Trump Signs Executive Order On Cybersecurity

President Trump on Thursday signed a long-delayed executive order on cybersecurity that "makes clear that agency heads will be held accountable for protecting their networks, and calls on government and industry to reduce the threat from automated attacks on the internet, " reports The Washington Post. From the report: Picking up on themes advanced by the Obama administration, Trump's order also requires agency heads to use Commerce Department guidelines to manage risk to their systems. It commissions reports to assess the country's ability to withstand an attack on the electric grid and to spell out the strategic options for deterring adversaries in cyberspace. [Thomas Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser] said the order was not, however, prompted by Russia's targeting of electoral systems last year. In fact, the order is silent on addressing the security of electoral systems or cyber-enabled operations to influence elections, which became a significant area of concern during last year's presidential campaign. The Department of Homeland Security in January declared election systems "critical infrastructure." The executive order also does not address offensive cyber operations, which are generally classified. This is an area in which the Trump administration is expected to be more forward-leaning than its predecessor. Nor does it spell out what type of cyberattack would constitute an "act of war" or what response the attack would invite. "We're not going to draw a red line, " Bossert said, adding that the White House does not "want to telegraph our punches." The order places the defense secretary and the head of the intelligence community in charge of protecting "national security" systems that operate classified and military networks. But the secretary of homeland security will continue to be at the center of the national plan for protecting critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid and financial sector. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to Improve the Audio Quality of Vinyl Records with Wood Glue

One of the first things you learn in the ID shop at design school: Wood glue is for joining wood, welding is great for joining metal, acetone is the thing for fusing plastics together. But when you need to attach one of these materials to another, you've got to switch over to hard fasteners or something more clever, since wood glue won't stick to plastics, et cetera. While that's occasionally a hassle for building multimaterial objects, record lovers have figured out that wood glue not sticking to plastic provides a huge benefit: You can use wood glue to clean LPs. Because Titebond won't stick to vinyl, but will stick to all the microscopic specks of dust hanging out in the grooves, a layer of wood glue will become like a Biore strip for records. Observe, and be sure to listen to the before and after—the amount of snaps, crackles and pops the glue removes from the audio is astonishing: (more...)

Designing a "Simple" Nuclear-Fusion Rocket for Quick Trips to Mars

Researchers are developing a new propulsion technology that could reduce the travel time to Mars from eight or nine months to less than three. The secret? Nuclear fusion , of course. Read more...        

A Pirate-Friendly Map of the Pieces of Ocean That No Country Owns

Cool map alert: Donut Holes in International Waters is an interactive map that shows which countries have sovereignty over the high seas. It shows how we've diced up the waters with international law—and what all the left-over bits and pieces look like. Read more...

Windows 10 hits 500 million devices, growing by two-thirds in a year

SEATTLE—At its Build developer conference, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 has now passed 500 million monthly active devices. Little over a year ago, the company said that the operating system had reached 300 million systems . As the operating system nears the end of its second full year on the market, it's clear that it's going to fall a long way short of the company's original estimates. At launch, the ambition was to reach 1 billion devices over the first two to three years of availability, but this estimate assumed that Windows 10 Mobile would be a going concern, selling something of the order of 50 million or more devices a year. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

IoT Garage Door Opener Maker Bricks Customer’s Product After Bad Review

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Denis Grisak, the man behind the Internet-connected garage opener Garadget, is having a very bad week. Grisak and his Colorado-based company SoftComplex launched Garadget, a device built using Wi-Fi-based cloud connectivity from Particle, on Indiegogo earlier this year, hitting 209 percent of his launch goal in February. But this week, his response to an unhappy customer has gotten Garadget a totally different sort of attention. On April 1, a customer who purchased Garadget on Amazon using the name R. Martin reported problems with the iPhone application that controls Garadget. He left an angry comment on the Garadget community board: "Just installed and attempting to register a door when the app started doing this. Have uninstalled and reinstalled iPhone app, powered phone off/on - wondering what kind of piece of shit I just purchased here..." Shortly afterward, not having gotten a response, Martin left a 1-star review of Garadget on Amazon: "Junk - DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY - iPhone app is a piece of junk, crashes constantly, start-up company that obviously has not performed proper quality assurance tests on their products." Grisak then responded by bricking Martin's product remotely, posting on the support forum: "Martin, The abusive language here and in your negative Amazon review, submitted minutes after experiencing a technical difficulty, only demonstrates your poor impulse control. I'm happy to provide the technical support to the customers on my Saturday night but I'm not going to tolerate any tantrums. At this time your only option is return Garadget to Amazon for refund. Your unit ID 2f0036... will be denied server connection." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Windows 10 Timeline remembers everything you did on your PC

