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Submission + - Researchers Demonstrate Backdoor "Hack" Into the Human Brain ( 1

Zothecula writes: Once the preserve of science fiction, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have advanced to the point where they can even be found in novelty headwear, which only makes an achievement of an international team of scientists more frightening. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv BCI costing only a few hundred dollars, the team has shown that it's possible to "hack" a human brain and pull things like bank details straight out of your skull.

Submission + - Crisis Trojan Makes Its Way onto Virtual Machines (

Trailrunner7 writes: The Windows version of the Crisis Trojan is able to sneak onto VMware implementations, making it possibly the first malware to target such virtual machines. It also has found a way to spread to Windows Mobile devices.

Samples of Crisis, also called Morcut, were first discovered about a month ago targeting Mac machines running various versions of OS X. The Trojan spies on users by intercepting e-mail and instant messenger exchanges and eavesdropping on webcam conversations. Launching as a Java archive (JAR) file made to look like an Adobe Flash Installer, Crisis scans an infected machine and drops an OS-specific executable to open a backdoor and monitor activity.

This week, researchers also discovered W32.Crisis was capable of infecting VMware virtual machines and Windows Mobile devices.


Submission + - 25% of Google Chrome Extensions Allow Data Theft (

Orome1 writes: 27 of a 100 tested Google Chrome extensions have been found vulnerable to data (passwords, history, etc.) extraction attacks though specially crafted malicious websites or by attackers on public WiFi networks. A trio of security researchers have manually analyzed 50 of the most popular Chrome extensions and added to that list 50 more chosen by random. "We looked for JavaScript injection vulnerabilities in the cores of the extensions (the background, popup, and options pages); script injection into a core allows the complete takeover of an extension," explained Adrienne Porter Felt, one of the researchers. To prove their claim, they performed PoC attacks devised to take advantage of the vulnerabilities.

Submission + - Graphene - the 21st Centry's revolution. (

An anonymous reader writes: "Our research establishes Graphene as the strongest material ever measured, some 200 times stronger than structural steel," mechanical engineering professor James Hone, of Columbia University, said in a statement.

"It would take an elephant, balanced on a pencil, to break through a sheet of Graphene the thickness of Saran Wrap [cling film]."

"[Samsung has its] own roadmap where they believe there will be a dozen products [on the commercial market] using graphene in the next five years," says Dr Geim.

But companies like IBM and Nokia have also been involved in research. IBM has created a 150 gigahertz (Ghz) transistor — the quickest comparable silicon device runs at about 40 Ghz.


Submission + - First Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse Since 1638 (

mdsolar writes: The first total lunar eclipse to fall on the longest night of the year (in the northern hemisphere), Winter Solstice, since 1638 can be seen tonight from North America and Hawaii. Let the Revels begin.

Submission + - EFF legal council abandons Shareaza case ( 1

An anonymous reader writes:

Shareaza's EFF appointed legal counsel has been paid off by Discordia and has abandoned the case. The legal counsel was "pro bono" (free) as the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) asked Barbara Friedman's firm, Hanson Bridgett, to take on the case. It is unethical that she stops giving us counsel while we are in the MIDDLE of a settlement of getting the original domain back. However, I applaud the Electronic Frontier Foundation for helping us in the first place and continuing to help us through this difficult time. All donations to us and to them, are appreciated.

The Shareaza team is urging users to call Barbara L. Friedman (the FORMER Counsel) or to call the EFF and complain that the team urgently needs new council

The Courts

Submission + - Hacking protected by the 2nd amendment? 1

CPerdue writes: Does the second ammendment to the Constitution of the United States protect hackers?

The 2ndA has long been associated with "guns" but it actually protects "arms". This obviously included not just the extant firearms of the late 1700s but all maner of more primitive weapons (no less a luminary than Benjamin Franklin suggested using long bows instead of flintlock rifles for the U.S. Army — they worked better). The idea that the 2ndA does not have a 'technological expiry date' was confirmed last year in D.C. v. Heller, where SCOTUS held that modern firearms are protected even thought they didn't exist when the 2ndA was written.

