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Math

Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."
Security

Submission + - Safe Cracking Robot (kvogt.com)

mschaffer writes: Kyle Vogt and Grant Jordan built this safe cracking robot in 2006. It’s designed to open any safe that uses a Sergent and Greenleaf 8500 series lock. These locks are classified as “manipulation proof” by the manufacturer.
Well, I guess this the locks are still "manipulation proof" as they were only able to open the safe with the correct combination.

Submission + - HTTP is "broken" with critical DDOS flaw, say rese (darkreading.com)

huzur79 writes: Researchers from Proactive Risk, an IT security firm, will demonstrate at an upcoming application security conference a systemic flaw in the HTTP protocol that can easily be exploited through online gaming and other activities into distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks that can flood web servers — even through secure connections — with very slow "POST" traffic that is difficult to distinguish from legitimate traffic, making it hard to prevent.

The demonstration will come November 8th at the OWASP 2010 conference in Washington DC and is led by researcher Wong Onn Chee, who first discovered the attack last year in Singapore, according to a report from Dark Reading, a security-focused web site. The technique can crash both IIS and Apache servers using either HTTP or HTTPS protocols, and could conceivably affect anything using a web connection, including SSL, VPN and other "more secure" systems.

http://www.darkreading.com/vulnerability_management/security/attacks/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228000532
http://www.proactiverisk.com/
http://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_AppSec_DC_2010

Submission + - Judge limits DHS laptop border searches (cnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A federal judge has ruled that border agents cannot seize a traveler's laptop, keep in locked up for months, and examine it for contraband files without a warrant half a year later. The ruling apparently says searches at the border are permissible, but that a warrant is required to seize the device for later examination.

Submission + - 02 Scraps Unlimited Data Usage for Smart-Phones (bbc.co.uk)

Jagjr writes: UK phone network O2 has scrapped unlimited data downloads for smartphone customers.

All new and upgrading customers will have their usage capped at between 500 Megabytes (MB) and one gigabyte (GB) depending on their monthly tariff.

Analysts said the move was "inevitable" as more and more consumers switch to data-intensive smartphones that can surf the web and show video.

Other networks are likely to follow O2, they said.

Submission + - Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Released. Win, Mac, Linux (tekgoblin.com)

LordDfg writes: After a long wait, Adobe has finally released the Flash Player 10.1, which offers GPU Acceleration. If you have a Graphic Card [Nvidia 8400+/ATI HD Series] which supports DXVA2[Directx Video Accleration] it will accelerate flash content using it (Less load on the CPU). If you have a low end system and playing youtube HD videos is nearly impossible this simple update will make your life easier. No need for Core2Duo processor to enjoy High Defination Content on the InternetInternetInternet. Btw it also accelerates flash games. In short, anything that uses Flash will offload all the processing to the GPU.

Submission + - Adobe Forgoes Securefix For Flash 10 Goes To 10.1

An anonymous reader writes: The recent critical zero-day security flaw in Flash 10 has fast-tracked the release of Flash 10.1 today.

Flash 10.1 boasts the much anticipated H.264 hardware acceleration. Except for Linux and Mac OS:

Flash Player 10.1, H.264 hardware acceleration is not supported under Linux and Mac OS. Linux currently lacks a developed standard API that supports H.264 hardware video decoding, and Mac OS X does not expose access to the required APIs.

For me, your humble anonymous reporter, who is using Fedora Linux with a ATI IGP 340M, is very pleased that the developers of the OSS drivers have provided hardware acceleration for my GPU: "glxinfo : direct rendering: Yes", "OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R100 (RS200 4337) 20090101 NO-TCL DRI2" but even if Adobe did provide Hardware acceleration H.264 on Linux, they would'nt provide it for me because they disable it for GPU's with SGI in the Client vendor string.

Adobe 10.1, with all its goodness, now gives me around 95% CPU usage as aposed to about 75% with the previous release. Good times. I anticipate my windows friends will have a much better experience.

Submission + - Adobe Goes To Flash 10.1 Forgoes Securefix For 10

An anonymous reader writes: The recent critical zero-day security flaw in Flash 10 may have fast-tracked the release of Flash 10.1 today.

Adobe 10.1 boasts the much anticipated H.264 hardware acceleration. Except for Linux and Mac OS:

Flash Player 10.1, H.264 hardware acceleration is not supported under Linux and Mac OS. Linux currently lacks a developed standard API that supports H.264 hardware video decoding, and Mac OS X does not expose access to the required APIs.

