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HP

Submission + - HP restores creased photos with flatbed scanners (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A crease can ruin an often-irreplaceable printed photograph. But new research from HP Labs points towards a future where this is much less of a problem. Scientists at HP have developed a technique to detect creases in photographs using standard, unmodified flatbed scanners. Once correctly scanned into a computer, software can determine where the photograph's defect is, and artificially correct it to remove any trace of a crease or fold. The result is a spotless JPEG scan from a creased photo, with absolutely no modified hardware and no technical know-how required on the part of the user.
Security

Submission + - Top Cracking Software Methods and Piracy Groups

An anonymous reader writes: A report by V.i. Labs revealed the top methods used for cracking software and the top piracy groups responsible. The findings revealed that the piracy groups and the reverse engineering talent they recruit can tamper with a variety of hardware and software based licensing systems to enable overt piracy. The top five piracy groups (out of 212) contributed 59 percent of the cracked releases in the research sample. The top five most active groups in this sample were Lz0 (Linear Zero), NULL, Shooters, LND (Legends Never Die) and Magnitude.
Input Devices

Submission + - Researchers Debut Barcode Replacement (bbc.co.uk)

eldavojohn writes: MIT Researchers have unveiled a new potential replacement for barcodes. Using an LED covered with a tiny mask and a lens, these new bokodes can be processed by a standard mobile phone camera and can encode thousands of times more information than your average barcode. New applications are being dreamed up by the team. Dr. Mohan of MIT said, 'Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books. You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is.'
Cellphones

Submission + - Palm Releases webOS 1.1.0, Fixes Media Sync

Tokerat writes: C|Net is reporting that Palm has released webOS 1.1.0, which contains a fix for Media Sync to work with version 8.2.1 of iTunes. Palm made a slightly underhanded comment about the situation on it's blog:

Oh, and one more thing: Palm webOS 1.1 re-enables Palm media sync. That's right — you once again can have seamless access to your music, photos and videos from the current version of iTunes (8.2.1).

You can find webOS 1.1.0 Release Notes on Palm's site.

Security

Submission + - SPAM: New tool helps reconstruct sneakiest of attacks

alphadogg writes: Certain attacks that leave no trace on computer hard drives may be discoverable using a new tool that will be demonstrated at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas next week, which will feature many security advances [spam URL stripped]. Researchers who work for Mandiant will present a means for piecing together what malicious activity might have been carried out by an attacker's payload that runs only in memory and so evades traditional disk forensics, the researchers say. In particular, the memory forensics tool being presented finds traces in memory of what activity might have been performed via Meterpreter, a software module for the open-source Metasploit penetration testing framework. Meterpreter can be injected into a legitimate running process on a victim computer and thereby avoid detection by host IDS/IPS software. Meterpreter can then be used as a platform for further attack, the researchers say.
Link to Original Source
Internet Explorer

IE 8.1 Supports Firefox Plugins, Rendering Engine 283

KermodeBear writes in to note that according to Smashing Magazine, the newest version of Internet Explorer, codenamed "Eagle Eyes," supports Firefox plugins, the Gecko and Webkit rendering engines, and has scored a 71 / 100 on the Acid3 test. The article is pretty gee-whiz, and I don't entirely believe the claims that IE's JavaScript performance will trounce the others. (And note that the current Firefox, 3.0.8, scores 71 on Acid3, and Safari 3.1.2 hits 75.) No definitive date from Microsoft, but "sources" say that an IE 8.1 beta will be released in the summer.
Security

UK Court Rejects Encryption Key Disclosure Defense 708

truthsearch writes "Defendants can't deny police an encryption key because of fears the data it unlocks will incriminate them, a British appeals court has ruled. The case marked an interesting challenge to the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which in part compels someone served under the act to divulge an encryption key used to scramble data on a PC's hard drive. The appeals court heard a case in which two suspects refused to give up encryption keys, arguing that disclosure was incompatible with the privilege against self incrimination. In its ruling, the appeals court said an encryption key is no different than a physical key and exists separately from a person's will."
Image

Researchers Claim To Be Able To Determine Political Leaning By How Messy You Are 592

According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.
Portables (Apple)

Top Apple Rumors, Bricks, Low Price, NVIDIA 283

Vigile writes "With the news that Apple will be releasing new MacBook products on October 14th, speculation has begun on what exactly those new products will be. Tips of a manufacturing process involving lasers and a single 'brick' of aluminum are catching on, as is the idea of a sub-$1000 netbook-type device. More interesting might be the persistent rumors of an NVIDIA chipset adoption that would drastically increase gaming ability, allow MacBooks to improve their support for OpenCL and take advantage of the new Adobe CS4 software with GPU acceleration. Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?"
Security

