MagicM writes "A critical flaw has been discovered in DD-WRT, a Linux based alternative open source firmware for WLAN routers such as the fan-favorite Linksys WRT54GL. The flaw can give an attacker instant root access to the router merely by embedding an image with a specially crafted URL in a Web page (CSRF attack)." The linked page notes that a fix is being rolled out (build 12533) and gives firewall rules to thwart the attack if the fix is not available yet for a particular device.
schwit1 writes to tell us that a recent study by a Silicon Valley-based security company shows that black-hats have been ramping up their use of tempting free or unsecured wireless access points in high travel areas like airports and hotels. "According to their study, even the 'secure' networks weren't all too safe. Eighty percent of the private Wi-Fi networks at airports surveyed by Airtight were secured by the aging Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol, which was cracked back in 2001. Almost as many — 77 percent — of the networks they surveyed were actually private, peer-to-peer networks, meaning they weren't official hotspots. Instead, they were running off someone else's computer."
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed new software that uses the microphone on the iPhone to track and interpret a user's everyday activities using sound. The software, called SoundSense, picks up sounds and tries to classify them into certain categories. SoundSense can recognize completely unfamiliar sounds and runs entirely on the phone. It automatically classifies sounds as 'voice,' 'music,' or 'ambient noise.' If a sound is repeated often enough or for long enough, SoundSense gives it a high 'sound rank' and asks the user to confirm that it is a significant sound and offers the option to label the sound. In testing, the SoundSense software was able to correctly determine when the user was in a particular coffee shop, walking outside, brushing her teeth, cycling, and driving in the car. It also picked up the noise of an ATM and a fan in a particular room. The results [PDF] of the experiments were recently presented at the MobiSys 2009 conference."
An anonymous reader writes "A new router, designed by one of the creators of ARPANET, manages flows of packets instead of only managing individual packets. The router recognizes packets that are following the first and sends them along faster than if it had to route them as individuals. When overloaded, the router can make better choices of which packets to drop. 'Indeed, during most of my career as a network engineer, I never guessed that the queuing and discarding of packets in routers would create serious problems. More recently, though, as my Anagran colleagues and I scrutinized routers during peak workloads, we spotted two serious problems. First, routers discard packets somewhat randomly, causing some transmissions to stall. Second, the packets that are queued because of momentary overloads experience substantial and nonuniform delays, significantly reducing throughput (TCP throughput is inversely proportional to delay). These two effects hinder traffic for all applications, and some transmissions can take 10 times as long as others to complete.'"
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Bill Snyder questions whether AT&T's jockeying on tethering and MMS may signal coming iPhone pricing surcharges. After all, as Apple's exclusive US partner, Ma Bell should have plenty of insight into upcoming iPhone features and revenue opportunities. Yet AT&T was very conspicuous in its absence from the list of providers who will support tethering and MMS at Tuesday's launch of the new iPhone at WWDC, and by Wednesday, it was backpedaling furiously, saying it will offer both services — later in the year. Certainly, the exclusive arrangement between the companies is proving to be an ugly roadblock to Apple's iPhone vision. But Snyder thinks it may go deeper than that: 'My best guess is that we'll see horrendous pricing surcharges for tethering and MMS, on top of the already expensive data and voice charges iPhone users pay. I don't think AT&T execs wanted to stand up at WWDC and announce that.'"
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton takes a look back at the recent Boston case where police seized a student's laptop but had to give it back. "The EFF was right to argue that police had no right to seize the laptop of a Boston College student who was accused of forging an e-mail from his roommate. But according to the judge's reasoning, the police probably could have gotten away with it, if they had appeared to care more about pursuing the student for downloading pirated movies instead." Click the link for Bennett's analysis.
snydeq writes "The European Commission will proceed with its antitrust case against Microsoft regardless of Microsoft's decision to strip IE from Windows 7 in Europe. Europe's top antitrust regulator said the EC would draw up a remedy that allows computer users 'genuine consumer choice,' noting that stripping out IE from Windows 'may potentially be positive,' but 'rather than more choice, Microsoft seems to have chosen to provide less.' Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera, whose complaint to the European Commission at the end of 2007 sparked the initial antitrust investigation, said Microsoft is 'trying to set the remedy itself by stripping out IE. ... Now that Microsoft has acknowledged it has been breaking the law by bundling IE into Windows, the Commission must push ahead with an effective remedy,' he said."
mmmscience writes "Scientists are investigating the use of Wii Sports as a form of treatment for Parkinson's sufferers. After a four-week study, researchers found that rounds of tennis, bowling, and boxing improved rigidity, movement, fine motor skills, and energy levels as well as decreasing the occurrence of depression. It is thought that combining exercise with video games helps to increase levels of dopamine, a chemical that is deficient in Parkinson's. The therapy is gaining notoriety under the name Wii-hab."
