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The Y chromosome (right) is pretty minimalist compared to the X, but it holds much more history. (credit: MIT) The history of humanity, as we've read it through DNA, has been written largely by females. Mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from our mothers, is short and easy to sequence, so researchers have frequently relied on it to study human DNA, both in present populations and in old bones. But as DNA sequencing technology has improved, it has become progressively easier to sequence all the DNA that an individual carries. If said individual is a male, the resulting sequence will include the Y chromosome, which is inherited only from fathers. With more data in hand, researchers have been able to perform an analysis of the Y chromosome's history, and they've found that its sequence retains the imprint of both the migrations and technological innovations that have featured in humanity's past. How to read a Y Most chromosomes in the cell are present as two copies, which allows them to swap genetic material. Over time, this swapping will mix up the mutations that occur on the chromosome, making their history difficult to untangle. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Artondra Hall) A Baltimore judge has tossed crucial evidence obtained via a stingray in a murder case—the trial was set to begin this week. According to the Baltimore Sun, local police used the device, also known as a cell-site simulator, to locate the murder suspect in an apartment near his victim’s. In 2014, investigators used the stingray to locate the suspect, Robert Copes, who allowed them into his apartment. There, amid cleaning supplies including bleach and the phone they were looking for, police found the blood of Ina Jenkins, 34, in Copes' apartment. Jenkins' body was found “dumped across the street.” Circuit Judge Yolanda Tanner said in court Monday that while she is suppressing the evidence “with great reluctance,” Copes is “likely guilty.” Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Renzo Stanley) Jurors who don't obey a judge's admonition to refrain from researching the Internet about a case or using social media during trial could be dinged up to $1,500 under proposed California legislation. The first-of-its-kind measure, now before the California Assembly, would give a new weapon to judges in the Golden State who can already hold misbehaving jurors in contempt. But under the new law, designed to combat mistrials, a judge would have an easier time issuing a rank-and-file citation under the proposed law instead of having to go through all of the legal fuss to charge somebody with contempt. Judges routinely warn jurors not to research their case or discuss it on social media. Normally, errant jurors are dismissed without any penalty, and sometimes a mistrial ensues. Under the new law, levying a fine would be as easy as issuing a traffic ticket. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The cars in question are tiny Japanese-market "Kei" cars. (credit: Wikimedia) We've written extensively about Volkswagen Group and its attempt to pull a fast one with regard to diesel emissions here in the US and elsewhere. But VW isn't the only car maker to play fast and loose with regulators when it comes to emissions. VW's diesel scandal has resulted in increased scrutiny abroad; French authorities raided Renault in January and PSA Peugeot Citroen in April as part of ongoing investigations into diesel emissions. But the most breathtaking example must belong to Mitsubishi. On April 21, we learned that the Japanese car maker had been falsifying fuel economy tests in its home market. This came to light after Nissan (which rebadges some Mitsubishi cars) discovered the engines couldn't match Mitsubishi's numbers. That alone would have been bad enough—indeed, it wiped out a third of Mitsubishi's share price—but it seems it was just the tip of the iceberg. On Tuesday, Mitsubishi revealed it had been using the wrong fuel economy tests for "Kei" cars—small 0.6L cars made just for the Japanese domestic market—since 1991. More than 600,000 affected cars have been sold in Japan during that time. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Ron Amadeo) BlackBerry recently dumped its in-house operating system—Blackberry 10—and became one of the newest Android OEMs. It launched the BlackBerry Priv with Android 5.1 in November last year, and today we're getting an idea of what the company's major update process looks like. The Priv is being updated to Android 6.0. The initial launch of the Blackberry Priv gave us good reason to worry about BlackBerry's software acumen. It launched with Android 5.1 a month after Android 6.0 came out. What, we asked, would happen when it came time to update the Priv? If BlackBerry can't even launch with an up-to-date version of Android, how long would a big update take? The answer seems to be "six months." Marshmallow for the unlocked BlackBerry Priv is rolling out six months after the OS' release and five months after the release of the Priv. Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings support for user-controllable app permissions—an ironic omission from the Priv given that the name stands for "Privacy." Adoptable storage will be great for the Priv's MicroSD—if BlackBerry doesn't disable it. This feature turns removable storage and internal storage into a single unified pool, allowing you to install apps, media, or whatever else you want on the SD card. Standby battery life should improve with the new "Doze" feature, too. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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One of the two JLENS aerostats on the ground at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Two aerostats make up a JLENS "orbit." The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor (JLENS) system program has been savaged by the House Armed Services Committee in its markup of the Defense Department's 2017 budget. The proposed cut in funding—from the $45 million requested by the Army to a mere $2.5 million—may signal the end of a program that was a source of controversy well before one of the program's radar aerostats broke loose and drifted hundreds of miles. But that incident, which caused power outages and property damage as the wayward blimp dragged its broken tether from Aberdeen, Maryland, into central Pennsylvania, was likely responsible for the program finally being brought to heel. JLENS was originally intended to be a collection of paired radar dirigibles, tethered to the ground while floating at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. Of each pair, one aerostat would be equipped with a sensitive "look-down" phased array search radar; the other would have a targeting radar for tracking targets and guiding weapons to them. The system was intended, as the program's name suggests, to defend against submarine-launched and ship-launched cruise missiles, but it was also advertised as a way to spot low-flying aircraft, drones, swarms of small boats, and even some ground vehicles. Raytheon, the prime contractor for JLENS, and the Army tried to dispel concerns that JLENS could be used for domestic surveillance. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Artist's conception of Blizzard defending its legal rights. Weeks after forcing the shutdown of a popular, fan-run "pirate" server that ran a classic version of World of Warcraft, Blizzard now says it basically had no choice but to go after Nostalrius to protect its legal rights. "Why not just let Nostalrius continue the way it was? The honest answer is, failure to protect against intellectual property infringement would damage Blizzard’s rights," World of Warcraft Executive Producer and Vice President J. Allen Brack writes in a post on the official WoW forums. "This applies to anything that uses WoW’s IP, including unofficial servers. And while we’ve looked into the possibility—there is not a clear legal path to protect Blizzard’s IP and grant an operating license to a pirate server." In the narrowest sense, Blizzard's copyright wouldn't suddenly be invalidated if the company decided to look the other way for one popular "vanilla" server; you can't lose a copyright just by failing to defend it legally. Still, failure to go after Nostalrius would have done some damage to the idea that Blizzard is in full control of the World of Warcraft IP and could have encouraged others to think that such unofficial servers were OK. Even now, there are plenty of other pirate servers out there running previous, current, and/or modified versions of World of Warcraft, most of which have yet to draw Blizzard's legal fire. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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iPhone sales account for a huge chunk of Apple's revenue, so slower iPhone sales means a lot less revenue. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple will report its earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 at 5pm EDT/2pm PDT, and as usual Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson and I will be following along with the call and providing charts and commentary. Apple is expected to report its first year-over-year revenue decline since 2003, mainly due to lower iPhone sales. Apple's own forecasts predict revenue between $50 billion and $53 billion, well short of the $58 billion it earned in Q2 of 2015 though still higher than the $45.6 billion in revenue it earned in Q2 of 2014. The outsized success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last year set a tough benchmark for the company, and pent-up demand for the larger phones left over from Q1 of 2015 also made Q2 sales higher than they may otherwise have been. A slowing economy in China, Apple's fastest-growing market, could also affect growth this quarter, while increased pressure from the Chinese government could impact future growth. Apple introduced a handful of new products in the second quarter, which runs from the beginning of January to the end of March, but they were all introduced late enough in the quarter that we won't know how much of a difference they made until next quarter. New devices include the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro, though price drops for the iPad Air 2 and a new capacity for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro could conceivably shore up the perennially backsliding iPad sales. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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(credit: Anne Frank House) Anne Frank was a teenager who is now known the world over for her diary of life in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. She died in February or March 1945, at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where was she held, shortly before it was liberated. Since the applicable term of copyright in the EU is 70 years after the death of a writer, this means that her famous diary should now be in the public domain. That is the supposed deal of copyright: in return for a time-limited monopoly enforced by the state, a protected work passes into the public domain after the copyright term expires, after which it can be freely used by anyone for any purpose. So why isn't The Diary of a Young Girl free now? The answer to that question reveals the patchwork nature of copyright in the EU, and the absurdly long duration that makes it unsuited for a digital world where sharing and reuse is the norm. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Maria Elena) Facebook doesn't like the fact that most users don't dwell in the social network; they just passively visit on a daily basis. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company may be looking to change this "bad" habit by developing a standalone camera app that would encourage creating and sharing photos and videos all within Facebook. "People familiar with the matter" claim that Facebook's "friend-sharing" team has developed a prototype for an app that would open to a camera and allow users not only to take and share photos but also to record video and start livestreams as well. If the app opens to a camera, it would make it much like Snapchat. Facebook has tried in the past to make a Snapchat-like competitor app called Slingshot that lets users share photos and videos that disappeared after 24 hours. Facebook also dabbled in photo editing and sharing apps—the company developed the aptly named Camera app only to abandon it and Slingshot when neither caught on with users. Facebook-owned Instagram certainly doesn't have a problem with users just passively visiting the app. That social network has become a place for the most manicured photos, but Facebook is focusing on spontaneous image and video capturing with this latest effort. While Instagram makes users go through multiple steps before posting an image (upload, crop, add filter, edit, write caption, etc), it's likely that Facebook's standalone camera app would encourage users to post without thinking twice. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Specs at a glance: Huawei P9 Screen 5.2-inch, FHD (1920x1080) OS Android 6 Marshmallow with Emotion UI 4.1 CPU Huawei Kirin 955 (64-bit), Octa-core (4x 2.5GHz A72, 4x 1.8 GHz A53) RAM 3GB/4GB (64GB model) GPU Mali-T880 MP4 Storage 32GB or 64GB, plus micro SD expansion Networking 802.11 Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz) Ports USB Type-C, headphone jack Camera 2x 12MP Sony IMX286 sensors, Leica Summarit H 1:2.2/27 lenses,  f/2.2, 27mm focal length  Dimensions 145mm x 70.9mm x 6.95mm Weight 144g Battery 3000mAh Network Bands Bands 13, 25, 29, 30, and 41 are not supported Other perks RAW image support Release date Available to pre-order now; release date in the UK will be sometime in May Price £449/€599 for 32GB model A few years ago, in a classic ham-fisted fumble involving a pint of beer and a cat video, I dropped my Nexus 5. The colourful 1080p screen that I had spent so much of my free time pawing at was left shattered and unusable. Money was tight at the time, and so rather than get the Nexus fixed or buy an entirely new phone, I called in a favour from a journalist friend. The next day, I was the proud borrower of a Huawei P7, the Chinese company's first real stab at a flagship Android phone. I'd never used a Huawei phone before, and at first I was pleasantly surprised. The build quality was excellent even if the design was rather nondescript, and it had a bright 1080p IPS screen. My excitement dwindled, however, when I flicked the P7 on and was presented with one of the most outrageously aggressive Android skins I'd ever seen. The icons had been squished, and given an odd iOS-like sheen, while the app drawer I loved from the stock KitKat build on the Nexus had been entirely removed in favour of shoving all the apps onto the home screen. Indeed, the deeper I dove, the more I found had been changed by Huawei's Emotion UI. Settings weren't where I expected to find them, while various menu designs had been given a visual tweak that didn't match other parts of the OS. In short, the P7 was mess—and it was slow and laggy too. This was a classic case of great hardware being marred by terrible software, and it wasn't long before I bit the bullet and bought a new phone just so I could get back to something that at least vaguely approached a stock Android experience. Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Vector could begin orbital flights of its micro-rocket by 2018. (credit: Vector Space Systems) Before he founded SpaceX to colonize Mars, Elon Musk turned to long-time aerospace veteran Jim Cantrell in 2001 for advice. The rocket-building bug hadn’t bit Musk yet, but the tech prodigy still wanted to make a grand gesture to get NASA and the rest of the world talking about Mars. Musk had settled upon the idea of sending mice to Mars and back, having them procreate along the way. With about $20 million to burn, Mush sought to buy three old Russian ICBMs and retrofit them as launch vehicles. It was a crazy plan. But Cantrell, who had worked with the Soviet and then the Russian space program for more than two decades, agreed to help smooth negotiations with the Russians. The scheme fell apart of course, but that failure led Musk to the epiphany that he should build his own rockets, and he founded SpaceX in June 2002. Cantrell said at the time the only foreseeable money-making pathway was big payloads: multiton communications and national security satellites.