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Laser Turns All Metals Black 333

Posted by Zonk
from the bzoooom-whaaaawwwww dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester have found a way to change the properties of almost any metal by using a femtosecond laser pulse. This ultra-intense laser blast creates true 'black metal' from copper, gold or zinc by forming nanostructures at the surface of the metal. As these nanostructures capture radiation, the metals turn black. And as the process needs surprisingly low power, it could soon be used for a variety of applications, such as stealth planes, black jewels or car paintings. But read more for additional references and a picture of this femtosecond laser system."

Second Life Hit By Massive In-Game Worm 249

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-touch-that-ring dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "At 2:46 CST today, the game Second Life was hit by a massive attack by a rogue programmer. Spinning gold rings began to appear in the air and on the ground, and as users interacted with them they began to chase and replicate. Apparently, most people are willing to touch an object they've never seen before and this invoked a worm script that was designed to multiply and spread across the 2,700+ servers run by Linden Labs in California, the game's owner. Many of the six hundred thousand active users experienced serious lag and lost connectivity to the servers, making it one of the largest known denial-of-service attacks in an online game. Linden Labs had to invoke martial law and lock out all logins by users except their staff as they began the task of cleaning the servers of what they began to term 'the grey goo.'" Comments in the SL blog entry indicate that Linden Labs had already deployed a "grey goo fence" before this worm struck, but someone found a hole in it.

Demo Virus For Mac OS X Released 268

Posted by Zonk
from the i-don't-think-i'll-download-that-demo dept.
Juha-Matti Laurio writes "Heise Security has a report about new Proof of Concept virus for Mac entitled as OSX.Macarena by AV vendor Symantec. Symantec suffered from a slight lapse when it recommended in the first version of the virus description that users clean the system by deactivating the system restoration (Windows ME/XP). It is known that the virus infects other data in the folder in which it is started, regardless of extension, says Heise."

DVD Jon's DoubleTwist Unlocks the iPod 377

Posted by kdawson
from the making-good-on-steve's-promise dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "On the 5-year anniversary of the iPod, Fortune Magazine has an article called Unlocking the iPod about Jon Lech Johansen's new venture. Slashdot briefly covered DoubleTwist earlier this month, and those of you who complained that he was not enabling iPod competitors to play FairPlay files will be happy to learn that according to the Fortune article he will also be going after the hardware market." From the article: "As [Johansen] and Farantzos explain DoubleTwist in a conference room they share with several other companies, he points to a sheet of printer paper tacked on the wall that has a typed quote Jobs gave the Wall Street Journal in 2002: 'If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own.' As Johansen sees it, Jobs didn't follow through on this promise, so it's up to him to fix the system... Johansen has written [two] programs...: one that would let other companies sell copy-protected songs that play on the iPod, and another that would let other devices play iTunes songs."

Diebold Disks May Have Been For Testers 182

Posted by Zonk
from the concientious-tester dept.
opencity writes "The Washington Post reports on the two Diebold source disks that were anonymously sent to a Maryland election official this past week. Further investigation has lead individuals involved to believe the disks came from a security check demanded by the Maryland legislature sometime in 2003." From the article: "Critics of electronic voting said the most recent incident in Maryland casts doubt on Lamone's claim that Maryland has the nation's most secure voting system. "There now may be numerous copies of the Diebold software floating around in unauthorized hands," said Linda Schade, co-founder of TrueVoteMD, which has pressed for a system that provides a verifiable paper record of each vote."

Who Cares If Privacy Is Slipping Away? 393

Posted by kdawson
from the going-going dept.
IAmTheDave writes, "This morning MSNBC's home page is topped by the opening story in a series, Privacy Under Attack, But Does Anybody Care? Privacy rights have been debated to death here on Slashdot, but this article attempts to understand people's ambivalence towards the decline of privacy. The article discusses how over 60 percent of Americans — while somewhat unable to quantify what exactly privacy is and what's being lost — feel a pessimism about privacy rights and their erosion. However, a meager 6-7% polled have actually taken any steps to help preserve their privacy. The article's call to action: '...everyone has secrets they don't want everyone else to know, and it's never too late to begin a discussion about how Americans' right to privacy can be protected.'"

U.S. Commerce Department Hacked Again 164

Posted by Zonk
from the uncomfortable-it-people dept.
evil agent writes "The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a branch of the Commerce Department, has sustained several successful attacks. Chinese hackers were able to gain access to its computers and install rootkits and other malware." From the article: "This is the second major attack originating in China that's been acknowledged by the federal government since July. Then, the State Department said that Chinese attackers had broken into its systems overseas and in Washington. And last year, Britain's National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Center (NISCC) claimed that Chinese hackers had attacked more than 300 government agencies and private companies in the U.K."

