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Probing Insulin Pumps For Vulnerabilities
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's panic-versus-sanity department:
Several readers have sent in news of a presentation at the Black Hat security conference from a diabetic security researcher, Jerome Radcliffe, who is looking into the security of automated insulin pumps. While most of the headlines are sensationalist, referencing "lethal attacks from a half-mile away," Scott Hanselman breaks down the media reports and weeds out the inaccuracies, explaining that while this is a valid area of concern, diabetics don't need to cover themselves in tinfoil just yet.
"Just to be clear, Jerome has not yet successfully wirelessly hacked an insulin pump. He's made initial steps to sniff wireless traffic from the pump. I realize, as I hope you do, that his abstract isn't complete. Hopefully a more complete presentation is forthcoming. I suspect he's explointing the remote control feature of a pump. ... What Jerome has done, however, is posed a valid question and opened a door that all techie diabetics knew was open. It is however, an obvious question for any connected device. Anyone who has ever seen OnStar start a car remotely knows that there's a possibility that a bad guy could do the same thing."

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China's 5-Year Cyberwar Met With Western Silence
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we're-just-napping department:
jfruhlinger writes "McAfee yesterday outlined what it calls Operation Shady RAT, a five-year campaign of cyberespionage launched by a national government against international organizations and private corporations. That government was almost certainly China's, so the question becomes: why are the Western nations silent about it? One fact revealed by the raids is that, predictions of cyberpunk novels nonwithstanding, private companies are still quite weak in the face of national governments — and it's those national governments that must act against such intrusions."

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Google Developing Master API — Web Intents
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's one-api-to-rule-them-all department:
GeneralSecretary writes "Google is developing an API to allow web apps to easily share information with various services. Quoting: 'Android OS addresses this problem with Intents, a facility for late run-time binding between components in the same or different applications. In the Intents system, the client application requests a generic action, e.g. share, and specifies the data to pass to the selected service application. The user is given a list of applications which have registered that they can handle the requested intent. The user-selected application is created in a new context and passed the data sent from the client, the format of which is predefined for each specific intent type. We are hard at work designing an analogous system for the web: Web Intents. This web platform API will provide the same benefits of Android Intents, but better suited for web application. ... As with Android, Web Intents documents an initial set of intent actions (edit, view, share, etc.) that likely cover the majority of use cases on the web today; however, as the web grows and sites provide more functionality, new intent actions will be added by services that document these intents, some more popular than others. To foster development and use of intents, we plan to create a site to browse existing intents and add new intents.'"

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Internet Eats Into Time-Warner Cable Porn Profits
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's internet-is-for-porn department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Big cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable keep saying they don't see Web video cutting into their business, but there's at least one big, dirty exception. Time Warner Cable said in its quarterly earnings report that its video-on-demand (VOD) business dropped significantly in the last quarter. Asked to explain where the drop came from, CEO Glenn Britt came clean, more or less: much of the drop is because, instead of renting a porn video in HD for $9.98, Time Warner's customers are getting their porn fix on the internet for free. 'One of the things going on with VOD is that there's been fairly steady trends over some time period now for adult to go down, largely because there's that kind of material available on the Internet for free,' says Britt. 'And that's pretty high margin.' To be fair, drooping porn rentals don't account for all of Time Warner Cable's VOD decline. Chief Financial Officer Rob Marcus said that while 'the biggest piece of the year-over-year decline was in fact in the adult category,' the rest of the drop is because there weren't many big pay-per-view events like boxing matches last quarter, and because regular movie rentals are down, too."

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Widespread Hijacking of Search Traffic In the US
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's par-for-the-course department:
Peter Eckersley writes "The Netalyzr research project from the ICSI networking group has discovered that on a number of US ISPs' networks, search traffic for Bing, Yahoo! and sometimes Google is being redirected to proxy servers operated by a company called Paxfire. In addition to posing a grave privacy problem, this server impersonation is being used to redirect certain searches away from the user's chosen search engine and to affiliate marketing programs instead. Further analysis is available in a post at the EFF."

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Spam King Wallace Indicted For Facebook Spam
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that's-guilty!-guilty!-guilty! department:
itwbennett writes "Notorious spam king Sanford Wallace is facing federal fraud charges for allegedly breaking into the Facebook accounts of 500,000 victims in 2008 and 2009 and using the stolen credentials to post 27 million spam messages. The charges are outlined in an indictment, filed July 6 but made public Thursday after Wallace turned himself in to federal authorities. If convicted, Wallace could get more than 16 years in prison."

