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Submission + - FBI, DOJ continue using discredited junk science .. (

An anonymous reader writes: .. the DOJ insists its science is solid, something it bases on confirmation bias. The matches determined in its forensic labs are "scientifically certain" because the DOJ's expert witnesses have said so in court. Not only are outside scientists locked out of examining evidence and forensic processes, but defense lawyers are as well.

Submission + - Stealthy, tricky to remove rootkit targets Linux systems on ARM and x86 (

Kinwolf writes: Security researchers have identified a new family of Linux rootkits that, despite running from user mode, can be hard to detect and remove. Called Umbreon, after a Pokémon character that hides in the darkness, the rootkit has been in development since early 2015, runs from user mode but hijacks libc system calls. According to malware researchers from antivirus firm Trend Micro, Umbreon is a so-called ring 3 rootkit, meaning that it runs from user mode and doesn't need kernel privileges. Despite this apparent limitation, it is quite capable of hiding itself and persisting on the system.

Submission + - Publishers must let online readers pay for news anonymously (

mspohr writes: The Guardian has an opinion piece by Richard Stallman which argues that we should be able to pay for news anonymously.
From the article:
"Online newspapers and magazines have come to depend, for their income, on a system of advertising and surveillance, which is both annoying and unjust.
Readers are rebelling by installing ad blockers, which cut into the publisher’s surveillance-based income. And in response, some sites are cutting off access to readers unless they accept being surveilled. What they ought to do instead is give us a truly anonymous way to pay."
He also (probably not coincidentally) has developed a method to do just that.
"For the GNU operating system, which was created by the free software movement and is typically used with the kernel Linux, we are developing a suitable payment system called GNU Taler that will allow publishers to accept anonymous payments from readers for individual articles. "

Submission + - SingularDTV: using Ethereum for DRM on a sci-fi TV show about the Singularity (

David Gerard writes: SingularDTV is an exciting new blockchain-based entertainment industry startup. Their plan is to adapt the DRM that made $121.54 for Imogen Heap, make their own completely premined altcoin and use that to somehow sell two million views of a sci-fi TV show about the Singularity. Using CODE, which is explicitly modeled on The DAO ... which spectacularly imploded days after its launch. There's a white paper, but here's an analysis of why these schemes are a terrible idea for musicians.

Submission + - How stingray is zapping the fourth amendment

Presto Vivace writes: How Militarized Cops Use the Intrusive Technology Stingray, and Much More, to Intrude on Our Rights — Police nationwide are secretly exploiting intrusive technologies with the feds' complicity.

Thanks to this call-and-response process, the Stingray knows both what cell phones are in the area and where they are. In other words, it gathers information not only about a specific suspect, but any bystanders in the area as well. While the police may indeed use this technology to pinpoint a suspect’s location, by casting such a wide net there is also the potential for many kinds of constitutional abuses—for instance, sweeping up the identities of every person attending a demonstration or a political meeting. Some Stingrays are capable of collecting not only cell phone ID numbers but also numbers those phones have dialed and even phone conversations. In other words, the Stingray is a technology that potentially opens the door for law enforcement to sweep up information that not so long ago wouldn’t have been available to them.

This is why it matters who wins the mayor and city council races. Localities do not have to accept this technology.


Scientists: Electric Vehicles Produce As Many Toxins As Dirty Diesels ( 555

An anonymous reader writes: Thanks to ongoing efforts to reduce engine emissions, nowadays only 10% to 15% of particulate emissions from traffic are coming from vehicles' tailpipes. The remainder originates in tire, road surface and brake wear. A study by Victor Timmers and Peter Achten published in Atmospheric Environment has now found that the extra weight of electric vehicles causes non-tailpipe emissions to increase by about as much as the omission of the internal combustion engine saves. Atmospheric particulates have been shown to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases and are widely considered as the most harmful form of air pollution. Achten said, "We found that non-exhaust emissions, from brakes, tires and the road, are far larger than exhaust emissions in all modern cars. These are more toxic than emissions from modern engines so they are likely to be key factors in the extra heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks seen when air pollution levels surge." The study shows that non-exhaust emissions a vehicle produces is directly related to its weight. Scientists found that electric and eco-friendly vehicles weighed around 24 percent more than conventional vehicles, which in turn contributes to more wear on the tires.

Submission + - Sci-hub domain been shut down by Elsevier (

Taco Cowboy writes: Several ‘backup’ domain names are still in play, including and

In addition to the alternative domain names users can access the site directly through the IP-address

Its TOR domain is also still working — http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/

Authorized or not, there is definitely plenty of interest in Sci-Hub’s service. The site currently hosts more than 51 million academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month

Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia or China. But even in countries where access is more common, many researchers visit the site, an analysis from Science magazine revealed last week

Submission + - The science behind the world's simplest, controllable, flying machine (

Kassandra Perlongo writes: Researchers at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich have created a flying machine that only has a single moving part, the rotating propeller, but can still fully control its position in space. Pretty neat!

Unfortunately there's no practical applications for the technology just yet other than it looks cool. Next up: refining the control strategy to allow the Monospinnner to recover from a larger range of initial conditions.

Submission + - http compression continues to put encrypted communications at risk (

monkeyFuzz writes: According to the article:
Security researchers have expanded and improved a three-year-old attack that exploits the compression mechanism used to speed up browsing in order to recover sensitive information from encrypted Web traffic.

The attack, known as BREACH, takes advantage of the gzip/DEFLATE algorithm used by many Web servers to reduce latency when responding to HTTP requests. This compression mechanism leaks information about encrypted connections and allows man-in-the-middle attackers to recover authentication cookies and other sensitive information.

Submission + - Reddit removes warrant canary, probably served with a secret court order (

AmiMoJo writes: Reddit has removed the warrant canary posted on its website, suggesting that the company may have been served with some sort of secret court order or document for user information. At the bottom of its 2014 transparency report, the company wrote: "As of January 29, 2015, reddit has never received a National Security Letter, an order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or any other classified request for user information. If we ever receive such a request, we would seek to let the public know it existed." That language was conspicuously missing from the 2015 transparency report that was published Thursday morning. CEO Steve Huffman wrote: "I've been advised not to say anything one way or the other."

Submission + - ESA is asking to mine data from Mars Express telemetry to prolong its life (

Dario Izzo writes: The Mars Express spacecraft from ESA has been orbiting the Red Planet for 12 years. While its controllers know the spacecraft inside out, additional insights are hidden within the mounds of telemetry the mission generates – inspiring the first of ESA’s new data mining competitions: the Mars Express Power Challenge. The goal is to use machine learning techniques to predict Mars Express’s thermal power consumption during the martian year ahead, based on its past telemetry. ESA is targeting the international data mining and machine learning community – including students, research groups or companies”. The website Kelvins is hosting the competition.

Submission + - Carl Sagan received anonymous note predicting Columbia disaster,20 years early (

v3rgEz writes: You never know what you'll find in the FBI's old files. Case in point: A weird and weirdly prophetic letter in Carl Sagan's files that predicted the Columbia disaster — 20 years before it launched. Of course, the letter got a lot of details wrong: The explosion wasn't followed by World War III, let alone "ARMAGEDDON." At least not yet. But it gets weirder, because the person who supposedly sent the letter, at least as far as the FBI could tell, died 10 years before that. Read the full story, and read the letter, on MuckRock.

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