Slashdot

Subscribe to Slashdot feed Slashdot
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 34 min 54 sec ago

Hundreds of Armed US Counter-Protesters Fall for 'Apparent Hoax'

Sun, 2020-07-05 22:00
Yesterday as America celebrated its Independence Day, the Washington Post reports something unusual happened at the historic Civil War battefield at Gettysburg: For weeks, a mysterious figure on social media talked up plans for antifa protesters to converge on this historical site on Independence Day to burn American flags, an event that seemed at times to border on the farcical... There would be antifa face paint, the person wrote, and organizers would "be giving away free small flags to children to safely throw into the fire." As word spread, self-proclaimed militias, bikers, skinheads and far-right groups from outside the state issued a call to action, pledging in online videos and posts to come to Gettysburg to protect the Civil War monuments and the nation's flag from desecration. Some said they would bring firearms and use force if necessary. On Saturday afternoon, in the hours before the flag burning was to start, they flooded in by the hundreds — heavily armed and unaware, it seemed, that the mysterious Internet poster was not who the person claimed to be. [Alternate URLs here and here.] Biographical details — some from the person's Facebook page and others provided to The Washington Post in a series of messages — did not match official records. An image the person once posted on a profile page was a picture of a man taken by a German photographer for a stock photo service... The episode at Gettysburg is a stark illustration of how shadowy figures on social media have stoked fears about the protests against racial injustice and excessive police force... Armed vigilantes lined the streets of small Idaho towns last month after false claims circulated online about antifa... Similar hoaxes have befallen towns in New Jersey, South Dakota and Michigan in recent weeks. It is not always clear who has made these false claims and why, whether they seek to advance a political agenda, antagonize people with whom they disagree or achieve some other goal. Social media companies have in recent weeks shut down a handful of fake accounts created by white supremacist groups posing as antifa operatives in a bid to undermine peaceful protests. The Post reached Twitter and Facebook, who shut down the accounts last week, "saying the person behind them had manipulated the platform by creating multiple accounts with overlapping content in an effort to amplify their messaging." But by then the counter-protests had already attracted hundreds of supporters. "An official at Facebook said the person appeared to be operating the accounts from inside the United States."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Woman Who Harassed Starbucks Barista Now Wants Half the Money He Raised

Sun, 2020-07-05 21:03
destinyland writes: Amber Lynn Gilles walked into a Starbucks without a mask, later complaining on Facebook about the server who'd asked her to wear one. ("Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption!") She says she's surprised by the attention "my little review" attracted. A GoFundMe campaign supporting the Starbucks barista who had to deal with her has now raised $105,450. So she now says she wants at least half of that money, "because they're using me to get it." She complained to the New York Times that "They're using my name, they're using my face, and they're slandering me." Meanwhile Lenin Gutierrez, the Starbucks barista, is meeting with a financial adviser to discuss the generous donations he's received from all around the world. Though he's still working at Starbucks, with these donations, he tells a local newscast, he'll now be able to go to college and pursue a degree in kinesiology (the scientific study of human movement). But he also plans to donate some of the money to charity. "I can't be grateful enough," he adds, saying he hopes to show back some of the kindness that people have shown to him. The GoFundMe page supporting him adds, "Thank you CNN and Chris Cuomo for closing out Cuomo Prime Time with Lenin's story and the GoFundMe." And the page also calls attention to what it sees as the larger theme in this incident. "In the words of Chris Cuomo: 'This is not about your freedom. Your freedom to wear, or not wear a mask, ends where it encroaches on somebody else's freedom not to get sick from you. Surrender the me to the we.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Chrome Experimental Feature Will Throttle Javascript-Timer Wakeups on Backgrounded Tabs

Sun, 2020-07-05 19:54
Slashdot reader techtsp writes: Starting with October's release of Chrome 86, the web browser will offer a way to limit JavaScript timer wake ups in background web pages to one wake up per minute, restricting the execution of certain background tasks — for example, checking if the scroll position changed, reporting logs, and analyzing interactions with ads. Google plans to achieve this courtesy of a new experimental feature called "Throttle Javascript timers in background." Google recently experimented with a prototype that limits Javascript timer wake ups to one per minute. In this experiment, Google opened 36 random tabs in the background while the foreground tab was about:blank. At the end of the experiment, Google found that throttling Javascript timers extends the battery life by almost 2 hours (28 percent) for a user with up to 36 background tabs, and when the foreground tab is about:blank... Chrome will provide developers with a message in the DevTools console when a Javascript timer is delayed by more than 5 seconds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

How Crowdfunding Transformed Tabletop Board Games

Sun, 2020-07-05 18:43
The board game Frosthaven has become Kickstarter's "most-funded board game on the site ever, with nearly $13 million pledged toward funding the game's development," reports NPR. "Only two projects have ever crowdsourced more funding on the site." NPR sees a larger trend: Frosthaven's success seemed to exemplify a shift that has been happening in the tabletop gaming community for years: toward games that are not only focused on strategy and adventure, but also a new type of funding model where fans have more say than ever in which games move from the idea stage to their living rooms. And hobbyist tabletop games are a different breed of entertainment altogether. For many of these smaller games, funding from fans has proved essential... These makers have become part of one of the country's most popular quarantine hobbies, but they've done so through a mini-economy that relies on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter... Creators use Kickstarter like a social media site, an advertisement and a fundraising tool all in one, and they use it more successfully than nearly any other game creators on the site. In 2019, fans pledged more than $176 million toward tabletop games — up 6.8% over the previous year, according to Kickstarter data gathered by the entertainment site Polygon. In all, more than 1 million people pledged to games on the site last year... "For the board game community, there's a culture of looking on Kickstarter ... and being more willing to fund things," said Isaac Childres, the CEO of Cephalofair Games and creator of Forge War, Gloomhaven and Frosthaven. "It's like a larger avenue for board game creators to use that automatically picks up a following." This is what makes Kickstarter so attractive to individual makers and less attractive to other gaming industries — like video game makers. It takes a lot of startup value to create your own video game, for instance, but for board games, you only need a good enough idea and a well-placed Kickstarter page to gauge public interest... [T]here are drawbacks to the funding technique, too. Creators are responsible for everything if their goals are reached. They have to print the games and send them to their customers on their own — a process that can be grueling, time-consuming and even detrimental. One board game creator miscalculated the amount of money it would cost to ship games and lost his house due to the unexpected financial burden. But, for many creators, the positives outweigh the negatives. Childres said it's hard to imagine where he might be without crowdfunding. Offering his game Forge War as an example, he said had he "somehow found the money to publish it on my own and get it into stores, I don't think anyone would have paid attention to it." Now, he's one of the most successful hobbyist tabletop board game creators in the country.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Is Slashdot the Answer to Facebook's Fake News Problem?

