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Submission + - TSA cancels $60 million Rapiscan contract; Congress to increase TSA Tax anyway (bloomberg.com)

McGruber writes: Bloomberg has the news that the US General Accounting Office (GAO) has forced the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to cancel a contract for carry-on baggage screening equipment (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-06/naked-scanner-maker-osi-systems-falls-on-losing-tsa-order.html). The contract had been awarded to Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS), less than three months after the TSA nearly barred the company from future contracts, over how Rapiscan handled software fixes for body-scanning machines known as "naked scanners”.

Another contractor protested the award of the baggage screening contract to OSIS/Rapiscan. The protesting firm pointed out that OSI’s Rapiscan unit planned to make the machines in Malaysia in violation of federal rules and was using outdated technology that might miss dangerous objects and trigger false alarms.

Two House committees said in a report last year that the TSA spent $184 million on Rapiscan scanners that are now stored in a warehouse instead of being deployed at airports. The agency was spending $3.5 million a year to lease and manage the warehouse, the committees said.

Sadly, not even Congress reads reports produced by house committees, as demonstrated by this Businessweek report (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-12-03/tsa-passenger-fee-increase-proposal-spurs-airlines-to-lobby-2) that Congress is posed to increase the TSA Tax: "Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. Eager to find new revenues to fend off automatic spending cuts next month, Republicans are embracing an increase to the so-called Sept. 11 security fee on U.S. airline tickets they’ve long resisted. It’s one of the few money-raisers that has bipartisan support in budget negotiations, even as its surprise emergence mobilized resistance from airlines in the U.S. and abroad, the Air Line Pilots Association and the Consumer Travel Alliance."

Submission + - US police department gives in on Cryptolocker ransom demand; shells out £4 (techienews.co.uk)

hypnosec writes: Swansea Massachusetts police department, in a bid to get back all the data locked away by the Cryptolocker, shelled out $750 to buy two bitcoins and pay the ransom demand by criminals. According to a report on The Herald News, several “several images and word documents,” were locked by Cryptolocker. The department followed the instructions provided by cybercriminals and bought two bitcoins on November 10 worth £470 and sent them to the demanded address. Once the cybercriminals received the two BTC, they sent out the unlock codes.

Submission + - Meet The 'Assassination Market' Creator Who's Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins (forbes.com) 1

schwit1 writes: As Silk Road emerged from the "dark-web", other sites have appeared offering services that are frowned upon by most. As Forbes reports, perhaps the most-disturbing is "The Assassination Market" run by a pseudnymous Kuwabatake Sanjuro. The site, remarkably, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations. As Forbes reports, NSA Director Alexander and President Obama have a BTC40 bounty (~$24,000) but the highest bounty — perhaps not entirely surprising — is BTC 124.14 (~$75,000) for none other than Ben Bernanke. Sanjuro's raison d'etre is chilling, "as a few politicians gets offed and they realize they’ve lost the war on privacy, the killings can stop and we can transition to a phase of peace, privacy and laissez-faire."

Submission + - High school kids Find Similar Duck Baby Dinosaurs (blogspot.com)

Muhammad Zamzami writes: Although still in high school, Kevin Terris, The Webbs School student, managed to beat foresight in finding fossil dinosaur paleontologist. Blog Dinocry

High school kids Find Similar Duck Baby Dinosaurs
Photo Lukas panzarin/national geographic

High school kids Find Similar Duck Baby Dinosaurs Terris find the dinosaur when the school held a joint excavation expert palaeontologist Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology. While paleontologists who a few days earlier had observed the same area and did not find anything, Terris managed to find valuable fossils. Blog Dinocry

High school kids Find Similar Duck Baby Dinosaurs Terris was discovered dinosaur species dinosaurs which looked like a duck out of the side of his mouth that looks like a beak. Called Parasaurolophus, a dinosaur that lived about 75 million years ago. Blog Dinocry

Terris actually already found the fossil in 2009. However, licensing efforts for excavation and digging themselves and make the identification of new research results announced this time. The research results were published in the journal PeerJ.

Actual dinosaur found was a baby, measuring 1.8 meters expected. Named Joe, this fossil is the youngest dinosaur fossils and complex in their group. As adults, this type of dinosaur is estimated to be up to almost 8 feet.

The first dinosaurs lived in the western region of North America. This type is known to characteristics similar tube-shaped bone that is in over his head. Scientists believe, part of the function to produce sound to help communication.

