satuon (1822492) writes "Mt. Gox’s shutdown is circulating like wildfire. Its repercussions are being felt throughout the world. Mt. Gox was the most public and well-known brand that represented Bitcoin’s exchange market. The company’s shutdown is rumored to be caused by a “hack” or “security breach” that resulted in a loss up to 744,000 BTC or $409,200,000 Dollars. (Based on the approximate value just hours ago from Coindesk.com) This is truly an unfortunate event that has caused the international community to shake its trust in Bitcoin as evidenced by the massive price drop. This is par the course, when a pillar in the community falls in such a funeral pyre. The best parallel would be the Bear Stearns’ failure during the 2008 global financial crisis. Hopefully, Bitcoin won’t follow in the financial system’s footsteps post-Bear Stearns." Link to Original Source top
Cryptolocker Thieves Likely Making 'Millions' As Bitcoin Breaks $1,000
satuon (1822492) writes "Forbes writes about CryptoLocker, a new ransomware which encrypts your files using unbreakable 2048-bit RSA encryption, and demands payment in Bitcoins.
From the story:
IT administrator David* had never heard of Cryptolocker, and was nonplussed when he got into the office that morning and saw a strange pop-up with a timer that was counting down.
It told him that thousands of his company’s files had been encrypted, and that he had to pay a $300 ransom to get the decryption key to save them or else they’d remain locked forever.
He had no backups, but he also gave no thought to paying up.
David and his company were one of the early victims of Cryptolocker, a type of malware also known as ransomware that has spread via e-mail across thousands of computers in the U.K. and forced people to literally put a value on their data.
Ransomware has been around for years, but Cryptolocker is unusually widespread and uses a higher, commercial-grade form of RSA encryption. Today Cryptolocker is making its way into the United States and collecting much higher ransoms in Bitcoin, the virtual currency which broke through $1,000 for the first time on Wednesday. In many cases it’s now asking for 2 Bitcoin as ransom, or more than $2,000." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "The popular Ubuntu Forums site is now displaying a message saying that attackers have gained control over the website. What is currently known:
Unfortunately the attackers have gotten every user's local username, password, and email address from the Ubuntu Forums database. The passwords are not stored in plain text. However, if you were using the same password as your Ubuntu Forums one on another service (such as email), you are strongly encouraged to change the password on the other service ASAP. Ubuntu One, Launchpad and other Ubuntu/Canonical services are NOT affected by the breach." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Today Kaspersky Lab published a new research report which identified an elusive cyber-espionage campaign targeting diplomatic, governmental and scientific research organizations in several countries for at least five years. The primary focus of this campaign targets countries in Eastern Europe, former USSR Republics, and countries in Central Asia, although victims can be found everywhere, including Western Europe and North America. The main objective of the attackers was to gather sensitive documents from the compromised organizations, which included geopolitical intelligence, credentials to access classified computer systems, and data from personal mobile devices and network equipment." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "January 25, 2012 — A research team led by University of California, Riverside identified the "Higgs boson" property of bilayer graphene (BLG): when the number of electrons on the BLG sheet is close to 0, the material becomes insulating. "BLG becomes insulating because its electrons spontaneously organize themselves when their number is small," said Chun Ning (Jeanie) Lau, an associate professor of physics and astronomy who led the research. "This is called 'spontaneous symmetry breaking'(TM) in physics, and is a very important concept since it is the same principle that 'endows'(TM) mass for particles in high energy physics."
The team measured the mass of a new type of massive quantum particle found only inside BLG crystals, explained Allan MacDonald, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin and a coauthor on the research. The physics at work here is "closely analogous" to the physics that makes a proton's mass inside an atomic nucleus much larger than the mass of the quarks from which it is formed, said MacDonald, noting that in this research, the particle is made of electrons, not quarks." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "The Duqu malware that targeted industrial manufacturers around the world may have been spawned by a well-funded team of competent coders, but their command of Linux led to some highly amateur mistakes." Link to Original Source top
STUDY: Internet Explorer Users Are Dumber (MSFT, G
satuon (1822492) writes "Skype appears to be down, or at least for a whole lot of users throughout Europe who are tweeting in a ton of languages about their inability to connect. Many blame Microsoft, and even founder Bill Gates for the downtime, which is sort of strange because the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Skype hasn’t even closed yet." Link to Original Source top
Apple causes religious reaction in brains of fans,
satuon (1822492) writes "In a recently screened BBC documentary called 'Secrets of the Superbrands', UK neuroscientists found that the brains of Apple fans are stimulated by images of Apple products in the same areas as those triggered by religious imagery in a person of faith.
According to the scientists, this suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Runaway sales of the initial iPad led to a multitude of competitors joining the fray. Now runaway sales of the iPad 2 has led to tech analysts world over believing that we’re less than 12 months away from a tablet PC bubble that is going to severely hurt several technology companies.
