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+ - Problems with Windows XP caused by Microsoft.

Submitted by Futurepower(R)
Futurepower(R) (558542) writes "We are seeing 4 kinds of problems with Windows XP today at 2 remote locations:

1) One kind of problem is similar to the one in this April 7, 2014 story about computers in Australia: Pop-ups irritate Windows XP's remaining users. Microsoft Security Essentials on computers in the United States give pop-up messages about the MSE service being stopped.

2) Computers are requiring far longer to start, perhaps 12 to 15 minutes. Then the MSE pop-up appears.

3) Microsoft Security Essentials now calls into question whether XP is genuine. These are all computers that have run without issues for several years. The customer bought licenses when Windows XP was first released.

4) We have seen problems with the Windows XP operating system detecting a key stuck down when no keys were pressed on the keyboard. That is a software problem, not a keyboard hardware problem. It causes the system to be un-responsive because the key being detected is not one actually pressed, but is actually a key combination. Again, that is happening on computers that have been trouble-free for years. That problem began happening after a Windows update.

Microsoft said it would support MSE on Windows XP for another year. See the Microsoft article, Microsoft antimalware support for Windows XP. Apparently that support is not happening in the normal way."

+ - Turkey's Attempt to Block Tor Failing Due to Multiple Mirrors->

Submitted by DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already block Twitter and YouTube. Now, after Turkish people flocked to anonymous browser Tor, he is trying to block that too. However the Tor project has multiple mirrors, including one operated by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which are still accessible in Turkey, making the block on the official site a bit pointless."
Link to Original Source

+ - Are the backdoors to flash memory reserve pools? 1

Submitted by hormiga
hormiga (600498) writes "Because flash memory has a relatively limited number of program/erase cycles before failure, wear leveling mechanisms are often employed. These mechanisms sometimes use a pool of reserve blocks, managed by the controller, invisible to the user. There seem to be two consequences of this: (1) erasure is problematic, because the supposedly erased data might be hidden in the reserve pool, and (2) it might be possible to develop a "flash unerase" to recover some portions of accidentally deleted files. The implications for forensics, security, and simple convenience appear obvious.

This line of thinking was prompted by the unintended erasure of a Verbatim USB memory stick, occasioned by a laptop hardware accident. The drive was simply zeroed by the accident, but I suspect from the quickness of the incident that there was not time for the laptop to write zeroes to the memory stick: there may have been activation of a special command channel to the controller. I would like to recover the contents of that device.

I would like to develop a library and utility for the recovery of hidden data from the reserve pool, and for the secure erasure of files and interstitial gaps in the file systems of flash drives, especially for devices such as USB memory sticks. However, I'm not having much success discovering the interfaces available to software. Are there special backdoors or handshakes to access the reserve pools or other features in the flash controllers? Where is this information available?

Naturally, the results and code will be published as FLOSS."

+ - Adam Carolla Joins Fight Against Patent Troll 1

Submitted by tor528
tor528 (896250) writes "Patent troll Personal Audio has sued top podcasters including Adam Carolla and HowStuffWorks, claiming that they own the patent for delivery of episodic content over the Internet. Adam Carolla is fighting back and has started a Fund Anything campaign to cover legal fees. From the Fund Anything campaign page: "If Adam Carolla loses this battle, then every other Podcast will be quickly shut down. Why? Because Patent Trolls like Personal Audio would use a victory over Carolla as leverage to extort money from every other Podcast.. As you probably know, Podcasts are inherently small, owner-operated businesses that do not have the financial resources to fight off this type of an assault. Therefore, Podcasts as we know them today would cease to exist."

James Logan of Personal Audio answered Slashdotters' questions in June 2013.
Links to the patent in question can be found on Personal Audio's website.
The EFF filed a challenge against Personal Audio's podcasting patent in October 2013."

