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+ - Spurious IP Address Used To Continuously Activate Windows 7-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A presumed pirate with an unusually large appetite for activating Windows 7 has incurred the wrath of Microsoft. In a lawsuit filed at a Washington court, Microsoft said that it logged hundreds of suspicious product activations from a single Verizon IP address and is now seeking damages. Who he, she or they are behind address 74.111.202.30 is unknown at this point, but according to Microsoft they're responsible for some serious Windows pirating. "As part of its cyberforensic methods, Microsoft analyzes product key activation data voluntarily provided by users when they activate Microsoft software, including the IP address from which a given product key is activated," the lawsuit reads. The company says that its forensic tools allow the company to analyze billions of activations of software and identify patterns "that make it more likely than not" that an IP address associated with activations is one through which pirated software is being activated.
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+ - No, NASA did not accidentally invent warp drive

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: As Slashdot has previously reported, NASA Spaceflight has claimed to have vetted the EM Drive in a vacuum, and found there is still an anomalous thrust/acceleration on the order of 50 microNewtons for the device. While some are claiming this means things like warp drive and 70-day-trips-to-Mars are right on the horizon, it's important to view this from a scientist's point of view. Here's what it will take to turn this from a speculative claim into a robust one.

+ - House panel holds hearing on 'politically driven science'—sans scientists->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Representative Louie Gohmert (R–TX) is worried that scientists employed by the U.S. government have been running roughshod over the rights of Americans in pursuit of their personal political goals. So this week Gohmert, the chair of the oversight and investigations subpanel of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee, held a hearing to explore “the consequences of politically driven science.” Notably absent, however, were any scientists, including those alleged to have gone astray.
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+ - Congressman Thomas Massie: "Clock ticking to scale back spy powers"->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Congress faces a critical deadline, and time is running out. On June 1, 2015, three provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire. The actions of the U.S. Congress between today and June 1st will affect the privacy and liberty of millions of innocent Americans.

The 2001 USA PATRIOT Act was drafted and swiftly passed in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Due to the nature of the crisis, the goal was simply to pass a bill as quickly as possible. Many congressmen did not have an opportunity to thoroughly read, analyze or vet the bill's numerous and lengthy provisions. In fact, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, one of the original authors of the Patriot Act, later declared that he was shocked by how the law was used to spy on innocent Americans.

Congress and the American people now know, thanks to whistleblower leaks, that federal agencies like the National Security Agency regularly perform mass surveillance on Americans without bothering to obtain a warrant. As constitutional law scholar Randy Barnett wrote in the Wall Street Journal, "The National Security Agency has seized from private companies voluminous data on the phone and Internet usage of all U.S. citizens. ... This dangerously violates the most fundamental principles of our republican form of government." He concludes that "[s]uch indiscriminate data seizures are the epitome of 'unreasonable,' akin to the 'general warrants' issued by the Crown to authorize searches of Colonial Americans."

The Founders of this great nation fought and died to stop the kind of warrantless spying and searches that the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act authorize. What happens between now and June 1 depends on the American people. It is imperative that every freedom-loving American demand an end to these unconstitutional programs. At the very least, the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act should not be renewed. After that, the entire Patriot Act should be repealed so we can start over and establish law enforcement programs that respect our Constitution.

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+ - Thomas Massie-The Congressman That Owns A Tesla, Lives Off The Grid, Went To MIT->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Congressman Thomas Massie does things differently in the House, perhaps because his path to politics was pretty unique: He graduated from MIT with degrees in engineering, started a technology company, sold that company, and moved back to Kentucky with his wife, Rhonda, where they now live entirely off-the-grid on a cattle farm. He was elected in 2012 special election out of a seven-way primary in a heavily Republican district and has been the thorn in the side Boehner and his allies ever since.

That hasn’t stopped Democrats from believing that he’s sometimes their best option for getting their legislation through the House. Last June, Rep Lofgren convinced Massie to take on the role as lead sponsor of an amendment to a major defense bill that would to end so called “back door” searches by the NSA.

It’s incredibly unlikely some of Massie’s legislation — particularly his bill with Pocan to repeal the PATRIOT Act — would ever pass the House, let alone get through the Senate. But putting Massie’s name on a bill could have other benefits: Massie is able to tout the legislation in places Democrats won’t go.

Increasingly, in fact, Massie has become a go-to member of the Republican conference for Democratic members looking for a GOP member to sponsor legislation on everything from surveillance, to industrial hemp, to cell-phone unlocking legislation.

But his early opposition to surveillance programs have drawn him accolades from the Democratic side of the aisle, as has his willingness to buck his party leadership. And as the House and Senate attempt to re-authorize portions of the PATRIOT Act in the coming month, Massie plans on being at the center of that debate — again with a Democrat. He recently introducing a bill with Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan to repeal that 2001 law passed in the wake of 9/11 and overhaul many of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

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+ - Sea level rise on Northwest European Shelf caused by moon - not man

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: This recent (free-access) paper from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland uses a 160-year tidal gauge series from 26 stations in the Baltic Sea to show that the (global) sea level is completely governed by multi-decadal oscillations of the lunar cycle — superimposed on a unchanging and slow (1.2 mm/yr) sea level rise during that long period. The upside of studying the Baltic is that the daily tidal difference is very low in this region, which gives data with low noise. The final correlation coefficient with the lunar influence was 0.997, so not much room for anthropogenic global warming there.

