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Submission + - Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality (dailycaller.com)

schwit1 writes: “So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Submission + - Signal from Andromeda. Probable evidence of Dark matter. (spacefellowship.com)

William Robinson writes: NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has found a signal at the center of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy that could indicate the presence of the mysterious stuff known as dark matter. The gamma-ray signal is similar to one seen by Fermi at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. The latest Fermi data shows the gamma rays in Andromeda are confined to the galaxy’s center instead of spread throughout. To explain this unusual distribution, scientists are proposing that the emission may come from several undetermined sources. One of them could be dark matter and another possible source for this emission could be a rich concentration of pulsars in Andromeda’s center. Scientists are excited that Fermi has detected a similar gamma-ray signature in both Andromeda and the Milky Way, scientists can use this information to solve mysteries within both galaxies.

Submission + - Unstoppable JavaScript Attack Helps Ad Fraud, Tech Support Scams, 0-Day Attacks (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: New research published today shows how a malicious website owner could show a constant stream of popups, even after the user has left his site, or even worse, execute any kind of persistent JavaScript code while the user is on other domains.

In an interview, the researcher who found these flaws explains that this flaw is an attacker's dream, as it could be used for: ad fraud (by continuing to load ads even when the user is navigating other sites), zero-day attacks (by downloading exploit code even after the user has left the page), tech support scams (by showing errors and popups on legitimate and reputable sites), and malvertising (by redirecting users later on, from other sites, even if they leave the malicious site too quickly).

This severe flaw in the browser security model affects only Internet Explorer 11, which unfortunately is the second most used browser version, after Chrome 55, with a market share of over 10%. Even worse for IE11 users, there's no fix available for this issue because the researcher has decided to stop reporting bugs to Microsoft after they've ignored many of his previous reports.

For IE11 users, a demo page is available here.

Submission + - Congressional IT Staffers Took $100K from Iraqi Politician

RoccamOccam writes: Three brothers, working as IT staffers for several Democrat congressional representatives took $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, according to this report based on court documents.

The trio worked for dozens of representatives, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional emails and other sensitive documents.

Submission + - Holding Shift + F10 During Windows 10 Updates Opens Root CLI, Bypasses BitLocker (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Windows security expert and infrastructure trainer Sami Laiho says that by holding SHIFT + F10 while a Windows 10 computer is installing a new OS build, an attacker can open a command-line interface with SYSTEM privileges. This CLI debugging interface also grants the attacker full access to the computer's hard drive data, despite the presence of BitLocker. The CLI debugging interface is present when updating to new Windows 10 and Windows 10 Insiders builds.

The most obvious exploitation scenario is when a user leaves his computer unattended during the update procedure. A malicious insider can open the CLI debugger and perform malicious operations under a root user, despite BitLocker's presence. But there are other scenarios where Laiho's SHIFT + F10 trick can come in handy. For example when police have seized computers from users who deployed BitLocker or when someone steals your laptop. Windows 10 defaults help police/thieves in this case because these defaults forcibly update computers, even if the user hasn't logged on for weeks or months.

Submission + - It Will Soon Be Illegal To Punish Customers Who Criticize Businesses Online (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Congress has passed a law protecting the right of U.S. consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies. The bipartisan Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate yesterday, a Senate Commerce Committee announcement said. The bill, introduced in 2014, was already approved by the House of Representatives and now awaits President Obama's signature. The Consumer Review Fairness Act—full text available here—voids any provision in a form contract that prohibits or restricts customers from posting reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of the company providing the product or service. It also voids provisions that impose penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews as well as those that require customers to give up the intellectual property rights related to such reviews. The legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the new law and impose penalties when necessary. The bill also protects reviews that aren't available via the Internet.

Submission + - What's the best Linux Laptop?

sconeu writes: This came up in the "Which laptop could replace a Macbook Pro?" story. It was rightfully marked off-topic there, but I thought it might make an interesting discussion.