Commenting neighbor discovery, Terris said, "Initially I was interested to see a bone protruding from a stone. When we later saw the skull, I'm very happy."

Many adult Parasaurolophus dinosaur groups have been found. However, this finding is unique because it represents Parasaurolophus when young. When young, this dinosaur had only bumps on the head that would later develop into a similar organ in the head tube.

Andrew Farke of Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology and his team perform scanning to reconstruct the vocal abilities that can be produced by infant and adult dinosaurs of this type.

"This dinosaur when it could sounds adult dinosaurs such as barking, the baby dinosaur is generating chirp," dilasnsir International Business Times, Tuesday 22 October 2013

"With The sight, these traits may help the animals that live in the same area to know who the 'boss' of the group,"

Based on a sample of bone, Sarah Werning from Stony Brook University is also involved in the study, said that the dinosaurs died in a very young age. Dinosaurs had a circle of like the tree. At this dinosaur fossils, scientists have not found any loop Respect Blog Dinocry

Submission + - Supreme Court Refuses to Hear EPIC Challenge to NSA Surveillance 1

Trailrunner7 writes: The challenge to the NSA’s domestic surveillance program filed with the Supreme Court by the Electronic Privacy Information Center ended Monday, with the court refusing to consider the challenge at all. EPIC had filed the challenge directly with the Supreme Court rather than going through the lower courts.

EPIC, a non-profit organization involved in privacy policy matters, had asked the court to vacate an order from a judge in the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court that had enabled the NSA’s collection of hundreds of millions of Verizon call records under the so-called metadata collection program. The challenge hinged on the idea that the FISC had gone outside of its authority in granting the order.

Submission + - Students undermine the Grindr security model

An anonymous reader writes: Students of the Master education in System and Network Engineering of the University of Amsterdam broke the security model of the Grindr dating app. Grindr, “the world's biggest mobile network of guys”, is a dating app for homosexual men and provides users with user and location information of the 24 closest users that are looking for a partner. The students found ways to circumvent the encryption used, to impersonate and eavesdrop on users and spy on all the users' locations. Their report outlines how the security and even provides proof-of-concept code for a worm to download all the users' locations.

Submission + - Carngie Mellon Scientists Develop GOTCHA Password System That Uses Inkblots

rjmarvin writes: A team of computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed the GOTCHA (Generating panOptic Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart) system that uses inkblots http://sdt.bz/66378 to add extra security to websites after password thefts. According to the scientists, these the randomness of the puzzles eschew algorithmic cracking. When a user creates a password using GOTCHA, their computer will then generate a number of random, multi-colored inkblots for the user to describe with a text phrase. The phrases are stored along with the password in a random order so that when the user returns and enters their password, the inkblots are shown along with their list of descriptive phrases. The user must then match the phrases with the correct inkblot.

Submission + - Changes to the GED Have Students Cramming For The Test

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The GED high school equivalency exam has been around since 1942 and about 700,000 people typically take the exam each year. Now Jessica Bock reports for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that thousands of students nationwide have a deadline to complete their GED as quickly as possible because for the first time in more than a decade, the GED is changing to make it more rigorous as high schools seek to better prepare students for colleges and careers. A paper-and-pencil version of the test will be phased out. The cost of the test will rise. And if a student hasn’t passed all five sections of the GED exam by the end of the year, he or she will have to start from scratch. “When there is a big change coming, people panic and worry,” says Laura Davidson. “And they get motivated to get it done.” Educator Randy Trask says that historically, the GED has tested knowledge but employers and colleges say now it's less about the knowledge and more about being able to use what you know to demonstrate critical thinking skills and solve real-world problems. "Take math, for example. Can you use that to solve a problem that's interesting-- to the-- two-- to the employer," says Trask. "For example, can you go in-- using some-- some basic algebra to adjust pricing-- for-- a store? It's the application of the knowledge that becomes much more important than the original knowledge we-- tested." In the meantime testing sites have been busy with adults wanting to pass the current GED or finish it if they passed parts of the exam previously. Incomplete GED tests scores will expire at the end of the year. "What we're doing is absolutely the most monumental-- change we've made in our-- in our GED testing service history," concludes Trask. "I think what we're doing is-- complicated. It's confusing. It's worrisome. But we're absolutely convinced that what we're doing is the right thing for learners."

