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+ - Geneticists decry book on race and evolution-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A best-seller by former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade about recent human evolution and its potential effects on human cultures has drawn critical reviews since its spring publication. Now, nearly 140 senior human population geneticists around the world, many of whose work was cited in the book, have signed a letter to The New York Times Book Review stating that Wade has misinterpreted their work. The letter criticizes “Wade’s misappropriation of research from our field to support arguments about differences among human societies,” and is slated to appear in the 10 August issue of the Book Review."
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+ - Leaked docs show spyware used to snoop on US computers->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Software created by the controversial UK-based Gamma Group International was used to spy on computers that appear to be located in the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia, Iran, and Bahrain, according to a leaked trove of documents analyzed by ProPublica. It's not clear whether the surveillance was conducted by governments or private entities. Customer e-mail addresses in the collection appeared to belong to a German surveillance company, an independent consultant in Dubai, the Bosnian and Hungarian Intelligence services, a Dutch law enforcement officer, and the Qatari government."
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+ - The high-tech warfare behind the Israel - Hamas conflict->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The Israel — Hamas conflict in Gaza is not only about bombs, missiles, bullets, but also about cyberwarfare, battles of the mind over social media, smart underground tunnels and cloud-based missile launching systems

The tunnels that Hamas has dug deep beneath Gaza are embedded with high tech gadgets, courtesy of Qatar, which has funded Hamas with billions to equipped their tunnels with intelligent sensors which are networked to control centers enabling the command and control staff to quickly notify operatives nearby that IDF units are advancing inside a certain tunnel, allowing for rapid deployment of attack units and the setting up of bobby traps inside the tunnel

In addition, Hamas has automated its rocket firing system using networked, cloud-based launching software provided by Qatar which can set off a rocket from any distance, and set them to go off at a specific time, using timers. “Anyone who thinks they have dozens of people sitting next to launchers firing rockets each time there is a barrage is mistaken,” said Aviad Dadon, a senior cyber-security adviser at several Israeli government ministries

While Doha is allowing Hamas to use its technology to fight Israel, it’s their own cyber-security the leaders of Qatar are worried about. For the Qataris, the war between Israel and Hamas is a proving ground to see how their investments in cyber systems have paid of — Qatar is very worried that one of its Gulf rivals — specifically Saudi Arabia — will use technology to attack it, and Qatar spends a great deal of money each year on shoring up its cyber-technology"

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+ - Hackers Can Control Your Phone Using a Tool That's Already Built Into It->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A lot of concern about the NSA’s seemingly omnipresent surveillance over the last year has focused on the agency’s efforts to install back doors in software and hardware. Those efforts are greatly aided, however, if the agency can piggyback on embedded software already on a system that can be exploited.

Two researchers have uncovered such built-in vulnerabilities in a large number of smartphones that would allow government spies and sophisticated hackers to install malicious code and take control of the device.

The vulnerabilities lie within a device management tool carriers and manufacturers embed in handsets and tablets to remotely configure them. Though some design their own tool, most use a tool developed by a specific third-party vendor—which the researchers will not identify until they present their findings next week at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. The tool is used in some form in more than 2 billion phones worldwide. The vulnerabilities, they say, were found so far in Android and BlackBerry devices and a small number of Apple iPhones used by Sprint customers. They haven’t looked at Windows Mobile devices yet."

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+ - Astronomers Solve Puzzle Of Mysterious Streaks In Radio Images Of The Sky 2

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Back in 2012, astronomers constructed an array of 256 radio antennas in the high deserts of New Mexico designed to listen for radio waves produced by gamma ray bursts, one of the most energetic phenomena in universe and thought to be associated with the collapse of a rapidly rotating stars to form neutron stars and black holes. The array generates all sky images of signals produced in the 25 MHz to 75 MHz region of the spectrum. But when researchers switched it on, they began to observe puzzling streaks across the sky that couldn't possibly be generated by gamma ray bursts. One source left a trail covering more than 90 degrees of the sky in less than 10 seconds. This trail then slowly receded to an endpoint which glowed for around 90 seconds. Now the first study of these transient radio signals has discovered that they are almost certainly produced by fireballs as they burn up after entering the Earth's atmosphere. The conclusion comes after the researchers were able to match several of the radio images with visible light images of fireballs gathered by NASA's All Sky Fireball Network. That solves the mystery but not without introducing another to keep astrophysicists busy in future. The question they're scratching their heads over now is how the plasma trails left by meteors can emit radio waves at this frequency."

+ - Killing DVDs Could Cut Down on Carbon Emissions->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In 2011, people in the United States watched about 20.4 billion hours’ worth of movies and TV episodes online or on DVD, with an estimated 13% of that total being streamed over the Internet. The carbon footprint for that viewing—including emissions produced due to online viewing and those generated during the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of disks, either directly to consumers or to stores where they’re sold or rented—was about 10.5 million metric tons, a new study suggests. (One of the largest contributors to that carbon footprint was vehicle emissions generated by consumers on shopping trips either to buy a DVD or to rent and then return it.) But a complete shift to video streaming, which generates about 400 grams of carbon dioxide for each hour of movie or television content viewed online, would cut those total emissions to about 8.6 million metric tons. That’s the same benefit that would be achieved by cutting off power to almost 200,000 households. Which, to be honest, would make it a bit harder to stream those movies."
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+ - Concert industry fights FCC's auction of RF spectrum->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike (242293) writes "Ever since last year, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to auction off the 608 to 698 MHz UHF spectrum — the UHF TV channels 36 through 51 — the pro audio community has been justifiably worried. After all, many pro users have far-too-vivid memories of the last reallocation of TV channels 52 to 69 (the so-called “700 MHz band” from 698 to 806 MHz) in 2008, which were made illegal for pro wireless applications after June 12, 2010.

