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Comment: Re:Sauce for the goose (Score 2) 171

by Zocalo (#48685961) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"
I actually didn't say whether it was a civil or criminal case, but that's actually moot since almost all of the "sauce for the goose" cases on whose petard people are proposing hoisting Sony were also civil cases. Those are often the ones where the studios factored into their damages claims the number of times a track was downloaded *from* the plaintiff via Kazaa, eMule, BitTorrent or whatever, and then applied an insane multiplier to arrive at their "punitive damages" figures. Using Google Play doesn't change things. Sure, the singer's studio could issue a take down under the DMCA, but where's the fun and profit in that, when Sony is *also* infringing copyright by distributing the track without a valid license - exactly the same setup that many of the plaintiffs in those civil cases brought by the studios were sued for?

Legal issues aside it's all going to be moot anyway. Sony won't want a DMCA takedown interfering with the money the film is currently making them, and they definitely won't want to face an embarrassing copyright infringement case. If all had gone to plan, Sony would have paid the artist's studio some money - most likely either a lump sum or a figure derived from ticket sales - they'd have taken their cut and paid her the rest, and that's almost certainly still the way things will go. So, some studio execs (maybe lawyers, maybe not) will almost certainly have a chat in the next few days, a number will be thrashed out, some money will change hands, and that will be the end of the matter.

Comment: Re:Sauce for the goose (Score 5, Interesting) 171

by Zocalo (#48684503) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"
Why limit to just the legal downloads when the **AA's lawyers certainly don't? Remember, according to the *AAs, it's also a crime to *facilitate* theft, so by making available the movie that includes the copyrighted track surely they should also be liable for all the several million torrented copies, plus all the legitmate pay-per-view downloads from Google etc. too?

While I suspect this is probaby just a case of office incompetence and someone forgetting an action that will probably be quickly cleaned up with a check in the post, I dearly hope this does end up going to court. Watching Sony's lawyers try and get themselves off the hook without setting precedents that anyone else being sued for infringing copyright can use would be priceless.

Comment: Re:Erm (Score 3, Informative) 47

by Zocalo (#48684457) Attached to: Finn Linked To Lizard Squad Christmas Attack
The two are not mutually exclusive, especially if the effect of the security flaw is compounded by multiple connections, for instance being able to use the exploit to turn a child process into a zombie and another child to be spawned until resources are exhausted. There's two security flaws there; the ability for a remote client to zombify the children and not having a cap on the maximum number of children in the config.

Comment: Re:Good news! (Score 3, Interesting) 225

by Zocalo (#48668295) Attached to: Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball
Erm. No. Not even if you paid me to.

Unless you actually find Seth Rogan funny and might get some enjoyment out of watching the film the only think watching this is going to do is help make Sony and their new distributors a pile of money for what is, by all accounts, a completely terrible film that is probably going to clean up at the Raspberry's next year. You know, *Sony*, those complete arseholes behind that rootkit thing a few years ago, and not to mention all that other douchebaggery that's been smeared all over the media for a couple of weeks now? You *want* to give money to those pricks?

Just putting it on release is good enough to give the bird to Kim Jong-Un (assuming he cares in the first place since there is no way that anyone in NK outside the inner circle even knows the film exists), there's no need to help Sony survive any longer than absolutely necessary as well.

Comment: Re:LOL ... w00t? (Score 2) 291

by Zocalo (#48652013) Attached to: Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens
Not with any consistency it seems. They are apparently fine with Ernest Vincent Wright's Gadsby which doesn't even include the letter "e" once in the main text (there's a nice bit of humour/irony in there being an ebook version though), with all the readabilty issues you might expect that to bring. The works of James Joyce also still seem to be listed, come to that, so I'm somewhat curious as to just how this "readability filter" get applied. I sure hope it's not just based on reader comments, because if it is a group like Anonymous or /b/ is about to have a book censoring field day.

On the otherhand, if they can start with some of the religious dogma out there...

