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Cybercriminals Exploit Björk's Biophilia App To Compromise Androids
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's click-here-for-free-bjork department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Russians who put out fake versions of Angry Bird Space and Instagram for Android last week have competition. Biophilia, a musical experiment by Bjork into the world of apps, has been ported to Android as a Trojan." Maybe not totally surprising; as the submitter reader continues, "last year at the launch of the app, Bjork was quoted in an interview inviting pirates/hackers to attempt to port her code over from iPhone to other platforms."

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Backdoor Found In Arcadyan-based Wi-Fi Routers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-auth-cat department:
Mojo66 writes "A recently reported flaw that allowed an attacker to drastically reduce the number of attempts needed to guess the WPS PIN of a wireless router isn't necessary for some Arcadyan based routers anymore. According to German computer publisher Heise, some 100,000 routers of type Speedport W921V, W504V and W723V are affected in Germany alone. (Google translation, original here.) What makes things worse is the fact that in order to exploit the backdoor, no button has to be pushed on the device itself and on some of the affected routers, the backdoor PIN ("12345670") is still working even after WPS has been disabled by the user. The only currently known remedy for those models is to disable Wi-Fi altogether. Since all Arcadyan routers share the same software platform, more models might be affected."

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Sci-Fi Publisher Tor Ditches DRM For E-Books
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thought-tor-was-some-kinda-darknet department:
First time accepted submitter FBeans writes "'Science fiction publisher Tor UK is dropping digital rights management from its e-books alongside a similar move by its U.S. partners. ... Tor UK, Tor Books and Forge are divisions of Pan Macmillan, which said it viewed the move as an "experiment."' With experiments, come results. Now users can finally read their books across multiple devices such as Amazon's Kindle, Sony Reader, Kobo eReader and Apple's iBooks. Perhaps we will see the *increase* of sales, because the new unrestricted format outweighs the decrease caused by piracy?"

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Univ. of Florida Announces Plan To Save CS Department
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's could-turn-it-into-a-concept-and-then-an-Idea. department:
New submitter WIGFIELD7458 writes "This appears to be a major change in plans that will save the Computer Science Department. Thanks to everyone in the Gator Nation and beyond for speaking out! The battle isn't over yet, but this is very encouraging news. I would urge the students, faculty, and alumni of UF to continue to express your support for the essential academic mission of your university."

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TSA Defends Pat Down of 4-Year-Old Girl
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's child-ticket-for-security-theater department:
cosm writes "With public outcry against the TSA continuing to spread, the TSA is defending a recent episode in which a four-year-old was patted down while kicking and screaming at Wichita Airport in Kansas. From the AP article: 'The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who became hysterical during a security screening at a Kansas airport said Wednesday that the child was forced to undergo a pat-down after hugging her, with security agents yelling and calling the crying girl an uncooperative suspect.'"

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German Court Rules That Clients Responsible For Phishing Losses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's be-more-careful department:
benfrog writes "A German court has ruled that clients, not banks, are responsible for losses in phishing scams. The German Federal Court of Justice (the country's highest civil court) ruled in the case of a German retiree who lost €5,000 ($6,608) in a bank transfer fraudulently sent to Greece. According to The Local, a German news site, the man entered 10 transaction codes into a site designed to look like his bank's web site and his bank is not liable as it specifically warned against such phishing attacks."

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White Space Wireless Broadband Trial In UK Is a Success
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's filling-in-the-spaces department:
Mark.JUK writes "A major multinational ten month long trial of new 'White Space' technology (IEEE 802.22) in the United Kingdom, which uses the spare radio spectrum that exists between Digital Terrestrial TV (DTV) channels to deliver wireless internet access services over a wide area, has officially completed today and been deemed 'successful.' The technology, if approved, could one day help to bring faster broadband services to both isolated rural and urban areas. The TV White Spaces Consortium, which comprises 17 international and UK technology and media companies (BT, Microsoft, BBC, Alcatel-Lucent etc.), has now recommended that the UK regulator, Ofcom, complete its development of the 'enabling regulatory framework' (i.e. Draft Statutory Instrument) in a 'manner that protects licensees' from 'harmful' interference and encourages innovation and deployment."

