Feed aggregator

Syrian Electronic Army Takes Credit For News Site Hacking

/. - 1 hour 25 min ago
New submitter ddtmm writes The Syrian Electronic Army is claiming responsibility for the hacking of multiple news websites, including CBC News. Some users trying to access the CBC website reported seeing a pop-up message reading: "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)." It appears the hack targeted a network used by many news organizations and businesses. A tweet from an account appearing to belong to the Syrian Electronic Army suggested the attacks were meant to coincide with the U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday. The group claimed to have used the domain Gigya.com, a company that offers businesses a customer identity management platform, to hack into other sites via GoDaddy, its domain registrar. Gigya is "trusted by more than 700 leading brands," according to its website. The hacker or hackers redirected sites to the Syrian Electronic Army image that users saw. Gigya's operations team released a statement Thursday morning saying that it identified an issue with its domai registrar at 6:45 a.m. ET. The breach "resulted in the redirect of the Gigya.com domain for a subset of users," the company said. Among the websites known to be hacked so far are New York Times, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, PC World, Forbes, The Telegraph, Walmart and Facebook.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Apple and Amazon Launch Black Friday Price War

/. - 2 hours 23 min ago
An anonymous reader writes Forbes magazine points out that tablet computers are receiving some of the biggest discounts for this year's day-after-Thanksgiving sales. "With slowing growth in the tablet market and an increasing array of choices, some of the strongest bargains will come in that sector," they report, noting that Target is giving away a $140 gift card with purcahses of an iPad Air 2 (and a $100 gift card with the iPad Mini or first-generation iPad Air). But Amazon has already launched a counter-strike, posting big discounts online on Thanksgiving day for their entire line of Kindles, including a black-and-white Kindle for just $49, and their 6-inch color/high-definition HD6 for just $79.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








The IEEE Spectrum's Greatest Hits

Soylent New - 2 hours 44 min ago

In celebration of it's 50th anniversary year IEEE Spectrum has an article covering the 50 favourite articles of current executive editor Glenn Zorpette.

These articles, from 1964 onward, have not been available in the IEEE archive previously, and are provided as downloadable PDF's which contain scans of the original magazine copies.

We wrote about robots, the Internet, lasers and LEDs, code-breaking and compound semiconductors, wireless and weapons, transistors and trans-humanism.

We documented the moon landing and nuclear mishaps and breakthroughs, as well as the rise of China, India, and Japan as technology titans. And, to be honest, we predicted the imminent success of magnetic-levitation trains way more times than we should have.

...

I’m [Executive Editor Glenn Zorpette] referring to outstanding feature articles that were written by friends or colleagues, or ones that were published before my time but that came to my attention because their legends lingered, like the memory of an adolescent kiss. There are of course far too many of these notable articles to acknowledge in a brief column such as this one. So my account will of necessity be deeply personal and seriously abridged, and restricted to articles that were published so long ago that they are not available in the archive on our website.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Riecoin Breaks World Record For Largest Prime Sextuplet, Twice

/. - 3 hours 21 min ago
An anonymous reader writes Last week, Riecoin – a project that doubles as decentralized virtual currency and a distributed computing system — quietly broke the record for the largest prime number sextuplet. This happened on November 17, 2014 at 19:50 GMT and the calculation took only 70 minutes using the massive distributed computing power of its network. This week the feat was outdone and the project beat its own record on November 24, 2014 at 20:28 GMT achieving numbers 654 digits long, 21 more than its previous record.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Edsac Goes Live, At UK's National Museum of Computing

/. - 4 hours 18 min ago
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Britain's National Museum of Computing has flipped the switch on the venerable Edsac computer. The arduous task of reconstructing the 1949 behemoth, fraught with little in terms of the original hardware or documentation, was brought to fruition on Wednesday. As project lead, Andrew Herbert, is quoted as saying, "We face the same challenges as those remarkable pioneers who succeeded in building a machine that transformed computing." A remarkably shaky video of the event, replete with excellent views of the floor at the videographer's feet, can be found here."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Wikipedia’s ‘Complicated’ Relationship With Net Neutrality

