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Submission + - Researcher Exploits 18-Year-Old Design Flaw To Compromise x86 Chips

jfruh writes: Security researcher Christopher Domas has demonstrated a method of installing a rootkit in a PC's firmware that exploits a feature built into every x86 chip manufactured since 1997. The rootkit infects the processor's System Management Mode, and could be used to wipe the UEFI or even to re-infect the OS after a clean install. Protection features like Secure Boot wouldnt help, because they too rely on the SMM to be secure.

Submission + - Former World Leaders to Meet with UN to Discuss Drug Decriminalization (

EwanPalmer writes: Several former world leaders and members of the United Nations are set to call upon governments around the world to decriminalize drugs.

Former presidents of Brazil, Columbia and Switzerland are among the former leaders who have united to call for proper regulation of drug use and possession, along with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour.

A report, released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, says it is time to "break the taboo" and admit the way on drugs is a "failure" as well as recommending new major reforms for drug prohibition. The Commissioners are also set to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson to discuss the proposals mentioned in the report.

Submission + - The bane of restaurants - Smartphones (

Strudelkugel writes: A restaurant in Manhattan compared video from 2004 and 2014 to see why service was slower than before. A few observations listed in the article:
Customers walk in.
They gets seated and are given menus, out of 45 customers 3 request to be seated elsewhere.
Customers on average spend 8 minutes before closing the menu to show they are ready to order...
Customers walk in.
Customers get seated and is given menus, out of 45 customers 18 requested to be seated elsewhere.
Before even opening the menu they take their phones out, some are taking photos while others are simply doing something else on their phone (sorry we have no clue what they are doing and do not monitor customer WIFI activity).

Submission + - New "Acandescent" Light Bulbs to Challenge LEDs and CFLs (

braindrainbahrain writes: An outfit in Massachusetts is poise to offer — no, make that "is offering" — consumer light bulbs based on induction technology, challenging the market share of LED and CFL light bulbs. Induction lighting, long used in industrial applications, was invented by none other than Nikola Tesla, and said Massachusetts company has miniaturized the technology enough to fit an implementation in a standard light bulb size.

Submission + - A fast look at Swift, Apple's new programming language (

simeontuoyo writes: If anyone outside Apple saw Swift coming, they certainly weren't making any public predictions. In the middle of a keynote filled with the sorts of announcements you'd expect (even if the details were a surprise), Apple this week announced that it has created a modern replacement for the Objective-C, a programming language the company has used since shortly after Steve Jobs founded NeXT.

Swift wasn't a "sometime before the year's out"-style announcement, either. The same day, a 550-page language guide appeared in the iBooks store. Developers were also given access to Xcode 6 betas, which allow application development using the new language. Whatever changes were needed to get the entire Cocoa toolkit to play nice with Swift are apparently already done.

While we haven't yet produced any Swift code, we have read the entire language guide and looked at the code samples Apple provided. What follows is our first take on the language itself, along with some ideas about what Apple hopes to accomplish.

Submission + - Fluke Donates Real Multimeters to SparkFun as goodwill gesture (

Actually, I do RTFA writes: We recently heard about the confiscation of a delivery of multimeters to SparkFun for infringing on Fluke's trademark. One common thread in the discussions was the theme that Fluke should have let that shipment through ("lawyers" argued about the legal ramifications of it) as a goodwill gesture to SparkFun and the Maker community. Well, Fluke did one better. They announced they were sending more than $30k worth of official multimeters to SparkFun for them to do whatever they want with.

SparkFun is most likely going to give them away.

A great example of win-win-win?

Submission + - CEO of Bitcoin exhcange found dead ( 2

Chas writes: And still more hoopla surrounding Bitcoin. 28 year old CEO of First Meta Autumn Ratke was found dead in her Singapore apartment on February 28th. Local media is referring to it as a suicide, but officials are waiting on toxicology reports.

Submission + - Slashdot Starting Move To Beta Site ( 1

MightyMartian writes: According to Slashdot's blog, great progress is being made in the redesign. According to a notice on the Slashdot front page:

"MOVIN’ ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more."

According to many posters who are posting off topic, there seems little appetite for the upcoming changes.

Submission + - CryptoLocker Evolves into a Worm to Spread Independently (

DavidGilbert99 writes: CryptoLocker was a worrying enough piece of malware when it was a simple Trojan horse, but it has evolved into a worm, and can now easily spread under its own steam via removable drives. It means the figure of 250,000 infected PCs could soon skyrocket. Researchers believe that the differences in the new variant, discovered by Trend Micro, could mean it is the work of a copycat gang of cyber criminals and not the creators of CryptoLocker.

Submission + - 'Jumping Genes' Linked to Schizophrenia (

sciencehabit writes: Roaming bits of DNA that can relocate and proliferate throughout the genome, called "jumping genes," may contribute to schizophrenia, a new study suggests. These rogue genetic elements pepper the brain tissue of deceased people with the disorder and multiply in response to stressful events, such as infection during pregnancy, which increase the risk of the disease. The study could help explain how genes and environment work together to produce the complex disorder and may even point to ways of lowering the risk of the disease, researchers say.

Submission + - Shoot down drones by turning your microwave into a gun (

mask.of.sanity writes: A New Zealand researcher has detailed ways that UAVs can be crashed using cheap tools like Herf guns and GPS jammers, and could even be downed by flying drones with more powerful radio. The attacks (podcast) interfere with the navigation systems used by flying drones and are possible because security was not designed into the architecture of some machines.

Submission + - Google set to use your name and photos for ads ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Google on Friday announced that it would soon be able to show users’ names, photos, ratings and comments in ads across the Web, endorsing marketers’ products. Facebook already runs similar endorsement ads. But on Thursday it, too, took a step to show personal information more broadly by changing its search settings to make it harder for users to hide from other people trying to find them on the social network.

Submission + - Silk road finally taken down (

onyxruby writes: The silk road website has finally been taken down and seized by the government. The criminal complaint against 29-year-old owner Ross Ulbricht can be found over at Krebs On Security.

Probably the largest question about the seizure of the Silk Road is what took so long? It can only be assumed that the site was being monitored for a period of time to facilitate additional cases. Other like kind competing sites already offer similar services and of course always lead to the question of, is this a trap?

Submission + - Silk Road shut down, founder arrested (

u38cg writes: Ross William Ulbricht, known as "Dread Pirate Roberts," was arrested in San Francisco yesterday and has been charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to a court filing. Silk Road has been shut down and some $3.6m in Bitcoin seized.

The question is — how?

A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.