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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 + - The Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump presidential debate set a YouTube record (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: Apparently, I was not the only one watching the debate and staying tuned-in. On YouTube in particular, the election event was wildly popular, where it set a new viewing record. While not the most-watched live stream overall, it was the most-watched political live stream in the site's history.

Submission + - When is a bug too old to be fixed? (treats.wdt.io)

An anonymous reader writes: That’s the question after the discovery of a nearly 30 year old bug in cron. At what point would a fix break things for too many people accustomed to the existing behaviour? A must-read for anyone working with cron schedules.

Submission + - The Big Driver of Mass Incarceration That Nobody Talks About (the-american-interest.com) 1

schwit1 writes: If you follow media coverage of America’s mass incarceration problem, you are likely to hear a lot about unscrupulous police officers, mandatory minimums, and drug laws. But you are unlikely to hear these two words that have probably played a larger role in producing the excesses of the American criminal justice system than anything else: plea coercion.

The number of criminal cases that actually go to trial in America is steadily dwindling. That’s because prosecutors have so much leverage during plea bargaining that most defendants take an offer—in particular, defendants who are held on bail, and who might need to wait in jail for months or even years before standing trial and facing an uncertain outcome.

We reported last week on a study from Columbia showing that all things being equal, defendants in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia who were made to pay bail are much more likely to plead guilty. Since then, a separate study from researchers at Harvard, Princeton and Stanford has come out that reaches a similar conclusion. . . .

Of course, bail remains a vital tool for judges, and some defendants are too dangerous to be let out before their trial, period. But there are ways we might be able to reform the pre-trial detention system so as to reduce the number of defendants who simply resign themselves to a guilty plea out of desperation since they can’t come up with the money to buy their temporary freedom. For example, the average amount of money bail assessed should be reduced (it has risen exponentially over the last several decades) and courts should experiment with ankle bracelets and home visits to monitor defendants rather than holding them in a jail cell before they have been convicted of a crime.

The focus on policing and minimum sentences and drug laws in the public discourse is all well and good. But if they are serious about making our justice system more fair and less arbitrary, criminal justice reformers should devote more of their efforts to reforming what happens in the period after arrest and before sentencing. That’s an area where big progress can be made with relatively straightforward, and politically palatable reforms.

Submission + - Another Windows 10 Update Causing Problems (windowsreport.com) 2

sexconker writes: The recently-released cumulative update for Windows 10 (KB3140743) is reportedly causing problems. Symptoms include crashes, BSODs, and the inability to boot, even in safe mode. The Windows 10 subreddit has many threads detailing the inability to boot.

The only fix seems to be booting to a recovery ISO, uninstalling the update / rolling back, and hoping you don't get hit again.
W10Privacy 2 claims to be able to (among other things) give Windows 10 users control over the automatic updates.

Submission + - FujiFilm discontinues last film for millions of Polaroid cameras (fastcompany.com) 1

harrymcc writes: Polaroid stopped making film for its instant cameras in 2008. Thanks to Polaroid-compatible film from FujiFilm, many fans of instant photography kept on shooting with classic models such as the Big Shot, which Andy Warhol used in the 1970s. But FujiFilm has announced that it's discontinuing production of peel-apart instant film, which means that an array of cameras which survived Polaroid's own exit from instant photography will finally be orphaned.

Submission + - Linux Mint Website Hacked, Download Links Modified to Point to Malicious ISOs

prisoninmate writes: Clement Lefebvre, leader of the Linux Mint project, informed users of the popular, Ubuntu-based distribution that the servers where the Linux Mint website is hosted have been hacked to point to specially crafted ISOs. According to Mr. Lefebvre, it appears that a group of hackers created a modified Linux Mint ISO, which included a backdoor. Then, they hacked into the Linux Mint website and modified the download links to point users to the malicious ISO image. The whole story can be read on the official Linux Mint blog!

Submission + - Windows 10 forced update resets default apps to Microsoft products

Freshly Exhumed writes: Microsoft has told The INQUIRER that it is aware of a bug which has been causing users' default programs to switch to the bundled Microsoft options. After deleting the update, a user discovered the next day that Windows had reinstalled it, and reset the defaults again. InfoWorld gives some real world scenarios: "If you have Chrome as the default browser on your Windows 10 computer, you'd better check to make sure Microsoft didn't hijack it last week and set Edge as your new default. The same goes for any PDF viewer: A forced cumulative update also reset PDF viewing to Edge on many PCs. Do you use IrfanView, Acdsee, Photoshop Express, or Elements? The default photo app may have been reset to — you guessed it — the Windows Photos app. Music? Video? Microsoft may have swooped down and changed you over to Microsoft Party apps, all in the course of last week's forced cumulative update KB3135173."

