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Submission + - Trojanized SSH daemon in the wild (eset.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It is no secret the SSH binaries can be backdoored. It is nonetheless interesting to see analysis of real cases where trojanized version of the daemon are found in the wild. In this case, the binary not only lets the attacker log onto the server if he has a hardcoded password, the attacker is also granted access if he/she has the right SSH key. The backdoor also logs all username and passwords to exfiltrate them to a server hosted in Iceland.

Submission + - Synchronized Nano-Quadrotor Swarm (makezine.com)

PerlJedi writes: "Sorry to shamelessly just quote another site, but this is just plain awesome.

It used to be that having your own quadrotor drone was cutting edge. Now that the average joe can pick one up at their local mall for a couple hundred bucks means that you’ve got to step your game up if you don’t want to be seen as pedestrian. That’s why today’s aspiring UAV enthusiasts are working with swarms. Not just any swarms either, but swarms of nano-quadrotors. These days, budget conscious drone makers are going small to cut costs and shed ounces.



Submission + - New Weapon Against Copper Thieves 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Pervasive thefts of copper wire from under the streets of Fresno, California have prompted the city to seal thousands of its manhole covers with concrete and in Picher, Oklahoma, someone felled the town’s utility poles with chain saws, allowing thieves to abscond with 3,000 feet of wire while causing a blackout as the theft of copper cables in costs US companies $60 million a year and the FBI says it considers theft of copper wire to be a threat to the nation’s baseline ability to function. But now PC World reports that a US company has developed develop a new cable design that removes almost all the copper from cables in a bid to deter metal thieves. Unlike conventional cables made from solid copper, the GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel Cable consists of a steel core bonded to a copper outer casing, forming an equally effective but far less valuable cable by exploiting the corrosion-resistance of copper with the conductive properties of steel. "Companies trying to protect their copper infrastructure have been going to extreme measures to deter theft, many of which are neither successful nor cost effective," says CommScope vice president, Doug Wells. "Despite efforts like these, thieves continue to steal copper because of its rising value. The result is costly damage to networks and growing service disruptions." The GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel cable is the latest technical solution to the problem of copper theft which has included alternatives like cable etching to aid tracing of stolen metal and using chemicals that leave stains detectable under ultra-violet light. However the Copper Clad Steel strikes at the root of the problem by making the cable less susceptible to theft by both increasing the resistance to cutting and drastically decreasing the scrap value."

Submission + - DHS' X-ray Car Scanners Now At Border Crossings (cnet.com) 1

OverTheGeicoE writes: CNET has a story on DHS' whole car X-ray scanners and their potential cancer risks. The story focuses on the Z Portal scanner, which appears to be a stationary version of the older Z Backscatter Vans. The story provides interesting pictures of the device and the images it produces, but it also raises important questions about the devices' cancer risks. The average energy of the X-ray beam used is three times that used in a CT scan, which could be big trouble for vehicle passengers and drivers should a vehicle stop in mid-scan. Some studies show the risk for cancer from CT scans can be quite high. Worse still, the DHS estimates of the Z Portal's radiation dosage are likely to be several orders of magnitude too low. 'Society will pay a huge price in cancer because of this,' according to one scientist.

Submission + - Museum Uses DMCA to Pull Photos Off the Web (thomashawk.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a blatant abuse of the DMCA the Miami based World Erotic Art Museum has been removing images that they do not hold copyright over from the photo sharing site Flickr. Last week the museum submitted multiple requests asserting copyright over hundreds of items in their collection, including items over 75 years old and out of copyright, works by anonymous or unknown artists, and even works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso. They also included clearly transformative abstract photography of items in their collection. By using the DMCA to have these items removed, the museum, which allows photography, seems to asserting that physical ownership or an item automatically includes copyright. Flickr/Yahoo has complied with this request and removed all of the images, which were strictly personal and non commercial, from their photo sharing site. With millions of images from museums online, it is troubling to think that any museum can have these images removed simply by filing a DMCA request. http://thomashawk.com/2010/12/miamis-world-erotic-art-museum-fraudulently-uses-the-dmca-to-take-down-items-in-their-collection-from-the-web.html

Submission + - Razer brings theTron effect in a Gaming Mouse (techhammers.com)

hasanabbas1987 writes: Well if you thought the Tron Xbox 360 Controller was “COOL”, you are gonna love this! Razer brings the Tron effect to a Gaming mouse, complete with the cool Light Effects and the sound effects, 5600dpi laser, 7 buttons, 1ms response time and the 1000 Hz polling. As cool as it looks, the WHOOOOSH and ZOOOOOM sound effects may get annoying in the long run.

