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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 9 declined, 9 accepted (18 total, 50.00% accepted)

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Submission + - SimCity hacked to run offline (bbc.co.uk)

phaedrus5001 writes: The BBC has a story about a gamer who's hacked the new SimCity to run offline; this despite EA's claims that the always-on connection is necessary to take some of the load off of gamers' machines.
From the article: "By rewriting the game's code during "debug mode" AzzerUK turned off the game's disconnect timer so it never checked whether it was online or offline. He also fiddled with other values to almost convert it to an offline, single-player game."
The only downside, so far, is that it isn't possible to save a city except on EA's servers. For some details on how AzzerUK enabled SimCity's debug mode and made his modifications you can check out his Reddit post and for a more detailed explanation he has a post up on Pastie.


Submission + - Web exploit found that targets Windows, Mac, and Linux (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "Security researchers have found a live Web exploit that detects if the target is running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux and drops a different trojan for each platform. The attack was spotted by researchers from antivirus provider F-Secure on a Columbian transport website, presumably after third-party attackers compromised it. The unidentified site then displayed a signed Java applet that checked if the user's computer is running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Based on the outcome, the attack then downloads the appropriate files for each platform."
You can find the F-Secure teams original blog post here.


Submission + - New Jersey Mayor and Son arrested for nuking recall website (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: The mayor of West New York, New Jersey was arrested by the FBI after he and his son illegally took down a website that was calling for the recall of mayor Felix Roque (the site is currently down).
From the article: "According to the account of FBI Special Agent Ignace Ertilus, Felix and Joseph Roque took a keen interest in the recall site as early as February. In an attempt to learn the identity of the person behind the site, the younger Roque set up an e-mail account under a fictitious name and contacted an address listed on the website. He offered some "very good leads" if the person would agree to meet him. When the requests were repeatedly rebuffed, Joseph Rogue allegedly tried another route. He pointed his browser to Google and typed the search strings "hacking a Go Daddy Site," "recallroque log-in," and "html hacking tutorial.""


Submission + - New Jersey DMV employees caught selling identies (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Ars has an article about two New Jersey DMV employees who have been accused of selling personnel information that routinely had access to. The NJ prosecutor's office claim (pdf) their "investigation uncovered that two employees of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission were providing the names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers of unsuspecting residents that they obtained through their employment. They were charging as little as $200 per identity."

Submission + - CarrierIQ changes course (techcrunch.com) 1

phaedrus5001 writes: Yesterday, CarrierIQ, the company who is responsible for what one security researcher calls a 'rootkit' that is installed on a number of smartphones, had issued a C&D order to said researcher and had threatened him with legal action if he didn't publicly apologize. Now, it seems CarrierIQ is doing a complete 180 on their original stance.

Submission + - CarrierIQ tries to silence security researcher (wired.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "A data-logging software company is seeking to squash an Android developer’s critical research into its software that is secretly installed on millions of phones, but Trevor Eckhart is refusing to publicly apologize for his research and remove the company’s training manuals from his website.

Though the software is installed on millions of Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until the 25-year-old Eckhart analyzed its workings, recently revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user’s phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts. Some carriers prevent users who actually find the software from controlling what information is sent."


Submission + - Windows 8 secure boot already defeated (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Windows 8 isn't even out yet, and already its touted security feature, the so-called Secure Boot, seems to have been defeated by security researcher Peter Kleissner. While Kleissner is waiting for this year's MalCon to release the details of his findings, he stated on his Twitter feed "the new bootkit, called Stoned Lite, has an infector file that is only 14 kilobytes in size, and the bootkit can be started from a USB drive or CD."

Submission + - HTC being trolled by porn peddlers (techcrunch.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "The porn peddlers at Vivid Entertainment have filed a cease and desist notice against the company for use of the “Vivid” name. According to TMZ, Vivid’s legal counsel filed the notice because they are afraid consumers will think the LTE-capable smartphone is somehow connected to Vivid’s adult video empire."
A porn-based smart phone? Siri would certainly be a lot more interesting...


Submission + - Mongolia wants to use artificial glaciers to cool (wired.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "The city of Ulan Bator will attempt to capture some of the cool winter temperatures in huge ice blocks that will slowly melt over the summer and cool down the city. The aim is to build artificial ice shields — or “naleds” — that occur naturally in far northern climates and can grow to be more than seven meters thick. They grow when river water pushes through cracks in the surface of the ice during the day and then freezes to add an extra layer of ice when night falls.

Engineering consortium EMI-ECOS will try to replicate this process by creating holes in the ice that is forming over the Tuul river. This will be repeated over and over again until the ice is much thicker than it would be if left alone."


Submission + - Google's secret lab (technewsworld.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: Apparently, Google has a secret lab known as 'Google X' where they are working on over a hundred different projects. From the article:"These include a space elevator project, experiments working to connect home appliances and dinner dishes to the Internet, robots that can go to work instead of their owners, and the development of driverless cars for the mass market."
And, just maybe, Skynet as well...


Submission + - Kinect hacked to let blind navigate (techcrunch.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article:"The Kinecthesia is a Kinect wired to a set of motors that allows the blind to navigate a room or open space, relying on feedback through the motors to assess objects in their path. The project, created by University of Pennsylvania students Eric Berdinis and Jeff Kiske, is worn like a belt and can sense objects in 3D space."
Here's the link to the project's homepage if you want more information on the specs and how it works.


Submission + - Vulnerabilities in prison SCADA systems (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article: "Researchers have demonstrated a vulnerability in the computer systems used to control facilities at federal prisons that could allow an outsider to remotely take them over, doing everything from opening and overloading cell door mechanisms to shutting down internal communications systems.
The researchers began their work after [John] Strauchs was called in by a warden to investigate an incident in which all the cell doors on one prison's death row spontaneously opened."


Submission + - An FPS minus the shooting (arstechnica.com) 1

phaedrus5001 writes: Ars has a story about a first person shooter under development that involves no shooting on the part of the player; at least, not shooting bullets. The game, Warco, has the player in the role of a war correspondent. The object is to immerse yourself in dangerous situations armed only with a camera.

From the article: "Players will experience the process of filming conflicts, going into dangerous situations armed with nothing but a camera. They will then edit the footage into a compelling news story."

While an interesting and different concept, it should be even more interesting to see if the developers can actually convince a publisher to release the project.

Submission + - IP Addresses not enough... (arstechnica.com)

phaedrus5001 writes: From the article:
"A file-sharing lawyer admitted this week that IP addresses don’t by themselves identify someone accused of sharing copyrighted material online.

To figure out who actually shared the pornographic movie at the center of the case, lawyer Brett Gibbs of Steele Hansmeier LLC told the judge (PDF) he would need to search every computer in the subscriber's household. "

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz