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Researchers Demo New GSM Attacks at Chaos Communications Congress
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-party's-on-the-line department:
First time accepted submitter aeturnus writes "A new attack on the GSM mobile communications protocol has been demonstrated by Karsten Nohl and Luca Melette of Security Research Labs, based off their previously published attacks around vulnerabilities in the GSM A5/1 encryption protocol. This new attack, which Nohl indicates already in use by criminals, allows an attacker to simulate a GSM mobile and use it to make calls and send text messages. Nohl also discussed protective measures users should take against these attacks, and others in use by intelligence communities around the world." This was just one of many presentations at the 28th Chaos Communications Congress.

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HTC Unlocks Bootloader For All of Its Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hunting-goodwill department:
An anonymous reader writes "HTCDEV annouced today "HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. We plan on releasing the updates that will allow you to unlock your bootloader in the coming months." However they do note this: 'It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader may be covered under warranty' and this 'We strongly suggest that you do not unlock the bootloader unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved.' This looks like a new year gift to some."

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World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's silence-is-golden department:
First time accepted submitter Narnie writes "Follow up to Tuesday's story of a PR rep's lack of professionalism. Kyle Orland provides a follow up interview with Paul Christoforo after a simple email chain escalated into internet infamy. N-Control official response to Paul Chrostoforo's actions can be found here. Kotaku.com even has a whole section devoted to covering the entire ordeal. I for one found myself caught following the news releases and in awe of the combined load forced on penny-arcade's servers from Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, Kotaku, and other news sites covering the story."

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How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-it's-a-digital-messaging-platform department:
SharkLaser writes "It turns out that Google has started to remove Google+ pictures that have persons giving the middle finger in it. 'Our policy page states, "Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content." Your profile photo was taken down as a violation of this policy.' Google+ is supposed to be a universal social network and 'identity service,' and to allow sharing like in real life — a public venue for free expressions. Since the middle finger is such culturally-specific issue, will Google+ also start to remove things like showing the palms of your hands to people (considered an insult in Greece), showing the soles of your shoes (insult in the Middle East), and patting someone's head (an insult in Buddhist countries)? A good number of Google+ users have started to change their profile picture to include the middle finger to show support to MG Siegler, who got his profile picture removed by Google."

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New Record High Temperature At South Pole
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's happy-christmas department:
New submitter Titus Andronicus writes "The South Pole experienced its highest-ever recorded temperature of -12.3C (+9.9F) on December 25, 2011, according to preliminary reporting from the Antarctic Meteorological Research Center at the University of Wisconsin."

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Sun Storms May Affect Radios, Cell Phones Today
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's going-once-going-twice-sol department:
ABC News is one of various news outlets reporting that "Intense solar activity may affect Earth today, potentially disrupting radio and cell phone frequencies." (The Space Weather Prediction Center calls the likely effects minor, but it might be a good day to have an atlas packed in with the GPS.)

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Microsoft Issuing Unusual Out-of-Band Security Update
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's rolls-downhill department:
wiredmikey writes "In a rare move, Microsoft is breaking its normal procedures and will issue an emergency out-of-band security update on Thursday to address a hash collision attack vulnerability that came into the spotlight yesterday, and affects various Web platforms industry-wide. The vulnerability is not specific to Microsoft technologies and has been discovered to impact PHP 5, Java, .NET, and Google's v8, while PHP 4, Ruby, and Python are somewhat vulnerable. Microsoft plans to release the bulletin on December 29, 2011, at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, and said it would addresses security vulnerabilities in all supported releases of Microsoft Windows. 'The impact of this vulnerability is similar to other Denial of Service attacks that have been released in the past, such as the Slowloris DoS or the HTTP POST DoS,' said security expert Chirs Eng. 'Unlike traditional DoS attacks, they could be conducted with very small amounts of bandwidth. This hash table multi-collision bug shares that property. What's particularly unique about this bug is that it affects a broader range of platforms and technologies in a virtually identical way.'"

