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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Java

+ - 111 Apple Hit By Hackers Who Targeted Facebook->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "Apple was recently attacked by hackers who infected the Macintosh computers of some employees, the company said on Tuesday in an unprecedented disclosure that described the widest known cyber attacks against Apple-made computers to date, Reuters reports. 'The same software, which infected Macs by exploiting a flaw in a version of Oracle Corp's Java software used as a plug-in on Web browsers, was used to launch attacks against Facebook, which the social network disclosed on Friday. ... A person briefed on the investigation into the attacks said that hundreds of companies, including defense contractors, had been infected with the same malicious software, or malware. The attacks mark the highest-profile cyber attacks to date on businesses running Mac computers.'"
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Blackberry

+ - 150 BlackBerry Vulnerability Could Allow Access to Enterprise Server->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "A vulnerability exists in some components of BlackBerry mobile devices that could grant attackers access to instances of the company’s Enterprise Server (BES), according to Research in Motion (RIM), which issued an alert and released a patch for the vulnerability last week via its Knowledge Base support site. BES, the software implicated by the vulnerability, helps companies deploy BlackBerry devices.

The high severity advisory involves the way the phone views Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) files, specifically the way the phone’s Mobile Data System Connection Service and Messaging Agent processes and renders the images.

An attacker could rig a TIFF image with malware and get a user to either view the image via a specially crafted website or send it to the user via email or instant message. The last two exploit vectors could make it so the user wouldn’t have to click the link or image, or view the email or instant message, for the attack to prove successful. Once executed, an attacker could access and execute code on Blackberry’s Enterprise Server"

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NASA

+ - 150 NASA Loses Contact with Space Station Over Software Update->

Submitted by kodiaktau
kodiaktau (2351664) writes "Reports early Tuesday morning say that a software update to the Space Station caused a communication blackout with Houston control. Remediation of the update has allowed the astronauts limited communication every 90 minutes or so. It is expected that the issue will be resolved today."
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Microsoft

+ - 123 Microsoft At The Crossroads: Evolve or Divide->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "As PC prospects decline, Microsoft has been moving toward a hybrid, cross-platform future with an eye toward opportunities in the server closet and the cloud. But the question remains, How might Microsoft evolve to get there? 'It's tempting to say the past five years has seen Microsoft's desktop-centric strategy slowly give way to a pell-mell free-for-all made up of equal parts desktop, server, mobile hardware and software, cloud services, and auxiliary systems like the Xbox. Truth is, intention has always been present. It's only now, thanks to major upheavals in consumer tech and the cloud, that Microsoft's broad-spectrum plays are becoming more evident and critical. ... What may be new for Microsoft is the need to better cohere its strategy around an ever-widening array of services and technologies, especially as the breadth of competition it faces widens. Most of all, if there ever comes a time to stop being a consumer-oriented company, Microsoft shouldn't flinch. A future where Microsoft doesn't make hardware or end-user programs seems remote, but there was a time when IBM abandoning its PC business seemed jarring, too.' And if Microsoft can't quite cohere its strategy, the best means to this end may be to divide."
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Japan

+ - 278 Sensors pick up North Korean radioactivity->

Submitted by
gbrumfiel
gbrumfiel writes "A global network of sensors has picked up faint traces of radioactive gas that probably seeped from last week's underground nuclear test by North Korea. The detection of xenon-133 in Japan and Russia provide further evidence of the nuclear nature of the test, but offer no hint as to the type of weapon used. Atmospheric modelling by the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics in Vienna shows that the gas likely seeped from North Korea's test site on 15 February, three days after the original test. That indicates that the test was well sealed deep underground."
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Cellphones

+ - 138 Tizen 2.0 Magnolia SDK and Source Code Release->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK are now available. This release includes enhanced Web framework that provides state-of-the-art HTML5/W3C API support, and Web UI framework (including full-screen and multi-window support), Additional Tizen device APIs, such as Bluetooth and NFC support, and access to the device’s calendar, call history, and messaging subsystems are now available. Web Runtime framework supports new configuration elements for specifying the required features and privileges, and providing the basic runtime environment for NPRuntime plugins. Native framework supports full-featured application development and providing a variety of features such as background applications, IP Push, and TTS (Text-To-Speech)"
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+ - 255 Does the Higgs Boson Reveal Our Universe's Doomsday?->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "If calculations of the newly discovered Higgs boson particle are correct, one day, tens of billions of years from now, the universe will disappear at the speed of light, replaced by a strange, alternative dimension, one theoretical physicist calls boring. "It may be that the universe we live in is inherently unstable and at some point billions of years from now it’s all going to get wiped out. This has to do with the Higgs energy field itself,” Joseph Lykken, with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., told Discovery News. "This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there’ll be a catastrophe.""
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Google

+ - 184 Oxford temporarily blocks Google Docs to fight phishing->

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "Fed up with phishers using Google Forms to commandeer campus email accounts as spam engines, Oxford University recently blocked access to Google Docs for two-and-a-half hours in what it called an “extreme action” designed to get the attention of both its users and Google. “Seeing multiple such incidents the other afternoon tipped things over the edge,” Oxford explains in a blog post. “We considered these to be exceptional circumstances and felt that the impact on legitimate University business by temporarily suspending access to Google Docs was outweighed by the risks to University business by not taking such action.” The move generated widespread complaints from those affected, as well as criticism from outside network professionals."
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Biotech

+ - 195 Monsanto's 'terminator' seeds set to make a comeback->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Monsanto and other biotechnology firms could be looking to bring back 'terminator' seed technology. The seeds are genetically engineered so that crops grown from them produce sterile seed and prompted such an outcry that, as slashdot noted, Monsanto's chief executive pledged not to commercialize them. But a case in the US Supreme Court could allow farmers to plant the progeny of GM seeds rather than buying new seeds from Monsanto, making the technology attractive to biotech companies again. Some environmentalists also see 'terminator' seeds as a way of avoiding GM crops contaminating organic/non-GM crops."
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Android

+ - 197 Firefox 19 Launches On Desktop, Android Version Has Lower CPU Requirements

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla on Tuesday officially launched Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The improvements include a built-in PDF viewer on the desktop and theme support as well as lower CPU requirements on Google's mobile platform. You can see the official changelogs here: desktop and Android."
IT

+ - 187 Large corporations displacing aging IT workers with H1B visa workers->

Submitted by
genericmk
genericmk writes "NPR is running an interesting story about the unfortunate state of the aging programmers in the IT industry. The headline reads of aging IT workers opposing the H1B visa overhaul; the underlining reality is that large corporations claim shortage of IT talent and are bringing in large volumes of foreign staff. The staff is easier to control and demands less wage; indentured servitude is replacing higher cost labor."
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Businesses

+ - 145 Will Internet Poker Make a Comeback by Going Brick-and-Mortar?->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "It's the most modern lament in retail: Brick-and-mortar shopping has gone the way of the dodo as everyone buys their junk online. But for the once-booming online gambling market, salvation may require a reversal of that trend. For one online gaming giant, buying a casino in Atlantic City is the first step to bring Internet poker back to the US.

In 2006, playing online poker for real cash was deemed illegal. While that didn't stop more serious players from playing, especially once the big hosts started funneling cash offshore, the FBI and DoJ's crackdown on April 15, 2011 did. The big trio of online poker–PokerStars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker–were all shut down, domains seized, and executives arrested on charges related to fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. While PokerStars and others continued operations in foreign, legal markets, the U.S. poker craze pretty much collapsed.

That doesn't mean the lucrative market has gone away. Now, the Rational Group, which owns both PokerStars and Full Tilt, may be hinting at a workaround: the company is looking to buy a struggling casino in Atlantic City. Rational faces a rather large mess of regulatory hurdles, but if it does end up acquiring the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, it would have a huge foothold in New Jersey's young market for internet gambling."

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Operating Systems

+ - 171 Ubuntu for tablet Announced->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Keeping its promise from yesterday Ubuntu has announced an operating system for tablets dubbed ‘Ubuntu for Tablets’ that is says will work on tablets of any size. Advertised to work on both entry level tablets as well as high-end tablets with enterprise specifications, the operating system offers multitasking, safer sharing, instant launch of applications through the menu bar on the left, effortless switching between applications among other features. Canonical has put out specifications of the tablets that would be required for an entry level consumer Ubuntu tablet experience as well as High-end Ubuntu enterprise tablet experience."
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Cellphones

