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2018-06-17 00:13:07 UTC
2018-06-17 01:08:06 UTC
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The Australian Government believes that it needs a golden key to backdoor encryption within Australia via legislation. The Brits and the Yanks have both already had a nudge at this and both have conceded that requiring a backdoor to encryption is not viable but this will not stop the Australian Liberal Party from trying.
Digital rights experts have described the proposal as "ludicrous" as Cyber security minister Angus Taylor stating that the legislation would be presented for public comment within the next quarter. While the Australian Government has not detailed how it expects to gain access to encrypted data, companies may be penalized if they don't kowtow to the new laws. There is nothing to be discussed here that hasn't been said before other than the Australian Government sincerely believes it can force companies to divulge encrypted data to authorities on demand.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
Fitbit's and Jawbone's trade secret theft saga apparently didn't end when they reached a settlement in court back in December. According to Reuters, six former and current Fitbit employees have been charged in a federal indictment for being in possession of trade secrets stolen from the company's once-staunch rival Jawbone. All six worked for Jawbone for at least a year between May 2011 and April 2015. If you'll recall, the fallen wearables giant filed a lawsuit against Fitbit back in 2015 for "systematically plundering" insider information.
At the time, Jawbone said some of its employees sent over 300,000 confidential files to its rival, including outlines of future products, manufacturing prices and schedules. Jawbone even said that some of the products Fitbit released in recent years use tech stolen from the company. Fitbit, however, denied using Jawbone trade secrets in any product, feature or technology.
[...] Update: A Fitbit spokesperson offered the following statement: "In a trade secret misappropriation case brought by Jawbone in the International Trade Commission in 2016 that involved these same individuals, a federal administrative law judge during a nine-day trial on the merits found that no Jawbone trade secrets were misappropriated or used in any Fitbit product, feature or technology."
In the spring of 2014, Eric Abramovitz got the opportunity of a lifetime. He just didn't know it. Abramovitz was the victim of a deception that a Canadian judge called "despicable," as he granted Abramovitz $350,000 Canadian dollars (more than $260,000 U.S.) in damages.
Abramovitz is a gifted Canadian clarinetist who received national attention when he was still in his teens. As a student at McGill University, he applied for a spot — and a scholarship — at the prestigious Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he would study under the famed clarinet teacher Yehuda Gilad.
Only two spots open up per year, and they're seen as launching pads for elite careers. Competition is fierce. Abramovitz made it to the audition phase. But in March 2014, he saw an email in his inbox telling him he had been rejected.
It was heartbreaking. He went through "some really dark, sad, angry days," he told BuzzFeed. His girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Lee, another musician at McGill, consoled him.
But Abramovitz's despair was born out of a lie — and Lee's comforting words were, in retrospect, "really sick," he told the site. He had actually made it into the Colburn Conservatory. He never saw his acceptance email, however, because Lee got to it first — and sabotaged him. Apparently, a Canadian judge concluded, she didn't want him to move from Montreal to California.
In the days and weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight hit the oil slicks on the surface of the water. That triggered chemical reactions that added oxygen to oil molecules that once were just chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These oxygenated hydrocarbons are still sticking around eight years later with little evidence of degradation, researchers report May 29 in Environmental Science and Technology.
Chemist Christopher Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and colleagues analyzed the oily soup of molecules floating in the Gulf post-disaster. (The Deepwater Horizon spill was the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, leaking more than 3 million barrels.) While investigating how the leaked hydrocarbons broke down over time, the team got a surprise: More than half of the degrading oil by-products found in oil slicks from the spill were these oxygenated hydrocarbons, the researchers reported in 2012. The by-products had gone relatively unnoticed after previous oil spills, and so were mostly unstudied in that context.
Now the team has evidence that these oxygenated hydrocarbons aren’t just a major by-product of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but a particularly persistent one. The scientists analyzed more hydrocarbon samples collected from the water surface and from sandy beaches in the area in the years since the spill to see how the molecules have fared. All of the sand samples had roughly the same proportion of oxygenated hydrocarbons between years, suggesting that in the eight years since the disaster, these molecules still haven’t broken down.
“A natural process took what was released from the [spill] and made something either as tough or tougher,” Reddy says.
[...] It’s also too soon to say what the finding means for wildlife, Reddy says. The persistence of the oil by-products means that they’re still hanging out in the environment, able to coat birds’ feathers and otters’ fur. But since most of these molecules seem relatively reluctant to dissolve into the water, it’s unclear whether aquatic organisms are taking the pollution in at a level that could impact their health.
Sunlight probably affects the chemistry of how other oil spills break down in the environment, too, Liu says, but perhaps less dramatically. That’s because Deepwater Horizon may have had the perfect combination of factors for sunlight to star: The hydrocarbon molecules that leaked tended to be smaller in size than in some other oil spills, meaning the oil spread over a larger surface area and had more exposure to the sun’s rays. Plus, the Gulf of Mexico receives brighter, more direct light than more temperate regions.
