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Blizzard Announces StarCraft 2 550 550

We'll be returning once again to the world of StarCraft, it appears, and not in the form of a Massively Multiplayer game. Blizzard has announced StarCraft 2 at their packed event in Seoul, South Korea. IGN is liveblogging the event, describing gameplay footage being played as well as full cinematics. From the description of ongoing events there are massive changes to the way the game plays, new units, a physics system within the game engine, and the capability to show over 100 units onscreen at a time. "Showing gameplay footage - Looks like protoss ships - floating over asteroid/ base structure - entering protoss ase - similar looking buildings - vespene gas still in the game - character pane shows up on right side - some protoss guy - shifts to terran bases floating on rockets over same type of territory - sill collecting crystals as resources - marines load out. Dustin is actually playing the game - nothing in the game is final." Additional coverage from Milky at 1up.

Submission + - Microsoft to sue Sun over OpenOffice.org?

Tookis writes: The thought of Microsoft suing Sun Microsystems for infringing patents it holds for Microsoft Office seems ludicrous. However, according to a leading open source expert that's what Microsoft will have to do if it is serious about trying to uphold its claim that OpenOffice.org infringes 45 of the patents it holds. http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/12127/1023/

Molecules Spontaneously Form Honycomb 106 106

Science Daily is reporting that University of California Researchers have discovered a new process in which molecules assemble into complex patterns without any outside guidance. From the article: "Spreading anthraquinone, a common and inexpensive chemical, on to a flat copper surface, Greg Pawin, a chemistry graduate student working in the laboratory of Ludwig Bartels, associate professor of chemistry, observed the spontaneous formation of a two-dimensional honeycomb network comprised of anthraquinone molecules."

Patent Reform Act Proposes Sweeping Changes 336 336

Geccie writes "CNet is reporting that Senators Patrick Leahy and Orin Hatch have proposed sweeping changes in the patent system in the form of the Patent Reform Act of 2006. Key features are the ability to challenge (postgrant opposition) with the Senate version being somewhat broader and better than the house version." From the article: "Specifically, it would shift to a 'first to file' method of awarding patents, which is already used in most foreign countries, instead of the existing 'first to invent' standard, which has been criticized as complicated to prove. Such a change has already earned backing from Jon Dudas, chief of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."

Torvalds Critiques of GPLv3 and FSF Refuted 548 548

j00bar writes "After Linus Torvalds' impassioned critiques of the second draft of GPLv3 and the community process the FSF has organized, Newsforge's Bruce Byfield discovered in conversations with the members of the GPLv3 committees that the committee members disagree; they believe not only has the FSF been responsive to the committees' feedback but also that the second draft includes some modifications in response to Torvalds' earlier criticisms." NewsForge and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.

VoIP Numbers Stations were Social Experiment 116 116

IO ERROR writes "The mysterious phone number stations appearing on Craigslist for the last three months, which resembled their shortwave radio cousins, and which Slashdot reported on in June, were an experiment devised by security researcher Strom Carlson and a group of Los Angeles hackers to determine if encrypted messages could be passed using unwitting third parties to foil traffic analysis by hostile intelligence agencies. Carlson and the hackers presented their findings at DEFCON earlier today and gave away CDs with "Make your own Mein Fraulein station" kits and posted one final number station for people to try to decrypt."

Symantec Labels Vicars' Software as Spyware 268 268

ukhackster writes "The curse of Norton Antivirus has struck again. This time, Britain's vicars have been hit. Norton mistook a legitimate file for a piece of spyware, and those who followed the instructions found that their sermon-writing application no longer worked. Norton was once an essential application. Is it turning into a joke?"

How are 'Secret Questions' Secure? 116 116

Anonymous Howard wonders: "It seems that every authentication system these days requires me to provide the answers to several personal questions, such as 'Mother's Maiden Name' and 'Name of High School' for resetting lost passwords. I've always disliked this method because it is completely open to anyone with some personal information about me, but now it seems that its security continues to degrade as more and more Help Desk Reps can easily see this same information about me. Can anyone explain to me how these questions/answers, which seem to vary little among systems, are in the least bit secure?" You have to have some way of identifying yourself if you forget your password. If you feel the same way about these 'secret questions', how would you implement a secure facility to change passwords?

Inverting Images for Uninvited Users 277 277

Yesterday's story about a creative approach to dealing with uninvited (and unwanted) users on a private wireless network -- by intercepting and modifying the images received downstream -- provoked some thoughtful comments on open wireless networks, and a storm of analogies about networks and property generally. Read on for some of the most interesting comments in the Backslash summary of the conversation.

Hacktivismo launches ScatterChat 121 121

un1xl0ser writes to tell us Hacktivismo has released a new chat program known as ScatterChat. It is a friendly fork of GAIM that "provides end-to-end encryption, integrated onion-routing with Tor, secure file transfers, and easy-to-read documentation." This announcement was made at HOPE, where CDs were distributed. A torrent and several screenshots are also available."

Favorite KDE Tricks? 104 104

Nat asks: "Here I am, plowing along at work on an ancient machine, and thanking heavens for how much easier Open Source makes my life. In particular, I've ended up settling with KDE and its main tools due to its ability to be configured into a relatively fast and lightweight environment, despite its number of features and useful tricks. I have discovered a good few of those already, but would like to ask you guys for further illumination: what are your favorite KDE tricks?"

Apple Reaches 12% Market Share In U.S. Notebooks 377 377

bonch writes "Apple's U.S. notebook market share has doubled to 12% after shipping 1.33 million Macs in the quarter. Apple also shipped 8.11 million iPods, topping analyst estimates, for a net income of $472 million. Remember when Apple was dying?" From the article: "The iPod shipments appeared to calm investors worried that growth in that red-hot business was slowing and Apple's results topped what analysts had said was a conservative forecast. Shares of Apple were down some 24 percent since early May. 'Apple looked good,' said Jane Snorek, technology analyst with First American Funds. 'The PC numbers were great, too.'"

Deploying Windows Updates? 122 122

WinBreak asks: "Well, I guess I'd be an 'IT Administrator' - but I work for a public library. The job consists of baby sitting 20-odd computers. The problem is, as a public library, we don't have much bandwidth - a simple 768K DSL line shared among everyone. It's good enough, for our normal traffic, and when people want to come in and do research (as long as there aren't too many kids on YouTube!). The problem comes when we need to do reformats and installs on machines. Most of our CD's for these machines are XP with Service Pack 1 - though we have a couple with Service Pack 2. For the SP1 CD's, we immediately deploy the SP2 Redistributable. But that still leaves OVER 100MB worth of downloads from Windows Update to go get. Our budget isn't great in the IT department, so spending money is not a great option - but I could sling together a grant proposal if need be. So how do others manage deploying a new install of Windows? Are we really expected to still download 100+MB per reinstall? Is Service Pack 3 on the horizon?"

Xbox 360 Coming With HDMI Port? 146 146

GeekGod writes "Images of an Xbox 360 motherboard with HDMI-port have been leaked on the internet. So it looks like Microsoft will follow into Sony's footsteps and release an Xbox 360 with a digital video output. This might also come in handy for their future HD-DVD addon, certainly when movies will get HDCP-protected."

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt