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Tor in Tails

A recent security breach just provided a painful reminder that Tor's anonymity network isn't completely foolproof against truly determined intruders. The email service SIGAINT is warning users that someone recently launched a sustained attempt to break into its servers and snoop on messages. While that direct attack wasn't successful, the culprit also tried setting up malicious exit nodes (where data reaches the normal internet) in hopes of spying on messages the moment they left Tor. The chances of actually connecting to one of these rogue routers was slim (about 2.7 percent), but you clearly wouldn't have enjoyed winning this lottery.

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Identical twin women

Believe it or not, police have a real problem with identifying suspects who are identical twins -- unless you're willing to spend a month sequencing genes, DNA samples are all but useless. They may be far more effective in the future, though, as British researchers have developed a technique that melts DNA to identify what few differences exist. The team has determined that heating genes will break hydrogen bonds that form due to a person's environment and habits. Unless the twins live eerily similar lives, those bonds will snap at different temperature points and quickly identify who's who.

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Tesla Model S 70D

It's all too common to see ne'er-do-wells compromising a website or a social network account, but Tesla just got hit with a triple whammy. At least one group has hijacked not just the electric car maker's website and its Twitter account, but also founder Elon Musk's account. Both social services were quickly back in running order, but the site is going up and down as of this writing. The attackers appear to be attention-seeking pranksters (they offered a "free Tesla" to anyone calling a PC repair shop, for example) rather than sinister agents. Still, something tells us that the company isn't quite so amused -- we've reached out for its take on the situation, and we'll let you know if it has more to add.


The floor at the CIA

Whatever you think about the morality of using mass surveillance to catch evildoers, the technology only works if people can use it -- just ask the CIA. The New York Times has obtained a declassified report revealing that that the agency was largely kept in the dark about the President's Surveillance Program (aka Stellarwind), which allows for bulk data collection, until at least 2009. Only the highest-ranking officials could use PSP as a general rule, and those few agents that did have access often didn't know enough to use it properly, faced "competing priorities" or had other tools at their disposal. To boot, there wasn't documentation showing how effective the program was in fighting terrorism.

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Anonymous in front of the White House

Russian hackers may have had more success in breaching the White House network than first thought. New York Times sources understand that intruders who got into the White House's unclassified system managed to collect some of President Obama's email. They didn't compromise the account itself, and they didn't snap up the classified messages passing through the President's BlackBerry. However, these messages likely included some "highly sensitive" material, like policy discussions, schedules and staff changes -- the data could have been abused in the worst circumstances.

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People look for survivors after the Nepal earthquake

The Nepal earthquake has caused an immeasurable amount of tragedy this weekend, but some internet services are offering tools that might provide comfort if you have friends or family in the area. Facebook has rolled out its recently introduced Safety Check feature to tell you if contacts in the area are okay -- survivors only have to report in to ease your mind. Google, meanwhile, has revived its longstanding Person Finder to assist you in both locating loved ones and sharing news with others. You'll want to get in direct contact or reach out an embassy if you're still concerned about affected locals, but these internet tools could spare you from a lot of uncertainty.

[Image credit: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images]


Sending directins to a phone using Google search

Sending Google Maps directions to an Android phone hasn't been that hard for a while, but it's now downright easy. Google has introduced a web feature that delivers instructions through a simple search. As long as your phone is properly linked to your Google account, you only have to search for "send directions" to get the ball rolling -- choose the route, hit send and your device will be ready to navigate. Only some people appear to have access to this option as of this writing, but there's a good chance that you'll get to check it out before too long.


Google sign

Google might have just hinted at the future of its Glass headsets. The company has sent a mystery "smart BLE" (Bluetooth Low Energy) device to the FCC for approval, the A4R-CAP1, and there are a few telltale signs that it's one of Mountain View's wearables. Most notably, the product's digital FCC label (shown below) not only looks a lot like a Glass interface card, but requires that you swipe to see it -- that suggests a touchstrip, as you'd use on Google's eyepiece. Mentions of an Android-like firmware revision and a battery help, too. There's the possibility that this is another gadget that simply happens to use Glass-style navigation, but that seems less than likely. Don't be surprised if you're eventually plunking CAP1 on your head.

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Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they've taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they've moved from garage operations to vast campuses.

[Image: NBBJ]


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

How to Design a Roller Coaster That'll Make You Beg For Mercy
by Jeff Wise
Bloomberg Business

When it comes to designing a roller coaster, there are any number of tools that can achieve that maximum thrill. At Carowinds, a theme park that borders North and South Carolina, the Fury 325 debuted this spring. The ride packs a 325-foot drop and top speeds of 95MPH. How does something like this come about? Bloomberg's Jeff Wise will take you for a ride to find out.

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