Friday, May 16, 2008 

A major security hole was discovered in the pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) of the Debian version of OpenSSL. OpenSSL is one of the most used cryptographic software, that allows the creation of secure network connections with the protocols called SSL and TLS. It is included in many popular computer programs, like the Mozilla Firefox web browser and the Apache web server. Debian is one of the most used GNU/Linux distributions, on which are based other distributions, like Ubuntu and Knoppix. The problem affects all the Debian-based distributions that were used to create cryptographic keys since the September 17, 2006. The bug was discovered by Luciano Bello, an argentine Debian package maintainer, and was announced on May 13, 2008.

This vulnerability was caused by the removal of two lines of code from the original version of the OpenSSL library. These lines were used to gather some entropy data by the library, needed to seed the PRNG used to create private keys, on which the secure connections are based. Without this entropy, the only dynamic data used was the PID of the software. Under Linux the PID can be a number between 1 and 32,768, that is a too small range of values if used to seed the PRNG and will cause the generation of predictable numbers. Therefore any key generated can be predictable, with only 32,767 possible keys for a given architecture and key length, and the secrecy of the network connections created with those keys is fully compromised.

These lines were removed as “suggested” by two audit tools (Valgrind and Purify) used to find vulnerabilities in the software distributed by Debian. These tools warned the Debian maintainers that some data was used before its initialization, that normally can lead to a security bug, but this time it was not the case, as the OpenSSL developers wrote on March 13, 2003. Anyway this change was erroneously applied on September 17, 2006, when the OpenSSL Debian version 0.9.8c-1 was released to the public.

Even though the Debian maintainer responsible for this software released a patch to fix this bug on May 8, 2008, the impact may be severe. In fact OpenSSL is commonly used in software to protect the passwords, to offer privacy and security. Any private key created with this version of OpenSSL is weak and must be replaced, included the session keys that are created and used only temporary. This means that any data encrypted with these keys can be decrypted without a big deal, even if these keys are used (but not created) with a version of the library not affected, like the ones included in other operating systems.

For example any web server running under any operating system may use a weak key created on a vulnerable Debian-based system. Any encrypted connection (HTTPS) to this web server established by any browser can be decrypted. This may be a serious problem for sites that requires a secure connection, like banks or private web sites. Also, if some encrypted connection was recorded in the past, it can be decrypted in the same way.

Another serious problem is for the network security software, like OpenSSH and OpenVPN, that are used to encrypt the traffic to protect passwords and grant the access to an administrative console or a private network protected by firewalls. This may allows hackers to gain unwanted access to private computers, networks or data traveled over the network, even if a not affected version of OpenSSL was used.

The same behavior can be applied to any software or protocol that use SSL, like POP3S, SSMTP, FTPS, if used with a weak key. This is the case of Tor, software used to offer strong anonymity on the TCP/IP, where about 300 of 1,500-2,000 nodes used a weak key. With 15-20% of weak Tor nodes, there is a probability of 0.34-0.8% circa to build a circuit that has all tree nodes weak, resulting in a full loss of anonymity. Also the case of only one weak node begin used may facilitate some types of attack to the anonymity. The Tor hidden services, a sort of anonymous public servers, are affected too. However the issue was speedly addressed on May 14, 2008.

The same problem also interested anonymous remailers like Mixmaster and Mixminion, that use OpenSSL to create the remailer keys for the servers and the nym keys for the clients. Although currently there is no official announcement, at least two remailer changed their keys because were weak.

UK Government announce same-sex weddings to start from March 29

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

The British government announced today that marriages in England and Wales between members of the same-sex will be conducted from March 29 of next year. The change follows the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act earlier this year.

The equalities minister Maria Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex. This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married.”

The government have not given details of how couples already in a civil partnership will be able to convert to a marriage. The government are also working on arrangements for those who wish to change their legally recognised gender while married. Miller said arrangements on both of these issues would be in place by the end of 2014.

Ben Summerskill from the gay rights group Stonewall said: “This historic step will mean that, for the first time, every gay person in England and Wales will finally enjoy exactly the same rights as their heterosexual friends and family.”

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said on Twitter that it was “great news”.

By Pat Malcolm

Dioon (Gum) Palm Tree – Dioon spinulosum

Giant Dioon is technically a cycad of pre-historical origin, and the Dioon palm tree can grow up to 1 ft. in diameter with a Dioon trunk growing twelve feet tall. The bright waxy-green leaves of the Dioon are feather-like and pointed on the tips. The giant Dioon palm tree is a favorite container plant and will tolerate temperatures of 25 degrees F., without any significant effect or leaf change.

