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+ - Anonymous tricked into installing Trojan->

Submitted by dsinc
dsinc (319470) writes "Two months ago, an unknown attacker slipped in a Zeus-infected version of Slowloris into the list of DDoS tools that Anonymous has been distributing to its supporters, according to Symantec.
t’s not clear how many Anonymous supporters used the infected Slowloris, so there’s no way to gauge how many were (or still are) unknowingly transmitting their own bank account data to a remote server. Security companies have previously Internet users backing Anonymous not to participate in the DDoS attacks because they are breaking the law. Now, Symantec says they “may also be at risk of having their online banking and email credentials stolen.”"

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Transportation

+ - Why Did It Take So Long to Invent the Wheel?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Wheels are the archetype of a primitive, caveman-level technology and we tend to think that inventing the wheel was the number one item on man's to-do list after learning to walk upright, but LiveScience reports that it took until the bronze age (3500 BC), when humans were already casting metal alloys and constructing canals and sailboats, for someone to invent the wheel-and-axle, a task so challenging archeologists say it probably happened only once, in one place. The tricky thing about the wheel isn't a cylinder rolling on its edge but figuring out how to connect a stable, stationary platform to that cylinder. "The stroke of brilliance was the wheel-and-axle concept," says David Anthony, author of "The Horse, the Wheel, and Language." To make a fixed axle with revolving wheels, the ends of the axle have to be nearly perfectly smooth and round, as did the holes in the center of the wheels and the axles have to fit snugly inside the wheels' holes, but not too snug or there will be too much friction for the wheels to turn. Another issue is the size of the axle because while a thin one will reduce the amount of friction, it will be too weak to support a load. "They solved this problem by making the earliest wagons quite narrow, so they could have short axles, which made it possible to have an axle that wasn't very thick," says Anthony. But the real reason it took so long is that whoever invented the wheel would have needed metal tools to chisel fine-fitted holes and axles. "It was the carpentry that probably delayed the invention until 3500 BC or so, because it was only after about 4000 BC that cast copper chisels and gouges became common in the Near East.""
Space

+ - Mysterious Dark Matter Blob Confounds Experts-> 1

Submitted by mayberry42
mayberry42 (1604077) writes "Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope are mystified by a merging galaxy cluster known as Abell 520 in which concentrations of visible matter and dark matter have apparently come unglued. A report on the Hubble observations, published in the Astrophysical Journal, raises more questions than answers about a cosmic pile-up that's occurring 2.4 billion light-years away.

"According to our current theory," says Arif Babul, the study team's senior theorist, "galaxies and dark matter are expected to stay together, even through a collision. But that's not what's happening in Abell 520. Here, the dark matter appears to have pooled to form the dark core, but most of the associated galaxies seem to have moved on.""

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Microsoft

+ - How Steve Jobs Patent-Trolled Bill Gates

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Apple, which is currently waging IP war on Android vendors, is no stranger to patent trolling. Citing the Steve Jobs bio, Forbes' Eric Jackson recalls how Steve Jobs used patents to get Bill Gates to make a 1997 investment in Apple. Recalled Jobs: 'Microsoft was walking over Apple’s patents. I said [to Gates], “If we kept up our lawsuits, a few years from now we could win a billion-dollar patent suit. You know it, and I know it. But Apple’s not going to survive that long if we’re at war. I know that. So let’s figure out how to settle this right away. All I need is a commitment that Microsoft will keep developing for the Mac and an investment by Microsoft in Apple so it has a stake in our success.' Next thing you know, BillG was lording over Jobs at Macworld Boston, as the pair announced the $150 million investment that breathed new life into then-struggling Apple. So, does Gates deserve some credit for creating the world's most valuable company?"
Chrome

+ - Ask SlashDot: Life After Firefox 3.6.x? 2

Submitted by Mooga
Mooga (789849) writes "I am a hard-core user of Firefox 3.6.x who has chosen to stick with the older, yet supported version of Firefox for many years now. However, 3.6.x will soon hit end of life making my life, and others, much more complicated. 3.6.x has been known for generally being more stable and using less ram then the modern Firefox 10 and even Chrome. The older version of Firefox is already having issues rendering modern websites. What are others who have been holding onto 3.6.x plan on doing?"
The Military

+ - Mechanic's Mistake Trashes $244 Million Aircraft 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "DefenseTech reports that accident report is finally out for the Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar System (JSTARS) on a mission to track down insurgents planting roadside bombs in Iraq or Afghanistan that started refueling with a KC-135 on on March 13, 2009 when thecrew hear a “loud bang throughout the midsection of the aircraft” and vapor and fuel started pouring out of the JSTARS out of “at least two holes in the left wing just inboard of the number two engine.” The pilot immediately brought the jet back to its base in Qata where mechanics found that the number two main fuel tank has been ruptured, “causing extensive damage to the wing of the aircraft.” How extensive? $25 million dollars worth of extensive. What caused this potentially fatal and incredibly expensive accident to one of the United States’ biggest spy planes? According to the USAF accident report, a contractor accidentally left a plug in one of the fuel tank’s relief vents (PDF) during routine maintenance. “The PDM subcontractor employed ineffective tool control measures,” reads the report. Tool control measures? "You know, the absolutely basic practice of accounting for the exact location of every tool that is used to work on an airplane once that work is finished." Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz just told Congress that "there is a JSTARS platform that was damaged beyond economical repair that we will not repair" so if this is the one Schwartz is talking about, then one mechanic's mistake has damaged a $244 Million aircraft beyond repair."
Security

+ - New Weapon Against Copper Thieves 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Pervasive thefts of copper wire from under the streets of Fresno, California have prompted the city to seal thousands of its manhole covers with concrete and in Picher, Oklahoma, someone felled the town’s utility poles with chain saws, allowing thieves to abscond with 3,000 feet of wire while causing a blackout as the theft of copper cables in costs US companies $60 million a year and the FBI says it considers theft of copper wire to be a threat to the nation’s baseline ability to function. But now PC World reports that a US company has developed develop a new cable design that removes almost all the copper from cables in a bid to deter metal thieves. Unlike conventional cables made from solid copper, the GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel Cable consists of a steel core bonded to a copper outer casing, forming an equally effective but far less valuable cable by exploiting the corrosion-resistance of copper with the conductive properties of steel. "Companies trying to protect their copper infrastructure have been going to extreme measures to deter theft, many of which are neither successful nor cost effective," says CommScope vice president, Doug Wells. "Despite efforts like these, thieves continue to steal copper because of its rising value. The result is costly damage to networks and growing service disruptions." The GroundSmart Copper Clad Steel cable is the latest technical solution to the problem of copper theft which has included alternatives like cable etching to aid tracing of stolen metal and using chemicals that leave stains detectable under ultra-violet light. However the Copper Clad Steel strikes at the root of the problem by making the cable less susceptible to theft by both increasing the resistance to cutting and drastically decreasing the scrap value."
Software

+ - Fostering a "just fix it" software development cul->

Submitted by lscotte
lscotte (450259) writes "During my career in software development I've encountered many different corporate cultures. A common one is what I like to call a "culture of blame". In blame cultures, everything revolves around finding someone else to blame. When a project is late, product managers blame developers. When there are bugs, developers blame QA. When tests fail, QA blames development. When there are production problems, operations blames developers. When QA can't get test environments to work, QA blames operations. When software is pushed before it's ready, developers blame product managers. It's all about plausible deniability and a "circle of blame".

A much more productive choice is what I call it the "just fix it" culture, and you can read what that means to me here"

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DRM

+ - Microsoft Taking Aggresive Steps Against Linux on -> 2

Submitted by Microlith
Microlith (54737) writes "Microsoft has updated their WHQL certification requirements for Windows 8, and placed specific restrictions on ARM platforms that will make it impossible to install non-Microsoft operating systems on ARM devices, and make it impossible to turn off or customize such security.

Choice quotes from the certification include from page 116, section 20: "On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enable." which prevents users from customizing their security, and in section 21: "Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems" to prevent you from booting any other OSes."

