Recently a British court ordered researchers to withdraw a paper, “Dismantling Megamos Security: Wirelessly Lockpicking a Vehicle Immobiliser” from next week’s USENIX Security Symposium. This is a blow not only to academic freedom but also to progress in vehicle security. And for those of us who have worked in security for a long time, it raises bad memories of past attempts to silence researchers, which have touched many of us over the years.
The paper, by Flavio Garcia of the University of Birmingham and Roel Verdult and Baris Ege of Radboud University Niemegen, would have discussed the operation and security of Megamos, a cryptography-based system used in most or all recent Volkswagen-made vehicles. Megamos wirelessly authenticates a key to the car, and vice versa, so that the car can be started only by an authorized key. Unfortunately, as the paper would have explained, Megamos has vulnerabilites that would allow an attacker to start the car without a legitimate key in some circumstances.
A technical glitch knocked out trading in all Nasdaq Stock Market NDAQ +1.21% securities for three hours Thursday afternoon, an unprecedented meltdown for a U.S. exchange that paralyzed a broad swath of markets and highlighted the fragility of the financial world's electronic backbone.
"Our systems, and the industry's, have to get to a higher level of robustness," said Robert Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq parent Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., in an interview.
Nasdaq said it plans to work with other exchanges to investigate Thursday's outage, which centered on a problem with the data feed supplying U.S. markets with trade information, and supports "any necessary steps to enhance the platform."...
The legendary technology law blog Groklaw is shutting down. Groklaw’s founder and operator, Pamela “PJ” Jones, wrote that in light of current eavesdropping, email is no longer secure. She went on to say:
There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.
What to do? I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure it out. And the conclusion I’ve reached is that there is no way to continue doing Groklaw, not long term, which is incredibly sad. But it’s good to be realistic. And the simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how “clean” we all are ourselves from the standpoint of the screeners, I don’t know how to function in such an atmosphere. I don’t know how to do Groklaw like this.
I can’t help thinking that there might be more here than meets the eye.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of the world's largest software maker for 13 years, will retire within 12 months, the company announced on Friday.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer was quoted as saying in the release.
Ballmer, a close college friend of founder Bill Gates, was named chief executive officer in 2000 after Gates stepped down to focus on philanthropy. At the time, Microsoft dominated the market for computer operating systems.
But over the intervening decade, the firm has seen its stranglehold on the computer business slip as it has failed to keep pace with the likes Apple and Google as consumers increasingly use smartphones and tablets to meet their computer needs. ...
Is Internet access a human right? That’s the question Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was wrestling with--”was”, because he stated in a long document that he’s come to believe that it is. And Facebook is doing something about it.
Zuckerberg and Facebook, in collaboration with “technology leaders, nonprofits, local communities, and experts”, have launched an effort to deliver affordable Internet access to the two-thirds of the world that don’t have it called Internet.org.
Quartz has a summary of Tesla Motors sales figures from the August edition of the California New Car Dealers Association newsletter, and the news is good for the upstart electric car company. In June 2013, Tesla sold more vehicles in California than ten big-name brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Porsche, and Volvo.
The news comes in the same week that Tesla's flagship Model S achieved a five-star, across-the-board safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (a result so high that, inWired's words, it "broke the crash-testing gear"). Consumer Reports loves the Model S, too, noting that it "outscores every other car" in their rating system.
The Model S popularity continues to spike nationwide, but not everyone is excited about the vehicle—or about Tesla founder Elon Musk's insistence on selling Tesla cars directly to the public
Truth be told, Google has made (or at least directed the making of) some of the best tablets on the market today. The original Nexus 7 was groundbreaking in that it offered a totally usable platform, married to the latest version of Android, for $199. The Nexus 10 gave us a very quick, ultra high resolution 10-inch tablet for $100 less than the flagship iPad (and with more storage). Both were easily recommendable due to their value, but this year Google is stepping out of the shadow of value and into one of excellence. It starts with the new Nexus 7.
Based on the success of the original Nexus 7, Google went back to ASUS for the second version. In the 12 months since the release of the Nexus 7, the world has changed quite a bit. Expectations for value tablets had been reset by the original Nexus 7 as well as Amazon's lineup of Kindle Fires. Simply showing up with another good value likely wouldn't do anything to further the brand (or market). I get the distinct impression that Google isn't big on not changing the world.
