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Submission + - FTC Releases Google Privacy Audit, Blacks Out The Details (

chicksdaddy writes: "Google could tell you about its privacy practices except, well....they're private. That's the conclusion privacy advocates are drawing after the Federal Trade Commission took a black marker to an independent audit of the company's privacy practices before releasing it to the group EPIC in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Security Ledger is reporting that the FTC released a copy of a Price Waterhouse Coopers audit of Google that was mandated as part of a settlement with the FTC over complaints following a 2010 complaint by EPIC over privacy violations in Google Buzz, a now-defunct social networking experiment. However, the agency acceded to Google requests to redact descriptions of the search giant’s internal procedures and the design of its privacy program."


Submission + - QR Tags Can Be Used For Web-Based Attacks (

Trailrunner7 writes: QR tags have become the next big thing in interactive marketing. But as smart phone users flock to the trendy, postage-stamp sized bar codes, researchers are warning that they could be used to hijack mobile phones by directing them to malicious Web pages.

Researcher Augusto Pereyra demonstrated a practical attack that would link a malicious QR tag to an Internet based attack server running an instance of the Metasploit penetration testing. Similar attacks could be used to push malicious programs to vulnerable mobile devices that scan the QR tag, he said.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Why Aren't There More Civilians In Military Video Games? 431

Jeremy Erwin writes "A columnist for Slate asks why there aren't any civilians in today's military shooting games. Quoting: 'Mostly, they don't want to face the consequences of players' bad behavior. In an interview with the website Rock Paper Shotgun, Battlefield 3's executive producer Patrick Bach explained that he doesn't "want to see videos on the Internet where people shoot civilians. That's something I will sanitize by removing that feature from the game." Bach believes that video games are serious business but that players' irreverence is holding back the form. "If you put the player in front of a choice where they can do good things or bad things, they will do bad things, go [to the] dark side because people think it's cool to be naughty, they won't be caught," he said.'" (Note that there are civilians in Battlefield 3, you just can't kill them, accidentally or otherwise. Despite this, the author's point stands: "By removing civilians from the picture, developers like Bach are trying to reap the benefits of a real-life setting without grappling with the reality of collateral damage.")

Submission + - MD5 password hashes are dead; rainbow tables win ( 2

angry tapir writes: "MD5 hashes, still a common method for securing login passwords, are no longer an adequate defence against hackers, according to Kaspersky Lab analyst Evgeny (Eugene) Aseev. Now hackers have ready access to rainbow tables containing the MD5 hash values for all possible passwords up to eight characters long, provided they consist of nothing but letters in upper and lower case, digits and spaces, and all passwords up to 10 characters long if they are nothing but lower-case letters."

Submission + - Google announces Dart programming language ( 1

MrSeb writes: "A few days after Google was caught registering a bunch of Dart-related domain names, and the inevitable storm of speculation, it has now emerged that Dart is a new programming language for "structured web programming." The language will be unveiled by Gilad Bracha (co-author of Java) and Lars Bak (creator of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine) on October 10 at the Goto conference in Aarhus, Denmark.

We can only guess at the language's characteristics and feature set until then, but we can infer a few things: Google has already released one language in recent history — Go — so we can assume that Dart won't be a C-like system-oriented language. With the "structured web programming" moniker, it's also likely to be some kind of interpreted, in-the-browser language — so more like JavaScript or Python, and less like Java or other compiled languages. One of the biggest hints, though, is that both Bracha and Bak have worked extensively with Smalltalk in the past — and an interpreted Smalltalkesque language would fit right into the "structured web programming" mold, too."

Submission + - US helps Sweden with its IP problems (

seezer writes: Rick FalkvingeAmong the treasure troves of recently released WikiLeaks cables, we find one whose significance has bypassed Swedish media. In short: every law proposal, every ordinance, and every governmental report hostile to the net, youth, and civil liberties here in Sweden in recent years have been commissioned by the US government and industry interests.

Submission + - The Reactable! - Musical Instruments Of The Future (

An anonymous reader writes: Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving and rotating physical objects on a luminous round table surface. By moving and relating these objects, representing components of a classic modular synthesizer, users can create complex and dynamic sonic topologies, with generators, filters and modulators, in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.

Submission + - EA's Origin may be a little too intrusive ( 2

kelemvor4 writes: One of the most intrusive EULA agreements I've seen to date is that of EA's ORIGIN:
“We or third parties operating the advertisement serving technology may use demographic information such as age and gender as well as information logged from your hardware or device to ensure that appropriate advertising is presented within the site, online or mobile product or service and to calculate or control the number of unique and repeat views of a given ad, and/or deliver ads that relate to your interests and measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns. We or third parties may log data for this purpose including IP address (including for purposes of determining your approximate geographic location), unique device I.D., information about your software, applications and hardware, browser information (and/or information passed via your browser), hardware, machine or device make and model, advertisement(s) served, in game location, length of time an advertisement was visible, other Internet and website usage information, web pages and mobile internet sites which have been viewed by you (as well as date and time), domain type, size of the advertisement, advertisement response (if any), and angle of view. The foregoing data may be used and disclosed per this policy and the privacy policy of the company providing the ad serving technology and to other third parties in a form that does not personally identify you.”


Submission + - now wraps downloads in bloatware ( 1

MrSeb writes: "At, page designs have been repeatedly tweaked over the years to push its updater software (now called TechTracker), TrialPay offers, and the site's mailing list. Bothersome, perhaps, but certainly not inexcusable. They've got to make money off the site somehow, after all, and banner ads don't always do the job. Now, things have taken a turn for the worse: Cnet has begun wrapping downloads in its own proprietary installer.

Not only will this cause the reputation of free, legitimate software to be tarred by Cnet's bloatware toolbars, homepage changes, and new default search engines — but Cnet is even claiming that their installer wrapping is 'for the users.'"


Submission + - DARPA Funds Hacking Projects to Fight Cyberthreats

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Fahmida Y. Rashid reports that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will fund new cyber-security proposals under the new Cyber-Fast Track project intended to cut red tape for hackers to apply for funding for projects that would help the Defense Department secure computer networks, says Peiter Zatko, a hacker known as Mudge who was one of the seven L0pht members who testified before a Senate committee in 1998 that they could bring down the Internet in 30 minutes and is now a program manager for the agency's information innovation office. Anything that could help the military will be considered, including bug-hunting exercises, commodity high-end computing and open software tools and projects with the potential to "reduce attack surface areas, reverse current asymmetries" are of particular interest. Under the Cyber-Fast Track initiative, DARPA will fund between 20 to 100 projects annually. Open to anybody, researchers can pitch DARPA with ideas and have a project approved and funded within 14 days of the application. Developers will retain intellectual property rights while DARPA will operate under government use rights. "It's time to start funding hacker spaces, labs and boutique security companies to make it easier to compete with large government contractors.""

Submission + - SFPD Arrests Suspect in Airbnb Rental Trashing

theodp writes: Just days after it was reported that apartment sharing startup Airbnb had raised $112MM at a $1B+ valuation from investors that included Marc Andreessen and Jeff Bezos, Airbnb user EJ's blog entry on the ransacking of her apartment by Airbnb renters went viral, creating a PR nightmare that's turning into a war of words. CNET reports San Francisco police have confirmed that a 19-year-old woman has been arrested in the case, booked on possession of stolen property, methamphetamine, fraud charges, and an outstanding warrant. Since it seems doubtful that this news will convince EJ to endorse the service, perhaps Airbnb investor Bezos could list the spare rooms in his Seattle mansion, LA mansion, NYC penthouse, and Texas ranch houses with the service to show his support. Security pros might want to keep an eye on the Airbnb job site, although even the best of security is no match for a nightmare guest, as the Sofitel New York hotel can attest to.

Submission + - British intelligence officers killed by software? (

superapecommando writes: Two pilots blamed for the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre, which killed 25 of the UK’s most senior intelligence experts and four Special Forces crew, were exonerated today after a 17-year campaign.

An independent inquiry, led by Lord Philip, reversed an official finding that Flight Lieutenants Richard Cook and Jonathan Tapper were guilty of gross negligence. Philip did not apportion blame for the accident, but campaigners, including blogger Tony Collins, have for many years highlighted problems with the aircraft’s FADEC (Full Authority Engine Control Software) System.

The 1993 review of the software by EDS-SCICON, had found 486 anomalies after examining only 18 per cent of the software code. But after the crash, some MoD officials had told ministers that the type of Chinook that crashed, the Mk2, was so designed that if FADEC failed, competent pilots would still have been in a position to land the helicopter safely.

Hotels are tired of getting ripped off. I checked into a hotel and they had towels from my house. -- Mark Guido