Archive for June, 2012
An anonymous reader writes “Canonical has laid out their plans for handling UEFI SecureBoot on Ubuntu Linux. Similar to Red Hat paying Microsoft to get past UEFI restrictions, Canonical does have a private UEFI key. Beyond that they will also be switching from GRUB to the more liberal efilinux bootloader, and only require bootloader binaries be signed — and they want to setup their own signing infrastructure separate from Microsoft.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009. Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni By Gerry Shih and Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A double outage rocked Twitter on Thursday, as users worldwide reported significant down-time and slow service across the website and mobile applications of the microblogging platform. The outages left another bruise on a service that earned a reputation for unreliability in its early days. The San Francisco-based company blamed the disruption on a “cascading bug” in one of its infrastructure components. “One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today,” Mazen Rawashdeh, a Twitter vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post after normal service resumed. “This wasn’t due to a hack or our new office or Euro 2012 or GIF avatars, as some have speculated today.” “We are currently conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future,” he added. Twitter’s statements came amid speculation that hackers contributed to the disruption. UgNazi – an emerging hacker outfit that recently gained publicity for breaking into Cloudflare chief executive Matthew Prince’s personal Google email account – claimed credit for the service disruption in an email to Reuters, saying it launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack against Twitter because of the company’s support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. One security professional said the group probably used a DDoS-for-hire site to launch an attack against Twitter on Thursday, but played down the likelihood the group was responsible for bringing down the social media network. “It was mere coincidence,” the security professional said. “The backend of Twitter is having issues, which is unrelated to the very small attack.” North American traffic levels for Twitter.com plummeted on two occasions between 8.30 a.m. PDT (1530 GMT) and 11.00 a.m. PDT (1800 GMT), according to data provided by network analytics company Sandvine. The first outage lasted between 8.30 a.m. (1530 GMT) and 10.00 a.m. (1700 GMT), data showed. Twitter acknowledged the disruption in a mid-morning blog post that was continually revised as the service resumed, only to fail for a second time before 11.00 a.m. As the service resumed on Thursday, its most dedicated users quickly hopped back on to crack jokes, express relief and complain that during the outage they had nowhere to complain about the interruption. Founded in 2006, Twitter was plagued in its early days by frequent outages as it struggled to handle the ever-rising volume of tweets, leaving frustrated users with its famous “fail whale” error screen. In recent years, Twitter, under pressure to demonstrate financial viability, has devoted considerable resources toward improving reliability in a move to project itself as a mature, polished brand. CEO Dick Costolo said this month that Twitter now has 140 million active monthly users who send 400 million tweets daily. The company conceded on Thursday it had failed users who rely on it to connect with “heroes, causes, political movements.” “It’s imperative that we remain available around the world,” said Rawashdeh, “and today we stumbled.”
Gigapixel cameras aren’t exactly hot-off-the-presses, but a few wizards at Duke and the University of Arizona may be close to getting that sort of technology into your future point-and-shoot. Reportedly, electrical engineers with gobs of free time and an imagination the size of Coach K’s ego have managed to synchronize 98 minuscule cameras — each with a 14-megapixel sensor — “grouped around a shared spherical lens”. The real kicker here is the hope for the future: these same researchers feel that “within five years, as the electronic components of the cameras become miniaturized and more efficient, the next generation of gigapixel cameras should be available to the general public.” The prototype itself measures a whopping 2.5-feet square and 20 inches deep, but only around 3 percent of it is made of optical elements; the vast majority is circuitry needed to calculate the stupefying amount of information captured with such a device. University researchers develop AWARE-2 camera, hope it hits the mainstream in five years originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink Nature , TG Daily | Duke | Email this | Comments
No more “Arggh! Copy, delete, paste, edit, post.” Facebook is now rolling out the ability to edit comments, but users will be able to see the full edit history of a thread. This is just one more feature that I really liked about Google+, since I could essentially live blog with it and fix my mistakes, but that Facebook has now too. Facebook tells me comment editing is rolling out now and will become available to everyone in the next few days on the web. There’s no comment editing yet in Facebook’s embeddable comment widget for websites or from mobile yet where that damn auto-correct lurks. Also, you still can’t edit original posts, all of which would be much more helpful than this. But I guess if you have to say or spell something wrong, do it from your desktop on someone else’s news feed post. Facebook made a step in the right direction a year ago when it let you edit comments within a few seconds of posting them so you could fix immediately recognized typos as seen below. Now that time limit’s been lifted. So if you come back to a post later and see you spelled Philadelphia wrong, like I did in an article this morning (bollocks!), you can change it. And if you already had these new features, you were some of the lucky testers, and soon your friends will get comment editing too. With the new Edit History, though, curious parties can investigate. So don’t go back and change your change your controversial point of view on to something more palatable or you could get called out. As soon as I get these features I’ll add screenshots. We’re waiting to hear back from Facebook on whether comment editing will be available in its Comments Box social plugin, that many blogs including TechCrunch use to dissuade trolling. This is all a step up from what’s currently available, which is copying your messed up comment, deleting it, starting a new comment, pasting, fixing, and posting. And when you comment something stupid or have an awful, your first inclination is to immediately delete it without copying, and then you have to pick your brain to reconstruct it. While this update is less than groundbreaking, just like the emoticon menu it added to Chat yesterday , it makes Facebook more user friendly. Even shaving a few seconds off people’s commenting flows adds up at the scale of 900 million people. The real question is whether Facebook will allow original post editing, which Google+ does. While useful, it could also let people retroactively change their opinions and cause subsequent comments to make no sense. Combined with Timeline, you could essentially go back and edit your whole life, which could make people overly self-conscious and nit-picky about what they’d said in the past.
