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Security

+ - The iPhone SMS Hack Explained

Submitted by GhostX9
GhostX9 (1525571) writes "Tom's Hardware just interviewed Charlie Miller, the man behind the iPhone remote exploit hack and winner of Pwn2Own 2009. He explains the (now patched) bug in the iPhone which allowed him to remotely exploit the iPhone in detail, explaining how the string concatenation code was flawed. The most surprising thing was that the bug could be traced back to several previous generation of iPhone OS's (he stopped testing at version 2.2). He also talks about the failures of other devices such as crashing HTC's Touch by sending a SMS with "%n" in the text."
Games

Early Reviews Reflect Well On Mirror's Edge 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the faith-is-rewarded dept.
The much-anticipated first person non-shooter Mirror's Edge is being released today for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Reviews for the game, while not without complaints, are generally positive. 1Up praises the controls, saying, "It gets things very right very early, distilling its first-person platformer ambitions into a very manageable control scheme. ... Once you're familiar with Faith's abilities and their limitations — imparted through a much-needed tutorial — it's easy to see potential routes through the world." Ars Technica is more critical, noting that the main story's gameplay only clocks in at about six hours, and that the artistic style doesn't vary much between levels. Nick Channon, a producer for Mirror's Edge, sat down with Gamasutra and discussed the reasoning for some of their design choices. The PC version of Mirror's Edge and some additional downloadable content will be available in January.
Image

Identifying People By Odor As Effective As Fingerprinting 157

Posted by samzenpus
from the can-you-smell-me-now dept.
A study has found that everybody has a unique body odor, like their fingerprints, that could be used as an unique identifier. The study showed that a persons unique odor stayed the same even if they varied their diet with strong smelling foods such as garlic and spices. "These findings indicate that biologically-based odorprints, like fingerprints, could be a reliable way to identify individuals," said Monell chemist Jae Kwak. I would have thought that hundreds of years of dogs tracking people would have proved this, but it's nice to know that science has figured it out officially now.
Software

+ - Open standards proposed as compulsory in Norway

Submitted by
Norwegian Anonymous Coward
Norwegian Anonymous Coward writes "In Norway a standards committee appointed by the government has proposed open standards in documents and web pages presented to the public by state and municipalities. In short, they want to make usage of PDF and ODF compulsory for document file types, and the character set ISO/IEC 10646, represented by UTF-8 for web pages. The minister overlooking usage of IT in government, Heidi Grande Røys, says that citizens should not have to rely on software from one supplier (Micros...) only when interacting with Norwegian autorities.

The documents are in Norwegian.

The IT-minister interviewed by Dagbladet (Norwegian newspaper) http://www.dagbladet.no/dinside/2007/05/11/500391. html

Proposal from the committee:
http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/fad/dok/Horinger/ Horingsdokumenter/2007/Horing — ODF.html?id=466498 "
Communications

+ - RIM make Blackberry software available

Submitted by
Jack Small
Jack Small writes "The BBC is reporting that Research In Motion (RIM) will be making software available that will allow other mobile devices to work as Blackberries, this is currently limited to those devices running Windows Mobile 6.0. While this announcement must have been some time in the planning, it must surely help deflect some of the bad PR resulting from the recent downtime. RIM's press release can be found here."
Businesses

+ - Whatever happened to superconductors?

Submitted by
AltGrendel
AltGrendel writes "Jonathan Fildes of the BBC wrote that 'In 1987, Ronald Reagan declared that the US was about to enter an incredible new era of technology. Levitating high-speed trains, super-efficient power generators and ultra-powerful supercomputers would become commonplace thanks to a new breed of materials known as high temperature superconductors (HTSC). "The breakthroughs in superconductivity bring us to the threshold of a new age," said the president. "It's our task to herald in that new age with a rush."

But 20 years on, the new world does not seem to have arrived. So what happened?'

He shares what he found in this article."
Security

+ - WordPress download site cracked

Submitted by JavaRob
JavaRob (28971) writes "From the WordPress development blog: "If you downloaded WordPress 2.1.1 within the past 3-4 days, your files may include a security exploit that was added by a cracker, and you should upgrade all of your files to 2.1.2 immediately."

Fortunately, they got a tipoff, but it's not clear how long the altered download (the cracker altered a couple of files to add in remote execution capabilities) would have stayed up otherwise.

Note: the cracker did not sneak in code by posing as an OSS developer (the common FUD scare scenario...); they just managed to crack one of the site's servers, and altered the download directly.

Apparently, WordPress has taken steps to ensure it doesn't happen again. Personally, I'm wondering about ways browsers and/or operating systems might be improved to automate checksum validation for downloaded executables."

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