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Talos Secure Workstation Is FSF-Certified — and $3100

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 7:29md
jones_supa writes: These days, the motivation to use open source software for many people is to avoid backdoors placed by intelligence organizations and to avoid software that has hidden privacy-intruding characteristics. For the operating system and userspace software, open choices are already available. The last remaining island has been the firmware included in various ROM chips in a computer. Libreboot has introduced an open BIOS, but it is not available for newer systems featuring the Intel ME or AMD PSP management features. Talos' Secure Workstation fills this need, providing a modern system with 8-core POWER8 CPU, 132 GB RAM, and open firmware. The product is currently in a pre-release phase where Raptor Engineering is trying to understand if it's possible to do a production run of the machine. If you are interested, it's worth visiting the official website. Adds an anonymous reader about the new system, which rings in at a steep $3100: "While the engineers found solace in the POWER8 architecture with being more open than AMD/Intel CPUs, they still are searching for a graphics card that is open enough to receive the FSF Respect Your Freedom certification." Update: 02/08 18:44 GMT by T : See also Linux hacker and IBM employee Stewart Smith's talk from the just-completed linux.conf.au on, in which he walks through "all of the firmware components and what they do, including the boot sequence from power being applied up to booting an operating system."

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Metel Hackers Roll Back ATM Transactions, Steal Millions

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 6:48md
msm1267 writes: Researchers from Kaspersky Lab's Global Research & Analysis Team today unveiled details on two new criminal operations that have borrowed heavily from targeted nation-state attacks, and also shared an update on a resurgent Carbanak gang, which last year, it was reported, had allegedly stolen upwards of $1 billion from more than 100 financial companies. The heaviest hitter among the newly discovered gangs is an ongoing campaign, mostly confined to Russia, known as Metel. This gang targets machines that have access to money transactions, such as call center and support machines, and once they are compromised, the attackers use that access to automate the rollback of ATM transactions. As the attackers empty ATM after ATM—Metel was found inside 30 organizations—the balances on the stolen accounts remained untouched.

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NAND Flash Density Surpasses HDDs', But Price Is Still a Sticking Point

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 6:07md
Lucas123 writes: With the introduction of 3D or stacked NAND flash memory, non-volatile memory has for the first time surpassed that of hard disk drives in density. This year, Micron revealed it had demonstrated areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77 terabits per square inch (Tbpsi) for its 3D NAND. That compares with the densest HDDs of about 1.3Tbpsi. While NAND flash may have surpassed hard drives in density, it doesn't mean the medium has reached price parity with HDDs — nor will it anytime soon. One roadblock to price parity is the cost of revamping existing or building new 3D NAND fabrication plant, which far exceeds that of hard drive manufacturing facilities, according to market research firm Coughlin Associates. HDD makers are also preparing to launch even denser products using technologies such as heat assisted magnetic recording.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Meteorite Strike Kills Man In India

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 5:25md
knwny writes: In what is believed to be the first such incident in modern times, a meteorite strike in India killed a man and injured three others. According to police sources, a loud blast was heard at the site of the strike which also left a four-feet deep crater. Preliminary investigation by forensic and bomb experts showed no sign of any explosive substance at the scene. The second link has a picture of the supposed crater which I believe will interest Slashdotters with experience in this area.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Where Are the Raspberry Pi Zeros?

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 4:45md
mikejuk writes: The Pi Zero was supposed to be available from November 26, 2015. It is now the start of February and all of the stockists, including the Pi Swag Shop, are still showing out of stock. That's two whole months, and counting, of restricted supply which is more than an initial hiccup. Of course you would expect enough to be made available initially to meet the expected demand. The Pi sells something in the region of 200,000 per month so what do you think the initial run of the Pi Zero actually was? The answer is 20,000 units. Of which 10,000 were stuck to the cover of MagPi and "given away" leaving just 10,000 in the usual distribution channels. And yet Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, commented: "You'd think we'd be used to it by now, but we're always amazed by the level of interest in new Raspberry Pi products," Well yes, you really would think that they might be used to it by now and perhaps even prepared for it. At the time of writing the Pi Zero is still out of stock and when it is briefly in stock customers are limited to one unit.A victim of its own success, yes, but the real victims are the Raspberry Pi's competitors.

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Why Facebook Really Shut Down Parse

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 4:23md
New submitter isisilik writes: For those working in the 'aaS' business the Parse shutdown was the main topic of conversation this weekend. So why did Facebook decide to shut down their developer platform? The author claims that Facebook never wanted to host apps to begin with, they just wanted developers to use Facebook login. And he builds up a good case.

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Hackers Leak DHS Staff Directory, Claim FBI Is Next

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 4:03md
itwbennett writes: On Sunday, the name, title, email address, and phone number of more than 9,000 DHS employees, with titles ranging from engineers, to security specialists, program analysts, InfoSec and IT, all the way up to director level was posted on Twitter. 'The account went on to claim that an additional data dump focused on 20,000 FBI employees was next,' writes CSO's Steve Ragan. The hacker told Motherboard that the data was obtained by "compromising the email account of a DoJ employee, although he would not elaborate on how that account was accessed in the first place."

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India Blocks Facebook's Free Basics Internet Service

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 3:22md
An anonymous reader writes: India's leading telecom regulator, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), has today voted against differential pricing, ruling with immediate effect that all data prices must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content. The call is a significant blow to Facebook's Free Basics (previously Internet.org) initiative and Airtel Zero – projects which work to make internet access more accessible by providing a free range of "basic" services. The watchdog confirmed that providers would no longer be able to charge for data based on discriminatory tariffs but instead that pricing must be "content agnostic." It added that fines of Rs. 50,000 – 50 Lakh would be enforced should the regulations be violated.

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SpaceX Sets Feb. 24th Target Date For Next Launch

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 2:43md
Rei writes: After some consternation about the pacing of Falcon 9 upgrades, SpaceX has announced that it plans to launch again from Cape Canaveral with a target date of February 24th. While the primary mission will be to place the SES-9 communications satellite in orbit, this will also mark their fourth attempt to land the first stage on an autonomous drone ship, after their last launch touched down softly but fell over when one leg failed to latch. SpaceX is working to significantly accelerate the rate of production and launches — they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year. After the upcoming launch, they expect to launch one rocket every two to three weeks.

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Adblock Plus Maker Seeks Deal With Ad Industry Players

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 2:02md
An anonymous reader writes with Yahoo's report that the makers of Adblock Plus are "looking to reach out to advertisers and identify an 'acceptable' level and form of advertising on the net." That involves convincing advertisers to conform to the company's own guidelines for advertising, or an alternative path much disliked by some of the software's users — to pay the company to ignore ads that don't meet those guidelines. From the article: Big websites can pay a fee not to be blocked. And it is these proceeds that finance the Cologne-based company and its 49-strong workforce. While Google and Amazon have paid up, others refuse. Axel Springer, which publishers Germany's best-selling daily Bild, accuses [Adblock Plus maker] Eyeo of racketeering. "We believe Eyeo's business model is against the law," a spokesman for Springer told AFP. "Clearly, Eyeo's primary aim is to get its hands on a share of the advertising revenues." Ultimately, such practices posed a threat to the professional journalism on the web, he suggested, an argument Eyeo rejects.

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Daniel Holbach: Long time no Snappy Clinic

Planet UBUNTU - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 11:47pd

It’s been a while since our last Snappy Clinic, so we asked for your input on which topics to cover. Thanks for the feedback so far.

In our next session Sergio Schvezov is going to talk about what’s new in Snapcraft and the changes in the 2.x series. Be there and you are going to be up-to-date on how to publish your software on Snappy Ubuntu Core. There will be time for questions afterwards.

Join us on the 12th February 2016 at 16:00 UTC on http://ubuntuonair.com.

Is Law Enforcement "Going Dark" Because of Encryption? Hardly, Says New Report

LinuxSecurity.com - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 11:42pd
LinuxSecurity.com: Bring technologists and members of the intelligence community together to figure out what to do about unbreakable encryption and guess what they conclude? They conclude that they don't really need to worry about it.

Linux Kernel Patch Hints At At 32-Core Support For AMD Zen Chips

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 11:18pd
New submitter Iamthecheese points to an article which says that a patch published on the Linux Kernel Mailing List indicates that AMD's forthcoming Zen processors will have as many as 32 cores per socket, but notes that while the article's headline says "Confirms," "the article text doesn't bear that out." Still, he writes, There are hints of such from last year. A leaked patch for the 14 nanometer AMD Zeppelin (Family 17h, Model 00h) reveals support for up to 32 cores. Another blog says pretty much the same thing. We recently discussed an announced 4+8 core AMD chip, but nothing like this.

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Julian Assange's 3.5-Year Detainment in Embassy Ruled Unlawful

LinuxSecurity.com - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 10:36pd
LinuxSecurity.com: Three and a half years after he sought temporary asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London only to find himself a captive instead, a UN group has ruled that UK and Swedish authorities unlawfully detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in violation of their international human rights obligations.

Hackers leak DHS staff directory, claim DOJ is next

LinuxSecurity.com - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 10:35pd
LinuxSecurity.com: On Sunday, an account on Twitter posted a Department of Homeland Security staff directory with 9,355 names. Shortly after the DHS data was posted, the account went on to claim that an additional data dump focused on 20,000 FBI employees was next.

UC Berkeley profs lambast new "black box" network monitoring hardware

LinuxSecurity.com - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 9:33pd
LinuxSecurity.com: Days after a group of concerned professors raised alarm bells over a new network monitoring system installed at the University of California, Berkeley and the other nine campuses of the University of California system, a separate committee of system-wide faculty has now given its blessing.

NASA Is Building a Virtual Mars For VR Viewing

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 8:29pd
An anonymous reader writes: NASA will release a free virtual reality program this year that will simulate exploring the surface of Mars. "Players will be able to walk on the Red Planet as well as drive the Mars Rover..." reads the official announcement at UnrealEngine.com. The Mars 2030 Experience will be available on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR, and will also "expand" to Sony PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, with additional versions for Android and iOS devices, and it will even be streamed on Twitch. NASA plans to reveal more details at this year's South by Southwest conference in March.

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Video Gamers From the '90s Have Turned Out Mostly OK

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 5:33pd
A study reported on by Ars Technica indicates that video games, much ballyhooed (alleged) source of mental, physical and psycho-social ills for the kids who spent a lot of time playing them, don't seem to have had quite as big a negative effect on those kids as the moral panic of the past few decades would have you believe. Instead, There didn't seem to be an association between the number of games the children reported owning and an increase in risk for conduct disorder. When examining depression among shoot-em-up players, there was evidence for increased risk before the researchers controlled for all the confounding factors, but not afterwards. Of course, there's a lot of data to go around in the several studies referred to here, and the upshot seems to both less exciting and less simple than "Video games are good, not bad!"

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Simon Quigley: Ubuntu Membership!

Planet UBUNTU - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 2:46pd
I recently obtained official Ubuntu Membership, hence this blog post being on Planet Ubuntu. I wanted to summarize a few concepts I learned while working towards this goal.

What is Ubuntu Membership?

From https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership, "Official Ubuntu Membership means recognition of significant and sustained contribution to Ubuntu or the Ubuntu community." I would suggest checking out that page if you would like to know more.

Details about the meeting

Meeting log: http://ubottu.com/meetingology/logs/ubuntu-meeting/2016/ubuntu-meeting.2016-02-04-22.01.moin.txt

Wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/tsimonq2

Launchpad page: https://launchpad.net/~tsimonq2

Contributions

I keep all my contributions up-to-date here, so if you would like to learn more about my contributions, that is where to start.

Lessons Learned/Advice I have received
If you plan on getting your membership in the future, this is the advice that I would give:
When applying:
  • Be yourself.
  • Have a statement prepared beforehand describing a bit about you and what you have done in the community, with links to wiki pages. My original statement was:
Wiki Page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/tsimonq2 , Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~tsimonq2 , Ubuntu US Wisconsin LoCo Team Wiki Page:https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WisconsinTeamMy name is Simon Quigley (tsimonq2) and I am from Wisconsin, USA. I am currently 13 years old(I turn 14 in March of 2016). I have been interested in computers for the past few years, and I started using Ubuntu in February 2015. In late July, I used Lubuntu due to the condition of my computer, and it really brought my computer back to life. So I switched, and I said to myself, "hey, I really should get involved with the community." So I did. I Googled a lot of things, wanting to contribute to Lubuntu, and I found QA. It seemed easy enough to start with, but I was really confused/unsure on what I had to do. I looked around, and I read something about IRC. At that point, I joined one of the Lubuntu IRC channels asking for help on this. I was greeted by the most friendly people, specifically wxl. They were all really kind to me, and soon thereafter, I figured out QA and started contributing. For a while I stuck around QA and Lubuntu, but in November of 2015, my contributions really took off. Due to the extensive amount of free time I get by being a kid combined with my fast learning capabilities and intelligence, I explored many different avenues of contributing and "attacked" them all. But before this started, I had some social problems with several individuals in an offtopic channel. That day in late November, I promised to exponentially increase my contributions and fine-tune my social interactions with other people. Ever since, I have contributed countless ways, in countless amounts, and even though it's only been about three months since I really started diving in, I believe I have contributed massively.To highlight my contributions(which are on my wiki page if you would like more specifics), my first unintentional form of contribution was through Ask Ubuntu. I answered a few questions and it just sort of died down. After I actually knew what contribution meant, I started with Package QA(when Wily was in development), because at the time, all I had was my old Pentium 4(which I am actually on now). That is how I met the Lubuntu team. After I got my newer computer, I started with ISO QA. ISO QA was really one of the gateway form of contributions that got me familiar with a lot of the tools as well as the Ubuntu install process. I am currently the number one Xenial ISO QA tester, with 114 test cases completed. Right before this happened, I watched the Ubuntu Snappy Clinic, which really inspired me to get started contributing more regularly to Ubuntu. When this was starting, I was in talks with Anthony Hook(he *should* be here today, hello h00k!) to reincarnate the Ubuntu US Wisconsin Local Community team. I emailed him asking about it and he gave me the position of contact(the way he tells it, I stepped up to the position, but I guess it depends on how you look at it XD). Our team has monthly meetings and informal IRC meetings(the next one is tomorrow on #ubuntu-us-wi). I have worked to establish many resources and options for the team. Right now we are sort of in a transitional phase, where things are getting set up and we have a lot of works in progress. At this point, after the LoCo had it's first meeting, I started contributing to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. At first I just wrote summaries, but recently I have also helped with link hunting. This brings me to mid to late December. I started as a mentor for Google Code-in, which, to summarize it, is a project that is to help high school students with an introduction to Open Source. I just created tasks and "mentored" them. What that means is to help the student complete the task, and to review the task when it is done. balloons should be around, he was an "Admin" for Ubuntu. He helped with the technical side of things. He witnessed some of the mentoring I did for QA tasks. wxl co-mentored some tasks as well.Those were my contributions leading up to recently. Recently I have been starting with the development(code) side of Ubuntu. I have been looking at FTBFS(Failed To Build From Source, http://qa.ubuntuwire.org/ftbfs/ ) issues and although I haven't fixed any issues that require packages, I have requested rebuilds and filed MIRs(Main Inclusion Request). Along with that, I have also recently been starting to fix QA test cases and I am shortly going to be working to formulate some documentation for the API(yes, there's an API :D).So although this is a very long explanation and it probably fills up your IRC client's screen, I hope you look favorably upon my application for Ubuntu Membership. Thank you.I showed this to Walter Lapchynski and he told me this was MILES too long. So I revised this a bit and here is what I pasted(if you look at the logs it got cut off but I think they know what I meant):Wiki Page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/tsimonq2 , Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~tsimonq2 , Ubuntu US Wisconsin LoCo Team Wiki Page:https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WisconsinTeamMy name is Simon Quigley (tsimonq2) and I am from Wisconsin, USA. I am currently 13 years old(I turn 14 in March of 2016). I have been interested in computers for the past few years, and I started using Ubuntu in February 2015. My contributions started in late July after asking a question on a Lubuntu IRC channel and meeting friendly people. My forms of contribution include but are not limited to: Package and ISO QA, Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter summaries and link finding, complete reincarnation of the Ubuntu US Wisconsin Local Community Team, helping a lot with Lubuntu, being a Google Code-in mentor, Ask Ubuntu, and various manual QA test case fixes.I hope you look favorably upon my application for Ubuntu Membership. If you have any questions/comments/concerns please let me know. Thank you.So my suggestion here is, make a statement that is not TOO long, but not too short either. The suggested length is 1-5 sentences and I think this is a great amount.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your contributions/community interactions.
In the meeting, Thomas Ward kept me on my feet, but from meeting logs that I have read, there aren't an overly excessive amount of questions.
  • The LoCo council will probably be silent.
As far as I remember, they have a special IRC channel that they communicate in. They also have a mailing list. This does NOT mean anything bad. I was really nervous, so this was the worst part(I went and got some spicy foods, I don't know why), but consider it a drumroll.
Here is some advice I can give for contributing in preparation for the meeting.
  • Be curious and learn as much as you can
Believe me, you don't know everything you can in the Ubuntu community already. If you do, you already have membership. :)
Always be curious. I used Ubuntu from February to July before contributing, and this is the reason I started contributing. I wanted hands-on knowledge about how Ubuntu works on the inside. Sure, you can watch other people contribute, but you really don't know much unless you get your hands dirty in my experience.
This is really the main premise of why I started/continued to contribute.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
Questions produce answers. Answers produce more questions. Those answers produce more questions. This can stretch your knowledge and contribution avenues more than you think. I wondered how packages were built in the Ubuntu archive, so I found FTBFS. FTBFS led me to build logs. This led me to schroots. And I now regularly use schroots today. Believe me, this helps more than you think.
This concludes my advice to new contributors and people who want to get their membership. If you would like to start contributing, check out find-a-task. If you want to explore more avenues to contribute, check out the Ubuntu Community page. And lastly, if you want one-on-one help with Linux in general(there are Ubuntu people around there so don't be afraid to ask about that), check out Linux Padawan.
If you have questions/comments/concerns about this article or you would like to work with me to get started with contributing to Ubuntu, my email is sqawesome99@gmail.com (tsimonq2@ubuntu.com should work in a week or two, but it doesn't seem to be working yet, :/) or I am tsimonq2 on Freenode(PMs and pings welcome).

Malware Targets Skype Users, Records Conversations

Slashdot.org - Hën, 08/02/2016 - 2:42pd
An anonymous reader writes: A new backdoor trojan is making the rounds, coming equipped with features that allow it to steal files, take screengrabs, and record Skype conversations. Currently detected targeting US organizations, researchers linked it to previous malware developed by a Chinese cyber-espionage group called Admin@338. Besides recording Skype conversations, the malware can also steal Office documents, and includes a complicated installation procedure that allows it to avoid antivirus software installed on the machine.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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