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Passport Database Outage: ‘We Regret The Inconvenience’

> July 31st, 2014 ---

Job interviews missed, work and wedding plans disrupted, children unable to fly home with their adoptive parents -- the consequences keep proliferating in the aftermath of a database outage that crippled the US State Department's process for issuing passports, visas, and other documents related to travel to the US.

Taking great ideas from the lab to the fab

> July 31st, 2014 ---

A "valley of death" is well-known to entrepreneurs—the lull between government funding for research and industry support for prototypes and products. To confront this problem, in 2013 the National Science Foundation (NSF) created a new program called InTrans to extend the life of the most high-impact NSF-funded research and help great ideas transition from lab to practice.

Twitter acquires password security startup Mitro

> July 31st, 2014 ---

Twitter has acquired a small startup called Mitro, which focuses on password security.

Mitro announced Thursday that it is joining Twitter in its New York office and will be "focusing on a variety of geo-related projects." The company will not be integrated into the social network, but rather keep working on its own products that let several people share passwords to one account.

Some are twisting the facts in requests to be forgotten, Google says

> July 31st, 2014 ---

Some of those seeking to scrub their histories from the Web under Europe’s “right to be forgotten” rule are being economical with the truth when making their requests, Google said Thursday.

In a letter to European data regulators, Google listed some of the challenges it faces in complying with the ruling, which allows people to compel search engines like Google and Bing to remove links to pages that mention their name, if the references are “inadequate,” “irrelevant” or “excessive.”

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns

> July 31st, 2014 ---

USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher has revealed.

Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin's SR Labs, noted that hackers could load malicious software onto tiny, low-cost computer chips that control functions of USB devices but which have no built-in shields against tampering with their code.

Wikileaks Reveals Super Injunction Blocking Reporting On Massive Australian Corruption Case Involving Leaders Of Malaysia, Indonesia & Vietnam

> July 31st, 2014 ---

Today, 29 July 2014, WikiLeaks releases an unprecedented Australian censorship order concerning a multi-million dollar corruption case explicitly naming the current and past heads of state of Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, their relatives and other senior officials. The super-injunction invokes “national security” grounds to prevent reporting about the case, by anyone, in order to “prevent damage to Australia's international relations”.

Woman files $123M suit against Facebook over photoshopped nude photos

> July 31st, 2014 ---

Houston woman Meryem Ali has filed a $123-million lawsuit against both Facebook and a former friend who posted a picture of her on an "imposter" Facebook profile under her name, according to Texas Lawyer.

Photographs "that depict the true face of plaintiff" were altered with Photoshop and "attached to false, phony, naked body shots, and at least one pose where there is plaintiff in a graphic pornographic-like photo," states the complaint, which was filed on July 25 in Harris County.

‘Internet of Things’ full of vulnerabilities

> July 30th, 2014 ---

A recent research report [PDF] from HP's Fortify on Demand division found that seven out of ten of the most commonly used Internet of Things consumer devices contain serious security vulnerabilities.

Fortify on Demand said that some of the vulnerabilities include insufficient or non existent authentication mechanisms with weak passwords, data and firmware/software being transmitted in the clear without encryption, as well as insecure web interfaces for the devices.


iPhone gets first free app for encrypting voice calls

> July 30th, 2014 ---

An open-source project has released the first free application for the iPhone that scrambles voice calls, which would thwart government surveillance or eavesdropping by hackers.

Signal comes from Open Whisper Systems, which developed RedPhone and TextSecure, both Android applications that encrypt calls and text messages.

BitTorrent’s Bleep messenger is a secure, decentralized chat platform

> July 30th, 2014 ---

There's a distinctive sound your computer makes when an online friend is trying to get your attention. Sometimes its high pitched, other times its a low, warm tone, but regardless of your chat software, the onomatopoeia probably reads something like "bleep" which -- by no coincidence, we're sure -- is what BitTorrent is calling its new messaging platform. Unlike Google Hangouts, AIM or Skype, however, Bleep is a decentralized communication platform, design specifically to protect user metadata and anonymity.