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+ - Teen Reported to Police After Finding Security Hole in Website->

Submitted by mwu
mwu (784824) writes "A teenager in Australia who thought he was doing a good deed by reporting a security vulnerability in a government website was reported to the police.

Joshua Rogers, a 16-year-old in the state of Victoria, found a basic security hole that allowed him to access a database containing sensitive information for about 600,000 public transport users who made purchases through the Metlink web site run by the Transport Department. It was the primary site for information about train, tram and bus timetables. The database contained the full names, addresses, home and mobile phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and a nine-digit extract of credit card numbers used at the site, according to The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Rogers says he contacted the site after Christmas to report the vulnerability but never got a response. After waiting two weeks, he contacted the newspaper to report the problem. When The Age called the Transportation Department for comment, it reported Rogers to the police."

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+ - Building a better bike helmet out of paper

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Inspired by nature, a London man believes the solution to safer bike helmets is to build them out of paper. '"The animal that stood out was the woodpecker. It pecks at about ten times per second and every time it pecks it sustains the same amount of force as us crashing at 50 miles per hour," says Surabhi. "It's the only bird in the world where the skull and the beak are completely disjointed, and there's a soft corrugated cartilage in the middle that absorbs all the impact and stops it from getting a headache." In order to mimic the woodpecker's crumple zone, Anirudha turned to a cheap and easily accessible source — paper. He engineered it into a double-layer of honeycomb that could then be cut and constructed into a functioning helmet. "What you end up with is with tiny little airbags throughout the helmet," he says.'"

+ - Orbital Sciences Cygnus Commercial Resupply Craft Docks With The ISS->

Submitted by Kenseilon
Kenseilon (3462441) writes "After two delays due to cold weather and conditions in space, Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus commercial resupply craft reached the International Space Station on Jan. 12. The docking mission was led by NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins and Koichi Wakata, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

Orbital Sciences’ International Space Station Commercial Resupply Mission, ORB-1, was scheduled to launch on Jan. 7 but was delayed due to extreme cold. ORB-1 was rescheduled for Jan. 8 but was scrapped due to space weather caused by an X-class solar flare, the first of 2014, which led to an increased amount of space radiation. Orbital successfully launched ORB-1 on Jan. 9, at 1:08 p.m. EST from Wallops Island, Virginia."

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+ - Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs 4

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Lauran Neergaard writes at the Christian Science Monitor that doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills because over time the poor wind up seeking treatment in doctors' offices or hospitals as a result. "If you're interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition," says Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center, who founded the Children's HealthWatch pediatric research institute. "People don't make the hunger-health connection." Food stamps feed 1 in 7 Americans and cost almost $80 billion a year, twice what it cost five years ago. The doctors' lobbying effort comes as Congress is working on a compromise farm bill that's certain to include food stamp cuts. Republicans want heftier reductions than do Democrats in yet another partisan battle over the government's role in helping poor Americans. Conservatives say the program spiraled out of control as the economy struggled and the costs are not sustainable. However research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that a cut of $2 billion a year in food stamps could trigger in an increase of $15 billion in medical costs (PDF) for over the next decade. Other research shows children from food-insecure families are 30 percent more likely to have been hospitalized for a range of illnesses. "Food is medicine," says Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, who has led the Democrats' defense of the food stamp program. "Critics focus almost exclusively on how much we spend, and I wish they understood that if we did this better, we could save a lot more money in health care costs.""

+ - New Powers Coming For 007: Driving Over The Speed Limit->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Telegraph reports, "Britain’s spies are to be given a “licence to speed” for the first time, under changes to motoring laws. While James Bond would no doubt have scorned such niceties, officers in MI5 and MI6 are currently required to obey the rules of the road, even when national security is under threat. Now Robert Goodwill, the transport minister, intends to add the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service to the group of agencies with permission to break the speed limit.""
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+ - Regex Golf, XKCD And Peter Norvig ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recent xkcd cartoon has started some deep academic thinking. When AI expert Peter Novig gets involved you know the algorithms are going to fly. Code Golf is a reasonably well known sport of trying to code an algorithm in the shortest possible code. Regex Golf is similar, but in general the aim is to create a regular expression that accepts the strings in one list and rejects the strings in a second list. The xkcd cartoon in question http://xkcd.com/1313/ revealed that this is but the first step. Programmers like recursion and a regex is a string after all and a regex can process a string so a regex can process a regex and this means you can have meta-regex golf and meta-meta-regex golf.... Yes my friend, it's regexes all the way down!
The hover over text gives a regular expression that matches the last names of the elected US presidents, but not the losers. This started Peter Norvig, the well-known computer scientist, director of research at Google and wearer of brightly colored shirts, thinking about the problem. Is it possible to write a program that would create a regular expression to solve the xkcd problem? The result is an NP hard problem that needs AI like techniques to get an approximate answer.
To find out more read the complete description, including Python code, at Peter Norvig's blog post http://nbviewer.ipython.org/url/norvig.com/ipython/xkcd1313.ipynb which ends with the challenge:
"I hope you found this interesting, and perhaps you can find ways to improve my algorithm, or more interesting lists to apply it to. I found it was fun to play with, and I hope this page gives you an idea of how to address problems like this.""

