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20 Sep 21:06

Hackers were able to remotely control a moving Tesla Model S

by Andrew Dalton
A team of researchers from China's Keen Security Lab were able to remotely hack into a Tesla Model S by exploiting the vehicle's in-car web browser. While the Keen group worked closely with Tesla's own security team to fix the vulnerability before it...
14 Sep 16:08

VIKINGS to Return in November on History

by Clarissa
Today the History channel announced that VIKINGS will return to finish out its fourth season on Wednesday, November 30 at 9PM ET/PT, thus moving to a new night. After being defeated in a monumental battle in Paris against his brother Rollo (Clive Standen), Ragnar disappeared following his humiliating loss. VIKINGS then took an enormous leap […]
19 Sep 03:06

'Mr. Robot' star Rami Malek wins Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy

by Richard Lawler
The USA series Mr. Robot has more than just surprisingly realistic hacking scenes, as it now can claim an Emmy win. Series star Rami Malek snagged the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award tonight, beating out Kevin Spacey, Bob Odenkirk and...
16 Sep 00:22

Snowden Review

A powerful biographic drama anchored by a tremendous performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
15 Sep 12:01

FBI chief James Comey recommends taping over your webcam

by Mariella Moon
FBI director James Comey revealed during the Center for Strategic and International Studies conference that he knew he was mocked for admitting that he tapes over his webcam. But that didn't stop him from recommending that other people do the same. "...
15 Sep 22:16

Julian Assange: I'll turn myself in if Chelsea Manning walks

by Andrew Tarantola
America's most wanted hackers apparently think they've got some leverage over the US government. The ACLU last week began petitioning the Obama administration for a full pardon for Edward Snowden and, on Thursday, Julian Assange announced that he wou...
16 Sep 20:34

House committee: Snowden is a 'serial exaggerator and fabricator'

by David Lumb

Yeah, right

The US House of Representatives' intelligence committee just releasing a statement condemning Edward Snowden and recommending he be extradited to face justice. After two years spent reviewing the 1.5 million documents Snowden stole and interviewing e...
17 Sep 15:30

'Snowden' is a simplistic, but important, reminder of NSA spying

by Devindra Hardawar
When Oliver Stone's Snowden was first announced, it seemed far too soon to be retelling the story of the infamous whistleblower. After all, it was only three years ago that the files Snowden leaked led to the world-shaking revelations of the NSA's ma...
13 Sep 15:07

Policeman attacks biker. Claims he was unable to stop the kick because he ‘already had the muscles fired’ in his right leg.

13 Sep 19:09

Bruce Schneier: Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don't know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.

First, a little background. If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Like the name says, this is an attack designed to prevent legitimate users from getting to the site. There are subtleties, but basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it's overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don't like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it's a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.

Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they're used to seeing. They last longer. They're more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.

The attacks are also configured in such a way as to see what the company's total defenses are. There are many different ways to launch a DDoS attack. The more attack vectors you employ simultaneously, the more different defenses the defender has to counter with. These companies are seeing more attacks using three or four different vectors. This means that the companies have to use everything they've got to defend themselves. They can't hold anything back. They're forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker.

I am unable to give details, because these companies spoke with me under condition of anonymity. But this all is consistent with what Verisign is reporting. Verisign is the registrar for many popular top-level Internet domains, like .com and .net. If it goes down, there's a global blackout of all websites and e-mail addresses in the most common top-level domains. Every quarter, Verisign publishes a DDoS trends report. While its publication doesn't have the level of detail I heard from the companies I spoke with, the trends are the same: "in Q2 2016, attacks continued to become more frequent, persistent, and complex."

There's more. One company told me about a variety of probing attacks in addition to the DDoS attacks: testing the ability to manipulate Internet addresses and routes, seeing how long it takes the defenders to respond, and so on. Someone is extensively testing the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide critical Internet services.

