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+ - Mystery of the coldest spot in the CMB solved

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern of overdensities and underdensities in the very early stages of the Universe. It’s fluctuations just like these that give rise to the stars, galaxies, groups and clusters that exist today, as well as the voids in the vast cosmic web. But effects at the surface of last scattering are not the only ones that affect the CMB’s temperature; if we want to make sure we’ve got an accurate map of what the Universe was born with, we have to take everything into account, including the effects of matter as it gravitationally grows and shrinks. As we do exactly this, we find ourselves discovering the causes behind the biggest anomalies in the sky, and it turns out that the standard cosmological model can explain it all.

Engadget: Portland unbans UberX->

From feed by feedfeeder
Citing violations of its hired transportation rules, the city of Portland, OR sued Uber last December and temporarily halted the ridesharing company's operations within city limits. Now, after months of haggling with civic and community leaders, Uber...
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft continues earning money from Linux -- increases patent licensing agree-> 1

Submitted by BrianFagioli
BrianFagioli writes: Many people — let's call them 'haters' — like to make fun of Microsoft's mobile market share with Windows Phone. True, the platform is a failure in this regard, but many users of the OS like it. Quite frankly, besides the lack of apps, Windows Phone is a rather smart and well-designed operating system.

If you choose to laugh at Microsoft over its mobile presence, feel free, but please know that Microsoft is laughing too; all the way to the bank. What you may not know is, Microsoft makes money from Android handset sales thanks to its patent portfolio. In fact, it also collects money from Chromebooks too. In other words, Microsoft is profiting from Linux, since both operating systems are based on the kernel. Today, Microsoft increases its number of patent licensing agreements, by making a deal with Qisda Corp.

Link to Original Source

+ - Buggy Win 95 code almost wrecked Stuxnet campaign->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity writes: Super-worm Stuxnet could have blown its cover and failed its sabotage mission due to a bug that allowed it to spread to ancient Windows boxes, malware analysts say. Stuxnet was on the brink of failure thanks to buggy code allowing it to spread to PCs running older and unsupported versions of Windows, and probably causing them to crash as a result. Those blue screens of death would have raised suspicions at the Natanz nuclear lab.
Link to Original Source

+ - Cops leaned me over 18th floor balcony to get my password->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: If you want access to encrypted data on a drug dealer's digital device, you might try to break the crypto—or you might just try to break the man.

According to testimony from a police corruption trial currently roiling the city of Philadelphia, officers from an undercover drug squad took the latter route back in November 2007. After arresting their suspect, Michael Cascioli, in the hallway outside his 18th floor apartment, the officers took Cascioli back inside. Although they lacked a search warrant, the cops searched Cascioli's rooms anyway. According to a federal indictment (PDF), the officers "repeatedly assaulted and threatened [Cascioli] during the search to obtain information about the location of money, drugs, and drug suppliers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Random generator parodies vapid startup websites->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg writes: A pair of Georgia Tech computer science students have created a Random Startup Website Generator http://tiffzhang.com/startup/ that spits out a different jargon-laden startup website every time you click on the URL. Mike Bradley and Tiffany Zhang's random startup website generator "serves as a parody of startups that have websites full of vague praise and little information about their actual business, often because they have little to show in that regard."
Link to Original Source

+ - Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network.

Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake.

This is also happening in the UK where Sky’s blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy.

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft Opens Vulnerability Bounty Program for Spartan Browser

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: As it did in the past when it tried to make Internet Explorer more secure, Microsoft has launched a new bug bounty program for Spartan browser, the default application of Windows 10 for surfing the information highway. A typical remote code execution flaw can bring between $1,500 and $15,000, and for the top payment you also need to provide a functioning exploit. The company says that it could pay even more than that, if you convince the jury on the entry quality and complexity. Sandbox escape vulnerabilities with Enhanced Protected Mode enabled, important or higher severity vulnerabilities in Spartan or its engine, and ASLR info disclosure vulnerabilities are also eligible. If you want to accept the challenge, Microsoft provides more information on how to participate.

+ - NSA QUANTUMINSERT attack PCAP examples->

Submitted by Jason Walls
Jason Walls writes: The folks over at Fox-IT did an in-depth analysis of one of the NSA's QUANTUM techniques, dubbed INSERT, which take advantage of a long-known TCP vulnerability. The long and short of it:

"The injection is done by observing HTTP requests by means of eavesdropping on network traffic. When an interesting target is observed, another device, the shooter, is tipped to send a spoofed TCP packet... For the attack to succeed the packet injected by the shooter has to arrive at the target before the ‘real’ response of the webserver. By exploiting this speed difference or race condition, one can impersonate the webserver."

