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Politics

Submission + - German Pirate Party wins parliament seats in North Rhine-Westphalia (torrentfreak.com)

SgtChaireBourne writes: The German Pirate Party won 18 parliament seats in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia yesterday. Or in other words, about 7.5% of the total votes. This is the fourth win and follows Berlin (8.9%), Saarland (7.4%), and Schleswig-Holstein (8.2%). Rick Falkvinge has an analysis of the win.
Australia

Submission + - GAME Australia now also in Administration (kotaku.com.au)

Fluffeh writes: "This morning the Australian Division of GAME saw an email from their Marketing Manager confirming that the 95 store chain has gone into voluntary administration. PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Kate Warwick said "Initially we will continue to trade all stores, operating these on as close to a ‘business as usual’ mode as possible whilst we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business and actively pursue options to secure its future." in a statement today. It also seems that GAME is having a bit of a fire sale, with many titles including quite a few new releases now in a $5-$74 bargain bin. Ms. Warwick also noted that the company’s customers hold various claims against the company under loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers. Ms. Warwick said “We are working on schemes aimed at giving customers some return on these claims if they are used to make additional purchases.”"

Submission + - Tablet Newspaper c1994 (paleofuture.com)

djl4570 writes: "Paleofuture has an interesting video of a tablet computer envisioned by an Information Design lab founded by Knight Ridder in 1992 to bring the newspaper into the electronic age. This video is an interesting look at early tablet concepts in light of Apple and Samsung litigating over Tablet related IP. The video looks like a promotional video for internal use or to woo investors. It is surprisingly prescient for an era when we were running Mosaic or a beta version of Netscape and that many of us were using third party software such as Trumpet for a SLIP connection.
Of course this video does not foresee paradigm changes such as the massive expansion of the Internet which gave us sites such as Drudge, the explosion of blogs or the corresponding erosion of trust in the main stream media."

Submission + - Sheffield scientists have revolutionised the electron microscope (shef.ac.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: For over 70 years, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which 'looks through' an object to see atomic features within it, has been constrained by the relatively poor lenses which are used to form the image.

The new method, called electron ptychography, dispenses with the lens and instead forms the image by reconstructing the scattered electron-waves after they have passed through the sample using computers.

Scientists involved in the scheme consider their findings to be a first step in a completely new epoch of electron imaging. The process has no fundamental experimental boundaries and it is thought it will transform sub-atomic scale transmission imaging.

Security

Submission + - Inside Las Vegas' biggest data centre (itpro.co.uk)

twoheadedboy writes: "Las Vegas data centres are just as opulent as the casinos which litter the vibrant city. SuperNAP is the biggest in all Las Vegas, with 400,000 square feet of servers using around 100 megawatts of power. There's some serious security too, comprised mostly of ex-US Marines who patrol the perimeter on foot and in Humvees, all armed with assault rifles. Private military contractors are needed in the IT world too, it seems. IT Pro got a look around this impressive DC."
Government

Submission + - 7 high-tech programs that want to pick your brain (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: With increasing frequency it seems agencies of the government are looking to tap into the public consciousness to gather information on everything from how you surf the Web to how they can use information generated by you to predict the future. It's all a little creepy, really. Here Network World takes a look at seven programs announced this year that in some cases really want to crawl into your brain to see what's happening in the world.
Politics

Submission + - Boeing Chinook Chopper Crash: Where software fails (computerworlduk.com)

DMandPenfold writes: A damning report issued this week has reminded the world that unexpected Chinook helicopter engine shutdowns and blowouts, in the years leading up to the disastrous 1994 Mull of Kintyre crash, mostly resulted from engine software that Ministry of Defence airworthiness experts had not been able to approve.

Lord Philip’s report– which finally cleared the two pilots of blame for the disastrous 1994 crash of a Boeing Chinook helicopter on the Mull of Kintyre that killed 25 intelligence personnel and a four-person special forces crew – highlights a raft of still-unanswered technical questions.

Security

Submission + - Of Mice and Compromised Keyboards (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Add mice and keyboards to the list of UBS-based peripherals now suspect in any corporate environment. There are new ways to make the USB HID (Human Interface Device) a viable vector for malware. While some of these use cases are not elegant, requiring someone to convince someone else to use a modified device, we've seen clever social engineering in the not-so-recent past--especially if your company or industry is targeted for an attack.

Last summer's Stuxnet attackers were able to spread malware within the limited world of Industrial Control Systems because compromised USB memory sticks were distributed at an Iranian nuclear power conference. Until then, the idea of bootstrapping an attack was rare, and someone attacking something so specialized almost unheard of.

Last year, Adrian Crenshaw presented at both Shmoocon 2010 and DefCon 18 something he called "Teensy". It's a USB drive whose malicious software waits until the victims' computer is booted and sufficiently logged into a computer network before it begins operation.

This is something different. What Netragard, Crenshaw and others propose is that a purposeful attacker here in the United States, not some foreign supplier, could use a malware-tainted mouse or keyboard—common peripherals, perhaps bought at the corner office supply store--to access your company's assets.

Technology

Submission + - Facial Recognition Tech Failure Implications (boston.com)

An anonymous reader writes: John H. Gass hadn’t had a traffic ticket in years, so the Natick resident was surprised this spring when he received a letter from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles informing him to cease driving because his license had been revoked.

