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+ - 250 Hacker vs counter-hacker, a legal debate->

Submitted by Freddybear
Freddybear (1805256) writes "If your computer has been cracked and subverted for use by a botnet or other remote-access attack, is it legal for you to hack back into the system from which the attack originated? Over the last couple of years three legal scholars and bloggers have debated the question on The Volokh Conspiracy weblog. The linked webpage collects that debate into a coherent document.

"The debaters are:

        Stewart Baker, a former official at the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson with a large cybersecurity practice. Stewart Baker makes the policy case for counterhacking and challenges the traditional view of what remedies are authorized by the language of the CFAA.

        Orin Kerr, Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor of Law at George Washington School of Law, a former computer crimes prosecutor, and one of the most respected computer crime scholars. Orin Kerr defends the traditional view of the Act against both Stewart Baker and Eugene Volokh.

        Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, founder of the Volokh Conspiracy, and a sophisticated technology lawyer, presents a challenge grounded in common law understandings of trespass and tort.""

Link to Original Source
Nintendo

+ - 192 Nintendo WiiU Released in The USA

Submitted by YokimaSun
YokimaSun (930294) writes "Nintendo have today fired the first salvo in the Next Gen Console Wars with the release of their WiiU Console in the USA, a console which is massively more powerful than the Nintendo Wii and also the PS3/Xbox 360(so they claim). Yet again Nintendo have done a world first and released a gamepad which is also a Tablet and should provide us with games that stretch the boundaries even more. Wii Games are compatible with the console as is the WiiRemote.The WiiU comes in 2 SKUs a 32GB Deluxe package and an 8GB Basics pack. The Games line up is a strong one with games such as New Super Mario Bros U, Arkham City Armoured Edition, Assassins Creed 3, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Sonic AllStars Racing, Nintendo Land, Tank Tank Tank, ScribbleNauts Unlimited, Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two, ESPN Sports Connection, DarkSiders 2, Rabbids Land, Mass Effect 3, Ninja Gaiden 3 Razors Edge, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Wipeout 3 and Just Dance 4 all available on Launch Day. Will this console be able to fight off Tablets such as the iPad and Kindle Fire HD?"

+ - 232 Little Change in Drought Over 60 Years -> 1

Submitted by
bricko
bricko writes "More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles8 that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.

What does this mean?

For one, it means that a widely accepted and oft-repeated consensus position expressed in the IPCC 2007 now appears to have been incorrect. This should not be unexpected as a consensus position is a snapshot of perspectives, and in science, perspectives can change based on new evidence and study. The IPCC SREX, published earlier this year had already stepped back from the conclusions of the IPCC AR4."

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Google

+ - 142 New Malware Variant Uses Google Docs As A Proxy To Phone Home

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Windows 8 may block most malware out of the box, but there is still malware out there that thwarts Microsoft’s latest and greatest. A new Trojan variant, detected as Backdoor.Makadocs and spread via RTF and Microsoft Word document marked as Trojan.Dropper, has been discovered that not only adds a clause to target Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, but also uses Google Docs as a proxy server to phone home to its Command & Control (C&C) server."

+ - 114 Libreoffice supporters defend their Freiburg deployment->

Submitted by Seeteufel
Seeteufel (1736784) writes "Libreoffice proponents aim to change the mind of the city administration in Freiburg, Germany. The city administration proposed the City Council to switch to Microsoft Office. Libreoffice supporters wrote a letter. Currently multiple cities consider to migrate to Libreoffice despite the massive lobbying from competitors. The decision of the City Council is a political one."
Link to Original Source

+ - 198 Man arrested at Oakland airport for ornate watch->

Submitted by mbeckman
mbeckman (645148) writes "A man was arrested at Oakland airport for having an bomb-making materials. The materials? An ornate watch and extra insoles in his boots. Despite the bomb squad determining that there was no bomb, The Alameda county sheriffs department claimed that he was carrying "potentially dangerous materials and appeared to have made alterations to his boots, which were Unusually large and stuffed with layers of insoles." The man told Transportation Security Administration officers that he's an artist and the watch is art."
Link to Original Source
Education

+ - 299 How Free Speech Died on Campus 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The WSJ catches up with FIRE's Greg Lukianoff and his crusade to expose how universities have become the most authoritarian institutions in America. In Unlearning Liberty, Lukianoff notes that baby-boom Americans who remember the student protests of the 1960s tend to assume that U.S. colleges are still some of the freest places on earth. But that idealized university no longer exists. Today, university bureaucrats suppress debate with anti-harassment policies that function as de facto speech codes. FIRE maintains a database of such policies on its website. What they share, lifelong Democrat Lukianoff says, is a view of 'harassment' so broad and so removed from its legal definition that 'literally every student on campus is already guilty.'"
Earth

