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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09  (Read 6736 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« on: November 29, 2009, 05:10:26 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Enjoy :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.


1. Mininova Deletes All Infringing Torrents and Goes ‘Legal’
Spoiler
http://torrentfreak.com/mininova-deletes-all-infringing-torrents-and-goes-legal-091126/
Mininova has finally complied with an earlier court decision and deleted all the illegal torrents from their site. There are roughly 8,000 left.

Quote
Mininova’s decision to delete all infringing torrents from its index marks the end of an era that started five years ago.

In December 2004, the demise of the mighty Suprnova left a meteor crater in the fledgling BitTorrent landscape. This gaping hole was soon filled by the dozens of new sites that emerged to fulfil the public’s increasing demands for torrents. Mininova became the most successful of all.


2. "Duh" Latest IPhone Worm
Spoiler
http://community.ca.com/blogs/securityadvisor/archive/2009/11/25/duh-latest-iphone-worm.aspx
This is a write-up on the first of the actually harmful "iKee" variants, if you can call them that, that can infect jailbroken iPhones in their default configuration.

Quote
“Duh” is the latest iPhone worm that was recently spotted by Dutch ISP XS4All. Unfortunately, the advent of publishing “iKee” source code and its subsequent spread has led to this.

“Please be aware that publishing such malicious code may attract more evil fingers to play around!”

From my previous blog post, I’ve warned about “iKee” and “Iphone Info Stealer” source code being published as it poses serious threat since anyone from wannabe “lamers” to script kiddies could take advantage of it.  


3. Facebook Friend Turns Into Big Brother
Spoiler
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_0ff40f7a-d4d1-11de-afb3-001cc4c002e0.html
I really would have thought this was entrapment, but apparently in the USA cops are well within their rights to send a friend request to you on Facebook, then pillage your profile for evidence of illegal activity should you accept.

Quote
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Adam Bauer has nearly 400 friends on Facebook. He got an offer for a new one about a month ago. “She was a good-looking girl. I usually don’t accept friends I don’t know, but I randomly accepted this one for some reason,” the 19-year-old said.

He thinks that led to his invitation to come down to the La Crosse police station, where an officer laid out photos from Facebook of Bauer holding a beer — and then ticketed him for underage drinking.

The police report said Bauer admitted drinking, which he denies. But he did plead no contest in municipal court Wednesday and will pay a $227 fine.


4. Superconductor Forcefield to Shield Re-entering Spacecraft?
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/25/magnetic_re_entry_shield/
Oh. My. God. Cool!! And it looks like a largely international effort as well.

Quote
Space boffins have hatched a plan to test their radical new superconductor magnet forcefield re-entry heatshield technology by firing it into space from a Russian submarine.

Flight International reported on the scheme yesterday, describing cooperative efforts by German space agency DLR (Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt), the European Space Agency and Euro aerospace megacorp EADS Astrium.

The proposed test module would use a magnetic field generated by superconducting magnets to deflect the superhot plasma which results when a spacecraft re-enters Earth's atmosphere at the tremendously high speeds required by space missions. Normally the heat is resistant by super-tough but troublesome insulating materials, as in the space shuttle, or by one-shot ablative coatings which burn off as a spacecraft descends.


5. Panic Button Plan to Beat Cyber-predators
Spoiler
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/panic-button-plan-to-beat-cyberpredators-20091125-jr1k.html
Just when you think those crazy Aussies just can't get any more f**ked in the head, something like this comes along. Imagine a giant red button next to your computer that your child could push if they encountered any correspondence they believed to be inappropriate online. Then imagine, that a bunch of Aussies (being paid by tax payers no less) concocted this idea, and you'd have this story. Why am I funding these people?!?!

Quote
Children who feel they are being bullied, harassed or groomed online could call for help instantly using a "panic button" on their PCs under a plan being considered by the Federal Government's cyber-safety working group.

Parents would be offered the ability to download and install the "widget" on their children's computers and, if the kids encounter serious trouble online, pushing the button could connect them instantly to police or child protection groups.

"The decision hasn't been made - it's still in the discussion stage - but I think we're getting pretty close," said Hetty Johnson, chief executive of Bravehearts, which supports survivors of child sexual assault.


6. Two Circulating Beams Bring First Collisions in the LHC
Spoiler
http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2009/PR17.09E.html
The LHC has finally commenced collisions. The first beams were fired at 13:22 on Monday the 23rd.

Quote
Today the LHC circulated two beams simultaneously for the first time, allowing the operators to test the synchronization of the beams and giving the experiments their first chance to look for proton-proton collisions. With just one bunch of particles circulating in each direction, the beams can be made to cross in up to two places in the ring. From early in the afternoon, the beams were made to cross at points 1 and 5, home to the ATLAS and CMS detectors, both of which were on the look out for collisions. Later, beams crossed at points 2 and 8, ALICE and LHCb.

“It’s a great achievement to have come this far in so short a time,” said CERN1Director General Rolf Heuer. “But we need to keep a sense of perspective – there’s still much to do before we can start the LHC physics programme.”


7. Hacked Darwin Kernel Available for 10.6.2 On Atom Netbooks
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/11/hacked-darwin-kernel-out-for-1062-on-atom-netbooks.ars
Since Apple decided to release the 10.6.2 update without support for the Atom CPU, a hacker has released a patched kernel that puts it back in. Anyone see a game of cat-and-mouse coming?

Quote
First the 10.6.2 update to Snow Leopard wasn't compatible with Intel Atom processors. Then it was. Then it wasn't again when it was finally released to the masses. Fortunately for the netbook-loving Mac OS X fans out there, the OSx86 scene is only too happy to offer a patched version of mach_kernel to enable booting 10.6.2 on netbooks once more.

The kernel is the deep-down part of Mac OS X that generally handles direct communication between the OS and hardware. Speculation swirled that Apple was actively trying to keep Mac OS X from being installed on inexpensive Atom-based netbooks. However, chances are it was more likely a result of optimizations that didn't take into account Atom processors, since Apple doesn't use them in any shipping products.


8. Emblaze's First Else Unveiled in London, Promises to Be a Game-changer
Spoiler
http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/24/emblazes-first-else-unveiled-in-london-promises-to-be-a-game-c/
The First Else, running the Access Linux Platform, is a new smartphone unveiled by Blame Else this week. This could be very interesting, be sure to check out the videos at the end of the article.

Quote
Folks, today might be the day when you start to notice how ancient our smartphones have become, even if they only came out in last few months. Blame Else (formerly Emblaze Mobile) for its confusingly-named First Else, a phone "built from scratch" over the last two years and now powered by Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3.0 -- a mobile OS thought to have quietly died out since our last sighting in February. Until today's London launch event, the last we heard of this Israeli company was from October's Access Day in Japan where it previewed the Else Intuition OS, which we like to think of as inspired by Minority Report. While it's still too early to tell whether the First Else -- launching in Q2 next year -- will dodge the path of doom, we were already overwhelmed by the excellence of the device's user experience, both from its presentation and from our exclusive hands-on opportunity. Do read on to find out how Else is doing it right.


9. Leaked 9/11 Text Messages
Spoiler
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/11/leaked_911_text.html
I'm not sure I quite understand their reasons for it, but Wikileaks have leaked 500,000 text pager intercepts from the 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001. Bruce Schneier has some good links and clips of the gems.

Quote
WikiLeaks released half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

Text pagers are usualy carried by persons operating in an official capacity. Messages in the archive range from Pentagon, FBI, FEMA and New York Police Department exchanges, to computers reporting faults at investment banks inside the World Trade Center.


