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Submission + - SPAM: VW unveils all-electric self-driving Microbus

MikeChino writes: After decades of anticipation, VW is finally releasing a new Microbus — and it drives itself. Unveiled this week at the Detroit Auto Show, the I.D. Buzz is an electric van with enough room for 8 passengers. The vehicle has a driving range of 270 miles, and with a 0-60 mph time of about five seconds, the I.D. Buzz will out-accelerate every other van on the market (and even some sports cars).
Link to Original Source

Submission + - What is the best way to thank users for reporting security issues?

An anonymous reader writes: I have worked in the IT field long enough to know that many issues can be avoided if users pay attention to popups, security alerts, 'from' addresses et al and not just machine gun click their way through things. Unfortunately most users seem to have the 'fuck it' mentality in terms of good security practices. Sometimes I will have users submit a ticket asking if an email is safe to open or if that strange 800 number that popped up in their browser is really Microsoft. When that happens I like to talk to them in person (when possible) to commend them and tell them how much trouble could be avoided if more users followed their example. I'm curious to know if anyone has ever worked somewhere with bug bounty type incentives for corporate users or if you have a unique way of thanking people for not trying to open Urgent_Invoice.exe.

Submission + - VW's ID Buzz electric microbus concept looks like a 21st century Mystery Machine (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Given the emissions scandal that rocked Volkswagen in 2015, we reckon Scooby Doo and the gang would opt for something a little more environmentally-sound were they to be reinvented for the 21st Century. VW's new ID Buzz electric concept car, unveiled at the International Auto Show in Detroit on 8 January, is exactly the sort of thing we can imagine the overbearing talking dog and four meddlesome kids driving around in today.

Submission + - US Intelligence report offers no direct evidence of Russian Hacking (dni.gov)

bongey writes: The declassified DNI report offers no direct evidence of Russia hacking DNC or Podesta emails. Exactly half of the report (subtract blank and TOC) 9 of 18 is just devoted to going after rt.com by claiming they have close ties to Russia and therefore a propaganda arm, trying to imply that rt.com is related to the hacking.
"Many of the key judgments in this assessment rely on a body of reporting from multiple sources that are consistent with our understanding of Russian behavior. Insights into Russian efforts—including specific cyber operations—and Russian views of key US players derive from multiple corroborating sources. Some of our judgments about Kremlin preferences and intent are drawn from the behavior of Kremlin loyal political figures, state media, and pro-Kremlin social media actors, all of whom the Kremlin either directly uses to convey messages or who are answerable to the Kremlin"

Submission + - US Releases Declassified Report On Russian Hacking (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released its unclassified report on Russian hacking operations in the United States. “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” according to the report. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” The report, titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections,” details the successful hack of the Democratic National Committee. “The Kremlin’s campaign aimed at the U.S. election featured disclosures of data obtained through Russian cyber operations; intrusions into U.S. state and local electoral boards; and overt propaganda,” according to the report. The report states that Russian intelligence services made cyber-attacks against “both major U.S. political parties” to influence the 2016 election. The report also publicly names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com, two sources of stolen information released to the public, as Russian operatives working on behalf of the country’s military intelligence unit, the GRU. Officials from the organization were recently the target of U.S. sanctions. WikiLeaks is also cited as a recipient of stolen information. The report also notes that the U.S. has determined Russia “accessed elements of multiple state or local electoral boards,” though no vote-tallying processes were tampered with. The FBI and CIA have “high confidence” the election tampering was ordered by Putin to help then-candidate Trump, according to the report. NSA has “moderate confidence” in the assessment.

Submission + - ChaCha crushes AES on mobile (speedify.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It's been just a couple years since D.J. Bernstein's Chacha20-poly1305 cipher, first arrived on the scene. ChaCha is an encryption cipher intended for fast mobile performance. The real world numbers are in, and they're much better than AES on mobile devices. In tests, Cloudflare is seeing 3x the performance, and Speedify is seeing 2x throughput. Is it time for good old AES to get out of the way?

Submission + - Google Bans AdNauseam Chrome Extension, the Ad Blocker That Clicks on All Ads (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has banned the AdNauseam Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store, an add-on that became very popular with users because it automatically clicked on all ads on a page, which prevented advertisers from building profiles on the extension's users.

Google didn't provide any in-depth details about why it did so, only saying that "An extension should have a single purpose that is clear to users," but the AdNauseam team suspects the extension's purpose might have played a role in having their product banned, which they say contradicts "Google’s business model."

Nevertheless, when Google bans a Chrome extension, it also takes proactive steps that prevent users from updating or re-installing the add-on. This mechanism helps Google ban malware-laced Chrome extension, but it can inadvertently serve as a tool to blackball developers or any unwanted add-ons.

Users that want to bypass Google's ban and install the AdNauseam extension can do so by following this tutorial that shows them how to load the extension using Chrome's Developer Mode. The AdNauseam Firefox and Opera extensions remain standing, and the AdNauseam source code is available on GitHub.

Submission + - Possibly fatal blow against a patent trolls. (computerworld.com)

whoever57 writes: Patent trolls rely on the fact that they have no assets and, if they lose a case, they can fold the company that owned the patent and sued, thus avoiding paying any the defendant's legal bills. However, in a recent case, the judge has told the winning defendant that it can claim its legal bills from the law firm. The decision is based on the plaintiff's law firm using a contract under which it would take a portion of any judgment, making it more than just counsel, but instead a partner with the plaintiff. This will likely result in law firms wanting to be paid up front, instead of offering a contingency-based fee.