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Verizon Adds $2 Charge For Paying Your Bill Online
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-makes-me-unhappy department:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from geek.com (based on a report at Droid Life) that makes me consider quitting or at least suspending the very expensive service 3G data service I get from Verizon: "With 2012 about to start, it seems Verizon has decided paying your bill online or over the phone is
now worthy of an extra charge. So, from January 15, anyone choosing to pay their monthly bill using either method will incur a $2 charge. Verizon is classing the charge as a 'convenience fee' which translates into them deciding allowing you to pay either online or over the phone is a convenience. They also explain in the FAQ above that the fee allows them, 'to continue to support these bill payment options.' Really, Verizon? When did offering online payments or accepting phone calls from customers get so much more expensive?"


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FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mirsa-meals department:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The FDA recognized, 35 years ago, that feeding animals low-doses of certain antibiotics used in human medicine — namely, penicillin and tetracyclines — could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people who eat meat, and proposed to withdraw approval for the use of those antibiotics in animal feed. Instead of acting upon the proposal, the FDA has now withdrawn it. Although admitting that it continues to have 'concerns' about the safety of the use of antibiotics in animal feed, the FDA says that it will just continue to rely on 'voluntary self-policing' by the industry, the same method which hasn't worked out too well during the past 35 years, as antibiotic use in livestock and antibiotic resistance have continued to rise throughout the entire period."

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Imgur.com: Why We Dumped GoDaddy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-not-me-it's-you department:
Velcroman1 writes "On the eve of what has been dubbed "Dump Go Daddy Day," imgur.com — the massive image hosting sites is responsible for an astonishing 28 terabytes of bandwidth and nearly 200 million page views per day — has already changed its registry entries, foreshadowing the potential negative effect of a boycott set to begin Thursday morning. GoDaddy.com originally supported the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) but quickly recanted its position when the call of a boycott circulated. 'The outcry kind of forced our hand,' imgur founder and owner Alan Schaaf said. 'I'm against the SOPA act and imgur as a company is against it. We just feel it is terrible that GoDaddy.com would support this legislation.'"

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Insects Rapidly Becoming Resistant To GM Corn
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's the-speed-of-nature department:
DrHeasley writes "BT corn, which contains the DNA for Bacillus thuringensis toxin, was once hailed as the final solution for insect predators on this valuable crop. Now it turns out that insects, and evolution, are smarter than we thought, and the corn that contains the built in pesticide is no longer reliably protected."

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Free Wi-Fi Coming To Japanese Vending Machines
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's exact-change-only department:
cylonlover writes "Free Wi-Fi is on its way to some Japanese vending machines. Working much like a mobile hotspot at your local coffee shop, people located near the machines would be able to connect to the internet for 30 minutes at a time and surf the web. The service is available to anyone, to use with any smartphone, tablet, or computer and does not require the purchase of a drink from the machine."

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HP TouchPad Go: $99?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's on-the-cheap department:
redletterdave writes "The HP Touchpad Go, which is a smaller version of the company's signature TouchPad, may go on sale for $99 like its predecessor. The tablet features a 1023 x 768 resolution display, runs on webOS, and alsohas a removable cover with soft-touch coating to minimize fingerprints on the 7-inch screen. HP's new tablet also comes with a removable battery, 32GB of storage, a 3G radio, a five-megapixel camera and LED flash.HP designed the TouchPad Go around the same time as the larger model, but it failed to reach production stages when the company decided to kill off all devices running on the doomed webOS. If the tablet indeed sells for $99, it would be the cheapest tablet in the world besides the Aakash tablet, which was released by the Indian government for $35."

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IT Managers Are Aloof Says Psychologist and Your Co-Workers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-have-people-skills;-I-am-good-at-dealing-with-people department:
dcblogs writes "IT managers see themselves as 'reigning supreme,' in an organization, and are seen by non-IT workers as difficult to get along with, says organizational psychologist Billie Blair. If IT managers changed their ways, they could have a major impact in an organization. 'So much of their life is hidden under a bushel because they don't discuss things, they don't divulge what they know, and the innovation that comes from that process doesn't happen, therefore, in the organization,' says Blair."

