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Internal 'Civil War' Pits Google Against Its Own Employees

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 18:34
Google employees "want a say in and control over the products they build," reports Fortune, in an article headlined "Inside Google's Civil War": As the so-called techlash has cast a pall over the entire sector, organized employee pushback is slowly becoming part of the landscape: Amazon workers are demanding more action from the company on battling climate change; at Microsoft, employees say they don't want to build technology for warfare; at Salesforce, a group has lobbied management to end its work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency... But nowhere has the furor been as loud, as public, and as insistent as it has been at Google. That's no surprise to Silicon Valley insiders, who say Google was purpose-built to amplify employee voices. With its "Don't be evil" mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. "It has very consciously cultivated this image," says Terry Winograd, a professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford who was Google cofounder Larry Page's grad school adviser and would go on to serve on the company's technical advisory board. "It makes them much more prone to this kind of uprising." Page, now 46, and cofounder Sergey Brin, 45, intentionally created a culture that encouraged the questioning of authority and the status quo, famously writing in their 2004 IPO letter that Google was not a conventional company and did not intend to become one... Now Google finds itself in the awkward position of trying to temper the radical culture that it spent the past 20 years stoking. Boasting more than 100,000 employees between Google and its parent company, Alphabet, executives acknowledge that the company is struggling to balance its size with maintenance of the principles, like employee voice, that were so foundational... The walkout was an inflection point, a sign that the company is now poised to disrupt something even more foundational to our economic system: the relationship between labor and capital. It's a shift that could perhaps begin only in Silicon Valley, a place that has long believed itself above such traditional business concerns -- and, more to the point, only at this company, one that hired and retained employees on the premise of do no evil. Now employees seem determined to view that manifesto through their own lens and apply it without compromise, even at the cost of the company's growth.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Red Dead Online players find mass grave of dead horses

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 18:16

UPDATE 20th May 2019: Rockstar has said it's sorted out an issue with Red Dead Online that caused players to stumble across piles of dead horses.

"The issue affecting some players in Red Dead Online that was causing reduced numbers of animals in session and other knock-on effects has been resolved," Rockstar said in a statement given to Eurogamer.

GG, Rockstar.

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Categories: Video Games

Group Seeks Investigation of Deep Packet Inspection Use By ISPs

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 17:34
wiredmikey writes: European Digital Rights (EDRi), together with 45 NGOs, academics and companies across 15 countries, has sent an open letter to European policymakers and regulators, warning about widespread and potentially growing use of deep packet inspection (DPI) by internet service providers (ISPs). DPI is far more than is required by the ISP to perform its basic purpose, and by its nature privacy invasive, and not strictly legal within the EU. Nevertheless, many are concerned that its practice and use within Europe is growing, and that "some telecom regulators appear to be pushing for the legalization of DPI technology." One of the drivers appears to be the growing use of 'zero-rating' by mobile operators. "A mapping of zero-rating offers in Europe conducted by EDRi member Epicenter.works identified 186 telecom services which potentially make use of DPI technology," writes EDRi. [PDF here]

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Overwatch's Anniversary event returns this week

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 17:28

Overwatch released on 24th May, 2016, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and Blizzard wants your help to celebrate the shooter's three-year anniversary.

Blizzard is kicking off celebrations with a week-long free trial - just in case you're not one of the 40 million players who've already signed up - as well as giving players the chance to acquire seasonal cosmetics they might have previously missed out on. Previous seasonable brawls will also be available on a daily basis, including those from last month's now closed Storm Rising event - just jump into the Arcade to access them when they go live.

Blizzard's also offering six new Legendary costumes - that's the rarest kind you can get - and three not-quite-as-rare Epic ones. There's also new dance emotes for Overwatch's latest roster additions: Ashe, Baptiste, and Wrecking Ball. You'll also get a free Legendary Loot Box if you log in during the celebration week, which guarantees you'll snag at least one Legendary item (thanks, PC Gamer).

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Categories: Video Games

World Health Organisation will decide this week if "gaming disorder" should be a recognised illness

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 16:46

Members of the World Health Organisation will decide next week if video game addiction will become an officially recognised disorder.

