Stellar ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ throws a few twists into the Skywalker space opera

Subplots, space battles and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren run wild in the lengthy run time of ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII.’

Oh, wait, you were more interested in the parentage of Daisy Ridley’s heroine Rey, what Mark Hamill’s Jedi master Luke Skywalker has been doing on an island for years, and why Adam Driver’s menacing Kylo Ren is constantly miffed? The eighth and latest chapter in the long-running space opera dives into those mysteries from The Force Awakens, too.     READ FULL POST

1998 attack that messes with sites’ secret crypto keys is back in a big way

Sites vulnerable to newly revived ROBOT exploit included Facebook and PayPal.

The vulnerability in the transport layer security protocol for Web encryption was disclosed in 1998 when researcher Daniel Bleichenbacher found it in the TLS predecessor known as secure sockets layer. A flaw in the algorithm that handles RSA encryption keys responded to certain types of errors in a way that divulged potentially sensitive information. With enough specially formed queries, attackers could exploit the weakness in a way that allowed them to decrypt ciphertext even when they didn’t have the secret decryption key. SSL architects responded by designing workarounds that suppressed the error messages rather than removing or rewriting the faulty RSA algorithm.     READ FULL POST

Anti-vax views must not derail France’s compulsory vaccine law

The nation is about to make 11 childhood vaccines mandatory, but unless anti-vax echo chambers are tackled, the law may not fulfil its promise, says Laura Spinney

A new law takes force in France on 1 January to up the number of mandatory childhood vaccines to 11 from three. It has provoked a polemic, but the law is sound. If there is a problem here, it is the neglect by officials of the main drivers of vaccine hesitancy.     READ FULL POST

Flüchtlingspolitik: EU-Kommission nennt Tusks Schreiben antieuropäisch

Ratspräsident Donald Tusk hat in einem Arbeitspapier die Asylpolitik der EU für gescheitert erklärt. Die EU-Kommission hält seine Position für “inakzeptabel”.

Die EU-Kommission hat empört auf ein Schreiben von Ratspräsident Donald Tusk reagiert, in dem er das Programm zur Umverteilung von Flüchtlingen für gescheitert erklärt. Die Einschätzung des polnischen Politikers sei “inakzeptabel” und “antieuropäisch”, sagte EU-Innenkommissar Dimitris Avramopoulos in Straßburg. “Dieses Papier untergräbt einen der Hauptpfeiler des europäischen Projekts: das Prinzip der Solidarität.”      READ FULL POST

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee leaves behind city in turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Under Mayor Ed Lee’s seven-year watch, San Francisco went from a city mired in recession to a technology-fueled economic powerhouse where housing costs skyrocketed and the chasm between the wealthy and everyone else grew. Lee died Tuesday at 65 after collapsing while grocery shopping. He leaves behind a rapidly transforming city where the median home value is more than $1.2 million and grumpy residents are unhappy with homelessness, clogged traffic and frequent auto break-ins.

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee listens to questions during a news conference at City Hall in San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lee died early Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. He was 65. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)      READ FULL POST

Charles Jenkins, former U.S. deserter to North Korea, dies at 77

Jenkins disappeared in 1965 while on patrol along the Demilitarized Zone.

Jenkins, one of four U.S. soldiers who defected in the 1960s, was found collapsed outside his home on Sado island, northern Japan, on Monday. He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, a group representing families of Japanese abductees to North Korea said Tuesday.     READ FULL POST