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Submission + - 'Saturn on Steroids' Exoplanet Discovered? (

astroengine writes: "By analyzing the silhouette of an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star 420 light-years away, astronomers have discovered what may be a large gas giant world sporting a ring system. Could it be Saturn's twin? Possibly.

"When I first saw the light curve, I knew we had found a very weird and unique object," said University of Rochester astronomer Eric Mamajek. "After we ruled out the eclipse being due to a spherical star or a circumstellar disk passing in front of the star, I realized that the only plausible explanation was some sort of dust ring system orbiting a smaller companion — basically a 'Saturn on steroids.'""


Submission + - Ransomware: Kidnapped Data Decrypted For Fee (

snydeq writes: "Ransomware is back. After a hiatus of more than two years, a variant of the GpCode program has again been released, kidnapping victims' data and demanding $120 for its return, InfoWorld reports. 'Like the ransomware programs before it, GpCode encrypts a victim's files and then demands payment for the decryption key. The new version of GpCode — labeled GpCode.AX by security firm Kaspersky — comes with a bit more nastiness than previous attempts. The program overwrites files with the encrypted data, causing total loss of the original data, and uses stronger crypto algorithms — RSA-1024 and AES-256 — to scramble the information.'"

Submission + - The Computer History Museum's amazing new exhibit (

harrymcc writes: Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum is finally opening its full-blown permanent exhibit on January 13th. It features a spectacular array of stuff: 2,000 years of computing apparatus, from abacuses to a working replica of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 to Herman Hollerith's 1890 punch-card machine to major mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and beyond. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak gave reporters a sneak-peek guided tour today--I was lucky enough to tag along, and have posted some highlights.

Submission + - Nokia & HTC slay troll, troll regenerates (

Ceriel Nosforit writes: “This is a great victory for us,” HTC’s German lawyer, Martin Chakraborty, said after the ruling. “The part that’s left for IPCom now won’t help them much in the case pending in civil court against us.” *** After IPCom lawyers narrowed the range of technology they said was protected by the patent, the court backed those claims. “It’s a very positive ruling for IPCom because the patent is now valid,” IPCom Managing Director Christoph Schoeller said in an e-mailed statement. “We hope the civil litigation based on that patent will now come to a conclusion we’ve been fighting for years. Nokia and HTC haven’t paid a cent for using the patents for years.”

Submission + - Computers circumventing corrupt officials in India

aalobode writes: If you have ever lived under India's bureaucracy, you will know that any interaction with a government entity — to pay taxes, get married, get a license etc., pass through customs — will cost you in time and money. Even the smallest of public services requires a bribe or other inducement. Frequently, the officials are unavailable for business until the amount is paid. The keepers of the keys to these kingdoms of privilege are the "babus", those clerks and officers trained in officiousness and inefficiency since the days of the British East India Company. Today, on the eve of the 60th anniversary of independence, the London Times has an article rticle2237920.ece on efforts in the southern state of Karnataka to computerize such services. Using the internet, a farmer gets a driving license in 5 minutes without paying a quarter of his income in bribes. Such attempts to stamp out corruption are spreading through India but, the question arises, can they succeed in a country where so few are connected to the power grid and the internet?

Submission + - New Sunage Info and Website Fianlly Released!

Dangerman writes: "For all who may not know. Sunage is a classic style 2d RTS that has been in development for over a decade. The graphics are amazing, and I have been looking forward to its release for months. Vertex 4 (the company that is making it) just gave us the mother load of new FAQs, screen shots, and news on the new website that just opened. The release is slated for September. There it is, you can thank me later."

Submission + - Attosecond X-ray light pulses

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Before going further, do you know what is an attosecond? It's just a billionth of a billionth of a second. And German researchers have showed that a 'flash of light can be shorter than the time it takes the wave carrying the flash to perform a full oscillation.' They were able to generate flashes of laser light so intense that the atoms exposed to it emit an attosecond X-ray pulse 'whose wave components, if oscillating more slowly, would represent nearly all colors of visible light, all the way from blue through green and yellow to red.' Even if this discovery made the cover of the August 10 issue of Science, don't expect an immediate impact on us, but it sure will accelerate basic research on material properties. Read more for additional references and a schematic of the experimental setup used for attosecond-pulse generation."

Submission + - See Who Is Whitewashing Wikipedia (

Decius6i5 writes: "Caltech grad student Virgil Griffith has launched a search tool that uncovers whitewashing and other self-interested editing of Wikipedia. Users can generate lists of every edit to Wikipedia which has been made from a particular IP address range. The tool has already uncovered a number of interesting edits, such as one from the corporate offices of Diebold which removed large sections of content critical of their electronic voting machines. A Wired story provides more detail and Threat Level is running a contest to see who can come up with the most interesting Wikipedia spin job. I'll bet Slashdot readers know of some interesting IP address ranges to check."

Submission + - Nokia is replacing 46 million batteries

El Lobo writes: It seems that it's not only Apple, Dell and Sony who are having a though time with their batteries. Nokia is now replacing more than 46 million batteries that are experiencing overheating. This advisory applies only to the batteries manufactured by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006.

Submission + - Do Not Call Registry gets wake-up call ( 2

coondoggie writes: "If you signed up for the federal or your state's Do Not Call Registry a few years ago, you might want to thing about refreshing it. Pennsylvanians this week got a wake up call, so to speak from the state's Attorney General Tom Corbett who kicked off a public awareness campaign designed to remind people what many have forgotten or never knew — that the 2002 law set registrations to expire after five years. That is of course unless you want to start hearing from those telemarketers as you sit down to dinner. Corbett said about 2 million people signed up in the immediate aftermath of the law taking effect and those who do not act by Sept. 15 will have their numbers dropped from the registry on Nov. 1. The Pennsylvania action is a reminder that the National Do Not Call Registry has a five year life span as well. The Federal Trade Commission is set to being a nation campaign in Spring 2008 to remind all US citizens to refresh their federal Do Not Call Registry standing."

Submission + - Google shows cell phone prototype to vendors

taoman1 writes: Google Inc. has developed a prototype cell phone that could reach markets within a year, and plans to offer consumers free subscriptions by bundling advertisements with its search engine, e-mail and Web browser software applications, according to a story published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.

Feed The Register: eBay 'Buy It Now' button survives latest attack (

But the troll is still lurking

Rest easy, eBay addicts. You can still log on to the world's most famous auction site and "Buy It Now." MercExchange, that pugnacious patent holder in Great Lakes, Virginia, has failed in its latest attempt to shut down the nifty little eBay button that lets you purchase items before an auction plays itself out.


Submission + - Discovering hidden information on your PC 2

KermitJunior writes: I was recently approached by a colleague at work who seems to think that his wife might be cheating on him or engaging in otherwise "not quite right" behavior. He has asked me to investigate his computer and find any "pictures, movies, emails, browser history, bank accounts, etc." that might clue him in to a "second identity." Aside from the standard file searches and poking around settings, does anyone in the slashdot crowd know of any free forensic software out there that might help in the search? (Like recovering deleted cache, etc?) The computer is running Win98, I think. I can slave to linux, too, if that will assist.

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