The truth behind the centuries-old legend of the giant shipworm has finally been confirmed by scientists, who got up close and personal with the elusive, sulfur-feasting creature for the first time.READ MORE: Horrifying haul: Russian fisherman pulls terrifying ‘monsters’ from the deep (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)A team of international researchers examined the first living giant shipworm in the Philippines, throwing some light on the mysterious Kuphus polythalamia species – the longest bivalve mollusc in the world, reaching up to 5 feet (1.52 meters) in length.The bizarre-looking animal, encased in a tusk-like shell, may be the stuff of nightmares for many, but its discovery offers scientists a unique opportunity to unravel the secrets of the rare specimen.
Monthly Archives: April 2017
There’s an ongoing arms race between ad blockers and websites — more and more sites either try to sneak their ads through or force users to disable ad blockers. Most previous discussions have assumed that this is a cat-and-mouse game that will escalate indefinitely. But in a new paper, accompanied by proof-of-concept code, we challenge this claim. We believe that due to the architecture of web browsers, there’s an inherent asymmetry that favors users and ad blockers. We have devised and prototyped several ad blocking techniques that work radically differently from current ones. We don’t claim to have created an undefeatable ad blocker, but we identify an evolving combination of technical and legal factors that will determine the “end game” of the arms race.Our project began last summer when Facebook announced that it had made ads look just like regular posts, and hence impossible to block. Indeed, Adblock Plus and other mainstream ad blockers have been ineffective on Facebook ever since. But Facebook’s human users have to be able to tell ads apart because of laws against misleading advertising. So we built a tool that detects Facebook ads the same way a human would, deliberately ignoring hidden HTML markup that can be obfuscated. (Adblock Plus, on the other hand, is designed to be able to examine only the markup of web pages and not the content.) Our Chrome extension has several thousand users and continues to be effective.
Source: The future of ad blocking
Punycode is a method of depicting Unicode using the limited character subset of ASCII which is used for internet host names. It makes it possible to register domain names with foreign characters. For example, the domain name “xn--s7y.co” is same as “短.co”. Using the same, a security researcher has shown the proof-of-concept of a scary attack.While the whole concept of the attack is very old, it has recently surfaced to the current versions of browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. These browsers show unicode characters in domain names as normal characters, which makes it impossible to notice the notorious domains.Due to this, it’s possible to register domains like “xn--pple-43d.com”, which is equivalent to “аpple.com,” the Chinese security researcher Xudong Zheng writes.
TL;DR: short URLs produced by bit.ly, goo.gl, and similar services are so short that they can be scanned by brute force. Our scan discovered a large number of Microsoft OneDrive accounts with private documents. Many of these accounts are unlocked and allow anyone to inject malware that will be automatically downloaded to users’ devices. We also discovered many driving directions that reveal sensitive information for identifiable individuals, including their visits to specialized medical facilities, prisons, and adult establishments.URL shorteners such as bit.ly and goo.gl perform a straightforward task: they turn long URLs into short ones, consisting of a domain name followed by a 5-, 6-, or 7-character token. This simple convenience feature turns out to have an unintended consequence. The tokens are so short that the entire set of URLs can be scanned by brute force. The actual, long URLs are thus effectively public and can be discovered by anyone with a little patience and a few machines at her disposal.Today, we are releasing our study, 18 months in the making, of what URL shortening means for the security and privacy of cloud services. We did not perform a comprehensive scan of all short URLs (as our analysis shows, such a scan would have been within the capabilities of a more powerful adversary), but we sampled enough to discover interesting information and draw important conclusions. Our study focused on two cloud services that directly integrate URL shortening: Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage (formerly known as SkyDrive) and Google Maps. In both cases, whenever a user wants to share a link to a document, folder, or map with another user, the service offers to generate a short URL – which, as we show, unintentionally makes the original URL public.