+ - 123 HTC Unveils Revamped HTC One

Submitted by adeelarshad82
adeelarshad82 (1482093) writes "Earlier today, HTC unveiled a revamped version of its One smartphone. The new HTC One boasts a 4.7-inch full HD 1080p display which is powered by a 1.7-GHz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and a customized version of Android. The new phone includes support for NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and DLNA for wireless streaming to a TV or computer. Among the several features highlighted by the company, HTC Zoe was the one which really stood out. According to HTC, the feature lets users shoot high-res photos that will turn regular camera rolls into a motion gallery of memories. Other big features the company talked up were BlinkFeed and BoomSound."
Security

+ - 130 Video shows Chinese military hacker launching successful attack->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Thanks to cybersecurity firm Mandiant, we now have a video of a hacker believed to be linked to the Chinese military infiltrating and stealing files from unidentified English language targets.

The video comes as part of Mandiant's 60-page report, first reported by the New York Times, that claims China's military is responsible for cyberattacks on more than 140 foreign businesses, many of which are in the United States. In the video, a hacker is seen registering a Gmail account with a U.S. IP number, then verifying it with a phone number located in Shanghai. From the email account, the narrator says it is clear the attacker has used it for spearphishing, particularly "focused on military exercises in the Philippines." He then installs command-and-control servers, tests them, and, after an hour of failed attempts to issue commands to a victim backdoor (which the video omits), uses stolen credentials to log into an email account. Once there, he uses several tools to launch spearphishing campaigns and steal files."

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+ - 298 Utilities Racing to Plug Grid Before 'Disaster Strikes'->

Submitted by
FreeMichael61
FreeMichael61 writes "In the latest episode of Spy vs. Spy, China rejects accusations its hacking U.S. companies to steal IP or bring down the grid. But there's no doubt the grid can be hacked, CIO Journal's Steve Rosenbush and Rachael King report. Industrial control networks are supposed to be protected from the Internet by an air gap that, it turns out, is largely theoretic. Rosenbush and King detail the attack vectors that hackers could use to bring down the electrical system in a neighborhood near you."
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Security

+ - 106 Peter Sunde: Life After The Pirate Bay->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "Two years ago, Peter Sunde, who once ran the world's largest bittorrent site, was sentenced to 8 months in prison. Today, he lives a quiet life in southern Sweden trying not to get the attention of police, who, he says may have a warrant for his arrest. In fact, there is a room waiting for him at the Västervik prison, but Sunde is doing his best to stay out of it. In an interview with the IDG News Service, Sunde says there's only one thing he regrets: 'I should have told Gottfrid to encrypt his hard drive. That's where the evidence came from. Even though he works professionally with security, I should have told him,' he says."
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Hardware

+ - 157 NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN uses 7.1 billion transistor GK110 GPU->

Submitted by
Vigile
Vigile writes "NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX TITAN graphics card is being announced today and is utilizing the GK110 GPU first announced in May of 2012 for HPC and supercomputing markets. The GPU touts computing horsepower at 4.5 TFLOPS provided by the 2,688 single precision cores, 896 double precision cores, a 384-bit memory bus and 6GB of on-board memory doubling the included frame buffer that AMD's Radeon HD 7970 uses. With a make up of 7.1 billion transistors and a 551 mm^2 die size, GK110 is very close to the reticle limit for current lithography technology! The GTX TITAN introduces a new GPU Boost revision based on real-time temperature monitoring and support for monitor refresh rate overclocking that will entice gamers and with a $999 price tag, the card could be one of the best GPGPU options on the market."
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Canada

+ - 180 Canadian Court Rules You Have the Right to Google a Lawyer->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Hollywood crime dramas are infamous for the scene when an accused is taken to a local police station and permitted a single phone call to contact a relative or lawyer. While the storyline is myth — there is no limit on the number of phone calls available to an accused or detainee — Michael Geist reports on a recent Canadian case establishing a new, real requirement for law enforcement. After a 19-year old struggled to find a lawyer using the telephone, the court ruled that police must provide an accused with Internet access in order to exercise their right to counsel."
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Games

+ - 158 Duke Nuken 3D Code Review->

Submitted by alancronin
alancronin (1171375) writes "Similar to Fabien Sanglard's previous code reviews of other games such as the Quake and Doom line of games comes a review of the code base of Duke Nukem 3D (split out over 4 pages). This will be a very good read for anyone interested in understanding the mechanics of a highly addictive game or anyone that wants to learn more about game design."
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