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Security

Submission + - $9 million ATM hacking ring busted (threatpost.com) 1

Trailrunner7 writes: U.S. and international prosecutors have taken down a criminal ring that they allege was responsible for an ATM scam last year that stole about $9 million from RBS WorldPay. The criminals were able to evade the company's encryption system used on payroll debit cards and withdraw money from ATMs in 280 cities around the world. A federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted eight men in connection with the scheme, including five Estonians, one Russian, one Moldovan and one unidentified man. Prosecutors allege that the men "used sophisticated hacking techniques" to defeat the company's encryption system. The scam, which hit RBS WorldPay last November, involved an elaborate plan in which the attackers first bypassed the encryption on the debit cards, which RBS WorldPay issues to customers for employee payroll purposes. They then raised the limits on the accounts attached to the cards.
The Courts

Submission + - Judge rules TorrentSpy destroyed evidence (arstechnica.com) 2

Come play kdice writes: "A federal judge has handed the MPAA a resounding victory in its copyright infringement lawsuit against TorrentSpy. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper entered a default judgment against Justin Bunnell and the rest of named defendants in Columbia Pictures et al. v. Justin Bunnell et al. after finding that TorrentSpy "engaged in widespread and systematic efforts to destroy evidence" and lying under oath about said destruction. After being sued, TorrentSpy mounted a vigorous defense, including a countersuit it filed against the MPAA in May 2006, but, behind the scenes, the court documents paint a picture of a company desperately trying to bury any and all incriminating evidence. TorrentSpy has announced its intention to appeal, but its conduct makes a reversal unlikely."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA protests Oregon AG discovery request (blogspot.com) 2

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA is apparently having an allergic reaction to the request by the State Attorney General of Oregon for information about the RIAA's investigative tactics, in Arista v. Does 1-17, the Portland, Oregon, case targeting students at the University of Oregon. See The Oregonian, December 1, 2007 ("UO suspects music industry of spying") and p2pnet, November 29, 2007 ("RIAA may be spying on students: Oregon AG"). Not only are the record companies opposing the request (pdf), they're asking the Judge not to even read it. (pdf)"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Time Warner 'traffic shapes' ircdig.com. (ircdig.com)

jomammy writes: "It seems that Time Warner has decided to implement 'Packet Shaping' for it's Road Runner broadband service, which has essentially blocked most server ports used by IRCDIG.COM for daily operation. Main one being of course HTTP port 80. They do this in an attempt to force people to pay more for certain packages that will unblock these ports. These packages have the same speed capabilities and same crappy service as the normal ones, they are just not 'shaped'."

Looks like Time Warner's questionable tactics have hit an ever increasingly popular irc search engine. I am surprised to learn that this site was hosted on a residential cable line. Will net neutrality ever be a reality in the states?

Privacy

Submission + - Ask.Com allows erasure, but what about backups? (businessweek.com)

JohnMurtari writes: "People seemed impressed when Ask.Com decided to allow users to delete their search history from their servers. I've seen articles which called this a great step forward for online privacy and a good marketing strategy for Ask.Com. I have just one question: "I assume Ask.Com has backup data, probably on magnetic tape and probably in remote locations for disaster recovery purposes. When does that get deleted?" Protection from government snooping — what about the backups?"
Privacy

Online Sex Offender Database Leads To Murder? 1001

nem75 writes "The LA Times reports on the story of Michael A. Dodele, a convicted rapist, found murdered in a Lakeport trailer park. He moved there after having been released from prison just 35 days before. A 29-year-old construction worker has been arrested in the attack, and explained that he killed Dodele to protect his son from child molestation. He found out on the internet about Dodele being a sex offender, via the 'Megan's Law' database. The public entry for Dodele in the database was wrong — though he was found guilty of committing crimes against adult women he was not a child molester. Dodele's entry in Megan's Law DB has been removed." Update: 12/11 15:51 GMT by Z : Moved link to non-reg article.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Rockstar win BBFC appeal

boot1973 writes: "Rockstar have won an appeal which forces the BBFC to look again at the ban that it issued against Manhunt 2 the BBC reports
FTA:
Developers Rockstar contested the ban at the Video Appeals Committee, which ruled in the firm's favour. The game could now go on sale, if the BBFC, which is "considering the judgement", takes no further action. In a statement, Rockstar said: "We are committed to making great interactive entertainment, while also marketing our products responsibly and supporting an effective rating system. "
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Ken Kutaragi to receive Lifetime Achievement Award (videogamesblogger.com)

Wowzer writes: The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS), has named Honorary Chairman and former President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Ken Kutaragi, the recipient of the coveted 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. From the article: 'Recognized internationally as the Father of PlayStation, Kutaragi will be honored for revolutionizing the global in-home entertainment market with the creation and monstrous success of the PlayStation computer entertainment systems. The original PlayStation which was launched in 1994 and the PlayStation 2 which launched in 2000 went on to become the most popular gaming system of the era, resulting in combined shipments of more than 230 million units worldwide.'
Cellphones