Bambi Note: the specs on this new 2013 model are even better AND $20 LESS for the 16GB wifi only model than the original model that Google did in 2012.
For those that might not be too familiar with the standard, Thunderbolt is Intel’s high-bandwidth, do-everything connector, designed as a potential future path for all things external to a system—displays, USB devices, external storage, PCI Express, and even graphics cards. Thunderbolt supports up to 10Gb/s bandwidth (uni-directional) for each port, which is double what USB 3.0 offers, but the cost to implement Thunderbolt tends to be quite a bit higher than USB. For that reason, not to mention the ubiquity and backwards compatibility of USB 3.0 ports, we haven’t seen all that many Thunderbolt-equipped Windows laptops and motherboards; mostly the ports are found on higher-end motherboards.
For those that need high bandwidth access to external devices, however, even 10Gb/s may not be enough—specifically, 4K/60 video resolutions can require around 15Gb/s. As we’ve previously discussed, with Thunderbolt 2 Intel is doubling the bandwidth with Thunderbolt 2 up to 20Gb/s per port (bi-directional) by combining the four 10Gb/s channels into two 20Gb/s channels, thus enabling support for 4K/60 support. The ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad motherboard is the first motherboard to support the standard, and as expected you get two 20Gb/s ports courtesy of the single Falcon Ridge controller. Combined with the HDMI port, that gives the board the potential to drive three 4K displays at once. And if Thunderbolt 2 support isn’t enough for your enthusiast heart, ASUS is also including their NFC Express accessory for Near-Field Communication.
Here’s the short specifications summary for the Z87-Deluxe/Quad; we’re awaiting further details on expected availability and pricing, but given the Z87-Deluxe/Dual runs $350 we’d expect the new board to come in above that price point.
2 x Intel Thunderbolt 2 ports
1 x HDMI port
4 x DIMM slots
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 slots
10 x SATA 6Gbit/s ports
8 x USB 3.0 ports with USB 3.0 Boost
8 x USB 2.0 ports
ATX form factor
SD cards can be accessed with two modes. The first is the SDIO mode, which is what cameras, laptops, and other card readers use. The second mode is SPI mode. SPI is slower, but much, much simpler. It turned out the SDIO mode on [Severin]‘s card was broken, but accessing it with an Arduino and SPI mode worked. There was finally hope to get files off this damaged card.
While [Robert] and [Dan] should be working on their dissertation, they found they actually spend a whole lot of time whiling away their days on Facebook and other social media sites. Taking inspiration from a Skinner box, they rigged up their computer to shock them every time they surfed on over to Facebook.
Their build uses the UI inspector in OS X and a Python script to activate an Arduino connected to one of those trick ‘shocking chewing gum’ pranks. The contacts for this shocker are attached to a keyboard wrist rest, providing a wonderful tingling sensation whenever the guys surf on over to Facebook.
Here's an example of that 'shocking chewing gum' item they talked about:
Shock-You-Friend Electric Shock Chewing Gum (Practical Joke)
If the thought of reinstalling Windows and all your favorite apps has kept you from upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD), we’re here to help. Read on as we show you how to migrate Windows 7 to a speedy new SSD without reinstalling everything.
Why Migrate and What Do I Need?
A casual Google search will reveal that geeks across the web are deeply divided about whether or not you should copy an existing installation or start with a fresh installation of Windows. There’s very little conclusive evidence that cloning your existing HDD onto an SSD causes any issues and certainly not enough evidence for you to kill an entire day (or even a weekend or longer) installing everything from scratch and tweaking all your applications and settings. Your time is valuable, far too valuable to waste redoing all your work chasing a phantom increase in performance. At the How-To Geek office we’ve been using the a cloned SSD for some time with no ill effect (and none of the headaches that come with wiping your system and starting from scratch). Migrating is an enormous time saver.
So what do you need to get started with our guide? You’ll need a few things, all of which are free (save for SSD which, alas, you still won’t find for less than a dollar a GB).
SSD pricing has come down tremendously since Intel’s X25-M hit the scene in 2008. Back then we were talking about 80GB for around $600, while today Micron and Samsung will sell you a 1TB SSD for the same price. Moore’s Law drove this scaling in capacity. Smaller transistors paved the way for higher density NAND in the same die area, and increasing volumes helped to keep the fabs full.
