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Submission + - Germany: We Think NSA May Have Tapped Chancellor Merkel's Cell Phone ( 1

cold fjord writes: The Miami Herald reports, "The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel has called President Barack Obama after receiving information that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel made clear in Wednesday's call that "she views such practices, if the indications are confirmed ... as completely unacceptable" and called for U.S. authorities to clarify the extent of surveillance in Germany." — (Info on Germany's "PRISM" project) — Reuters reports, "President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to assure German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the United States is not monitoring her communications after Merkel raised the issue with Obama." — This revelation follows allegations of US surveillance of the Presidents of Mexico, and France. Yesterday the LA Times noted, "French authorities are shocked — shocked — to learn that the American government is spying on French citizens. The Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Quai D'Orsay to inform him that what's going on is "unacceptable," and President Francois Hollande claimed to have issued a stern rebuke to President Obama in a phone conversation. ... it was revealed in 2010 that France conducts its own espionage activities here on U.S. soil. ... France's intelligence agencies have established an electronic surveillance system of their own that monitors their citizens' phone conversations, emails, texts and ... Twitter posts. This is the way things work in the shadowy world we've been learning about from Snowden's leaks ... "

Comment Re:Whitelists mean nothing (Score 3, Insightful) 55

As I said at the end of the summary, this really isn't a complete solution and you're right about a whitelisted applet/RIA being vulnerable. However this is a good piece of 'defense in depth' to prevent random Java crap from executing without authorization if (when) another bug crops and is somehow exploited. If the stuff you're whitelisting has problems, you need to revisit your coding quality checks, or talk to whatever vendor is supplying it to you.

Submission + - Java Update Provides Whitelist Capability to Help Prevent 0-Day Hacks

kylus writes: The Register is reporting that Oracle's new Java 7 update 40 release comes complete with a new 'Deployment Rule Set' capability which allows administrators to define which particular applets and Java Web Start applications ("Rich Internet Applications") are permitted to run on a given machine. Not a complete solution for the recent trend of Java hacks that have cropped up, but good news for enterprises that have to run this in their environment.

Submission + - Ask slashdot: Best "private" config for a desktop?

An anonymous reader writes: Would like to pose to the community what is the best realistic setup for someone concerned with online privacy? Best browser? Best alternative to gmail? ...Thanks

Submission + - Newfound Exoplanet is best yet candidate for supporting life (

uigrad_2000 writes: With all the new exoplanets discovered recently with Kepler, it seemed a sure thing that the first exoplanet in the habitable zone of a star would be found soon. It's been found now, but the irony is that Kepler was not involved!

GJ 667Cc, is at least 4.5 times as massive as Earth, and lies in the habitable region of its host star, reports Scientific American. It was discovered by comparing public data from the ESO to recent observations from Hawaii and Chile. As opposed to the stars Kepler is watching, this is only 22 light years away, making it even more interesting.


Submission + - Malware Scans Finally Come to Android Market

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "For years, critics have said Google doesn't do enough to police its own servers for apps that steal user data, rack up expensive charges, and carry out other undisclosed abuse. Now Google has announced that it has added a new layer of security to the Android Market, dubbed Bouncer, that will scan apps for evidence of malware. "Here's how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans," wrote Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's vice president of engineering. "It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags." Google says it runs every app in its cloud infrastructure to simulate how it might work on an Android device to look for anything fishy. Developer accounts are also scrutinized to guard against banned individuals making a reappearance. Lockheimer says the service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and that between the first and second halves of 2011, there was a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. "While it’s not possible to prevent bad people from building malware, the most important measurement is whether those bad applications are being installed from Android Market — and we know the rate is declining significantly.""

Submission + - Apple Loses German Court Bid to Ban Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Nexus Phone

chrb writes: Apple has failed to get a patent ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the Nexus phone in Germany. Presiding Judge Andreas Mueller stated "Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection". The patent in question covered list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display. This news follows the recent Appeals court ruling that upheld the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban.

Submission + - Russians may find new life in Subglacial Lake Vostok (

N!NJA writes: Those who had the privilege of watching the fascinating documentary The Lost World of Lake Vostok on BBC's Horizon, know that this lake has been buried under 4km (14,000 ft) of ice for millions of years and might be inhabited by never-before-seen species of microbes, fish, plants and animals. More about the lake on Wikipedia: Now, the Russian scientists that have drilled towards the lake since the 90's are close to reaching its waters.

After 20 years of drilling, a team of Russian researchers is close to breaching the prehistoric Lake Vostok, which has been trapped deep beneath Antarctica for the last 14 million years. Vostok is the largest in a sub-glacial web of more than 200 lakes that are hidden 4 km beneath the ice. Some of the lakes formed when the continent was much warmer and still connected to Australia. The lakes are rich in oxygen (making them oligotrophic), with levels of the element some 50 times higher than what would be found in your typical freshwater lake. The high gas concentration is thought to be because of the enormous weight and pressure of the continental ice cap.

If life exists in Vostok, it will have to be an extremophile — a life form that has adapted to survive in extreme environments. The organism would have to withstand high pressure, constant cold, low nutrient input, high oxygen concentration and an absence of sunlight. The conditions in Lake Vostok are thought to be similar to the conditions on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus. In June, NASA probe Cassini found the best evidence yet for a massive saltwater reservoir beneath the icy surface of Enceladus. This all means that finding life in the inhospitable depths of Vostok would strengthen the case for life in the outer solar system.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Steven Colbert just loves NASA! (

coondoggie writes: "Stephen Colbert, host of the nightly 'The Colbert Report,' and NASA supporter says he loves space and loves it more now because of what research work NASA is doing with the International Space Station. In a public service announcement released today Colbert says: “I love looking up at the stars and wondering what distant planets are still out there and to be discovered and can we frack them for methane.”"

Submission + - EU Privacy Rules Enforce Net Neutrality (

jfruh writes: "In a scene familiar to those following the net neutrality debate in the US, a representative of the broadband industry — Cisco, in this case — declared that government intervention in favor of net neutrality removes incentives to invest in high-speed networks. The twist, though, is that the Cisco exec was talking about EU privacy rules. These rules don't explicitly enforce net neutrality, but make it illegal to do the sort of packet inspection that "traffic shaping" requires."

Submission + - Star Wars Old Republic Doing Better than WoW (

hypnosec writes: EA has announced that Bioware's new MMO, Star Wars: the Old Republic has performed better than World of Warcraft when it was first released. During an investor call, EA's CEO John Riccitiello said that out of the two million units sold at launch, over 1.7 million of those are still playing, with each of them paying their $15 a month for the subscription. He claimed that this is a bigger uptake of paying subscribers than World of Warcraft received in its first month. This is impressive, but Blizzard's game didn't have migrating WoW fans when releasing its new game. Considering there are some two million gamers haemorraging from World of Warcraft, and the fact that SWTOR had a good intellectual property behind it, it was in a good position before it was even released — I'm not surprised it did well afterwards. Some believe though that the real test for an MMO isn't one month after launch, but one year.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Order of the Stick Reprint Drive Breaks Kickstarte (

kylus writes: The author and illustrator of the popular D&D spoof webcomic Order of the Stick recently began a drive to fund reprints of previously-released trade paperbacks. Originally seeking to fund one reprint, Rich Burlew's effort has skyrocketed; having opened the drive 12 days ago, Burlew has already raised close to $390,000, enough to reprint all six of his previous books. The drive is now easily in the top 10 most funded projects in Kickstarter's history and looks to be the most funded creative effort on the entire site. The best news? There are still 18 days to go!

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