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+ - Why does the DNA double helix twist to the right?->

Submitted by Annanag
Annanag (3853767) writes "Most organic molecules have left- or right-handed versions, mirror images of each other, just like gloves. For some reason, life always seems to favour one version over the other — the DNA double helix in its standard form always twists like a right-handed screw, for example. But why this preference for left or right happens has always been a mystery. Now, in an experiment that took 13 years to perfect, physicists have found hints that this asymmetry of life could have been caused by electrons from nuclear decay in the early days of evolution."
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+ - Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Jana Kasperkevic writes at The Guardian that it’s not every day that you get to buy an iPhone from an ex-NSA officer. Yet Thomas Drake, former senior executive at National Security Agency, is well known in the national security circles for leaking information about the NSA’s Trailblazer project to Baltimore Sun. In 2010, the government dropped all 10 felony charges against him and he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for unauthorized use of a computer and lost his livelihood. “You have to mortgage your house, you have to empty your bank account. I went from making well over $150,000 a year to a quarter of that,” says Drake. “The cost alone, financially — never mind the personal cost — is approaching million dollars in terms of lost income, expenses and other costs I incurred.”

John Kiriakou became the first former government official to confirm the use of waterboarding against al-Qaida suspects in 2009. “I have applied for every job I can think of – everything from grocery stores to Toys R Us to Starbucks. You name it, I’ve applied there. Haven’t gotten even an email or a call back,” says Kiriakou. According to Kasperkevic, this is what most whistleblowers can expect. The potential threat of prosecution, the mounting legal bills and the lack of future job opportunities all contribute to a hesitation among many to rock the boat. "Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, declared a war on whistleblowers virtually as soon as they assumed office," says Kiriakou. "Washington has always needed an "ism" to fight against, an idea against which it could rally its citizens like lemmings. First, it was anarchism, then socialism, then communism. Now, it's terrorism. Any whistleblower who goes public in the name of protecting human rights or civil liberties is accused of helping the terrorists.""

+ - jQuery.com Compromised To Serve Malware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "jQuery.com, the official website of the popular cross-platform JavaScript library of the same name, had been compromised and had been redirecting visitors to a website hosting the RIG exploit kit and, ultimately, delivering information-stealing malware. While any website compromise is dangerous for users, this one is particularly disconcerting because of the demographic of its users, says James Pleger, Director of Research at RiskIQ."

+ - Widespread Chernobyl Radiation Risk From Forest Detritus

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It is being reported that forest detritus, contaminated in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster [abstract], is decaying at a much slower rate than normal, building up and creating a significant fire risk. This, in turn, is creating a real potential for the residual radioactive material to be distributed, through smoke, over a broad area of Europe and Russia. Looking at different possible fire intensities, researchers speculate, "20 to 240 people would likely develop cancer, of which 10 to 170 cases may be fatal". These figures are similar to those hypothesized for Fukushima."

+ - Home Depot Says Breach Affected 56 Million Cards->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Home Depot said on Thursday that a data breach affecting its stores across the United States and Canada is estimated to have exposed 56 million customer payment cards between April and September 2014. While previous reports speculated that Home Depot had been hit by a variant of the BlackPOS malware that was used against Target Corp., the malware used in the attack against Home Depot had not been seen previously in other attacks. "Criminals used unique, custom-built malware to evade detection," the company said in a statement.

The home improvement retail giant also that it has completed a “major payment security project” that provides enhanced encryption of payment card data at point of sale in its U.S. stores. The security improvements required writing tens of thousands of lines of new software code and deploying nearly 85,000 new pin pads to its stores.

According to a recent report from Trend Micro, six new pieces of point-of-sale (PoS) malware have been identified so far in 2014. Four of these six variants were discovered between June and August: Backoff, BlackPOS version 2, BrutPoS and Soraya."

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+ - Does touchscreen spoil your e-reading?

Submitted by purplie
purplie (610402) writes "Amazon's new Kindle lineup now includes touchscreen models only. Even the low-end "basic" model has a touchscreen.

Am I the only reader who feared this? I enjoy holding my reader casually, carelessly, not having to worry about accidentally triggering a page turn, highlight, or dictionary lookup by just "holding it wrong". With a touchscreen, the necessity of holding it carefully is a distraction.

Wouldn't it make sense to include a software option to disable the touchscreen when it's not wanted?"