10. Lego Matrix Trinity Help
Spoiler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDe4v318f64
This is a terrific Lego stop-motion of the rooftop shootout scene between an agent and Neo in the first Matrix film. Enjoy :)

onion.jpg



Ehtyar.

tomos

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 06:07:50 AM »
#3 huh??!!
have they nothing better to be doing :tellme: and a 19 year old at that, sad.

#10 very nice :-*
have you seen the White Stripes video Fell in Love with a Girl
Tom

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 12:03:22 PM »
Re #3:

Quote
http://www.lacrosset...b3-001cc4c002e0.html
I really would have thought this was entrapment, but apparently in the USA cops are well within their rights to send a friend request to you on Facebook, then pillage your profile for evidence of illegal activity should you accept.

FWIW, the police in the USA are not within their rights to do any such thing -as long as you don't allow them to do it to you. This kid let himself be set up.

To demonstrate how dumb this kid is, ask why did he plead "no contest?"*

There was a picture of him holding a beer can. So what? Holding a beer can is not an illegal act under any statute in the USA. Who is to say the beer can wasn't merely a prop in a posed picture designed to create the impression they were drunk for the amusement of visitors to their webpage? Simply holding a beer can does not prove it contains any beer at the time the picture was taken - nor does it prove he was drinking beer even if it did. And that's assuming the beer can wasn't 'photoshopped' to replace a can of cola.

Heck, even if the people in the photo could be described as "intoxicated" that does not prove that they actually were.

Any attorney would have made mincemeat out of the police if this kid didn't panic. Not that he would have needed an attorney. Almost any judge would have thrown his ticket out if he denied he was drinking and challenged it. I'm also fairly sure the local State's Attorney wouldn't have even considered bringing the case to court since there was absolutely no concrete factual evidence to support an underage drinking charge. All the defense would need to request at trial was the results of the blood alcohol tests the police should have had in their possession before they brought charges against anybody in the picture.

Big Brother may be watching you. But it's (still) not enough to get a conviction. Or isn't as long as you're not stupid enough play along with an overzealous cop out on a fishing expedition.


« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 01:21:59 PM by 40hz »

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 01:33:33 PM »
Alright, ignoring for the moment this guy's apparent lack of knowledge regarding his rights, how is this not entrapment? If a cop can't run around trying to sell you drugs then arrest you if you accept, how come they can run around friending you then arrest you if you accept?

Ehtyar.

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 03:04:16 PM »
how is this not entrapment

Hiya Dr.E!


It all comes down to who was responsible for initiating the action.

Entrapment is when the authorities provide the person they're charging with the motive and (optionally) the methods to commit the illegal act in question.

It's a subtle legal distinction, but a very important one. And it's also one of the reasons why US law enforcement agencies seldom try to entrap people. It's too easy for the defense to get an acquittal. Especially since most juries don't cotton too kindly to a prosecutor making an argument that basically says:

"Of course he's guilty. The police planned the crime; showed him how to do it; gave him the resources he needed - and then caught him red-handed!"


Either way, you're absolutely right. The charge against that kid was complete BS. And it's so full of holes that it would have lasted less than 5 minutes in court if it got there. Too bad he waived his rights by making his plea.

---

As far as "sting" operations are concerned, those usually don't play out too well for the police either, unless the person who got stung had enough 'prior history' with the law to convince a jury he was probably guilty of something.

Quote
If a cop can't run around trying to sell you drugs then arrest you if you accept

Umm..over here they can.

Guess it depends on where you live. :tellme:


 :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 03:13:23 PM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 03:20:26 PM »
Something sounds really fishy about this story.. I find it hard the police would go to this kind of trouble to catch a 20 yr old who might be drinking underage.  Seems to me we must be missing part of the story, like maybe they were trying to pressure or catch him doing something else?

Or perhaps this was part of an effort to stop kids at the college from boasting about illegal drinking.

JavaJones

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 04:54:54 PM »
Lego Matrix rocks. First Else looks intriguing since I'm in the market for a new phone, but the wait will probably be too long. Frankly I'm not finding myself so underwhelmed by what's already out there (Droid) that I *need* to wait. All I'm interested in is seeing what other Android 2.0 devices there are going to be, particularly one that may be higher-powered and thus longer-lived in a performance-relevant way. And until Else can demonstrate a GPS system that rivals what Google has shown with Android 2.0, I'm not sold. I'm also not entirely sure about the largely monochrome and text-heavy UI with glowing theme, though I am generally a fan of minimalist UI...

- Oshyan

Eóin

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 04:55:10 PM »
I've a somewhat related question- Are police allowed to conduct an undercover investigation of private property without a warrant? For example I know that if you invite an officer into your home they are allowed to use any evidence they happen to see against you, something which they couldn't do so if they entered without your consent without a warrant.

But does inviting a officer pretending to be someone else inside require a warrant on their part? Personally I've no real legal knowledge of this area. I ask because this case seems somewhat like an undercover investigation.



Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 05:19:04 PM »
It all comes down to who was responsible for initiating the action.

Entrapment is when the authorities provide the person they're charging with the motive and (optionally) the methods to commit the illegal act in question.
Your clarification is much appreciated Hertz Man, it is indeed an important distinction.

But does inviting a officer pretending to be someone else inside require a warrant on their part? Personally I've no real legal knowledge of this area. I ask because this case seems somewhat like an undercover investigation.
An interesting question.

Ehtyar.

40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 09:33:16 PM »
I've a somewhat related question- Are police allowed to conduct an undercover investigation of private property without a warrant? For example I know that if you invite an officer into your home they are allowed to use any evidence they happen to see against you, something which they couldn't do so if they entered without your consent without a warrant.

But does inviting a officer pretending to be someone else inside require a warrant on their part? Personally I've no real legal knowledge of this area. I ask because this case seems somewhat like an undercover investigation.




It revolves around the issue of probable cause, which is one of the trickier (as in "it all depends") areas of law. It's particularly problematic in the USA because laws can vary from State to State. And Federal law adds an additional layer of complexity to the mix. (It often comes as a complete surprise to most US citizens when they discover they have different, and occasionally contradictory, civil rights under federal as opposed to state law.*) Furthermore, social conditions and politics also have a much larger influence on the ways laws get enforced than most people would like to admit. Any legal system reflects the beliefs and concerns of society at large. In times of crisis or change, the legal system can exhibit arbitrary or erratic interpretation and enforcement. Especially at the "street level" where most encounters with the police occur.

While it's always dangerous to make general statements, there's a pretty good video that provides enough basics and recommendations to at least get you thinking about the process and ramifications of being arrested, and how to protect your rights should you find yourself in that unfortunate situation.

When you can spare about 45 minutes, check out the video Busted: the Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters courtesy of FlexYourRights.org  It's up on YouTube for free viewing if you're so inclined.

Link: http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

---
*Note: No joke. In 1951, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were tried and executed by the United States government for espionage.

Although this famous case raises questions on several levels, what is interesting for the purposes of this discussion, is how two people could be sentenced to death by a federal court based on evidence that would not have been sufficient to even file charges against them in a New York State court.


40hz

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 09:43:56 PM »
Or perhaps this was part of an effort to stop kids at the college from boasting about illegal drinking.

Bingo! :Thmbsup:

I'm guessing the local police were under pressure to "do something" about underage drinking in their jurisdiction, and one enterprising officer came up with the idea of using Facebook to identify someone to serve as an example.

I'm also sure that (as you noted) there were additional factors at play in this case. The entire thing smacks of "payback" doesn't it? ;D

« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 09:45:45 PM by 40hz »

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 48-09
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 05:20:00 PM »
Police may need a warrant or probable cause on paper, but we all know that they do whatever they want anyway :)

Add this to the list: http://yro.slashdot....Data-8-Million-Times