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Submission + - Google acquires Israeli security startup SlickLogin (geektime.com)

Fnord666 writes: SlickLogin, an Israeli startup and developer of smart identification technology through user smartphones has been acquired by Google for several million (the official transaction amount remains undisclosed). SlickLogin was founded under a year ago by Or Zelig, Eran Galili and Ori Kabeli. The company first unveiled its technology at TechCrunch Disrupt held last September. the company has yet to launch their product nor have they any customers to date.

Submission + - Let's Finance College With a Tax on All Graduates

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: As the number of students attending colleges and universities has steadily increased and the cost for most students has climbed even faster, student debt figures (both total and per person) have continued to get bigger. Now Josh Freedman at Forbes Magazine proposes a graduate tax-funded system of higher education, under which students would pay nothing to attend college upfront. Instead, once they graduate and move out of their parents’ basements, they would begin to pay an additional income tax (say, for example, three percent) on their earnings that would fund higher education. "In other words, the current crop of college graduates funds the current crop of college students, and so on down the line. There is no debt taken on by students, which minimizes risk (good); repayment is tied to income, because only people who make income pay the tax (also good); and it is simpler and more easily administrable than plans to make loans easier to pay off (still good)." The main argument for a graduate tax comes from its progressivity. Supporters of a graduate tax point out that most college graduates, particularly those from elite universities that use a greater share of resources, are richer than people who have not graduated from college. The state of Oregon made headlines last year for an innovative proposal called “Pay It Forward” to fund higher education without having students take on any debt. Pay It Forward amounts to a graduate tax: All of the graduates of public colleges in Oregon would pay nothing up front in tuition but would pay back a percentage of their income for a set number of years. These payments would build a fund that would cover the cost for future students to receive the same opportunity to attend college with no upfront costs. "As pressure mounts for more students from all backgrounds to attend college, it will become increasingly difficult to try to stem the rapid tuition inflation under a loan system," concludes Freedman. "Our current student loan system has made college more expensive, turned higher education into an individual, rather than a communal, good, and generated serious negative economic and social risks."

Submission + - Open Source -- The Last Patent Defense? (outercurve.org)

dp619 writes: A developer might fly under the patent troll radar until she makes it big, and then it's usually open season. Apple just shared that it has faced off 92 lawsuits over just 3 years. Even Google's ad business is at risk. Well known FOSS attorney Heather Meeker has blogged at the Outercurve Foundation on what to consider and what to learn if you're ever sued for patent infringement. Meeker examined how provisions of open source licenses can deflate a patent troll's litigation and shift the balance in favor of the defense.

Submission + - Hacking Group Linked to Chinese Army Caught Attacking Dummy Water Plant (technologyreview.com) 4

holy_calamity writes: MIT Technology Review reports that APT1, the China-based hacking group said to steal data from U.S. companies, has been caught taking over a decoy water plant control system. The honeypot mimicked the remote access control panels and physical control system of a U.S. municipal water plant. The decoy was one of 12 set up in 8 countries around the world, which together attracted more than 70 attacks, 10 of which completely compromised the control system. China and Russia were the leading sources of the attacks. The researcher behind the study says his results provide the first clear evidence that people actively seek to exploit the many security problems of industrial systems.

Submission + - Moscow Subway To Use Special 'Devices' To Read Data On Phones (rferl.org)

dryriver writes: The head of police for Moscow's subway system has said stations will soon be equipped with devices that can read the data on the mobile telephones of passengers. In the July 29 edition of "Izvestia," Moscow Metro police chief Andrei Mokhov said the device would be used to help locate stolen mobile phones. Mokhov said the devices have a range of about 5 meters and can read the SIM card. If the card is on the list of stolen phones, the system automatically sends information to the police. The time and place of the alert can be matched to closed-circuit TV in stations. "Izvestia" reported that "according to experts, the devices can be used more widely to follow all passengers without exception." Mokhov said it was illegal to track a person without permission from the authorities, but that there was no law against tracking the property of a company, such as a SIM card. — Submitter's Note: What is this all about? Is it really about detecting stolen phones/SIM cards, or is that a convenient 'cover story' for eavesdropping on people's private smartphone data while they wait to ride the subway? Also — if this scheme goes ahead, how long will it be before the U.S., Europe and other territories employ 'Devices' that do this, too? How long before your local bus stop or train terminal eavesdrops on your smartphone just like in the Russian model?

Submission + - Doug Engelbart, inventor of computer mouse, dies at 88 (outsidethebeltway.com)

camperdave writes: Douglas Engelbart, inventor of computer mouse and so much more, passed away in the late hours of July 2 at his home in Atherton, California. He was 88 years old.

The idea for the mouse occurred to Dr. Engelbart in 1964 while he was attending a computer graphics conference. He was musing about how to move a cursor on a computer display.

In December 1968, he set the computing world on fire with a remarkable demonstration before more than a thousand of the world’s leading computer scientists at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. In what would later be known as "The Mother of all Demos", he sat on stage in front of a mouse, a keyboard and other controls and projected the computer display onto a 22-foot-high video screen behind him. In little more than an hour, he showed how a networked, interactive computing system would allow information to be shared rapidly among collaborating scientists. He demonstrated how a mouse, which he invented just four years earlier, could be used to control a computer. He demonstrated video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, and a collaborative real-time editor.

