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+ - Cow Snitches on Government Spying->

Submitted by tobiah
tobiah (308208) writes ""A New Jersey computer tech named “Puking Monkey” hacked his E-Z Pass and found out that they’re being read all over New York City. Monkey boy rigged his unit to a miniature cow that would “moo” every time that it was read. And what did he find? That the E-Z Pass is read all over the Big Apple, not just at toll-booths.""
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Education

The College-Loan Scandal 827

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone about the economics behind college tuition. Interest rates get the headlines and the attention of politicians, but Taibbi says the real culprit is "appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008." He writes, "For this story, I interviewed people who developed crippling mental and physical conditions, who considered suicide, who had to give up hope of having children, who were forced to leave the country, or who even entered a life of crime because of their student debts. ... Because the underlying cause of all that later-life distress and heartache – the reason they carry such crushing, life-alteringly huge college debt – is that our university-tuition system really is exploitative and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors. First in line are the colleges and universities, and the contractors who build their extravagant athletic complexes, hotel-like dormitories and God knows what other campus embellishments. For these little regional economic empires, the federal student-loan system is essentially a massive and ongoing government subsidy, once funded mostly by emotionally vulnerable parents, but now increasingly paid for in the form of federally backed loans to a political constituency – low- and middle-income students – that has virtually no lobby in Washington. Next up is the government itself. While it's not commonly discussed on the Hill, the government actually stands to make an enormous profit on the president's new federal student-loan system, an estimated $184 billion over 10 years, a boondoggle paid for by hyperinflated tuition costs and fueled by a government-sponsored predatory-lending program that makes even the most ruthless private credit-card company seem like a "Save the Panda" charity. Why is this happening? The answer lies in a sociopathic marriage of private-sector greed and government force that will make you shake your head in wonder at the way modern America sucks blood out of its young."

+ - Linux 3.11 officially named "Linux for Workgroups"->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Linus Torvalds decided to change the code name for Linux 3.11 and even submitted an alternate Tux Logo. Heise reports:

"For this release, Linus Torvalds changed the code name from "Unicycling Gorilla" to "Linux for Workgroups" and modified the logo that some systems display when booting: it now depicts a Tux holding a flag with a symbol that is reminiscent of the logo of Windows for Workgroups 3.11, which was released in 1993.""

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+ - ACLU warns of creeping loss of liberty->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "UNITED STATES CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern that the persecution of whistleblower Edward Snowden could break the international asylum system.

In a letter posted on its website [ http://www.aclu.org/blog/human-rights-national-security/us-actions-snowden-case-threaten-right-seek-asylum ], the ACLU said that the prospect of sanctions raised by the US government are in danger of ruining a system that offers solace to the outspoken.

"In the case of Mr Snowden, the United States has interfered with his right to seek asylum in two significant ways. First, the US revoked Mr. Snowden's passport. While this action does not render Mr. Snowden 'stateless' (because he is still a U.S. citizen), it does make it extremely difficult for him to travel or seek asylum, especially in countries that require asylees to be present in their territory at the time of the request," they wrote.

"Second, while the United States is within its rights to seek Mr Snowden's extradition to face charges in the United States, diplomatic and law enforcement efforts to extradite him must be consistent with international law. It appears that US efforts have prevented Mr Snowden from receiving fair and impartial consideration of his application for asylum in many of the countries to which he reportedly applied."

"US actions (including whatever role the United States played in the incident involving President Morales' plane) have arguably strengthened Mr Snowden's claims for asylum based on political persecution," they added.

"In addition to infringing on Mr Snowden's right to asylum, US actions also create the risk of providing cover for other countries to crack down on whistleblowers and deny asylum to individuals who have exposed illegal activity or human rights violations. That's a very dangerous precedent to set.""
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+ - Scanner Identifies Malware Strains, Could be Future of AV

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "When it comes to spotting malware, signature-based detection, heuristics and cloud-based recognition and information sharing used by many antivirus solutions today work well up a certain point, but the polymorphic malware still gives them a run for their money. At the annual AusCert conference held this week in Australia a doctorate candidate from Deakin University in Melbourne has presented the result of his research and work that just might be the solution to this problem. Security researcher Silvio Cesare had noticed that malware code consists of small "structures" that remain the same even after moderate changes to its code. He created Simseer, a free online service that performs automated analysis on submitted malware samples and tells and shows you just how similar they are to other submitted specimens. It scores the similarity between malware (any kind of software, really), and it charts the results and visualizes program relationships as an evolutionary tree."
Security

+ - To send a ping to every Internet address only cost 10 hours->

Submitted by
nereidsol
nereidsol writes "Bandwith and computer resources makes Internet a very small place, on this experiment someone send a ping to all the IPV4 Internet only on 10 hours, with a very normal server. http://www.securityartwork.es/2013/01/21/how-much-does-it-take-to-ping-the-whole-internet-12/?lang=en and after that it gives us some stats from the answered packets
http://www.securityartwork.es/2013/02/07/the-result-of-pinging-all-the-internet-ip-addresses/?lang=en"

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Windows

+ - Samsung laptop bug is not Linux specific->

Submitted by
YurB
YurB writes "Matthew Garret, a Linux kernel developer who was investigating the recent Linux-on-Samsung-in-UEFI-mode problem, has bricked a Samsung laptop using a test userspace program in Windows. The most fascinating part of the story is on what is actually causing the firmware boot failure:

Unfortunately, it turns out that some Samsung laptops will fail to boot if too much of the [UEFI] variable storage space is used. We don't know what "too much" is yet, but writing a bunch of variables from Windows is enough to trigger it. I put some sample code here — it writes out 36 variables each containing a kilobyte of random data. I ran this as an administrator under Windows and then rebooted the system. It never came back.

