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Submission + - Malware Researchers Discover Russian Banks Talking to Trump's Private Servers (slate.com)

ewhac writes: After news broke of Russian hackers infiltrating the Democratic National Committee's servers, malware researchers decided to see if other politically-motivated intrusions were taking place. Among others, they monitored DNS traffic relating to the Trump Organization, looking for evidence of intrusion. Instead, they discovered traffic from Russia that did not match the patterns typical of malware or botnets. Rather, the patterns looked like ordinary human-driven traffic, as one might expect from email being exchanged between servers — specifically, from servers operated by Russia's Alfa Bank. Further, Trump's server only accepted connections from a limited number of IP addresses. Even more curious, when the malware researchers reached out to Alfa Bank to inquire about the unusual traffic, but before speaking to the Trump campaign, the DNS entry for Trump's server was clumsily deleted. As one researcher put it, "The knee was hit in Moscow, the leg kicked in New York." Four days later, the Trump Organization registered a new DNS name for the same server; the first DNS lookup for that name came from Alfa Bank in Russia. While the evidence is not conclusive, it is undeniably suggestive that Trump has more than just an "arms-length" relationship with Russia, and warrants further investigation.

Submission + - Physicists Induce Superconductivity In Non-Superconducting Materials (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at the University of Houston have reported a new method for inducing superconductivity in non-superconducting materials, demonstrating a concept proposed decades ago but never proven. The technique can also be used to boost the efficiency of known superconducting materials, suggesting a new way to advance the commercial viability of superconductors, said Paul C.W. Chu, chief scientist at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH (TcSUH) and corresponding author of a paper describing the work, published Oct. 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research, demonstrating a new method to take advantage of assembled interfaces to induce superconductivity in the non-superconducting compound calcium iron arsenide, offers a new approach to finding superconductors that work at higher temperatures. Superconducting materials conduct electric current without resistance, while traditional transmission materials lose as much as 10 percent of energy between the generating source and the end user. That means superconductors could allow utility companies to provide more electricity without increasing the amount of fuel used to generate electricity. To validate the concept, researchers working in ambient pressure exposed the undoped calcium iron arsenide compound to heat — 350 degrees Centigrade, considered relatively low temperature for this procedure — in a process known as annealing. The compound formed two distinct phases, with one phase increasingly converted to the other the longer the sample was annealed. Chu said neither of the two phases was superconducting, but researchers were able to detect superconductivity at the point when the two phases coexist. Although the superconducting critical temperature of the sample produced through the process was still relatively low, Chu said the method used to prove the concept offers a new direction in the search for more efficient, less expensive superconducting materials.

Submission + - AT&T Falsely Claimed Pro-Google Fiber Rule Is Invalid, FCC Says (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Federal Communications Commission has given a helping hand to Louisville, Kentucky, in the city's attempt to enforce local rules that would make it easier for Google Fiber to compete against AT&T. AT&T sued the local government in Louisville and Jefferson County in February to stop a One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) ordinance designed to give Google Fiber or other new competitors faster access to utility poles. Today, the US government submitted a statement of interest (full text) on behalf of the FCC, which says that one of AT&T’s primary legal arguments is incorrect. AT&T—also known as BellSouth Telecommunications in Kentucky—argued that the Louisville ordinance is preempted by the FCC’s pole-attachment rules. The local ordinance "conflicts with the procedures created by the FCC, and upsets the careful balances struck by the FCC in crafting its pole attachment regulations," AT&T's lawsuit said. But that is false, the FCC says. The FCC does have rules ensuring reasonable access to utility poles, but states are allowed to opt out of the federal pole-attachment rules if they certify to the commission that they regulate the rates, terms, and conditions of pole attachments. Kentucky is one of 20 states that has opted out of the federal regime and imposed its own rules, the FCC noted. Accordingly, the federal pole-attachment regulations enacted under Section 224 [of the Communications Act] simply do not apply here,” the FCC wrote. More generally, One Touch Make Ready rules are consistent with federal communications policies and regulations that seek expanded broadband deployment, the FCC also wrote.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Here's a scenario for you 'self driving car' advocates to consider:

It's the future; say, 20 years from now. 'Self-driving cars' have become fairly common. Naturally, they're wireless capable for software updates, traffic information -- and other things, like emergency control by 'proper authorities', of course. Now, here's where the dream turns into a nightmare: The 'authorities' (read as: the government) can completely control your self-driving car, totally overriding any destination you've set it for, and even to the extent of the doorlocks and the ability to

Submission + - The City That Was Saved By the Internet

Jason Koebler writes: At a time when small cities, towns, and rural areas are seeing an exodus of young people to large cities and a precipitous decline in solidly middle class jobs, Chattanooga's government-built fiber network has helped it thrive and create a new identity for itself.

Chattanooga's success is beginning to open eyes around the country: If we start treating the internet not as a product sold by a company but as a necessary utility, can the economic prospects of rural America be saved?

Submission + - The FBI's years-long investigation into a fictional anti-goth cult (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2005, the FBI launched an investigation into the “Church of the Hammer,” a fundamentalist Christian sect which called for the wholesale slaughter of practitioners of the goth subculture. Two years later, the investigation was closed, on grounds that the Church didn’t exist. Here's the story behind that investigation into the anti-goth cult that never was.

Submission + - Espionage Group Uses Cybersecurity Conference Invite As A Lure (helpnetsecurity.com)

Orome1 writes: A cyber espionage group that has been targeting organizations in Southeast Asia for years is misusing a legitimate conference invite as a phishing lure to trigger the download of backdoor malware. The APT in question is Lotus Blossom, and the security conference is Palo Alto Networks’ CyberSecurity Summit. The researchers weren’t able to get a look at the attack emails, but believe the document is delivered as an attachment. Once opened, it shows the decoy Word document while attempting to exploit an old MS Office vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158) to deliver the backdoor Trojan in the background.

Submission + - Hacker group releases list of NSA-compromised servers (itwire.com)

troublemaker_23 writes: A group suspected of having ties to Russia has released a list of servers in various countries which have been compromised by the NSA for use in staging attacks and suggested that the best outcome for the US presidential election might be stopping it altogether.

Submission + - Secret government papers show taxpayers will pick up costs of Hinkley nuclear wa (theguardian.com)

mdsolar writes: Taxpayers will pick up the bill should the cost of storing radioactive waste produced by Britain’s newest nuclear power station soar, according to confidential documents which the government has battled to keep secret for more than a year.

The papers confirm the steps the government took to reassure French energy firm EDF and Chinese investors behind the £24bn Hinkley Point C plant that the amount they would have to pay for the storage would be capped.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy – in its previous incarnation as the Department for Energy and Climate Change – resisted repeated requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the release of the documents which were submitted to the European commission.

“The government has attempted to keep the costs to the taxpayer of Hinkley under wraps from the start,” said Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace chief scientist. “It’s hardly surprising as it doesn’t look good for the government’s claim that they are trying to keep costs down for hardworking families.”

Submission + - LinkedIn deletes my Trump news page. When I complain they delete ALL my pages (newslines.org)

sparkydevil writes: For the past six months I've been building up followers for my company on LinkedIn by providing daily news about famous entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg etc. Yesterday I noticed my Donald Trump page had been removed. When I complained, LinkedIn removed ALL my news pages, deleting almost 20,000 followers and hundreds of hours of work. The whole thing smacks of censorship and the dickish behaviour of their staff has been appalling. How can they expect anyone to provide content for their sites when they are going to be treated poorly? I've reached out to Jeff Weiner but no response yet.

Submission + - Tensions reignite over West Texas nuclear waste storage (fuelfix.com)

mdsolar writes: The years long fight over whether to build a nuclear waste storage facility in West Texas has touched off again over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to move ahead on the review process.

Earlier this month the federal government’s top-nuclear division wrote a letter to Waste Control Specialists, the Dallas-based company developing the waste facility, informing them that the agency would be beginning its environmental review of the project even though the company’s initial application remained incomplete.

“By starting the EIS process now, the NRC will be able to engage interested members of the public earlier and accord the public additional time to review the WCS license application,” the letter reads.

That prompted four environmental groups to write the NRC Wednesday, arguing it should dismiss the application because Congress never intended for a privately-owned facility to take possession of nuclear waste when it passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982.

The facility proposed by Waste Control Specialists would be located in Andrews County, northwest of Midland on the Texas-New Mexico border. It would initially store 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel though has raised the prospect of increasing that volume to 40,000 metric tons – more than half the total waste from nuclear plants in this country.

Submission + - How Google Almost Killed ProtonMail (protonmail.com)

An anonymous reader writes: From 2015 through 2016 for nearly a year, results from searching e.g. "secure email" or "encrypted email" would vary little in most popular search engines and commonly yield mention of ProtonMail, typically within the first page. Not in Google, though. The ProtonMail team investigated and could find no cause. After receiving no substantial reply to their inquiries, ProtonMail turned to Twitter in August, where soon after, Google responded after correcting the issue. Yen, author of the ProtonMail article, writes the following in reference to what he calls "Search Risk":

"The danger is that any service such as ProtonMail can easily be suppressed by either search companies, or the governments that control those search companies. This can happen even across national borders. For example, even though Google is an American company, it controls over 90% of European search traffic. In this case, Google directly caused ProtonMail’s growth rate worldwide to be reduced by over 25% for over 10 months."

Submission + - The sorry state of science the last time the Cubs won the World Series (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: In 1908, the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, humans were far from ignorant. People already crossed continents and oceans on trains and ships, and they sent and received messages over vast distances using the telegraph. Yet, scientifically, people had only begun to systematically decipher nature's mysteries. Indeed, a quick look at the state of the sciences shows how shockingly far humans have comes since the Cubs last won baseball's championship. Astronomers knew of only one galaxy (our own), DNA was unknown, and the terms "big bang", "black hole", and "antimatter" had not been invented. Science has the full list of what we did--and didn't--know 100 years ago.

Submission + - Facebook told to allow the use of fake names (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Facebook comes in for a lot of criticism, but one things that managed to rub a lot of people up the wrong way is its real names policy. For some time the social network has required its users to reveal their real name rather than allowing for the adoption of pseudonyms. This has upset many, including musicians and the drag community.

Now a German watchdog has told Facebook that its ban on fake names is not permitted. The Hamburg Data Protection Authority said that the social network could not force users to replace pseudonyms with real names, nor could it ask to see official identification.

The watchdog's order follows a complaint from a German woman who had her Facebook account closed because she used a fake name. She had opted to use a pseudonym to avoided unwanted contact from business associates, but Facebook demanded to see ID and changed her username accordingly. Hamburg Data Protection Authority said this and similar cases were privacy violations.

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