+ - Quantum physics just got less complicated->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From
Here's a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications.
Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that 'wave-particle duality' is simply the quantum 'uncertainty principle' in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one."

Link to Original Source

+ - USBdriveby: The $20 Device That Installs a Backdoor in a Second

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Samy Kamkar has a special talent for turning seemingly innocuous things into rather terrifying attack tools. First it was an inexpensive drone that Kamkar turned into a flying hacking platform with his Skyjack research, and now it’s a $20 USB microcontroller that Kamkar has loaded with code that can install a backdoor on a target machine in a few seconds and hand control of it to the attacker.

Kamkar has been working on the new project for some time, looking for a way to install the backdoor without needing to use the mouse and keyboard. The solution he came up with is elegant, fast and effective. By using code that can emulate the keyboard and the mouse and evade the security protections such as local firewalls, Kamkar found a method to install his backdoor in just a couple of seconds and keep it hidden on the machine. He loaded the code onto an inexpensive Teensy USB microcontroller.

Kamkar’s USBdriveby attack can be executed in a matter of seconds and would be quite difficult for a typical user to detect once it’s executed. In a demo video, Kamkar runs the attack on OS X, but he said the code, which he’s released on GitHub, can be modified easily to run on Windows or Linux machine. The attack inserts a backdoor on the target machine and also overwrites the DNS settings so that the attacker can then spoof various destinations, such as Facebook or an online banking site, and collect usernames and passwords. The backdoor also goes into the cron queue, so that it runs at specified intervals."

+ - New Zeus Variant Targets Users Of 150 Banks

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A new variant of the infamous Zeus banking and information-stealing Trojan has been created to target the users of over 150 different banks and 20 payment systems in 15 countries, including the UK, the US, Russia, Spain and Japan. Chthonic, as the variant has been named by Kaspersky Lab researchers, shares a lot of similarities with previous Zeus variants. The malware is capable of collecting system information, stealing saved passwords, logging keystrokes, recording video and sound via the computer's webcam and microphone, grabbing the contents of online forms, injecting web pages and fake windows, and allows criminals to connect to the infected computer remotely and use it to carry out transactions."

+ - Hector the Stick Insect-Inspired Robot Takes its First Steps->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Hector, the stick insect-inspired robot built by a research team at Bielefeld University in Germany that was first announced in 2011, could be forgiven for feeling lonely as the only one of its kind in world, but has lately been too busy learning to walk to worry on its unique status. It is hoped that Hector, which stands for Hexapod Cognitive autonomously Operating Robot, will benefit not only roboticists but also biologists interested in animal movement."
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers discover SS7 flaw, allowing total access to ANY cell phone anywhere.->

Submitted by krakman
krakman (1121803) writes "Researchers discovered security flaws in SS7 that allow listening to private phone calls and intercepting text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available.

The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes – such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower – that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network. It is thought that these flaws were used for bugging Chancellor Merkels phone earlier.

Those skilled at the housekeeping functions built into SS7 can locate callers anywhere in the world, listen to calls as they happen or record hundreds of encrypted calls and texts at a time for later decryption. There also is potential to defraud users and cellular carriers by using SS7 functions, the researchers say.

Another result of Security being thought of after the fact, as opposed to part of the initial design."

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The human genome is astonishingly complex and dynamic, with genes constantly turning on or off, depending on what biochemical signals they receive from the body. Scientists have known that certain genes become active or quieter as a result of exercise but they hadn’t understood how those genes knew how to respond to exercise. Now the NYT reports that scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have completed a study where they recruited 23 young and healthy men and women, brought them to the lab for a series of physical performance and medical tests, including a muscle biopsy, and then asked them to exercise half of their lower bodies for three months. The volunteers pedaled one-legged at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, four times per week for three months. Then the scientists repeated the muscle biopsies and other tests with each volunteer. Not surprisingly, the volunteers’ exercised leg was more powerful now than the other, showing that the exercise had resulted in physical improvements. But there were also changes within the exercised muscle cells’ DNA. Using technology that analyses 480,000 positions throughout the genome, they could see that new methylation patterns had taken place in 7,000 genes (an individual has 20–25,000 genes).