Must read story of how Samsung combined a new way of using old safer technology to bring about larger SSD drives without having to go smaller nm sizes. Interference between the cells becomes a much bigger concern below 20nm.
Canonical's attempt to raise $32 million to build the Ubuntu Edge, a powerful phone that can double as a desktop when docked with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, has failed. The crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo took in "only" $12.8 million before the deadline passed a few hours ago.
Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth had told BBC that the Edge would be such a high-end device that "we would have been bringing the future forward a year or two at least." But this doesn't mean Ubuntu phones themselves are dead. The smartphone interface for the Ubuntu operating system is still being developed, and carriers around the world have signed on as potential launch partners.
We've asked Canonical if it has any alternative plans now that the Edge campaign is over, and we haven't heard back. However, the company posted a final update to the Indiegogo page:
We raised $12,809,906, making the Edge the world’s biggest ever fixed crowdfunding campaign. Let’s not lose sight of what an achievement that is. Close to 20,000 people believed in our vision enough to contribute hundreds of dollars for a phone months in advance, just to help make it happen. It wasn’t just individuals, either: Bloomberg LP gave $80,000 and several smaller businesses contributed $7,000 each. Thank you all for getting behind us.
Then there’s the Ubuntu community. Many of you gave your time as well as money, organising your own mailing lists, social media strategies and online ads, and successfully reaching out to your local media. We even saw entire sites created to gather information and help promote the Edge. We’ll be contacting our biggest referrers personally.
Most importantly, the big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu. While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014. Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won’t have much longer to wait.
Since the campaign didn't meet its funding requirement, refunds will be processed to backers within five business days, Canonical said.
The revelation that the National Security Agencycan monitor your every move online shouldn't come as a total shock. A 1986 law lets the Fedsread emails that have been stored on a server for at least six months.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was enacted long before everybody had email, but the government says the law lets it access 180-day old email without a warrant. Here's the relevant text of the law:
A governmental entity may require the disclosure by a provider of electronic communications services of the contents of a wire or electronic communication that has been in electronic storage in an electronic communications system for more than one hundred and eighty days by the means available under subsection (b) of this section.
In May, the ACLU got its hands on the government's justification for using this law to gather six-month-old emails.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today filed suit against an Australian record company for misusing copyright law to remove a lecture by Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig from YouTube. With co-counsel Jones Day, EFF is asking a federal judge in Massachusetts to rule that the video is lawful fair use, to stop Liberation Music from making further legal threats, and to award damages.
"The rise of extremist enforcement tactics makes it increasingly difficult for creators to use the freedoms copyright law gives them," Lessig said. "I have the opportunity, with the help of EFF, to challenge this particular attack. I am hopeful the precedent this case will set will help others avoid such a need to fight."
A co-founder of the nonprofit Creative Commons and author of numerous books on law and technology, Lessig has played a pivotal role in shaping the debate about copyright in the digital age. In June 2010, Lessig delivered a lecture titled "Open" at a Creative Commons conference in South Korea that included several short clips of amateur dance videos set to the song "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix. The lecture, which was later uploaded to YouTube, used the clips to highlight emerging styles of cultural communication on the Internet.
Copyright law allows for the fair use of works for purposes such as criticism, comment, teaching, and scholarship. Professor Lessig's use of the "Lisztomania" clips in his lecture was a classic example of fair use and was not copyright infringement.
Earlier this year, Liberation Music, which claims to own the license to the Phoenix song, began the process to block the video through YouTube's copyright infringement system. After the company submitted a DMCA takedown notice, Lessig filed a counter-notice that asserted the clips were fair use. After Liberation Music threatened to sue Lessig, he retracted the notice. But Lessig did not concede this issue. Instead, he enlisted EFF's help to take Liberation Music to court.
"There's a long and sorry history of content owners abusing copyright to take down fair uses, but this one is particularly shocking," said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "Based on nothing more than a few clips illustrating Internet creativity, Liberation Music took down an entire lecture by one of the leading experts in the world on copyright and fair use. This kind of abuse has to stop."
About Prof. Lessig:
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, and Remix.
For the full complaint:
For Liberation Music's email to Prof. Lessig:
For over a year, EFF has been fighting the government in federal court to force the public release of an 86-page opinion of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Issued in October 2011, the secret court's opinion found that surveillance conducted by the NSA under the FISA Amendments Act was unconstitutional and violated "the spirit of" federal law.