Who would do this? It doesn't seem like something an activist, criminal, or researcher would do. Profiling core infrastructure is common practice in espionage and intelligence gathering. It's not normal for companies to do that. Furthermore, the size and scale of these probes -- and especially their persistence -- points to state actors. It feels like a nation's military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar. It reminds me of the US's Cold War program of flying high-altitude planes over the Soviet Union to force their air-defense systems to turn on, to map their capabilities.

What can we do about this? Nothing, really. We don't know where the attacks come from. The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with. On the other hand, it's possible to disguise the country of origin for these sorts of attacks. The NSA, which has more surveillance in the Internet backbone than everyone else combined, probably has a better idea, but unless the US decides to make an international incident over this, we won't see any attribution.

But this is happening. And people should know.

This essay previously appeared on

EDITED TO ADD: Slashdot thread.

EDITED TO ADD (9/15): Podcast with me on the topic.

14 Sep 10:00

I drove around Pittsburgh in a self-driving Uber

by Nathan Ingraham
"Did you do that, or did the car do that?" I first asked that of my self-driving Uber's "safety driver" when the car pulled out of the lane it was in to go around a pedestrian on the side of the road. I then asked it another half-dozen times througho...
12 Sep 13:12

HP buying Samsung's printer business for $1.05 billion

by Steve Dent

Seems like a cheap buy?

Samsung's board has approved the sale of its printer operation to HP for $1.05 billion "to concentrate on its core business areas," it said in a press release. It plans to spin off the printer division into a separate company as of November 1st, then...
12 Sep 16:22

Curiosity rover sends back stunning pics from Martian mountains

by Nathan Ingraham
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover may have taken a little break earlier this summer, but the craft has been back at work and beamed some excellent images back to Earth late last week. Curiosity has been exploring the "Murray Buttes" region of Mount Sharp a...
12 Sep 21:55

ACLU and Amnesty International ask Obama to pardon Snowden

by Jessica Conditt
The American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International, two of the highest-profile human rights organizations in the United States, are calling for President Obama to grant clemency to Edward Snowden. The "Pardon Snowden" campaign kicks off tod...
13 Sep 12:01

Set up your own Stingray cell dragnet with these leaked docs

by David Lumb
The Stingray has been a controversial tool that police departments and government agencies have used to track mobile phone locations and monitor the metadata they send to cell towers. Its maker Harris Corporation has repeatedly denied requests to exp...
10 Sep 18:48

Watch Bacteria Evolve Resistance to Antibiotics

Harvard created this really cool time-lapse video of bacteria mutating resistance to antibiotics. It is cool. It is scary. All that and a bag of chips. 

Just another reminder of what fights are ahead for humanity.

06 Sep 13:56

Thor Colleagues Bomb Tom Hiddleston’s Acceptance Speech

by Entertainment Buzz
Tom Hiddleston got no screen space for his own acceptance speech. Hemsworth and Elba couldn't resist spicing up his speech.
07 Sep 14:43

Snowden documents show UK spy station intercepted global satellite comms

by Graeme Burton
Snowden documents show UK spy station intercepted global satellite comms

UK responded to NSA director's 'collect it all' instruction by, well, collecting it all

09 Sep 14:13

Police are surveilling the wrong targets due to incorrect IP addresses

by Graeme Burton
Police are surveilling the wrong targets due to incorrect IP addresses

IOCCO received reports of 1,199 known errors in 2015

09 Sep 21:45

'USB Killer 2.0' Shows That Most USB-Enabled Devices Are Vulnerable To Power Surge Attacks publicly launches its "USB Killer 2.0" to show that most computing devices with USB ports are still vulnerable to power surge attacks. The company also made a "Test Shield" available, which allows device makers to test their devices safely.
06 Sep 19:22

eBooks are not declining as much as you might think

by Tyler Cowen

And self-published “indie” authors — in part because they get a much bigger cut of the revenue than authors working with conventional publishers do — are now making much more money from e-book sales, in aggregate, than authors at Big Five publishers.

