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Open Source

Vim 8.0 Released! ( 125

Long-time Slashdot reader MrKaos writes: The venerable and essential vim has had it's first major release in 10 years. Lots of new and interesting features including, vim script improvements, JSON support, messages exchange with background processes, a test framework and a bunch of Windows DirectX compatibility improvements. A package manager has been added to handle the ever-growing plug-in library, start-up changes and support for a lot of old platforms has been dropped. Many Vimprovements!

Finland Prepares Their First Tests Of A Universal Basic Income ( 630

Finland is getting ready to launch their first pilot program with a Universal Basic Income -- one of several countries which are now testing the concept. An anonymous reader quotes a report from Finland is about to launch an experiment in which a randomly selected group of 2,000-3,000 citizens already on unemployment benefits will begin to receive a monthly basic income of 560 euros (approximately $600). That basic income will replace their existing benefits. The amount is the same as the current guaranteed minimum level of Finnish social security support. The pilot study, running for two years in 2017-2018, aims to assess whether basic income can help reduce poverty, social exclusion, and bureaucracy, while increasing the employment rate.
In January a basic income program will also begin testing in the Netherlands, according to the article, which points out that Y Combinator has also launched a test program in Oakland, California. And there's now also calls for a Universal Basic Income in India, where one social worker argues it's "sound social policy," while pointing out that it's already being implemented in other countries. "In Brazil, it targets the poor and has been a way out of poverty; in Iran, it has substituted for subsidies and citizens receive about $500 a year..."

Falcon 9 Explodes On Pad ( 338

Reader Mysticalfruit writes: NPR is reporting that a Falcon9 carrying the AMOS-6 satellite that was supposed to launch on Sat exploded during it's scheduled static fire. No injuries are reported. They're reporting that this was going to be the first reflown first stage.
The Verge adds:SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, meant to launch a satellite this weekend, exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning. The explosion occurred during the preparation for the static fire test of the rocket's engines, NASA told the Associated Press. The blast reportedly shook buildings "several miles away." The company confirmed to The Verge the loss of the Falcon 9 an hour later: "SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today's static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries."
The Internet

New SWEET32 Crypto Attacks Speed Up Deprecation of 3DES, Blowfish ( 53

Researchers "have devised a new way to decrypt secret cookies which could leave your passwords vulnerable to theft," reports Digital Trends. Slashdot reader msm1267 writes: New attacks revealed today against 64-bit block ciphers push cryptographic ciphers such as Triple-DES (3DES) and Blowfish closer to extinction. The attacks, known as SWEET32, allow for the recovery of authentication cookies from HTTPS traffic protected by 3DES, and BasicAUTH credentials from OpenVPN traffic protected by default by Blowfish.

In response, OpenSSL is expected to remove 3DES from its default bulid in 1.1.0, and lower its designation from High to Medium 1.0.2 and 1.0.1. OpenVPN, meanwhile, is expected to release a new version as well with a warning about Blowfish and new configuration advice protecting against the SWEET32 attacks. The researchers behind SWEET32 said this is a practical attack because collisions begin after a relatively short amount of data is introduced. By luring a victim to a malicious site, the attacker can inject JavaScript into the browser that forces the victim to connect over and over to a site they're authenticated to. The attacker can then collect enough of that traffic -- from a connection that is kept alive for a long period of time -- to recover the session cookie.


Canadian Fined For Not Providing Border Agents Smartphone Password ( 276

Reader da_foz writes: A Canadian was reentering Canada when he was arrested and charged with hindering or obstructing border officials. At the time traces of cocaine were found on his bags and he was carrying $5,000 in cash. He provided his smartphone to border agents as requested, however refused to provide the password. Canada Border Services Agency officials asked for Philippon's smartphone and its password. From a report: "He handed over his BlackBerry but refused to disclose the code to access the phone. Philippon was arrested and charged under the federal Customs Act, accused of hindering or obstructing border officials." It is unclear if he provided the password while agreeing to the fine.

Iran Is Arresting Models Who Pose Without Headscarves On Instagram ( 375

An anonymous reader writes: The Tehran cybercrimes court said the country has arrested eight people working for online modeling agencies deemed to be "un-Islamic." The women models were arrested for starring in photos on Instagram and elsewhere without wearing their headscarves, which has been required in public since 1979. A total of 170 people have been identified by investigators for being involved in online modeling, including 59 photographers and make-up artists, 58 models and 51 fashion salon managers and designers. The court's prosecutor Javad Babaei announced the the threats on TV, claiming modeling agencies accounted for about 20 percent of posts on Instagram from Iran and that they had been "making and spreading immoral and un-Islamic culture and promiscuity." He added, "We carried out this plan in 2013 with Facebook, and now Instagram is the focus."

Amazon Bows To Pressure To Bring Same-Day Deliveries To Poor Areas ( 178

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: After pressure from lawmakers, Amazon is revamping its same-day delivery service in response to complaints that it failed to provide service to poor, minority neighborhoods. The retail giant said it would bring its same-day delivery service to all Zip Codes in the 27 cities where its offered, not just in the wealthier areas, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday.

North Korea Launches Missile and Tries To Jam GPS Signals ( 127

An anonymous reader writes: Hours after North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea in retaliation for ongoing U.S. join military drills with South Korea, they started jamming GPS navigation systems near its border with South Korea, affecting hundreds of fishing boats but not causing any immediate danger. There were no disruptions to drivers' satellite navigation system or air traffic, but warning messages were broadcast in affected areas warning ships not to rely on their GPS navigation. In a statement, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense said: "North Korea has been continuously disrupting GPS system since 7:30 pm [Thursday] and thereby interfering and hampering our military movements, which is threatening the safety of our people."

Mozilla Bans Popular Firefox Add-On That Tampered With Security Settings ( 112

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla has banned the popular (250,000+ installs) YouTube Unblock add-on that allowed users to view YouTube clips blocked in their country. The reason for this move is because the add-on was caught disabling a Firefox security setting (code signing) which the allowed it to silent-install another add-on, which Avast (antivirus software) was detecting as malware. Earlier in 2015, the same plugin was again caught cheating when it was using an self-contained update system that was bypassing Mozilla's add-on review process.

Rubio and Kasich Are Living Out a Classic Game Theory Dilemma 428 writes: Kevin Quealy writes in the NYT that the two remaining mainstream candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination — Marco Rubio and John Kasich — are living out an issue studied for decades in game theory. Game theorists might call the GOP predicament an anti-coordination game or a volunteer's dilemma but most of us might call it by a more familiar name: chicken. Although Rubio is the obvious establishment favorite, the two are splitting some votes. so to have his best chance against Trump and Cruz, Rubio needs Kasich to drop out. The longer both candidates remain in the race, the worse it is for both of them.

Kasich's first option is to stay in the race but he could go further, by committing to stay in no matter what. In a classic game of chicken between two drivers rushing headlong toward each other, this strategy is like removing your steering wheel, leaving you no choice but to drive straight toward your opponent. Kasich could hope for another robotic debate performance from Rubio or even an implosion from the Trump or Cruz campaigns. Kasich 's second strategy would be to cut a deal with Rubio — offer to drop out, for example, in exchange, for the second spot on a Rubio ticket or a cabinet post. Kasich's third strategy would be to threaten to support a different candidate, like Trump or Cruz. If the threat had the potential to damage Rubio enough, it could be a useful bargaining chip. "Being crazy is a strategy, but only if your opponent actually believes it," says Richard Thaler. Part of the problem is that this is a game that's played just once. "The chance to be your party's nominee for president comes along only every four or eight years, even for the very luckiest candidates," says Quealy. "If the candidates lived in a universe in which they could run for president hundreds of times, they might agree that, on average, their shared interests were better served by cooperating." But this is not an iterated dilemma. It's a one-time-only dilemma with a tremendous payoff for the winner. Ultimately, both Kasich and Rubio risk an outcome neither wants. But as Daniel Diermeier, the dean of the public policy school at the University of Chicago, notes, "A very important lesson of game theory is that sometimes the world is a grim place."
Wireless Networking

Telstra To Roll Out 1000Mbps 4G ( 68

An anonymous reader writes: After beginning support for LTE Category 9 last year on their 4Gx network (with its theoretical max download speed of 450Mbps), Telstra has now announced that they will upgrade their network to support LTE category 16. In theory, this means that if a customer has the correct equipment in the correct location, they will be able to have a maximum theoretical download speed of 1000Mbps, and a maximum theoretical upload speed of 150Mbps. Of course, it's unlikely that customers will be able to sustain these speeds, but Telstra lists on their website that 4GX devices currently have a typical download speed of 2 to 75Mbps on 4GX.

Crypto Guru David Chaum's Private Communications Network Comes With a Backdoor ( 179

An anonymous reader writes: David Chaum, father of many encryption protocols, has revealed a new anonymity network concept called PrivaTegrity. Chaum, on who's work the Onion protocol was based, created a new encryption protocol that works as fast as I2P and the Onion-Tor combo, but also has better encryption. The only downside, according to an interview, is that he built a backdoor into the darn thing, just to please governments. He says that he's not going to use the backdoor unless to unmask crime on the Dark Web. Here's the research paper (if you can understand anything of it).

Leaded Gas, CFCs, and the Dark Side of Progress ( 184

szczys writes: Leaded Gas did a great job of keeping engines from knocking thanks to tetra-ethyl lead. Unfortunately the fumes from the chemical are highly poisonous. R-12 is a refrigerant that revolutionized the cold storage of vaccines. It turned out to be the first of the chlorofluorocarbons which are well known (and now banned) for damaging the environment. Both are the creations of one inventor: Thomas Migley, Jr. Two deadly inventions seem like more than enough for one person, but his story ends with a third. Stricken with Polio, he invented a system to help him get in and out of bed on his own. A tragic accident ended his life when he was caught and strangled by the system he created.

City Sued Over Smart Meter-Related Patent ( 60

New submitter wb8nbs writes: Florida patent troll Atlas LLC has filed a suit against the municipality of Naperville, Illinois (paywalled). Atlas claims infringement of their patent on wireless communication where a hub node controls remote node responses. In 2011-2013 Naperville, which owns the local electrical utility network, installed Smart Meters on nearly all customers in its serving area, a move that was bitterly opposed by a small group of residents. The Naperville Smart Meter network uses Zigbee protocol to return readings to their fiber optic collection network. The Atlas suit could have long range implications to the Internet of Things, but it appears they have sued and lost a similar case in Florida.

C.H.I.P. vs Pi Zero: Which Sub-$10 Computer Is Better? ( 122

Make Magazine weighs in on an issue that's suddenly relevant in a world where less than $10 can buy a new, (nominally) complete computer. Which one makes most sense? Both the $9 C.H.I.P and the newest, stripped-down Raspberry Pi model have pluses and minuses, but to make either one actually useful takes some additional hardware; at their low prices, it's not surprising that neither one comes with so much as a case. The two make different trade-offs, despite being just a few dollars apart in ticket price. C.H.I.P. comes with built-in storage that rPi lacks, for instance, but the newest Pi, like its forebears, has built in HDMI output. Make's upshot? The cost of owning either a C.H.I.P. or a Pi is a bit more money than the retail cost of the boards. Peripherals such as a power cable, keyboard, mouse, and monitor are necessary to accomplish any computer task on either of the devices. But it turns out the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero costs significantly more to operate than the Next Thing Co. C.H.I.P.

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