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Study Suggests the Number-Line Concept Is Not Intuitive
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 07:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's learning-to-count department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Yupno people of New Guinea have provide clues to the origins of the number-line concept, and suggest that the familiar concept of time may be cultural as well. From the article: 'Tape measures. Rulers. Graphs. The gas gauge in your car, and the icon on your favorite digital device showing battery power. The number line and its cousins – notations that map numbers onto space and often represent magnitude – are everywhere. Most adults in industrialized societies are so fluent at using the concept, we hardly think about it. We don't stop to wonder: Is it 'natural'? Is it cultural? Now, challenging a mainstream scholarly position that the number-line concept is innate, a study suggests it is learned."

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Insects Develop Pesticide Resistance Through Symbiosis With Gut Flora
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's with-a-little-help-from-my-little-friends department:
First time accepted submitter blinkin247 writes "The indiscriminate spraying of pesticides has probably caused as many problems as it has solved, but here's one that was not expected: some bacteria have decided that insecticide is a very tasty meal. Unfortunately for us, one of the strains of bacteria that has evolved the ability to digest the toxin happens to be able to find a home in an insect's gut. When it does so, it provides the insect with resistance."

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Is Siri Smarter Than Google?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's top-of-the-class department:
storagedude writes "Google could go the way of the dodo if ultra intelligent electronic agents (UIEA) make their way into the mainstream, according to technology prognosticator Daniel Burrus. Siri is just the first example of how a UIEA could end search as we know it. By leveraging the cloud and supercomputing capabilities, Siri uses natural language search to circumvent the entire Google process. If Burrus is right, we'll no longer have to wade through '30,000,000 returns in .0013 milliseconds' of irrelevant search results."

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VMware Confirms Source Code Leak
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-a-sieve department:
Gunkerty Jeb writes "Purloined data and documents, including source code belonging to the U.S. software firm VMWare, continue to bubble up from the networks of a variety of compromised Chinese firms, according to 'Hardcore Charlie,' an anonymous hacker who has claimed responsibility for the hacks. In a statement on the VMWare Web site, Ian Mulholland, Director of VMWare's Security Response Center, said the company acknowledged that a source code file for its ESX product had been leaked online. In a phone interview, Mulholland told Threatpost the company was monitoring the situation and conducting an investigation into the incident."

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Bug Bounty Hunters Weigh In On Google's Vulnerability Reporting Program
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's professional-swatter department:
An anonymous reader writes "InfoWorld reached out to three security researchers who participate in Google's vulnerability reporting program, through which the company now offers as much as $20,000 for bug reports. They provided some insightful perspectives on what Google (and other companies, such as Mozilla) are doing right in paying bounties on bugs, as well as where there's some room for improvement."

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Microsoft's Hotmail Challenge Backfires
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-the-desired-outcome department:
Barence writes "Microsoft challenged the editor of PC Pro to return to Hotmail after six years of using Gmail, to prove that its webmail service had vastly improved — but the challenge backfired when he had his Hotmail account hacked. PC Pro's editor say he was quietly impressed with a number of new Hotmail features, including SkyDrive integration and mailbox clean-up features. He'd even imported his Gmail and contacts into Microsoft's service. But the two-week experiment came to an abrupt end when Hotmail sent a message containing a malicious link to all of his contacts. 'What's even more worrying is that it's not only my webmail that's been compromised, but my Xbox login (which holds my credit card details) and now my PC login too. Because Windows 8 practically forces you to login with your Windows Live/Hotmail details to access features such as the Metro Store, synchronization and SkyDrive,' he writes."

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Congress Considering CISPA Amendments
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ACTA-by-any-other-name department:
First time accepted submitter casac8 writes "As Friday's House vote on CISPA nears, it appears Congress members are getting nervous. Literally millions of people around the world have signed petitions voicing their opposition, and it appears Congress has heard their concerns, as House members are considering a number of amendments aimed at limiting the negative impacts the legislation would have on Internet privacy. For instance, one amendment likely to pass would tighten the bill's language to ensure its provisions are only applied in the pursuit of legit crimes and other rare instances, rather than whenever the NSA wants to target Joe Web-user. And another would increase possible liability on the parts of companies who hand personal information over to the government."

