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Australian ISPs Must Hand Over Pirates' Info

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 4:14am
wabrandsma sends this report from the BBC: An Australian court has ordered internet service providers to hand over details of customers accused of illegally downloading a U.S. movie. In a landmark move, the Federal Court told six firms to divulge names and addresses of those who downloaded The Dallas Buyers Club. ... The court said the data could only be used to secure "compensation for the infringements" of copyright. In the case, which was heard in February, the applicants said they had identified 4,726 unique IP addresses from which their film was shared online using BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing network. They said this had been done without their permission. Once they received the names of account holders, the company would then have to prove copyright infringement had taken place.

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The Cyberlearning Technologies Transforming Education

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 2:11am
aarondubrow writes: The National Science Foundation funds basic cyberlearning research and since 2011 has awarded roughly 170 grants, totaling more than $120 million, to EdTech research projects around the country. However, NSF's approach to cyber-learning has been different from other public, private and philanthropic efforts. NSF funds compelling ideas, helps rigorously test them and then assists in transitioning the best ideas from research to practice. This article describes several examples of leading cyberlearning projects, from artificial intelligence to augmented reality, that are transforming education.

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Years After Shutting Down, Tevatron Reveals Properties of Higgs Boson

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 1:07am
sciencehabit writes: A U.S. atom smasher has made an important scientific contribution 3.5 years after it shut down. Scientists are reporting that the Tevatron collider in Batavia, Illinois, has provided new details about the nature of the famed Higgs boson — the particle that's key to physicists' explanation of how other fundamental particles get their mass and the piece in a theory called the standard model. The new result bolsters the case that the Higgs, which was discovered at a different atom smasher, exactly fits the standard model predictions.

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Why CSI: Cyber Matters

Wed, 08/04/2015 - 12:09am
New submitter hypercard writes: CSI: Cyber has been the butt of many jokes in the infosec community since its inception. But in addition to facilitating lots of cyber bingo events and live tweets to call out technical errors, the show has real value in bringing awareness about infosec issues to the masses. Members of the Army Cyber Institute at West Point discuss the upside of CSI: Cyber in an article in the Cyber Defense Review. "Children all over the country have been inspired to be law enforcement agents by shows like Criminal Minds, NCIS, Bones, and CSI." One of CSI: Cyber's cast members, Shad Moss, has more followers than the entire top one thousand information security professionals on Twitter.

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Stack Overflow 2015 Developer Survey Reveals Coder Stats

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 11:28pm
SternisheFan points out the results from 26,086 developers who answered Stack Overflow's annual survey. It includes demographic data, technology preferences, occupational information, and more. Some examples: The U.S. had the most respondents, followed by India and the UK, while small countries and several Nordic ones had the most developers per capita. The average age of developers in the U.S. and UK was over 30, while it was 25 in India and 26.6 in Russia. 92.1% of developers identified as male. Almost half of respondents did not receive a degree in computer science. The most-used technologies included JavaScript, SQL, Java, C#, and PHP. The most loved technologies were Swift, C++11, and Rust, while the most dreaded were Salesforce, Visual Basic, and Wordpress. 20.5% of respondents run Linux more than other OSes, and 21.5% rely on Mac OS X. Vim is almost 4 times more popular than Emacs, and both are used significantly less than NotePad++ and Sublime Text. 45% of respondents prefer tabs, while 33.6% prefer spaces, though the relationship flips at higher experience levels. On average, developers who work remotely earn more than developers who don't. Product managers reported the lowest levels of job satisfaction and the highest levels of caffeinated beverages consumed per day.

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Mobile 'Deep Links' and the Fate of the Web

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 11:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: Mobile developers call the links they're forging between apps "deep links," but so far the whole idea seems to be more about marketing than deepening understanding. This essay over at Backchannel argues that we still haven't delivered on the original promise of links online — the idea of enabling people to build and share "cathedrals of context." Quoting: "The people who invented the link saw it as a tool for relating ideas in illuminating ways—for making conceptual leaps and connecting disparate thoughts. If these visionaries had achieved their aim, the kind of tech-cultural amnesia represented by the recycling of the term 'deep links' shouldn't have been possible, two decades into the Web era. The links with true depth that they envisioned would have made sure of that."

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Smartphone-Enabled Replicators Are 3-5 Years Away, Caltech Professor Says

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 10:46pm
merbs writes: In just a few years, we could see the mass proliferation of DIY, smartphone-enabled replicators. At least, Caltech electrical engineering professor Ali Hajimiri and his team of researchers thinks so. They've developed a very tiny, very powerful 3D imager that can easily fit in a mobile device, successfully tested its prowess, and published the high-res results (PDF) in the journal Optics. Hajimiri claims the imager may soon allow consumers to snap a photo of just about anything, and then, with a good enough 3D printer, use it to create a real-life replica "accurate to within microns of the original object."

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Privacy Commissioner of Canada Rules Bell's Targeted Ad Program Violates the Law

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 10:05pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released the long-awaited decision on Bell's targeted ads program. The Commissioner's press release soft-pedals the outcome — "Bell advertising program raises privacy concerns" — but the decision is clear: Bell's so-called relevant ads program violates Canadian privacy law. As Michael Geist explains, the key issue in the case focused on whether Bell should be permitted to use an opt-out consent mechanism in which its millions of customers are all included in targeted advertising unless they take pro-active steps to opt-out, or if an opt-in consent model is more appropriate. The Commissioner ruled that opt-in consent is needed, but Bell is refusing to comply with the ruling.

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Windows 10 Successor Codenamed 'Redstone,' Targeting 2016 Launch

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 9:20pm
MojoKid writes: Windows 10 isn't even out the door yet, so what better time than now to talk about its successor? Believe it or not, there's a fair bit of information on it floating around already, including its codename: "Redstone." Following in the footsteps of 'Blue' and 'Threshold', Redstone is an obvious tie-in to Microsoft's purchase of Minecraft, which it snagged from Mojang last year. Redstone is an integral material in the game, used to create simple items like a map or compass as well as logic gates for building electronic devices, like a calculator or automatic doors. The really important news is that we could see Windows Redstone sometime in 2016.

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Google Let Root Certificate For Gmail Expire

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 8:38pm
Gr8Apes writes: The certificate for Google's intermediate certificate authority expired Saturday. The certificate was used to issue Gmail's certificate for SMTP, and the expiration at 11:55am EDT caused many e-mail clients to stop receiving Gmail messages. While the problem affected most Gmail users using PC and mobile mail clients, Web access to Gmail was unaffected. I guess Google Calendar failed to notify someone.

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TrueCrypt Alternatives Step Up Post-Cryptanalysis

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 7:56pm
msm1267 writes: What's next for TrueCrypt now that a two-phase audit of the code and its cryptography uncovered a few critical vulnerabilities, but no backdoors? Two alternative open source encryption projects forked TrueCrypt once its developers decided to abandon the project in early 2014, giving rise to VeraCrypt and CipherShed — and both are ready to accelerate growth, compatibility and functionality now that the TrueCrypt code has been given a relatively clean bill of health.

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Armstrap Claims to Make ARM Prototyping Easier (Video)

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 7:15pm
It almost seems too perfect that the originator of the Armstrap 'community of engineers and makers' is named Charles Armstrap. He just introduces himself as 'Charles' on the Armstrap.org website. Names aside, Armstrap.org is 100% open source, including circuit board designs. This is not a 'draw your own circuit boards' bunch, although you certainly could if you wanted to badly enough since they provide schematics and even full CAD drawings of what they make. The reason they do this is laid out on their Core Values page. The boards Armstrap sells are not expensive, but if you are going to be truly open source, you need to supply the means to duplicate and modify or extend your work, as is totally permitted under the MIT License they use.

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Radar That Sees Through Walls Built In Garage

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 6:29pm
szczys writes: Building radar in his garage is nothing new to Greg Charvat. He has a PhD in this stuff and has literally written the book (and a University course) on building your own radar system. This time around it's Phased-Array Radar. This is more than just judging the speed of a baseball or Ferrari. This rig can actually see through walls. Greg uses the example of a soda can to illustrate the quality and resolution possible from this type of system.

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How Ubiquiti Networks Is Creatively Violating the GPL

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 5:43pm
New submitter futuristicrabbit writes: Networking company Ubiquiti Networks violates the GPL, but not in the way you'd expect. Not only did the kernel shipped in their router firmware not correspond to the sources given, but their failure to provide the source led to a vulnerability they created being unpatched long after its disclosure. They're maintaining the appearance of compliance without actually complying with the GPL.

