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Encryption

Security Company Tries To Hide Flaws By Threatening Infringement Suit 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-that-always-ends-well dept.
An anonymous reader writes: An RFID-based access control system called IClass is used across the globe to provide physical access controls. This system relies on cryptography to secure communications between a tag and a reader. Since 2010, several academic papers have been released which expose the cryptographic insecurity of the IClass system. Based on these papers, Martin Holst Swende implemented the IClass ciphers in a software library, which he released under the GNU General Public License.

The library is useful to experiment with and determine the security level of an access control system (that you own or have explicit consent to study). However, last Friday, Swende received an email from INSIDE Secure, which notified him of (potential) intellectual property infringement, warning him off distributing the library under threat of "infringement action." Interestingly, it seems this is not the first time HID Global has exerted legal pressure to suppress information.
Supercomputing

+ - Supercomputer Repossessed by State, May Be Sold in Pieces ->

Submitted by 1sockchuck
1sockchuck (826398) writes "A supercomputer that was the third-fastest machine in the world in 2008 has been repossessed by the state of New Mexico and will likely be sold in pieces to three universities in the state. The state has been unable to find a buyer for the Encanto supercomputer, which was built and maintained with $20 million in state funding. The supercomputer had the enthusiastic backing of Gov. Bill Richardson, who saw the project as an economic development tool for New Mexico. But the commercial projects did not materialize, and Richardson's successor, Susana Martinez, says the supercomputer is a "symbol of excess.""
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Crime

+ - Speculative Article Prompts Precautionary Giles County School Closure->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On New Year's Day, an article on the website revelationnow.net titled "The Next School Massacre Target?" prompted law enforcement to shut down schools in Giles County, VA. The article cites a map of "strike zones" illustrated in a The Dark Knight Rises scene. One of the "strike zones" was named Sandy Hook. Since the website has since been suspended and media coverage hasn't specified details, it is difficult to determine what elements the author connected to the Aurora, CO event; however, it is apparent that law enforcement was unwilling to take any chances; the Giles County sheriff's office made reverse 911 calls to parents and notified school administrations of the precautions — students would be taking the following day off and increased security would be implemented near schools. The article and website, which has been repeatedly stated to have not made any threats, is currently down, but allegedly not under investigation. Such a situation may be difficult to evaluate, but it doesn't seem too unreasonable to consider possible copycat scenarios, and the response-time was, presumably, respectably quick."
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Math

+ - Juggling by the Numbers

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The BBC News' Laura Gray reports on a juggling notation system developed in the 80's called Siteswap (aka Quantum Juggling and Cambridge Notation) and how it has helped jugglers discover and share thousands of new tricks. Frustrated that there was no way to write down juggling moves, mathematician Colin Wright and others helped devised Siteswap, which uses sequences of numbers to encode the number of beats of each throw, which is related to their height and the hand to which the throw is made. 'Siteswap has allowed jugglers to share tricks with each other without having to meet in person or film themselves,' says James Grime, juggling enthusiast and math instructor for Cambridge University. Still unclear on the concept? Spend some time playing around with Paul Klimek's most-excellent Quantum Juggling simulator, and you too can be a Flying Karamazov Brother!"
Linux

+ - Learn Linux The Hard Way->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Author of Learn Python Te Hard Way and other works, Zed Shaw, has released a free interactive beta of Learn Linux The Hard Way; a web-based virtual Linux environment which introduces the command line and other essential Linux concepts in 30 exercises. Of course, my first entry was rm -rf /* which only produced a stream of errors. Missing vim, nano, etc., I amused myself by entering other commands and creating a few files — appending to them with "echo "*" > text.txt, etc. I wish I had discovered something like a long time ago."
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+ - 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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Piracy

+ - Piracy informants motivated by 'morality'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A major motivation among a number of people who reported businesses for using unlicensed software was 'morality', according to the Business Software Association (BSA) of Australia. Almost half of all people who reported businesses the BSA indicated 'morality' was their main driver for making the reports. While the BSA settled 14 cases with businesses that were using unlicensed software in 2012, the settlements totaled more than $440,000, including $100,000 from a single business. Informants were either former employees, IT suppliers or consultants, or anonymous."
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Technology

+ - Using Technology To Make Guns Safer

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Farhad Manjoo writes that there are a number of technologies that gunmakers could add to their products that might prevent hundreds or thousands of deaths per year. One area of active research is known as the “smart gun”—a trigger-identification system that prevents a gun from being fired by anyone other than its authorized user with researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology creating a working prototype of a gun that determines whether or not to fire based on a user’s “grip pattern." Gunmakers been slow to add other safety technologies as well, including indicators that show whether a gun is loaded and “magazine safeties” that prevent weapons from being fired when their ammunition magazine is removed (PDF) that could save 400 lives a year. So why aren’t gunmakers making safer guns? Because guns are exempt from most of the consumer safety laws that have improved the rest of American life because the Consumer Product Safety Commission, charged with looking over thousands of different kinds of products, is explicitly prohibited from regulating firearms. In 2005, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which immunizes gun makers against lawsuits resulting from “misuse” of the products. If they can’t be sued and can’t be regulated, gunmakers have no incentive to make smarter guns. A week before the Newtown massacre, Joseph Loughrey went to a gun store to sell some of his weapons. Loughrey had unloaded the magazine on his handgun, but he didn’t know there was a still a round in the chamber. When he set the gun down on the center console of his truck, it went off, killing his 7-year-old son. " A magazine safety would have prevented Loughrey’s gun from going off after he’d removed the magazine. A smart trigger would have prevented the gun from firing without Loughrey’s hand being on the grip," writes Manjoo. "But Loughrey’s gun lacked both those safety devices, because nobody has ever forced gun makers to live up to the same basic safety requirements as other American companies.""

+ - MIT research shows new magnetic state that could aid quantum computing->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Researchers at MIT and other institutions have demonstrated a new type of magnetism, only the third kind ever found, and it may find its way into future communications, computing and data storage technologies. Working with a tiny crystal of a rare mineral that took 10 months to make, the researchers for the first time have demonstrated a magnetic state called a QSL (quantum spin liquid), according to MIT physics professor Young Lee. He is the lead author of a paper on their findings, which is set to be published in the journal Nature this week. Theorists had said QSLs might exist, but one had never been demonstrated before. "We think it's pretty important," Lee said, adding that he would let his peers be the ultimate judges."
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Privacy

+ - European data retention rule could violate fundamental E.U. law->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The European Union's data retention law could breach fundamental E.U. law because its requirements result in an invasion of citizens' privacy, according to the Constitutional Court of Austria, which has asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to determine the directive's validity.

The primary problem with the data retention law is that it almost exclusively affects people in whom government or law enforcement have no prior interest. But authorities use the data for investigations and are informed about people's personal lives, the court said, and there is a risk that the data can be abused.

"We doubt that the E.U. Data Retention Directive is really compatible with the rights that are guaranteed by the E.U. Charter of Fundamental Rights," Gerhart Holzinger, president of the Constitutional Court of Austria said in a statement."

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