FBI and Homeland Security Detail Russian Hacking Campaign In New Report

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI have released an analysis of the allegedly Russian government-sponsored hacking groups blamed for breaching several different parts of the Democratic party during the 2016 elections. The 13-page document, released on Thursday and meant for information technology professionals, came as Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. The report was criticized by security experts, who said it lacked depth and came too late. “The activity by [Russian intelligence services] is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the U.S. government and its citizens,” wrote the authors of the government report. “This [joint analysis report] provides technical indicators related to many of these operations, recommended mitigations, suggested actions to take in response to the indicators provided, and information on how to report such incidents to the U.S. government.” The government report follows several from the private sector, notably a lengthy section in a Microsoft report from 2015 on a hacking team referred to as “advanced persistent threat 28” (APT 28), which the company’s internal nomenclature calls Strontium and others have called Fancy Bear. Also mentioned in the government document is another group called APT 29 or Cozy Bear. The Microsoft report contains a history of the groups’ operation; a report by security analysts ThreatConnect describes the team’s modus operandi; and competing firm CrowdStrike detailed the attack on the Democratic National Committee shortly before subsequent breaches of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign were discovered.

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First Click: What tech trend interests you most in the year ahead?

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The world’s biggest consumer electronics show kicks off next week. It’s a curtain raiser of sorts; a place to glimpse where technology advancements are heading in 2017.

Last year’s CES saw 177,393 people from 81 countries converge on 3,887 exhibitors in a space spanning 2.47 million net square feet. It was attended by 7,545 members of the press which is 1,700 more than were at the 2016 Olympic Games according to numbers gathered by the organization that puts on the show. So yeah, it’s huge.

But CES isn’t typically the place where huge, earth-shattering announcements are made. It’s a place where dozens, if not hundreds, of new products coalesce into categories that predict industry trends. It’s a chance to see what will be for sale next…

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Poll
What tech trend interests you most in 2017?















  4 votes | Results

Land one of the highest in-demand tech jobs as a DevOps pro

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Running a cloud-based service requires much more than just software developers. Developer Operations engineers are crucial to the growth, maintenance, and security of online products. Mastering the skills required to be a DevOps engineer can be overwhelming, but this Ultimate DevOps Mastery Bundle will provide a solid foundation.

This 9-course bundle will introduce you to a variety of IT subjects. Prepare for the Amazon Web Services Solutions Architect Professional exam. Dive into the fundamentals of Systems Administration with Linux/UNIX to manage users and software on servers. Explore network security by studying for a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Additionally, this course bundle will familiarize you with the basics of coding, database management, modern software deployment techniques, and large-scale data analysis. Proficiency in all of these areas is essential to becoming a successful IT professional, and this curated course bundle provides an accessible introduction. For a limited time, get this Ultimate DevOps Mastery Bundle for just $43, over 92% off the regular price.

Satellite Spots Massive Object Hidden Under the Frozen Wastes of Antarctica

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schwit1 quotes a report from The Sun: Scientists believe a massive object which could change our understanding of history is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice. The huge and mysterious “anomaly” is thought to be lurking beneath the frozen wastes of an area called Wilkes Land. It stretches for a distance of 151 miles across and has a maximum depth of about 848 meters. Some researchers believe it is the remains of a truly massive asteroid which was more than twice the size of the Chicxulub space rock which wiped out the dinosaurs. If this explanation is true, it could mean this killer asteroid caused the Permian-Triassic extinction event which killed 96 percent of Earth’s sea creatures and up to 70 percent of the vertebrate organisms living on land.This “Wilkes Land gravity anomaly” was first uncovered in 2006, when NASA satellites spotted gravitational changes which indicated the presence of a huge object sitting in the middle of a 300 mile wide impact crater.

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This upsetting Barenaked Ladies remix is the perfect song for a horrible 2016

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If you’ve spent any time on the internet in recent months you’ll have seen one of the multiple cuts of Bee Movie, inspired by the version that speeds up every time someone says “bee.” Meme artists have also seized on Antz, Filipino cartoon The Nutshack, and Lazy Town villain Robbie Rotten’s song “We Are The One” as prime fodder for this kind of weird solipsistic creation.

