Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - USA uses TPP-like trade-court to kill massive Indian solar project ( 2

AmiMoJo writes: The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 ("more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined") but because India specified that the solar panels for it were to be domestically sourced, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it. The USA has its own domestic solar initiatives that generally have "buy local" rules, but those are permissible under the WTO. The WTO court ruled that India's buy-local rules were not. The Trans Pacific Partnership, a secretly negotiated trade agreement, expands the sorts of powers the WTO creates to allow multinationals to sue governments to repeal policies that undermine their profitability. Expect lots more of this in the future if the TPP passes.

Submission + - Windows 8.1 Update creates chaos for many users 1

arglebargle_xiv writes: Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update has been creating chaos for many users, as demonstrated by threads running to six hundred and eight hundred messages respectively in Microsoft's support forums. Users report spending days trying to get it to work, with the Microsoft-recommend solution of using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool fixing some failed updates, followed by more recent reports of it corrupting the Windows component store and requiring a complete reinstall of Windows. For users with OEM pre-installs, that means going out and buying a Windows 8.1 CD. Since no further updates are possible without the 8.1 Update, this now leaves large numbers of users of Microsoft's latest OS in the same boat as Windows XP users.

Submission + - Obama To Veto Anti-Net-Neutrality Legislation (

An anonymous reader writes: In a statement of policy on Tuesday, the White House announced that President Obama will veto upcoming legislation that would undermine the FCC's net neutrality rules. According to the statement (PDF), the rules "reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation.' The statement continued, 'It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.'

Submission + - Apple ban security expert for exposing iOS flaw ( 1

Albanach writes: Reuters is reporting that Apple has expelled Charlie Miller, a researcher with Accuvant Labs and highly regarded cybersecurity expert from its iOS developers' programs. The move comes after he publicly demonstrated a flaw in its iOS operating system. Miller disclosed that he had figured out a way to build apps that can secretly download other programs that are capable of stealing data, sending text messages or destroying information. After disclosing the flaw via YouTube, Apple retaliated by banning Miller from the developer program for at least one year.

Submission + - Security measures which make you less secure (

jds91md writes: "Marvelous free audio & video of economist Tim Harford's presentation at the London School of Economics on one of the chapters in his recent book, "Adapt: How Success Always Starts With Failure". In it he details history and interesting cases of trying to produce more safety and security in devices and systems which turn out to do the opposite. His examples span from oil rig disasters to financial instruments, and of course have much bearing on IT security. Includes marvelous quotes like, "it's like we gave airbags to Wall Street, so they decided to drive drunk", and mentions of tribbles. Excellent speaker, I hope you all enjoy."

Submission + - Unknown Malware Rampant in Enterprise Networks (

Orome1 writes: New research from Palo Alto Networks shows that every tested network uncovered instances of real-world attacks from malware that was previously unknown. Researchers were also able to observe how phishing campaigns are branching out to new applications, such as web-based file hosting and webmail applications, to deliver their malware. Seven percent of all unknown files analyzed contained malware. Over a three month period of analyzing unknown files from the Internet entering enterprise networks, more than 700 unique malware samples were discovered, 57 percent of which had no coverage by any antivirus service or were unknown by Virus Total at the time of discovery.

Submission + - AMD accidentally leaks 1.7 million DiRT 3 keys (

An anonymous reader writes: The free game with every graphics card deal has finally backfired for AMD and Codemasters. Due to a lack of .htaccess, 1.7 million keys for a free copy of DiRT 3 on Steam have been leaked. No word from AMD or Codemasters yet, but I'm sure Valve will block all the codes on Steam soon. One question that remains: if you used one of the codes will Steam ban your account? There could be a few very unhappy gamers later today if that happens.

Submission + - E Ink demos new displays, gadgets at IFA 2011 (

An anonymous reader writes: E Ink turned up at IFA 2011 with its Triton color e-paper which has exactly the same properties as the monochrome version found in the Kindle (two-month battery life, no power use when viewing a page, as readable as a sheet of paper) while adding 4,096 colors. We also get to see the E Ink watch, signage, cellphone and USB stick displays, and the latest glass-less e-paper inside a credit card. E Ink also hope to use the new plastic substrate in future e-readers meaning they will be thinner, light, and shatterproof unlike those that ship today.

