women_coders

Women write better code, study suggests

BBC Online

Computer code written by women has a higher approval rating than that written by men – but only if their gender is not identifiable, new research suggests.
 
The US researchers analysed nearly 1.4 million users of the open source program-sharing service Github.
 
They found that pull requests – or suggested code changes – made on the service by women were more likely to be accepted than those by men.
 
The paper is awaiting peer review.  Read more …..
 

 

Rarely Patched Software Bugs in Home Routers Cripple Security

 
 
By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES WSJ
Jan. 18, 2016 11:58 a.m. ET
 
In late 2014, a small Massachusetts software company got an ominous email: A computer-security researcher said a flaw in one of its programs put millions world-wide at risk of being hacked.
 
Engineers at the company, Allegro Software Development Corp., analyzed the flaw in the program, which can help users access the controls of home Internet routers. They quickly realized something strange: They had fixed this bug nearly 10 years earlier. But it lived on, even in new devices.  Read the article at WSJ

library_congress

Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses

The new rules for exemptions to copyright’s DRM-circumvention laws were issued today, and the Librarian of Congress has granted much of what EFF asked for over the course of months of extensive briefs and hearings. The exemptions we requested—ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them; jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and other portable computing devices to run third party software; and security research and modification and repairs on cars—have each been accepted, subject to some important caveats.

The exemptions are needed thanks to a fundamentally flawed law that forbids users from breaking DRM, even if the purpose is a clearly lawful fair use. As software has become ubiquitous, so has DRM. Users often have to circumvent that DRM to make full use of their devices, from DVDs to games to smartphones and cars.

The law allows users to request exemptions for such lawful uses—but it doesn’t make it easy. Exemptions are granted through an elaborate rulemaking process that takes place every three years and places a heavy burden on EFF and the many other requesters who take part. Every exemption must be argued anew, even if it was previously granted, and even if there is no opposition. The exemptions that emerge are limited in scope. What is worse, they only apply to end users—the people who are actually doing the ripping, tinkering, jailbreaking, or research—and not to the people who make the tools that facilitate those lawful activities.

Read more …..

Android logo

Bug Lets Hackers Into Nearly Any Android Phone Using Nothing But an MMS Text Message

A major flaw in Android software allows an attacker to take complete control of a device by simply sending a specifically crafted media text  message.  The flaw was first reported by Zimperium zLabs VP of Platform Research and Exploitation, Joshua J. Drake – See more at: http://blog.zimperium.com/experts-found-a-unicorn-in-the-heart-of-android/#sthash.92fOeK4Q.dpuf

To kitigate the threat until an Android device receives a patch, go to Hangouts, select the menu in the upper left and select Settings.  SElect the SMS settings, scroll down until you see "Auto retrieve SMS and UNCHECK that box.  

NEW Medium Troy & Lafa Taylor EP

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babies_and_doggies

‘The Babies and Doggies Book,’ a labor of love

BERKELEY —

By day, John Schindel is a graduate student affairs officer for UC Berkeley’s psychology department, but by night, he’s a popular children’s book author who has written 22 books for kids and toddlers. His newest title,The Babies and Doggies Book, features photos of the two groups of cuties in similar situations and expressing similar emotions. He created the book in collaboration with Molly Woodward, who lives in Berkeley.

Read more ……