WASHINGTON — CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.CIA and FBI seek employee who leaked top secret documentsSources familiar with the investigation say it is looking for an insider — either a CIA employee or contractor — who had physical access to the material. The agency has not said publicly when the material was taken or how it was stolen.Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.The trove was published in March by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks.
— Harvey Weinstein knows he can be temperamental, and he knows he’s not above a good publicity stunt, but he said Thursday his complaints over an R rating for his company’s upcoming trans teen family story “3 Generations” are worth the effort on behalf of prospective young trans viewers.Starring Elle Fanning as a girl who wants to transition, the Motion Picture Association of America assigned the restrictive R based on strong language, including some sexual references. The film, which opens with a limited release in Los Angeles and New York on May 5, also stars Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon.The dust up is similar to Weinstein’s ratings complaint for “Bully” in 2012. The Weinstein Company successfully challenged that film’s R rating and the MPAA knocked it down to PG-13.
Source: News from The Associated Press
An Anchorage dentist faces a slew of allegations that he unnecessarily sedated patients in order to maximize Medicaid payments, according to charging documents filed in court this week.Seth Lookhart of Clear Creek Dental was charged with 17 counts of fraud and “unlawful dental acts” based on an investigation by the state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Office of Inspector General and agents from the FBI and DEA.Lookhart’s office manager, Shauna Cranford, faces 16 charges. Ten of the charges are felonies.Among the charges, filed Monday, are allegations that in 2016, Lookhart billed nearly $2 million in intravenous sedation without proper justification; that he illegally diverted funds from his employer; and he performed a tooth extraction while standing on a hoverboard, filmed it and texted it to others, while a patient was sedated.
(NEWSER) – It’s been established that screen time in its traditional form—think television and video games—is linked to sleep problems in kids, note researchers in introducing their more specific study: one that, for the first time, looks at touch-screen use among very young children. What they found is a link to poorer sleep, and it starts as early as infancy. Reporting in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers find that the more kids ages 6 months to 3 years use touch screens during the day, the longer it takes them to fall asleep and the less sleep they log in total. The study is observational and does not prove that the use of touch screens causes sleep issues, but researchers say the link warrants further study.
Austin police said they uncovered a prostitution ring at a Northwest Austin massage parlor after a waste pipe at the business became clogged and destroyed by hundreds of condoms, according to an arrest affidavit filed on Tuesday.The affidavit said police were tipped off about possible prostitution on Feb. 7 from a realty company that had recently taken over a property in the 11400 block of North FM 620.One of the tenants of the property was listed as Jade Massage Therapy LLC.The affidavit said several other tenants had expressed concerns that prostitution may have been going on at the business, and that an industrial disposal unit connecting the property to the city’s sewer service was found clogged with condoms.
Clemson University intends to spend $27,000 for a “diversity education and training” program for members of faculty following a pledge by Clemson President James Clements in 2016 to create a more inclusive campus environment.To encourage faculty participation, the university will issue automated reminders should they decide to skip the training program called “Diversity Benefits for Higher Education,” which is produced in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. Participating faculty members who complete the program ahead of others receive polo shirts and mugs paid for by the school.According to e-mails obtained by Campus Reform from the Office of Inclusion and Equality and the Office of Human Resources, the training is being provided by a company called Workplace Answers, which billed the university $26,945.The training program presents scenarios featuring fictional characters, with problems that participants must figure out.
A novel ‘gene-silencing’ drug could be the key to treating two devastating neurological disorders, spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).SCA2 is an inherited disorder that inflicts damage on the brain’s cerebellum, causing patients to have issues with balance, coordination, walking and similar movements. ALS induces degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord making patients gradually lose their ability to perform basic functions like move, speak, eat, or breathe.There are different factors that can initiate the onset of these diseases, but two new studies indicate the first signs of a possible treatment approach for both SCA2 and ALS.Researchers from the University of Utah and Stanford University performed two separate preclinical trials with a therapy that targets the ataxin-2 gene, both yielding novel results in mouse models.
