A Cambridge University professor has accused the bank cards industry of censorship over the publication of a paper about a flaw in chip and PIN technology.
Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University's Computer Laboratory, said: This was absolutely unacceptable. It was a very, very nasty attempt at censorship.
The UK Cards Association (UKCA) wrote to the university to try to remove the online publication of research which shows how a £20 hand-held device could be used to buy goods without entering the correct PIN. Melanie Johnson, chair of the
UKCA, wrote to the university saying the publication oversteps the boundaries of what constitutes responsible disclosure .
She said the paper, The Smart Card Detective , by MPhil research student Omar Choudary, places in the public domain a blueprint for building a device which purports to exploit a loophole in the security of chip and PIN . She said
the type of attack described was difficult to undertake and unlikely to interest genuine fraudsters but said the level of detail published was worrying and asked for the research to be removed.
But Anderson said exposing vulnerabilities in the system was an example of responsible disclosure and said the industry had been guilty of sitting on their butts and doing nothing since he and fellow scientists first revealed the
flaw in late 2009.
A United Nations task force formed last week said it was considering the creation of a new inter-governmental working group to help further international cooperation on policies to police the Internet.
The discussion was undertaken to enhance and extend the work of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a UN-sponsored organization that makes recommendations on how governments should deal with the Internet. The IGF's mandate is due to
expire soon, so members of the UN's Commission on Science and Technology for Development Bureau took up the issue and formed a task force to determine what the new IGF should look like.
The bureau's members, however, decided their task force would be limited to governments only, with no representation by civil or industry groups.
The decision drew a sharp warning from search giant Google, which insisted that the next IGF, if comprised only of governments, could result in them obtaining a monopoly on how the Internet is run, as opposed to the current model where
innovation flows from the bottom up. Google's blog said the firm had joined a petition of other industry groups in opposing the composition of the UN's task force.
Perhaps it was only a matter of time and the idea that a single comprehensive DNS could not last forever, or maybe this new idea is itself doomed to failure.
But however it shakes out in the end, the recent proposal by Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde to create a new peer-to-peer domain name system to compete with ICANN's system is intriguing for some, and terrifying for others.
They are supposed to offer films with the sharpest pictures and sound yet experienced in our living rooms.
But Blu-ray discs fail to live up to their expensive price tags, according to Which?
Typically, the films cost around double the figure for an ordinary DVD, while many have a recommended price of more than £20. However, a test by Which? found fewer than one in three Blu-ray films delivered an outstanding difference.
Many consumers have been sceptical about the promised extra image detail – with the result that sales have not taken off as expected.
It said there is little consistency in the definition offered by movies sold in Blu-ray – with a major gulf between the best and worst.
The organisation's experts used two identical TVs to simultaneously watch Blu-ray and standard DVD versions of 17 films. Around half of the Blu-rays offered only a marginal improvement. Four were better, and just five offered an outstanding
The report said the better-quality films were probably transferred from the original high-quality source, and the worst merely converted to HD from copies of the original.
People in China have found that Amazon's Kindle e-reader allows them to bypass the country's Great Firewall , according to a report.
An article in the South China Morning Post suggested that the 3G-capable device's browser was able to access sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are banned in China and blocked at a national level. The access is made possible by Amazon's
own Whispernet virtual mobile network, the article stated.
According to the piece, engineering professor Lawrence Yeung Kwan speculates that Amazon and its Chinese Whispernet partner — the virtual network is based on the real networks of operators around the world — might have agreed to
transfer the connection to Amazon's station, presumably in the US, once the mainland gatekeeper sees the signal comes from a Kindle... The signal, which may be encrypted, then returns to the partner network in China so the internet patrols cannot
see what is accessed .
Amazon does not sell the Kindle in China, so the devices referred to in the South China Morning Post article are grey-market imports.
Toshiba has unveiled two new 3D TVs at a technology conference in Japan this week that enable the user to view the 3D experience without the use of glasses.
The TVs, which aren't expected to be sold in the U.S., utilize autostereoscopic 3D technology by providing a filter on top of the TV. The viewer must sit at a certain angle to properly experience the 3D effect.
With 3D porn becoming a hot commodity within the industry, not to mention the ramp up in production of such content, how could the adult industry benefit from the rollout of this technology? Ostensibly, the experience becomes less cumbersome and
easier to access without having to wear special glasses.
Following Toshiba's lead, Sony and other manufacturers expect to release similar types of TVs that don't require glasses in order for the viewer to process 3D images.
Toshiba's new TVs are expected to be released in Japan by the end of the year.
Google has begun rolling out an encrypted version of its search engine in an effort to protect Internet users from having their searches sniffed by Governments, ISPs and others on their network. The new version of Google is SSL encrypted and
SSL search means that an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google's servers. When you perform a search, your search terms and whatever results come back from them will only be visible to you. Anyone who might be sniffing
packets on your network (such as, say, Google!) won't be able to see what you're looking up.
Google says it's only in beta for now. The reasoning for the beta tag is because SSL only covers the core search technology for the time being, and not for for searches such as Google Maps or Google Images.
Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up the encryption between your browser and the remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than your regular Google search experience, Google
wrote in a blog post.
An ISP offering web filtering that uses BBFC classification certificates has launched.
It is the first time that the BBFC has teamed up with an ISP.
Parents select the filter level they require - U, PG, 12, 15 or 18 - on behalf of their children.
Tibboh is a 3G mobile internet service. Users need a dongle to access Tibboh, and they can register various profiles for different family members. There is a monthly charge of £19.99 for the service, which has a 15 gigabyte data limit.
According to Tibboh's ratings social networks Facebook and Twitter and search engines Google and Bing are given a 12 rating. News websites including the BBC, the Telegraph and the Guardian along with computer giants Apple and Microsoft
have a U certificate. Sky and Virginmedia however are rated PG, along with web browser Mozilla. Blogging hosts Blogger and Wordpress are given a 15 rating.
Those on the most restrictive filters (PG and below) will be unable to access sites that have not been classified, while those on the 18 level may find that access is banned after a particular site has been screened.
A new type of malware infects PCs using Japanese file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal.
The trojan installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime.
The virus, known as Kenzero, is being monitored by web security firm Trend Micro in Japan. Masquerading as a game installation screen, it requests the PC owner's personal details.
It then takes screengrabs of the user's web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an e-mail or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1500 yen (£10) to settle your violation of copyright law and
remove the webpage.
Website Yomiuri claims that 5500 people have so far fallen victim.
Rik Ferguson, senior security advisor at Trend Micro said Interestingly we've seen a separate incident that focuses on European victims, he said.
A fictitious organization calling itself the ICPP copyright foundation issues threatening pop-ups and letters after a virus searches the computer hard drive for illegal content - regardless of whether it actually finds anything.
It offers a pretrial settlement fine of $400 (£258) payable by credit card, and warns of costly court cases and even jail sentences if the victim ignores the notice. However rather than take the money, the outfit sells on the credit
card details, said Ferguson.
If you find you are getting pop-ups demanding payments to settle copyright infringement lawsuits, ignore them and use a free online anti-malware scanner immediately to check for malware, was his advice.
Japanese police have arrested two individuals accused of spreading a nefarious piece of malware that stole personal information and posted it on the Internet.
The malware was reportedly spread via the Winny peer-to-peer file-sharing network posing as an adult-themed Hentai game. Upon installing the program, victims were asked to enter their name, date of birth, contact details and other personal
At the same time, information such as browser bookmarks were being stolen from the users' computer. At this point afflicted users probably didn't realise anything untoward has occurred. They later they received an email, asking for a fee to be
paid to have the information removed.
Over 5,000 PCs had been targeted by the two extortionists.
