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Submission + - Investigation Finds Inmates Built Computers, Hid Them In Prison Ceiling (cbs6albany.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The discovery of two working computers hidden in a ceiling at the Marion Correctional Institution prompted an investigation by the state into how inmates got access. In late July, 2015 staff at the prison discovered the computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a training room closet. The computers were also connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's network. Authorities say they were first tipped off to a possible problem in July, when their computer network support team got an alert that a computer "exceeded a daily internet usage threshold." When they checked the login being used, they discovered an employee's credentials were being used on days he wasn't scheduled to work. That's when they tracked down where the connection was coming from and alerted Marion Correctional Institution of a possible problem. Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network.

Submission + - Google Ruins the Assistant's Shopping List, Turns It Into a Google Express Ad (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Google Assistant, Google's voice assistant that powers the Google app on Android phones, tablets, and Google Home, has just gotten a major downgrade. In a move reminiscent of all the forced and user-hostile Google+ integrations, Google has gutted the Google Assistant's shopping list functionality in order to turn it into a big advertisement for Google's shopping site, Google Express. The shopping list has been a major feature of the Google Assistant. You can say "Add milk to my shopping list," and the Google Assistant would dutifully store this information somewhere. The shopping list used to live in Google Keep. Keep is Google's primary note-taking app, making it a natural home for the shopping list with lots of useful tools and management options. Now the shopping list lives in Google Express. Express is an online shopping site, and it has no business becoming a dedicated place to store a shopping list that probably has nothing to do with Google's online marketplace. Since Google Express is an online shopping site (and, again, has no business having a note-taking app grafted onto it), the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant's shopping list functionality loses the following features: Being able to reorder items with drag and drop.
Reminders; Adding images to the shopping list; Adding voice recordings to the shopping list; Real time collaboration with other users (Express has sharing, but you can't see other people as they type—you have to refresh.); Android Wear integration; Desktop keyboard shortcuts; Checkbox management: deleting all checked items, unchecking all items, hiding checkboxes. Alternatively, the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant shopping list gains the following features: Google Express advertising next to every list item; Google Express advertising at the bottom of the page.

Submission + - The Kodi development team wants to be legitimate and bring DRM to the platform. (torrentfreak.com)

pecosdave writes: The XBMC/ Kodi development team has taken a lot of heat over the years, mostly due to third party developers introducing piracy plugins to the platform, then in many cases cheap Android computers are often sold with these plugins pre-installed with the Kodi or XBMC name attached to them. The Kodi team is not happy about this, and has taken the fight to the sellers. The Kodi team is now trying to work with rights holders to introduce DRM and legitimate plugins to the platform. Is this the first step towards creating a true one-stop do it yourself Linux entertainment system?

Submission + - How Google Book Search Got Lost (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: When Google started its Book Search project nearly 15 years ago, it seemed impossibly ambitious: An upstart tech company that had just tamed and organized the vast informational jungle of the web would now extend the reach of its search box into the offline world. It was the company's first real moonshot, aspiring to make all the world's books digitally accessible—and in doing so, somehow produce a phase-shift in human awareness. But between legal battles and a slowly dwindling sense of ambition, Google Books never achieved those great heights, and today, it's settled into a quiet middle age of sourcing quotes and serving up snippets of text from the 25 million-plus tomes in its database. At Backchannel, Scott Rosenberg chronicles the project's rise and fall, writing that "Google employees maintain this is all they ever intended to achieve. Maybe so. But they sure got everyone else’s hopes up."

Submission + - SPAM: Exploit Revealed For Remote Root Access Vulnerability Affecting Many Routers

Orome1 writes: Back in January 2013, researchers from application security services firm DefenseCode unearthed a remote root access vulnerability in the default installation of some Cisco Linksys (now Belkin) routers. The flaw was actually found in Broadcom’s UPnP implementation used in popular routers, and ultimately the researchers extended the list of vulnerable routers to encompass devices manufactured by the likes of ASUS, D-Link, Zyxel, US Robotics, TP-Link, Netgear, and others. Since there were millions of vulnerable devices out there, the researchers refrained from publishing the exploit they created for the flaw, but now, four years later, they’ve released their full research again, and this time they’ve also revealed the exploit.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Symantec says CIA hacking tools were used in 40 'Longhorn' cyberattacks (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The CIA's range of hacking tools revealed as part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 series of leaks have been used to conduct 40 cyberattacks in 16 countries, says Symantec. The security firm alleges that a group known as Longhorn has been using tools that appear to be the very same ones used by the CIA.

While it would be obvious to jump to the conclusion that the CIA was itself responsible for the attacks — and that Longhorn is just a branch of the CIA — Symantec opts for a rather more conservative evaluation of things: "there can be little doubt that Longhorn's activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group."

In a post on the Symantec Security Response blog, the company provides what it says is the first evidence that the Vault 7 tools have actually been used in cyberattacks or cyberespionage.

Comment Re:A better question to ask (Score 1) 75

"Chad Rigetti, the startup's founder and CEO -- who declined to say whether the company is actually earning any revenue yet." who would also decline to say whether the company is doing proper quantum computing yet.

If he knew how much revenue he was getting, he wouldn't know whether the revenue growth rate was growing or shrinking. How the fark is he supposed to get Series A funding at a good valuation like that? Naw, man, he did it right - assume a given momentum sufficient to get the next round of funding, and who cares about the company's actual market position?