Extent of Government Computers Infected By Bots Uncertain 96

Posted by Zonk
from the they're-looking-into-it dept.
Krishna Dagli writes to mention findings by the company Trend Micro on the extent of bot infection in U.S. Government computers. The article by Information Week indicates that, while the 'original' findings were much harsher, the security vendor has since backed down from some of its claims. Still, the extent to which information-stealing software has penetrated our national infrastructure is enough to take note. From the article: "While it may be tempting to discount the warnings of security vendors as self serving--bot fever means more business for Trend Micro--there's unanimity about the growing risk of cybercrime. In its list of the top 10 computer security developments to watch for in 2007, released last week, the SANS Institute warns that targeted attacks will become more prevalent, particularly against government agencies. 'Targeted cyber attacks by nation states against U.S. government systems over the past three years have been enormously successful, demonstrating the failure of federal cyber security activities,' SANS director of research Alan Paller says in an e-mail. 'Other antagonistic nations and terrorist groups, aware of the vulnerabilities, will radically expand the number of attacks.'"

A New Angle on Martian Methane 95

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the gassy-mysteries dept.
dusty writes "A recent hypothesis paper entititled 'Martian CH4: Sources, Flux, and Detection' delves into the production of methane on Mars. This hypothesis compares Mars with South Africa, and draws the conclusion that the radiolysis of martian ice and water while reacting with carbon dioxide can produce enough methane to account for recently observed concentrations. Methane is important because it is hard to explain. It has a short half-life and must be replenished frequently. As recently as 2005 the public line from NASA/JPL was that the methane could be produced by volcanism. Mars' dormant Olympus Mons is the largest volcano in the solar system but auspiciously quiet. A recent study from NOAA throws into question the whole idea stating, 'If Mauna Loa is a valid terrestrial analog, our findings suggest that volcanic activity is not a significant source of methane to the Martian atmosphere.'"

Intel Accused of Being an "Open Source Fraud" 153

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the you-bought-it-now-you-can't-use-it dept.
Binary-Blob writes "Kernal Trap has an article up in which some key OpenBSD developers accuse Intel of being an open source fraud. The issue stems from the prevalence of firmware 'blobs' in open source projects, and OpenBSD's reluctance to use them unless they are distributed freely and without restrictions. Leading project creator Theo de Raadt offers that Intel should follow the example of other companies in the market: 'Intel must do this firmware grant in the same way that Adaptec, Atmel, Broadcom, Cirrus Logic, Cyclades, QLogic, Ralink, and LSI and lots of other companies have granted distribution firmware to be used by others.' He concluded by requesting that the open source community contact Intel to help get them to change their policies"

Will the Next Election Be Hacked? 904

Posted by kdawson
from the privatizing-vote-counting dept.
plasmacutter writes to let us know about the new article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Rolling Stone, following up on his "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" (slashdotted here). Kennedy recounts the sorry history of electronic voting so far in this country — and some of the incidents will be new even to this clued-in crowd. (Had you heard about the CERT advisory on an undocumented backdoor account in a Diebold vote-tabulating database — crediting Black Box Voting?) Kennedy's reporting is bolstered by the accounts of a Diebold insider who has gone on record with his concerns. From the article: 'Chris Hood remembers the day in August 2002 that he began to question what was really going on in Georgia... "It was an unauthorized patch, and they were trying to keep it secret from the state," Hood told me. "We were told not to talk to county personnel about it. I received instructions directly from [president of Diebold election unit Bob] Urosevich...' According to Hood, Diebold employees altered software in some 5,000 machines in DeKalb and Fulton counties, the state's largest Democratic strongholds. The tally in Georgia that November surprised even the most seasoned political observers. (Hint: Republicans won.)

Television For an Audience 45 Light Years Away 324

Posted by kdawson
from the waiting-for-syndication dept.
beebopdebop writes, "The Irish Times notes that Europe goes intergalactic tonight with the broadcast of a program conceived for aliens and broadcast towards a point 45 light years away in the direction of the Big Dipper. The two naked hosts will present their own unclothed bodies as examples of our physical embodiments, and will tell about daily human existence. Music, art, and our own personal messages will be transmitted as well as discussions from sociologists, scientists, and space experts. This project is the brainchild of the French-based Centre National D'etudes Spatiales and is rooted in seriousness as a natural extension of the gold-plated ambassador disks of Pioneer 10. Those of us wishing to be included can still post messages to be sent into space via a CNES antenna. We will have to wait 90 years to learn whether or not some lifeform was listening."

Judge Rules NSA Wiretapping Unconstitutional 781

Posted by timothy
from the well-whaddya-know dept.
strredwolf writes "CNN is reporting that NSA's warrantless wiretapping program has been ruled unconstitutional. This is the ACLU lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars, and lawyers. From the article: "U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.""

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