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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Surface Release Date Confirmed (pctechtalk.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has announced an October 26 release date for it's brand new Surface tablet. The release of it's ARM version will conincide with Windows 8 and is set to be either the start of something great or something worrying for Microsoft.
Surface is the first device of it kind to be manufactured by Microsoft and is seen by many as a risk considering the tech giant is only entering the tablet arena some 2 years later that most of it's competitiors.

The new device will run Windows 8 which has been aimed mostly at the touch market. The new OS has also be generating a lot of press recently. The all new interface represents new ground for Microsoft and has received mixed reactions.

The idea of blending a tablet and PC operating system seems to be the biggest issue along with the company's trandemark Start menu disappearing.

The firm recently showed off Office 2013for the new OS and it is safe to say it looks pretty good, whether it is enough to tempt users to upgrade remains to be seen.

No pricing has been announced for Surface yet, but Microsoft has been reassuring fans it will be a "competitive" with other tablets.

Security

Submission + - Researcher creates proof-of-concept malware that infects BIOS, network cards (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Security researcher Jonathan Brossard has created a proof-of-concept hardware backdoor called Rakshasa that replaces a computer's BIOS and can compromise the operating system at boot time without leaving traces on the hard drive. Brossard, who is CEO and security research engineer at French security company Toucan System, demonstrated how the malware works at the Defcon hacker conference over the weekend. Rakshasa, named after a demon from the Hindu mythology, is not the first malware to target the BIOS — the low-level motherboard firmware that initializes other hardware components. However, it differentiates itself from similar threats by using new tricks to achieve persistency and evade detection.
Medicine

Submission + - First map of the human brain reveals a simple, grid-like structure (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "In an astonishing new study, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have imaged human and monkey brains and found... well, the brain is basically just a huge collection of computer ribbons, traveling parallel or perpendicular or transverse to each other in a huge 3D grid. There are almost zero diagonals, nor single neurons that stray from the neuronal highways. The human brain is just one big grid of neurons — a lot like the streets of Manhattan, minus Broadway, and then projected into three dimensions. This new imagery comes from an MRI scanner, souped up by the Human Connectome Project, that uses diffusion spectrum imaging to detect the movement of water molecules within axons (the long connections made by neurons). The brain has always been very difficult to image because of the wrinkly nature of the cerebral cortex that surrounds the brain — but this new MRI scanner finally has the ability to peer through the folds."
Facebook

Submission + - OS X Mountain Lion Downloaded 3 Million Times In Four Days (gizmodo.com.au)

lukehopewell1 writes: In just four short days, 3 million Apple users around the world have shelled out their $US20.99 to get a copy of Mountain Lion. That makes Mountain Lion the most successful OS release in Apple's history. Thanks to the record, Apple is promising goodies.

Many were disappointed however about the lack of Facebook integration with Mountain Lion, especially in the nifty Notification Center bar. Apple's now pledging in its public statements that Facebook integration will arrive soon as a software update.

Facebook

Submission + - Data Commissioner protects Facebook privacy by ending discussion - via SMS (europe-v-facebook.org)

cheros writes: Just in case you thought you had ANY rights to privacy protected by Facebook having a site in Ireland, you may want to read the latest update of Europe versus Facebook where the Commissioner apparently ended the discussion via SMS.

For more than a year we have been 'engaged' in the proceeding against Facebook before the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC). Now we experienced a more than surprising move by the authority (ODPC): Via a text message (!) we were told that the authority is not planning to talk to us anymore, despite the fact that we are parties of the biggest proceeding the DPC has ever had on his table... It is now unclear how we will overcome this situation.

Streisand Effect in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

Security

Submission + - Tracking Chinese Cyber-Espionage Botnets (krebsonsecurity.com)

wiredog writes: From Brian Krebs, reporting on a large scale Chinese cyber-espionage operation:

the infrastructure that frames these these spy machines generally points in one of two directions: one group’s infrastructure points back to Shanghai, the other to Beijing.

