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Submission + - Mozilla Thunderbird Finally Makes Its Way Back into Debian's Repos

prisoninmate writes: A year ago, we told you that, after ten long years, the Debian Project finally found a way to switch their rebranded Iceweasel web browser back to Mozilla Firefox, both the ESR (Extended Support Release) and normal versions, but one question remained: what about the Mozilla Thunderbird email, news, and calendar client? Well, that question has an official answer today, as the Mozilla Thunderbird packages appear to have landed in the Debian repositories as a replacement for Icedove, the rebranded version that Debian Project was forced to use for more than ten years do to trademark issues. Make sure you read the entire article to find out what steps you need to take if you want to migrate from Icedove to Mozilla Thunderbird.

Submission + - Shakey Milestone Event Shakes a Few Good Stories Loose from Robotics Pioneers (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Members of the Shakey the Robot team and other pioneers in robotics gathered at the Computer History Museum this week to celebrate the naming of Shakey as an IEEE Milestone, and talk about Shakey's development and more contemporary topics in robotics research. The discussion touched on why Shakey has no arms, the sometimes bizarre experience of being DOD-funded, whether humans or robots belong in space, and how modern robots deal with drunks in hotel hallways. Along with the human luminaries, Shakey's grandchild, Relay, made a brief appearance.

Submission + - Trump's Next Immigration Move to Hit Tech Workers (bloomberg.com)

AdamnSelene writes: A report in Bloomberg describes a draft executive order that will hit the tech industry hard and potentially change the way those companies recruit workers from abroad. The H-1B, L-1, E-2, and B1 work visa programs would be targeted by requiring companies to prioritize higher-paid immigrant workers over lower-paid workers. In addition, the order will impose statistical reporting requirements on tech companies who sponsor workers under these programs. The order is expected to impact STEM workers from India the most.

Submission + - Chrome Kills Ability to Disable Plugins, Hides HTTPS Info in Dev Tools (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google has made a few changes to recent Chrome versions that most users are bound to disagree with since it takes away some of their control over the browser. The biggest of these is the removal of the chrome://plugins page in the upcoming Chrome 57 version, which practically prevents users from disabling Chrome plugins such as Widevine DRM, Native Client, Flash and the built-in PDF viewer.

The last two can still be disabled via options in the Settings section, but effectively, Google will prevent users from disabling the Widevine DRM and Native Client (NaCl), which are ironically two of the biggest sources of crashes and bugs in Chrome.

Furthermore, Google has also moved the information about a websites HTTPS status to the Dev Tools panel. This means that instead of clicking on an icon and seeing the site's certificate info, you now have to open Dev Tools, search for the Security tab, and find the certificate info in the bottom right panel.

Submission + - Facebook Unveils Delegated Recovery Account Security System

Trailrunner7 writes: Facebook has developed a new account-recovery system that eschews the typical communications channels used for this process, and instead relies on a user’s connections with other services. The scheme allows users to regain access to accounts without providing any identifiable information to other services.

The Delegated Recovery system, which Facebook introduced at the Enigma conference here Monday, could be a major step forward in the way that sites handle the messy and sensitive process of account recovery. Right now, most sites use either email, SMS, or a combination of the two when a user needs to recover her account. A user typically clicks on a link, which will generate an email or text with a link that the user can follow to reset a password or go through other account-recovery steps.

The system that Facebook has implemented allows a user to link her Facebook account with an account on another site. Instead of using email or SMS, the two sites exchange cryptographically secured packages with data tokens. The two sites don’t change any identifiable information about the user during the process and the communications are done over HTTPS.

“The only thing that gets learned is that you have an account on the other site,” said Brad Hill, a Facebook engineer, who spoke at the Enigma conference. “No user-identifiable information is exchanged, so it’s not tied to a username, or email, or phone number.”

Submission + - 'Nano-machines' Win European Trio Chemistry Nobel Prize

Dave Knott writes: Sir Fraser Stoddart, from Scotland, Bernard Feringa, from the Netherlands, and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, from France have won the Nobel prize in chemistry for developing “nano-machines”, an advance that paved the way for the world’s first smart materials. In living organisms, cells work as molecular machines to power our organs, regulate temperature and repair damage. Working separately, the Nobel trio were among the first to replicate this kind of function in synthetic molecules, by working out how to convert chemical energy into mechanical motion. This allowed them to construct molecular devices a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, including switches, motors, shuttles and even something resembling a motorcar. The advances have allowed scientists to develop materials that will reconfigure and adapt by themselves depending on their environment — for instance contracting with heat, or opening up to deliver drugs when they arrive at a target site in the body.

Submission + - A U.S. election-system vendor who uses developers in Serbia (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Voting machines are privately manufactured and developed and, as with other many other IT systems, the code is typically proprietary. The use of proprietary systems in elections has its critics. One Silicon Valley group, the Open Source Election Technology Foundation, is pushing for an election system that shifts from proprietary, vendor-owned systems to one that that is owned "by the people of the United States." One major election technology company, Dominion Voting Systems (DVS), develops its systems in the U.S. and Canada but also has an office in Belgrade, Serbia. It was recently advertising openings for four senior software developers in Belgrade. "Like many of America's largest technology companies — which develop some of the software for their products in places like Asia, India, Ireland and the Mideast — some of our software development is undertaken outside the U.S. and Canada, specifically, in Serbia, where we have conducted operations for 10 years," said firm spokesman Chris Riggall.
Education

Judge Issues Temporary Order Blocking Expulsion For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag 305

An anonymous reader writes with an update about the student refusing to wear an RFID badge in Texas. From the article: "A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a 'Smart' Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip."
Google

Submission + - Search engines big brother 1

An anonymous reader writes: Has anyone noticed that after a search result is returned, if you copy the link of a result you actually get a google address redirecting you to the actual url but tracing what was relevant to your search?

