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A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just As Deadly As Nuclear Weapons

"As someone who studies cybersecurity and information warfare, I'm concerned that a cyberattack with widespread impact, an intrusion in one area that spreads to others or a combination of lots of smaller attacks, could cause significant damage, including mass injury and death rivaling the death toll of a nuclear weapon," warns an assistant Professor of Computer Science, North Dakota State University: Unlike a nuclear weapon, which would vaporize people within 100 feet and kill almost everyone...

XKCD Author Challenges Serena Williams To Attack A Drone

In just 16 days XKCD author Randall Munroe releases a new book titled How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. He's just released an excerpt from the chapter "How to Catch a Drone," in which he actually enlisted the assistance of tennis star Serena Williams. An anonymous reader writes: Serena and her husband Alexis just happened to have a DJI Mavic Pro 2 with a broken camera -- and Munroe asked her to try to smash it with tennis balls. "My tentative guess was that a ch...

Why Am I Receiving Unordered Boxes From Amazon?

It's an unexpected surprise that's been popping up "all over the country," according to the Better Business Bureau. People are receiving boxes of unordered merchandise from Amazon. The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers that are sending the items are simply using your address and your Amazon information. Their intention is to make it appear as though you wrote a glowing online review of their merchandise, and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise. They then post a fak...

Alexa, Siri, and Google Home Can Be Tricked Into Sending Callers To Scam Phone Numbers

"Don't ask your smart device to look up a phone number, because it may accidentally point you to a scam," warn the consumer watchdogs at the Better Business Bureau: You need the phone number for a company, so you ask your home's smart device -- such as Google Home, Siri, or Alexa -- to find and dial it for you. But when the company's "representative" answers, the conversation takes a strange turn. This representative has some odd advice! They may insist on your paying by wire transfer or prep...

Should HTTPS Certificates Expire After Just 397 Days?

Google has made a proposal to the unofficial cert industry group that "would cut lifespan of SSL certificates from 825 days to 397 days," reports ZDNet. No vote was held on the proposal; however, most browser vendors expressed their support for the new SSL certificate lifespan. On the other side, certificate authorities were not too happy, to say the least. In the last decade and a half, browser makers have chipped away at the lifespan of SSL certificates, cutting it down from eight years to ...

Wells Fargo's Computer Kept Charging 'Overdrawn' Fees On Supposedly Closed Accounts

The New York Times explains a new issue by describing what happened when Xavier Einaudi tried to close his Wells Fargo checking account. For weeks after the date the bank said the accounts would be closed, it kept some of them active. Payments to his insurer, to Google for online advertising and to a provider of project management software were paid out of the empty accounts in July. Each time, the bank charged Einaudi a $35 overdraft fee... By the middle of July, he owed the bank nearly $1,5...

Tech Companies Challenge 'Open Office' Trend With Pods

Open floor plans create "a minefield of distractions," writes CNBC. But now they're being countered by a new trend that one office interior company's owner says "started with tech companies and the need for privacy." They're called "office pods..." They provide a quiet space for employees to conduct important phone calls, focus on their work or take a quick break. "We are seeing a large trend, a shift to having independent, self-contained enclosures," said Caitlin Turner, a designer at the gl...

Slackware, the Longest Active Linux Distro, Finally Has a Patreon Page

"Slackware is the longest active Linux distribution project, founded in 1993," writes TheBAFH (Slashdot reader #68,624). "Today there are many Linux distributions available, but I've remained dedicated to this project as I believe it still holds an important place in the Linux ecosystem," writes Patrick J. Volkerding on a new Patreon page. He adds that Slackware's users "know that Slackware can be trusted not to constantly change the way things work, so that your investment in learning Slackw...

Google Open-Sources Live Transcribe's Speech Engine

Friday Google open-sourced "the speech engine that powers its Android speech recognition transcription tool Live Transcribe," reports Venture Beat: The company hopes doing so will let any developer deliver captions for long-form conversations. The source code is available now on GitHub. Google released Live Transcribe in February. The tool uses machine learning algorithms to turn audio into real-time captions. Unlike Android's upcoming Live Caption feature, Live Transcribe is a full-screen ex...

Researchers Find New State of Matter, Claim It Could Aid Quantum Computing and Data Storage

"A team of physicists has uncovered a new state of matter -- a breakthrough that offers promise for increasing storage capabilities in electronic devices and enhancing quantum computing," according to an announcement from NYU: "Our research has succeeded in revealing experimental evidence for a new state of matter -- topological superconductivity," says Javad Shabani, an assistant professor of physics at New York University. "This new topological state can be manipulated in ways that could bo...

'Paint' and 'WordPad' Will Soon Become Optional Features In Windows 10

An anonymous reader quotes Neowin: Both WordPad and the classic Paint app can now be found in the list of optional features for Windows 10, joining the ranks of other hallmarks of the Windows of yore, such as Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. This means that both these apps will be uninstallable in a future release of Windows, likely 20H1, as build 18963 is a preview of that branch of...

Google Plans To Remove All FTP Support From Chrome

An anonymous reader quotes MSPoweruser: Google Chrome always had a bit of a love-hate relationship when it comes to managing FTP links. The web browser usually downloads instead of rendering it like other web browsers. However, if you're using FTP then you might have to look elsewhere soon as Google is planning to remove FTP support altogether. In a post (via Techdows), Google, today announced its intention to deprecate FTP support starting with Chrome v80. The main issue with FTP right now i...

How Should Schools Grade Unexpected-But-Correct Answers On Coding Tests?

There can be more than one correct answer for academic tests of programming ability, writes long-time Slashdot reader theodp: Take the first of the Free-Response Questions in this year's AP CS A exam, which asked 70,000 college-bound students to "Write the static method numberOfLeapYears, which returns the number of leap years between year1 and year2." The correct answer, according to the CollegeBoard's 2019 Scoring Guidelines, entails iterating over the range of years and invoking a provided...

'I Want a Super-Smart Chair!'

Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes: Imagine you had a perfect chair for using your computer. Also a perfect chair for watching TV. And a chair for listening to music, a chair for reading, a chair for napping, a work chair that keeps you awake, and a perfect chair for dinner. Also a massage chair and a diagnostic chair that checks your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. Is your house full of chairs yet? Wait! what about your spouse's perfect chairs? Need a bigger house? What if you h...

Intel Patches Three High-Severity Vulnerabilities

Intel's latest patches "stomped out three high-severity vulnerabilities and five medium-severity flaws," reports Threatpost: One of the more serious vulnerabilities exist in the Intel Processor Identification Utility for Windows, free software that users can install on their Windows machines to identify the actual specification of their processors. The flaw (CVE-2019-11163) has a score of 8.2 out of 10 on the CVSS scale, making it high severity. It stems from insufficient access control in a ...
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