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+ - NSA Planned to Hijack Google App Store to Hack Smartphones->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware, a top-secret document reveals. The surveillance project was launched by a joint electronic eavesdropping unit called the Network Tradecraft Advancement Team, which includes spies from each of the countries in the “Five Eyes” alliance — the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia."

"The newly published document shows how the agencies wanted to “exploit” app store servers – using them to launch so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks to infect phones with the implants. A man-in-the-middle attack is a technique in which hackers place themselves between computers as they are communicating with each other; it is a tactic sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people. In this instance, the method would have allowed the surveillance agencies to modify the content of data packets passing between targeted smartphones and the app servers while an app was being downloaded or updated, inserting spyware that would be covertly sent to the phones."

Link to Original Source

+ - YouTube Live Streams Now Support HTML5 Playback And 60fps Video

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: YouTube today announced it is enabling HTML5 playback for live streams. At the same time, live streams can now be viewed at 60 frames per second (fps). A few puzzle pieces had to come together to make this possible. On October 29, YouTube quietly turned on 60fps support for videos uploaded on that date and later. While clips uploaded before that date remain at 30fps, new videos shot at 60fps suddenly started playing back at their proper framerate.

+ - Newt Gingrich calls for doubling federal medical research at NIH-> 1

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich published an oped in the New York Times calling for the doubling of the National Institutes for Health, currently at $31 billion. The idea, coming from Gingrich, is not as crazy as it may sound at first glance. Gingrich helped to start the ball rolling the last time the NIH budget was doubled, starting in the late 1990s. Gingrich has also been an advocate of science research as a means of benefiting the country.

Gingrich presents his case as a means of real health care reform, not from layering on more bureaucracy, but in finding cures and treatments for diseases.

Link to Original Source

+ - Broken Beer Bottle Battle in Debate over Merits of Android over iPhone

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Lee Hutchinson writes at Ars Technica that platform loyalty is a powerful thing, as two roommates in Tulsa, Oklahoma stabbed each other with broken beer bottles in a debate over the relative merits of Android versus iPhones. Tulsa police were called to Evergreen Apartments at 1 a.m after a woman found a man covered in blood, stumbling around the parking lot and found that two roommates had been drinking and arguing over their mobile phones. The two men broke beer bottles and stabbed each other with them and one of the men smashed a bottle over the back of the other man's head. "In over 35 years as a cop, this is one of the oddest reasons I've seen for assault," says Maj. Rod Hummel. According to Channel 8 News, police had no comment when asked which phone was in fact better.

+ - America's methane mystery: NASA set to investigate hotspot over the 4 corners ->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: A 'hot spot' of the largest concentration of methane seen over the United States is in the area near the Four Corners intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah and covers 2,500 square miles. The hotspot predates widespread fracking in the area.

Researchers from several institutions are now in the Four Corners region of the U.S. Southwest with a suite of airborne and ground-based instruments, aiming to uncover reasons for a mysterious methane 'hot spot' detected from space.

'With all the ground-based and airborne resources that the different groups are bringing to the region, we have the unique chance to unequivocally solve the Four Corners mystery,' said Christian Frankenberg, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, who is heading NASA's part of the effort.

Link to Original Source

+ - New compound quickly disables chemical weapons->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: In 2013, the Syrian military allegedly launched sarin gas rockets into a rebel-held town, killing hundreds. After diplomats brokered a deal to eradicate the weapons, international organizations began the dangerous job of destroying them. One roadblock to chemical weapons disposal is that heat and humidity quickly break down enzymes that can disable the deadly chemicals. Now, researchers have developed a highly stable compound that can inactivate nerve agents like sarin in a matter of minutes.
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple's "Spring Forward" Event Debuts Apple Watch and More

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus writes: There was a lot of news at Apple's Spring Forward keynote today. Here's a list of some of the most eye-catching announcements.
  • HBO Now standalone streaming service coming to Apple TV and iOS apps in early April for $14.99 a month.
  • Lowered price of Apple TV to $69.
  • Apple Pay accepted at up to 100,000 Coca-Cola machines by the end of the year.
  • ResearchKit Announced: Is open source and allows medical researchers to create apps, and use the iPhone as a diagnostic tool.
  • New MacBook: Lightest ever at 2 pounds, 13.1mm at its thickest point. 2304x1440 display, consumes 30% less energy. Fanless, powered with Intel's Core M processor. 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0. and 9 hours of web browsing battery life. Supports many protocols through one connector USB-C. Ships April 10, starting at $1,299.
  • iOS 8.2 is available today
  • Apple Watch: Accurate within 50ms of UTC. Read and delete email, built-in speaker and mic so you can receive calls. It tracks your movement and exercise. Use Apple Pay, play your music, use Siri and get any notification you get on iPhone today. 18 hour battery life in a typical day. Sport model starting at $349, stainless steel price: $549-$1049 for 38mm, 42mm is $599-$1099, and gold edition starting at $10k. Pre-orders begin April 10th, available April 24th.

+ - Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested And Benchmarked->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Intel recently released its latest generation of NUC small form factor systems, based on the company's new low-power Broadwell-U series processors. The primary advantages of Intel's 5th Generation Core Series Broadwell-U-based processors are better performance-per-watt, stronger integrated graphics, and a smaller footprint, all things that are perfectly suited to the company's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) products. The Intel NUC5i5RYK packs a Core i5-5250U processor with on-die Intel HD 6000 series graphics. The system also sports built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, M.2 SSD support, and a host of other features, all in a 115mm x 111mm x 32.7mm enclosure. Performance-wise the new 5th Gen Core Series-powered NUC benchmarks like a midrange notebook and is actually up for a bit of light-duty gaming, though it's probably more at home as a Home Theater PC, media streamer or kiosk desktop machine.
Link to Original Source

+ - Netflix now available in Cuba->

Submitted by aBaldrich
aBaldrich writes: Streaming video service Netflix will be available to Cuban customers starting today, at the $7.99 U.S. per month rate that it offers in the U.S., the company announced today. It’ll still require an international payment method for now, as well as Internet access (which still isn’t ubiquitous in the U.S.), but it’s an early start that Netflix says it wanted to offer in order to have it available as Cuban Internet access expands, and debit and credit cards become more available to Cuban citizens.
Until now, Cubans have had little access to this kind of American entertainment. The U.S. government maintains a floating balloon tethered to an island in the Florida Keys that broadcasts the pro-democracy TV Marti network. The Cuban government constantly jams the signal.
Cuba has great filmmakers and a robust arts culture, and one day we hope to be able to bring their work to our global audience,” Reed Hastings, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Link to Original Source

+ - Windows 10 IE With Spartan Engine Performance vs. Chrome and Firefox->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: In Microsoft's latest Windows 10 preview build released last week, Cortana made an entrance, but the much-anticipated Spartan browser did not. However, little did we realize that some of Spartan made the cut, in the form of an experimental rendering engine hidden under IE's hood. Microsoft has separated its Trident rendering engine into two separate versions: one is for Spartan, called EdgeHTML, while the other remains under its legacy naming with Internet Explorer. The reason Microsoft doesn't simply forego the older version is due to compatibility concerns. If you're running the Windows 10 9926 build, chances are good that you're automatically taking advantage of the new EdgeHTML engine in IE. To check, you can type 'about:flags' into the address bar. "Automatic" means that the non-Spartan Trident engine will be called-upon only if needed. In all other cases, you'll be taking advantage of the future Spartan web rendering engine. Performance-wise, the results with IE are like night and day in certain spots. Some of the improvements are significant. IE's Sunspider result already outperforms the competition, but it has been further improved. And with Kraken, the latency with the Spartan-powered Trident engine dropped 40%. Similar results are seen with a boost in the Octane web browser test as well.
Link to Original Source

+ - Interviews: Alexander Stepanov and Daniel E. Rose Answer Your Questions

Submitted by samzenpus
samzenpus writes: Alexander Stepanov is an award winning programmer who designed the C++ Standard Template Library. Daniel E. Roseis is a programmer, research scientist, and is the Chief Scientist for Search at A9.com. In addition to working together, the duo have recently written a new book titled, From Mathematics to Generic Programming. Earlier this month you had a chance to ask the pair about their book, their work, or programming in general. Below you'll find the answers to those questions.

+ - Google Finally Quashes Month-Old Malvertising Campaign->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: Since the middle of December, visitors to sites that run Google AdSense ads have intermittently found themselves redirected to other sites featuring spammy offerings for anti-aging and brain-enhancing products. While webmasters who have managed to figure out which advertisers are responsible could quash the attacks on their AdSense consoles, only now has Google itself managed to track down the villains and ban them from the service.
Link to Original Source

+ - Adobe Patches Nine Vulnerabilities in Flash

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Adobe has patched nine vulnerabilities in Flash Player — four of which are considered "critical" — in order to protect against malicious attackers who could exploit the bugs to take control of an affected system. Adobe acknowledged security researchers from Google, McAfee, HP, and Verisign. Flash's security bulletin contains more information on the vulnerabilities. The issues are fixed in mainline Flash Player 16.0.0.257 (incl. Google Chrome Linux version), extended support release 13.0.0.260, and Linux standalone plugin 11.2.202.429.

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