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Security

+ - 125 Walmart Self-Checks Home to Host of Vulnerabilities->

Submitted by Saralonde
Saralonde (2369676) writes "It's no secret to anyone who has seen a Walmart Self-Checkout start up that these machines run on the venerable Windows XP. However, these machines are still home to a host of vulnerabilities, including the infamous MS_08_067 netapi vulnerability. Most of these systems still run on unpatched XP SP1, leaving them wide open to a range of attacks, as well as any vulnerabilities in IE6. Also still being ran is MSXML 4.0, in an unpatched form. Do we really trust the world's biggest retailer with our card data when it can't even be trusted to secure its own transactions? These were observed by a Walmart employee from a small midwest town that shall remain unnamed."
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Security

+ - 139 Fingerprint purchasing technology ensures buyer has a pulse->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "ZU writes: A small U.S. university has come up with a novel solution to reduce the possibility of using a dead persons hand to get passed a figerprint scanner through the use of hemoglobin detection. The device quickly checks the finger print and hemoglobin "non-intrusively" to verify the identity and whether the individual is alive. This field of research is called Biocryptology and will continue with the need to ensure that biometric security devices can't be easily bypassed."
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Sci-Fi

+ - 222 Doctor Who's Dalek Designer Dies at 84->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "Raymond Cusick, a production designer for the BBC show Doctor Who from 1963 to 1966, has died from illness. 'Terry Nation, who died in 1997, wrote the 1963 story The Daleks, in which the "satanic pepperpots" first appeared, but it was Cusick who came up with the machines' distinctive look, including the bobble-like sensors, eyestalk, sucker and exterminator weapons.' His horrid creation has remained a prime enemy in Doctor Who for over 50 years, and have remained relatively unchanged. His tireless work however was never fully awarded, as his only pay for the project was about £100. Cusick also worked on such shows as Z Cars, Dr Finlay's Casebook and The Forsyte Saga to The Duchess of Duke Street, When the Boat Comes In and Rentaghost. He officially retired in 1987. Claire Heawood, Cusick's daughter has said that her father was 'suffering from an illness and died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.'"
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Your Rights Online

+ - 193 Muslims demand murder of more bloggers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Days after the killing of leftist blogger Thaba Baba, mosques throughout Bangladesh called for a popular uprising to demand the killing of other bloggers who had held a rally calling for the death of Jama'at-e-Islami leaders convicted of war crimes. This happens in an atmosphere of ongoing tension between Left and Right, with the leftist government threatening to outlaw rightist parties while the right uses violence to quiet selected enemies."
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HP

+ - 208 HP Back in Tablet Game with $169 Slate7

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "You know the old adage, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?' Still, even if you got bit by the HP TouchPad debacle, HP's newly-announced $169 Slate7 tablet could prove hard to resist. Specs-wise, the Slate7 sports an ARM Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor, 7-inch 1024x600 HFFS screen, Android 4.1 (Jellybean), three-megapixel camera on the back, front-facing VGA camera, 8GB of on-board storage, HP ePrint, Beats Audio, and a micro SD expandable card slot. It measures 10.7mm x 197mm x 116mm thin, and weighs in at 13-ounces. It will be available in the US in April via HPDirect.com. Engadget has some pics and their initial hands-on take."
Science

+ - 234 Physicists still confused over how to interpret Quantum Mechanics-> 3

Submitted by quax
quax (19371) writes "Feynman famously quipped that "nobody understands" quantum mechanics. But after almost a century shouldn't there be at least some consensus on how to interpret this theory? Ever since the famous argument between Bohr and Einstein over the EPR paradox, conventional wisdom was that Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation will carry the day, but when surveying 33 leading experts at a quantum foundation conference, less than half voted that way.

Is it time for yet another paradigm change?"

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Music

+ - 213 Napster: The Day The Music Was Set Free 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster. And it very was very good. The Observer's Tom Lamont reports on VH1's soon-to-premiere Downloaded , a documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the file-sharing software that started the digital music revolution, and shares remembrances of how Napster rocked his world. 'I was 17,' writes Lamont, 'and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame (OMC's How Bizarre, the Grease 2 soundtrack). One day I had unsupervised access to the family PC and, for reasons forgotten, an urge to hear the campy orchestral number from the film Austin Powers. I was a model Napster user: internet-equipped, impatient and mostly ignorant of the ethical and legal particulars of peer-to-peer file-sharing. I installed the software, searched Napster's vast list of MP3 files, and soon had Soul Bossa Nova plinking kilobyte by kilobyte on to my hard drive.' Sound familiar?"
Bitcoin

+ - 156 World's First Bitcoin ATM->

Submitted by
bill_mcgonigle
bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client, held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner, fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, and got back a confirmation QR code on its display (which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL). The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
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Microsoft