World Bank Under Cybersiege In "Unprecedented Crisis" 377

JagsLive sends in a Fox News report on large-scale and possibly ongoing security breaches at the World Bank. "The World Bank Group's computer network — one of the largest repositories of sensitive data about the economies of every nation — has been raided repeatedly by outsiders for more than a year, FOX News has learned. It is still not known how much information was stolen. But sources inside the bank confirm that servers in the institution's highly-restricted treasury unit were deeply penetrated with spy software last April. Invaders also had full access to the rest of the bank's network for nearly a month in June and July. In total, at least six major intrusions — two of them using the same group of IP addresses originating from China — have been detected at the World Bank since the summer of 2007, with the most recent breach occurring just last month. In a frantic midnight e-mail to colleagues, the bank's senior technology manager referred to the situation as an 'unprecedented crisis.' In fact, it may be the worst security breach ever at a global financial institution. And it has left bank officials scrambling to try to understand the nature of the year-long cyber-assault, while also trying to keep the news from leaking to the public." Update: 10/11 01:15 GMT by T : Massive spyware infestations might be good cause to reevaluate the TCO of non-Windows systems on the desktop.
Privacy

20 Hours a Month Reading Privacy Policies 161

Barence sends word of research out of Carnegie Mellon University calling for changes in the way Web sites present privacy policies. The researchers, one of whom is an EFF board member, calculated how long it would take the average user to read through the privacy policies of the sites visited in a year. The answer: 200 hours, at a hypothetical cost to the US economy of $365 billion, more than half the financial bailout package. Every year. The researchers propose that, if the industry can't make privacy policies easier to read or skim, then federal intervention may be needed. This resulted in the predictable cry of outrage from online executives. Here's the study (PDF).
Security

Government Begins Securing Root Zone File 198

Death Metal notes a Wired piece on the US government beginning the process of securing the root zone file. This is in service of implementing DNSSEC, without which the DNS security hole found by Dan Kaminsky can't be definitively closed. On Thursday morning, a comment period will open on the various proposals on who should hold the keys and sign the root — ICANN, Verisign, or the US government's NTIA.
Encryption

First Secure Quantum Crypto Network Up and Running 102

John Lam was one of many readers to send in news that on Thursday, "at a conference in Vienna, Austria, as reported by the BBC, a European Community science working group built a quantum backbone using 200-km of standard commercial optical fiber running among seven sites and successfully demonstrated the first secure quantum cryptographic key distribution network. In addition, each of the seven links used a different kind of quantum encryption, demonstrating interoperability between the technologies. To paraphrase, the project focused on the trusted repeater paradigm and developed an architecture allowing seamless integration of heterogeneous quantum-key distribution-link devices in a unified framework. Network node-modules managing all classical communication tasks provide the underlying quantum devices with authentic classical channels. The node-module architecture uses a layered model to provision network-wide, end-to-end, provably secure key distribution."
Security

US Financial Quagmire Bringing Out the Scammers 272

coondoggie contributes this snippet from NetworkWorld: "You could probably see this one coming. With all of the confusion and money involved you knew there would be cyber-vultures out there looking to cash in. Well the Federal Trade Commission today issued a warning that indeed such increased phishing activities are taking place. Specifically the FTC said it was urging user caution regarding e-mails that look as if they come from a financial institution that recently acquired a consumer's bank, savings and loan, or mortgage. In many case such emails are only looking to obtain personal information — account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers — to run up bills or commit other crimes in a consumer's name, the FTC stated."
Software

Algorithms Can Make You Pretty 288

caffeinemessiah writes "The New York Times has an interesting story on a new algorithm by researchers from Tel Aviv University that modifies a facial picture of a person to conform to standards of attractiveness. Based on a digital library of pictures of people who have been judged 'attractive,' the algorithm finds the nearest match and modifies an input picture so it conforms to the 'attractive' person's proportions. The trick, however, is that the resultant pictures are still recognizable as the original person. Here's a quick link to a representative picture of the process. Note that this is a machine-learning approach to picture modification, not a characterization of beauty, and could just as easily be used to make a person less attractive." Note: As reader Trent Waddington points out, the underlying research was mentioned in an earlier story as well.

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