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An anonymous reader writes "There is a growing interest in who tracks us, and many folks are restricting the use of web cookies and Flash to cut down how advertisers (and others) can track them. Those things are fine as far as they go, but some sites are using the ETag header as an identifier: Attentive readers might have noticed already how you can use this to track people: the browser sends the information back to the server that it previously received (the ETag). That sounds an awful lot like cookies, doesn't it? The server can simply give each browser an unique ETag, and when they connect again it can look it up in its database. Neither JavaScript, nor any other plugin, has to be enabled for this to work either, and changing your IP is useless as well. The only usable workaround seems to be clearing one's cache, or using private browsing with HTTPS on sites where you don't want to be tracked. The Firefox add-on SecretAgent also does ETag overwriting."

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Werwin15

Researchers have devised two new attacks on the Transport Layer Security and Secure Sockets Layer protocols, the widely used encryption schemes used to secure e-commerce transactions and other sensitive traffic on the Internet.

The pair of exploits—one presented at the just-convened 20th International Workshop on Fast Software Encryption and the other scheduled to be unveiled on Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Amsterdam—don't pose an immediate threat to the millions of people who rely on the Web-encryption standards. Still, they're part of a growing constellation of attacks with names including BEAST, CRIME, and Lucky 13 that allow determined hackers to silently decrypt protected browser cookies used to log in to websites. Together, they underscore the fragility of the aging standards as they face an arsenal of increasingly sophisticated exploits.

"It illustrates how serious this is that there are so many attacks going on involving a protocol that's been around for years and that's so widely trusted and used," Matthew Green, a professor specializing in cryptography at Johns Hopkins University, told Ars. "The fact that you now have CRIME, BEAST, Lucky 13, and these new two attacks within the same week really illustrates what a problem we're facing."

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Reflected XSS vulnerabilities in action

Aspect Security

When my neighbor called early Wednesday morning, she sounded close to tears. Her Yahoo Mail account had been hijacked and used to send spam to addresses in her contact list. Restrictions had then been placed on her account that prevented her from e-mailing her friends to let them know what happened.

In a blog post published hours before my neighbor's call, researchers from security firm Bitdefender said that the hacking campaign that targeted my neighbor's account had been active for about a month. Even more remarkable, the researchers said the underlying hack worked because Yahoo's developer blog runs on a version of the WordPress content management system that contained a vulnerability developers addressed more than eight months ago. My neighbor's only mistake, it seems, was clicking on a link while logged in to her Yahoo account.

As someone who received one of the spam e-mails from her compromised account, I know how easy it is to click such links. The subject line of my neighbor's e-mail mentioned me by name, even though my name isn't in my address. Over the past few months, she and I regularly sent messages to each other that contained nothing more than a Web address, so I thought nothing of opening the link contained in Wednesday's e-mail. The page that opened looked harmless enough. It appeared to be an advertorial post on MSNBC.com about working from home, which is something I do all the time. But behind the scenes, according to Bitdefender, something much more nefarious was at work.

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The above photo has been doing the rounds on the internet with claims it is Álvaro Múnera Builes, a Colombian animal rights activist who worked briefly as a bullfighter in his youth under the name ‘El Pilarico’ in Colombia and then Spain. With the image come the words, also claiming to be from Múnera...

 http://fiskeharrison.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/this-photo-is-not-what-it-seems/ 

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How to create a global brain in only a few lines of code

This is where my research was going years ago and I found so many interesting things that I forgot that's why I was doing it. Here's the summary of the plan:

User Interface can be anything which is statistically balanced and has continuous input and output of at least 1 dimension between each person and their computer. A simple example is the speed they are moving the mouse, if its increasing or decreasing at the time, and an output could be some music which is playing becomes a little slower or faster at the time. It could be more complex things like realtime video, evolved audio, Nintendo Wii controllers, Kinect, Emotiv Epoc or OpenEEG mind reading game controllers, or many other things. The User Interface is a stream of vectors in and vectors out, of at least 1 dimension, through any devices. If there is any audio or video, that is part of the User Interface. The core idea is a kind of math and is calculated independently of any game content which players create while in the game.

N people play the game at once, streaming data to eachother's computer through the Internet as it was all 1 system with many inputs and outputs as paths of information flow between the players.

The output to each player is a prediction of the next input of that player. The player must hear/see/experience the output in some way so it affects their state of mind.

The combined inputs of all players are used to predict the combined outputs of all players. This can be done many ways. A bayesian network should work well for this since it calculates using the math of conditional-probability and scales up efficiently.

Here's what makes it work extremely more than the intelligence of the AI or any 1 player:
Since the bayesian network calculates relevance of inputs and outputs to its prediction accuracy, whichever inputs of other people are most useful (combined in some statistical way) to predict the next few inputs of this local person, will gradually be given more influence here, and because of that this local person, who "must hear/see/experience the output in some way", will tend to become more statistically relevant for the AI to use their inputs to predict the other peoples' next few inputs, and the feedback loop is complete and amplifies peoples' ability to play the game in a way that helps the AI use people to predict other people.

In this feedback loop of N people, without needing conscious knowledge or intent of it, people will unavoidably be influenced toward flowing their thoughts together because the set of all possibilities where that does not happen is partially cancelled-out by the bayesian network.

Depnding on the accuracy of whatever kind of AI does these predictions and is the "glue code" for networking our minds together, and how skilled people become at the game, a superintelligence is somewhere along this research path and it will be made of the minds of billions of people and computers flowing thoughts together at the subconscious psychology level.

This is the simplest way to build a superintelligence. My research years ago took a different direction in finding User Interfaces, like Audivolv, BayesianCortex, and Physicsmata (all open source), and now I have a good idea of how to put it all together. We can proceed with these experiments toward thinking more like a global brain.

Does anyone have idea on what kind of game it should be? The research path leaves many possibilities.

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Sometime between 1498-1500, Leonardo da Vinci invented the ball bearing via detailed drawings of how it would work. It was round about the time he was working on his famous helicopter sketches (most possibly inspired by nature i.e. wind dispersal seeds or helicopter whirlybird seeds). He must have reasoned that the propeller was going to need to spin really, really fast.

He can be forgiven for not being a very good mathematician; in fact his maths was so far off on the weight-to-lift ratio, that had he known and understood the numbers involved - he probably would have never bothered with his designs.

But he understood something would have to allow the propeller to turn extremely fast without too much fiction. And so he invented the ball bearing; providing detailed drawings of how a low coefficient of resistance would work. Pure genius; I believe this to be one of the greatest inventions, and without it there would have been no industrial revolution.

A ball bearing uses balls, rollers and a lubricating substance, to significantly reduce friction and maintain separation between surfacers. As a ball turns it has a much lower coefficient of friction (drag or resistance) than two flat surfaces moving plainly against each other. The purpose of a ball bearing is to reduce the surface area and rotational friction, while efficiently supporting a load (for example: a hub, axial or shaft). The science of lubrication is complicated but basically; a lubricate thats works is a lubricate that sees to it that the two surfaces never physically touch without the microscopic amount of lubricant.

Leonardo da Vinci is revered as a genius and luminary, even though he was very unsuccessful at anything other than his painting. Almost all of his inventions where completely impractical. His flying machines never even came close to lifting off the ground, most where in fact never even made - only conceptualised. He was quiet possibly the most impracticable man to have ever lived.

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Most parts of governments, religions, and many other parts of the world are far more complex than other ways things could be done that would work better.

If a government department is simple, more people would understand what is happening in it.

If more people understand what government is doing, more people would be able to have an opinion against it, and some would reduce support for or act against it. Those whose opinion would be positively influenced would do less than those whose opinion is negatively influenced.

Complex government departments breed other complex government departments. The more you have, the more there will be later, if few people resist.

Most people involved probably don't know they're doing it, but society evolved toward patterns where complex things survive because we don't have the brain power to understand them, which would be required to solve those problems. Complexity is a problem like AIDS. It spreads unnoticed for many years because its deep in the system (biology in this case) in ways its not easily observed, and being so well evolved with the system its hard to remove. It consumes resources to continue its own survival. It disables you just enough that its hard to fight back but little enough that you survive more years to spread it. Like we want a cure for AIDS, we should want a cure for Complexity.

Complexity is an evolved defense against progress, because progress includes many of the ways the world works, including some parts of governments and religions, becoming obsolete.

Complexity is a cost, not something to measure progress by. Something may need to be a certain level of complex to accomplish something else, but complexity by itself is negative and should be avoided like spending money. If something simpler or cheaper does the same job at least the same quality, then its a mistake to pay higher complexity or pay more of other resources.

People say things like "They spent billions of dollars researching it, and if they can't do it, why do you think you can?" Did they try spending only thousands of dollars researching it? With the ability to do complex things often comes the overlooking of simple things.

Similarly, why don't people say things like "If you want to build a system as advanced as animals or Humans, you've got to have AIDS in the system overall or something equally complex." Some parts we should not include in our world.

In open source, for example, we usually don't have the resources of a business, so we have to explore deeper into simple ways to make things work, so how are open source products staying competitive? We cure complexity because we have to. Others are still infected and allow their Complexity to refuse the cure which would obsolete itself.

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