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Blackberry

+ - Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor to Govern 2

Submitted by Voline
Voline (207517) writes "In a tweet early this morning, cybersecurity researcher Christopher Soghoian pointed to an internal memo of India's Military Intelligence that has been liberated by hackers and posted on the Net. The memo suggests that, "in exchange for the Indian market presence" mobile device manufacturers, including RIM, Nokia, and Apple (collectively defined in the document as "RINOA") have agreed to provide backdoor access on their devices.

The Indian government then "utilized backdoors provided by RINOA" to intercept internal emails of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a US government body with a mandate to monitor, investigate and report to Congress on "the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship" between the US and China. Manan Kakkar, an Indian blogger for ZDNet, has also picked up the story and writes that it may be the fruits of an earlier hack of Symantec.

If Apple is providing governments with a backdoor to iOS, can we assume that they have also done so with Mac OS X?"
Google

+ - Google TV reborn: ARM support, new OEMs, and more

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For some time the future of Google TV was looking pretty grim. Logitech's Revue failed miserably, and Sony seemed like the only supporter of Google TV when the 3.1 update came out in October. With competitors like Roku making waves everywhere, the ever louder drum of rumors surrounding an Apple TV, and every TV manufacturer out there trying to figure out how Smart TVs will keep them relevant, Google needed to make a big play to keep their service in the game. More hardware, less expensive, and faster distribution are necessary in order for the platform to survive."
Space

+ - DARPA Chooses Leader for 100-Year Starship Project

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "With Nasa scaling back its manned space programs, the idea of a manned trip to the stars may sound audacious, but the 100 Year Starship (100YSS) study is an effort seeded by DARPA to develop a viable and sustainable model for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make long-distance space travel practicable and feasible. The goal is not to have the government fund the actual building of spacecraft destined for the stars, but rather to create a foundation that can last 100 years in order to help foster the research needed for interstellar travel. Now DARPA has provided $500,000 in seed money to help jumpstart the effort and chosen Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go into space, to lead 100YSS. Jemison, who is also a physician and engineer, left NASA in 1993 after a six-year stint in which she served as science mission specialist aboard space shuttle Endeavour, becoming the first black woman to fly in space. Since leaving the space agency, she has been involved in education and outreach efforts and technology development. Rounding out her resume, Jemison also served as a medical aofficer for the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and Liberia, is a professionally trained dancer, speaks Russian, Swahili and Japanese, and was the first real astronaut to make a cameo in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Jemison won the contract with her proposal titled "An Inclusive Audacious Journey Transforms Life Here on Earth & Beyond.""
Facebook

+ - My Facebook hack->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "My holiday sugar stupor was interrupted one morning last week by a series of phone calls from friends telling me they'd been contacted via a Facebook chat session in which they were told my wife and I had been mugged in the U.K. while on vacation and needed money to get home. I ran to my computer to find a half-dozen chat sessions open using my Facebook profile all requesting help in the form of money from my friends via a Western Union tranfer. As I frantically tried to tell each friend it was a phishing scam, the hacker would open a new session and begin the scam on another friend. It became a bit like Whac-A-Mole. I quickly changed my password and logged out, stopping the attack. And, thankfully, my friends are tech savvy. But I was still shaken up by the fact that someone had hacked my password and was passing themselves off as me in real time. According to Facebook, while these attacks are rare, when they happen they're "high impact.""
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+ - Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops-> 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

“This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.” ""

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Privacy

+ - Judge Doesn't Care About Supreme Court GPS Case-> 1

Submitted by nonprofiteer
nonprofiteer (1906180) writes "The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not law enforcement need a warrant before they put a GPS tracker on a person's car — http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/united-states-v-jones/. A judge in St. Louis doesn't seem to care about that, tho. He ruled last week that the FBI didn't need a warrant to track the car of a state employee they suspected was collecting a paycheck without actually going to work. (Their suspicions were confirmed.) While in favor of corrupt government employees being caught, it's a bit disturbing that a federal judge would decide a warrant wasn't needed while the Supreme Court has said the issue is unclear."
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