Government

Largest Auto-Scandal Settlement In US History: Judge Approves $15 Billion Volkswagen Settlement (usatoday.com) 128

A federal just has approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history, a $14.7 billion settlement concerning Volkswagen Group's diesel car emissions scandal. USA Today reports: U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco approved the sweeping agreement between consumers, the government, California regulators and the German automaker in a written ruling a week after signaling he was likely to sign off. He said the agreement is "fair, reasonable and adequate." The settlement comes about a year after Volkswagen admitted that it rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide with software designed to dodge emissions standards. The company is still facing criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and German prosecutors. The U.S. probe could lead to additional financial penalties and criminal indictments. About 475,000 Volkswagen owners in the U.S. can choose between a buyback or a free fix and compensation, if a repair becomes available. VW will begin administering the settlement immediately, having already devoted several hundred employees to handling the process. Buybacks range in value from $12,475 to $44,176, including restitution payments, and varying based on milage. People who opt for a fix approved by the Environmental Protection Agency will receive payouts ranging from $5,100 to $9,852, depending on the book value of their car. Volkswagen will also pay $2.7 billion for environmental mitigation and another $2 billion for clean-emissions infrastructure.

Comment Late-Breaking News from the Council: WTF G'RANEE? (Score 2) 244

>K'Breel was deposed and executed after his repeated failures in repelling the Terran aggressor. We don't speak of him. All hail mighty G'Ranee, Supreme Leader for Life!

LATE-BREAKING NEWS FROM THE COUNCIL: VICTORY! The Council of Elders has confirmed the blueworlders' resumption of aggression upon our noble red sands. K'Breel, Speaker for the Council of Elders, addressed the planet thusly: OKAY. Okay, so I'm K'Breel (even though anyone on Slashdot can assume the mantle merely by declaring themselves Speaker for the Council), and I'm late, but I'm merely chronologically late, not as in the Late Second Adjunctant to the Council Formerly Known As G'Ranee.

But domestic politics is beneath us tonight -- just take a glance at the blue world beneath us for a look at how bad that can get -- and let us focus on what's important: over the past sol or so, our Planetary Defense Force has been so good at pre-emptively distracting the blueworlders with tasks like landing comets, grabbing their prospective mates by their genitals, low-planetary orbit missions, and just general tribal infighting that we haven't had to shoot down any robotic invaders in quite some time. But when the opportunity presents itself, we take advantage of it, and so, we did. Hence the trivial elimination of yet another putative invader from elsewhere. We'd do it every day, except that the blueworlders lack the gelsacular fortitude to send us more targets. Now as to gelsacular fortitude, on to Second Adjunctant G'Ranee...

When a junior reporter pointed out that the destroyed invader was merely a technology demonstrator built on the cheap to see if a landing was possible, and that the blueworlders' actual payload was safely in orbit, K'Breel had the reporter's gelsacs launched into orbit alongside those of G'Ranee for a closer look.

Comment Re:Bribe? (Score 1) 122

Why not both ?

As an aside, can you imagine the unholy shitstorm that would be making the rounds if any of this were happening to Apple ?

Exploding iPhones... The internet might not cope with that, and then Apple bribing people to keep quiet about the whole thing ? We might have a singularity event...

Comment Re:Everyone is a moron to someone.... (Score 1) 294

I've been coding for about 30 years now, a bit longer actually. Something that's become apparent over the years is that there ought to be a law of conservation of complexity. You can abstract and then re-abstract, you can use well-known design patterns, you can write defensively, and you can document until the cows come home. All of these help, they help by spreading out the complexity onto a larger surface - it becomes less opaque as it gets "thinner", the more it spreads out.

However, it remains the case that some things are just inherently complex, that understanding them, or their particular interfaces and parameters, requires the understanding of the system as a whole, not the parts in isolation. Sometimes divide does not conquer, at least in the real world. There's not *many* problems like this, and I've no idea if this is the sort of thing Linus is referring to - I don't keep up with the Linux kernel these days, but there may be a good reason why he's done what he's done. You "calling him out" without explicit reasons why, or (better) giving a superior approach than what is already there is just showing ignorance, IMHO.

Comment Re:Pics or it didn't happen! (Score 1) 412

Personally I think you've already made the assumption that naked infant pictures are in some way embarrassing. To my mind, they're not. To most Europeans, they're not.

It seems I'm really struggling to say this sufficiently clearly: The difference between a photo of a naked 4 year-old and a clothed 4-year old to me is the clothes, that's it. I really don't care whether the kid has clothes on or not, it makes absolutely no difference to the photo, and the first comment that would come to mind would be something like "wasn't that Summer of '73" or "Hey look at the size of that sand-castle you were building", or something equally irrelevant to the clothing situation.

If someone wants to get all upset over the photos, then fine. It's a bit weird to make an issue out of it, but whatever. Similarly, if the parents don't want to take the photos down, that's also a bit weird, it seems like basic courtesy ought to rule here. As I said, I don't really care; I think it's a matter for the family to handle, and apparently they think it's a matter for the courts to handle. Fair enough. I don't really see why it's news, either.

Comment Re:Pics or it didn't happen! (Score 1) 412

[sigh] My point was that *I* live in the USA. If *I* posted pics of my 4-year-old niece naked, then *I* would be in trouble in the USA. Because nuts.

FWIW, I have no desire or plan to post pics of my niece naked, I see no reason to. I just don't regard it with the same level of apparent disgust that Anonymous Coward "Pics or it didn't happen" 2 posts up seems to.

I don't have a horse in the race here - I don't care what the parents or the child do in this particular case, I think they're both being stupid, but whatever.

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