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Submission + - John Deere's Electric Tractor Paves the Way For Zero Emissions Farming (newatlas.com)

An anonymous reader writes: John Deere has released a video of an all-electric concept tractor in the lead-up to the SIMA Agribusiness show in France, pointing the way toward a zero-local-emissions tractor product in the future. In some ways, tractors seem like an ideal candidate for electrification. Electric motors are great for generating the kinds of huge torque figures tractors require, and tractors are generally fairly short range vehicles that live in the same shed every night, making for convenient recharging. They're also very low-maintenance in comparison with diesel gear. That's the thinking behind John Deere's SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery) tractor, a gutted out JD 6R with a huge battery bank up front and dual electric motors developing up to 130 kilowatts (174 horsepower) of continuous power. The dual motors can be set to three modes; all drive can go to the wheels, or the power take-off shaft, or drive can be split between them. The battery at this stage will only last for about four hours of work, so it's not ready for the big leagues yet. But it's starting to get close, and it's good to see a major player in agriculture starting to take zero-emissions farming seriously.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Are you getting spammed by the Yahoo Recruiting Management System (yahoo.com)

shanen writes: Can't even remember when I looked at that system, and never considered it seriously or even interviewed for a position at Yahoo. However twice in the last few weeks the Yahoo Recruiting Management System has sent me a bunch of notifications of matching job openings. Might be a bug, but I suspect it's a symptom...

So does anyone want to compare notes on what sorts of employees are leaving Yahoo most quickly? (Otherwise, I don't even have a reason to look at all the lovely email.)

Submission + - The Dyn Attack Was Just a Practice Run (icitech.org)

MarkBrown151 writes: On October 21, 2016, a malicious threat actor targeted the Dyn’s Managed DNS infrastructure
with multiple attacks from an estimated 100,000 devices infected in a Mirai botnet that generated
masked TCP and UDP traffic over port 53 [10]. External sources claim that the traffic directed at
Dyn may have exceeded 1.2 Tbps. While unwilling to confirm the reported value until the
conclusion of an extensive investigation, early detection of the TCP traffic at Dyn datacenters
noted packet flow bursts that were 40 to 50 times greater than typical values. Further, DDoS
attacks that use the DNS protocol confound the ability to distinguish between legitimate and
malicious traffic. .The Dyn Attack Was Just a Practice Run

Submission + - Changed Profile on Kindle Fire to "daddy", Amazon Seller Account Got Suspended 1

imthelag writes: An Amazon seller who runs an Amazon business wound up getting suspended from Amazon because he changed the name on his son's Kindle Fire. Similar to selecting a profile on a Netflix-capable device, the seller wanted to have his own profile on the Kindle. He changed the name on his profile to "Baba" which according to him "essentially means daddy in our language". Three days later, Amazon suspended his selling account. They requested documentation, including government identification, to verify his name is "Baba". You can see on the Amazon forums(amazon.com) that he did not change anything on his seller account. His inventory is now tied up and he has no recourse, as the outsourced support does not understand the situation. If you rely on Amazon for income, you may want to hold off on purchasing a Kindle, as for some reason Amazon considers your profile name on a Kindle to be your legal name on your selling account.

Submission + - Pebble Is No More After Fitbit Buys Smartwatch Assets

Mickeycaskill writes: Pebble will no longer support or make smartwatches, ending its bid to become an independent challenger to Apple, Samsung and others.

The original Pebble watch was funded on Kickstarter and other devices had been added to the range over the years. However the journey is at an end.

Fitbit's acquisition does not include the products Pebble has, mostly variants of its smartwatch, but rather adds assets that aim to help fitness wearable specialist Fitbit better establish a platform from which other fitness and health related products and services can be built upon.

“The additional resources will facilitate the faster delivery of new products, features and functionality while introducing speed and efficiencies to develop the general purpose utility consumers value in a connected device,” Fitbit said.

Pebble on the other hand will case creating its smartwatches and will cease to operate as an independent entity.

Submission + - Flash Bugs Dominate Exploit Kit Landscape

Trailrunner7 writes: Vulnerabilities in Flash and Internet Explorer dominated the exploit kit landscape in the last year, with a high-profile bug in Flash being found in seven separate kits, new research shows.

Exploit kits have long been a key tool in the arsenal of many attackers, from low-level gangs to highly organized cybercrime crews. Their attraction stems from their ease of use and the ability for attackers to add exploits for new vulnerabilities as needed. While there are dozens of exploit kits available, a handful of them attract the most use and attention, including Angler, Neutrino, Nuclear, and Rig. Researchers at Recorded Future looked at more than 140 exploit kits and analyzed which exploits appeared in the most kits in the last year, and it’s no surprise that Flash and IE exploits dominated the landscape.

Six of the top 10 most-refquently targeted vulnerabilities in the last year were in Flash, while the other four were in Microsoft products, including IE, Windows, and Silverlight. Flash has been a favorite target for attackers for a long time, for two main reasons: it’s deployed on hundreds of millions of machines, and it has plenty of vulnerabilities. Recorded Future’s analysis shows that trend is continuing, and one Flash bug disclosed October 2015 was incorporated into seven individual exploit kits. The flaw was used by a number of high-level attackers, including some APT groups.

Submission + - Uber profiling riders based on battery information to detect fraud (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Last year Uber discovered that clients with devices low on battery would agree to pay more for the service. It remained unknown if Uber has really been using battery information, but most browser vendor decided to remove battery information functionality citing privacy risks. Now, after a data request in Europe, Uber has revealed that battery information is used to detect fraud. Whether that's possible is not known, but Uber may have inadvertently revealed profiling based on battery level .

Submission + - Scott Adams and "The Non-Expert Problem" (blogspot.ca) 9

Layzej writes: It is easy for a non-expert to be swayed by a credible sounding narrative that claims to overthrow a scientific consensus. For a scientist it is generally clear which arguments are valid, but the general public can’t independently evaluate scientific evidence. Scientist Victor Venema provides answers to a number of concerns about climate science raised by cartoonist Scott Adams. His answers are accessible and illuminating, and hopefully helpful to the non-expert who would like to understand the truth behind certain contrarian talking points.

Submission + - FOIA confirms existence of real-life X-Files that FBI previously denied existed (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: A Freedom of Information Act request for FBI files on a figure at the center of dozens of 20th century conspiracy theories reveals a rare glimpse into the Bureau's real-life "X-Files" — which the agency had long maintained don't exist. And while there's no evidence yet of Mulder or Scully, the files do include a story of flying saucers and secret assassins stranger than anything on the show.

Submission + - T-Mobile CFO: Repeal of Net Neutrality Would Be 'Positive For My Industry' (tmonews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, and he touched a bit on President-elect Donald Trump and what his election could mean for the mobile industry. Carter expects that a Trump presidency will foster an environment that’ll be more positive for wireless. “It’s hard to imagine, with the way the election turned out, that we’re not going to have an environment, from several aspects, that is not going to be more positive for my industry,” the CFO said. He went on to explain that there will likely be less regulation, something that he feels “destroys innovation and value creation.” Speaking of innovation, Carter also feels that a reversal of net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet rules would be good for innovation in the industry, saying that it “would provide opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation” and that it’d enable you to “do some very interesting things.”

Submission + - To promote tech education, Canada's Prime Minister made his own game (gamasutra.com)

Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it.

It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appear to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Submission + - Two Backdoors Found in Sony IP Cameras

Trailrunner7 writes: A long list of IP-enabled security cameras made by Sony contain backdoors in their firmware that can allow an attacker to run arbitrary code remotely on the devices and potentially opening them up for use in a botnet.

The cameras affected by the vulnerabilities are surveillance cameras, mainly used in enterprises and retail settings and there are dozens of models that contain the vulnerable firmware. Researchers at SEC Consult discovered the backdoors and found that an attacker could use one of them to enable hidden Telnet and SSH services on the cameras and then use the other backdoor to gain root privileges.

“After enabling Telnet/SSH, another backdoor allows an attacker to gain access to a Linux shell with root privileges! The vulnerabilities are exploitable in the default configuration over the network. Exploitation over the Internet is possible, if the web interface of the device is exposed," the researchers said.

Submission + - Where've you been flying? Your drone's Wi-Fi is telling everyone

Force17 writes: Security researchers discovered privacy issues with wifi controlled drones, easily to geolocate from built-in wifi access points. Making drones even more vulnerable is the security implementation of the Wi-Fi, or rather, the lax security implementation. First, the WiFi AP have no security by default. Second, the AP's all have SSID's that fit some pattern similar to "DRONExxxxx". Finally, there is no passwords needed to control the drone with manufacturers App. Of course, you could simply walk down the park looking for them or you could do an automated search for the SSID pattern unique to this aerial vehicle. This meant security researchers were able to search Wireless Geographic Logging Engine wigle.net and easily geolocate vulnerable drones.

Submission + - Al Gore has "an extremely interesting conversation" with Trump (bbc.com)

tomhath writes: Mr Gore told reporters he met Ivanka before his meeting with her father.

"The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued," Mr Gore said.

Mr Trump has been stocking his administration with conservative ideologues, and many of the possible names for his environmental posts are sceptical of current policy. If Ms Trump pushes the issue and Mr Gore continues his "extremely interesting conversation" with the president, however, this could become a test of how willing President Trump is to cross party orthodoxy.

A free-agent president — beholden to neither party and willing to strike deals according to his own fancy — may be exactly what his voters wanted and what Washington insiders fear.

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