- - Sunday, December 5, 2010


Crippled cargo ship heads for port

ANCHORAGE | A cargo ship that broke down in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands while carrying canola seeds and nearly a half-million gallons of fuel oil continued its slow journey to a safe harbor Sunday as a tugboat pulled it through rough seas and up to 25-foot waves.

The 738-foot Golden Seas with 20 crew members aboard was expected to reach Dutch Harbor, 275 miles away, sometime Tuesday.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Dana Warr said the tugboat captain decided to take a longer route south of the island chain where seas were somewhat less rough. The course change was expected to add about 20 to 30 hours to the trip.

Chief Petty Officer Warr said Sunday evening the vessels were dealing with waves between 20 and 25 feet, despite predictions that the rough seas would abate. “We thought it would diminish more than it has,” he said.


Browser flaw allows ‘history sniffing’

SAN FRANCISCO | Dozens of websites have been secretly harvesting lists of places that their users previously visited online, everything from news articles to bank sites to pornography, a team of computer scientists found.

The information is valuable for con artists to learn more about their targets and send them personalized attacks. It also allows e-commerce companies to adjust ads or prices — for instance, if the site knows the user has just come from a competitor that is offering a lower price.

Although passwords aren’t at risk, in harvesting a detailed list of where people have been online, sites can create thorough profiles on its users. The technique the University of California at San Diego researchers investigated is called “history sniffing” and is a result of the way browsers interact with websites and record where they’ve been. A few lines of programming code are all a site needs to pull it off.

Although security experts have known for nearly a decade that such snooping is possible, the latest findings offer some of the first public evidence of sites exploiting the problem. Current versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers still allow this, as do older versions of Chrome and Safari, the researchers said.


Shuttle flight delayed to 2011; cracks cited

CAPE CANAVERAL | Space Shuttle Discovery’s final mission is off until February, three months late because of fuel-tank cracks that are stumping engineers.

Story Continues →