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Android

Submission + - Research Shows Half of All Androids Contain Known Vulnerabilities (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: About half of all Android phones contain at least one vulnerability that could be used to take control of the device, according to new research. Duo Security, which launched a free vulnerability scanning app for Android this summer, said their preliminary data from users shows a huge number of the devices are vulnerable to at least one of the known Android flaws.

The X-Ray app from Duo scans Android devices for a set of known vulnerabilities in a variety of the Android releases. Many of them are flaws that attackers have used in the last few months. The main issue with Android security and patches is that each carrier is responsible for pushing out new versions of the operating system to its users and they all do it on random timelines. There's no set interval for updates and users don't have to upgrade, so there's a good chance that many users are running older, vulnerable versions of Android at any given time.

Science

Submission + - Opening Soon: The North-West Passage (arstechnica.com)

DevotedSkeptic writes: "Every time a new sea ice extent record is broken, the same question comes up: how long until it’s gone? That is, how long will it be before the Arctic Ocean is functionally ice-free in the summer, legitimately opening the once-fabled Northwest Passage?

The fact is, we don’t know. Climate models continue to underestimate the rate of sea ice loss we’re observing, leaving researchers to hazard less scientific guesses. Many estimate that day will come around 2030, but some others push it out to 2070. Regardless, Arctic sea ice is changing—and fast. The prospects of open shipping routes and newly-accessible resources have corporations chomping at the bit and governments racing to prepare the way. Three (open access) articles in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists describe the outlook for a changing Arctic from the perspectives of the US, Russia, and Canada. There will be some disagreements, but all parties have at least one view in common—things will get complicated.

The Three big issues that will appear when the Polar Ice Cap fully melts in the summer are: Shipping, Mineral Rights, and Defense and Management.

Shipping brings fuel and tankers into as well as ice breakers if the Arctic becomes a shipping route. Not to mention search and rescue facilities and safe harbors.

With an estimated 30 percent of the worlds's undeveloped natural gas and 13 percent of undeveloped oil resources there will be mineral rights disputes over these resources.

Defense of a North shore that previously could remain undefended (except for listening posts etc) may require Canada to step up it's presence along it's north coast."

Intel

Submission + - Intel says Clover Trail won't work with Linux (theinquirer.net)

girlmad writes: Intel's Clover Trail Atom processor can be seen in various non-descript laptops around IDF and the firm provided a lot of architectural details on the chip, confirming details such as dual-core and a number of power states. However Intel said Clover Trail "is a Windows 8 chip" and that "the chip cannot run Linux".

While Intel's claim that Clover Trail won't run Linux is not quite true — after all it is an x86 instruction set so there is no major reason why the Linux kernel and userland will not run — given that the firm will not support it, device makers are unlikely to produce Linux Clover Trail devices for their own support reasons.

Submission + - Patent troll sues X-Plane (x-plane.com) 2

symbolset writes: X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It's under threat by an NPE (Non Practicing Entity), Uniloc, suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever.

Submission + - There's enough wind energy to power Earth 200x over (nature.com)

notscientific writes: "Renewable sources of energy are obviously a hit but they have as yet failed to live up to the hype. A new study in Nature Climate Change shows however that there is more than enough power to be harnessed from the wind to sustain Earth's entire population... x200! To generate energy from the wind, we may however need to set up wind farms at altitudes of 200-20,000 metres. To be fair, the study is purely theoretical and does not look at the feasibility of such potential wind farms. Regardless, the paper does provide a major boost to backers of wind-generated energy. Because science has confirmed that the sky's the limit."
The Courts

Submission + - Dutch court rules hyperlinks illegal

Ubi_NL writes: "In today's ruling of Playboy (via publisher Sanoma) vs Dutch blog Geenstijl, the court ruled that hyperlinking to copyrighted material was itself infringement of copyright. The court ordered the blog to remove all links to the infringing links (court ruling in dutch). How this ruling fits into the supreme court ruling that hyperlinks cannot by themselves infringe copyright is still to be discussed, possibly in an appeal. An interesting detail of the case is that the anonymous source that pointed Geenstijl to the images did this from an IP address within the Sanoma organisation..."
Music

MIT Media Lab Researcher Prints Playable Flute 85

conner_bw writes "What if making an acoustic instrument was a matter of hitting 'print'? MIT Media Lab researcher Amit Zoran did just that. He created a flute using the Objet Geometries Connex500 3D printer. The instrument is playable and the results are surprisingly good for a first attempt. As an aside, rumour has it that Amit has a bumper sticker that reads: My other printer prints food."
Power

