Friday, April 9, 2010

Bank Employee Plants Malware on ATMs

Posted by kdawson on Friday April 09, @10:46AM
from the where-the-money-is dept.
Wired's Threat Level has a piece on a Bank of America employee, Rodney Reed Caverly, who has been charged withinstalling malware on ATMs in North Carolina. Caverly, who worked on the bank's IT staff, allegedly withdrew cash untraceably from the ATMs over a period of 7 months last year."The charges were filed the same day that credit card company Visa warned the banking industry that Eastern European ATM malware recently showed up in America for the first time. That code, initially spotted last year on some 20 ATMs in Russia and Ukraine, was designed primarily to capture PINs and bank card magstripe data, but also allowed thieves to instruct the machine to eject whatever cash was still in it... At least 16 versions of the East European malware have been found so far and were designed to attack ATMs made by Diebold and NCR, according to the April 1 Visa alert. There is no information tying the malware found in Russia with the malware allegedly used by Caverly."

Netflix inks with Universal and Twentieth Century Fox: first TV streams, more films, and 28 day rental delay

By Thomas Ricker posted Apr 9th 2010 8:55AM

Everyone's streaming media darling, Netflix, has just reached terms with both Universal and Twentieth Century Fox. Both agreements beef up Netflix's streaming content while limiting Netflix to renting DVD and Blu-ray discs 28 days after the retail street date -- yup, just like with Warner Brothers. To put that into perspective, while Twentieth Century Fox's "Avatar" DVD/Blu-ray will hit shelves on April 22nd it won't be available for Netflix rental until the end of May. On the plus side we've got a first time, Netflix TV streaming agreement with TCF -- albeit, released in a window it decides. Content includes the complete prior seasons of shows like "24," "Bones," and "Lie to Me" in addition to older library titles like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Can't say we didn't see this one coming.

The Economist Weighs In For Shorter Copyright Terms

Posted by timothy on Friday April 09, @01:38AM
from the and-that-guy-ought-to-know dept.
lxmota writes"The Economist says that long copyright terms are hindering creativity, and that shortening them is the way to go: 'Largely thanks to the entertainment industry's lawyers and lobbyists, copyright's scope and duration have vastly increased. In America, copyright holders get 95 years' protection as a result of an extension granted in 1998, derided by critics as the 'Mickey Mouse Protection Act'. They are now calling for even greater protection, and there have been efforts to introduce similar terms in Europe. Such arguments should be resisted: it is time to tip the balance back.'"

Possible New Hominid Species Discovered, Thanks To Google Earth

Posted by timothy on Friday April 09, @07:31AM
from the but-not-street-view dept.
mindbrane writes"The BBC is reporting on fossil finds 'uncovered in cave deposits near Malapa in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Johannesburg.' The fossils of a mature female and juvenile male have '...small teeth, projecting nose, very advanced pelvis, and long legs ...' suggesting more modern forms. 'And yet its very long arms and small brain case might echo the much older Australopithecine group to which Professor Berger and colleagues have assigned it.' Aside from the debate as to classification, the find is noteworthy in that its discovery came about 'thanks to the "virtual globe" software Google Earth, which allowed the group to map and visualise the most promising fossil grounds in the World Heritage Site.' Further, the find in a cave bears the hallmarks of chance that often plays so large a part in fossilisation. 'Their bones were laid down with the remains of other dead animals, including a sabre-toothed cat, antelope, mice and rabbits. The fact that none of the bodies appear to have been scavenged indicates that all died suddenly and were entombed rapidly.'"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Japanese Guts Are Made For Sushi

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday April 08, @02:11AM
from the weed-eaters dept.
cremeglace writes"Americans don't have the guts for sushi. At least that's the implication of a new study, which finds that Japanese people harbor enzymes in their intestinal bacteria that help them digest seaweed, enzymes that North Americans lack. What's more, Japanese may have first acquired these enzymes by eating bacteria that thrive on seaweed in the open ocean."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unconscious Learning Uses Old Parts of the Brain

ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2010) — A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet provides evidence that basic human learning systems use areas of the brain that also exist in the most primitive vertebrates, such as certain fish, reptiles and amphibians. The study involved an investigation into the limbic striatum, one of the evolutionarily oldest parts of the brain, and the ability to learn movements, consciously and unconsciously, through repetition.

US Most Vulnerable To Cyberattack?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday April 07, @11:46AM
from the also-most-vulnerable-to-american-idols dept.
alphadogg writes"Several nations, most prominently Russia, the People's Republic of China and North Korea, are already assembling cyber armies and attack weapons that could be used to attack other nations. Given that the United States is heavily dependent on technology for everything from computer-based banking to supply-chain tracking and air-traffic control, it's particularly vulnerable to the denial-of-service attacks, electronic jamming, data destruction and software-based disinformation tricks likely in a cyberattack. Here's what ex-presidential adviser Richard Clarke, who is releasing a new book called Cyber War, and others are saying needs to be done to keep cyberwars from escalating into full-scale combat."

Google Gives the US Government Access To Gmail

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday April 07, @12:35PM
from the of-course-they-do dept.
schliz writes"Google condemns the Chinese Government for censoring its results, and Australia for planning to do the same. Meanwhile, its lawyers and security experts have told employeesto "be intentionally vague about whether or not we've given access to end-user accounts," according to engineer James Tarquin, hinting that Google may be sharing its data with the US government. Perhaps Australia's most hated communications minister Steven Conroy could be right in his criticism of Google's privacy record after all."

Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Successful Flight

Posted by timothy on Wednesday April 07, @01:25PM
from the finally-a-daytime-launch dept.
lilbridge writes"The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane covered in 12,000 solar cells, took its maiden flight today in Switzerland. The plane stayed aloft for 87 minutes, performing test maneuvers as well as completing a successful takeoff and landing. With the first test flight behind them, the developers can focus on gearing up for their around-the-world solar powered flight set for 2012."

Look At Sick People To Give Your Immune System a Boost

Posted by samzenpus on Tuesday April 06, @12:30PM
from the taskmaster-HMO dept.
Scientists at the University of British Columbia have found that looking at someone who appears sick boosts your immune system. Subjects had blood taken before and after watching a 10-minute slide show that contained disturbing images including people who appeared sick. Results of the blood tests showed people who had seen the sick people had a stronger immune system. From the article: "In the study, young adults were asked to watch a 10-minute slide show containing a series of unpleasant photographs. Some pictures included people who looked obviously ill in some way. The subjects' blood samples were then tested for levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a substance produced by the immune system that indicates your immune system is ramping up to more aggressively fight infection. As a control, pictures of people brandishing guns were also used on some participants—and they barely resulted in a significant increase in IL-6 production, signifying that IL-6 production is not simply a reaction to stress."

Net Neutrality Suffers Major Setback

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday April 06, @01:14PM
from the nobody's-in-charge dept.
RingDev writes"The US Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Comcast today, stating that the FCC lacks the authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks."

After 27 Years, a New High Score For Asteroids

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday April 07, @05:19AM
from the toothpicks-for-eyelids dept.
blair1q writes"In a marathon 3-1/2 day session, John McAllister, of Portland, Oregon, has broken the 27-year-old high score for Asteroids, set in 1982 by Scott Safran. The attempt was broadcast via webcam."