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Comment: Re:Good, I guess (Score 1) 148

Depends what kind of monopoly you mean, because of regulation, maybe not in a Network Neutrality kind of way but it's still a monopoly. All but one of those options above are going over BT's local loop and a lot of the smaller operators also buy their exchange hub backhaul from BT (Also Plusnet is BT). BT Openreach (the bare wires bit) is pretty much a local monopoly in most of the country and thus why they're so heavily regulated. It's pretty hard to say how they'd behave if they weren't, but you can bet if they had a choice they'd not be sharing that loop. Outside of the cities it is BT Wholesale that is most definitely a monopoly, the rural broadband project was pretty much a flop and all of the contracts went to BT. This means that the way BT Wholesale's price list is set up in turn sets the business model for anyone who buys bandwidth and lines from them.

+ - Weev Is in Jail Because the Government Doesn't Know What Hacking Is ->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Last March, weev, the notorious internet troll who seems to be equally celebrated and reviled, was convicted of accessing a computer without authorization and identity fraud, and sentenced to serve 41 months in prison.

"He had to decrypt and decode, and do all of these things I don't even understand," Assistant US Attorney Glenn Moramarco argued. Here, on a Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, before a packed courtroom, the federal prosecution argued that a hacker should spend three and a half years in prison for committing a crime it couldn't fully comprehend.

Previously, Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University and weev's defense attorney, had argued first and foremost that there was no criminal hacking to speak of. According to Kerr, what weev and Daniel Spitler (who pleaded guilty to avoid jail time) had done while working as an outfit called Goatse Security was entirely legal, even though it embarrassed public officials and some of the country's biggest corporations."

Link to Original Source

+ - Survey Finds Nearly 50% in US Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories-> 1

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "NY Daily News reports, "About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results. (paywalled, first page viewable) Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others ... three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). J. Eric Oliver, the study's lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they're easier to understand than complex medical information. ... Some 49 percent of the survey participants agreed with at least one of the conspiracies. In fact, in addition to the 37 percent of respondents who fully agreed that U.S. regulators are suppressing access to natural cures, less than a third were willing to say they actively disagreed with the theory." — One of the conspiracy theories, that the US created the AIDs virus, was created for an active disinformation campaign by the Soviet Union against the US as a form of political warfare during the Cold War, and still gets repeated."
Link to Original Source

+ - Security Industry Incapable of Finding Firmware Attackers->

Submitted by BIOS4breakfast
BIOS4breakfast (3007409) writes "Research presented at CanSecWest has shown that despite the fact that we know that firmware attackers, in the form of the NSA, definitely exists, there is still a wide gap between the attackers' ability to infect firmware, and the industry's ability to detect their presence. The researchers from MITRE and Intel showed attacks on UEFI SecureBoot, the BIOS itself, and BIOS forensics software. Although they also released detection systems for supporting more research and for trustworthy BIOS capture, the real question is, when is this going to stop being the domain of research and when are security companies going to get serious about protecting against attacks at this level?"
Link to Original Source

+ - First Automatic Identification Of Flying Insects Allows Hi-Tech Bug Zapping

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Entomologists have never been able to identify flying insects automatically. But not through lack of trying. The obvious approach is to listen out for the frequency of the wing beat. But acoustic microphones aren't up to the job because sound intensity drops with the square of the distance, so flying insects quickly drop out of range. Now a group of researchers has solved this problem using a laser beam pointing at a photosensitive array. Any insect flying through the beam, casts a shadow of its beating wings that can easily be recorded at distances of several metres. Using this new device, the team has created a dataset of millions of wing beat recordings, more than all previous recordings put together. And they've used the dataset to train a Bayesian classifier algorithm to identify flying insects automatically for the first time. That opens the prospect of a new generation of bug zappers that kill only certain insects or just females rather than males. That could have a big impact on human health since mosquitoes and other flying insects kill millions of people each year. It could also help in agriculture where insects threaten billions of dollars worth of crops."

+ - Full-Disclosure Email List Suspended Indefinitely

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "John Cartwright from Full-Disclosure sent out an email this morning. . . Hi When Len and I created the Full-Disclosure list way back in July 2002, we knew that we'd have our fair share of legal troubles along the way. We were right. To date we've had all sorts of requests to delete things, requests not to delete things, and a variety of legal threats both valid or otherwise. However, I always assumed that the turning point would be a sweeping request for large-scale deletion of information that some vendor or other had taken exception to. I never imagined that request might come from a researcher within the 'community' itself (and I use that word loosely in modern times). But today, having spent a fair amount of time dealing with complaints from a particular individual (who shall remain nameless) I realised that I'm done. The list has had its fair share of trolling, flooding, furry porn, fake exploits and DoS attacks over the years, but none of those things really affected the integrity of the list itself. However, taking a virtual hatchet to the list archives on the whim of an individual just doesn't feel right. That 'one of our own' would undermine the efforts of the last 12 years is really the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not willing to fight this fight any longer. It's getting harder to operate an open forum in today's legal climate, let alone a security-related one. There is no honour amongst hackers any more. There is no real community. There is precious little skill. The entire security game is becoming more and more regulated. This is all a sign of things to come, and a reflection on the sad state of an industry that should never have become an industry. I'm suspending service indefinitely. Thanks for playing. Cheers — John"

Comment: Meaningless without context (Score 5, Informative) 111

by realxmp (#46442397) Attached to: Up To 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year

Without something to anchor your 500-1000 number, who will know how outraged they need to be?

And without knowing what those investigators were doing neither number is particularly useful. That's 1000 investigators and their entire lab staff most of them being scientists doing useful research not administrators etc. Unfortunately this doesn't just affect the current generation of scientists, it affects the next generation too. Not all of these labs will close, but there will certainly be a lot less capacity to take students and post docs. How this will impact research is pretty hard to predict, unfortunately it looks a bit more like the blunderbuss approach than the precision cull of the herd with a rifle and scope.

Comment: Legality of wiretapping in two party states? (Score 1) 572

Even if you could argue you have the Employee's compelled consent for this, you most definitely do not have the website's consent. If the website in question is based in a two-party consent wiretap state, I'm wondering if employers might in fact be committing a felony by tapping the website's communications back to the client?

Comment: Re:Oh no! (Score 1) 180

by realxmp (#45223867) Attached to: MEPs Vote To Suspend Data Sharing With US
"had" being the past participle. You had a way to get data from SWIFT without consent but it's likely that particular doorway is now firmly closed. It's possible that the NSA could attempt to penetrate SWIFT again, but the heightened security measures likely to be in place and the political risks of getting caught again so soon after being caught once mean that's a long term op which is unlikely to be approved in the near future. Realistically though it is unlikely SWIFT data access will actually be cut, and even if it were, they'd still be able to access it through friendly agencies such as SIS and DGSE. The point is it's embarrassing and it slows things down.

Comment: Your definition of reason is an unusual one (Score 1) 1233

by realxmp (#44655653) Attached to: Don't Fly During Ramadan

We deal with the result of a explosives test by searching for explosives, and if the person has no explosives on them it is not reasonable that the person has explosives on them. Every test has the potential for a false positive and a rational person recognises that and adjusts their beliefs accordingly. If you continue to believe someone you've searched has explosives after you'd searched them then you're more irrational than they are. You're denying the evidence of your own eyes because of a pre-existing belief. What are they going to do? Pray the explosives into existence?

Irrational thought is not just confined to the religious.

Comment: TSA and Jet Blue misused the test (Score 1) 1233

by realxmp (#44655531) Attached to: Don't Fly During Ramadan

Assuming that any explosives test is 100% specific is the kind of error I'd expect an untrained fool to make, not a supposed expert. There are lot of substances which are chemically similar enough to explosives and are also household chemical which many people come into contact with and thus trigger a false positive. A test like that is supposed to be to help you decide which people need further scrutiny, not as a definitive stop this person from flying tool. Even then if you assume that someone has come into contact with explosives if they don't have any on them then they are not going to explode through magic pixie dust. Hell if I walk through one of my wet labs on the wrong day or perform a magic trick I'm likely to end up with nitrocellulose dust all over my clothing and hair. Once they had determined he had no explosives on him he should have been free to go (whilst filing a report with Homeland Security to follow up); further detention served absolutely no justifiable purpose. If he were a terrorist for example doing a dummy run, as long as he had no explosives it would be more useful to observe him than spend hours questioning people.

As for Jet Blue they have absolutely no excuse, if someone allegedly has explosive residue on them today but no explosives then there is no rational reason to prevent them from flying today or tomorrow or any other day. If he doesn't have any explosives on him, the results of the test are irrelevant because it's far more likely that the test gave a false positive than not.

Comment: Sequencing is a lot faster than it used to be (Score 1) 95

by realxmp (#43648845) Attached to: Device Can Extract DNA With Full Genetic Data In Minutes

Some people are missing the point here, so for emphasis: this product only prepares DNA for sequencing, it doesn't do the sequencing itself. Half an hour of preparation is reduced to minutes, but the actual work still takes days.

It used to take days, and still does if funding is short but an Illumina HiSeq 2500 can produce 150-180 Gbases in 40 hours in rapid run mode [1]. Most labs still run it in high output mode because of the reagent cost but the option is there. This means that if I was prepared to pay the extra and I sent a sample into "core sequencing" where I work, they could potentially return mapped DNA in a week. After that there's still some improvement tools we'd need to run to clean up artefacts, followed by calling and filtering variants, those bits can take weeks. Whilst it is true that the bottleneck is currently the physical sequencing process of things but pretty soon that is going to shift to the informatics.side.

[1] http://www.illumina.com/systems/hiseq_2500_1500/performance_specifications.ilmn

Comment: Re:Probably not the best idea... (Score 2) 285

by realxmp (#43526075) Attached to: Protesting Animal Testing, Intruders Vandalize Italian Lab

I've no idea whether this particular set of experiments will be continued and animals replaced or not.

If not at Milan then elsewhere, the research will be done as long as there are still diseases to be cured. There's pretty much no other way to model the complex system that is life, except with more life, computers can't cut it.

And now the question is always asked, is vivisection the only way this can be done?

Using this word to describe animal experimentation as a whole is a deliberate deception. Actual vivisection is actually pretty bloody rare because it doesn't often tell us much, instead an animal is usually euthanised and then dissected instead. A lot of the time the research involves simple phenotyping, aka mutating a gene and then testing animals to see the effect. E.g. whether it makes them faster or slower; live longer or shorter; stronger or weaker; etc. There isn't much cutting a live animal open, that cutting a dead animal open doesn't tell you (which is far far easier). There are exceptions, but vivisection is a rarity not the norm.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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