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Submission + - Researchers Build Fibre Cables Capable of Near Light Speed Communication (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Researchers have managed to build a fibre optic cable that is capable of transferring data between end points at near light speed. The team of researchers over at the University of Southampton in England have constructed a fibre that is hollow with special inner walls that will prevent light from refracting. Fibre optic cables transfer data using light beams and even though theoretically the cables can carry data at near light speed, the actual data throughput is reduced by 31 per cent — thanks to the refraction of light as it passes through silica glass. Refraction of light is less in air as compared to glass and to get around the above problem, researchers have been looking at options through which the core of the fiber can be replaced by air. Another hurdle was the question of how to get light beams to move through cables that bend and around curvatures. This is where the ingenuity of the research comes into play. The researchers have built fibre cables with a hollow core that allows for movement of light across bends while minimizing loss of light due to refraction. The researchers credit this achievement to what they have dubbed "ultra-thin photonic-bandgap rim" that not only minimizes data loss but also reduces latency while providing for wider bandwidth.

Submission + - Researchers Uncover Targeted Attack Campaign Using Android Malware (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Android attacks have become all the rage in the last year or two, and targeted attacks against political activists in Tibet, Iran and other countries also have been bubbling up to the surface more and more often lately. Now those two trends have converged with the discovery of a targeted attack campaign that's going after Tibetan and Uyghur activists with a spear-phishing message containing a malicious APK file. Researchers say the attack appears to be coming from Chinese sources.

The new campaign began a few days ago when unknown attackers were able to compromise the email account of a well-known Tibetan activist. The attackers then used that account to begin sending a series of spear-phishing messages to other activists in the victim's contact list. One of the messages referred to a human rights conference in Geneva in March, using the recipients' legitimate interest in the conference as bait to get them to open the attachment. The malicious attachment in the emails is named "WUC's Conference.apk".


Submission + - You Don't "Own" Your Own Genes (cornell.edu)

olePigeon (Wik) writes: Cornell University's New York based Weill Cornell Medical College issued a press release today regarding an unsettling trend in the U.S. patent system: Humans don't "own" their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases for which they might be at risk. Through more than 40,000 patents on DNA molecules, companies have essentially claimed the entire human genome for profit, report Dr. Christopher E. Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College, and the study's co-author, Dr. Jeffrey Rosenfeld, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey and a member of the High Performance and Research Computing Group, who analyzed the patents on human DNA. Their study, published March 25 in the journal Genome Medicine, raises an alarm about the loss of individual "genomic liberty."

Submission + - Did Reuters employee who breached Tribune Media serves leak Reuters .XML source? (rt.com) 1

owenferguson writes: "RT is reporting that "the deputy social media editor for Reuters has been indicted by the US Justice Department for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacktivist (sic) movement Anonymous."

According to a justice department statement, "After providing log-in credentials, [Matthew] Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website. According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Company server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.” Once could almost say he gave away the keys to the castle.

So it's interesting to note that all of Reuters.com's .XML source code was leaked last week just before this gaping goatse was discovered in their security aparatus. At least they're closing the barn door now."


Submission + - Google begins blocking 3rd party Jabber invites supposedly to combat spam (fsf.org) 1

kxra writes: Do you have a federated jabber instant messaging account that never gets responses from Google accounts anymore? Or do you have a Gmail account that a friend has been unable to invite from their 3rd party Jabber account? The Free Software Foundation reports, "Google users can still send subscription requests to contacts whose accounts are hosted elsewhere. But they cannot accept incoming requests. This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses from non-Google domains." This sounds like something Facebook would try in order to gain even tighter control over the network, but they never even federated their Jabber service to begin with. According to a public mailing list conversation, Google is doing this as a lazy way to handle a spam problem.

Submission + - Big data will keep driverless cars off roads until 2040, analyst says (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: IDC's program manager for product lifecycle strategies Sheila Brennan is leading a new effort in the research firm to gauge the potential time to market for autonomous vehicles. Brennan says Ford and Google are both accurate in their prediction that driverless cars will be street-ready within the next few years, but not with their expectations for them to reach mainstream markets by 2025. She sees too many barriers, and says adoption will more likely reach the mainstream around 2040. Privacy, cybersecurity and safety are the first concerns that come to mind when autonomous cars are discussed. But another problem with just as much of an impact lurks around the corner, and leaves plenty of questions to be answered.

"It's extremely valuable data," Brennan says. "I can't argue that point. That data will be worth a lot, and it's still not clear, again, how the consumer will play out."

