cold fjord writes with this snippet from The Guardian: "The high court has granted the Metropolitan police extended powers to investigate whether crimes related to terrorism and breaches of the Official Secrets Act have been committed following the seizure of data at Heathrow from David Miranda... At a hearing ... lawyers for Miranda said they had agreed to the terms of wider police powers to investigate a hard drive and memory sticks containing encrypted material that were seized on 18 August. Previously the inspection had been conducted on the narrower grounds of national security. Following the court ruling, the police will now be allowed to examine the material to investigate whether a crime of 'communication of material to an enemy' has been committed as well as possible crimes of communication of material about members of the military and intelligence services that could be useful to terrorists." Related: Reader hazeii writes "The BBC are reporting that the files seized from David Miranda (as a potential terrorist — see the earlier Slashdot story) 'endanger agents' lives.' Given that Miranda (and other Guardian journalists) seem to have been exceedingly careful not to release anything that could actually damage national security, and that the source of this information is a 'senior cabinet adviser,' one wonders what exactly the point of this 'news' is."
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New submitter hmilz writes "I've been using procmail for years to filter my incoming mail, and over time a long list of spam patterns was created. The good thing about the patterns is, there are practically no false positives, and practically no false negatives, i.e. I see each new spam exactly once, and lose no legit mail. This works by using an external spam-patterns file, containing one pattern per line, and running an 'egrep -F' against it. As simple as this is, with a long pattern list this becomes rather slow and CPU consuming. An average mail currently needs about 15 seconds to be grepped. In other words, this has become quite clumsy over time, and I would like to replace it by a more (CPU, hence energy) efficient method. I was thinking about a small indexed database or something. What would you recommend and use if you were me? Is sqlite something to look at?"
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Now, an EU-funded, £7.2 million ($11 million USD) collaborative project, called Strands, is underway in England to develop 4D, artificial intelligence for security and care applications. It aims to produce intelligent robo-sentinels that can patrol areas, and learn to detect abnormalities in human behavior. Could their project eventually replace security guards with robots? It looks possible. Strands, as Nick Hawes of the University of Birmingham said, will 'develop novel approaches to extract spatio-temporal structure from sensor data gathered during months of autonomous operation,' to develop intelligence that can then 'exploit [those] structures to yield adaptive behavior in highly demanding, real-world security and care scenarios.'"
First time accepted submitter ace37 writes "Microsoft says it plans to move ahead with a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government in June to affirm the right of businesses to disclose limited information about government demands for data made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In separate legal filings, Microsoft and Google challenged the gag order that typically accompanies FISA demands for customer data. The two companies asserted that they have a First Amendment right to publish the total number of FISA requests received and the total number of user accounts covered by such requests."
An anonymous reader writes "Today Apple announced the launch of a trade-in program for iPhones. Users will be able to send in their older devices and get credit toward new ones. The announcement precedes an event on Sept. 10th at which Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone model. The trade-in program is being managed by a company named Brightstar, with whom trade-in value maxes out at $336 for a 16GB iPhone 5. The 16GB iPhone 4S, 4, and 3GS max out at $221, $151, and $52, respectively. (The value drops depending on the device's condition, of course.) 'With its new program, Apple steps into a crowded field of competing programs offered by companies such as Gazelle, Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon and others, all of whom accept older iPhones for money. The broader market for used smartphones has been estimated to bring in as much as $5 billion in sales by 2015. With Apple participating as well, more smartphone users may opt for the trade-in option, and could potentially send that estimate even higher. Running its own program would give Apple a way to drive more iPhone sales within its own stores rather than seeing sales from carrier partners, and drive more traffic through its retail stores as well.'"
sciencehabit writes "In theory, so-called quantum cryptography provides a totally secure way of sending information. In practice, maybe not. But now physicists have demonstrated how to close a technological loophole that could have left secrets open to eavesdroppers. '[I]n 2010, an international team of researchers showed that [an attacker] could hack the system by exploiting a weakness in the so-called avalanche photodiodes (APDs) used to detect the individual photons. The problem is that APDs react differently to intense pulses of light than they do to single photons, so that the energy of the pulse must exceed a threshold to register a hit. As a result, all [the attacker] has to do is intercept the single photons, make her best-guess measurements of their polarizations, and send her answers off to Bob as new, brighter pulses. ... Last year, physicist Hoi-Kwong Lo at the University of Toronto and colleagues claimed to find a way around the problem. In the new protocol, Alice and Bob would begin the creation of a quantum key by sending randomly polarized signals to Charlie, a third party. Charlie would measure the signals to determine not their actual polarization, but only whether the polarizations were at right angles. ... Now, in papers in press at Physical Review Letters, two independent groups of physicists have shown that the new protocol works.'"