"

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Ubuntu

+ - Valve Releases Half-Life (Beta) For Linux->

Submitted by
Athens101
Athens101 writes "Yesterday Valve released Half-Life (beta) for the Steam Linux client. "We have released Half-Life 1 in Beta form on Linux (and OS X). Please report any issues you see on our github issues page. "

About:
Half-Life is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation, the company’s debut product and the first in the Half-Life series. First released in 1998 by Sierra Studios for Windows PCs, the game was also released for the PlayStation 2.[2] In Half-Life, players assume the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who must fight his way out of a secret underground research facility whose research and experiments into teleportation technology have gone disastrously wrong."

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+ - Steve Jobs movie clip historically inaccurate, says Woz-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday saw the first clip from the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak. The full film will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival later today and is set for a wider theatrical release in April.

After seeing the clip, Woz chimed in and noted that the event depicted therein was completely false and never happened.

"Totally wrong. Personalities and where the ideas of computers affecting society did not come from Jobs. They inspired me and were widely spoken at the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve came back from Oregon and came to a club meeting and didn't start talking about this great social impact. His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I'd given away. Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed he always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs (this was the 5th time).

The lofty talk came much further down the line.

I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. I'm embarrassed but if the movie is fun and entertaining, all the better. Anyone who reads my book iWoz can get a clearer picture.""

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News

+ - Boston declares Health Emergency due to massive flu outbreak->

Submitted by skade88
skade88 (1750548) writes "Boston has seen 10x more flu cases this year than last. They are now up to 700 cases and counting along with 18 deaths in the city. The city of Boston has declared a public health emergency in the wake of the epidemic.

How can you stay healthy and limit the spread of the flu? 1) Get a flu shot. They can be found at your doctor's office or hospitals or at many pharmacies around the country. 2) Wash your hands well throughout the day, especially before touching your face or eating. 3) If you are sick then cover your coughs with your arm. As previously discussed on /. it would also be nice for your friends and coworkers for you to stay home if you are sick."

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+ - Pebble's $10m Kickstarter smart watch gets release date->

Submitted by
nk497
nk497 writes "Pebble, the smart watch projected that raised more than $10m on Kickstarter, is set to ship 23 January after three months of delays. The watch uses an e-paper LCD display to show notifications pushed from a Bluetooth connected smartphone. Those include texts, calls, and emails, as well as messages from web services such as Facebook or If This Then That. It promises seven day battery life, but it will drain your smartphone's battery by as much as 10%, too. The developers will continue pushing out software updates every few weeks, allowing early adopters to see it "evolve", while third-party developers will be soon be given details on how to create their own apps to push notifications to the watch."
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Government

+ - Stolen cellphone databases switched on in US->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "U.S. cellphone carriers took a major step on Wednesday toward curbing the rising number of smartphone thefts with the introduction of databases that will block stolen phones from being used on domestic networks. The initiative got its start earlier this year when the FCC and police chiefs from major cities asked the cellular carriers for assistance in battling the surging number of smartphone thefts. In New York, more than 40 percent of all robberies involve cellphones and in Washington, D.C., cellphone thefts accounted for 38 percent of all robberies in 2011. It's been a particularly ugly year for iPhone thefts. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/100812-iphone-ipad-thefts-263110.html"
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Science

+ - Camera Technique Captures New View Of Space & Time->

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "What if you could compress a video clip into a single image? That’s what Jay Mark Johnson, an artist and visual effects director, has accomplished through the use of a special camera technique. He calls the images “photographic timelines,” and his collected works offer quite a shift to conventional perception. Slices of photos are strung together in progression to make a single composite image of a sliver of space spread over an extended period of time."
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Google

+ - 17th century microscope book is now freely readable-> 2

Submitted by menno_h
menno_h (2670089) writes "In January 1665, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary that he stayed up till two in the morning reading a best-selling page-turner, a work that he called "the most ingenious book I read in my life." It was not a rousing history of English battles or a proto-bodice ripper. It was filled with images: of fleas, of bark, of the edges of razors.

The book was called Micrographia. It provided the reading public with its first look at the world beyond the naked eye. Its author, Robert Hooke, belonged to a brilliant circle of natural philosophers who--among many other things--were the first in England to make serious use of microscopes as scientific instruments. They were great believers in looking at the natural world for themselves rather than relying on what ancient Greek scholars had claimed. Looking under a microscope at the thousands of facets on an insect's compound eye, they saw things at the nanoscale that Aristotle could not have dreamed of. A razor's edge became a mountain range. In the chambers of a piece of bark, Hooke saw the first evidence of cells.
Micrographia is is available on Google Books now."

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