One of the most mind-blowing presentations at this year’s Chaos Communications Congress (28C3) was Ang Cui’s Print Me If You Dare, in which he explained how he reverse-engineered the firmware-update process for HPs hundreds of millions of printers. Cui discovered that he could load arbitrary software into any printer by embedding it in a malicious document or by connecting to the printer online. As part of his presentation, he performed two demonstrations: in the first, he sent a document to a printer that contained a malicious version of the OS that caused it to copy the documents it printed and post them to an IP address on the Internet; in the second, he took over a remote printer with a malicious document, caused that printer to scan the LAN for vulnerable PCs, compromise a PC, and turn it into a proxy that gave him access through the firewall (I got shivers).
You may have heard about the mass exodus of customers from GoDaddy due to their support of SOPA. You may have also heard that GoDaddy no longer supports SOPA. The problem is, only one of those things is true. While GoDaddy no longer publicly supports SOPA, that is just a PR move. They have not withdrawn official support for the bill, let alone actually come out in opposition to it. But it gets worse. According to this article, not only did GoDaddy help write the damn thing, they are also exempt from complying with the law!
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), the only member of Congress present at the hearing with any tech experience, having founded several web companies, introduced two amendments: one to exclude universities and non-profits from being subject do having to shut down their own domain servers if accused of piracy under SOPA, and the other to exempt dynamic IP addresses, such as those found on web-enabled printers. Both were voted down.
Polis pointed out that SOPA and Smith’s amendment already excluded certain operators of sub-domains, such as GoDaddy.com, from being subject to shutdowns under SOPA.
“If companies like GoDaddy.com are exempt, why aren’t non-commercial domain servers exempt?” Polis asked.
A new study suggests that in the summertime, tornadoes and hailstorms in the eastern US occur significantly more often during the middle of the week. Why? There’s more pollution during the workweek due to commuting and other factors. From National Geographic…
In 1997, Apple gifted the Stanford University Libraries its historical collections of paperwork, hardware, software, artifacts, and other materials documenting the organization since Woz and Jobs founded it in 1976. The Associated Press toured the collection. No, it’s not available for public viewing.
“WHAT IF YO CHILD GET AMMONIA??!?!!!?!?!”
This $50 controller looks cool, and the man in the video seems much nicer than Paul Christoforo. 60beat GamePad controller
Behold the inexplicable Shira Miss Muffin, who appears to be Pittsburgh’s answer to Rebeccah Black.
Nice to see Pittsburgh represented so well.
I like that guy.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a new guide, “Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices,” which explains how the law, good technology choices, cryptography and backups can be combined to keep your data safe while you travel, especially when crossing into the USA, where customs officials reserve the rights to search your laptop and mobile phone without a warrant and keep whatever they find.
“Different people need different kinds of precautions for protecting their personal information when they travel,” said EFF Senior Staff Technologist Seth Schoen. “Our guide helps you assess your personal risks and concerns, and makes recommendations for various scenarios. If you are traveling over the U.S. border soon, you should read our guide now and get started on taking precautions before your trip.”
Over the past few years, Congress has weighed several bills to protect travelers from suspicionless searches at the border, but none has had enough support to become law. You can join EFF in calling on the Department of Homeland Security to publish clear guidelines for what they do with sensitive traveler information collected in digital searches by signing our petition. You can also test your knowledge about travelers’ privacy rights and help spread the word about the risks by taking our border privacy quiz.
“We store detailed records of our lives on our laptops and our phones. But the courts have diminished our constitutional right to privacy at the border,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “It’s time for travelers to take action and protect themselves and their private information during international trips.”
The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has postponed further debate on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until after Congress’ holiday break.
At the urging of some SOPA opponents, Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and committee chairman, said Friday he will consider a hearing or a classified briefing on the bill’s impact on cybersecurity. More than 80 Internet engineers and cybersecurity experts have raised security concerns about the bill, which would require Internet service providers and domain name registrars to block the domain names of foreign websites accused of copyright infringement.
We Forgot Our Name! is so worried about the Stop Online Piracy Act that he’s created four short PSAs to help explain what’s wrong with the idea to your friends and family: “The Stop Online Piracy Act will be going back to the House for a vote this WEDNESDAY December 21st. The House tried to make people think they would not reconvene to vote on S.O.P.A. until after the New Year but are now trying to sneak back in to vote before everyone realizes how bad S.O.P.A. is. Help spread the word!”
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.
Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of “a war that appears to have no end”.
Solar cells are not easy to build, but a new technology from Notre Dame could, someday, change that. It involves a nanoparticle paste made from t-butanol, water, cadmium sulfide and titanium dioxide. Here, you watch the process of constructing a solar cell this way and see why it could be easier and cheaper than current options. The downside: These solar cells won’t be coming to a neighborhood near you anytime soon. They’re in the early stages of research and are still only 1% efficient at converting solar energy to electricity. (Standard solar cells tend to be closer to 25% efficient.)
Cliff Notes: Guy drives an rc car with a camera into one of the great pyramids, wants $5,000,000 to keep a lid on what he found
Answering the age old question, Young Independent Filmmakers Jesse Budd and Patrick Romero set out to simply prove a point.