+ - How FIFA Ultimate Team quietly became the jewel in EA Sports' crown->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The yearly FIFA football games continue to sell in droves, but if you're not a fan of the series, you might not realise why. Over the last five years, an experimental DLC add on called Ultimate Team, which lets gamers buy and trade virtual card packs of footballers to improve their squads in play, has been promoted from the lower leagues of EA's Champions League game series to one of the company's biggest money spinners ever — all while keeping hardcore players and even professional competitive gamers happy. A new feature charts the phenomenal rise and rise of Ultimate team, and posits some interesting questions. For instance, if much maligned EA can win fans over with in-app purchases in a paid game, how has Activision failed to with Call of Duty?"
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+ - Commander Keen: Keen Dreams Source Released

Submitted by ildon
ildon (413912) writes "Recently, the rights holder of former game publisher Softdisk's game library put the rights to some of their old titles up for sale, including Commander Keen: Keen Dreams, one of the few games in the series not to be published by Apogee. A group of fans created an Indiegogo campaign to purchase those rights. We are just now seeing the fruits of that effort with the full source code of the game being published to GitHub. About a year ago, Tom Hall found the sources to episodes 4-6, but it's not clear what, if any, progress has been made on getting Bethesda to allow that code to be released."

+ - More than 75% of Mobile Apps will Fail Basic Security->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to the Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Application Security Testing Report "Through 2015, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests"

https://www.qualys.com/docs/ga...

Mobility is a critical tool for businesses. Don't let weak mobile apps allow a critical strike against your business

According to the Gartner report “Global-scale scandals around critical applications' breaches have highlighted the need for effective detection of exploitable application security vulnerabilities. Application security testing is the solution for Web, cloud and mobile applications.” The report also states that: “through 2015, more than 75% of mobile applications will fail basic security tests”"

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+ - Tivoisation of linux->

Submitted by jbernardo
jbernardo (1014507) writes "One thing I have yet to see discussed about systemd and the "unified package manager" proposed by Poettering is the stated objective of tivoisation of linux:

"We want our images to be trustable (i.e. signed). In fact we want a fully trustable OS, with images that can be verified by a full trust chain from the firmware (EFI SecureBoot!), through the boot loader, through the kernel, and initrd. Cryptographically secure verification of the code we execute is relevant on the desktop (like ChromeOS does), but also for apps, for embedded devices and even on servers (in a post-Snowden world, in particular)."

Am I the only one who is scared of this "tivoisation" by design? If this ever makes it to arm devices, say goodbye to DD-WRT, OpenWRT, Tomato, etc. And that will be just the beginning. Be ready for all your devices becoming appliances, non-customizable and to be thrown out as soon as they become obsolete by design. Being allowed to only run signed code will probably be good for redhat, but will it be good for the user?

Strange that a few years ago "trusted computing" was stopped, and now it seems almost inevitable even in Linux."

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+ - Researchers Harness E. Coli to Produce Propane

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A team of British and Finnish scientists have used the common bacteria, Escherichia coli, to produce the environmentally-friendly fuel, propane. By introducing enzymes to modify the bacteria's process for producing cell membranes, they were able directly produce fuel-grade propane. While commercial application is some years off, the process is being hailed as a cheap, sustainable alternative to deriving the gas from fossil fuel production. As researcher, Patrik Jones, is quoted as saying, "Fossil fuels are a finite resource and...we are going to have to come up with new ways to meet increasing energy demands.""

+ - EA 'blurs' pirated versions of ''The Sims''->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "You wanna play The Sims 4 for free, do ya? Well, I hope you like a blurry mess.

September 3rd, 2014 Jonathan Leack
As with virtually any game—sadly—, there is a pirated version of The Sims 4 floating around the internet. Although pirates have been successful in acquiring the game for free, it’s at a cost, albeit not a monetary one.

The current cracked version of The Sims 4 has an issue that is reminding pirates that they can’t always get away with stealing. When players with the hacked version send their Sim to go to the bathroom or take a shower, either the full screen or the Sim is permanently censored. In the case of the former, the game is a blurry mess.

This has caused some funny circumstances on the internet, where players are prone to asking for help when “bugs” are encountered. There are examples of users posting on forums asking for help, questioning why their screen is blurred. These users have become the laughing stock of communities on the official forums, fan sites, and even Reddit."

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