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Default admin password, weak Wi-Fi, open USB ports ... no wonder these electronic voting boxes are now BANNED

El Reg - Fri, 17/04/2015 - 12:02am
Virginia axes un-patched WinXP-powered ballot boxes

The US state of Virginia is decommissioning a long-serving electronic voting system after learning of its gaping security holes.…

Google Helps Homeless Street Vendors Get Paid By Cashless Consumers

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 11:18pm
An anonymous reader writes Starting today Seattle pedestrians can no longer pat their pockets and claim to have no cash when offered a copy of the ironically-named Real Change weekly newspaper by a homeless street vendor. Google has spent two years working with the Real Change organization to develop a barcode-scanning app which lets passers-by purchase a digital edition with their mobile phones. Google's Meghan Casserly believes the Real Change app — available on Android and iOs — represents the first of its kind in North America.

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GNU Hurd 0.6 Released

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 10:55pm
jrepin writes It has been roughly a year and a half since the last release of the GNU Hurd operating system, so it may be of interest to some readers that GNU Hurd 0.6 has been released along with GNU Mach 1.5 (the microkernel that Hurd runs on) and GNU MIG 1.5 (the Mach Interface Generator, which generates code to handle remote procedure calls). New features include procfs and random translators; cleanups and stylistic fixes, some of which came from static analysis; message dispatching improvements; integer hashing performance improvements; a split of the init server into a startup server and an init program based on System V init; and more.

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MIT Researchers Develop Wireless Trackpad For Your Thumbnail

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 10:35pm
itwbennett writes: Called NailO, the prototype trackpad is similar to the stick-on nails sometimes used as a fashion accessory. It attaches to the user's thumb and can be controlled by running a finger over its surface. The processor, battery, sensing chip and Bluetooth radio are included on a circuit board that sits under the capacitive trackpad. The two are connected via a small ribbon cable, which means the trackpad is not quite as thin as a stick-on nail, but reducing the size is one of the aims of the researchers.

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 10:10pm
Which is accelerating faster: its APUs or its revenue decline?

Tattered AMD says it's done with its SeaMicro server division, following a grim quarter that saw the ailing chipmaker weather losses beyond the expectations of even the gloomiest of Wall Street analysts.…

An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 9:53pm
schwit1 writes: AviationWeek has posted an analysis of SpaceX's latest attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on an ocean barge. Quoting: "SpaceX founder and chief technology officer Elon Musk tweeted that "excess lateral velocity caused it [the booster] to tip over post landing." In a later tweet that was subsequently withdrawn, Musk then indicated that "the issue was stiction in the biprop throttle valve, resulting in control system phase lag." In this statement, Musk was referring to "stiction" — or static friction — in the valve controlling the throttling of the engine. The friction appears to have momentarily slowed the response of the engine, causing the control system to command more of an extreme reaction from the propulsion system than was required. As a result, the control system entered a form of hysteresis, a condition in which the control response lags behind changes in the effect causing it. Despite the failure of the latest attempt, SpaceX will be encouraged by the landing accuracy of the Falcon 9 and the bigger-picture success of its guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system in bringing the booster back to the drone ship. The GNC also worked as designed during the prior landing attempt in January, which ended in the destruction of the vehicle following a hard touchdown on the edge of the platform." In related news, SpaceX is hoping to attempt its next landing on solid ground.

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Sysadmins, patch now: HTTP 'pings of death' are spewing across web to kill Windows servers

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 9:41pm
Patch Tuesday bug reverse engineered by Thursday

The SANS Institute has warned Windows IIS web server admins to get patching as miscreants are now exploiting a flaw in the software to crash websites.…

Embedded Linux Takes to the Skies (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 9:12pm
This is an interview with Clay McClure. He makes his living designing 'custom Linux software solutions for technology start-ups in Atlanta and the San Francisco Bay area.' He also works on Embedded Linux for autonomous drones. Here's a link to slides from a talk he gave on exactly that topic: Flying Penguins - Embedded Linux Applications for autonomous UAVs, and that's far from all he has to say about making Linux-controlled drones. However, for some reason Timothy and Clay didn't talk about using drones for target practice. Perhaps they can discuss that another time. NOTE: We urge you to read the transcript of this interview even if you prefer watching videos; it contains material we left out of the video due to sound problems.

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Someone PLEASE stop patent trolls' stroking their favorite tool, cries Google and friends

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 9:00pm
US trade watchdog ITC needs reform to end $bn blackmail

A consortium of tech giants have written to senior US politicians demanding a reform of the International Trade Commission, one of America's key federal watchdogs.…

Linux 4.1 Should Work With GCC 6, Future Versions Of GCC

Phoronix - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 8:54pm
With the new GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) versioning where they're going to be bumping the major version number every year, Linux kernel developers are now re-working the way they handle the compiler's quirks/changes within the kernel...

Google: Go ahead, XP stalwarts, keep on using Chrome safely all YEAR

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 8:36pm
Support deadline extended for upgrade stragglers

Even though Microsoft quit supporting the wildly popular Windows XP last year, Google has decided to give XP users a break by promising to ship updates and security fixes for its Chrome browser on the aging operating system for a few more months.…

NASA's MESSENGER Mission To Crash Into Mercury In 2 Weeks

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 8:26pm
astroengine writes: NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft is in the final days of an unprecedented and unexpectedly long-lived, close-up study of the innermost planet of the solar system, with a crashing finale expected in two weeks. Out of fuel, the robotic Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging, or MESSENGER, probe on April 30 will succumb to the gravitational pull of this strange world that has been its home since March 2011. The purpose of the mission, originally designed to last one year, is to collect detailed geochemical and other data that will help scientists piece together of how Mercury formed and evolved. "MESSENGER is going to create a new crater on Mercury sometime in the near future ... let's not be sad about that," NASA associate administrator John Grunsfeld said Thursday. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has an excellent site for looking through the pictures MESSENGER has taken and the science it's done.

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Yahoo<i>!</i> CEO<i>!</i> Marissa<i>!</i> Mayer<i>!</i> stings<i>!</i> Bing<i>!</i> in<i>!</i> ad<i>!</i> bling<i>!</i> fling<i>!</i> win<i>!</i>

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 7:48pm

Yahoo! is rubbing its hands at the thought of extracting more ad revenue from people using its Bing-powered search engine – after tweaking its 10-year deal with Microsoft.…

A 2-Year-Old Has Become the Youngest Person Ever To Be Cryonically Frozen

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 7:44pm
merbs writes: After losing a long battle with brain cancer, 2-year-old Matheryn Naovaratpong became the first minor ever to be cryogenically frozen. This article is the story of how a Thai girl was frozen in Bangkok and shipped to Arizona to have her brain preserved in liquid nitrogen, while medical science works on a cure. "Typically we’d move the head from the trunk of the body. We didn't know what their reaction would be from the family, the mortuary, from border officials; this has to go through a number of shipping venues, customs, the TSA and so on. To see a frozen head in a box might have raised a number of red flags. In the U.S. that’s not a big deal, but there, they may not be accustomed."

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Fedora 22 Beta To Be Released Next Week

Phoronix - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 7:41pm
The release of the Fedora 22 Beta was delayed last week due to outstanding blocker bugs. Fortunately, those issues have been cleared up and F22 Beta can now be pushed out next week...

Yelp can protect critics in rough reviews row: Virginia yanks rug from under furious carpet biz

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 7:08pm
Top court strikes down previous order to unmask users

Top judges in Virginia have ruled that Yelp can keep the identities of its anonymous reviewers a secret from Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Inc – a cleaning business that wanted to sue the armchair critics for defamation.…

Cyanogen Partners With Microsoft To Replace Google Apps

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 7:01pm
Unknown Lamer writes: Microsoft and Cyanogen Inc have announced a partnership to bring Microsoft applications to Cyanogen OS. "Under the partnership, Cyanogen will integrate and distribute Microsoft's consumer apps and services across core categories, including productivity, messaging, utilities, and cloud-based services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft will create native integrations on Cyanogen OS, enabling a powerful new class of experiences." Ars Technica comments, "If Cyanogen really wants to ship a Googleless Android, it will need to provide alternatives to Google's services, and this Microsoft deal is a small start. Microsoft can provide alternatives for Search (Bing), Google Drive (OneDrive and Office), and Gmail (Outlook). The real missing pieces are alternatives to Google Play, Google Maps, and Google Play Services." Rather than distribute more proprietary services, how about ownCloud for Drive, K-9 Mail for Gmail, OsmAnd for Maps, and F-Droid for an app store? Mozilla and DuckDuckGo provide Free Software search providers for Android, too. With Google neglecting the Android Open Source Project and Cyanogen partnering with Microsoft, the future for Free Software Android as anything but a shell for proprietary software looks bleak.

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New Chemical Tools Lead To Targeted Cancer Drugs

Slashdot - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 6:20pm
New submitter caudex writes: Proteins are encoded in DNA, and while the degeneracy of the genetic code works to minimize errors, a single DNA basepair mutation can change the structure of the encoded protein. When a mutated protein causes uncontrolled cell growth, we call it cancer. Unfortunately, proteins typically contain hundreds of amino acids, and developing a drug that will target the version of a protein containing one amino acid mutation is difficult. For this reason, most anticancer agents indiscriminately attack both mutant and healthy proteins and tissues. Researchers at Caltech have come up with a potentially general method for selectively drugging only the mutant protein at fault for cancerous activity, even in the crowded and complex milieu of living cells. Their proof of concept study published in Nature Chemistry targets the E17K mutation, which can be the causative mutation of many types of cancer.

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What's that THUD sound? It's your Lumia's best feature after unflashing Windows 10

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 6:19pm
Preview builds pulled after reports of bricked devices

Microsoft has temporarily pulled builds of Windows 10 for certain Lumia phones from the Windows Insider program, after some customers reported that trying to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1 killed their mobes.…

What's that coming over the Dot Hill, is it is a monster? Is it a sales monster?

El Reg - Thu, 16/04/2015 - 5:59pm
SAN biz in Automatics gear

SAN maker Dot Hill is lifting its revenue forecast for the quarter. Why’s that interesting?…

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