Secret Box of the Talambur

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An anonymous reader writes “In this article, security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani shows how iOS insecurely launches third-party apps via registered URL handlers. Malicious websites can abuse this to launch arbitrary applications, such as getting the Skype.app to make arbitrary phone calls without asking the user. Dhanjani ‘contacted Apple’s security team to discuss this behavior, and their stance is that the onus is on the third-party applications (more…)

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  • Scientists Turn Skin Into Blood

    Breakthru writes “In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin. The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature today, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. (more…)

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  • In Praise of Procrastination

    Ponca City writes “Every year, millions of Americans pay needless penalties because they don’t file their taxes on time, forgo huge amounts of money in matching 401(k) contributions because they never get around to signing up for a retirement plan, and risk blindness from glaucoma because they don’t use their eyedrops regularly. James Surowiecki writes that procrastination is a basic human impulse, a peculiar irrationality stemming from our relationship (more…)

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  • Another Leak Delays Final Discovery Launch

    vsolepr writes “Today’s scheduled launch was scrubbed because of a gaseous hydrogen leak near the spacecraft’s external tank. This is the fourth time in the past week that Discovery’s launch was delayed due to various leaks and electrical issues. NASA now is aiming for a launch date no earlier than Nov. 30.”

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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  • Do Firefox Users Pay More For Car Loans?

    RandyOo writes “Someone wrote in to The Consumerist to report an interesting discovery: while shopping online for a car loan, Capital One offered him different rates, depending on the browser he used! Firefox yielded the highest rate at 3.5%, Opera took second place with 3.1%, Safari was only 2.7%, and finally, Google’s Chrome browser afforded him the best rate of all: 2.3%! A commenter on the article claims to have been previously employed by Capital (more…)

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  • Adobe To Push Emergency Fix For Flash Bug

    Trailrunner7 writes “Adobe has moved up the release date for the patch for the critical bug in Adobe Flash Player revealed last week, and now plans to have an emergency fix ready on Thursday. The company still plans to patch Reader two weeks from now. The vulnerability in Flash also exists in Reader and researchers said last week that attackers had already begun exploiting the bug in Reader by the time that Adobe acknowledged the problem and published (more…)

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  • NSF Funds Data Anonymization Project

    Trailrunner7 writes “A group of researchers from Purdue University has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation to help fund an ongoing project that’s investigating how well current techniques for anonymizing data are working and whether there’s a need for better methods. The grant will help to further research from computer scientists and linguists, who are looking at ways in which people can still be identified through textual (more…)

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  • Saving Lives On the Battlefield With Green Tech

    Harperdog writes “This article describes the efforts by some in the Pentagon to save lives by using renewable energy in the battlefield. ‘Seventy percent of all convoys carried liquid fossil fuels, and attacks on convoys … account for about half of all the casualties. Generators consumed more of the fuel brought in than did combat vehicles and air support.’ It’s a good description of energy efficient projects already happening in Iraq. ‘… the (more…)

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  • How Much Math Do We Really Need?

    Pickens writes “G.V. Ramanathan, a professor emeritus of mathematics, statistics and computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes in the Washington Post that although a lot of effort and money has been spent to make mathematics seem essential, unlike literature, history, politics and music, math has little relevance to everybody’s daily life. ‘All the mathematics one needs in real life can be learned in early years without much (more…)

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  • New York Judge Rules 6-Year-Old Can Be Sued

    suraj.sun sends this snippet from Reuters: “A girl can be sued over accusations she ran over an elderly woman with her training bicycle when she was 4 years old, a New York Supreme Court justice has ruled. The ruling by King’s County Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten stems from an incident in April 2009 when Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, both aged four, struck an 87-year-old pedestrian, Claire Menagh, with their training bikes. Menagh underwent (more…)

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