Soylent New - 4 hours 43 min ago

Brian Fung writes in the Washington Post that Wikipedia has been a little hesitant to weigh in on net neutrality, the idea that all Web traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable. That's because the folks behind Wikipedia actually see a non-neutral Internet as one way to spread information cheaply to users in developing countries. With Wikipedia Zero, users in places like Pakistan and Malaysia can browse the site without it counting it counting against the data caps on their cellphones or tablets. This preferential treatment for Wikipedia's site helps those who can't afford to pay for pricey data — but it sets the precedent for deals that cut against the net neutrality principle. "We believe in net neutrality in America," says Gayle Karen Young adding that Wikipedia Zero requires a different perspective elsewhere. "Partnering with telecom companies in the near term, it blurs the net neutrality line in those areas. It fulfils our overall mission, though, which is providing free knowledge."

Facebook and Google also operate programs internationally that are exempted from users' data caps — a tactic known somewhat cryptically as "zero rating". Facebook in particular has made “Facebook Zero” not just a sales pitch in developing markets but also part of an Internet.org initiative to expand access “to the two thirds of the world’s population that doesn’t have it.” But a surprising decision in Chile shows what happens when policies of neutrality are applied without nuance. Chile recently put an end to the practice, widespread in developing countries, of big companies “zero-rating” access to their services. "That might seem perverse," says Glyn Moody, "since it means that Chilean mobile users must now pay to access those services, but it is nonetheless exactly what governments that have mandated net neutrality need to do."

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

/. - 5 hours 21 min ago
A few days ago you had a chance to ask the people at Hampton Creek about about their products and the science of food. Below you'll find the answers to your questions from a number of Hampton Creek employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

/. - 6 hours 14 min ago
Zothecula writes Security researcher GironSec has pulled Uber's Android app apart and discovered that it's sending a huge amount of personal data back to base – including your call logs, what apps you've got installed, whether your phone is vulnerable to certain malware, whether your phone is rooted, and your SMS and MMS logs, which it explicitly doesn't have permission to do. It's the latest in a series of big-time missteps for a company whose core business model is, frankly, illegal in most of its markets as well.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Court Rules Giganews Not Liable for Usenet Customers' Piracy

Soylent New - 6 hours 38 min ago

TorrentFreak reports

A federal court in California has ruled that Usenet service provider Giganews is not guilty of copyright infringement, nor can it be held responsible for customers who do pirate content.

[...]Adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 has made a business out of suing online services for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement. Over the past several years the company has targeted a dozen high-profile companies including Google, Amazon, Yandex, MasterCard, Visa, RapidShare, Giganews, and Depositfiles.

Aside from a few private settlements, the company has yet to score its first victory in court.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Google Told To Expand Right To Be Forgotten

/. - 7 hours 10 min ago
mpicpp writes with this news from the BBC: Google is under fresh pressure to expand the 'right to be forgotten' to its international .com search tool. A panel of EU data protection watchdogs said the move was necessary to prevent the law from being circumvented. Google currently de-lists results that appear in the European versions of its search engines, but not the international one. The panel said it would advise member states' data protection agencies of its view in new guidelines. However, a link is provided at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen offering an option to switch to the international .com version. This link does not appear if the users attempted to go to a regional version in the first place. Even so, it means it is possible for people in Europe to easily opt out of the censored lists.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Windows 10 To Feature Native Support For MKV and FLAC

/. - 8 hours 8 min ago
jones_supa writes Windows Media Player is going to become a more useful media player for those who want to play geeky file formats. Microsoft has earlier confirmed that Windows 10 will come with native support for Matroska Video, but the company now talks about also adding FLAC support. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul posted a teaser screenshot in Twitter showing support for this particular format. It can be expected to arrive in a future update for people running the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Not many GUI changes seem to be happening around Media Player, but work is done under the hood.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








FDA Starts Looking at Next-Generation Prosthetics

Soylent New - 8 hours 53 min ago

Nature has an article on the future regulation of thought controlled prosthetics.

