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British Intelligence Responds To Slashdot About Man-in-Middle Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '13 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-do-you-have-to-say department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "The GCHQ agency, Britain's equivalent of the National Security Agency, reportedly used fake LinkedIn and Slashdot pages to load malware onto computers at Belgian telecommunications firm Belgacom. In an emailed statement to Slashdot, the GCHQ's Press and Media Affairs Office wrote: 'We have no comment to make on this particular story.' It added: 'All GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensure that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Intelligence and Security Committee.' Meanwhile, LinkedIn's representatives suggested they had no knowledge of the reported hack. 'We have read the same stories, and we want to clarify that we have never cooperated with any government agency,' a spokesperson from the social network wrote in an email to Slashdot, 'nor do we have any knowledge, with regard to these actions, and to date, we have not detected any of the spoofing activity that is being reported.' An IT security expert with extensive knowledge of government intelligence operations, but no direct insight into the GCHQ, hypothesized to Slashdot that carrying out a man-in-the-middle attack was well within the capabilities of British intelligence agencies, but that such a 'retail' operation also seemed somewhat out of character. 'Based on what we know they've done, they are doing industrialized, large scale traffic sweeping and net hacking,' he said. 'They operate a wholesale, with statistical techniques. By "statistical" I mean that they send something that may or may not work.' With that in mind, he added, it's plausible that the GCHQ has software that operates in a similar manner to the NSA's EGOTISTICAL GIRAFFE, and used it to redirect Belgacom employees to a fake download. 'However, the story has been slightly garbaged into it being fake [LinkedIn and Slashdot] accounts, as opposed to network spoofing.'"

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China's "Single's Day" Is the World's Biggest Online Shopping Blitz
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '13 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's got-to-buy-it-all department:
hackingbear writes "While the Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving is the busiest online shopping day in the U.S., it pales in comparison to China's Single's Day on November 11, which started out in the 1990s as a protest to Valentine's Day. Sales on Singles' Day last year for Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-retailer, totaled more than $3.1 billion, doubling the $1.5 billion spent by U.S. consumers on Cyber Monday in 2012. This year, Alibaba's two ecommerce sites, Tmall and Taobao Marketplace, are expecting sales of at least $4.9 billion."

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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '13 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's rain-shine-or-weekend department:
guttentag writes "The New York Times is reporting The USPS has struck a deal to deliver Amazon's packages on Sundays — a first for both. The Postal Service, which lost nearly $16 billion last year, often loses money on first-class mail delivery, but package delivery is profitable. The Postal Service said it expected to make more such deals with other merchants, seeking a larger role in the $186 billion e-commerce market. For this holiday shopping season, Sunday delivery of Amazon products will be limited to the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. In 2014 it is expected to expand to other cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix."

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World War II's Last Surviving Doolittle Raiders Make Their Final Toast
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '13 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's last-call department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "As we come up on Veteran's Day, Barrie Barber reports for the Dayton Daily News that the last Doolittle Raiders symbolically said goodbye to a decades-old tradition and to a history that changed the course of the Pacific war in World War II. Gathering from across the country together one last time, three surviving Raiders sipped from silver goblets engraved with their names and filled with 1896 Hennessy cognac in a once-private ceremony webcast to the world at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Robert E. Cole, 98, led the final toast to the 80 members of 'the Greatest Generation' who took off in 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers April 18, 1942, from the deck of the USS Hornet to bomb Japan four months after a Japanese surprise naval and air attack on Pearl Harbor. 'Gentleman, I propose a toast,' said Cole, as about 700 spectators watched one final time, 'to those we lost on the mission and those that passed away since. Thank you very much and may they rest in peace.' Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said the raid showed the courage and innovation of the World War II airmen flying from a carrier in a bomber that had never seen combat to attack a heavily defended nation and to attempt to land at unseen airfields in China in a country occupied by Japanese troops. More than 70 years after the attack, Edward J. Saylor, 93, remembered ditching at sea once he and his crew dropped their bombs and several close calls with being discovered by the Japanese Army while making his way through China. 'This may be the last time I see them together,' said the 92-year-old raider who has attended Raider reunions since 1962. 'It's a little sad for me because I've known them so long and know the story of what they did in 1942.'"

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How Silicon Valley Helped the NSA
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '13 at 02:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's with-a-little-help-from-my-friends department:
theodp writes "The U.S. tech giants' pledge to up their privacy game in the wake of reports that all-your-data-belong-to-the-NSA rings a little hollow to Abraham Newman, who reminds us that such protections run counter to the business model and public policy agenda that tech companies have pursued for decades. 'For years,' writes Newman, 'U.S. information technology (IT) firms have actively backed weak privacy rules that let them collect massive amounts of personal data. The strategy enabled the companies to work their way into every corner of consumers' lives and gave them a competitive edge internationally. Those same policies, however, have come back to haunt IT firms. Lax rules created fertile ground for NSA snooping. In the wake of the surveillance scandals, as consumer confidence plummets, technology companies' economic futures are threatened.'"

