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Submission + - FBI investigation into GamerGate may have closed

An anonymous reader writes: In early November of 2014, Twitter user @livebeef submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI concerning its investigation into Gamergate. In December of 2016, he finally received his information. It reveals that the FBI began investigating Gamergate very early on and has since closed the investigation, stating, “To date, all available investigative steps failed to identify any subjects or actionable leads.” The heavily redacted 169-page PDF files contain some of the threatening letters sent to Utah State University. Another event detailed an FBI visit to the home of a man whose name was involved in a threatening email. This is most likely YouTube user MrRepzion. Further on, the report details correspondence with one of the victims of the threats, repeatedly cautioning her against taking matters to the media. "I am attempting to collect the evidence for your case that would be useful in prosecution of any subject (once a subject is identified) and it is very difficult to do this when people know about the FBI involved and their need for use of Thor and other Proxies. [sic]”

Submission + - Court: 'Falsely' Accused 'Movie Pirate' Deserves $17K Compensation

AmiMoJo writes: An Oregon District Court has sided with a wrongfully accused man, who was sued for allegedly downloading a pirated copy of the Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler. According to the court's recommendations, the man is entitled to more than $17,000 in compensation as the result of the filmmakers "overaggressive" and "unreasonable" tactics. The defendant in question, Thomas Gonzales, operates an adult foster care home where several people had access to the Internet. The filmmakers were aware of this and during a hearing their counsel admitted that any guest could have downloaded the film.

Submission + - Scott Adams and "The Non-Expert Problem" (blogspot.ca) 9

Layzej writes: It is easy for a non-expert to be swayed by a credible sounding narrative that claims to overthrow a scientific consensus. For a scientist it is generally clear which arguments are valid, but the general public can’t independently evaluate scientific evidence. Scientist Victor Venema provides answers to a number of concerns about climate science raised by cartoonist Scott Adams. His answers are accessible and illuminating, and hopefully helpful to the non-expert who would like to understand the truth behind certain contrarian talking points.

Submission + - New Stegano Exploit Kit Hides Malvertising Code In Banner Pixels (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: For the past two months, a new exploit kit has been serving malicious code hidden in the pixels of banner ads via a malvertising campaign that has been active on several high profile websites. Discovered by security researchers from ESET, this new exploit kit is named Stegano, from the word steganography, which is a technique of hiding content inside other files. In this particular scenario, malvertising campaign operators hid malicious code inside PNG images used for banner ads. The crooks took a PNG image and altered the transparency value of several pixels. They then packed the modified image as an ad, for which they bought ad displays on several high-profile websites. Since a large number of advertising networks allow advertisers to deliver JavaScript code with their ads, the crooks also included JS code that would parse the image, extract the pixel transparency values, and using a mathematical formula, convert those values into a character. Since images have millions of pixels, crooks had all the space they needed to pack malicious code inside a PNG photo. When extracted, this malicious code would redirect the user to an intermediary ULR, called gate, where the host server would filter users. This server would only accept connections from Internet Explorer users. The reason is that the gate would exploit the CVE-2016-0162 vulnerability that allowed the crooks to determine if the connection came from a real user or a reverse analysis system employed by security researchers. Additionally, this IE exploit also allowed the gate server to detect the presence of antivirus software. In this case, the server would drop the connection just to avoid exposing its infrastructure and trigger a warning that would alert both the user and the security firm. If the gate server deemed the target valuable, then it would redirect the user to the final stage, which was the exploit kit itself, hosted on another URL. The Stegano exploit kit would use three Adobe Flash vulnerabilities (CVE-2015-8651, CVE-2016-1019 or CVE-2016-4117) to attack the user's PC, and forcibly download and launch into execution various strains of malware.

Submission + - Amazon Just Launched A Cashier-free Convenience Store

Dave Knott writes: Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards. Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine. Though Amazon Go does do away with human cashiers, we haven’t seen anything about robots physically stocking the store, so while it does eliminate some jobs, it’s not a completely automated system... at least, not yet.

Submission + - Scientists Develop Robotic Hand For People With Quadriplegia (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have developed a mind-controlled robotic hand that allows people with certain types of spinal injuries to perform everyday tasks such as using a fork or drinking from a cup. The low-cost device was tested in Spain on six people with quadriplegia affecting their ability to grasp or manipulate objects. By wearing a cap that measures electric brain activity and eye movement the users were able to send signals to a tablet computer that controlled the glove-like device attached to their hand. Participants in the small-scale study were able to perform daily activities better with the robotic hand than without, according to results published Tuesday in the journal Science Robotics. It took participants just 10 minutes to learn how to use the system before they were able to carry out tasks such as picking up potato chips or signing a document. According to Surjo R. Soekadar, a neuroscientist at the University Hospital Tuebingen in Germany and lead author of the study, participants represented typical people with high spinal cord injuries, meaning they were able to move their shoulders but not their fingers. There were some limitations to the system, though. Users had to have sufficient function in their shoulder and arm to reach out with the robotic hand. And mounting the system required another person's help.

Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

Submission + - Samsung to ditch the headphone jack too.

Pascoea writes: Following close behind Apple, and a number of others, it looks like Samsung will be omitting the headphone jack from the Galaxy S8.