For the packet capture savvy, Fox-IT also published some pcaps which they have shared with CloudShark (link takes you to the CloudShark summary entry on the attack that links to the annotated pcaps) and made a quick video explaining how it works.
Link to Original Source

+ - 3D display without the need for 3D glasses

Submitted by Qualitypointtech
Qualitypointtech writes: Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have shown the capacity of a technique using graphene oxide and complex laser physics to create a pop-up floating display without the need for 3D glasses.At this moment, the demonstrated graphene 3D display can only allow images up to 1cm. But there is no limitation for the up scalability of this technique.This new generation floating 3D display technology also has potential applications for military devices, entertainment, remote education and medical diagnosis. In a paper, published in Nature Communications, they show how their technology realises wide viewing-angle and full-color floating 3D display in graphene based materials.

+ - Bees prefer nectar laced with Neonicotinoids->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine

Neonicotinoids kill insect by overwhelming and short-circuting the insects' central nervous system (See http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/V... )

Shell and Bayer started the development of Neonicotinoids back in the 1980's and 1990's

Since this new group of pesticide came to the market the bee population have been seriously devastated in regions where the pesticide are been widely used

In 2008 neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impacts starting in Germany

In 2012, studies have shown that neonicotinoid uses are linked to crash of bee population (See http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_new... )

New studies, however, have discovered that bees prefer nectars that are laced with neonicotinoids, over nectars that are free of any trace of neonicotinoids (See http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo... )

According to researchers at Newcastle University the bees may "get a buzz" from the nicotine-like chemicals in the same way smokers crave cigarettes

BBC also covers this case (See http://www.bbc.com/news/scienc... )

Link to Original Source

+ - NVIDIA Quadro M6000 12GB Maxwell Workstation Graphics Tested Showing Solid Gains->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU architecture has has been well-received in the gaming world, thanks to cards like the GeForce GTX Titan X and the GeForce GTX 980. NVIDIA recently took time to bring that same Maxwell goodness over the workstation market as well and the result is the new Quadro M6000, NVIDIA's new highest-end workstation platform. Like the Titan X, the M6000 is based on the full-fat version of the Maxwell GPU, the G200. Also, like the GeForce GTX Titan X, the Quadro M6000 has 12GB of GDDR5, 3072 GPU cores, 192 texture units (TMUs), and 96 render outputs (ROPs). NVIDIA has said that the M6000 will beat out their previous gen Quadro K6000 in a significant way in pro workstation applications as well as GPGPU or rendering and encoding applications that can be GPU-accelerated. One thing that's changed with the launch of the M6000 is that AMD no longer trades shots with NVIDIA for the top pro graphics performance spot. Last time around, there were some benchmarks that still favored team red. Now, the NVIDIA Quadro M6000 puts up pretty much a clean sweep.
Link to Original Source

+ - Music Industry Argues Works Entering Public Domain Are Not in Public Interest->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: With news that Canada intends to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performers, the recording industry is now pushing the change by arguing that works entering the public domain is not in the public interest. It is hard to see how anyone can credibly claim that works are "lost" to the public domain and that the public interest in not served by increased public access, but if anyone would make the claim, it would be the recording industry.
Link to Original Source

+ - Researcher Discloses Methods For Bypassing All OS X Security Protections

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 writes: For years, Apple has enjoyed a pretty good reputation among users for the security of its products. That halo has been enhanced by the addition of new security features such as Gatekeeper and XProtect to OS X recently, but one researcher said that all of those protections are simple to bypass and gaining persistence on a Mac as an attacker isn’t much of a challenge at all.

Gatekeeper is one of the key technologies that Apple uses to prevent malware from running on OS X machines. It gives users the ability to restrict which applications can run on their machines by choosiing to only allow apps from the Mac App Store. With that setting in play, only signed, legitimate apps should be able to run on the machine. But Patrick Wardle, director of research at Synack, said that getting around that restriction is trivial.

“Gatekeeper doesn’t verify an extra content in the apps. So if I can find an Apple-approved app and get it to load external content, when the user runs it, it will bypass Gatekeeper,” Wardle said in a talk at the RSA Conference here Thursday. “It only verifies the app bundle.”

“If Macs were totally secure, I wouldn’t be here talking,” Wardle said. “It’s trivial for any attacker to bypass the security tools on Macs.”

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