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Submission + - Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+? (computerworld.com) 2

Lucas123 writes: The USB SuperSpeed+ spec (A.K.A v3.1) offers up to 10Gbps throughput. Combine that with USB's new C-Type Connector, the specification for which is expected out in July, and users will have a symmetrical cable and plug just like Thunderbolt but that will enable up to 100 watts of power depending on the cable version. So where does that leave Thunderbolt, Intel's other hardware interconnect? According to some industry pundits, Thunderbolt withers or remains a niche technology supported almost exclusively by Apple. Even as Thunderbolt 2 offers twice the throughput (on paper) as USB 3.1, or up to 20Gbps), USB SuperSpeed+ is expected to scale past 40Gbps in coming years. "USB's installed base is in the billions. Thunderbolt's biggest problem is a relatively small installed base, in the tens of millions. Adding a higher data throughput, and a more expensive option, is unlikely to change that," said Brian O'Rourke, a principal analyst covering wired interfaces at IHS.

Submission + - How worried should we be about NSA backdoors in open source and open standards? 1

quarrelinastraw writes: For years, users have conjectured that the NSA may have placed backdoors in security projects such as SELinux and in cryptography standards such as AES. However, I have yet to have seen a serious scientific analysis of this question, as discussions rarely get beyond general paranoia facing off against a general belief that government incompetence plus public scrutiny make backdoors unlikely. In light of the recent NSA revelations about the PRISM surveillance program, and that Microsoft tells the NSA about bugs before fixing them, how concerned should we be? And if there is reason for concern, what steps should we take individually or as a community?

History seems relevant here, so to seed the discussion I'll point out the following for those who may not be familiar. The NSA opposed giving the public access to strong cryptography in the 90s because it feared cryptography would interfere with wiretaps. They proposed a key escrow program so that they would have everybody's encryption keys. They developed a cryptography chipset called the "clipper chip" that gave a backdoor to law enforcement and which is still used in the US government. Prior to this, in the 1970s, NSA tried to change the cryptography standard DES (the precursor to AES) to reduce keylength effectively making the standard weaker against brute force attacks of the sort the NSA would have used.

Since the late 90s, the NSA appears to have stopped its opposition to public cryptography and instead (appears to be) actively encouraging its development and strengthening. The NSA released the first version of SELinux in 2000, 4 years after they canceled the clipper chip program due to the public's lack of interest. It is possible that the NSA simply gave up on their fight against public access to cryptography, but it is also possible that they simply moved their resources into social engineering — getting the public to voluntarily install backdoors that are inadvertently endorsed by security experts because they appear in GPLed code. Is this pure fantasy? Or is there something to worry about here?

Submission + - The Avengers Movie Infringes Wikipedia's Copyright 2

An anonymous reader writes: The hit movie The Avengers from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios uses content from Wikipedia and fails to give credit, in violation of Wikipedia's Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike copyright license. At approximately the 15 minute mark in the movie, a computer screen is displaying a combat scheme and informatoin about characters Clint Barton and Natasha Romanoff. The bottom of the screen contains a small window clearly displaying the text "image compression works in part by "rounding off" less-important visual information. There is corresponding". That text is copied verbatim from the Wikipedia page on data compression. The movie's credits make no mention of Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, or the Creative Commons license. As a result, the movie is in violation of Federal copyright law.

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