People who smoke or have diabetes may be at increased risk of calcifications in a region of the brain crucial to memory, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
Dementia is a major public health problem that affects tens of millions of people worldwide. One focus of dementia research has been the hippocampus, a brain structure important for both short- and long-term memory storage. Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of dementia, is associated with atrophy of the hippocampus.
Researchers have hypothesized that abnormal buildups of calcium, or calcifications, in the hippocampus may be related to vascular problems that could contribute to hippocampal atrophy and subsequent cognitive deterioration. However, published research on the association between hippocampal calcification and cognitive impairment is limited.
"We know that calcifications in the hippocampus are common, especially with increasing age," said the study's lead author, Esther J.M. de Brouwer, M.D., a geriatrician at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands. "However, we did not know if calcifications in the hippocampus related to cognitive function."
Advances in imaging have provided opportunities to explore the role of hippocampal calcifications in dementia. The development of multiplanar brain CT scans has enabled better distinction between hippocampal calcifications and calcifications in nearby brain structures like the choroid plexus.
"A multiplanar CT scan makes it possible to see the hippocampus in different anatomical planes; for example, from top to bottom, right to left and front to back," Dr. de Brouwer said. "Before multiplanar CT scans, hippocampal calcifications were often mistaken for choroid plexus calcifications. So with multiplanar CT scans, hippocampal calcifications are better distinguished from calcifications in other areas."
[...] The researchers plan to carry out additional studies in different groups of people to better understand possible links between these calcifications and cognitive problems.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
CNBC is reporting that Elizabeth Holmes has stepped down from her position as CEO of Theranos and the Department of Justice has indicted her on alleged wire fraud. Both the company and Holmes have been embroiled in scandal following reports that the blood tests it claimed to be working on weren't actually effective. Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Holmes and Theranos with fraud.
[...] Along with Holmes, Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former president of Theranos, is being charged by the DOJ as well. Both Holmes and Balwani appeared before US Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen today where they were arraigned on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. [...] CNBC reports that Holmes will still chair Theranos' board and the company's general counsel, David Taylor, has been appointed CEO. If convicted, Holmes and Balwani face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a $250,000 fine and restitution for each count of wire fraud.
The Associated Press and the Everett Washington HeraldNet carry a story about a 30 year old double murder solved using Public Genealogy Sites similar to the Golden State Killer story carried here on SoylentNews.
Deaths of two Canadian visitors shopping in the Seattle area were unsolved since 1987.
The deaths remained a mystery for more than 30 years, until DNA led to a major breakthrough. A genealogist, CeCe Moore, worked with experts at Parabon NanoLabs to build a family tree for the suspect, based on the genetic evidence recovered from the crime scenes. They used data that had been uploaded by distant cousins to public genealogy websites. They pinpointed a suspect, Talbott, a trucker living north of Sea-Tac International Airport.
Police kept him under surveillance until a paper cup fell from his truck in Seattle in early May. A swab of DNA from the cup came back as a match to the evidence that had waited 30 years. Before then, Talbott had never been considered a suspect. Days later he was in handcuffs.
This time the police used Parabon NanoLabs (more well-known for generating facial models from mere samples of DNA) to build a family tree of the killer by submitting the 30 year old crime scene DNA samples to multiple genealogy sites.
Results from those sites were combined by a Parabon genealogist to map the family of distant cousins found in those data bases. Police were then able to narrow down the list using other methods unmentioned.
Neither article mentions if any family members were stalked by police while being eliminated as suspects, or whether any samples were submitted by other family members.
[SESTA/FOSTA] is in force and all it's doing is hurting efforts to track down sex traffickers and harming sex workers whose protections were already minimal. Sex traffickers, however, don't appear to be bothered by the new law. But that's because the law wasn't written to target sex traffickers, as a top DOJ official made clear at a law enforcement conference on child exploitation. Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan's comments make it clear SESTA/FOSTA won't be used to dismantle criminal organizations and rescue victims of sex traffickers. It's there to give the government easy wins over websites while sex traffickers continue unmolested.
In April, Backpage.com – the internet's leading forum to advertise child prostitution – was seized and shut down, thanks to the collective action by CEOS and our federal and state partners. The Backpage website was a criminal haven where sex traffickers marketed their young victims. The Backpage takedown – and the contemporaneous arrests of individuals allegedly responsible for administering the site – struck a monumental blow against child sex traffickers.
But other sites inevitably will seek to fill the void left by Backpage, and we must be vigilant in bringing those criminals to justice as well. With the recent passage of the SESTA-FOSTA legislation, state and local prosecutors are now positioned to more effectively prosecute criminals that host online sex trafficking markets that victimize our children.
"Criminals" that "host sex trafficking markets." That's the target. That's any website that might be used by actual sex traffickers to engage in actual sex trafficking. There's no dedicated web service for sex trafficking -- at least not out in the open where Section 230 immunity used to matter. This is all about taking down websites for hosting any content perceived as sex trafficking-related. It wasn't enough to hang Backpage and its execs. The government will be scanning sites for this content and then targeting the website for content posted by third parties it seems mostly uninterested in pursuing.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
[...] A new analysis by researchers at UC Santa Cruz, published June 14 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, explains these and other puzzling features of active galactic nuclei as the result of small clouds of dust that can partially obscure the innermost regions of AGNs.
[...] The findings have important implications because researchers use the optical emissions from the broad-line region to make inferences about the behavior of the gases in the inner regions around a supermassive black hole.
[...] "Once the dust crosses a certain threshold it is subjected to the strong radiation from the accretion disk," said Harrington. "This radiation is so intense that it blows the dust away from the disk, resulting in a clumpy outflow of dust clouds starting at the outer edge of the broad-line region."
The effect of the dust clouds on the light emitted is to make the light coming from behind them look fainter and redder, just as Earth's atmosphere makes the sun look fainter and redder at sunset. In their paper, Gaskell and Harrington present several lines of observational evidence supporting the existence of such dust clouds in the inner regions of active galactic nuclei. They developed a computer code to model the effects of dust clouds on observations of the broad-line region.
Researchers at Oregon State University have confirmed that last fall's union of two neutron stars did in fact cause a short gamma-ray burst. The findings, published today [14 June] in Physical Review Letters, represent a key step forward in astrophysicists' understanding of the relationship between binary neutron star mergers, gravitational waves and short gamma-ray bursts.
Commonly abbreviated as GRBs, gamma-ray bursts are narrow beams of electromagnetic waves of the shortest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. GRBs are the universe's most powerful electromagnetic events, occurring billions of light years from Earth and able to release as much energy in a few seconds as the sun will in its lifetime. GRBs fall into two categories, long duration and short duration. Long GRBs are associated with the death of a massive star as its core becomes a black hole and can last from a couple of seconds to several minutes.
Short GRBs had been suspected to originate from the merger of two neutron stars, which also results in a new black hole -- a place where the pull of gravity from super-dense matter is so strong that not even light can escape. Up to 2 seconds is the time frame of a short GRB.
The term neutron star refers to the gravitationally collapsed core of a large star; neutron stars are the smallest, densest stars known. According to NASA, neutron stars' matter is packed so tightly that a sugar-cube-sized amount of it weighs in excess of a billion tons.
In November 2017, scientists from U.S. and European collaborations announced they had detected an X-ray/gamma-ray flash that coincided with a blast of gravitational waves, followed by visible light from a new cosmic explosion called a kilonova. Gravitational waves, a ripple in the fabric of time-space, were first detected in September 2015, a red-letter event in physics and astronomy that confirmed one of the main predictions of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity.
"A simultaneous detection of gamma rays and gravitational waves from the same place in the sky was a major milestone in our understanding of the universe," said Davide Lazzati, a theoretical astrophysicist in the OSU College of Science. "The gamma rays allowed for a precise localization of where the gravitational waves were coming from, and the combined information from gravitational and electromagnetic radiation allows scientists to probe the binary neutron star system that's responsible in unprecedented ways."
Prior to Lazzati's latest research, however, it had been an open question as to whether the detected electromagnetic waves were "a short gamma-ray burst, or just a short burst of gamma rays" -- the latter being a different, weaker phenomenon.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
Letter to judge reveals 731 pages of messages, call logs uncovered on one of two phones.
[...] The letter to Judge Kimba Wood stated that "the Government was advised that the FBI's original electronic extraction of data from telephones did not capture content related to encrypted messaging applications, such as WhatsApp and Signal... The FBI has now obtained this material."
In a letter to the presiding judge in the case against Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's long-time personal attorney, the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York revealed today that it had obtained additional evidence for review—including a trove of messages and call logs from WhatsApp and Signal on one of two BlackBerry phones belonging to Cohen. The messages and call logs together constitute 731 pages of potential evidence. The FBI also recovered 16 pages of documents that had been shredded, but it has not yet been able to complete the extraction of data from the second phone.
This change is likely because of the way the messages are stored by the applications, not because the FBI had to break any sort of encryption on them. WhatsApp and Signal store their messages in encrypted databases on the device, so an initial dump of the phone would have only provided a cryptographic blob. The key is required to decrypt the contents of such a database, and there are tools readily available to access the WhatsApp database on a PC.