Submission + - Mining 24 Hours a Day with Robots (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: Mining companies are rolling out autonomous trucks, drills, and trains, which will boost efficiency but also reduce the need for human employees.

Rio Tinto uses driverless trucks provided by Japan’s Komatsu. They find their way around using precision GPS and look out for obstacles using radar and laser sensors.

Rio Tinto's driverless trucks have proven to be roughly 15 percent cheaper to run than vehicles with humans behind the wheel—a significant saving since haulage is by far a mine’s largest operational cost. Trucks that drive themselves can spend more time working because software doesn’t need to stop for shift changes or bathroom breaks. They are also more predictable in how they do things like pull up for loading. “All those places where you could lose a few seconds or minutes by not being consistent add up”. They also improve safety.

The driverless locomotives, due to be tested extensively next year and fully deployed by 2018, are expected to bring similar benefits. They also anticipate savings on train maintenance, because software can be more predictable and gentle than any human in how it uses brakes and other controls. Diggers and bulldozers could be next to be automated.

Submission + - Nevada Website Bug Leaks Thousands of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applications (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Nevada's state government website has leaked the personal data on over 11,700 applicants for dispensing medical marijuana in the state. Each application, eight pages in length, includes the person's full name, home address, citizenship, and even their weight and height, race, and eye and hair color. The applications also include the applicant's citizenship, their driving license number (where applicable), and social security number. Security researcher Justin Shafer found the bug in the state's website portal, allowing anyone with the right web address to access and enumerate the thousands of applications. Though the medical marijuana portal can be found with a crafted Google search query, we're not publishing the web address out of caution until the bug is fixed. A spokesperson for the Nevada Dept. Health and Human Services, which runs the medical marijuana application program, told ZDNet that the website has been pulled offline to limit the vulnerability. The spokesperson added that the leaked data was a "portion" of one of several databases.

Submission + - Does Computer Science Education Need to Be Tailored for Girls? 1

theodp writes: Just days after neuroscientist Lise Eliot railed against a comeback in gender-segregated education with a warning that mistaken beliefs that "boys and girls learn differently" and that STEM instruction needs be tailored to one or the other gender are not supported by brain and behavioral research, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani and Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet that seems to dismiss Eliot's science. "It’s not that girls and young women are not being taught computer science," write Saujani and Sweet, "they are and have been for years. It’s how they are taught that is not working. Boys and girls learn and are motivated in different ways. For example, for boys, it doesn’t matter whether their teacher is a man or a woman, but our research shows that girls are 26 percent more likely to study computer science if they have a female teacher. This is compounded by strong gender imbalances we see every day — from the classroom to the boardroom to the movie screen — where men are primarily seen and depicted as our society’s computer scientists. Cracking the gender code requires tailoring computer science education to girls." Saujani and Sweet close their op-ed arguing that, "it is also vital for teachers to show girls that computer science is relevant across all aspects of life — from health care to clean energy — and that they as individuals can make a real impact on the world through computing careers," although that argument was challenged in Valerie Barr's recent ACM blog post, which warned against painting any group in a monochromatic way.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is Computing As Cool And Fun As It Once Was? 1

dryriver writes: I got together with old computer nerd friends the other day. All of us have been at it since the 8-bit / 1980s days of Amstrad, Atari, Commodore 64 type home computers. Everybody at the meeting agreed on one thing — computing is just not as cool and as much fun as it once was. One person lamented that computer games nowadays are tied to internet DRM like Steam, that some crucial DCC software is available to rent only now (e.g. Photoshop) and that many"basic freedoms" of the old-school computer nerd are increasingly disappearing. Another said that Windows 10's spyware aspects made him give up on his beloved PC platform and that he will use Linux and Android devices only from now on, using consoles to game on instead of a PC because of this. A third complained about zero privacy online, internet advertising, viruses, ransomware, hacking, crapware. I lamented that the hardware industry still hasn't given us anything resembling photorealistic realtime 3D graphics, and that the current VR trend arrived a full decade later than it should have. A point of general agreement was that big tech companies in particular don't treat computer users with enough respect anymore. What do Slashdotters think? Is computing still as cool and fun as it once was, or has something "become irreversibly lost" as computing evolved into a multi billion dollar global business?

Submission + - Scientists have developed a breathalyzer to diagnose 17 diseases

randomErr writes: Over 10 years researchers have developed specific sniff tests for diagnosing tuberculosis, hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and even certain types of cancer. A group of led by Hossam Haick at the Israel Institute of Technology have taken the idea a step further. They’ve built a device that is compact and can diagnose up to 17 diseases from a single breath. The breathalyzer has an array of specially created gold nanoparticles mixed with similar-sized tubes of carbon. Together they create a network that interact each of the nearly 100 volatile compounds that each person breaths out.

Submission + - Germany Considers Fining Facebook $522,000 Per Fake News Item (heatst.com)

schwit1 writes: The government of Germany is considering imposing a legal regime that would allow fining social networks such as Facebook up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for each day the platform leaves a “fake news” story up without deleting it.

I would like the same enforced against US government officials.We would end up with a transparent government or no debt.

LBJ:None of our boys will die on foreign soil
Nixon:I am not a crook
GHW Bush: Read my lips – No New Taxes
WJ Clinton: I did not have sex with that woman Miss Lewinski
GW Bush: Iraq has weapons of mass destruction
I, Barrack Hussein Obama, pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

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