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Week in review: Vulnerable encryption, Mac backdoor, Flash Player 0day exploited in the wild
Here’s an overview of some of last week’s most interesting news and articles: Vulnerability in code library allows attackers to work out private RSA keys Researchers have discovered a security vulnerability in the Infineon-developed RSA library, which could be exploited by attackers to discover the RSA private key corresponding to an RSA public key generated by this library. This private key could be then misused to impersonate its legitimate owner, decrypt sensitive messages, forge signatures … More
Middle school students in Virginia pretend to rape black classmates on Snapchat

The Snapchat had just about every offensive topic the middle school students could cram into a video clip: race-based simulated sexual assaults, profanity-laced slurs and repulsive language that shocked whoever the intended audience was – and, eventually, many more people.

In a flash, the Short Pump Middle School football team’s sexual and racist video clip has rocketed nationwide, the latest reminder that internet posts can have enduring, devastating effects in the real world.

In this case, those consequences were swift: According to the Associated Press, the rest of the team’s season has been canceled; police are investigating the students seen in the video; and the whole team – now the face of a viral video – has to undergo sensitivity training.

The students recorded the video sometime last week, and someone shared it on Snapchat. It ultimately got out and spread in this Richmond suburb of nearly 25,000.

The video is captioned: “What really goes on in the football locker room.” In the clip, some of the team’s white football players simulate sex acts on the black members, bending them over benches or gyrating against them on the floor, according to Richmond CBS affiliate WTVR. Another caption says “We’re going to f- the black outta these black children from Uganda.”

An edited version of the video – and a full account of the outrage it was sparking – was broadcast on a local TV news station. Parents were angered. Police were called. And the School Board decided it had to act.

In a message to the community posted Friday on Facebook, the Henrico County School Board said it was “deeply concerned” by the video.

“Adamantly, behavior of this type will not be tolerated in our schools,” the letter said. “… We have extremely high expectations, and students who fail to meet the Code of Student Conduct standards will be addressed promptly and appropriately.”

The letter also outlined the punishment those implicated would face:

The remaining games would be forfeited, but practices would continue, with a big change: “A mandatory component of practices will be discussions that focus on reporting responsibilities, accountability, ethics, sexual harassment, and racial tolerance.”

But questions still swirled: Why wasn’t an adult in the locker room, supervising the kids, per school policy? Why didn’t school officials notify parents before the news broadcast? And why punish an entire team for the inappropriate behavior of a few students?

No one has been charged over the video, and news outlets said investigators were trying to determine whether the black students in the video were a part of a very bad joke or were filmed against their will.

As the investigation continues, some claim that the district’s punishment – especially against the students who didn’t take part in the video – went too far, while others said school leaders didn’t go far enough.

Lorraine Wright of the Richmond-based I Vote for Me human rights group, told NBC affiliate WWBT that her organization is filing a federal complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. I Vote for Me advocates for equality in education.

“Clearly, the intent was to dehumanize the boy of color, and that’s something we can’t sweep under the rug and mischaracterize as ‘offensive and wrong’ because it was way beyond that,” she said.

There are a myriad examples of young people stumbling over the hazy line between free speech and offensive language, Jody Armour, a law professor at the University of Southern California, told The Washington Post last year.

The difference now is that those stumbles can be instantly captured on video and transmitted to the world.

“It’s a process that we go through every generation – reteaching and relearning what the linguistic boundaries are,” Armour said. “It’s like every year or two I turn on the TV and I see, yet again, some college students learning that you can’t wear an Afro and blackface to the Halloween party.”


Samsung phone reportedly emits smoke on flight - CNET
Commentary: A Samsung Galaxy J7 in a woman's purse reportedly has to be put into a tray full of water on a Jet Airways flight over India.
AWS launches Direct Connect in Perth through NEXTDC
NEXTDC’s P1 Perth data centre has become the newest data centre hosting location for Amazon Web Services Direct Connect.
US-backed forces take Syria’s largest oil field from IS

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed fighters captured Syria’s largest oil field from the Islamic State group Sunday, marking a major advance against the extremists in an area coveted by pro-government forces.

With IS in retreat, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian government have been in a race to secure parts of the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province along the border with Iraq.

The Al-Omar oil field was a major source of income for the militant group and is considered one Syria’s most productive. The condition of the field, which has been controlled by IS for three years, was not clear following intense coalition and Russian airstrikes.