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Distance of a Microlensing Event Measured For the First Time

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 5:00pm
astroengine writes For the first time, astronomers have combined the observational power of a ground-based survey with a space telescope to measure the distance to a stellar-mass object that was detected through a chance microlensing event. In a new paper published in The Astrophysical Journal, astronomer Jennifer Yee of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Mass., led the study focusing on the detection of the microlensing event called "OGLE-2014-BLG-0939." Detected by the 1.3 meter Warsaw Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and alerted through the Optical Gravitational Lens Experiment (OGLE) community on May 28, 2014, Yee's team seized the opportunity to use NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to focus on the transient brightening. Both telescopes recorded a light curve of the event and was therefore able to derive the distance to the dark lens.

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Getting Started Developing With OpenStreetMap Data

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 4:19pm
Nerval's Lobster writes In 2004, Steve Coast set up OpenStreetMap (OSM) in the U.K. It subsequently spread worldwide, powered by a combination of donations and volunteers willing to do ground surveys with tools such as handheld GPS units, notebooks, and digital cameras. JavaScript libraries and plugins for WordPress, Django and other content-management systems allow users to display their own maps. But how do you actually develop for the platform? Osmcode.org is a good place to start, home to the Osmium library (libosmium). Fetch and build Libosmium; on Linux/Unix systems there are a fair number of dependencies that you'll need as well; these are listed within the links. If you prefer JavaScript or Python, there are bindings for those. As an alternative for Java developers, there's Osmosis, which is a command-line application for processing OSM data.

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Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 3:38pm
chicksdaddy writes Connected home products are the new rage. But how do you connect your Nest thermostat, your DropCam surveillance device and your Chamberlin MyQ 'smart' garage door opener? An IoT hub, of course. But not so fast: a report from the firm Veracode may make you think twice about deploying one of these IoT gateways in your home. As The Security Ledger reports, Veracode researchers found significant security vulnerabilities in each of six IoT gateways they tested, suggesting that manufacturers are giving short shrift to security considerations during design and testing. The flaws discovered ranged from weak authentication schemes (pretty common) to improper validation of TLS and SSL certificates, to gateways that shipped with exposed debugging interfaces that would allow an attacker on the same wireless network as the device to upload and run malicious code. Many of the worst lapses seem to be evidence of insecure design and lax testing of devices before they were released to the public, Brandon Creighton, Veracode's research architect, told The Security Ledger. This isn't the first report to raise alarms about IoT hubs. In October, the firm Xipiter published a blog post describing research into a similar hub by the firm VeraLite. Xipiter discovered that, among other things, the VeraLite device shipped with embedded SSH private keys stored in immutable areas of the firmware used on all devices.

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"Brontosaurus" Name Resurrected Thanks To New Dino Family Tree

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 3:09pm
sciencehabit writes In, the U.S. Postal Service issued colorful dinosaur stamps, including one for Brontosaurus. Paleontologists and educators loudly protested that the correct scientific name for the iconic beast was Apatosaurus—a fact that even lay dino aficionados and many 8-year-olds took pride in knowing. But now, a dinosaur-sized study of the family tree of the Diplodocidae, the group that includes such monstrous beasts as Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, and Barosaurus, finds that USPS got it right: The fossils originally called Brontosaurus show enough skeletal differences from other specimens of Apatosaurus that they rightfully belong to a different genus. The study, published online this week in the journal PeerJ, brings the long-banished name back into scientific respectability as a genus coequal with Apatosaurus.

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Snowden Demystified: Can the Government See My Junk?

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 2:56pm
An anonymous reader writes Comedian and journalist John Oliver set out to understand US Government surveillance in advance of the June 2015 expiration of section 215 of the Patriot Act. What resulted was a humorous but exceptionally journalistic interview of Edward Snowden which distilled the issues down in a (NSFW) way everyone can understand. Regardless of whether you view Snowden as a despicable traitor or an honorable whistleblower, it's worth a watch.

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Back To the Future: Autonomous Driving In 1995

Tue, 07/04/2015 - 2:15pm
First time accepted submitter stowie writes This autonomous Pontiac Trans Sport minivan that drove 3,000 miles was built over about a four-month time frame for under $20,000. "We had one computer, the equivalent of a 486DX2 (look that one up), a 640x480 color camera, a GPS receiver, and a fiber-optic gyro. It's funny to think that we didn't use the GPS for position, but rather to determine speed. In those days, GPS Selective Availability was still on, meaning you couldn't get high-accuracy positioning cheaply. And if you could, there were no maps to use it with! But, GPS speed was better than nothing, and it meant we didn't have to wire anything to the car hardware, so we used it."

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