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11 Jun 12:45

Ask Toolbar Now Considered Malware By Microsoft

by timothy


AmiMoJo writes: Last month Microsoft changed its policy on protecting search settings to include any software that attempts to hijack searches as malware. As a result, this month the Ask Toolbar, which most people will probably recognize as being unwanted crapware bundled with Java, was marked as malware and will now be removed by Microsoft's security software built in to Windows 7 and above.

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02 Jun 12:37

TSA Not Detecting Weapons at Security Checkpoints

by schneier

He, he...

This isn't good:

An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation's busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General's report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

The Acting Director of the TSA has been resassigned:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday that Melvin Carraway would be moved to the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at DHS headquarters "effective immediately."

This is bad. I have often made the point that airport security doesn't have to be 100% effective in detecting guns and bombs. Here I am in 2008:

If you're caught at airport security with a bomb or a gun, the screeners aren't just going to take it away from you. They're going to call the police, and you're going to be stuck for a few hours answering a lot of awkward questions. You may be arrested, and you'll almost certainly miss your flight. At best, you're going to have a very unpleasant day.

This is why articles about how screeners don't catch every -- or even a majority -- of guns and bombs that go through the checkpoints don't bother me. The screeners don't have to be perfect; they just have to be good enough. No terrorist is going to base his plot on getting a gun through airport security if there's a decent chance of getting caught, because the consequences of getting caught are too great.

A 95% failure rate is bad, because you can build a plot around sneaking something past the TSA.

I don't know the details, or what failed. Was it the procedures or training? Was it the technology? Was it the PreCheck program? I hope we'll learn details, and this won't be swallowed in the great maw of government secrecy.


David Burge @iowahawkblog

At $8 billion per year, the TSA is the most expensive theatrical production in history.

20 May 00:12

Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

by Soulskill writes: Jennifer Medina reports at the NY Times that the council of the nation's second-largest city voted by a 14-1 margin to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Los Angeles and its almost 4 million residents represent one of the biggest victories yet for those pushing wage increases across the country. Proponents hope it will start to reverse the earning gap in the city, where the top 7% of households earn more than the bottom 67%. Detractors point out the direct cost increase to businesses, which could total as much as a billion dollars per year. If a business can't handle the increased cost, the employees this measure was designed to help will lose their jobs when it folds. An editorial from the LA Times says it's vital for other cities nearby to increase their minimum wage, too, else businesses will gradually migrate to cheaper locations. They add, "While the minimum wage hike will certainly help the lowest-wage workers in the city, it should not be seen as the centerpiece of a meaningful jobs creation strategy. The fact is that far too many jobs in the city are low-wage jobs — some 37% of workers currently earn less than $13.25 an hour, according to the mayor's estimates — and even after the proposed increase, they would still be living on the edge of poverty."

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13 May 14:51

"Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water..."


Esse trem não é novidade nenhuma; google "Rat Park". Mas mostra como os antidrugs são normalmente idiotas drogados.

Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.

Bruce comes along in the ’70s and said, “Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.” So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water. But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. There’s a really interesting human example I’ll tell you about in a minute, but what Bruce says is that shows that both the right-wing and left-wing theories of addiction are wrong. So the right-wing theory is it’s a moral failing, you’re a hedonist, you party too hard. The left-wing theory is it takes you over, your brain is hijacked. Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.


We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need. 

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff—in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that.


Johann Hari,

Does Capitalism Drive Drug Addiction?

(via bigfatsun)

As a recovering addict this is an interesting read. I’m constantly battling right-wingers telling me it’s my fault and always being told by doctors it’s in my nature. But hearing this about my environment makes a lot of sense, I fell into addiction in a very bad time in my life when I was very isolated, and most of the addicts I know are the same. Addiction is definitely related to depression and this is affected by environment. I like this article.

(via soymilkbitch)

Bruce Alexander did the Rat Park experiments in the seventies.  I am kind of horrified and outraged that I’ve heard about the empty-cage rat experiments but never once about his.

(via animatedamerican)

10 May 04:20

Photobucket Hackers Nabbed, Face Serious Charges From US Authorities

by timothy
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement released Friday that two men, Brandon Bourret, and Athanasios Andrianakis, of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Sunnyvale, California, respectively, were arrested for their sale of software designed to breach the security of photo-sharing site; their "Photofucket" app, says the linked Register report, was used "to plunder Photobucket's users' private and password-protected information, images and videos, it has been alleged ... The charge sheet against Bourret and Andrianakis details one count of conspiracy and one count of computer fraud, aid and abet – both of which carry a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, the men stand accused of two counts of access device fraud, which carries a higher prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars, per count." The indictment, filed in Federal District Court in Colorado, is far easier to read than many.

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25 Apr 12:17

AEP : Watch Porn, Save Your Life – Fight Against Testicular Cancer


He, he...

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 18.11.30

Editor’s Note

Men that visit Pornhub to watch a pornstar interacting with a dildo will make a use of their time.
And maybe save their life.



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08 Apr 22:10

Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns

by samzenpus
Toshito writes Desjardins Insurance has launched a smartphone app that tracks driver behaviour in return for the promise of substantial savings on car insurance. Two years ago, Desjardins began offering a telematic device that plugs into a vehicle's diagnostic port, to track acceleration, hard braking and the time of day you were driving, for instance. Now, there's no plug-in device required. With Desjardins's new Ajusto app, all you need is your smartphone. But this comes with great concerns over privacy, and problems have been reported where the device was logging data when the user was riding a bus instead of driving his own car.

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31 Dec 13:52

More Data on Attributing the Sony Attack

by schneier

An analysis of the timestamps on some of the leaked documents shows that they were downloaded at USB 2.0 speeds -- which implies an insider.

Our investigation into the data that has been released by the "hackers" shows that someone at Sony was copying 182GB at minimum the night of the 21st -- the very same day that Sony Pictures' head of corporate communications, Charles Sipkins, publicly resigned from a $600,000 job. This could be a coincidence but it seems unlikely. Sipkins's former client was NewsCorp and Sipkins was officially fired by Pascal's husband over a snub by the Hollywood Reporter.

Two days later a malware bomb occurred.

We are left with several conclusions about the malware incident:

  1. The "hackers" did this leak physically at a Sony LAN workstation. Remember Sony's internal security is hard on the outside squishy in the center and so it wouldn't be difficult for an insider to harm Sony by downloading the material in much the same way Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden did at their respective posts.

  2. If the "hackers" already had copies, then it's possible they made a local copy the night of the 21st to prepare for publishing them as a link in the malware screens on the 24th.

Sony CEO Michael Lynton's released emails go up to November 21, 2014. Lynton got the "God'sApstls" email demand for money on the 21st at 12:44pm.

Other evidence implies insiders as well:

Working on the premise that it would take an insider with detailed knowledge of the Sony systems in order to gain access and navigate the breadth of the network to selectively exfiltrate the most sensitive of data, researchers from Norse Corporation are focusing on this group based in part on leaked human resources documents that included data on a series of layoffs at Sony that took place in the Spring of 2014.

The researchers tracked the activities of the ex-employee on underground forums where individuals in the U.S., Europe and Asia may have communicated prior to the attack.

The investigators believe the disgruntled former employee or employees may have joined forces with pro-piracy hacktivists, who have long resented the Sony's anti-piracy stance, to infiltrate the company's networks.

I have been skeptical of the insider theory. It requires us to postulate the existence of a single person who has both insider knowledge and the requisite hacking skill. And since I don't believe that insider knowledge was required, it seemed unlikely that the hackers had it. But these results point in that direction.

Pointing in a completely different direction, a linguistic analysis of the grammatical errors in the hacker communications implies that they are Russian speakers:

Taia Global, Inc. has examined the written evidence left by the attackers in an attempt to scientifically determine nationality through Native Language Identification (NLI). We tested for Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and German using an analysis of L1 interference. Our preliminary results show that Sony's attackers were most likely Russian, possibly but not likely Korean and definitely not Mandarin Chinese or German.

The FBI still blames North Korea:

The FBI said Monday it was standing behind its assessment, adding that evidence doesn't support any other explanations.

"The FBI has concluded the government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Attribution to North Korea is based on intelligence from the FBI, the U.S. intelligence community, DHS, foreign partners and the private sector," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber incident."

Although it is now thinking that the North Koreans hired outside hackers:

U.S. investigators believe that North Korea likely hired hackers from outside the country to help with last month's massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures, an official close to the investigation said on Monday.

As North Korea lacks the capability to conduct some elements of the sophisticated campaign by itself, the official said, U.S. investigators are looking at the possibility that Pyongyang "contracted out" some of the cyber work.

This is nonsense. North Korea has had extensive offensive cyber capabilities for years. And it has extensive support from China.

Even so, lots of security experts don't believe that it's North Korea. Marc Rogers picks the FBI's evidence apart pretty well.

So in conclusion, there is NOTHING here that directly implicates the North Koreans. In fact, what we have is one single set of evidence that has been stretched out into 3 separate sections, each section being cited as evidence that the other section is clear proof of North Korean involvement. As soon as you discredit one of these pieces of evidence, the whole house of cards will come tumbling down.

But, as I wrote earlier this month:

Tellingly, the FBI's press release says that the bureau's conclusion is only based "in part" on these clues. This leaves open the possibility that the government has classified evidence that North Korea is behind the attack. The NSA has been trying to eavesdrop on North Korea's government communications since the Korean War, and it's reasonable to assume that its analysts are in pretty deep. The agency might have intelligence on the planning process for the hack. It might, say, have phone calls discussing the project, weekly PowerPoint status reports, or even Kim Jong Un's sign-off on the plan.

