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30-Year-Old Operating System ‘PC-MOS/386’ Finally Open Sourced

Oct 23

PC-MOS/386 “was a multi-user, computer multitasking operating system…announced at COMDEX in November 1986,” remembers Wikipedia, saying it runs many MS-DOS titles (though it’s optimized for the Intel 80386 processor).
Today Slashdot user Roeland Jansen writes:
After some tracking, racing and other stuff…PC-MOS/386 v5.01 is open source under GPLv3. Back in May he’d posted to a virtualization site that “I still have the source tapes. I want(ed) to make it GPL and while I got an OK on it, I haven’t had time nor managed to get it legalized. E.g. lift the NDA and be able to publish.”

1987 magazine ads described it as “the gateway to the latest technology…and your networking future,” and 30 years later its release on GitHub includes sources and executables. “In concert with Gary Robertson and Rod Roark it has been decided to place all under GPL v3.”


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Could Cryptocurrency Mining Kill Online Advertising?

Oct 23

“Could it turn out users actually prefer to trade a little CPU time to website owners in favor of them not showing ads?” writes phonewebcam, a long-time Slashdot reader.

Slashdot covered the downside [of in-browser cryptocurrency mining] recently, with even [Portuguese professional sportsballer] Cristiano Ronaldo’s official site falling victim, but that may not be the full story. This could be an ideal win-win situation, except for one huge downside — the current gang of online advertisers.
By “current gang of online advertisers,” he means Google, according to a longer essay at LinkedIn:
Naturally, the world’s largest ad broker, which runs the world most popular browser (desktop and mobile) is keen to see how this plays out, and is also uniquely placed to be able to heavily influence it, too… As it happens, Chrome users can already do something about it via extensions, for example AntiMiner… If cryptocurrencies have a future – and that’s a big if (look at China’s Bitcoin ban) – it could well turn out that their role just took an unexpected turn.


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Tesla Plans Factory In China, Discounts Insurance For Self-Driving US Cars

Oct 23

Business Insider reports:
Tesla has created a customized insurance package, InsureMyTesla, that is cheaper than traditional plans because it factors in the vehicles’ Autopilot safety features and maintenance costs. InsureMyTesla has been available in 20 countries, but Tesla just recently partnered with Liberty Mutual to make the plan available in the U.S. InsureMyTesla shows how the insurance industry is bound for disruption as cars get safer with self-driving tech.

Electrek reports:
There have been several false alarms over the past few years about Tesla building a factory in China. Earlier this year, Tesla finally confirmed working with the Shanghai government to establish a manufacturing facility in the region and promised an announcement by the end of the year. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that they have come to an agreement with the local authorities on a “wholly owned” factory in the region… China is already the biggest market for electric vehicles, or any vehicles for that matter, and Tesla profited from the demand by tripling its sales to over $1 billion in the country in 2016. Tesla continues to have strong sales in the country this year, where it leads foreign electric car sales with no close second.


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Security Upgraded For NetBSD-amd64 with Kernel ASLR Support

Oct 23

24 years after its release, NetBSD is getting a security upgrade — specifically, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). An anonymous reader writes:
Support for Kernel ASLR was added on NetBSD-amd64 a few weeks ago. KASLR basically randomizes the address of the kernel, and makes it harder to exploit several classes of vulnerabilities [including privilege escalations and remote code execution]. It is still a work-in-progress, but it’s already fully functional, and can be used following the instructions on this post from the NetBSD blog. It will be available starting from NetBSD 9, but may be backported to NetBSD 8 once it is stabilized.

NetBSD says they’re the first BSD system to support ASLR.


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Canadian Government Teams With Facebook To Protect Election Integrity

Oct 23

An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard:
There are nearly as many Canadians who use Facebook daily as there are people in this country who are registered to vote — which is why the federal government is working with Facebook to protect its next federal election… Facebook is now facing perhaps its biggest test as it looks to curb foreign electoral interference and the rampant disinformation on its platform, both of which undermine the nature of democracy. Facebook Canada’s election integrity project includes a partnership with a local digital news media literacy organization MediaSmarts, as well as a “cyberhygiene guide” that highlights particular vulnerabilities such as phishing and page-admin authentication. Facebook also has a crisis email line to help politicians and parties with hacking concerns… Kevin Chan, Facebook Canada’s head of public policy, said the social media company is working on preventing bad actors from interfering with the democratic process. “At Facebook we take our responsibilities seriously,” Chan said. “We don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy.”
At the launch of “the Canadian Election Integrity Initiative,” Canada’s Minister of Democratic Institutions argued that social media sites “must begin to view themselves as actors in shaping the democratic discourse.”

