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Decrypted: The Expanse: “The shout came from Ganymede”

What's been happening on Ganymede?

Decrypted: The Expanse: You starting to like space now?

Detective Miller goes for his first ever spacewalk this week.

Halo Wars 2 single-player review: Meet local units in your area

An anticlimactic fall ends an otherwise tense tightrope spacewalk.

Star Wars: Destiny is a fantastic game you may not want...

FFG's latest card-and-dice game is great—but it'll cost you.

Get ready for a JJ Abrams movie about Nazi monsters

Specifically, Overlord is about fighting supernatural Nazi monsters in World War II.

Focusing light through frosted glass leads to new 3D display technology

Holo-display uses image-wrecking glass to create bigger, widely viewable image.

Avengers-like team of Square Enix devs are making next Avengers game

Deal marks beginning of “multi-game” deal with Marvel.

The horror, the horror: Coppola announces Apocalypse Now video game

Producer talks VR, early access, long development, and Kickstarter.

Axanar Productions, Paramount, and CBS settle Star Trek copyright lawsuit

Enlarge / A scene from Prelude to Axanar.Axanar reader comments 52 Share this story On Friday, litigants announced a settlement to end a contentious copyright lawsuit over a short film and a proposed feature-length film based in the Star Trek universe.

The lawsuit was filed last year and involves Star Trek fan-fiction producer Axanar Productions, Paramount Studios, and CBS. The parties did not disclose all the details of the settlement, which is sealed from the public record.

But a joint statement from Axanar and the plaintiffs noted that the defendants “acknowledge that both films were not approved by Paramount or CBS and that both works crossed boundaries acceptable to CBS and Paramount relating to copyright law.” A spokesperson from Axanar told Ars Technica in an e-mail “we’re not paying anything,” with respect to the settlement. The settlement will also require the fanfic producer to “make substantial changes to Axanar to resolve this litigation.” According to a statement from Axanar, this includes changing the proposed feature-length film into two 15-minute short film episodes, which will be posted on YouTube without advertising from which Axanar could earn revenue.

The 20-minute Prelude to Axanar will be allowed to stay on YouTube. Axanar Productions was founded after some Star Trek enthusiasts raised more than $1.1 million on Kickstarter to create a high-quality, feature-length Star Trek movie based on the story of Captain Kirk’s hero, Garth of Izar.

Axanar Productions, under the leadership of Alec Peters, created Prelude to Axanar in 2014.

The company was hoping to release the full-length movie in 2016—until Paramount Pictures and CBS sued for copyright infringement. Axanar claimed the lawsuit was unexpected because CBS had a long history of turning a blind eye to fan fiction using Star Trek characters and names, especially since the project was supposed to be non-commercial, meaning that the production company wouldn’t try to make a profit selling tickets or DVDs or T-shirts. Paramount and CBS argued that Axanar was trying to make professional-quality work and objected “to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights.” A civil trial had been scheduled for January 31, 2017 after a judge ruled in early January that Prelude to Axanar and its planned feature-length movie could not avoid an infringement trial on the basis of a fair-use exception. Last June, Paramount and CBS issued a list of 10 rules for Star Trek fan fiction creators.

The list includes dictates that films can’t be longer that 15 minutes and stories can’t exceed 30 minutes; uniforms and props must be “official merchandise;” and all films must be family-friendly, without any profanity, nudity, drugs, or alcohol. As part of the settlement, Axanar agreed to assure Paramount and CBS that “any future Star Trek fan films produced by Axanar or Mr. Peters will be in accordance with the ‘Guidelines for Fan Films’ distributed by CBS and Paramount in June 2016.” Paramount and CBS issued a statement saying that they “continue to be big believers in fan fiction and fan creativity” and will “not object to, or take legal action against, Star Trek fan productions that are non-professional, amateur, and otherwise meet the Guidelines.” In a statement from Axanar, the company said, “Since the beginning of the lawsuit, over a year ago, we have expressed our desire to address the concerns of the studios and our willingness to make necessary changes, as long as we could reasonably meet our commitments to Axanar’s over 14,000 donors, fans, and supporters. We are now able to do exactly that.” The statement continued: “Axanar Productions was created by lifelong Star Trek fans to celebrate their love for Star Trek.

Alec Peters and the Axanar team look forward to continuing to share the Axanar story and are happy to work within the Guidelines for Fan Films for future projects.

Throughout this process, we will continue communicating with our fans and backers to ensure they are informed and involved until we reach completion of the production.”

