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Submission + - Dubai to build world's lowest cost solar plant (bizled.co.in)

Nishamalhotra writes: Dubai has announced that it will build a gigantic 800 MW solar plant, and the key highlight is that the plant will produce electricity at the most reasonable cost of 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour. This means that Dubai is set to welcome the world’s lowest cost solar plant, surpassing the ever-dominant coal plant, which is the cheapest alternative as of now.

Submission + - Aaron Swartz eBook Watermarking Has Been Cracked 2

jenningsthecat writes: From Hackaday comes news that the collected writings of Aaron Swartz, released as a watermarked eBook by publishing company Verso Books, has had its watermarking scheme cracked by The Institute for Biblio-Immunology, who also published a guide for removing the BooXtream watermarks.

The writings of Aaron Swartz, with DRM applied? Oh, the irony. Still, at least the DRM employed doesn't restrict a user from reading the book on any and all capable devices, so it's not a very intrusive form of DRM. But I somehow doubt that Mr. Swartz would take any comfort from that, and I bet the fact that companies are profiting from DRM'd copies of his writing has him spinning in his grave. I wonder if his family will have anything to say about this...

Submission + - Researcher releases 0day for Lenovo BIOSes

BIOS4breakfast writes: Researcher Dmytro Oleksiuk recently found a vulnerability that allows for compromise of System Management Mode (SMM) on Lenovo Thinkpad laptops. As SMM is the most privileged execution mode on x86 processors, this attack also allows for bypassing SecureBoot, as well as BIOS flash protections. Which means it's possible to insert a persistent backdoor (like the one HackingTeam was previously shown to be selling) into affected systems. He also discovered that the vulnerability existed in the open source UEFI reference code, but was patched at some point. This means an unknown number of other vendors likely have this same vulnerable reference code in their BIOSes. Rather than reporting this to the UEFI Security Response Team for coordination however, he decided to just drop a 0day exploit on github, and let the situation resolve itself.
Mars

Submission + - First high-resolution video of Curiosity (MSL) descent and landing on Mars (youtube.com)

Andorion writes: While we're still waiting for the complete, official video of Curiosity descending and landing on Mars, here's the first video showing the high-resolution frames animated from heat-shield separation to landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju0Q6TWMYHw

Source images from NASA's raw images page for the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI), at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/

Security

Submission + - Subway P.O.S. Terminals Hacked from Romania

Admiral Lazzurs writes: "In yet another case of computer security causing company embrassment Subway and other retailers have had their P.O.S. terminals compromised recently. In this story from Ars Technica it is made clear that a heavy price was paid for not applying simple security measured to their infrastructure. The question to be asked is how many more of these breaches before our industry starts taking security seriously and worth investment."
Security

Anonymous Releases 90,000 Military E-Mail Accounts 319

jjp9999 writes "Anonymous Operations posted 90,000 military email addresses and passwords to the Pirate Bay on July 11, in what they're calling 'Military Meltdown Monday.' They obtained the emails while hacking government contracting and consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. They hinted at other information obtained during the breach, which they describe as 'maps and keys for various other treasure chests buried on the islands of government agencies, federal contractors and shady whitehat companies.' The breach comes just days after Anonymous hacked government contractor IRC Federal. Both breaches are linked to the new AntiSec movement, which LulzSec joined forces with shortly before disbanding."
Image

Real-Life Frogger Ends In Hospital Visit 314

BigSes writes "A 23-year old man has been hospitalized after police in South Carolina say he was hit by an SUV while playing a real-life version of the video game Frogger. Authorities said the 23-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Anderson after he was struck Monday evening. Before he was hit, police say the man had been discussing the game with his friends. Chief Jimmy Dixon says the man yelled 'go' and darted into oncoming traffic in the four-lane highway. Has it come time to ban some of the classics before someone else goes out and breaks a few bricks with their heads after eating a large mushroom?"
Image

Tales From the Tech Trenches 99

GMGruman writes "Anyone in IT has a story or two involving stupid users, crazy co-workers, kludgy technology, and airhead managers. Lisa Blackwelder has collected top tales of the tech trenches, covering user antics, office politics, and unusual technical challenges that IT pros faced (usually) with aplomb, insight, and savvy."
PlayStation (Games)

USAF Unveils Supercomputer Made of 1,760 PS3s 163

digitaldc writes with this excerpt from Gamasutra: "The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has connected 1,760 PlayStation 3 systems together to create what the organization is calling the fastest interactive computer in the entire Defense Department. The Condor Cluster, as the group of systems is known, also includes 168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers in a parallel array capable of performing 500 trillion floating point operations per second (500 TFLOPS), according to AFRL Director of High Power Computing Mark Barnell."
Encryption

Sophos Researcher Suggests Password 'Free' to Spur Wi-Fi Encryption 332

An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of concerns about FireSheep sniffing credentials from people using unencrypted public WiFi hotspots, a security researcher has proposed that the problem does not just lie with big websites like Facebook, but also with those who provide free wireless internet access. Chet Wisniewski, a researcher at security firm Sophos, proposes that all free WiFi hotspots should be encrypted — with the password 'free.' ''I propose standard adoption of WPA2 and a default password of "free." Whenever you wish to connect to complimentary WiFi, you select "Courtyard Marriott" or "Starbucks" like you always have, but you are then prompted for a password. Just type "free". It's not hard. In fact, operating system vendors could even program your PC to automatically try the password "free" before prompting you for a password on the assumption that you might be selecting a free service.'"
Medicine

Americans Less Healthy, But Outlive Brits 521

An anonymous reader writes with this intriguing snippet: "Older Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts, but they live as long or even longer than their English peers, according to a new study by researchers from the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. Researchers found that while Americans aged 55 to 64 have higher rates of chronic diseases than their peers in England, they died at about the same rate. And Americans age 65 and older — while still sicker than their English peers — had a lower death rate than similar people in England, according to findings published in the journal Demography."
Iphone

Real Reason Why the White iPhone 4 Is Delayed 182

tekgoblin writes "There have been numerous reasons why the White iPhone 4 may be delayed with one reason being the color mismatch between the home button and the body. Well this time there is another reason. A source has told CultofMac that the reason for the delay is a light leakage issue caused by the case being clear. Light from the case leaks into pictures taken by the back and front camera on the white iPhone 4, causing distorted pictures. This problem is non-existent on the black iPhone 4, because of its already black case, so Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem, thus the delay of the White iPhone 4 till spring of next year."
Security

Microsoft Eyes PC Isolation Ward To Thwart Botnets 413

CWmike writes "In a paper published Wednesday (PDF), Scott Charney, who heads Microsoft's trustworthy computing group, spelled out a concept of 'collective defense' that he said was modeled after public health measures like vaccinations and quarantines. The aim: To block botnet-infected computers from connecting to the Internet. Under the proposal, PCs would be issued a 'health certificate' that showed whether the system was fully patched, that it was running security software and a firewall, and that it was malware-free. Machines with deficiencies would require patching or an antivirus update, while bot-infected PCs might be barred from the Internet."

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