The authors note in the end: "If our theory is correct and no unprecedented sea-level changing mechanism occurs during the ongoing nodal cycle, then the region’s ongoing sea-level rise (quasi-oscillatory rise since 1971) would be expected to culminate around 2011 and thereafter be falling. At the earliest, this prognosis can be empirically documented when the ongoing lunar nodal period is complete in 2020–21, i.e. within the next 6–7 years."

According to the Danish weekly ‘Weekendavisen’) the article was turned down by Nature, Nature Geoscience, Nature Climate, and the Nature-affiliated Earth Science Review before the authors turned to Journal of Coastal Research who happily accepted it. One of the authors, Jens Morten Hansen, believes the reason for Nature's rejection is that it does not fit with the IPCC political agenda.

+ - Which smartphone is stable these days?

Submitted by janimal
janimal writes: It used to be true that the iPhone was the smartphone that "just works". Ever since the 4S days, this has been true less and less with each generation. My wife's iPhone 6 needs to be restarted several times per week for things like internet search or making calls to work. An older 5S I'm using also doesn't consistently stream to Apple TV, doesn't display song names correctly on Apple TV and third party peripherals (like a Mercedes Benz). In short, the mainstay of Apple that is quality is fast receding. In your opinion, which smartphone brand these days is taking up the slack and delivering a fully featured smartphone that "just works"?

+ - Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: An archaeologist has discovered liquid mercury at the end of a tunnel beneath a Mexican pyramid, a finding that could suggest the existence of a kingâ(TM)s tomb or a ritual chamber far below one of the most ancient cities of the Americas.

Mexican researcher Sergio GÃmez announced on Friday that he had discovered âoelarge quantitiesâ of liquid mercury in a chamber below the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, the third largest pyramid of Teotihuacan, the ruined city in central Mexico.

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+ - Cosmic rays could reveal secrets of lightning on Earth->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Despite Benjamin Franklin's best efforts with a kite and a key, the phenomenon of lightning remains a scientific enigma. Now, researchers have developed a new tool that could help them solve some of lightning’s mysteries. By using cosmic rays, space-traveling particles that constantly rain down on our atmosphere, scientists report they can peek inside thunderstorms and measure their electric fields, helping them pinpoint the conditions that cause storms' electrical outbursts. The advance could help researchers predict more precisely when and where lightning is most likely to strike and get people out of harm's way in time.
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+ - Pull top can tab are now considered historic archeological artifacts-> 1

Submitted by kuhnto
kuhnto writes: A simple relic of 20th century life has taken on new meaning for archaeologists: The ring-tab beer can — first introduced 50 years ago — is now considered an historic-era artifact, a designation that bestows new significance on the old aluminum cans and their distinctive tabs that are still found across the country.
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+ - ICANN and the MPAA

Submitted by rs79
rs79 writes: There has been widespread dissatisfaction that ICANN has been co opted by Intellectual Property types and this revelation from the Wikileaks Sony Email archive sheds some light on the matter: "The MPAA will be actively participating and working with the ICANN steering committee and the US government to make the LA meeting a meaningful event".

https://wikileaks.org/sony/ema...

There are 36 other references to ICANN in the Sony emails which makes for a fascinating glimpse on how a media giant sees and treats the organization.

+ - DARPA Just Open Sourced All This Swish 'Dark Web' Search Tech->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Google appears to be an indomitable force. But, with today's release from the US military's research arm of its Memex search technologies and Europe's competition investigation into the Mountain View giant, it might be a propitious time for tech-minded entrepreneurs to start building a Google killer.

DARPA's Memex search technologies have garnered much interest due to their initial mainstream application: to uncover human trafficking operations taking place on the âoedark webâ, the catch-all term for the various internet networks the majority of people never use, such as Tor, Freenet and I2P. And a significant number of law enforcement agencies have inquired about using the technology. But Memex promises to be disruptive across both criminal and business worlds.

Christopher White, who leads the team of Memex partners, which includes members of the Tor Project, a handful of prestigious universities, NASA and research-focused private firms, tells FORBES the project is so ambitious in its scope, it wants to shake up a staid search industry controlled by a handful of companies: Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Putting those grandiose ideas into action, DARPA will today open source various components of Memex, allowing others to take the technologies and adapt them for their own use. As is noticeable from the list of technologies below, there's great possibility for highly-personalised search, whether for agents trying to bring down pedophiles or the next Silk Road , or anyone who wants a less generic web experience. Here's an exclusive look at who is helping DARPA build Memex and what they're making available on the Open Catalogue today

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+ - Intent To Deprecate HTTP -> 2

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk writes: A suggestion on the Mozilla Dev forum aims to deprecate HTTP in favour of HTTPS. Has it really come to this? Browser devs dictating the protocols we use? Of course, it is all in the name of freedom.
The basic idea is that HTTPS is more secure — it stops government agencies spying on what we do and it stops man-in-the-middle attacks. Hence there is a growing belief that all web traffic should be encrypted and hence the move to deprecate HTTP and phase out browser support for it.
The problem is that to use HTTPS you need to buy a certificate and this isn't cheap. The solution is to make use of a self-signed certificate which provides encryption but not authentication. At the moment this isn't an easy option, but initiatives like the EFF's Let's Encrypt promises a service that will provide free certificates with some automatic domain validation and a database of certificates. This is makes using "lightly validated" certificates a possibility, but at the moment browsers tend to put up warning messages when you encounter a website that has a self-signed certificate. This makes an HTTPS site using a self-signed certificate look more risky than an HTTP site that has no encryption at all!
This is a very complicated situation. It is clear that there are situations were HTTPS is essential and there are many situations were it is largely irrelevant and actually harmful.
Which to us is not a decision that should be left to browser developers.

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In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll

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