begin wider releases of GM mosquitoes in about 6 years.

Burkina Faso is not the only country to pursue GM mosquitoes in efforts to prevent disease. Brazil has become a testing ground for wide release, and last fall voters in Florida Keys approved measures to begin releasing GM mosquitoes to fight the spread of Zika. Both the WHO and the U.S. FDA have approved the technique, but skeptics are critical of the method.

Comment Re:Redundant (Score 1) 141

It is better to block it at the SMTP level and refuse to accept the message in the first place.

You might think so, but do you REALLY think any spammer cares about or even looks at the bounces from their spam?

Unfortunately, the only way to "block it at the SMPT level" for users is to return error code 67 (IIRC) from procmail, and that doesn't work if you are using IMAP to pull email from a server that has already taken final delivery.

You're begging the question. SPAM is unwanted mail. You "wanted" it by opting in at some point (probably within the context of a purchase or something).

Someone who doesn't intend to spam will provide an opt-out link. It's 2017, not 2002. Use it.

If you can't reject at the SMTP level then that means you're not running your own mail server. Every ISP or mail service in the last 20 years has maintained abuse accounts and administrators that will accept spam reports and (eventually) configure their systems to reject messages at the SMTP level for you (or pre-filter it). Contact them.

Comment Re:Awww (Score 1) 11

Even if we accept a limit of scope to the First Amendment, they seem to be a bit choosy. Religious liberty, for instance, always seems to get short shrift from them...unless there are Mohammedans involved.

This vague sentence means nothing without context.

Think of the several cases in this vein, and how the ACLU would likely represent them: https://patriotpost.us/memes/34344 or https://pics.onsizzle.com/Facebook-6a241a.png

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