Feed aggregator

Cloudflare Pays First $7,500 Bounties In War Against Patent Troll

Slashdot - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:30
Cloudflare declared war on a group of lawyers that files patent lawsuits against tech firms, by offering bounties for the discovery of patent-invalidating "prior art." Now an anonymous reader writes: On Thursday, Cloudflare announced it has paid out the first $7,500 to people who discovered documents that could help invalidate Blackbird's patents. The money is part of a $100,000 war chest the company announced this spring... The company said it is ready to launch individual challenges to specific Blackbird patents. The company believes it has enough examples of prior art on US Patent 7,797,448, "GPS-internet Linkage" and US Patent 6,453,335 (the one asserted against Cloudflare) to lodge a challenge. "We have received more than 230 submissions so far," Cloudflare reports, "and have only just begun to scratch the surface."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

2 awesome open source apps to share your terminal over the web

LXer - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 08:33
Want to share your terminal over the web for demo, learning or collaboration purpose? Try these two applications to share your terminal as a web application.

Governments Turn Tables By Suing Public Records Requesters

Slashdot - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 08:30
schwit1 quotes the AP: Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests -- taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense. The lawsuits generally ask judges to rule that the records being sought do not have to be divulged. They name the requesters as defendants but do not seek damage awards. Still, the recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it's becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics. "This practice essentially says to a records requester, 'File a request at your peril,'" said University of Kansas journalism professor Jonathan Peters, who wrote about the issue for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2015, before several more cases were filed. "These lawsuits are an absurd practice and noxious to open government."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ARM TrustZone Hacked By Abusing Power Management

Slashdot - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 07:30
"This is brilliant and terrifying in equal measure," writes the Morning Paper. Long-time Slashdot reader phantomfive writes: Many CPUs these days have DVFS (Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling), which allows the CPU's clockspeed and voltage to vary dynamically depending on whether the CPU is idling or not. By turning the voltage up and down with one thread, researchers were able to flip bits in another thread. By flipping bits when the second thread was verifying the TrustZone key, the researchers were granted permission. If number 'A' is a product of two large prime numbers, you can flip a few bits in 'A' to get a number that is a product of many smaller numbers, and more easily factorable. "As the first work to show the security ramifications of energy management mechanisms," the researchers reported at Usenix, "we urge the community to re-examine these security-oblivious designs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Manifold Makes Managing Cloud Developer Services Easy

LXer - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 06:39
We love it here when superheroes drop their cloak of invisibility, emerge fromstealth mode and reveal themselves to the world. Of course we do[he]mdash[/he]it'sthe geek in us! Manifold has just done exactly that, emerged from stealth modeand is claiming to be the easiest way to find, buy and manage essentialdeveloper services.

Are Companies Overhyping AI?

Slashdot - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 05:30
When it comes to artificial intelligence, "companies have been overselling the concept and otherwise normal people are taking the bait," writes Hackaday: Not to pick on Amazon, but all of the home assistants like Alexa and Google Now tout themselves as AI. By the most classic definition, that's true. AI techniques include matching natural language to predefined templates. That's really all these devices are doing today. Granted the neural nets that allow for great speech recognition and reproduction are impressive. But they aren't true intelligence nor are they even necessarily direct analogs of a human brain... The danger is that people are now getting spun up that the robot revolution is right around the corner... [N]othing in the state of the art of AI today is going to wake up and decide to kill the human masters. Despite appearances, the computers are not thinking. You might argue that neural networks could become big enough to emulate a brain. Maybe, but keep in mind that the brain has about 100 billion neurons and almost 10 to the 15th power interconnections. Worse still, there isn't a clear consensus that the neural net made up of the cells in your brain is actually what is responsible for conscious thought. There's some thought that the neurons are just control systems and the real thinking happens in a biological quantum computer... Besides, it seems to me if you build an electronic brain that works like a human brain, it is going to have all the problems a human brain has (years of teaching, distraction, mental illness, and a propensity for error). Citing the dire predictions of Elon Musk and Bill Gates, the article argues that "We are a relatively small group of people who have a disproportionate influence on what our friends, families, and co-workers think... We need to spread some sense into the conversation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Top 5: Emacs and Vim alternatives, Linux cluster admin tips, and more

LXer - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 04:44
In this week's top 5, we take a look at Emacs and Vim alternatives, Linux cluster admin tips, and more.

