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California Will Close Its Last Nuclear Power Plant

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 22:09
An anonymous reader quotes the San Francisco Chronicle: California's last nuclear power plant -- Diablo Canyon, whose contentious birth helped shape the modern environmental movement -- will close in 2025, state utility regulators decided Thursday. The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission will likely bring an end to nuclear energy's long history in the state. State law forbids building more nuclear plants in California until the federal government creates a long-term solution for dealing with their waste, a goal that remains elusive despite decades of effort. The decision comes even as California expands its fight against global warming. Owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Diablo Canyon is the state's largest power plant, supplying 9 percent of California's electricity while producing no greenhouse gases. "With this decision, we chart a new energy future by phasing out nuclear power here in California," said commission President Michael Picker. "We've looked hard at all the arguments, and we agree the time has come."

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Black hole munched galactic leftovers, spewed stars, burped

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 21:59
Galaxy can turn itself off, then on again

The black hole at the centre of galaxy SDSS J1354+1327 sucked in gases, “burped” – and then repeated the display.…

How To Create Or Increase Swap Space In Linux

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 21:17
The operating system makes use of swap space when its available physical memory (RAM) is running out due to ever demanding applications. In this situation, the operating system moves the inactive pages in physical memory to swap space.

Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 21:13
You'll Pai for this, thunders FCC

Bad user interface design has been blamed for Hawaii experiencing a brief spate of nuclear panic over the weekend.…

Hackers Hijack DNS For Lumens Cryptocurrency Site 'BlackWallet', Steal $400,000

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 20:39
An anonymous reader quotes BleepingComputer: Unknown hackers (or hacker) have hijacked the DNS server for BlackWallet.co, a web-based wallet application for the Stellar Lumen cryptocurrency (XLM), and have stolen over $400,000 from users' accounts. The attack happened late Saturday afternoon (UTC timezone), January 13, when the attackers hijacked the DNS entry of the BlackWallet.co domain and redirected it to their own server. "The DNS hijack of Blackwallet injected code," said Kevin Beaumont, a security researcher who analyzed the code before the BlackWallet team regained access over their domain and took down the site. "If you had over 20 Lumens it pushes them to a different wallet," Beaumont added... According to Bleeping Computer's calculations, as of writing, the attacker collected 669,920 Lumens, which is about $400,192 at the current XML/USD exchange rate. The BlackWallet team and other XLM owners have tried to warn users via alerts on Reddit, Twitter, GitHub, the Stellar Community and GalacticTalk forums, but to no avail, as users continued to log into the rogue BlackWallet.co domain, enter their credentials, and then see funds mysteriously vanish from their wallets.

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OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:58
Router vendors sling firmware to protect users from packet floods

Wi-Fi router vendors have started issuing patches to defend their products against Google Chromecast devices.…

Oracle still silent on Meltdown, but lists patches for x86 servers among 233 new fixes

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:30
Sun ZFS Storage Appliance users: brace for super-critical fix

Oracle still has nothing to say about whether the Meltdown or Spectre vulnerabilities are a problem for its hardware.…

Meet Nextcloud Talk, World's First Self-Hosted, Encrypted Communication Platform

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:23
Nextcloud informs Softpedia today on the general availability of Nextcloud Talk, world's first self-hosted, enterprise-ready, and end-to-end encrypted audio/video and chat communication platform.

ITU aims to to keep the radio on with new satellite regulation fees

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 19:01
Keeping geostationary sats chatting is simple. Low-Earth sats need more brains

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will next week discuss changes to satellite constellation regulation and fees, an effort needed to keep space useful for communications…

20 Years Later, Has Open Source Changed the World?

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 18:39
"Most code remains closed and proprietary, even though open source now dominates enterprise platforms," notes Matt Asay, former COO at Canonical (and an emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative). "How can that be?" he asks, in an essay noting it's been almost 20 years since the launch of the Open Source Initiative, arguing that so far open source "hasn't changed the world as promised." [T]he reason most software remains locked up within the four walls of enterprise firewalls is that it's too costly with too small of an ROI to justify open-sourcing it. At least, that's the perception. Such a perception is impossible to break without walking the open source path, which companies are unwilling to walk without upfront proof. See the problem? This chicken-and-egg conundrum is starting to resolve itself, thanks to the forward-looking efforts of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other web giants that are demonstrating the value of open-sourcing code. Although it's unlikely that a State Farm or Chevron will ever participate in the same way as a Microsoft, we are starting to see companies like Bloomberg and Capital One get involved in open source in ways they never would have considered back when the term "open source" was coined in 1997, much less in 2007. It's a start. Let's also not forget that although we have seen companies use more open source code over the past 20 years, the biggest win for open source since its inception is how it has changed the narrative of how innovation happens in software. We're starting to believe, and for good reason, that the best, most innovative software is open source. The article strikes a hopeful note. "We're now comfortable with the idea that software can, and maybe should, be open source without the world ending. The actual opening of that source, however, is something to tackle in the next 20 years.

