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+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: Nothing important or expected to last (Score 1) 266 266

I got my 3d printer not to make something that's going to last a very long time, but more for novelty items & a few custom builds. For example, I bought some Red, White & Blue PLA so I could make some July 4th decorations & stuff. I think I'll print some custom cookie cutters for my sis-in-law. Oh, and my dad wants some letters so he can see how to place them on a wind chime he's making. I've also printed some things for my Cubscouts. The other things I've printed have mainly been to show it off or play with it. I'd put owning a 3d printer along the same lines as owning a regular printer these days, unnecessary but can be fun or useful.

Comment: Re:How about (Score 1) 268 268

The problem is when they use government resources to target organizations that they dislike & have no real cause to, and do so after issuing declarations that they consider their behavior kin to that of terrorist. Had the IRS treated left wing organizations as they did those on the right, things might be a bit different.
What are your thoughts about Bush (and now Obama) saying that if you encrypt your internet communications you must be a terrorist? And then what would happen if they used the IRS to go after the Linux foundation(or some other FOSS tech company) for making encryption readily available?

Comment: Re:How about (Score 2, Interesting) 268 268

I'd skip sending money to ISIS or the Taliban. It's probably not tax-deductible and may result in unpleasant imprisonment.

With the current administration, the same could be said for anything that they dislike. They've not only used the IRS to target groups that oppose them, but also put out a list of attributes that they are using to classify domestic terrorist which include things like having more than a month's worth of food & owning a gun.

Comment: Re:Better pictures? (Score 2) 75 75

Perhaps the input images they used were also low-res? If they had used higher resolution photos it would have taken much more computing time to run them through the neural network for hundreds of iterations. I guess the same neural networks could also enhance the resolution of the images by being fed a scaled-up version and outputting it with more (imagined) detail.

Comment: Re:Diminishing returns (Score 1) 181 181

I use a couple of 24" 4k monitors. Just set 200% font scaling and you have things appearing the same size by default as they would on a 1920x1080 monitor with normal font scaling. But they look much better rendered, and if you want you can zoom out to smaller text sizes while remaining legible.

Comment: Re:History repeats itself... (Score 1) 82 82

Acorn's PC emulator emulated an 8086 (not 80186). There are a couple of extra instructions added in the later 80186. Not much software uses them but apparently the game Star Trek 25th Anniversary did. Dave Lawrence's FasterPC emulator provided a virtual 80186 (though the CPU emulation was still just as slow, the video support was faster and PC speaker emulation much better, so it could play many DOS games that used 320x200 res in 256 colours. Like Civilization...)

+ - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11 11

An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Link to Original Source

This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.