On the other hand, maybe not. I could have written the same thing about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of that country, and we all know how wrong the government was about that.

I also wrote that bluffing about this is a smart strategy for the US government:

...from a diplomatic perspective, it's a smart strategy for the US to be overconfident in assigning blame for the cyberattacks. Beyond the politics of this particular attack, the long-term US interest is to discourage other nations from engaging in similar behavior. If the North Korean government continues denying its involvement, no matter what the truth is, and the real attackers have gone underground, then the US decision to claim omnipotent powers of attribution serves as a warning to others that they will get caught if they try something like this.

Of course, this strategy completely backfires if the attackers can be definitely shown to be not from North Korea. Stay tuned for more.

EDITED TO ADD (12/31): Lots of people in the comments are doubting the USB claim.

23 Feb 07:32

maymay: “Repeat Rape: How do they get away with it?”, Part 1 of...



It turns out that if you ask the right questions in just the right way, some men will actually tell you that they're rapists. They'll just…admit it.

The key is, don't use the word rape. Just ask them what they've done.

Researchers asked 1,882 men: "Have you ever tried to have oral sex with someone by using (or threatening to use) physical force—twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.—if they did not cooperate?"

and: "Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they didn't want to, because they were too intoxicated to resist your advances?"

120 answered yes.

(That's rape.)

1,882 men…

120 rapists.

They admitted to a total of 483 rapes and attempted rapes. 483!



“Repeat Rape: How do they get away with it?”, Part 1 of 2. (link to Part 2)


  1. College Men: Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists,Lisak and Miller, 2002 [PDF, 12 pages]
  2. Navy Men: Lisak and Miller’s results were essentially duplicated in an even larger study (2,925 men): Reports of Rape Reperpetration by Newly Enlisted Male Navy Personnel, McWhorter, 2009 [PDF, 16 pages]

By dark-side-of-the-room, who writes:

These infogifs are provided RIGHTS-FREE for noncommercial purposes. Repost them anywhere. In fact, repost them EVERYWHERE. No need to credit. Link to the L&M study if possible.

Knowledge is a seed; sow it.

21 Feb 23:11

We Can Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia

by Soulskill

Eu não concordo (que dá pra evitar a evasão de privacidade), mas queria a opinião dos amigos...

An anonymous reader writes "After the past year's revelations about NSA spying, it's hard to read any commentary about society without dire warnings of the coming (or already present) surveillance state. Sci-fi author Ramez Naam makes the point that while government surveillance needs to be fought, it's actually not as bad as what we were promised in decades past. 'Aldous Huxley published Brave New World in 1932. And while Brave New World is remembered more for predicting government-controlled biological engineering of the masses, it also features government surveillance, media manipulation, and thought control. This is an old idea. Yet somehow, today, in most of the world, governments have dramatically less control over their people than they did when Huxley and Orwell wrote those words. Indeed, the average person on Earth is more free today, in 2014, than he or she would have been in the actual year 1984. The arc of history has bent towards more freedom.' Naam also explains that the technological advances allowing the bulk collection of personal data also provide us with cheap and easy means to fight government overreach."

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14 Feb 18:45

Computer Geeks As Loners? Data Says Otherwise

by Soulskill

São sempre gregários e geralmente incultos, não sabem distinguir entre uma premissa maior e uma menor e têm escasso domínio do vernáculo.

Computerworld reports on an analysis of census data to compare marriage rates for different professions. They found the rate for tech workers to be similar to that of other white-collar professions, and significantly higher than the rate for the general population. 62.1% of people with IT jobs are married, as are 56.5% of scientists and 65.5% of engineers. This compares well to people in legal professions (62.0%), medical jobs (61.3%), and finance (62.4%). 51% of the adult U.S. population was married as of the 2010 census. Tech workers do have a slightly higher percentage of people who have never married — 26.7% of IT workers and 31.9% of scientists — but they also have slightly fewer divorces.

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15 Feb 18:55

Psychologists: Internet Trolls Are Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Sadistic

by Soulskill

O instituto O RLY? de pesquisas psicológicas e psiquiátricas informa...

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Chris Mooney reports at Slate that research conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba confirmed that people who engage in internet trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). In the study, trolls were identified in a variety of ways. One was by simply asking survey participants what they 'enjoyed doing most' when on online comment sites, offering five options: 'debating issues that are important to you,' 'chatting with others,' 'making new friends,' 'trolling others,' and 'other.' The study recruited participants from Amazon's Mechanical Turk website and two measures of sadistic personality were administered (PDF): the Short Sadistic Impulse Scale and the Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies Scale. Only 5.6 percent of survey respondents actually specified that they enjoyed 'trolling.' By contrast, 41.3 percent of Internet users were 'non-commenters,' meaning they didn't like engaging online at all. So trolls are, as has often been suspected, a minority of online commenters, and an even smaller minority of overall Internet users. Overall, the authors found that the relationship between sadism and trolling was the strongest, and that indeed, sadists appear to troll because they find it pleasurable. 'Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun ... and the Internet is their playground!' The study comes as websites are increasingly weighing steps to rein in trollish behavior but the study authors aren't sure that fix is a realistic one. 'Because the behaviors are intrinsically motivating for sadists, comment moderators will likely have a difficult time curbing trolling with punishments (e.g., banning users),' says Buckels. 'Ultimately, the allure of trolling may be too strong for sadists, who presumably have limited opportunities to express their sadistic interests in a socially-desirable manner.' Perhaps posting rights should only be unlocked if you pass a test."

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04 Feb 20:09

MAESTRO-II: NSA Exploit of the Day

by schneier

ÓIA o tamanho do treco. Com um processador ARM7.

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:


(TS//SI//REL) MAESTRO-II is a miniaturized digital core packaged in a Multi-Chip Module (MCM) to be used in implants with size constraining concealments.

(TS//SI//REL) MAESTRO-II uses the TAO standard implant architecture. The architecture provides a robust, reconfigurable, standard digital platform resulting in a dramatic performance improvement over the obsolete HC12 microcontroller based designs. A development Printed Circuit Board (PCB) using packaged parts has been developed and is available as the standard platform. The MAESTRO-II Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) contain an ARM7 microcontroller, FPGA, Flash and SDRAM memories.

Status: Available -- On The Shelf

Unit Cost: $3-4K

Page, with graphics, is here. General information about TAO and the catalog is here.

Finally -- I think this is obvious, but many people are confused -- I am not the one releasing these documents. Der Spiegel released these documents in December. Every national intelligence service, Internet organized crime syndicate, and clued terrorist organization has already pored over these pages. It's us who haven't really looked at, or talked about, these pages. That's the point of these daily posts.

In the comments, feel free to discuss how the exploit works, how we might detect it, how it has probably been improved since the catalog entry in 2008, and so on.

30 Jan 16:39

Sense the World with the Sensordrone [Deals Hub]

by StackSocial

Se alguém aqui do Old Reader me amar muito e achar que eu sou sempre um moleque bonzinho e mereço um presente de Natal, Aniversário, Dia das Crianças, ou semelhantes. Bônus= o trem tem um bafômetro embutido. :D

Sense the World with the Sensordrone [Deals Hub]
Your smartphone is capable of all kinds of amazing things, containing impressive computing power in such a little package. It’s not the only little tool that is able to impress, though. Sensordrone is the size of a keychain yet is a fulling functioning sensing computer. It can be yours if you head to the iPhone Hacks Deals Hub today. Continue reading →
31 Jan 08:06

Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"

by samzenpus

Aparentemente é o mesmo princípio das "vacinas para alergia" que eu tomava aos 12 anos de idade, subcutaneamente, por uns seis meses, todos os dias. Funciona muito...

cold fjord writes: "The BBC reports, 'Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal. The trial ... tried to train the children's immune system to tolerate peanut. Every day they were given a peanut protein powder — starting off on a dose equivalent to a 70th of a peanut. Once a fortnight the dose was increased while the children were in hospital and then they continued taking the higher dose at home. The majority of patients learned to tolerate the peanut. ... Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: "It really transformed their lives dramatically, this really comes across during the trial. ... Dr Pamela Ewan added ... further studies would be needed and that people should not try this on their own as this "should only be done by medical professionals in specialist settings."' The story also notes, 'The findings, published in the Lancet, suggest 84% of allergic children could eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day after six months.'"

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29 Jan 20:28

GINSU: NSA Exploit of the Day

by schneier

compartilhado por que o nome é lindo.

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:


(TS//SI//REL) GINSU provides software application persistence for the CNE implant, KONGUR, on target systems with the PCI bus hardware implant, BULLDOZER.

(TS//SI//REL) This technique supports any desktop PC system that contains at least one PCI connector (for BULLDOZER installation) and Microsoft Windows 9x, 2000, 20003, XP, or Vista.

(TS//SI//REL) Through interdiction, BULLDOZER is installed in the target system as a PCI bus hardware implant. After fielding, if KONGUR is removed from the system as a result of an operation system upgrade or reinstall, GINSU can be set to trigger on the next reboot of the system to restore the software implant.

Unit Cost: $0

Status: Released / Deployed. Ready for Immediate Delivery

Page, with graphics, is here. General information about TAO and the catalog is here.

In the comments, feel free to discuss how the exploit works, how we might detect it, how it has probably been improved since the catalog entry in 2008, and so on.

29 Jan 13:46

US Forces Coursera To Ban Students From Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria

by Unknown Lamer

Porque não existem proxies no mundo...

An anonymous reader writes "Coursera is an online website that offers free courses from many of the world's top universities. Now, all students from Syria, Sudan, Iran and Cuba will no longer be able to access Coursera. The official blog provides more info regarding the ban: 'Until now the interpretation of export control regulations as they relate to MOOCs has been unclear and Coursera has been operating under the interpretation that MOOCs would not be restricted. We recently received information that has led to the understanding that the services offered on Coursera are not in compliance with the law as it stands ... United States export control regulations prohibit U.S. businesses, such as MOOC providers like Coursera, from offering services to users in sanctioned countries, including Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria. Under the law, certain aspects of Coursera's course offerings are considered services and are therefore subject to restrictions in sanctioned countries, with the exception of Syria.'"

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27 Jan 19:48

Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge

by samzenpus

IOW: bitcoin exchanges são proibidos no Zuza.

An anonymous reader writes "Charlie Shrem, the chief executive officer of bitcoin exchange BitInstant, has been arrested and charged with money laundering. 'In the federal criminal complaint, the Southern District of New York charges Shrem, the 24-year-old CEO of BitInstant, with three counts, including one count operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count willful failure to file suspicious activity report. Robert Faiella, a Silk Road user who operated under the name “BTCKing,” was charged with one count of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and one count money laundering conspiracy.'"

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20 Jan 21:18

More Details About Mars Mystery Rock

by samzenpus

é um cocô

First time accepted submitter GPS Pilot writes "Previous reports said the rock that suddenly appeared out of nowhere was merely 'the size of a jelly doughnut.' Now, a color image shows additional reasons for this metaphor: 'It's white around the outside, in the middle there's kind of a low spot that's dark red,' said lead scientist Steve Squyres. In the image, the object does stick out like a sore thumb amidst the surrounding orange rocks and soil. Its composition is 'like nothing we've ever seen before. It's very high in sulfur, it's very high in magnesium, it's got twice as much manganese as we've ever seen in anything on Mars.'"

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17 Jan 17:05

Meet COS, The Chinese Government's Contender To Battle iOS & Android

by Dave Smith

1. sempre bom lembrar que na china, até a cauda longa é grossa :D
2. with blackjack and hookers!

The government of China is not too fond of foreign mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, so the country cooked up its own homegrown solution: A Linux-based, open-source operating system called the COS, or China Operating System.

According to People's Daily, a government-run news organization in China, COS is a joint effort between the Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) and a company called Shanghai Liantong, which develops software and communication technology. According to China’s dedicated website, the COS was designed for smartphones, PCs, smart appliances and set-top boxes, and is “intended to break the foreign monopoly in the field of infrastructure software.”

At a launch event Wednesday, the head of the ISCAS took the first steps in denigrating the so-called foreign mobile “monopoly” and promoting China’s own COS. According to Engadget Chinese, the ISCAS chief “criticized iOS for being a closed ecosystem,” mentioned Android’s “infamous fragmentation problem,” and added that both Android and Windows Phone OS are “let down by poor security.” 

Many Chinese consumers are skeptical of COS in its early going. According to Quartz’ Jennifer Chiu, Chinese smartphone users took to Sina Weibo in droves to critique COS after its unveiling this week, poking fun at its name—“What does COS stand for? COPY ANOTHER SYSTEM?”—and sarcastically proposing that Communist Party “members, cadres, and leaders throw away their iPhones [first] and have them replayed by our superb homemade operating system!”

Justifiably Suspicious

Consumers have every right to be skeptical of its own government’s second attempt at a mobile operating system. That's right—second attempt.

China once tried to create its own Linux-based, open mobile ecosystem in the past, but the OPhone or OMS (Open Mobile System), fell flat after its 2009 release. The OPhone, though believed to be discontinued in 2010, is still alive today with a meager 600 available applications.

With COS, China is taking advantage of the recent NSA scandal in the U.S. to push its own product; and yet, a government-approved mobile operating system, especially in China of all places, reeks of its own backdoor exploits for governmental spying.

China, which has notably heavy restrictions against sociopolitical freedoms like access to the Internet, the right to assemble or practice religion, and even the right to bear children, has many times been accused of spying on (and censoring) its own citizens. More recently, Chinese officials have begun wiretapping each other’s bedrooms and showers out of distrust. Even China’s president was wiretapped by a member of the country’s own Communist Party. 

Before it can go mainstream, COS will need to win support from a number of local carriers and handset makers, including ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei Technologies, the largest telecom equipment maker in the world, which was also accused of cyberspying in the U.S. and criticized for its ties to the Chinese military.

Lead image via Shutterstock; right images via China-COS

14 Jan 23:37

Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

by Soulskill

'tava faltando gente falando "e tá pouco" pras trapalhadas da NSA."quem não deve não treme" e coisas assim...

An anonymous reader writes "An Irish politician has called for tougher controls on the use of open source internet browsers. He said, 'An online black market is operating which protects the users’ anonymity and operates across borders through the use of open source internet browsers and payments systems which allow users to remain anonymous. This effectively operates as an online supermarket for illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and pornography, where it is extremely difficult to trace the identity of the buyers. We need a national and international response to clamp down on this illicit trade.' The politician added that the U.S. had 'taken action' to address this, but he seemed surprised that their solution was only 'temporary.'"

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06 Jan 21:41

Who Cares About 4K TVs?

by Adriana Lee

1080p downloads já são um saco.

If you believe the hype around the Consumer Electronics Show, 4K television is all the rage. TV makers have long hoped to spark demand for so-called ultra HD televisions, and this time around, they’re trying to ensure it by packaging the sets with some nifty new features. 

The big question is whether anyone outside the consumer-electronics bubble here in Las Vegas will care. The answer: Probably not, at least until some of the newer software features migrate away from insanely priced hardware.

Judging by this morning’s sessions at CES, manufacturers like Sharp and Panasonic will be bringing their 4K TVs to market with a slew of new features such as better search and discovery, handy mobile apps, and in one case (via Panasonic’s VIERA Life+ Screen) even Kinect-like facial and voice recognition baked right in. Of course, that’s not all the 4K tech Panasonic has up its sleeve. The company also took the wraps off a new 4K wearable camera

In unveiling its new AQUOS line—Aquos HD, Aquos 4K, Aquos Q, and the belle of its ball, the Aquos Q+—Sharp emphasized its Quattron Plus technology, which has 10 million more subpixels than full HD. But almost as a side note, the company took a moment to show off what's really cool—its "Smart Central" software. The interface takes a cue from streaming set-top boxes like Roku to make universal search and suggestions across all TV apps easier and more intuitive. And it comes with a companion remote control app that takes the drudgery out of entering search terms onscreen. 

Such software is way more interesting than the hardware. The reason is obvious: These features may not be game-changing, but they're convenient and they stand a chance of coming to products that everyday people can actually afford sometime soon. 

Not so for the hardware. Sharp did make a point of lowering the cost—within weeks, the 60- and 70-inch 4K Ultra HD series with 2160p resolution will go for $5,000 and $6,000 respectively, down from a 70-inch unit launched in September for $7,500. Can Samsung, LG and Sony do better? Not likely. This technology has been a wallet-gouger across the board, and that's even before you realize that there's very little to watch on these pricey new sets.

Until makers manage to shed those elitist prices, 4K televisions will remain little more than a matter of curiosity and hype, not essential entertainment gear.

To underscore the point, Sharp will also show off its 85-inch 8K television prototypes at CES again this year. Developed in conjunction with Dolby and Phillips, these innovations do push all sorts of envelopes. But as cool as glasses-free 3D on a mammoth, insanely high-resolution television is, it might as well be a holodeck. That would stand the same chance of landing in mainstream living rooms. 

Images by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

05 Jan 10:23

Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

by Soulskill

From the O RLY Research Institute...
o primeiro comentário é ótimo:


New submitter sfcat writes "Companies, headhunters and recruiters increasingly are using social media sites like Facebook to evaluate potential employees. Most of this is due to a 2012 paper from Northern Illinois Univ. that claimed that employee performance could be effectively evaluated from their social media profiles. Now a series of papers from other institutions reveal exactly the opposite result. 'Recruiter ratings of Facebook profiles correlate essentially zero with job performance,' write the researchers, led by Chad H. Van Iddekinge of FSU (abstract. Not only did the research show the ineffectiveness of using social media in evaluating potential employees, it also showed a measurable biases of the recruiters against minorities (African-American and Latino) and against men in general."

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04 Jan 00:27

Tumblr | b7e.png



02 Jan 23:14

Dogs Defecate In Alignment With Earth's Magnetic Field

by timothy

não sei o que comentar sobre isso.

Daniel_Stuckey writes "But for whatever its worth, all that spinning is far from arbitrary. What dog owners witness is a small and furry version of the aurora borealis and a link between species and environment that's as holistic and beautiful as a dog pooping can be. A team of Czech and German researchers found that dogs actually align themselves with the Earth's magnetic field when they poop. Proving at least that they're really devoted to their work, the researchers measured the direction of the body axis of 70 dogs from 37 breeds during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years, and found that dogs "prefer to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis under calm magnetic field conditions." They fittingly published their results [abstract] in the journal Frontiers in Zoology ."

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31 Dec 18:25

The NSA Spies On America's Favorite Device—Time To Get Angry

by Dan Rowinski

"time to get angry" foi quando o Snowden revelou a ponta do iceberg; a oportunidade já foi perdida IMHO.

If it seems these days like no gadget, website, service or function is safe from the data trolling of the U.S. National Security Administration, you are probably right. Even your iPhone is no barrier to the depths of the NSA’s capabilities, according to a new report.

Security researcher Jacob Applebaum gave a talk at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany yesterday outlining how the NSA has had the capability to break into an iPhone and siphon off of all the communications and activity on the device since 2008. German publication Der Spiegel also has its own extensive report showing that the NSA has a program called DROPOUTJEEP that is the codename of the iPhone hack. 

In addition to the iPhone hack, the NSA has a unit called TAO—Tailored Access Operations—that has the primary duty of intercepting and bugging hardware (phones, laptops, servers) that various reports have stated HP and Cisco servers. Basically, the NSA can get at whatever it wants just about anywhere it wants. Der Spiegel also reports that the NSA has successfully tapped undersea fiber optics cables running from Europe, through the Middle East to Asia. 

The iPhone hack stated by the documents in 2008 says that the NSA would need to have physical access to a device to be able to install its spyware. Once the spyware was in place, the NSA would have access to just about everything on the iPhone. The document said that a remote hack (one that doesn’t need physical access) was in the works for the future. 

Applebaum from his talk at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (via YouTube video):

SMS, contact list retrieval, voicemail, hot microphone, camera capture, cell tower location. You think Apple helped them with that? I don’t know. I hope Apple will clarify that. Here’s the problem. I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them. I can’t really prove it. They literally claim that any time they target an iOS device that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that will work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves.  Not sure which one it is. I’d like to believe that since Apple didn’t join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it’s just that they write shitty software. We know that’s true.
Here is Applebaum's talk. The iPhone bit starts around 44:30:

Apple provided this response to technology publication a variety of technology publications this morning:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security.  Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements.  Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers.  We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.

Since the documents are from 2008, the extent of the NSA’s iPhone-snooping capability is not fully known. It may have had a working remote hack by this time. It may not and Apple may have closed the loop on this particular hardware bug that allowed the NSA in through the iPhones back door. The specifics actually do not matter quite as much because we have seen that the NSA, through one fashion or another, will get the information that it is looking for.

Time To Get Angry?

The Internet community, privacy experts, media and technology giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft are all up in arms about NSA data mining and snooping. With each successive leak from the Edward Snowden files, every new report about the NSA’s clandestine activities (with each one seemingly more extreme than the last), the rhetoric raises and the saber rattling ensues.

The problem here is that the U.S. public doesn’t seem to care. The American public’s distrust of the government runs so deep that each successive NSA scandal is met with a collective shrug. The U.S. public has been watching crime scene investigation, police and spy dramas on television and film for so long that when they learn this activity is happening in real life, they give an apathetic nod. The constant news cycle where every tidbit of information is more dramatic than the last has desensitized the public to what is one of the biggest ongoing impactful stories of the century. 

But they do love their iPhones. 

The iPhone is consistently one of the most searched keywords on the Internet every year. People want to know when it is coming out, what new features it has, what bugs it needs to squash, how it compares to older iPhones and the top Android smartphones. Americans are enamored with Apple and the iPhone and have been since 2007.

Will the American public finally get say “I’m angry as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” when they learn that the U.S. government has had the ability to track everything on its most beloved gadget since almost the iPhone’s inception? Will this be the straw that finally spurs the public into an outraged shrill, demanding reform from the U.S. government to shape up the NSA once and for all?

The iPhone is the most personal of consumer devices. People seemingly have intimate relationships with their iPhones. Will learning that the NSA can violate that personal relationship and their privacy all at once might lead them to the outraged indignation that the Technorati have been craving? Maybe but probably not. People will continue to think, “Oh, that is stuff that happens to somebody else” and continue to watch their CSI shows, blissfully aware but purposefully ignorant that the foundations of their freedom are being put to the test.

18 Dec 02:02

Nelson Mandela | 307.jpg


Saving Private Manning

17 Dec 12:00

NetfliXBMC Brings a Better, Remote-Controlled Netflix to XBMC

by Whitson Gordon

This is huge. (Netflix was a Silverlight-thing)

NetfliXBMC Brings a Better, Remote-Controlled Netflix to XBMC

With a good home theater PC, you can play just about anything—though Netflix has always been a bit difficult. A new XBMC add-on called NetfliXBMC makes the process simpler and more streamlined than ever. Here's how to set it up.

There have been a few Netflix add-ons out there, but because Netflix uses Silverlight and some tight DRM, it's always been hard to integrate with XBMC. NetfliXBMC, created by user AddonScriptorDE is the best add-on we've seen yet, and it only takes a few minutes to set up.

What You'll Need

Unlike other XBMC add-ons, it's not as simple as installing the add-on and running it. You'll want to download a few things before you start:

  • XBMC 12 "Frodo" running on Windows, OS X, or Linux. We're going to use Windows in this guide, but will note where those differences are. If you're using our $500 media center build or something similar, this guide should get you through the process very smoothly. Linux users will need to install Pipelight as described on the add-ons page.
  • Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer. NetfliXBMC requires a browser to play videos, so you'll need one of these installed (Firefox is not currently supported). We're going to use Chrome in this guide.
  • A Netflix account. For obvious reasons.

Step One: Install Chrome Launcher and NetfliXBMC

NetfliXBMC Brings a Better, Remote-Controlled Netflix to XBMC

You'll need two add-ons to get this working, and you won't find them in the default XBMC repository. So, to install them:

  1. Download AddonScriptorDE's testing repository here. Save it to your Downloads folder (or wherever else you want).
  2. Open XBMC and head to Settings > Add-Ons > Install from ZIP file. Choose the ZIP file you just downloaded and it should install the repository.
  3. Head to Get Add-Ons and choose AddonScriptorDE's Testing Repo. If there isn't anything in it, head back to the Get Add-Ons Menu, press the "c" key to bring up the context menu, and choose "Force Refresh." If you head back to AddonScriptorDE's Testing Repo, you should see a list of categories.
  4. Head to Program Add-Ons and select "Chrome Launcher." Press Enter and install the add-on.
  5. Once Chrome Launcher is installed, head back to the category list and go to Video Add-Ons. Choose NetfliXBMC and install it.

Now, you should have all the necessary add-ons installed and you can continue to the next step.

Step Two: Configure NetfliXBMC

NetfliXBMC Brings a Better, Remote-Controlled Netflix to XBMC

Next, you'll need to set up NetfliXBMC to work with your Netflix account and other preferences. Head to Videos > Video Add-Ons in XBMC, highlight NetfliXBMC, and press the "c" key to bring up the context menu. Choose "Add-On Settings" to get started. Here are some things you may want to tweak:

  • Account > Email and Password: Enter your Netflix credentials here.
  • Account > Single-User Account: If you have multiple profiles on your Netflix account, you'll want to de-select this (otherwise your browser will ask you every time, which isn't easily controllable with the remote). If you have multiple users using Netflix on the same XBMC machine, select the "Show Profile Selection on Each Start" option, which will ask you which user is watching every time you use the add-on.
  • Advanced > Delete Cache/Delete Cookies: Try these buttons if you experience problems logging in.
  • Advanced > Win Browser/OS X Browser: If you're using Internet Explorer or Safari instead of Chrome, you'll want to select your browser here.

Once you've gotten this set up, head into NetfliXBMC and try playing a movie or TV episode. If you experience problems, try fiddling with the settings to get it working, or check out the troubleshooting section at the bottom of this post.

If you can get a video to play, it's time for the last step: setting up your remote.

Step Three: Configure Your Remote (Optional)

NetfliXBMC Brings a Better, Remote-Controlled Netflix to XBMC

If you control your home theater PC with a remote (rather than a mouse and keyboard), you'll need to configure NetfliXBMC for your remote as well.

On Windows, NetfliXBMC has a little helper app that runs in the background and maps the keys you specify to Netflix's built-in shortcuts. Head back to NetfliXBMC's settings, go to the Advanced tab, and head to Configure Control Utility. From there, just enter the keys you want to use for each task. You may have to look up which keys are mapped to which buttons on your remote to do this—though XBMC's default keyboard shortcuts are a good place to start.

We haven't tested the Mac and Linux versions, so check out NetfliXBMC's forum post for more info on controlling Netflix with your remote. Usually it just involves installing a small app separately and mapping your keys, just like the Windows instructions above.

If You Have Issues

NetfliXBMC is still very much in the early stages, but in our tests, it worked quite well. However, depending on your setup, you may or may not experience issues. Make sure you've read this entire guide word-for-word, as well as the NetfliXBMC forum post. If you still have questions, that thread is the best place to ask them, especially if it's the result of a bug that the developer needs to fix. He's extremely responsive, so don't be afraid to let him know if you're having trouble! Good luck!

19 Nov 17:29

TIL The view that men suppress female sexuality is contradicted by some findings. Evidence shows that women have worked to stifle each other's sexuality because sex is a limited resource that women use to negotiate with men, and scarcity gives women an advantage."


Putz, eu concordo. Sempre achei que o tal deficit erótico era uma contrapartida à dominância física masculina. Será que alguma de nossas amigas não faria o favor de comentar/brigar/etc?

09 Dec 17:33

Bitcoin Explanation

by schneier

Para consulta :D

This is the best explanation of the Bitcoin protocol that I have read.