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Posts from December, 2014

McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari call for unfreezing F1 engines

Dec 31

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After Mercedes dominated the 2014 Formula One World Championship, rival teams Red Bull, Ferrari and now McLaren – each of them more accustomed to winning – are calling on the FIA to open up engine development.

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McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari call for unfreezing F1 engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NHTSA awards Audi A3 and S3 sedans five stars

Dec 31

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The Audi A3 and S3 sedans aced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program tests, each scoring five stars overall. The A3 sedan is also a Top Safety Pick+ according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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NHTSA awards Audi A3 and S3 sedans five stars originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 08:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Matthew McConaughey Lincoln pitches drive on with new MKZ ads

Dec 31

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Lincoln and Matthew McConaughey are back together with a pair of new commercials, this time working on behalf of the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid. The spots, “Balance” and “Diner,” are new, but the formula is the same – cinematic, contemplative, channeling more than a bit of True Detective.

Continue reading Matthew McConaughey Lincoln pitches drive on with new MKZ ads

Matthew McConaughey Lincoln pitches drive on with new MKZ ads originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Dec 2014 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Security Research At the Hague, Netherlands: Mobile Network and Internet Threats

Dec 31

MojoKid writes: The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is the official title of a collaborative effort between Netherlands businesses, their federal government and multiple research institutions, to identify emerging security threats, share best practices, and foster collaboration between industry, governments, and universities. One of the most pressing issues they’re tackling is that of mobile network and internet security. One point that the Netherlands’ officials made repeatedly is that the country is essentially the “digital gateway” to Europe. This might seem like hubris but once you look at the arrangement of undersea cables between the U.S. and Europe, it makes a lot more sense. The Netherlands is far from the only transatlantic connection hub between the U.S. and Europe, but it certainly accounts for a significant chunk of total cable capacity. One of the brainchildren of the HSD is the creation of what it calls the “Trusted Networks Initiative” that would allow direct denial of service attacks originating from specific countries to be cut off. By creating a network “bridge” that can be raised and lowered, the idea is that content and visitors can be cleanly isolated from the bad actors launching an attack. There’s an intrinsic assumption here — specifically, the idea that attackers are gathered into a group of systems that can cleanly be split from the so-called “trusted” networks that would continue to operate. It is however, an interesting concept to thwart broad-scale DDoS attacks.

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Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

Dec 31

An anonymous reader writes: Have you enjoyed reading the constant flow of news about how red light cameras are failing? They’ve been installed under the shadow of corruption, they don’t increase safety, and major cities are dropping them. Well, the good news is that red-light cameras are on the decline in the U.S. The bad news is that speeding cameras are on the rise. From the article: “The number of U.S. communities using red-light cameras has fallen 13 percent, to 469, since the end of 2012, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit scientific and educational organization funded by the insurance industry. That includes the 24 towns in New Jersey that participated in a pilot program that ended this month with no pending legislation to revive it. Meanwhile, the institute estimates that 137 communities use speed cameras, up from 115 at the end of 2011.”

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The Open-Office Is Destroying the Workplace

Dec 31

HughPickens.com writes: Lindsey Kaufman reports in the WaPo that despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country, with about 70 percent of U.S. offices having no or low partitions. Silicon Valley has led the way — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisted famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers within a single room that stretches 10 acres. Michael Bloomberg was another early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, ensuring clandestine porn-watching, constant social media-browsing and unlimited personal cellphone use isn’t occupying billing hours. But according to Kaufman, employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity. A 2013 study showed many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem, and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. The New Yorker, in a review of research on this nouveau workplace design, determined that the benefits in building camaraderie simply mask the negative effects on work performance. While employees feel like they’re part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the environment ultimately damages workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction says Kaufman. “Though multitasking millennials seem to be more open to distraction as a workplace norm, the wholehearted embrace of open offices may be ingraining a cycle of underperformance in their generation,” writes Maria Konnikova. “They enjoy, build, and proselytize for open offices, but may also suffer the most from them in the long run.”

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Over 78% of All PHP Installs Are Insecure

Dec 31

An anonymous reader writes: Anthony Ferrara, a developer advocate at Google, has published a blog post with some statistics showing the sorry state of affairs for website security involving PHP. After defining a list of secure and supported versions of PHP, he used data from W3Techs to find a rough comparison between the number of secure installs and the number of insecure or outdated installs. After doing some analysis, Ferrara sets the upper bound on secure installs at 21.71%. He adds, “These numbers are optimistic. That’s because we’re counting all version numbers that are maintained by a distribution as secure, even though not all installs of that version number are going to be from a distribution. Just because 5.3.3 is maintained by CentOS and Debian doesn’t mean that every install of 5.3.3 is maintained. There will be a small percentage of installs that are from-source. Therefore, the real ‘secure’ number is going to be less than quoted.” Ferrara was inspired to dig into the real world stats after another recent discussion of responsible developer practices.

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NSA Says They Have VPNs In a ‘Vulcan Death Grip’

Dec 31

An anonymous reader sends this quote from Ars Technica: The National Security Agency’s Office of Target Pursuit (OTP) maintains a team of engineers dedicated to cracking the encrypted traffic of virtual private networks (VPNs) and has developed tools that could potentially uncloak the traffic in the majority of VPNs used to secure traffic passing over the Internet today, according to documents published this week by the German news magazine Der Speigel. A slide deck from a presentation by a member of OTP’s VPN Exploitation Team, dated September 13, 2010, details the process the NSA used at that time to attack VPNs—including tools with names drawn from Star Trek and other bits of popular culture.

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Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

Dec 31

StartsWithABang writes: This past weekend, Eric Metaxas lit up the world with his bold article in the Wall Street Journal, Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God. As a scientific counterpoint, this article fully addresses three major points of that “case,” including what the condition are that we need for life to arise, how rare (or common) are those conditions, and if we don’t find life where we expect it, can we learn anything about God at all?

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What’s the Future of Corporate IT and ITSM? (Video)

Dec 31

Our headline is the title of a survey SysAid did at Fusion, a “gathering of seasoned IT directors, service management implementers, and business analysts” that took place in early November. As Sysaid’s marketing VP, Sophie Danby was the person who designed and implemented the survey, which consisted of only three questions: 1) Where do you see the corporate IT department in five years’ time? 2) With the consumerization of IT continuing to drive employee expectations of corporate IT, how will this potentially disrupt the way companies deliver IT? 3) What IT process or activity is the most important in creating superior user experiences to boost user/customer satisfaction? || You can obviously follow the first link above and see the survey’s results. But in the video, Sophie adds some insights beyond the numerical survey results into near-future IT changes and what they mean for people currently working in the field.

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