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Microsoft

Submission + - DLL Hijacking: Facts and Lots of Fiction (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: It’s been interesting watching DLL hijacking grow from interesting phenomena to a full-on snowball of hype and FUD over the last few days. As of this writing Google turns up 152 news articles on the subject. The vast majority of coverage is calling this a “new class of attack” and pointing out how “over 30 zero-day vulnerabilities have been found so far!”. The only way to paraphrase many of the headlines is: “Panic!” The root of this problem lies in the past in an industry far removed from internet security. Many years ago a Microsoft design error included the current working directory in the list of directories Windows will search when looking for a DLL.

Yet, ten years later, the fact that this DLL hijacking technique can still be used in some very specific circumstances is apparently cause for panic. The number of applications that this impacts is apparently big news. Lists are being published. Headlines read that “exploit code hits the wild”.

The reality is anyone who can stumble through the DLL project wizard in Visual Studio can write an ‘exploit’ for this vulnerability, and when the dust settles the lists will look a bit silly — virtually every Windows application will be found to be vulnerable in one way or another.

Space

Submission + - New Data Implies 'Fine Structure Constant' Changes (technologyreview.com)

eldavojohn writes: Two papers in prepublication claim that the fine structure constant has changed (probably over time). It's long been theorized that as the universe ages constants we have now change ever so slightly over time and the only way to test this theory is to point very sensitive equipment at light that passed through gas clouds millions of light years away. The real conundrum comes from the measurements that researchers have collected from the Keck Telescope in 2004 and the Very Large Telescope today. The Keck data, which was harvested from the Northern Hemisphere, indicates that the fine structure constant was once smaller while the VLT data, which was harvest from the Southern Hemisphere, indicates that the fine structure constant was once LARGER. This causes the research to indicate a spatial dependence on variances in the fine structure constant with suggestions that changes in the fundamental constants may be observable as 'spatial anisotropy in the cosmic microwave background, the accelerated expansion (dark energy), and large-scale structure of the Universe.' Of course, challenging constants is all the rage these days.
Image

Nuns Donate Their Brains to Alzheimer's Research Screenshot-sm 148

Many Catholic religious orders are participating in a long range Alzheimer's disease study. Rush University's Religious Orders Study began in 1993 and tracks the participants' mental abilities through yearly memory testing. In addition to the annual tests, the study subjects agree to donate their brains. From the article: "The researchers sought members of religious orders, hoping they would be willing to donate and would not have children or spouses interfering with that arrangement at the last minute. More than 1,100 nuns, priests and brothers across the country representing a wide range of ethnic groups are taking part."
Classic Games (Games)

How Death Rally Got Ported 89

An anonymous reader writes "Last year, I got the opportunity to port Remedy Entertainment's Death Rally to modern platforms off its original MS-DOS sources. I wrote an article about the porting process for Game Developer magazine, and now I've posted the text of the article for general consumption. 'The source software platform was DOS, Watcom C, and some Dos4GW-style DOS extender. The extender basically meant you could use more than 640k of memory, and would not need any weird code for data larger than 64k. The game displayed in VESA 640x480 and MCGA 320x200 graphics modes, all with 8-bit palettes; there was no true color anywhere. There were also some per-frame palette change tricks that emulators have trouble with. The source code was mostly pure C with a couple dozen inline assembly functions. There were a few missing subsystems, specifically audio and networking, which would have to be replaced completely anyway, as well as one file for which the source code was lost and only a compiled object was available.'"
The Internet

Darwin's Private Papers Get Released To The Internet 237

bibekpaudel writes "ScienceDaily reports that a wealth of papers belonging to Charles Darwin have been published on the internet, some for the first time. Some 20,000 items and 90,000 images were posted today to http://darwin-online.org.uk/. The new site is the largest collection of Darwin's work in history, according to organizers from Cambridge University Library 'This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments, and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free,' said John van Wyhe, director of the project. The collection includes thousands of notes and drafts of his scientific writings, notes from the voyage of the Beagle when he began to formulate his controversial theory of evolution, and his first recorded doubts about the permanence of species."

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