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Updated: 10 min 50 sec ago

UK ISPs Quietly Block Sites That List Pirate Bay Proxies

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 7:22pm
An anonymous reader tips news that six ISPs in the UK are now blocking sites that simply link to proxies for The Pirate Bay. This follows efforts from copyright holders to block access to the proxy sites themselves — which they've done to limited success through orders from the UK's High Court. [R]estricting access to proxies did not provide a silver bullet either as new ones continue to appear. This week the blocking efforts were stepped up a notch and are now targeting sites that merely provide an overview of various Pirate Bay proxies. ... One of the other blocked sites, piratebayproxy.co.uk, doesn’t have any direct links to infringing material. Instead, it provides an overview of short Pirate Bay news articles while listing the URLs of various proxies on the side. Apparently, providing information about Pirate Bay proxies already warrants a spot on the UK blocklist. ... It is not a secret that the High Court orders give copyright holders the option to continually update the list of infringing domains. However, it’s questionable whether this should also include sites that do not link to any infringing material.

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Scientists Insert a Synthetic Memory Into the Brain of a Sleeping Mouse

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 6:42pm
the_newsbeagle writes: Scientists are learning how to insert fake memories into the brain via precise electrical stimulation (abstract). In the latest experiment, they gave sleeping mice a synthetic memory that linked a particular location in a test chamber to a pleasurable sensation. (At least they gave the mice a nice memory.) The researchers first recorded the electrical signals from the mice's brains while the mice were awake and exploring the test chamber, until the researchers identified patterns of activity associated with a certain location. Then, when the mice slept, the researchers watched for those neural patterns to be replayed, indicating that the mice were consolidating the memory of that location. At that moment, they zapped a reward center of the mice's brains. When the mice awoke and went back into the chamber, they hung around that reward-associated location, presumably expecting a dose of feel-good.

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Ask Slashdot: Video Storage For Time Capsule?

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 5:52pm
New submitter dwywit, anticipating World Backup Day, writes I've been asked to film this year's ANZAC services in my town. This is a big one, as it's the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, and dear to our hearts here in Oz. The organisers have asked me to provide a camera-to-projector setup for remote viewing (they're expecting big crowds this year), and a recording of the parade and various services throughout the morning. Copies will go to the local and state library as a record of the day, but they would also like a copy to go into a time capsule. I have two issues to solve: 1. a storage medium capable of lasting 50 or 100 years and still be readable, and 2. a wrapper/codec that will be available and usable when the capsule is opened. I have the feeling that a conversion to film might be the only way to satisfy both requirements — it's easy enough to build a projector, or even re-scan the images for viewing. Has anyone got a viable alternative? Cloud storage isn't an option — this is going underground in a stainless steel container. See also this similar question from 2008; how have the options changed in the meantime?

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CIA Tried To Crack Security of Apple Devices

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 5:10pm
According to a story at The Guardian passed on by an anonymous reader, The CIA led sophisticated intelligence agency efforts to undermine the encryption used in Apple phones, as well as insert secret surveillance back doors into apps, top-secret documents published by the Intercept online news site have revealed. he newly disclosed documents from the National Security Agency's internal systems show surveillance methods were presented at its secret annual conference, known as the "jamboree."

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Secret Service Testing Drones, and How to Disrupt Them

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 4:29pm
schwit1 writes with this news from the Associated Press: Mysterious, middle-of-the-night drone flights by the U.S. Secret Service during the next several weeks over parts of Washington — usually off-limits as a strict no-fly zone — are part of secret government testing intended to find ways to interfere with rogue drones or knock them out of the sky, The Associated Press has learned. A U.S. official briefed on the plans said the Secret Service was testing drones for law enforcement or protection efforts and to look for ways, such as signal jamming, to thwart threats from civilian drones. The drones were being flown between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to publicly discuss the plans. The Secret Service has said details were classified. ... The challenge for the Secret Service is quickly detecting a rogue drone flying near the White House or the president's location, then within moments either hacking it to seize control over its flight or jamming its signal to send it off course or make it crash.