The latest of these uses Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week” (a song just behind Smash Mouth’s “All Star” in terms of memeworthiness), and replaces every instrument and lyric with the very first line in the song — lead vocalist Steven Page singing “It’s been…” Absorbing the results of the remix, I was struck by how fast the human voice stops sounding like a voice, and…

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Paintings Reveal Signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s In Famous Artists

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Researchers from the University of Liverpool believe it is possible to detect cognitive decline in the paintings of famous artists by analyzing subtle changes in their brush strokes over time. The technique may one day be used to flag Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in artists before they’re diagnosed. Gizmodo reports: A new study published in Neuropsychology shows that a mathematical technique known as “fractal analysis” can be used to detect signs of neurodegeneration in an artist’s work. A research team led by Alex Forsythe from the University of Liverpool’s School of Psychology made the discovery by examining 2,092 paintings from the careers of seven famous artists who experienced either normal aging or neurodegenerative disorders. Using fractal analysis, the researchers were able to identify complex geometric patterns in the brushstrokes of each artist. Fractals can reveal hidden and often self-repeating patterns in everyday objects and phenomena. These distinctive geometrical shapes are like fingerprints, allowing scientists to match an artist with his or her work. With this in mind, Forsythe’s team sought to learn if variations in an artist’s fractal fingerprint over time are a function of increasing age, or if neurological decline has something to do with it. For the study, the researchers examined paintings from four artists known to have suffered from either Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, namely Salvadore Dali, Norval Morrisseau, James Brooks, and Willem De Kooning. The researchers also studied the works of three artists who had no known neurodegenerative problems: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet. Fractal analysis demonstrated clear patterns of change among the artists who suffered neurological deterioration compared to those who aged normally. In all cases, the fractal fingerprints changed, but the fractal dimensions produced by the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s artists showed consistent patterns that were distinguishable from the healthy group.

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Inferno JS: Build and Authenticate an App – Part II

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Did you miss Part I? Catch up here.

Create a Loading Component

In our App.js file, we’re simply showing <p>Loading...</p> when there isn’t any dinosaur data. However, this should be an error instead if the API isn’t available. You may have noticed that we put error in the state but didn’t use it in render() yet. Let’s create a small component that conditionally shows a loading image or an error message.

Love Thy Command Line

See the original posting on DZone Python

For the last decade, Windows or .NET developers using Visual Studio have been shielded from the command line. Why do we need command line tools when just about everything needed for app development is right there in Visual Studio? Simply use the extensive IDE menu options or the right-click to access additional operations through the context menus. As a result, command line tooling has often been thought of as counter-productive and meant for the über geeks.

But are rich IDEs making developers lazy? Why do we depend on having a UI to perform even the simplest of tasks? Do you keep hearing people boast of the power and flexibility of the command line? Or of features that you just cannot invoke from your IDE? Relax – the command line isn’t difficult to use. With a little practice, you can master the art and have a lot of power at your disposal.

Samsung’s new curved monitor coming to CES is somewhat tailored for gamers

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ces2017_ch711_curvedmonitor_attachment_8 Right before the New Year begins — and with it, CES — tech companies tend to out many of their upcoming wares before the show even starts. Take Samsung for example, with their new CH711 quantum dot curved monitor. The CH711 comes in two sizes: 27 or 31.5-inch displays, both with 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution. Naturally,Samsung is touting the deep and distinct 1800R curvature… Read More

Facebook Buys Data From Third-Party Brokers To Fill In User Profiles

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from International Business Times: According to a report from ProPublica, the world’s largest social network knows far more about its users than just what they do online. What Facebook can’t glean from a user’s activity, it’s getting from third-party data brokers. ProPublica found the social network is purchasing additional information including personal income, where a person eats out and how many credit cards they keep. That data all comes separate from the unique identifiers that Facebook generates for its users based on interests and online behavior. A separate investigation by ProPublica in which the publication asked users to report categories of interest Facebook assigned to them generated more than 52,000 attributes. The data Facebook pays for from other brokers to round out user profiles isn’t disclosed by the company beyond a note that it gets information “from a few different sources.” Those sources, according to ProPublica, come from commercial data brokers who have access to information about people that isn’t linked directly to online behavior. The social network doesn’t disclose those sources because the information isn’t collected by Facebook and is publicly available. Facebook does provide a page in its help center that details how to get removed from the lists held by third-party data brokers. However, the process isn’t particularly easy. In the case of the Oracle-owned Datalogix, users who want off the list have to send a written request and a copy of a government-issued identification in the mail to Oracle’s chief privacy officer. Another data collecting service, Acxiom, requires users provide the last four digits of their social security number to see the information the company has gathered about them.

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Amazon is putting ‘thousands’ of digital items on sale December 30th

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Tomorrow, Amazon is holding its first-ever “Digital Day,” a 24-hour period of steep markdowns on apps, games, music, TV shows, movies, ebooks, comics, and other digital content. The company has set up a teaser page revealing some of what will be on sale, including temporary savings on a subscription to Amazon’s Spotify competitor, Amazon Music Unlimited.

“Enjoy up to 80 percent off hundreds of video game titles, 50 percent off on top movies and TV shows, 75 percent off on hundreds of digital comics, and other great deals on popular content for your devices,” the page reads. In total, Amazon is promising savings on “thousands” of digital items.