+ - 157 Ken Burns Chronicles the Greatest Man-Made EcoDisaster in Human History

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The LA Times reports that as the East Coast licks its wounds from superstorm Sandy, beginning on Sunday on PBS, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in US history in "The Dust Bowl," a story that has modern-day relevance. The conditions for catastrophe, centered in the Oklahoma panhandle and neighboring parts of Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado, were laid down in the conversion of a flat, windy, dry land, "almost wholly unfit for cultivation" in one early estimate, into a sea of wheat. A number of wet years, plus the encouragement of the federal government, land speculators and bogus science, made all seem well for a while. But then the rain stopped, and the soil, already weakened by mechanical farming techniques — often for absentee "suitcase farmers" with no emotional attachment to the land — turned to dirt. "We lived in a brown world." says Dorothy Kleffman, of Guymon, Oklahoma, one of two dozen Dust Bowl survivors Burns has interviewed. The film has special relevance to present-day arguments about our effect on the natural world and the place of government in regulating these interactions. "People who are ignorant and people who think only in terms of the moment scoff at our efforts and say: 'Oh, let the next generation take care of itself—if people out in the dry parts of the country cannot live there let them move out and hand the land back to the Indians.'" said President Roosevelt in a 1938 speech in Amarillo, Texas. That the scoffing goes on, led by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, makes this bit of history feel urgent."
Wikipedia

+ - 237 How can Wikipedia's upcoming Visual Editor be better than other word processors?->

Submitted by azadnama
azadnama (2701015) writes "Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia, is aware of the fact the MediaWiki formatting syntax is a major obstacle for people's participation in writing on the site. To address this problem, the Foundation is developing VisualEditor—a web-based WYSIWYG interface for editing articles. It's supposed to be similar to a word processor, like LibreOffice, Microsoft Word, Pages, Google Docs, and others. And this is the time to ask: What did your word processor get wrong and how can Wikipedia's VisualEditor get it right?"
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Idle

+ - 96 GIF Becomes Word Of The Year 2012 -> 2

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "GIF started out as a humble acronym 25 years ago, entered common parlance as the format used for web graphics and now achieves fame as a verb by becoming Oxford Dictionaries USA Word of the Year 2012. GIF as a noun has always been an all-capital letter noun. Becoming a verb has caused problems concerning the use of capital and lower case letters. The common form is to keep the noun in caps and add the verbal endings in lower case — as in GIFed,GIFing), However, an all lower-case spelling with the f duplicated (giffed, giffing) is also being used."
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Data Storage

+ - 336 Hard Disk capacity set to increase up to five times ->

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "A technique that enables the nanopatterned layers that store data in hard disk drives to assemble themselves has been improved to better suit mass production, and could enable disks that store five times as much data as the largest available today.

Using self-assembly instead of machines that print or etch out features has long been considered a potential solution to a looming barrier to expanding the capacity of hard-disk designs. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have now worked out a solution to a problem that made self-assembly incompatible with existing factories."

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Censorship

+ - 145 David Cameron 'orders new curbs on internet porn'

Submitted by fustakrakich
fustakrakich (1673220) writes "

The new measures will mean that in future anyone buying a new computer or signing up with a new internet service provider (ISP) will be asked, when they log on for the first time, whether they have children. If the answer is "yes", the parent will be taken through the process of installing anti-pornography filters, as well as a series of questions on how stringent they wish the restrictions to be, according to a newspaper.

If the answer is "no", all male customers over 18 will be immediately tagged as pedophiles."

China

+ - 221 Delicious kiwi fruit is at risk of becoming endangered from disease->

Submitted by canada_dry
canada_dry (830702) writes "A disease that affects kiwi fruit has been spreading across New Zealand and Italy (the top producers of the hairy and nutritious fruit). This relatively new disease "psa-v" was first detected 20 years ago however it has become significantly more virulent in the last 5 years and is now appearing in almost every kiwi crop. Recent studies (May 2011 http://www.kvh.org.nz/vdb/document/163) indicate there is concern about the future of the fruit. It seems that the current treatments of chemicals and antibiotics has been unsuccessful. Indications are that the disease originates from China (http://www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz/rural-news/rural-general-news/china-likely-source-of-psa-v?ml=1). More information is available on the kiwi growers website: http://www.kvh.org.nz/"
Link to Original Source

