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Submission + - A year after attacks, phone privacy laws unchanged – but watch out for Tru (

alphadogg writes: Although the perpetrators of the San Bernardino mass shooting were killed in a gun battle with law enforcement within hours of the attack, the FBI’s interest in one terrorist’s iPhone precipitated a public standoff with Apple that captured its own share of national headlines. Here's what industry watchers say has changed since, in terms of phone privacy, and what could change under the new US administration.

Submission + - Startling Nintendo-based vulnerability discovered in Ubuntu (

alphadogg writes: A vulnerability in a multimedia framework present on Version 12.04.5 of Ubuntu can be exploited by sound files meant to be played on the venerable Nintendo Entertainment System, according to security researcher Chris Evans. https://scarybeastsecurity.blo... vulnerability is the result of a flaw in an audio decoder called, which allows gstreamer Version 0.10 to play the NSF files that the NES uses for music.

Submission + - The 10 fastest supercomputers in the world (

alphadogg writes: The twice-annual Top500 list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world (adjudged by their performance on the Linpack benchmark) is out this morning, and there are a pair of newcomers on the list. The list's release coincides with this week's Supercomputing 16 conference in Utah.

Submission + - The future of Drupal could be cooking in this lab (

alphadogg writes: Acquia Labs has no illusions of making self-driving cars or shooting things into space like Google X, but the budding applied research arm of enterprise open-source Drupal provider Acquia does have designs on a slew of new applications for what it anticipates will be an increasingly browserless world.

Submission + - Nomulus: Google open-sources TLD registry platform (

alphadogg writes: Google’s latest foray into open-source software is a cloud-based top-level-domain registrar platform called Nomulus, bringing a substantial chunk of the company’s gigantic internet infrastructure into the public eye.
What Nomulus does, in essence, is manage the domain names under a top-level domain.

Submission + - Mapping the aggressive cloud computing data center expansions of Amazon, Microso (

alphadogg writes: It wasn’t long ago that the big spectator sport in IaaS cloud computing was to watch a leading provider such as Microsoft or Amazon Web Services announce price cuts and then ready for its rivals to follow suit. The new game in town plays out in a similar way, except now the vendors are matching or one-upping each other with new data centers and cloud computing regions.

Submission + - Wyoming's open-source enterprise code library a secret no more (

alphadogg writes: Wyoming’s 250-person Enterprise Technology Services group knew it had a good thing in its open-source Enterprise Extensible Code Library, but it chose to keep things under wraps outside of the state until last week when members of that team attended an annual confab for state government CIOs. The library of reusable code is designed to slash the time and cost it takes to build apps, and provide a platform for others to build upon, possibly resulting in a consolidated app dev system nationwide in the US.

Submission + - Your 2016 Ig Nobel wacky research winners (

alphadogg writes: The Annals of Improbable Research doles out its annual awards for unusual scientific research, including for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and, later, on humans.

Submission + - Homeland Security issues call to action on IoT security (

alphadogg writes: U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Robert Silvers says his purpose in speaking at the Security of Things Forum in Cambridge on Thursday wasn’t to scare anyone, but then he went ahead and called on everyone in the room to “accelerate everything you’re doing” to secure the internet of things. As the Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy at DHS says, IoT security is a public safety issue that involves protecting both the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructures. More specifically, DHS is formulating a series of unifying principles – and best practices — relating to IoT security, including how to patch stuff that’s already in the field and not relying on an unsustainable physical recall process. Building security into the cloud will also be an option.

Submission + - FBI urges ransomware victims to step forward (

alphadogg writes: The FBI has issued a plea for those who have been hit by ransomware to report this to federal law enforcement so that the country can get a better sense of just how bad this problem really is. The FBI does not encourage people paying ransom, but encourages victims to reach out to their local FBI office and/or file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center regardless of whether they did pay.

Submission + - Carnegie Mellon boasts that nearly half of incoming CompSci students now women (

alphadogg writes: Carnegie Mellon University is boasting that nearly half (48%) of incoming School of Computer Science undergraduates are women, a new diversity record for the institution. This echoes results at another top-notch computer science school, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering, which says 46% of its 190 incoming freshmen CompSci students are women. That's up from 24% the year before. These and other schools say the results stem from stepping up STEM outreach to women in middle and high school.

Submission + - Lights out! Why IT shops are disabling wireless AP LEDs (

alphadogg writes: Having seen all sorts of makeshift fixes – from post-it notes to bandages to condom wrappers – used to block wireless access point LEDs from beaming and sometimes blinking, some IT shops have begun turning off the lights altogether even though it can make their jobs a little tougher.

Submission + - Which countries have open-source laws on the books (

alphadogg writes: It’s become increasingly common over the past decade or so to see laws being passed to either mandate the use of open-source software or, at the very least, encourage people in government who make procurement decisions to do so. Here’s a map of the status of open-source laws around the world.

Submission + - 'Mayhem' wins $2M first prize in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge (

alphadogg writes: Cyber-reasoning platform Mayhem pulled down the $2 million first prize in a DARPA-sponsored Cyber Grand Challenge competition that pitted entrants against each other in the classic hacking game Capture the Flag, never before played by programs running on supercomputers. A team from Carnegie Mellon University spin-out All Secure entered Mayhem in the competition against six other programs played in front of thousands in the ballroom of the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Most of the spectators were in town for the DEF CON hacker conference starting Friday at the same site.

Submission + - Google education guru: Classroom laptop bans make no sense (

alphadogg writes: Google Chief Education Evangelist called on universities this week at the Campus Technology 2016 conference in Boston to embrace cultural change to better synch their services with the needs of tech-savvy students. “I’ve been in education for 10 years and I remember talking to CIOs at universities saying technology is not a differentiator for their schoolsthat students don’t pick schools based on their technology,” Casap said. “I can tell you that’s starting to change.”

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