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Submission + - NSA linked to hard drive firmware hacking across 12 major manufacturers (

An anonymous reader writes: Russian security researchers have published a report [] detailing the insertion of data-stealing software into the firmware of hard drives from over a dozen major manufacturers. The report, from Kaspersky Labs, connects the organisation behind it — which it has dubbed 'The equation Group' — with the National Security Agency, due to common variants in the hard drive malware and Stuxnet, the NSA-driven cyberattack initiative which was used to attack a uranium refinement facility in Iran. The 'Fanny worm' propagated by the firmware hack is used to breach air-gapped networks via infected USB sticks, relaying retrieved information back to command-and-control centers. Reuters claims to have had the allegations confirmed by two ex-NSA employees.

Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee Screenshot-sm 2058

Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"

Submission + - A bubble bath has never been (

cremeglace writes: A Harvard University physicist has come up with a new way to cool parts of the planet: pump vast swarms of tiny bubbles into the sea to increase its reflectivity and lower water temperatures. “Since water covers most of the earth, don’t dim the sun,” says the scientist, Russell Seitz, speaking from an international meeting on geoengineering research here. “Brighten the water.” ScienceNOW has more details in Could tiny bubbles cool the planet?.

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

Feds Push For Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking 400

An anonymous reader writes "An article at CNET is reporting on the Obama administration's push for warrantless tracking of the location of cell phones (Verizon Wireless stores location data for one year, for instance). The Justice Department says no warrant is necessary: 'Because wireless carriers regularly generate and retain the records at issue, and because these records provide only a very general indication of a user's whereabouts at certain times in the past, the requested cell-site records do not implicate a Fourth Amendment privacy interest.'"

Submission + - Google and NSA Teaming Up to Battle Cyberattacks

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that an agreement is being finalized between the National Security Agency and Google to analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm says originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google — and its users — from future attack. Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership but sources with knowledge of the arrangement say the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google's policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans' online communications. Any agreement would mark the first time that Google has entered a formal information-sharing relationship with the NSA, sources say. In 2008, google stated that it had not cooperated with the NSA in its Terrorist Surveillance Program. "The critical question is: At what level will the American public be comfortable with Google sharing information with NSA?" says Ellen McCarthy, president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance."

Seinfeld's Good Samaritan Law Now Reality? Screenshot-sm 735

e3m4n writes "The fictitious 'good samaritan' law from the final episode of Seinfeld (the one that landed them in jail for a year) appears to be headed toward reality for California residents after the house passed this bill. There are some differences, such as direct action is not required, but the concept of guilt by association for not doing the right thing is still on the face of the bill."

Submission + - Google Filtering Anti-Islam Search Suggestions ( 1

onefriedrice writes: Google's search engine returns common results to most queries as you type. But the "don't be evil" company appears to be censoring its results when it comes to Islam. Type "Christianity is" into Google and you'll get a list of common searches. But the engine appears to suppress results for "Islam is."

Submission + - TSA, Airlines launch pre-travel permission system ( 1

drDugan writes: ABC news is reporting that the US Transportation Security Administration is rolling out new security guidelines called the 'Secure Flight Program'. When buying a ticket, travelers provide the full name, gender, and date of birth that matches the government-issued photo ID used at the time of travel. The collected data will be used to screen against state-run watch lists before travel begins, effectively creating a permission based system for US flights. The TSA press release asserts, "Secure Flight will make travel safer and easier for passengers." The goal is for the government agency to pre-approve travel for 100% of all domestic and international flights by the end of next year. EPIC also has details.

Submission + - Climategate spreads to Wikipedia ( 14

sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.

Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.

According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.