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Submission + - Software cracks Microsoft,eBay,Yahoo audiocaptchas (

coondoggie writes: "Researchers have figured out how to to crack captchas, making it possible to launch automated attacks against sites such as Microsoft, eBay and Digg where opening phony accounts could be turned into cash.

Software written by researchers at Stanford University and Tulane University can interpret human speech well enough to crack audio captchas between 1.5% and 89% of the time — often enough to make sites that use them vulnerable to setting up false user accounts, the researchers say."


Submission + - Android security practices? 1

Soft writes: Smartphone security recommendations seem to boil down to Windows-like practices: install an antivirus, run updates, and don't execute apps from untrusted sources. On my own computers, running Linux, I choose to only install (signed) packages from the distribution's or well-known repositories, or programs I can check and compile myself, or run them as a dedicated user--and I don't bother with an antivirus.

What rules should I adopt on my soon-to-be-bought Android device? Can I use it purely with open-source apps and still make the most of it? Are Android's fine-grained permissions (accessing the network, contacts...) reliable? Can apps be trusted not to scan your files and keyboard for passwords and emails? What precautions do security-conscious Slashdotters take to keep control of their phones?

Submission + - PlayStation Network Down, Xbox 360 Up ( 1

Daniel_Lee writes: The Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) outage has angered and frustrated Sony fans into rushing to retail stores and trading in their PlayStation3 (PS3) consoles for rival Microsoft Xbox 360 systems. Reports from retail stores indicated that more customers have been trading in their entire PlayStation3 set including both console and games for the Xbox 360, mostly for Call of Duty online gamers.

Submission + - Comcast Helps Fix TPB's Connectivity Issues (

MagusSlurpy writes: "Far from blocking The Pirate Bay, Comcast was just one of several ISPs on which TPB was unreachable today. Comcast reached out to the torrent site, and its engineers provided technical support, eventually determining that the connectivity issues stemmed from a reverse path filtering issue at an intermediate ISP, Serious Tubes Networks."

Submission + - Google Engineers Deny Hack Exploited Chrome (

CWmike writes: "Several Google security engineers have countered claims that a French security company, Vupen, found a vulnerability in Chrome that could let attackers hijack Windows PCs running the company's browser. Instead, those engineers said the bug Vupen exploited to hack Chrome was in Adobe's Flash, which Google has bundled with the browser for over a year. Google's official position, however, has not changed since Vupen said it had sidestepped not only the browser's built-in 'sandbox' but also by evading Windows 7's integrated anti-exploit technologies. But others who work for Google were certain that at least one of the flaws Vupen exploited was in Flash's code, not Chrome's. 'As usual, security journalists don't bother to fact check,' said Tavis Ormandy, a Google security engineer, in a tweet earlier Wednesday. 'Vupen misunderstood how sandboxing worked in Chrome, and only had a Flash bug.' Chris Evans, a Google security engineer and Chrome team lead, tweeted, 'It's a legit pwn, but if it requires Flash, it's not a Chrome pwn.'"

Submission + - FCC Commissioner joins NBC-Comcast (

demonbug writes: Several sources are reporting that FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker will be leaving her position at the FCC on June 3. Just four months after voting to approve the merger of NBC-Universal and Comcast, she will be taking a position as the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs (a lobbying position) with Comcast.

Submission + - video downloader snoops (

simonplexus writes: "I was recently doing some web development and discovered that a popular 4 star rated Firefox addon with nearly 7 million users (source: here) is behaving in a way which I did not expect. The Addon in question is the video downloader and player from, which allows viewing or downloading of videos from sites like and many other popular video sites.

What I discovered has prompted me to write this article – that this addon is in fact clandestinely collecting data about every site that the addon users visit (not just or video sites) and specifically tying this back to you via a cookie and what appears to be a unique identifier, aka UUID — contrary to the published privacy policy. This happens in regular browsing, browsing on your corporate VPN, ‘Private browsing’ mode and browsing via proxies or anonymising services such as Tor, completely bypassing many layers of anonymity and security afforded by services such as proxies, Tor and corporate VPNs."