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Early Look At The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's potions-that-destroy-your-soul department:
Bethesda plans to launch their newest Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim, in November, and they've finally started to take the wraps off the game. A preview at Eurogamer provides some information about the game's combat, the UI, and exploration of the game world. Quoting:
"RPGs send you into menus more than almost any other game genre, so it's weird that more thought doesn't go into inventory design, but as I play around with powers, weapons and items to lighten my load it becomes clear that Skyrim is a welcome exception. Its nested menus are accessed almost as smoothly as iPad page swipes, and navigating them is quick and clean. You can set favorites, equip items to either hand, and examine things in detail. More than once during my brief hands-on I have to rotate an object to look for a clue to a puzzle, or read a document, and it's all done without going to a different screen or do anything more complex than wiggling sticks and hitting a face button. It's easy to imagine that a system like this in Oblivion or Fallout could have shaved hours off the average player's actual game-time. As it is, it saves valuable seconds in my hands-on, and seconds are my currency today, so thank you to whomever at Bethesda designed the inventory."

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Hundreds of Bank Account Details Left In London Pub
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '11 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's when-found-they-were-mumbling-and-bleary department:
twoheadedboy writes "Another day, yet another data security failure. Two companies have been found in breach of the Data Protection Act after tens of thousands of tenants' details were left at a London pub, alongside 800 records with bank account details. A contractor who had stored data from two different companies on an unencrypted USB drive was responsible. We've all lost things on a night out, but rarely is it other people's banking information. The two firms involved have been told to get a grip on their security procedures, but they escaped a fine from the ICO."

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Belarus Cracks Down On VKontakte
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's nice-firm-clapping department:
decora writes "On several recent Wednesdays, Russian language social networking site Vkontakte has been blocked by the government of Belarus. The blocks are partly to prevent the organization of 'Silent Protests,' in which citizens gather in city squares, and clap in protest against president Alexander Lukashenko. The government has designated the people involved as "social network revolutionaries" and charged many with disorderly conduct. One VKontakte user, Mikhail Karatkevich, is to be put on trial August 10 for 'organizing a mass rally' after he posted a meeting notice onto his page. According to Charter 97, the regime has even set up fake proxy servers to capture the unwitting; Tor is the suggested solution."

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First PS3 Jailbreaker Arrested In South Africa
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 07:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-quaintly-soviet-of-them department:
GusGous writes "South African newspaper Beeld reports that the first person known to be arrested for jailbreaking the Playstation 3 was arrested in Parktown, Johannesburg today. This raid was conducted by the South African Police Service's Commercial Crime Unit, after receiving criminal complaints from the South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT). Members of the police were assisted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Computer Forensics Lab. The police confiscated goods of around R100 000 (14000 USD)." See also this story in Afrikaans; Google translation.

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Update Brings Android USB Mounting To Chromebooks
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 06:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-merge-them-even-harder department:
sfcrazy writes "Google has updated its stable channel for Chromebooks (Acer AC700, Samsung Series 5, and Cr-48). The latest version of Google chrome running on these devices is Chrome 13. The feature has added Google Cloud Print settings to Settings > Under the Hood. It now allows auto-connect using 3G, remove/forget added VPN connections and 802.1x support. The update brings the most needed feature — USB mounting of Android."

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Online Parody Cartoon Targeted For Prosecution
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 04:31 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-renton-might-need-is-some-attention department:
SeattleGameboy writes "It seems that the Renton (suburb of Seattle) police need a remedial course on the U.S. Constitution," linking to a story at Seattle TV station KIRO which says "The Renton City Prosecutor wants to send a cartoonist to jail for mocking the police department in a series of animated Internet videos. The 'South-Park'-style animations parody everything from officers having sex on duty to certain personnel getting promoted without necessary qualifications. While the city wants to criminalize the cartoons, First Amendment rights advocates say the move is an 'extreme abuse of power.'"