Submission + - 160,000 Soc. Security numbers exposed in Wa State court system hack (komonews.com) 1

Bomarc writes: KOMO TV has reported up to 160,000 social security numbers and 1 million driver license numbers may have potentially been accessed. The information also includes other PII:
The vast majority of the site contains non-confidential, public information. No personal financial information, such as bank account numbers or credit card numbers, is stored on the site. However, other data stored on the server did include social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, and driver license numbers that may have been accessed. Although there is no hard evidence confirming the information was in fact compromised, the data was still vulnerable and should be considered as potentially exposed.
The state has set up two web information pages here and here with more information and means to contact the state.

Security

Submission + - Bug on EA's Origin game platform allows attackers to hijack player PCs (arstechnica.com)

ganjadude writes: "Millions upon millions could be at risk due to the attack that was displayed this past friday at the black hat security conference.

"The Origin platform allows malicious users to exploit local vulnerabilities or features by abusing the Origin URI handling mechanism," ReVuln researchers Donato Ferrante and Luigi Auriemma wrote in a paper accompanying last week's demonstration. "In other words, an attacker can craft a malicious Internet link to execute malicious code remotely on [a] victim's system, which has Origin installed.

"

Science

Submission + - Roadkill Forcing Cliff Swallows to Evolve (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Cliff swallows that build nests that dangle precariously from highway overpasses have a lower chance of becoming roadkill than in years past thanks to a shorter wingspan that lets them dodge oncoming traffic. That's the conclusion of a new study based on 3 decades of data collected on one population of the birds. The results suggest that shorter wingspan has been selected for over this time period because of the evolutionary pressure put on the population by cars.

Submission + - Bypassing SSL with spoofed certs (techtarget.com) 3

dgharmon writes: "Encrypted Web connections are routinely intercepted by enterprises for legitimate reasons. Unfortunately, attackers can use the same methods for tapping into "secure" connections, most often because of endpoint weaknesses".

"In this tip, we'll examine how enterprises and attackers intercept Web connections that are encrypted using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol or its predecessor, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.
--

"When a connection request is made by the browser, it passes through the .. proxy on its way to the real SSL server. The response from the destination SSL server includes a certificate .. Before the proxy passes the certificate through, it unwraps the public key and then re-wraps it in an "emulated certificate" .. This spoofed cert is then returned to the client browser .. The proxy can now inspect the cleartext traffic .. and otherwise fiddle with it prior to sending it down the second encrypted tunnel to the real SSL server."

Earth

Submission + - Yellowstone Boosts Performance 30X by Reducing Clock Speed? (sourceforge.net)

An anonymous reader writes: The NCAR’s Wyoming Supercomputing Center runs is current Bluefire cores at 4.7 GHz resulting in 6 MFLOPS per watt, whereas its new Yellowstone supercomputer to be unveiled next month runs its cores at just 2.6-GHz to get 43 MFLOPS per watt. To compensate for the slower speed per core, Yellowstone uses 72,288 Intel Xeon cores as opposed to Bluefire's 3,744 Power6 cores. The bottom line is that U.S. weather forecasting will get nearly a 30X boost in Sept by moving to Yellowstone. But will that enable them to make more accurate weather predictions? I'll believe it when I see it ;)
Medicine

Submission + - Scientists Explain How the Brain Cleans Itself (medicaldaily.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Every organ in the body has to expel waste somehow. Despite the brain's importance in the body, scientists were previously unclear as to how the brain flushed out its toxins, because it did not have a lymphatic system like other organs, which filters out waste. The previous theory stated the cerebrospinal fluid, in which the brain is encased, expelled junk, as waste floated through tissues and made its way onto the surface – but that seemed wildly inconvenient for the amount of waste that the brain must produce. Now, researchers have discovered a second, faster cleaning system on top of the cerebrospinal fluid, and it may shed some light on what happens during disorders that affect the brain.

Submission + - Can't Pass the Cybersecurity Bill? Sign an Executive Order (thehill.com) 2

Mephistophocles writes: "What do you do when you can't get a bill through congress? Why, you just get the president to sign an executive order, of course! The Hill reports that Senator Jay Rockefeller of Virginia is doing exactly that:

"[B]ecause it is very unclear whether the Senate will come to agreement on cybersecurity legislation in the near future, I urge you to explore and employ every lever of executive power that you possess to protect this country from the cyber threat," Rockefeller wrote in a letter to Obama on Monday. "We must act to address our cyber vulnerabilities as soon as possible and many components of the Cybersecurity Act are amenable to implementation via executive order, normal regulatory processes, or other executive action under the authorities of the Homeland Security Act."

The bill in question failed to pass congressional vote earlier this year. So much for due process."

Security

Submission + - Anonymous Claims to have Hacked Sony PSN Again (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Anonymous has claimed a new attack on Sony PlayStation Network and this time around it seems that it has managed to hack nearly 10 million user accounts and and as a proof of the hack dumped more than 3000 credentials online in the form of a pastebin post. The notorious hacktivist group is claiming that the entire set of hacked credentials contains over 10 million PSN accounts and that the file is of around 50GB.
Space

Submission + - NASA's Own Video of Curiosity Landing Was Blocked by YouTube 1

derekmead writes: NASA’s livestream coverage of the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars was was practically as flawless as the landing itself. But NASA couldn’t prepare for everything. An hour or so after Curiosity’s 1.31 a.m. EST landing in Gale Crater,the space agency’s main YouTube channel had posted a 13-minute excerpt of the stream.

Ten minutes later, the video was gone, replaced with an alien message: “This video contains content from Scripps Local News, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. Sorry about that.” That is to say, a NASA-made video posted on NASA’s official YouTube channel, documenting the landing of a $2.5 billion Mars rover mission paid for with public taxpayer money, was blocked by YouTube because of a copyright claim by a private news service.

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