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Apple Developing Curve Screen iPhones and Improved Sensors
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's rounding-things-out department:
An anonymous reader writes "An Apple insider who asked not to be identified because the information is classified told Bloomberg that Apple next iPhone models will come with curve displays and enhance touchscreen sensors, that can detect heavy and light touches. The two models--4.7-inches and 5.5-inches-- would be Apple largest iPhones. Apple is still developing the two models and the person disclosed that Apple could launch the devices in the third quarter of next year"

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Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's burn-it-up department:
An anonymous reader writes "The three recent Tesla fires have raised concerns with a lot of people. One person who isn't concertinaed however is, Juris Shibayama, the man whose model S burned in Tennessee. He says: 'I would buy another one in a heartbeat.' From the article: 'Shibayama said that he struck a three-pronged trailer hitch in the middle lane of the interstate. He continued: "About 30-45 seconds later, there was a warning on the dashboard display saying, 'Car needs service. Car may not restart.' I continued to drive, hoping to get home. About one minute later, the message on the dashboard display read, 'Please pull over safely. Car is shutting down.'" He said he had time to remove his possessions, even though, he said: "About 5-10 seconds after getting out of the car, smoke started to come from the front underbody of the car."'"

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NASA's Robonaut Gets Its Legs; Could a Moonwalk Be In Its Future?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 06:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's walk-like-a-man department:
MarkWhittington writes "Project M was a proposal at NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center that would have put together a mission to deliver a bipedal robot to the lunar surface within a thousand days. The idea never got out of the conception stage, but two major components, a new type of lunar lander, now called Morpheus, and a robonaut continued on as separate projects. Morpheus is getting ready to conduct a second attempt at free flight tests at the Kennedy Space Center. The first attempt resulted in the destruction of the prototype vehicle. If the second round of tests is successful, NASA will have a spacecraft that could deliver 1,100 pounds of payload to the lunar surface. While a copy of Robonaut 2 is still undergoing tests on board the International Space Station, ABC News reports that a cousin of the mechanical person has been built with legs. It stands eight feet tall and weighs 500 pounds. With two major components of Project M nearing completion, could a robonaut become the next moon walker?"

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Typhoon Haiyan Continues To Scourge Southeast Asia
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's big-one department:
jones_supa writes "ABC Australia is reporting extensively about the progress of the Typhoon Haiyan, which has reached the status of being one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. Over the weekend it has caused severe destruction and misery passing through Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 315 km/h, where the authorities are now struggling to bring relief to areas worst affected, there being 10,000 people dead. The storm is now heading towards Vietnam, where already over 600,000 people have been evacuated. Meanwhile, China announced its highest alert for Typhoon Haiyan as six crew members of a cargo boat were reported missing. Vietnam is likely to be spared the storm's initial ferocity as it has weakened over the South China Sea and is now expected to hit as a category 1 storm, with wind speeds of about 74 km/h, meteorologists say."

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GCHQ Created Spoofed LinkedIn and Slashdot Sites To Serve Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's careful-what-you-click department:
An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports how a Snowden leak shows British spy agency GCHQ spoofed LinkedIn and Slashdot so as to serve malware to targeted employees. From the article: 'Der Spiegel suggests that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British sister agency to the NSA, used spoofed versions of LinkedIn and Slashdot pages to serve malware to targets. This type of attack was also used to target “nine salaried employees” of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the global oil cartel.'"

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Study Explains Why Lunar Craters Are Bigger On the Near Side
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's some-craters-are-bigger-than-others department:
An anonymous reader writes "A new study of asteroid craters on the moon has uncovered some big differences in the composition of the crust on the two sides of the moon. 'While massive impact basins pockmark the moon's near side, its far side contains considerably smaller basins. The discrepancy in crater distribution has puzzled scientists for decades. To investigate what may have caused this difference, the team obtained data from NASA's twin GRAIL probes, which orbited the moon from January to December 2012. During its mission, the probes circled the moon, making measurements of its gravity. Zuber and her colleagues used this data to generate a highly detailed map of the moon's crust, showing areas where the crust thickens and thins; in general, the group observed that the moon's near side has a thinner crust than its far side.'"

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LeVar Burton On Google Glass
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-does-the-Geordi-say department:
An anonymous reader writes "While he acknowledged that technology needs to keep going forward, LeVar Burton didn't seem comfortable with the idea of using Google Glass. '"It disturbed me. I was skeptical... [and] I'm a person that's very open to technology." That's the reaction LeVar Burton, the man best known from Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation, first had when encountering Google Glass backstage at Engadget Expand. Burton, a self-described edutainment pioneer, acknowledges the disruptive power new technologies can have on media and culture — after all, he did help transform television into a worthy educational tool/babysitter with his PBS program. But even with that storied success, and his company's current inroads into digital with an iPad Reading Rainbow application, Burton still had a "knee-jerk" response when confronted with Glass. Although his celebrity status and the resulting paranoia could have something to do with it.'"