In a process known as DNA methylation, clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach to the outside of a gene like microscopic mollusks and make the gene more or less able to receive and respond to biochemical signals from the body. In the exercised portions of the bodies, many of the methylation changes were on portions of the genome known as enhancers that can amplify the expression of proteins by genes. And gene expression was noticeably increased or changed in thousands of the muscle-cell genes that the researchers studied. Most of the genes in question are known to play a role in energy metabolism, insulin response and inflammation within muscles. In other words, they affect how healthy and fit our muscles — and bodies — become. Many mysteries still remain but the message of the study is unambiguous. “Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money,” says Sara Lindholm, “we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”"

+ - NASA Satellite's 1st CO2 Maps of Earth Revealed->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "This past summer, NASA launched its first satellite devoted to measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas that is driving global warming.

Today (Dec. 18), scientists with the space agency unveiled the first carbon maps obtained by the spacecraft, named the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2.

OCO-2 only started collecting its first scientifically useful information at the end of September, but the initial results "are quite amazing," said Annmarie Eldering, OCO-2 deputy project scientist, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

In a news briefing at the 47th annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Eldering and her colleagues showed a map of the globe that uses about 600,000 data points taken by OCO-2 from Oct. 1 through Nov. 17. It shows hotspots of carbon dioxide over northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil.

These carbon spikes could be explained by agricultural fires and land clearing — practices that are widespread during spring in the Southern Hemisphere, OCO-2 scientists said.

The satellite has a grading spectrometer to measure carbon dioxide levels with a precision of about 1 part per million, or ppm. (Today's carbon concentration, 400 ppm, is the highest in at least 800,000 years. This number means there are 400 molecules of carbon dioxide in the air per every million air molecules. Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon concentration was thought to be about 280 ppm.)"

Link to Original Source

+ - Nicholas Negroponte on the Future of Learning: Nanobots Will Hack the Brain->

Submitted by giulioprisco
giulioprisco (2448064) writes "Nicholas Negroponte describes future nanobots hacking our neurons to make us learn faster and better. Able to communicate wirelessly with each other and with the external world, the nanobots would hack the brain like read/write computer memory. Negroponte says: '[I]n theory you could load Shakespeare into your bloodstream and as the little robots get to the various part of the brain they deposit little pieces of Shakespeare or the little pieces of French if you want to learn how to speak French. So in theory you can ingest information.'"
Link to Original Source

+ - Colorado sued by neighboring states over legal pot-> 2

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "The attorneys general of Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, arguing state-legalized marijuana from Colorado is improperly spilling across state lines.

The suit invokes the federal government's right to regulate both drugs and interstate commerce, and says Colorado's decision to legalize marijuana has been "particularly burdensome" to police agencies on the other side of the state line.

In June, USA TODAY highlighted the flow of marijuana from Colorado into small towns across Nebraska: felony drug arrests in Chappell, Neb., just 7 miles north of the Colorado border have skyrocketed 400% in three years.

"In passing and enforcing Amendment 64, the state of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system enacted by the United States Congress. Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining plaintiff states' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems," says the lawsuit. "The Constitution and the federal anti-drug laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local pro-drug policies and licensed distribution schemes throughout the country which conflict with federal laws.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Boston Uber driver accused of raping and kidnapping passenger->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As Uber treads through fierce global scrutiny amid numerous sexual assault cases involving its ‘amateur taxi-drivers’, the car-hailing service faces another damaging blow following an alleged rape of a young woman in Boston. The district attorney’s office for Massachusetts’ Middlesex County announced this week that Alejandro Done, 46, had been charged with rape, assault to rape, kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery after reportedly attacking a woman in an Uber-registered vehicle on 6th December. Allegedly the young woman had hailed an Uber via the smartphone app, and the driver had insisted that she pay in cash for the ride. Done drove the young woman to a secluded area, pulled over and proceeded to attack her, said the attorney’s office."
Link to Original Source

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