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United States

DARPA Cyber Chief "Mudge" Zatko Going To Google 30

Posted by samzenpus
from the moving-to-better-quarters-on-campus dept.
chicksdaddy writes "Noted hacker and innovator Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a project manager for cyber security research at DARPA for the past three years- will be setting up shop in the Googleplex, according to a post on his Twitter feed on Friday. Zatko, who earned fame as a founding member of the early 1990s Boston-area hacker confab The L0pht and later as a division scientist at government contractor BBN Technologies, announced his departure from DARPA following a three-year stint as a Program Manager in DARPA's Information Innovation Office on Friday. 'Given what we all pulled off within the USG, let's see if it can be done even better from outside. Goodbye DARPA, hello Google!' he Tweeted."
Earth

Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem? 595

Posted by samzenpus
from the ready-set-panic dept.
First time accepted submitter HeadOffice writes "Mark Gimein points out that Bitcoing mining uses a lot of power, enough that it is a real world problem: 'About 982 megawatt hours a day, to be exact. That’s enough to power roughly 31,000 US homes, or about half a Large Hadron Collider. If the dreams of Bitcoin proponents are realized, and the currency is adopted for widespread commerce, the power demands of bitcoin mines would rise dramatically. If that makes you think of the vast efforts devoted to the mining of precious metals in the centuries of gold- and silver-based economies, it should. One of the strangest aspects of the Bitcoin frenzy is that the Bitcoin economy replicates some of the most archaic features of the gold standard. Real-world mining of precious metals for currency was a resource-hungry and value-destroying process. Bitcoin mining is too.' However, not everyone is convinced that virtual mining is as bad for the environment as the real thing."
The Courts

Will the Supreme Court End Human Gene Patents? 228

Posted by samzenpus
from the own-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Monday, the Supreme Court will hear a case on the validity of breast cancer gene patents. The court has a chance to end human gene patents after three decades. From the article: 'Since the 1980s, patent lawyers have been claiming pieces of humanity's genetic code. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted thousands of gene patents. The Federal Circuit, the court that hears all patent appeals, has consistently ruled such patents are legal. But the judicial winds have been shifting. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the legality of gene patents. And recently, the Supreme Court has grown increasingly skeptical of the Federal Circuit's patent-friendly jurisprudence. Meanwhile, a growing number of researchers, health care providers, and public interest groups have raised concerns about the harms of gene patents. The American Civil Liberties Union estimates that more than 40 percent of genes are now patented. Those patents have created "patent thickets" that make it difficult for scientists to do genetic research and commercialize their results. Monopolies on genetic testing have raised prices and reduced patient options.'"
Education

Some States Dropping GED Tests Due To Price Spikes 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the stay-in-school dept.
First time accepted submitter murkwood7 writes with news about states looking for an alternative to GED tests because of cost constraints. "Several dozen states are looking for an alternative to the GED high school equivalency test because of concerns that a new version coming out next year is more costly and will no longer be offered in a pencil and paper format. The responsibility for issuing high school equivalency certificates or diplomas rests with states, and they've relied on the General Education Development exam since soon after the test was created to help returning World War II veterans. But now 40 states and the District of Columbia are participating in a working group that's considering what's available besides the GED, and two test makers are hawking new exams."
Spam

Maintaining a Publicly Available Blacklist - Mechanisms and Principles 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-not-me-it's-you dept.
badger.foo writes "When you publicly assert that somebody sent spam, you need to ensure that your data is accurate. Your process needs to be simple and verifiable, and to compensate for any errors, you want your process to be transparent to the public with clear points of contact and line of responsibility. Here are some pointers from the operator of the bsdly.net greytrap-based blacklist."
Facebook

Facebook's Android App Can Now Retrieve Data About What Apps You Use 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the show-me-the-app dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook on Friday released its Android launcher called Home. The company also updated its Facebook app, adding in new permissions to allow it to collect data about the apps you are running. Facebook has set up Home to interface with the main Facebook app on Android to do all the work. In fact, the main Facebook app features all the required permissions letting the Home app meekly state: 'THIS APPLICATION REQUIRES NO SPECIAL PERMISSIONS TO RUN.' As such, it’s the Facebook app that’s doing all the information collecting. It’s unclear, however, if it will do so even if Facebook Home is not installed. Facebook may simply be declaring all the permissions the Home launcher requires, meaning the app only starts collecting data if Home asks it to."
Businesses

Raspberry Pi Production Heats Up In UK Surpassing Chinese Production Soon 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the cranking-them-out dept.
hypnosec writes "The majority of $35 Raspberry Pi production was shifted to a factory in Wales from China and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced this week that the factory in Wales has produced its half millionth unit in just over six months. The weekly production has shot up to 40,000 units in the UK factory and that number is 'set to climb further.' The Foundation is optimistic about the Welsh factory and said there will be 'more Made in the U.K. Pis in the world than their Made in China cousins.' The Foundation didn't reveal anything else apart from this, but we already know it sold the millionth Pi back in January."
Privacy

NSA Data Center Brings Concerns Over Security and Privacy and Jobs 138

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-take-the-good-you-take-the-bad dept.
chamilto0516 writes "Twenty-five miles due south of Salt Lake City, a massive construction project is nearing completion. The heavily secured site belongs to the National Security Agency. The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. Asked if the Utah Data Center would hold the data of American citizens, Alexander [director of the NSA] said, 'No...we don't hold data on U.S. citizens,' adding that the NSA staff 'take protecting your civil liberties and privacy as the most important thing that they do, and securing this nation.' But critics, including former NSA employees, say the data center is front and center in the debate over liberty, security and privacy." According to University of Utah computing professor Matthew Might, one thing is clear about the Utah Data Center, it means good paying jobs. "The federal government is giving money to the U.'s programming department to develop jobs to fill the NSA building," he says.
Australia

Corruption Allegations Rock Australia's CSIRO 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the say-it-aint-so dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Australia's premiere government research organization, the CSIRO, has been rocked by allegations of corruption including: dishonesty with 60 top-class scientists bullied or fired, fraud against drug giant Novartis, and illegally using intellectual property, faking documents and unreliable testimony to judicial officers. CSIRO boss Megan Clark has refused to discipline the staff responsible and the federal police don't want to get involved. Victims are unimpressed and former CSIRO scientists are calling for an inquiry."
Government

Guantanamo Hearings Delayed as Legal Files Vanish 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the sieve-security dept.
houghi writes "The defense lawyers of Guantanamo prisoners have been ordered to stop using government computers for sensitive information due to security and confidentiality concerns. One News from New Zealand says 'In another case, system administrators were searching files at prosecutors' request and were able to access more than 500,000 defense files, including confidential attorney-client communications.' Due to all this, hearings were postponed."
Government

New Bird Shaped Drone Shown at Security and Defense Trade Show 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-a-birds-it's-a-plane-it's-big-brother dept.
garymortimer writes "SHEPHERD-MIL, a UAV which looks like a native bird with the same flight performance, will be featured at HOMSEC 2013. This UAV is characterized by the glide-ratio and noiseless motor that make it invisible, silent and unobtrusive in sensitive missions. SHEPHERD-MIL is equipped with cameras and geolocation software. The system is especially suitable for border surveillance missions, firefighting, and anti-drug trafficking operations amongst others."
NASA

Solar Electric Spacecraft Propulsion Could Get NASA To an Asteroid 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-comes-the-sun dept.
coondoggie writes "In the process of detailing its $17.7 billion 2014 budget this week, NASA highlighted a mission to snag a 500-ton asteroid, bring it back, stash it near the moon and study it. It also took the time to put in a plug for an ongoing research project called Solar Electric Propulsion, which NASA says could be the key technology it needs to pull off the asteroid plan."
Editorial

The Hacker Lifecycle 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the pollination-fertilization-budding-and-dispersal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Hacker Benjamin Smith deconstructs the cycle of education, production, and rest that will be familiar to many software and hardware engineers. He breaks it down into four steps: 1) Focused effort toward a goal, 2) structured self-education, 3) side-projects to sharpen skills, and 4) burnout and rest. He writes, 'As my motivation waxes at the beginning of a cycle, I find myself with a craving to take steps towards that goal. I do so by starting a project which focuses on one thing only: building a new income stream. As a result of this single-mindedness, the content or subject of the project is often less interesting than it otherwise might have been. ... [Later], I almost always decide to teach myself a new technical skill or pick up some new technology. ... This is usually the most satisfying period of my cycle. I am learning a new skill or technology which I know will enhance my employability, allow me to build things I previously could only have daydreamed about, and will ultimately be useful for many years to come. ... [In the burnout phase], I'll spend this period as ferociously devoted to my leisure activities as I was to my productive tasks. But after a few months of this, I start to feel an itch...'"
Media

Apple Near Deal For Radio Service 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the iListen-to-your-iFavorite-iSongs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch and The Verge are reporting that Apple is near a deal with Universal Music to provide a streaming 'iRadio' music service. 'Apple is expected to launch a web radio service similar to Pandora's later this year, provided that executives there can strike an agreement with Sony Music Entertainment as well as music publishers. Talks with Sony, which operates the third label, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony / ATV, the music publishing company jointly run with the estate of the late singer Michael Jackson, are said to not be as far along towards reaching a deal. ... As for the financial terms, Apple will not receive the steep discounts it had sought for the labels' music.' Apple's 400 million active iTunes accounts could give even Pandora, with its 200 million users, something to worry about. 'For startups and streaming music companies, this means looking closely at the competitive advantages offered by their own platforms and decided how best to position their own services. A key advantage, and one that will likely get emphasized by virtually everyone challenged by an iRadio, is cross-platform compatibility. Apple will likely be able to offer something along those lines through iTunes on Windows, but for the most part it'll be a strictly iOS/Mac affair. That, combined with personalization and recommendation engines, along with other value add features, will be the way to combat an iTunes streaming service, but no matter what, an Apple product will change the face of this market.'"
Toys

Six Retailers Announce Recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes 343

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-world-natural-selection dept.
thereitis writes "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with six retailers, is announcing the voluntary recall of all Buckyballs and Buckycubes high-powered magnet sets due to ingestion hazard. CPSC continues to warn that these products contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to children and teenagers. An administrative complaint has been filed which is rare, as CPSC has filed only four administrative complaints in the past 11 years." This follows last year's ban on buckyballs.
Facebook

Hacker Modifies Facebook Home To Work On All Android Devices 124

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-social-norms dept.
An anonymous reader writes "That was quick. Mere hours after Facebook Home arrived on Google Play, the launcher has been modified to remove the device-specific limitation. This means you can use the latest Facebook service on any Android device. The brilliant hackers at XDA Developers have done it again. This particular hack was performed by XDA Senior Member theos0o; who provides details and download links."

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