Example:
1. Go to google.com or yahoo.com or bing.com
2. search for slashdot
3. The first result is ... "Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters"
4. copy link address and paste it as text somewhere where you can see it. You probably expect to see something like http://slashdot.org/ right?
Wrong.
Here's what you get:

GOOGLE
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fslashdot.org%2F&ei=Q6WvUM3KEYeg2QXd_YHgBg&usg=AFQjCNHLEL_sF-6AxylM44KJH53-gaJRnQ

YAHOO
http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7qRRqK9Q5hYANUMPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBybnZlZnRlBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkAw--/SIG=118qkglo0/EXP=1353717969/**http%3A//slashdot.org/

unexpectedly BING
http://slashdot.org/

I understand that help them return the most relevant stuff back but I find it annoying. I remember seeing the google beta page for the first time and loved its simplicity compared to (then popular) yahoo...
Earth

The World Falls Back In Love With Coal 341

Hugh Pickens writes "Richard Anderson reports on BBC that despite stringent carbon emissions targets in Europe designed to slow global warming and massive investment in renewable energy in China, coal, the dirtiest and most polluting of all the major fossil fuels, is making a comeback with production up 6% over 2010, twice the rate of increase of gas and more than four times that of oil. 'What is going on is a shift from nuclear power to coal and from gas to coal; this is the worst thing you could do, from a climate change perspective,' says Dieter Helm. Why the shift back to coal? Because coal is cheap, and getting cheaper all the time. Due to the economic downturn, there has been a 'collapse in industrial demand for energy,' leading to an oversupply of coal, pushing the price down. Meanwhile China leads the world in coal production and consumption. It mines over 3 billion tons of coal a year, three times more than the next-biggest producer (America), and last year overtook Japan to become the world's biggest coal importer. Although China is spending massive amounts of money on a renewable energy but even this will not be able to keep up with demand, meaning fossil fuels will continue to make up the majority of the overall energy mix for the foreseeable future and when it comes to fossil fuels, coal is the easy winner — it is generally easier and cheaper to mine, and easier to transport using existing infrastructure such as roads and rail, than oil or gas. While China is currently running half a dozen carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects — which aim to capture CO2 emissions from coal plants and bury it underground — the technology is nowhere near commercial viability. 'Renewed urgency in developing CCS globally, alongside greater strides in increasing renewable energy capacity, is desperately needed,' writes Anderson, 'but Europe's increasing reliance on coal without capturing emissions is undermining its status as a leader in clean energy, and therefore global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.'"
Your Rights Online

Submission + - NSA Refuses to Release Secret Obama Cyber Directive (infowars.com)

schwit1 writes: The National Security Agency has refused to release details of a secret presidential directive which experts believe could allow the military and intelligence agencies to operate on the networks of private companies, such as Google and Facebook.

As reported last week, an article in the Washington Post, cited several US officials saying that Obama signed off on the secret cybersecurity order, believed to widely expand NSA’s spying authorities, in mid-October.

“The new directive is the most extensive White House effort to date to wrestle with what constitutes an “offensive” and a “defensive” action in the rapidly evolving world of cyberwar and cyberterrorism.” the report states.

In response to the move, lawyers with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (PDF) demanding that the Obama administration make public the text of the directive.

The NSA responded ...

“Disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” the NSA response reads. “Because the document is currently and properly classified, it is exempt from disclosure,” the statement notes.

Attorneys for EPIC say they plan to appeal and force the text of the secret directive to be publicly disclosed.

Apple

Submission + - Former Apple engineer: Everything Apple does involving the Internet is a mess (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: Apple excels when it comes to product design, interface design, marketing and in a number of other areas but when Web services come into play, things go south fast. “Almost anything Apple does which involves the internet is a mess,” wrote former Apple engineer Patrick B. Gibson on his personal blog, pointing to a number of examples to support his claim. Among them are the fact that Apple can’t update its online store without taking it down, the fact that Notes requires an email address to sync, the fact that iTunes and the company’s App Stores are powered by “a mostly dead framework written almost 20 years ago,” and the unmitigated disasters that are MobileMe and Ping. Gibson also jokes that “iMessage for Mac lives in an alternate dimension in which time has no ordered sequence.”...
Firefox

Submission + - Mozilla to Drop 64-bit Firefox for Windows Nightly Builds (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Plans for 64-bit Firefox for Windows have been put on hold by Mozilla in a bid to concentrate more on the 32-bit versions it has been found. The proposal of striking off the 64-bit nightly builds was put forward by Benjamin Smedberg, a Firefox developer, last week. Some of the reason that Smedberg cited for constant frustration include missing plugins for 64-bit version; lack of windowproc hooking which facilitates smooth functioning of whatever plugins are available; and inability to work on the crash reports submitted for the 64-bit versions because they were not on high priority. The proposal, it seems, has been accepted as is evident from this bug report.
Google

DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair? 178

Penurious Penguin writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival DuckDuckGo is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo Gabriel Weinberg cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage. Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, a.k.a. 'filter bubbles.'"

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