The eleventh iteration of the International Classification of Diseases - commonly known as ICD-11 - included "gaming disorder" for the first time last year, when it was included in the draft document. Despite significant pushback from industry leaders such as the Entertainment Software Association - representing studios like Epic, Activision Blizzard, and Riot - health experts will be able to vote on the changes at the World Health Assembly in Geneva later this week (thanks, iNews).

The World Health Organisation guidance defines the disorder as characterised by a pattern of "persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences".

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Categories: Video Games

PlayStation Gamers Are Now Authoring Their Own Games With 'Dreams' For PS4

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 16:34
dryriver explains the new buzz around "Dreams" for PS4 (now in open access). Created by the studio that made PS4's Big Little World, Dreams "is not a game. It is more of an end to end, create-your-own-3D-game toolkit that happens to run on PS4 rather than a PC... essentially an easy to use game-engine a la Unity or UnrealEngine." Dreams lets you 3D model/sculpt, texture, animate and create game logic, allowing complete 3D games to be authored from scratch. Here is a Youtube video showing someone 3D modeling a fairly sophisticated game character and environment in Dreams. Everything from platformers to FPS games to puzzle, RPG and Minecraft type games can be created. What is interesting about Dreams is that everything anybody creates with it becomes available and downloadable in the DreamVerse and playable by other Dreams users -- so Dreams is also a distribution tool like Steam, in that you can share your creations with others. While PC users have long had access to 3D modeling and game authoring tools, Dreams has for the first time opened up creating console games from scratch to PS4 owners, and appears to have made the processs quicker, easier and more intuitive than, say, learning 3D Studio Max and Unity on a PC. Dreams comes with hours of tutorial walkthroughs for beginners, so in a sense it is a game engine that also teaches how to make games in the first place. Back in January Push Square gushed that "There's simply nothing like this that's ever been done before... This is one of the most innovative, extraordinary pieces of software that we've seen on a console in quite some time..." "And it can be browsed for hours and hours and hours. It's like when you fall into a YouTube hole, and you're clicking from recommended video to recommended video -- except here, you're jumping from minigames involving llamas to models of crustaceans to covers of The King of Wishful Thinking..." "It's an astounding technical achievement with unprecedented ambition."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Who Killed America's Demo Scene?

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 15:34
Jason Koebler shares Vice's analysis of demoparties -- "gatherings where programmers showcase artistic audiovisual works, known as demos, after a day- or days-long coding marathon that is part bacchanal and part competition" -- starting with a visit to New York's Synchrony. I had arrived just in time to catch the end of a set by the electronic musician Melody Loveless, who was at a folding table near the front of the room writing code that generated the music. These sorts of live coding performances have been a staple of demoparties -- gatherings organized by and for the creative computing underground -- for decades... Demos are often made by teams of programmers and are almost always rendered in real time (as opposed to, say, an animated movie, which is a pre-rendered recording). Demoparty competitions, or compos, are generally divided into categories where demo submissions must adhere to certain restrictions. For example, some compos only allow demos that were made on a Commodore 64 computer or demos that were created using under 4,000 bytes of data. In every case, however, the point of the competition is to push computing hardware to its limits in the service of digital art... Given the abundance of digital art institutions in New York -- Eyebeam, Rhizome, LiveCode.NYC, and the School for Poetic Computation -- the lack of demoparties is conspicuous and in stark contrast to the European demoscene, which boasts dozens of annual demoparties, some of which attract thousands of participants. With this discrepancy in mind, I tagged along with the Synchrony crew this year in pursuit of an answer to a deceptively simple question -- who killed the American demoscene...? The article traces the demo scene back to the "cracktros" which introduced pirated Commodore 64 video games (and their associated "copyparties") on floppy disks in the 1980s. Eventually this even led to police raids, but "The crackdown on software piracy was not evenly spread throughout Europe, however. Countries like the Netherlands, Greece, Finland, Sweden, and Norway didn't have strict software piracy laws, if they had any at all, which allowed the warez scene to flourish there." And by the early 1990s games "became a taboo when the community started defining its borders and aggressively distancing itself from other communities occupying the same computer hobbyist domain," wrote Markku Reunanen, a lecturer at Aalto University, in 2014. Vice adds that "Although the demoscene has many elements in common with the warez scene from which it emerged, it differentiated itself by emphasizing technically challenging aesthetics. Whereas software cracking was largely pragmatic and gaming was about entertainment, the demoscene was about creating computer art that was difficult to produce at the level of the code, but also visually and aurally pleasing to consume. It was, in short, a competitive form of digital art.... Today, the fundamental aspects of the demoscene are the same. Demoparties are still organized around a competition and remain an almost exclusively European phenomenon. Demosceners still police the boundaries of their discipline vis-a-vis gaming and some sceners continue to work exclusively with retro machines like the C64 and Amiga."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Respawn's next Apex Legends patch focuses on audio, Intel CPU crashes, and hit registration (again)