Sun, 2020-07-05 17:34
David Collier-Brown led the Sun Microsystems Canada team specializing in performance and capacity planning. He later becoming a consulting systems programmer and performance engineer, as well as an O'Reilly author (co-authoring the 2003 book Using Samba). He's also davecb, Slashdot reader #6,526, and today submitted a story headlined "Slashdot is the answer to Facebook's 'fake news' problem." "OK, not the whole answer, but I argue that /. is part of a defense in depth against the propagation of lies, sophistries and deliberate disinformation in discussion groups like ours and Facebook's." There's more details on his technical blog: William Gibson once said The future is already here — It's just not very evenly distributed. That also applies to the solutions to problems, like that of finding out who's telling the truth in widespread discussion. By Gibson's dictum, we should expect to find different parts of the solution, but not together, and likely in all sorts of unexpected places. It's up to us to find them all and compose them together... With luck, machine learning (ML) can be trained to recognize minor variants of a banned article, and refer them to the staff to be sure that's what is being recognized. Those can be treated the same way as the original posting. But how can we credibly detect the lies in time? The kind of team a site can afford are always going to be behind. That is solved for a distantly related problem, one that is as as unexpectedly helpful as looking at policing stock trades. Slashdot. The post describes Slashdot as "One of the older big discussion groups" that "from its inception in 1997 needed to deal with overenthusiastic commentators, flamers and trolls. In 2020, it's still easy to 'read at 4 or 5', and see a measured, reasonable and informative discussion of a difficult subject. "Or you could 'read at -1', and listen to the madmen and flamers that elsewhere would drown out the insightful comments." It's an interesting read, and ultimately proposes solving Facbook's "fake news" problem by empowering readers with moderation points, overseen by a staff of double-checking humans who then pass along their conclusions for execution by an automated system. Is Slashdot the answer to Facebook's fake news problem?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Linus Torvalds Likes His New AMD Threadripper System

Sun, 2020-07-05 16:34
This week Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel re-created their keynote conversation for a special all-virtual edition of the Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference North America. ZDNet reports: While COVID-19 has slowed down many technologies, while speeding up other tech developments, it hasn't affected Linux development much at all. "None of my co-developers have been hugely impacted either. I was worried for a while because one of our developers was offline for a month or two.... [But,] it turned out that it was just RSI [repetitive strain injury], and RSI is kind of an occupational hazard to deal with." He added. "One of the things that is so interesting about the Linux community is how much it has always been email-based and remote, how rarely we get together in person...." Torvalds trusts this new build. Indeed, he ran his end of the videoconference from his new developer machine running the first release candidate of 5.8. Thinking of his new AMD Threadripper 3970x-based processor-powered developer desktop, Torvalds later added that, although he had been concerned about its fan noise it actually works well for him. Torvalds moved to this new homebrew computer because he needed the speed. "My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be." That's important because Torvalds "strives to do about 20 to 30 [pull requests] a day, which is above my limit, ... [but] in order to do that, [he needs] a lot of computing power.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

200 Scientists Say WHO Ignores the Risk That Coronavirus 'Aerosols' Float in the Air

Sun, 2020-07-05 15:34
"Six months into a pandemic that has killed over half a million people, more than 200 scientists from around the world are challenging the official view of how the coronavirus spreads," reports the Los Angeles Times: The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintain that you have to worry about only two types of transmission: inhaling respiratory droplets from an infected person in your immediate vicinity or — less common — touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth. But other experts contend that the guidance ignores growing evidence that a third pathway also plays a significant role in contagion. They say multiple studies demonstrate that particles known as aerosols — microscopic versions of standard respiratory droplets — can hang in the air for long periods and float dozens of feet, making poorly ventilated rooms, buses and other confined spaces dangerous, even when people stay six feet from one another. "We are 100% sure about this," said Lidia Morawska, a professor of atmospheric sciences and environmental engineering at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. She makes the case in an open letter to the WHO accusing the United Nations agency of failing to issue appropriate warnings about the risk. A total of 239 researchers from 32 countries signed the letter, which is set to be published next week in a scientific journal. In interviews, experts said that aerosol transmission appears to be the only way to explain several "super-spreading" events, including the infection of diners at a restaurant in China who sat at separate tables and of choir members in Washington state who took precautions during a rehearsal... The proponents of aerosol transmission said masks worn correctly would help prevent the escape of exhaled aerosols as well as inhalation of the microscopic particles. But they said the spread could also be reduced by improving ventilation and zapping indoor air with ultraviolet light in ceiling units. The Times also got a response from Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, a top WHO expert on infection prevention and control, who argued the group only presented theories based on experiments rather than actual evidence from the field. Allegranzi also added that in weekly teleconferences, a large majority of a group of more than 30 international experts advising the WHO had "not judged the existing evidence sufficiently convincing to consider airborne transmission as having an important role in COVID-19 spread."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Ask Slashdot: Could We Not Use DNS For a Certificate Revocation Mechanism?

Sun, 2020-07-05 14:34
Long-time Slashdot reader dhammabum writes: As reported in the recent slashdot story, starting in September we system admins will be forced into annually updating TLS certificates because of a decision by Apple, abetted by Google and Mozilla. Supposedly this measure somewhat rectifies the current ineffective certificate revocation list system by limiting the use of compromised certificates to one year... But in an attempt to prevent this pathetic measure, could we instead use DNS to replace the current certificate revocation list system? Why not create a new type of TXT record, call it CRR (Certificate Revocation Record), that would consist of the Serial Number (or Subject Key ID or thumbprint) of the certificate. On TLS connection to a website, the browser does a DNS query for a CRR for the Common Name of the certificate. If the number/key/thumbprint matches, reject the connection. This way the onus is on the domain owner to directly control their fate. The only problem I can see with this is if there are numerous certificate Alternate Names — there would need to be a CRR for each name. A pain, but one only borne by the hapless domain owner. Alternatively, if Apple is so determined to save us from ourselves, why don't they fund and host a functional CRL system? They have enough money. End users could create a CRL request via their certificate authority who would then create the signed record and forward it to this grand scheme. Otherwise, are there any other ideas?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Body Cam with Military Police Footage Sold on Ebay

Sun, 2020-07-05 13:34
"A security researcher was able to access files on a Axon body-worn camera he purchased from eBay that had video files of Fort Huachuca Military Police officers conducting investigations and filling out paperwork," reports the Arizona Mirror: The files were able to be extracted after the researcher, who goes by KF on Twitter, was able to remove a microSD card from the body-worn camera. KF was then able to extract the un-encrypted files, which were not protected by a password, using a tool called Foremost. KF shared screenshots of the footage he was able to pull from the cards that appeared to show members of the Fort Huachuca Military Police entering a person's home and filling out paperwork. "We are aware of this issue and have launched an investigation looking into the matter," a statement from Scottsdale-based Axon said to Arizona Mirror. "We are also reevaluating our processes to better emphasize proper disposal procedures for our customers." The camera that was purchased by KF was an Axon Body 1, one of the company's earliest generation models that launched in 2013. The company said it stopped the model in 2015. "Our latest generation camera, Axon Body 3, offers enhanced security measures such as storage encryption to protect video from being retrieved from lost or improperly disposed cameras," the statement said. Friday the original security researcher posted an update on Twitter, saying he'd offered to send the body cam's SD card back to the military police -- an offer that was eventually accepted by Axon itself -- and "I only listened to a few seconds of audio merely to verify its presence. I've since removed all extracted data in full." In an earlier tweet he'd added, "Those of you asking... NO, I won't dump the card for you. Procure your own BWC (Body Worn Cam), and dump it yourself " But it looks like they already are. Earlier on Twitter, one Security Operations Center analyst posted, "I just ordered two myself. "I'd actually really like to get a fund going to buy literally all of them and dump them to an open cloud storage bucket... Freedom of Information Act through the secondhand market."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

The WHO Announces End of Its Testing of Hydroxychloroquine

Sun, 2020-07-05 11:15
"The World Health Organization announced Saturday that it discontinued its trial on hydroxychloroquine's effect on COVID-19 patients in hospitals," reports UPI: WHO said in a statement that it accepted a recommendation from the Solidarity Trial's International Steering Committee that it stop the testing of the drug. The decision to cease the trial came after interim trial results showed that the anti-malaria drug had little or no reduction in mortality of patients hospitalized for the novel coronavirus... The National Institute of Health similarly halted a hydroxychloroquine trial last month after a study showed no harm or benefit from the anti-malaria drug's use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Last month, British researchers similarly found no benefit of hydroxychloroquine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Study Finds Hydroxychloroquine May Have Boosted Survival. Other Researchers Have Doubts

Sun, 2020-07-05 09:04
"A surprising new study found the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine helped patients better survive in the hospital," reports CNN. "But the findings, like the federal government's use of the drug itself, were disputed." A team at Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan said Thursday their study of 2,541 hospitalized patients found that those given hydroxychloroquine were much less likely to die. Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of infectious disease for Henry Ford Health System, said 26% of those not given hydroxychloroquine died, compared to 13% of those who got the drug. The team looked back at everyone treated in the hospital system since the first patient in March. "Overall crude mortality rates were 18.1% in the entire cohort, 13.5% in the hydroxychloroquine alone group, 20.1% among those receiving hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin, 22.4% among the azithromycin alone group, and 26.4% for neither drug," the team wrote in a report published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. It's a surprising finding because several other studies have found no benefit from hydroxychloroquine, a drug originally developed to treat and prevent malaria... "Our results do differ from some other studies," Zervos told a news conference. "What we think was important in ours ... is that patients were treated early. For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with Covid," he added. The Henry Ford team also monitored patients carefully for heart problems, he said... Researchers not involved with the study were critical. They noted that the Henry Ford team did not randomly treat patients but selected them for various treatments based on certain criteria. "As the Henry Ford Health System became more experienced in treating patients with COVID-19, survival may have improved, regardless of the use of specific therapies," Dr. Todd Lee of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and colleagues wrote in a commentary in the same journal. "Finally, concomitant steroid use in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine was more than double the non-treated group. This is relevant considering the recent RECOVERY trial that showed a mortality benefit with dexamethasone." The steroid dexamethasone can reduce inflammation in seriously ill patients... Eli Rosenberg [lead author of a New York study of hydroxychloroquine], also pointed out that the Detroit paper excluded 267 patients — nearly 10% of the study population — who had not yet been discharged from the hospital. He said this might have skewed the results to make hydroxychloroquine look better than it really was. "There's a little bit of loosey-goosiness here in all this," he told CNN.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Rocket Lab Loses Seven Satellites After 'Something Went Wrong'

Sun, 2020-07-05 05:49
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica: On Sunday morning, local time in New Zealand, Rocket Lab launched its 13th mission. The booster's first stage performed normally, but just as the second stage neared an altitude of 200km, something went wrong and the vehicle was lost... "We lost the flight late into the mission," said Peter Beck, the company's founder and chief executive, on Twitter. "I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers satellites today. Rest assured we will find the issue, correct it and be back on the pad soon." The mission, dubbed "Pics Or It Didn't Happen," carried 5 SuperDove satellites for the imaging company Planet, as well as commercial payloads both for Canon Electronics and In-Space Missions. "The In-Space team is absolutely gutted by this news," the company said after the loss. Its Faraday-1 spacecraft hosted multiple experiments within a 6U CubeSat. "Two years of hard work from an incredibly committed group of brilliant engineers up in smoke. It really was a very cool little spacecraft." The article notes that since January of 2018, "the company had rattled off a string of 11 successful missions and emerged as a major player in the small satellite launch industry." In a video statement on Twitter, company founder Peter Beck said solemnly that "Today's issue is a reminder that space flight can be very unforgiving."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Starting Soon: A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Sun, 2020-07-05 03:02
"If your family's Fourth of July fireworks plans are up in smoke because of the pandemic, watch the sky for a lunar eclipse instead," reports CNN. It begins in just 5 minutes -- and then lasts for two hours and 45 minutes: On July 4, just after 11 p.m. ET, the moon will begin its temporary new look. For exactly two hours and 45 minutes, the moon will pass through the feathered outer shadow cast from Earth, creating a partial penumbral lunar eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbra shadow cast by Earth. The moon misses the Earth's umbral shadow, which is best known for creating total and partial lunar eclipses. This event might not be as illustrious as a partial or total lunar eclipse where parts of the moon seem to disappear. Still, a noticeable darkening of the moon's surface will be visible without a telescope. The eclipse will begin at 11:07 p.m. ET and last through 1:52 a.m. ET, with peak darkening occurring just after midnight. The article also notes that every night this summer will see "a great meeting of planets, known by astronomers as a conjunction... Expect a brighter than usual illumination of the planets as they take center stage across the horizon." While Jupiter will be 15 times brighter than Saturn, they'll both be approaching their closest approach to Earth in 20 years — which finally happens in mid-July.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Stanford Economist Predicts Working-From-Home Continues, City Centers Decline

