Geek Stuff

Windows 10 Gets Core Console Host Enhancements

Slashdot -

x0n writes: As of Windows 10 TH2 (10.0.1058), the core console subsystem has support for a large number of ANSI and VT100 escape sequences. This is likely to prepare for full Open SSH server/client integration, which is already underway over on github. It looks like xterm is finally coming to Windows. OpenSSH was previously announced (last year) by the very forward-looking PowerShell team. The linked article provides some context, and explains that the console host isn't the same as either cmd.exe or powershell.exe, but there is a lot of overlap in functionality.

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Unreal Engine Will Soon Allow Developers To Build Games Inside of VR

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Epic Games, the creators of Unreal Engine, has been a longstanding supporter of VR. They were on board way back when Oculus sparked the VR industry in 2012 with a Kickstarter that would snowball into a rekindling of consumer virtual reality. Having been one of the first major game engines to support VR headsets like the Rift, the company has been aggressively positioning Unreal Engine as the go-to tool for VR developers. Now they're taking a massive next step, showing the first look at bringing developers themselves inside of virtual reality to craft games with the full set of UE4 tools at their fingertips. That means that developers can place and manipulate objects from right within a world in progress; the video demo in the linked story is impressive.

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Ask Slashdot: Time To Get Into Crypto-currency? If So, Which?

Slashdot -

Qbertino writes: With the ever-looming cyberpunk future in close proximity, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't time to get myself familiar with crypto currency as a means of trade. Bitcoin is all the hype, but the blockchain has flaws, in that it isn't as anonymous as one would hope for — you can track past transactions. Rumors of Bitcoin showing cracks are popping up and also there are quite a few alternatives out there. So I have some questions: Is getting into dealing with crypto currency worthwhile already? Is Bitcoin the way to go, or will it falter under wide use / become easily trackable once NSA and the likes adapt their systems to doing exactly that? What digital currency has the technical and mind-share potential to supersede bitcoin? Are there feasible cryptocurrencies that have the upsides of Bitcoin (such as a mathematical limit to their amount) but are fully anonymous in transactions? What do the economists and digi-currency nerds here have to contribute on that? What are your experiences with handling and holding cryptocurrency? And does Bitcoin own the market or is it still flexible enough for an technology upgrade?

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Bethesda To Unleash the Hounds of Hell On May 13th: Doom Release Date Confirmed

Slashdot -

MojoKid writes: Bethesda and id Software are in the process rebooting the Doom franchise and it seems like it's been in development for ages. When we last visited the upcoming Doom remake, Bethesda had posted a giblet-filled trailer which showed some pretty impressive gameplay visuals, killer hand-to-hand combat and plenty of head stomping. However, Bethesda just clued gamers in on something that Doom fans have been anticipating for years, an actual release date. Mark your calendars for May 13th, because that's when Doom will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and of course, the PC platform. Bethesda also dropped a new campaign trailer for you to ogle.

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Neutrino Exploit Kit Has a New Way To Detect Security Researchers

Slashdot -

itwbennett writes: [The Neutrino exploit kit] is using passive OS fingerprinting to detect visiting Linux machines, according to Trustwave researchers who found that computers they were using for research couldn't make a connection with servers that delivered Neutrino. Daniel Chechik, senior security researcher at Trustwave's SpiderLabs division wrote that they tried changing IP addresses and Web browsers to avoid whatever was causing the Neutrino server to not respond, but it didn't work. But by fiddling with some data traffic that Trustwave's computers were sending to the Neutrino server, they figured out what was going on.

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GitHub Is Undergoing a Full-Blown Overhaul As Execs and Employees Depart

Slashdot -

mattydread23 writes: This is what happens when hot startups grow up. [GitHub] CEO Chris Wanstrath is imposing management structure where there wasn't much before, and execs are departing, partly because the company is cracking down on remote work. It's a lot like Facebook in 2009. Business Insider has the full inside story based on multiple sources in and close to the company.