Submission + - Verizon to allow "any app, any device" (electronista.com)

JonathanF writes: "Looks like Verizon decided it was better to go with the flow and is opening up its network so that 'any' device or program can run on its cellular and Internet services. Of course, this being a major US carrier, they're not going to unlock their own cellphones — you'll have to roll with something you've bought separately instead. But at least Verizon will test devices to make sure they hold up. Hopefully this means that phones running Google Android will work on Verizon's network."
Portables

Submission + - OLPC "Give One, Get One" offer extended to

jc42 writes: The One Laptop Per Child program has extended its North American "Give One, Get One" program to the end of the year. It seems they've been deluged with orders, and are realizing that this thing could be very popular in the First World, too. My wife and I have ordered some as Xmas presents for children/grandchildren, since it seems to be the first computer aimed at kids that, as some reviewers comment, "isn't a toy". We're wondering if we should get some for ourselves, for our second childhood. We're both software developers who'd like to get our hands on this new GUI. Anyone else have any comments, pro or con? Have you ordered one? Why?
Privacy

Submission + - MPAA Toolkit Raises Privacy, Security Concerns

An anonymous reader writes: The Motion Picture Association of America last month sent letters to the presidents of 25 major universities, urging them to download and install a "university toolkit" to help identify students who were downloading/sharing movie files. The Washington Post's Security Fix blog reports that any university that installs the software could be placing a virtual wiretap on their networks for the MPAA and the rest of the world to listen in on all of the school's traffic. From the story: "The MPAA also claims that using the tool on a university network presents "no privacy issues — the content of traffic is never examined or displayed." That statement, however, is misleading. Here's why: The toolkit sets up an Apache Web server on the user's machine. It also automatically configures all of the data and graphs gathered about activity on the local network to be displayed on a Web page, complete with ntop-generated graphics showing not only bandwidth usage generated by each user on the network, but also the Internet address of every Web site each user has visited. Unless a school using the tool has firewalls on the borders of its network designed to block unsolicited Internet traffic — and a great many universities do not — that Web server is going to be visible and accessible by anyone with a Web browser.
Networking

Submission + - Decoding the Brain's Network of Neurons

Reservoir Hill writes: "New technologies that allow scientists to trace the fine wiring of the brain more accurately could soon generate a complete wiring diagram — including every tiny fiber and miniscule connection — of a piece of brain. "The brain is essentially a computer that wires itself up during development and can rewire itself," says Sebastian Seung, a computational neuroscientist at MIT. "If we have a wiring diagram of the brain, we might be able to understand how it works." With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Winfried Denk, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, has developed a new technique to make more fine-scaled wiring maps using electron microscopy. Starting with a small block of brain tissue, the researchers bounce electrons off the top of the block to generate a cross-sectional picture of the nerve fibers in that slice. They then take a very thin — 30-nanometer — slice off the top of the block and repeat the process going through slice by slice to trace the path of each nerve fiber. "Repeat this [process] thousands of times, and you can make your way through maybe the whole fly brain," says Denk. To speed the process, the researchers train an artificial neural network to emulate the human tracing process. To date, they've been able to speed the process about one hundred- to one thousand-fold."
Role Playing (Games)

EVE Online's First Quarterly Economics Report Published 80

The first quarterly report from EVE Online's very own economist has been released at the game's official site. GamesIndustry.biz has some comments from Dr. Guðmundsson on this first batch of numbers, exploring a bit of his methodology and the joys of working in EVE's closed environment: "Since life in Eve evolves at a faster pace than real life, we must use a so-called 'chained price index' rather than a representative basket. In real life, representative baskets are always used and in many cases the surveys for these baskets are done with very long time intervals. By looking at our results it is obvious how the fixed basket approach can overestimate the impact of price changes, just as predicted by theory. With consumer preferences changing faster now in real life than ever before (consumer electronics is a good example), this might be a lesson that could help us understand better changes in price levels and how we measure that outside virtual worlds."
Media

Submission + - Wall Street Journal opens up for DIGG 1

alek writes: "The New York Times recently dropped the pay-for-Select program, leaving the Wall Street Journal as the last major media company to charge for online news using a subscriber based model. However, they announced today a partnership with Digg that not only put the blue icon on every article, but "users clicking on a Wall Street Journal article link on Digg will be able to read that article for free on WSJ.com." My guess is they are keying off the referer to allow you behind the subscriber pay-wall.

While the WSJ may eventually remove their subscriber-only status (as Murdoch has implied), this speaks to the power of Digg and social networks in general in terms of attracting eyeballs. So when will Slashdot get the same arrangement?!? ;-)"

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