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+ - SpaceShipTwo sets a new altitude record

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 71,000 feet, beating out its previous record of 69,000 feet. From the article: 'This time around, Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based Scaled Composites, the plane's builder, tested a new reflective coating on the rocket plane's tail booms. The flight also marked the first tryout for a thruster system that's designed to keep the plane on course when it's above the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic said all of the test objectives were met.'"

+ - DIY Email Hacking with Open Source IMAP Filter App->

Submitted by reifman
reifman (786887) writes "Filtered is an open source server side imap application which provides a foundation to build new email features such as do not disturb, keyword based smartphone alerts, whitelisting and secure folders which move messages from your NSA-accessible Gmail account and encrypt them on your own server. Download at Github or test drive it in the cloud."
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+ - Twitter Named in a Racketeering Action for Framing User

Submitted by Evil Esq Bar Asc Law
Evil Esq Bar Asc Law (3495393) writes "Twitter is named as defendant in a RICO (racketeering) action filed in Colorado Federal Court for having assisted a Silicon Valley law firm to frame a user as having made violent threats. According to the Plaintiff, the law firm left off the true name of the publisher of the Tweet in a complaint they made and Twitter refused to identify the real publisher. Several of the principals of Twitter's venture capital investors are clients of the law firm. This website: [Barra Partners] has the particulars including a motion setting forth some of the details."

+ - Legendary Demonoid BitTorrent Tracker Apparently Back Online-> 1

Submitted by Freshly Exhumed
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "TorrentFreak has broken the news that after more than a year of downtime the Demonoid tracker came back online on January 9, 2014. The tracker is linked to nearly 400,000 torrent files and more than a million peers, which makes it one of the largest working BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. There is no word yet on when the site will make a full comeback, but the people behind it say they are working to revive one of the most famous file-sharing communities. As the single largest semi-private BitTorrent tracker that ever existed, Demonoid used to offer a home to millions of file-sharers. Note that this is apparently the original Demonoid and not the d2 site that claims to be using the Demonoid database."
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+ - Small Satellite Dish Systems Called Ripe For Hacking

Submitted by The Walking Dude
The Walking Dude (905913) writes "Thousands of small satellite dish-based computer systems [VSATs] that transmit often-sensitive data from far flung locations worldwide – oil rigs, ships at sea, banks, and even power grid substations – are at high risk of being hacked, including many in the United States, a new cyber-security report has found.. These vulnerabilities can be exploited through Internet-connected computer networks, as hackers are more commonly envisioned to do, or through electronic warfare methodologies that more directly manipulate the radio waves of uplinks and downlinks."

+ - Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts in High School->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Diversifying the tech industry is a prominent topic these days, with much analysis being done on colleges and companies that employ software engineers. But exam data shows the gap is created much earlier — it's almost overwhelming even before kids get out of high school. From the article: 'Ericson's analysis of the data shows that in 2013, 18 percent of the students who took the exam were women. Eight percent were Hispanic, and four percent were African-American. In contrast, Latinos make up 22 percent of the school-age population in the U.S.; African-Americans make up 14 percent. (I don't need to tell you that women make up about half.) There are some states where not a single member of one of these groups took the test last year. No women in Mississippi or Montana took it. Seven states had no Hispanic students take the exam: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. And 10 states had no Black students take the exam: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Utah. In some of these states, there simply aren't many students of any race or gender taking the test, which helps explain the dearth of young women and minorities. (Indeed, no women or minorities took the exam in Wyoming—but that's because no students at all took it.) But Idaho had nearly 50 students taking it, and Utah had more than 100.'"
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