Self censorship DVD facility to render films fit for kids
I wonder if these people have squared this away with the real censors. There must be so many issues about the impracticalities of this idea. Hollywood traditionally hates it because the loss of a key moment can turn a good film into
A new service that automatically screens out content unsuitable for children from DVDs launches in the UK this weekend.
The service, ClearPlay, uses technology integrated into DVD players to filter out violence, language and other material unsuitable for a general viewing audience. ClearPlay seamlessly skips and mutes censored content based on seven categories
that can be set to meet viewing preferences. The system works with hundreds of films already released and new ClearPlay Filters are made available within 48 hours of a popular DVD or Blu-ray disc release date.
ClearPlay's seven filter categories enable viewers to screen out content for religious reasons or to exclude sexual content.
ClearPlay International CEO Andrew Duncan said: We're very excited about the launch of ClearPlay after several years of careful development work. What we know from our research is that parents are concerned about inappropriate content but
don't like the conflicts around censorship at home. One of the biggest disputes over TV choices comes from arguments with kids about whether something is suitable for watching or not. ClearPlay effectively ends the important but tiresome debates
and enables families to get on with more important debate about who makes the popcorn.
DVD players with ClearPlay technology have just become available in France and will appear on the market in the UK in July.
The technology is also adaptable to video on demand services and ClearPlay is currently in talks with digital TV operators in the UK about a potential launch on their platforms.
A team of ClearPlay censors work behind the scenes to develop filters for each film. The filters are tested and coded and material, including images, language and violence are carefully censored from the film.
ClearPlay director Skip Riddle added: Cleary there are some films that don't lend themselves to filtering but the vast majority do. Often the aspects of a film that give it a 15 certificate are connected with a few very short sequences or a
bit of bad language. ClearPlay is perfect for these films.
ICANN has delayed its ruling on the proposed .xxx internet porn domain until this summer.
At a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, the ICANN board voted to push a decision to its next get-together in Brussels this June, while giving its CEO and chief counsel two weeks to prepare recommendations on how to proceed with the .xxx proposal. These
recommendations will then be open to comment for 45 days.
The last rejection came in 2007, but in recent weeks, an independent panel of judges ruled that the organization was wrong to do so. The 2007 rejection was not consistent with the application of neutral, objective, and fair documented policy,
the panel said.
The ICANN board is not obliged to follow the panel's decision, and in a blog post following the decision, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom made a point of saying that it was not unanimous and that there was ample public opposition to the .xxx proposal.
Under the proposal, porn sites would not be required to use the .xxx domain, and if they did use it, they could continue use other domains as well.
Andrey Ternovskiy grew bored of Skypeing his friends and decided there had to be a way to make online chats a little less predictable. After a bit of thought and a lot of coding, the teenage Russian came up with Chatroulette, a 21st century
twist on the chatroom.
The site, which regularly attracts 20,000 visitors a night, allows users to randomly select one-to-one video chats anywhere in the world.
All users have to do is enable their webcam and hit play. Within seconds, a stranger's face appears and the fun begins. Should a face not please, the other person can next to move on to someone else.
This week the US satirist Jon Stewart explored Chatroulette on his Daily Show programme, where he poked fun at the tendency of many users who ignore unequivocal messages warning visitors to behave. Instead, they strip off in front of the camera
and try to use the site for their own sexual pleasure.
Ternovskiy, a 17-year-old Moscow student, is keen to point out that Chatroulette was not intended as a fast-track to carnal gratification. I think it's cool that such a simple concept can be useful for so many people, he told the New York
Times. Although some people are using the site in not very nice ways – I am really against it.
The site is hosted by servers in Germany and can operate without too much advertising. But its creator is aware of Chatroulette's growing popularity – especially in the US – and is toying with the idea of making it an American company.
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety said: Many websites feature content for adult audiences which are inappropriate for children to access. We would encourage such sites to clearly highlight that they are not suitable for children and
discourage children from using them.
Porn viewers may want to be aware of what prying eyes may be able to detect on their computers.
