US Government Warns Of 'Ongoing' Hacks Targeting Nuclear and Power Industries

An anonymous reader quotes Reuters:
The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed by email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May. The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. The objective of the attackers is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to obtain credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said.
According to the report, the Department of Homeland Security “has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign.”

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Source: Slashdot – US Government Warns Of ‘Ongoing’ Hacks Targeting Nuclear and Power Industries

Five-minute allergy test passes the FDA's scrutiny

A few years ago, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) started developing what they eventually dubbed the “world’s most rapid” allergy test. Now, that test has received the FDA’s approval and will start telling…

Source: Engadget – Five-minute allergy test passes the FDA’s scrutiny

Study says body cameras don't always change police behavior

In theory, body cameras are supposed to not only catch police abuses of power, but deter them: officers will be on their best behavior knowing that they could be hauled in. As Washington, DC researchers have learned, though, that isn’t guaranteed….

Source: Engadget – Study says body cameras don’t always change police behavior

NYT Op-Ed Argues Amazon 'Took Seattle's Soul'

New York Times columnist Timothy Egan was part of the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 2001. Now he’s written an op-ed arguing Amazon “took Seattle’s soul.” An anonymous reader writes:
Since Amazon arrived “we’ve been overwhelmed by a future we never had any say over,” Egan writes, with a message for cities competing to be the site of Amazon’s next headquarters. Amazon now owns as much office space as Seattle’s next 40 biggest employers combined, according to an analysis by the Seattle Times, “a mind-boggling 19 percent of all prime office space in the city, the most for any employer in a major U.S. city…more than twice as large as any other company in any other big U.S. city.”

Egan notes Amazon is offering 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion worth of investments, “a once-in-a-century, destiny-shaping event,” but “You think you can shape Amazon? Not a chance. It will shape you… What comes with the title of being the fastest growing big city in the country, with having the nation’s hottest real estate market, is that the city no longer works for some people. For many others, the pace of change, not to mention the traffic, has been disorienting… [M]edian home prices have doubled in five years, to $700,000. This is not a good thing in a place where teachers and cops used to be able to afford a house with a water view… As a Seattle native, I miss the old city, the lack of pretense, and dinner parties that didn’t turn into discussions of real estate porn.

Wages have risen faster in Amazon’s Seattle than anywhere else in America, and while Amazon changed the city’s character, it also poured $38 billion into the city’s economy. (Besides Amazon’s own 40,000 employees, it also attracted another 50,000 new jobs.) “To the next Amazon lottery winner I would say, enjoy the boom,” Egan concludes, “but be careful what you wish for.”

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Source: Slashdot – NYT Op-Ed Argues Amazon ‘Took Seattle’s Soul’

Amazon Patents Drones That Recharge Electric Vehicles

slash.jit shared an article from Futurism:
Amazon has been granted a patent for an ambitious new method of maintaining a charge in electric vehicles. The company wants to use drones to allow drivers to top up their vehicles without having to visit a charging station. Drivers would request a top up from a central server, which would dispatch a charging drone to their location. The drone would then dock with the vehicle and start transferring power, without the car ever needing to come to a stop. This solution isn’t meant to administer a full charge to the car’s battery, it would only supply enough power to get the driver to a charging station, which are still in somewhat limited supply.

“Amazon first applied for this patent back in June 2014,” reports CNET, noting it was finally granted this month. “Like many other patents, there’s no guarantee that Amazon will actually create a product based on the design. It could merely be an attempt to stop competitors from doing so.”

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Source: Slashdot – Amazon Patents Drones That Recharge Electric Vehicles

What we're watching: 'Raw' and 'Feast of Fiction'

Welcome back to Video IRL, where several of our editors talk about what they’ve been watching in their spare time. This month we’re kicking things off with some seasonally-appropriate horror fare, that you can catch right away on Netflix or Amazon Pr…

Source: Engadget – What we’re watching: ‘Raw’ and ‘Feast of Fiction’

Watch the Pawn Stars Undervalue Some Classic Superman Memorabilia

On an episode of Pawn Stars, which airs on the History Channel for some reason, the starring pawn proprietors got a chance to check out some amazing pieces from the 1978 Superman film. But they weren’t all that impressed.

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Source: Gizmodo – Watch the Pawn Stars Undervalue Some Classic Superman Memorabilia

See Giant Robots Fight. US vs Japan Match On YouTube

AmiMoJo writes: Suidobashi Heavy Industries and MegaBots agreed to test their piloted giant robots in combat a few years back, and the content is finally available on YouTube. It ended in a draw, with Japan decisively winning the first bout with a single punch and the US team winning the second thanks to a chainsaw weapon. There have been some complaints that the whole event felt scripted, but it’s early days yet. ITMedia has a nice gallery of photos from the event.
“The MegaBots team expressed hope for a formal fighting robot league in the future,” reports CNBC.

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Source: Slashdot – See Giant Robots Fight. US vs Japan Match On YouTube

YouTube Suspends Account of Popular Chinese Dissident

schwit1 brings news about an exiled Chinese billionaire with 500,000 followers on YouTube. The Washington Free Beacon reports:YouTube has suspended the video account of popular Chinese dissident Guo Wengui amid a mounting pressure from the Beijing government to silence one of its critics. According to a person familiar with the action, YouTube issued what the company calls a ‘strike’ against Guo, who since the beginning of the year has created an online sensation by posting lengthy videos in which he reveals details of corruption by senior Chinese officials. The suspension involves a 90-day block on any new live-stream postings of videos and was the result of a complaint made against a recent Guo video for alleged harassment. The identity of the person or institution who issued the complaint could not be learned… Other videos by Guo posted prior to the suspension remain accessible.
The suspension coincides with this week’s once-every-five-years congress of the Chinese Communist party to reveal which top officials will serve President Xi Jinping, according to Financial Times, adding that “China’s choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning.”

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Source: Slashdot – YouTube Suspends Account of Popular Chinese Dissident

Google's Advocacy of HTTPS a Soaring Success

Google has released a new blog post celebrating the success in adoption of secure web connections. A year ago, the search giant announced that it would start giving preferential treatment to secured websites, and now, it seems to have all worked out amazingly: 71 out of 100 of the most popular websites in the world now use HTTPS, an impressive increase of 37% in just one year.



We wanted to help people understand when the site they’re on is not secure, and at the same time, provide motivation to that site’s owner to improve the security of their site. We knew this would take some time, and so we started by only marking pages without encryption that collect passwords and credit cards. In the next phase, we began showing the “not secure” warning in two additional situations: when people enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Google’s Advocacy of HTTPS a Soaring Success

Verizon Will Fix Your Smartphone's Screen for $29

Verizon customers can now enroll any phone purchased within the last 24 months in the Total Mobile Protection plan, which will run you $9 for basic phones and tablets and $11 for smartphones. Cracked screen repairs only cost $29, down from the previous $49 price tag. If you crack your screen and need a replacement you have two options: either bring the phone to one of 296 Verizon Wireless stores or have a certified technician come to your home or office in one of 152 cities.



Total Mobile Protection protects your phone in case of damage, loss or theft. It delivers replacement phones as soon as the next day and now has a new lower price for cracked screen repair at just $29 (lowered from $49). Cracked screen repair comes with two convenient options: either bring it to one of 296 certified repair stores or save yourself a trip and have a certified technician meet you at your home or office in 152 cities.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Verizon Will Fix Your Smartphone’s Screen for

Georgia Rep. Betty Price Ponders Whether State Could Just 'Quarantine' People With HIV

Georgia State Rep. Betty Price—spouse of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who recently left his role in Donald Trump’s administration after taking a few too many taxpayer-funded charter flights—casually asked a state epidemiologist whether it would be more cost-effective to just force HIV-positive…

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Source: Gizmodo – Georgia Rep. Betty Price Ponders Whether State Could Just ‘Quarantine’ People With HIV

Use Find My Friends to Make Your Relationship Less—Yes, Less—Clingy

At first, it sounds like a huge red flag: Oh, my husband and I have each other on Find My Friends, the crazy woman says cheerfully to her friends at the bar. I use it all the time. Let’s see where he is now! Well, spoiler alert, the crazy woman is me and this is one of the least clingy things I do in my whole dang…

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Source: LifeHacker – Use Find My Friends to Make Your Relationship Less—Yes, Less—Clingy

2 Million IoT Devices Enslaved By Fast-Growing BotNet

An anonymous reader writes: Since mid-September, a new IoT botnet has grown to massive proportions. Codenamed IoT_reaper, researchers estimate its current size at nearly two million infected devices. According to researchers, the botnet is mainly made up of IP-based security cameras, routers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, network video recorders (NVRs), and digital video recorders (DVRs), primarily from vendors such as Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, GoAhead, JAWS, Vacron, AVTECH, MicroTik, TP-Link, and Synology. The botnet reuses some Mirai source code, but it’s unique in its own right. Unlike Mirai, which relied on scanning for devices with weak or default passwords, this botnet was put together using exploits for unpatched vulnerabilities. The botnet’s author is still struggling to control his botnet, as researchers spotted over two million infected devices sitting in the botnet’s C&C servers’ queue, waiting to be processed. As of now, the botnet has not been used in live DDoS attacks, but the capability is in there.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the Dyn DDoS attack, the article points out, adding that “This week both the FBI and Europol warned about the dangers of leaving Internet of Things devices exposed online.”

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Source: Slashdot – 2 Million IoT Devices Enslaved By Fast-Growing BotNet

Bitcoin Up 500% Annually, Dominant Cryptocurrency Tops $100B Valuation

Bitcoin Up 500% Annually, Dominant Cryptocurrency Tops $100B Valuation
Bitcoin has been on an enviable winning streak this year, and reached a new intraday high earlier today. Bitcoin hit a record high of $6,183.98 at around 10:30 AM EST this morning, which comes just after the cryptocurrency pushed through the $6,000 barrier on Friday.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at around $6,080, giving it a market cap

Source: Hot Hardware – Bitcoin Up 500% Annually, Dominant Cryptocurrency Tops 0B Valuation

New York City ordered to share code for DNA evidence software

Many attempts to open up access to software in the justice system have fallen flat. Advocates in New York, however, have just scored a significant victory. A federal judge has publicly unsealed the source code for DNA analysis software previously u…

Source: Engadget – New York City ordered to share code for DNA evidence software