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Security

+ - New Mac OS X Trojan Hides Inside PDFs->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Malware that targets Mac OS X isn't anywhere near catching up to Windows-based malware in terms of volume and variety, but it seems that OS X malware may be adopting some of the more successful tactics that Windows viruses have been using to trick users. Researchers have come across a sample of an OS X-based Trojan that disguises itself as a PDF file, a technique that's been in favor among Windows malware authors for several years now.

The new piece of malware hides inside a PDF file and delivers a backdoor that hides on the user's machine once the malicious file is opened. Once the user executes the malware, it puts the malicious PDF on the user's machine and then opens it as a way to hide the malicious activity that's going on in the background, according to an analysis by researchers at F-Secure. The Trojan then installs the backdoor, which is named Imuler.A, which attempts to communicate with a command-and-control server."

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Technology

+ - Compressing aluminum at ultrahigh strain rates->

Submitted by RogerRoast
RogerRoast (1914292) writes "Using an ultrafast spectroscopic technique, used to track shocks on a time scale of ten trillionths of a second, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists measured breakouts (driven by laser-induced shocks) in aluminum thin films with accelerations in the range of 10 trillion g's. They were able to see the aluminum being compressed to 400,000 atmospheres in about 20 trillionths of a second."
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+ - Italy prepares 'one strike' anti-piracy law->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "The Italian government is preparing an anti-piracy law that could ban Internet users from access after one alleged copyright infringement, a lawyer and an analyst warned. ISPs would be required to use filters against services that infringe copyright, trademark or patents under terms of the draft law. The proposed changes to Italy's e-commerce directive were drafted in July by members of parliament belonging to the Il Popolo della Libertà (PdL) party of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi."
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NASA

+ - Apollo Moonwalkers Testify to Congress about NASA->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "Thursday morning, the House Science, Technology, and Science Committee held a hearing on the subject of "NASA Human Spaceflight Past, Present, and Future: Where Do We Go From Here?"

The hearing was as remarkable for its subject as it was for the witnesses who testified. The witnesses consisted of two Apollo moonwalkers, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, a former NASA administrator, Mike Griffin, and a space scientist, Maria Zubra. Together they represented an impressive array of scientific and engineering talent, experience that is unique among humans (especially in the case of Armstrong and Cernan), and a historical perspective that stretched back to the beginnings of human space flight.

The gist of the testimony and the question and answer that followed was that the current, Obama administration space program is dysfunctional, underfunded, and directionless."

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+ - Where do the smart folk live? ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "WSJ has an article which makes many inferences regarding the number of college degrees per state for the years 1990, 2000 and 2010. There's an interactive chart that shows the data in percentages. I'm heartened to see that my state (Utah) has a very low fraction of dumb, er folks without high school diplomas(9.4%) yet we only get an average number of folks to graduate college.(27%). The WSJ anecdotally correlates success with brain power. In my state I can anecdotaly say that we push our kids through high schools without making them learn anything. What can you infer from this data?"
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Science

+ - Physicists Devise Perfect Magnetic Shield->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The sneaky science of "cloaking" just keeps getting richer. Physicists and engineers had already demonstrated rudimentary invisibility cloaks that can hide objects from light, sound, and water waves. Now, they've devised an "antimagnet" cloak that can shield an object from a constant magnetic field without disturbing that field. If realized, such a cloak could have medical applications, researchers say."
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Hardware

+ - Demystifying UEFI, the overdue BIOS replacement

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "After more than 30 years of unerring and yet surprising supremacy, BIOS is taking its final bows. Taking its place is UEFI, a specification that begun its life as the Intel Boot Initiative way back in 1998 when BIOS’s antiquated limitations were hampering systems built with Intel’s Itanium processors. UEFI, as the article explains, is a complete re-imagining of a computer boot environment, and as such it has almost no similarities to the PC BIOS that it replaces."

+ - 1st Circuit Decision on Copyright Requirements-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on September 14, 2011, that emphasized the elements that must be established to maintain a successful copyright infringement suit.

The decision described three significant elements in such cases:
1) ownership of a valid copyright
2) proof of registration of the allegedly infringed work
3) copying of constituent elements of the work that are original"

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NASA

+ - New Images of Tumbling US Satellite->

Submitted by arisvega
arisvega (1414195) writes "An amateur astronomer has recorded images of the out-of-control US satellite as it tumbles back to Earth. Theirry Legault, from Paris, captured the video as the satellite passed over northern France on 15 September. The six-tonne, 20-year-old spacecraft has fallen out of orbit and is expected to crash somewhere on Earth on or around 24 September. The US space agency says the risk to life from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is 1 in 3,200. Mr Legault, an engineer, used a specially designed camera to record the tumbling satellite through his 14-inch telescope, posting the footage on his Astrophotography website.

UARS could land anywhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator — most of the populated world. Nasa says that most of the satellite will break or burn up before reaching Earth. But scientists have identified 26 separate pieces that could survive the fall through the atmosphere. This debris could rain across an area 400-500km (250-310 miles) wide. Robust, spherical satellite components such as fuel tanks are often most likely to survive the fiery plunge to Earth, say space experts. Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite The "productive scientific life" of UARS ended in 2005 when it ran out of fuel. Nasa said scientists would only be able to make more accurate predictions about where the satellite might land two hours before it enters the Earth's atmosphere."

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Hardware

+ - Carnivorous plant inspires self-cleaning material->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Researchers from Harvard University have devised a material that is both superhydrophobic and superlipophobic. In other words, it repels water and oil, the bases of almost every commonly-occurring liquid including the smears on touchscreens caused by our fatty fingers! The new material, which is called SLIPS (Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surface — yes, really), is inspired by the leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant which must be slippery enough to send sticky, oily-footed insects tumbling to their doom. To do this, SLIPS is made from a nano-structured material (like Teflon) and 3M's Fluorinert is added. The Fluroinert seeps into all the gaps and creates a thin, super-repellant layer that is just a few nanometers thick. Then, when almost anything comes into contact with SLIPS... it slips right off.

Needless to say, SLIPS could revolutionize oil transport (low-friction pipelines!), medicine (self-cleaning implements), houses (self-cleaning windows), and computers (smear-proof smartphones!)"

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Patents

+ - Tax Loopholes No Longer Patentable-> 4

Submitted by
Knowzy
Knowzy writes "A section of the America Invents Act disallows issuing a patent "on a strategy for reducing, avoiding or postponing taxes," according to Forbes. The article describes one such strategy in some detail. The USTPO has already issued 161 of these "business method type" patents. 167 more were pending. The law only applies to future patent applications, leaving enforcement of existing patents an issue for the courts to decide."
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Security

+ - EFF System To Warn Of Certificate Breaches->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "With its distributed SSL Observatory, the Electronic Frontier Foundation hopes to detect compromised certificate authorities and warn users about attacks, InfoWorld reports. 'The EEF, along with developers at the Tor Project and consulting firm iSec Partners, has updated its existing HTTPS Everywhere program with the ability to anonymously report every certificate encountered. The group will analyze the data so that it can detect any rogue certificates — and by extension, compromised authorities — its users encounter, says Peter Eckersley, technology projects director for the EFF.'"
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