Best Self-Hosted CRM Apps

LXer - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 02:50
Customer relationship management or simply CRM is a term or specifically an approach to managing and analyzing the interaction of your current customers and leads.

Saudi Arabian Textbook Shows Yoda Joining The UN

Slashdot - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 01:30
Long-time Slashdot reader Mikkeles quotes the BBC: Saudi Arabia's education minister has apologised for the production of a school textbook in which the Star Wars character Yoda is seen superimposed on a photograph of the late King Faisal... The image, which shows the diminutive Jedi Master sitting beside King Faisal as he signs the UN Charter in 1945, was created by the Saudi artist Shaweesh. He told the BBC it was not yet clear how it had ended up in the textbook... The 2013 artwork, entitled United Nations (Yoda), is part of a series in which symbols of American pop culture -- ranging from Captain America to Darth Vader -- are superimposed onto archive photos of historical events... Shaweesh said he included Yoda because, like King Faisal, he was "wise, strong and calm". "Someone should have checked the image before printing," he added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ASUS Launches Its Thinnest and Lightest Flippable Chromebook, the Flip C101

LXer - Sun, 09/24/2017 - 00:55
ASUS announced a new Chromebook on its website, the Flip C101, which is a smaller and lightweight version of the C302 model. Featuring a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, the all-new Chromebook is priced at only $299 in the US.

Endless OS 3.2 Review - The Offline Distro

LXer - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 23:01
Endless OS is a free, easy-to-use operating system preloaded with over 100 apps, making it useful from the moment you turn it on. Endless takes Linux to a whole different dimension. It is intuitive and quite different. The developers have come out with a distro that targets mainly developing countries and also computers with no or limited internet access. So even without internet, you will have access to stuff like Wikipedia. The aim is to provide an operating system that comes with everything you will need. Intrigued? Let us take a look at what makes Endless OS different, intuitive, and so powerful in its own right. Endless OS uses OSTree to manage a read-only file system and uses Flatpaks for application delivery and updates.

Experian Criticized Over Credit-Freeze PIN Security and 'Dark Web' Scans

Slashdot - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 21:30
Security researcher Brian Krebs complains that Experian's identity-protecting credit freezes are easily unfrozen online. An anonymous reader quotes the Verge: Experian makes it easy to undo a credit freeze, resetting a subject's PIN through an easily accessible account recovery page. That page only asks for a person's name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number...data [that] was compromised in the Equifax breach, as well as other breaches, so we can probably assume hackers possess this information. After entering that data, attackers then just have to enter an email address -- any email -- and answer a few security questions. That might not jump out as insecure; security questions exist for a reason. But the questions themselves are easy to answer, particularly if you know how to use the internet and a search bar. Krebs says sample questions include asking users to identify cities where they've previously lived and the people that resided with them. Much of that information is available through a person's own social media accounts, search engines, or Yellow Pages-like databases, including Spokeo and Zillow... In response to Krebs' report, Experian claims that it goes beyond the measures identified to authenticate users. "While we do not disclose those additional processes," said the company in a statement, "they include a broad array of checks that are not visible to the consumer." Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that Experian is also advertising a "free scan of the dark Web" which actually binds anyone who accepts it to their 17,600-word terms of service, as well as acceptance of "advertisements or offers" from financial products companies -- plus "an arbitration clause preventing you from suing the company" which a spokesperson acknowledges could remain in effect for several years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

LXer - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 21:07
Company has trove of 2,000 patents and won't enforce any of them if you licence rightRed Hat says it has amassed over 2,000 patents and won't enforce them if the technologies they describe are used in properly-licensed open source software.…

Inside Amazon's Warehouses: Thousands of Senior Citizens and the Occasional Robot Mishap