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VMware Bug Allowed Root Access

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:39
c4231 quotes Ars Technica: While everyone was screaming about Meltdown and Spectre, another urgent security fix was already in progress for many corporate data centers and cloud providers who use products from Dell's EMC and VMware units. A trio of critical, newly reported vulnerabilities in EMC and VMware backup and recovery tools -- EMC Avamar, EMC NetWorker, EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance, and vSphere Data Protection -- could allow an attacker to gain root access to the systems or to specific files, or inject malicious files into the server's file system. These problems can only be fixed with upgrades. While the EMC vulnerabilities were announced late last year, VMware only became aware of its vulnerability last week.

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Ansible Tutorial: Intorduction to simple Ansible commands

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:29
Ansible is an open source configuration tool; that is used to deploy, configure & manage servers. Ansible is one of the easiest automation tool to learn and master. It does not require you to learn complicated programming language like ruby (used in puppet & chef) & uses YAML

Wait, what? The Linux Kernel Mailing List archives lived on ONE PC? One BROKEN PC?

TheRegister - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 17:02
Yup: LKML.org and all its records of the planet's most-used OS were on one disk

Spare a thought for Jasper Spaans, who hosts the Linux Kernel Mailing List archive from a single PC that lives in his home. And since things always happen this way the home machine died while he was on holiday.…

How Millions of Iranians Are Evading Internet Censors

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 16:39
schwit1 quotes the Wall Street Journal: Authorities in Tehran have ratcheted up their policing of the internet in the past week and a half, part of an attempt to stamp out the most far-reaching protests in Iran since 2009. But the crackdown is driving millions of Iranians to tech tools that can help them evade censors, according to activists and developers of the tools. Some of the tools were attracting three or four times more unique users a day than they were before the internet crackdown, potentially weakening government efforts to control access to information online. "By the time they wake up, the government will have lost control of the internet," said Mehdi Yahyanejad, executive director of NetFreedom Pioneers, a California-based technology nonprofit that largely focuses on Iran and develops educational and freedom of information tools. Wired calls it "the biggest protest movement in Iran since the 2009 Green Movement uprising," criticing tech companies which "continue to deny services to Iranians that could be crucial to free and open communications."

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Japan's Latest Sensation is a Cryptocurrency Pop Group

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:39
An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: If you're starting a pop group in Japan, where giant rosters and virtual superstars are par for the course, how do you stand out? By tying yourself to something trendy -- and in 2018, that means cryptocurrency. Meet Kasotsuka Shojo (Virtual Currency Girls), a J-pop group where each of the eight girls represents one of the larger digital monetary formats. Yes, you're supposed to cheer for bitcoin or swoon over ethereum (what, no litecoin?). The group played its first concert on January 12th, and naturally you had to pay in cryptocurrency to be one of the few members of the general public to get in. The group's first single, "The Moon and Virtual Currencies and Me," warns listeners about the perils of fraud and extols the virtues of good online security. "It isn't clear how French maid outfits symbolize cryptocurrency or blockchain technology," notes Quartz, "but they're popular costumes in Japan's anime and cosplay circles."

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Getting Quake 4 to run on a modern Linux system

LXer - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 15:34
Having already gone to the trouble of getting the original Doom 3 binary working on my modern Arch Linux system a few months back, it made me wonder just how much effort it would take to get the closed source Quake 4 port up and running again as well.