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Clinton's Private Email System Gets a Security "F" Rating

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 3:48pm
Penguinisto writes According to a scan by Qualys, Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail server, which has lately generated more than a little controversy in US political circles, has earned an "F" rating for security from the security vendor. Problems include SSL2 support, a weak signature, and only having support for older TLS protocols, among numerous other problems. Note that there are allegations that the email server was possibly already hacked in 2013. (Note: Mrs. Clinton plans on Giving a press conference to the public today on the issue.)

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Does USB Type C Herald the End of Apple's Proprietary Connectors?

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 3:08pm
An anonymous reader writes The Verge has an interesting editorial about the USB Type C connector on the new Macbook, and what this might mean for Apple's Lightning and Thunderbolt connectors. The former is functionally identical to USB Type C, and the latter has yet to prove popular in the external media and "docking" applications for which it was originally intended. Will Apple phase out these ports in favour of a single, widely-accepted, but novel standard? Or do we face a dystopian future where Apple sells cords with USB Type C on one end, and Lightning on the other?

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TSYNC Not a Hard Requirement For Google Chrome After All

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 2:29pm
An anonymous reader writes A few days ago it appeared that Google began requiring new versions of the Linux kernel for the Chrome/Chromium web browser. To some people, such requirement smelled funny, and it turns out that those people had the right hunch. Google does not intend for there to be a hard requirement on the latest versions of the Linux kernel that expose SECCOMP_FILTER_FLAG_TSYNC, but instead many users are hitting an issue around it. A Chromium developer commented on the related bug: "Updating the title so that people who have been mislead into thinking non-TSYNC kernels were deprecated immediately understand that there is simply 'some unknown bug' hitting some users." Of course, a user having the TSYNC feature in his kernel will still get a security benefit.

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Gigaom Closes Shop

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 1:32pm
Presto Vivace writes "What a loss for the tech community," linking to this announcement at Gigaom that the site is shutting down: Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company's assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy. We would like to take a moment and thank our readers and our community for supporting us all along. — Gigaom management Reader bizwriter adds a link to this story on the shutdown.

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Wikimedia Foundation Files Suit Against NSA and DOJ

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 12:50pm
jrepin sends along the news (excerpted from the Wikimedia Foundation's blog) that Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is filing suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States. The lawsuit challenges the NSA's mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as "upstream" surveillance. Our aim in filing this suit is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world. We are joined by eight other organizations and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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On the Dangers and Potential Abuses of DNA Familial Searching

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 12:10pm
Advocatus Diaboli sends a story of how a high tech forensic procedure almost led investigators to the wrong person. In 1996, a young woman named Angie Dodge was assaulted and murdered in Idaho Falls, Idaho. There was a conviction in the case, but later reports claimed the wrong man was in prison, and police thought there were more than one attacker anyway. This eventually led to the re-opening of the investigation. Using DNA evidence that had been preserved from the crime scene, police used a controversial technique called familial searching to try to find a lead. This method is used when there is no direct DNA match within the available databases. Instead, it tries to identify family members of the suspect. Police found a partial match, which eventually led them to Michael Usry, a New Orleans filmmaker. They convinced a judge to provide a search warrant to extract Usry's DNA and test it against the sample. It wasn't until a month after the extraction that they told him he'd been cleared.