For the first time since accidents severed the neural connection between their brains and limbs, a small number of patients are reaching out and feeling the world with prosthetic devices wired directly to their brains.
...
The advances are also starting to attract serious attention from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is wrestling with how best to regulate such brain–computer interfaces to ensure that they are safe

The article looks at the way proposed regulation may affect the work of private companies in this area, and references recent work at Caltech. More background to this work and other efforts is available in this New Scientist article from October.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

/. - 9 hours 5 min ago
HughPickens.com writes Brian Fung writes in the Washington Post that Wikipedia has been a little hesitant to weigh in on net neutrality, the idea that all Web traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable. That's because the folks behind Wikipedia actually see a non-neutral Internet as one way to spread information cheaply to users in developing countries. With Wikipedia Zero, users in places like Pakistan and Malaysia can browse the site without it counting it counting against the data caps on their cellphones or tablets. This preferential treatment for Wikipedia's site helps those who can't afford to pay for pricey data — but it sets the precedent for deals that cut against the net neutrality principle. "We believe in net neutrality in America," says Gayle Karen Young adding that Wikipedia Zero requires a different perspective elsewhere. "Partnering with telecom companies in the near term, it blurs the net neutrality line in those areas. It fulfills our overall mission, though, which is providing free knowledge." Facebook and Google also operate programs internationally that are exempted from users' data caps — a tactic known somewhat cryptically as "zero rating". Facebook in particular has made "Facebook Zero" not just a sales pitch in developing markets but also part of an Internet.org initiative to expand access "to the two thirds of the world's population that doesn't have it." But a surprising decision in Chile shows what happens when policies of neutrality are applied without nuance. Chile recently put an end to the practice, widespread in developing countries, of big companies "zero-rating" access to their services. "That might seem perverse," says Glyn Moody, "since it means that Chilean mobile users must now pay to access those services, but it is nonetheless exactly what governments that have mandated net neutrality need to do."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








GPS Vendors Changed Hollywood Sign Location and Directions

Soylent New - 11 hours 8 min ago

Alissa Walker of Gizmodo reports on a change that various GPS and online mapping vendors have implemented. Visitors to the iconic Hollywood sign find closeup access to the sign elusive, and often crowd the tight local residential streets while trying to get a closer view. Locals contend that, aside from being annoying, the excessive congestion represents a safety hazard, potentially impeding emergency responders.

Their solution was to have the location of the sign changed in GPS vendor databases, which was accomplished through the efforts of LA City Council member Tom LaBonge. Such changes are not without precedent, according to the article:

Over at Garmin, Hysell noted that their cartographers do, in fact, take input outside of their own experiences driving the routes. "They do receive data on a regular basis from city officials, county officials, DOT websites, and so on, and of course, make updates and adjustments to the mapping accordingly," she says. "They also take reports from users, too, and apply changes as deemed worthy and verifiable."

While this sounds fairly reasonable, the article touches on the negatives, including a detailed explanation as to why the new location provides a worse view, an account of legal threats she received for posting better addresses online, and a general discussion of the ostensibly excessive NIMBY-ism of the locals.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Australia Elaborates On a New Drift Model To Find MH370

/. - 12 hours 10 min ago
hcs_$reboot writes Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared on Saturday, 8 March 2014, while flying from Malaysia to Beijing with 239 people on board. And 8 months later, after millions of dollars invested in a gigantic search operation, there is still no sign of the aircraft. Now, Australia is developing a new model to predict where the debris of the missing MH370 could wash up. Authorities had initially predicted that the plane's wreckage could drift and come ashore on Indonesia's West Sumatra island after about 4 months of Flight MH370's disappearance. "We are currently working... to see if we can get an updated drift model for a much wider area where there might be possibilities of debris washing ashore," search co-ordinator Peter Foley told reporters in Perth.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Ebola Vaccine Breakthrough

Soylent New - 13 hours 23 min ago

The BBC, and Others are reporting that Glasgow Smith Kline (GSK) phase 1 trials of its Ebola Vaccine is indicating promising results:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America has just released the first trial data for the vaccine that GSK is working on in its laboratories in Italy and Belgium.

Twenty adults were tested and an immune response to Ebola was prompted in each of them. The vaccine was also "well tolerated" by each of the people tested.

From the International Business Times

Four weeks after the volunteers received the experimental drug, researchers tested their blood and found that they had produced anti-Ebola antibodies, a sign that the vaccine had worked. They also found that the drug caused volunteers to produce a T cell response, which also helps to fight off Ebola.