+ - ATM malware, controlled by a text message, spews cash-> 1

Submitted by netbuzz
netbuzz (955038) writes "Cybercriminals are able to get cash from a certain type of ATM by sending a text message. The tactic is being reported by security vendor Symantec, which has periodically written about a type of malicious software it calls "Ploutus" that first appeared in Mexico. The malware is engineered to plunder a certain type of standalone ATM, which Symantec has not identified. The company obtained one of the ATMs to carry out a test of how Ploutus works, but it doesn't show a brand name."
Link to Original Source

+ - Lego robot solves Rubik's Cube puzzle in 3.253 seconds->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "For further proof the robot apocalypse is nigh, CTV News reports...

The Cubestormer 3 took 18 months to build but only needed 3.253 seconds to solve the puzzle, breaking the existing record.

Unveiled at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, U.K., the Cubestormer 3 is constructed from the modular children's building-block toy but uses a Samsung Galaxy SIV smartphone with a special ARM chip addition as its brain. It analyzes the muddled up Rubik's Cube and powers each of the robot's four ‘hands', which spin the cube until all sides are in order.

Created by ARM engineer David Gilday and Securi-Plex security systems engineer Mike Dobson, Cubestormer 3's new record shaves just over two seconds off the existing record, set by Cubestormer 2, which the pair also built.

"We knew Cubestormer 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot performing physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there's always an element of risk," said Gilday. "In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it's possible to make it go even faster.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Why Firefox -- yes, Firefox -- will become the mobile OS to beat->

Submitted by mattydread23
mattydread23 (2793761) writes "It's geared toward low-powered hardware in a way that Google doesn't care as much about with Android, it's cheap enough for the pre-paid phones that are much more common than post-paid in developing countries, and most important, there are still 3.5 billion people in the world who have feature phones and for whom this will be an amazing upgrade."
Link to Original Source

+ - It's the End of (XP) Support as we Know It->

Submitted by X!0mbarg
X!0mbarg (470366) writes "We've all heard about the inevitability of it, but M$ has started sending out Downloaded Notifications of its End Of Support for Windows XP as part of Automatic Updates. Has anyone else seen these pop up on their XP systems? I certainly did.

(Apologies in advance for my poor code-fu here.)


Many links abound for reference here:
  • http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help?locale=ja-jp
  • http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows/lifecycle
  • http://www.scmagazine.com/pop-ups-to-signal-the-coming-end-of-windows-xp-support/article/336777/
  • http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/03/windows-xp-will-now-notify-you-that-its-dying/
  • and the Google-it-for-you reference: https://www.google.ca/search?q=WinXP+End+Of+Support+Notice&num=100&source=univ&tbm=nws&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=mLoYU-7WJ4nTqgHEjoGgCw&ved=0CE4QqAI&biw=1173&bih=750

Anyone else see this as an attempt to scare users into upgrades directly from the desktop?

Yes, we all knew this day would be upon us, but surely we didn't see M$ being so downright aggressive, did we?

Ultimately, what is everyone's opinion on this effort and its' ultimate affect to their usage of the admittedly antiquated OS?

I for one, will still be chugging along on a few systems until the system finally just Dies on me.

Any theories on actual support and afterlife cycle predictions? Anyone still patching together their Win98 systems? Win3.11? What duties have they been relegated to and why? What plans does everyone have in the Upgrade department? Are you waiting for anything specific from M$ before taking the Win8.1 plunge, or planning on holding onto your Win7 systems 'till they pry the code from its cold, dead drive?"

Link to Original Source

+ - One of the Most Alarming Internet Proposals I've Ever Seen->

Submitted by Lauren Weinstein
Lauren Weinstein (828974) writes "You'd think that with so many concerns these days about whether the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and other telecom companies can be trusted not to turn our data over to third parties whom we haven't authorized, that a plan to formalize a mechanism for ISP and other "man-in-the-middle" snooping would be laughed off the Net.

But apparently the authors of IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) Internet-Draft "Explicit Trusted Proxy in HTTP/2.0" (14 Feb 2014) haven't gotten the message.

What they propose for the new HTTP/2.0 protocol is nothing short of officially sanctioned snooping."