“In those days, you’d look at the market, and the only rational decision you could make was to start small and grow the size of the vehicle,” Cantrell said. Cantrell left SpaceX in 2002, seeing the venture as too risky and unlikely to turn a profit. (It succeeded, he said, because Musk could not conceive of failure). However, even as SpaceX has become a dominant player in the large satellite launch industry, the small satellite industry has grown rapidly. The miniaturization of communications and imaging satellites has led to a new generation of rocket companies, such as Firefly Space Systems and Rocket Lab, which have built smaller launchers. Their rockets will generally heft payloads larger than 100kg into Sun-synchronous orbits 500km or higher. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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NEW YORK—This year at the Tribeca Film Festival, we tried the many alternate uses for Virtual Reality storytelling (aside from gaming), but we also found four documentaries that appealed to our nerd tendencies. Do Not Resist Do Not Resist (84 minutes), winner of best documentary feature at TFF, opens with more than 9 minutes of footage from the Ferguson, Missouri, protests in 2015. Shots of angry crowds and police in riot gear lead to foreboding lightning flashes in the clouds as police use tear gas and enforce a curfew. Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Jim Resnick With 707hp under the hood, there aren't many cars as powerful as the Dodge Hellcat. 8 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } Henry Kissinger once famously said "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac." This may have been Kissinger's most lucid moment. The statement is certainly a glass full of lucidity in the face of combustion run amok under the $62,495 Dodge Challenger Hellcat's hood. One could easily get hung up on statistics here. Peak horsepower of 707 (527kW). Peak torque of 650 lb-ft (881Nm). A supercharger that, by itself, displaces greater swept volume (2.4L) than most of the world's automotive engines. And 110bar—nearly 1,600psi—of combustion pressure in each cylinder all paint a picture not so much of internal combustion, but of internal warfare. It all started with a rather innocuous conversation between then-head of Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology division, Ralph Gilles, and Hellcat Chief Engineer Chris Cowland. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: Withings) Nokia has confirmed plans to acquire French smart watch and fitness gizmo maker Withings for £132 million (~€170 million, $190 million) in an all-cash offer. After selling off its mobile phone business and Here maps division, Nokia seems to be returning to consumer-facing products once again with its planned buyout. France-based Withings was founded in 2008, and since then has released a number of connected health appliances, including smart watches, fitness trackers, thermometers, and baby monitors, among other gadgets. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Video edited by Jenifer Hahn. (video link) OCOTILLO WELLS, Calif.—The area of the Southern California desert we were standing in made for a decent visual fill-in for the Red Planet—simply change the tint of the landscape and get rid of the sparse scrub on the nearby hillsides. At this site in a large, open-air mine near the Salton Sea, a few people in hard hats were gathered around a tall stand with a tether in the middle that dropped into a small hole in the ground. The area was silent except for a hum of a large compressor. "That's for cooling," explained Kris Zacny, an engineer for Honeybee Robotics. "We won't need cooling on Mars." Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Photos used in Dvach's doxing campaign. (credit: Tjournal.ru) This story originally appeared on Global Voices Advocacy The developers behind “FindFace,” which uses facial recognition software to match random photographs to people’s social media pages on Vkontakte, say the service is designed to facilitate making new friends. Released in February this year, FindFace started gaining popularity in March, after a software engineer named Andrei Mima wrote about using the service to track down two women he photographed six years earlier on a street in St. Petersburg. (They’d asked him to take a picture of them, but he never got their contact information, so he wasn’t able to share it with them, at the time.) From the start, FindFace has raised privacy concerns. (Even in his glowing recommendation, Mima addressed fears that the service further erodes people’s freedoms in the age of the Internet.) In early April, a young artist named Egor Tsvetkov highlighted how invasive the technology can be, photographing random passengers on the St. Petersburg subway and matching the pictures to the individuals’ Vkontakte pages, using FindFace. “In theory,” Tsvetkov told RuNet Echo, this service could be used by a serial killer or a collector trying to hunt down a debtor.” Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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"All your friends are out of the game, Wolf! Don't make me shoot you down!" Thus begins A Fox In Space, the best fan-made Nintendo cartoon I've probably ever seen. (credit: Matthew Gafford / A Fox In Space) After watching the first 12-minute episode of A Fox In Space, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was somehow an official Nintendo project. Maybe some hip promotions person at the big N thought an Adult Swim-caliber, '70s animation throwback series starring characters from the Star Fox games would make for some good PR—especially with a new Star Fox Wii U game hitting store shelves. A Fox In Space. Warning: This video contains a few curse words, in case that makes it NSFW for you. As it turns out, the above video wasn't made by Nintendo, or Adult Swim, or any established animation house, really. A Fox In Space is largely credited to a self-taught artist named Matthew Gafford, and in addition to serving as the cartoon's sole animator, he was also its scriptwriter, editor, director, soundtrack co-writer, and lead voice actor for most of the characters. The result is a high-quality tale whose dark-comedy atmosphere and animation styles recall the best of Heavy Metal and Don Bluth. Episode one finds the series' rival faction, Star Wolf, exploiting a rare moment of Fox McCloud emotional weakness, and its opening Arwing battle montage gives way to a lower-key kidnapping plot. The voice acting is shockingly on-target for the aesthetic—and I'm particularly stunned by the animator pulling off such quality, different-sounding voices for Fox and Wolf—while the slow-but-simmering pacing still leaves room for a lot of impressive animation and beautiful scenery design. (Plus, I'm partial to the cartoon's gags about silly series elements like Fox's legs.) Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Jennifer Cramblett with her daughter Payton in 2014. (credit: Family via Georgia Newsday) An Ohio woman has sued a sperm bank that mistakenly gave her sperm from an African-American donor. Plaintiff Jennifer Cramblett, who is white, gave birth to her mixed-race daughter Payton three years ago. In her lawsuit (PDF), she says that the sperm bank's mix-up led to "an unplanned transracial parent-child relationship for which she was not, and is not, prepared." Cramblett was artificially inseminated with sperm she ordered from Illinois-based Midwest Sperm Bank, meant to be from Donor No. 380, a Caucasian man. Five months into her pregnancy, she found out that she had actually been sent a sample from Donor No. 330, an African-American male. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Band of Holes in a photograph taken by drone. The road stretches for a mile up a mountain top, and may be the remains of a structure used for collecting and measuring food tributes for the Inca state. (credit: Charles Stanish) The Inca Empire covered vast parts of South America, uniting distant cities in Chile, Peru, and even Argentina with well-engineered highways. Sophisticated agricultural systems and architecture allowed the Inca to live on the steep slopes and jagged peaks of mountains. And they did it all without money or markets as we know them. Instead, Inca leaders had an elaborate system of tributes or taxes that took the form of the land's most precious resource: food. But how do you quantify many different forms of tribute—from squash and rope to corn and peppers—without a system like money to measure exchange value? Perhaps by inventing other systems of measurement. Archaeologists are exploring a mile-long road made entirely of shallow, rock-lined holes that may have once been a dropoff point for Inca food tributes. Dubbed the "Band of Holes," the road climbs the slope of Peru's Monte Sierpe, in a region that has been home to complex human settlements for thousands of years. The rock here is so hard that the people who built it did not bother to dig their carefully sized holes (each is about 3 feet wide and 20-40 inches deep); instead, they constructed the nearly 6,000 holes out of soil and fist-sized rocks they brought from elsewhere. Seen from above, the Band of Holes looks like ribbon of precisely placed firepits, or maybe an infinite punchcard. Though locals have always known about the Band of Holes, it's possible that archaeologists have ignored it because it's hard to see except from the air. The first modern-day record we have of the structure comes from an aerial photograph taken in 1931, and today two archaeologists, Charles Stanish and Henry Tantaleán, are exploring it with drones. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Cole Marshall's house—and a welcome message from Charter. (credit: Cole Marshall) The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission chairman have formally signed off on the blockbuster deal that allows Charter Communications to purchase Time Warner Cable for $78 billion and Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion. However, both agencies expressed conditions that the telcos must abide by for the deal to go through. The remaining full FCC must now vote on the proposed deal. As Ars reported earlier, Charter is now set to become the nation's second largest Internet service provider after Comcast, with the two companies controlling the majority of high-speed Internet subscriptions. Comcast struck a deal to buy Time Warner Cable in February 2014, but it failed to convince the FCC and DOJ to approve that merger. Among other things, the agencies were concerned that a bigger Comcast would try to harm online video providers that need access to Comcast's broadband network. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Bangladesh central bank had no firewall and was using a second-hand $10 network when it was hacked earlier this year. Investigation by British defense contractor BAE Systems has also shown that the SWIFT software used to make payments was compromised, enabling the hackers to send money around the world without leaving any trace in Bangladesh. In February, unknown hackers broke into the Bangladesh Bank and almost got away with just shy of $1 billion. In the event, their fraudulent transactions were cancelled after they managed to transfer $81 million when a typo raised concerns about one of the transactions. That money is still unrecovered, but BAE has published some of its findings. The SWIFT organization is owned by 3,000 financial companies and operates a network for sending financial transactions between financial institutions. Institutions using the network must have existing banking relationships; SWIFT transactions do not actually send money but instead send payment orders that must then be settled by having the institutions involved moving money between accounts. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: CloudFlare) In less than two months, online businesses have paid more than $100,000 to scammers who set up a fake distributed denial-of-service gang that has yet to launch a single attack. The charlatans sent businesses around the globe extortion e-mails threatening debilitating DDoS attacks unless the recipients paid as much as $23,000 by Bitcoin in protection money, according to a blog post published Monday by CloudFlare, a service that helps protect businesses from such attacks. Stealing the name of an established gang that was well known for waging such extortion rackets, the scammers called themselves the Armada Collective. "If you don't pay by [date], attack will start, yours service going down permanently price to stop will increase to increase to 20 BTC and will go up 10 BTC for every day of the attack," the typical demand stated. "This is not a joke." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc. (left) and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah (center) are both signatories to a letter demanding answers about how many Americans have had their information caught up by NSA "upstream" data collection. (credit: Getty Images) On Friday, a group of members of Congress who are central to the surveillance debate demanded some kind of answer, even a vague one, about how many Americans are having their data harvested by surveillance programs. In a sharply worded letter (PDF) to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 14 members of the House Judiciary Committee insisted he provide some type of "public estimate" of the number of US communications that are being caught up in surveillance programs authorized by Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. That's the law that spy agencies like the NSA use to justify "upstream collection" of bulk data from Internet infrastructure. "We note that we are not the first to ask you for this basic information," states the group of representatives. They mentioned that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and former Sen. Mark Udall (D-N.M.) have asked for such information since 2011. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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(credit: US DefenseImagery) Opening a new front in its campaign to defeat Islamic State terrorists, the US military has, for the first time, directed its Cyber Command to mount hacking attacks against ISIS computers and networks, The New York Times reported Sunday. While US National Security Agency hackers have targeted ISIS members for years, its military counterpart, the Cyber Command, virtually conducted no attacks against the terrorist organization. The new campaign reflects President Obama's desire to bring the types of clandestine military hacking operations that have targeted Iran and other nations to the battle against ISIS. According to the NYT: The goal of the new campaign is to disrupt the ability of the Islamic State to spread its message, attract new adherents, circulate orders from commanders and carry out day-to-day functions, like paying its fighters. A benefit of the administration’s exceedingly rare public discussion of the campaign, officials said, is to rattle the Islamic State’s commanders, who have begun to realize that sophisticated hacking efforts are manipulating their data. Potential recruits may also be deterred if they come to worry about the security of their communications with the militant group. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter is among those who have publicly discussed the new mission, but only in broad terms, and this month the deputy secretary of defense, Robert O. Work, was more colorful in describing the effort. “We are dropping cyberbombs,” Mr. Work said. “We have never done that before.” The campaign began by installing several implants in the militants’ networks to learn the online habits of commanders. Now, Cyber Command members plan to imitate the commanders or alter their messages. The goal is to redirect militants to areas more vulnerable to attack by American drones or local ground forces. In other cases, officials said, US military hackers may use attacks to interrupt electronic transfers and misdirect payments. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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