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+ - Film Review: The Hacker Wars->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A flashy portrait of rebel “hacktivists” and their anarchist accomplices that opts for superficial, unconvincing glorification over in-depth analysis.

Weev and his talking-head comrades spend copious time preaching about the horrific perils of America’s current “surveillance state,” and how they’re combating the powers-that-be through distribution of vital information. Yet The Hacker Wars’ depiction of these high-tech rebels reveals them to be, first and foremost, grating narcissists more concerned with their own celebrity than with any larger cause. That’s especially true of Weev, a self-proclaimed “troll” (i.e., an online person who stirs the pot for its own sake), who says his behavior is akin to that of Jesus and who gleefully sells himself as an obnoxious and antagonistic cretin, never more assertively then when he tells an Esquire reporter that, in World War II, “the Jews were the criminal people in Germany—they did have something coming to them.” In the face of such look-at-me ugliness, the film’s attempts to bend over backwards casting Weev and his self-involved hacking brethren as selfless altruists rings thoroughly and laughably false–and the fact that another oft-heard interviewee, Joe “Subverzo” Fionda, has parlayed his notoriety into an acting gig on “Boardwalk Empire” merely furthers the impression that these men and women are primarily interested not in the greater good, but in themselves."

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+ - How an FBI Informant Led the Hack of British Tabloid 'The Sun'->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Hector Xavier Monsegur, also known online as "Sabu," was caught by the FBI in June of 2011 for a litany of hacking-related offenses and, within hours, began cooperating with authorities in hopes of receiving a lenient sentence.

Now, never-before-published FBI records and exclusive interviews detail how the informant rallied other hackers to attack various News Corp. interests, including The Sun, at a time that the FBI has said it was tracking all of Monsegur's online activity.

And for a week shortly after his arrest, he was privy to the anti-Murdoch campaign waged by Anonymous, according to the documents obtained by Motherboard."

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+ - Peru's Erection Vendors Are Driving the Scrotum Frog to Extinction->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "In parts of Peru, there's an old culinary delicacy that consists of liquefying a rare frog. Drinking the concoction is said to cure a wide range of ailments, include bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma, arthritis, and yes, even impotence. The amphibian garnish in question is not just any frog, but the critically endangered Telmatobius culeus , or more commonly known as the scrotum water frog, which is endemic to the Lake Titicaca region. As unflattering as it sounds, the nickname is rather apt considering the croaker's many blanket-like skin folds that cover its body; think of it as amphibious version of a blubbery bulldog, with skin that helps it breathe."
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+ - SPAM: How to Grow an Artificial Penis

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Lab-grown penises will be made available to men with genital injuries and abnormalities within five years, according to scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

In their trials, researchers make "scaffolds" of rabbit penises by washing donor organs in detergent to kill all the living cells. This process leaves a collagen frame that can be seeded with penile cells from the recipient rabbit. The lab-grown penis is specifically rich with cultivated muscle and endothelial cells, which are essential for erectile function."

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+ - MIT Thinks It Has Discovered the 'Perfect' Solar Cell->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A new MIT study offers a way out of one of solar power's most vexing problems: the matter of efficiency, and the bare fact that much of the available sunlight in solar power schemes is wasted. The researchers appear to have found the key to perfect solar energy conversion efficiency—or at least something approaching it. It's a new material that can accept light from an very large number of angles and can withstand the very high temperatures needed for a maximally efficient scheme.

Conventional solar cells, the silicon-based sheets used in most consumer-level applications, are far from perfect. Light from the sun arrives here on Earth's surface in a wide variety of forms. These forms—wavelengths, properly—include the visible light that makes up our everyday reality, but also significant chunks of invisible (to us) ultraviolet and infrared light. The current standard for solar cells targets mostly just a set range of visible light."

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+ - When WikiLeaks cold-called Hillary Clinton->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Today, newly released footage shows this harrowing moment as it happened.

In a trailer advertising WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s new book, When Google Met WikiLeaks , the never-before-seen clip (below) shows WikiLeaks editor Sarah Harrison phoning the State Department’s front desk and asking to speak with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It’s an emergency,” Assange prompts Harrison to say, passing a notecard across the table."

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+ - Apple knew of iCloud brute-force vulnerability since March

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "Apple knew as early as March 2014 of a security hole that left the personal data of iCloud users vulnerable, according to leaked emails between the company and a noted security researcher.

In a March 26 email, security researcher Ibrahim Balic tells an Apple official that he’s successfully bypassed a security feature designed to prevent “brute-force” attacks. Balic goes on to explain to Apple that he was able to try over 20,000 passwords combinations on any account."

+ - How the US Quietly Field Tests 'Blinding' Laser Weapons ->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Laser warfare is pretty much here. We've got lasers on Navy ships and Army trucks, on guided missiles, and one just got test-mounted on an airplane. And obviously, someday there will be lasers on drones. But as any military contractor should remember: no eye stuff.

In 1995 the United Nations banned "Blinding Laser Weapons," which the adopted protocol defined as "laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision" and, in the same protocol, stipulated that, in the employment of laser systems, "the High Contracting Parties shall take all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of permanent blindness to unenhanced vision."