+ - 152 The Hacker Who Found the Secrets of the Next Xbox and PlayStation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Stephen Totilo at Kotaku has a long article detailing the exploits of an Australian hacker who calls himself SuperDaE. He managed to break into networks at Microsoft, Sony, and Epic Games, from which he retrieved information about the PS4 and next-gen Xbox 'Durango' (which turned out to be correct), and he even secured developer hardware for Durango itself. He uncovered security holes at Epic, but notified the company rather than exploiting them. He claims to have done the same with Microsoft. He hasn't done any damage or facilitated piracy with the access he's had, but simply breaching the security of those companies was enough to get the U.S. FBI to convince Australian authorities to raid his house and confiscate his belongings. In an age where many tech-related 'sources' are just empty claims, a lot of this guy's information has checked out. The article describes both SuperDaE's activities and a journalist's efforts to verify his claims."
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+ - 240 "This is your second and final notice" robocallers revealed: Brenda Helfenstine->

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "A New York Times consumer columnist tracked down the people who run a "This is your second and final notice" robocall operation.

The calls came from Account Management Assistance, which promises to negotiate lower credit card rates with banks. One woman paid them $1,000, and all they did was give her a limited-time zero-percent credit card that she could have gotten herself.

AMA has a post office box in Orlando, Florida. The Better Business Bureau has a page for Your Financial Ladder, which does business as Account Management Assistance, and as Economic Progress. According to a Florida incorporation filing, Economic Progress is operated by Brenda Helfenstine, with her husband Tony.

The Arkansas attorney general has sued Your Financial Ladder for violating the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigated Your Financial Ladder, but the investigator went to 1760 Sundance Drive, St. Cloud, which turned out to be a residence, and gave up.

The Times notes that you can type their phone number (855-462-3833) into http://800notes.com/ and get lots of reports on them."

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Programming

+ - 126 Ruby 2.0.0 Released->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today version 2.0.0 of Ruby has been released. This is a stable release, and the Ruby team has done their best to make it compatible with 1.9, making it easier to migrate than it was to switch from 1.8 to 1.9. New core language features include: 'Keyword arguments, which give flexibility to API design; Module#prepend, which is a new way to extend a class; A literal %i, which creates an array of symbols easily; __dir__, which returns the dirname of the file currently being executed; and UTF-8 default encoding, which make many magic comments omissible.' Also new are libraries for lazy stream and for asynchronous exception handling API. The release includes a number of performance improvements and debug support for DTrace."
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Businesses

+ - 125 How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers->

Submitted by
hessian
hessian writes "To be sure, America's tech economy has long depended on foreign-born workers. "Immigrants have founded 40 percent of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google," writes Laszlo Bock, Google's senior VP of "people operations," which, along with other tech giants such as HP and Microsoft, strongly supports a big increase in H-1B visas. "In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales."

But in reality, most of today's H-1B workers don't stick around to become the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. ComputerWorld revealed last week that the top 10 users of H-1B visas last year were all offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys. Together these firms hired nearly half of all H-1B workers, and less than 3 percent of them applied to become permanent residents. "The H-1B worker learns the job and then rotates back to the home country and takes the work with him," explains Ron Hira, an immigration expert who teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. None other than India's former commerce secretary once dubbed the H-1B the "outsourcing visa.""

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Google

+ - 125 Google given more time to prove to Brussels it's NOT 'abusive' in search->

Submitted by
iComp
iComp writes "The two-year long competition probe of Google's search business in Europe is poised to continue at least into the second half of this year, commissioner Joaquin Almunia has confirmed.

"We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline," he said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The Register asked the commissioner's office what this meant in practice. A spokeswoman told us:

Vice President Almunia only gave an indication of what the possible timing could be if the proposals by Google address our concerns. We are still analysing these proposals, as the VP said."

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Earth

+ - 303 Six of Hanford's Nuclear Waste Tanks Badly Leaking ->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "Recent review of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state (where the bulk of Cold War nuclear material was created) has found that six of its underground storage tanks are badly leaking. Estimations say each tank is leaking 'anywhere from a few gallons to a few hundred gallons of radioactive material a year'. Washington's governor, Jay Inslee said in a statement on Friday that 'Energy officials recently figured out they had been inaccurately measuring the 56 million gallons of waste in Hanford’s tanks.' The Hanford cleanup project has been one of the most expensive American projects for nuclear cleanup. Plans are in place to create a treatment plant to turn the hazardous material into less hazardous glass (proposed to cost $13.4 billion), but for now officials are trying just to stop the leaking from the corroded tanks. Today the leaks do not have an immediate threat on the environment, but 'there is [only] 150 to 200 feet of dry soil between the tanks and the groundwater', and are just five miles from the Colombia River."
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+ - 384 NASCAR Tries To Squelch Video of Spectators Injured by Crash 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dozens of fans attending a NASCAR race at Daytona Speedway were injured when a crash during the last lap triggered a chain reaction, culminating in the front section of Kyle Larson's car ricocheting into the fence in front of the stands (Larson escaped injury). While the footage accompanying the Fox News story is dramatic enough, an even more riveting clip showing the chaotic scene in the stands from up close was posted on YouTube, but was taken down after NASCAR claimed it violated their copyright . YouTube has since restored the fan's video. A NASCAR spokesman has issued a clarification, saying that the takedown request was done out of respect for those injured. The race was an opening act for the main event, the Daytona 500, which officials say will proceed as scheduled. "With the fence being prepared tonight to our safety protocols, we expect to go racing tomorrow with no changes," Speedway President Joie Chitwood told CNN."
Businesses

+ - 227 Don't call it a comeback (working remotely)->

Submitted by silentbrad
silentbrad (1488951) writes "From a blog I came across: 'Remote working has existed for centuries. And now is the perfect time for it’s comeback. ... Prior to the Industrial Revolution, goods were manufactured by contracting individual craftsmen who worked out of their homes. The merchant would drum up sales, and would coordinate the production with at-home sub-contractors. ... This all changed with the Industrial Revolution: production was centralized in factories and cities. For merchant capitalists, this made sense: it was cheaper and more efficient to produce goods in one place, with machinery. ... We’ve been in the Information Age for at least 25 years. We’ve made huge leaps in technology. Many of us would describe ourselves as Knowledge Workers: we don’t work in factories, we work at desks in front of glowing screens. We don’t make goods with physical materials, but rather things made out of bits. The great thing about bits + the internet is that the materials and means needed for production aren’t dependent on location. But here’s the funny thing: the way work is organized hasn’t changed. Despite all these advances, most of us still work in central offices. Employees leave their computer-equipped homes, and drive long distances to work at computer-equipped offices. ... CEOs, like Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Apple’s Steve Jobs, think that a central office fosters more innovation and productivity. I think they’re wrong. We’re still early in the research, but recent studies seem to dispute their claim. ... Managers have developed centuries worth of habits based on the central workplace. The hallmarks of office work (meetings, cubicle workstations, colocation) need to be seen for what they are: traditions we’ve kept alive since the Industrial Revolution. We need to question these institutions: are they really more innovative and efficient?'"
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Security

+ - 326 Could the Election of the New Pope be Hacked? 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The rules for papal elections are steeped in tradition. John Paul II last codified them in 1996, and Benedict XVI left the rules largely untouched. The "Universi Dominici Gregis on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff" is surprisingly detailed. Now as the College of Cardinals prepares to elect a new pope, security people like Bruce Schneier wonder about the process. How does it work, and just how hard would it be to hack the vote? First, the system is entirely manual, making it immune to the sorts of technological attacks that make modern voting systems so risky. Second, the small group of voters — all of whom know each other — makes it impossible for an outsider to affect the voting in any way. The chapel is cleared and locked before voting. No one is going to dress up as a cardinal and sneak into the Sistine Chapel. In short, the voter verification process is about as good as you're ever going to find. A cardinal can't stuff ballots when he votes. Then the complicated paten-and-chalice ritual ensures that each cardinal votes once — his ballot is visible — and also keeps his hand out of the chalice holding the other votes. Ballots from previous votes are burned, which makes it harder to use one to stuff the ballot box. What are the lessons here? First, open systems conducted within a known group make voting fraud much harder. Every step of the election process is observed by everyone, and everyone knows everyone, which makes it harder for someone to get away with anything. Second, small and simple elections are easier to secure. This kind of process works to elect a pope or a club president, but quickly becomes unwieldy for a large-scale election. And third: When an election process is left to develop over the course of a couple of thousand years, you end up with something surprisingly good."
Android

+ - 295 Ubuntu Touch Is More Android Than Ubuntu-> 2

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Canonical was gaga about their new tablet and phone OS. You keep hearining them taking about convergence,Qt and QML but two words you never heard was Android or CyanogenMod. It's discovered that 80% Ubuntu Touch is just Android or CyanogenMod. They are using the word done by CyanogenMod community to slap Ubuntu services on phone. Is this they way open source should be developed? Is Canonical breaking the ethics of free software?"
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Advertising

+ - 400 Buying Their Way Onto The NY Times Bestsellers List 4

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "An endorsement from Oprah Winfrey. A film deal from Steven Spielberg. A debut at the top of The New York Times bestsellers list. These are the things every author craves most, and while the first two require the favor of a benevolent God, the third can be had by anyone with the ability to write a check — a pretty big one to ResultSource, a San Diego-based marketing consultancy ...in what Forbes says is essentially a laundering operation aimed at deceiving the book-buying public into believing a title is more in-demand than it is. Soren Kaplan, a business consultant and speaker, hired ResultSource to promote his book “Leapfrogging.” Responding to the WSJ article on his website, Kaplan breaks out the economics of making the list.“It’s no wonder few people in the industry want to talk about bestseller campaigns,” he writes “Put bluntly, they allow people with enough money, contacts, and know-how to buy their way onto bestseller lists.”"
Firefox

+ - 271 Firefox Will Soon Block Third-Party Cookies->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer has contributed a Firefox patch that will block third-party cookies by default. It's now on track to land in version 22. Kudos to Mozilla for protecting their users and being so open to community submissions. The initial response from the online advertising industry is unsurprisingly hostile and blustering, calling the move 'a nuclear first strike.'"
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