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Submission + - SPAM: Authors of encrypted-messaging app in legal battel with government 1

mi writes: Open Whisper Systems — whose Signal app pioneered the end-to-end encryption technique now used by many messaging services — was subpoenaed for information about one of its users earlier this year, according to legal correspondence released Tuesday. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the company, said the small San Francisco firm didn't produce the user's name, address, call logs or other details requested by the government.

“That's not because Signal chose not to provide logs of information,” ACLU lawyer Brett Kaufman said in a telephone interview. “It's just that it couldn't.”

It could not, because it does not collect that information — and can not collect it because of how their software is written.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Yahoo! searched users' emails for the Feds 1

mi writes: Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.

Supposedly, this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Cory Doctorow on the next iPhone's missing headphone jack (

harrymcc writes: It now seems all but certain that the next iPhones, to be announced next month, will ditch the standard headphone jack. Fast Company's Mark Sullivan talked about the switch with author and EFF adviser Cory Doctorow, who thinks it could lead to music companies leveraging DRM to exert more control over what consumers can do with their music.

Submission + - Google Street map of 1800s/1900s New York City (

schwit1 writes: New York City has a long and sprawling history, but looking at the city today, it’s hard to tell what it looked like in the past. Luckily, an enterprising coder has solved that problem by creating a Google Street View map for New York City for the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Developer Dan Vanderkam collaborated with the New York Public Library to plot all the old photos from the Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection on an interactive map.

The project, called OldNYC, lets you browse 19th-century New York as easily as you would click around on Google Maps. The collection contains over 80,000 original photographs.

Submission + - Obama Admits The Government Monitors Your Browsing History ( 3

schwit1 writes: However, as AllOutdoor notes, if you listen carefully to Obama's full response, there is a comment Obama gives about knowing browser history that should sent everyone into a blind rage.

"I just came from a meeting, today, in the situation room, in which I’ve got people who we know have been on ISIL websites living here in the United States — US citizens. And we’re allowed to put them on the no fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the National Rifle Association I cannot prohibit those people from buying guns!"

Based on browser history — pardon? What the president just confirmed is that someone from the government is noting everyone's browsing history, determining which websites are not to be visited, and furthermore, if someone does visit the website for whatever reason they get put on a no fly list.

The Anonymous Conservative goes on an epic rant about this revelation.

Now, how are they finding out who is visiting those websites? How big is the unit watching that? What websites are considered verboten by the Fedguv? Who determines the status of a website? Do they have a warrant to surveil what websites people are visiting? Is there any oversight, by any elected body? Nobody knows, because that section of the government is completely hidden from everyone’s view, and the media will never dare ask, for some unimaginable reason.

Imagine how powerful the machine is, that it is actually aware of who is looking at what online. Imagine how powerful the machine is, that an airline executive picks up the phone to hear a disembodied voice say, “You aren’t going to sell this guy a plane ticket today.” No airline asks questions, and nobody asks for a court order or government document. Imagine the power, that the American media dare not mention anything about it. Everyone just jumps to do what they are told. What does the government have on the airline people, the media, the politicians, that everyone will be so blindly obedient, and never even act as if the beast stalking them could possibly exist?

* * *

This isn't necessarily shocking, but it should get people to understand that the government does in fact know much more than they let on. After all, this NSA data center in Utah wasn't built for nothing

Submission + - http compression continues to put encrypted communications at risk (

monkeyFuzz writes: According to the article:
Security researchers have expanded and improved a three-year-old attack that exploits the compression mechanism used to speed up browsing in order to recover sensitive information from encrypted Web traffic.

The attack, known as BREACH, takes advantage of the gzip/DEFLATE algorithm used by many Web servers to reduce latency when responding to HTTP requests. This compression mechanism leaks information about encrypted connections and allows man-in-the-middle attackers to recover authentication cookies and other sensitive information.

Submission + - Blinded by the lights. (

niftymitch writes: Recent tests of automobile headlights seem to be conducted and presented without regard to sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, oncoming or following vehicle lights.

Modern lamps are astoundingly bright and quickly eliminate any dark adaption a driver might have.
The problem lamps are not just automobile lamps but also poorly adjusted street and construction lights. LED lamps with their small emitters like arc welders and arc lamps are blinding because the eye focuses the spot thus area intensity specified in the laws is often a flawed measure.