eldavojohn writes "In yet another bid to make your life a little more annoying, our DRM overlords at the AACS Licensing Authority have released a new AACS Adopter Agreement. The riveting, 188-page PDF will inform you that — in the name of Digital Rights Management — there will be new limitations set on devices that decrypt Blu-Ray discs. HDMI already has the awesome encryption of HDCP between the device and the display unit. But Blu-Ray still has the Achilles heel of analog players that allow someone to merely re-encode the analog signal back to an unencrypted digital format. So if you have an analog HDTV, hang on to those analog decoders and hope they never break; by 2013 you won't be able to buy a new one. Ars points out the inherent stupidity in this charade: 'Particularly puzzling is the fact that plugging the so-called "analog hole" won't stop direct digital ripping, enabled by software such as AnyDVD HD. And even the MPAA itself recommends using a camcorder pointed at a TV as a way to make fair use copies, creating another analog hole.' And so the cat and mouse game continues. On that subject, DVD Jon's legit company just brought out a billboard ad for his product doubleTwist next to Apple's San Fransisco store. It reads, 'The Cure for iPhone Envy. Your iTunes library on any device. In seconds.' So while he's busy taunting Apple, I'm certain there are others who might have some free time to look at Blu-Ray and the 'uncrackable' AACS."
CWmike writes "Microsoft is preparing to launch a public beta of Morro, the free anti-malware it announced last November, according to reports. Morro will use the same scanning engine as Windows Live OneCare, the software that the free software will replace and Microsoft's first consumer-grade antivirus package. OneCare is to get the boot as of June 30 (along with finance app Microsoft Money). John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner, has questioned whether users would step up to Morro even if it was free. 'Consumers are hesitant to pay for a Microsoft security product that will remove problems in other Microsoft products,' he said. 'Think of it this way. What if you smelled a rotten egg odor in your water and the water company said, "Sure, we can remove that, but it will cost you $50." Would you buy it?' Not surprisingly, competitors have dismissed Morro's threat to their business. 'We like our chances,' Todd Gebhart, vice president in charge of McAfee's consumer line, said when it was announced OneCare was a goner. 'Consumers have already rejected OneCare,' added Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of consumer software at Symantec. 'Making that same substandard security technology free won't change that equation.'"
Kikizo has an editorial piece evaluating the Xbox 360's upcoming motion-control scheme, Project Natal, and discussing why it's a bigger step forward for interactive gaming than many people think. Quoting: "[Natal] accurately perceives players in 3D space, simultaneously tracking over 48 joints on your body, enabling it to accurately redraw your skeleton in real time as you move about. On a separate 'debug screen' in the closed-doors session, we could witness for ourselves the 'mind's eye' of Natal, visually showing how it completely understands where we are, how we're moving, where we are in 3D space, how far in front of my face my hand is, whatever. It can supposedly even track individual hand and finger movement when it switches into this more finely-tuned mode. ... There is a surprising feeling of tactility and iPhone-like fluidity and precision to the way Natal works." Another interesting bit of news about Natal is that Wii-hacker Johnny Chung Lee is part of the development team. We've discussed some of his creations in the past.
18-year-old Jessica Terry suffered from stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever for eight years. She often missed school and her doctors were unable to figure out the cause of her sickness. Then one day in January someone was finally figured out what was wrong with Jessica. That person was her. While looking under a microscope at slides of her own intestinal tissue in her AP science class, Jessica noticed an area of inflamed tissue called a granuloma, which is an indication of Crohn's disease. "It's weird I had to solve my own medical problem," Terry told CNN affiliate KOMO in Seattle, Washington. "There were just no answers anywhere. ... I was always sick."
eldavojohn writes "British Telecom is asking for more money for the bandwidth that iPlayer and video streaming sites eat up. The BBC's Tech Editor is claiming that 'Now Britain's biggest internet service provider is making it clear that, in a cut-throat broadband market, something is going to have to give — and net neutrality may have to be chucked overboard.' The BBC and BT are currently already in talks over how to get past this together. This might sound like a familiar battle from over a year ago."
Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that a team of Japanese scientists has integrated a new gene for green fluorescent protein into the common marmoset, causing them to glow green under ultraviolet light, creating second-generation, glow-in-the-dark monkeys in what could be a powerful new tool in human disease research. Though primates modified to generate a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines. If a fluorescent protein gene can be introduced into the monkey genome and passed onto future generations, other genes could be too opening up a world of possibilities for medical research, such as the generation of specific monkey colonies containing genetic defects that mirror human diseases aiding efforts to cure such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists. 'I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings,' says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. '"Slippery slope" is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.'"