Op-ed: Five unexpected lessons from the Ashley Madison breach

Ashley Madisonreader comments 8 Share this story On December 14, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission settled a complaint with the company running the adult finder site Ashley Madison over the 2015 data breach that exposed the personal data of more than 36 million users and highlighted the site’s unfair and deceptive practices. This complaint and settlement is important, but not for the obvious reasons. Yes, the breach had an outsized reach, much like the Target and Home Depot breaches preceding it. Yes, the breach involved poor security practices and deceptive promises about the site’s privacy protections. The Ashley Madison complaint follows a long line of actions brought by the FTC to combat unfair and deceptive data protection practices. The site’s exploitation of users’ desperation, vulnerability, and desire for secrecy is exactly the sort of abuse of power the Federal Trade Commission was created to mitigate. But there are five key lessons that should not be missed in discussions about the agency’s settlement of the case. This complaint and settlement are more than just business as usual—they reflect a modern and sustainable way to think about and enforce our privacy in the coming years. Privacy is for everyone The hackers who published Ashley Madison users’ personal information justified their actions on the grounds that cheaters enjoy no expectation of privacy. Their message was loud and clear: “cheating dirtbags...deserve no such discretion.” The online peanut gallery chimed in with Schadenfreude. One commenter said, "Anyone who signed up to this sick site deserves everything they have coming to them." Not so fast. In pursuing this case, the FTC—in conjunction with thirteen state attorneys general and the Canadian government—made clear that everyone enjoys the right to privacy. This is true for nonconformists and conformists, the unpopular and popular. Just because the site’s users may not have endorsed mainstream values did not mean their privacy was any less worthy of protection. Privacy is owed to all consumers, no matter their interests, ideas, or identities. Harm from a data breach is about much more than identity theft As the Ashley Madison leak shows, data breach victims experience harm even before any personal information is used to commit identity theft. Risk and anxiety are injuries worthy of regulation. Victims of the Ashley Madison leak have an increased risk of identity theft, fraud, and reputational damage. That risk is harm in the here and now. Once victims learned about the breach, they may have been chilled from engaging in activities like house and job hunting that depend upon good credit. Individuals might have declined to search for a new home or job since there was an increased chance that lenders or employers would find their credit reports marred by theft. They faced an increased chance of being preyed upon by blackmailers, extortionists, and fraudsters promising quick fixes in exchange for data or money. Emotional distress is a crucial aspect of the suffering. Having one’s sexual preferences and desire to sleep with strangers made public is embarrassing and humiliating. Knowing that employers, family, and friends might discover one’s intimate desires and fantasies can produce significant anxiety. An Ashley Madison user wrote, “I am absolutely sick. I can't sleep or eat and on top of that I am trying to hide that something is wrong from my wife.” Ashley Madison users who were active members of the military worried that they might face penalties because adultery is a punishable offense under the Army’s Military Code of Conduct. All of that anxiety, shame, and humiliation has led to suicide. John Gibson, a pastor, took his own life six days after his name was released in the leak. His suicide note talked about his regret in using the site. A San Antonio, Texas, police captain committed suicide shortly after his e-mail address was linked to an Ashley Madison account. Privacy law and policy must confront the design of technologies The FTC was concerned not just with the site’s explicit promises made to users and its mismanagement of data. The thrust of its investigation was on the failure in the actual design of the defendant’s software. This included failure to build systems that stored information appropriately, failure to ensure the buttons offered to users did what they signaled to users, and the use of vague designs like seals that gave users the false impression of the site’s legitimacy and safety. Enlarge / The FTC alleged that these representations were deceptive. Source: Ashley Madison For years, privacy law around the world focused on the kind of data collected and the activity of the people and companies that held the data. For example, most privacy laws focus on whether someone collected “personal” or “sensitive” information. That’s great, but it’s only part of the picture. The technologies that people use every day—our laptops, phones, and software—affect what we choose to disclose and how easy it is to surveil or access the information of others. For example, symbols and the design of user interfaces like the one in Ashley Madison can trick people into thinking they are safer than they really are. These designs deceived people. The failure to architect interfaces that protected users from hackers left people vulnerable. This complaint shows how we can better incorporate scrutiny of design of hardware and software into our privacy rules instead of just focusing on what companies do with data. The FTC’s cooperation with state attorneys general and the Canadian government is a good thing for privacy enforcement The FTC did not develop this case alone. Thirteen state attorneys general and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada participated in the investigation. Such broad-sweeping cooperation can help harmonize privacy protections across the globe. Privacy is a global issue; cross-border information sharing benefits from such cooperation. This complaint shows how it can be done. Of course, we cannot count on regulatory consensus going forward. State attorneys general and the FTC aren’t always on the same side, and that is a good thing. State law enforcers have nudged federal law enforcers to adopt stronger protections. The Google Do Not Track investigation demonstrates the upside of the phenomenon Jessica Bulman-Pozen and Heather Gerken have insightfully called “uncooperative federalism.” This is the first FTC complaint involving lying bots. There will be more. We humans are suckers for flattery. As automated software-based "bots" become easy for scammers to create and deploy, people are going to be deceived by them much more often. Bots are the future, and they are already creating problems. Dating site Tinder has been doing its best to stamp out the scourge of online bots that are attempting to flatter users into downloading apps and providing credit card information. Even bots deployed with the best of intentions are unpredictable. Microsoft’s automated chat bot Tay all too quickly reflected the worst parts of the social Internet. A Dutch man was questioned by police after a Twitter bot he owned autonomously composed and tweeted a death threat. This case draws a very important line in the sand—bots cannot be programmed to deceive us. It is the first such complaint by the FTC that involved bots designed to actively deceive consumers. We’ll need that rule once scammers realize bots can pass the Turing test well enough to wheedle away our money and our secrets. So while this complaint in many ways was by the books (don’t lie and always protect people’s data), it should be noted for taking a much broader and nuanced approach to privacy. That includes thinking more inclusively about who privacy is for (everyone), what counts as privacy harm (anxiety and risk), where fault lies (in design as well as data processing), how regulators should tackle privacy problems (collaboratively), and which phenomena should pose privacy issues (automation as well as databases). The Ashley Madison breach was bad, but this resolution is useful for the future. Woodrow Hartzog is the Starnes Professor of Law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Danielle Citron is the Morton & Sophia Macht Professor of Law at the University of Maryland, an affiliate scholar at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, an affiliate fellow at the Yale Information Society Project, and a senior fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum.

