another random user writes in with news about Saudi Arabia blocking a popular messaging service for not providing "a means to to be monitored." "The head of the messaging application Viber has said people in Saudi Arabia have had basic freedoms taken away, after his service was blocked there. Talmon Marco told the BBC he did not know the reason for the move, but that Viber would be restored soon. In March Saudi authorities warned Viber and other encrypted messaging services that they would be blocked unless they provided a means to to be monitored. Mr Marco said he had refused to provide data requested by Saudi officials. The fact that Viber's free phone and text messaging service is no longer working in the country is not entirely unexpected. The Saudi telecoms regulator had warned the firm — along with Skype and Whatsapp — that they would be blocked if they did not agree to be monitored."
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itwbennett writes "'Find My iPhone' is neat, but it's time for smartphone makers and carriers to stop pretending their anti-theft measures are anything more than minimum viable products, says blogger Kevin Purdy. He's not the first to point this out: As reported in Slashdot, 'NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said overall crime in New York City was up 3.3% in 2012 due to iPhone, iPad and other Apple device thefts.' And now San Francisco and New York attorneys general are calling a 'Smartphone Summit' where representatives from Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft are due to meet and discuss the implementation of a industry-wide 'kill switch' system."
First time accepted submitter minty3 writes "A fibrous dysplasia tumor has been found in the bone of a Neanderthal that is more than 120,000 years old. The world's oldest tumor in a Neanderthal rib was part of a collection of bones, which were excavated more than 100 years ago from a site in Krapina, Croatia. They were X-rayed in the 1980s, and initially didn't reveal the tumor. It was only when scientists took a closer look at a radiograph where a rib fragment appeared to be 'burned out' did they return to the rib and subject it to higher quality scans."
Rick Zeman writes "Hot on the heels of Verizon's massive data dump to NSA comes news of 'PRISM' where The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time. This program, established in 2007, includes major companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook...and more."
chicksdaddy writes "A new malicious program that runs on Android mobile devices exploits vulnerabilities in Google's mobile operating system to extend the application's permissions on the infected device, and to block attempts to remove the malicious application, The Security Ledger reports. The malware, dubbed Backdoor.AndroidOS.Obad.a, is described as a 'multi function Trojan.' Like most profit-oriented mobile malware, Obad is primarily an SMS Trojan, which surreptitiously sends short message service (SMS) messages to premium numbers. However, it is capable of downloading additional modules and of spreading via Bluetooth connections. Writing on the Securelist blog, malware researcher Roman Unuchek called the newly discovered Trojan the 'most sophisticated' malicious program yet for Android phones. He cited the Trojan's advanced features, including complex code obfuscation techniques that complicated analysis of the code, and the use of a previously unknown vulnerability in Android that allows Obad to elevate its privileges on infected devices and block removal."
hypnosec writes "Microsoft in collaboration with the FBI have successfully taken down the Citadel botnet which was known to control millions of PCs across the globe and was allegedly responsible for bank fraud in excess of $500 million. Citadel was known to have over 1,400 instances across the globe with most located in the US, Europe, India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. It would install key-logging tools on target systems, which were then used to steal online banking credentials."
1sockchuck writes "As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet. The project will provide additional IT capacity beyond the NSA's controversial Utah data center. The new facility will be supported by 60 megawatts of power and use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Strengthened by an agreement with Apple that set the prices for their respective e-books higher, publishers strong-armed Amazon into giving them similar terms, an executive for the online retailer has testified in Manhattan federal court. The U.S. Department of Justice has taken Apple to court over the alleged price-fixing, after reaching out-of-court settlements with five publishers (HarperCollins Publishers LLC, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group, and MacMillian). Apple, which competes with Amazon in the e-book space, refused a similar settlement. "Certainly if someone offered reseller, we would have taken them up on that offer," Russell Grandinetti, Amazon's vice president for Kindle content, testified before the court, according to Reuters. "Reseller" means a company sells goods to a retailer for a particular price (usually wholesale), allowing the retailer to set the actual sales price. Under the terms of that model, Amazon could sell e-books for super-cheap, even if it meant going beneath the publisher's wholesale price. Macmillan and Amazon ended up in conflict over the issue, with Amazon temporarily yanking the publisher's e-books from its digital shelves. "We will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books," Amazon wrote in a statement at the time. "Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it's reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book." But Amazon eventually relented to Macmillan's demands, along with those of other publishers, and submitted to the agency model, in which publishers have a heavier hand in setting retail pricing."