For me, your humble anonymous reporter, who is using Fedora Linux with a ATI IGP 340M, is very pleased that the developers of the OSS drivers have provided hardware acceleration for my GPU: "glxinfo : direct rendering: Yes", "OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI R100 (RS200 4337) 20090101 NO-TCL DRI2" but even if Adobe did provide Hardware acceleration H.264 on linux, they would'nt provide it for me because they disable it for GPU's with SGI in the Client vendor string.

Adobe 10.1, with all its goodness, now gives me around 95% CPU usage as opposed to about 75% with the previous release. Good times. I anticipate my windows friends will have a much better experience.

Submission + - Facebook Helps Promote Responsible Net Use

dward90 writes: In the wake of controversy about its privacy policies, Facebook is teaming up with the National PTA to teach children, parents and teachers about responsible Internet use. The partnership was announced Thursday at the PTA's national convention in Memphis.

The collaboration will create a comprehensive program that will reside on both web sites, and will include such subjects as cyber-bullying, Net safety, and "online citizenship." The National PTA said it will actively reach out to its 24,000 local PTAs to reach every public school in the country. Facebook is committing an in-kind contribution valued at $1 million for promotion on its site.

"Irony" isn't exactly the right word. Perhaps "hilarious".
Security

Submission + - Google Gives Microsoft 5 Days to Fix XP Zero-Day (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Google engineer Tavis Ormandy published attack code on Thursday that exploits a zero-day vulnerability in Windows XP. Security experts objected to the way he disclosed the bug — just five days after it was reported to Microsoft — and said the move is more evidence of the ongoing, and increasingly public, war between the two giants. Microsoft said it is investigating the vulnerability and would have more information on its next steps later on Thursday. Researchers at French security vendor Vulpen Security confirmed that Ormandy's proof-of-concept works as advertised on Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SP3 machines running Internet Explorer 7 or IE8. Ormandy said he decided to go public because of its severity, and, 'If I had reported the ... issue without a working exploit, I would have been ignored.' He also slammed the concept of 'responsible disclosure,' a term that Microsoft and others apply to bug reports submitted privately, giving developers time to patch before the information is publicly released. Microsoft took Ormandy to task for giving it less than a week to deal with his report. And Microsoft was not the only one. Robert Hansen, CEO of SecTheory, chastised Google for claiming that the company abides by responsible disclosure when its security researchers do not. 'Their researchers are going off half-cocked,' said Hansen, who deplored Ormandy's quick publication. 'It just doesn't add up.'
Image

Disgruntled Ex-Employee Remotely Disables 100 Cars Screenshot-sm 384

hansamurai writes "Over one hundred cars equipped with a Webtech Plus blackbox were remotely disabled when a former employee of dealership Texas Auto Center got hold of his employer's database of users. Webtech Plus is repossession software that allows the dealership to disable a car's ignition or trigger the horn to honk when a payment is due. Owners had to remove the battery to stop the incessant honking. After the dealership began fielding an unusually high number of calls from upset car owners, they changed the passwords to the Webtech Plus software and then traced the IP address used to access the client to its former employee."
Earth

Climatic Research Unit Hacked, Files Leaked 882

huckamania was one of many readers to write with the news that the University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Unit was hacked, and internal documents released. Some discussion and analysis of the leaked items can be found at Watts Up With That. The CRU has confirmed that a breach occurred, but not that all 61 MB of released material is genuine. Some of the emails would seem to raise concerns about the science as practiced — or at least beg an explanation. From the Watts Up link: "[The CRU] is widely recognized as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. Consisting of a staff of around thirty research scientists and students, the Unit has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models. An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server. Here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today: 'We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.' The file was large, about 61 megabytes, containing hundreds of files. It contained data, code, and emails apparently from the CRU. If proved legitimate, these bombshells could spell trouble for the AGW crowd." Reader brandaman supplied the link to the archive of pilfered data. Reader aretae characterized the emails as revealing "...lots of intrigue, data manipulation, attempting to shut out opposing points of view out of scientific journals. Almost makes you think it's a religion. Anyone surprised?" And reader bugnuts adds, for context: "These emails are certainly taken out of context, whether they are legitimate or fraudulent, which adds to the confusion."

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