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Giant Magellan Telescope Set To Revolutionize Ground-Based Astronomy

Slashdot -

StartsWithABang writes: If you want to see farther, deeper and at higher resolution than ever before into the Universe, you need four things: the largest aperture possible, the best-quality optical systems and cameras/CCDs, the least interference from the atmosphere, and the analytical techniques and power to make the most of every photon. While the last three have improved tremendously over the past 25 years, telescope size hasn't increased at all. That's all about to change over the next decade, as three telescopes — the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope — are set to take us from 8-10 meter class astronomy to 25-40 meter class. While the latter two are fighting over funding, construction rights and other political concerns, the Giant Magellan Telescope is already under construction, and is poised to be the first in line to begin the future of ground-based astronomy.

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Even With Telemetry Disabled, Windows 10 Talks To Dozens of Microsoft Servers

Slashdot -

An esteemed reader writes: Curious about the various telemetry and personal information being collected by Windows 10, one user installed Windows 10 Enterprise and disabled all of the telemetry and reporting options. Then he configured his router to log all the connections that happened anyway. Even after opting out wherever possible, his firewall captured Windows making around 4,000 connection attempts to 93 different IP addresses during an 8 hour period, with most of those IPs controlled by Microsoft. Even the enterprise version of Windows 10 is checking in with Redmond when you tell it not to — and it's doing so frequently.

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Let Your Pupils Do the Typing

Slashdot -

New submitter s.mathot writes: Researchers from France and the Netherlands have developed a way to—literally—write text by thinking of letters. (Academic paper [open access], non-technical blog, YouTube video.) This technique relies on small changes in pupil size that occur when you covertly (from the corner of your eye; without moving your eyes or body) attend to bright or dark objects. By presenting a virtual keyboard on which the 'keys' alternate in brightness, and simultaneously measuring the size of the eye's pupil, the technique automatically determines which letter you want to write; as a result, you can write letters by merely attending to them, without moving any part of your body, including the eyes.

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Starry Station $349 WiFi router looks a lot less fancy on the inside

Liliputing -

Starry recently announced plans to offer a high-speed internet service in the United States by delivering wireless broadband signals using millimeter wave band active phased array technology. But the company’s first consumer product will be an expensive WiFi router called the Starry Station. It’s expected to sell for $350 and features a touchscreen display that can […]

Starry Station $349 WiFi router looks a lot less fancy on the inside is a post from: Liliputing

Twitter Tackles Terrorists In Targeted Takedown

Slashdot -

Mark Wilson writes: Having previously battled trolls, Twitter has now turned its attention to terrorists and their supporters. The site has closed down more than 125,000 accounts associated with terrorism since the middle of 2015, it announced in a statement. Although a full breakdown of figures is not provided, Twitter says most of these accounts were related to ISIS. Having increased the size of its account review team, the site has reduced the time it takes to investigate accounts that are reported, and has also started to investigate 'accounts similar to those reported'.

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Verizon's Mobile Video Won't Count Against Data Caps -- but Netflix Will

Slashdot -

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Ars Technica has a story about how Verizon Wireless is testing the limits of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules; Verizon has announced that it will exempt its own video service from mobile data caps—while counting data from competitors such as YouTube and Netflix against customers' caps.

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Online Museum Displays Decades of Malware

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: archive.org has launched a Museum of Malware, which devotes itself to a historical look at DOS-based viruses of the 1980s and 1990s, and gives viewers the opportunity to run the viruses in a DOS game emulator, and to download 'neutered' versions of the code. With an estimated 50,000 DOS-based viruses in existence by the year 2000, the Malware Museum's 65 examples should be seen as representative of an annoying, but more innocent era of digital vandalism.

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Docker Images To Be Based On Alpine Linux

Slashdot -

New submitter Tenebrousedge writes: Docker container sizes continue a race to the bottom with a couple of environments weighing in at less than 10MB. Following on the heels of this week's story regarding small images based on Alpine Linux, it appears that the official Docker images will be moving from Debian/Ubuntu to Alpine Linux in the near future. How low will they go?