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 15:09

Apex Legends' next patch will focus on improving the game's audio, as well as address on-going issues about hit registration. It also - sadly, some might say - fixes the bug that lets us stick crap to Gibraltar's shield.

In a new update on the game's subreddit, community manager Jay "Jayfresh_Respawn" Frechette outlined what's next for the free-to-play battle royale. "One of our biggest issues to tackle was improving the audio performance to address issues reported of sounds dropping out, sounds missing for extended time, or distortion for a period of time," Frechette said (thanks, PCGN). "We have made improvements both in our code and with our content that will hopefully fix these issues for many players, and for others, at least lower the amount and length of time they encounter audio issues.

"We have also addressed some of the other mix issues with the game, including increasing the volume of close proximity enemy footsteps and lowering the overall volume of the game from the character select screen to the end of the drop sequence. We will continue to monitor mix issues and address them as necessary."

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Categories: Video Games

Activision moves Treyarch to lead 2020 Call of Duty following reports of tension between co-leads Sledgehammer and Raven

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 13:31

Activision has removed Raven and Sledgehammer from leading the development of 2020's Call of Duty instalment and instead assigned Treyarch to lead the project.

In a report by Kotaku, three people familiar with the companies confirmed the highly unusual change that breaks Activision's cyclical development schedule that typically rotates from Treyarch to Infinity Ward to Sledgehammer. If the rumours are true, this'll see Activision break this cycle for the first time since 2012.

It was already unusual for Activision to have assigned Raven to co-lead development, but now the publisher has completely broken from tradition and moved the 2020 Call of Duty - previously rumoured to be set during the cold war, most likely Vietnam - to Treyarch for what is thought to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 5. It's believed both Raven and Sledgehammer differed in their perspectives, and two people reported tension between the two studios. Frequent arguments between the developers are thought to have made the game "a mess", forcing Activision to intervene and reassign Treyarch to lead it.

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Categories: Video Games

Salesforce Triggers 15-Hour Shutdown After Faulty Script Starts Granting View/Modify Access

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 12:34
Friday Salesforce "was forced to shut down large chunks of its infrastructure," ZDNet reports, calling it one of the company's biggest outages ever: At the heart of the outage was a change the company made to its production environment that broke access permission settings across organizations and gave employees access to all of their company's files. According to reports on Reddit, users didn't just get read access, but they also received write permissions, making it easy for malicious employees to steal or tamper with a company's data... Salesforce said the script only impacted customers of Salesforce Pardot -- a business-to-business (B2B) marketing-focused CRM. However, out of an abundance of caution, the company decided to take down all other Salesforce services, for both current and former Pardot customers. "As a result, customers who were not affected may have also experienced service disruption, including customers using Marketing Cloud integrations," Salesforce said. A status update at Salesforce.com reports that the final duration of the service disruption was 15 hours and 8 minutes.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Minecraft might be the biggest-selling video game of all time now

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 12:07

Microsoft has already revealed Minecraft Earth and shared a wonderful new map featuring a huge interactive museum themed around the game's first decade, but the celebrations for Minecraft's 10-year anniversary aren't over yet. Mojang has now confirmed the title has now sold 176 million copies, probably making it the biggest-selling game of all time.

In a post on Microsoft's official website, Minecraft's creative director Saxs Persson casually revealed that the game has not only been sold in practically every country in the world and on almost every platform, but it's also sold more than 176 million copies since it launched in November 2011.

The reason I'm using qualifiers like "probably" and "might" is because no-one can agree on how many copies its nearest rival, Tetris, has sold. Estimate vary wildly - from 170m to 425m, depending on who you talk to and what versions of the game you think should count (thanks, PC Gamer) - but regardless, confirmation that it's sold an additional 20m copies in just seven months is proof that Minecraft isn't going anywhere just yet.