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Do Macs Have an Edge Against APTs?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-the-debian-variety-of-apt department:
itwbennett writes "Macs aren't being hit with advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks, but that doesn't mean they're invulnerable, say researchers at iSec Partners. Speaking at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, iSec founder Alex Stamos and his team of researchers took a look at the typical stages of an APT attack — and compared how the Mac would do versus Windows 7. Their conclusion: Macs provide good protection against the initial phases of the attack, but once the bad guys are on the network, it's a whole different story. 'They're pretty good for [protecting from] remote exploitation,' Stamos said. '[But] once you install OS X server you're toast.'"

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Villains & Vigilantes Creators Sue Publisher
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's neater-than-garotting-them department:
rcade writes "Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, the creators of the super-hero roleplaying game Villains & Vigilantes, have filed a federal copyright lawsuit against the game's longtime publisher Scott Bizar of Fantasy Games Unlimited. They allege that Bizar has no rights to publish the game because his corporation was dissolved in 1991, reverting the rights to them. Dee and Herman revived the old-school RPG last year and have been battling Bizar ever since. Sadly, this suit will not be resolved by muscle-bound men in tights."

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Finding Fault With the Low, Low Price of Android
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 03:01 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's armchair-quarterbacks-and-the-forces-of-envy department:
bonch writes "Google's accusation of patent abuse toward its competitors has generated many responses, some of which has asked whether Android's free price is anti-competitive. Drawing comparisons to Microsoft's antitrust trial, in which they were accused of giving away Internet Explorer to drive competitors out of the browser market, Thurrott argues that Google's rivals are 'leveling the playing field' through patent fees by removing an artificial price advantage funded by monopoly search revenues. 'One could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?'"

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New Chip Can Identify Liquids, Encode Messages
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 02:46 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's handy-clandestine-uses department:
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have developed a porous chip that can identify liquids instantaneously. Each liquid's distinct surface tension determines how much it seeps into the pores of the chip, which the chip uses to tell liquids apart. The researchers also decorated the chip with a secret message (ie, brand name) that only shows up when certain liquids are applied. The chip is so sensitive it can distinguish gasolines with varying proportions of ethanol, and could help clean-up crews identify spills in the field."

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Doom 3 Source Code To Be Released This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 02:16 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's carmack-is-awesome-and-I-don't-even-play-games department:
An anonymous reader writes "John Carmack just confirmed during his QuakeCon 2011 keynote that the source code to Doom 3 will be released this year. The source drop will follow the release of their Rage game in October. Carmack has also challenged other game developers to release their old source code."

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OS X Lion Ships With Faulty NVidia Drivers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's rough-edges-on-the-rollout department:
TeaCurran writes with this mildly ranty objection to the most recent Mac OS X update; several friends who have made the leap on their MacBook Pros have various other complaints, too, including system slowdowns that resemble crashes (except that their pointers still work) and recurring black screens for some configurations (with or without the kernel panics TeaCurran mentions) — what's been your experience? "Apple OS X Lion shipped with new NVidia video drivers that are causing anyone with a mid 2010 Macbook Pro to get a kernel panic every 5-10 minutes. Apple knew about the issue before shipping lion, hasn't responded to the issue, and is censoring posts in their support forum that mention words like 'boycott' and 'petition.' NVidia has responded that the drivers are the responsibility of Apple so they won't deal with the issue. How a major hardware manufacturer can ship such a faulty product without getting much press about it is completely beyond me."

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Harnessing Interference For Faster Wireless Data
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's injecting-signal-into-the-noise department:
holy_calamity writes "Inventor of the Quicktime codec Steve Perlman has unveiled a new wireless technology he claims can deliver thousands of times more bandwidth to mobile devices than existing technology. Each user is served by multiple transmitters, which send out waves carefully designed to combine into a data signal only at a device's location. That technique enables every user to be targeted with a signal with the same total bandwidth that would usually be shared between users, says Perlman."

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Open Source Gesture Recognition For Kinect SDK
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '11 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's everybody-will-have-been-kung-fu-fighting department:
Rymix writes "I have been working with a new internet-friend of mine to produce an open source gesture recording and recognition engine for Kinect SDK. It's based on the Dynamic Time Warping technique and allows developers to record their own gestures and reliably recognise them. It's currently 2D but 3D is an easy development, coming soon. We're looking for community take-up and contribution to this project — it could help a lot of people with rapid prototyping and could even be used in production solutions (within the Kinect SDK's terms of use, of course!)."

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