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Linus Torvalds on security: 'do no harm, don't break users'

El Reg - 1 hour 26 min ago
Fixing for the sake of security alone means 'all your work was just masturbation'

Linus Torvalds has offered a lengthy explanation of his thoughts on security, in which he explained a calmer and more detailed version of his expletive-laden thoughts on the topic earlier this week.…

EU Lawmakers Back Exports Control on Spying Technology

Slashdot - 1 hour 28 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: EU lawmakers overwhelmingly backed plans on Thursday to control exports of devices to intercept mobile phone calls, hack computers or circumvent passwords that could be used by foreign states to suppress political opponents or activists. Members of the European Parliament's trade committee voted by 34 votes to one in favor of a planned update to export controls on "dual use" products or technologies. The EU has had export controls since 2009 on such dual use products including toxins, laser and technology for navigation or nuclear power, which can have a civilian or military applications but also be used to make weapons of mass destruction. The EU has felt that spyware or malware and telecom of Internet surveillance technologies are increasingly threatening security and human rights and proposed a modernization of its export control system to cover cyber-surveillance.

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Fujitsu imagines adjusting your rear view mirror for better hearing

El Reg - 2 hours 26 min ago
Yes, hearing: vibrating glass turns mirror into 'superdirective speaker'

Fujitsu Ten, the Japanese giant's automotive outfit, has developed technology that turns sheets of glass into speakers and thinks it could be used to help drivers talk on the phone without disturbing passengers.…

Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampagepage off it

El Reg - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 6:01am
It was more of a RAM-page, actually, and it crashed a mainframe

On-Call  Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's Friday column in which we share readers' tech support morality tales.…

New Uber CEO Knew of Hack for Months

Slashdot - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 4:30am
Greg Bensinger and Robert McMillan, reporting for the WSJ: While the massive data breach at Uber didn't happen under the watch of its new chief executive, more than two months elapsed before he notified affected customers and drivers of the incident (Editor's note: the link may be paywalled), people familiar with the matter said. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi learned of the breach, which Uber said happened in October 2016 and affected some 57 million accounts, about two weeks after he officially took the helm on Sept. 5, one of the people said. Mr. Khosrowshahi said he immediately ordered an investigation, which he wanted to complete before making the matter public. About three weeks ago, though, Uber disclosed the investigation and the broad outlines of the breach to SoftBank, which is considering a multibillion-dollar investment in the ride-hailing company, according to other people familiar with the matter. Uber officials, including its chief security officer, knew at the time of the breach that personal information had been accessed. Uber only informed customers and drivers on Tuesday.

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SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

El Reg - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 4:02am
Microsoft's power pack can't deliver the juice fast enough to keep up

Microsoft's acknowledged an embarrassing issue with its SurfaceBook 2 laptop – its battery can drain even while plugged into its power pack.…

Broadband Firms in UK Must Ditch 'Misleading' Speed Ads

Slashdot - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 2:00am
An anonymous reader shares a report: Broadband firms will no longer be able to advertise their fast net services based on the speeds just a few customers get, from May next year. Currently ISPs are allowed to use headline speeds that only 10% of customers will actually receive. In future, adverts must be based on what is available to at least half of customers at peak times. It follows research that suggested broadband advertising can be misleading for consumers. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) looked into consumers' understanding of broadband speed claims and found that many were confused by headline speeds that they would never actually get in their own homes. The concerns were passed on to the Committees of Advertising Practice (Cap) which consulted with ISPs, consumer groups and Ofcom to find a better way to advertise fast net services. Most argued that the fairest and clearest way would be to use the average speeds achieved at peak time by 50% of customers.

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Firefox to warn users who visit p0wned sites

El Reg - Fri, 24/11/2017 - 12:55am
Do you really want to go there? And does Mozilla, which hasn't figured out how to do this and preserve security, privacy

Mozilla developer Nihanth Subramanya has revealed the organisation's Firefox browser will soon warn users if they visit sites that have experienced data breaches that led to user credential leaks.…

More Than Half of GitHub Is Duplicate Code, Researchers Find

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 11:53pm
Richard Chirgwin, writing for The Register: Given that code sharing is a big part of the GitHub mission, it should come at no surprise that the platform stores a lot of duplicated code: 70 per cent, a study has found. An international team of eight researchers didn't set out to measure GitHub duplication. Their original aim was to try and define the "granularity" of copying -- that is, how much files changed between different clones -- but along the way, they turned up a "staggering rate of file-level duplication" that made them change direction. Presented at this year's OOPSLA (part of the late-October Association of Computing Machinery) SPLASH conference in Vancouver, the University of California at Irvine-led research found that out of 428 million files on GitHub, only 85 million are unique. Before readers say "so what?", the reason for this study was to improve other researchers' work. Anybody studying software using GitHub probably seeks random samples, and the authors of this study argued duplication needs to be taken into account.

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VMware refuses to support its wares running in Azure

El Reg - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 11:35pm
Who is Microsoft's mystery partner? We think it's a hyperconverged player

VMware has responded to Microsoft's plan to run its stack in Azure, by saying customers who choose that option will have to forego support.…

A Prototype Of The Vulkan Portability Initiative: Low-Level 3D To Vulkan / D3D12 / Metal

Phoronix - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 10:30pm
A Mozilla engineer has put out a prototype library in working on the Vulkan Portability Initiative for allowing low-level 3D graphics support that's backed by Vulkan / Direct3D 12 / Metal...