From Business Insider

"Samsung will omit the 3.5mm headphone jack from its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, according to a new report from SamMobile. Instead, the report says, you’ll have to use headphones that connect over USB-C, which Samsung first adopted with the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7, a 3.5mm adapter, or headphones connect wirelessly over Bluetooth."

The article continues:

"While the outrage over Apple’s decision appears to have subsided in the weeks after the iPhone 7’s launch, Bluetooth headphones are still far less popular than traditional pairs, often come at a price premium, and tend to have lesser audio quality."

iPhone owners, has the "outrage" subsided?

Submission + - Supreme Court sides with Samsung in Apple patent damages dispute (cnbc.com)

mlauzon writes: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled for Samsung in a dispute over damages related to Apple's iPhone design.

The ruling means that Samsung is not liable for $399 million awarded to Apple in a previous lower court ruling for infringing on Apple's iPhone design. That figure represented profits from 11 Samsung smartphone models.

Comment Re:Still at v6.0.1. (Score 1) 75

Yeah, I'm waiting on Samsung too. Supposedly it's coming late this year or early next year, but if you didn't want to wait and were on the ball and in the right country you could have signed up for one of the limited number of slots on the Galaxy Beta Program a few months back. Apparently that pushed out a Beta 3 release a week or so ago which focusses on bug fixes and enhancements, so other than a couple of outstanding bugs mentioned in the link we're not too far from release.

Submission + - White House Silence Seems to Confirm $4B CS For All K-12 Initiative Is No More

theodp writes: "2016 as a year of action builds on a decade of national, state, and grassroots activity to revitalize K-12 computer science education," reads the upbeat White House blog post kicking off Computer Science Education Week. But conspicuous by its absence in the accompanying fact sheet for A Year of Action Supporting Computer Science for All is any mention of the status of President Obama's proposed $4B Computer Science For All initiative, which enjoyed support from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. On Friday, tech-backed Code.org posted An Update on Computer Science Education and Federal Funding, which explained that Congress's passage of a 'continuing resolution' extending the current budget into 2017 spelled curtains for federal funding for the program in 2016 and beyond. "We don’t have any direct feedback yet about the next administration’s support for K-12 CS," wrote CEO Hadi Partovi and Govt. Affairs VP Cameron Wilson, "other than a promise to expand 'vocational and technical education' as part of Trump’s 100-day plan which was published in late October. I am hopeful that this language may translate into support for funding K-12 computer science at a federal level. However, we should assume that it will not."

Submission + - Google Preparing 'Invisible ReCAPTCHA' System For No user Interaction (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google engineers are working on an improved version of the reCAPTCHA system that uses a computer algorithm to distinguish between automated bots and real humans, and requires no user interaction at all. Called "Invisible reCAPTCHA," and spotted by Windows IT Pro, the service is still under development, but the service is open for sign-ups, and any webmaster can help Google test its upcoming technology. Invisible reCAPTCHA comes two years after Google has revolutionized CAPTCHA technologies by releasing the No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA service that requires users to click on one checkbox instead of solving complex visual puzzles made up of words and numbers. The service helped reduce the time needed to fill in forms, and maintained the same high-level of spam detection we've become accustomed from the reCAPTCHA service. The introduction of the new Invisible reCAPTCHA technology is unlikely to make the situation better for Tor users since CloudFlare will likely force them to solve the same puzzle if they come from IPs seen in the past performing suspicious actions. Nevertheless, CloudFlare started working on an alternative.

Submission + - What To Do If You Need To Learn To Code To Keep Your Job (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Karen Wickre has survived the highs and lows of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers, working everywhere from Twitter to Google, and now, she's taking her years of workplace savvy and applying it to her new gig as Backchannel's advice columnist. In this edition of the Help Desk: what to do if you're being told you need to learn to code to keep your job; how to handle being leveled down; and what to do when your manager is taking all of the credit for your entire team's work.

Comment Re:I call bullshit. (Score 4, Interesting) 367

The article is light on details as to how the emergency unlock got overridden - maybe the guy was just high and was tricked, but maybe BMW's double-pull safety/security feature gave them a window of opportunity that let them do this. If BMW were repeatedly sending the central lock signal to the car at a faster rate than the recently woken (and potentially also doped up) thief could do the double-pull, then perhaps that would be enough to keep the doors locked. We also have no idea from TFA how long they kept the doors locked for; it might only have been a few minutes, or possibly even less than that. It's entirely possible it was less than the time that the recently woken thief would have taken to gather hits wits and try something else like, say, opening/breaking a window and climbing out.

Submission + - Sysadmin Gets Two Years in Prison for Sabotaging ISP (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dariusz J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, will have to spend 2 years in prison for hacking his former employee, Pa Online, an internet service provider (ISP) formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania. According to authorities, Prugar had used his old credentials to log into the ISP's network and "take back" some of the scripts and software he wrote while as an employee there, after being fired in June 2010.

Seeking to hide his tracks, Prugar used an automated script that deleted various logs. As a side effect of removing some of these files, the ISP's systems crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers. When the former ISP couldn't fix the issue, they asked Prugar to help. During negotiations, instead of requesting money as payment, Prugar insisted that he'd be paid using the rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left. This tipped off the company, who detected foul play, contacted the FBI and rebuilt its entire network. The ISP shut down operations in 2015.

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