Jim Hall writes "Security blogger Krebs reports that Target's data breach started with a stolen HVAC account. Last week, Target said the initial intrusion into its systems was traced back to network credentials that were stolen from a third party vendor. Sources now claim that the vendor in question was a refrigeration, heating and air conditioning subcontractor that has worked at a number of locations at Target and other top retailers. Attackers stole network credentials from Fazio Mechanical Services, then used that to gain access to Target's network. It’s not immediately clear why Target would have given an HVAC company external network access, or why that access would not be cordoned off from Target’s payment system network."Link to Original Source
Jim Hall writes "Insomniac Games has long been an exclusive PlayStation developer: Disruptor on PS1, Spyro the Dragon on PS1, Ratchet & Clank on PS2 and PS3, Resistance on PS3. That's changed. This week, Ted Price announced a partnership with EA Partners to work on a new game together, supporting both the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. No details yet on what the new game series is supposed to be."Link to Original Source
Jim Hall writes "A freshly discovered asteroid, called 2010 GA6 and as long as a tennis court, will pass Earth at about the distance of the moon Thursday, according to NASA. GA6 was first observed Monday by the Catalina Sky Survey, a telescope project in Arizona that seeks out near-Earth asteroids and comets. It will make its closest approach to Earth, at a distance about 430,000 kilometers, at 10:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time."Link to Original Source
Jim Hall writes "According to an article on the BBC, a US federal appeals court overturned a lower court decision involving free software, saying conditions of the Artistic Licence were enforceable under copyright law. This distinction is important since under federal copyright law a plaintiff can seek statutory damages and can be more easily granted an injunction. "Copyright holders who engage in open source licensing have the right to control the modification and distribution of copyrighted materials," Judge Jeffrey White wrote in his 15-page decision. Said Stanford Law Professor Larry Lessig,"This is a very important victory ... In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licences set conditions on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the licence disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer.""Link to Original Source
Jim Hall writes "According to the BBC, a group of Czech artists who inserted a nuclear explosion into a national weather broadcast have been told by a prosecutor they could get 3 years. They are accused of tampering with a live panoramic TV shot of mountains last June. The video is still available on YouTube and is very convincing. "The fake broadcast was really very inadvisable and could have provoked panic among a wide group of people," said Martin Krafl, spokesman for the TV channel."
Jim Hall writes "In the future, there will be robots! The US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear head to help carry injured soldiers out of combat. The "friendly appearance" of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease. The 6ft tall Bear can cross bumpy ground without toppling thanks to a combination of gyroscopes and computer controlled motors to maintain balance. It is expected to be ready for testing within five years. Pretty cool."
Jim Hall writes "The BBC writes that hundreds of episodes of BBC programmes will be made available on a file-sharing network (Azureus) for the first time. The agreement means that users of Azureus' Zudeo software in the US can download titles such as Dr Who, and Red Dwarf. Until now, most BBC programmes found on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks have been illegal copies. Maybe I can finally now watch 'Torchwood' that I've been hearing so much about."
Jim Hall writes "According to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Minnesota will switch to electronic voting for the '06 election. This fall, voters in 83 of Minnesota's 87 counties will use electronic machines made by Election Systems & Software of Omaha. Four counties — Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota and Washington — will use machines made by Ohio-based Diebold Inc. We used to use paper "bubble sheet"-style voting that had a nice paper trail. The new system may also provide a paper trail, requiring "safeguards that include the retention of original paper ballots and a mandatory hand recount in random precincts." But critics point out that election officials "don't really understand how the machines work and couldn't possibly catch a sophisticated attempt to hack the election results.""