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Printers Could Be the Next Attack Vector 175

New submitter rcoxdav writes "Researchers have found that the upgradeable firmware on some laser printers can be easily updated and compromised. The updated firmware could then be used to do anything from overheating the printer to compromising a network. Quoting: 'In one demonstration of an attack based on the flaw, Stolfo and fellow researcher Ang Cui showed how a hijacked computer could be given instructions that would continuously heat up the printer’s fuser – which is designed to dry the ink once it’s applied to paper – eventually causing the paper to turn brown and smoke. In that demonstration, a thermal switch shut the printer down – basically, causing it to self-destruct – before a fire started, but the researchers believe other printers might be used as fire starters, giving computer hackers a dangerous new tool that could allow simple computer code to wreak real-world havoc.'"

Merck Threatens Merck With Legal Action Over Facebook URL 115

angry tapir writes with an excerpt from a Techworld article: "Germany's Merck KGaA has threatened legal action after it said it lost its Facebook page apparently to rival Merck & Co. in the U.S., though it has yet to identify defendants in the case. In a filing before the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Merck said it intends to initiate an action based on the apparent takeover of its Facebook page at by its similarly-named but unrelated competitor, Merck & Co."

Submission + - New Images of Tumbling US Satellite (

arisvega writes: An amateur astronomer has recorded images of the out-of-control US satellite as it tumbles back to Earth. Theirry Legault, from Paris, captured the video as the satellite passed over northern France on 15 September. The six-tonne, 20-year-old spacecraft has fallen out of orbit and is expected to crash somewhere on Earth on or around 24 September. The US space agency says the risk to life from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is 1 in 3,200. Mr Legault, an engineer, used a specially designed camera to record the tumbling satellite through his 14-inch telescope, posting the footage on his Astrophotography website.

UARS could land anywhere between 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south of the equator — most of the populated world. Nasa says that most of the satellite will break or burn up before reaching Earth. But scientists have identified 26 separate pieces that could survive the fall through the atmosphere. This debris could rain across an area 400-500km (250-310 miles) wide. Robust, spherical satellite components such as fuel tanks are often most likely to survive the fiery plunge to Earth, say space experts. Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite The "productive scientific life" of UARS ended in 2005 when it ran out of fuel. Nasa said scientists would only be able to make more accurate predictions about where the satellite might land two hours before it enters the Earth's atmosphere.

Comment Women to the Rescue? (Score 1) 533

I attended a talk this year that Jimmy Wales gave at a local university, where he described wanting to actively increase the number of women contributing and editing Wikipedia. Barriers he cited included the fact that "Men are very comfortable making authoritative statements about things they know nothing about."


LulzSec Target the Sun After Phone Hacking Scandal 363

nk497 writes "LulzSec have come out of retirement to target Rupert Murdoch's News International, hacking the website of The Sun, redirecting it first to a spoofed page reporting his death and then to Lulz's Twitter feed. 'The Sun's homepage now redirects to the Murdoch death story on the recently-owned New Times website,' the hackers said via Twitter. 'Can you spell success, gentlemen?' The hackers also started to post email addresses and passwords they claimed were from Sun staff, and said to have accessed a mail server at now-defunct News of the World."

Submission + - US Wiretap report: 34% increase (

sTeF writes: According to the 2010 Wiretap Report, released today by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) federal and state requests for court permission to intercept or wiretap electronic communications increased 34% in 2010 over 2009 with California, New York, and New Jersey accounting for 68% of all wire taps approved by state judges.

Submission + - Google's Six-Front War ( 1

wasimkadak writes: While the tech world is buzzing about the launch and implications of Google’s new social network, Google+, it’s worth noting that Google isn’t just in a war with Facebook, it’s at war with multiple companies across multiple industries. In fact, Google is fighting a multi-front war with a host of tech giants for control over some of the most valuable pieces of real estate in technology.

Submission + - Microsoft Seeks Patent for Wiretapping Technology (

BogenDorpher writes: "Microsoft is looking to attain a patent for technology that allows the company to eavesdrop on VoIP calls, only weeks after the purchase of Skype for $8.5 billion dollars. Apparently, Microsoft applied for this patent back in 2009. Microsoft has been working on intercepting calls on similar voice messaging software such as Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications."

Submission + - Root Uninstaller Holds Your Android Device Hostage (

dkd903 writes: Root Uninstaller is an Android app developed by Android Text which lets users freeze and unfreeze apps. Freezing apps is kind of like uninstalling an app – Android will treat the app as uninstalled — except that the app is still there and can be unfrozen anytime the user wants.

Root Uninstaller is scamming people into installing a free version of the app, and then holding their phone hostage and forcing them to pay up. Google should do something and ban such apps.


Submission + - Does GE Think We're Stupid? 1

theodp writes: Stephen Few never did suffer data visualization fools gladly. After seeing an oil exec (mis)use data viz to put a positive spin on Gulf Oil Spill cleanup efforts, Few felt compelled to call BS on BP. And now it's General Electric that's got Few's dander up: 'The series of interactive data visualizations that have appeared on GE's website over the last two years,' writes Few, 'has provided a growing pool of silly examples. They attempt to give the superficial impression that GE cares about data while in fact providing almost useless content. They look fun, but communicate little. As such, they suggest that GE does not in fact care about the information and has little respect for the intelligence and interests of its audience. This is a shame, because the stories contained in these data sets are important.' Concerned about his strong reactions to poorly designed data visualizations, Few asked his neuropsychologist wife whether he might be overreacting. She, too, agrees that GE's natural gas visualizations are maddening, which one might be tempted to dismiss as predictable, although Eyeo Festival presenter Michal Migurski also declares GE's effort 'one terrible, terrible bit of nonsense'.

Submission + - Google Tags Content Creators: Are Publishers It? (

bizwriter writes: Google announced that it will support authorship HTML tags, a way to associate Web content with the individuals who create it. Suddenly, search engines know when one person was responsible for a body of work, no matter where content appears on the Web. If Google incorporates this into page relevance and ranking, as it is considering, the result could change the balance of power between those who create and those who publish.

Submission + - Power System Failure Cancels 140 Flights (

dangle writes: Technicians were installing a backup power-supply system for the combined Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air computer system this weekend when a transformer malfunctioned, taking down the system around 3 a.m. Saturday, affecting approximately 12,150 passengers through the cancellation of 140 flights, equalling 15% of the airline's scheduled departures on Saturday.

"We're almost pretty much" back to normal following the transformer malfunction, airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said Sunday. "We should be right on track by the end of today."

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