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+ - Computer Chips Made of Wood Promise Greener Electronics->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: U.S. and Chinese researchers have developed semiconductor chips that are nearly entirely made out of wood-derived material. Aside from being biodegradable, the chips could be produced for only a fraction of the cost of conventional semiconductors, according to the group of 17 researchers, mostly from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with others from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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+ - Riddell Asked To Step Down From the Kubuntu Council->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Friction between the lead Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell and Ubuntu reached extreme temperatures on Monday when the Ubuntu Community Council (UCC) asked Riddell to step down from 'leadership in Kubuntu' as well as 'all positions of leadership in the Ubuntu Community.' According to Riddell, the bone of contention was a years-long, ongoing inquiry by Riddell about the distribution of donations collected by Canonical from Ubuntu.com. The Kubuntu Council met this morning and has come out behind Riddell, saying they didn’t find his behavior in violation of Ubuntu Code of Conduct.
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+ - Netgear and ZyXEL Confirm NetUSB Flaw, Are Working on Fixes->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: In follow-up to a story that appeared on Slashdot yesterday about a critical vulnerability in the NetUSB service, networking device manufacturers ZyXEL Communications and Netgear have confirmed that some of their routers are affected and said they are working on fixes. ZyXEL will begin issuing firmware updates in June, while Netgear plans to start releasing patches in the third quarter of the year.
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+ - US Proposes Tighter Export Rules for Computer Security Tools->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: The U.S. Commerce Department has proposed tighter export rules for computer security tools and could prohibit the export of penetration testing tools without a license. The proposal would modify rules added to the Wassenaar Arrangement in 2013 that limit the export of technologies related to intrusion and traffic inspection. The definition of intrusion software would also encompass 'proprietary research on the vulnerabilities and exploitation of computers and network-capable devices,' the proposal said.
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+ - Health Insurer CareFirst Reveals Cyberattack Affecting 1.1 Million->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, has disclosed it fell victim to a cyberattack in June last year that affected about 1.1 million people. The attack targeted a single database that contained information about CareFirst members and others who accessed its websites and services, the company said Monday.
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+ - New Chrome Extension Uses Sound To Share URLs Between Devices->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Google Tone is an experimental feature that could be used to easily and instantly share browser pages, search results, videos and other pages among devices, according to Google Research. 'The initial prototype used an efficient audio transmission scheme that sounded terrible, so we played it beyond the range of human hearing,' researcher Alex Kauffmann and software engineer Boris Smus wrote in a post on the Google Research blog.
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+ - David Letterman's Top 5 Tech Innovations->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: During the combined 33 year run of Late Night With David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman, Dave and his crew introduced some, um, original technologies that, while not having the impact of, say, Windows, Google or the iPhone, still made quite an impression. From The Late Night Monkey-Cam Mobile Unit to The Late Show Hose Cam, here are 5 innovative (or, at least, original) uses of technology that Dave and company gave to the world.
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+ - E-paper Display Gives Payment Cards a Changing Security Code->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Using payment cards with an embedded chip makes payments more secure in physical stores, but it’s still relatively easy for criminals to copy card details and use them online. Payment specialist Oberthur Technologies has another idea, which it will soon be testing in France. Oberthur’s Motion Code technology replaces the printed 3-digit CVV (Card Verification Value) code with a small e-paper display. The code changes periodically, reducing the time a fraudster has to act.
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+ - Critical Vulnerability in NetUSB Driver Exposes Millions of Routers to Hacking->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: NetUSB, a service that lets devices connected over USB to a computer be shared with other machines on a local network or the Internet, is implemented in Linux-based embedded systems, such as routers, as a kernel driver. Once enabled, it opens a server that listens on TCP port 20005 for connecting clients. Security researchers from a company called Sec Consult found that if a connecting computer has a name longer than 64 characters, a stack buffer overflow is triggered in the NetUSB service.
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+ - Google Offers Cheap Cloud Computing For Low-Priority Tasks->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: Much of the history of computing products and services involves getting people desperate for better performance and faster results to pay a premium to get what they want. But Google has a new beta service that's going in the other direction — offering cheap cloud computing services for customers who don't mind waiting. Jobs like data analytics, genomics, and simulation and modeling can require lots of computational power, but they can run periodically, can be interrupted, and can even keep going if one or more nodes they're using goes offline.
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+ - This Well-Funded Startup Could Turn Bitcoin Mining On Its Head->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: A startup company whose backers include Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and a former ARM executive, and which reportedly has raised 'well north of $116 million' has just come out of stealth mode. The first thing to know about the company, which calls itself 21, is that it has designed an embedded chip for bitcoin mining. The details aren’t entirely clear, but the plan seems to be to get its bitcoin mining chip embedded into millions of smartphones and tablets, and for those devices to work collectively to mine new currency. But the company has larger ambitions: It sees its chip as a way to solve the problem of micro payments and it could also be used to pay for the chips themselves.
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+ - Researchers: Microwaves Could Help You Surf the Internet at the Speed of Light->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Duke University recently looked at the main causes of Internet latency and what it would take to achieve speed-of-light performance. The first part of the paper, titled Towards a Speed of Light Internet, is devoted to finding out where the slowdowns are coming from. They found that the bulk of the delay comes from the latency of the underlying infrastructure, which works in a multiplicative way by affecting each step in the request. The second part of the paper proposes what turns out to be a relatively cheap and potentially doable solution to bring Internet speeds close to the speed of light for the vast majority of us. The authors propose creating a network that would connect major population centers using microwave networks.
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+ - FTC Recommends Conditions for Sale of RadioShack Customer Data->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has weighed in on the contentious issue of the proposed sale of consumer data by bankrupt retailer RadioShack, recommending that a model be adopted based on a settlement the agency reached with failed online toy retailer Toysmart.com. Jessica L. Rich, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a letter to a court-appointed consumer privacy ombudsman that the agency’s concerns about the transfer of customer information inconsistent with RadioShack’s privacy promises 'would be greatly diminished' if certain conditions were met, including that the data was not sold standalone, and if the buyer is engaged in substantially the same lines of business as RadioShack, and expressly agrees to be bound by and adhere to the privacy policies.
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+ - In Desperation, Ransomware Victims Plead with Attackers->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Researchers from FireEye recently collected messages from a Web site set up by the creators of a ransomware program called TeslaCrypt to interact with their victims. The messages offer a rare glimpse into the mindset of these cybercriminals and the distress they cause. Among the victims: a father who has been robbed of his baby’s pictures; an employee who lost business files to the malware and now fears losing his job; a housecleaning business set up by maids who can’t afford to pay the ransom.
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