And this:

The AAP also reported, though, that e-book revenue was down 11.3 percent in 2015 and unit sales down 9.7 percent. That’s where things get misleading. Yes, the established publishing companies that belong to the AAP are selling fewer e-books. But that does not mean fewer e-books are being sold. Of the top 10 books on Amazon’s Kindle bestseller list when I checked last week, only two (“The Light Between Oceans” and “The Girl on the Train,” both mass-market reissues of novels that have just been made into movies) were the products of major publishers. All the rest were genre novels (six romances, two thrillers) published either by the author or by an in-house Amazon imprint. Their prices ranged from 99 cents to $4.99.

That is from Justin Fox at Bloomberg.

The post eBooks are not declining as much as you might think appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

06 Sep 00:50

AMD ships its extra-efficient 7th-generation processors in PCs

by Jon Fingas

Equal to Intel i5 if great. New architecture then holds promise to finally equal i7

While Intel is busy revamping its laptop processors, AMD is focused on the desktop side of personal computing. The chip designer has started shipping its 7th-generation A-series processors in desktop PCs, starting with machines from HP and Lenovo. Th...
01 Sep 20:13

SingularDTV: A Decentralized “Netflix” on Ethereum

by Joseph Young

The team behind SingularDTV, a blockchain-based digital content distribution and management platform, is planning the launch of a decentralized system in which artists and digital content creators can build, monetize, protect and manage their creations using the blockchain technology.

Based on the Ethereum network and the ConsenSys venture production studio, SingularDTV relies on a tokenized ecosystem using a local cryptocurrency called SNGLS to help artists and creators benefit from transparent media production and distribution.

Essentially, the SingularDTV platform aims to construct a decentralized entertainment industry in which content creators have complete control over their creations and monetization methods. Its four core divisions — content creation & acquisition, documentary division, rights management platform and TVOD Brand/Portal — allow creators to display, distribute and produce films, television properties and music while protecting their copyrights in one single platform.

The SingularDTV team and its CEO Zach Lebeau believe that the platform will lead to the development of new monetization methods and will eliminate monopolistic distribution that inevitably lessens the profit of artists and filmmakers.

“It [the platform] will give artists control over setting usage policies for their created content and pay them instantaneously when their content is watched, rather than having to participate in the monopolistic and obfuscated distribution machine of the legacy entertainment industry that ends up eating away at their potential profits,” Lebeau told Bitcoin Magazine in an interview.

Joseph Lubin, CTO of SingularDTV, further emphasized that artists and filmmakers will be able to maximize their earnings by eliminating the presence of third-party institutions or mediators like Netflix and YouTube to manage and distribute their content. The platform is gearing towards a consumer-to-creator network in which consumers may access the creator’s works without accessing an external application.

Through the utilization of smart contracts, consumers will be able to make payments according to the indications of each smart contract of the creators.

“A consumer will be able to navigate and catalogue and find something to watch and click on an appropriate usage policy to pay the artist instantly and directly for the content that we’re receiving and using,” said Lubin.

Importance of Ethereum and Local Tokens

Before Ethereum was introduced to the digital currency industry, Lebeau and his team attempted to utilize the Bitcoin network and ecosystem to build the SingularDTV platform. However, Bitcoin’s lack of infrastructure made it difficult for developers to create applications using scalable frameworks.

The Ethereum network, which is primarily based on smart contracts, has since allowed the SingularDTV team to create a decentralized and scalable platform with which they can integrate various applications to handle various operations.

“The Ethereum blockchain represents the best possible potential to achieve the construction of a scalable decentralized entertainment industry. We believe the most innovative and progressive minds in blockchain tech are developing on Ethereum, which gives it long-term viability,” said Lebeau.

More importantly, the Ethereum platform has enabled the SingularDTV team to create a localized token called SNGLS that is programmed with “the terms and conditions of SingularDTV and its intellectual property,” rather than simply using ETH, which is just the gas that fuels the Ethereum blockchain.

