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Comment Total Perspective Vortex (Score 1) 258

Every time I read news like this I feel like I've just entered the Total Perspective Vortex For those that don't know (shame!), this invention, originally created by Trin Tragula as a way to get back at his wife (who was always telling him to get a "sense of proportion"), is now used as a torture and (in effect) killing device on the planet Frogstar B. The prospective victim of the TPV is placed within a small chamber wherein is displayed a model of the entire universe - together with a microscopic dot bearing the legend "you are here". The sense of perspective thereby conveyed destroys the victim's mind; it was stated that the TPV is the only known means of crushing a man's soul.

Comment Re:It's hardwired into our brains (Score 4, Insightful) 160

I totally agree. If I'm stressed or aggravated going for a walk really helps. Like you say it gives time to think - sometimes about nothing - sometimes I resolve algorithms. I purposely don't use headphones or play games because it lets my mind wander. Like all exercise, doing it regularly comes down to erasing the barriers to it - that's why I walk outside at lunchtime instead of walking on a treadmill in the gym. It's not that it's better, it's just easier not to go through the hassle of changing clothes, etc. If I can build exercise into my daily routine even more - I'm thinking of riding to work - then that will be even better.

Submission + - SPAM: Colorado Habitat For Humanity Says Ransomware Making it hard to Function

chicksdaddy writes: The Colorado branch of the affordable housing charity Habitat for Humanity has acknowledged that a ransomware attack on a critical server has lasted for months and has been so disruptive that it "has severely handicapped" the group's ability to function, notes a post over on Digital Guardian's blog. ([spam URL stripped])

In a statement released this week, Habitat for Humanity Colorado (HFHC) said that it has spent months dealing with a “significant and malicious data breach” that “has severely handicapped our ability to efficiently conduct business.”

Habitat for Humanity, of course, is the non-profit charity group started in 1976 that builds affordable housing for low income families in the U.S. and elsewhere. According to a FAQ ([spam URL stripped]), the incident in question began with a ransomware malware infection in “late June” that targeted a server in HFHC’s main office in Lakewood Colorado. That server, HFHC said, was “connected to the Internet” and thus a target of attack by cyber-criminal groups operating from outside the U.S.

The incident continued for months “hijacking” the attention of the group. Because it works directly with would-be homeowners, HFHC stored a wealth of data including a customer’s names, Social Security Numbers, driver’s license numbers and so on. Information on HFHC employees was also stored on the server. In all, only around 250 individuals were affected – small potatoes, especially with news of the massive breach at Yahoo Inc. that affected some 500 million accounts.

“While there is no evidence that any of your personal information was taken; we only know that hackers may have viewed it,” HFHC said. The group is working with the FBI and has offered credit and identity theft monitoring for affected customers.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft Forms New AI Research Group Led By Harry Shum (

An anonymous reader writes: A day after announcing a new artificial intelligence partnership with IBM, Google, Facebook and Amazon, Microsoft is upping the ante within its own walls. The tech giant announced that it is creating a new AI business unit, the Microsoft AI and Research Group, which will be led by Microsoft Research EVP Harry Shum. Shum will oversee 5,000 computer scientists, engineers and others who will all be “focused on the company’s AI product efforts,” the company said in an announcement. The unit will be working on all aspects of AI and how it will be applied at the company, covering agents, apps, services and infrastructure. Shum has been involved in some of Microsoft’s biggest product efforts at the ground level of research, including the development of its Bing search engine, as well as in its efforts in computer vision and graphics: that is a mark of where Microsoft is placing its own priority for AI in the years to come. Important to note that Microsoft Research unit will no longer be its on discrete unit — it will be combined with this new AI effort. Research had 1,000 people in it also working on areas like quantum computing, and that will now be rolled into the bigger R&D efforts being announced today. Products that will fall under the new unit will include Information Platform, Cortana and Bing, and Ambient Computing and Robotics teams led by David Ku, Derrick Connell and Vijay Mital, respectively. The Microsoft AI and Research Group will encompass AI product engineering, basic and applied research labs, and New Experiences and Technologies (NExT), Microsoft said.