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Why Project Flare Might Just End the Console War
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-the-cloud department:
An anonymous reader writes "Project Flare, the new server side gaming technology from Square Enix, turned heads when it was announced last week. The first tech demos do little more than show the vast number of calculations it can handle with hundreds of boxes tumbling down in Deus Ex, but the potential is there to do much more than just picture-in-picture feeds in MMOs. As a new article points out, what's most interesting is the potential to use the technology for games that use more than one system — OnLive may have used this tech before, but only to play games you can buy on discs in the shops anyway, but the future is in games that need the equivalent of dozens of PS4s or Xbox Ones to power them. Ubisoft has already partnered with Square on the project."

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There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks If Not For Fracking
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's frack-baby-frack department:
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Matthew Philips writes at Bloomberg that US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Geneva on Friday to begin negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program and there is sudden optimism that a deal is in the offing. But the simple fact is that Iran would not be coming to the negotiating table without the US oil boom. Over the last two years, the US has increased its crude production by about 2 million barrels a day. According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (pdf), Iran's oil exports have been cut in half since 2011 (PDF), from 2.5 million barrels per day to a bit more than 1 million today. As a result, Iran has had to halt an equal amount of production. 'I think it's pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,' says Julius Walker. 'Without US production gains, I think we'd be looking at $150 a barrel.' Instead, international prices have hovered around $110, and are less than $100 in the US. According to data from Bloomberg, the combined carrying capacity of oil tankers leaving Iranian ports last month dropped 22 percent from September. 'They're having a very hard time finding buyers,' says Walker. If a deal gets done, the trick will be to ease Iranian oil back onto the broader market without disrupting prices. If not managed properly, flooding the market with Iranian crude could carry its own negative consequences by suddenly making fracked oil in the US unprofitable."

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First Arab Supercar Costs $3.4 Million, Has Diamond-Encrusted Headlights
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's get-the-undercoat department:
cartechboy writes "If you're looking for bling, you can always count on Dubai. At the Dubai Motor Show this week, Lebanon-based W Motors unveiled what is billed as the world's first Arab-built super car. The Lykan Hypersport incorporates jewels and precious metals in its construction, suicide-style doors, and an interactive holographic display system. (Yes, drivers will be able to adjust radio volume via a holograph.) The 750 horsepower car accelerates to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 245 mph. The cost: $3.4 million, but owners will also receive a Cyrus Klepcys watch, said to be valued at around $200,000. W Motors plans a whopping 7 units for production."

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Twitter's Fake Followers Watching IPO Closely
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-it-real department:
kraksmoka writes "Is your social media pro 'making it go viral' by pressing a button instead of interacting with a real audience? The purchase and use of fake followers by small to mid-sized social media agencies is rising on Twitter and there is concern that the growth of fake followers can't be stopped. "

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Sochi Olympic Torch Taken On Historic Spacewalk
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's space-relay department:
rtoz writes "Two Russian cosmonauts have taken the torch for the Sochi Winter Olympics on its first historic spacewalk. Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky took the unlit version of the torch through the hatch of the International Space Station. The Olympic torch has been carried into space twice before – in 1996 and 2000 – but it has never left a spaceship. It was not lit aboard the space station as this would consume oxygen and pose a risk to the crew."

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Expansion of Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Suspended
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-so-fast department:
mdsolar writes in with news that plans to build two new reactors at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant have been put on hold. "On Friday, Luminant, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, suspended its application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two new reactors at the plant. Its partner on the project, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said it was focusing on getting its nuclear reactors in Japan back in operation. The majority of Japan's reactors were shut down because of safety concerns following a 2011 tsunami that caused a radiation leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex 150 miles north of Tokyo. Mitsubishi 'has informed us that they will materially slow the development of their design control document for their new reactor design by several years. In addition, both [Mitsubishi] and Luminant understand the current economic reality of low Texas power prices driven in large part by the boom in natural gas,' read a statement from Luminant"

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Scientists Invent Urine-Powered Robots
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bathroom-bot department:
Lucas123 writes "Researchers have already built robots that can use microorganisms to digest waste material, such as rotten fruit and vegetables, and generate electricity from it. This time, a group of scientists has taken that concept to a strange, new place: urine-powered robots. The scientists from the University of the West of England, Bristol and the University of Bristol constructed a system in robots that functions like the human heart, except it's designed to pump urine into the robot's 'engine room,' converting the waste into electricity and enabling the robot to function completely on its own. The researchers hope the system, which can hold 24.5 ml of urine, could be used to power future generations of robots, or what they're calling EcoBots. 'In the city environment, they could re-charge using urine from urinals in public lavatories,' said Peter Walters, a researcher with the University of the West of England. 'In rural environments, liquid waste effluent could be collected from farms.'"

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Brazil Orders Google To Hand Over Street View Data
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '13 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-it-back department:
cold fjord writes "France 24 reports, 'Brazilian judges gave US Internet search giant Google until Saturday to turn over private data collected through its Street View program ... Failure to do so would mean a daily fine of $50,000, up to a maximum of $500,000. ... According to a complaint from the Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights (IBDI), the car-borne software also enables Street View to access private wi-fi networks and intercept personal data and electronic communications. IBDI pointed to similar occurrences in other parts of the world and demanded that Google reveal if it had engaged in such practices. It said Google had admitted collecting data while insisting they were not used "in its products and services. The US search engine stressed that it had now removed the data collection software from its vehicles."'"

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