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Education

+ - PA School Suspends Kindergartner For Threatening To Shoot Kids With a Bubble Gun->

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "Mount Carmel School District in Northumberland County, PA has suspended a kindergartner student for threatening to shoot herself and a classmate with a Hello Kitty bubble gun. The alleged young terrorist did not have the gun with her when she mentioned to another student that she wanted to shoot classmates and then herself with the bubble gun, The school administration then questioned her for 3 hours without the parents knowledge and suspended her for 10 days. The Mount Carmel school district responded by saying they are investigating the incident and take safety very seriously."
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Education

+ - Pennsylvania School Wants to Arm Teachers->

Submitted by mikesd81
mikesd81 (518581) writes "Tamaqua school district in Schuylkill County, PA is considering giving teachers and staff firearms to protect the students from attacks. While acknowledging that security is not very tight for entry into the buildings, they decided instead of taking the first step of beefing up security, they will go ahead and attempt to arm the teachers instead."
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+ - Barracuda Backdoor Vulnerabilities->

Submitted by elevative
elevative (1924870) writes "As reported by Brian Krebs, ex-WaPo tech writer and frequent security blogger @ www.krebsonsecurity.com, there is a broad range of Barracuda Networks kit with backdoor vulnerabilities. Classified by Barracuda as a 'medium' threat, they've left open accounts and over-broad IP network ranges to access certain services. The window of time encompassed in this revelation could extend as far back as 2003."
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Botnet

+ - McAfee: US Hosts More Botnet Servers Than Any Other Country

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We often hear about botnets being taken down in third-world countries thanks to coordinated operations by international police forces, especially in recent months. The story usually plays out in the East, where it’s easier to launder money and the laws aren’t as strict. Yet it turns out that many botnets have hosts in the West, including in the good old United States of America."
Security

+ - Password Cracker Targets Siemens S7 PLCs->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Siemens S7 programmable logic controllers, the same PLC family exploited by the Stuxnet malware, are in the crosshairs of a password-cracking tool that is capable of stealing credentials from industrial control systems.

PLCs are microprocessors that automate mechanical processes inside factories, including critical infrastructure utilities and manufacturers. The S7 protocol in question provides communication between engineering stations, SCADA systems, HMI interfaces and PLCs that is password protected.

Researchers at SCADA Strangelove presented at the recent Digital Bond SCADA Security Scientific Symposium (S4) a new offline brute force password cracker for S7 PLCs, along with proof of concept code."

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Data Storage

+ - Researchers Find New Way of Making Molecular Memory->

Submitted by
itwbennett
itwbennett writes "Researchers have discovered a better way to store data in individual molecules that could result in super-dense, solid-state hard disk alternatives. From the article: 'The key to the discovery is a new molecule developed by chemists at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata. It allowed researchers to build magnetic memory with fewer layers of material, making it thinner, less expensive, and more usable at normal temperatures. The reward for consumers and enterprises could be storage that holds 1,000TB per square inch.'"
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Security

+ - Barracuda Networks Confirms Exploitable Backdoors In Its Appliances->

Submitted by
Orome1
Orome1 writes "Barracuda Networks has released firmware updates that remove SSH backdoors in a number of their products and resolve a vulnerability in Barracuda SSL VPN that allows attackers to bypass access restrictions to download potentially insecure files, set new admins passwords, or even shut down the device. The backdoor accounts are present on in all available versions of Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall, Web Filter, Message Archiver, Web Application Firewall, Link Balancer, Load Balancer, and SSL VPN appliances."
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Intel

+ - Intel gets go-ahead for $4 billion chip plant in Ireland->

Submitted by alancronin
alancronin (1171375) writes "Intel has been planning to make its Ireland base one of three global manufacturing sites for its 14nm chips since May last year, and its now been given the okay by Ireland's lead planning agency. The new $4 billion plant will create around 4,300 jobs for the region in Co. Kildare, where Intel already has around 4,000 on staff. The two-year plan involves redeveloping its existing operation, expanding and shifting to make its smaller, more efficient 14nm process. Intel's plans don't stop there, however. It still plans to roll out 10nm products sometime in 2015."
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+ - Computer science leader Jim Horning dies at 70 ->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "James "Jim" Horning, described by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as "a leading figure in the evolution of computer science as a discipline and a profession, " has died at the age of 70 in Palo Alto. Horning, who described himself as having been "hooked on computing since 1959" (when he wrote his first program), was a founding member and chair of the University of Toronto's Computer Systems Research Group, a Research Fellow at Xerox PARC and a founding member and senior consultant with Digital Equipment Corp.'s Systems Research Center. He also held high-level IT security jobs at companies such as McAfee and Silicon Graphics. Most recently, he was a consultant with Advanced Elemental Technologies."
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Space

+ - Comparing Heat Shields: Mars Science Lab vs. SpaceX Dragon->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On August 5, 2012, the world’s attention was captured by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) landing. One of the key components in the multifaceted landing of the Curiosity rover safely on Mars was the Thermal Protection System (TPS), or heat shield, on the spacecraft carrying the rover.

Sensors being added to the Mars Science Lab heat shield. Photo by NASA.
The thing people remember most about the heat shield is when it popped off the spacecraft and flung like a frisbee across the Martian landscape, landing with a plume of dust. Measuring nearly 15 ft (4.5 m) in diameter, the MSL heat shield was the largest to ever travel to another planet."

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Facebook

+ - Wolfram Alpha Updates Facebook Analytics Features->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Wolfram Alpha has upgraded its Personal Analytics for Facebook module, giving users the ability to dissect their own social-networking data in new ways. Wolfram Alpha’s creators first launched its Facebook data-mining module in August 2012. Users could leverage the platform’s computational abilities to analyze and visualize their weekly distribution of Facebook posts, types of posts (photos, links, status updates), weekly app activity, frequency of particular words in posts, and more. This latest update isn’t radical, but it does offer some interesting new features, including added color coding for “interesting” friend properties, including relationship status, age, sex, and so on; users can also slice their network data by metrics such as location and age."
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EU

+ - Billion-euro brain simulation and graphene projects win European funds->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "The European Commission has selected the two research proposals it will fund to the tune of half-a-billion euros each after a two-year, high-profile contest.
The Human Brain Project, led by neuroscientist Henry Markram at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, plans to simulate everything known about the human brain in a supercomputer — a breathtaking ambition that has been met with some skepticism.
The other project, called Graphene, is led by theoretical physicist Jari Kinaret at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. It will develop the potential of graphene — an ultrathin, flexible and conducting form of carbon — along with related materials for applications in computing, batteries and sensors.
The projects expect to receive €1 billion over ten years, half to be provided by the European Commission and half by participants. The commission will make its formal announcement on 28 January."

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