Sun, 2020-07-05 01:04
The new "working-from-home economy" will likely continue after the pandemic, predicts Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, in an article shared by Slashdot reader schwit1. Bloom cites results from several nationwide surveys he's conducted: We see an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time. About another 33 percent are not working — a testament to the savage impact of the lockdown recession. And the remaining 26 percent — mostly essential service workers — are working on their business premises. So, by sheer numbers, the U.S. is a working-from-home economy. Almost twice as many employees are working from home as at work. More strikingly, if we consider the contribution to U.S. gross domestic product based on their earnings, this enlarged group of work-from-home employees now accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity... The stigma associated with working from home prior to COVID-19 has disappeared... And a number of corporations are developing plans for more work-from-home options beyond the pandemic. A recent separate survey of firms from the Survey of Business Uncertainty that I run with the Atlanta Federal Reserve and the University of Chicago indicated that the share of working days spent at home is expected to increase fourfold from pre-COVID levels, from 5 percent to 20 percent. Of the dozens of firms I have talked to, the typical plan is that employees will work from home one to three days a week, and come into the office the rest of the time... Growth of city centers are going to stall. During the pandemic, the overwhelming share of employees who shifted to telecommuting previously worked in offices in cities. I estimate that the loss of their physical presence slashed total daily spending at city center restaurants, bars and shops by more than half. This upsurge in working from home is largely here to stay, and I see a longer-run decline in city centers. The largest U.S. cities have seen incredible growth since the 1980s as younger, educated Americans have flocked into revitalized downtowns. But it looks like that trend will reverse in 2020 — with a flight of economic activity out of city centers. The upside is this will be a boom for suburbs and rural areas. Bloom also predicts firms trying to cut the density of their offices will scatter from high-rise city skyscrapers into low-rise buildings in industrial parks, reducing the crowds on mass transit -- and the need to ride on elevators.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

US Senate Amends EARN IT Act -- To Let States Restrict Encryption

Sat, 2020-07-04 23:04
Long-time Slashdot reader stikves reminded us that a committee in the U.S. Senate passed an amended version of the "EARN IT" act on Thursday. And this new version could do more than just end personal end-to-end encryption, warns Engadget: The other major concern opponents of the EARN IT Act raise has to do with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says that companies are not liable for much of the content that users post. Originally, the EARN IT Act proposed requiring that companies "earn" Section 230 protections by following recommended practices outlined by a Department of Justice commission. Without those protections, companies like Twitter or Facebook might be compelled to remove anything that might prompt a legal challenge, which could threaten freedom of speech. The amendments passed Thursday strip the Department of Justice commission of any legal authority and will not require companies to earn Section 230 protections by following recommended practices. But the amended bill would change Section 230 to allow lawsuits from states, and state legislatures could restrict or outlaw encryption technologies. The senior policy counsel for Free Press Action, a media reform advocacy group, harshly criticized the legislation's new version. "Even as amended today, it invites states to begin passing all sorts of laws under the guise of protecting against abuse, but replicating the problems with the original EARN IT Act's text."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft Released an Emergency Security Update to Fix Two Bugs in Windows Codecs