First time accepted submitter moj0joj0 writes “Two days after YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files, was blocked from accessing YouTube, the RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function. The RIAA focused its criticism on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader. The organization also pointed out that there are many other similar applications available at the site, ‘which can be used to steal content from CBS, which owns Download.com.’ CNET’s policy is that Download.com is not in any position to determine whether a piece of software is legal or not or whether it can be used for illegal activity.” For a sufficiently broad definition of “steal,” you could argue that all kinds of software (from word processors to graphics programs to security analysis tools) could be implicated. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes “For decades, researchers have been trying to build boats, submarines, and torpedoes that make use of supercavitation — a bubble layer around the hull that drastically reduces friction and enables super-fast travel. Now a company in New Hampshire called Juliet Marine Systems has built and tested such a craft, and says it is the world’s fastest underwater vehicle. The ship, called the ‘Ghost,’ looks like two supercavitating torpedoes with a command module on top, and can carry 18 people plus weapons and supplies. The company is in talks with the U.S. Navy to build a version of the ship that can guard the fleet against swarm attacks by small boats. The question is how well it really works, and whether it can be used reliably and effectively on the high seas.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
A recently unleashed piece of malware is wreaking havoc in some enterprises by causing all their printers to print gibberish until they run out of paper, researchers from Symantec said. “The impact is global and effecting approximately 80 print servers,” an admin of one Fortune 500 company wrote in an online forum dedicated to the print bomb explosion. “The print job names were all 15 characters in length and unique. The print jobs were all garbage print, as if it was opening the .exe and printing the garbage text.” Other participants reported the same phenomenon caused hundreds of their organizations’ printers to run through reams of paper. According to a blog post published Thursday by researchers from antivirus provider Symantec, the nuisance is being spread by Trojan.Milicenso. The worst hit regions are the US, India, Europe, and South America. Milicenso is a fairly sophisticated backdoor that serves as a for-hire delivery vehicle for other pieces of malware. One of its malicious payloads, known as Adware.Eorezo, is dropping an executable file in printer spooler directories, causing some applications to print representations of the binary code. Read more | Comments
Gigapixel cameras aren’t exactly hot-off-the-presses, but a few wizards at Duke and the University of Arizona may be close to getting that sort of technology into your future point-and-shoot. Reportedly, electrical engineers with gobs of free time and an imagination the size of Coach K’s ego have managed to synchronize 98 minuscule cameras in a single device, creating a prototype 50 gigapixel monster. The real kicker here is the hope for the future: these same researchers feel that “within five years, as the electronic components of the cameras become miniaturized and more efficient, the next generation of gigapixel cameras should be available to the general public.” The prototype itself measures a whopping 2.5-feet square and 20 inches deep, but only around 3 percent of it is made of optical elements; the vast majority is circuitry needed to calculate the stupefying amount of information captured in 50,000 megapixels. University researchers develop 50 gigapixel camera, hope it hits the mainstream in five years originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 15:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink Nature , TG Daily | Duke | Email this | Comments
First time accepted submitter Burdell writes “A new startup has technology to read fingerprints from up to 6 meters away. IDair currently sells to the military, but they are beta testing it with a chain of 24-hour fitness centers that want to restrict sharing of access cards. IDair also wants to sell this to retail stores and credit card companies as a replacement for physical cards. Lee Tien from the EFF notes that the security of such fingerprint databases is a privacy concern.” Since the last time this technology was mentioned more than a year ago, it seems that the claimed range for reading has tripled, and the fingerprint reader business has been spun off from the company at which development started. Read more of this story at Slashdot.