This is your captain speaking… or is it?

In-flight entertainment systems create hacker risk, say researchers Vulnerabilities in Panasonic in-flight entertainment systems create a possible mechanism for attackers to control in-flight displays, PA systems and lighting, say researchers. Ruben Santamarta, principal security consultant at IOActive, said it had found vulnerabilities in Panasonic Avionic In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) systems that it claims could allow hackers to "hijack" passengers’ in-flight displays and, in some instances, potentially access their credit card information.

The research revealed it would also theoretically be possible that such a vulnerability could present an entry point to the wider network, including the aircraft controls domain. “I’ve been afraid of flying for as long as I can remember,” said Santamarta. “It might sound like a sick cure to some but, as a hacker, learning everything I could about how planes work, from the aerodynamics to electronics, has reduced the fear significantly. On a 2014 flight from Warsaw to Dubai, I discovered I could access debug codes directly from a Panasonic inflight display.

A subsequent internet search allowed me to discover hundreds of publicly available firmware updates for multiple major airlines, which was quite alarming. Upon analysing backend source code for these airlines and reverse engineering the main binary, I’ve found several interesting functionalities and exploits.” IFE system vulnerabilities identified by Santamarta might most straightforwardly be exploited to gain control of what passengers see and hear from their in-flight screen, he claimed.

For example, an attacker might spoof flight information values such as altitude or speed, or show a bogus route on the interactive map.

An attacker might also compromise the "CrewApp" unit, which controls PA systems, lighting, or even the recliners on first class seating.
If all of these attacks are applied at the same time, a malicious actor may create a baffling and disconcerting situation for passengers.

Furthermore, the capture of personal information, including credit card details, is also technically possible due to backend systems that sometimes provide access to specific airlines’ frequent-flyer/VIP membership data, said the researcher. Aircraft's data networks are divided into four domains, depending on the kind of data they process: passenger entertainment, passenger-owned devices, airline information services, and finally aircraft control.

Avionics is usually located in the Aircraft Control domain, which should be physically isolated from the passenger domains; however, this doesn’t always happen.

This means that as long as there is a physical path that connects both domains, there is potential for attack.

The specific devices, software and configuration deployed on the target aircraft would dictate whether an attack is possible or not.
Santamarta urged airlines to steer towards a cautious course. “I don’t believe these systems can resist solid attacks from skilled malicious actors,” he said. “As such, airlines must be incredibly vigilant when it comes to their IFE systems, ensuring that these and other systems are properly segregated and each aircraft's security posture is carefully analysed case by case.” IOActive reported these findings to Panasonic Avionics in March 2015.
It only went public this week after giving the firm “enough time to produce and deploy patches, at least for the most prominent vulnerabilities”. Panasonic Avionic’s technology is used by a several major airlines including Virgin, American and Emirates airlines. El Reg asked Panasonic Avionic to comment on IOActive's research but we’ve yet to hear back. We’ll update this story as and when we learn more. The avionics research has some parallels with IOActive’s remote hack of the Jeep Cherokee in 2014, in which hackers took control of the vehicle’s dashboard functions, including steering, brakes, and transmission, through vulnerabilities existing in the automobile’s entertainment system. Once again, it appears entertainment systems have created a potential route into sensitive systems that hackers might be able to exploit. Stephen Gates, chief research intelligence analyst at NSFOCUS, commented: “In the light of this research, physical separation between in-flight entertainment systems and aircraft control systems could never be more important.