Sat, 2020-07-04 21:34
Tuesday Microsoft published two out-of-band security updates to patch two vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Codecs Library, reports ZDNet: Tracked as CVE-2020-1425 & CVE-2020-1457, the two bugs only impact Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 distributions... Microsoft said the two security flaws can be exploited with the help of a specially crafted image file. If the malformed images are opened inside apps that utilize the built-in Windows Codecs Library to handle multimedia content, then attackers would be allowed to run malicious code on a Windows computer and potentially take over the device. The two bugs -- described as two remote code execution vulnerabilities -- received patches Wednesday. "Customers do not need to take any action to receive the update," Microsoft said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Divers Find Evidence of Prehistoric Mining Operation in North America

Sat, 2020-07-04 20:34
Iwastheone shared this article from CBS News: Experts and cave divers in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula have found ocher mines that are some of the oldest on the continent. Ancient skeletons were found in the narrow, twisting labyrinths of now-submerged sinkhole caves... The discovery of remains of human-set fires, stacked mining debris, simple stone tools, navigational aids and digging sites suggest humans went into the caves around 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, seeking iron-rich red ocher, which early peoples in the Americas prized for decoration and rituals. Such pigments were used in cave paintings, rock art, burials and other structures among early peoples around the globe. The early miners apparently brought torches or firewood to light their work, and broke off pieces of stalagmites to pound out the ocher. They left smoke marks on the roof of the caves that are still visible today... The research was published Friday in the journal Science Advances... "Now, for the first time we know why the people of this time would undertake the enormous risk and effort to explore these treacherous caves," said CINDAQ founder Sam Meacham. At least one reason, Meacham said, was to prospect and mine red ocher.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Halfway Through ISS Mission, NASA Astronauts Anticipate Their Ride Back to Earth

Sat, 2020-07-04 19:34
"They've been up there about a month now, floating around on the International Space Station, keeping tabs on their ride home," reports the Washington Post: "Certainly, the highlight for both Doug and I was the initial arrival at space station, coming through the hatch again and being on board after several years of working on a new spacecraft," Behnken said in an interview from the station this week. Since then, he has performed two spacewalks with Cassidy, successfully replacing batteries on the outside of the station... Now, NASA and the astronauts are turning their focus to the return trip. At the moment, the space agency says the soonest Behnken and Hurley could return is Aug. 2. If all goes well, the Dragon would undock from the station, fire its thrusters and descend through the atmosphere. The entire mission is a test to see how SpaceX's Dragon capsule performs, and while NASA said its ascent went flawlessly, there still are many risks ahead. As it plunges down, the thickening air will cause friction and generate enormous heat, testing the capsule's heat shield. Then the spacecraft's parachutes are to deploy to slow the vehicle further. SpaceX has struggled with its parachute designs in the past, however. "Parachutes are way harder than they look," Elon Musk said in an interview with The Post before the launch. "The Apollo program actually had a real morale issue with the parachutes because they were so damn hard. They had people quitting over how hard the parachutes were. And then you know we almost had people quit at SpaceX over how hard the parachutes were. I mean they soldiered through, but, man, the parachutes are hard." Another risk will be landing in the ocean. American astronauts have not splashed down in the water since 1975 — the Space Shuttles landed on land, as do the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Behnken said he and Hurley expect to spend about an hour bobbing on the ocean surface before they are hoisted on the deck of a ship. SpaceX has been training extensively for the recovery mission, working to get the astronauts to safety as quickly as possible, but that will also be a key test.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Is Our Technology Literally Changing Our Brains?

