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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 18 accepted (31 total, 58.06% accepted)

+ - Unwarranted Cavity-Search Of Two Women Brings Federal Lawsuit-> 1

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "After enduring body cavity searches by police while en-route from Texas to Oklahoma, Angel Dobbs and her niece have filed a federal lawsuit Texas State Troopers.

State trooper David Farrell had pulled over the two women after seeing cigarette butts tossed from their window. Farrell claims to have detected the odor of cannabis emanating from the vehicle and called for female officer Kelly Helleson to perform a cavity search, which she eventually did. Meanwhile, the lawsuit claims, Farrell searched the vehicle without a warrant. When the cavity search was finally performed, it was done so in plain view of passersby and the genital areas of both women were prodded by Helleson with the same glove.
When nothing was found, a sobriety test was given; after passing it, they were given a warning for littering and let on their way — and the entire event was captured by the dash camera of Farrell. While Helleson has been placed on paid leave, Farrell remains on active duty."

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China

+ - Onion's Kim Jong Un "Sexiest man alive for 2012" Fools Chinese Media->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "In September, Iran's FARS news agency was duped by The Onion's Gallup poll — the one where "the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. president Barack Obama."

Arguably besting the last breach of foreign media discretion, The Onion has now fooled China's The People's Daily in a hilarious nomination of Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest man alive for 2012". The article included amongst dozens of others, a featured image of Kim Jong Un proudly perched upon a speckled horse. Looking at the image, one is compelled to wonder what sort of envious subterranean tillage may be taking place on behalf of Kim Jong il. He really does look stunning!"

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Google

+ - DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair?->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival, DuckDuckGo, is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain duck.com, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and duck.com now directs to Google's homepage.

Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was scroogle.org, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, aka "filter bubbles"."

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Space

+ - Hubble and Spitzer Telescopes Find Most Distant Galaxy Yet->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "At a distance of 13.3 billion light-years from Earth and approximately 600 light-years wide, the MACS0647-JD is the most remote galaxy yet discovered. Combined application of the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes were able with the help of a natural "gravitational lens" (cluster of galaxies), to find what what would have otherwise been extremely unlikely. Space.com has an article on the subject along with a video locating the galaxy in the general direction of Ursa Major and Polaris."
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Linux

+ - Valve's Big Picture Could Be A Linux Game Console-> 1

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Via LXer, a hopeful article at The Verge persuasively suggests that through Valve, Linux could soon become a formidable contender in the gaming arena, capable of holding its own against such giants as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the Wii. With 50 million users, a growing Linux team, a caboodle of interesting experiments ("Steam Box" hardware baselines, etc.) and a strong conviction that more-open platforms are the way, Valve may actually see it through."
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Space

+ - Total Solar Eclipse Bedazzles Northern Australians-> 1

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Tuesday at 6.38am (2038 GMT Tuesday) thousands of Australians witnessed a solar eclipse in northern Queensland, where it was the first total eclipse in over 1000 years for the specific region. The most prominent view occurred in Cairns, while elsewhere in locations such as New Zealand, parts of Indonesia and Australia, partial eclipses were visible. Totality lasted approximately two minutes — a video (YouTube) can be seen here. Scientists are also taking the opportunity to study both land and aquatic wildlife in affected areas."
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Linux

+ - Fully Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer ->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Via LXer, an article from PCWorld describes the A13-OLinuXino, produced by OLIMEX. Similar, but distinct from the Raspberry Pi, the Linux-powered OLinuXino is touted as "fully open", with all CAD files and source-code freely available for both personal and commercial reuse. Its specs include an Allwinner A13 Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 3D Maili400 GPU, 512MB RAM, all packed into a nano-ITX form and fit for operation in industrial environments between -25C and 85C. The device comes with Android 4.0, but is capable of running other Linux distros, e.g., ArchlinuxARM."
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Linux

+ - Fully-Open A13-OLinuXino Single-Board Linux Computer -> 1

Submitted by
Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin writes "As low-cost, compact, Linux-powered devices continue to improve, another interesting species has emerged. Via LXer, an article from PCWorld introduces the A13-OLinuXino, which has entered the scene sporting an Allwinner A13 Cortex A8 1GHz processor, 3D Maili400 GPU and 512MB RAM, in a compact nano-ITX form. Stock with Android 4.0, and capable of industrial environments between -25C and 85C, the A13-OLinuXino is produced by Bulgarian company, OLIMEX, and is said to be "fully open", with all CAD files and source-code freely available for any commercial and personal reuse.
A YouTube video exhibiting some this little beast's capabilities can be seen here.
Another (25 minute) YouTube video shows the OLinuXino running ArchLinuxARM, where several impressive feats are achieved, such as plug-and-play USB WiFi, setting up an apache PHP web-server, and a few others."