Straight-forward enough, it seems. But apparently this stipulation bears repeating. Former laser journalist Dan Drollette Jr. explained in an analysis piece in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that, even after giving up plans to build blinding laser weapons, the US military continued researching them..."

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+ - A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect at Fighting Wildfires->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Friday night in Southern California's Silverado Valley, relief flew in on an old airliner. In this summer of drought and fire the DC-10, an airplane phased out of passenger service in February, has been spotted from Idaho to Arizona delivering up to 12,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single acrobatic swoop.

The three-engine DC-10 entered service in 1970 as a passenger jet, and the last airplane working in that capacity, operated by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, made its final flight on February 24. But some designs defy obsolescence. The DC-10 had already been converted to function as a mid-air refueling airplane for the Air Force, and in 2006, the first fire-fighting DC-10 was unleashed on the Sawtooth fire in San Bernardino County, California."

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+ - New Zealand Spied On Its Citizens Before Making It Legal, Says Snowden->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A little over a year ago, the New Zealand government passed legislation that legally authorized its version of the NSA, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), to spy on its own citizens. Narrowly, the law passed after a heated debate between lawmakers, rights groups, and local internet tycoon Kim Dotcom. At the time, Prime Minister John Key commented the new law “is not, and never will be, about wholesale spying on New Zealanders.”

But a set of secret documents provided by Edward Snowden indicates that New Zealand officials had already begun to design mass surveillance programs before such a law had ever gone to parliament. According to the new documents, published by Glenn Greenwald Monday, the GCSB had already begun cooperating with the US National Security Agency as early as 2012. Even as it sought legal authorization before full implementation, as part of a spying program code-named “Speargun,” the bureau was planning to grant NSA access to its major undersea cable network that connects New Zealand to the rest of the world sometime in "mid-2013.""

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+ - SPAM: E-Cigs Could Be a Gateway to Cocaine Addiction, Says Study That Misses the Point

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "If and when the Food and Drug Administration drops some sort of heavy regulations on e-cigarettes, a study released today is the one it, and politicians who hail the decision, will inevitably turn to: A pair of scientists at Columbia University have slapped the dreaded "gateway drug" term on nicotine, and, with it, e-cigarettes. The study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine , has all of the makings of a bombshell report (for prohibitionists, at least). It's coming out in a major journal, one of the two authors has a Nobel Prize, and it's decidedly anti-e-cigarette. The study's authors, Eric and Denise Kandel, say that they've found the "molecular basis" for nicotine's role as a gateway drug. Adult mice who are given cocaine show more addictive behavior and stronger effects from the cocaine if they've been "primed" with seven days of nicotine use beforehand, according to the study. In other words, cocaine is more addictive to mice if they're already addicted to nicotine."
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+ - Hackers Will Leak Syrian Stock Exchange Database Unless Assad Tackles ISIS->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "A group of hackers took down the website of Syria's only stock exchange this afternoon and are threatening to leak the exchange's database unless president Bashar al-Assad takes military action against the Islamic State.

The group, called Project Viridium, says that over the last several weeks, they've infected several Islamic State operatives' computers and have provided the Assad government with information about their whereabouts."

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+ - Canada's Hitchhiking Robot Completed Its Trip Without Getting Murdered->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "On July 27, a brave robot named hitchBOT bid goodbye to its creators on the shoulder of a highway in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With limbs made from pool noodles, a beer-cooler body, and legs clad in Wellington rain boots, this adorable hodgepodge of a robot was ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. It raised its best hitchhiker’s thumb, and waited to be picked up by its first benefactor in its 6,000-kilometer road trip across Canada.

When hitchBot set off, we at Motherboard worried that the trooper might meet a tragic end (and we weren't the only ones). But fortunately, our fears were groundless. Over the weekend, hitchBOT arrived at its final destination in Victoria, BC, intact and thriving after meeting dozens of new friends across the country."

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+ - DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers to Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "But it's here, tucked away on the third floor, that you'll find precisely that: the Center for Game Science, a research lab that makes educational video games for children, and that received the bulk of its funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the wing of the US Department of Defense that supports research into experimental military technology. Why is DARPA the original primary funder of the CGS? According to written and recorded statements from current and former DARPA program managers, as well as other government documents, the DARPA-funded educational video games developed at the CGS have a purpose beyond the pretense of teaching elementary school children STEM skills."
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+ - This Phony 'Anonymous' Site Was Set Up to Trap Ferguson Hacktivists->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "As military police forces gather around Ferguson, trying to quell an angry, frustrated, and betrayed population, some people are taking their fight online. 'OpFerguson', being spear-headed by members of the hacktivism collective Anonymous, launched a couple of days ago. One site popped up that gave those wishing to voice their discontent a helping hand. Opferguson.com allows a user to select a target, including the Ferguson police force and the FBI, and participate in a DDoS attack: a technique that attempts to overwhelm a server by flooding it with traffic. Opferguson.com, however, is not what it seems. Instead of directing a user's traffic to the intended target, it instead collects the IP addresses of whoever logs on. This information, according to the creator, a self-avowed Anonymous opponent, is then open for law enforcement to act upon."
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