The article points out Facebook “has promised to hire thousands of workers globally to help review flagged and suspicious content, as well as use machine learning to identify suspicious patterns of behavior on its platform.”


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With Rising Database Breaches, Two-Factor Authentication Also At Risk

Oct 23

Two-factor authentication “protects from an attacker listening in right now,” writes Slashdot reader szczys, “but in many case a database breach will negate the protections of two-factor.” Hackaday reports:

To fake an app-based 2FA query, someone has to know your TOTP password. That’s all, and that’s relatively easy. And in the event that the TOTP-key database gets compromised, the bad hackers will know everyone’s TOTP keys.

How did this come to pass? In the old days, there was a physical dongle made by RSA that generated pseudorandom numbers in hardware. The secret key was stored in the dongle’s flash memory, and the device was shipped with it installed. This was pretty plausibly “something you had” even though it was based on a secret number embedded in silicon. (More like “something you don’t know?”) The app authenticators are doing something very similar, even though it’s all on your computer and the secret is stored somewhere on your hard drive or in your cell phone. The ease of finding this secret pushes it across the plausibility border into “something I know”, at least for me.

The original submission calls two-factor authentication “an enhancement to password security, but good password practices are far and away still the most important of security protocols.” (Meaning complex and frequently-changed passwords.)


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A 14-Year-Old Asks: When Should I Get a VPN?

Oct 23

“One of my students sent me this letter,” writes Slashdot reader Hasaf. “I have a good idea how I will answer, but I wanted to put it before the Slashdot community.” The letter reads:
Right now I am 14 years old, I was wondering when I should get a VPN… I was thinking about getting the yearly deal. But right now I really have no need for a VPN at the moment. I was thinking of getting a VPN when I’m in 11th grade or maybe in college. What do you think?
Of course, the larger question is what factors go into deciding whether your need to be using a VPN. So leave your best answers in the comments. When should you get your first VPN?


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Microsoft Chastises Google Over Chrome Security

Oct 23

An anonymous reader quotes PCMag:
In a Wednesday blog post, Redmond examined Google’s browser security and took the opportunity to throw some shade at Chrome’s security philosophy, while also touting the benefits of its own Edge browser. The post, written by Microsoft security team member Jordan Rabet, noted that Google’s Chrome browser uses “sandboxing” and isolation techniques designed to contain any malicious code. Nevertheless, Microsoft still managed to find a security hole in Chrome that could be used to execute malicious code on the browser.

The bug involved a Javascript engine in Chrome. Microsoft notified Google about the problem, which was patched last month. The company even received a $7,500 reward for finding the flaw. However, Microsoft made sure to point out that its own Edge browser was protected from the same kind of security threat. It also criticized Google for the way it handled the patching process. Prior to the patch’s official rollout, the source code for the fix was made public on GitHub, a software collaboration site that hosts computer code. That meant attentive hackers could have learned about the vulnerability before the patch was pushed out to customers, Microsoft claimed. “In this specific case, the stable channel of Chrome remained vulnerable for nearly a month,” the blog post said. “That is more than enough time for an attacker to exploit it.”
In the past Google has also disclosed vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products — including Edge.


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Custom Mustang-palooza headed to Ford’s SEMA booth

Oct 22

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Ford’s got big Mustang plans for SEMA, including seven customs from seven tuners.

Continue reading Custom Mustang-palooza headed to Ford’s SEMA booth

Custom Mustang-palooza headed to Ford’s SEMA booth originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 21 Oct 2017 13:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Here are the used vehicles that sell the quickest in America

Oct 22

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On average, it takes just over 33 days to sell a used vehicle in America. Some vehicles, particular electric cars, sell much more quickly.

Continue reading Here are the used vehicles that sell the quickest in America

Here are the used vehicles that sell the quickest in America originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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