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lock security

Christopher Chaney, a "Hollywood hacker" who infiltrated email accounts and leaked nude photos of celebrities and other women, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, the AP reports. Chaney was caught three years after he began efforts to illegally gain access to private accounts and photos, and broke into accounts belonging to Hollywood notables including Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis, and Scarlett Johansson -- prosecutors said that he accessed more than 50 email accounts between November 2010 and October 2011. Prosecutors recommended a nearly six-year sentence for Chaney plus $150,000 in damages, but the court landed on a harsher penalty, opting to lock him away for a decade.

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Pigeon service

European intelligence experts last month hit a dead end in their efforts to decode a secret World War II message that had originally been dispatched on the leg of a pigeon (and later found among its remains.) The blocks of random letters could not be understood without the code book from which the message was sourced, they said; the mystery could easily go forever unsolved. Yet thanks to a Canadian researcher with an inherited piece of World War II intelligence — his great-uncle's aerial observers' book, to be specific — we're now able to read the wartime communication. With the document in hand, Gord Young needed only 17 minutes to decipher the message, which pertained to the positioning of German troops in Normandy.

However,...

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journey soundtrack

The New York Public Library has played host to book clubs, film clubs, and since May of this year, a video game club. Polygon takes a look at the month-long sessions headed by senior librarian Thomas Knowlton, in which attendees take turns playing through and discussing primarily independent games. The club began with Journey, and the latest cycle features games that focus on issues like child abuse, poverty, hormone therapy, and space travel. For more on Knowlton's future plans for the club — and the possibility of analyzing Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series — check out the full story at the source link below.

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HTML5 Logo

Today, the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) is announcing that it’s completed its three-year quest to finalize the HTML5 specification. As the W3C says in its press release, "HTML5 is the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform," the cross-platform programming environment usually referred to by the umbrella term "web standards." HTML5 and related technologies like JavaScript and CSS provide a way to write rich web applications designed to run on any device that follows the specifications, and many companies are hitching their futures to the platform’s success. But despite the fact that the specification is now feature complete, meaning nothing more will be added to it, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done before HTML5...

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colbert schmidt google interview

Recently, Stephen Colbert swung by Google’s New York Office for a turn as interviewee at the hand of chairman Eric Schmidt. After opening with an esoteric question about what the title of Colbert’s newest book means — it’s called America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness we Never Weren’t — the conversation moves on to the infamous Bush White House Correspondents Dinner and the differences between Colbert the man and Colbert the character. The comedian lets the truthiness fly when Schmidt jokingly tries to cajole him into starting a YouTube show, saying "does that violate my contract with Viacom to have that? You guys had a billion-dollar lawsuit against each other, you realize. And Sumner Redstone would rather see your head on...

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Rick-lori-shane-barn-760_large_verge_bw_large

AMC will be rebroadcasting the first and second season of The Walking Dead in black and white, it seems. A clip from what appears to the The Walking Dead Magazine, posted on Twitter and retweeted by Walking Dead producer Glen Mazzara, reports that the entirety of Season 1 and 2 in black and white will start airing in February, probably around the same time as the second half of Season 3, which started in October. It's not the first time this has been done: a desaturated version of the pilot was first included as a DVD extra, then broadcast on AMC this summer, though this is the first time other episodes will get the same treatment. This version of the show echoes both the original black and white comic and the original modern zombie...

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Photo

Yesterday saw the outage of several Google services including Gmail and Drive, and the unexplained issue also caused many Chrome browsers to crash. In a thread on the Chromium developer forum, Google Software engineer Tim Steele explained that the issues were due to a misconfigured server that took out Google's Sync platform.

As Wired points out, bad web coding can often cause a browser to crash, but this was something different: the coding of a cloud-based service designed to help you browse caused browsers to crash without any user action. As more people turn to cloud services to help us organize and store our data, the impact of such outages may be far greater.

Update: Google has released the following statement.

"Earlier today,...

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Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page has sat down with Fortune's Miguel Helft for an extensive interview covering his company's mobile strategy, current performance, and future goals. Excerpts from that interview have just been posted online, showing a guarded Larry evading the most pointed questions about who Google perceives as its competitors and how it intends to better monetize its mobile services, but he does deliver a few more forthright comments. On the topic of the internet, Google's co-founder and boss is disappointed to see it growing more "island-like" and isolated into portal websites instead of the old wide-open digital prairie it once was.

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MIT transistor

Researchers from MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories claim to have created the smallest transistor ever to be made out of a material other than silicon. The transistor is made of indium gallium arsenide, a material already used in fiber-optic and radar technologies, and is just 22 nanometers thick — the size of about nine strands of human DNA. Because this is the same type of transistor typically used in microprocessors, it could mean more densely packed — and consequently higher performance — chips.

Researchers hope to have found an alternative to silicon, the speed and effectiveness of which dwindles on extremely small scales, threatening the forward progress predicted by Moore's Law. Co-developer and MIT professor Jesús...

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Cell

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have been developing and testing a new cancer treatment that reprograms T-cells using a disabled form of HIV to fight leukemia. The New York Times tells the story of Emma Whitehead, a seven-year-old who is now in complete remission after receiving a T-cell transplant to combat the disease. So far, only twelve patients have received the experimental treatment, but four of them — including Emma — have made a full recovery as a result. For more on the new technique that some doctors say could be a "major breakthrough," check out the full article at the source link below.

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