Submission + - Binary Compatibility and versioning

Wolfling1 writes: Binary compatibility is a common problem when there are multiple versions of a library. This is particularly topical given the mess Microsoft made of ADO with the recent release of Win7SP1. I have some opinions about how version numbering should be used to ensure consistent interfaces, but I am curious to read /.'s opinion on how libraries should be deployed to prevent unwanted backwards/forwards compatibility issues.
The Internet

Submission + - Netflix Is Killing BitTorrent in The US (

An anonymous reader writes: Something’s not right in the United States. Increasingly people start to pay for Netflix subscriptions so they can stream movies on demand. It doesn’t take a genius to conclude that Netflix’ popularity has a negative effect on the movie piracy rates in the US.

Submission + - China's High-Speed Trains Coming Off the Rails

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Washington Post reports that China’s expanding network of ultramodern high-speed trains is coming under growing scrutiny over costs and because of concerns that builders ignored safety standards in the quest to build faster trains in record time as new leadership at the Railways Ministry announced that to enhance safety, the top speed of all trains was being decreased from about 218 mph to 186. Without elaborating, the ministry called the safety situation “severe” and said it was launching safety checks along the entire network of tracks. Meanwhile China's Finance Ministry announced that the Railways Ministry continues to lose money as the ministry’s debt stands at $276 billion, almost all borrowed from Chinese banks. "In China, we will have a debt crisis — a high-speed rail debt crisis," says Zhao Jian, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and longtime critic of high-speed rail who worries that the cost of the project might have created a hidden debt bomb that threatens China’s banking system. "I think it is more serious than your subprime mortgage crisis. You can always leave a house or use it. The rail system is there. It’s a burden. You must operate the rail system, and when you operate it, the cost is very high.""

Submission + - Stream Only?

hinesbrad writes: "I'm getting really tired of paying ridiculous fees to my cable company just to have a DVR and high speed internet access. A neighbor of mine bought a cheapo Dell computer with an HDMI output. Apparently he streams all of his news live from respective websites, and also watches many of the shows on NBC and Comedy central using this method. He's effectively turned his PC into a DVR and gotten rid of his cable subscription fee.

I wonder, how many people have completely gotten rid of their cable/satellite subscription and have now instead moved to a Hulu/Netflix/Content producer website streaming solution instead?"

Submission + - Language universality idea tested (

NotSanguine writes: A long-standing idea that human languages share universal features that are dictated by human brain structure has been cast into doubt.

A study reported in Nature has borrowed methods from evolutionary biology to trace the development of grammar in several language families.

The results suggest that features shared across language families evolved independently in each lineage.

The authors say cultural evolution, not the brain, drives language development.


Submission + - Feds Prep For E-Gov Shutdown (

CWmike writes: "If the federal government is shut down by a budget impasse Friday night at midnight, the IRS will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and it will still process refunds, but paper-based returns won't be processed. The outlook for other government services delivered electronically is less than certain. 'Most websites will not continue, only those websites that are part of these accepted activities would continue to operate,' the senior official said. A big difference between the government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 and the one looming this week is the government's increased reliance on online tools for delivering services and seeking feedback. As for the decision to have the IRS continue collecting taxes that are filed electronically, 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' said a senior Obama administration official, speaking with reporters on background Tuesday. 'And that's the same process as issuing electronic refunds, so electronic refunds and collection of monies will continue.'"

Submission + - Internet Explorer will survive and Firefox won't ( 1

rudy_wayne writes: There is an interesting (and probably controversial) piece on on Why Internet Explorer will survive and Firefox won't

"It’s tempting to look at Microsoft’s history with Internet Explorer and assume that they are just incapable of working at the speed of the Internet. But take a closer look at the development process for IE 9 and there’s a different story to tell. Microsoft is playing the same game as Google. Mozilla is stuck in 2005. And that’s why the core of Internet Explorer will still be around in five years when Firefox will have, at best, a loyal cult following."

"At last year’s MIX conference, Microsoft talked about its new app platform: write code once, target for multiple platforms. That’s the same space that Google is playing in. Google has an entire family of apps that are designed to work exclusively in a browser."

"So where does that leave Firefox? It doesn’t have an app ecosystem or a loyal core of developers. Extensions? Those were worth bragging about in 2005, but in 2012 the story is apps. Businesses and consumers will want to use the same browser that powers their installed apps. In the PC space, that means Google or Microsoft. It doesn’t leave room for a third player."

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