Submission + - From NIST: Public Draft - Cybersecurity Framework Manufacturing Profile

Presto Vivace writes: From the NIST email:

A draft manufacturing implementation of the Cybersecurity Framework, or Profile, has been developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish a roadmap for reducing cybersecurity risk for manufacturers. The Profile focuses on how cybersecurity can support typical manufacturing business objectives and is aligned with industry best practices, including NIST Special Publication 800-82 Guide to Industrial Control System Security . The Manufacturing Profile can be used by organizations to express desired state, as well as assess current state. It provides a voluntary, risk-based approach for managing cybersecurity activities and reducing cyber risk to manufacturing systems. The Manufacturing Profile is meant to enhance but not replace current cybersecurity standards and industry guidelines used by manufacturers.

Cybersecurity Framework Manufacturing Profile (PDF)

Please send you questions and comments, including reviews of the Manufacturing Profile, to NIST at .

Public comment period: September 7 through November 4, 2016

Submission + - Windows Server 2016 goes RTM. Evaluation is available for download (

Billly Gates writes: The next version of Windows Server has arrived. This new version is more cloud and virtual machine oriented with more features such as Docker container support, a new tiny headless version designed to run as a docker VM in Hyper-v called Nano Server, 3d graphics support in remoteFX for OpenGL and Open CL for Hyper-V vms, nested virtualization, Powershell Direct, Shielded VM support, stable REFS file system, Hyper-V Linux secure boot support, Storage Spaced Direct which now are clustered and ADFS v4 which supports multifactor authentication with OpenID support. You can find the features listed here as well as here.

Nano Server has a 92% less footprint requiring significantly less rebooting, patching, and security updates than a traditional Windows Server virtual machine.

Submission + - Multiple Linux Distributions Affected by Crippling Bug in systemd ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: System administrator Andrew Ayer has discovered a potentially critical bug in systemd which can bring a vulnerable Linux server to its knees with one command. "After running this command, PID 1 is hung in the pause system call. You can no longer start and stop daemons. inetd-style services no longer accept connections. You cannot cleanly reboot the system." According to the bug report, Debian, Ubuntu, and CentOS are among the distros susceptible to various levels of resource exhaustion. The bug, which has existed for more than two years, does not require root access to exploit.

Submission + - Man arrested for 'jailbreaking' iPhones (

An anonymous reader writes: Japanese police have arrested a hacker for illegally removing software restrictions on Apple's iPhones and selling the devices.

Daisuke Ikeda, who is 24 and from Toyama City, is suspected of what's called "jailbreaking" and infringing Apple's intellectual property rights.

Police say Ikeda removed software restrictions imposed by iOS, iPhone's operating system, and sold five such devices on an online auction site around April. They say the suspect has admitted the allegation.

Submission + - Researcher find D-Link DWR-932 router is "chock full of holes"

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Security researcher Pierre Kim has unearthed a bucketload of vulnerabilities in the LTE router/portable wireless hotspot D-Link DWR-932. Kim found the latest available firmware has these vulnerabilities:

- Two backdoor accounts with easy-to-guess passwords that can be used to bypass the HTTP authentication used to manage the router
- A default, hardcoded Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) PIN, as well as a weak WPS PIN generation algorithm
- Multiple vulnerabilities in the HTTP daemon
- Hardcoded remote Firmware Over The Air credentials
- Lowered security in Universal Plug and Play, and more.

“At best, the vulnerabilites are due to incompetence; at worst, it is a deliberate act of security sabotage from the vendor,” says Kim, and advises users to stop using the device until adequate fixes are provided.

Submission + - The Yahoo Hackers Weren't State-Sponsored, Security Firm Says (

itwbennett writes: After Yahoo raised eyebrows in the security community with its claim that state-sponsored hackers were responsible for the history-making breach, security firm InfoArmor now says it has evidence to the contrary. InfoArmor claims to have acquired some of the stolen information as part of its investigation into 'Group E,' a team of five professional hackers-for-hire believed to be from Eastern Europe. The database that InfoArmor has contains only 'millions' of accounts, but it includes the users' login IDs, hashed passwords, mobile phone numbers and zip codes, said Andrew Komarov, InfoArmor's chief intelligence officer. Earlier this week, Chase Cunningham, director of cyber operations at security provider A10 Networks called Yahoo's claim of state-sponsored actors a convenient, if trumped up, excuse: 'If I want to cover my rear end and make it seem like I have plausible deniability, I would say 'nation-state actor' in a heartbeat.'