A device from Paraben can be plugged into a computer's USB port and detect pornographic images on a hard drive. Paraben
The Porn Detection Stick is available for about $100.
The software searches the hard drive using advanced image analyzing algorithms that categorize images as potentially harmful by identifying facial features, flesh tone colors, image backgrounds, body part shapes, and more to detect all
pornographic images on the hard drive, including recently deleted images not yet overwritten.
Paraben says that a 500GB hard drive containing 70,000 images will take an hour and a half to be fully searched.
The device doesn't search for video, so any of those educational clips on your computer won't be detected.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is seeking industry and public comment on the determination of a technical standard that will make parental lock a required feature for digital television receivers.
A parental lock is a feature of digital television receivers which allows controlled access to programs based on their classification, for example, G, PG, M or MA.
Mandating the inclusion of parental lock in digital receivers will support parents and guardians in protecting their children from inappropriate or harmful content on television, said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
The ACMA will determine a technical standard in the second quarter of this year that will require domestic reception equipment used for receiving digital television services to have a parental lock capability.
The ACMA has developed a discussion paper to outline the approach it intends to take in determining the parental lock standard, and now seeks comment on a number of issues concerning determination of this technical standard.
The ACMA is seeking to understand industry and public views on:
whether there are any particular types of digital television receivers that should be exempt from meeting the requirements of the standard;
the need for labelling and record-keeping obligations as part of the compliance arrangements that accompany the standard
the date by which equipment supplied to the market should comply with the standard.
The ACMA will consider submissions received before it determines the parental lock standard. The closing date for comment is 2 April 2010.
Secret radar technology research that will allow the biggest-ever extension of Big Brother'-style surveillance in the UK is being funded by the Government.
The radical new system, which has outraged civil liberties groups, uses mobile phone masts to allow security authorities to watch vehicles and individuals 'in real time almost anywhere in Britain.
The technology sees the shapes made when radio waves emitted by mobile phone masts meet an obstruction. Signals bounced back by immobile objects, such as walls or trees, are filtered out by the receiver. This allows anything moving, such
as cars or people, to be tracked. Previously, radar needed massive fixed equipment to work and transmissions from mobile phone masts were thought too weak to be useful.
By using receivers attached to mobile phone masts, users of the new technology could focus in on areas hundreds of miles away and bring up a display showing any moving vehicles and people.
An individual with one type of receiver, a portable unit little bigger than a laptop computer, could even use it as a personal radar covering the area around the user. Researchers are working to give the new equipment X-ray vision -
the capability to see through walls and look into people's homes.
Ministry of Defence officials are hoping to introduce the system as soon as resources allow. Police and security services are known to be interested in a variety of possible surveillance applications. The researchers themselves say the system,
known as Celldar, is aimed at anti-terrorism defence, security and road traffic management.
The system, used alongside technology which allows individuals to be identified by their mobile phone handsets, will mean that individuals can be located and their movements watched on a screen from hundreds of miles away.
After a series of meetings with Roke Manor, a private research company in Romsey, Hants, MoD officials have started funding the multi-million pound project. Reports of the meetings are classified .
Like all instrusive surveillance, we need to be sure that it is properly regulated, preferably by the judiciary, said Roger Bingham of Liberty. Bingham expressed concerns that the new equipment, which would be virtually undetectable, could
be used by private detectives or others for personal or commercial gain.
Stuart Lawley, chairman and president of ICM Registry, told XBIZ that he plans on moving forward with the .XXX proposal and start selling names as soon as possible.
We expect to execute a contract very soon [with ICANN] and .XXX names will be available by year's end, Lawley said.
Dispute resolution judges, 2-1, ruled in favor of ICM Registry on Friday, agreeing that ICANN's decision to nix .XXX were arbitrary.
Lawley last year contended the reasons that ICANN cited as the basis for its denial of ICM's application were false and pretextual — a mere cover for ICANN's bowing to undue political pressure from the U.S. Commerce Department, which ICM
Registry accused of working behind the scenes to kill .XXX.
