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Submission + - Could IBM's Watson Put Google in Jeopardy? 1

theodp writes: Over at Wired, Vashant Dhar poses a provocative question: What If IBM’s Watson Dethroned the King of Search? "If IBM did search," Dhar writes, "Watson would do much better than Google on the tough problems and they could still resort to a simple PageRank-like algorithm as a last resort. Which means there would be no reason for anyone to start their searches on Google. All the search traffic that makes Google seemingly invincible now could begin to shrink over time." Mixing supercomputers with a scalable architecture of massive amounts of simple processors and storage, Dhar surmises, would provide a formidable combination of a machine that can remember, know, and think. And because the costs of switching from Google search would not be prohibitive for most, the company is much more vulnerable to disruption. "The only question," Dhar concludes, "is whether it [IBM] wants to try and dethrone Google from its perch. That’s one answer Watson can’t provide."

Submission + - China Announces Plans to Export Greenhouse Gases to Terraform Mars (inhabitat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: As an extension of China’s $16 billion plan to combat air pollution in its cities, today the CNSA announced an ambitious plan to export the nation’s emissions to Mars. The unprecedented plan would greatly reduce emissions on Earth while warming the climate on Mars.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' Into Law (rt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Despite over 250,000 people's names on a petition asking for a veto of the the spending bill, Obama on Thursday signed into law HR 933 which includes a rider referred to as the "Monsanto Protection Act." This provision "effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future... With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer."

Submission + - Creationist Bets $10k Against Challengers To Literal Interpretation of Genesis (yahoo.com)

HungWeiLo writes: A California man who believes the literal interpretation of the Bible is real is offering $10,000 to anyone who can successfully debunk claims made in the book of Genesis in front of a judge.

Joseph Mastropaolo, the man behind this challenge, is to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account. His debate opponent would be asked to do the same. They would then jointly agree on a judge based on a list of possible candidates. Mastropaolo said that any evidence presented in the trial must be “scientific, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated."

For his part, Mastropaolo has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and writes for the Creation Hall of Fame website, which is helping to organize the minitrial. It’s also not the first such trial he’s tried to arrange. A previous effort, known as the “Life Science Prize,” proposed a similar scenario. Mastropaolo includes a list of possible circuit court judges to oversee the trial and a list of those he challenged to take part on the evolutionary side of the debate.

Anyone up for winning $20,000?

Submission + - Misplaced Parenthesis in Kernel Code Leads to Weak Keys in NetBSD 6.0 (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: NetBSD has a serious flaw within its random number generator implementation at the kernel level because of which systems would generate weak and easy to crack cryptographic keys. The reason for this flaw in the code is allegedly misplaced parenthesis within the kernel source code. Because of the flaw the system could end up generating random number which wouldn’t be necessarily random. Risk is at its highest when system is booting as it has very little entropy at its disposal to generating random numbers. 32-bit systems are more vulnerable than their 64-bit counterparts as there would only be 4-billion possibilities for potential entropy, which is technically feasible to brute force considering the computing power available today.
Encryption

Submission + - Cisco Weakens its Own Password Hashing, Leaves Devices Vulnerable to Brute Force (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Cisco’s latest attempt to make hashed values of passwords more robust against attacks specifically the brute force attacks through the use of Type 4 passwords hasn’t gone the right way thereby inadvertently weakening the security of its own appliances. Because of buggy implementation, instead of an 80-bit salt value the Type 4 algorithm didn’t apply any salt value at all. Beyond this, 1000 iterations through SHA256 were to be used instead of which just one iteration was used. According to Cisco, the bug is present in enable secret ... and username ... secret ... commands. Cisco has recommended that users shouldn’t use Type 4 passwords and that they should replace them with Type 5 passwords.
Games

Submission + - Have you considered porting your game to MS-DOS? (gamasutra.com)

TroysBucket writes: Porting your game to multiple platforms makes much financial sense, allowing you to hit as many different markets and players as possible. One platform you might not have considered is MS-DOS. It might sound crazy to consider DOS as a viable platform for a port — and that's because, well, it is crazy. But that hasn't stopped developer Bryan Lunduke from porting his game Linux Tycoon to the age-old system.

"I did it just to make Richard Stallman's [founder of the GNU Project] head explode," laughs Lunduke. "A closed-source game about building Linux... running on DOS? I don't think something like that can exist in our universe at the same time as Stallman. I'm sure, at the very least, a temporal rift opened up somewhere."

Open Source

Submission + - Closed-source Linux Tycoon Now Available For DOS (thepowerbase.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From a cube-shaped planet far from earth

From the deepest darkest corner of the deepest darkest dungeon of Bizarro World, Brian Lunduke releases Linux Tycoon, his closed-source game about an open source operating system for a closed source operating system no one uses. That’s right, you thought today’s earlier headlines were a pump-fake-pass for April Fool’s Day, but this takes things one step further. Linux Tycoon, the “premier Linux Distro Building Simulator game in the universe”, is now available for DOS.

Security

Submission + - Flaw Leaves EA Origin Platform Users Open to Attack (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Five years ago, a pair of security researchers write a book called Exploiting Online Games in which they described a number of ways in which attackers could take advantage of weaknesses in the protection systems for various gaming platforms. Now, with online gaming having emerged as a massive business, other researchers have picked up the ball and begun finding serious flaws. The latest vulnerability to be disclosed is in EA's Origin online game-delivery system, which researchers from ReVuln have shown can be exploited remotely to run malicious code on users' machines.

The problem lies in the way that Origin's custom URI handles commands. Origin is EA's platform for delivering and enabling users to play games without downloading them or playing them from a disc. In order to access content, users download a client that connects to the Origin server. To do so, the client uses a custom URI handler, origin://. So a command to the system to launch a game begins with that URI and then contains several other components. An attacker who can discover the Game ID--which is a unique identifier for each game--can use local vulnerabilities on a user's machine to execute arbitrary code.

Intel

Submission + - Why Can't Intel Kill x86? (itworld.com) 2

jfruh writes: "As tablets and cell phones become more and more important to the computing landscape, Intel is increasingly having a hard time keeping its chips on the forefront of the industry, with x86 architecture failing to find much success in mobile. The question that arises: Why is Intel so wedded to x86 chips? Well, over the past thirty years, Intel has tried and failed to move away from the x86 architecture on multiple occasions, with each attempt undone by technical, organizational, and short-term market factors."
The Internet

Submission + - TPB now hosted in North Korea (thepiratebay.se) 3

An anonymous reader writes: "The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information. Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets.

A week ago we could reveal that The Pirate Bay was accessed via Norway and Catalonya. The move was to ensure that these countries and regions will get attention to the issues at hand. Today we can reveal that we have been invited by the leader of the republic of Korea, to fight our battles from their network..."

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