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Categories: Video Games

Apple CEO Tim Cook Tells Graduates To 'Push Back' Against Belief-Reinforcing Algorithms

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 09:34
CNBC reports: Apple CEO Tim Cook challenged Gen Z to clean up the messes Baby Boomers have left behind. "In some important ways, my generation has failed you," Cook said Saturday in his commencement speech at Tulane University in New Orleans, La., at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He emphasized climate change, according to the article -- though he also shared a memory about how Steve Jobs had convinced him to leave Compaq in 1998 "to join a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy." Cook gave some advice while remembering all the hard work that followed: "There is a saying that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life," Cook said Saturday in his commencement speech at Tulane University in New Orleans, La., at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. "At Apple, I learned that is a total crock," Cook said. Rather, when you find a job you are passionate about, you will work hard, but you won't mind doing so, Cook says. "You will work harder than you ever thought possible, but the tools will feel light in your hands," Cook says. Cook also emphasized the importance of listening to other opinions, according to Business Insider: In what could have been a reference to Facebook, which has been under scrutiny in recent years over how it chooses the information displayed in its News Feed, the Apple CEO urged students to open their eyes. "Today, certain algorithms pull you toward the things you already know, believe, or like, and they push away everything else," he said. "Push back. It shouldn't be this way. But in 2019 opening your eyes and seeing things in a new way can be a revolutionary act...." Apple has notably pursued human curation for its Apple News app.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Viva Piñata places a brutal lens on late-stage capitalism

Eurogamer - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 09:00

When Rare developed Viva Piñata it was a cute game for the Xbox 360 to rival Pokémon. It shipped, wholesome and lurid, with every new 360 for basically the console's whole lifespan and spawned a co-operative play sequel, Trouble In Paradise.

Which is an apt name because although I love my boyfriend and am glad he wants to join in playing with me, he is nowhere near as good at Piñata wrangling as I am and I am probably going to have to sell him for chocolate coins. Welcome to Piñata Island, where you'll find out what you're really made of.

Viva Piñata is fiendishly complicated, with the premise being that you plant special flowers or develop garden features to attract cooler and cooler Piñata to your garden. You can play it as a slow, sweet exploration game, but it doesn't reward you for that. It recognises relentless, precise brilliance and rapid action. It's maybe the only game where the kind of business psychopathy preached on Huel-based wellness retreats outside San Francisco will actually work.

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Categories: Video Games

College Requires All CS Majors To Take An Improv Class

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 06:34
Northeastern University requires all of its computer science majors to take improv -- a class in theatre and improvisation, taught by professors in the drama department. The Wall Street Journal says it "forces students to come out of their shells and exercise creative play" before they can get their diplomas. (Although when the class was made mandatory in 2016, "We saw a lot of hysterics and crying," says Carla E. Brodley, dean of the computer science department.) So what happens to the computer science majors at Northeastern? The course requires public speaking, lecturing on such nontechnical topics as family recipes. Students also learn to speak gibberish -- 'butuga dubuka manala phuthusa,' for instance... One class had students stare into a classmate's eyes for 60 seconds. If someone laughed, you had to try again... The class is a way to 'robot-proof' computer-science majors, helping them sharpen uniquely human skills, said Joseph E. Aoun, the university president. Empathy, creativity and teamwork help students exercise their competitive advantage over machines in the era of artificial intelligence, according to Mr. Aoun, who wrote a book about it... Other professionals agree that improv can teach the teamwork and communication required of working with others. Many software applications now are built in small teams, a collaboration of engineers, writers and designers.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Are Trendy Developers Ignoring Tradeoffs and Over-Engineering Workplaces?

