Trailrunner7 writes "A new project that was setup to monitor the quality and strength of the SSL implementations on top sites across the Internet found that 75 percent of them are vulnerable to the BEAST SSL attack and that just 10 percent of the sites surveyed should be considered secure. The SSL Pulse project, set up by the Trustworthy Internet Movement, looks at several components of each site's SSL implementation to determine how secure the site actually is. The project looks at how each site is configured, which versions of the TLS and SSL protocols the site supports, whether the site is vulnerable to the BEAST or insecure renegotiation attacks and other factors. The data that the SSL Pulse project has gathered thus far shows that the vast majority of the 200,000 sites the project is surveying need some serious help in fixing their SSL implementations."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
New submitter xclr8r writes "The longtime tinkering and learning distro of Linux Slackware found itself at the center of rumors and speculation when its website was down for a few days. Caitlyn Martin, developer of Linux Yarok, voiced concerns in DistroWatch and declared that she would be basing the new project off a distro with a more secure future. Meanwhile contributors continued to plug along with additions to the change log. Eventually Eric Hameleers expanded on his initial communication of 'old hardware — lack of funds' to a more thorough explanation quoted in the article. Have your pop up blocker ready."
darthcamaro writes "At the end of this month, the first round of applications for ICANN's expansion of the generic Top Level Domains will close. While we still don't how many applications in total there will be, we now know that VeriSign — the company that runs .com and .net is backing at least 220 of them."
astroengine writes "There are 10 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy that are the same size as our sun. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that astronomers have identified a clone to our sun lying only 200 light-years away. Still, it is fascinating to imagine a yellow dwarf that is exactly the same mass, temperature and chemical composition as our nearest star. In a recent paper reporting on observations of the star — called HP 56948 — astronomer Jorge Melendez of the University of San Paulo, Brazil, calls it 'the best solar twin known to date.' Using HP 56948 as a SETI target seems like a logical step, says Melendez."
bonch writes "Warner Bros. aired ten minutes of footage from The Hobbit at CinemaCon, and reactions have been mixed. The problem? Peter Jackson is filming the movie at 48 frames per second, twice the industry standard 24 frames per second, lending the film a '70s era BBC-video look.' However, if the negative response from film bloggers and theater owners is any indication, the way most people will see the movie is in standard 24fps."
itwbennett writes "The problem: Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) enables routers to communicate about the best path to other networks, but routers don't verify the route 'announcements.' When routing problems erupt, 'it's very difficult to tell if this is fat fingering on a router or malicious,' said Joe Gersch, chief operating officer for Secure64, a company that makes Domain Name System (DNS) server software. In a well-known incident, Pakistan Telecom made an error with BGP after Pakistan's government ordered in 2008 that ISPs block YouTube, which ended up knocking Google's service offline. A solution exists, but it's complex, and deployment has been slow. Now experts have found an easier way."
ananyo writes "Individual neurons in birds' brains can relay crucial information about Earth's magnetic field, possibly providing the animals with an 'internal GPS.' Pigeons' remarkable navigational feats have long been pegged to the birds' ability to sense magnetic fields, but pinning down how they do so has frustrated scientists for years. Work published in Science (abstract) shows that individual cells seem to encode information on a magnetic field's direction, intensity and polarity. The work also suggests that these signals come from a part of the inner ear called the lagena, further complicating matters for researchers in the field. The Science paper comes just days after a report in Nature (abstract) revealed that cells in pigeons' upper beaks, previously thought to be magnetoreceptors, are actually immune cells called macrophages."
An anonymous reader writes "The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Amazon.com will soon start collecting sales tax from buyers in state of Texas. 'Seattle-based Amazon, which had $34 billion in sales in 2010, has long opposed collecting taxes. That has drawn fire from state governments facing budget shortfalls and from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, who say online sellers essentially give customers an automatic discount when they don’t collect taxes. Combs has estimated the state loses $600 million a year from untaxed online sales. However, Amazon has recently begun making deals with a number of states to collect sales tax. Those deals have usually included a one- to three-year window exempting Amazon from sales tax collection.'"
rtfa-troll writes "Tomi Ahonen reports that Samsung has become the largest manufacturer of smartphones (overtaking Apple) and of mobile phones (overtaking Nokia). During the first quarter of 2012 Samsung sold 93.5 million phones, with 44.5 million (48%) of those being smartphones. Apple would still lead on 'smart mobile devices' with 52 million sales including iPads, but not iPods. The last time the lead in mobile phone sales changed was in 14 years ago, in 1998, when Nokia overtook Ericsson. Ericsson never recovered and began leaving the mobile phone market three years later, creating Sony Ericsson, later Sony Mobile. It looks like the mobile phone market is going to be brutal, with Apple and Samsung crushing everybody else except possibly HTC, which is still rising, and Motorola (which has Google to look after it)."
MojoKid writes "The PC and console game industry is in desperate need of an overhaul. With skyrocketing costs to develop games, consumers aren't going to accept $80-$100 game titles, especially not with mobile game prices in the 99 cent — $4.99 range. Not to mention, how games are designed these days needs some serious rethinking. This list of some of the industry's most annoying gaming clichés, from scripted sequences to impossibly incompetent NPCs, and how they might be solved, speaks to a few of the major ailments in modern gameplay with character and plot techniques that are older than dirt."
New submitter eetc writes "This article surveys the sorry state of car makers' stereo and navigation systems: 'It's clear that most of the auto companies that offer more than a car stereo want to lock you into their interface and services — as awful as they are. The rest don't care. The aftermarket stereo and nav systems are no better. Stuffed with even more buttons and light-show gewgaws, they're sure to keep your eyes off the road and may not work easily with your stuff. Add to that mix the split focus of also having to use a separate GPS unit in most vehicles, and you have to wonder what keeps our roads so relatively safe.' The answer in one word: iCar. This is just the sort of broken market that Apple specializes in taking over."
CowboyRobot writes "Space junk has increased to the point where pieces of it are colliding and breaking into smaller pieces. The problem is now so bad that NASA has had to modify the design of satellites to protect them from flying debris. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to turn disabled satellites and their components, including antennas and solar arrays, into functioning systems. They are hosting a conference on June 26 to explore how to build 'refurbished' satellites from already-orbiting material for less than what it would cost to build them from scratch and launch them from the surface of the Earth."
An anonymous reader writes "If you are looking for small niche features such as interactive word count, bundled report designer, or command line filtering etc – LibreOffice beats OpenOffice hands down. 'Noting the important dates of June 1, 2011, which was when Oracle donated OOo to Apache; and Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is due probably sometime in May 2012; Meeks compared Apache OpenOffice 3.4 new features to popular new features from LibreOffice: 3.3, 3.4, 3.5. It wasn't surprising to find that LibreOffice has merged many features not found in Apache OO given their nearly year long head start.'"
zrbyte writes "Fusion research would get a major boost in a Department of Energy (DOE) spending bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. The panel rejected an Obama Administration proposal to cut funding for domestic fusion research in the 2013 fiscal year, which begins 1 October. It would also give more money than requested to an international collaboration building the ITER fusion reactor in France. This will allow the Alcator C-Mod fusion facility at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge to be kept open, which the Administration had proposed closing."
nonprofiteer writes "What has been left out of the CISPA debate thus far is the FBI's long time workaround for information sharing with private industry: 'In 1997, long-time FBI agent Dan Larkin helped set up a non-profit based in Pittsburgh that "functions as a conduit between private industry and law enforcement." Its industry members, which include banks, ISPs, telcos, credit card companies, pharmaceutical companies, and others can hand over cyberthreat information to the non-profit, called the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), which has a legal agreement with the government that allows it to then hand over info to the FBI. Conveniently, the FBI has a unit, the Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit, stationed in the NCFTA's office. Companies can share information with the 501(c)6 non-profit that they would be wary of (or prohibited from) sharing directly with the FBI.'"