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Submission + - Amazon's new 6K LOC SSL/TLS implementation (amazon.com)

bmearns writes: Amazon announced today a new library called "s2n", an open source implementation of SSL/TLS, the cryptographic security protocols behind HTTPS, SSH, SFTP, secure SMTP, and many others. Weighing in at about 6k lines of code, it's just a little more than 1% the size of OpenSSL, which is really good news in terms of security auditing and testing. OpenSSL isn't going away, and Amazon has made clear that they will continue to support it. Notably, s2n does not provide all the additional cryptographic functions that OpenSSL provides in libcrypto, it only provides the SSL/TLS functions. Further more, it implements a relatively small subset of SSL/TLS features compared to OpenSSL.

Submission + - Another possible Voynich breakthrough, this time not by botanists

bmearns writes: Over the past few weeks we've been hearing a lot about a possible breakthrough in decoding the infamous Voynich manuscript, made by a team of botanists who suggested that the plants depicted in the manuscrit may have been from the New World and the mysterious writing could be a form of an Aztec language. But the latest development comes from linguist Stephen Bax, of Bedfordshire University, who believes he has identified some proper names (including of the constellation "Taurus") in the manuscript and is using these as a crib to begin deciphering the rest of the text, which he believes comes from the near east or Asia.

Submission + - Voynich Manuscript may have originated in New World

bmearns writes: The Voynich Manuscript is every geek's favorite "indecipherable" illuminated manuscript. It's bizarre depictions of strange plants and animals, astrological diagrams, and hordes of tiny naked women bathing in a system of interconnected tubs that bare an uneasy resemblance to the human digestive system, have inspired numerous essays and doctoral theses', plus one XKCD comic. Now a team of botanists (yes, botanists) may have uncovered an important clue as to its origin and content, by identifying several of the plants and animals depicted, and linking them to the Spanish territories in Central America.

Submission + - Hypothetical: Can Bruce Schneier be Trusted 1

An anonymous reader writes: Security guru Bruce Schneier is, among other things, a world renowned cryptography expert, author of several popular books, and a second-order internet meme. He is also an outspoken critic of the NSA, in particular the massive NSA surveillance programs disclosed over the summer by Edward Snowden. Schneier has been involved in reviewing the leaked documents and has put in effort to determine which cryptosystems should still be considered safe. I'm a big fan of Bruce Schneier, but just to play devil's advocate, let's say, hypothetically, that Schneier is actually in cahoots with the NSA. Who better to reinstate public trust in weakened cryptosystems? As an exercise in security that Schneier himself may find interesting, what methods are available for proving (or at least affirming) that we can trust Bruce Schneier?

Submission + - Ray Dolby Dies at 80

bmearns writes: NPR is reporting that audio pioneer Ray Dolby has died, at age 80. Dolby is best known for inventing an important noise reduction technique for audio called Dolby SR, and for founding Dolby Laboratories which contributed immensely to the development of surround sound technology.

Submission + - Full moon may effect sleep after all 1

bmearns writes: NPR is reporting that new statistical research by Swiss scientist Christian Cajochen suggests that the full moon may actually have an impact on human sleep, both in terms of duration and quality. "We found that people who entered the lab during a full moon slept, on average, 20 minutes less than people who came in during the new moon phase," says Cajochen. The results were statistically significant, but Cajochen admits that he is still skeptical of the conclusion.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to store data in hardcopy

bmearns writes: I have some simple plain-text files (e.g., account information) that I want to print on paper and store in my firebox as a backup to my backup. What's the best way to encode the data for print so that it can later be restored to digital form? I've considered just printing it as text and using OCR to recover it. The upsides are that it's easy and I can even access the information without a computer if necessary. Downsides are data density, no encryption, no error correction, and how well does OCR work, anyway? Another option is printing 2D barcodes. Upsides are density, error correction, I could encrypt the data before printing. Downsides are that I'll need to split it up into multiple barcodes due to maximum capacity of popular barcode formats, and I can't access the data without a computer. Did I miss any options? What do slashdotters suggest?

Submission + - Hawkeye Initiative Highlights Sexism in Comic Books with Humor

An anonymous reader writes: For those who haven't seen it yet, The Hawkeye Initiative is a creative project to highlight sexism in comic book art. The concept is simple: take an image of a woman from a comic book and substitute in Hawkeye (or another male character), and notice just how absurd the image (the pose, the costume, the proportions) actually is. A related treatment of sci-fi and fantasy book covers by fantasy author Jim C. Hines takes the bit a step further with photographs of himself attempting to replicate the cover art.

Submission + - Greater Boston Shutdown for Massive Manhunt of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects (wbur.org)

bmearns writes: Two suspects in Monday's Boston Marathon Bombing have been identified, one is dead after an overnight a shootout in Watertown, MA, the other is on the run and considered armed and extremely dangerous. A massive manhunt is underway for the remaining suspect, identified as 19 year old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev of Cambridge, leading to a shelter-in-place order for all of Boston and a number of surrounding towns and cities.

Submission + - No Rapture for Christmas Station (sc.edu)

bmearns writes: It's past 6PM on May 21, 2011 at XMAS geological station on Kiritimati Island, and 0 earthquakes have been detected. (Warning, crazy slow loading site: may be a fair ton of traffic. Importantly, the site is still responding.).

Submission + - Watson Bets on Primes 1

bmearns writes: In case you missed it, Watson's wager for final Jeopardy tonight was prime: $947.

Submission + - Looking for Network Textbook

An anonymous reader writes: I'm looking for suggestions for a good text book on networks. I'm a computer engineer so I'm looking for something technical (no "...for dummies", please). I know a lot of basics about networks, but want to learn more of the details: things like routing protocols, Ethernet, VPN, and preferably at least some basic wifi stuff.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky