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Facebook

Heavy Social Media Users Trapped In Endless Cycle of Depression (independent.co.uk) 48

An anonymous reader quotes an article on The Independent: The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found. Of the 19- to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often. The 1,787 U.S. participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression. Dr Brian Primack, the director of Pitt's Centre for Research on Media, Technology and Health, led the study, said, "One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy or drive to engage in as many direct social relationships." Update: 03/26 17:06 GMT by M : Oops -- as many of you correctly pointed out, we originally covered this story on Friday. Apologies for the error. Thanks!
Intel

Intel Says It Will Move Away From 'Tick-Tock' Development Cycle 124

An anonymous reader writes: In its latest annual report, Intel says that it will be moving away from its decade-old "tick-tock" strategy (PDF) for developing new chips. From the company's 10-K filing, "We expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14nm and our next generation 10nm process technologies, further optimizing our products and process technologies while meeting the yearly market cadence for product introductions." Anand Tech's Ian Cutress explains, "Intel's Tick-Tock strategy has been the bedrock of their microprocessor dominance of the last decade. Throughout the tenure, every other year Intel would upgrade their fabrication plants to be able to produce processors with a smaller feature set, improving die area, power consumption, and slight optimizations of the microarchitecture, and in the years between the upgrades would launch a new set of processors based on a wholly new (sometimes paradigm shifting) microarchitecture for large performance upgrades. However, due to the difficulty of implementing a 'tick', the ever decreasing process node size and complexity therein, as reported previously with 14nm and the introduction of Kaby Lake, Intel's latest filing would suggest that 10nm will follow a similar pattern as 14nm by introducing a third stage to the cadence."
Microsoft

After Decades of Abuse, Microsoft Adds an Anti-Macro-Malware Feature To Office (softpedia.com) 119

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is finally addressing the elephant in the room in terms of security for Office users and has announced a new feature in the Office 2016 suite that will make it harder for attackers to exploit macro malware. Sysadmins can now use group policies to disable the execution of macro scripts that retrieve content off the Internet, a tactic used by malware developers to trick users into allowing the download & automatic installation of malware on their PCs. "Macro malware" as this category is known, is the preferred method of distribution for most malware these days, especially ransomware.
Cloud

In Major Cloud Expansion, Google To Open 12 More Data Centers 42

Mickeycaskill writes: Google is to open 12 new data centers in the latest stage of a bitter war with rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. The first two facilities to open will be in Oregon and Tokyo, both of which will open next year. The rest will follow in 2017. Google says the new locations will allow customers to run applications closer to home, boosting latency, and of course benefiting from any local data protection laws. At present, Google has just four cloud regions, meaning this expansion will quadruple its sphere of influence. "With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance," said Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud's product manager. Two bits says those were not his exact words.
Cellphones

Encryption Securing Mobile Money Transfers Can Be Broken 28

An anonymous reader writes: A group of researchers has proved that it is possible to break the encryption used by many mobile payment apps by simply measuring and analyzing the electromagnetic radiation emanating from smartphones. Modern cryptographic software on mobile phones, implementing the ECDSA digital signature algorithm, may inadvertently expose its secret keys through physical side channels: electromagnetic radiation and power consumption which fluctuate in a way that depends on secret information during the cryptographic computation.
The Almighty Buck

Infamous French Hacker Calls Internet a "Digital Shantytown" (medium.com) 82

An anonymous reader writes: French hacker and security expert Anthony Zboralski calls social media networks a "digital shantytown" in his most recent blogpost. While fellow members of hacker collective w00w00 have formed successful billion dollar startups, he claims that the rewards for creating content and use are unfair and suggests a better solution would be like the successful creation of land title for slum dwellerspartial ownership for users on social media.
Bitcoin

Bitcoin Trading Platform Announces Huge Downtime Following Cyber-Attack (softpedia.com) 51

An anonymous reader writes: BitQuick, a US-based Bitcoin trader has announced that it will shut down its platform for up to 2 to 4 weeks following a cyber-attack this week. The platform took this step because it has not yet identified how the hackers infiltrated their systems. It is unusual for companies to take down their systems for weeks, but after the recent Cryptsy and LoanBase hacks, the company is not willing to lose millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin. BitQuick announced clients of the incident, and 97% already withdrew their funds from the platform.
Businesses

Laid-Off Abbott IT Workers Won't Have To Train Their Replacements (computerworld.com) 284

dcblogs writes: An angry letter from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) protesting Abbott Labs' IT employee layoff may be having an impact, but not the way the senator wanted. The layoffs are part of plan by Abbott to shift some IT work to India-based Wipro, a major user H-1B visas, and Abbott is proceeding with the cuts despite Durbin's plea "to reconsider this plan and retain these U.S. workers." Abbott put the number of impacted IT employees at "fewer than 150." Durbin's letter has it at 180. But Abbott may be making changes in how the layoffs are conducted. IT employees, who only spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were initially told they would be training replacements. But Abbott said Friday that the "affected Abbott IT employees are not being asked to train their replacements." The firm's statement appears to confirm the latest employee accounts of what's going on. One worker said the replacement training may be limited to employees who aren't losing their jobs. The training of replacements was a major issue for Durbin. In his letter to the firm, Durbin wrote: "To add insult to injury, the Abbott Labs IT staff who will be laid off will first be forced to train their replacements."
Communications

