EFAIL: Critical Flaw in PGP Implementations in Email Clients

May 16th, 2018

Via: EFAIL:

The EFAIL attacks exploit vulnerabilities in the OpenPGP and S/MIME standards to reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails. In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active content of HTML emails, for example externally loaded images or styles, to exfiltrate plaintext through requested URLs.


The Future of Border Security: Lie-Detecting Computer Kiosks Equipped with Artificial Intelligence

May 15th, 2018

Magic 8-Ball says, “Orange jumpsuit for you.”

Via: CNBC:

International travelers could find themselves in the near future talking to a lie-detecting kiosk when they’re going through customs at an airport or border crossing. The same technology could be used to provide initial screening of refugees and asylum seekers at busy border crossings.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security funded development of the virtual border agent technology known as the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time, or AVATAR, about six years ago and pilot tested it at the U.S.-Mexico border on travelers deemed a low risk. Since then, Canada and the European Union tested the robot-like kiosk that uses a virtual agent to ask travelers a series of questions.

“The technology has much broader applications potentially,” despite most of the funding for the original work coming primarily from the Defense or Homeland Security departments a decade ago, according to Aaron Elkins, one of the developers of the system and an assistant professor at the San Diego State University director of its Artificial Intelligence Lab. He added that AVATAR is not a commercial product yet but could be also used in human resources for screening.


Tesla Moves Toward Opening Manufacturing Facility in China

May 14th, 2018

Gigafactory 2 announcement soon?

Via: Reuters:

Tesla Inc has registered a new electric car firm in Shanghai, as China prepares to scrap rules on capping foreign ownership of new-energy vehicle (NEV) ventures.

The new company, Tesla (Shanghai) Co Ltd, was registered on May 10, according to a filing with the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System seen by Reuters.

The new company will focus on electric cars, spare parts and batteries, according to the filing.

The U.S. carmaker has been in protracted negotiations to set up its own plant in Shanghai to produce vehicles locally, helping bolster its position in the country’s fast-growing market for electric cars and to avoid high import tariffs.


Israeli Forces Kill Dozens, Wound Thousands in Gaza as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem

May 14th, 2018

Update: Photos (WARNING: GRAPHIC)

Via: Daily Mail:

Israeli snipers have killed scores of Palestinians and wounded thousands more as 35,000 protesters rallied against the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem overseen by Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.

A 14-year-old was among 52 shot dead along the Gaza border on what is already the deadliest single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 war between the Jewish state and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.

At least 2,400 more have been injured with hundreds of them by live bullets, according to Gaza officials as the Palestinian government accused Israel of committing a ‘terrible massacre’ and Amnesty International called the bloodshed an ‘abhorrent violation’ of human rights.

This afternoon a White House delegation – including Ivanka Trump and her husband – gathered for an inauguration ceremony for the opening of the new embassy alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The US President tossed aside decades of precedent when he recognised the city as Israel’s capital in December – a decision that sparked global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis.

Update: Thousands Wounded

Via: Irish Independent:

The Palestinian death toll from Israeli live fire in protests along the Gaza-Israel border on Monday rose to 52, a Palestinian health ministry official said.

Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinians taking part in mass protests on the Gaza border on Monday as the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said the dead included six children under the age of 18. About 2,400 Palestinians had been wounded, about half of them by live bullets.

Via: Reuters:

Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinians taking part in mass protests on the Gaza border on Monday as the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

The U.S. relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv fulfilled a pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has recognized the holy city as the Israeli capital, but it has fired Palestinian anger and drawn criticism from many foreign governments as a setback to peace efforts.

At the embassy inauguration ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for “having the courage to keep your promises”.

“What a glorious day for Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech. “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”


Scientists to Grow ‘Mini-Brains’ Using Neanderthal DNA

May 14th, 2018

Via: Guardian:

Scientists are preparing to create “miniature brains” that have been genetically engineered to contain Neanderthal DNA, in an unprecedented attempt to understand how humans differ from our closest relatives.

In the next few months the small blobs of tissue, known as brain organoids, will be grown from human stem cells that have been edited to contain “Neanderthalised” versions of several genes.

