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Updated: 1 min 29 sec ago

KDE Plasma 5.5 Has Matured Past the Point of Plasma 4

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 6:09pm
An anonymous reader writes: KDE's Plasma 5 desktop received a lot of early heat for being unstable, missing functionality compared to the older Plasma 4, and other changes that irritated Linux desktop users. Fortunately, with the recent release of Plasma 5.5, they have hit a stage where there's fairly wide agreement that Plasma 5 has now matured past the point of Plasma 4. Ken Vermette looked meticulously at the KDE stack for 2016, including how it's working on Wayland, the setup, widgets, various new features, and more.

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The US Gov't Could Become the Biggest Customer for Smart Guns

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 5:26pm
Lucas123 writes: Smart gun developers have faced pushback from opponents who fear adoption will lead to mandates. But this week, President Obama embraced the technology, creating the biggest customer of them all for smart guns: the federal government. He instructed several departments to "review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety." Joel Moshbacher, national co-chair of a gun safety advocacy group, said the move this week is "a game changer." Smart gun developers he's spoken with need only a few million to move their prototypes to market, so $20 million would be a windfall for several developers. Donald Sebastian, senior vice president for research and development at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), said federal dollars are the only way to advance the technology because of pushback by opposition groups. For example, when Armatix, a German startup, tried to introduce a smart handgun in the U.S. two years ago, it was met with vehement protests, including threats to burn down a Maryland store that was going to sell it. A second store in California that was carrying it also pulled it from its shelves citing pressure from those opposed to the tech.

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Attackers Abuse Legitimate EU Cookie Law Notices In Clickjacking Campaign

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 4:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: Hackers have set up a clever new clickjacking campaign taking advantage of pop-up alerts that European users are (by now) accustomed to see: the "EU Cookie Law" notifications. The criminals are placing a legitimate ad banner on top of the warning message via an iframe. The trick is to make the ad invisible by setting its opacity to zero. So, each time a user clicks anywhere on the legitimate message, he or she clicks also on the hidden ad.

Read more of this story at Slashdot. Microsoft, Google, Apple Identifying What 1st Graders Should Know

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 4:03pm
theodp writes: On Sunday, The Simpsons declared computer coding class the nation's latest educational fad (script). Proving Principal Skinner's point, on Thursday announced a New Framework to Define K-12 Computer Science Education, the collaboration of participants from a number of states (MD, CA, IN, IA, AR, UT, ID, NE, GA, WA), large school districts (NYC, Chicago, San Francisco), technology companies (Microsoft, Google, Apple), organizations (, ACM, CSTA, ISTE, MassCAN, CSNYC), and individuals (higher ed faculty, researchers, K-12 teachers, and administrators). "A steering committee initially comprised of the Computer Science Teachers Association, the Association for Computing Machinery, and [tech bankrolled and led] will oversee this project," explained a CSTA blog post. "Funding for the project will be provided by and the ACM. The framework will identify key K-12 computer science concepts and practices we expect students exiting grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to know." In a FAQ, envisions a Programming and Algorithms standard for 1st Graders that calls for the 5-year-olds to "Work collaboratively in clear roles (e.g., pair programming) to construct a problem solution of a sequence of block-based programming commands." A day before the announcement, Politico reported that K-12 CS education is expected to get a State of the Union mention this year, and that the White House and U.S. Dept. of Education have been trolling for CS success stories in conjunction with the announcement of a broad set of new commitments to CS Education in early 2016.

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Deprecation of MD5 and SHA1 -- Just in Time?

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 3:21pm
mitcheli writes: If you're hanging on to the theory that collision attacks against SHA-1 and MD5 aren't yet practical, two researchers from INRIA, the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation, have provided reason for urgency. They demonstrated a new series of transcript collision attacks centered on the SHA-1 and MD5 implementations in TLS 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, along with IKEv1 and v2, and SSH 2. They say, "Our main conclusion is that the continued use of MD5 and SHA1 in mainstream cryptographic protocols significantly reduces their security and, in some cases, leads to practical attacks on key protocol mechanisms (PDF)." Of course, Mozilla officially began rejecting new SHA-1 certificates as of the first of the year. And as promised, there have been some usability issues. Mozilla said on Wednesday that various security scanners and antivirus products are keeping some users from reaching HTTPS websites.

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SpaceX Plans Drone Ship Landing On January 17th

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 2:38pm
Rei writes: With the world's first successful low-speed landing of an orbital rocket's first stage complete, SpaceX looks to continue that success by attempting its second landing — this time, on their new drone ship in the Pacific. While SpaceX has announced plans to turn their successfully-landed rocket, reportedly flight-ready, into a a museum piece, the stage they recover next may be SpaceX's first chance to prove the mudslinging of their competitors wrong and show that Russia's worries are well founded. That is, if they can successfully pull it off.

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Lenovo To Build Google's First Project Tango Phone

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 1:55pm
Press2ToContinue writes: Google and Lenovo announced plans Thursday night in Las Vegas for the first Project Tango phone to be released this summer for less than $500. Project Tango is Google's vision to bring augmented reality to phones by enabling devices to be able to sense where they are and what is around them. During the announcement, Google's Johnny Lee demonstrated measuring a room using a prototype Project Tango tablet and then shopping at Lowes for furniture that would fit it. Google also announced an app incubator for Project Tango, which they hope will encourage developers to start building apps that make use of the AR technology.

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Pirates Finding It Harder To Crack New PC Games

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 1:13pm
schnell writes: Engadget reports that a few recent top-tier video game releases using updated DRM technology have gone uncracked for more than a month and left DRM hackers stymied thus far. The games FIFA 16 and Just Cause 3, using an updated DRM system called Denuvo, have thus far frustrated experienced Chinese crackers' best efforts far longer than the usual 1-2 weeks it takes for most games to be cracked. Although the article is light on technical details about what makes the new DRM system harder to defeat, it does note that "Based on the current pace of encryption tech, 'in two years time I'm afraid there will be no free games to play in the world,' said one forlorn pirate."

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Mozilla Is Developing an IoT Board Powered By Firefox OS

Fri, 08/01/2016 - 12:31pm
prisoninmate writes: An SBC called Chirimen was designed from the outset to use web browser technologies in various science projects by extending the I2C and GPIO WebAPIs to control devices powered by Mozilla's Firefox OS 2.0 and higher operating system. As such, Web developers can easily use browser technologies to develop awesome things. The board is developed by in Japan.

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