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Avast SafeZone Browser Lets Attackers Access Your Filesystem

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: Just two days after Comodo's Chromodo browser was publicly shamed by Google Project Zero security researcher Tavis Ormandy, it's now Avast's turn to be publicly scorned for failing to provide a "secure" browser for its users. Called SafeZone, and also known as Avastium, Avast's custom browser is offered as a bundled download for all who purchase or upgrade to a paid version of Avast Antivirus 2016. This poor excuse of a browser was allowing attackers to access files on the user's filesystem just by clicking on malicious links. The browser wouldn't even have to be opened, and the malicious link could be clicked in "any" browser.

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The Pirate Bay Now Let You Stream Movies and TV, Not Just Download

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, a new simple solution for streaming torrents directly in your browser showed up on the Web. By Friday, infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay had already adopted it. The Pirate Bay now features "Stream It!" links next to all its video torrents. As a result, you can play movies, TV shows, and any other video content directly in the same window you use to browse the torrent site.

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Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Sixth Man On the Moon, Dies At 85

Slashdot -

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story in the Palm Beach Post, Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 85. He flew as lunar module pilot on board Apollo 14, which flew to and from the moon between January 31, 1971 and February 9, 1971. His crewmates were Alan Shepard and Stuart Roosa. Apollo 14 was the return to flight for the moon landing program after the near disaster of Apollo 13 in April 1970, and explored the Fra Mauro highlands on the lunar surface. NASA marks Mitchell's passing as well.

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Nintendo Hits Snooze On Sleep-Tracking Device

Slashdot -

In October 2014, Nintendo announced a plan to develop a sleep-tracking app and device. This device would use microwave sensors to monitor important sleep data throughout the night, to optimize users' slumber time and encourage a healthier rest cycle. Now, Nintendo has announced that the sleep app has been put to sleep indefinitely; the company is instead focusing on its new mobile games and next-generation console.

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Funcionarios de comercio firmaron el TPP, pero depende de los legisladores el rechazarlo

EFF's Deeplinks -

Altos funcionarios de los países que participan del Tratado Trans-Pacífico (TPP en inglés) se han convocado en Nueva Zelanda esta semana para firmar el acuerdo final. Pero en realidad esta ceremonia es simplemente una formalidad. Desde noviembre del año pasado, desde el día que anunciaron un acuerdo concluido e hicieron público el texto un poco después, sabíamos que iban a hacer ésto. Los funcionarios de comercio no han rendido cuentas al público. Ellos se mantuvieron firmes excluyendo la participación pública y haciendo caso omiso a todos los pedidos de transparencia en los más de cinco años de negociaciones del TPP. Debido a este proceso opaco, los negociadores comerciales fueron capaces de cumplir con la lista de deseos de Hollywood y de las grandes compañías tecnológicas en cuanto a las políticas de regulación y sin tener que preocuparse por la forma en que éstas impactarían en la Internet o los derechos de las personas ni de sus sus dispositivos digitales.

Pero para que el TPP entre realmente en vigor, los países deben ratificarlo. Cada uno de los doce países integrantes del TPP tienen procedimientos diferentes para hacer ello, pero en los Estados Unidos, las dos cámaras del Congreso tienen que votar o rechazar el acuerdo. Debido a razones políticas y conforme a las cláusulas estipuladas por el TPP,1 el tratado no puede entrar en vigor sin la ratificación de los EE.UU. Es por eso que es tan importante que en EE.UU. los ciudadanos exijan la rendición de cuentas al Congreso sobre este tratado y urjan a sus legisladores que voten por el NO cuando el TPP les sea presentado para su aprobación.

No es probable que el Congreso de los Estados Unidos vote en la aplicación de la reglamentación del TPP (es decir, la ratificación) hasta después que la Comisión de Comercio Internacional de los Estados Unidos (ITC en inglés) emita a mediados de mayo su informe sobre los impactos económicos del tratado. En algún momento después de eso, el presidente presentará a los legisladores la aplicación de la reglamentación. Una vez que eso suceda, la Cámara de Representantes tiene 60 días a partir de la introducción del proyecto de ley para realizar una votación, y el Senado tiene otros 30 días, por lo que son unos 90 días en total para aprobar o rechazar el tratado. Esta segunda línea de tiempo sólo se iniciará cuando la Casa Blanca confíe que obtuvo los votos necesarios para su aprobación. Es por eso que es fundamental mantener una presión constante sobre los legisladores para revertir los planes del Ejecutivo para aprobar el TPP.

