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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Education

+ - 215 Programming, puzzles and problem solving - free open online course 1

Submitted by dncsky1530
dncsky1530 (711564) writes "UNSW professor Richard Buckland, lecturer of the famous Computing 1 course on YouTube, is now running a large scale open online Computer Science course for the world. UNSW Computing 1 — PuzzleQuest and the Art of Programming starts off with microprocessors and works it way through C with interactive activities while taking students on an adventure of hacking, cracking and problem solving. It's based around a three month long PuzzleQuest with grand and suspiciously unspecified prizes as well as fame and glory for the intrepid. The next class starts December 3rd 2012."
The Internet

+ - 141 Ask Slashdot : Management software for small independant ISP?

Submitted by Vorknkx
Vorknkx (929512) writes "I work in a small ISP. Most of our customers have cable modems but some of them are using Canopy or Ubiquity products. To manage all that, we're using a number of programs and solutions not necessarily made for such a task that are kept up to date simply using copy and paste. We have an Access database for all our internet customers, an Excel document for our wireless users, The Dude to monitor every user and a custom-made web application to monitor traffic. Needless to say, we're starting to hit the limit and juggling between all these programs is a complete pain. Is there some kind of all-in-one solution that would allow us to eliminate all the copy and paste while keeping the same functionality?"
Security

+ - 179 After Weeks Of Trying, UK Cryptographers Fail To Crack World War II Code

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A dead pigeon discovered a few weeks ago in a UK chimney may be able to provide new answers to the secrets of World War II. Unfortunately, British cryptographers at the country’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have been unable to crack the code encrypting a message the bird was tasked with sending and say they are confident it cannot be decoded “without access to the original cryptographic material.”"

+ - 200 Life for Stratfor hacker ..->

Submitted by dgharmon
dgharmon (2564621) writes "A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor.

Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year’s hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it’s been revealed that Judge Preska’s husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack."

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Privacy

+ - 257 "Anonymous" File-Sharing Darknet Ruled Illegal by German Court->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A court in Hamburg, Germany, has granted an injunction against a user of the anonymous and encrypted file-sharing network RetroShare . RetroShare users exchange data through encrypted transfers and the network setup ensures that the true sender of the file is always obfuscated. The court, however, has now ruled that RetroShare users who act as an exit node are liable for the encrypted traffic that’s sent by others."
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Advertising

+ - 202 Ad blocking – a coming legal battleground?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Computerworld asks: What will happen if big advertisers declare AdBlock Plus a clear and present danger to online business models? Hint: it will probably involve lawyers.

From the article:
Could browser ad blocking one day become so prevalent that it jeopardises potentially billions of dollars of online ad revenue, and the primary business models of many online and new media businesses? If so, it will inevitably face legal attack."

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Nintendo

+ - 183 THQ claims Nintendo's new Wii U console CPU underwhelming->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "THQ has clarified comments made by 4A Games' chief technical officer Oles Shishkovtsov about the upcoming first-person shooter Metro. This week THQ developer house told NowGamer: “[The] Wii U has a horrible, slow CPU” by way of explaining why a Wii U version of Metro wasn't in the works. We genuinely looked at what it would take to bring the game to Wii U. It's certainly possible, and it's something we thought we'd like to do. The reality is that would mean a dedicated team, dedicated time and effort, and it would either result in a detriment to what we're trying to focus on or we probably wouldn't be able to do the Wii U version the justice."
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Security

+ - 246 Pakistan to cut phone services to prevent Muharram attacks Asso->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Pakistan's interior minister Friday said the government will suspend cell phone services in most parts of the country over the next two days to prevent attacks against Shia Muslims during a key religious commemoration. Militants often detonate bombs using cell phones and this is the first time the government has implemented such a wide-scale suspension. Saturday and Sunday are the most important days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, especially important to Shias. Pakistani Shias Sunday observe Ashoura, commemorating the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. Different parts of the Muslim world mark Ashoura on different days —neighbouring Afghanistan, for example, observes it on Saturday. “The suspension of cell phone services will begin at 6 am Saturday and run through the next day,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. He said 90 per cent of the bombs set off by militants in Pakistan have been detonated using cell phones. Some criticized the government for suspending services, saying it was a huge inconvenience."
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Linux Business

+ - 224 LiMux Project saved Munich €10m so far->

Submitted by Mojo66
Mojo66 (1131579) writes "After project savings had been estimated to amount to at least €4 million in March, more precise figures are now in: Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city's own Linux platform. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million. The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich's city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million, while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million. The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million. A detailed report (in german) is available here."
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+ - 224 Raspberry Pi to Get Camera Module Capable of 1080p Video Recording->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new add-on – a camera module that will enable the credit card sized computer to snap pictures as well as record 1080p videos. Showcased by RS Components at the Elecontrica 2012 in Germany [watch video here] the £16 (apprx) module will be equipped with a 5MP sensor and will plug into the otherwise unused CSI pins of the Pi. The camera module’s board is still in prototype stage and is expected to reach production sometime soon. Liz Upton, Executive Director of the Foundation said in a blog post, “We’ve a (very) little way to go before we’re able to send it out to manufacture.” According to Upton, testing slots have been booked in December to check on electromagnetic radiations from the ribbon cable."
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Privacy

+ - 217 Senate Bill Gives Federal Reserve Warrantless Access to Your Emails and Facebook->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Bill, The Electronic Communications Privacy Act, is supposed to make the internet more private, but instead has provided a wealth of organizations unfettered access to online communications. This grants warrantless access to government agency, including the ability to take over mail account without notifying owners or the judiciary. As a final affront, the Federal Reserve, which isn't even a government body with oversight, will have these powers"
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Education

+ - 259 Judge Saves Girl From Suspension For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a “Smart” Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip."
Robotics

+ - 162 Disney Research Robot Can Juggle, Play Catch->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "With the aim of providing some physical interaction between entertainment robots and guests at its theme parks, while still maintaining a safe distance between the two, Disney Research has created an animatronic robot that can play catch and juggle balls with a human partner."
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