Submission + - The 12 Most Amazing (and Useless) Wikipedia Pages 1

Ponca City writes: "When you document everything, you're going to end up with some incredible, but pointless, entries. To prove the point, Asylum has an interesting article about twelve of the most interesting but useless Wikipedia entries including Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitatenhaupt betriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft, one word in German that means the Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services; Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo, an arrangement of nouns, verbs, adjectives and place names that makes perfect grammatical sense describing a herd of buffalo in the city of Buffalo who intimidate ("buffalo") other buffalo beneath them; Uncombable Hair Syndrome, a genuine condition whereby an unusual structural anomaly of the hair means the mess on your scalp cannot be combed flat; and Hitler bacon or "Hitlerszalonna," a dense fruit jam eaten by Hungarian troops and civilians during World War II. Our personal favorite: The Katzenklavier, an actual piano-like musical instrument except instead of hitting tuned strings, the hammers hit special, tonally selected cats' outstretched tails, making them meow out in pain. How to use it in a sentence? "My wife Yoko Ono and I are recording an album of blues classics stripped of every third beat and, instead of guitar, a Katzenklavier.""

Submission + - New Material Can Store Vast Amounts Of Energy (gizmag.com)

ElectricSteve writes: Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high temperature superconductors.

Submission + - Australia: Sen. Stephen Conroy Stays (abc.net.au)

GumphMaster writes: Senator Stephen Conroy has been left as Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy in the new Australian Prime Minister's reshuffle of jobs. From reaction on the ABC web site (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/28/2938876.htm) this seems to be a fairly unpopular move. Even those that assess Conroy's performance in getting the National Broadband Network (NBN) proposal running as "effective and capable" (http://www.zdnet.com.au/how-gillard-can-save-the-comms-ministry-339304076.htm) call him embarrassing. I guess we need to wait for the election and hope the people of Victoria give him a nudge.

In other news, the global laughter continues uncensored.


Submission + - New Zealand u-turns, will grant software patents (googleusercontent.com) 2

ciaran_o_riordan writes: Due to lobbying by a group called NZICT, New Zealand's parliament is now set to let go of its proposal to ban software patents. Patent attorney Steven Lundberg announced the details in a blog entry. This was quickly deleted, but not before it got stored in Google cache. Here we can read that "Hon Simon Power has asked MED [Ministry of Economic Development] to work with the Parliamentary Counsel’s Office to redraft the section along the lines of the European Patent Convention." Which is exactly the opposite of March's announcement that "computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques" The background to this case gives every reason to be hopeful, if computer users in New Zealand get active again.
PC Games (Games)

Fallout Online Website Arises Amid Legal Battle 85

Rumors of a Fallout MMO have been swirling for years, made all the more credible by hints from the legal battle between Bethesda and Interplay over licensing for the franchise. Now, Interplay has quietly created a teaser website for Fallout Online, offering beta sign-ups. Quoting Massively: "Currently, there isn't much there, just a brief glimpse at a workshop desk with various Fallout references to the Master, Brahmin, and Nuka-Cola before a form obscures the screen. ... It looks legit, too: Interplay is promoting Fallout Online from their main website, and the new teaser site is indeed registered to Interplay Entertainment Corp."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Newsweek Easter Egg Reports Zombie Invasion 93

danielkennedy74 writes "Newsweek.com becomes the latest in a long list of sites that will reveal an Easter egg if you enter the Konami code correctly (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, enter). This is a cheat code that appeared in many of Konami's video games, starting around 1986 — my favorite places to use it were Contra and Life Force, 30 lives FTW. The Easter egg was probably included by a developer unbeknownst to the Newsweek powers that be. It's reminiscent of an incident that happened at ESPN last year, involving unicorns."

Steak-Scented Billboard Entices Drivers Screenshot-sm 282

In addition to car exhaust and road grime, travelers along Highway 150 in North Carolina can now enjoy the smell of a barbecue thanks to a new billboard. The work of ScentAir, which provides custom scents for businesses, the advertisement for a local grocer emits the smell of charcoal and black pepper over the highway. "Marketing director Murray Dameron said the beef scent was emitted by a high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard that blows air over cartridges loaded with BBQ fragrance oil. 'It smells like grilled meat with a nice pepper rub on it,' he explained."
PC Games (Games)

What Game Devs Should Learn From EVE 270

An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Gamesradar about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of elected player representatives that serve to facilitate communications between the developers and the community: "On the last day, the devs announced that after the earlier discussions about improving the CSM’s ability to effect change, the CSM was being raised to the status of its own department within CCP. This is revolutionary; in one swift move, the CSM went from what could be considered a glorified focus group to what CCP considers to be a 'stakeholder' in the company, given equal consideration with every other department in requesting development time for a project. That means the CSM — and the entire playerbase it represents — has as much influence on development projects as Marketing, Accounting, Publicity and all the other teams outside of the development team. This is, of course, the stated intention. But has any developer gone to such lengths for its fans?"

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato