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Submission + - New Dell laptops bundled with Hardware Keylogger (

Art1fice writes: For further investigation and debate for the Slashdot community:

I was opening up my almost brand new Dell 600m laptop, to replace a broken PCMCIA slot riser on the motherboard. As soon as I got the keyboard off, I noticed a small cable running from the keyboard connection underneath a piece of metal protecting the motherboard.
I figured "No Big Deal", and continued with the dissasembly. But when I got the metal panels off, I saw a small white heatshink-wrapped package. Being ever-curious, I sliced the heatshrink open. I found a little circuit board inside.
Being an EE by trade, this piqued my curiosity considerably. On one side of the board, one Atmel AT45D041A four megabit Flash memory chip.
On the other side, one Microchip Technology PIC16F876 Programmable Interrupt Controller, along with a little Fairchild Semiconductor CD4066BCM quad bilateral switch.
Looking further, I saw that the other end of the cable was connected to the integrated ethernet board.
What could this mean? I called Dell tech support about it, and they said, and I quote, "The intregrated service tag identifier is there for assisting customers in the event of lost or misplaced personal information." He then hung up.
A little more research, and I found that that board spliced in between the keyboard and the ethernet chip is little more than a Keyghost hardware keylogger.
The reasons Dell would put this in thier laptops can only be left up to your imagination. It would be very impractical to hand-anylze the logs, and very CPU-intensive to do so on a computer for every person that purchased a dell laptop. Why are these keyloggers here? I recently almost found out.
I called the police, as having a keylogger unknown to me in my laptop is a serious offense. They told me to call the Department of Homeland Security. At this point, I am in disbelief. Why would the DHS have a keylogger in my laptop? It was surreal.
So I called them, and they told me to submit a Freedom of Information Act request. This is what I got back:
Capsida.Net — Remote Admin Service


Submission + - Hardware hackers reveal Apple's charging secrets (

ptorrone writes: "In this 7 minute video we explore "The mysteries of Apple device charging". Usually device makers need to sign a confidentially agreement with Apple who want to say "works with iPhone / iPod" and never talk about how the insides work. If you don't put these secret resistors on the data lines to you get the dreaded "CHARGING IS NOT SUPPORTED WITH THIS ACCESSORY". We demonstrate how anyone can do this and make their own chargers that work with iPhone 4, 3Gs, etc."

Comment OK, At least two problems with this anaylysis (Score 1) 226

Ok, At least two problems with this analysis.

1. How about heat from flexing that lowers the stiffness and allows more the top of the band to sag as speed increases. If this test was properly designed however, the sag from this effect would be countered by #2 below:

2. Doing this test in a drum means that there's no airflow over the top of the rubber band. If the band was rolling downhill at speed, the top of the rubber band would acquire an attached airflow creating lift due to the bernoulli effect. This would cause the top of the rubber band to bow upwards.

I'm amazed that no mention or consideration is made of either of these points.

The Internet

Submission + - Seven Key Holders Can Reboot the Internet

Hugh Pickens writes: "Live Science reports that in a move that seems inspired by "The Lord of the Rings," seven "keys" have been handed out to a trusted circle of people called "recovery key holders" who might get called upon to reboot the Internet in the aftermath of a cyber attack. At least five key-holding members of this fellowship would have to meet at a secure data center in the United States to reboot theDomain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) in case of a very unlikely system collapse. "If you round up five of these guys, they can decrypt [the root key] should the West Coast fall in the water and the East Coast get hit by a nuclear bomb," says Richard Lamb, program manager for DNSSEC at ICANN. Each person's key contains encrypted parts of the root DNSSEC key, and these keys are actually two identical copies of a smartcard, sealed in a tamper-evident plastic bag. Paul Kane, a prominent British Internet industry head, represents Western Europe, for example. Canada, China, Burkina Faso, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Czech Republic also have representatives. The United States' "ring bearer" is Dan Kaminsky, chief scientist at Recursion Ventures. A video describes the process of generating the cryptographic keys used for signing the ROOT Zone."

Submission + - Microsoft Deliberately Cripple Visio ( 1

BritishNick writes: Those thieving bastards at Redmond have really pissed me off today.

I had my laptop 'upgraded' to Office and Visio 2007 a few months ago, after resisting for a long time (I REALLY F$%*ING HATE THAT RIBBON!!!) But thankfully Visio still has the good old standard menus that I've been using for... Ooooh SEVENTEEN YEARS!

Anyway I'm producing a network diagram today, and need the shape for a certificate server — I go into shapes search, type 'server' and I get 4 items found, 2 of which are duplicates.
This search used to return in the region of 30-50 different shapes. I try a few other of my common searches... 'Fiber', 'Switch', 'router' all return virtually nothing.
I know most of the shapes are only available from the online search functionality, so I run Wireshark and watch what happens.... Guess what? 301 & 404 errors all over the place.

More digging and I find this little gem of a post

Not only have Micro$oft removed access to the online search function for all versions of Visio older than 2010, they aren't even making the shapes available for download. The only stencils available are for a few vendor specific network devices, and exchange servers.

Removing access for obsolete versions (i.e. 2002 or earlier) I can understand (but disagree with) but Office 2007 is still within the current product lifecycle!!

Grrrrrrr >:-(

Data Storage

Submission + - Dell: 90% of data is never read again (

Barence writes: According to a Dell briefing given to PC Pro, 90% of company data is written once and never read again. If Dell’s observation about dead weight is right, then it could easily turn out that splitting your data between live and old, fast and slow, work-in-progress versus archive, will become the dominant way to price and specify your servers and network architectures in the future.The only remaining question will then be: why on earth did we squander so much money by not thinking this way until now?

Submission + - Whale with big bite named for Moby Dick's author (

mmmscience writes: Scientists have discovered the remains of a long-extinct sperm whale that calls to mind all sorts of horrors: the creature had teeth 12 centimeters in diameter and 36 centimeters long. The fossils were found in a Peruvian desert, the same general region where the whale’s contemporary monster, the great shark Carcharocles megalodon, would have swam some 13 million years ago. With a head five meters across, it is thought to have the largest mammalian bite on record. It has been dubbed Leviathan melvillei after Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick.

Submission + - Top-notch tweaking software shut down ( 1

KingofGnG writes: The month of June started with a bad news for all the Windows systems power users and personalizations fans: X-Setup Pro, a long-history tweaking software with unique features, reached the end of its lifetime. Because of its financial problems, the company behind X-Setup interrupted the program’s development giving away the latest version with a serial code useful for its registration.

Submission + - Oil leak could be stopped with a nuke (

An anonymous reader writes: Oil leak in the Gulf of Mexican could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports:

Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts underground. The idea is simple, KP writes: "the underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel." Yes! It’s so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union, a major oil exporter, used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities. ...

These kinds of surgical strikes to shut off underground leaks, however, were carried out only five times, with the last one occuring in 1979. And there was only one misfire, near Kharkov, Ukraine, where a nuclear blast was unable to stanch a gas leak.

Happily, with a track record like that, "the chances of failure in the Gulf of Mexico are 20%", KP writes. "The Americans could certainly risk it."

Submission + - Lidar finds overgrown Maya pyramids (

AlejoHausner writes: A team of archeologists scanned the jungle of Belize with lidar. Although most of the reflections came from the jungle canopy, some light reflected off the ground surface. Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution. The NY Times has the story.
Emulation (Games)

Submission + - Emulation for preservation of digital artifacts ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Author Salman Rushdie donated his papers and notes to Emory University a while ago. Not surprisingly, many of Rushdie's original notes, drafts, and correspondence existed in electronic form. Rather than printing them out or converting them to other formats, archivists at the university created an emulated image of Rushdie's old computer, complete with old software. Researchers visiting the archive can read his email in Eudora and his Stickies notes, or read drafts of his books in ClarisWorks. When you leave your legacy to future generations, would you like a virtualized copy of your personal system to be included?

Submission + - Miniature Flying Robot Captures Drug Lord

An anonymous reader writes: Just found this cool story about a flying robot that's helped bring down a drug lord. It's a small helicopter that police used to fly deep into the jungle and take pictures of a drug lord's compound:
"The Aeryon Scout — a small, lightweight mini-helicopter that is remote-controlled from the ground by computer — was able to provide visual surveillance of a suspected narcotic trafficker's compound deep in the jungle..."
"This might sound like a plot from a TV show like CSI or 24, but it's a real-life application of our robotic technology," said Dave Kroetsch, President of Aeryon Labs. "This is what the Scout was designed for: providing aerial intelligence in settings too challenging or dangerous for humans to venture into."

Too bad they're cancelling 24, I would have loved to see Jack Bauer use one of these!

Submission + - Escapist Website Mass Bans Users Who Mention Adblo ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: One user posted a thread on the forums complaining about an ad. Other users responded that they used adblock so never saw any ads. Down comes the banhammer wiping out several users that have post counts in the thousands and years of membership, just for mentioning the name of the hated extension.

There are no terms of use prohibiting adblock or listing blocking of ads as a bannable offense.

The thread was quickly locked and will probably be deleted.

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