ICM pledges to donate $10 of the proposed annual fee of $60 for a .XXX domain name to child-protection groups and require users of .XXX to label their content.
ICM Registry contends that a .XXX proposal has a lot of support among online adult businesses because so many of them — more than 100,000 pre-reservations — sought domain name addresses with the .XXX suffix.
We would encourage people interested to continue to pre-reserve names — free of charge — at ICMRegistry.com, he said.
The porn industry is embracing 3D mania stoked by stunning new television sets and the blockbuster film Avatar .
An unprecedented exclusive online 3D porn library has been unveiled by Bad Girls In 3D at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo over the weekend in Las Vegas, boasting a first-of-a-kind turnkey digital 3D viewing system.
For several decades, the adult entertainment industry has driven adoption of every significant new entertainment delivery system - the VHS home-video craze in the 1980s, the satellite television mania in the 1990s and the present day internet,
said Bad Girls producer Lance Johnson: 2010 and beyond will be all about 3D.
The firm's package consists of a 60-inch (152cm) 3D TV; a compact computer server, and shutter glasses that synch with the screen to trick eyes into viewing in 3D.
The Bad Girls system is priced at $US4000 ($4304), and a subscription to the online video library costs $US20 ($21.54) a month, according to a spokesperson.
The potential of 3D in adult entertainment was proven decades ago by a 1969 soft-core 3D film The Stewardess , which raked in over $29 million in theaters over two years, according to Johnson.
The porn producer Pink Visual is using augmented reality technology to let viewers virtually join in the on-screen action.
Software being tested online at ipinkvisualpass.com superimposes animated sexy characters onto scenes captured by Web cameras linked to home computers in what Pink calls a move to augmented reality.
Augmented reality will let people put themselves into the scene, Pink's Kim Kysar told AFP at an AVN Adult Entertainment Expo taking place in Las Vegas this week: There is also a way to get the girls into your kitchen, on your bed... We
provide the images and you provide the scene.
The interactive system is based on Adobe Flash Player software and is controlled for now by holding a card printed with a Pink Visual logo icon in front of Web cameras to cue the online program. The Web camera takes in the room, then puts a
porn star or stripper in the scene, Pink producer Matt Morningwood said while demonstrating the augmented reality for AFP.
We have been designing Roxxxy TrueCompanion , your
True Companion sex robot, for many years, making sure that she: knows your name, your likes and dislikes, can carry on a discussion and expresses her love to you and be your loving friend.
She can talk to you, listen to you and feel your touch. She can even have an orgasm! (We will be releasing a male robot sex doll soon, Rocky TrueCompanion ).
Roxxxy is also anatomically consistent with a human, so you can have a talk or have sex. She is Always Turned On and Ready to Talk or Play ! Have a Conversation or Sex – It is Up to You!
The dark-haired, negligee-clad, life-size robotic girlfriend comes complete with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin.
Standing five feet, seven inches tall, the doll weighs 120 pounds, comes with five personalities , is ready for action her developers said.
Aspiring partners can customise her features, including race, hair colour and breast size.
Roxxxy, who can chat with her flesh-and-blood mate about subjects including Manchester United, also elicits comments depending on how she is touched. The anatomically-correct robot, who can even snore, has an articulated skeleton that can move
like a person but can't walk or independently move its limbs.
Coming with a laptop the doll, priced between US$7,000 (£4,350) to US$9,000 (£5,993), was unveiled at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas at the weekend.
Douglas Hines, the robot's football loving inventor, said the real aim was to make the doll someone the owner can talk to and relate to.
Hines, from TrueCompanion, said the doll could carry out simple conversations and was designed to know exactly what you like . Sex only goes so far, then you want to be able to talk to the person, . She knows exactly what you
like. If you like Porsches, she likes Porsches. If you like soccer, she likes soccer.
The sex robot is available in Europe and the United States and will eventually be available all over the world.