Calls to Action on the Fifth Anniversary of the Death of Aaron Swartz

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 14:39
On the fifth anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, EFF activist Elliot Harmon posted a remembrance: When you look around the digital rights community, it's easy to find Aaron's fingerprints all over it. He and his organization Demand Progress worked closely with EFF to stop SOPA. Long before that, he played key roles in the development of RSS, RDF, and Creative Commons. He railed hard against the idea of government-funded scientific research being unavailable to the public, and his passion continues to motivate the open access community. Aaron inspired Lawrence Lessig to fight corruption in politics, eventually fueling Lessig's White House run... It's tempting to become pessimistic in the face of countless threats to free speech and privacy. But the story of the SOPA protests demonstrates that we can win in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. He shares a link to a video of Aaron's most inspiring talk, "How We Stopped SOPA," writing that "Aaron warned that SOPA wouldn't be the last time Hollywood attempted to use copyright law as an excuse to censor the Internet... 'The enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared... We won this fight because everyone made themselves the hero of their own story. Everyone took it as their job to save this crucial freedom. They threw themselves into it. They did whatever they could think of to do.'" On the anniversary of Aaron's death, his brother Ben Swartz, an engineer at Twitch, wrote about his own efforts to effect change in ways that would've made Aaron proud, while Aaron's mother urged calls to Congress to continue pushing for reform to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. And there were countless other remembrances on Twitter, including one fro Cory Doctorow, who tweeted a link to Lawrence Lessig's analysis of the prosecution. And Lessig himself marked the anniversary with several posts on Twitter. "None should rest," reads one, "for still, there is no peace."

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Text Message Scammer Gets Five Years in Prison

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 13:34
36-year-old Fraser Thompson is going to prison, according to Reuters, after receiving a five-year sentence for "defrauding" cellphone customers out of millions of dollars. An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: Prosecutors said Thompson engaged in a scheme to sign up hundreds of thousands of cellphone customers for paid text messaging services without their consent. The customers were subsequently forced to pay more than $100 million for unsolicited text messages that included trivia, horoscopes and celebrity gossip, according to the prosecutors. They said the scheme was headed by Darcy Wedd, Mobile Messenger's former chief executive, who was found guilty by a jury in December but has not yet been sentenced. "They ripped off everyday cellphone users, $10 a month, netting over $100 million in illegal profits, of which Thompson personally received over $1.5 million," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement. Thompson was ordered to forfeit $1.5 million in "fraud proceeds," according to the article, and was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering. Seven other people also pleaded guilty to participating in the scam -- and one has already been sentenced to 33 months in prison.

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Russian Military Base Attacked By Drones

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 12:34
A Russian military base in Syria was recently attacked -- 20 miles from the frontline. The only video of the attack is from a Facebook group for a nearby town, which identifies the noises as an "anti-aircraft response to a remote-controlled aircraft," while the Russian Ministry of Defence claims at least 13 drones were involved in the attack, displaying pictures of drones with a wingspan around 13 feet (four meters). Long-time Slashdot reader 0x2A shares a report from a former British Army officer who calls drones "the poor man's Air Force," who writes that the attack shows "a strategic grasp of the use of drones, as well as a high level of planning." The lack of cameras on the drones suggest that they are likely pre-loaded with a flight plan and then flown autonomously to their target, where they dropped their payload en masse on a given GPS coordinate... The lack of any kind of claim, or even rumours from the rebels, indicates that whoever is producing these drone and launching these attacks has a high level of discipline and an understanding of operational and personal security... Although some regard the threat from commerical off-the-shelf and improvised drones as negligible, they have the power to inflict losses at both a tactical and strategic level... Although the plastic sheeting, tape and simple design may belie the illusion of sophistication, it seems that the use of drones, whether military, commerical off-the-shelf or improvised, is taking another step to becoming the future of conflict. The article notes there's already been four weaponized drone attacks in Syria over the last two weeks, which according to CNBC may be part of a growing trend. "Experts said swarm-like attacks using weaponized drones is a growing threat and likely to only get worse. They also said the possibility exists of terrorists using these drones in urban areas against civilians."

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Following Other Credit Cards, Visa Will Also Stop Requiring Signatures

Slashdot - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 11:34
An anonymous reader quotes SiliconBeat: Visa, the largest U.S. credit card issuer, became the last of the major credit card companies to announce its plan to make signatures optional... Visa joined American Express, Discover, and Mastercard in the phase-out. Mastercard was the first one to announce the move in October, and American Express and Discover followed suit in December... However, this change does not apply to every credit card in circulation; older credit cards without EMV chips will still require signatures for authentication... Since 2011, Visa has deployed more than 460 million EMV chip cards and EMV chip-enabled readers at more than 2.5 million locations. "Businesses that accepted EMV cards reported a 66 percent decline in fraud in the first two years of EMV deployment," the article notes -- suggesting a future where fewer shoppers are signing their receipts. "In Canada, Australia and most of Europe, credit cards have long abandoned the signature for the EMV chip and a PIN to authenticate the transaction, like one does with a debit card."

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