+ - 173 Star Citizen takes the crowdfunding crown, reboots the Space Sim genre?->

Submitted by Zocalo
Zocalo (252965) writes "Star Citizen, Chris Robert's attempt to reboot the Space Sim genre, hit a major funding milestone earlier today, exceeding the previous record of $4,163,208 secured by the game Project Eternity and more than doubling the initial funding target set by the producer of the Wing Commander series. With Stretch Goals now being passed every few hours bringing new features to the planned game, and David Brabham annoucing a new installment of the classic Elite using a similar funding model at Kickstarter could this be a wake up call for the big game publishers to take another look at the genre?

There's still two days left of Star Citizen funding as well, so if you feel like being a part you can chip in either at the main RSI site or on Kickstarter."

Link to Original Source

+ - 177 Anonymous attacks Israeli websites in response to IDF operation in Gaza

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""On Thursday, Anonymous reported that it took down close to 40 Israeli government and security establishment websites, although the single website that they presented as having been attacked belonged to a security and cleaning services company. The report came after Likud MK Danny Danon announced earlier in the week that his website had been taken down by a group calling itself TeaM KuWaiT HaCkErS. Danon's website had been hosting an online petition calling for the Israeli government to cut off the supply of electricity going from Israel to Gaza. ""

+ - 159 Greek vacation becomes a nightmare - Appeal denied facing upto 20 yr in jail->

Submitted by
jerryhopper
jerryhopper writes "Since September 9, two Czech gamedevelopers visited Greece on vacation. During that vacation they were arrested and charged with espionage. After being imprisoned for 70 days in inhumane conditions, their appeal was denied. Although the appeal denial was made at 25 October — the news reached the parents of the detainees only yesterday (16 nov). Due to Greek strikes in the judicial system, there isnt much progress in the case. Although the two detainees try to keep sane and survive with dignity, sleeping in a drafty cell with 25 inmates is' nt a easy task. They now no longer tell us that it’s alright, that they are holding it together. After this judicial decision we have heard from Martin and Ivan something
that no parent wants to hear. During the phone call they basically told us one thing: “Mom, dad, please save us.”"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 224 FreeBSD machines recently compromised->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Following recent compromises of the Linux kernel.org and Sourceforge, the
FreeBSD Project is now reporting that several machines have been broken
into. After a brief outage, ftp.FreeBSD.org and other services appear to be
back. The project announcement states that some deprecated services
(e.g., cvsup) may be removed rather than restored. Users are advised to
check for packages downloaded between certain dates and replace them,
although not because known trojans have been found, but rather because the
project has not yet been able to confirm that they could not exist.

Apparently initial access was via a stolen SSH key, but fortunately their
clusters were partitioned so that the effects were limited. The announcement
contains more detailed information — and we are left wondering, would
proprietary companies that get broken into so forthcoming? Should they be?"

Link to Original Source
Space

+ - 103 Hubble and Spitzer Telescopes Find Most Distant Galaxy Yet->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "At a distance of 13.3 billion light-years from Earth and approximately 600 light-years wide, the MACS0647-JD is the most remote galaxy yet discovered. Combined application of the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes were able with the help of a natural "gravitational lens" (cluster of galaxies), to find what what would have otherwise been extremely unlikely. Space.com has an article on the subject along with a video locating the galaxy in the general direction of Ursa Major and Polaris."
Link to Original Source
BSD

+ - 101 Copyright reform and FOSS licenses

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With all the constant talk of copyright reform, people often think of music, books, and videos. Free software licenses rely on their copyright to enforce their license. What happens if the copyright term is limited to 14 years, and anything GPLed will become public domain after 14 years? Windows NT could be public domain. Unix could finally be free. What affect will copyright reform have on FOSS software?"
Education

+ - 114 Computer Science vs. Software Engineering 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Microsoft's promotion of Julie Larson-Green to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering in the wake of Steven Sinofsky's resignation is reopening the question of what is the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering. According to their bios on Microsoft's website, Sinofsky has a master's degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an undergraduate degree with honors from Cornell University, while Larson-Green has a master's degree in software engineering from Seattle University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Western Washington University. A comparison of the curricula at Sinofsky's and Larson-Green's alma maters shows there's a huge difference between UMass's MSCS program and Seattle U's MSE program. So, is one program inherently more compatible with Microsoft's new teamwork mantra?"

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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