Comment Did this on Verizon Airphones (Score 1) 337

Years ago (1995 to be precise), I had a modem plugged into the airphone that used to be in the headrest of the middle seat on Delta and other airplane seats. I had the phone clicked into the holder, but there was a gap that allowed the cable to snake out to the laptop. As we were waiting for take off, I idly pushed the buttons on the handset and after hitting the # key the screen displayed "dial your number" - this only showed if the modem cable was plugged in and the handset was clicked into the headrest. Although the keypad itself was disabled, it was entirely possible to dial using the modem for a data-only call. Just in case, I switched seats and tried it, connected to my internet provider at that time and everything worked great, albeit at 2.4kbps or whatever it was. I did call up the skyphone folks afterwards and told customer care about it. They were very grateful, but I never heard anything from them and I doubt the backdoor was shut. If anyone worked on that system, I'd like to know if it was left there intentionally or not!

Comment Re:The actual proposal (Score 1) 190

TLA conflates Carrier with OEM. I worked for an OEM and never saw any revenue sharing from Google or the Carrier. Nothing. Zippo. We bid on RFQ's sent out by the carriers every 6 months with the best and lowest bid for slots the carrier had (high end, mid-priced, low, specialized, etc.), competing against every other OEM from Chinese wannabes to Tier 1's. Carrier was always hoping for iPhone quality at a $250 price point and once we sold it, we were onto the next product. In the end, we couldn't compete with Apple and had no marketing budget to compete with Samsung and went out of business. The article is right that money talks, but to think they'd give any to an OEM. Ha.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 42

It's a good question, but the phone is not the Xiaomi experience.The full Xiaomi experience is all about hyper-focused customer marketing. See this paper - "Fan-centric social media: The Xiaomi phenomenon in China" (PD:


In this highly competitive century, social media offers both opportunities
and challenges. The concept of social media is top of mind for many entrepreneurs
today. Fans are assuming an increasingly active role in co-creating marketing content
with companies and their respective brands. Based on the Xiaomi success story in
China, we provide a framework for building the power of the fan base and propose a
new fan-centric social media business model. We examine the best practice case
study of an emerging company’s successful efforts to leverage social media in order to
reach an important audience of young consumers. Thereafter, we conclude with
several lessons related to the integration of social media into a new firm’s operation
strategy. We strongly recommend that businesses, and especially startups, make good
use of powerfulsocial media to develop a business model with fan demand asthe core.
This is what we call the ‘fan-centric’ social media business model.

Comment Cue the stock H1B posts (Score 1, Informative) 472

I suspect every slash dotter worth their salt has a few canned responses here they can pull out to stories like this.

The main point of the H1B visa waiver program is to enable US employers to hire skilled foreign workers. Period. The reason for hiring them, at least in Silicon Valley, is not to pay a bargain basement wage, but to enable US companies to hire the best and brightest in the world. It's got nothing to do with a shortage of US workers. Indeed, most hiring managers have no idea if the applicant has a visa, a green card, or is a citizen. They just want the best person for the job. Does that mean that us US folks are at a disadvantage when hiring? You betcha! You are going up against every super-smart wannabe Steve Jobs from India, China, Israel, Russia and the rest of the world. If the hiring manager finds her man, HR will work out how to get the visa. If it isn't an H1B, it'll be an EB-2 or 1099 contracting and business trips until all that stuff is sorted out. Now, if US employers were forced to hire based on immigration status - citizens first, then green card holders, then it would be a distinct advantage to be a citizen. It'd also probably result in US employers not having the smartest people in the world working for them.

Comment Re:Airport lounges suck (Score 4, Informative) 55

Yup. I'm lucky that my employer pays for biz class for intl flights over 9 hours, so I see a few of them. IMO, the red carpet club is the worst, usually packed with sweaty folks trying to shovel as many of the trail mix snacks and coffee they can into their gobs. The "bar" is useless and sternly managed by a crone in a vest. Don't forget the obligatory USD 1 tip or she'll get grumpy. Tokyo and SFO are the worst. If you're smart, you'll find another airline's Gold lounge where they let you pour your own and eat real food. ANA is okay and has the magic beer pouring machine, EVA is good and generous with the booze. The best are the first-class lounges though, which I've only been in rarely as a guest of a super-miler. EVA's in Taipei was really good. The best overall lounge so far was Virgin's biz lounge in Hong Kong. I ate everything they had on the menu and their martinis were great.

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