All Things D reports that J.P. Morgan estimates 81 million tablets will be manufactured in 2011. The problem is only 48 million of those will actually be shipped to retailers
This is due to the difference between the adoption rate of Apple’s tablet and those of its competitors being so vast. Many will be caught with their pants down and tablet supplies they cannot sell stuck in warehouses. This will be a class A tablet PC bubble." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Why would anyone spam slashdot?! What's the point? I have no idea, but something like 80%-90% of the submissions are spam. I don't know if this happens just now or all the time, I don't go in http://slashdot.org/recent that much. I'm just posting this cause I got frustrated. If you're frustrated as well mod this up, I want there to be a discussion of this!" Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Libya's blocking of the internet won't affect Bit.ly and other.ly domains, says Bit.ly CEO John Borthwick on Quora. Bit.ly and countless other startups have chosen the cute top-level domain.ly for their startups. The only problem is that.ly is Libya's top-level domain. Libya happens to be ruled by a crazy dictator, and right now is experiencing protests that are making it shut down the internet." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "According to the Associated Press, Blanchard, a 29-year-old IBM employee from Bromont, Quebec, was suffering from depression and took time away from work, relying on sick-leave benefits from her insurer, Manulife Financial.
The monthly payments were suddenly halted. When she called Manulife to ask why, she says she was told that it had espied photos on her Facebook page that showed her cheerful. Ergo, the argument allegedly went, she was able to work. Which led to the second ergo: no more payments." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Ken Auletta's big New Yorker piece on AOL (subscription only) this week revealed an interesting detail about the company's inner workings. According to Auletta, 80% of AOL's profits come from subscribers, and 75% of those subscribers are paying for something they don't actually need.
Auletta lays out how this works: The company still gets eighty percent of its profits from subscribers, many of whom are older people who have cable or DSL service but don't realize that they need not pay an additional twenty-five dollars a month to get online and check their e-mail. "The dirty little secret," a former AOL executive says, "is that seventy-five percent of the people who subscribe to AOL's dial-up service don't need it."" Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Analysis of Google's patent portfolio suggests it's not strong measured against rivals such as Microsoft, Oracle and Apple. That's not good news as it comes to inevitable court battles.
About a week ago, IFI CLAIMS Patent Services published its new ranking of the 50 companies awarded the most US patents in 2010. Microsoft is still the number three patentee with 3,094 new patents, Apple is a rising star with 563 new patents (+94%, a greater gain over the previous year than anyone else on the list), but Google isn't even on that list.
There is indeed a connection between the rampant enforcement of patents against Android and Google's weak patent portfolio. Only a few of the litigants are non-practicing entities while most of the plaintiffs, especially the ones asserting large numbers of relatively strong patents, sell products of their own. Those who actually have products on the market would have to think (at least) twice before attacking Android if they might need access to some of Google's patents." Link to Original Source top
Man Cons Woman Into Paying For eBay Auction She Wo
satuon (1822492) writes "A guy over on Reddit had tickets to a big sporting event but at the last minute couldn't go, so he sold them on eBay for $600. The event was in less than 24 hours and when he contacted the winning bidder after they didn't pay for a while, the woman told him that her husband had said that it was too much money and wouldn't let her go. Never mind that winning an eBay bid is a binding contract and now the guy has little chance of selling the tickets. So he concocted a fiendish scheme to trick her into paying.
What he did is email her from a different email address and say hey, I saw you won those tickets, I'd really like to go, can I buy them from you for $1,000? She agreed, and lo and behold, she contacts him as the original seller and says "oops, changed my mind, I want to pay for those after all." He brings her the tickets, collects the money, and then goes home and has his sockpuppet bidder back out of the deal with her." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "Launched in September, the PatriotApp allows people to report criminal or suspicious activity to several federal agencies, including the FBI, EPA, CDC and GAO (Government Accountability Office), the office responsible for investigating public funds. It also includes RSS feeds for the FBI's Most Wanted list and the Department of Homeland Security's threat level, and allows people to report workplace harassment and discrimination." Link to Original Source top
satuon (1822492) writes "If you were on the wrong side of the Great Firewall of China, and were asking yourself this question, fear not, for the Chinese media
is quick to shed light onto his person. The article might lack in objectivity, but it compensates on entertainment. Some highlights from it:
... Liu said that China needed to be a colony for 300 years to have a "real change". He then said that knowledge levels have nothing to do with academic degrees and most Chinese university students and graduate students were "garbage"...
...Liu showed great respect and praise for the Western political, economic and cultural systems. "I don't care you call me a traitor or a patriot. If you say I am a traitor, then I am. I am the ungrateful child digging out the graves of his ancestors, and I am proud of being such a child," he said...
..."I'm not like you. I don't lack money. Foreigners pay me every year even when I'm in prison," said Liu to his fellow prisoners..." Link to Original Source