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How The NSA Targets Tor 234 234

The Guardian has released new documents from Edward Snowden showing how the U.S. National Security Agency targets internet anonymity tool Tor to gather intelligence. One of the documents, a presentation titled "Tor Stinks," bluntly acknowledges how effective the tool is: "We will never be able to de-anonymize all Tor users all the time. With manual analysis we can de-anonymize a very small fraction of Tor users, however, no success de-anonymizing a user in response to a TOPI request/on demand." (Other documents: presentation 1, presentation 2.) The NSA is able to extract information sometimes, though, and Bruce Schneier details what we know of that process in an article of his own. "The NSA creates 'fingerprints' that detect http requests from the Tor network to particular servers. These fingerprints are loaded into NSA database systems like XKeyscore, a bespoke collection and analysis tool which NSA boasts allows its analysts to see "almost everything" a target does on the internet. ... After identifying an individual Tor user on the internet, the NSA uses its network of secret internet servers to redirect those users to another set of secret internet servers, with the codename FoxAcid, to infect the user's computer. FoxAcid is an NSA system designed to act as a matchmaker between potential targets and attacks developed by the NSA, giving the agency opportunity to launch prepared attacks against their systems." Schneier explains in a related article why it's important that we figure out exactly what the NSA is doing. "Given how inept the NSA was at protecting its own secrets, it's extremely unlikely that Edward Snowden was the first sysadmin contractor to walk out the door with a boatload of them. And the previous leakers could have easily been working for a foreign government."

+ - Geminoid-F android gets first job as a dept. store-> 1 1

dk3nn3dy writes: "If you get a chance to go to the Takashimaya department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, by Valentines Day, you will be able to see the Geminoid-F android casually sitting in a show window, looking as if it's waiting for a friend. This is the first time that the Geminoid-F has been used in a commercial setting.
This android was developed by Professor Ishiguro of Osaka University. He previously created the Android Theater, where androids and human actors perform together. Now, by using androids in show windows, he's studying how people react to them, and whether using them in this way is practical. Is this desirable, inevitable or both?"

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+ - The Ultra-Realistic Dental Training Robot->

dk3nn3dy writes: "Showa University has teamed up with robot maker Tmsuk and love doll maker Orient Industry (NSFW), to create an ultra-realistic dental training robot. The robot has a variety of autonomous actions, such as coughing, shaking its head, and getting tired of holding its mouth open, to create a realistic experience for dentists in training. The robot also features speech recognition, movement in ten degrees of freedom and a realistic silicone skin to make students experience "the same kind of tension they'd feel (if they were working on) a human patient"."
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+ - Sharp display world's first Ultra HD LCD Display->

dk3nn3dy writes: "On the 15th of May, Sharp, in collaboration with NHK, unveiled the world's first Ultra High Definition-capable LCD display.

This 85" LCD display has a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, which is equivalent to 16 times the resolution of HDTV. In the past the only way to show the Ultra High Definition broadcast at full resolution was using a projector, but due to Sharp's UV^2A LCD technology, which allows for an unprecedented level of precision when controlling the alignment of liquid crystal molecules in an LCD structure, Sharp have been able to create a flawless 33 Megapixel display."

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+ - Microsoft Close to Acquiring Skype, Says WSJ->

terrymaster69 writes: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is close to completing a nearly $8 billion acquisition of Skype. This would make it Microsoft's largest acquisition in its 36-year history. Will this spell the end of development for the Linux client? Perhaps a better question is what will Microsoft *do* with Skype? It seems a better fit for them than it was for eBay, but not by much.
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Comment: Special launch offer expires in Date() + 3 days (Score 3, Interesting) 294 294

This part is awesome:

Your Dinky One-Time Investment Is Only $47!
(This is a special launch offer only, we're only opening this for the next 3 days only before the offer closes forever!)
Thats right. Your investment for the entire course is only $47 (this launch offer will closed anytime after February 26, 2011 )

Where February 26, 2011 is:
days = 3; // How many days to add to today
  d = new Date();
now = d.getTime(); // Add 10 days
d.setTime(now + days * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);
document.getElementById("offerEnd1").innerHTML = formatDate(d);
function formatDate(d) {
var months = new Array("January", "February", "March", "April", "May", "June", "July", "August", "September", "October", "November", "December");
return months[d.getMonth()] + " " + d.getDate() + ", " + d.getFullYear();;

+ - The Sahara Solar Breeder Project->

dk3nn3dy writes: The Sahara Solar Breeder Project, currently being developed by scientists from leading universities in Japan, will use the world's biggest desert, the Sahara, as an energy source.

This project differs from other solar energy harvesting projects in the past in three main respects; the 'breeder' process uses silica from the desert and electricity generated from solar cells to create more solar cells; it requires the development of high-temperature superconductors to aid the transfer of the electricity; and, "...rather than just bringing well-understood technology from developed countries to developing ones and teaching people how to use it, it's important to do R&D together, right from the start... our aim is to work together from the basic research stage, so we can discover and nurture talented scientists and engineers in Africa."

The project which is currently at the basic research stage, has the goal of providing 50% of the energy used by humanity in 2050 as electrical energy converted from sunlight.

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+ - Capacitive touchscreen usable with a stylus->

dk3nn3dy writes: Hitachi Displays have developed a capacitive touchscreen which converts input from a non-conductive object into electrostatic capacitance. This enables it to be used in a diverse range of ways, such as multi-touch using several fingers, with a plastic pen for finer input, and in cold places while wearing gloves. The display is currently under development for release in the second half of 2011.
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+ - Humanities Scholars Adopting Digital Tools->

mr crypto writes: The NY Times is reporting how computers are being used to study subjects whose size and depth have previously made analysis daunting.

From the article: These researchers are digitally mapping Civil War battlefields to understand what role topography played in victory, using databases of thousands of jam sessions to track how musical collaborations influenced jazz, and searching through large numbers of scientific texts and textbooks to track where concepts first appeared and how they spread.

This alliance of geeks and poets has generated exhilaration and also anxiety. The humanities, after all, deal with elusive questions of aesthetics, existence and meaning, the words that bring tears or the melody that raises goose bumps. Are these elements that can be measured?

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+ - Slow motion video shows how pop can tab works->

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdot features lots complex electronic gadgets that dazzle with their engineering, but the design of a apparently simple tab on a soda can is also ingenious. The slow motion video reveals how its inventor designed it to change from a 2nd to a 1st class lever while in motion — if you've forgot your third-grade lessons on levers its all in this short video. By making the tab change he used the minimal amount of material to get enough leverage to open a can .... while not an HDTV it's still great engineering.
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+ - Cracking Passwords with Amazon EC2 GPU Instances-> 1 1

suraj.sun writes: As of Nov-15, 2010, Amazon EC2 is providing what they call "Cluster GPU Instances": An instance in the Amazon cloud that provides you with the power of two NVIDIA Tesla “Fermi” M2050 GPUs. The exact specifications look like this:

        22 GB of memory
        33.5 EC2 Compute Units (2 x Intel Xeon X5570, quad-core “Nehalem” architecture)
        2 x NVIDIA Tesla “Fermi” M2050 GPUs
        1690 GB of instance storage
        64-bit platform
        I/O Performance: Very High (10 Gigabit Ethernet)
        API name: cg1.4xlarge

GPUs are known to be the best hardware accelerator for cracking passwords, so I decided to give it a try: How fast can this instance type be used to crack SHA1 hashes?

Using the CUDA-Multiforce, I was able to crack all hashes from this file with a password length from 1-6 in only 49 Minutes (1 hour costs 2.10$ by the way.). This just shows one more time that SHA1 is deprecated — You really don't want to use it anymore!


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If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein