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Submission + - Russia Fires On And Storms Greenpeace Ship. May Charge Them As Terrorists (

An anonymous reader writes: The Guardian reports, "The Russian coastguard, which is controlled by the FSB security services, boarded the Arctic Sunrise late on Thursday night near Prirazlomnaya, a drilling platform in the Pechora Sea, close to the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The activists were protesting against the rig, operated by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is due to come online soon, and had attempted to climb aboard it and stop work. The ship's crew remain in the custody of armed Russian security forces and could be charged with terrorism. The FSB said it had been tracking the vessel since it left the Norwegian port of Kirkenes last Saturday, and turned off its radio signals. Once the ship had changed course and began heading for the Prirazlomnaya platform, the FSB decided to act. Warning shots were fired and two climbers on the rig were arrested earlier in the week." More at Fox News and London South East.

Submission + - Deterrence for Malware: Towards a Deception-Free Internet (

heidibrayer writes: Will Casey, a senior member of the technical staff in Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, CERT Division, discusses research that aims to understand and seek complex patterns in malicious use cases within the context of security systems and develop an incentives-based measurement system that would evaluate software and ensure a level of resilience to attack.

Submission + - Grand Theft Auto is Today's Great Expectations ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Last week's boffo release of GTAV was a critical and commercial success that underscores the centrality of video games as *the* cultural medium of this godawful 21st century.

Video games such as GTAV "are the perfect medium for a digital, networked, globalized age in which previously unimaginable social and technological developments have opened up human possibilities that are intoxicatingly invigorating and terrifyingly anxiety-inducing."

The novel was the platform for the 19th century, movies and film for the 20th. And video games (so far) for the 21st.

Submission + - What companies should do if they're worried about the iPhone fingerprint hack (

mattydread23 writes: The latest security panic comes as a group of German researchers showed it's possible to hack the iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner using techniques developed more than a decade ago. But 99.9% of companies shouldn't even think twice about it. First, TouchID is not meant to be a replacement for a passcode — it's a shortcut to it. If hackers wait more than 48 hours or make more than 5 attempts, they'll have to enter the passcode anyway. And if companies are REALLY worried about it, they can disable TouchID using their MDM system. Much ado about (almost) nothing.

Submission + - Microsoft Adopts Open Specs for Threat Intel-Sharing (

CowboyRobot writes: The software giant in July announced its Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) for Responders program for incident responders, such as CERTs, government entities, and private companies, that includes its own intel-sharing mechanism. The company this week said its platform will be based on the Structured Threat Information eXpression (STIX) open specification led by Mitre for expressing and specifying threat information, as well as the Trusted Automated eXchange of Indicator Information (TAXII), a Department of Homeland Security-led protocol for transporting the information. STIX and TAXII are aimed at helping organizations share details of attacks and threats with other firms using common formats and languages. When a company hit by a cyberattack shares some details of the attack with another firm today, it typically calls or sends an email with some intelligence on the malware or other fingerprints of the attack. It's then up to the recipient to manually translate that information into a format it can use to automatically protect itself from falling prey to that attack.

Submission + - Bruce Schneier: NSA Spying Is Making Us Less Safe (

mspohr writes: An interview with Bruce Schneier in the MIT Technology Review offers some unique insight and hints at future revelations on the Snowden papers. Bruce points out "What these leaks reveal is how robust NSA surveillance is, how pervasive it is, and to what degree the NSA has commandeered the entire Internet and turned it into a surveillance platform."
In addition: "They’re not just spying on the bad guys, they’re deliberately weakening Internet security for everyone—including the good guys. It’s sheer folly to believe that only the NSA can exploit the vulnerabilities they create. Additionally, by eavesdropping on all Americans, they’re building the technical infrastructure for a police state."
He also has an interesting analogy for the way the NSA "asks" for backdoors: "The way it seems to go, it’s never an explicit request from the NSA. It’s more of a joking thing: “So, are you going to give us a back door?” If you act amenable, then the conversation progresses. If you don’t, it’s completely deniable. It’s like going out on a date. Sex might never be explicitly mentioned, but you know it’s on the table."
Finally, he disses his five tips for avoiding NSA surveillance: "My five tips suck. They are not things the average person can use. One of them is to use PGP [a data-encryption program]. But my mother can’t use PGP. Maybe some people who read your publication will use my tips, but most people won’t. Basically, the average user is screwed."
He hints at further revelations in articles he is preparing for The Guardian.

Submission + - Microsoft Unveils $449 Surface 2, Persists with Windows RT

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft has made the new Surface 2 tablet now official. Surface 2 comes with Nvidia's Tegra 4 processor, a 1080p display, a new two-stage kickstand. It also lighter, slightly thinner, comes with 72 cores of GPU and has an increase of 25% in battery life. The 1080p ClearType Full HD is a serios improvement over the original 1,366 x 768. Microsoft’s executive says it can run 3 to 4 times faster than the original product. and it also comes with a double bus speed for the WiFi and the memory. You will also get 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years, which will be much needed by all users. But the bad part, yes, it that it still comes with Windows RT. Love it or hate it?

Submission + - Why Are Cells The Size They Are? Gravity May Be A Factor ( 1

carmendrahl writes: Eukaryotic cells, which are defined by having a nucleus, rarely grow larger than 10 m in diameter. Scientists know a few reasons why this is so. A new study suggests another reason--gravity. Studying egg cells from the frog Xenopus laevis, which reach as big as 1 mm across and are common research tools, Princeton researchers Marina Feric and Clifford Brangwynne noticed that the insides of the eggs' nuclei settled to the bottom when they disabled a mesh made from the cytoskeleton protein actin. They think the frog eggs evolved the mesh to counteract gravity, which according to their calculations becomes significant if cells get bigger than 10 m in diameter.

Submission + - Can Micropayments Save Digital Publishing? Bitwall Says Yes

cagraham writes: Startup Bitwall wants publishers to drop their monthly subscription models and instead charge users small micropayments to read individual articles or access specific content. The service runs off Bitcoin, which allows publishers to charge much smaller amounts (as little as one cent) while still making a profit due to the currency's low transaction fees. The idea is to capture readers who might be willing to pay for one article, but aren't willing to commit to a full subscription. The service also allows users to access content in exchange for tweeting about the article or watching an ad.

You can see the service in action at the Bitcoin news site ZeroBlock.

Submission + - Utility sets IT department on path to self-destruction ( 1

dcblogs writes: Northeast Utilities has told IT employees that it is considering outsourcing IT work to India-based offshore firms, putting as many as 400 IT jobs at risk. The company is saying a final decision has not been made. But Conn. State Rep. and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, who is trying to prevent or limit the outsourcing move, says it may be a done deal. NU may be prompting its best IT employees to head to the exits. It also creates IT security risks from upset workers. The heads-up to employees in advance of a firm plan is "kind of mind mindbogglingly stupid," said David Lewis, who heads a Connecticut-based human resources consulting firm OperationsInc, especially "since this is IT of all places." The utility's move makes sense, however, if is it trying to encourage attrition to reduce severance costs.

Submission + - Universal Flu Vaccine 'Blueprint' Discovered (

minty3 writes: Scientists say they used the pandemic as a “natural experiment” to discover how the body’s immune system builds resistance to the flu. The research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed how certain immune cells helped some avoid the severe illness.

Comment Not quite the same thing being compared here (Score 5, Insightful) 218

There is a BIG difference between a judge ordering someone to disclose their facebook password to collect evidence and a school teacher or principal doing it. Also, the person in question here is the plaintiff. The defense generally does have a lot of latitude when it comes to evidence collection. My only complaint here is that the plaintiff's sexual behavior outside of work should not be relevant or admissible, but it looks like from some of the statements that the defense is going to push to get that stuff admitted. The judge should put pretty strict criteria on what evidence may be collected and presented to the jury. We aren't really getting those details here, though.

Submission + - Puerto Rico votes to become 51st state (

DrEnter writes: Not really getting much attention in all of the presidential election coverage was the fact that Puerto Rico voted to become a U.S. State yesterday. The option has come up for a vote several times in the past, but never had much popular support until this year when it won with 53% of the vote choosing to change the government structure and a surprising 65% of the vote for choosing statehood as that change. The other choices were a sovereign-free association (31%) and independence (4%). Obama has already committed to supporting the will of the voters and there is currently no major opposition in either the House or the Senate. It looks like the U.S. may have a 51st state in a few months! Now this Wikipedia page can get some attention.

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