sciencehabit writes "Scientists have sequenced the oldest genome to date—and shaken up the horse family tree in the process. Ancient DNA derived from a horse fossil that's between 560,000 and 780,000 years old suggests that all living equids—members of the family that includes horses, donkeys, and zebras—shared a common ancestor that lived at least 4 million years ago, approximately 2 million years earlier than most previous estimates. The discovery offers new insights into equine evolution and raises the prospect of recovering and exploring older DNA than previously thought possible."
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wiredmikey writes "Norwegian browser maker Opera Software has confirmed that a targeted internal network infrastructure attack led to the theft of a code signing certificate that was used to sign malware. 'The current evidence suggests a limited impact. The attackers were able to obtain at least one old and expired Opera code signing certificate, which they have used to sign some malware. This has allowed them to distribute malicious software which incorrectly appears to have been published by Opera Software, or appears to be the Opera browser,' Opera warned in a brief advisory. The Opera breach signals a growing shift by organized hacking groups to target the internal infrastructure network at big companies that provide client side software to millions of end users."
An anonymous reader writes "The head of Google's webspam team, Matt Cutts, has blogged about one of his colleagues receiving an email offering SEO services to help the web site www.google.com. The irony wasn't lost on Matt, who has blogged about these emails before. As this article points out, if ever there was evidence that the people who send many of these emails haven't done their homework, this is it."
ilikenwf writes "Todd Fischer, the man behind this iconic prop from WarGames, the movie that spawned countless hackers, has come forward recently to announce its sale in the near future. Interestingly enough, the IMSAI 8080 still works, although the disk drive was damaged in shipping after the movie's conclusion, and was trashed."
Sabine Hauert writes "According to robotics researcher Simone Schürle from ETH Zurich's Multi-Scale Robotics Lab (MSRL), the OctoMag is a magnetic manipulation system that uses electromagnetic coils to wirelessly guide micro-robots for ophthalmic surgery. With this system, mobility experiments were conducted in which a micro-robot with a diameter of 285 um (about four times the width of a hair) was navigated reliably through the eye of a rabbit, demonstrating the feasibility of using this technology in surgical applications."
puddingebola writes "John Morris at CNET offers a brief review of PC Android devices, many of them hybrids running Windows 8 and Android. From the article, 'Microsoft has spent a lot of time and effort trying to get Windows onto smartphones and tablets — so far without a whole lot to show for it. Now several PC companies are trying the opposite approach, taking the Android operating system and porting it to PCs.' The article reviews the recent releases from HP, Acer, Asus, and Samsung. Does Android creeping onto desktop or 'traditional' PC devices have any kind of possible long term consequences? Could this be a way for Android and Google to develop a larger presence in corporate IT, or could Android ever really supplant the Windows foothold?"
astroengine writes "When it comes to forming planets, Mother Nature isn't very picky. Despite horrific conditions inside densely packed open clusters, stars apparently have no problem forming and hanging on to an orbital brood. That's the conclusion from a new study (abstract) that used data collected by NASA's now-dormant Kepler space telescope to hunt for planets in a one-billion-year old open cluster called NGC 6811, a collection of about 70 stars located about 3,400 light years away in the constellation Cygnus."
