Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, also known as the CFAA, is the federal anti-hacking statute that prohibits unauthorized access to computers and networks. It was passed in 1984, and has been used to convict thousands of people, but critics say it’s also been abused by prosecutors in cases that have nothing to do with hacking. They say the law is long overdue for an overhaul to curb misuse.

The post Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? appeared first on WIRED.

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This Artist’s Images Integrate Code From Malware Like Stuxnet and Flame

This Artist’s Images Integrate Code From Malware Like Stuxnet and Flame

James Hoff’s art glitches music and images with malware like NSA-created Stuxnet and the ILOVEYOU viruses.

The post This Artist’s Images Integrate Code From Malware Like Stuxnet and Flame appeared first on WIRED.

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Black Friday deals for Xbox One, PCs and tablets; and meet the energy sleuths — It’s (early) Weekend Reading: Nov. 26th Edition

Before you get too comfy in your chair on Thanksgiving, you’ll want to check out all the great Black Friday deals for Xbox One, PCs, tablets and more, as well as meet a passionate trio from Carnegie Mellon University who are using technology to reduce energy consumption in buildings. It’s the early edition of Weekend Reading; let’s go!

If you’ve been waiting to get an Xbox One, there’s no better time than now. Xbox One consoles, including special edition bundles Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle and Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle, will be available starting at $329 in the U.S., while supplies last, Nov. 27-29, and on Cyber Monday, online only, on Dec. 1. The $329 price is $70 off the original console price. There are also a number of Xbox Live and digital game and video deals, including 40 percent off “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition,” through the Xbox Store,” starting now.

games, Xbox One, bundles

Looking to give a new PC or tablet to a special someone (even if that special someone is you)? Check out Black Friday deals that include an 8-inch Windows tablet for $99, the new 13-inch Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2, on sale for $599 ($100 off); and the 15.6-inch Acer Aspire E5, for $399 (a $200 savings) at the Microsoft Store Nov. 27 through Dec. 2. Don’t miss other deals that are available on the Surface Pro 3, Lumia 635 phones and more, online at MicrosoftStore.com and select retailer websites.

OEM, tablet, Lenovo, YOGA Tablet 2

The 13-inch Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2.

A trio of energy sleuths at Carnegie Mellon University is working to find ways to make buildings more energy-efficient using advances in technologies such as cloud computing, data analytics and services such as Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning. Solving this issue is vitally important: In the United States, nearly 70 percent of all electricity is used for building operations — heating and cooling systems, lighting, ventilation and plug loads. Now this ardent team is slowing cracking the code, one building at a time, and in ways previously unthinkable.

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Carnegie Mellon University

The energy sleuths at Carnegie Mellon University.

If you’re still scrambling to find the perfect recipe for the holiday, Bing’s new recipe features let you look for recipes in one place as you click through a carousel with large images that help you explore dishes collected from favorite sites. Once you choose one, the recipe card shows how many people the dish will feed, and how much time it takes to make. The tabs on each card provide more information, such as ingredients, directions and reviews. Thinking about what to do with those turkey leftovers? Bing has links to some very creative recipes.

Bing recipes

You’ll be thankful, too, for these free and useful travel and holiday apps for Windows Phone, including weather app Blue Skies, which displays its information in an attractive Live Tile on your Start screen; Skyscanner, which can help you snag the best holiday airline prices, as it scans thousands of airfares from hundreds of airlines, and then makes it easy to complete purchases; and Pin.it, an easy-to-use Pinterest client that can help you scour the Web for holiday-themed recipes and decor to pin to your own, personalized ideas board. You can also save your favorite boards to your phone’s Start screen for easy access.

apps, WIndows Phone, travel, Blue Skies

The Blue Skies app for Windows Phone.