Submission + - US Government Requests for Google User Data Double

Trailrunner7 writes: In the first six months of this year, Google received seven wiretap orders from the United States government and complied with all of them. The company also received 207 pen register requests in the same period and complied with 89 percent of them, according to Google’s new transparency report.

The company’s latest report reveals a fairly dramatic increase in the volume of user data requests from the U.S. government since the beginning of 2010. In the first half of that year, Google received 4,287 requests for user data. In the latest reporting period, the company got 10,918 requests. However, the percentage of requests that Google complies with has been dropping over time, with the company providing some data in 94 percent of requests in the second half of 2010 and 83 percent in the first half of 2013. Overall, requests from all governments have more than doubled since 2010.

Submission + - Ancient Ocean Flows Beneath Virginia (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Salty water flowing through rocks more than 1 kilometer beneath eastern Virginia came from the Atlantic Ocean when it was much smaller and saltier than today, a new study suggests. Researchers drilled samples at sites along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, analyzing water that had been trapped in the rocks as much as 1.7 kilometers below the surface. From the concentrations of helium dissolved in that water, as well as the types of microfossils in the rocks, the team estimated the sediments had been laid down offshore of an ancient coastline between 100 million and 145 million years ago. At that time, the nascent North Atlantic was much narrower than it is today and was a largely enclosed basin surrounded by land—which, along with the warmer climate of the time, helps explain why the long-trapped water is almost twice as salty as today’s seawater. Geologists have long been interested in the area because an asteroid slammed into the Chesapeake Bay about 35 million years ago, blasting a more-than-80-kilometer-wide crater. Despite that crust-shattering impact, the rocks more than 1 kilometer below the surface still retain their original complement of ancient salt water.

Submission + - Game Dev says 10.1m illegal downloads = 176k actual lost sales (mcvuk.com)

clickclickdrone writes: Football Manager boss Miles Jacobson has revealed the true extent of video game piracy on PC.

10.1m people have illegally downloaded Football Manager 2013, he said on stage at London Games Conference 2013.

Jacobson said that he does not believe that one pirated game equals one lost sale "That would be ridiculous to think," he said. But based on the drop in activations, he estimated piracy cost them 176,000 lost sales. He added that 1.74 per cent of illegal downloaders would potentially purchase the game had no crack been available

Submission + - Blizzard Entertainment wins legal battle with a small WoW bot company (ceilingfansoftware.com)

gamersunited writes: After more than 2 years of legal battles with Blizzard Entertainment to both pursue Ceiling Fan Software's right to operate and their customer’s right to play WoW as they choose, Ceiling Fan Software did not prevail in the suit and have been ordered by the United States District Court in California to cease their operations. A link to the ruling is here.

Submission + - N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The New York Times is reporting that the NSA has "has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show."

"The agency, according to the documents and interviews with industry officials, deployed custom-built, superfast computers to break codes, and began collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products. The documents do not identify which companies have participated."

Submission + - Researchers crack Windows 8 picture passwords (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: We all know text-based passwords are not overly secure, so when Microsoft offered a Picture Gesture Authentication (PGA) system on Windows 8, many people chose that option. However, researchers at Arizona State University, Delaware State University and GFS Technology Inc. analyzed picture gesture authentication on more than 10,000 picture passwords collected from more than 800 subjects through online user studies, and found that regardless of what image you selected, your unique picture password gestures may not be so unique after all.

The research found that the strength of picture gesture password has a "strong connection" to how long a person spent setting up that password gesture. The most common gesture combination is three taps, meaning it took about 4.33 — 5.74 seconds to setup. Passwords with two circles and one line took the longest average input time of about 10.19 seconds. After studying why people choose certain categories of images, the most common gesture types and direction patterns in PGA passwords, the researchers developed an attack framework that is "capable of cracking passwords on previously unseen pictures in a picture gesture authentication system."

Submission + - TSA is officially allowed to lie to you in order to cover itself

zoan2013 writes: Blogger Johnathan Corbett reports that the remaining claims of his lawsuit against the TSA were dismissed on Tuesday with US District Judge Joan A Lenard basically saying the TSA doesn't have to tell the truth in TSA-related FOIA requests. (Full dismissal order here) Judge Lenard also refused to allow the 19 previously dismissed charges to be appealed while the rest were being decided. Corbett is now appealing to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and is considering filing a complaint of judicial misconduct against Lenard.

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