HughPickens.com writes: Ever had a bike stolen? Bike thieves have had virtually free rein around San Francisco and the Bay area for years, stealing thousands every year, turning warehouses and underpasses into chop shops, victimizing residents and city officials alike. But BBC reports on a new weapon in the arsenal of devices developed to thwart would-be thieves — a bicycle lock that spews a pressurized, stinking gas if someone attempts to cut the lock. The company claims its "noxious chemical" is so disgusting it "induces vomit in the majority of cases." Even better, it claims, the gas causes "shortness of breathing" and impaired eyesight. The company says that the compressed gas is perfectly safe — and can only be released "by trying to cut through it with an angle grinder". If the chemical countermeasure is released, it is a one-time only use, and the lock — which costs over $100 — will have to be replaced. But the hope is that the unpleasant experience will cause them to abandon the attempted theft, leaving the bicycle behind. The inventors have not yet tested the device on an actual would-be thief, but have tested it on themselves and volunteers at distances of two feet, five feet, 10ft and 20ft. “At two feet it was pretty bad. It was absolutely vomit inducing in 99% of people. At five feet it’s very noticeable and the initial reaction is to move away from it. At 10ft it’s definitely detectable and very unpleasant.”
MojoKid writes: Are our ever more powerful, compact and thin smartphones putting us at risk? Or are we just more sensitized to events like smartphones blowing up since Samsung's nasty Galaxy Note 7 debacle? Regardless, it's beginning to look a lot like the latest smartphone feature trend is spontaneous combustion. While taking a surfing lesson, Australian Mat Jones put his brand-new iPhone 7 underneath some clothing on the seat of his car, safe and sound. Or, so he thought. Upon returning to his vehicle, it was filled with smoke and the source was undeniably his iPhone 7. Not only was the phone destroyed, but his car was torched as well. All smartphones using Lithium-ion batteries have the capability of exploding or catching fire, due to their internal chemical makeup, but under normal circumstances and operating conditions this should never be an issue. Extreme heat can be one contributor to a catastrophic event like this, but that seems an unlikely cause as temperatures are moderate right now at the South Coast of Australia — about 20C (68F) on average. The iPhone 7 in question was also not charging at the time as well. Apple is reportedly working with Jones to determine root cause of the explosion.
MojoKid writes: The Internet took a turn for the worst turn this morning, when large parts of the DNS network were brought down by a massive distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) targeting DNS provider Dyn. If you couldn't access Amazon, Twitter, and a host of other large sites and on-line services earlier today, this was why. Now, if a couple of additional tweets are to be believed, it appears supporters of WikiLeaks are responsible for this large scale DDoS attack on Dynamic Nework Services Inc's, Dyn DNS service. WikiLeaks is alleging that a group of its supporters launched today's DDoS attack in retaliation for the Obama administration using its influence to push the Ecuadorian government to limit Assange's internet access. Another earlier tweet reassures supporters that Mr. Assange is still alive, which — along with a photo of heavily armed police posted this morning — implies that he may have been (or may still be) in danger, and directly asks said supporters to stop the attack.
MojoKid writes: Which is more expensive to own, a Windows PC or a Mac? Conventional wisdom says Macs typically cost more than comparable Windows PCs, but if you look beyond the initial price and also factor in time and money spent maintaining each system, do things change? IBM's VP of Workplace as a Service Fletcher Previn came to the conclusion that Macs are by far the better buy after analyzing post-sales costs. While speaking at the Jampf Nation User Conference this week, Previn broke it down like this. The initial cost of purchasing a Mac system runs anywhere from $117 to $454 more than a similarly configured Windows PC, but over a four-year span that follows, IBM saves between $273 (MacBook Pro 13 versus Lenovo T460) up to a whopping $543 (MacBook Pro 13 versus Lenovo X1 Yoga) on Mac maintenance costs.
HughPickens.com writes: MedicalExpress reports that nurses and midwives promoting anti-vaccination messages in Australia could face punishment including being slapped with a caution and having their ability to practise medicine restricted. Serious cases could be referred to an industry tribunal, where practitioners could face harsher penalties such as having their registration suspended or cancelled. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia released the vaccination standards in response to what it described as a small number of nurses and midwives promoting anti-vaccination via social media. The statement also urges members of the public to report nurses or midwives promoting anti-vaccination. Promoting false, misleading or deceptive information is an offence under national law and is prosecutable by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. “The board will consider whether the nurse or midwife has breached their professional obligations and will treat these matters seriously,” the statement said. However Dr. Hannah Dahlen, a professor of midwifery at the University of Western Sydney and the spokeswoman for the Australian College of Midwives, worries the crackdown may push people with anti-vaccination views further underground. “The worry is the confirmation bias that can occur, because people might say: ‘There you go, this is proof that you can’t even have an alternative opinion.’ It might in fact just give people more fuel for their belief systems.”
MojoKid writes: There is a reported flaw present in processors based on Intel's Haswell microarchitecture that could allow attackers to effectively sidestep security roadblocks and install malware onto systems. The method works on most operating systems, including Windows 10, and unless a fix is issued it could lead to more prominent malware attacks. Security researchers developed a bypass for Intel's Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) technology present on Haswell processors and demonstrated the technique at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture in Taipei, Taiwan, this week. ASLR is a built-in defense against against a common form of attack that attempts to install malware by exploiting vulnerabilities in an OS or program. It was discovered that by exploiting a flaw in the part of a Haswell CPU known as the branch predictor, they could load a small application that identifies the memory addresses where specific parts of code are loaded. Armed with that information, traditional memory-based malware techniques are once again effective, allow attackers to mess with a system as if ASLR was disabled.
MojoKid writes: Samsung announced its latest, consumer-class NVMe M.2 based SSD 960 Pro solid state drive a few weeks back but today marks the official launch of the product. Samsung's new drive is an absolute beast with peak transfer speeds in the 3.5GB/s range and ultra-high endurance ratings too. The Samsung SSD 960 PRO NVMe M.2 series tested here will be offered in three capacities: 512GB, 1TB, and a beefy 2TB. All of the drives have the same M.2 (2280) "gumstick" form factor and offer peak read bandwidth of 3.5GB/s with 2.1GB/s writes, while their max IOPS ratings vary at higher queue depths, as do endurance ratings, which start at 400TBW (Terabytes Written) and scale to 1200TBW for the 2TB drive. At about $.63 — $.65 per GiB, they aren't the cheapest NVMe drives on the market (the 512GB drive drops in at $329) but the new SSD 960 Pro is definitely the fastest consumer SSD currently as benchmark testing clearly proves out.
MojoKid writes: If you follow WikiLeaks on Twitter, you may have noticed a series of cryptic tweets consisting of strings of numbers and letters. These are hashes that appear to be related to another WikiLeak post on Twitter claiming its co-founder, Julian Assange, is without Internet access after his connection was "intentionally severed by a state party." That action has reportedly activated WikiLeaks' "appropriate contingency plans" in response. The announcement surfaced several hours after the site posted the aforementioned cryptic hash posts, three in all with references to Ecuador, Secretary of State John Kerry, and the UK FCO (United Kingdom Foreign Commonwealth Office). Each tweet contained a 64-character hash, which led to rumors that Assange was dead and that the strings of characters were "dead man's keys" or a "dead man's switch," codes to reveal classified secrets in the event of his death. That doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, those hashes, which are preceded by "pre-commitment" labels, are unique codes that can prove the legitimacy of documents leaked in the future that contain the same hashes. Any changes to the documents would alter the 64-character code assigned to them.
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that more artists are discovering a technology called Yondr. Fans are required to place their cellphones into Yondr’s form-fitting lockable pouch when entering the show, and a disk mechanism unlocks it on the way out. Fans keep the pouch with them, but it is impossible to snap pictures, shoot videos or send text messages during the performance while the pouch is locked. “I know my show is protected, and it empowers me to be more honest and open with the audience,” says Dave Chappelle who insists on deploying Yondr at all of his shows. Other entertainers have since used Yondr, including Alicia Keys, Guns N’ Roses, and Maxwell, and the actor, musician and comedian Donald Glover, who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino. Chad Taylor, who manages Mr. Glover, among others, says, “It’s hard to meet people in the room when you’re busy texting friends who aren’t there. It’s hard to enjoy a concert experience when you’re looking at it through an iPhone camera and trying to get the best shot.”
But some fans object to not being able to disseminate and see live shows via videotape. “The ability to see it happening live” from the comfort of your living room “is incredible,” says Chris Kooluris of Manhattan, a hard-core music fan who has been to dozens of live shows and watched others online through Periscope, Twitter’s video feature. “In this day and age, my phone is how I keep my memory,” says Gerard Little. “Chris Brown. Jason Derulo. I have their footage on my phone. If you don’t want your music heard, then don’t perform it.” Andrea Ostolaza says she wants to share the concert with her friends who couldn’t get in. “If it doesn’t have a flash or light, I don’t feel like it’s disrupting."
MojoKid writes: It has been a month since Apple started selling its flagship iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices, though up until now, you couldn't buy a SIM-free version that's factory unlocked. However, now you can. The caveat is that you have to purchase the SIM-free model direct from Apple, either from one of its retail locations or from its web store. Pricing for an unlocked iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus runs the same as models that are tied to a specific wireless carrier. Apple's SIM-free models support both CDMA and GSM networks and are compatible with all four major wireless carriers in the U.S., those being Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. They also have the ability to roam internationally on GSM networks in over 200 countries.
Okian Warrior writes: The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved claiming that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged.
“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com.
Nova Express writes: The lengths Hillary Clinton has gone to in order to protect her own tech privacy are well documented. Protecting the tech privacy of ordinary American privacy? Not so much. "Amid the dump of hacked emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta are bits and pieces of discussion that help indicate her mindset on citizen privacy and the use of encryption to protect data." When asked to come out for privacy, the Clinton campaign demurred. "When a top politician appears to take an uninvolved stance in a conflict between the executive branch and private citizens or companies, don't mistake it as neutrality. It's deference to authority. As a candidate running to be in charge of the executive branch, 'staying out of it' is really approval for the Department of Justice to push the issue to see what would happen."
schwit1 writes: The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership.
The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Vice President Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that "we're sending a message" to Putin and that "it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact."
When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, "Hope not." Link to Original Source
bongey writes: Following on the heels of Glenn Greenwalds article of medias Russian echo camber to deflect the content of the wikileaks email. https://theintercept.com/2016/... The WSJ has came out blasting their peers for burying the Clinton stories(paywalled sorry). Today president Obama proposed that
to "rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to" , essentially Obama wants to to have truth system. https://www.yahoo.com/news/oba...
MojoKid writes: Most folks love the creativity behind taking old-school computer equipment, like floppy drives and other devices that emanate audible tones, and harnessing their internal bits generate musical bliss in full geekery. In this particular case, it's not just floppy drives that were used, but some hard drives and even a scanner or two. The "Floppotron," as its creator calls it, is comprised of 64 floppy drives, 8 hard disks and 2 scanners, to be exact. The result is downright wonderful as this old school computer hardware band shreds through Metallica's heavy metal classic, Enter Sandman.