Chill out (while staying warm) with free games and music, whether you’re at home or at the airport waiting. In “Tentacles: Enter the Mind,” for Windows Phone, you go inside Dr. Phluff’s extraordinary brain. The latest update brings a new game mode, Survival, additional levels and an expanded shop. In “Chicken Invaders 4,” for Windows, you’re on the front lines of a battle against intergalactic hens and roosters that are up against a new super-weapon. Ready for some fresh tunes, and lots of free ones? The Holiday Freebies collection from Microsoft’s Music Deals app, for Windows and Windows Phone, gives you 100 albums, including Jessie J’s “Sweet Talker,” Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” for free. Yes, free. And, you’ll want to make sure you have the newly updated Viber app for Windows Phone, with more than 400 million worldwide users who use it to text, call, and send photo and video messages. It’s got a new design, better photo display in chats and improved performance.

apps, Windows Phone, Viber

Updated Viber app for Windows Phone.

This week on the Microsoft Instagram page, we spiced things up with an entrepreneur who found a way to #DoMore with sea salt.

Instagram, #DoMore, Ben Jacobsen

No matter where you spend this Thanksgiving, safe travels. And a big thanks to all of you who read Weekend Reading every week!

Posted by Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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Oops: After Threatening Hacker With 440 Years, Prosecutors Settle for a Misdemeanor

Oops: After Threatening Hacker With 440 Years, Prosecutors Settle for a Misdemeanor

The defense attorney for one young hacker with ties to Anonymous argues prosecutors indicted his client on 44 baseless felony charges as an intimidation and smear tactic.

The post Oops: After Threatening Hacker With 440 Years, Prosecutors Settle for a Misdemeanor appeared first on WIRED.

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The World’s First Computer Has Finally Been Resurrected

The World’s First Computer Has Finally Been Resurrected

How the world’s first real computer, the ENIAC, was restored by an unlikely group of conservationists—all thanks to Ross Perot.

The post The World’s First Computer Has Finally Been Resurrected appeared first on WIRED.

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Snapping photos of the future with Computer Graphics Artist Brian Townsend

Nearly everything about Brian Townsend’s job reads like science fiction. Put simply: He works in a room nicknamed “The Vault,” and he creates photographs of products that don’t yet exist. When Townsend does his job, you get a Surface tablet that’s real in every way but for one: It doesn’t yet exist in three dimensions. Not yet, anyway.

If you’re confused, believe me, you’re not alone. Townsend needed to explain his work to me several times before it finally stuck. He was patient, even enthusiastic in doing so, which kinda goes against the sci-fi stereotype. Brian Townsend, it turns out, is also kind of in awe of his job.

“It’s an interesting blend between technical ability and artistic ability,” he said. “What we do is take the CAD that the engineers produce and turn it into something that can be used to create a photorealistic image. It gives you a head start on the marketing, and it also gives you a lot more control over the look of the product.”

Okay, I get it: The Industrial Design team hands Townsend a file containing the exact specs of their latest doohickey—say, a Surface Pro tablet with a keyboard. He and his team take that file and create an exact image of it that can be used in advertising, manuals and in-store demo reels. That much, I understand. The part I don’t get is, why do that? Why not just take a photo of the latest build, and use that?

It’s to Townsend’s credit that he answers my question as if it weren’t, you know, kind of dumb.

“A lot of times, the products are still evolving by the time the marketing team needs to see them. The products aren’t done yet, so there’s no physical version that actually exists for them to be photographed.”

And even if there were a physical build, they couldn’t use that photo everywhere: “We cater to 28 different markets,” he said. That means that if he’s assigned an image of a Surface Pro with a keyboard, he has to create that piece of hardware 28 different ways. “We create a lot of images in a day,” he said, chuckling.

In that moment, which happens in the first minute of the interview, I decide that I like Townsend a lot. He’s friendly and deeply humble; rarely do you meet artists or architects who are so quick to share credit with others. He can’t seem to say enough nice things about the work he does, the people he works and the company in general. He seems like the proverbial best friend ever: the man who’s only too happy to pick you up at the airport, or help you to move a couch up a flight of stairs.

“He’s technically my boss, but it doesn’t feel like that,” said Brittany Rediger, who works alongside Townsend in the vault and assists with re-touching and localization. “I think it’s probably the best working relationship I’ve ever had.”

And as Townsend and I continue chatting, I figure out part of the reason why he is the way he is: Like me, he hails from Las Vegas, Nevada. Forgive my hometown pride, but some of the most grateful souls I’ve ever met have been Vegas natives. It’s hard to come out of that desert town being anything other.

Read the full story.

