Two beef and four hogs

Posted by TJ Easter II on Wednesday, March 20. 2024 in Slaughter

PXL_20240320_162134834.jpg
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Record Breach of French Government Exposes Up to 43 Million People's Data

Posted by TJ Easter II on Thursday, March 14. 2024

https://www.theregister.com/2024/03/14/mega_data_breach_at_french/


A French government department - responsible for registering and assisting unemployed people - is the latest victim of a mega data breach that compromised the information of up to 43 million citizens.

France Travail announced on Wednesday that it informed the country's data protection watchdog (CNIL) of an incident that exposed a swathe of personal information about individuals dating back 20 years.

The department's statement reveals that names, dates of birth, social security numbers, France Travail identifiers, email addresses, postal addresses, and phone numbers were exposed.

Passwords and banking details aren't affected, at least.
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Popular Safe Locks Have Undisclosed Back Doors

Posted by TJ Easter II on Thursday, March 14. 2024 in Security, Tech

https://www.404media.co/massively-popular-safe-locks-have-secret-backdoor-codes/

Two of the biggest manufacturers of locks used in commercial safes have been accused of essentially putting backdoors in at least some of their products in a new letter by Senator Ron Wyden. Wyden is urging the U.S. government to explicitly warn the public about the vulnerabilities, which Wyden says could be exploited by foreign adversaries to steal what U.S. businesses store in safes, such as trade secrets.

The little known “manufacturer” or “manager” reset codes could let third parties—such as spies or criminals—bypass locks without the owner’s consent and are sometimes not disclosed to customers. Wyden’s office also found that while the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) bans such locks for sensitive and classified U.S. government use in part due to the security vulnerability reset codes pose, the government has deliberately not warned the public about the existence of these backdoors.

#
# The meatspace equivalent of the "forgot password" link.
#

The specific companies named in Wyden’s letter are China-based SECURAM and U.S.-based Sargent and Greenleaf (S&G). Each produces keypad locks which are then implemented into safes by other manufacturers. The full list of locks that contain backdoor codes is unknown, but documentation available online points to multiple SECURAM products which do include them, and S&G confirmed to Wyden’s office that some of its own locks also have similar codes.

[ ... ]

The findings produce clarity on sometimes-hidden features inside widely popular physical locks. They also provide an analogy to the discussion around encryption backdoors. For decades, governments, tech companies, and members of civil society have clashed over multiple lobbying attempts by agencies to have backdoors inserted into technology, and in particular, encryption products. The fact the DoD protected its own interests while not warning the public gives a stark demonstration of what could happen if a backdoor was inserted into a consumer electronics device or similar.

“The government has opted to keep the public in the dark about this vulnerability, after quietly protecting government agencies from it,” Wyden writes in the letter. The letter is addressed to the Honorable Michael C. Casey, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). The NCSC is tasked with leading the U.S. government’s counterintelligence efforts, and, of particular relevance to backdoors in locks, “provide [counterintelligence] outreach to U.S. private sector entities at risk of foreign intelligence penetration,” according to the NCSC’s website.

#
# These companies are using security through obscurity; that is, the locks are secure so 
# long as the reset code remains secret.  Many. not least of which is Bruce Schneier,
# have proven that this means of security is not secure at all.
#

[ ... ]

SECURAM products include SafeLogic Xtreme, a keypad style lock that sells for around $550. Another is the SafeLogic Direct Drive, a similar lock that is available to wholesale buyers. According to SECURAM’s documentation available online, both of these locks can include a “manager code.” This allows someone who isn’t the end user to unlock the safe lock system, change the manager code, add or delete a user code, or enable or disable a user code, the documentation reads.

#
# The U.S. government has banned the use of  such locks, those featuring a reset code,
# for securing anything classified while keeping consumers in the dark about the
# security implications thereof.
# 
# The article mentions requiring a serial number from the safe to obtain the reset code.
# This is likely to avoid having a single, universal reset code.  All it takes is one 
# disgruntled former employee to leak the application the manufacturer uses and all
# is lost.
#
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Happy Pi Day!

Posted by TJ Easter II on Thursday, March 14. 2024

March 14th is Pi Day (3/14). For those not in the know, pi is a mathematical constant representing the relationship between the diameter of a circle and it's circumference. Pi is also a never-ending number - there is literally an infinite number of digits after the decimal point. For most calculations, only the first 2 digits after the decimal point are necessary. NASA only uses four or five digits after the decimal for their calculations.

For instance, a circle with a 6" diameter would have a 18.8495556 inch circumference.

pi = 3.1415926
diameter = circumference / pi
circumference = diameter * pi
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Lead From Gasoline Blunted the IQ of About Half the U.S. Population, Study Says

Posted by TJ Easter II on Sunday, March 10. 2024 in Science

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/lead-gasoline-blunted-iq-half-us-population-study-rcna19028

Exposure to leaded gasoline lowered the IQ of about half the population of the United States, a new study estimates. The peer-reviewed study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focuses on people born before 1996 — the year the U.S. banned gas containing lead.

Overall, the researchers from Florida State University and Duke University found, childhood lead exposure cost America an estimated 824 million points, or 2.6 points per person on average. Certain cohorts were more affected than others. For people born in the 1960s and the 1970s, when leaded gas consumption was skyrocketing, the IQ loss was estimated to be up to 6 points and for some, more than 7 points. Exposure to it came primarily from inhaling auto exhaust.
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'Monumental' Experiment Suggests How Life on Earth May Have Started

Posted by TJ Easter II on Sunday, March 10. 2024 in Science

https://www.pressherald.com/2024/03/09/monumental-experiment-suggests-how-life-on-earth-may-have-started/

A much-debated theory holds that 4 billion years ago, give or take, long before the appearance of dinosaurs or even bacteria, the primordial soup contained only the possibility of life. Then a molecule called RNA took a dramatic step into the future: It made a copy of itself. Then the copy made a copy, and over the course of many millions of years, RNA begot DNA and proteins, all of which came together to form a cell, the smallest unit of life able to survive on its own.

Now, in an important advance supporting this RNA World theory, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., have carried out a small but essential part of the story. In test tubes, they developed an RNA molecule that was able to make accurate copies of a different type of RNA. The work, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, gets them closer to the grand goal of growing an RNA molecule that makes accurate copies of itself.

"Then it would be alive," said Gerald Joyce, president of Salk and one of the authors of the new paper. "So, this is the road to how life can arise in a laboratory or, in principle, anywhere in the universe...."

/
I'm not sure that I'd call it "alive," per se. To me, self-replication is a necessary trait, but not the only trait. It also
has to consume energy and produce waste.
/
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Canonical turns 20: Shaping the Ubuntu Linux world

Posted by TJ Easter II on Sunday, March 10. 2024 in Tech, Unix

https://www.zdnet.com/article/canonical-turns-20-shaping-the-ubuntu-linux-world/

Ubuntu's parent company - now powering millions of desktops, servers, and clouds - continues to seek the balance between delivering 'Linux for Human Beings' and embracing its responsibilities in the global tech market.

2004 was already an eventful year for Linux. As I reported at the time, SCO was trying to drive Linux out of business. Red Hat was abandoning Linux end-user fans for enterprise customers by closing down Red Hat Linux 9 and launching the business-friendly Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Oh, and South African tech millionaire and astronaut Mark Shuttleworth launched Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company.

Little did I -- or anyone else -- suspect that Canonical would become one of the world's major Linux companies.

/
As a long-time Kubuntu user, I would like to wish Canonical a happy 20th birthday!
*/
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To Replace HexChat, Linux Mint is Building a New Desktop Chat App Called 'Jargonaut'

Posted by TJ Easter II on Sunday, March 10. 2024 in Tech, Unix

https://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=4650

So work has begun on a new dedicated "chat room" app to replace HexChat, called Jargonaut. Linux Mint's goal is not to build a fully-featured IRC client, or even an IRC client at all. Jargonaut is a chat app that just happens to use IRC as its underlying chat protocol. Users won't need to know what IRC is nor learn its syntax, as Jargonaut isn't going to respond to standard IRC commands... When the app is opened Linux Mint's official support channels are there, ready to engage with. A real-time support chat app built on IRC — with additional bells:

"[Jargonaut] will support pastebin/imgur via DND, uploading your system specifications, troubleshooting and many features which have nothing to do with IRC," says Linux Mint lead Clement Lefebvre in the distro's latest monthly update. "HexChat was a great IRC client which helped us make a relatively good support chat room. We're hoping Jargonaut will help us make this chat room even better and much easier to use."
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First post!

Posted by TJ Easter II on Saturday, March 9. 2024

Welcome, visitor!
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