Bamboo Palm Tree, Reed Palm Tree – Chamaedorea erumpens, Chamaedorea seifrizii

The Bamboo Palm tree thrives indoors when grown in low light. The Bamboo Palm tree is a popular and successful plant for growing in homes, offices, malls and courtyards. The bamboo-like segments are spreading by underground shoots, resulting in this bamboo-like container palm tree being easy to grow and maintain. The plant care is simple, requiring simple watering. As a native grown palm tree from Mexico, the Bamboo Palm is found growing as an understory palm tree under taller palm trees.

Lady Palm Tree – Rhapsis excelsa

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The Lady Palm tree historically dates back to the 1600s when Japanese and Chinese propagated the palm trees to be grown inside the Imperial residences. The Lady palm trees were imported by European monarchs and admired because of their qualities of long-life, easy maintenance and unique beauty and their attraction to be used as an ornamental plant. Lady Palm trees, Rhapsis excelsa, can grow twelve feet tall in clumps or clusters under low artificial light. Very few palm trees have the advantage of large indoor growing as does the Lady Palm tree, Rhapsis excelsa.

Ponytail (Bottle) Palm Trees – Beaucamea recurvata

Often called the Elephant Foot palm tree, the Ponytail (Bottle) palm tree, Beaucamea recurvata, grows a swollen base, shaped like a perfume bottle with a narrow neck that corresponds to the trunk capped with a canopy of (ponytail) leaves. Often grown as a low-light bonsai specimen, the Ponytail palm tree can grow for years and years and slowly grows-easily manageable. Ponytail palm trees are available in variegated forms but are difficult to maintain when compared to the green form of the Ponytail palm trees (Bottle), Beaucamea recurvata.

Queen palm trees, Syagrus romanzoffianum (Arecastrum romanzoffianum) (Queen Palm)

The Queen palm trees grow to 50 feet tall in zones 9-11 and is cold hardy in temperatures of 20* F. The Queen palm tree can be easily grown in large pots that add a tropical flair to pool and patios. In the deep south, Queen palm trees are landscaped for parking lots, airport entrances, commercial, and home landscapes. Queen palm trees grow fast and provide fast growing for shade and the tropical look. Queen palm trees, Syagrus romazoffianum (Queen Palm) are important container trees for screens used for outside restaurants and cafes.

Triangle (Madagascar-Triangle) palm tree, Dypsis decaryi. The triangle shape of the leaf bases makes the triangle palm trees from the island of Madagascar, a popular palm tree in the nursery trade. The Madagascar (Triangle) palm tree thrives in full sun and is cold hardy to below freezing temperatures. The Madagascar (Triangle) palm tree, Dypsis decaryi, will turn heads to attention when grown and planted at outside restaurants and cafes in containers.

Zamia (Coontie) Palm Tree – Zamia pumila

William Bartram, the famous American botanist and explorer discovered the Zamia Palm tree growing in Central Florida on an expedition in the year 1773. William Bartram wrote page 160 in his book Travels. The Zamia pumila the Erythryna corallodendrum (Cardinal Spear), and the Cactus opuntia, grow there in great abundance in perfection. The first grows in pine forests, in tufts or clumps, a large conical strobile disclosing, its coral red fruit which appears singularly beautiful amidst the deep green fern-like pinnate leaves. William Bartrams description for Zamia (Coontie) palm trees, Zamia pumila is vivid and accurate even 233 years past. Zamia (Coontie) palm trees thrive as outside plants, Zones 9-11, also as containerized palm trees for that tropical look. Clumps of Zamia pumila can easily divide to form real plants or the seeds can be planted to grow new Zamia (Coontie) palm trees that are fast growing.

Zamia (Cardboard) palm tree – Zamia furfuracea

The cardboard palm tree is a clumping cycad that grows 3 feet tall in tight clusters that often reach a diameter of 6 feet. The fleshy base is full of water, giving drought protection. The cardboard palm tree, Zamia furfuracea, can be planted outside where temperatures do not go below freezing, and is especially popular to use as bedding plants at resorts such as the Cloister Hotel at Sea Island, Georgia. As a container plant, the cardboard palm tree grows well as specimen or accent plants.

About the Author: Visit

TyTy Nursery

to purchase the trees mentioned in this article, or many others that you may be looking for!

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Jokela High School reopens after deadly multiple shooting

Saturday, November 17, 2007 

Jokela High School in Tuusula, Finland, scene of the Jokela school shooting, has recommenced classes. Earlier this month, student Pekka-Eric Auvinen, 18, fatally wounded eight people with his handgun before turning the weapon on himself in the country’s worst ever school shooting. He died later in hospital, having never regained consciousness.

All last week repair teams have been working to eradicate all traces of the event, with large numbers of bullet holes in walls and doors being filled in, broken windows and torn blinds being replaced, and total renovation of one corridor which Auvinen had attempted to set fire to.

Students had previously been permitted into the school last week, in order to collect belongings left behind as they rushed to evacuate the school. On Monday, the school’s 450 pupils began to attend temporary facilities set up at nearby Tuusula Primary School as well as the local church.

Tuusula spokeswoman Heidi Hagman told reporters yesterday that at first school days would be considerably shortened, adding “Today the students will spend time getting used to the renovated and repaired school area.

“Students and teachers are getting support from Red Cross crisis workers and psychologists during the first days of school.”

Esa Ukkola, head of education in Tuusula, spoke to reporters about the fact that students had been shown around the renovated school. “We need to show there is nobody lurking in the cupboards any more. We’re trying to have as normal a school day as possible. There are dozens of extra people to ensure we can do everything in small enough groups.”

The shooting has prompted public anger in Finland at the media attention directed to it, with a feeling that it undermines the placid reputation of the country. People have questioned the decision of a survey last month to designate Finland as the world’s “most livable country”. Psycho-social service manager Anna Cantell-Forsbom from nearby Vantaa has spoken out about her view that the shooting was mainly caused by a lack of psychiatric care available to the Finnish youth and therefore did not reflect on Finnish society. The shooting has also prompted a move by the Finnish government to raise the legal age for gun ownership from 15 years to 18 years.

Finland is expected to set up a commission of inquiry this week to investigate the murders. The government will set aside resources for the ministry of social affairs, health and education as well as the local municipality for the investigation. Meanwhile, local authorities have shown a four-year response plan to the government, asking for five million Euro to fund it. Half will go towards therapy and occupational guidance for affected residents, while the other half would go to school guidance counsellors, psychologists, school healthcare personnel and other experts. The ultimate goal of the plan is the complete recovery of those adversely affected by the shooting.

Haruko Obokata

Haruko Obokata (??? ?? Obokata Haruko?, born June 29, 1983) is a Japanese stem-cell biologist and the Research Unit Leader of the Laboratory for Cellular Reprogramming at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology.[3][4] She claimed she had developed a radical and remarkably easy way to make cells, called Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells, that can grow into any tissue in the body.[5] However, the Riken research institute started an investigation into claims of irregularities in images of her several articles including the paper associated with the discovery of STAP cells[6] in response to the allegations made on blogs and SNS sites.[7][8] “Stap cells scandal” is becoming known as one of the biggest frauds in science, such as the Schön scandal and Gilles-Eric Seralini scandal on GM corn causing tumors in rodents’s.[9][10][11][12][13]

Obokata was born in Matsudo, Chiba, Japan in 1983. She attended Toho Senior High School, which is attached to Toho University, and graduated from Waseda University. At Waseda University, Obokata undertook undergraduate studies in the Department of Applied Chemistry, within the School of Science and Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Science in 2006, and graduate studies in the Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, earning a Master of Science in Applied Chemistry in 2008.

After completing her master’s, Obokata went on to study stem cells and regenerative medicine at the Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science, a cooperative research and education facility operated with Tokyo Women’s Medical University. She then undertook research at Harvard Medical School in Boston under Charles Vacanti for two years before returning to Waseda University to complete her Ph.D. in Engineering, again, from the Graduate School of Advanced Engineering and Science in 2011.[14][15] According to a recent Asahi Shimbun news report, Obokata had offered to retract her doctoral dissertation following allegations that she may have copied and pasted some segments of her dissertation from publicly available documents posted in USA’s National Institute of Health website.[16]

Obokata became a guest researcher at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in 2011, then she was appointed as head of the Lab for Cellular Reprogramming in 2013.[17][18]

Within a few weeks of publication, questions were raised about the publication ethics of Obokata’s papers published in Nature. Professor Teruhiko Wakayama, a senior author of the Nature articles, has proposed retracting the papers and re-submitting them if the findings are reproduced. The Japanese government affiliated research institute RIKEN has also launched an investigation on this issue. Stem cell critics also noted that the images in the published articles are very similar to those published in Obokata’s doctoral thesis, which were from a quite different project than the Nature publications.[19] On April 1, RIKEN announced that it had found Obokata guilty of scientific misconduct on two of the six charges initially brought against her.[20] The RIKEN investigators reached the following conclusion:

On 4 June 2014, Obokata agreed to retract both the papers published in Nature in early 2014.[22] Nature confirmed the retraction on July 2.[23][24]

Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka was dragged into the controversy and could not find his lab notes from this time.[25] He apologized about his research.[26][27]

Internet censorship study group reports on China

Sunday, April 17, 2005 

An international study group report released Thursday calls China’s internet censorship “the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world,” and details measures used within China to limit citizen access to internet resources, including the BBC. The study found though that sites of most American news outlets were available, such as CNN, MSNBC, and ABC, as were major anonymizer and human rights sites.

