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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 25 declined, 5 accepted (30 total, 16.67% accepted)

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Submission + - Wikipedia to US Congress: Stop Trolling (

alphatel writes: Wikipedia has blocked anonymous edits from a congressional IP address for 10 days because of "disruptive" edits. These otherwise anonymous edits were brought to light recently by @Congressedits.

The biography of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard". Mediaite's Wikipedia page was modified to label the site as a "sexist transphobic" publication.

Submission + - RSA encryption further compromised by NSA engineering (

alphatel writes: It was revealed in December that the NSA paid RSA $10 million to insert a random number generator with a deceptive NSA backdoor built-in.

A group of professors have found that a second tool, known as the "Extended Random" extension, could help crack a version of RSA's software tens of thousands of times faster.

RSA Chief Technologist Sam Curry declined to say if the government had paid RSA to incorporate Extended Random in its BSafe security kit. An NSA spokeswoman declined to comment on the study or the intelligence agency's motives in developing Extended Random.

Submission + - Swedish Politicians find themselves bare as Disqus reveals IDs (

alphatel writes: The Swedish company Resarchgruppen has cracked the Disqus commenting system, enabling them to identify Disqus users by their e-mail addresses. The crack was done in cooperation with the Bonnier Group tabloid Expressen, in order to reveal politicians commenting on Swedish hate speech-sites.

Also widely discussed (pun intended) in English on reddit and ycomb

Submission + - Politicians & Celebrities Personal Data Stolen in Limo Cloud Service Hack

alphatel writes: In as yet another Plain Text hack, a company which handles bookings for Limousine companies through an online portal had user credit card, address and personal data exposed, including pickups and activities. These may be the same attackers who recently lifted PR Newswire and Adobe info from the same servers. Beyond the credit card data were important personal notes, including who to contact and what, if any, illicit activity may have occurred in the vehicles.

It must be interesting to have all your data exposed to a group of violent strangers, like the way the rest of the world is exposing itself to the NSA. Shoe, meet foot.

Submission + - Wake up, something's happening nearby (

alphatel writes: This morning, millions of residents in the NY Metro Region were awoken by an emergency message issued to their cell phones at 3:30 AM. Another Hurricane Sandy, or perhaps even a tornado watch? No, today an Amber Alert was issued which simply read "LIC/GEX1377 NY 1995 Tan Lexis".

Apparently a bipolar mother kidnapped her child, and police issued the alert in an attempt to help track her down. Is this the new age of messaging where any law enforcement can spam their special cases all over the region?

Submission + - EPA: No Single Cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (

alphatel writes: Citing a wide range of symptoms, a federal report released today has concluded that no single event, pesticide or virus can be held responsible for CCD in North American bee colonies. Meanwhile, Europe has moved towards banning neocotinids for two years.

EPA's Jim Jones stated, “There are non-trivial costs to society if we get this wrong. There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.” May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a participant in the study, said “There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.”

The Internet

Submission + - Choose your geolocation wisely, shopper. (

alphatel writes: Plan on buying Milton that Swingline Stapler he always wanted? Better be sure you're not right next to Initech's office where will mark up your price 10% or higher over someone working at Initrode.

A Wall Street Journal investigation found that the Staples Inc. website displays different prices to people after estimating their locations. More than that, Staples appeared to consider the person's distance from a rival brick-and-mortar store, either OfficeMax or Office Depot. If rival stores were within 20 miles or so, usually showed a discounted price.

The Journal identified several companies, including Staples, Discover, Rosetta Stone, and Home Depot that were consistently adjusting prices and displaying different product offers based on a range of characteristics that could be discovered about the user.


Submission + - Instagram: So long, and thanks for all the pics! ( 3

alphatel writes: Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users' photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.

The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out. Perhaps most alarming? Underage users are not exempt.
Athough Instagram's terms of service state you must be at least 13 years old to sign up for the service, the new terms indicate that if a youth signs up, they are agreeing that a parent or guardian is aware that their image, username and photos can also be used in ads.


Submission + - Google did NOT just buy ICOA (

alphatel writes: In an odd PRWeb snafu, a press release was issued citing sources at Google as having acquired wireless carrier ICOA for $400 million. In full-out retraction, both companies denied the deal outright.

Is this a case of pre-release or simply false PR by a third party? Could such incidents be used for pump and dump schemes?

The Internet

Submission + - Charlie Hedbo publishes nude Mohammed, suffers outage 1

alphatel writes: Potentially adding fuel to an already incensed crowd, satirical French magazine Charlie Hedbo has published an article titled "Intouchables 2", depicting the Prophet Mohammed on several pages in the buff.

Attempts to read the paper have proven difficult as the site is either overloaded or has been brought down.


Submission + - RIM CEO Heins: We're not in a a Death Spiral ( 1

alphatel writes: ""There's nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now," said CEO Thorsten Heins when he spoke to Canada's CBC Radio Tuesday morning.
"I'm not talking about the company I took over six months ago. I'm talking about the company [in the] state it's in right now."

RIM just had one of its worst quarters in years, delayed its next-generation smartphone platform, and announced layoffs that will affect nearly one-third of the smartphone maker's employees. What's important to keep in mind that these results paint a picture of decisions made months, if not years, ago."


Submission + - Backify might have been fraud scheme ( 1

alphatel writes: In early October, new backup service Backify send out press releases announcing free 512GB accounts. A week later, the new accounts were told of an error and price increase for the service. Follow-up to a few days ago, Backify sent an email wanring customers their accounts would be terminated if no billing information was entered.

Flash forward to today and LiveDrive has been sending emails to Backify customers warning them to call their credit card companies and find a replacement backup provider immediately. Apparently backify used the reseller account status as a tool to commit fraud on thousands of customers.

Submission + - The geek dress-down dream come true ( 1

alphatel writes: New York has now ranked as the 5th best-dressed city in the nation, behind rival Boston. GQ blames this all on men who "walk down the street in unison, should-to-shoulder, outfitted in tacky black 'Go Out' button-downs, embroidered denim, and product-inspired conflagrations on their head. These are the men that are sapping one of fashion's capitals, stride by douchey stride." What was once a victory for geekdom, walking around in baseball caps and jeans, has catapulted the fashion capital of the world to looking more like a dress rehearsal for Animal House.
Social Networks

Submission + - Mister Wong bans everyone (

alphatel writes: Mister-Wong sent out an email today to a large number of users, claiming that it could "no longer support spam" on its bookmarking site and would "only be free of charge to private users with 'trusted' status". Attempting to sign in causes the new notice page to appears, with a link to the new pay to bookmark pricing page.

Is social bookmarking doomed to become a paid service for SEO, no different from spammy link directories?

The Internet

Submission + - US Calls for "unrestricted internet access" (

alphatel writes: Hillary Clinton today called for all nations to embrace online freedom, stating that "There is no silver bullet in the struggle against Internet repression. There's no 'app' for that."
The Obama administration says it is ready to help dissidents evade internet restrictions to promote human rights and democracy in repressive states.
One wonders if the administration will help Americans gain internet access post kill-switch or takes issue with this as a typical example of it's right for thee but not for me.

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