It's still unclear who will own the data generated by autonomous cars, and given how valuable the data will be to auto manufacturers, insurance companies, and third-party advertisers, it is likely to be a competitive data grab when the technology is ready. Some manufacturers are already asking drivers to sign waivers granting them permission to use their data. Will consumers oblige, or will it cause a privacy-minded backlash against manufacturers?


Submission + - By the numbers: How Google Compute Engine stacks up to Amazon EC2 (gigaom.com)

vu1986 writes: "Google launched its EC2 rival, Google Compute Engine, last June, it set some high expectations. Sebastian Standil’s team at Scalr put the cloud infrastructure service through its paces — and were pleasantly surprised at what they found.

A note about our data: The benchmarks run to collect the data presented here were taken twice a day, over four days, then averaged. When a high variance was observed, we took note of it and present it here as intervals for which 80 percent of observed data points fall into."


Submission + - All Eyes Are on WeChat, Including the Chinese Government's (vice.com)

derekmead writes: If you haven't heard of WeChat, think of it as a better WhatsApp, crossed with the social features of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, mixed with Skype and a walkie-talkie—with a little dash of Grindr on top. (Or bottom, depending on your personal proclivities.) It's taken China by storm. As of January, it had 300 million users. Unsurprisingly, it's attracting a lot of marketing interest: Companies like Starbucks and Nike have already run campaigns on WeChat.

But there's a catch, according to Eveline Chao:

"I started using WeChat a few weeks ago to stay in touch with friends in China, and love it so much that, like the company itself, I'm now trying to get my American friends to download it as well. Problem is, I always feel obligated to add one teeny, little caveat: Even if you're living stateside, there's a chance you'll be surveilled by the Chinese government."


Submission + - Researchers Create Ultrastretchable Wires Using Liquid Metal (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Researchers, by using liquid metal, have created wires that can stretch up to eight times their original length while retaining its conduction properties. Boffins over at North Carolina State University made the stretchable wires by filling in a tube made out of extremely elastic polymer with gallium and indium liquid metal alloy.

Submission + - ISP Data Caps Just a 'Cash Cow' (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ars summarizes a new report into the common practice of ISPs implementing data caps, ostensibly to keep their network traffic under control. The report found a much simpler reason: money. Quoting: 'The truly curious thing about the entire debate has been the way in which caps have mostly remained steady for years, even as the price of delivering data has plunged. For example, paying for transit capacity at a New York Internet exchange costs 50 percent less now than it did just one year ago, and many major ISPs aren't paying at all to exchange data thanks to peering. So why don't prices seem to fall? ... The authors of the new paper contend that all explanations are more or less hand-waving designed to disguise the fact that Internet providers are now raking in huge—in some cases, record—profit margins, without even the expense of building new networks. ...While Internet users have to endure a ceaseless litany of complaints about a "spectrum crunch" and an "exaflood" of data from which ISPs are suffering, most wireline ISPs are actually investing less money in their network as a percentage of revenue, and wireless operators like AT&T and Verizon are seeing huge growth in their average revenue per user (ARPU) numbers after phasing out unlimited data plans—which means money out of your pocket. In the view of the New America authors, this revenue growth is precisely the point of data caps.'

Submission + - What do you buy a 90 year old, tech-savy Dad who has everything? (bbc.com)

Bearhouse writes: My Dad amazes me with (a) his longevity & energy, and (b) his continued ability to mess around with electronics stuff. Since he already has things ranging from valve amps made from war-surplus, via an original IBM PC kit to an Android tablet, I was going to buy him a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Turns out he's already got one. I saw nothing that really got me excited in the attached link, so your ideas would be appreciated, thanks.

Submission + - Rumors on Instagram, riots in Gothenburg (www.dn.se)

ekinding writes: Teenagers upset about rumors spread on Instagram took the fight out on the streets of Gothenburg today. Anonymous users behind an Instagram account (now shut down) and a Facebook page (also shut down) made claims about the sexual habits of several teenage girls, calling them "sluts" and "whores" together with pictures of the victims.

When the names of the people behind the accounts was disclosed to the public, an angry mob of hundreds of teenagers decided to take justice in their own hands. No pitchforks were used, but police trying to control the mob were met by flying stones and bottles.

First Instagram-triggered riot ever?

Related links:



China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott 360

c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."

Submission + - High level C language launches (lightningstormsoftware.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Silicon Valley startup Lightning Storm Software is launching the beta of their new language
called Sierra which is high level C. Read the manual on the site and play with the beta.
Sierra compiles into C99 code on the web using cloud computing.

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.