The OpenNet Initiative project (ONI), made up of researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada, Harvard Law School in the US, and Cambridge University in the UK, has a mission “to investigate and challenge state filtration and surveillance practices”.

The report, by the project’s National Filtering team, and named Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study, was published on Thursday.

Says the report summary: “ONI sought to determine the degree to which China filters sites on topics that the Chinese government finds sensitive, and found that the state does so extensively.”

Topics which were found to be frequently blocked included pornography, Taiwanese and Tibetan independence, Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, the Tiananmen Square incident, opposition political parties, and a variety of anti-Communist movements.

Volunteers in China who had assisted with the study had done so at “substantial risk”, according to John Palfrey, a project leader, speaking at a Congressional hearing in Washington. Palfrey said the filtering was not openly admitted by Chinese authorities, and censorship decisions could not be appealed, encouraging self-censorship.

The report describes the Chinese system as dynamic, pervasive, sophisticated, and effective. Filtering appeared to be carried out at various control points — unlike systems in other countries — and a variety of parameters were changing over time.

According to the summary, “This combination of factors leads to a great deal of supposition as to how and why China filters the Internet. These complexities also make it very difficult to render a clear and accurate picture of Internet filtering in China at any given moment.”

Most filtering was at the backbone level, with additional controls implemented by individual ISPs, and Chinese search engines, which were found to block results based on particular keywords. Chinese blog providers also were found to prevent or remove content based on particular keywords, or removed the keywords from posts.

Cyber-cafes were legally required to track customer’s usage, keeping records for 60 days. This and a patchwork of other laws — “including media regulation, protections of ‘state secrets,’ controls on Internet service providers and Internet content providers” — limited free expression. There was no single statute enacting the censorship.

During the years of the ONI study, the Chinese censorship system was observed to have grown “more refined, sophisticated, and targeted”.

Other National Filtering reports so far released by the group are Bahrain 2004-05, United Arab Emirates 2004-05, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2004; although members have released a number of other reports individually [1].

Where To Seek For An Affordable Used Car And How To Get Them?

by

Jackob Martin

If you want to buy an affordable car than its essential that you should be aware where to used cars search. Knowing this can really aid you, because these types of used cars are really cheap. Its good to gather information about the used cars and it can really help you to get lower rates. Search in local newspaper for used carsThe first option is to search in local newspaper and even various classified ads. Many classified ads provide data if they want to sell their cars and this is the easiest way to for a used car search. The ads will provide you the names of the dealers and their locations thus you can contact them and get your used cars. Internet also provide various choice of used carsIt s even good, if you search it through various internet sites. Internet provides tons of websites wherein you can purchase your used cars. These sites are user-friendly and one needs to just type the model and the color of the car which he needs. One also has a choice to choose the car which fits his budget and he can easily afford. There are even few people who want to get in to various auto auction events which are conducted overall in our country. This is actually the finest place to search for reasonable rates. Few of the cars are even priced 90% lower than the original market value, thus one get them from such auctions. Most of such cars are repossessed by the previous owners and even few of them are seized by the police thus they are available at cheap rates than the real market price. Many new car search even turn their mind towards used cars because of the hefty prices. Even if they are very affordable, it s still good to know the financial limitation and negotiate on the car price. One can get new car discount if he knows to negotiate well with the lenders. One more thing which a buyer should consider is to check the functionalities of the automobiles before finalizing the deal. This is especially necessary if one wants to purchase a used car. If a person is aware where to find cheap used cars than he can expect to save thousands of dollars, he can use that money in some other purchase. Thus it s recommended to carry out proper research before getting any used car. Know more tips on used car purchase from Auto driver, a leading name in used auto loan provider in America.Resource

For Americans who were engaged in best find used car, the “Cash for Clunkers Program stimulus package seems to have a worked like a blessing in disguise. This is because the program has enabled many buyers to buy discount new cars which have much better fuel efficiency. Besides, the program has also boosted new small car sales andArticle Source: ArticleRich.com

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UK Government announce same-sex weddings to start from March 29

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

The British government announced today that marriages in England and Wales between members of the same-sex will be conducted from March 29 of next year. The change follows the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act earlier this year.

The equalities minister Maria Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex. This is just another step in the evolution of marriage and I know that many couples up and down the country will be hugely excited that they can now plan for their big day and demonstrate their love and commitment to each other by getting married.”

The government have not given details of how couples already in a civil partnership will be able to convert to a marriage. The government are also working on arrangements for those who wish to change their legally recognised gender while married. Miller said arrangements on both of these issues would be in place by the end of 2014.

Ben Summerskill from the gay rights group Stonewall said: “This historic step will mean that, for the first time, every gay person in England and Wales will finally enjoy exactly the same rights as their heterosexual friends and family.”

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said on Twitter that it was “great news”.