The potency of the "arms" protected was not an issue either. At the time the constitution was written, private citizens owned, practiced with, and used not only military-grade firearms (rifles, pistols) but also field and naval artillery (unlike today, a U.S. flagged merchant ship attacked by pirates in the 1800's would have responded with a broadside and rifle fire from the tops).

To the extent then that modern hacker's hardware and software tools can be construed as a "arms" because they can do material harm, are their ownership and responsible (i.e., not hurting anybody) use protected?

Submission + - IE8 will be pushed through automatic updates ( 1

Celc writes: IE8 will go out through automatic updates, hopefully this means web developers will finally put the body of IE6 in the grave they dug for it oh so long ago. This is one case where this reader don't mind if Microsoft force feed their software too people using. From the bottom of my heart: Thank you, now implement canvas you lazy sods.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Self Replicating Machines In Your Home - Seriously (

Singularity Hub writes: "Did you know that for about $500 you can have a machine in your living room that can print out a 3D replica of any object from a CAD drawing on your computer? You can use this machine to make door handles, dolls, cars, hooks...anything! This machine is called a reprap, and amazingly the specifications for the machine are completely open source, completely shareable and modifiable by anyone in the world. There is a worldwide community of volunteers working feverishly to support you and anyone else to troubleshoot and improve the machine. Most interesting of all, the reprap is ultimately designed to self replicate all of its parts, bringing us within tantalizing reach of a long envisioned era of self replicating machines."
The Internet

Submission + - Sweden Sees Boom in Legal Downloading

Quantos writes: "An excerpt from This article shows something that we might expect to see in North America.

The sale of music via the internet and mobile phones has increased by 100 percent since the Swedish anti-file sharing IPRED law entered into force last week, according to digital content provider InProdicon.

"The first week after the introduction of IPRED, sales increased by 100 percent compared to the previous weeks. I don't know if this is only because of IPRED, but it is definitely a sign of a major change," said managing director Klas Brännström.

InProdicon provides half of the downloaded tunes in Sweden via several online and mobile music services. Their Swedish clients include Tele2, Telia, Åhlens and MTV.

United States

Submission + - Believing in Medical Treatments That Don't Work

Hugh Pickens writes: "David H. Newman, M.D. has an interesting article in the NY Times where he discusses common medical treatments contradicted by the best available evidence e.g. for decades doctors have administered "beta-blockers" to heart attack victims although studies show that the early administration of beta-blockers does not save lives; patients with ear infections are more likely to be harmed by antibiotics than helped — the infections typically recede within days regardless of treatment and the same is true for bronchitis, sinusitis, and sore throats; no cough remedies have ever been proven better than a placebo; back surgeries to relieve pain are, in the majority of cases, no better than nonsurgical treatment; and knee surgery is no better than sham knee surgery where surgeons "pretend" to do surgery while the patient is under light anesthesia. Newman says that treatment based on ideology is alluring "but the uncomfortable truth is that many expensive, invasive interventions are of little or no benefit and cause potentially uncomfortable, costly, and dangerous side effects and complications." The Obama administration's plan for reform includes identifying health care measures that work and those that don't and there are signs of hope for evidence-based medicine: earlier this year hospital administrators were informed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that beta-blocker treatment will be retired as a government indicator of quality care, beginning April 1, 2009. "After years of advocacy that cemented immediate beta-blockers in the treatment protocols of virtually every hospital in the country," writes Newman. "the agency has demonstrated that minds can be changed.""

Submission + - Google Chrome on Linux starting to get serious (

Lee Mathews writes: "Not only has Chromium gotten easier to take for a test drive thanks to the PPA for Ubuntu Chrome daily build team, but development on the browser is also progressing nicely. Despite being a very early build, Chromium on Linux feels solid and boasts the same blazing speed the Windows users have been enjoying for months."

Submission + - Songbird gets integrated DRM-free MP3 store (

CNETNate writes: "The FOSS media player Songbird launched a fully integrated MP3 download store today, with DRM-free downloads from all four major labels. According to tests, it funtions just like the in-line store within iTunes. It's powered in the US, UK and Europe by 7digital's API along with its own API, and offers in-line search, purchase and download of songs without having to use a Web browser or manually add downloads into the main library. You can download the new version from the Songbird website."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.