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Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 9:11am
HughPickens.com writes: Experts and laymen have long assumed that people who died by suicide will ultimately do it even if temporarily deterred. Now Celia Watson Seupel reports at the NY Times that a growing body of evidence challenges this view, with many experts calling for a reconsideration of suicide-prevention strategies to stress "means restriction." Instead of treating individual risk, means restriction entails modifying the environment by removing the means by which people usually die by suicide. The world cannot be made suicide-proof, of course. But, these researchers argue, if the walkway over a bridge is fenced off, a struggling college freshman cannot throw herself over the side. If parents leave guns in a locked safe, a teenage son cannot shoot himself if he suddenly decides life is hopeless. Reducing the availability of highly lethal and commonly used suicide methods has been associated with declines in suicide rates of as much as 30%–50% in other countries (PDF). According to Cathy Barber, people trying to die by suicide tend to choose not the most effective method, but the one most at hand. Some methods have a case fatality rate as low as 1 or 2 percent," says Barber. "With a gun, it's closer to 85 or 90 percent. So it makes a difference what you're reaching for in these low-planned or unplanned suicide attempts." Ken Baldwin, who jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge in 1985 and lived, told reporters that he knew as soon as he had jumped that he had made a terrible mistake. "From the instant I saw my hand leave the railing, I knew I wanted to live. I was terrified out of my skull." Baldwin was lucky to survive the 220 foot plunge into frigid waters. Ms. Barber tells another story: On a friend's very first day as an emergency room physician, a patient was wheeled in, a young man who had shot himself in a suicide attempt. "He was begging the doctors to save him," she says. But they could not.

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UK Parliament: Banning Tor Is Unacceptable and Technologically Impossible

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 6:17am
An anonymous reader writes: Months after UK prime minister David Cameron sought to ban strong encryption, a new parliamentary briefing contradicts that, at least when it comes to Tor. The briefing says, "there is widespread agreement that banning online anonymity systems altogether is not seen as an acceptable policy option in the UK. Even if it were, there would be technical challenges." The briefing cites Tor's ability to circumvent such censorship in countries like China as well as looking at both legal and illegal uses of Tor.

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Exploiting the DRAM Rowhammer Bug To Gain Kernel Privileges

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 4:21am
New submitter netelder sends this excerpt from the Project Zero blog: 'Rowhammer' is a problem with some recent DRAM devices in which repeatedly accessing a row of memory can cause bit flips in adjacent rows. We tested a selection of laptops and found that a subset of them exhibited the problem. We built two working privilege escalation exploits that use this effect. One exploit uses rowhammer-induced bit flips to gain kernel privileges on x86-64 Linux when run as an unprivileged userland process. When run on a machine vulnerable to the rowhammer problem, the process was able to induce bit flips in page table entries (PTEs). It was able to use this to gain write access to its own page table, and hence gain read-write access (PDF) to all of physical memory.

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SpaceX Worried Fake Competitors Could Disrupt Its Space Internet Plan

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 2:24am
Jason Koebler writes: The biggest impediment to SpaceX's plan to create a worldwide, satellite broadband network might not be the sheer technological difficulty of putting 4,000 satellites into space. Instead, outdated international and domestic regulations on satellite communications could stand in the way, according to a new Federal Communications Commission filing by the company. The company's attorneys wrote that the FCC might make it too easy for competitors to reserve communications bandwidth that they will never use. "Spectrum warehousing can be extremely detrimental and unprepared, highly speculative, or disingenuous applicants must be prevented from pursuing 'paper satellites' (or 'paper constellations'), which can unjustly obstruct and delay qualified applicants from deploying their systems."

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Microsoft Asks US Court To Ban Kyocera's Android Phones

Tue, 10/03/2015 - 12:20am
angry tapir writes: Microsoft has asked a court in Seattle to ban Kyocera's DuraForce, Hydro and Brigadier lines of cellular phones in the U.S., alleging that they infringed seven Microsoft patents. The software giant charged in its complaint that some Kyocera phone features that come from its use of the Android operating system infringe Microsoft's patents.

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Dog Sniffs Out Cancer In Human Urine

Mon, 09/03/2015 - 11:40pm
randomErr writes: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences found out that a scent-trained dog can identify thyroid cancer in human urine samples 88.2 percent of the time. Frankie, a male German shepherd mix identified the presence of cancerous cells in 30 out of 34 samples. The shepherd was only slightly less accurate than a standard thyroid biopsy. This offers the possibility of a cheaper, less invasive approach to diagnosis of the illness said Donald Bodenner, M.D., PhD, the study's senior investigator.

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