“We’re entering into the 'Age of Tokenized Ecosystems',” said Lebeau. “This is the beginning of a next great tech boom where trillions of dollars worth of real world assets will be decentralized and placed onto the blockchain in the coming years.  SNGLS tokens are the decentralized representation of SingularDTV intellectual property — our film, TV and software projects. The tokens are the company and represent the CODE structure of SingularDTV.”  

Lebeau added that the details of the CODE structure were developed in partnership with ConsenSys and Swiss law firm MME, among the architects of the Ethereum Foundation, with assistance from legal innovator Luka Muller, who is at the forefront of the legal/tax structure for tokenized ecosystems.

The post SingularDTV: A Decentralized “Netflix” on Ethereum appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

02 Sep 05:09

Samsung issues official statement on Galaxy Note7 battery fiasco

Following reports of some Samsung Galaxy Note7 units exploding during charging, there have been rumors that the South Korean company is mulling recalling units that have already been sold. Now, the tech giant has issued an official statement on the matter. "In response to questions on Galaxy Note7, we are conducting a thorough inspection with our partners," Samsung said. "We will share the findings as soon as possible. Samsung is fully committed to providing the highest quality products to our consumers." While the statement does not reflect what steps Samsung is planning to address...

31 Aug 18:30

Hasselblad reveals a MotoMod that replaces your Moto Z's camera

by Chris Velazco
Remember the days before the Moto Z launched, when a mysterious camera MotoMod was leaked along with a handful of other snap-on accessories? Remember when the Z and Z Force launched, and that camera was nowhere in sight? Well, the wait is (almost) ov...
30 Aug 18:33

Gotham: Season 3 Title, New Poster Revealed

by Alex Osborn

Ahead of Gotham's return next month, Fox has revealed the official title and a new poster for Season 3.

As seen on the poster, which comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, Gotham's third season is titled Mad City.

gotham-s3 Gotham: Season 3 poster, via THR

Continue reading…

30 Aug 10:02

EU Commission: Apple must repay its $14.5b Irish tax break

by Matt Brian

EU is running out of money, so it has to be sponsored by tech companies :)

The European Commission has ruled that Apple was given up to €13 billion ($14.5/£11.1 billion) in an illegal sweetheart tax deal with the Irish government. The amount of money involved here dwarfs the EU antitrust penalties handed out to G...
25 Aug 16:57

Overwatch Made the Internet (and Me) Lose Its Mind Last Night

by Joe Skrebels

Funny text

I had decided on a nice evening to myself. I bought a semi-expensive steak from one of the supermarket shelves that’s harder to reach. I spent more than £5 on wine. Between turning the potatoes and warming a skillet, I would casually check the results of the fermenting internet conspiracy I had been monitoring all day. I went home. At 1am, I watched a Discord chat community of thousands tear itself apart in search of prime numbers, base64 sequences and datamoshed imagery. It was fantastic.

Sombra is Overwatch's supposed 23rd character, and has been the subject of an Alternate Reality Game (or ARG) since the game's release. By this point, she's something like the Godot of Overwatch - a figure one talks about, speculates on, even loves in absentia, but never sees. Months of cryptic, miniature hints about the character – who, depending on which crackpot screed you’re reading, is an invisible stealth melee user, a teenage hacker, a rogue AI, or all of the above – have slowly splintered the dam holding back an absolute torrent of internet froth. Yesterday, it broke, and I was happily washed away amidst it.

Continue reading…

25 Aug 01:13

Doctors use ultrasound to jump-start coma patient's brain

by Sean Buckley
We're getting better at predicting when a patient might come out of a coma, but helping them recover is another matter. Even after a patient wakes up, the effects of being in a persistent unconscious state can result in severe brain injury. Recovery...
22 Aug 18:11

Middle-earth Blu-ray set is gorgeous, but insanely expensive

by Nathan Ingraham
Yes, many Lord of the Rings fans (including this writer) may be obsessive collectors, but the latest movie collection that Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema are releasing this far takes things into the realm of the truly crazy. The just-announced "Mid...