It turned out Gass was flagged because he looks like another driver, not because his image was being used to create a fake identity. His driving privileges were returned but, he alleges in a lawsuit, only after 10 days of bureaucratic wrangling to prove he is who he says he is.

And apparently, he has company. Last year, the facial recognition system picked out more than 1,000 cases that resulted in State Police investigations, officials say. And some of those people are guilty of nothing more than looking like someone else. Not all go through the long process that Gass says he endured, but each must visit the Registry with proof of their identity.

Massachusetts began using the software after receiving a $1.5 million grant from the US Department of Homeland Security as part of an effort to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents that states issue.

At least 34 states are using such systems. They help authorities verify a person’s claimed identity and track down people who have multiple licenses under different aliases, such as underage people wanting to buy alcohol, people with previous license suspensions, and people with criminal records trying to evade the law. Lisa Cradit, a spokeswoman for L-1 Identity Solutions, the largest developer of the software, said it can reduce fraud by 80 percent.

Piracy

Submission + - Innocent Three Strikes Law Victim Fighting Back (zeropaid.com)

Dangerous_Minds writes: He could be the poster child of everything wrong with France's three strikes law. A 54 year old school teacher is fighting to clear his name after receiving his third strike notice from HADOPI — the administrative body that issues the three strikes notices in France. The problem? His WiFi connection was hacked despite attempts to secure it. He told French news site Numerama (Google translation, original) that he doesn't even know how to download music and movies. He was accused of downloading music from French DJ David Guetta and Rihanna. The final strike was from downloading Iron Man 2. Not exactly the kind of music a 54 year old school teacher would find himself listening to at least.
Crime

Submission + - Flawed Forensic Evidence Explains Anthony Acquitta 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "CNN reports that as public outrage reaches critical mass over Casey Anthony's release from jail, trial observers who agree with the jury's verdict say holes in the state's forensic case in a trial based largely on circumstantial evidence help explain why she was acquitted in daughter Caylee's death. "A courtroom isn't a scientific lab and evidence shouldn't come in before it has been accepted in a relevant scientific community," says professor Adina Schwartz. Arguably, the most disputed testimony came from Dr. Arpad Vass, the inventor of a new method of testing air for chemicals indicative of decomposition who told the jury that testing of air samples, carpet, scrapings from the wheel well and a spare tire cover from the car found a handful of compounds associated with human decomposition. "He comes in and says, I have invented this new air analysis system and I can tell this is a decomposing body. He didn't say it was consistent, he said it had to be a decomposing body. That's the kind of grandiose claim that you can pretty much never make in forensic science because we don't yet have the research and facts to back it up," says Schwartz. A rare method of analyzing a strand of hair for signs of decomposition was also presented to the jury, much to the surprise of forensic scientists and lawyers watching the case. "I wouldn't call it all junk science, but it wasn't ready for court, and just by letting it in doesn't mean the jury's going to buy it," says defense lawyer and forensic consultant Keith Murray. "I'm sure we'll see more of this stuff down the road; hopefully it'll be more refined by then. It just wasn't ready for prime time.""
NASA

Submission + - Dawn Sends Signal, Now Orbiting Asteroid Vesta (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "Mission managers of NASA's Dawn asteroid probe had a long Saturday, waiting for news from the asteroid belt. Eventually they got the news they were hoping for: Dawn had entered Vesta orbit. This is the first time in history that an object in the asteroid belt has been orbited by an artificial satellite.

It's taken four years for the ion thruster-propelled spacecraft to reach the asteroid and there was some uncertainty as to whether the probe had been captured by the asteroid's gravity at all. But after a long period of waiting, mission managers received the signal after Dawn was able to orientate its antenna toward Earth."

Submission + - Scanning APS negs — What's best? 1

davesag writes: "I have hundreds of old rolls of photos taken with APS film and I want to scan the negs at a decent resolution, and preserve the XIF data that is stored with the shots. I've searched all over the place but not found any decent suggestions for how this might be done. All the old film-scanners are either 1 photo at a time jobs, or require me to pull the film from the canister to scan. I want a scanner that I can just pop the APS film canister into and hit a button. But is there such a thing? Surely some slashdot reader has solved this problem before."

Submission + - Online collaboration helps Mumbai attack victims (cnn.com)

GillBates0 writes: "CNN has a nice story about how online collaboration swiftly helped form a centrally organized online disaster effort during Wednesday's Mumbai attacks. India accounts for almost one fifth of the world's cell phone subscribers. At a time when chaos reigned, and voice calls were jammed, a loose collaboration of techies, laymen, and good samaritans quickly collaborated online via social media, Wikipedia, Google docs and other online resoureces to coordinate blood donors, assistance, rides, and other services to help the victims of the attack."

Submission + - Man jailed over computer password refusal (bbc.co.uk) 1

carvell writes: A teenager has been jailed for 16 weeks after he refused to give police the password to his computer.

Oliver Drage, 19, of Liverpool, was arrested in May 2009 by police tackling child sexual exploitation.

Police seized his computer but could not access material on it as it had a 50-character encryption password.

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