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MIT scientists crack the case of breaking spaghetti in two

Ars Technica - 49 min 20 sec ago

The trick to breaking spaghetti in half is to bend and twist, new MIT study says. (credit: Tom Smith / EyeEm: Getty Images)

Pasta purists insist on plonking dry spaghetti into the boiling pot whole, but should you rebel against convention and try to break the strands in half, you'll probably end up with a mess of scattered pieces.

Now, two MIT mathematicians have figured out the trick to breaking spaghetti strands neatly in two: add a little twist as you bend. They outlined their findings in a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This isn't the first time scientists have been fascinated by the physics of breaking spaghetti. The ever-curious Richard Feynman famously spent hours in his kitchen one night in a failed attempt to successfully break spaghetti strands neatly in half. It should have worked, he reasoned, because the strand snaps when the curvature becomes too great, and once that happens, the energy release should reduce the curvature. The spaghetti should straighten out and not break any further. But no matter how hard he tried, the spaghetti would break in three or more pieces.

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Support for ageing key exchange crypto leaves VPNs open to attack

The Register - 1 hour 19 min ago
Ancient issue causing new ones

Security gaps have been identified in widely used implementations of the IPsec protocol, which is used in the set up of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).…

Strictly Come Dancing: Graeme Swann joins line-up

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 24 min ago
The former England cricketer becomes the sixth celebrity contestant to be confirmed so far.

Credit card skimmers now need to fear the Reaper

Ars Technica - 1 hour 34 min ago

Enlarge / The SkimReaper, shown here with a sample card skimming device, can help law enforcement find and shut down card skimming operations. (credit: Sean Gallagher)

BALTIMORE—At the USENIX Security Symposium here today, University of Florida researcher Nolen Scaife presented the results of a research project he undertook with Christian Peeters and Patrick Traynor to effectively detect some types of "skimmers"—maliciously placed devices designed to surreptitiously capture the magnetic stripe data and PIN codes of debit and credit cards as they are inserted into automated teller machines and point-of-sale systems. The researchers developed SkimReaper, a device that can sense when multiple read heads are present—a telltale sign of the presence of a skimmer.

Nolen and his fellow researchers worked with data provided by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to assess the types of credit-card-skimming gear currently in the wild. They uncovered four broad categories of skimming gear:

  • Overlays—devices that get placed on top of the slot for the ATM or point-of-sale system. They can be modeled to match a specific ATM type's card slot or, in some cases, overlay an entire device such as a credit card reader at a retail point of sale. Overlays on ATM machines are sometimes accompanied by a keypad that is placed atop the actual keypad to collect PIN data.
  • Deep inserts—skimmers engineered to be jammed deep into the card reader slots themselves. They're thin enough to fit under the card as it is inserted or drawn in to be read. An emerging version of this is a "smart chip" skimmer that reads EMV transactions passively, squeezed between the card slot and the EMV sensor.
  • Wiretap skimmers—devices that get installed between a terminal and the network they connect to. This suggests there's a fundamental security problem to begin with.
  • Internal skimmers—devices installed in-line between the card reader of a terminal and the rest of its hardware. These, Scaife said, are more common in gas-pump card readers, where the attacker has a greater chance of being able to gain access to the internals without being discovered.

Overlays and deep inserts are by far the most common types of skimmers—and are increasingly difficult to detect. Police, Scaife noted, often find them only by looking for the cameras used by skimmers to capture PIN numbers, because most of the common detection tips—including trying to shake the card slot to see if it dislodges—are ineffective.

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Facebook raised $300M during first year of birthday fundraisers - CNET - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
More than 750,000 nonprofits have access to the social network's fundraising tools.

Investors tell Uber to ditch self-driving car program, report says - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
The Information claims Uber is currently spending up to $200 million per quarter on its AV development.

Bitcoin backer sues AT&T for $240m over stolen cryptocurrency

The Register - 1 hour 46 min ago
Michael Terpin not happy about funds-draining SIM swap fraud

A bitcoin investor is suing AT&T for $240m after it allegedly ported his phone number to a hacker, allowing the criminal to steal $24m in cryptocurrency.…

Intel uses Bluetooth to keep flying drones from colliding - CNET - News - 1 hour 59 min ago
The technology could be good for something besides wireless headsets and keyboards.

Moto P30 looks like an iPhone X with a glamorous splash of color - CNET - News - 2 hours 1 min ago
The company's new flagship phone adds some pizzazz to its clone-like design.

Australian gov’t wants to force tech firms to weaken crypto

Ars Technica - 2 hours 4 min ago

Enlarge / Police attend the scene of a suspected murder on August 10, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

A new proposal by the Australian government that would mandate its ability to access encrypted data held by companies both foreign and domestic has been met with fierce opposition from many in the privacy and technology communities.

The bill, known as the "Assistance and Access Bill 2018," seeks to overcome what American authorities have spent years calling the "going dark" problem. The notion, as Canberra explains it, is to enhance "the ability of our law enforcement and security agencies to access the intelligible data necessary to conduct investigations and gather evidence."

It would create a new type of warrant that would allow what governments often call "lawful access" to thwart encryption, something that the former Australian Attorney General proposed last year.

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Liven up your next party with this huge Jackbox Games bundle for $12 - CNET - News - 2 hours 23 min ago
You get over 20 games in all, plus you support a worthwhile cause. Win-win! Plus: a collapsible backpack for only $7.

Twitter suspends Alex Jones for one week

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 24 min ago
The InfoWars conspiracy theorist is reported to have posted a link to a video that broke Twitter's rules.

Google Coach wearable AI assistant may motivate you to get in shape - CNET - News - 2 hours 24 min ago
Think Google Assistant, if Google Assistant had a whistle and told you to "drop and give me 20."

T-Mobile customers will get a free year of Pandora Plus - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
It also has a separate deal with Live Nation for exclusive seats to events.

VW will paint your 2019 Golf R like a Lamborghini Huracan for $2,500 - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 46 min ago
The new Spektrum program offers up 40 different colors, many of which have a special connection to the automaker.

Google One cloud storage is now live, with 100GB for $2 per month - CNET - News - 2 hours 52 min ago
Now, the phrase "Google Drive" will only mean one thing.

Twitter gives Infowars host Alex Jones a timeout (The 3:59, Ep. 443) - CNET - News - 2 hours 55 min ago
Plus: Alexa and Cortana join forces.

Children 'at risk of robot influence'

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 59 min ago
A study suggests young children will trust robots and change their minds.

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