A compromised local user can leak your IP by using a script to start unsafe-browser hidden in the background and use X11 trickery to leak your real IP without privilege escalation. Most applications exploited on Tails would be capable of this.
deleting /etc/sudoers.d/zzz_unsafe-browser after booting will fix this issue until Tails fixes it themselves
Feature #7072: Research potential for deanonymization by a compromised "amnesia" user
The Unsafe Browser allows to retrieve the public IP address by a compromised amnesia user with no user interaction
Startup SpinLaunch Inc. has received $40 million in funding. The company intends to use a centrifuge to catapult small payloads to the edge of space:
The company remains tight-lipped about exactly how this contraption will work, although its name gives away the basic idea. Rather than using propellants like kerosene and liquid oxygen to ignite a fire under a rocket, SpinLaunch plans to get a rocket spinning in a circle at up to 5,000 miles per hour and then let it go—more or less throwing the rocket to the edge of space, at which point it can light up and deliver objects like satellites into orbit.
[...] Over the past few years, the rocket industry has become quite crowded. Following in the footsteps of Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., dozens of companies have appeared, trying to make small, cheap rockets that can be launched every week or perhaps even every day. These smaller rockets have been built to carry a new breed of shoebox-sized satellites—dubbed smallsats—that are packed full of imaging, telecommunications and scientific equipment. The small rockets, though, are really just miniaturized versions of the large, traditional rockets that have flown for decades. SpinLaunch is an entirely new take on the rocket-launch concept itself.
[...] SpinLaunch has a working prototype of its launcher, although the company has declined to provide details on exactly how the machine operates or will compare to its final system. The startup plans to begin launching by 2022. It will charge less than $500,000 per launch and be able to send up multiple rockets per day. The world's top rocket companies usually launch about once a month, and most of SpinLaunch's rivals have been aiming for $2 million to $10 million per launch for small rockets. If the startup were able to reach its goals, it would easily be the cheapest and most prolific small launcher on the market.
NextBigFuture puts the velocity at up to 4,800 km/h (3,000 mph) instead.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to restrict prescription drugs containing hydrocodone (a popular opioid painkiller) was associated with a 'significant' increase in illicit trading of opioids through online markets, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
In this study, the term opioids refers to drugs that are usually available by prescription but here are sourced illegally through the dark net and are not prescribed by anyone.
The findings show that the proportion of sales of opioids through illicit markets doubled over the study period and sales of more potent opioids also increased. Overdose death rates have quadrupled in the US since 1999, and 40% of all deaths involve prescription opioids, which are primarily used for pain relief.
In October 2014, the US Drug Enforcement Administration decided to move hydrocodone opioids from schedule III to schedule II (a more restrictive category), making it more difficult for patients to access these drugs on prescription and stopping automatic repeat prescriptions.
There is concern that opioid users will source drugs from illegal online markets called 'cryptomarkets' rather than from pharmacies. Users only access these cryptomarkets via the 'darknet', where people can sell and buy drugs anonymously. Although the legitimate supply of opioids may have decreased, overall consumption will remain unchanged if users decide to source them from illicit markets.
So an international research team set out to investigate whether there was a link between the 2014 reclassification of hydrocodone opioids and an increase in trading of illicit prescription drugs on cryptomarkets. Using web crawler software, they compared sales for prescription drugs containing hydrocodone with other prescription drugs and illicit opioids from 31 different cryptomarkets operating from September 2013 to July 2016 (before and after reclassification).
They looked at three pieces of information from each product listing placed by a seller: the drug type on offer, the country from where products would be shipped, and the number of reviews the listing had received, to compare usage in relation to the 2014 reclassification.
The researchers found that the sale of opioids through US cryptomarkets increased after the 2014 reclassification, with no significant changes in sales of sedatives, steroids, stimulants, or illicit opioids.
[...] They also report a change in the type of drugs purchased after reclassification. Oxycodone purchases decreased, and fentanyl (a stronger and potent than hydrocodone) moved from being the least sold product to being the second most popular prescription opioid bought from cryptomarket sellers based in the USA. Fentanyl is currently the leading cause of opioid overdose in the USA.*
The researchers outline some study limitations. For example, there may have been a general increase in demand that was unrelated to the 2014 restriction, and the source and destination of the drugs cannot be independently confirmed.
Submitted via IRC for BoyceMagooglyMonkey
The music industry sees stream ripping as one of the largest piracy threats, worse than torrent sites or direct download portals.
The RIAA, IFPI, and BPI showed that they're serious about the issue when they filed legal action against YouTube-MP3, the largest stream ripping site at the time.
This case eventually resulted in a settlement where the site, once good for over a million daily visitors, agreed to shut down voluntarily last year.
YouTube-MP3's demise was a clear victory for the music groups, which swiftly identified their next targets, putting them under pressure, both in public and behind the scenes.
This week this appears to have taken its toll on several 'stream ripping' sites, which allowed users to download videos from YouTube and other platforms, with the option to convert files to MP3s.