One of the more intriguing features Microsoft will include in this fall's Windows 10 Creators Update is Timeline. As the name suggests, it's a way for you to move backwards in time and see things you were working on in the past and resume what you were doing. Microsoft described it as a visual timeline of everything you were doing on your computer, and you can jump back into files, applications and websites where you left off. Introducing Timeline. Easily jump back in time to continue where you left off. #Windows10 #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/e3gxhXnp6W — Windows (@Windows) May 11, 2017 Timeline lives in the Windows app switcher. When you click it, you'll see your active apps, but below that you'll see what you were running earlier in the day. Clicking down on one of those things that you were using earlier will pop it open just as you were using it before. This works across multiple devices, as well -- when you open up another Windows device where you're signed in, you can resume the tasks you were using before. This will even work across other devices like an iPhone using the Cortana app. If you're somewhere where you have Cortana, it'll prompt you to continue working on whatever you were doing before. If you don't have the specific app installed on your phone, it'll help point you to the right app as well. At first glance, it sounds a little bit like the Time Machine backup feature that Apple has included in macOS for years now. But Time Machine is more of a file backup system that lets you go back and see earlier versions of files that you might want to restore. Microsoft's Timeline covers applications and websites as well as just files, and it doesn't require an external hard drive, as it's not really a true backup system in the way Time Machine is. Indeed, Timeline appears more like Microsoft's answer to Continuity, a feature Apple build into macOS and iOS that lets you pick up and resume work across whatever Apple device you're using. Timeline is just one feature in the forthcoming Creators Update, which features a host of tools for using Microsoft's software and services across devices. The "Microsoft Graph" set of APIs will let you pick up and continue work across multiple devices and will iOS and Android as well as Windows. It'll also let you have a "universal clipboard" across your devices. Click here to catch up on the latest news from Microsoft Build 2017.

New Ransomware ‘Jaff’ Spotted; Malware Groups Pushing 5M Emails Per Hour To Circulate It

An anonymous reader writes: The Necurs botnet has been harnessed to fling a new strain of ransomware dubbed "Jaff". Jaff spreads in a similar way to the infamous file-encrypting malware Locky and even uses the same payment site template, but is nonetheless a different monster. Attached to dangerous emails is an infectious PDF containing an embedded DOCM file with a malicious macro script. This script will then download and execute the Jaff ransomware. Locky -- like Jaff -- also used the Necurs botnet and a booby-trapped PDF, security firm Malwarebytes notes. "This is where the comparison ends, since the code base is different as well as the ransom itself, " said Jerome Segura, a security researcher at Malwarebytes. "Jaff asks for an astounding 2 BTC, which is about $3, 700 at the time of writing." Proofpoint reckons Jaff may be the work of the same cybercriminals behind Locky, Dridex and Bart (other nasty malware) but this remains unconfirmed. And Forcepoint Security Labs reports that malicious emails carrying Jaff are being cranked out at a rate of 5 million an hour on Thursday, or 13 million in total at the time it wrote up a blog post about the new threat. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wix gets caught “stealing” GPL code from WordPress

Last Friday, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg—the founding developer of the WordPress open source blogging and content management platform— posted an open letter on his personal blog accusing the developers of the blogging site Wix of essentially stealing WordPress code for a new mobile application: If I were being charitable, I’d say, “The app’s editor is based on the WordPress mobile app’s editor.” If I were being honest, I’d say that Wix copied WordPress without attribution, credit, or following the license. The custom icons, the class names, even the bugs. You can see the  forked  repositories  on GitHub complete with original commits from Alex and Maxime, two developers on Automattic’s mobile team. Wix has always borrowed liberally from WordPress—including their company name, which used to be Wixpress Ltd.—but this blatant rip-off and code theft is beyond anything I’ve seen before from a competitor. WordPress’ code is open source, but it is published under the GNU Public License (GPL). And the way that Wix used the code, Mullenweg said, is in violation of the GPL. Wix’s new mobile app, he said, reused WordPress’ text editor without credit. And the Wix application was closed and proprietary—not published under the same GPL license. Wix CEO and co-founder Avishai Abrahami fired back , writing in an open response to Mullenweg, “Wow, dude I did not even know we were fighting.” Abrahami pointed to 224 projects that Wix had open sourced on GitHub, and he admitted that Wix had used the text editor code—making some modifications and sharing the code via GitHub: Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

MagicPlan Creates a Floor Plan with Your Phone’s Camera

iPhone/Android: Need a quick and dirty floor plan for your house? Free app MagicPlan can put one together using just your smartphone's camera. Read more...