Sat, 2020-07-04 18:34
Nicholas Carr authored The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains back in 2010. This week he offered an up-to-date assessment in his newest interview with Vox co-founder Ezra Klein. "The point of this conversation is not that the internet is bad, nor that it is good," Klein writes. "It's that it is changing us, just as every medium before it has. We need to see those changes clearly in order to take control of them ourselves..." But the conversation soon turns to neuroplasticity, the brain's special ability to physically adapt to changes happening in its environment: Nicholas Carr: When we adapt to a new medium — whether printed page or television or, more recently, the internet and social media and so forth — more and more neurons get recruited to the particular brain processes that you're using more often thanks to the different information technologies. But ways of thinking that aren't encouraged by the technology — we begin to lose those abilities... I think it was quite clear even back then [in 2010] that we were making this big tradeoff between getting lots and lots of information very, very quickly and developing a rich base of knowledge. What was lost was not only the ability to engage in deep reading and attentive thought and contemplation, but also when we come across new information, the ability to bring it into our mind and put it into a broader context. That takes time. That takes attention. That takes focus. The fundamental argument of The Shallows was that we were making this tradeoff. What I worried about then, and what I still worry about, is whether that tradeoff is worth it — are we losing more than we ultimately gain? What's happened since then? On one level, I think it's magnified all of my concerns. Over the last 10 years, the smartphone took over as the dominant form of the computer. Unlike a laptop, the smartphone is always on. It's always with us. We can access it almost instantaneously. People walk around with it in their hands. So this constant distraction that I documented with laptops and desktops is now much more dominant. It goes on all the time. Also social media exploded and became one of, if not the main, things people do with computers. And the way social media distributes information, the way it gives particular value or particular emphasis to very emotional information and simplified, kind of strong messages, I think all of this has made the problems I tried to delineate more intense in kind of [a] deeper set within society. What has also become clearer and clearer in the last 10 years is that now there's also a big social effect of the technology. On the one hand, all the distractions that we had 10 years ago have proliferated, but also the way we make sense of things socially has changed dramatically as social media has essentially taken over media.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Former Yahoo Engineer Who Infiltrated 6,000 Accounts Avoids Jail

Sat, 2020-07-04 17:34
This week finally saw the federal sentencing of a former Yahoo software engineer who "admitted to using his access through his work at the company to hack into about 6,000 Yahoo accounts" back in 2018, according to America's Department of Justice: Ruiz admitted to targeting accounts belonging to younger women, including his personal friends and work colleagues. He made copies of images and videos that he found in the personal accounts without permission, and stored the data at his home. Once he had access to the Yahoo accounts, Ruiz admitted to compromising the iCloud, Facebook, Gmail, DropBox, and other online accounts of the Yahoo users in search of more private images and videos. After his employer observed the suspicious account activity, Ruiz admitted to destroying the computer and hard drive on which he stored the images. He stopped working at Yahoo in July of 2018. The next month the FBI visited his home. He was indicted in April of 2019 and pleaded guilty in September — facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But it was not until this week that a federal court finally handed down its sentence for the "former Yahoo! engineer who hacked 6,000 accounts on a hunt for private sexual videos and pictures," according to one Bay Area newspaper. The sentence? Five years of probation, with a home confinement condition: Reyes Daniel Ruiz, 35, of Tracy, is allowed to leave his home for "verified employment, medical needs and religious services," according to the sentencing terms. He has also been ordered to pay nearly $125,000 in fines and restitution, court records show... He also accessed financial information, but his main goal was to steal pornographic files, prosecutors said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Kaleba asked for Ruiz to be sentenced to "a period of incarceration," arguing he'd violated not only the trust of his employee but the privacy of thousands of people. "By his estimation, he downloaded approximately two terabytes of data, and possessed between 1,000 and 4,000 private images and videos," Kaleba wrote in a sentencing memo. The defense argued that Ruiz, who has no criminal history, deserved leniency because he accepted responsibility quickly. He admitted to destroying the hard drive where he stored the ill-gotten files when the FBI visited his home in August 2018. Ruiz told federal investigators that he acquired the pictures and videos for his own personal "self-gratification" and that he didn't share them online, a pre-sentence report says. In October Gizmodo reported that Ruiz was now working for a Silicon Valley company specializing in SSO (single sign-on) solutions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pages