The SDF, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, said it captured the field in a “swift and wide military operation.” It said some militants have taken cover in oil company houses nearby, where clashes are underway. The U.S.-led coalition confirmed the SDF had retaken the oil field.

After coming under heavy fire from IS, pro-government forces retreated from the area around Al-Omar field, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The SDF said government forces were 3 kilometers (2 miles) away from the fields.

Syrian troops, backed by Russian warplanes and Iranian-sponsored militias, have retaken nearly all of the provincial capital of Deir el-Zour, as well as the town of Mayadeen, another IS stronghold, which is across the Euphrates River from the Al-Omar field.

The SDF focused their operations in rural Deir el-Zour on the eastern side of the river, and have already seized a major natural gas field and other smaller oil fields.

IS captured Al-Omar in 2014, when the group swept across large areas in Syria and neighboring Iraq. At the time, the field was estimated to produce around 9,000 barrels a day. Its current potential is unknown.

Syria had proven oil reserves of 2.5 billion barrels as of 2015, giving it the largest supply among its neighbors after Iraq. The oil industry was a pillar of the Syrian economy before the conflict in 2011.

As IS advanced in Syria, it seized control of most of Syria’s oil fields and made petroleum a major earner for the militant group, which sold it on the black market to other insurgents and the Syrian government.

Since the coalition began operations against IS in 2014, the militants’ oil production has been reduced from a peak of approximately $50 million per month to currently less than $4 million, the coalition said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The government lost the al-Omar field to other insurgents in 2013.

Al-Manar TV, operated by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, said the fight for Al-Omar was still underway and denied the SDF’s claim to have captured it. The militant group fights alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The official Syrian news agency said troops regained full control of Khosham, a town on the eastern side of the Euphrates River that they lost a day earlier to IS. The Observatory for Human Rights said parts of the town remain contested.

It’s not clear how Syrian troops will respond to the SDF’s seizure of Al-Omar. Assad has vowed to eventually bring all of Syria back under government control.

The two sides have accused each other of firing on their forces in Deir el-Zour province, but a rare face-to-face meeting of senior U.S. and Russian military officers last month appeared to have calmed tensions.

Syria observers have said the race between the US-backed fighters and the Russian- and Iranian-backed Syrian government forces is likely to be a source of direct confrontation in the absence of a political agreement.

IS has suffered a series of major setbacks in recent months, including the loss of the Syrian city of Raqqa, once the extremists’ self-styled capital, and the Iraqi city of Mosul. Most of the territory the group once held has been seized by an array of Syrian and Iraqi forces.

An estimated 6,500 IS fighters remain in eastern Syria and western Iraq, many concentrated along the Euphrates River valley straddling the border, the U.S. military said last week.

Google will reportedly share revenue with news publishers - CNET
Deal will resemble arrangement Google has with traditional advertisers through its AdSense business, The Financial Times reports.
Oregon day care shuttered after 2nd death in 2 years

Oregon day care shuttered after 2nd death in 2 yearsPORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Regulators in Oregon have shuttered a day care after a second baby died there in as many years, an unprecedented number of deaths at a single day care center for the state.

[in Associated Press]

DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents outlining rights for disabled students

WASHINGTON – The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration’s effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services wrote in a newsletter Friday that it had “a total of 72 guidance documents that have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective – 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).” The documents, which fleshed out students’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act, were rescinded Oct. 2.

A spokeswoman for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not respond to requests for comment.

Advocates for students with disabilities were still reviewing the changes to determine their impact. Lindsay Jones, the chief policy and advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, said she was particularly concerned to see guidance documents outlining how schools could use federal special education money removed.

“All of these are meant to be very useful . . . in helping schools and parents understand and fill in with concrete examples the way the law is meant to work when it’s being implemented in various situations,” said Jones.

President Donald Trump in February signed an executive order “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens,” spurring Education Department officials to begin a top-to-bottom review of its regulations. The department sought comments on possible changes to the special education guidance and held a hearing, during which many disability rights groups and other education advocates pressed officials to keep all of the guidance documents in place, said Jones.

This is not the first time DeVos has rolled back Education Department guidance, moves that have raised the ire of civil rights groups. The secretary in February rescinded guidance that directed schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity, saying that those matters should be left up to state and local school officials. In September, she scrapped rules that outlined how schools should investigate allegations of sexual assault, arguing that the Obama-era guidance did not sufficiently take into account the rights of the accused.

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Va., called the elimination of the special education guidance “the latest in a series of disturbing actions taken by the Trump Administration to undermine civil rights for vulnerable Americans.”

