netbuzz writes: In what may be a first for the technology industry, RSA Conference 2015 next month apparently will be bereft of a long-controversial trade-show attraction: “booth babes.” New language in its exhibitor contract, while not using the term 'booth babe," leaves no doubt as to what type of salesmanship RSA wants left out of its event. Says a conference spokeswoman: “We thought this was an important step towards making all security professionals feel comfortable and equally respected during the show.”
HughPickens.com writes: Micah Lee writes at The Intercept that coming up with a good passphrase by just thinking of one is incredibly hard, and if your adversary really is capable of one trillion guesses per second, you’ll probably do a bad job of it. It turns out humans are a species of patterns, and they are incapable of doing anything in a truly random fashion. But there is a method for generating passphrases that are both impossible for even the most powerful attackers to guess, yet very possible for humans to memorize. First, grab a copy of the Diceware word list, which contains 7,776 English words — 37 pages for those of you printing at home. You’ll notice that next to each word is a five-digit number, with each digit being between 1 and 6. Now grab some six-sided dice (yes, actual real physical dice), and roll them several times, writing down the numbers that you get. You’ll need a total of five dice rolls to come up with each word in your passphrase. Using Diceware, you end up with passphrases that look like “cap liz donna demon self”, “bang vivo thread duct knob train”, and “brig alert rope welsh foss rang orb”. If you want a stronger passphrase you can use more words; if a weaker passphrase is ok for your purpose you can use less words. If you choose two words for your passphrase, there are 60,466,176 different potential passphrases. A five-word passphrase would be cracked in just under six months and a six-word passphrase would take 3,505 years, on average, at a trillion guesses a second.
After you’ve generated your passphrase, the next step is to commit it to memory.You should write your new passphrase down on a piece of paper and carry it with you for as long as you need. Each time you need to type it, try typing it from memory first, but look at the paper if you need to. Assuming you type it a couple times a day, it shouldn’t take more than two or three days before you no longer need the paper, at which point you should destroy it. "Simple, random passphrases, in other words, are just as good at protecting the next whistleblowing spy as they are at securing your laptop," concludes Lee. "It’s a shame that we live in a world where ordinary citizens need that level of protection, but as long as we do, the Diceware system makes it possible to get CIA-level protection without going through black ops training"
religious freak writes: IBM has created and made the question answering algorithm, Watson, available online. Watson has competed in and won a majority of (mock) matches against humans in Jeopardy. Watson does not connect to the Internet to answer his questions and seeks answers using many different algorithms then employs a ranking algorithm to choose the best answer. Click on 'original source' below to try your luck against Watson.
thatseattleguy writes: It started with a blog post complaining about the poor user interface design of American Airlines website (including a suggested redesign). The poster didn't expect a response, but received a nice and detailed email from a UI guy there, explaining why it was often tricky to good design at large companies, due to all of the different interests — but says that good stuff is coming, even if it may take some time.
So, how did AA respond when they learned of this? It fired the guy.
ashmon writes: A Utah company claims to have a working CAD model of an infinitely variable, constantly engaged, metal to metal transmission. This is almost like a perpetual motion machine in the transmission world. They have a working CAD model and a prototype is on the way. It uses a chain instead of a belt, (which relies on friction, which introduces tremendous wear) like the current CVT's, (constantly variable transmissions) currently found in automobiles.
If the CAD model actually works, it will be a major breakthrough in the automotive industry, and will benefit MANY different industries. Basically anything that needs a transmission.
realsilly writes: "I am a requirements analyst, and I often find myself in companies where they either have an extremely rigid naming convention and structure for storing documents or there is no structure in place at all. I find myself in the latter of the two situations, where I'm trying to come up with an easy to use and implement naming convention that will be followed by those who don't name things formally. I am avoiding using numbers and dates within document names and in many cases, I have much of my early documentation on internal wiki pages. I'm looking for some best practices ideas from the Slashdot community."