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Submission + - vandal-catching hardware suggestions needed 5

smellsofbikes writes: I have a friend who has a vandal problem: someone is routinely and repeatedly damaging her car. Over the last year, someone has scratched the paint and windows, dented every body panel, deflated and slashed tires, bent and stolen window wipers. She parks in a garage that is locked, so only other apartment residents have access. The garage is well-lighted, but has only one electrical outlet, near her car, and no easy way to attach stuff to walls. She thinks she knows who is doing it, and her apartment manager agrees and is willing to back her up, but without some evidence, nobody can do much. It only happens once every couple of weeks, so hiring a kid to sleep in the car is probably not viable. The garage is too far from her apartment to set up a wireless video camera. I'm looking for suggestions to help her out, that could include building hardware for this project. Thoughts?

Submission + - 20-state PIN pad tampering exploit (chicagotribune.com)

smellsofbikes writes: Michaels' Stores, a country-wide chain of craft stores, announced today that PIN pads had been tampered with across at least a 20 state region, saying that the pads had either had their software surreptitiously altered or outright replaced with machines that looked identical but saved PINs for later retrieval and usage. Many customers claim to have been affected, with multiple-of-$100 withdrawals from their bank accounts. The logistics involved in a multi-state hardware hack of this size seem overwhelming.

Submission + - Cyber-warfare: fact or fantasy?

smellsofbikes writes: This week's New Yorker magazine has an investigative essay by Seymour Hersh about the USA and its part in cyber-warfare that makes for interesting reading. Hersh talks about the financial incentives behind many of the people currently pushing for increased US spending on supposed solutions to network vulnerabilities and the fine and largely ignored distinction between espionage and warfare. Two quotes that particularly stood out: one interviewee said "Current Chinese officials have told me that [they're] not going to attack Wall streat, because [they] basically own it", and Whitfield Diffie, on encryption, "I'm not convinced that lack of encryption is the primary problem [of vulnerability to network attack]. The problem with the Internet is that it's meant for communication among non-friends." The article also has some interesting details on the Chinese disassembly and reverse-engineering of a Lockheed P-3 Orion filled with espionage and eavesdropping hardware that was forced to land in China after a midair collision.

Submission + - HP acquisitions sign of poor R&D?

smellsofbikes writes: The Wall Street Journal is running an aggressive interview with IBM Chief Executive Samuel J. Palmisano, in which he says that HP has no choice but to pay $1.5 billion for ArcSight and $2.4 billion for 3Par because "Hurd cut out all the research and development."
“I’m never worried about a competitor that doesn’t invest in R&D,” Palmisano said. “They’ve had to buy. They have no choice.”
The WSJ is running this as a section lead article, where anyone who glances at the paper will see it. However, other analysts characterize Hurd's behavior in cutting R&D down to 2.5% of total revenue and shunning acquisitions as "fiscal restraint".
Open Source

Submission + - Glaxo open-sources malaria drug search data

smellsofbikes writes: Glaxo Smith Klein, the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company, is putting thousands of possible malaria-treating drugs into the public domain in a move that the Wall Street Journal calls a "linux approach" to pharmaceutical screening. Andrew Witty, who is described as the boss of GSK, says the company thinks it is "imperative to earn the trust of society, not just by meeting expectations but by exceeding them". Of course, synthesis or discovery of new chemicals is cheap compared to efficacy and qualification studies, but this is a refreshing change from not handing out *any* information until after everything is patented.

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"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell