wiredmikey writes "Researchers have recently discovered a new sophisticated and resilient mobile threat targeting Android phones that is said to have infected about 500,000 devices, mainly in China. Called 'SMSZombie,' the malware is stubborn and hard to remove, but users outside of China have little to worry about with this latest discovery. The prime function of the mobile malware is to exploit a vulnerability in the mobile payment system used by China Mobile, making it of little value to the fraudsters outside of China. The malware takes advantage of a vulnerability in the China Mobile SMS Payment process to generate unauthorized payments to premium service providers, and can also remotely control the infected device. It has been spread via wallpaper apps that sport provocative titles and nude photos, and can only be removed using a lengthy process beyond the skills of a typical android user."
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An anonymous reader writes "Windows 8 has been confirmed to not only ignore, but also modify the hosts file. As soon as a website that should be blocked is accessed, the corresponding entry in the hosts file is removed, even if the hosts file is read-only. The hosts file is a popular, cross-platform way of blocking access to certain domains, such as ad-serving websites."
First time accepted submitter ACXNew writes "The scientists behind three inventions that touch the lives of millions of people around the world will be inducted into a coveted scientific 'Hall of Fame' as the latest Heroes of Chemistry named by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. Established in 1996, the ACS Heroes of Chemistry program recognizes scientists whose work in various fields of chemistry and chemical engineering has led to the successful innovation and development of commercial products that benefit humankind."
First time accepted submitter deapbluesea writes "Matt Ridley recounts the many predictions of catastrophe that have been made by prominent figures in the past. 'The classic apocalypse has four horsemen, and our modern version follows that pattern, with the four riders being chemicals (DDT, CFCs, acid rain), diseases (bird flu, swine flu, SARS, AIDS, Ebola, mad cow disease), people (population, famine), and resources (oil, metals).' From over population, to pandemics, peak oil to climate change, Ridley provides examples of human innovation that have averted the disasters, real or imagined. He does not declare the doomsayers to be wrong, merely hyperbolic in their predictions. 'We hear a lot from those who think disaster is inexorable if not inevitable, and a lot from those who think it is all a hoax. We hardly ever allow the moderate "lukewarmers."' Given the current discussions on rich vs poor, conservative vs liberal, religious versus non-religious, maybe a little moderation should be in order. After all, there are a lot of examples of 'experts' who got it completely wrong in the past."
Croakyvoice writes "Nintendo has today released the 3DS XL in the U.S. The console comes with features such as screens which are 90% bigger in size than the original 3DS, a much needed improvement in battery life and also the 3D effect on the console has noticeably improved. The 3DS XL is Nintendo's attempt at even moreso dominating the handheld console market over the PSVita, but also bringing back the gamers lost to the likes of Android and iOS devices. The other major 3DS news of the day is the release of New Super Mario Bros 2, a continuation of the DS game released in 2006. In Japan the game has sold over 800,000 copies since game launch and Nintendo will be hopeful to replicate that success in the U.S."
hypnosec writes "Demonoid domain names that were put up for sale last week have been de-listed by Sedo because of 'legal issues'. Trouble for Demonoid started sometime during the last week of July when it was rendered inaccessible following DDoS attacks after which it started serving malware laden ads. About four days after these reports, Ukrainian authorities got the best of Demonoid and closed down the site entirely by raiding the hosting service provider of the site. Sedo has said that no third-party or law enforcement agency has ordered the de-listing of the domain names."
An anonymous reader writes "After a statement from a window at an upper floor from the Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange '... called on US President Barack Obama to "do the right thing" and for his government to "renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks."'" However, the U.S. issued the following statement regarding Assange's stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy, "The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law,"
itwbennett writes "The U.S. Department of State will be canceling a $16.5 million Amazon order that included 2,500 Kindle Touch e-readers, 50 pieces of content, and 'required provision of a secure, centrally managed content distribution and management platform.' The department said that it will be re-examining its requirements for the program. Those requirements had called for a single-function device with text-to-speech, a 'battery life of no less than about 8 hours of continuous reading or approximately 7.5 hours of video playback,' and free Wi-Fi. The Kindle was the only project that met that original set of requirements."
theodp writes "Even in death, Steve Jobs managed to get specialists from the Apple-friendly Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) to team up again with Apple investigators and local police to track down the whereabouts of a stolen Apple device. Unlike a 2010 stolen iPhone prototype incident, which ended with a raid on a Gizmodo editor's home, this new investigation into the $60K burglary of the late Apple CEO's under-renovation Palo Alto home ended with the recapture of an iPad from Kenny the Clown, who accepted the device as payment of a debt owed to him by burglary suspect Kariem McFarlin. PCWorld has the details of how Palo Alto Police, REACT, and Apple investigators connected the dots to track down Jobs' stolen iPads, which may trouble some privacy advocates."
ananyo writes "Developing oral contraceptives for men has not gone as swiftly as researchers imagined in the early 1970s; they suggested at the time that a 'male pill' was not far off. But researchers now report a new way to make male mice temporarily infertile. Although the treatment is not ready for human use, the method avoids some of the pitfalls of earlier attempts. The technique appears to have a much more specific action than previous methods: it impairs sperm production by blocking a protein called BRDT. This protein was singled out as a potential therapeutic target five years ago because it only occurs in the testes, where it is required for the division of sperm cells. If the approach proves safe in humans, it would be an improvement over hormone-based methods of male contraception, which are not completely effective and cause side effects such as mood swings, acne and a loss of libido (abstract). On the downside, however, the compound 'shrank the mice's testes.'"
MojoKid writes "The venerable Lenovo ThinkPad, with its little red TrackPoint nub, has gone the way of the Ultrabook. If there's one small dig ThinkPads have taken with regularity over the years, it's that though there's a ton of quality and substance built into these machines, style was not a hallmark of the brand. The all new ThinkPad X1 Carbon could very well change the utilitarian stereotype of Lenovo's business-backed line-up, however. As the name suggests, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is built from carbon fiber material throughout its chassis and internal rollcage. Its 14-inch display drives a native resolution of 1600x900, and its keyboard, arguably one of the nicest features of the ThinkPad line, is backlit and even more refined with contoured key caps. Battery life hits a max of about six hours on a full charge, and the machine weighs in at 3lbs and .31-inches at it thinnest dimension."
New submitter Shavano writes with news that Apple's attempt to block Samsung from introducing evidence of a tablet prototype developed in 1994 has been denied by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. Part of the reason Apple got a sales ban on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this year was that an Appeals Court said Apple's tablet design was significantly different from earlier designs. Now, Judge Koh has decided that the issue needs to be decided by a jury. "Samsung has argued the design was an obvious variation of tablets existing as early as 1994, including one made by Hewlett-Packard Co. The Korean company supported that argument at the trial with videotaped testimony by Roger Fidler, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri. Fidler said he started working on a tablet design in 1981. Apple sought to exclude the testimony based on the appeals court ruling. In a written declaration, Fidler said 'Apple personnel were exposed to my tablet ideas and prototypes' in the mid- 1990s when the company collaborated with Knight-Ridder Inc.’s information design laboratory in Colorado."
An anonymous reader writes "Speaking at GDC Europe this week, BioWare Montreal's Fernando Melo spoke about how the oft-disparaged first-day downloadable content for video games is actually something a significant amount of players want. 'Melo argued that on the occasions when BioWare hasn't provided DLC from day one, those players who complete the game quickly then complained that there was nothing more to play and asked for extra content. If DLC isn't provided for these players, they may well move on to a different game and never come back to play DLC later on. As proof that day one DLC also works in terms of sales, Melo said that 53 percent of all sales for the first Dragon Age: Origins DLC pack — which was released on the same day as the full game — were made on release day."
An anonymous reader tips an article from Datamation about several suggestions for the GNOME project to answer user complaints and boost developer morale. From the article: "... with very few changes, GNOME 3 could be much more acceptable to most users. A moveable panel, panel applets, desktop launchers, user control of virtual desktops, menu alternatives that would remove the need for the overview -- all of these could be added easily as options. Together, they would reduce at least ninety percent of the complaints against GNOME 3. ... If GNOME is having trouble as a desktop environment, one obvious solution is to find new niches. Lopez and Sanchez suggested following KDE's lead and producing a tablet, while Lionel Dricot recently suggested a suite of cloud-based services. ... The one strategy that GNOME has never tried is asking users what they want. Instead, the project has preferred to rely on usability theory, treating it as an exact science instead of a collection of competing ideas supported by usually inconclusive studies that could be mustered to support almost any design. In GNOME 3, testing with actual users did not occur until near the end of the development cycle, when the chances of any major changes were remote."
An anonymous reader points out an article in the Wall Street Journal about how irrational fear of nuclear reactors made people worry much more about last year's incident at Fukushima than they should have. Quoting: "Denver has particularly high natural radioactivity. It comes primarily from radioactive radon gas, emitted from tiny concentrations of uranium found in local granite. If you live there, you get, on average, an extra dose of .3 rem of radiation per year (on top of the .62 rem that the average American absorbs annually from various sources). A rem is the unit of measure used to gauge radiation damage to human tissue. ... Now consider the most famous victim of the March 2011 tsunami in Japan: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Two workers at the reactor were killed by the tsunami, which is believed to have been 50 feet high at the site. But over the following weeks and months, the fear grew that the ultimate victims of this damaged nuke would number in the thousands or tens of thousands. The 'hot spots' in Japan that frightened many people showed radiation at the level of .1 rem, a number quite small compared with the average excess dose that people happily live with in Denver. What explains the disparity? Why this enormous difference in what is considered an acceptable level of exposure to radiation?"