Submission + - Canada Encouraged US To Place It on Piracy List ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Copyright, U.S. lobbying, and the stunning backroom Canadian response gets front page news treatment today in Canada as the Toronto Star covers new revelations on copyright by Michael Geist (who offers a longer post with links to the cables) from the U.S. cables released by Wikileaks. The cables reveal that former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before it was to be tabled it in the House of Commons, former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s director of policy Zoe Addington encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list, Privy Council Office official Ailish Johnson disclosed the content of ministerial mandate letters, and former RCMP national coordinator for intellectual property crime Andris Zarins advised the U.S. that the government was working on a separate intellectual property enforcement bill.
The Internet

Submission + - Dutch government revokes Diginotar certificates (

An anonymous reader writes: (original Dutch text:

After previously claiming that the Iranian hack of CA Diginotar did not compromise certificates of the Dutch government, it has now been decided that there is too much risk and the certificates will have to be revoked after all. Since the Dutch government has been using only Diginotar-supplied certificates this will leave all government websites with invalid certificates while a new supplier is being searched for. The minister of internal affairs recommends people not to use the websites if a warning about an invalid certificate appears.


Submission + - Leaks show U.S. swayed Canada on copyright bill (

LibRT writes: The Toronto Star reports documents released by Wikileaks, from the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, have a policy director for Canada's then industry minister Tony Clement suggesting it might help U.S. demands for a tough copyright law if Canada were placed among the worst offenders on an international piracy watch list. Days later, the U.S. placed Canada alongside China and Russia on the list.

Submission + - TSA Has Growing Public Relations Problems (

OverTheGeicoE writes: 'The airport is today the scene of some of our most humiliating experiences,' according to 'Aiming to Balance Security and Convenience', a supposedly-paywalled article in the Wall Street Journal. The article is primarily about minor changes to airport screening that may (or may not) be coming soon, but it also depicts US airline passengers increasingly fed up with airport screening procedures. Several passenger stories regarding bad experiences are covered, including one passenger referring to 'TSA's totalitarianism'. 'Complaints about TSA screening filed with the agency jumped 40% this year through June,' the article states, 'compared with the first six months of 2010. In the month of June alone, TSA logged 1,975 screening complaints, more than double the 814 received in June 2010.' Travelers' negative views of TSA are having an economic cost as well. According to surveys by the U.S. Travel Association 'each person avoids two to three trips a year [on average] because of the hassles of airport-security screening. That amounts to an estimated $85 billion in lost business for hotels, restaurants, airlines and other travel suppliers.' Compare the $85 billion lost figure with TSA's airport security budget of about $5 billion.

Other sources confirm TSA's growing public relations problems. Bruce Schneier mentions a job opening at TSA for a Public Affairs Specialist. The posting has expired. Perhaps the opening will be at the administrator's level instead?


Submission + - Linux Kernel Attackers Didn't Know What They Had (

Trailrunner7 writes: The attack that compromised some high-value servers belonging to not the Linux kernel source code--may have been the work of hackers who simply got lucky and didn't realize the value of the servers that they had gotten their hands on.

The attackers made a couple of mistakes that enabled the administrators at to discover the breach and stop it before any major damage occurred. First, they used a known Linux rootkit called Phalanx that the admins were able to detect. And second, the attackers set up SSH backdoors on the compromised servers, which the admins also discovered. Had the hackers been specifically targeting the servers, the attack probably would've looked quite different.

Submission + - Man Faces 75 Year Sentence For Recording Police ( 3

esocid writes: 42-year-old Michael Allison of Illinois could spend the rest of his life in prison for recording police in public. He faces five counts of eavesdropping, a class one felony. The Illinois Assistant Attorney General has joined the case and told the judge that citizens do not have the constitutional right to record police.

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