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Education

+ - National Academies mount new defense of evolution

Submitted by mpsmps
mpsmps (178373) writes "The National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine today released SCIENCE, EVOLUTION, AND CREATIONISM, a book laying out the latest and overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution and why non-scientific approaches do not belong in the science classroom. It also discusses how our understanding of evolution has been essential in scientific advances, such as the analysis of the SARS virus. You can download the press release or read the entire book for free online."
Privacy

+ - Sears at it again: burglar's reference->

Submitted by
Anonymouse Coooward
Anonymouse Coooward writes "CA has another scoop on Sears:
http://community.ca.com/blogs/securityadvisor/archive/2008/01/03/managemyhome-com-another-privacy-issue-for-sears.aspx

Sears' managemyhome.com site allows any burglar to case a home from the comfort of their armchair and provide them with everything they'd need to bluff their way through picking it up for a "recall".

quotes from TFA:

Once you register, you can look up major purchases for ANY address. All you need to do is enter a name, address and phone number and if the person attached to that info has made a major purchase at sears you get that info!! They have no real controls in place — you have to enter an onscreen code and they say that keeps your info safe, but that does not stop someone from entering other people's contact info to see their product purchases.

I checked this out, and sure enough, in about 2 minutes I was looking at every purchase my parents had made since 1989. What's worse, I had used no more info than is publicly listed in the phone book: their name, address, and telephone number. Once you have an account at http://www.managemyhome.com/ and have logged in, select the first option (Home Profile) from the "Home" pull-down menu on the main page. In the upper right corner of the page, you should see a "Sears Purchase History", with a button labeled "Find my Products". The only information they asked for when I followed that button was a name, phone number, and address.

If you had major dealings with Sears, that information is now available to the public, from a television bought in 1978 to a stove which was purchased elsewhere but had been repaired by a Sears technician."

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Software

+ - iPhone Goes Adult With iSteamy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The iPhone went adult today with the launch of the first native adult application for the iPhone and iPod Touch; iSteamy. http://www.isteamy.net/ iSteamy brings the adult media world to your pocket with an ever growing and user contributable collection of audio, video, and zoomable pictures, as well as off-line storage for when you are away from the internet."
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Government

+ - Army Buys Macs to beef up security

Submitted by agent_blue
agent_blue (413772) writes "The Army is integrating macs into their IT network to thwart hack attempts. the Mac platform, they argue Mac are more secure because there are less attacks against macs than there is against windows based systems. Story Here"
Privacy

+ - Judge:Man can't be forced to divulge passphrase-> 2

Submitted by
mytrip
mytrip writes "A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury's subpoena that directed Sebastien Boucher to provide "any passwords" used with his Alienware laptop. "Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him," the judge wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this week. "Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop."

Especially if this ruling is appealed, U.S. v. Boucher could become a landmark case. The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for the last decade arguing the merits of either approach. (A U.S. Justice Department attorney wrote an article in 1996, for instance, titled "Compelled Production of Plaintext and Keys.")"

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Security

+ - 10 Years of Nmap->

Submitted by J0hn5
J0hn5 (666) writes "To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this powerful tool, Nmap 4.50 has been released. It is the first stable release in more than a year and the first major release since 4.00 two years ago. Also, here's a quick look at Zenmap, Nmap's official GUI that is a multi-platform free and open source application which aims to make Nmap easy for beginners to use while providing advanced features for experienced Nmap users. Frequently used scans can be saved as profiles to make them easy to run repeatedly."
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Input Devices

+ - Gaming Mouse and Keyboard Buying Guide ->

Submitted by
ThinSkin
ThinSkin writes "While following every gaming mouse and keyboard released in the past year is about as fun as watching paint dry, ExtremeTech does us all a favor and compiles a "best of" roundup of their favorite gaming mice and keyboards. Among the top of the lists are some usual suspects, such as Logitech with their G9 mouse and G15 LCD macro keyboard, while Microsoft and Ideazon top the lists as well with the SideWinder and MERC Stealth."
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AMD

