25 March 2014

5.1 released

  • Hybris 5.1 is released. Some interesting new features:
    • enhanced solr search backoffice
    • enhanced accelerators
    • Subscription Billing Gateway to integrate with billing provider (e.g. Vindicia)
    • SAP Hana DB support
    • channel specific pricing
  • Unnethack 5.1 is released. Some interesting new features:
    • new role: Convict class
      • Start
        • wearing a cursed striped shirt 
          • shopkeepers will not let you in (and remember you)
            • exception: on the black market you will receive a reduction
        • chained to an iron ball
        • having a sewer rat as a pet
        • on the verge of becoming hungry
        • immune to sickness (can eat tainted corpses)
      • can pacify and tame rats by #chatting with them 
      • can become expert in 
        • flail skill (iron ball)
        • escape spells
        • ...
      • All races are hostile to them
      • Minetown watch is hostile to them
    • New branch: The Ruins of Moria
      • Watcher in the Water
      • Durin's Bane
    • Tourists get automatic type identification for shop items
    • Healers can see how healthy monsters are
    • Player vampire gets a charisma bonus when wearing an opera cloak
    • It is impossible to know both the speed and location of a quantum mechanic
    • Intelligent monsters pick up and use keys
    • Wearing fedora increases luck of archaeologists

21 March 2014

LinkedIn to be self censored in China

I got a notification of a modification of the LinkedIn Terms of Service today.
You do not find any reference to censorship in the mail, but if you follow the links in the mail you can see that they have launched a beta version in Chinese. Linked in was previously only available in English in China.
If you follow the link to the user agreement you now find:
LinkedIn may be required by local laws to remove certain information or content and so that information or content may not be available on our Service in those countries.
LinkedIn clearly does not want to risk complete blocking, like Twitter today in Turkey, or Google earlier in China.

Hotmail, SkyDrive privacy

Microsoft identified a former employee as the source of some press leaks of software under development (among others,  Windows 8).
Micorsoft did so by searching the hotmail and Skydrive data of the journalist and the employee.
This is remarkable, as Microsoft launched the Scroogled campaign site against Google guaranteeing: Outlook.com is different—we don't go through your email to sell ads.
According to the terms of service of its Communication Services Microsoft has every right to go through your data:
Microsoft reserves the right to review materials posted to the Communication Services and to remove any materials in its sole discretion.
So, the terms of service do not include the campaign assurance that Microsoft will not go through your data for specific goals like selling ads, they may do so whenever they feel like it.
They do include motives that may trigger the of your data in the terms of service:
Microsoft may access, disclose, or preserve information associated with your use of the services ... [to] protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers.
So anything that has to do with licensing of software, music etc. may cause your data to be searched and any legal claim by a Microsoft customer (that's the entire business world) may lead to data disclosure.
Indeed, in the campaign, Microsoft does not claim that they will not go through your email. They just don't go through it with the purpose of selling adds.

13 March 2014

NSA massively uses malware

The Snowdon files have revealed that the TURBINE project of America's USA was used to install and manage millions of malware installations. The system was operated from a distributed worldwide network of servers. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency was a very active collaborator. GCHQ is famous for hacking Belgians premier telecom operator Belgacom in Operation Socialist  (Belcacom management is closely linked to the reigning socialist party). Belgacom was an interesting target for tapping and hacking mobile phones and networks (with, among others, the European Institutions as customers) .
TURBINE contained an expert system to compose the optimal cocktail of malware to obtain the desired information, control, modification or cripling.
The system is operational from 2010 on and according to the documents controlled about 100.000 machines and growing.
Malwares in the catalog include tapping of all computer devices (data, microphone, camera, screen, browsing and communications, passwords, Skype...), but also of VPN routers.
Distribution techniques include SPAM mails an man in the middle attacks of popular websites like facebook and linkedin.
We all knew that all these things were possible. What is really worrying is the wide targeting and scale at which this is taking place.
More info...

7 March 2014

Google Doodle featuring Zap Mama

Today's doodle for international women's day features a clip with music from Belgian/Congolese group Zap Mama