Microsoft’s attempt to recruit interns is a barrel of cringe

It’s always horrible when olds try to emulate the style of the kids, which makes this attempt by Microsoft to attract interns particularly toe-curling. Twitter user Patrick Burtchaell says that his roommate received the youth lingo-infused e-mail from a Microsoft recruiter, and it brings to mind that scene from 30 Rock.

How do you do, fellow kids?

Translation was needed for some of the more senior (in age rather than tenure) members of the Ars Staff: “bae” is a term of endearment equivalent in meaning to “babe,” “hella noms” means “lots of food,” and “getting lit” means “getting drunk or high.”

The best, by which I mean worst, part of the e-mail is that it gets the lingo wrong. “Drank” does not mean “drink.” “Drank” means “cough syrup;” specifically, cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine that is consumed recreationally. Opioids like codeine are routinely abused to get high, and, when combined with the antihistamine promethazine, can produce feelings of euphoria.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

TP-Link forgets to register domain name, leaves config pages open to hijack

In common with many other vendors, TP-Link, one of the world’s biggest sellers of Wi-Fi access points and home routers, has a domain name that owners of the hardware can use to quickly get to their router’s configuration page. Unlike most other vendors, however, it appears that TP-Link has failed to renew its registration for the domain, leaving it available for anyone to buy. Any owner of the domain could feasibly use it for fake administration pages to phish credentials or upload bogus firmware. This omission was spotted by Amitay Dan, CEO of Cybermoon, and posted to the Bugtraq mailing list last week.

Two domain names used by TP-Link appear to be affected. tplinklogin-dot-net was used, according to TP-Link, on devices sold until 2014. On initial setup, while the router’s Internet connection is still offline, the domain name will be trapped automatically and correctly send users to the router’s configuration page. But subsequent visits to the configuration page can use the real Internet DNS system to resolve the address, and hence those routers are susceptible to being hijacked. A second TP-Link domain name, tplinkextender-dot-net, was used by TP-Link wireless range extenders and is similarly vulnerable.

Together, these domain names appear to be quite busy; estimates based on Alexa’s ranking suggest that tplinklogin-dot-net sees about 4.4 million visits per month, with another 800,000 for tplinkextender-dot-net. It’s not known who the new owner of the domains is, but Dan tweeted that domain name brokers are offering the more popular of the two for $2.5 million. This high price tag is perhaps why TP-Link has declined to buy the name back.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

After hiatus, in-the-wild Mac backdoors are suddenly back

After taking a hiatus, Mac malware is suddenly back, with three newly discovered strains that have access to Web cameras, password keychains, and pretty much every other resource on an infected machine.

The first one, dubbed Eleanor by researchers at antivirus provider Bitdefender, is hidden inside EasyDoc Converter, a malicious app that is, or at least was, available on a software download site called MacUpdate. When double clicked, EasyDoc silently installs a backdoor that provides remote access to a Mac’s file system and webcam, making it possible for attackers to download files, install new apps, and watch users who are in front of an infected machine. Eleanor communicates with control servers over the Tor anonymity service to prevent them from being taken down or being used to identify the attackers.

“This type of malware is particularly dangerous as it’s hard to detect and offers the attacker full control of the compromised system,” Tiberius Axinte, technical leader of the Bitdefender Antimalware Lab, said in a blog post published Wednesday. “For instance, someone can lock you out of your laptop, threaten to blackmail you to restore your private files or transform your laptop into a botnet to attack other devices.”

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

DoubleLine’s Gundlach: Gold remains best investment in ‘shaky’ world

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jeffrey Gundlach, the chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, said on Wednesday that gold remains the best investment amid fears of instability in the European Union and prolonged…

Lack of lithium in early Universe may be evidence for new particle

Cosmology is truly a remarkable science. Okay, all science is remarkable, but cosmology deals with something so neat and simple—the beginning of the Universe, where all of our reality was governed by fundamental physics. That simplicity is seen through the blurred vision of time, though. The remarkable part is how much detail we can extract from the fuzzy forms that are visible of the past.

One of those details is nucleosynthesis. The Big Bang theory predicts the elemental make up of the early Universe with amazing accuracy. Except for lithium. Lithium is either hiding, or there is an eater-of-lithium that shares an apartment with its better known cousin, the eater-of-socks. In lieu of evidence for an eater-of-lithium, scientists have been trying to figure out what might have prevented lithium from forming in the first place. One solution: a new particle that seems promising.

In the early Universe, there were no atoms or molecules as we know them today. The Universe was made up of protons and electrons that had too much energy to stick together, so they formed a kind of fluid, mixing and flowing around each other. But, as the Universe expanded, the fluid cooled, some of the protons began to stick together, grab a neutron or two, and form the first heavier elements.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ex-Fox News host sues CEO Roger Ailes claiming sexual harassment

(Reuters) – Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes on Wednesday claiming sexual harassment and that he wrongfully fired her after years of making unwanted advances.

Eight Georgia prisons locked down after spate of violence

(Reuters) – Eight prisons in the state of Georgia have been placed on lockdown after rising tensions between gangs led to the murder of one inmate and a series of fights that sent 16 other convicts to the hospital, correctional officials said on Wednesday.

U.S. regulator probes July 1 crash of Tesla Model X in Pennsylvania

(Reuters) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating a July 1 crash in Pennsylvania of a Tesla Model X to determine whether automated functions were in use at the time of the accident, the agency said on Wednesday.