Today, EFF can declare victory: a federal court ordered the government to release records in our litigation, the government has indicated it intends to release the opinion today, and ODNI has called a 3:00 ET press conference to discuss "issues" with FISA Amendments Act surveillance, which we assume will include a discussion of the opinion.
It remains to be seen how much of the opinion the government will actually make available to the public. President Obama has repeatedly said he welcomes a debate on the NSA's surveillance: disclosing this opinion—and releasing enough of it so that citizens and advocates can intelligently debate the constitutional violation that occurred—is a critical step in ensuring that an informed debate takes place.
Here are examples of documents previously released by the administration in response to our Freedom of Information Act request. Anything even resembling those "releases" would be utterly unacceptable today. But we've come a long way since then—it took filing a lawsuit; litigating (and winning) in the FISC itself; the unprecedented public release of information about NSA surveillance activities; and our continuing efforts to push the government in the district court for release of the opinion.
Release of the opinion today is just one step in advancing a public debate on the scope and legality of the NSA's domestic surveillance programs. EFF will keep fighting until the NSA's domestic surveillance program is reined in, federal surveillance laws are amended to prevent these kinds of abuse from happening in the future, and government officials are held accountable for their actions.
U.S. taxpayers are increasingly picking up the tab for the control tower at an airport that’s home to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT)’s corporate fleet, at a time lawmakers say they want to ban perks for hometown interests.
Language inserted into a spending bill two years ago spared the world’s biggest company by revenue from losing taxpayer-funded controllers to guide its approximately 20 jets based in Rogers, Arkansas, near its Bentonville headquarters.
NARRATIVES OF THE MEANEST CITIES
#1 Sarasota, FL
#2 Lawrence, KS
#3 Little Rock, AR
#4 Atlanta, GA
#5 Las Vegas, NV
#6 Dallas, TX
#7 Houston, TX
#8 San Juan, PR
#9 Santa Monica, CA
#10 Flagstaff, AZ
#11 San Francisco, CA
#12 Chicago, IL
#13 San Antonio, TX
#14 New York, NY
#15 Austin, TX
#16 Anchorage, AK
#17 Phoenix, AZ
#18 Los Angeles, CA
#19 St. Louis, MO
#20 Pittsburgh, PA
The site has the narrative of those twenty meanest cities and the document link to back up what they are saying:
Columbia, South Carolina demands homeless people go away or go to jail, police aren't sure.
In what critics say is the most comprehensive anti-homeless measure ever passed, Columbia, South Carolina's City Council has unanimously approved an "Emergency Homeless Response" plan under which patrolling police will remove unsightly homeless people from downtown under the aegis of the city's "quality of life" laws - complete with a hotline so business owners can report the presence of any aforementioned unsightly etc - and take them to a shelter on the outskirts of town where more patrolling police will ensure they don't up and wander back downtown.
If they refuse to be taken, they will be arrested and taken to jail. If they try to leave the shelter, they will be returned to pseudo-jail. To justify this grotesque criminalizing of homelessness, business leaders explained in lengthy impact statements that the presence of homeless people in the city center made it "virtually impossible to create a sustainable business model," which you'd think would be enough to throw all those people into jail or at least pseudo-jail.
A Pennsylvania woman who had her newborn baby taken away from her because she had consumed poppy seeds has won a legal settlement against a child welfare agency.
Eileen Bower went into labor on July 12, 2009, and was taken to Jameson Health Systems in New Castle, where she provided a urine sample to medical staff. After the sample tested positive for an unlisted amount of morphine, the results were forwarded to the Lawrence County Children and Youth Services (LCCYS).
Bower was later informed of her positive drug result, which was used by a LCCYS caseworker to remove the baby from her mother—even though the child tested negative for opiates.
Bower denied using any drugs, and claimed the Supreme Pasta dressing she ate before going into labor contained poppy seeds. Mother and child were kept apart for 75 days, and after being reunited, Bower sued LCCYS.
U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry ruled in favor of the plaintiff, who claimed violations of her due process rights under the 14th
Bambi Note: BOLD emphasis mine. This is totally nuts! Thank God the District Judge saw the right of this. She and the baby should have been awarded damages. That was 3.5 months of that baby's life and bonding time taken away from mother and baby.
BTW: There was another similar situation listed in the article.