This time around, nearly the entire 600 MHz band could possibly be up for grabs to the highest bidder at an auction slated for the summer of 2015. With major deep-pocket players in the telecom industry anxious and ready to bid as much as $20 billion, it is unlikely that pro audio users could possibly compete on a cash basis against these corporate giants, such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others.

However, leading manufacturers of pro wireless have been very active in working with the FCC to make the commission aware of the needs of our industry, and there may be a ray of hope on the horizon.

The first good news came from an announcement late last year by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction — originally scheduled for 2014 — was rescheduled to next year, which would give the FCC more time to examine the issue.

Another breakthrough came in February of this year, when a contingent of audio wireless manufacturers (Audio-Technica, Lectrosonics, Sennheiser and Shure), along with production professionals and broadcast industry representatives, arranged a meeting with some FCC Commissioners and the Incentive Auction Task Force — essentially those working on FCC guidelines regarding the proposed 600 MHz band sale.

The results of that were a positive sign and the open dialog laid down by these meetings began to increase the FCC’s awareness of the needs of the pro wireless community to hopefully reach a resolution — or at least compromise — well before any frequency reallocations reach the auctioneer’s final hammer."

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+ - TrueCrypt is dead? What now? 7

Submitted by Archeron
Archeron (183599) writes "A colleague visited today and brought this to my attention. All the links are gone and the front page contains the message:
"The development of TrueCrypt was ended in 5/2014 after Microsoft terminated support of Windows XP." It goes on to list migration instructions. Is this the end for our beloved open source, multi-platform crypto solution? The question is what now? Planned forks? Any recommendations for freely available, open and multi-platform solutions that will allow for moving storage devices from Linux -> Windows -> Mac?"

+ - LibreSSL Update->

Submitted by the_B0fh
the_B0fh (208483) writes "Bob Beck reports on the progress the OpenBSD team has made on LibreSSL. Some highlights:

Code was horrible. Nobody wanted to touch it. OpenSSL Foundation appears to be a million dollar a year for-profit company doing FIPS consulting. Bugs rot for years in bug tracker. ROP coding function — allows you to jump to any arbitrary address — ROP coder's wet dream! Current third party ports are all insecure. Need funding. Linux Foundation has not committed to support LibreSSL."

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+ - Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When my best friend upgraded from an iPhone 4S to a Galaxy S4, I texted her hello. Unfortunately, she didn't get that text, nor any of the five I sent in the following three days. My iPhone didn't realize she was now an Android user and sent all my texts via iMessage. It wasn't until she called me about going to brunch that I realized she wasn’t getting my text messages. What I thought was just a minor bug is actually a much larger problem. One that, apparently, Apple has no idea how to fix. Apple said the company is aware of the situation, but it’s not sure how to solve it. One Apple support person said: 'This is a problem a lot of people are facing. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat.'"
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+ - Ultra sensitive detection of radio waves with lasers->

Submitted by xOneca
xOneca (1271886) writes "It's a bit outdated, (a month ago) but it didn't appear in Slashdot, despite being interesting.

From the article:

'Noise' in the detector of the measuring instrument limits how sensitive and precise the measurements can be. [...] "We have developed a detector that does not need to be cooled down, but which can operate at room temperature and yet hardly has any thermal noise. The only noise that fundamentally remains is so-called quantum noise, which is the minimal fluctuations of the laser light itself," explains Eugene Polzik, Professor and Head of the research center Quantop at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. [...] The experiment consists of an antenna, which picks up the radio waves, a capacitor and a laser beam. The antenna picks up the radio waves and transfers the signal to the capacitor, which is read by the laser beam.


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+ - Firefox 29 is a Flop; UI Design Trends Getting Worse 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 29 marked the release of the UI overhaul codenamed "Australis" and the jury is back with a verdict: the vast majority of feedback on Firefox Input is negative and traffic to the Classic Theme Restorer add-on has aggressively spiked since Firefox 29 came out on April 29. Considering this is a year and a half after the backlash against the new Windows 8 user interface, it seems that even though the "dumbing down" trends in UI design are infuriating users, they continue to happen. Chrome will soon be hiding URLs, OS X has hidden scroll bars by default, iOS 7 flattened everything, and Windows 8 made scroll bars hard to see. If most users hate these changes, why are they so ubiquitous?"

+ - Cloak 'anti-social' app helps you avoid your friends

Submitted by MightyMait
MightyMait (787428) writes "Not feeling particularly social today? Wishing to avoid running into an ex or an overly-friendly acquaintance? There's an app for that

Cloak uses public location data from other social networks, Foursquare and Instagram, to determine the locations of others you know. Users can choose to receive an alert when certain people are believed to be nearby. It is the latest in the recent trend of "anti-social", or secretive, apps.


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