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Solar Cells That Emit Light Break Efficiency Record
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shine-on department:
benfrog writes "Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley say they have come up with a counter-intuitive way of making solar cells more efficient--making them emit light. In a press release the scientists claim to be the first to demonstrate that the better solar cells are at emitting photons (the more LED-like they are), the more efficient they are at generating electricity. However, 'unlike an LED, the electrons in a solar cell are absorbing photons from an exterior source as well as emitting their own.'"

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World's Largest Digital Camera Project Passes Critical Milestone
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-some-funding department:
An anonymous reader writes in with a link about the progress of one of the coolest astronomy projects around. "A 3.2 billion-pixel digital camera designed by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is now one step closer to reality. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope camera, which will capture the widest, fastest and deepest view of the night sky ever observed, has received 'Critical Decision 1' approval by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to move into the next stage of the project. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will survey the entire visible sky every week, creating an unprecedented public archive of data – about 6 million gigabytes per year, the equivalent of shooting roughly 800,000 images with a regular eight-megapixel digital camera every night, but of much higher quality and scientific value. Its deep and frequent cosmic vistas will help answer critical questions about the nature of dark energy and dark matter and aid studies of near-Earth asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, the structure of our galaxy and many other areas of astronomy and fundamental physics."

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Microsoft Says Two Basic Security Steps Might Have Stopped Conficker
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
coondoggie writes "If businesses and consumers stuck to security basics, they could have avoided all cases of Conficker worm infection detected on 1.7 million systems by Microsoft researchers in the last half of 2011. According to the latest Microsoft Security Intelligence report, all cases of Conficker infection stemmed from just two attack methods: weak or stolen passwords and exploiting software vulnerabilities for which updates existed."

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Tim Cook Prefers Settling To Suing and Has a Huge Quarter
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lead-differently department:
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's current legal battles with Samsung encapsulate a large number of patents, innumerable suits and counter-suits, and have resulted in legal motions across 11 jurisdictions across the globe. As you may remember, Steve Jobs in his biography was quite vocal about his intent to go thermonuclear on Android, vowing to spend every last dime in Apple's coffers to destroy Google's mobile OS. But Tim Cook is a bit more level headed about things, expressing during Apple's earnings conference call yesterday that he has has always hated litigation and would much rather prefer to settle than to battle in court. The caveat, of course, is that Cook doesn't want that Apple 'become the developer for the world.'" It may not be what Jobs would do, but as zacharye notes, it doesn't seem to be hurting earnings. "Despite early-morning jitters on Wall Street, Apple on Tuesday reported yet another blow-out quarter. The Cupertino, California-based company managed the second most profitable quarter in its history, posting a net profit of $11.6 billion on $39.2 billion in sales. Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones into channels last quarter, along with 11.8 million iPads, 7.7 million iPods and 4 million Mac computers. While the firm continues to dominate the technology industry — Apple is currently the most valuable company in the world — several analysts think Apple is just getting started."

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Google Set To Meld Google Drive With Chrome OS
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's when-our-powers-combine department:
MikeatWired writes "Google will tightly integrate its new Google Drive online storage service with an upcoming version of its Chrome OS operating system, says Sundar Pichai, who oversees development of the company's Chrome products as well as its Google Apps online services. Chrome OS is Google's effort to move all applications and data onto the web (and its Chrome browser), but the OS still hasn't mastered the art of moving files from place to place. By integrating Chrome OS with Google Drive — the online storage service Google introduced on Tuesday — the company seeks to correct this problem. 'With Chromebooks, [Google Drive] is even more powerful,' Pichai says, 'because it just starts working naturally. Your local drive is also Google Drive. This makes it really powerful because you just don't think about it.' Basically, Google Drive — a service that operates on the web — will perform as if it was the local file system. If you open the 'save file' dialog box on Chrome OS, for instance, the system will take you straight to Google Drive. 'We'll effectively integrate [Google] Drive into the native file system of Chrome OS,' says Scott Johnson, Google's Google Drive product manager. 'All the core OS functionality will use [Google] Drive as a place to store data — if that's what you opt in to.'"

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Valve's Steam & Games Coming To Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's time-to-play department:
An anonymous reader writes "Valve's Steam and Source Engine-based games are coming to Linux. Michael from well known site Phoronix.com has been invited to Valve's office and was able to spend a day with the developers and Gabe Newell himself. He is confirming the rumors about Linux ports from Valve, and has been able to play the games and work the developers himself. Attached in the article are pictures from Valve's offices with games running on Linux."

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