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Submission + - Why Brexit could cause data privacy headaches for US companies (networkworld.com)

Brandon Butler writes: More fallout from Brexit, this time for tech companies. The UK voting to leave the EU could create huge headaches for companies with international operations. When the UK is part of the EU it has the same data sovereignty laws as other member countries. When the UK breaks away, those laws could change. Although no official data privacy laws have been established yet, companies operating in Europe may have to manage one set of data privacy laws for the UK and another for the EU post-split.

Submission + - Is It Ever OK to Quit on the Spot? 3

HughPickens.com writes: Employees and employers alike have the right under at-will employment laws in almost all states to end their relationship without notice, for any reason, but the two-week rule is a widely accepted standard of workplace conduct. Now Sue Shellenbarger writes at the WSJ that employers say a growing number of workers are leaving without giving two weeks’ notice. Some bosses blame young employees who feel frustrated by limited prospects or have little sense of attachment to their workplace. But employment experts say some older workers are quitting without notice as well. They feel overworked or unappreciated after years of laboring under pay cuts and expanded workloads imposed during the recession. One employee at Dupray, a customer-service rep, scheduled a meeting and announced she was quitting, then rose and headed for the exit. She seemed surprised when the director of human resources stopped her and explained that employees are expected to give two weeks’ notice. “She said, ‘I’ve been watching ‘Suits,’ and this is how it happens,’ ” referring to the TV drama set in a law firm.

According to Shellenbarger, quitting without notice is sometimes justified. Employees with access to proprietary information, such as those working in sales or new-product development, face a conflict of interest if they accept a job with a competitor. Employees in such cases typically depart right away—ideally, by mutual agreement. It can also be best to exit quickly if an employer is abusive, or if you suspect your employer is doing something illegal. More often, quitting without notice “is done in the heat of emotion, by someone who is completely frustrated, angry, offended or upset,” says David Lewis, president of OperationsInc., a Norwalk, Conn., human-resources consulting firm. That approach can burn bridges and generate bad references. Phyllis Hartman says employees have a responsibility to try to communicate about what’s wrong. “Start figuring out if there is anything you can do to fix it. The worst that can happen is that nobody listens or they tell you no."

Submission + - 3 Million Strong Botnet Grows Right Under Twitter's Nose (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Somebody created a botnet of three million Twitter accounts in one single day, and Twitter staff didn't even flinch, even if the huge 35.4 registrations/second should have caught the eye of any IT staffer. Another weird particularity is that the botnet was also synchronized to use Twitter usernames similar to Twitter IDs. Couple this with a gap of 168 million IDs before and after the botnet's creation, it appears that someone specifically reserved those IDs. The IDs were reserved in October 2013, but the botnet was registered in April 2014 (except 2 accounts registered in March 2014). It's like Twitter's registration process skipped 168 million IDs, and someone came back a few months later and used them.

The botnet can be found at @sfa_200xxxxxxx, where xxxxxxx is a number that increments from 0 000 000 to 2 999 999. All accounts have a similar structure. They have "name" instead of the Twitter profile handle, display the same registration date, and feature the text "some kinda description" in the profile bio field.

Additionally, there are also two smaller botnets available as well. Additionally, there are also two smaller botnets available as well. One can be found between @cas_2050000000 and @cas_2050099999, and was registered between March 3 and March 5, 2015. The second is between @wt_2050100000 and @wt_2050199999, and was registered between October 23 and November 22, 2014. Both have 100,000 accounts each.

Theoretically, these types of botnets can be used for malware C&C servers, Twitter spam, or to sell fake Twitter followers. At 3 million bots, the botnet accounts for 1% of Twitter's monthly active users.

Submission + - Interview With a Craigslist Scammer

snydeq writes: Ever wonder what motivates people who swindle others on Craigslist? Roger Grimes did, so he set up a fake Harley Davidson ad on Craigslist, and requested an interview with each scammer who replied to the ad. One agreed, and the man's answers shed light on the inner world of Craiglist scamming: 'If you mean how often I make money from Craigslist, it depends on the day or week. Many weeks I make nothing. Some weeks I can get five people sending me money. But I respond to a lot of ads to get one email back. I’m not only doing Craigslist — there are many similar places. I haven’t counted, but many. It takes many emails to get paid. That’s what I mean. Some weeks I lose money. It’s harder than most people think. But I don’t have to go into a place at a certain time and deal with bosses and customers. I can make my own time.'

Submission + - Bigger Isn't Better as Mega-Ships Get Too Big and Too Risky

HughPickens.com writes: Alan Minter writes at Bloomberg that between 1955 and 1975, the average volume of a container ship doubled — and then doubled again over each of the next two decades. The logic behind building such giants was once unimpeachable: Globalization seemed like an unstoppable force, and those who could exploit economies of scale could reap outsized profits. But it is looking more and more like the economies of scale for mega-ships are not worth the risk. The quarter-mile-long Benjamin Franklin recently became the largest cargo ship ever to dock at a U.S. port and five more mega-vessels are supposed to follow. But today's largest container vessels can cost $200 million and carry many thousands of containers — potentially creating $1 billion in concentrated, floating risk that can only dock at a handful of the world's biggest ports. Mega-ships make prime targets for cyberattacks and terrorism, suffer from a dearth of qualified personnel to operate them, and are subject to huge insurance premiums.

But the biggest costs associated with these floating behemoths are on land — at the ports that are scrambling to accommodate them. New cranes, taller bridges, environmentally perilous dredging, and even wholesale reconfiguration of container yards are just some of the costly disruptions that might be needed to receive a Benjamin Franklin and service it efficiently. Under such circumstances, you'd think that ship owners would start to steer clear of big boats. But, fearful of falling behind the competition and hoping to put smaller operators out of business, they're actually doing the opposite. Global capacity will increase by 4.5 percent this year "Sooner or later, even the biggest operators will have to accept that the era of super-sized shipping has begun to list," concludes Minter. " With global growth and trade still sluggish, and the benefits of sailing and docking big boats diminishing with each new generation, ship owners are belatedly realizing that bigger isn't better."

Submission + - Mobile Device Users Pay for Their Own Surveillance

Nicola Hahn writes: While top secret NSA documents continue to trickle into the public sphere tech industry leaders have endeavored to reassure anxious users by extolling the benefits of strong encryption. Rising demand among users for better privacy protection signifies a growth market for the titans of Silicon Valley and this results in a tendency to frame the issue of cyber security in terms of the latest mobile device. Yet whistleblowers from our intelligence services offer dire warnings that contrast sharply with feel good corporate talking points. Ed Snowden, for example, noted that under mass surveillance we’re essentially “tagged animals” who pay for our own tags. Hence there’s an argument to be made that the vast majority of network-connected gadgets enable monitoring far more than they protect individual liberty and perhaps in some instances the most secure option is to opt out.

Submission + - Hackers Used Nearly One Million IPs to Brute-Force a Financial Institution (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In just one week back in February, crooks used over one million different IPs to test login credentials and hijack user accounts for various companies. The biggest attack was against an unnamed financial institution. Crooks used 993,547 distinct IPs to check login credentials for 427,444,261 accounts. For most of these attacks, the crooks used proxy servers, but also two botnets, one of compromised Arris cable modems, and one of ZyXel routers/modems.

Most of these credentials have been acquired from public breaches or underground hacking forums. This happened before the recent huge data breaches such as MySpace, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and VK.com. Just this week, a similar attack was launched against GitHub, who eventually reset the passwords of all affected users.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Looking For A Good Desktop Linux 6

Crashmarik writes: It's been about ten years since I last tried to make a go of Linux on the desktop thought it might be an idea to see what the experience of the Slashdot community is. First let me get the definition of good out of the way. The Linux in question should
1. Provide snappy performance with somewhat older harder (E8400 processor, Geforce 8800, 8 Gig Memory, SATA HD)
2. Be able to install and run NoMachine remote access without headaches.
3. Have an intuitive and headache free desktop/GUI (Preferably with default file associations)
4. Be nice if it used init but can live with systemd

Submission + - Snap Packages Become the Universal Binary Format for All GNU/Linux Distributions 1

prisoninmate writes: Canonical informed us that they've been working for some time with developers from various major GNU/Linux distributions to make the Snap package format universal for all OSes. Snap is an innovation from Canonical created specifically for the Snappy technology used in Snappy Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu designed from the ground up to be deployed on various embedded and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Canonical launched the Snap packages for the desktop and server too. At the moment, we're being informed that the Snap package format is working natively on popular GNU/Linux operating systems like Arch Linux, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux, OpenWrt, as well as Ubuntu and its official flavors, including Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Lubuntu.

Submission + - About 95 % of U.S. transnational internet backbones allegedly tapped by NSA, CIA (cryptome.org)

Dave_Minsky writes: James Atkinson with Massachusetts-based Granite Island Group, an "internationally recognized leader in the field of technical surveillance counter measures," wrote in an email to Cryptome.org on June 10 that roughly 800 of the internet backbones (around 95 percent of U.S. backbone fiber) that criss-cross the oceans are tapped by U.S. intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA, which have installed equipment at point-of-entry stations throughout the county's shoreline.

The taps are passive but are converted to active filtering nodes, enabling traffic disruption and injection, Atkinson wrote.

What's even more alarming is Atkinson says the telecommunications companies that own the cables are "silently cooperating by not implementing point-to-point bulk traffic encryption."

"This means that all the talk about legal instruments, NSLs etc. is immaterial, and that Tor traffic is practically vulnerable," Atkinson wrote to Cryptome.

https://cryptome.org/2016/06/8...

Submission + - Laid-Off Americans, Required to Zip Lips on Way Out, Grow Bolder (nytimes.com)

Indigo writes: New York Times: American corporations are under new scrutiny from federal lawmakers after well-publicized episodes in which the companies laid off American workers and gave the jobs to foreigners on temporary visas.

But while corporate executives have been outspoken in defending their labor practices before Congress and the public, the American workers who lost jobs to global outsourcing companies have been largely silent.

Until recently. Now some of the workers who were displaced are starting to speak out, despite severance agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers.

Submission + - Towards A Global Network Of Neighbourhoods And Cities Rejecting Surveillance

Presto Vivace writes: Connect with other rebel cities and collectives

To free ourselves from surveillance and other repressive and authoritarian forms of power that this opens up, we must immediately activate the mechanisms of law that allow us to oversee the functions of mass surveillance systems in our cities. And do this collectively, in coordination with other cities affected by the problem. Just as there are Smart Cities networks we should form our own Rebel Cities networks where surveillance is rejected and participatory democracy is affirmed, a democracy framed in respect for human rights and diversity, focused on collective solutions, which is the true path to safer cities. Not cameras.

We can then simultaneously activate collaborative mechanisms to prevent their expansion. Make freedom of information requests for public information detailing their costs. Demand studies on their results. Take serious legal action in face of possible illegal uses of surveillance for discriminatory policies. Demand from authorities protection of personal data where it exists, and where it does not, demand that human rights authorities undertake feasibility studies, weighing the impact on individual guarantees before installing systems. Democracy begins and ends there. In its exercise.

This is why it matters who gets elected to city council.

Submission + - Companies Finding It Harder To Conceal H1-B Abuses (nytimes.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: In America, it's common practice to make severance pay for laid-off workers contingent on signing a "nondisparagement clause" that prohibits workers from ever speaking ill of their former employers. But as more and more layoffs are precipitated by illegal practices like hiring H1B visa-holders and forcing existing workers to train them as a condition of severance bonuses, workers are growing bolder and refusing to sign gag-clauses — or breaking them and daring their former employers to sue. Marco Peña was among about 150 technology workers who were laid off in April by Abbott Laboratories, but he decided not to sign the agreement that was given to all departing employees, which included a nondisparagement clause. Mr. Peña said his choice cost him at least $10,000 in severance pay. “I just didn’t feel right about signing,” Mr. Peña said. “The clauses were pretty blanket. I felt like they were eroding my rights," he revealed in an expose by the New York Times.

Submission + - ~20k Homes in Connecticut are worthless (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: This is being told to homeowners across nearly 20 towns in northeastern Connecticut. The problem has been traced back to foundations which used materials from a specific quarry and related concrete maker since the 1980's.

From the NYT

The scope of the problem is so vast that state officials have begun an investigation, and they recently announced that the crumbling foundations had been traced to a quarry business and a related concrete maker, which have agreed to stop selling their products for residential use. The stone aggregate used in the concrete mixture has high levels of pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide mineral that can react with oxygen and water to cause swelling and cracking. Over the past 30 years, the quarry has provided concrete for as many as 20,000 houses.


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