Ajit Pai and the FCC Want It To Be Legal for Comcast To Block BitTorrent

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 9:30pm
Nilay Patel, reporting for The Verge: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released his proposal to kill net neutrality this week, and while there's a lot to be unhappy with, it's hard not to be taken with the brazenness of his argument. Pai thinks it was a mistake for the FCC to try and stop Comcast from blocking BitTorrent in 2008, thinks all of the regulatory actions the FCC took after that to give itself the authority to prevent blocking were wrong, and wants to go back to the legal framework that allowed Comcast to block BitTorrent.

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Devs Working To Stop Go Math Error Bugging Crypto Software

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 8:40pm
Richard Chirgwin, writing for The Register: Consider this an item for the watch-list, rather than a reason to hit the panic button: a math error in the Go language could potentially affect cryptographic libraries. Security researcher Guido Vranken (who earlier this year fuzzed up some bugs in OpenVPN) found an exponentiation error in the Go math/big package. Big numbers -- particularly big primes -- are the foundation of cryptography. Vranken posted to the oss-sec mailing list that he found the potential issue during testing of a fuzzer he wrote that "compares the results of mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, ...) across multiple bignum libraries." Vranken and Go developer Russ Cox agreed that the bug needs specific conditions to be manifest: "it only affects the case e = 1 with m != nil and a pre-allocated non-zero receiver."

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Why Do Left-Handers Excel at Certain Elite Sports But Not Others?

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 7:50pm
Nicola Davis, writing for The Guardian: From cricketer Wasim Akram to baseball pitcher Clayton Kershaw and table tennis star Ding Ning, the world of sport has no shortage of left-handed players. But now researchers say they've worked out why lefties are overrepresented in some elite sports but not others. The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that being left-handed is a particular advantage in interactive sports where time pressures are particularly severe, such as table tennis and cricket -- possibly because their moves are less familiar to their mostly right-handed opponents, who do not have time to adjust. "The data suggests that the heavier the time constraints are operating in a sport, the larger the proportion of left-handers," said the study's author, Dr Florian Loffing of the University of Oldenburg in Germany. "We are less used to playing lefties, and [so] might end up in not developing the optimal strategies to compete with them." While it is thought that about 10-13 percent of the population is left-handed, it has long been noted that in certain interactive sports there is often a surprisingly high proportion of left-handers playing at elite levels.

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Many Broadway HTML5 Backend Improvements Land In GTK4

Phoronix - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 7:00pm
Earlier today I wrote about the experimental HTML5 Wayland compositor. While that may be more like an experimental toy at this point, for those wanting to run GTK3/GTK4 applications within a web-browser, there's the longstanding Broadway HTML5 back-end to the GTK tool-kit. Broadway received a number of significant improvements for GTK4 today...

Uber Hackers May Have Been Russian

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 7:00pm
Mark Bridge, reporting for The Times: Thousands of Uber customers are believed to have had their accounts hacked by Russians after users of the app (Editor's note: the link is paywalled; alternative source) reported being billed in roubles for taxi journeys they had not taken in Moscow and St Petersburg. More than 800 people in Britain and the United States have complained on Twitter that their accounts were taken over in the past year, The Times found, with the number of reports spiking in April and May. Experts said this number of Twitter reports suggested that the true figure would be much higher.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Justin Trudeau Is 'Very Concerned' With FCC's Plan to Roll Back Net Neutrality

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 6:20pm
Justin Ling, reporting for Motherboard: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says President Donald Trump's plan to roll back net neutrality protections for the internet "does not make sense" and that he'll be looking into what he can do to defend net neutrality for the whole internet. "I am very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality," Trudeau said in Toronto, in response to a question from Motherboard about Trump's plans. "Net neutrality is something that is essential for small businesses, for consumers, and it is essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive." Motherboard asked specifically what Trudeau planned to do in response to the plan put forward on Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission, which could pave the way for tiered internet service and pay-for-play premium access to internet consumers. "We need to continue to defend net neutrality," Trudeau added. "And I will."

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Summit for the readers who are hot for petaFLOPs: Server nodes flashed at SC17

El Reg - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 6:09pm
Oak Ridge Top 500-leading system's innards

Analysis  IBM offered HPC fans at SC17 a gawk at the server tray for the upcoming Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee.…

Intel Releases Linux-Compatible Tool For Confirming ME Vulnerabilities

Phoronix - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 6:09pm
Intel's SA-00086 Detection Tool has Linux support and will confirm whether your system is vulnerable to the recently published Management Engine (ME) security issues...

Google's Eric Schmidt Says People Want Dish-Washing Robots To Clean Up the Kitchen More Than Any Other Kind

Slashdot - Thu, 23/11/2017 - 5:30pm
There is nothing that people want robots to be able to do more than to wash the dishes, according to Alphabet Chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. From a report: "When you ask a person what they would like a robot to do, the thing that they would like more than anyone else, is clean up the dishes in the kitchen," the billionaire Google executive says speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum. "That is literally the number one request. And I say this having done this exhaustively," he says. Though you may dream of a robot dishwasher, don't hold your breath for it to happen in the immediate future. "That turns out to be an extraordinarily difficult problem," says Schmidt.

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