An anonymous reader writes "I was a consultant for nearly 20 years and I got into projects where I had to work with a huge variety of software, operating systems, hardware, programming languages, and other assorted technologies. After retiring from that I have spent the last 10 years in a completely different sector. Now I find myself wanting to really focus on coding for personal reasons. You can imagine how out-of-touch I am since I never really was more than a hack to begin with. I can learn syntax and basics in a weekend, question is, what Language should I become native to? Never liked anything 'lower-level' than C, and I don't have the funds to 'buy' my development environment....help me Slashdot, you're my only hope."
Find out the latest on data centers with SlashDataCenter.
An anonymous reader writes "An Apple programmer, apparently by accident, left a debug flag open in the most recent version of its Mac OS X operating system. In specific configurations, applying the OS X Lion update 10.7.3 turns on a system-wide debug log file that contains the login passwords of every user who has logged in since the update was applied. The passwords are stored in clear text."
bhagwad writes "Apparently Robert Scoble tried to post a long comment on Facebook only to have a message pop up saying 'This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can't be posted. To avoid having your comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.' If true, this is huge. For one the self-moderating system of comments has always been the rule so far. And with countries like India rooting for the pre-screening of content and comments, is Facebook thinking of caving into these demands?" Facebook says there's a more innocuous explanation: namely, that the comment triggered a spam filter.
TheGift73 writes with a link to (and this excerpt from the beginning of) a brief description at TorrentFreak of recently signed agreements between the U.S. and Australia: "Figures.... File-sharing was firmly on the agenda when the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security touched down in the Australian capital last week. The four new agreements – promptly signed before Secretary Janet Napolitano flew back out of Canberra – were less about sharing season two of Game of Thrones and more about sharing the private, government held information of Australian citizens with U.S. authorities."
wiredmikey writes "On Wednesday, a remote code execution vulnerability in PHP was accidentally exposed to the Web, prompting fears that it may be used to target vulnerable websites on a massive scale. The bug itself was traced back to 2004, and came to light during a recent CTF competition. 'When PHP is used in a CGI-based setup (such as Apache's mod_cgid), the php-cgi receives a processed query string parameter as command line arguments which allows command-line switches, such as -s, -d or -c to be passed to the php-cgi binary, which can be exploited to disclose source code and obtain arbitrary code execution,' a CERT advisory explains. PHP developers pushed a fix for the flaw, resulting in the release of PHP 5.3.12 and 5.4.2, but as it turns out it didn't actually remove the vulnerability."
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft researchers have analyzed a new piece of Mac malware that uses a multi-stage attack similar to typical Windows malware infection routines. In a post titled 'An interesting case of Mac OSX malware' the Microsoft Malware Protection Center closed with this statement: 'In conclusion, we can see that Mac OSX is not safe from malware. Statistically speaking, as this operating system gains in consumer usage, attacks on the platform will increase. Exploiting Mac OSX is not much different from other operating systems. Even though Mac OSX has introduced many mitigation technologies to reduce risk, your protection against security vulnerabilities has a direct correlation with updating installed applications.'"
bonch writes "Apple has quietly replaced the iPad 2's A5 with a smaller 32nm die that increases battery life by 15 to 30%. It's theorized that Apple is using the iPad 2 as a test bed for the new hardware platform, which shrinks the surface area of the A5 to 57% of the previous size."
suraj.sun quotes from Politico: "Rand Paul has a reform plan for the Transportation Security Administration: Scrap the whole thing. A personal message from Paul (R-Ky.) came atop emails this week from the Campaign for Liberty Vice President Matt Hawes, asking for readers to sign a petition in support of Paul's 'End the TSA' bill. A Paul spokeswoman said that legislation is being finalized next week. 'Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as "security" as we travel around the country. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to do away with the TSA for good, but he needs our help,' reads the petition, which also asks signers to 'chip in a contribution to help C4L mobilize liberty activists across America to turn the heat up on Congress and end the TSA's abuse of our rights.' 'The American people shouldn't be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I've vowed to lead the charge to fight back,' Paul wrote at the top of a C4L fundraising pitch, according to blogs that received the email. 'Campaign for Liberty is leading the fight to pressure Congress to act now and restore our liberty. It's time to END the TSA and get the government's hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.'"
judgecorp writes "The Syrian government is using Skype as a channel to infect activists' systems with malware, installing Trojans and backdoors, according to security firm F-Secure. The evidence comes from a hard drive sent for analysis. 'The activist's system had become infected as a result of a Skype chat. The chat request came from a fellow activist. The problem was that the fellow activist had already been arrested and could not have started the chat. Initial infection occurred when the activist accepted a file called MACAddressChanger.exe over the chat. This utility was supposed to change the hardware MAC address of the system in order to bypass some monitoring tools. Instead, it dropped a file called silvia.exe which was a backdoor — a backdoor called "Xtreme RAT." Xtreme Rat is a full-blown malicious Remote Access Tool.'"
Harperdog writes "Tom Jacobs has a very cool little story about an Israeli research team introducing a novel way of verifying a computer is being operated by its rightful user. Its method, described in the journal Information Sciences, 'continuously verifies users according to characteristics of their interaction with the mouse.'"
First time accepted submitter kongshem writes "According to Symantec's annual Internet Security Threat Report, religious and ideological websites have far more security threats per infected site than adult/pornographic sites. Why is that? Symantec's theory: 'We hypothesize that this is because pornographic Web site owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interested in keeping their sites malware-free — it's not good for repeat business,'"
An anonymous reader writes "If you're running a terrorist organization, it might make sense to encrypt your files. Clearly Osama Bin Laden didn't realize that — as some of the documents seized during the raid on his hideout in Pakistan have been made public for the first time. 17 electronic documents, which were found on USB sticks, memory cards and computer hard drives after US Navy Seals killed the terrorist chief in the May 2011 raid, are being released in their original Arabic alongside English translations by the Combating Terrorism Center, reports Sophos."
milbournosphere writes "New York Judge Gary Brown has found that IP addresses don't provide enough evidence to identify pirates, and wrote an extensive argument explaining his reasoning. A quote from the judge's order: 'While a decade ago, home wireless networks were nearly non-existent, 61% of U.S. homes now have wireless access. As a result, a single IP address usually supports multiple computer devices – which unlike traditional telephones can be operated simultaneously by different individuals. Different family members, or even visitors, could have performed the alleged downloads. Unless the wireless router has been appropriately secured (and in some cases, even if it has been secured), neighbors or passersby could access the Internet using the IP address assigned to a particular subscriber and download the plaintiff's film.' Perhaps this will help to stem the tide of frivolous mass lawsuits being brought by the RIAA and other rights-holders where IP addresses are the bulk of the 'evidence' suggested."
ananyo writes "The head of NASA Ames Research Center may have fallen victim to restrictive arms regulations — just as a US government report recommends changing them to help the space industry. Simon 'Pete' Worden, who recently announced that Mars exploration would be done by private companies, has been accused of giving foreign citizens access to information that falls under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). ITAR has hampered U.S. firms seeking to export satellite technology. The allegations against Worden come just as the new report recommends moving oversight of many commercial satellites and related activities from the State department to the Commerce department, and some fear they could provide lawmakers with reasons to not ease export controls."
New accepted submitter super_rancid writes that issue 154 of the "UK-based Linux Format magazine was pulled from Barnes and Noble bookstores in the U.S. after featuring an article called 'Learn to Hack'. They used 'hack' in the populist security sense, rather than the traditional sense, and the feature — which they put online — was used to illustrate how poor your server's security is likely to be by breaking into it."