“There have to be hundreds of people involved, just to maintain this amount of infrastructure and this much activity and this many spear phishes, collecting so many documents, and writing this much malware,” Stewart said


Encryption

Submission + - Tools Released at Def Con Cracks PPTP Encryption in under a day (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Defcon is seeing some amazing hacking revelations, the latest one being a new tool that is capable of decrypting any PPTP and WPA2 wireless that use MS-CHAPv2 authentication mechanism. The two tools, ChapCrack developed by Moxie Marlinspike and CloudCracker.com that runs on FPGA cracking box developed by David Hulton of Pico Computing can be used together to crack the encryption of any PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and WPA2-Enterprise (Wireless Protected Access) sessions that use MS-CHAPv2 for authentication.
Linux

Submission + - ScummVM 1.5.0 "Picnic Basket" Released (scummvm.org)

YokimaSun writes: "Fans of classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, will be happy to learn that a new version of ScummVM has been released with support for new games such as Once Upon A Time: Little Red Riding Hood, Backyard Baseball 2003, Blue Force, Darby the Dragon, Dreamweb, Geisha, Gregory and the Hot Air Balloon, Magic Tales: Liam Finds a Story and more. ScummVM not only supports Windows, Linux and new platforms such as iPhone and Android but also consoles such as Dreamcast, Gamecube and Nintendo 64 and rarer handhelds such as Openpandora and Dingoo."
Security

Submission + - JavaScript Botnet Sheds Light on Criminal Activity (darkreading.com)

CowboyRobot writes: "Informatica64, a security research group, demonstrated the use of cached JavaScript to control computers connecting to a malicious proxy.
"The researchers found a variety of low-level criminals using their proxy server: fraudsters posing as British immigration officials offering work permits in hopes of stealing money and sensitive documents from their victims; a man pretending to be a pretty woman on a number of dating sites to con victims into sending money for a plane ticket; and another fraudster selling nonexistent Yorkshire Terriers.""

Games

Submission + - GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "GameStop makes a killing selling used videogames, but what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town? That's not anything to worry about today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but at some point, GameStop will have to deal with the direction the games industry is headed, and it may already have a solution. GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently brought up the possibility of reselling used digital downloads."
Facebook

Submission + - Facebook Abstainers could be labeled Suspicious 2

bs0d3 writes: According to this article printed in tagesspiegel.de, not having a facebook account should be the first sign that you are a mass murderer. As examples they use Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, who used myspace instead of facebook and the newer Aurora shooter who used adultfriendfinder instead of facebook. They already consider those with facebook accounts, who lack friends to be suspicious, but now they are suggesting that anyone who abstains from facebook altogether may be even more suspicious. While it is already established that sites like facebook and google+ are no good for political activists, abuse survivors, and people in the witness protection program; abuse survivors will have to take a back seat while more and more insane articles like this come out. This line of thinking could sure help facebook's stock value.
Android

Submission + - Apple v. Samsung: Surprising Reveals in Latest Court Documents (wired.com)

Nerdfest writes: "The lawyers behind the upcoming Apple v. Samsung trial have been hard at work filing docket after docket as their court battle looms closer, and many of those dockets have just been released to the public. We’re now seeing a lot of previously secret information about the early days of iPhone and iPad R&D, and what’s happened behind closed doors at both Apple and Samsung."

Surprises include the iPhone design being 'inspired' by Sony product ideas, and that Samsung was warned that it was copying Apple.

Cellphones

Submission + - Fighting the iCrime Wave

theodp writes: 'What's the point of a mobile device,' asks WSJ reporter and iPad-beatdown-victim Rolfe Winkler, 'if people don't feel safe using it while they're mobile?' A lucrative secondhand market for today's electronics devices — a used iPad or iPhone can fetch $400+ — has produced an explosion in 'Apple picking' by thieves. So, how big is the iCrime wave? In New York City alone, there were more than 26,000 incidents of electronics theft in the first 10 months of 2011 — 81% involving mobile phones — according to an internal NYPD document. And plenty of the crimes are violent. The best way to deter theft is to reduce the value of stolen device — the wireless industry is moving to adopt a national registry that would deny service to such devices. A remote kill switch has been discussed as another approach. For its part, Apple says the company 'has led the industry in helping customers protect their lost or stolen devices,' although some are unimpressed. Could the estimated $575 in profit per iOS device be part of the problem?"

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