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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 + - 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 + - Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI Is Going To Decimate Middle Class Jobs (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a column in The Guardian, the world-famous physicist wrote that "the automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining." He adds his voice to a growing chorus of experts concerned about the effects that technology will have on workforce in the coming years and decades. The fear is that while artificial intelligence will bring radical increases in efficiency in industry, for ordinary people this will translate into unemployment and uncertainty, as their human jobs are replaced by machines. Automation will, "in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world," Hawking wrote. "The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive." He frames this economic anxiety as a reason for the rise in right-wing, populist politics in the West: "We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent." Combined with other issues — overpopulation, climate change, disease — we are, Hawking warns ominously, at "the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity." Humanity must come together if we are to overcome these challenges, he says.

Submission + - Neuroscientists Say Simple Mathematical Logic Drives Complex Brain Computation (sci-news.com)

hackingbear writes: According to Dr. Joe Tsien, a neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, the brain’s basic computational algorithm is organized by power-of-two-based logic. He and his colleagues from US and China have documented the algorithm at work in seven different brain regions involved with those basics like food and fear in mice and hamsters. “Intelligence is really about dealing with uncertainty and infinite possibilities,” he said, “It appears to be enabled when a group of similar neurons form a variety of cliques to handle each basic like recognizing food, shelter, friends and foes. Groups of cliques then cluster into functional connectivity motifs (FCMs) to handle every possibility in each of these basics. The more complex the thought, the more cliques join in.”

Comment What kind of society do we want? (Score 1) 270

There is a difference between censorship and accountability. The intentional act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth is already a well documented crime. There is a reason society has determined this to be necessary -- it is harmful to civil society. As proscriptions against slander and liable have emerged over time to address wrongs in society, we need a new element in the law that combats intentional, harmful, or negligent deceit.

We must confront the reality that the intentional or negligent act of creating or advancing untruth (and/or selective truth) in the guise of reporting whole truth is also harmful to civil society.

Fake news is a sticky hairball that transforms even the most intelligent, well-intentioned people into deceitful reprobates. Fake news is short term individual gain at the expense of long term social pain. Every untruth that is contrived and/or propagated diminishes us as a whole. The sooner we (collectively) reach a tipping point of understanding that untruth in all its forms is a net negative, the sooner we can stop bitching about specific rotten trees and start practicing good forestry.

Of what kind of society do we wish to be a part?

  1. I want a society where I don't feel the need to advantage myself with untruths. I want a society where all untruth is shunned and even the "little white lie" is heart-wrenching and demoralizing.
  2. I want a society where "news" is differentiated from "opinion." I want a society where "news" is the whole truth; not a sensational sound-bite.

I believe that fake news is a crime against civilization and society. I believe those who use fake news to harm individuals, groups, or society as a whole should be punished and/or rehabilitated.

Let us be clear... This is not an American problem nor a Russian problem nor a Chinese problem nor an Indian problem. This is not a Christian problem nor a Muslim problem nor a Jewish problem nor a problem of non-Abrahamic systems of faith or practice. This is not a Liberal problem nor a Conservative problem nor a problem for the rich or poor. This is not a problem for academics, laborers, financiers nor hard working house-spouses. This is a problem for all humanity... it is a test of our humanity.

We as global citizens must demand better in a global information age, lest we suffer the consequences of our unwillingness to stand up against a tyranny of deceit. We must demand better from the Platonian Philosopher Kings that reign over technology and media and, if necessary, hold them accountable as purveyors of deceit. We are living Toffler's FutureShock. We must be as determined to die for the truth that we find discomforting as we are that which comforts us -- because deceit is the mothers milk of tyranny and suffering -- because the fight for truth is noble, righteous, and just.

Perhaps some cultures may need to cut out the tongues of those convicted of speaking falsehood. Perhaps some cultures need to cut off fingers and hands of those convicted of writing falsehoods. For my culture, the sooner we can try and punish criminal deceit and litigate tortious deceit for compensatory and punitive damages -- the sooner we will rediscover news with integrity and journalism that uplifts society. Any crime against society must be met with a level of barbarity such that none in that society dare transgress. We stop being civilized if we abdicate truth.

Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. (pali)

Submission + - Pentagon office planning 'Avatar' fighters and drone swarms (washingtonpost.com)

schwit1 writes: High over Alaska last summer, the Pentagon experimented with new, secret prototypes: Micro-drones that can be launched from the flare dispensers of moving F-16s and F/A-18 fighter jets. Canisters containing the tiny aircraft descended from the jets on parachutes before breaking open, allowing wings on each drone to swing out and catch the wind. Inch-wide propellers on the back provided propulsion as they found one another and created a swarm.

Submission + - Easychromium is a bash script for compiling Chromium from source on OS X 3

An anonymous reader writes: Hi Slashdot, easychromium is the first publicly available method for downloading and building the Chromium browser from source on OS X. Previous options for installing Chromium on OSX involve installing a binary from homebrew cask or from freesmug.

Only one of these alternatives offers a checksum for the code, and even then it's not signed. And one of them distributes via sourceforge, recently criticized for putting adware into open source projects (the recent change in management and elimination of the DevShare program happened mid-development). I wanted a cleaner install path that could give users confidence in their browser, and couldn't find one online, so I built a script.

After extensive testing and collaboration on the Chromium-dev list, I released v2 of the script. For my first project with bash and compiling source it was a real journey to get this accomplished, and I'm grateful for the help and encouragement I've received. I hope you enjoy and welcome any feedback for improvement!

Submission + - KeRanger Mac Ransomware Is Actually Based on a Linux Ransomware, not Windows

An anonymous reader writes: It appears that the KeRanger ransomware that's been tormenting Mac users for the past days is actually based on a ransomware variant that targets Linux servers, and not on a ransomware family coming from Windows.

That particular Linux ransomware, is also based on an open-source ransomware called Hidden Tear, that was uploaded to GitHub by a Turkish security researcher. So obviously, the conclusion is that GitHub is to blame for the KeRanger Mac ransomware.

Submission + - Biological Supercomputing Breakthru

wermske writes: Utilizing nanotechnology and protein power, an international team of researchers announced they have created a biological computer that can solve complex, combinatorial problems far faster and more energy-efficiently than conventional electrical computers. The findings, models, and proof-of-concept have been published at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Submission + - President of Brazil Lashes Out at NSA Espionage Programs in Speech to UN

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The Guardian reports that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country's strategic industries. "Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the center of espionage activity," said Rousseff. "Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the permanent mission to the UN and the office of the president of the republic itself, had their communications intercepted." Rousseff's angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly, and represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Washington's efforts to smooth over Brazilian outrage over NSA espionage have so far been rebuffed by Rousseff, who has proposed that Brazil build its own internet infrastructure. "Friendly governments and societies that seek to build a true strategic partnership, as in our case, cannot allow recurring illegal actions to take place as if they were normal. They are unacceptable."

Submission + - Senate Intelligence Committee To Hold Hearing On NSA On Thursday (mcclatchydc.com)

cold fjord writes: McClatchy reports, "The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold its first public hearing Thursday related to NSA’s once secret collection of telephone and internet data since the existence of the program was disclosed last June. The committee previously discussed the matter behind closed doors after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked details about the agency's programs to the media. This time, committee members will talk publicly about proposed reforms ... Since Snowden’s leaks to the media, the Obama administration has declassified documents that detailed NSA violations, including the collection of tens of thousands of emails of Americans in a program designed to target foreigners. In response, the secret court that oversees NSA surveillance programs, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, ruled the program unconstitutional, forcing the NSA to change its practices. Administration officials have downplayed the violations although some members of Congress have said they demonstrate NSA has needs more aggressive oversight."

Submission + - Facebook Autofill Wants to Store User's Credit Card Info

cagraham writes: Facebook has teamed up with payment processors PayPal, Braintree, and Stripe, in an attempt to simplify mobile payments. The system allows Facebook members (who have turned over their credit and billing info) to click a "Autofill with Facebook" button when checking-out on a mobile app. Facebook will then verify the details, and securely transfer a user's info over to the payment processing company. The move is likely aimed at gathering more data on user behavior, which can be used to increase the prices Facebook charges for mobile ads. Whether or not the feature takes off however, will depend almost entirely on how willing users are to trust Facebook with their credit card data.

Submission + - India To Build 4GW Solar Plant (thinkprogress.org)

Greg Hullender writes: "Indian utilities plan to use 23,000 acres of land to build the largest solar power plant in the world, at 4 gigawatts of power, bringing prices and production of solar energy closer to competitiveness with coal."

This would be a solar plant on the scale of a nuclear power plant. First phase (1GW) by 2016, selling the power for ~9-cents-US/KWH. No indication of any technical breakthrough; the plan appears to be simply to benefit from economy of scale. That and the fact that coal is rather expensive in India.

Submission + - Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked to Insert NSA Backdoor (eweek.com)

darthcamaro writes: At the Linuxcon conference in New Orleans today, Linus Torvalds joined fellow kernel developers in answering a barrage of questions about Linux development. One question he was asked was whether a government agency had ever asked about inserting a back-door into Linux.

Torvalds responded "no" while shaking his head "yes," as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter.

Torvalds also admitted that while he as a full life outside of Linux he couldn't imagine his life without it.

While Torvalds has a full life outside Linux, it is at the core of his existence, he said. "I don't see any project coming along being more interesting to me than Linux," Torvalds said. "I couldn't imagine filling the void in my life if I didn't have Linux." /blockquote.


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