As airlines continue to add new customer-based entertainment and information technologies, airlines need to ensure that an impenetrable barrier is in place protecting aircraft control systems. “This research demonstrates that hackers could cause all sorts of issues that could impact a customer’s 'experience' while flying, but have yet to prove they could impact flight control systems,” he added. ® Sponsored: Flash enters the mainstream.
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SpeedCast Introduces SIGMA Net

A new standard in cloud-based vessel management with security by design

Sydney, Australia, November 30, 2016 - SpeedCast International Limited (ASX: SDA), a leading global satellite communications and network service provider, today announced the official release of SIGMA Net, the new standard for shipping and remote site network management designed specifically for VSAT and MSS.

SIGMA Net is a small but powerful industrial-grade VSAT and MSS network management device designed for ships and remote sites, providing automated and efficient management of multiple WAN links. Cyber security is at the heart of SIGMA Net, which incorporates a stateful firewall and Virtual Private Networking between the vessel and the Internet plus unique methods to regulate Internet access, including rejection of update services to Windows or mobile devices. Voice calling across multiple satellite equipment is simplified via SIGMA Net’s integrated VoIP server, allowing a caller to choose the outbound call route via a prefix. National numbers can also be allocated, allowing for cost-effective calling from shore to a vessel. Feature and performance enhancements are automatically applied, ensuring that the SIGMA Net’s software is always kept up to date.

SIGMA Net offers flexible crew services, including innovative pre-paid PIN-based BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Internet and voice calling services, allowing for simplified voucher generation and management from shore. SIGMA Net provides managed network segmentation between business critical, crew or M2M networks at the remote location.

The cloud-based SIGMA Net Portal brings a vessel or remote site closer to IT management through its innovative and secured portal. The browser-based SIGMA Net Portal provides remote management and configuration of SIGMA Net from shore. Any configuration changes made from the portal are instantly replicated to one or more SIGMA Net terminals, with full auditing of amendments recorded. Reliability and redundancy is a primary feature of SIGMA Net, with its configuration securely synchronized and stored to the portal. The portal also presents fully-featured and interactive reporting of all data transferred via the SIGMA Net WAN links onboard.

“SIGMA Net has introduced a new degree of connection and network management to the Danaos fleet,” said Mr V Fotinias, Vessel IT Manager at Danaos Shipping, Greece. “The SIGMA Net Portal provides a web interface that enables remote configuration of SIGMA Net terminals across our fleet. The reporting provided by the SIGMA Net Portal gives us full visibility on traffic sent and received via the WAN links. Our vessel IT support team is able to easily and quickly resolve problems on board via SIGMA Net. The Danaos crew are extremely happy with the SIGMA Net prepaid vouchers for Internet access or crew calling.”

Danaos Shipping is one of the world’s largest containership owners, with a modern fleet of 59 container ships operating globally.

“SIGMA Net is a robust and secure cloud-based management platform that will both revolutionize and simplify vessel IT administration, both for shore-based support staff and a vessel’s crew,” said Dan Rooney, Maritime Product Director for SpeedCast. “The highly-configurable and flexible prepaid voucher services allow for time-consuming administrative tasks such as voucher generation to be managed centrally, rather than relying upon the Captain.”

About SpeedCast International Limited
SpeedCast International Limited (ASX: SDA) is a leading global satellite communications and network service provider, offering high-quality managed network services in over 90 countries and a global maritime network serving customers worldwide. With a worldwide network of 42 sales and support offices and 39 teleport operations, SpeedCast has a unique infrastructure to serve the requirements of customers globally. With over 5,000 links on land and at sea supporting mission critical applications, SpeedCast has distinguished itself with a strong operational expertise and a highly efficient support organization. For more information, visit http://www.speedcast.com/.

Social Media: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook

SpeedCast® is a trademark and registered trademark of SpeedCast International Limited. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective owners.

© 2016 SpeedCast International Limited. All rights reserved.

For more information, please contact:
Clara So
SpeedCast International Limited
Tel: +852 3919 6800

About Danaos Corporation
Danaos Corporation is one of the largest independent owners of modern, large-size containerships. Our current fleet of 59 containerships aggregating 353,586 TEUs, including four vessels owned jointly with Gemini Shipholdings Corporation, is predominantly chartered to many of the world's largest liner companies on fixed-rate, long-term charters. Our long track record of success is predicated on our efficient and rigorous operational standards and environmental controls. Danaos Corporation's shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "DAC". Please visit www.danaos.com for more information.