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Apocalypse Tourism: Where To Celebrate Doomsday?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "December 21, 2012 marks the end of the current cycle of the Mayan 'Long Count' calendar. And while this has had some fearful types preparing for the end of the world, others have been preparing to travel. The Mexican government is expecting 52 million tourists as part of their "Mundo Maya 2012," campaign to visit the five regions — Chiapas, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Campeche, over the next 12 months. So, if you're wondering where to spend the last tourist dollars you'll have as a breathing human being or just want to see the looks on those faces when December 21 comes and goes uneventfully, President Felipe Calderon hopes you'll choose Mexico."

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Did Microsoft Make Google Pay Triple Rate To Mozilla?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 03:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jacking-up-the-price department:
SharkLaser writes "Last week it was announced that Google has renewed their search deal with Mozilla. The amount Google paid to Mozilla was surprising: $300 million per year, despite the slightly falling market share of Firefox. Many took this as charity, and for the purpose of advancing the web. Now sources in the bidding process have revealed that Google's main rival in the bid was Microsoft's Bing, along with Yahoo. This bidding war was costly to Google, which is now paying 300% of what they used to, just to be Firefox's default search provider. Mozilla veteran Asa Dotzler is also giving insight into the deal between Google and Mozilla. 'Google started out as a search company. But that's not what they are today. Google's primary business is advertising. Google brought in $9.7B in revenues in Q3'11. 96% of that revenue was from ad sales. Not all traffic to Google ads is 'organic' though. To help drive ad sales, Google pays for traffic to their ads. They paid out $2.21 billion, or 24% of their ad revenues in 'Traffic Acquisition Costs.' That money goes to revenue shares with their AdSense partners and to 'distribution partners' — presumably browser makers, PC OEMs, and mobile OEMs and operators.' Google also pays shareware and freeware distributors to bundle Chrome and Google toolbar with their programs and games."

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Rackspace: SOPA "Is a Deeply Flawed Piece of Legislation"
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jumping-on-the-pile department:
hypnosec writes "Cloud based hosting service provider Rackspace has joined the ever expanding list of companies that are opposed to the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In a blog post, Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier, said that the controversial bill, which will get its final vote before the House Judiciary Committee, will do more harm than good, punishing innocent users in the process. 'The SOPA bill, as it stands, is a deeply flawed piece of legislation. It is bad for anyone who uses the Internet, including Rackspace, the more than 160,000 business customers that we serve, and the tens of millions of retail customers that they serve. It is bad for job creation and innovation,' Napier wrote."

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Why We Agonize Over Buying $1 Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's little-things-add-up department:
theodp writes "When it comes to explaining decision making and behavioral economics, Dan Ariely is the man. In his latest blog post, Ariely tackles the irrationality of app buying, explaining why the thought of paying even $1 for an app turns into an agonizing decision for those perfectly willing to spend $4 on coffee, or $500 on devices that they arguably don't really need. Had Apple created a really low minimum price for apps — say $0.15 — instead of offering free apps on day one, Ariely suggests, we would be anchored to the idea that apps should cost something. 'Then paying more (maybe even $2) for an app would be a simpler step,' he concludes, 'maybe one that we could take as easily as paying $4 for a latte.'"

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Progressive Era Hacker Griefed Marconi Demonstration
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's trolling-through-the-ages department:
nbauman writes "In June 1903, Gugliemo Marconi and his partner Ambrose Flemming were about to give the first demonstration of long-range wireless communication at the Royal Institution in London, which, Marconi said, could be sent in complete confidentiality with no fear of the messages being hijacked. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a huge mysterious wireless pulse strong enough to take over the carbon-arc projector and make it sputter messages in Morse Code. First, it repeated the word 'Rats' over and over again (abusive at that time). Then it tapped out, 'There was a young fellow of Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily.' Further rude epithets followed. It was Nevil Maskelyne, a stage musician and inventor who was annoyed because Marconi's patents prevented him from using wireless. It was the first hacking, to demonstrate an insecure system."

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New York Times Hacked?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '11 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fox-in-the-henhouse department:
First time accepted submitter porsche911 writes "It looks like the NYTimes have been hacked and a large number of subscribers spammed with messages about cancellation of their service. The phone system is overwhelmed as well. The Times is currently saying the email is a fake, but that raises other worries. They were one of the only 3rd parties that had the email in question so it appears either someone really screwed up or they've suffered a data breach."

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