As a photographer will tell you it is almost impossible to image a scene when sensors can see very bright light sources in the field of view. Humans have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal diameter of their visual field so the long focal length images in these presentations misrepresent or fail to address the issue of glare impeded vision.
A simple example is two approaching vehicles. One vehicle has a pedestrian on the side of the road or even sidewalk. Lamps sufficient to dominate other light sources and illuminate the pedestrian would blind both the pedestrian and oncoming vehicles. Pedestrians can trip and fall when blinded by modern bright lamps.
A more common and often overlooked problem is glare from following vehicles via side and rear view mirrors. Simple studies like this one are informative but not complete:
make it clear that there is a problem but present data in ways unfriendly even hostile to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Misuse of high beams and fog lights further increases the issue. Fog lights reflect off damp and wet pavement and blind oncoming or leading traffic when breaking conditions are worse and visibility degraded.
Pedestrians in cities or country roads in bad weather tend to be head down and on a mission to get home and dry. One test discusses adjusting lamps but fails to remind

Multiple solutions.
Higher visibility clothing, i.e. grey camo is foolish for jogging. My favorite is mom running behind a jogging pram with two infants yet invisible to cross and turning traffic because of glare.

Vehicle safety enhancements not unlike automatic braking could sense night and forward contrast. With oncoming or following traffic slow the vehicle (notify driver) so a driver does not overdrive conditions. High beams and fog lights at the wrong time would be met with a totally grouchy announcement and then if not dimmed speed reduced to 5km/hr. below posted speeds.

I fear that modern lamp manufacturers helped set the test criteria to make their products sell better.

Any study that does not share the road is flawed or only a partial study.

N.B. The Mr Grouch version is worse than this:

Submission + - ReactOS 0.4.0 finally released ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Around 10 minutes ago the long awaited version of ReactOS 0.4.0 got released. At least the final version is available to download!

Submission + - Zero Tolerance: Teens Face Expulsion, Jail for Fishing Knives, Advil in cars

schwit1 writes: Two Escondido, California, high school students-ages 16 and 18-could see their whole lives derailed because they committed the crime of keeping fishing supplies in cars they parked on school property.

The elder teen, Brandon Cappelletti, had three knives in his car: the remnants of a family fishing trip. The knives were used to cut lines and filet fish. The younger teen, Sam Serrato, had a pocketknife in his glove compartment. His father had left it there.

Both teens are facing expulsion. Cappelletti, a legal adult, could serve jail time if convicted of weapons charges, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

You might be wondering how administrators at San Pasqual High School even found out about the innocuous items. You might be wondering why the Escondido police became involved. You might also be wondering if the world has gone mad. I have answers to these questions, but you won't like them.

The high school pays a company to search its campus for contraband using drug-sniffing dogs. On January 27, the dogs indicated Cappelletti's vehicle-not because of the knives, but because he kept Advil in the car. It's not clear how Serrato was caught (one news story claims he also had Advil, but his father disputed this). But the knives were discovered, the police were called, and both boys are in big trouble.

Your tax dollars at work.

Submission + - Hackers Demand $3.6 Million From Hollywood Hospital Following Cyber-Attack (

An anonymous reader writes: The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center has been hit by a cyber-attack and its systems are now being held hostage by hackers that are demanding a ransom of 9,000 Bitcoin, which is about $3.6 million (€3.2 million) in today's currency. Management has forbidden staff to turn on their computers, fearing the attack might spread, and the Radiation and Oncology departments have been completely shut down because they can't use their equipment. Staff is also using fax instead of email, writing down patient data on paper (the horror!), and patients need to come at the hospital for results, like in 3rd world countries (oh boo-hoo!).

Submission + - Flint Michigan Declares State of Emergency over lead in children's blood (

schwit1 writes: The Hurley Medical Center, in Flint, released a study inSeptember that confirmed what many Flint parents had feared for over a year: The proportion of infants and children with above-average levels of lead in their blood has nearly doubled since the city switched from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River as its water source, in 2014.

Submission + - Untwisting Galloping Gertie, Engineering's Greatest, Most Misunderstood Failure (

tedlistens writes: Generations of physics teachers, textbooks, and articles have taught that the spectacular collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 75 years ago, in November 1940, was caused by resonance. But this explanation is inaccurate, and despite the fact that the collapse is not a mystery—that the bridge, in a sense, twisted itself apart—the fallacy continues to spread. Not only that: according to a new study by Don Olson and colleagues at Texas State University and East Carolina University, parts of the famous footage that immortalized it are misleading too.

Submission + - Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi Discloses Customer Names and Addresses (

itwbennett writes: Despite assurances that only business listings and not customer names and home addresses would appear in the public search results when someone searches for an Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot, that is exactly what's happened when the service was initiated 2 years ago — and is still happening now, writes CSO's Steve Ragan. And that isn't the only security issue with the service. Another level of exposure centers on accountability. Ken Smith, senior security architect with K Logix in Brookline, Ma., discovered that Comcast is relying on the device’s MAC address as a key component of authentication.

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Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?