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Submission + - Robobug: Scientists Clad Bacterium With Graphene to Make a Working Cytobot (

Zothecula writes: By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications.

Submission + - Unity Releases Full-Featured Free Edition (

fsagx writes: On the heels of Epic's announcement of a free-to-download version, Unity releases Unity 5, the latest version of its popular multiplatform engine. Unity 5 Personal is completely free to developers with revenue or funding less than $100,000 a year, and includes the full engine (but no advanced services package.)

Submission + - Whiteboard subsitutes for distributed teams?

DoofusOfDeath writes: I work on a fully distributed software development team with 5-10 people. Normally it's great, but when we're doing heavy design work, we really need to all be standing in front of a whiteboard together. This is expensive and time consuming, because it involves airplanes and hotels. Conference calls, editing shared Google docs, etc. just don't seem to be the same. Have people found any good tools or practices to replace standing in front of a real whiteboard?

Submission + - New Icons of Windows 10 Do Not Please Users Aesthetically ( 2

jones_supa writes: A lot of people got nauseous about the flat looks of Modern UI presented in Windows 8. Recent builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview have now started replacing the shell icons, and to some people they are just too much to bear. Basically, Microsoft opted to change the icons in search of a fresh and modern look, but there are plenty of people out there who claim that all these new icons are actually very ugly and the company would better stick to the previous design. To find out what people think about these icons, Softpedia asked its readers to tell their opinion and the messages received in the last couple of days pretty much speak for themselves. There are only few testers who think that these icons look good, but the majority wants Microsoft to change them before the final version of the operating system comes out.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Old PC file transfer problem 4

An anonymous reader writes: I have an old Compaq Contura Aero laptop from the nineties (20 Mhz, 12 Mb RAM, Windows 3.11, 16-bit, PCMCIA, COM, LPT, floppy) with 160 Mb drive that I would want to copy in full to a newer machine. The floppies are so unreliable — between Aero's PCMCIA floppy drive and USB floppy disk drive — that it is a total nightmare to try and do it; it just doesn't work. If that option is excluded, what else can I do? I have another old laptop with Windows XP (32-bit, PCMCIA, COM, LPT) that could be used; all other machines are too new and lack ports. Will be grateful for any ideas.

Submission + - Swiss robot clock writes time on a whiteboard (

An anonymous reader writes: The Whiteboard Clock is a little time-keeping device designed by Maurice Bos which actually jots the current time onto a whiteboard with a dry wipe marker pen. The robot clock uses 3D-printed arms to hold the pen in place, while magnets help it keep its place against the whiteboard. The clock mechanism, a tiny PIC16F1454 microcontroller, currently operates the marker to write the time every five minutes. A 433MHz receiver is used to wirelessly transmit information and updates as pulses from Bos’ computer: ones are transmitted as a 0.20ms signal followed by a 0.10ms silence, and zeros as the reverse. The font is also sent in a similarly clever fashion in series of x and y coordinates. When new time information is sent to the device, a C++ program is able to convert the pulses into dots and dashes which are then plotted by the marker pen.

Submission + - Why Hollywood Had To Fudge The Relativity-Based Wormhole Scenes in Interstellar

KentuckyFC writes: When Christopher Nolan teamed up with physicist Kip Thorne of Caltech to discuss the science behind his movie Interstellar, the idea was that Thorne would bring some much-needed scientific gravitas to the all-important scenes involving travel through a wormhole. Indeed, Thorne used the equations of general relativity to calculate the various possible shapes of wormhole and how they would distort the view through it. A London-based special effects team then created footage of a far away galaxy as seen through such a wormhole. It showed the galaxy fantastically distorted as a result, just as relativity predicts. But when it came to travelling through a wormhole, Nolan was disappointed with the footage. The problem was that the view of the other side when travelling through a wormhole turns out to be visually indistinguishable from a conventional camera zoom and utterly unlike the impression Nolan wanted to portray, which was the sense of travelling through a shortcut from one part of the universe to another. So for the final cut, special effects artists had to add various animations to convey that impression. "The end result was a sequence of shots that told a story comprehensible by a general audience while resembling the wormhole’s interior," admit Thorne and colleagues in a paper they have published about wormhole science in the film. In other words, they had to fudge it. Nevertheless, Thorne is adamant that the visualisations should help to inspire a new generation of students of film-making and of relativity.

Submission + - Tens of thousands of home routers at risk with duplicate SSH keys

alphadogg writes: A setup mistake has apparently left hundreds of thousands of home routers running the SSH (Secure Shell) remote access tool with identical private and public keys. John Matherly, founder of a specialized search engine company whose technology is used for querying Internet-connected devices, found more than 250,000 devices that appear to be deployed by Telefónica de España sharing the same public SSH key. A different search found another 150,000 devices, mostly in China and Taiwan, that have the same problem. Matherly said in a phone interview on Wednesday it is possible the manufacturers copied the same operating system image to all of the routers.

Submission + - The Emergence of Polymorphic Defense (

cyberlabsbgu writes: An emerging and rather exciting security paradigm that seems to be popping up in Israel and SV is called polymorphic defense. One of the main anchors contributing to successful attacks is the prior knowledge that attackers benefit from about the target, including: which software and systems are used, the network structure, the specific people and their roles, etc. This knowledge serves as a baseline for all targeted attacks across all the stages of an attack: the penetration, persistence, reconnaissance and the payload itself. All these attack steps, in order to be effective, require a detailed prior knowledge about their target—except for reconnaissance—which complements the external knowledge with dynamically collected internal knowledge. Polymorphic defense aims to undermine this prior knowledge foundation and to make attacks much more difficult to craft.

The idea of defensive polymorphism has been borrowed from the attacker's toolbox where it is used in order to “hide” their malicious code from security products. The combination of polymorphism with defense simply means changing the "inners" of the target, where the part to change depends on the implementation and its role in attack creation. This is done so that these changes are not visible to attackers, making prior knowledge irrelevant. Such morphism hides the internals of the target architecture so that only trusted sources are aware of them—in order to operate properly. The “poly” part is the cool factor of this approach in that changes to the architecture can be made continuously and on-the-fly, making the guesswork higher by magnitudes. With polymorphism in place, attackers cannot build effective repurposable attacks against the protected area. This cool concept can be applied to many areas of security depending on the specific target systems and architecture, but it is definitely a revolutionary and a refreshing defensive concept in the way that it changes the economic equation that attackers are benefitting from today. I also like it because, in a way, it is a proactive approach—and not passive like many other security approaches.

Polymorphic defenses usually have the following attributes:

Solutions that are agnostic to covered attack patterns which makes them much more resilient.
Seamless integration into the environment since the whole idea is to change the inner parts—changes which cannot be made apparent to externals.
Makes reverse-engineering and/or propagation very difficult, due to the "poly" aspect of the solution.
There is always a trusted source, which serves as the basis for the morphism.

Submission + - Kickass Torrents Briefly Taken Down Via Domain Name Seizure

Dave Knott writes: Kickass Torrents was briefly removed from the net via a domain name seizure. The site now turns up an error message when users attempt to access its Somali .so domain. A look at its Whois record shows the site listed as banned. The Somali registry was seen as a safe haven for the site, away from copyright holders and their lawyers, but it appears the takedown was a result of a claim. Several other sites with a .so domain, including the unaffiliated scam site, have also been taken down.

For now, it appears that Kickass Torrents has reverted to its former .to domain, with no loss in functionality. Whether this is a stopgap measure remains to be seen though — the site was previously targeted for takedown requests through that URL, so further "relocation" efforts may occur.

Submission + - Kali Linux 1.1.0 Penetration Testing distribution released (

An anonymous reader writes: Kali Linux 1.1.0 is now available — the first dot release for the security and penetration testing distribution in two years. The list of features which has steadily grown over time includes things like LUKS Nuke, Live USB boot with encrypted persistent storage support and more.

Submission + - Forgetting Firefox (

trawg writes: It’s been more than 10 years since Mozilla released version 1.0 of Firefox, one of their first steps in their mission to “preserve choice and innovation on the Internet”. Firefox was instrumental in shattering the web monoculture, but the last few years of development have left users uninspired. Perhaps it is time to move on to the next challenge — ensuring there is a strong Thunderbird to help preserve a free and open email ecosystem.

Submission + - Is there a web development linux distro? LAMP-centric perhaps?

Qbertino writes: I've been a linux user for more than 15 years now and in the last ten I've done basically all my non-trivial web development on Linux. SuSE in the early days, after that either Debian or, more recently, Ubuntu, if I want something to click on.

What really bugs me is, that every time I make a new setup, either as a virtual machine, on concrete hardware or a remote host, I go through 1-2 hours of getting the basics of a web-centric system up and running. That includes setting PHP config options to usable things, setting up vhosts on Apache (always an adventure), configging mod_rewrite, installing extra CLI stuff like Emacs (yeah, I'm from that camp) walking through the basic 10-15 steps of setting up MySQL or some other DB, etc. ... You get the picture.

What has me wondering is this: Since Linux is deeply entrenched in the field of server-side web, with LAMP being it's powerhouse, I was wondering if there aren't any distros that cover exactly this sort of thing. You know, automatic allocation of memory in the runtime settings, ready-made Apache http/https/sftp/ftp setup, PHP all ready to go, etc.

What are your experiences and is there something that covers this? Would you think there's a need for this sort of thing and would you base it of Debian or something else? If you do web-dev, how do you do it? Prepareted scripts for setup? Anything else? ... Ideas, unkown LAMP distros and opinions please.

Submission + - Kiva's Raffaello D'Andrea on the future of robotics (

An anonymous reader writes: Raffaello D'Andrea is an entrepreneur and controls engineer. The company he co-founded, Kiva Systems, builds autonomous warehouse solutions (imagine orange robots efficiently moving goods around the warehouse), and was acquired by Amazon in 2012 for $775 million. Amazon is now using Kiva robots across the US to get products to consumers faster at a lower cost. In this interview with Massimo Russo from the Boston Consulting Group, D'Andrea talks about where the field of robotics is headed.

Massimo Russo, a senior partner and managing director in the Boston office of The Boston Consulting Group and the regional leader of the Technology Advantage practice in North America, recently spoke with D’Andrea about the future of robotics.

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