What Lies Beneath: The First Transatlantic Communications Cables (hackaday.com) 49

szczys writes: Our global information networks are connected by many many fibre optic cables sitting on the the ocean floor. The precursor to this technology goes all the way back to 1858 when the first telegraph cable connecting North America and Europe was laid. The story of efforts to lay transatlantic cables is fascinating. First attempts were met with many failures including broken cable in the first few miles of installation, and even frying the first successful connection with 2000 volts within a month of completion. But the technology improved quickly and just a century later we laid the first voice cables that used — get this — vacuum tubes in the signal repeaters. This seems a good time to link to one of my favorite-ever pieces in Wired, about a more modern but similarly impressive cable install, as told by Neal Stephenson.
Microsoft

Microsoft Tries Hard To Play Nice With Open Source, But There's an Elephant In the Room 163

Esther Schindler writes: They're trying, honest they are. In 2016 alone, writes Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Microsoft announced SQL Server on Linux; integrated Eclipse and Visual Studio, launched an open-source network stack on Debian Linux; and it's adding Ubuntu Linux to its Azure Stack hybrid-cloud offering. That's all well and good, he says, but it's not enough. There's one thing Microsoft could do to gain real open-source trust: Stop forcing companies to pay for its bogus Android patents. But, there's too much money at stake, writes sjvn, for this to ever happen. For instance, in its last quarter, volume licensing and patents, accounted for approximately 9% of Microsoft's total revenue.
Encryption

Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Keyfiles Secure, But Still Accessible? 167

New submitter castionsosa writes: With various utilities like borgbackup, NetBackup, zbackup, and others, one uses a keyfile on the client as the way to encrypt and decrypt data. Similar with PGP, GnuPG, and other OpenPGP utilities for the private keys. However, there is a balance between security (keeping the keyfile in as few places as possible) and recoverability (keeping many copies of it). Go too far one way, and one will be unable to restore after a disaster. Go far the other way, and the encryption can wind up compromised.

I have looked at a few methods. PaperBack (which allows one to print a binary file, then scan it) gives mixed results, and if there is any non-trivial misalignment, it won't retrieve. Printing a uuencoded version out is doable, but there would be issues for scanning, or worse retyping. There is obviously media storage (USB flash drive, CD-ROM), but flash isn't an archival grade medium, and optical drives are getting rarer as time goes on. Of course, stashing a keyfile in the cloud isn't a wise idea, because once one loses physical control of the medium the file is stored on, one can't be sure where it can end up, and encrypting it just means another key (be it a passphrase or another keyfile) is stored somewhere else. I settled upon having a physical folder in a few locations which contains a USB flash drive, CD-R, and a printed copy, but I'm sure there is a better way to do this.

Has anyone else run into this, either for personal recoverability of encrypted data, or for a company? Any suggestions for striking a balance between being able to access keyfiles after disasters of various sizes (ransomware, fire, tornado, hurricane) while keeping them out of the wrong hands?
Networking

Within 6 Years, Most Vehicles Will Allow OTA Software Updates (computerworld.com) 199

Lucas123 writes: By 2022, using a thumb drive or taking your vehicle to the location you bought it for a software update will seem as strange as it would be for a smartphone or laptop today. By 2022, there will be 203 million vehicles on the road that can receive software over-the-air (SOTA) upgrades; among those vehicles, at least 22 million will also be able to get firmware upgrades, according to a new report by ABI Research. Today, there are about 253 million cars and trucks on the road, according to IHS Automotive. The main reasons automakers are moving quickly to enable OTA upgrades: recall costs, autonomous driving and security risks based on software complexities, according to Susan Beardslee, a senior analyst at ABI Research. "It is a welcome transformation, as OTA is the only way to accomplish secure management of all of a connected car's software in a seamless, comprehensive, and fully integrated manner," Beardslee said.
Microsoft

Microsoft Denies Rogue Windows 10 Upgrades, Says Users Remain Fully In Control (hothardware.com) 515

MojoKid writes: Despite significant user outcry that Microsoft Windows 10 upgrade mechanism has gone rogue, installing on customers' Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 machines when their backs were turned or they were otherwise away from the computer, Microsoft is pleading innocent. News broke of the automatic Windows 10 upgrades over the weekend, and in nearly every case, it was claimed Windows 10 installed without user intervention. Microsoft issued the following statement regarding the alleged unplanned upgrades: "We shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. As stated in that post, we have updated the upgrade experience to make it easier for customers to schedule a time for their upgrade to take place. Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update (WU) by changing the WU settings." However, users are still reporting the Windows 10 has allegedly forcefully taken over their machines. Hundreds and maybe thousands of users and IT admins are still chiming in on various threads around the web that they've "been had" by Microsoft.
Google

Tavis Ormandy Criticizes Meaningless Antivirus Excellence Awards (softpedia.com) 72

An anonymous reader writes: A Google security expert (Tavis Ormandy) has become annoyed with antivirus products receiving awards a week after he finds huge security holes in their software. He's talking about Comodo who received an "excellence" award from Verizon, after the researcher discovered 4 security issues in the past four months, and is in the process of submitting a fifth. His criticism of Comodo and Verizon's silly awards is also validated by the fact that during the past year, he discovered security flaws in numerous antivirus and security software such as Avast, Malwarebytes, Trend Micro, AVG, FireEye, Kaspersky, and ESET.
Network

Comcast Provides Uncapped 1 Gb Service To 1 Customer -- of 22.4 Million (myajc.com) 134

McGruber writes: A month after it suffered a nationwide outage, Comcast announced that a Dunwoody, Georgia resident is the first customer in the nation to get Comcast's new $80/month uncapped 1-gigabit service. The service will only be available in select Atlanta neighborhoods. The company would not say how many people would be chosen for the initial roll out of its 1-gigabit service, but admitted the numbers would be small to 'ensure seamless deployment,' a spokesman said. The company claims that the service will roll out more broadly later in the year. Comcast has 22.4 million broadband customers.

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