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Net Neutrality - Think Of The Porn!

Since the current FCC's chief's decision to roll back Obama-era "net neutrality" rules, there have been numerous calls against this from individuals, companies and industries.

The latest industry to speak up is - the porn industry. I had to smile a little while reading the various quotes in the article here, as they put a good public relations face on things, alluding to freedom of speech and other noble concepts. "What people sometimes miss, especially in the United States and Western Europe, is that sexual speech is political speech. The same governments that severely restrict adult content are also the ones that limit sexual expression, LGBTQ rights, women's rights and access to different ideas."  xHamster spokesman Alex Hawkins Motherboard
Recent posts

Is AtariBox Really A Thing?

A recent YouTube video appeared to be a teaser for some kind of presumed retro gaming console rebirth from Atari (yes, they are still around in a greatly emaciated form). One one hand, this might seem like a possibility, as last year's Nintendo Classic console showed there was still quite a bit if interest in those older classic games.
On the other hand, the fact that Atari apparently has little money and only a very few remaining employees, make it possible the thing is a hoax, or some kind of weird attention-getting ploy to see if there is any interest in such a product. 
Notwithstanding a recent "official" Tweet that the AtariBox is going to be a product, I would say the jury is still out on this one. The Ataribox video is a cut-price Apple-style effort and runs just 21 seconds. It's on its own website, where links to jobs and press are no more than email pop-ups. The proxy domain ownership and lack of connection to Atari lead some to believe it was a hoax – why …

Relax, The T-Rex Probably Did Not Have (Many) Feathers

I confess I don't keep up with the latest dinosaur research - I get my info primarily from the Jurassic Park movies - and so I was not aware that apparently that these days the Tyrannosaurus Rex was thought to have feathers rather than scales.
So we are saying was a giant, ferocious chicken that could flip over cars and bite through buses . . .
Not so fast though, as a new discovery has found fossilized T Rex skin showing scales instead of feathers - which frankly makes me a lot more comfortable in my own little dinosaur world. The chicken thing just does not do it for me.
Some scientists seem to be reluctant to fully abandon the feather thing though. I think they maybe just need to get out more and catch a movie or something. I can suggest a couple that might help them. University of London paleontologist David Hone, who was not involved in the research, told the [Washington] Post that the research “doesn't rule out feathers on... tyrannosaurs, but does suggest they lacked a …

Black Panther Trailer Is Out

Marvel has unleashed a poster and shortly thereafter a teaser trailer for the Black Panther solo movie. I very much enjoyed the character in Captain America: Civil War, and the way he appeared on screen was very cool - a lithe, mysterious and powerful hero who managed to pull off a costume that featured cat ears.


The poster - I have to be honest - I don't like. I say that only because it has that heavily "photoshopped" look about it (or "airbrushed" as we would say back in the day). The throne setting looks fine, and Chadwick Boseman as our hero looks suitably regal, if a bit too smooth and plastic.
The trailer was much better, although my lack of comic book knowledge led me to be a bit confused as to who was fighting or challenging whom towards the end of it. It did lay out the premise that the land of Wakanda is keeping it's advanced technology under wraps from the rest of the world, presenting itself as a poor African country - a secret uncovered by ret…

DARPA Funding "Direct Cortical Interface"

DARPA - the research division of the Department of Defense in the US - is putting up $60 million to work towards a much better brain-computer interface. While we already have such things, they can generally only interface with a small number of neurons in the brain. The neuron is the basic working unit of the brain, a specialized cell designed to transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells.
The DARPA version of this interface (direct cortical interface) would hope to connect with as many hundreds of thousands of neurons, obviously a dramatic improvement. A fully functional brain-computer interface on this scale would, in theory, turn a person into a programmable, debuggable machine—just like a computer. What used to be accomplished through drugs, training, education and psychotherapy could someday be achieved by more direct means. The goal is something akin to the scene in “The Matrix” where Keanu Reeves’s character learns kung fu from a quick download. While on…

Ransomware - Hold On To You Butts

With apologies to Samuel L Jackson's character in 1993's Jurassic Park, be prepared to hold on as the WannaCry/Wanna Crypt ransomware scourge is likely just the first in a series of things to come.
The main reasons are that there is more money to be made, and there are still exploits and tools waiting in the wings from the recent NSA "dump". So we can logically expect a continuation of this sort of thing, making a lot of IT department's lives miserable in the coming months. “The ransomware payload wasn’t all that novel,” said Jack Danahy, CTO of Barkly Protects, a company that provides enterprise anti-malware defenses. “What they did used a new technique to spread itself using an exploit called Eternal Blue which was revealed by ShadowBrokers.” eWeek

The Nuts And Bolts Of WannaCry Ransomware

Cisco's Talos Intelligence Group has a technical write-up of the WannaCry-type ransomware that is causing so much churn this week. Some of the workings of the malware are interesting, if not unique, such as deleting any existing shadow copies on the victim's system. The file tasksche.exe checks for disk drives, including network shares and removable storage devices mapped to a letter, such as 'C:/', 'D:/' etc. The malware then checks for files with a file extension as listed in the appendix and encrypts these using 2048-bit RSA encryption. While the files are being encrypted, the malware creates a new file directory 'Tor/' into which it drops tor.exe and nine dll files used by tor.exe. Additionally, it drops two further files: taskdl.exe & taskse.exe. The former deletes temporary files while the latter launches @wanadecryptor@.exe to display the ransom note on the desktop to the end user.
http://blog.talosintelligence.com/2017/05/wannacry.…