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Incredible artifact – or vital component after civilization ends? Rare Nazi Enigma M4 box sells for £350,000

A Second World War cryptography artifact – a 1944 Enigma M4 machine – has sold at auction for £347,250 ($436,000). Christie’s, which handled the sale, did not reveal the identity of the buyer of the crypto-device. This box is a particularly interesting one as it is one of the later, and more complex, bits of German Enigma kit. The four-rotor design generated ciphertext that was trickier for Allied boffins…

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Here’s why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware

Analysis Since the middle of last month, thousands of Samsung customers found their older internet-connected Blu-ray players had stopped working. In the days that followed, complaints about devices caught in an endless startup boot loop began to appear on various internet discussion boards, and videos documenting the device failure appeared on YouTube. To fix the issue, Samsung eventually advised customers to return their inoperable video players for repairs. There…

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Black hole destroys corona

High-energy X-rays emanating from a gigantic black hole rapidly petered out before it roared back to life again, leaving astronomers bewildered. An international team of scientists have been observing the hole, 1ES 1927+654, for years. It’s estimated to be roughly 19 million solar masses, and is classified as an active galactic nucleus (AGN), which is a particularly bright type of supermassive black hole. They also observed its corona, which…

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US military whips out credit card for unmanned low-Earth-orbit outpost prototype (aka a repurposed ISS cargo pod)

The Pentagon wants an unmanned military outpost in orbit one day – and this week hired the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to build a prototype. Luckily for the aerospace biz, it won’t have to start from scratch. SNC, founded in 1963 and headquartered in Reno, Nevada, developed something similar called the Shooting Star, a transport pod designed to be attached to Dream Chaser, a plane it designed to fly…

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Finally, made it to the weekend, time to breathe, relax, and… Cloudflare’s taken down a chunk of the web

Updated Global internet glue Cloudflare experienced a brief network outage on Friday that broke multiple apps and websites, including your humble Register. On its status page, as of Jul 17, 21:37 UTC, the DNS-and-everything-else provider said it was “investigating issues with Cloudflare Resolver and our edge network in certain locations,” and warned that customers in certain regions may experience failures or errors. Affected services included the Cloudflare API and…

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Seven ‘no log’ VPN providers accused of leaking – yup, you guessed it – 1.2TB of user logs onto the internet

A string of “zero logging” VPN providers have some explaining to do after more than a terabyte of user logs were found on their servers unprotected and facing the public internet. This data, we are told, included in at least some cases clear-text passwords, personal information, and lists of websites visited, all for anyone to stumble upon. It all came to light this week after Comparitech’s Bob Diachenko spotted…

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