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2015-03-01 05:37:00 from Slashdot
Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?:
 
An anonymous reader writes: In light of recent revelations from Kaspersky Labs about the Equation Group and persistent hard drive malware, I was curious about how easy it might be to verify my own system's drives to see if they were infected. I have no real reason to think they would be, but I was dismayed by the total lack of tools to independently verify such a thing. For instance, Seagate's firmware download pages provide files with no external hash, something Linux distributions do for all of their packages. Neither do they seem to provide a utility to read off the current firmware from a drive and verify its integrity. Are there any utilities to do such a thing? Why don't these companies provide verification software to users? Has anyone compiled and posted a public list of known-good firmware hashes for the major hard drive vendors and models? This seems to be a critical hole in PC security. I did contact Seagate support asking for hashes of their latest firmware; I got a response stating, "...If you download the firmware directly from our website there is no risk on the file be tampered with." (Their phrasing, not mine.) Methinks somebody hasn't been keeping up with world events lately.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.









2015-03-01 05:22:27 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
Small SUVs, pricey sports cars dominate at Geneva auto show:
 

The undated photo provided by Audi Media Services shows the new Audi R8 V10. The car will have its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show that is open to the public from March 5 through 15. (AP Photo/Audi)FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Small SUVs for families and powerful sports cars for the rich are the big things this year at the Geneva International Motor Show this year. Environmentally correct electrics and hybrids, not so much — thanks to cheaper gas and limits on battery life.



2015-03-01 04:08:42 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
Apple car rumors fuel Geneva debate about car of future:
 

The Apple logo is pictured at its flagship retail store in San FranciscoBy Edward Taylor and Jan Schwartz GENEVA (Reuters) - The main talking point at this week's Geneva car show is likely to be a vehicle that may never be built: the Apple car. The world's automakers will gather in the Swiss city to tout their latest minivans, city cars and sport utility vehicles against an uncertain market backdrop, with growing signs of recovery in Europe offset by slowing demand in emerging markets. Reports that technology giant Apple may be building a car have got established automakers, who have spent the past 127 years refining the combustion engine, wondering whether they are still in pole position to build the car of the future. The growing use of computing power in vehicles, and the ability of cars to connect to smartphones and other devices, is providing technology companies and automakers with new business opportunities -- and increasingly making them rivals.



2015-03-01 02:28:00 from Slashdot
Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved:
 
KentuckyFC writes: The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of U.S. pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorized the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, rap was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practices have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music, and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.









2015-03-01 02:12:02 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
NASA astronaut gives Leonard Nimoy the Vulcan salute from space:
 

NASA astronaut gives Leonard Nimoy the Vulcan salute from spaceLeonard Nimoy's death this week hasn't just hit the entertainment world and Verge staffers hard. NASA astronaut Terry Virts tweeted a simple Spock tribute yesterday while aboard the International Space Station.



2015-03-01 02:06:02 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
IKEA to sell furniture that can wirelessly charge your phone:
 

IKEA to sell furniture that can wirelessly charge your phoneYou'll be able to drop a compatible smartphone on your IKEA nightstand for a quick charge.>



2015-03-01 00:20:06 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
Better plane tracking trialed after Malaysia plane mystery:
 

A Chinese family member of a passenger on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, cries after praying at a temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia will lead a trial to enhance the tracking of aircraft over remote oceans, allowing planes to be more easily found should they vanish like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australia's transport minister said Sunday. The announcement comes one week ahead of the anniversary of the disappearance of Flight 370, which vanished last year on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. No trace of the plane has been found. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)SYDNEY (AP) — Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia will lead a trial to enhance the tracking of aircraft over remote oceans, allowing planes to be more easily found should they vanish like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australia's transport minister said Sunday.



2015-02-28 23:33:00 from Slashdot
Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots:
 
jfruh writes: Foxconn, which supplies much of Apple's manufacturing muscle and has been criticized for various labor sins, is now moving to hire employees who won't complain because they're robots. The company expects 70 percent of its assembly line work to be robot-driven within three years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.










2015-02-28 23:05:27 from Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia to trial new jet tracking system:
 

Co-pilot Brett McKenzie helps to look for objects during the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, from a Royal New Zealand Airforce P-3K2-Orion aircraft, off Perth, on April 13, 2014Australia on Sunday said it was trialling a "world first" system with Malaysia and Indonesia that increases the tracking of aircraft over remote oceans, allowing authorities to quickly react to abnormal situations such as the disappearance of MH370. The technology "can increase realtime monitoring should an abnormal situation arise," Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said. "In a world first, all three countries will trial a new method of tracking aircraft through the skies over remote oceanic areas," Truss told reporters. "Now this initiative adapts existing technology used by more than 90 percent of long-haul passenger aircraft and would see air traffic control able to respond more rapidly should an aircraft experience difficulty or deviation from its flight plan." The announcement came ahead almost a year after Malaysian Airlines MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board last March.




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