Submission + - Pwn2Own 2016 Won't Attack Firefox (cause it's too easy!) (eweek.com) 1

darthcamaro writes: For the last decade, the Pwn2own hacking competition has pitted the world's best hackers against web browsers to try and find zero-day vulnerabilities in a live event. The contest, which is sponsored by HPE and TrendMicro this year is offering over half a million dollars in prize money, but for the first time, not a penny of that will directed to Mozilla Firefox. While Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and Apple Safari are targets, Firefox isn't because it's apparently too easy and not keeping up with modern security.

"We wanted to focus on the browsers that have made serious security improvements in the last year," Brian Gorenc, manager of Vulnerability Research at HPE said.


Submission + - Bug List for F-35 is huge. (extremetech.com) 1

nairnr writes: ExtremeTech has an article on the extensive bugs that the F-35 program has still in it. It is the longest development cycle of any plane and problems keeping on getting pushed back.

The US plan to buy a block of planes while still not operational means every plane will require some level of refit in order to go into service.

Submission + - Fewer Degrees Of Separation With Facebook (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: Six degrees of separation is the, already well established, idea that any individual is connected to any other via six network nodes. New research — Three and a half degrees of separation has discovered that the average between Facebook users is just three and a half.

We know that people are more connected today than ever before. Over the past five years, the global Facebook community has more than doubled in size. Today we’re announcing that during that same time period, the degrees of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users has continued to decrease to 3.57 degrees, down from 3.74 degrees in 2011. This is a significant reflection of how closely connected the world has become.

This may all be true and Facebook makes us better connected, but it leaves the question of the quality of the connections open. Are Facebook friends anything like real friends?

Submission + - Let's Not Go to Mars

HughPickens.com writes: Ed Regis write in the NYT that today we an witnessing an outburst of enthusiasm over the literally outlandish notion that in the relatively near future, some of us are going to be living, working, thriving and dying on Mars. But unfortunately Mars mania reflects an excessively optimistic view of what it actually takes to travel to and live on Mars, papering over many of the harsh realities and bitter truths that underlie the dream. "First, there is the tedious business of getting there. Using current technology and conventional chemical rockets, a trip to Mars would be a grueling, eight- to nine-month-long nightmare for the crew," writes Regis. "Tears, sweat, urine and perhaps even solid waste will be recycled, your personal space is reduced to the size of an SUV., and you and your crewmates are floating around sideways, upside down and at other nauseating angles." According to Regis every source of interpersonal conflict, and emotional and psychological stress that we experience in ordinary, day-to-day life on Earth will be magnified exponentially by restriction to a tiny, hermetically sealed, pressure-cooker capsule hurtling through deep space and to top it off, despite these constraints, the crew must operate within an exceptionally slim margin of error with continuous threats of equipment failures, computer malfunctions, power interruptions and software glitches.

But getting there is the easy part says Regis. "Mars is a dead, cold, barren planet on which no living thing is known to have evolved, and which harbors no breathable air or oxygen, no liquid water and no sources of food, nor conditions favorable for producing any. For these and other reasons it would be accurate to call Mars a veritable hell for living things, were it not for the fact that the planet’s average surface temperature is minus 81 degrees Fahrenheit." These are only a few of the many serious challenges that must be overcome before anyone can put human beings on Mars and expect them to live for more than five minutes says Regis. "The notion that we can start colonizing Mars within the next 10 years or so is an overoptimistic, delusory idea that falls just short of being a joke."

Submission + - Microsoft refuses to answer questions about forced Windows 10 downloads (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Just last week Microsoft managed to piss off a lot of people by secretly downloading the Windows 10 installation files to their computers without permission. The comments from BetaNews readers were plentiful, but divided. Some didn't see the problem, while others thought it to be invasive and presumptive.

But there was one question that popped up again and again — just what the hell was Microsoft thinking? I decided to try to find out but found that the company was somewhat cagey with what it wanted to say on the matter. This is not on. People are more than a little annoyed, and they are demanding answers. They deserve them.

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