Samsung Develops Power-Sipping DDR4 Memory 152

Alex writes with this excerpt from TechSpot: "Samsung Electronics has announced that it completed development of the industry's first DDR4 DRAM module last month, using 30nm class process technology, and provided 1.2V 2GB DDR4 unbuffered dual in-line memory modules (UDIMM) to a controller maker for testing. The new DDR4 DRAM module can achieve data transfer rates of 2.133Gbps at 1.2V, compared to 1.35V and 1.5V DDR3 DRAM at an equivalent 30nm-class process technology, with speeds of up to 1.6Gbps. In a notebook, the DDR4 module reduces power consumption by 40 percent compared to a 1.5V DDR3 module. The module makes use of Pseudo Open Drain (POD) technology, which allows DDR4 DRAM to consume just half the electric current of DDR3 when reading and writing data."
Networking

Apple Patent Hints at Net-Booting Cloud Strategy 156

An anonymous reader writes "Apple has received a patent that hints at the intent of providing network computers that will boot through a 'net-booted environment.' It may seem that Apple is moving slowly into the cloud computing age and that it has many assets that are simply not leveraged in what could be a massive cloud environment that could cause more than just a headache for Google and Microsoft. However, it appears that Apple has been working for some time on an operating system, conceivably a version of a next-generation Mac OS or iOS, that could boot computers and other devices via an Internet connection."
Bug

Microsoft Confirms Zero-Day Hours After Exploit 53

CWmike writes "Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday an unpatched vulnerability in Windows just hours after a hacking toolkit published an exploit for the bug. A patch is under construction, but Microsoft does not plan to issue an emergency update to fix the flaw. The bug was first discussed Dec. 15 at a South Korean security conference, but got more attention Tuesday when the open-source Metasploit penetration tool posted an exploit module crafted by researcher Joshua Drake. Metasploit says successful attacks are capable of compromising victimized PCs, then introducing malware to the machines to pillage them for information or enlist them in a criminal botnet."
Google

Google Wave Creator Quits, Joins Facebook 191

srimadman found an interview with Wave creator Lars Rasmussen where he talks about his recent decision to join Facebook, leaving Google behind. Apparently getting personally pitched by Zuckerberg helped. He says, "I've got a job description of 'come hang out with us for a while and we'll see what happens,' which is a pretty exciting thing." The article talks about Big vs Small companies, and notes that about 20% of Facebook's staff are former Googlers.
Security

Adobe Warns of Critical Flash Bug, Already Being Exploited 244

Trailrunner7 writes "On the same day that it plans to release a patch for a critical flaw in Shockwave, Adobe confirmed on Thursday morning that there is a newly discovered bug in Flash that is being actively exploited already in attacks against Reader. The vulnerability affects Flash on all of the relevant platforms, including Android, as well as Reader on Windows and Mac, and won't be patched for nearly two weeks. The new Flash bug came to light early Thursday when a researcher posted information about the problem, as well as a Trojan that is exploiting it and dropping a pair of malicious files on vulnerable PCs. Researcher Mila Parkour tested the bug and posted a screenshot of the malicious files that a Trojan exploiting the vulnerability drops during its infection routine. Adobe has since confirmed the vulnerability and said that it is aware of the attacks against Reader."
Education

Time To Rethink the School Desk? 405

theodp writes "As part of its reimagine the 21st-century classroom project, Slate asks: Is the best way to fix the American classroom to improve the furniture? While adults park their butts in $700 Aeron chairs, kids still sprawl and slump and fidget and dangle their way through the day in school furniture designed to meet or beat a $40 price point. 'We've seen in adults that if you put them in the right chair, their performance increases,' says Harvard's Jack Dennerlein. 'Is the same true for children? I can't see why not.' For school districts with deep pockets, there are choices — a tricked-out Node chair from IDEO and Steelcase can be had for $599."
Google

FTC Ends Probe of Google StreetView Privacy Breach 99

GovTechGuy writes "The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wrote to Google on Wednesday to end its probe into a major privacy breach in which the company collected and stored private user information, such as passwords and entire e-mails, without even realizing it after the search giant promised to improve its privacy practices."
Communications

NASA Working On Solar Storm Shield 85

Zothecula writes "The solar storms that cause the stunning aurora borealis and aurora australis (or northern and southern polar lights) also have the potential to knock out telecommunications equipment and navigational systems and cause blackouts of electrical grids. With the frequency of the sun's flares following an 11-year cycle of solar activity and the next solar maximum expected around 2013, scientists are bracing for an overdue, once-in-100 year event that could cause widespread power blackouts and cripple electricity grids around the world. It sounds like an insurmountable problem but a new NASA project called 'Solar Shield' is working to develop a forecasting system that can mitigate the impacts of such events and keep the electrons flowing."

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