Albanach writes: Following on from this week's Wired report showing the remote control of a Jeep using a cell phone, security researchers claim to have achieved a similar result using just the car radio. Using off the shelf components to create a fake radio station, the researchers sent signals using the DAB digital radio standard used in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. After taking control of the car's entertainment system it was possible to gain control of vital car systems such as the brakes. In the wild, such an exploit could allow widespread simultaneous deployment of a hack affecting huge numbers of vehicles.
Albanach writes: In 2007, the BBC's economics editor, Robert Peston, penned an article on the massive loses at Merrill Lynch and the resulting dismissal of their CEO Stan O'Neil. Today, the BBC have been notified that the 2007 article will no longer appear in some Google searches made within the European Union, apparently as a result of someone exercising their new-found 'right to be forgotten'. O'Neil was the only individual named in the 2007 article. While O'Neil has left Merrill Lynch, he has not left the world of business, and now holds a directorship at Alcoa, the world's third largest aluminum producer with $23 billion in revenues in 2013.
Albanach writes: The FTC has filed a lawsuit alleging that T-Mobile charged customers millions of dollars for premium rate spam text messages the customers neither wanted, nor signed up for. In response, T-Mobile point out that, unlike other major carriers they stopped billing for these services last year, and put in place procedures to enable customers to obtain refunds. Despite these measures, coverage in The Wire stated the FTC has determined T-Mobile not only refused refunds, but many of those who did receive refunds only received a fraction of the cost.
Albanach writes: Recently, I purchased an e-ink Kindle. I like real paper books, but I’m reading lots of academic papers. The Kindle is a nice way to carry and read them, and I went through several documents, highlighting important passages. Now I learn that there is no supported way to actually get a highlighted personal document back off of the Kindle with the highlights intact. I don’t need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines — there are other things the Kindle can and will be used for. What I would like to know is whether there’s another e-ink reader that DOES let you add your own documents, then highlight them and export the altered document. Or does someone know of a way to achieve this using the Kindle itself?
Albanach writes: At the start of November Slashdot reported the discovery of a code, thought to be from the second world war, found attached to the leg of a pigeon skeleton located in an English chimney. Now a Canadian by the name of Gord Young claims to have deciphered the message in less than 20 minutes. He believes that the message is comprised mostly of acronyms.
Albanach writes: I'm sure I'm not alone in being asked to help friends and family with computer issues. These folk typically run Windows (everything from XP onward) or OS X (typically 10.4 onward). Naturally, desktop sharing is often much easier than trying to talk the other end through various steps. I've found free sites like join.me but they don't work with OS X 10.4, neither does the Chrome plugin. I'd also prefer not to compromise security by using a third party in the middle of the connection. Is there a good, free solution I can run on my linux box that supports old and new clients that run Windows, OS X and possibly linux? I'd love it if the users could simply bring their systems up to date, but that doesn't solve the third party issue and it's not easy when it requires a non-trivial RAM upgrade on a Mac Mini.
Albanach writes: Reuters is reporting that Apple has expelled Charlie Miller, a researcher with Accuvant Labs and highly regarded cybersecurity expert from its iOS developers' programs. The move comes after he publicly demonstrated a flaw in its iOS operating system. Miller disclosed that he had figured out a way to build apps that can secretly download other programs that are capable of stealing data, sending text messages or destroying information. After disclosing the flaw via YouTube, Apple retaliated by banning Miller from the developer program for at least one year.
Albanach writes: Tornadoes have caused devastating loss of life in the United States this year. While I'm fortunate to be unaffected, I was wondering whether open source technology can help distribute severe weather warnings. While large companies can use commercial products to alert staff, tools like asterisk should allow small and medium businesses to send phone and text alerts to staff. The challenge is getting warnings in timely fashion. The National Weather Service provides XML data, however the update frequency of every few minutes could be too slow for an event like a tornado. The obvious source seems to be receiving alerts in real time from the NWS weather radio. Unfortunately I have been unable to find an open source solution that can process an audio stream, reading the SANE header and allowing for an automated response. Have any/. readers tackled this problem at work or at home?
Albanach writes: Many software developers have grown accustomed to the release early and often model of software development. However, deploying rapid updates is not possible when your application first needs approval by Apple. At the weekend Friendly, one of the iPad's most popular Facebook clients, and the #9 top grossing app of 2010 was upgraded. Either as a result of this, or as a result of changes made by Facebook, users were left with a broken App. The developers claim they submitted a fixed version for approval on Saturday. They told their 3 million Facebook followers on Sunday that Apple had promised to prioritize the approval. The App has still not been approved, leaving customers with a useless App. Does Apple's slow approval process demand a return to an older model of development with longer testing phases?
Albanach writes: Nature magazine is reporting that, by utilizing lasers, Norwgian 'hackers' have successfully cracked their encryption keys in a quantum encryption solution, yet left no trace of the hack. Vadim Makarov who with colleagues from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim carried out the exploit is quoted saying 'Our hack gave 100% knowledge of the key, with zero disturbance to the system.' He describes the technique as exploiting 'a purely technological loophole that turns a quantum cryptographic system into a classical system, without anyone noticing.'
Albanach writes: The State of Virginia has entered the third day of ongoing computer problems, blamed on 230 crashed servers. State offices have, amongst other things, been unable to issue new driving licenses and been unable to process new jobless claims. The State has outsourced much of its IT provision to Northrop Grumman in a $2bn deal that was criticized by auditors for poor service. That deal was rewritten with the State pledging increased funds in return for improved service.
Albanach writes: WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange has been quoted by the Associated Press as stating "the organization is preparing to release the remaining secret Afghan war documents". According to Assange, they are halfway through processing the remaining 15,000 files as they 'comb through' the files to ensure lives are not placed at risk.
Albanach writes: Apple's recent decision requiring developers use Apple tools when coding for the iPhone and iPad has drawn the attention of Government regulators, The Reuters news agency reports that regulators in the United States are now considering an antitrust investigation into the restriction. Reuters quote David Balto, a former FTC policy director as saying "What they're (Apple) doing is clearly anticompetitive... They want one superhighway and they're the tollkeeper on that superhighway."
Albanach writes: An OECD report published today has shown moderate cell phone users in the United States are paying some of the highest rates in the world. Average US plans cost $52.99 per month compared to an average of $10.95 in Finland. The full report is available only to subscribers, however Excel sheets of the raw data are available to download.
Albanach writes: In a widely anticipated move Microsoft have today confirmed an immediate cull of 1,400 staff, with up to 5,000 positions to go over the next eighteen months. Microsoft are blaming the rise of netbooks and the slump in the global economy for their current woes. The jobs being cut appear to be across the company with cuts in R&D, marketing, sales, finance, legal, HR, and IT.