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Kentucky Hospital Calls State of Emergency In Hack Attack ( 265

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: A Kentucky hospital is operating in an internal state of emergency following an attack by cybercriminals on its computer network, Krebs on Security reported. Methodist Hospital, based in Henderson, Kentucky, is the victim of a ransomware attack in which hackers infiltrated its computer network, encrypted files and are now holding the data hostage, Krebs reported Tuesday. The criminals reportedly used new strain of malware known as Locky to encrypt important files. The malware spread from the initial infected machine to the entire internal network and several other systems, the hospital's information systems director, Jamie Reid, told Krebs. The hospital is reportedly considering paying hackers the ransom money of four bitcoins, about $1,600 at the current exchange rate, for the key to unlock the files.

Submission + - The reason a Surface Phone won't fix Microsoft's mobile problem (

Ammalgam writes: Microsoft’s CMO recently admitted that Microsoft was behind in the mobile arena and needed time to build a competitive phone. In the Windows community however, some feel that the Windows Phone platform is out of time. On, the author discusses some of the reasons why a “Surface Phone” might not be enough to fundamentally change public perception about Microsoft mobile phones.

Submission + - Malware Infects Computers, Adds Them to Russian Proxy Service

An anonymous reader writes: A new malware family called ProxyBack infects PCs and transforms them into a Web proxy. ProxyBack malware works by infecting a PC, establishing a connection with a proxy server controlled by the attackers, from where it receives instructions, and later the traffic it needs to route to actual Web servers. Each machine infected with ProxyBack works as a bot inside a larger network controlled by the attackers, who send commands and update instructions via simple HTTP requests. Some of the people infected with this malware, mysteriously found their IP listed on the Web proxy service.

A technical write-up of the infection steps and various malware commands is available on the Palo Alto Networks blog.

Submission + - Reluctance To Go Mobile Inhibiting Innovation in Financial Services

Lemeowski writes: Compliance concerns have long prevented financial services businesses from adopting mobile capabilities as quickly as other industries. But Yvette Jackson of Thomson Reuters argues that technology advancements have made compliance worries of the past now obsolete, and financial services companies are running out of excuses for not going mobile. She stresses that holding onto this reluctance will cause businesses to miss opportunities, limit innovation, and turn away talent by restraining their workflow. She says, "Any millennial joining the financial services industry, who expects a flawless user experience both at home and at work, is – I’m sure – surprised on their first day in the office when they get to their desk and are transported back in time by the technology they’re expected to use."

Submission + - Actual video of Pluto from New Horizons spacecraft

An anonymous reader writes: The New Horizons spacecraft has been sending back hundreds of photos of Pluto, but it also took video; the LEISA camera took 2 frames per second during the flyby to create a very weird and trippy multi-colored video of the small, icy world using an unusual filter that breaks light up into 256 colors. This is used to map different minerals on the surface, like water, nitrogen, and methane ice.

Submission + - Fixing JavaScript's Broken Random Number Generator (

szczys writes: It is surprising to learn how broken the JavaScript Random Number Generator has been for the past six years. The problem is compounded by the fact that Node.js uses the same broken Math.random() module. Learning about why this is broken is interesting, but perhaps even more interesting is how the bad code got there in the first place. It seems that a forum thread from way back in 1999 shared two versions of the code. If you read to the end of the thread you got the working version, if you didn't make it that far (perhaps the case with JavaScript devs) you got the bad version of the code whose fix is just now being rolled out.

Submission + - The Pirate Bay Is Down: Four Domains Suspended

An anonymous reader writes: The Pirate Bay is down today, though not everyone is experiencing the issue just yet. Four of the site’s domains have been suspended, meaning once the DNS entry updates have propagated, The Pirate Bay won’t work for you. Instead, you will get a generic error, such as “This webpage is not available” in Chrome and “Unable to connect” in Firefox.

Submission + - On the coming chatbot revolution (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all pursuing AI-powered chatbots — an intersection between several popular technologies: personal assistant software, search engines, and social tools. Right now, while they're still building these chatbots, they're cheating a bit. Facebook is using real humans to answer questions the AI can't. Google answers tough questions from a database populated with movie dialog. Microsoft scans social media to find the most popular answer, and offers that to inquisitive users. But software becoming conversational comes with hazards: "Because human beings are complex creatures plagued by cognitive biases, irrational thinking and emotional needs, the line between messaging with a friend and messaging with AI will be fine to nonexistent for some people." It sounds like an Asimov-era sci-fi trope, but it's already happening in China.

Submission + - Solus 1.0 released with

deusmetallum writes: A slightly late Christmas present has just landed — Solus 1.0. Complete with the GTK based Budgie desktop and the Raven Panel, Solus is a lightweight operating system, more akin to Gnome 2. Although many will lament the sheer number of packages available in other distros, many may find Solus to be a nice alternative.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to get into Machine Learning?

An anonymous reader writes: I know this is a vague question, but hoping to get some useful feedback anyway. I'm an experienced SW Engineer/Developer who is looking to get into the Machine Learning arena. I have an MS in CS and a solid 15 years of experience in a variety of areas, but no experience in Machine Learning.

With that as background, my question is: What is the most time-efficient (and reasonable cost) way to:
(1) Decide whether Machine Learning is for me and
(2) Make myself employable in the field.
An additional constraint is that I can't afford to quit my full-time day job.

Submission + - Online Heavy Equipment Rental Booming

esrasoderber writes: Heavy equipment has literally and figuratively been a big industry in Asia for the last decade. Developing countries have been growing towards urbanization and infrastructures are constantly being built. In the midst of it, investors are creating more projects and needing more construction materials, manual labor and equipment. The construction industry goes in demand until it has become one of the leading markets and has been driving Asia’s economy.

As one of the pioneers in the business, Axis Capital Group, a company which sells and rents heavy equipment in Singapore acknowledges the fact that the sudden boost in business has also been because of the integration of technology to present machines. It made the workload easier and the task more convenient for timely realization of the project. Although the industry has been lagging behind for more advanced technological updates, it has adapted enough modernity to keep up to today’s demands.

One of the leading game changer in the boom of heavy equipment is the renting scheme. Since machines can easily be obsolete with new models and units in the market, heavy equipment rental can be relatively useful for short-time usage. Nowadays, it’s a huge business in Asia and is considered as a billion-dollar industry.

Since rental has started to become popular, other developing cities and countries who are separated by oceans and different regions, those who do not have their own local heavy equipment manufacturer complain of the lack of availability of high-quality equipment. Oceans and the separation of islands became a hurdle in the procurement of equipment.

Online equipment rental has been developed to solve the issue of isolation. Ever since shipment and online shopping has been available, isolated developing cities which are also developing their own urban world. Developing cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Philippines had slowly risen to surprise the world of high city potential. China, Japan and other leading manufacturers also developed connection to other regions to selling and renting used equipment made by the likes of Komatsu or Hitachi to companies in other Asian countries.

However, the industry is not without issues. The most prevailing issue in online heavy equipment sales are fraudulent sales and online scams which have been a part of almost all e-commerce businesses. Clients are being fooled at taking prior payment for equipment which will never come or by delivering rusted and poorly maintained equipment which is not returnable.

The online world of heavy equipment can be unpredictable but the demand continues to grow. Despite this, the industry is promising higher growth and more development.

Submission + - Obama backs away from law to access encrypted information

An anonymous reader writes: The Obama's administration has changed course and is backing away from seeking legislation that would give law enforcement agencies access to individuals' encrypted messages. "We are actively engaged with private companies to ensure they understand the public safety and national security risks that result from malicious actors’ use of their encrypted products and services," said White House spokesman Mark Stroh. "However, the administration is not seeking legislation at this time."

Comment Hearing Aids (Score 3) 311

Hearing loss severely affects people's social interactions, entertainment, etc. Insurance doesn't cover hearing aids. The ones that work best are expensive, $2500 and up, each. Social isolation is especially harmful to the older population, and so is hearing loss. I think this is an area that could be addressed by open hardware and software, perhaps better than some of the other items on this list. Kickstarter, anyone?
Data Storage

Samsung Unveils V-NAND High Performance SSDs, Fast NVMe Card At 5.5GB Per Second 61

MojoKid writes: Sometimes it's the enterprise sector that gets dibs on the coolest technology, and so it goes with a trio of TCO-optimized, high-performance solid state drives from Samsung that were just announced, all three of which are based on three-dimensional (3D) Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory technology. The fastest of bunch can read data at up to 5,500 megabytes per second. That's the rated sequential read speed of Samsung's PM1725, a half-height, half-length (HHHL) PCIe card-type NVMe SSD. Other rated specs include a random read speed of up to 1,000,000 IOPS, random write performance of up to 120,000 IOPS, and sequential writes topping out at 1,800MB/s. The PM1725 comes in just two beastly storage capacities, 3.2TB and 6.4TB, the latter of which is rated to handle five drive writes per day (32TB) for five years. Samsung also introduced two other 3D V-NAND products, the PM1633 and PM953. The PM1633 is a 2.5-inch 12Gb/s SAS SSD that will be offered in 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB, and 3.84TB capacities. As for the PM953, it's an update to the SM951 and is available in M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors at capacities up to 1.92TB.

Submission + - SPAM: The Health Problems Caused By Poor Oral Hygiene

An anonymous reader writes: In the last decade, the link between oral health and the condition of the body has been more thoroughly investigated than ever before. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 40% of people with serious gum disease also had a chronic health condition. This figure is far too high to be a coincidence and we look at why your mouth could be the gateway to the body.
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