I'm currently looking into replacing my 10 year old Toshiba Satellite with a newer laptop. I'm looking to run some flavor of Linux (probably KDE based UI, but not mandatory) while using a VM to run Win 7 (for stuff needed for work).

For me, personally, battery life and weight are more important than raw power. I'm not going to be running games on this.

I've been considering an XPS 13 Developer Edition, or something from System76, ZaReason or Emperor Linux.

What laptop do you use? Do you have any suggestions?

Submission + - Trump considering MIT grad for head Science position (thelibertyconservative.com)

SonicSpike writes: A confidential source on the Trump transition team has told The Liberty Conservative that Rep. Thomas Massie, an award-winning, MIT-educated engineer, elected to Congress in 2012, is under consideration for the job of Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a role commonly known as Science Advisor to the President. Massie currently serves as Chairman for the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation in the House of Representatives and is a libertarian-leaning Republican.

Submission + - SQL Server on Linux (microsoft.com)

mj1ab writes: Earlier in the year Microsoft announced that the next version of SQL Server would run on Linux. The first CTP (Community Technology Preview) of SQL Server v.Next is now available: SQL Server v.Next—SQL Server on Linux. It seems to work as expected on a 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 VM, but SQL Server Management Studio reports the OS as NT 6.2 (Windows Server 2012) and the data paths as C:\var\opt\mssql\data\. I guess it has a long way to go before the final release.

Submission + - China passes law requiring full access to customer data (deepdotweb.com) 1

AnonymousCube writes: As if there wasn't enough reason to want tech companies to stay out of China, the Chinese government has passed a new cybersecurity law requiring companies to give them full access to customer information.

Companies are also required to give government investigators complete access to their data if there is suspected wrong-doing, and Internet operators must cooperate in any national security or crime-related investigation.

Note that China has an extremely flexible definition of "national security".
Additionally computer equipment will need to undergo mandatory certification, that could involve giving up source code, encryption keys, or even proprietary intellectual data, as Microsoft has been doing for some time.

Submission + - Germany's Justice Minister Says Facebook Should Be Treated As a Media Company (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Germany's Justice Minister says he believes Facebook should be treated like a media company rather than a technology platform, suggesting he favors moves to make social media groups criminally liable for failing to remove hate speech. Under a program that runs until March, German authorities are monitoring how many racist posts reported by Facebook users are deleted within 24 hours. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged to take legislative measures if the results are still unsatisfactory by then. Maas has said the European Union needs to decide whether platform companies should be treated like radio or television stations, which can be held accountable for the content they publish. Under current EU guidelines Facebook and other social media networks are not liable for any criminal content or hate posts hosted on their platform. Instead, in May Facebook, Google's YouTube and Twitter signed the EU hate speech code, vowing to fight racism and xenophobia by reviewing the majority of hate speech notifications within 24 hours. But the code is voluntary not legally binding. The state justice ministers meeting in Berlin called on the government to take swift action against hate speech on the Internet. The ministers called for more transparency and said social media companies should be obliged to regularly publish figures on how many hate posts have been deleted. They also wanted more public information on how notifications are processed and the criteria behind the decision making. Facebook says it is a technology company, not a media company, that builds the tools to supply users with news and information but does not produce content.

Submission + - What to Do When Your Startup Won't Stop Bro-ing Out (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Karen Wickre has survived the highs and lows of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers, and now she's taking her years of tech experience to Backchannel to answer your burning workplace questions. First up: what to do when you're a sole woman on a team of bro developers; how to avoid getting aged out of tech; and how to handle a brown-nosing coworker who keeps taking credit for your work.

Submission + - According to Snopes, Fake News Is Not the Problem (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In the wake of last week's election, everyone's panicking about the plague of fake news on Facebook—but the chief myth busters over at Snopes are less worried about blatantly fake news than they are about a failing media. At Backchannel, Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski sums it up as such: “When you’re on your fifth story of the day and there’s no editor because the editor’s been fired and there’s no fact checker so you have to Google it yourself and you don’t have access to any academic journals or anything like that, you will screw stories up." Welcome to the post-fact media.

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