+ - AMD Shows Innovative, Low Power Hybrid CrossFire->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Just before its Financial Analyst Day in New York City yesterday, AMD showed off some new CrossFire-related technology which marries next-generation integrated graphics processors (IGP) and entry-level discreet graphics cards for increased performance and functionality in a Hybrid CrossFire mode. AMD's upcoming RS780 motherboard chipset will feature an integrated graphics core that is largely unchanged from current Radeon HD 2400 discrete cards, for up to four times the performance of current IGP offerings. Couple an RS780 with a single, next-gen Radeon HD 3400 series card in Hybrid CrossFire mode, however, and the performance increases even further. In addition, when the IGP is used to power the display, and a 3D application isn't running, the discreet graphics card can be almost totally shut down, which will reduce power consumption considerably. Finally, the chipset itself is said to consume a maximum of only 20W."
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Space

+ - Mars Rover Technology Used to Make Better Maps

Submitted by
Cal
Cal writes "Interesting article on O'Reilly Radar about a new street mapping technology by a company in Berkeley (earthmine). They are using technology developed by the Jet Propulsion Lab for the Mars Exploration Rover missions for reconstructing three-dimensional data of the street-scape. Will be interesting to see if the product ends up in the hands of consumers. From the press release: "The technology licensed by earthmine is currently utilized as a part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Wide angle stereo cameras are mounted on NASA's twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) launched toward Mars in 2003. The licensed software and algorithms are used to create a 3D representation of the local terrain, allowing autonomous routing of the MERs through the Martian environment. earthmine has combined this JPL technology with its unique, capture hardware and web delivery technology to deliver 3D data with unprecedented density and accuracy.""
Privacy

+ - Prison for those who lie about their age online-> 1

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "An adult caught lying about their age online could face 20 years in prison, according to a bill ordered favorably reported by the US Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. Under the KIDS Act of 2007(S. 431/H.R.719), aimed at forcing convicted sex offenders to register online identities, "Any person 18 years or older who knowingly misrepresents their age with the intent to use the Internet to engage in criminal sexual conduct involving a minor, or to facilitate or attempt such conduct, shall be fined under this title and imprisoned for not more than 20 years.""
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Data Storage

+ - Top six hard drives for speed and capacity-> 1

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "Computerworld has reviewed the latest in six hard disk drives, from the solid state models to terabyte-size spinning disks. Samsung comes in as the fastest with a 64GB flash drive with a read speed of 100MB/sec and write speed of 80 MB/sec, compared to 59MB/sec and 60MB/sec for a traditional 2.5" hard drive. Seagate's 1TB Barracuda drive had a 85.5MB/sec average read speed, while for power consumption, Western Digital's 1TB RE2-GP use of only 7.4 watts, makes it between 22% and 33% more efficient than its three primary traditional hard drive competitors, but it still can't beat SSD."
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Space

+ - Who Speaks for Earth?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have been searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence for almost 50 years. They've found no credible traces. Beginning with Frank Drake's 1974 broadcast from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and continuing on into the present day, some SETI devotees have engaged in "Active SETI"- deliberate attempts to contact alien civilizations. One of them, Russian astronomer Alexander Zaitsev, has access to one of the world's largest radio telescopes. Zaitsev has sent multiple powerful messages at nearby stars known to have exoplanets, and plans for future transmissions. Seed Magazine has a thought-provoking story online today about two powerful SETI figures who recently resigned from an elite international committee over a dispute about regulating Active SETI. Should mavericks with radio transmitters be able to reach out to the stars and unilaterally represent all of humanity? And are we really prepared for an answer?"
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Space

+ - Group plans to bring Martian sample to earth

Submitted by
sm62704 (mcgrew)
sm62704 (mcgrew) writes "New Scientist has a story about IMARS (the International Mars Architecture for Return Samples) planning to bring samples of Martian siol to earth.

The robotic mission would be a needed precursor to manned trips to the red planet. Also, international cooperation is necessary since the US has already nixed bankrolling manned Mars missions."

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