New submitter MickyTheIdiot writes "The Jurist reports: 'A judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon ruled Wednesday (PDF) that those placed on the U.S. government's no-fly list have 'a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the No Fly List.' The plaintiffs in the case are 13 U.S. citizens who were denied boarding on flights over U.S. airspace after January 2009.' Judge Anna Brown hasn't ruled on the constitutionality of the No Fly List yet, and has instructed the attorneys involved to present a roadmap for deciding the remaining issues. However, she has acknowledged that the No Fly List is a major burden to those on the list and they have the right to get that status reviewed."
Dave_Minsky writes "The small indigenous village of Villa Talea de Castro (pop. 2,500) in the state of Oaxaca is showing the world that it doesn't have to rely on major cellular telecommunications providers for service. With the help from indigenous groups, civil organizations and universities, village residents put up an antenna on a rooftop, installed radio and computer equipment, and created its own micro provider called Red Celular de Talea. Service costs only 15 pesos ($1.2) per month and a few pennies per minute to make calls to the United States. However, there is one catch: calls are limited to a maximum of five minutes to prevent saturation of lines."
mspohr writes "The Guardian has an article by Charles Arthur who predicted over two years ago that Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion was 'a gamble unlikely to pay off.' Arthur has penned a followup providing a fairly detailed analysis of his original criticism (he was wrong about some parts), an update on Skype performance, and a conclusion that it's not as bad as some of the other acquisitions. 'Skype, the company points out, now connects directly into Office 365, Xbox, Windows 8, Bing, Microsoft Messenger, Windows Phone and Lync, its business-oriented VOIP solution, and soon into Outlook.com for everyone. ... Certainly, integration of Skype into all those offerings is what the purchase should have been about. And it does look as though Microsoft has pulled it off. ... But has it pulled off $8.5B worth of integration?'"
ananyo writes "In 2011, Romania took a step towards changing its cronyism-ridden research landscape by allocating government grants for science solely on the basis of performance. In 2012, a new government eliminated those rules, then slashed science funding — and since then things have gotten a whole lot worse. The entire National Research Council, Romania's main research-funding agency, has resigned in protest and 900 scientists signed a petition addressed to Prime Minister Victor Ponta, demanding that the research budget and quality control be restored. Ponta himself unfortunately has been accused of academic plagiarism so seems an unlikely figure to address corruption in the scientific establishment. The new science minister, Ecaterina Andronescu, is experienced — she's held the post twice before and is a rector at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest. But she's already reversed conflict of interest rules brought in by the previous government that were designed to end cronyism. And no wonder — they would have meant that she couldn't be science minister and run a university at the same time. Oh, she has also been accused of plagiarism."
waderoush writes "What do Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Oracle, LinkedIn, and Intuit have in common? They're just a few of the tech companies whose campuses alongside San Francisco Bay could be underwater by mid-century as sea levels rise. It's time for these organizations and other innovators to put some of their fabled brainpower into coming up with new ideas to counter the threat, Xconomy argues today. One idea: the Golden Gate Barrage, a massive system of dams, locks, and pumps located in the shadow of the iconic bridge. Taller than the Three Gorges Dam in China, it would be one of the largest and costliest projects in the history of civil engineering. But at least one Bay Area government official says might turn out to be the simplest way to save hundreds of square miles of land around the bay from inundation."
Zothecula writes "NASA took the metaphorical training wheels off the Mars rover Curiosity on Tuesday, as the unmanned explorer took its first drive using autonomous navigation. It used its onboard cameras and software to select and drive over an area of ground that mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California couldn't see and vet beforehand. This capability allows the nuclear-powered rover to negotiate the most direct route to Mount Sharp rather than having to detour to find routes that can be seen directly by Curiosity before entering, so they can be analyzed by mission control."
hypnosec writes "The Government of India is planning to ban the use of U.S.-based email services like Gmail for official communications. It will soon send out a formal notification to it half-million officials across the country, asking them to use official email addresses and services provided by India's National Informatics Center. The move is intended to increase the security of confidential government data and protect it from overseas surveillance."
An anonymous reader writes "Last night the €500,000 INDEX: Award was awarded to five designs that can improve life for millions of people around the world. The winners include high-tech highways that light up at night, the $25 Raspberry Pi computer, a simple piece of paper that can cut food waste by extending the life of fresh produce by 2-4 weeks, and a plan for adapting to climate change."
Dawn Kawamoto writes "Sometimes, making more money is not enough. Just ask Salesforce.com. The SaaS company announced it would cut 200 jobs, during its second quarter earnings call. The cuts are coming, despite the company raising its revenue forecast for its fiscal year. Salesforce.com says it's initiating the cuts to reduce overlapping roles and to (you guessed it) gain 'synergy', following its effort to meld its cloud marketing platform company ExactTarget with its social media market suite Marketing Cloud. And apparently this isn't the first time Salesforce has tried to squeeze out those nebulous 'synergies.' It reportedly cut 100 jobs in October, when it merged its social media platform companies Radian6 and Buddy Media."
The launch of the new SimCity back in March made headlines for the problems caused by the game's always-online DRM. EA Maxis even decided that people who bought the game early deserved a free game for their trouble. They also decided to postpone the launch of the Mac version of the game. Well, the delay is over; SimCity has arrived for Macs, and players are now facing a whole new set of installation and launch problems. "Those issues include a 'mutexAlert' error, which can be resolved by switching the OS to English. Another simply doesn't allow a player to install the game once downloaded. The suggested solution for that is to re-install Origin and opt in to the new Beta version. The game also apparently doesn't currently support Mac OS X 10.7.4 nor the upcoming 10.9 beta release." There are also reports that the game won't function on high-resolution display settings.
Lasrick writes "The Japan Times has an opinion piece about the seriousness of the situation at Fukushima and the incompetence of Tepco. The article makes the case that it's time for the Japanese government to step in and take control of the plant to facilitate clean-up. Quoting: 'Japan has been very lucky that nothing worse has occurred at the plant. But luck eventually runs out. The longer Tepco stays in charge of the decommissioning process, the worse the odds become. Without downplaying the seriousness of leaks and the other setbacks at the plant, it is important to recognize that things could very quickly get much worse. In November, Tepco plans to begin the delicate operation of removing spent fuel from Reactor No. 4. There are 1,300 used fuel rod assemblies in a pool above the reactor. They weigh a total of 400 tons, and contain radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The spent-fuel pool, standing 18 meters above ground, was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami and is in a deteriorating condition. It remains vulnerable to any further shocks, and is also at risk from ground liquefaction. Removing its spent fuel, which contains deadly plutonium, is an urgent task.'"
Lucas123 writes "Anticipating it will make a 'big splash,' Intel is planning to release an product late this year or very early next that will allow users to 'overclock' solid-state drives. The overclocking capability is expected to allow users to tweak the percentage of an SSD's capacity that's used for data compression. At its Intel Developers Forum next month in San Francisco, Intel has scheduled an information session on overclocking SSDs. The IDF session is aimed at system manufacturers and developers as well as do-it-yourself enthusiasts, such as gamers. 'We've debated how people would use it. I think the cool factor is somewhat high on this, but we don't see it changing the macro-level environment. But, as far as being a trendsetter, it has potential,' said Intel spokesman Alan Frost. Michael Yang, a principal analyst with IHS Research, said the product Intel plans to release could be the next evolution of SandForce controller, 'user definable and [with the] ability to allocate specified size on the SSD. Interesting, but we will have to see how much performance and capacity [it has] over existing solutions,' Yang said in an email reply to Computerworld."
AlbanX writes in with this story about Paypal's use of OpenStack. "PayPal's IT team has taken control of its technology release cycle by shifting key components of its IT infrastructure onto OpenStack. For PayPal, the decision to use components of OpenStack was based around speed to market. It allows the payments provider to untether its release cycle from those of vendor partners. 'PayPal has not historically been known for its fast reactions,' PayPal senior engineer Scott Carlson conceded to attendees at the VMworld conference in San Francisco this week. 'It has taken us six to nine months sometimes to react to our competitors.'"
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Kelihos, the peer-to-peer botnet with nine lives, keeps popping up with new capabilities that enable it to sustain itself and make money for its keepers by pushing spam, harvesting credentials and even stealing Bitcoins. According to a number of sources, Kelihos is now leveraging legitimate and freely available security services that manage composite blocking lists (CBLs) to determine if a potential victim's IP address has previously been flagged as a spam source or as a proxy."
MarkWhittington writes "Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famous astrophysicist and media personality, offered something of a reality check on the potential of commercial enterprises to open the space frontier without the aid of government. Specifically referencing SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk's boast that he would establish a Mars colony, Tyson said on a recent video podcast, 'It's not possible. Space is dangerous. It's expensive. There are unquantified risks. Combine all of those under one umbrella; you cannot establish a free market capitalization of that enterprise.'"