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Submission + - Sysadmin Gets Two Years in Prison for Sabotaging ISP (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Dariusz J. Prugar, 32, of Syracuse, New York, will have to spend 2 years in prison for hacking his former employee, Pa Online, an internet service provider (ISP) formerly located in Enola, Pennsylvania. According to authorities, Prugar had used his old credentials to log into the ISP's network and "take back" some of the scripts and software he wrote while as an employee there, after being fired in June 2010.

Seeking to hide his tracks, Prugar used an automated script that deleted various logs. As a side effect of removing some of these files, the ISP's systems crashed, affecting over 500 businesses and over 5,000 residential customers. When the former ISP couldn't fix the issue, they asked Prugar to help. During negotiations, instead of requesting money as payment, Prugar insisted that he'd be paid using the rights to the software and scripts he wrote while at the company, software which was now malfunctioning, a week after he left. This tipped off the company, who detected foul play, contacted the FBI and rebuilt its entire network. The ISP shut down operations in 2015.

Submission + - How to View the SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight at Vandenberg Air Force Base (perens.com)

Bruce Perens writes: Silicon Valley folks should, sometime, take the opportunity to view a launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lompoc is 4-5 hours from the Bay, 2.5 hours from LA if there's ever no traffic. An upcoming SpaceX launch is notable because it's their return to flight, months after their last attempt blew up on the pad during a pre-launch test. Read how to view the launch.

Submission + - Chinese Scientist Found Breakthrough Vaccine/Cures for All Viral Infections (scmp.com)

hackingbear writes: Chinese scientists may have found the key to creating effective vaccines for the world’s deadly viruses including bird flu, SARS, Ebola, and HIV. An experiment by a research team at Beijing University was hailed as “revolutionary” in the field in a paper published in the latest issue of Science magazine on Friday. The live virus used in the vaccine used by the researchers had its genetic code tweaked to disable the viral strains’ self-replication mechanism. But it was kept fully infectious to allow the host animal cells to generate immunity. Using live viruses in their fully infectious form was considered taboo, as viruses spread rapidly. Vaccines sold and used widely today generally contain either dead or weakened forms of viruses. The animals infected with virus were cured after receiving the injection, according to the paper. This breakthrough promises to simplify the process of producing vaccines, which may help scientists develop effective vaccines or even cures for various viruses – such bird flu, SARS, Ebola and HIV – within weeks of an outbreak.

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Submission + - The Lack of Women in Cybersecurity is a Problem and a Threat (securityledger.com) 1

chicksdaddy writes: The devaluation of traditionally “soft” skills like empathy, communication and collaboration in the information security space may be hampering the ability of IT security teams to respond to human-focused threats and attacks, according to this article at The Security Ledger. (https://securityledger.com/2016/12/cybers-lack-of-women-a-problem-and-threat/)

Failing to prioritize skills like empathy, communication, and collaboration and the people who have them (regardless of their gender) and focusing on "hard skills" (technical expertise) "limits our conceptions of security solutions and increases risks to our systems and users."

The problem goes beyond phishing attacks and social engineering, too. “Studies have shown that projects that embrace diversity are more successful. It’s a simple truth that people with different life backgrounds and life experiences bring unique perspectives to problem-solving,” says Amie Stepanovich, the U.S. policy manager at Access Now.

In short: "when we keep hiring technologists to solve problems, we get keep getting technical solutions." Too often, such technical fixes fail to account for the human environment in which they will be deployed. “It’s prioritizing a ‘tech first’—not a ‘human first’ or ‘empathy first’—perspective,” says Dr. Sara “Scout” Sinclair Brody, the executive director of Simply Secure.

This isn’t the first article to raise a red flag over the technology sector's glaring shortage of empathy. (http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/silicon-valley-has-an-empathy-vacuum).

And while instilling empathy and compassion in adults who lack it might seem like a tall order, the piece argues that it isn't an unsolvable problem: there are entire fields—like user experience and human-centered design—dedicated to improving the way humans and technology interact. “Shockingly little of that,” says Brody, “has made it into the security domain.”

Submission + - President Obama's $4.2B CS for All K-12 Initiative Pronounced Dead 1

theodp writes: In a late Friday blog post entitled An Update on Computer Science Education and Federal Funding, tech-backed Code.org explains that Congress's passage of a 'continuing resolution' extending the current budget into 2017 spelled the death knell for President Obama's proposed $4B Computer Science For All initiative, which enjoyed support from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. So, wait'll next year? Perhaps not. "We don’t have any direct feedback yet about the next administration’s support for K-12 CS," wrote CEO Hadi Partovi and Govt. Affairs VP Cameron Wilson, "other than a promise to expand 'vocational and technical education' as part of Trump’s 100-day plan which was published in late October. I am hopeful that this language may translate into support for funding K-12 computer science at a federal level. However, we should assume that it will not." The nonprofit may have ruffled the new administration's feathers — among the recent WikiLeaks disclosures was correspondence from Code.org's founders advising the Clinton campaign that the issue of K-12 CS education could be used to win Hillary the election.

Submission + - Nikola Motor Company Reveals Hydrogen Fuel Cell Truck With Range of 1,200 Miles (valuewalk.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Nikola Motor Company just unveiled a huge class 8 truck which will run on hydrogen fuel cells. Nikola claimed that the truck’s operational range will be as much as 1,200 miles (1,900 km), and it will be released in 2020. Nikola designed the Nikola One for long-haul transport across a large landmass. The truck will deliver over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. Provided these claims are true, the vehicle will provide nearly double the power of the current-gen diesel-powered semis/articulated lorries, notes Ars Technica. The leasing cost of the trucks will include the fuel price, servicing costs and warranty, but exactly how the lease will work is not known now, notes Ars Technica. The company says it has already accepted nearly $3 billion in future orders. A fully-electric drivetrain which gets power from high-density lithium batteries runs the vehicle, and a hydrogen fuel cell charges the batteries on the go. Its reach is presently limited, as hydrogen fueling stations currently exist in only small numbers. This made Nikola decide to construct a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada, just like Tesla with its network of Superchargers. Milton claims it will come with a smart dashboard which has the capability of picking the most cost-efficient route for drivers. Also one or two full-size beds will be included inside the vehicle’s enormous cab. It will have other luxuries and necessities as well, such as Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, 4G LTE connectivity, freezer, a 40-inch curved 4K TV with Apple TV and a microwave.

Submission + - Codefights online game leads to job offers for coders

rmdingler writes: James Johnston, 31, was designing software for orthodontists and living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he landed a better-paid software engineering job in Silicon Valley at a major tech startup.
The key to this career upgrade and cross-country move? CodeFights, an online game that offers programmers the chance to improve their skills and get noticed by Silicon Valley titans like Uber and Dropbox.
Johnston told CNNMoney he discovered the game through a Facebook ad in June.

Submission + - Global Carbon Fiber (CF) Production to Reach 80,000 Tons in 2016; US and Japan t (marketsandmarkets.com)

gshri1989 writes: The report “Carbon Fiber Market by Types, Applications, Trends & Global Forecasts (2011 – 2016)”, as the name suggests, defines and segments the global carbon fiber market with detailed analysis and forecasts of market size based on various sub-markets by CF types, its applications, and geography. It also identifies driving and restraining factors for the market with analysis of trends, opportunities, and challenges. The market is segmented and forecasted on the basis of major geographies such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World (ROW).

Submission + - In Era Of Fake News, Should Scholars Be Trained to Fight Online Trolls? (edsurge.com)

jyosim writes: There's plenty of fake news and conspiracy theories on Reddit—the kind of material that appears to be eroding political discourse. Yet one professor at the University of California at Davis plans to send her graduate students into the popular online forum this week to teach them to bring more-accurate scientific information to the public. With the election of Donald Trump, who has Tweeted that he does not accept the scientific consensus around climate change, and an apparent increase in the influence of fake news, she adds, there is even greater pressure on scientists “to reach out to new audiences and talk to people about why we need scientists in our life and why we need evidence” to back up policy decisions.
Now more than 1,300 scientists moderate the r/Science subreddit to block out climate deniers and others making arguments not backed by facts.

  “There are people who actually strategize on how to disrupt legitimate news that is contrary to their agenda,” says Nathan Allen, moderator for r/Science. “They do things like badger people that they disagree with.”

One tactic has come to be known as sea lioning. That’s when opponents of a scientist’s work pepper them with seemingly polite but insincere questions demanding evidence for every point they make, as a way to throw them off point or exhaust them. “It’s culturally censoring people,” he adds. “The amount of energy it takes to respond to each point is just overwhelming. A lot of scientists just aren’t up for the fight.”

Submission + - 34Gbps WiFi? Japanese Scientists Make it Possible via TeraHertz Wireless

Mark.JUK writes: A team of researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have managed to push WiFi style data transmissions to 34Gbps (Gigabits per second) by harnessing the 500GHz band of radio spectrum (TeraHertz), not least by improving direct intensity modulation and the wireless data transmission characteristics of terahertz-oscillating resonant tunnelling (RTD).

One of the problems with getting higher speeds to work in such a setup has been the low cut-off frequency of the modulation (RTD oscillator) at 1.5GHz, which limits the speed to a maximum of 3Gbps. But the team were able to go much faster by cutting out the “parasitic components” of the RTD and improving the cut-off frequency to 15GHz.

Crucially the new setup would work at room temperature and the device size could be made much smaller, which might make using THz frequencies in Smartphones’ a realistic option. Speeds of 1 Terabits per second or faster, over a range of up to 10 metres, are now being targeted.

Submission + - Open Source Self-Driving Car Software: Amazingly Terrifying? (cnet.com)

xtsigs writes: Comma.ai is offering it's self-driving software free for download from github. They claim that only Tesla's autopilot is more advanced than the Comma.ai platform. Company founder, George Hotz, hopes that a community of hackers will take up the Comma Neo, adding capabilities and extending its applicability to other car models. Looks like we're in for a fun time once the kids start testing their parents self-driving terrors on the road.

Submission + - SPAM: Amazon's Trucker Net

xtsigs writes: Back in the day, we had what we called the "Sneaker Net" in which we would transport data from one machine to another on disks, tapes, or drives. Now, Amazon is using big rig trucks with 14 foot containers (which they dub snowmobiles) to move up to 100 petabytes per trip from Amazon's customers to Amazon's cloud. "Ten Snowmobiles would reduce the time it takes to move an exabyte from on-premises storage to Amazon’s cloud to a little less than six months, from about 26 years using a high-speed internet connection, by the company’s calculations." (Wall Street Journal)

Submission + - Soil carbon poised to release a petagram of CO2 per degree temperature rise 3

burtosis writes: From a Yale led study published in nature, researchers believe vast amounts of CO2 unaccounted for in current models will be released into the atmosphere. Yale news reports:
For decades scientists have speculated that rising global temperatures might alter the ability of soils to store carbon, potentially releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and triggering runaway climate change. Yet thousands of studies worldwide have produced mixed signals on whether this storage capacity will actually decrease — or even increase — as the planet warms.

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