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Security

+ - Stuxnet Infected, But Didn't Affect Chevron Network In 2010->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "CNET and the Wall Street Journal in correspondence with Chevron representatives reveal that back in 2010, Stuxnet did reach Chevron, where it managed to infect, but not significantly affect their network. The issue was, according one Chevron rep, "immediately addressed" and "without incident". Chevron's general manager of the earth sciences department, Mark Koelmel, said to the CIO Journal:

"I don't think the U.S. government even realized how far it had spread," ... "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished."

"

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Crime

+ - 80,000lbs Of Walnuts Purloined In Northern California->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "While not quite as epic or bitter as losing 600 barrels of maple syrup — in two separate heists, 80,000lbs of walnuts have been stolen in Northern California since last week. The heist was discovered after the walnuts failed to reach their destinations in Miami, FL and Dallas, TX. If you happen to see a large man (approximately 6' 2") driving a white semi-trailer and munching on $300,000 worth of walnuts, it may be the villain. Officers with highly trained squirrels have yet to be posted at interstate weigh-stations."
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Privacy

+ - Federal Judge Approves Warrantless Covert Video Surveillance->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Your curtilage may be your castle, but "open fields" are open game for law-enforcement and surveillance technology. With "No Trespassing" signs a hundred or none, your private property is public for the law, with or without a warrant. What the police cannot do, their cameras can — without warrant or court oversight. An article at CNET recounts a case involving the DEA, a federal judge, and two defendants (since charged) who were subjected to video surveillance on private property without a warrant. Presumably, the 4th Amendment suffers an obscure form of agoraphobia further elucidated in the article."
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Electronic Frontier Foundation

+ - Secret Stingray Warrantless Cellphone Sippenhaft -> 2

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Last year a Slashdot story mentioned the case of Daniel David Rigmaiden, or "the Hacker". With the help of an IMSI-catcher device, law enforcement had been able to locate and arrest the elusive "Hacker", leading to U.S. v. Rigmaiden. But far more elusive than the "Hacker", is the IMSI-catcher device itself — particularly the legalities governing its use.

The secrecy and unconstitutionality of these Man In The Middle devices, e.g. "stingrays", has caught some attention. The EFF and ACLU have submitted an amicus brief in the Rigmaiden case; and EPIC, who after filing a FOIA in February and receiving a grossly redacted 67 out of 25,000 (6,000 classified) pages on the "stingray" devices, is now requesting a district judge expedite disclosure of all documents. Some Judges also seem wary of the "stingray", having expressed concerns that their use violates the Fourth Amendment; and additionally, that information explaining how the technology is used remains too obscure.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of ISMI-catchers is their several-kilometer range. When a "stingray" is used to spoof a cellphone tower, thousands of innocent users may be collaterally involved. And while the government claims to delete all gathered data unrelated to the target, it also means no one else can know what that data really was. The government claims that because only attributes of calls — but not their content — are captured in the attack, search warrants aren't necessary. The use of a pen-register (outgoing) and trap & trace (incoming) device, requires little more than a mewl of penal curiosity before a court, and no warrant or follow-up on the case is needed. The pen/trap seems unwieldy enough, as the EFF explains:

Most worrisome, we've heard some reports of the government using pen/trap taps to intercept content that should require a wiretap order: specifically, the content of SMS text messages, as well as "post-cut-through dialed digits" (digits you dial after your call is connected, like your banking PIN number, your prescription refill numbers, or your vote for American Idol). intercept information about your Internet communications as well.

Precisely what data these "stingrays" collect will hopefully be soon revealed through such efforts as those of EPIC.
It should be noted that the Stingray is one of multiple devices with the same application. The Stingray and several others are trademarks of the Harrison Corporation. Some are quite pricey ($75,000), and others are, as mentioned last year by a Slashdot reader, peculiarly affordable — and available.
For a more comprehensive overview of the subject, see the WJS article in the primary URL."

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+ - Mother Found Guilty After Protesting TSA Pat-down of Daughter->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "In 2011, en route to Baltimore, Tennessee mother Andrea Abbott was arrested after squabbling with the TSA over their pat-down and "naked" body-scan process. Initially Abbott had protested a pat-down of her 14 year-old daughter, though eventually backed off. When her own turn came, she refused both a pat-down and body-scan. This week, despite having no criminal record, Abbott was found guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced to one year of probation.

A surveillance video of the affair shows what appears an agitated Abbott surrounded by various TSA agents, but seemingly contradicts the premise by which she was convicted. In the case against Abbott it was claimed that her behavior impeded the flow security-lines and lawful activity. Beyond Abbott's confession of issuing some verbal abuse, the video does not appear to display a significant blockage of traffic nor anything noticeably criminal."

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+ - NY Police Officer Arrested For Cannibal Plot->

Submitted by
Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin writes "From the BBC To Serve and Savor Dept., comes strange news of a New York City police-officer whose plot to kidnap, rape, torture and eat female victims has been thankfully foiled. Gilberto Valle, the aspiring cannibal, had been mining police databases for information on more than 100 potential victims. Email and instant-message conversations between Valle and another deranged companion lead to the arrest. In a quote from the BBC article, Valle is reported to have said:

"I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus... cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible,"

"

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