Link to Original Source

+ - Irony: Google's CIO doesn't let employees use "consumer-grade" cloud services->

Submitted by mattydread23
mattydread23 (2793761) writes "This takes the cake. In an interview with AllThingsD this weekend, Google CIO Ben Fried explained that he "can't let employees mess around with consumer-grade technology" and that he won't let employees use Dropbox because "when your users use it in a corporate context, your corporate data is being held in someone else’s data center." This from the CIO of the company that has done more to push consumer-grade cloud services into the enterprise than anybody else. Apparently it's "do as we say, not as we do.""
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+ - Drone flier cops $10K fine from FAA

Submitted by NewtonsLaw
NewtonsLaw (409638) writes "Raphael Pirker, otherwise known as "Trappy" is the guy who flew his RC model plane over the Statue of Liberty and parts of NYC a little while back and got a lot of media attention in the process.

Trappy has travelled the world with his FPV RC models, getting some stunning footage that has been posted to his YouTube channel.

On occasion, he has been commissioned to make specific flights and take aerial video of particular locations — professionally but this is something that the FAA considers to be involation of their policies (note: policies — NOT the law). After a recent commissioned flight around the University of Virginia, the FAA hit Trappy with a $10K fine, alleging that he was operating a UAS without the necessary authority and had been reckless in his actions, creating danger to person and property.

More background and info on this can be found in this Wired.com story and this sUAS News report which lists the exact charges.

While it could be argued that Trappy's flying may have been a little reckless, the defense from his lawyer is that no LAWS were broken — because there are no laws pertaining to these craft.

I posted a YT video-rant about how the FAA (and other airspace administrators around the world) are failing to do their jobs and have instigated "policies" rather than create proper laws in respect to this new technology. I also argue the point that it's ridiculous that, in the eyes of the FAA, a small RC plane suddenly becomes a UAS and is treated as being the same as a Predator drone in respect to its potential as a threat to public safety. I won't post a link to the video (don't want to be a whore) but I'm sure folk can find it if they're interested.

The bottom line is that in equating a small RC flying wing made of foam with an evil baby-killing Predator drone, the FAA is way, way out of touch with reality and way-behind the game in respect to making reasonable and effective laws in this area. Also, by relying on "policy", they are allowed to play judge and jury so can apply unfettered bias and prejudice in their actions with impunity."

+ - Fog clears around encrypted email provider Lavabit court documents->

Submitted by snowtigger
snowtigger (204757) writes "The New York Times reports that on Wednesday, a federal judge unsealed documents in the case (covered here), allowing the tech entrepreneur to speak candidly for the first time about his experiences. Among other things, a court order required provide the F.B.I. with “technical assistance,” which agents told him meant handing over the private encryption keys, technically called SSL certificates, that unlock communications for all users."
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+ - US Shutdown Is Good News For Patent Trolls->

Submitted by judgecorp
judgecorp (778838) writes "It's just a sidebar on the US government shutdown but, while agencies including NASA and NIST are displaying blank websites, the US Patent and Trademark Office is running as normal because its funding is guaranteed by the US consitution. Thus, patent trolls can continue to file bogus business patents, while the FTC is closed and can't combat them, and the Department of Justice can't handle appeals and enforcement."
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+ - German NSA critic denied entry to the US

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Major newspapers in Germany (FAZ, Die Welt, SZ, ...) and the Huffington Post report that the author Ilja Trojanow has been denied to board a plane from Salvador da Bahia to the US where he was invited to attend a conference. He had ESTA documents showing that his visit was approved as part of the Visa Waiver Program and was last year given a visa to teach at the university of Saint Louis. Trojanow was one of the initiators of an open letter urging Chancellor Merkel to take actions against NSA surveillance in Germany."

+ - Symantec seizes part of massive botnet used for BitCoin mining and click fraud->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "The cybercriminals behind ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence, have lost access to more than a quarter of the infected machines they controlled because of an operation executed by security researchers from Symantec. According to Symantec, the ZeroAccess botnet consists of more than 1.9 million infected computers and is used primarily to perform click fraud and Bitcoin mining in order to generate revenues estimated at tens of millions of dollars per year."
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