Una completa amenaza a los derechos, con dudosos beneficios en la economía

Mientras que los líderes de comercio han promocionado la firma del acuerdo en esta semana, el TPP continúa atrayendo a las críticas internacionales. Desde Ginebra, el experto en derechos humanos de la ONU Alfred de Zayas publicó un comunicado condenando todo el tratado, manifestando que "el TPP es fundamentalmente defectuoso y no debe ser firmado o ratificado" a menos que se garantice el derecho de los Estados a promulgar reglamentos en aras de proteger el interés público. También hizo hincapié en que los países involucrados deben reafirmar sus obligaciones internacionales de derechos humanos en el ejercicio de las disposiciones del tratado. El profesor Michael Geist de la Universidad de Ottawa ha estado escribiendo sobre el acuerdo todos los días desde el inicio del año, destacando varios problemas con el TPP -incluyendo la falta de equilibrio en el capítulo de la Propiedad Intelectual, la prohibición de evadir los cerrojos digitales en dispositivos y contenidos, y las diferentes formas en que el acuerdo podría socavar la privacidad de los usuarios.

Incluso los beneficios económicos del TPP están bajo una disputa intensa. Investigadores de la Universidad de Tufts publicaron un informe el pasado lunes en el que hallaron que el tratado conduciría a pérdidas de empleo y al aumento de la desigualdad económica. Mientras tanto, un análisis divulgado la semana pasada por el Instituto Peterson de Economía Internacional ratificó las alegaciones de la Casa Blanca que el TPP aumentaría los ingresos y el crecimiento económico en los Estados Unidos. Estos informes podrían influir en el resultado de la evaluación de la ITC sobre el TPP y, a su vez, impactar en el apoyo o desaprobación del tratado en el Congreso.

Existe un desacuerdo sobre los impactos de los contenidos sustantivos del acuerdo, pero existe un elemento seguro. Las negociaciones del TPP se llevaron a puerta cerrada, con fuerte influencia de un limitado subgrupo de las partes interesadas. Esto significó que miembros del público en general, incluidas las pequeñas empresas, emprendedores, y otros sectores menos representados, fueron excluidos en gran medida. Dado este hecho, es muy poco convincente que el TPP podría reflejar verdaderamente las preocupaciones de todos los diversos actores de la economía, muchos de los cuales pueden no ser políticamente influyentes ahora, pero que pueden estar en el terreno donde impulsarán la innovación en las próximas décadas.

Lo que es importante de recordar también es que el crecimiento económico no es el único factor por el cual debemos medir el valor o la necesidad de leyes y propuestas regulatorias. El TPP puede conducir al crecimiento de las economías nacionales en una pequeña fracción de un punto porcentual, pero, ¿es eso todo lo que importa? Por supuesto que no. Hechos como el derecho de reparar, modificar y reciclar nuestros propios dispositivos son importantes. La capacidad de expresar, criticar, retocar y volver a utilizar las obras creativas nuevas o destacadas son importantes. Es relevante, porque así las obras culturales permanecen por ley bajo llave durante tanto tiempo y que tras varias décadas, son subutilizadas o literalmente desaparecen sin haber sido preservadas.

Todas estas y otras consideraciones son importantes. Sin embargo, ellas no fueron tomadas en cuenta. Es por esto que este acuerdo es una traición a la democracia,  a todas las personas cuyas preocupaciones no han sido atendidas en estas negociaciones. En Estados Unidos al menos, tenemos que hacer que el Congreso entienda esto, ya que sólo lo oirán si proviene de sus electores, el pueblo estadounidense.

  • 1. El TPP entrará en vigencia, ya sea en 60 días después de que cualquiera de los países firmantes originales lo ratifiquen; o si eso no ocurre, dentro de dos años, en Abril de 2018, si al menos seis de los 12 países que representen el 85 por ciento del PIB combinado de los países firmantes originales han ratificado el acuerdo.

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