Slashdot - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 19:30
Amazon aggressively recruited thousands of retirees living in mobile homes to migrate to Amazon's warehouses for seasonal work, according to a story shared by nightcats. Wired reports:From a hiring perspective, the RVers were a dream labor force. They showed up on demand and dispersed just before Christmas in what the company cheerfully called a "taillight parade." They asked for little in the way of benefits or protections. And though warehouse jobs were physically taxing -- not an obvious fit for older bodies -- recruiters came to see CamperForce workers' maturity as an asset. These were diligent, responsible employees. Their attendance rates were excellent. "We've had folks in their eighties who do a phenomenal job for us," noted Kelly Calmes, a CamperForce representative, in one online recruiting seminar... In a company presentation, one slide read, "Jeff Bezos has predicted that, by the year 2020, one out of every four workampers in the United States will have worked for Amazon." The article is adapted from a new book called "Nomadland," which also describes seniors in mobile homes being recruited for sugar beet harvesting and jobs at an Iowa amusement park, as well as work as campground hsots at various national parks. Many of them "could no longer afford traditional housing," especially after the financial downturn of 2008. But at least they got to hear stories from their trainers at Amazon about the occasional "unruly" shelf-toting "Kiva" robot: They told us how one robot had tried to drag a worker's stepladder away. Occasionally, I was told, two Kivas -- each carrying a tower of merchandise -- collided like drunken European soccer fans bumping chests. And in April of that year, the Haslet fire department responded to an accident at the warehouse involving a can of "bear repellent" (basically industrial-grade pepper spray). According to fire department records, the can of repellent was run over by a Kiva and the warehouse had to be evacuated.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Enabling parallel Linux operating system deployment over a network on IBM PowerVM

LXer - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 19:12
This article explains how you can perform or enable parallel Linux OS installation on IBM PowerVM logical partitions.

'Tetris' Recreated In Conway's 'Game of Life'

Slashdot - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:29
In 1970 mathematician John Conway created rules for the "Game of Life," a now famous "zero-player game" where a grid of cells evolves (following Conway's rules) from an initial state proposed by the player. In 2013 someone challenged readers of StackExchange's "Programming Puzzles & Code Golf" section to devise an initial state "that will allow for the playing of a game of Tetris." An anonymous Slashdot reader reports that "This challenge sat around, gathering upvotes but no answer, for four years. Then, it was answered." Citing the work of seven contributors, a massive six-part response says their solution took one and a half years to create, and "began as a quest but ended as an odyssey." The team created their own assembly language, known as QFTASM (Quest for Tetris Assembly) for use within Conway's mathematical universe, and then also designed their own processor architecture, and eventually even a higher-level language that they named COGOL. Their StackExchange response includes a link to all of their code on GitHub, as well as to a page where you can run the code online. One StackExchange reader hailed the achievement as "the single greatest thing I've ever scrolled through while understanding very little."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE

LXer - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 17:18
GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE.

Spain's Crackdown on Catalonia Includes Internet Censorship

Slashdot - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 16:30
Spain's autonomous Catalonia region wants to hold a referendum on independence next weekend. Spain's Constitutional Court insists that that vote is illegal, and has taken control of Catalonia's police force to try to stop the vote. They're deploying thousands of additional police officers and have seized nearly 10 million ballots. And now the Internet Society has gotten involved, according to an announcement shared by Slashdot reader valinor89: Measures restricting free and open access to the Internet related to the independence referendum have been reported in Catalonia. There have been reports that major telecom operators have been asked to monitor and block traffic to political websites, and following a court order, law enforcement has raided the offices of the .cat registry in Barcelona, examining a computer and arresting staff. We are concerned by reports that this court order would require a top-level domain (TLD) operator such as .cat to begin to block "all domains that may contain any kind of information about the referendum."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How To Use Ping, fping, and Gping For Varies Purpose In Linux

LXer - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 15:24
In this article we are going to teach you about Ping, fping, and Gping which helps user to troubleshoot varies issue.

Do Strongly Typed Languages Reduce Bugs?

Slashdot - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 15:19
"Static vs dynamic typing is always one of those topics that attracts passionately held positions," writes the Morning Paper -- reporting on an "encouraging" study that attempted to empirically evaluate the efficacy of statically-typed systems on mature, real-world code bases. The study was conducted by Christian Bird at Microsoft's "Research in Software Engineering" group with two researchers from University College London. Long-time Slashdot reader phantomfive writes: This study looked at bugs found in open source Javascript code. Looking through the commit history, they enumerated the bugs that would have been caught if a more strongly typed language (like Typescript) had been used. They found that a strongly typed language would have reduced bugs by 15%. Does this make you want to avoid Python?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Syndicate content