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Submission + - More than a million 'smart' devices part of a spreading botnet

beda writes: Based on traffic observed in a distributed network of honeypots, researchers from CZ.NIC discovered a large number of 'smart' devices, such as CCTV cameras or home gateways, attacking Telnet protocol throughout the Internet. It is very likely that these are part of a spreading botnet with more than 20,000 new devices appearing every day. The article contains a lot of details and also a dedicated website for testing if a specific IP address was captured in the honeypot.

Comment Re:A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Pragmatism and protest are not opposites. You can do both, and it's better if you make your protest as effective as possible, rather than just doing a lazy protest on election day.

A vote is a choice to hire one of the people who you can hire. If you want to undermine the power of the two parties, the way to do it is the way the Tea Party has done, or else to do the really hard work of building a new party from the ground up by getting elected in local elections, state elections, federal elections, and then and only then the presidential election. Choosing not to participate in the presidential election doesn't undermine the power of the two parties at all. It just robs you of the ability to say "no" to the candidate you dislike the most. That's really what your presidential vote is for--it's not like you're ever going to be faced with a candidate you can be completely enthusiastic about. Even Sanders had issues, although I supported him like mad in the primary.

If you like Sanders' politics, supporting what he's doing in the wake of the primary would be a good move. If you don't, get involved in the party you do like, and do things that will actually result in that party gaining power. Casting a protest vote in the presidential election is easy. Doing something that actually changes the system is hard. Please, do the hard thing. And if you dislike either of the two candidates substantially more, please consider holding your nose and voting for that candidate's opponent.

Comment Re:Bullshit conclusion (Score 1) 386

I think you need to say what you mean by "conscious" and by "choice." You've asserted that choice is a conscious process, but that's almost certainly not true, and studies like this prove it. That doesn't mean that you don't have free will, though. It just means that you don't make decisions at a conscious level. At a conscious level you may go over the inputs to the decision (or you may not), but the decision is then taken by unconscious mental processes acting either on the inputs that you considered, or not, depending on whether you put your attention on the decision.

The problem with the argument "there is free will" versus "there is not free will" is that the terms are poorly defined. By "free will" do you mean non-determinism? This is the traditional meaning, but the two aren't opposites. You can't have free will if the universe is deterministic, but the universe is apparently probabilistic, yet that doesn't mean that you necessarily have free will. If the outcome of your decisions is non-deterministic, but there is no conscious agent directing it, is that free will? What if it's an unconscious agent whose behavior is affected by conscious intentions? Where do the conscious intentions come from?

This is a really hard problem. Tests like the one in this study do not determine whether or not there is free will, but it's easy to grab attention by claiming that they do, and this is why such claims are made. Either that, or it's just inevitable.

Comment Re:Why conceal it? (Score 1) 740

It will almost certainly cost them sales in the short term. However, in the long term forcing them to tell the story of why GMOs are a good idea instead of just hiding the fact that the products are made with GMOs is a better way to get conspiracy freaks to chill. This whole thing could have been over a decade ago if the GMO proponents hadn't tried to dodge public concern. People assume that where there's smoke there's fire, and when you try to stifle public concern about something, it's totally natural for the public to freak out and get paranoid.

Comment Re:Wait... (Score 4, Insightful) 521

Yes, and indeed the referenced article says that we had two months of warning and did a drone strike to take out the command and control operation (or, more likely, some goat herders). And that wasn't enough to prevent the attack. If there's a lesson here, it's that this is an asymmetrical problem, and fixing it is going to require addressing underlying causes, not throwing cash and civil liberties on the bonfire in a futile attempt to even things up.

Comment Re:WOW (Score 1) 157

Or, this is the end of relying on the incredibly shaky pipeline of hackable routers that closed-source router vendors accidentally release. That pipeline is preventing vendors of routers that can run open source software from finding a sufficient market to actually make anything. Yes, what the FCC has done here is bogus, but in the long run it may actually be good for OpenWRT.

Submission + - TP-Link confirms Wifi freedom is dead- All routers to be locked down (

An anonymous reader writes: We got confirmation today from one of the largest router manufacturer that they have begun locking router firmware down due to recent FCC rule changes. This is exactly what the Save Wifi campaign participants had been arguing would happen for the past several months. Despite the FCC unequivocally denying that this was there intention it was irrelevant to the outcome, and the expected response of manufacturers to the new rules. The competitiveness of the market and costs of compliance means the only real solution for manufactures to comply is the lock down of there router's firmware. The TP-Link rep went on to say that all future routers would be locked down as a direct result of the rule changes.

These rules are bad and already hindering user freedom. The FCC has pulled a fast one and we need to fight back. This is a major security and privacy threat which will lead to even buggier and more insecure wireless hardware. A legal campaign to end this nonsense will require significantly more funding and criticism. Unfortunately the major players on fighting this are burning out. Christopher Waid, of ThinkPenguin, Dave Taht, of BufferBloat, Eric Schultz, Josh Gay of the FSF, and others just don't have the time or resources to keep fighting this. Don't let this be the end.

The Save Wifi campaign needs major financial help if we're going to put an end to this. Please donate to the effort at: . Please see for updates.

Read more about what TP-Link had to say here:

Comment In the lab working on a space shuttle simulation (Score 1) 320

I was really into the space shuttle--I used to build models of various proposed space shuttles when I was a teenager into model rocketry. At the time of the disaster, I had found my way into a program in the psych department at the local community college that tried to study the effects of living in enclosed spaces by using a space shuttle mockup built out of plywood, TV monitors, some Atari 800s and electronic hardware from the surplus yard down in Taunton. It was very not realistic, but at the same time not bad--apparently it felt very convincing to the people who were in it.

So needless to say, we were all pretty wrecked. I don't know how many times I watched the explosion on the instant replay, but it was a lot. Lots of crying, very maudlin, but on the other hand the lot of us were able to hang out together and grieve with people who got it. Looking back on it, it's a funny coincidence that we were all there when it happened, but we were.

Comment Re:Why retail? (Score 2) 298

In principle they have to maintain less, so it's a win. In practice, it's early days for new generation mechanisms like solar, despite the rather terrifying amount of capacity that we now have. When everybody has panels, we'll have to have some way to pay for the grid, so obviously net metering _by itself_ doesn't scale, and particularly in states with lots of sunny days, this kind of adjustment was inevitable.

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