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Updated: 18 min 18 sec ago

Torvalds Hasn't Given Up On Linux Desktop Domination, Will 'Wear Them Down'

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 4:40pm
Reader itwbennett writes: Linus Torvalds told attendees at the Embedded Linux Conference that although Linux hasn't dominated the desktop like it 'has in many other areas,' he isn't particularly disappointed and also hasn't given up on that goal. "I actually am very happy with the Linux desktop, and I started the project for my own needs, and my needs are very much fulfilled," Torvalds said. "That's why, to me, it's not a failure. I would obviously love for Linux to take over that world too, but it turns out it's a really hard area to enter. I'm still working on it. It's been 25 years. I can do this for another 25. I'll wear them down."

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Architect of China's Great Firewall Embarrassed After Needing To Use VPN

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 4:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: Fan Binxing, architect of the China's infamous Great Firewall, was put in the embarrassing position of having to use a VPN in front of a live audience when trying to access a blocked web page. Fang Binxing was giving a speech on internet safety at his alma mater, the Harbin Institute Technology. During the speech, he presented a defense for internet sovereignty and used North Korea's own version of the system as a talking point. Things got awkward really fast, however, when he attempted to access blocked web pages hosted in South Korea to demonstrate his point. From there his speech went from being a defense of the Firewall to a demonstration of its stupidity. Unable to access the websites he needed to continue his speech, Fang somewhat unexpectedly resorted to the same illicit tool which all expats in China are all familiar with: the beloved VPN. This raises one question: Is China's Great Firewall that easy to circumvent, or are members of the government treated differently than normal citizens?

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LG G5 Gets a High 8/10 Repairability Score

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 3:20pm
An anonymous reader shares an article from Geek.com: The one thing that makes LG's G5, the flagship smartphone it launched in February, stand out from the crowd is its modularity. As iFixit learned, that means more than just being able to quickly swap the battery for a camera grip or DAC. In its teardown, iFixit found that LG has made it easy to replace lots of the G5's parts. The process might not be as simple as giving the phone a squeeze and sliding a module out, but it's a heck of a lot easier than it is with many phones and tablets. [...] All in all, it makes for a pretty tidy teardown and it earned the G5 an impressive 8/10.

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Google ReCAPTCHA Cracked In New Automated Attack

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 2:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: A trio of security researchers have devised a new automated attack that can break the CAPTCHA systems employed by Google and Facebook. On Google's reCAPTCHA system, researchers recorded a 70.78 percent success rate over 2,235 CAPTCHAs. Average CAPTCHA solving time was 19.2 seconds. They achieved a better success rate on Facebook's system, where they had a success rate of 83.5 percent on over 200 CAPTCHAs, but this was mainly because of higher quality images, and photos were selected from different topics, and were also easier to recognize and classify. For attackers, the whole automated system would cost only $110 a day, per IP address, and would allow them to crack around 63,000 CAPTCHAs in 24 hours from one IP address without being detected and getting banned.

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Spies In The Skies: FBI Planes Are Circling US Cities

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 2:01pm
Peter Aldhous, and Charles Seife, reporting for BuzzFeed News: Each weekday, dozens of U.S. government aircraft take to the skies and slowly circle over American cities. Piloted by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the planes are fitted with high-resolution video cameras, often working with "augmented reality" software that can superimpose onto the video images everything from street and business names to the owners of individual homes. At least a few planes have carried devices that can track the cell phones of people below. Most of the aircraft are small, flying a mile or so above ground, and many use exhaust mufflers to mute their engines -- making them hard to detect by the people they're spying on. [...] The government's aerial surveillance programs deserve scrutiny by the Supreme Court, said Adam Bates, a policy analyst with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C. "It's very difficult to know, because these are very secretive programs, exactly what information they're collecting and what they're doing with it," Bates told BuzzFeed News.

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Reddit Launches New Block Tools To Help Temper Harassment

Thu, 07/04/2016 - 1:01pm
An anonymous reader writes: Reddit users can now use the new "block user" feature to better deal with harassment. The new feature was announced Wednesday and while the site has had [a "block user"] feature for quite some time now, the new tool allows users to block other users from replies and comments in addition to private messages, which was what the old tool was limited to previously. If users click the "Block User" button when viewing a reply in their inbox, it will remove replies, comments, messages and posts from that user from your view. Admins will however still see all the messages and replies, and if you're a moderator, you can still see content from users who are blocked on the subreddits you moderate.

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