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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Surface Pro Review (bgr.com)

zacharye writes: I first laid eyes on Microsoft’s Surface tablet just about four months ago. It was a rainy Monday morning in Redmond, Washington and we were barely into the first 20 minutes of a full day of meetings when I knew the Surface was a huge, huge deal. Microsoft — the world’s largest software company, responsible for the operating system that powers roughly 92% of all personal computers on the planet — was now a hardware vendor. Microsoft's first effort was a dud but the Surface Pro is better in every way. Is it enough?...
Python

Submission + - Python Gets a Big Data Boost from DARPA (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "According to an ITworld report, 'DARPA (the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded $3 million to software provider Continuum Analytics to help fund the development of Python's data processing and visualization capabilities for big data jobs. The money will go toward developing new techniques for data analysis and for visually portraying large, multi-dimensional data sets.'"
Nintendo

Submission + - Nintendo Release 3DS XL and New Mario Today in the USA

Croakyvoice writes: Nintendo has today released the 3DS XL in the U.S.A. The console comes with features such as screens which are 90% bigger in size than the original 3DS, a much needed improvement in battery life and also the 3D effect on the console has noticeably improved. The 3DS XL is Nintendo's attempt at even moreso dominating the handheld console market over the PSVita but also bringing back the gamers lost to the likes of Android and iOS Devices. The other major 3DS news of the day is the release of New Super Mario Bros 2 a continuation of the DS game released in 2006. In Japan the game has sold over 800,000 copies since game launch and Nintendo will be hopeful to replicate that success in the U.S.A.
The Internet

Submission + - EU Parliament Debates their own DMCA 2

bs0d3 writes: Right now, what is lacking across Europe, is a standard law to handle notice-and-take down's of illegal sites like the US' DMCA. Right now illegal content across Europe is subject to non-standard take down letters, some of which include no mention of what was allegedly infringed, nor in which jurisdiction in Europe it's infringed, or who to contact in your jurisdiction to challenge the claim, or even which company it is that is being represented by the law firm that gets in touch with he project. They need a system so that the notices would have to include information that makes them verifiable as correct. EU is holding a public consultation discussing notice-and-take down laws, which can be found here.
Networking

Submission + - Power Pwn: This DARPA-Funded Power Strip Will Hack Your Network

An anonymous reader writes: The Power Pwn may look like a power strip, but it's actually a DARPA-funded hacking tool for launching remotely-activated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet attacks. If you see one around the office, make a point to ask if it's supposed to be there. Pwnie Express, which developed the $1,295 tool, says it's "a fully-integrated enterprise-class penetration testing platform." That's great, but the company also notes its "ingenious form-factor" (again, look at the above picture) and "highly-integrated/modular hardware design," which to me makes it look like the perfect gizmo for nefarious purposes.
Security

Submission + - Open Source Smart Meter Hacking Framework Released (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: A researcher specializing in smart grids has released an open-source tool designed to assess the security of smart meters. Dubbed “Termineter”, the framework would allow users, such as grid operators and administrators, to test smart meters for vulnerabilities.

Termineter uses the serial port connection that interacts with the meter's optical infrared interface to give the user access to the smart meter's inner workings. The user interface is much like the interface used by the Metasploit penetration testing framework. It relies on modules to extend its testing capabilities.

Spencer McIntyre, a member of SecureState's Research and Innovation Team, is scheduled to demonstrate Termineter in a session "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Smart Meter," at Security B-Sides Vegas on July 25. The Termineter Framework can be downloaded here.

The Internet

Submission + - Astro-turfing claim hits PC component vendors (atomicmpc.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: There is a mighty grudge match in the PC hardware world which is heating up. This Atomic article discusses negative posts popping up in forums and slinging mud at Gigabyte motherboards, particularly the Z77X-UD5H. Most of the slinging is simply link-sharing to poor reviews or customer complaints, but there are a few claims of dodgy pricing and poor review practice thrown in. Atomic claims the posts are a case of astro-turfing.
Australia

Submission + - Australia drops second Google investigation (zdnet.com.au)

joshgnosis writes: The Australian Privacy Commissioner has decided against investigating Google a second time over the collection of Wi-Fi payload data in Google's Street View cars.

Despite a damning FCC report released last month claiming that senior manager within Google were aware that a "rogue" engineer was working on the project on the side, he said a second investigation wouldn't yield any new results.

"I have decided not to open another investigation into Google Street View," he said in a statement. "In reaching this decision, I have considered the FCC's report and don't consider that a new investigation would reveal any information that would change our original finding."

Android

Submission + - Ask Slashdot- Secure Android phone? 3

An anonymous reader writes: I'm in charge of getting some phones for my company to give to our mobile reps. Security is a major consideration for us so I'm looking for the most secure off the shelf solution for this. I'd like to encrypt all data on the phone and use encryption for txt and phone calls. There are a number of apps in the android market that claim to do this but how can I trust them? For example, I tested one but it requires a lot of permissions such as internet access, how do I know it is not actually some kind of backdoor? I know that Boeing is producing a secure phone which is no doubt good but probably too expensive for us. I was thinking of maybe installing Cyanogenmod onto something, using a permissions management app to try and lock down some backdoors and searching out a trustworthy text and phone encryption app. Any good ideas out there? I know that Boeing is producing a secure phone which is no doubt good but probably too expensive for us. I was thinking of maybe installing Cyanogenmod onto something, using a permissions management app to try and lock down some backdoors and searching out a trustworthy text and phone encryption app. Any good ideas out there?
NASA

Submission + - Intelsat Signs Launch Contract with SpaceX (spacex.com)

jamstar7 writes: Following the success of the Falcon9/Dragon resupply test to the ISS comes the following announcement:

Washington, DC / Hawthorne, CA May 29, 2012 — Today, Intelsat, the world's leading provider of satellite services, and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the world's fastest growing space launch company, announced the first commercial contract for the Falcon Heavy rocket.

"SpaceX is very proud to have the confidence of Intelsat, a leader in the satellite communication services industry," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer. "The Falcon Heavy has more than twice the power of the next largest rocket in the world. With this new vehicle, SpaceX launch systems now cover the entire spectrum of the launch needs for commercial, civil and national security customers."

As of yet, the Falcon Heavy hasn't flown, but all the parts have been tested. Essentially an upgunned Falcon 9 with strapon boosters, the Heavy has lift capability second only to the Saturn 5. Already scheduled for 4 Falcon Heavy launches for the US Air Force this year, the Intelsat contract represents the true dawn of the commercial space age.

NASA

Submission + - Nasa team finds a (possible) new test for osteoporosis (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has an article about scientists at NASA who believe that they have found a new test that can osteoporosis earlier than existing tests. Their test involved having healthy volunteers confined to bed rest for 30 days; "the technique was able to detect bone loss after as little as one week of bed rest". Bone loss is an issue for astronauts as well as people affected by osteoporosis. They expect this test will help detect bone loss as a symptom of osteoporosis, but have not yet done a trial to confirm this. Another point against anyone who claims NASA, and going to space in general, is a complete waste of money.
Security

Submission + - Researchers discover major cyber-weapon targeting Middle-East (techworld.com)

concertina226 writes: Experts know that there is undoubtedly more cyber-malware out there than has yet been found and now they have a new name to add to a small but infamous list, Worm.Win32.Flame, or plain ‘Flame’ (or 'Flamer' or SkyWiper) for short.

What is Flame and what does it do? Kaspersky describes it as an “attack toolkit”, which means that it has enough components to do anything and everything it wants to, from opening a backdoor, deploying Trojans with various purposes and then spreading like a worm.

“Once a system is infected, Flame begins a complex set of operations, including sniffing the network traffic, taking screenshots, recording audio conversations, intercepting the keyboard, and so on,” said Kaspersky Lab researcher, Alexander Gostev, underlining Flame’s apparent data-stealing design.

XBox (Games)

Submission + - Minecraftthe fastest selling arcader game ever. (xboxlivearcader.com)

xboxlivearcader writes: "Minecraft has become some what of a phenomenon on the PC over the past few years, and has build up some what of a cult following. So it's no surprise that when Minecraft was released on Xbox 360 in May, it became the fastest selling Arcade game of all time. What makes Minecraft so good, I mean you are in a world of blocks and all you have to do is build stuff, there are no Levels no story, nothing. But Minecraft just is an awesome game, as long as you have an imagination you will play minecraft as the scale of what you can build is crazy. Minecraft the xbox 360 edition received rave reviews when it was launched back in may. Are you part of this cult following?"

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