While two study participants did report a fever after they were vaccinated, this only lasted for a day; no other volunteers saw adverse effects.

The vaccine is expected to arrive late in 2015.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

UK Announces Hybrid Work/Study Undergraduate Program To Fill Digital Gap

/. - 14 hours 25 min ago
An anonymous reader writes The UK's Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey today revealed a new scheme where undergraduates will be able to avoid student fees and student loans by working for companies for three years whilst simultaneously undertaking academic studies with participating universities, resulting in a degree at the end of their successful involvement in the scheme. The British government will fund two-thirds of the cost of tuition and the host employer the remainder. The "Digital Apprenticeship" scheme will remunerate students at an unspecified level of pay, and though details are currently sketchy, is reported to obviate the need for student loans. The initiative is targeting the skills gap in the digital sector, particularly in the field of web-development and technical analysis.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Why We Love to Hate Click Bait

Soylent New - 15 hours 43 min ago

Ben Smith of Buzzfeed recently wrote that his site doesn’t traffic in “click bait” because the term applies to “tempting, vacuous ‘curiosity gap’ headlines” that mislead readers. But in an industry riddled with plagiarism, civil insensitivities and “hot takes,” “click bait” is still the worst insult you can hurl at a publication. Looking at the history of journalism, sensationalist teases have always been with us. In the past, the city newspaper version of click bait was the "extra" issued every hour or two. "Click bait takes it farther, or rather, faster," says Mark Bauerlein. "It’s not that all the content has degenerated. It’s that the delivery has sped up and the content can be blasted widely on the Internet." Gloria Mark, a professor specializing in human-computer interactions at the University of California, Irvine, says that click bait as a design element is a natural evolution, and consequence, of the way the Internet affects our flow of attention. "Many argue that click bait is not new, as newspapers have used enticing headlines to lure readers since the 19th century. What is new, however, is the combination of click bait with the design of hypermedia that leads us down cognitive paths that make it hard to find our way back to the original, intended task," says Mark. "It is part of the larger grand challenge we face in managing our focus of attention amid the sheer volume of digital information available."

Baratunde Thurston says that one good thing about click bait is that it has inspired a new arena for humor. "Over a year ago, my company hosted a “Comedy Hack Day" built around humor, and one team created a satirical site called Clickstrbait to lampoon this silly practice. Since then The Onion has gone further, successfully launching ClickHole.com, which parodies (and monetizes) the click bait phenomenon with articles like '6 Sunsets That Would Be More Peaceful If It Weren't For Your Loudly Growling Stomach.'" If Thurston is right then the only thing that will defeat click bait overuse is time. "Until then, at least we have jokes."

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

BT Blocking Private Torrent Sites?

/. - 16 hours 58 min ago
An anonymous reader writes This weekend both BT and Sky implemented the new changes, making it harder for their subscribers to reach these sites. Interestingly, however, BT appears to have gone above and beyond the court order, limiting access to various other sites as well. Over the past several days TorrentFreak has received reports from several users of private torrent sites who get an 'error blocked' message instead of their favorite sites. These include the popular IPTorrents.com and TorrentDay.com trackers, as well as scene release site Scnsrc.me. IPTorrents and Torrentday are significant targets. Although both sites require prospective users to obtain an invite from a current member (or from the site itself in exchange for cash), they have over a hundred thousand active users. The error displayed when BT subscribers try to access the above URLs is similar to that returned when users to try access sites covered by High Court injunctions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Twitter to Collect List of Other Apps on Devices

Soylent New - 26 November 2014 - 11:35pm

The Telegraph is reporting on a Twitter blog post announcing that the Twitter app for Android and iOS is going to keep track of the list of applications you have installed on your phone or tablet. While the Telegraph is claiming "Twitter to snoop on every app on your phone", Twitter says "We are not collecting any data within the applications."

"Twitter is using your app graph to help build a more tailored experience for you on Twitter." "To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in."

This seems like the next step in companies prying their way into every personal detail of someone's life. Yes there's an 'opt-out', but shouldn't it really be an 'opt-in'? And would you really trust an app that wants to track this information to honor the 'opt-out'? IMHO the best way to ensure Twitter doesn't track your apps (or more) is to not have the app installed.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.

Pages