Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - The New Google Voice Is Another Slap in the Face of Google's Users, & Their (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: So as desktop GV continued along its stable path, many observers began to wonder if Google was preparing to pull its plug. I’ve had those concerns too, though somewhat mitigated by the fact that Google has been integrating aspects of GV into some of their other newer products, which suggested that GV still had significant life ahead.

This was confirmed recently when word started to circulate of a new version (“refresh” is another term used for this) of GV that was soon to roll out to users. Google eventually confirmed this. Indeed, it’s rolling out right now.

And for desktop users at least, it’s a nightmare. A nightmare that in fact I was expecting. I had hoped I’d be wrong. Unfortunately, I was correct.

Submission + - Malvertising Campaign Infects Your Router Instead of Your Browser (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Malicious ads are serving exploit code to infect routers, instead of browsers, in order to insert ads in every site users are visiting. Unlike previous malvertising campaigns that targeted users of old Flash or Internet Explorer versions, this campaign focused on Chrome users, on both desktop and mobile devices.

The malicious ads included in this malvertising campaign contain exploit code for 166 router models, which allow attackers to take over the device and insert ads on websites that didn't feature ads, or replace original ads with the attackers' own. Researchers haven't yet managed to determine an exact list of affected router models, but some of the brands targeted by the attackers include Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Comtrend, Pirelli, and Zyxel.

Because the attack is carried out via the user's browser, using strong router passwords or disabling the administration interface is not enough. The only way users can stay safe is if they update their router's firmware to the most recent versions, which most likely includes protection against the vulnerabilities used by this campaign.

Submission + - First Offshore Wind Farm In US Waters Delivers Power To Rhode Island (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: On Monday, energy company Deepwater Wind announced that its wind farm three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, has the all-clear to sell electricity to the regional power grid. The Block Island Wind Farm is the first offshore wind energy plant in the U.S., and it's expected to produce 30 MW of electricity at full capacity. Deepwater Wind is slowly ramping up energy output and still must provide additional paperwork to the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, but the executive director of that organization, Grover Fugate, told the Providence Journal, “we don't anticipate any major issues” to getting the wind farm fully online. The one hitch in the Deepwater's plan is that one of the five turbines was recently damaged when a drill bit was left in a critical part of turbine. According to the Providence Journal, "the bit had caused damage to an unspecified number of the 128 magnet modules that line the circular generator and are critical to producing energy." Although the magnet modules can apparently be replaced easily, Deepwater needs to have the components shipped from France, where General Electric, the manufacturer of the wind turbines, makes them. For now, four turbines capable of churning out 6 MW of power each are operational. The Providence Journal notes that National Grid will pay Deepwater Wind 24.4 cents per kilowatt hour of power, with the price escalating over time to 47.9 cents per kilowatt hour. Because the residents of Block Island have some of the most expensive electricity rates in the nation, they will actually see energy savings, despite the price. Mainland Rhode Islanders, on the other hand, will pay an extra $1.07 per month on average.

Submission + - Google Publishes Eight National Security Letters (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Google dropped a single National Security Letter into its most recent transparency report without much fanfare, but today the company published eight more NSLs in an attempt to shed more light on government surveillance of Google users. The eight letters published today were sent to Google from FBI offices across the country. Cumulatively, the NSLs seek broad access to content for around 20 user accounts. The names of the targets are redacted, but most of the letters seek access to Gmail accounts. The NSLs were sent to Google over a five-year period, from 2010 to 2015, with the majority coming from the Charlotte, North Carolina field office of the FBI. Others came from Florida, Arizona, New York, and California. “In our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, today we begin to make available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) we have received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations,” Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security, wrote in a blog post. Google has fought to make the letters public in part because the FBI can issue them without prior judicial oversight.

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 + - 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 + - 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 + - Court Bars Apple From Making Industry-Wide E-book Deals (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: The federal judge presiding over the U.S. electronic books case against Apple has barred the company from striking deals that would ensure that it could undercut prices of other retailers in the e-book market and also prohibited Apple from letting any one publisher know what deals the company is striking up with other publishers. For its part, Apple said it plans to appeal the ruling, denying that it conspired to fix ebook pricing. Meanwhile, Amazon is alerting customers of their potential payout, which could be as much as $3.82 for every eligible Kindle book.

Submission + - Beijing Says That 400 Million Chinese Cannot Speak Mandarin (bbc.co.uk)

dryriver writes: China's Education Ministry says that about 400 million people — or 30% of the population — cannot speak the country's national language. Of the 70% of the population who can speak Mandarin, many do not do it well enough, a ministry spokeswoman told Xinhua news agency on Thursday. The admission from officials came as the government launched another push for linguistic unity in China. China is home to thousands of dialects and several minority languages. These include Cantonese and Hokkien, which enjoy strong regional support. Mandarin — formally called Putonghua in China, meaning "common tongue" — is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. The Education Ministry spokeswoman said the push would be focusing on the countryside and areas with ethnic minorities. For decades, the ruling Communist Party has promoted Mandarin in an attempt to unite the most populous nation in the world. But government efforts have been hampered by the sheer size of the country and a lack of investment in education, particularly the rural areas, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing.

Submission + - 'Half' of Extreme Weather Impacted by Climate Change (sciencemag.org) 2

sciencehabit writes: 2012 was a year of extreme weather: Superstorm Sandy, drought and heat waves in the United States; record rainfall in the United Kingdom; unusually heavy rains in Kenya, Somalia, Japan, and Australia; drought in Spain; floods in China. One of the first questions asked in the wake of such an extreme weather is: “Is this due to climate change?”

In a report published online today, NOAA scientists tackled this question head-on. The overall message of the report: It varies. “About half of the events reveal compelling evidence that human-caused change was a [contributing] factor,” said NOAA National Climatic Data Center Director Thomas Karl. In addition, climate scientist Peter Stott of the U.K. Met Office noted that these studies show that in many cases, human influence on climate has increased the risks associated with extreme events.

Submission + - Facebook to include profile photos in its facial recognition database? (sophos.com)

Em Adespoton writes: Facebook has published a summary of the updates it's proposing to make to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities which shows a large volume of rewriting.

Most of the changes are minimal, but one area has caught people's attention — photo tagging.

Facebook has highlighted how it plans to use members' profile pictures as an identification tool to allow their friends to tag them in photos.

NakedSecurity's Lee Munson has more details, including comments from Facebook's chief privacy officer Erin Egan on why this is a "good thing".

Slashdot Top Deals

The reason computer chips are so small is computers don't eat much.

Working...