An anonymous reader writes "Stephen Gallagher, Security Software Engineer at Red Hat, has completed his week-long experiment running GNOME 3 Classic. Stephen writes: 'While I was never as much in love with GNOME 2 as I was with KDE 3, I found it to be a good fit for my workflow. It was clean and largely uncluttered and generally got out of my way. Now that Fedora 19 is in beta and GNOME Classic mode is basically ready, I decided that it was my duty to the open-source community to explore this new variant, give it a complete investigation and document my experiences each day.' I'll leave Stephen's opinion on the new Classic Mode to the Slashdot reader to discover, but I will say that it does touch on the much debated GNOME Shell Activities Overview, and the gnome-2-like Classic mode's Windows List on the taskbar."
First time accepted submitter william.meaney1 writes "I'm the sole network admin at a 25 person company. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity less than a year after getting a technical degree in IT. I've had some huge opportunities here (for a first time network admin). After my schooling, I went ahead and I'm now CompTIA A+, Network+, and CCNA certified. Now, being hired out of school, I was grateful for the job, and the boss hired me for peanuts (Less than $30,000/year) I've been living at home, using that money for loan payments, car payments, and certification expenses. I've started looking for other work, and I feel more than qualified for most of the requirements I'm seeing. The big hurdle I'm coming across that EVERYONE seems to want is experience with SQL databases, and Microsoft Exchange. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for getting usable experience on a low budget. I have some SQL experience, I deployed a source control program here that uses a SQL express backend, but what else do you need to know for database maintenance?"
Excelcia writes "Users could soon be asked to pull a series of faces to unlock their Android phones or tablets. Google has filed a patent suggesting users stick out their tongue or wrinkle their nose in place of a password. Requiring specific gestures could prevent the existing Face Unlock facility being fooled by photos. The software could monitor if there were changes in the angle of the person's face to ensure the device was not being shown a still image with a fake gesture animated on top."
Trailrunner7 writes "For many observers of the privacy and surveillance landscape, the revelation by The Guardian that the FBI received a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to require Verizon to turn over to the National Security Agency piles of call metadata on all calls on its network probably felt like someone telling them that water is wet. There have been any number of signals in the last few years that this kind of surveillance and data collection was going on, little indications that the United States government was not just spying on its own citizens, but doing so on a scale that would dwarf anything that all but the most paranoid would imagine." And now the Obama administration has defended the practice as a "critical tool."
hypnosec writes "KingCope, known for many concrete zero-day exploits, has published yet another zero-day through full disclosure – this time for Plesk, a hosting software package made by Parallels and used on thousands of servers across the web. According to KingCope, Plesk versions 9.5.4, 9.3, 9.2, 9.0 and 9.6 on three different Linux variants Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora are vulnerable to the hack. The exploit, as noted by the hacker, makes use of specially crafted HTTP queries that inject PHP commands. The exploit uses POST request to launch a PHP interpreter and the attacker can set any configuration parameters through the POST request. Once invoked, the interpreter can be used to execute arbitrary commands."
oxide7 writes "A Texas banker with a knack for numbers has offered $1 million for anyone who can solve a complex math equation that has stumped mathematicians since the 1980s. The Beal Conjecture states that the only solutions to the equation A^x + B^y = C^z, when A, B and C are positive integers, and x, y and z are positive integers greater than two, are those in which A, B and C have a common factor. Like most number theories, it's "easy to say but extremely difficult to prove.""
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon today announced an initiative to help indie game developers promote and sell their games: the Indie Games Store. The dedicated storefront is a new category in Amazon's Digital Video Games Store, designed specifically to help indie games for PC, Mac, and the Web get noticed. The store appears to be US-only, but if you don't live there you should be able to get away with just putting in an American address. Most of the games are Steam downloads, so where you are in the world shouldn't matter too much."
puddingebola writes "This story from Forbes touches on Steve Ballmer's announcement that Microsoft will reorganize. From the article, 'Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears to be planning a major reorganization. His apparent objective is to help the company move toward becoming a "devices and services company," as presented in the company's annual shareholder letter last October.' What follows is an analysis of the current state of Microsoft's current ventures: shrinking PC sales, Nokia management calling for a change of course, Office 360 lagging, a $1 Billion investment in Nook, the losses on Xbox. Once again, if Microsoft starts to lose the revenue of Windows and Office, how long does the boat float? And what of the suggestion, on the verge of another update in the Xbox console, that Microsoft should sell the Xbox division?"
jfruh writes "Did you buy an Acer laptop with Vista and less than 1 GB of RAM? The company has a thumb drive it would like to send you. Did you get an unwanted text from Papa John's? The company would like to make it up with you with $50 worth of free pizza. These and other little rewards are available as a result of class action lawsuits that have wound their ways through the court systems and now, years later, are paying off for very large groups of tech users." I wonder how many USB drives the lawyers took as their share.
Okian Warrior writes "Hackaday has a fascinating story about Indian college student Debarghya Das: 'The ISC national examination, taken by 65,000 12th graders in India, is vitally important for each student's future: a few points determines which university will accept you and which will reject you. One of [Debraghya]'s friends asked if it was possible to see ISC grades before they were posted. [Debraghya] was able to download the exam records of nearly every student that took the test. Looking at the data, he also found evidence these grades were changed on a massive scale."
Kohenkatz writes "Chinese PC maker Lenovo had a ceremony [Wednesday] to mark the official grand opening of their new manufacturing facility in Whitsett, North Carolina. The 240,000-square-foot facility, located approximately 10 miles east of Greensboro, NC, was already being used as a Logistics Center, Customer Solutions Center, and National Returns Center, and is now also being used for Production. While actual line operations began in January 2013, the facility is on track to reach full operation by the end of June. The facility is equipped to build several types of Think-branded products, including desktops, tablets, and ultrabooks. Note that due to the extensive use of automation, the factory only adds 115 manufacturing jobs at the facility."
An anonymous reader writes "Mt. Gox is the the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world, and as such it and its users are being repeatedly targeted by attackers. Some two months ago, it battled a massive DDoS attack that was likely aimed at destabilizing the virtual currency and allow the criminals to profit from the swings. Now, according to Symantec researchers, the criminals have turned to spoofing Mt. Gox' site and tricking its customers into downloading malware — the Ponik downloader Trojan, which is also able to steal passwords."
olsmeister writes "The new all-solid battery design uses solid sulfur and lithium, and outperforms existing lithium-ion batteries with four times the energy density. The battery can maintain a capacity of 1200 milliampere-hours per gram after 300 charge-discharge cycles. More work needs to be done, but one would think this new technology could have applications in renewable energy storage, electric cars, and consumer electronics."
kkleiner writes "The long anticipated Chinese construction project called Sky City, a 220-story building that can house 30,000 people, has finally received approval from the central government to break ground. The firm Broad Sustainable Building previously constructed a prefab 30-story building in 15 days, but for Sky City, they have an even more aggressive schedule: 90 days to build 2,750 feet into the air. Once completed, the building will be a place for people to both live and work, with recreational facilities, theaters, a school, and a hospital all within the structure."
mikejuk writes "The BBC home page has just lost its clock because the BBC Trust upheld a complaint that it was inaccurate. The clock would show the current time on the machine it was being viewed on and not an accurate time as determined by the BBC. However, the BBC have responded to the accusations of inaccuracy by simply removing the clock stating that it would take 100 staffing days to fix. It further says: 'Given the technical complexities of implementing an alternative central clock, and the fact that most users already have a clock on their computer screen, the BBC has taken the decision to remove the clock from the Homepage in an upcoming update.' They added, '...the system required to do this "would dramatically slow down the loading of the BBC homepage", something which he said was "an issue of great importance to the site's users". Secondly, if the site moved to a format in which users across the world accessed the same homepage, irrespective of whichever country they were in, it would be "impossible to offer a single zonally-accurate clock."'"
girlmad writes "The UK government's chief operating officer Stephen Kelly offered a frightening insight into the world of government IT spending this week. According to Kelly, the government spends £6,000 per year per PC just to maintain the devices, and wastes 3 days per year per person due to slow boot-up times."