“Much of the guidance around [the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act] focused on critical clarifications of the regulations required to meet the needs of students with disabilities and provide them a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment,” Scott said in a statement. “Notwithstanding the actions taken by the Department today, the regulations still remained enforced; however they lack the clarification the guidance provided.”

The special education guidance documents rescinded this month clarified the rights of disabled students in a number of areas, including making clear how schools could spend federal money set aside for special education. Some, like one titled “Questions and Answers on Serving Children with Disabilities Placed by Their Parents at Private Schools,” translated the legal jargon into plain English for parents advocating for their children. Some of the guidance documents that were cut had been on the books since 1980s.

Jones said it is not unusual for new administrations to update documents or to eliminate redundancies, but she had never seen so many eliminated at one time.

“If the documents that are on this list are all covered in newer documents that were released – which sometimes does happen – that would be fine,” said Jones.” Our goal is to make sure that parents and schools and educators understand how these laws work and the department plays a critical role in that.”

Как мы участвовали в хакатоне М.Видео

В последние выходные сентября наша команда приняла участие в хакатоне М.Видео по анализу данных. На выбор было предложено два задания: первое — генерировать описание продукта на основе отзывов о товарах, второе — выделять важнейшие характеристики товаров на основе справочника, данных о совместных просмотрах и добавлении в корзину. Мы решали оба задания. Под катом история, почему мы завалили этот хакатон и чему научились.

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Newly discovered moon tunnel could be the perfect place for a colony, scientists say

At the close of the Apollo age, just months before the final moon walk in 1971, a NASA researcher argued that vast tunnels lie beneath the lunar surface.

There was good reason to think so. Lava from ancient volcanoes might have bored miles-long voids beneath the moon, just like volcanoes carved out the Kaumana Lava Tubes in Hawaii.

What a sight a lunar lava cave would be. Protected from meteors and radiation that bombards the surface, the tunnels might preserve evidence from the moon’s early history and clues to its mysterious origins. And many scientist have long dreamed of building bases inside natural moon caves, where lunar explorers might sleep safely in inflatable homes, protected from the storms above.

But the lava tunnels of the moon, like the mythical canals of Mars, proved elusive.

NASA’s Ronald Greeley hypothesized in 1971 that one of the great channels in the moon’s Marius Hills region might in fact be a collapsed tunnel. But he admitted that no mission had yet photographed a lunar cave entrance – and some doubted they even existed.

Half a century after Greeley’s paper published and NASA left the moon behind, in a paper published this week, Japanese researchers say they’ve found proof of the tunnels no one could see.

Japan calls its Kaguya orbiter the “largest lunar mission since the Apollo program.” It launched in 2007 with state-of-the-art instruments, deployable satellites and a mission to solve the great mysteries of the moon’s origin.

In 2009, Kaguya drifted 60 miles above the Marius Hills and took a picture of large, deep hole.

Holes aren’t unusual on the moon’s pockmarked surface, but a NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to get a follow-up shot, closer to the ground, as a team of Japanese and American researchers recounted in Geophysical Research Letters last week,

“The floor of the hole extended at least several meters eastward and westward under a ceiling of two other holes,” the researchers wrote – like the mouth of a tunnel.

But the murky picture revealed no more. Did the cave go on for miles, like the hypothetical lava tube, or dead-end just out of sight?

It took years to find out. The Japanese got another assist from the United States in 2011, when NASA put twin spacecrafts – Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL – in orbit around the moon.

GRAIL measured tiny fluctuations in the moon’s gravity to map out mountains and subterranean features. When it flew over the Marius Hills, the researchers wrote, it detected something long and hollow beneath the surface – extending more than 30 miles from the hole Kaguya found.

So Kaguya swung back into action. The Japanese probe blasted radar waves down onto the suspected tunnel, listening for anomalies in the echoes that came back from underground.

Over and over, Kaguya heard a distinctive pattern of echoes. The researchers think it is either the floor or ceiling of a cave – the long-hoped for lava tunnel.

It is very long – 31 miles, according to Japan’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science.

It must be ancient, and may be buried more than 300 feet below the surface. It might even contain ice or water.

If the researchers are correct, it sounds just like what the old Apollo scientists and so would-be colonists hoped for so long.

“Their existence has not been confirmed until now,” Junichi Haruyama, one of the paper’s author, told Agence France-Presse. And now that he knows the tunnel exists, he said, he looks forward to finding out what’s inside.

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