The lentil-sized organoids, which are incapable of thoughts or feelings, replicate some of the basic structures of an adult brain. They could demonstrate for the first time if there were meaningful differences between human and Neanderthal brain biology.

“Neanderthals are the closest relatives to everyday humans, so if we should define ourselves as a group or a species it is really them that we should compare ourselves to,” said Prof Svante Pääbo, director of the genetics department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where the experiments are being performed.

Pääbo previously led the successful international effort to crack the Neanderthal genome, and his lab is now focused on bringing Neanderthal traits back to life in the laboratory through sophisticated gene-editing techniques.


Tesla’s Giant Battery in Australia Reduced Grid Service Cost by 90%

May 11th, 2018

Via: Electrek:

Tesla’s giant Powerpack battery in Australia has been in operation for about 6 months now and we are just starting to discover the magnitude of its impact on the local energy market.

A new report now shows that it reduced the cost of the grid service that it performs by 90% and it has already taken a majority share of the market.
When an issue happens or maintenance is required on the power grid in Australia, the Energy Market Operator calls for FCAS (frequency control and ancillary services) which consists of large and costly gas generators and steam turbines kicking in to compensate for the loss of power.

Electricity rates can be seen reaching $14,000 per MW during those FCAS periods.

Tesla’s 100MW/129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia can provide the same service cheaper, quicker, and with zero-emissions, through its battery system.


Are Bibi and Bolton in the Wheel House Now?

May 11th, 2018

Via: Pat Buchanan:

Brushing aside the anguished pleas of our NATO allies, President Trump Tuesday contemptuously trashed the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were put on notice that their ties to Iran are to be severed, or secondary sanctions will be imposed on them.

Driving the point home, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin ordered Airbus to cancel its $19 billion contract to sell 100 commercial planes to Iran.

Who is cheering Trump’s trashing of the treaty?

The neocons who sought his political extinction in 2016, the royals of the Gulf, Bibi Netanyahu, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC had warned Iranians that the Americans were duplicitous.

Related: Leaked Doc Reveals White House Planning “Regime Change” In Iran


China: Multi-Story Pig Factories

May 11th, 2018

Via: Reuters:

Privately owned agricultural company Guangxi Yangxiang Co Ltd is running two seven-floor sow breeding operations, and is putting up four more, including one with as many as 13 floors that will be the world’s tallest building of its kind.

Hog farms of two or three floors have been tried in Europe. Some are still operating, others have been abandoned, but few new ones have been built in recent years, because of management difficulties and public resistance to large, intensive farms.

Now, as China pushes ahead with industrialization of the world’s largest hog herd, part of a 30-year effort to modernize its farm sector and create wealth in rural areas, companies are experimenting with high-rise housing for pigs despite the costs. The “hotels” show how far some breeders are willing to go as China overhauls its farming model.

“There are big advantages to a high-rise building,” said Xu Jiajing, manager of Yangxiang’s mountain-top farm.

“It saves energy and resources. The land area is not that much but you can raise a lot of pigs.”


Boston Dynamics Atlas Robot Running Outside

May 11th, 2018

Via: Boston Dynamics:


Australia Weighs the Cost of Resisting China’s Meddling

May 11th, 2018

Via: Bloomberg:

When Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia in March 2017, he had a clear message for policy makers: There’s no need to pick sides between Washington and Beijing.

More than a year later, that’s becoming ever harder for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. A slew of recent media reports showed that China’s Communist Party was covertly meddling with media, universities and lawmakers, prompting a public outcry.

Turnbull responded by backing new legislation to clamp down on foreign interference in politics and business, which may be put to a vote in the coming weeks. In December, he used broken Mandarin to paraphrase a quote attributed to Chairman Mao Zedong during China’s founding, saying “the Australian people stand up and assert their sovereignty.”

China stands ready to use its trade leverage to hit Australia if ties deteriorate further, said Gao Zhikai, a former diplomat and the director of the China National Association of International Studies in Beijing.

“China can easily find a replacement for Australian products, but Australia cannot find a market with a size like China,” he said.


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