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Submission + - The emotional side of the H-1B visa program explained (computerworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The vast majority of people who work in IT did everything right: They invested in their education, studied difficult subjects, kept their skills updated. They own homes, raise families and look to the future. But no job is safe, no future entirely secure — something IT workers know more than most. Given their role, they are most often the change agents, the people who deploy technologies and bring in automation that can turn workplaces upside down. To survive, they count on being smart, self-reliant and one step ahead. Over the years, Computerworld reporter Patrick Thibodeau has interviewed scores of IT workers who trained their visa-holding replacements. Though details each time may differ, they all tell the same basic story. There are many issues around high-skilled immigration, but to grasp the issue fully you need to understand how the H-1B program can affect American workers.

Submission + - The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun (theguardian.com) 1

mspohr writes: An article published by Bill McKibben in The Guardian points the finger at Exxon for spreading climate change denial which led to lack of action to prevent widespread coral die-off.
"We know the biggest culprits now, because great detective work by investigative journalists has uncovered key facts in the past year. The world’s biggest oil company, Exxon, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its scientists understood how much and how fast it was going to warm, and how much damage that was going to do. And the company knew the scientists were right: that’s why they started “climate-proofing” their own installations, for instance building their drilling rigs to accommodate the sea level rise they knew was coming.

What they didn’t do was tell the rest of us. Instead, they – and many other players in the fossil fuel industry – bankrolled the rise of the climate denial industry, helping fund the “thinktanks” and front groups that spent the last generation propagating the phoney idea that there was a deep debate about the reality of global warming. As a result, we’ve wasted a quarter century in a phoney argument about whether the climate was changing."

Submission + - How Wikipedia manages mental illness and suicide threats among its volunteers (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Wikipedia has some 68,000 active editors, and as with any given population, some of those people experience mental illnesses or disorders. The online encyclopedia is adamant that "Wikipedia is not therapy!", a statement that some find alienating, and despite that disclaimer, the site has had to come up with ways to respond when a volunteer is in crisis. In this longform narrative, we hear the stories of volunteers who've undergone crises either directly or tangentially related to Wikipedia, and we learn how the website handles—or attempts to handle—those situations.

Submission + - Researchers orbit a muon around an atom, confirm physics models are broken (arstechnica.com)

schwit1 writes: The proton's charge radius shouldn't change, and yet it appears to.

This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models. And the researchers who discovered it have now moved on to put a muon in orbit around deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. They confirm that the problem still exists, and there's no way of solving it with existing theories.

Submission + - SPAM: Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order 3

mdsolar writes: The world's next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the 'Holy Grail' of energy policy.

You can track what they are doing at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). There are plans for hydrogen bromide, or zinc-air batteries, or storage in molten glass, or next-generation flywheels, many claiming "drastic improvements" that can slash storage costs by 80pc to 90pc and reach the magical figure of $100 per kilowatt hour in relatively short order.

“Storage is a huge deal,” says Ernest Moniz, the US Energy Secretary and himself a nuclear physicist. He is now confident that the US grid and power system will be completely "decarbonised" by the middle of the century.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:what kind of answer do you want? (Score 1) 8

Three computers - you forgot about the SIM card.

On the good side, there is also Replicant, that attempts to replace everything they can with Open Source. Unfortunately I don't believe they are able to replace the baseband firmware, however I'm under the impression that they have been able to secure phones from interference by the baseband processor.

Submission + - Widespread Linux Flaw Allows TCP Session Hijacking, Data Injection

Trailrunner7 writes: The TCP implementation in all Linux systems built since 2012 has a serious flaw that can allow an attacker to terminate or inject data into a session between any two vulnerable machines on the Internet. The bug could also be used to end encrypted connections or downgrade the privacy of connections run through Tor or other anonymity networks.

The vulnerability was introduced in Linux 3.6 and an attacker does not need to be in a man-in-the-middle position in order to exploit it. The researchers at the University of California Riverside who discovered the flaw say that it results from an attackers ability to infer the TCP sequence numbers for the packets flowing between two hosts.

Submission + - Volkswagen screws up again, total insecurity of their remote controls 1

An anonymous reader writes: Researches from Birmingham (UK) and Germany discovered that vehicles which are manufactured by Volkswagen (including Seat, Skoda and Audi) in at least the last 15 years use a very insecure remote control system. Today, the scientific article, that describes the technical details and severity of the problem, is publicly released at the 25th USENIX Security Symposium 2016. It shows that the remote controls use some sort of cryptography, however, VW simply decided to use only one global encryption key for all their cars worldwide. This basically means there is no security all, only obscurity, since every key and every car contains the same secret. The research report states that:

The attacks are hence highly scalable and could be potentially carried out by an unskilled adversary. Since they are executed solely via the wireless interface, with at least the range of the original remote control (i.e., a few tens of meters), and leave no physical traces, they pose a severe threat in practice.

It is interesting how insurance companies might respond on this exposure. All vulnerable cars can be remotely unlocked with information that is extracted from just one recording that is intercepted from a significant distance. Moreover, the alarm system is disabled as well, which enables an adversary to enter the car and connect directly to the On Board Diagnostic (OBD) socket to disable the immobilizer and drive away.

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