Other to-be-discounted selections include Disney Crossy Road, H&R Block tax software, The Lego…

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Toshiba Is ‘Burning Cash At An Alarming Rate’

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bsharma quotes a report from Reuters: Faced with the prospect of a multibillion-dollar write-down that could wipe out its shareholders’ equity, Japan’s Toshiba is running out of fixes: It is burning cash, cannot issue shares, and has few easy assets left to sell. The Tokyo-based conglomerate, which is still recovering from a $1.3 billion accounting scandal in 2015, dismayed investors and lenders again this week by announcing that cost overruns at a U.S. nuclear business bought only last year meant it could now face a crippling charge against profit. Toshiba says it will be weeks before it can give a final number, but a write-down of the scale expected — as much as 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion), according to one source close to Toshiba — would leave the group scrambling to plug the financial hole and keep up hefty investments in the competitive memory chip industry, which generates the bulk of its operating profit. “Toshiba’s immediate problem is that it is burning cash at an alarming rate, and this will be more than challenging,” said Ken Courtis, chairman of Starfort Investment Holdings. “I see little option but to sell a slew of non-core assets.”One source in the semiconductor industry said Toshiba could revive plans to list a slice of the memory chip business, which though highly profitable burns through cash for reinvestment. “Toshiba will probably need to sell 30-40 percent of the NAND business in an IPO to secure enough cash,” the source said, adding China’s aggressive drive into NAND flash memory chips could make the timing reasonable. The group has already said it could reconsider the “positioning” of its nuclear business, deemed core last year, and has signaled it could trim an 87 percent stake.

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How fast is fast charging?

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Jaguar I-PACE concept at the 2016 LA Auto Show EVgo announced this month that it has broken ground on what will be the first public DC fast charging station capable of up to 350 kw in California — more powerful even than current charging champs Tesla Superchargers. The EVgo station will be ready to charge up near the World’s Tallest Thermometer (yup) in Baker, California, this summer. This begs the questions, how fast are… Read More

Mining Companies Are Using Autonomous Trucks, Drills and Trains To Boost Efficiency, Reduce Employees

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schwit1 quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Mining companies are rolling out autonomous trucks, drills, and trains, which will boost efficiency but also reduce the need for human employees. Rio Tinto uses driverless trucks provided by Japan’s Komatsu. They find their way around using precision GPS and look out for obstacles using radar and laser sensors. The company’s driverless trucks have proven to be roughly 15 percent cheaper to run than vehicles with humans behind the wheel — a significant saving since haulage is by far a mine’s largest operational cost. Trucks that drive themselves can spend more time working because software doesn’t need to stop for shift changes or bathroom breaks. They are also more predictable in how they do things like pull up for loading. “All those places where you could lose a few seconds or minutes by not being consistent add up,” says Rob Atkinson, who leads productivity efforts at Rio Tinto. They also improve safety. The driverless locomotives, due to be tested extensively next year and fully deployed by 2018, are expected to bring similar benefits. They also anticipate savings on train maintenance, because software can be more predictable and gentle than any human in how it uses brakes and other controls. Diggers and bulldozers could be next to be automated.

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Facebook stalls in lawsuit alleging its facial recognition tech violates Illinois law

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facebook_facial_rec An Illinois law is proving a thorn in Facebook’s side as a class action lawsuit, alleging mishandling of biometric information, moves towards trial. The latest developments in the case have the social network objecting against releasing or even admitting the existence of all manner of data, but the plaintiffs aren’t taking “objection” for an answer. Read More

Republicans Propose Bill To Impose Fines For Live-Streaming From House Floor

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Likely in response to the 25-hour sit-in staged by Democrats earlier in 2016, protesting the lack of gun reform, House Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed new fines and ethics violations for House members that take photo and video from the floor of the chamber. Digital Trends reports: According to Bloomberg, the first violation will net violators a $500 fine, which will be deducted from member’s paychecks. Second and subsequent violations will carry a steeper fine of $2,500 per incident. Not only that, any other incidents that may disrupt decorum could be sent to the House Committee on Ethics, potentially leading to sanctions. “These changes will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work,” a spokeswoman for Ryan said in a statement. Taking photo or video had already been prohibited on the floor, but was never enforced. But after the sit-in, led by John Lewis (D-Ga.), Ryan called a recess, effectively ending the C-SPAN broadcast. That is when Democrats used their phones and took to social media. “The imposition of a fine could potentially violate both the First Amendment, as well as, the Speech and Debate clause, which creates extensive protections for speech by legislators,” Chip Gibbons, who serves as the policy and legislative counsel for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending Dissent Foundation, told Digital Trends in an email. According to Gibbons, courts have already found that under certain circumstances, recording footage does fall under speech. “Given the public interest — and inherently political nature of the act — it seems likely that videos, photography, and live streaming from the House floor would also be found to be speech, and protected by the First Amendment,” Gibbons said.

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