Most of the world didn’t know anyone lived in the highlands of Papua New Guinea until the 1930s, when Australian gold prospectors surveying the area realized there were about a million people there.When researchers made their way to those villages in the 1950s, they found something disturbing. Among a tribe of about 11,000 people called the Fore, up to 200 people a year had been dying of an inexplicable illness. They called the disease kuru, which means “shivering” or “trembling.”Once symptoms set in, it was a swift demise. First, they’d have trouble walking, a sign that they were about to lose control over their limbs. They’d also lose control over their emotions, which is why people called it the “laughing death.” Within a year, they couldn’t get up off the floor, feed themselves or control their bodily functions.
What if you were to eliminate the unwieldy parts of a guitar but maintain its resonant sound and the same exact way of playing, in order to make the instrument are more convenient traveling companion? It might sound ridiculous or downright impossible, but that’s exactly what designer Orit Dolev has done with NOMAD, a compact digital instrument with pressure-sensitive frets and flexible rubber strings to replicate the traditional guitar playing experience.
The agency says it’s managing to meet its hiring goals despite a ban on hiring anyone who’s used marijuana within the last three years.The most recent election cycle was a big win for marijuana advocates, with eight states legalizing medicinal and/or recreational marijuana. Indeed, in the lead up to the election, polls showed that a solid 60 percent of Americans favored total legalization of cannabis. Yet the DEA doubled down on its commitment to keeping cannabis a Schedule I drug last fall, allowing federal agencies including the FBI to continue to discriminate against job candidates who’ve puffed the magic dragon.The FBI told Motherboard that despite this policy, it has been able to hire the number of cyber experts it needs. That comes three years after The Wall Street Journal first reported the agency was considering loosening the restrictions and FBI Director James Comey implied he was was having a hard time finding talented cyber specialists who hadn’t smoked weed recently. But after taking heat from anti-marijuana crusader Jeff Sessions, Comey later backtracked and said he was just making a funny.
A PBS high school lesson plan encourages students to empathize with young Palestinian terrorists who want to become suicide bombers to achieve martyrdom and suggests they would rather die because Palestinians have less land and are restricted.The “Dying to Be a Martyr” multimedia lesson plan is available free of cost to teachers and students at PBS Learning Media, reports Justin Haskins at the Heartland Institute. It utilizes videos titled “Martyrdom,” “Suicide Bombing,” and “Israel and Palestine,” as well as internet sites and primary sources “to examine the roots of the Middle East conflict.”Students are asked to be able to understand “why individuals and groups sometimes turn to tactics of terrorism.”At first, students are asked to learn about the connections that all three major faiths – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – have to Israel. However, later on in the lesson, students view the video “Israel and Palestine,” and are asked to focus on 25 year-old Majdi Amer, who built a bomb in 2003 for a suicide bomber in Haifa who ultimately killed 17 people, and wounded 50 more, on a bus.
The Homeland Security Department wants to preempt any biometric-related PR disasters by hiring communications professionals to handle the topic.DHS is gathering information about professional communications services for its Office of Biometric Identity Management, which houses the largest biometrics repository in the federal government, according to a recent request for information. OBIM replaced United States Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology program, known as US-VISIT.OBIM’s database allows DHS to compare travelers’ fingerprints, iris scans and other physical markers to those of suspected terrorists and criminals. As a result, OBIM needs a communications strategy that “address[es] the potential risks and concerns the public may have regarding the collection and use of biometrics within the government,” the RFI said.
Incredible video shows army of orange self-charging robots which sort 200,000 packages a DAY in a Chinese warehouse
THIS army of tiny orange robots which can sort up to 200,000 packages every DAY in a Chinese warehouse are providing an alarming glimpse of what the future could hold in factories around the world.These miniature machines, each just 7.5 inches, follow a set route and transport parcels from the assembly line to the departure gates where they are then dispatched.STO EXPRESS3These tiny machines can work non-stop for eight hours after being fully charged and have practically eliminated mistakes at the warehouse
No new movie comes without a toxic dose of controversy to go alongside its hype. The new Tom Cruise-driven reboot of The Mummy is under fire with accusations of whitewashing over the casting of the actress who plays evil Ahmanet.
But instead of enjoying the ride, outraged social justice warriors took to social media to complain about the actress who plays the role in their erroneous belief that she is white.
The cold-blooded methamphetamine addict has been incarcerated in the care of inmates and guards at a prison facility for animals that find themselves on the wrong side of the law in Sydney’s west.The python was seized in a raid on a drug lab where it had developed its habit after absorbing fumes and particles in the air as the drug ice was being manufactured, the Daily Telegraph reports.”He was totally on edge, jittery, slithering and wanting to strike,” said Ian Mitchell, a senior manager at the Corrective Services NSW Wildlife Care Centre in Windsor.
Today, many can be forgiven for thinking that the digital communications revolution kicked off during the mid-1990s, when there was simply an explosion of media and consumer interest in the World Wide Web. Just a decade earlier, however, the future was now for the hundreds of thousands of users already using home computers to communicate with others over the telephone network. The online culture of the 1980s was defined by the pervasiveness of bulletin board systems (BBS), expensive telephone bills, and the dulcet tones of a 1200 baud connection (or 2400, if you were very lucky). While many Ars readers certainly recall bulletin board systems with pixelated reverence, just as many are likely left scratching their heads in confusion (“what exactly is a BBS, anyway?”).It’s a good thing, then, that a dedicated number of vintage computing hobbyists are resurrecting these digital communities that were once thought lost to time. With some bulletin board systems being rebooted from long-forgotten floppy disks and with some still running on original 8-bit hardware, the current efforts of these seasoned sysops (that is, system administrators) provide a very literal glimpse into the state of online affairs from more than three decades ago. And while services such as the Internet Archive are an excellent resource for studying the growth of the World Wide Web as it’s frozen in time, these hobbyists are opening portals today for modern users to go places that have been long forgotten.
One of the most persistent tropes on the racial right is that the major cultural institutions in the United States aggressively push a story of white guilt. The media and the education system—from pre-K to postgraduate—are the most frequent targets of this accusation, though increasingly churches are also charged with being strongholds of the “Social Justice Warriors.”According to this narrative, white Americans face a constant barrage of derision, persistently hearing about the evils of their white-supremacist ancestors and the unfairness of their current unearned privilege. They are told that their racial sins can never be truly washed away, but they can achieve partial atonement by signing onto various progressive causes, especially generous immigration policies and policies designed to uplift African-Americans.This argument is not exclusively embraced by the far-right. Mainstream conservatives are similarly eager to share stories of “political correctness run amok.” A visit to the Drudge Report on any given day will likely include a story about left-wing indoctrination and intolerance of dissent at an overpriced university. Similar stories are posted daily at websites like Campus Reform.
Gerard Brittle Book author of the Demonologist claims that the Warrens, husband and wife duo in the film signed away all the rights to their life story and case files back in 1978 which includes other books and movies. Their contract also forbade them from using any of their case files that were published in the book in any form of media. Apparently all the marketing campaigns for the Conjuring franchise claim that they are indeed based off of the real case files of the Warrens. Brittle thinks that he has monetary rights to that content and should be compensated for his damages in a lawsuit that he has filed against Warner Bros. Warner Bros. may have dug it’s self into a hole when they made they made a statement claiming that Brittle’s contract with the Warrens had no bearing over The Conjuring movies because those films were based on “historical facts,” rather than the content of Brittle’s book, The Demonologist. Brittle says that can’t be possible because he and other skeptics posit that the Warrens’ case files about paranormal and supernatural activity are fabricated. Since its next to impossible to prove that and these events indeed did happen the studio may have to pay up. This lawsuit could affect the other Conjuring sequels that are slated for release. The Conjuring franchise has made 890 million worldwide and has a another film slated to release later this year.
Meet the homeless people being handed free beer in Liverpool city centre today.Stunned shoppers watched a Bud Light 4X4 park up near the Subway in Whitechapel this afternoon where staff gifted cans of lager to passers-by as part of a promotional campaign.The vehicle was quickly told to move on by council staff because it did not have permission to be there.But we found several rough sleepers in the nearby area who had been given free beers as part of the promotion – with one man lying sleeping next to a can.
Completing the Boston Marathon — the pinnacle of marathon running for many — is quite a feat.But some finishers of Monday’s race have taken issue with a congratulatory email sent by Adidas, the sponsor for the 121st annual race.”Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” an email sent by Adidas to 2017 Boston Marathon finishers on Tuesday read.The message was met with backlash given the history of the Patriot’s Day race. Some finishers questioned how Adidas did not realize the connotations of the message after three people were killed and more than 260 were injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
U.S. media outlets in Russia will face investigations into whether they illegally influenced the country’s parliamentary elections in 2016.Outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe (RL/RFE) and CNN will all fall under the spotlight, said Leonid Levin, the head of the State Duma Committee on Information and Communication.He said that journalists’ work could have affected Russian elections.”The structures we are discussing are part of a larger American system of pressure on our country,” Levin said at a committee meeting on Tuesday. “They are using a variety of instruments in respect to both the Russian electoral process and on our country as a whole.”
Self-driving cars may soon be getting an upgrade with a new surveying system enhancement.Luminar Technologies announced that they are beginning production on a new kind of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system, which will make autonomous vehicles safer and the production more scalable. LiDAR is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating that target with a pulsed laser light, and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor.The new Luminar Technologies system has the ability to see at 50 times greater resolution and 10 times longer range than current systems.For example, at 200 meters, Luminar can detect hard-to-see, low-reflectivity objects like a black car or tire on the road and offer a full seven seconds of reaction time at 75 miles per hour.Today’s best performing LiDAR systems see such objects at less than 35 meters, which at highway speeds offer less than one second of reaction time. The company, founded by Austin Russell and Jason Eichenholz, have been raising funds, while engineering and manufacturing all the major components of the new system over the last five years, including funding and creating the chips, lasers, receivers, scanners and processing electronics.
Last July, Rep. Mike Pompeo spotted an article on the conservative website RedState about Wikileaks publishing more than 19,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee. The Republican from Kansas rather gleefully retweeted the story, adding, “Need further proof that the fix [for Hillary Clinton’s nomination] was in from Pres. Obama on down?” Yet nine months later, Pompeo, now director of the CIA, took the stage at a prominent Washington, D.C. think tank to denounce the radical “transparency” organization and its founder Julian Assange. “We at CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be both perplexing and deeply troubling,” he said. The days of using “misappropriated secrets…ends now.”
18 year old Beth Cutts was shopping at a Tesco Superstore when she noticed a rather odd product placement. A range of Durex condems, on a 2 for £14 offer, had been placed under the ‘Smoking Alternatives’ section, just above a line of Nicorette packets.Of course she snapped a picture of it, and naturally assuming it to be a screw up on Tesco’s part, pinged Tesco via the following tweet :
Smartphone fingerprint scanners are less secure than we are led to believe, according to researchers who have developed “master fingerprints” capable of tricking the sensors.The researchers were able to bypass fingerprint readers, which are used to unlock phones, log in to apps and make payments, using fake fingerprints created by using patterns found across many real prints.The findings from New York University and Michigan State University call into question the security of the widely-used technology. The researchers were able to create a set of “master prints that could fool a scanner up to 65 per cent of the time.Fingerprint scanners are widely seen as more secure than relying on passcodes to unlock smartphones. Apple says that the Touch ID scanner used on the iPhone has only a one in 50,000 chance of matching with someone else’s finger.