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Researchers Uncover Government Spy Tool Used to Hack Telecoms and Belgian Cryptographer

Researchers Uncover Government Spy Tool Used to Hack Telecoms and Belgian Cryptographer

Piecing together new information from various researchers, it’s clear the ‘Regin” malware is one of the most sophisticated nation-state spy tools ever found.

The post Researchers Uncover Government Spy Tool Used to Hack Telecoms and Belgian Cryptographer appeared first on WIRED.

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Technology transforms soccer, pilots use Surface Pro 3 and a peek at Black Friday deals — Weekend Reading: Nov. 21th Edition

Gooooooal! This week welcomed amazing news for fútbol — and technology. But it didn’t stop there. In honor of a high-flying few days, with big news from around the world, we bring you Weekend Reading. Buckle up.

Just in time for the 2014 MLS Cup Conference Finals, a glimpse behind the scenes of Seattle Sounders FC preparation, where technology is tracking team members to ensure they’re in top form. Devices worn by players gather information on each athlete’s energy output, endurance, sleep patterns, nutrition and fatigue. SQL Server stores and makes sense of all of that data. “It provides us a holistic view of the data and enables us to draw powerful insights from it,” says Ravi Ramineni, a performance analyst with the Sounders who built the SQL Server database.

WR_3

In other awesome soccer news, Real Madrid C.F. and Microsoft inked an agreement this week that will accelerate the digital transformation of the famed fútbol team. The alliance will revolutionize the soccer experience for members and fans of the club by providing a comprehensive online experience, as well as digital services accessible anywhere, anytime on a host of devices. “We are delighted to offer these tools to millions of Real Madrid fans worldwide and help make their passion for football much more exciting,” Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella says in a press release.

WR_2

Did we say high flying? Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines rolled out a plan this week to equip pilots with Surface Pro 3 tablets to make flight operations even more efficient. Lufthansa has purchased more than 5,000 Surface Pro 3 devices with plans to distribute them to all regions where Lufthansa flies in February and March of 2015. Austrian Airlines has already begun rolling out Surface Pro 3 to their pilots for use as electronic flight bags, replacing heavy paper-based flight kits containing navigational charts and aircraft reference materials. The airlines join Delta, which has already adopted Surface in the cockpit.

WR_1

In government news, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it’s moving 125,000 employees to a Microsoft Office 365 solution for email application and collaboration services hosted in a Government Community Cloud. The move will help agency employees work across departments more efficiently and effectively.

Don’t let all of this big news deter you from the impending holiday (gobble gobble), and the deals that await on must-haves like Surface Pro 3, Xbox One and Lumia 635 phones, among others. What’s more, you don’t have to battle the crowds to get super savings on Black Friday and beyond. Check out these deals available online at MicrosoftStore.com and select retailer websites.

WR_4

You may be planning your holiday shopping, but Christmas came early this week, with the news that HBO GO is now available on Xbox One, complete with Kinect voice and gesture control. Watch the latest episodes from shows like “True Detective,” “Game of Thrones” and “Girls,” with the wave of a hand or quick voice command. In other app news, Crunchyroll, which features Anime titles, and ENCORE Play and MOVIEPLEX Play for TV and movies – also launched this week on Xbox One. More into AFC than Anime? Catch up on (American) football with the NFL on Windows 8.

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This week on the Microsoft Instagram page, we introduced fans to photographer Justin Bastien, who is trekking across four continents to capture inspiring stories of people who #DoMore.

WR_5

Whether you’re inspired to kick the soccer ball around, or curl up on the couch with a good show, get to it! See you for a special Wednesday edition of Weekend Reading next week.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff

 

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Finally, a New Clue to Solve the CIA’s Mysterious Kryptos Sculpture

Finally, a New Clue to Solve the CIA’s Mysterious Kryptos Sculpture

In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall began to fall, American artist Jim Sanborn was busy working on his Kryptos sculpture, a cryptographic puzzle wrapped in a riddle that he created for the CIA’s headquarters and that has been driving amateur and professional cryptographers mad ever since. To honor the 25th anniversary of the Wall’s […]

The post Finally, a New Clue to Solve the CIA’s Mysterious Kryptos Sculpture appeared first on WIRED.

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