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 03:34
An anonymous reader shares an article titled "Does IT Run on Java 8?" "After more than ten years in tech, in a range of different environments, from Fortune 500 companies, to startups, I've finally come to realize that most businesss and developers simply don't revolve around whatever's trending on Hacker News," argues one Python/R/Spark data scientist: Most developers -- and companies -- are part of what [programmer] Scott Hanselman dubbed a while ago as the 99%... "They don't read a lot of blogs, they never write blogs, they don't go to user groups, they don't tweet or facebook, and you don't often see them at large conferences. Lots of technologies don't iterate at this speed, nor should they. "Embedded developers are still doing their thing in C and C++. Both are deeply mature and well understood languages that don't require a lot of churn or panic on the social networks. Where are the dark matter developers? Probably getting work done. Maybe using ASP.NET 1.1 at a local municipality or small office. Maybe working at a bottling plant in Mexico in VB6. Perhaps they are writing PHP calendar applications at a large chip manufacturer." While some companies are using Spark and Druid and Airflow, some are still using Coldfusion... Or telnet... Or Microsoft TFS... There are reasons updates are not made. In some cases, it's a matter of national security (like at NASA). In others, people get used to what they know. In some cases, the old tech is better... In some cases, it's both a matter of security, AND IT is not a priority. This is the reason many government agencies return data in PDF formats, or in XML... For all of this variety of reasons and more, the majority of companies that are at the pinnacle of succes in America are quietly running Windows Server 2012 behind the scenes. And, not only are they running Java on Windows 2012, they're also not doing machine learning, or AI, or any of the sexy buzzwords you hear about. Most business rules are still just that: hardcoded case statements decided by the business, passed down to analysts, and done in Excel sheets, half because of bureacracy and intraction, and sometimes, because you just don't need machine learning. Finally, the third piece of this is the "dark matter" effect. Most developers are simply not talking about the mundane work they're doing. Who wants to share their C# code moving fractions of a cent transactions between banking systems when everyone is doing Tensorflow.js? In a footnote to his essay, Hanselman had added that his examples weren't hypothetical. "These people and companies all exist, I've met them and spoken to them at length." (And the article includes several tweets from real-world developers, including one which claims Tesla's infotainment firmware and backend services were all run in a single-location datacenter "on the worst VMware deployment known to man.") But the data scientist ultimately asks if our online filter bubbles are exposing us to "tech-forward biases" that are "overenthusiastic about the promises of new technology without talking about tradeoffs," leading us into over-engineered platforms "that our companies don't need, and that most other developers that pick up our work can't relate to, or can even work with... "For better or worse, the world runs on Excel, Java 8, and Sharepoint, and I think it's important for us as technology professionals to remember and be empathetic of that."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Protect Solar System From Mining 'Gold Rush', Say Scientists

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 01:34
An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Great swathes of the solar system should be preserved as official "space wilderness" to protect planets, moons and other heavenly bodies from rampant mining and other forms of industrial exploitation, scientists say. The proposal calls for more than 85% of the solar system to be placed off-limits to human development, leaving little more than an eighth for space firms to mine for precious metals, minerals and other valuable materials. While the limit would protect pristine worlds from the worst excesses of human activity, its primary goal is to ensure that humanity avoids a catastrophic future in which all of the resources within its reach are permanently used up. "If we don't think about this now, we will go ahead as we always have, and in a few hundred years we will face an extreme crisis, much worse than we have on Earth now," said Martin Elvis, a senior astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Once you've exploited the solar system, there's nowhere left to go..." Working with Tony Milligan, a philosopher at King's College London, Elvis analysed how soon humans might use up the solar system's most accessible resources should space mining take off. They found that an annual growth rate of 3.5% would use up an eighth of the solar system's realistic resources in 400 years. At that point, humanity would have only 60 years to apply the brakes and avoid exhausting the supply completely.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Ask Slashdot: Why Did It Take So Long For Cars To Become Aerodynamically Shaped?

Slashdot - Sun, 19/05/2019 - 00:35
Here's what dryriver wondered after hearing that the oldest Porsche T64 in the world -- built in 1939 -- was going to be auctioned: What stands out about this nearly 80 year old car is how curved and aerodynamically shaped it is. If you then Google 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s car images, you find that they are nowhere near as aerodynamic in shape. It took a while before production cars started to appear en masse that had a nicely-curved aerodynamic body, and before Bezier curves were invented, which allowed early CAD software to produce precisely curved designs. Why did it take so long for cars to become more curved if aircraft of that time already had aerodynamic curves and the benefits of an aerodynamically shaped land vehicle were also known? Was it an issue with actually manufacturing curved cars in great numbers below a certain cost level, or did the automotive industry simply not care about the aerodynamics of their vehicles for a long time? Long-time Slashdot reader MightyYar blames cheap gas, arguing that "When gas was nearly free, there was little incentive to make vehicles aerodynamic." (He also complains that "When they did go aerodynamic, they all started to look the same -- as there is an optimal aerodynamic design for a box on wheels so every designer with the same cost constraints and design tools will converge on that.") Z00L00K adds that "Until the 1930's aerodynamic drag wasn't really an issue for vehicles because the top speed wasn't that high and the roads didn't really permit high speeds either." Long-time Slashdot reader Martin S. believes "Styling for public tastes beat aerodynamics except for outright race cars. Fuel efficiency has only become the primary driver with the rising number of cars, pollution levels in our cities and climate change." But are there other pieces to the story? Share your own thoughts in the comments. Why did it take so long for cars to become aerodynamically shaped?

