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Submission + - Will the blockchain undermine national governments?->

MattSparkes writes: Bitcoin is giving banks a run for their money. Now the same cryptographic technology which powers it — the blockchain — threatens to eradicate social networks, stock markets, even national governments. Are we heading towards an anarchic future where centralised power of any kind will dissolve?
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Submission + - Is a $5,000 cable a waste of money?->

MattSparkes writes: Manufacturers claim digital and analogue cables costing thousands of dollars per metre can offer better sound/image quality. Are they right? This piece speaks to cable manufacturers, engineers and psychologists, and carries out a listening test, to get to the bottom of it. Are they worth the money? Short answer, no.
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Submission + - Almost 100 arrested in worldwide swoop on Blackshades malware->

MattSparkes writes: Law enforcement around the world has teamed-up to arrest 97 for buying/using Blackshades malware, which can remotely seize control of a victim's computer, access documents, record keystrokes and even activate their webcam to take surreptitious pictures and video. It is also able to encrypt files in order to extract a ransom for their release. Blackshades RAT is a commercial product costing less than $200 which was marketed as a tool to test network security. However, it is widely used by hackers and was even said by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to have been used against Syrian activists by the government in 2012.
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Submission + - 97 arrests in worldwide operation against Blackshades malware->

An anonymous reader writes: Law enforcement around the world have teamed-up to arrest 97 for buying and using Blackshades malware, which can remotely seize control of a victim's computer, access and view their documents, record keystrokes and even activate their webcam to take surreptitious pictures and video. It is also able to encrypt files in order to extract a ransom for their release. Blackshades RAT is a commercial product costing less than $200 which was marketed as a tool to test network security. However, it is widely used by hackers and was even said by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to have been used against Syrian activists by the government in 2012.
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The Media

Submission + - The Pirate Bay is sold, and on its way to legality-> 1 1

MattSparkes writes: "A Swedish software firm is buying The Pirate Bay and turning it into a legal business. Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) has also bought peer-to-peer research firm Peerialism. The two purchases are expected to form the basis of a new, legal download service. It's a bold move, especially as it comes in the same week that the four founders of The Pirate Bay had their application for a retrial rejected by a Swedish court."
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Music

Submission + - Choose what to pay for Radiohead's new album->

Matt writes: Radiohead are offering their latest album as a download several weeks before the CD comes out, and you get to choose how much to pay. $1,000 or $0.00, it's entirely up to you. The band are free of a record contract for this, their seventh album, so are free to pursue as many wacky plans as they like.
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Google

Submission + - Google Hiring Thousands of European Engineers->

Matt writes: Google are on the hunt for several thousand European engineers, as they try to set up more R&D centres outside the US. They have hired a new Vice President of Engineering for Europe, Nelson Mattos, who will oversee all these new staff. It seems like an odd move, after all, some people seem to think that they've already over-hired.
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Announcements

Submission + - Dell to Become Carbon Neutral, Maybe, One Day-> 2 2

Matt writes: Dell has proudly announced that they are to become the "first major computer manufacturer" to go carbon neutral, but has apparently forgotten to say when. These kinds of claims without any concrete targets are pretty much worthless, and seem especially weak when companies like Google are making such good headway with solar power.
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Communications

Submission + - UK Cell Phone Service Offers Free Calls for Teens->

Matt writes: "Those aged 16-24 can sign up for a new service in the UK, called Blyk, where they get free phone calls and SMS messaging in return for viewing adverts on their handsets. Although this has been tried in the US before, this is the first time that a companies entire business model has been based on the concept. Blyk have done a deal with Orange to provide the infrastructure."
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Portables

Submission + - Is Nano-Generation the Solution to Battery Life?->

Matthew Sparkes writes: "Nano-generation is the practice of equipping devices with the means to power themselves; wind-up radios, solar powered cell phone chargers, etc. Could it be the solution to two problems? Firstly you wouldn't have to charge up all your different devices everyday and they would never run out on you, and secondly they would reduce our energy consumption and be good for the environment. "Consider this: mobile phone chargers are responsible for a quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 in the UK every year. Now consider the fact that all it would take to wipe out these emissions would be the introduction of a small photovoltaic device to replace each charger.""
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Space

Submission + - NASA hitch a ride on Virgin Galactic

MattSparkes writes: "It recently emerged that NASA may have a gap in their launch capability between the retirement of the Shuttle and the introduction of its replacement. Now the effects of this are showing, as it has been announced that astronauts in training will take flights on commercial space flights, in return for technical knowledge from the space agency."
Biotech

Submission + - Human Immortality: A Scientific Reality?

socram writes: From the moment of birth, we begin the battle against death — against the inevitable. Statistics say that a newborn child can expect to live an average of 76 years. But averages may not be what they use to be.In 1786, life expectancy was 24 years. A hundred years later it doubled to 48. Right now, it's 76. The cause of human aging is now being understood.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends

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