tsu doh nimh writes "If you use Gmail and have ever wondered how much your account might be worth to cyber thieves, have a look at Cloudsweeper, a new OAuth service launching this week that tries to price the value of your Gmail address based on the number of retail accounts you have tied to it and the current resale value of those accounts in the underground. From KrebsOnSecurity: 'The brainchild of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Cloudsweeperâ(TM)s account theft audit tool scans your inbox and presents a breakdown of how many accounts connected to that address an attacker could seize if he gained access to your Gmail. Cloudsweeper then tries to put an aggregate price tag on your inbox, a figure thatâ(TM)s computed by totaling the resale value of other account credentials that crooks can steal if they hijack your email.'" A recent report from Kaspersky (PDF) also highlighted the trend toward phishing attepts targeting Facebook, Google, and Yahoo accounts alongside bank accounts.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft launched the preview version of Windows 8.1 at the company's Build conference in San Francisco and early signs show that Microsoft heard the criticisms, and has responded with improvements. The new OS includes a number of changes starting with the return of the Start button and the ability to boot directly to the desktop. However, Microsoft hasn't given up on making the new-style tile and full-screen more usable for all users. If anything, the tile-based Start screen has gotten more flexible, with new smaller and larger tile options. Windows 8.1 also drastically improves built-in search, SkyDrive cloud syncing, mail and Microsoft Music." Microsoft also released a preview of Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1, and there's a program that will give developers early access to the PC version of the Kinect sensor. Other tidbits: Windows 8.1 will use a standard driver model for 3-D printers, and it's getting better support for both high-res displays and using multiple displays with different resolutions.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google is adding data about malware to its Transparency Report. For the past seven years, the search-engine giant has offered a Safe Browsing program that warns Web-surfers about unsafe Websites (i.e., those loaded with malware or phishing scams). The new section of the Transparency Report will show how many people see those Safe Browsing warnings on a weekly basis, along with other malware-related tidbits, including Webmaster response times to threats and Website reinfection rates. The data includes malware distribution by autonomous systems, which are one (or more) networks controlled by a single entity such as a university or ISP. 'This data is part of our effort to support a safer and more secure web,' read Google's explanatory note in the Report. 'By sharing information from our scans, we hope to encourage cooperation among those who battle malware.' Google takes all that autonomous system data and breaks it down by country. For example, of the 31 million Websites in the United States scanned by Google, roughly 2 percent host malware. In other words, this data just reinforces what pretty much everybody knows: it's not a safe Internet out there."
gnujoshua writes "The Internet Hall of Fame inducted 32 new members, today. This years class had a number of 'policy innovators' and activists including Aaron Swartz (posthumous), John Perry Barlow, Jimmy Wales, and Richard M. Stallman. Stallman had this to say upon his induction: 'Now that we have made the Internet work, the next task is to stop it from being a platform for massive surveillance, and make it work in a way that respects human rights, including privacy.'"
An anonymous reader writes "AMD's open-source developer has posted an incredible set of 165 patches against the Linux kernel that provide support for a few major features to their Linux graphics driver. Namely, the open-source Radeon Linux driver now supports dynamic power management on hardware going back to the Radeon HD 2000 (R600) generation. The inability to re-clock the GPU frequencies and voltages dynamically based upon load has been a major limiting factor for open-source AMD users where laptops have been warm and there is diminished battery power. The patches also provide basic support for the AMD Radeon HD 8000 'Sea Islands' graphics processors on their open-source Linux driver."
colinneagle writes "If you use the Z-Wave wireless protocol for home automation then you might prepare to have your warm, fuzzy, happiness bubble burst; there will be several presentations about attacking the automated house at the upcoming Las Vegas hackers' conferences Black Hat USA 2013 and Def Con 21. For example, CEDIA IT Task force member Bjorn Jensen said, 'Today, I could scan for open ports on the Web used by a known control system, find them, get in and wreak havoc on somebody's home. I could turn off lights, mess with HVAC systems, blow speakers, unlock doors, disarm alarm systems and worse.' Among other things, the hacking Z-Wave synopsis adds, 'Zigbee and Z-wave wireless communication protocols are the most common used RF technology in home automation systems...An open source implementation of the Z-wave protocol stack, openzwave, is available but it does not support the encryption part as of yet. Our talk will show how the Z-Wave protocol can be subjected to attacks.'"
wiredmikey writes "Security response personnel at HP are 'actively working on a fix' for a potentially dangerous backdoor in older versions of its StoreOnce backup product line. The company's confirmation of what it describes as a 'potential security issue' follows the public disclosure that malicious hackers can use SSH access to perform full remote compromise of HP's StoreOnce backup systems. The SHA1 hash for the password was also published, putting pressure on HP to get a fix ready for affected customers. SecurityWeek has confirmed that it is relatively trivial to brute-force the hash to obtain the seven-character password. The HP StoreOnce product, previously known as HP D2D, provides disk backup and recovery to small- to midsize businesses, large enterprises, remote offices and cloud service providers."