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Severe Linux Kernel Flaw Found In RDS

Slashdot - Sat, 18/05/2019 - 23:34
jwhyche (Slashdot reader #6,192) shared this article from Sophos: Linux systems running kernels prior to 5.0.8 require patching after news emerged of a high-severity flaw that could be remotely exploited. According to the NIST advisory, CVE-2019-1181 is a race condition affecting the kernel's rds_tcp_kill_sock in net/rds/tcp.c "leading to a use-after-free, related to net namespace cleanup." The RDS bit refers to systems running the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) for the TCP module, which means only systems that run applications using this are affected. The attention-grabbing part is that this opens unpatched systems to remote compromise and denial of service without the need for system privileges or user interaction. On the other hand, the attack complexity is described as 'high', and any such attack would need to be launched from the local network.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Russia's Anti-5G Propaganda Campaign Is Spreading Across Social Media

Slashdot - Sat, 18/05/2019 - 22:34
An anonymous reader quotes Fierce Wireless: Earlier this week, the New York Times published a story with the headline "Your 5G Phone Won't Hurt You. But Russia Wants You to Think Otherwise." [Non-paywalled MSN version here.] The story outlined how RT, the Russia-backed and U.S.-based television network, has been peddling 5G cancer fear-mongering stories, making claims that 5G causes brain cancer, infertility, autism, Alzheimer's and other health disorders. The Times reports RT has run seven such programs this year, including pieces entitled "5G Apocalypse" and "Experiment on Humanity." The Times article claims that disinformation in these news segments has spread across Facebook, YouTube and TV news channels, and that news outlets almost never mention RT's Russian origins. Anna Belkina, RT's head of communications in Moscow, told the Times in an email, "Unlike many other media, we show the breadth of debate." But, U.S. officials have accused RT of being the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet. VentureBeat adds that the New York Times "has accused Russian broadcaster RT America of stoking health-related 5G disinformation in an effort to delay other countries while Russia prepares to belatedly launch the new technology," adding that at least one of the programs told its viewers in America that 5G "might kill you...." "Meanwhile, efforts to launch 5G networks are underway within Russia itself, and the New York Times reports that Russians have embraced even more extreme views on the high-frequency wireless signals: It's believed that they can be used to heal wounds, fight hair loss, rejuvenate skin, and treat cancer."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

New John the Ripper Cracks Passwords On FPGAs

Slashdot - Sat, 18/05/2019 - 20:41
Long-time Slashdot reader solardiz has long bring an advocate for bringing security to open environments. Wednesday he contacted Slashdot to share this update about a piece of software he's authored called John the Ripper: John the Ripper is the oldest still evolving password cracker program (and Open Source project), first released in 1996. John the Ripper 1.9.0-jumbo-1, which has just been announced with a lengthy list of changes, is the first release to include FPGA support (in addition to CPU, GPU, and Xeon Phi). This is a long-awaited (or long-delayed) major release, encompassing 4.5 years of development and 6000+ commits by 80+ contributors. From the announcement: "Added FPGA support for 7 hash types for ZTEX 1.15y boards [...] we support: bcrypt, descrypt (including its bigcrypt extension), sha512crypt & Drupal7, sha256crypt, md5crypt (including its Apache apr1 and AIX smd5 variations) & phpass. As far as we're aware, several of these are implemented on FPGA for the very first time. For bcrypt, our ~119k c/s at cost 5 in ~27W greatly outperforms latest high-end GPUs per board, per dollar, and per Watt. [...] We also support multi-board clusters (tested [...] for up to 16 boards, thus 64 FPGAs, [...] on a Raspberry Pi 2 host)."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff
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