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Comment Where's ISO (Score 1) 257

Come on, ISO, where are you? We all need the best (or alternatively, least-worst) glidepath now. When I retired, the argument was all about proprietary formats for formatted text, and this and that. USians seemed to want to take the lead on everything and thereby 'offer' formal Secretariat (and steering). Now there's something worth doing - fixit, folks - and non-proprietary, pretty-please.

Submission + - Smile! Urine candid camera!

Anon E. Muss writes: Just because you can put a camera somewhere, doesn't mean you should. Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security Theater doesn't grasp this concept. They've installed video cameras in urinals at Houston's Hobby Airport. At least they weren't sneaky about it — they posted a notice saying "Automatic infrared flush sensors also provide video monitoring for security purposes." (Insert bad joke about bashful bladder syndrome here)

Submission + - No more PHP exploits because of Anti-Hacking laws (

juct writes: "The German security expert Stefan Esser, who declared March to be the Month of PHP Bugs resigns to the new Anti-Hacking laws in Germany and removes all demo exploits from the MoPB pages. In his PHP security blog he explains: "This new law renders the creation and distribution of software illegal that could be used by someone to break into a computer system"."
The Media

Submission + - Fox News smears rivals on Wikipedia ( writes: "Changes made to Wikipedia from an IP Address that resolves to Fox News, show a pattern of smearing Fox's rivals, including Al Franken, Keith Olbermann, and CNN, while removing damaging or embarrassing information to it's own reporters. pores through the changes to produce a comprehensive list of what Fox News allegedly changed.

An example of the changes:

From: "Many groups and commentators, including [[Media Matters for America]], and liberal broadcasters [[Al Franken]], and [[Keith Olbermann]], have claimed that Hume distorted Roosevelt's views."

To: "Many groups and commentators, including [[Media Matters for America]], and liberal broadcasters [[Al Franken]], and [[Keith Olbermann]], have claimed that Hume distorted Roosevelt's views in an attempt to ride Mr. Hume's coat tails in the ratings race as Mr. Hume hosts the highest rated political program on cable television.""

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.

Submission + - Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Lost

ScrappyLaptop writes: In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them — it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen. From :

Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006. While election integrity activists and reporters from a Columbus website,, had sought the ballots and other election records soon after the presidential election, Blackwell would not allow county boards to release the ballots, citing court challenges to the 2004 results and a 2005 suit from the League of Women Voters alleging the state was not following the newest federal election law, the Help America Vote Act.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper and in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court."

Somehow, the counties never got the message:

"Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in (Brunner's) Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions," wrote Butler County Board of Election Director Betty McGary and Deputy Director Lynn Kinkaid in a May 9 memo. "Several boxes containing all the wire-bound ballot pages were discarded into a Rumpke dumpster. The dumpster would have been emptied into the local landfill."

"The Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Board of Elections was unable to transfer the unvoted precinct ballots and soiled precinct ballots," wrote John Williams, Hamilton County Director of Elections on May 16, 2007. "To the best if my knowledge, the above ballots were inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of '06 in an effort to make room for the new Hart voting system."

"No one could remember the disposition of said ballots," wrote Mike Keeley, of Clermont County's Board of Elections on May 10, 2007, referring to the "unvoted" or unused ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

In Warren County, where county election officials said on Election Day that the FBI had declared a homeland security alert — which they later retracted — ballots were diverted to a warehouse before counting. The local media was not allowed to observe the vote count. According to a letter from the Warren County Board of Election to Brunner's office, the election board cannot find 22,000 unused ballots from the election.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

"On the one hand, people will now say you can't prove the fraud," he said, "but the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side."

Broken Patent System? Google, Apple Disagree 230

Whiney Mac Fanboy writes "The AlwaysOn Stanford Summit featured the panel discussion 'The Patent Crisis: Crossroads for the Business of Technology.' Speakers included patent lawyers from Google, IBM, and Apple. According to The Register, Google's and Apple's patent jocks had diametrically opposing views. Google's head of patents believes the system is in crisis: 'The Patent Office is overburdened,' she said. 'The volume of patents going in is huge. And the quality of patents coming out — it could be better.' But Apple's chief patent counsel said the US patent system was 'not broken' and 'not in crisis,' calling it 'the best in the world.'"

Submission + - Girl faces year in prison for 20 second film clip

PizzaFace writes: It's Jhannet's 19th birthday, so her boyfriend borrows a camcorder to memorialize the occasion, and they head to the mall. They goof around, recording each other and the Chick-fil-A cows in the food court, then decide to catch the Transformers matinee, which started a few minutes earlier. During a big action scene, Jhannet takes the camcorder and records a 20-second clip to show her little brother. A few minutes later, cops who were called by the manager come in with flashlights, arrest Jhannet, confiscate the camcorder, and, at the behest of Regal Cinemas, charge her with film piracy. "I was terrified," said Jhannet. "I was crying. I've never been in trouble before." If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The police say they lack discretion because Regal Cinemas chose to prosecute: "They were the victim in this case, and they felt strongly enough about it." The National Association of Theatre Owners supports Regal's "zero-tolerance" prosecution standard: "We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing."

Submission + - Winnie Wrote a Math Book

SoyChemist writes: Hollywood is not known for providing a wealth of positive female role models. Danica McKellar, the actress that played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years and Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing, has written a math book for teenage girls. Math Doesn't Suck is in the style of a teen magazine. It even includes a horoscope, cute doodles of shoes and jewelry, and testimonials from attractive young career women that use math at work. It focuses on fractions and pre-algebra and uses mnemonics like calling a reciprocal a "refliprocal", because you just take the fraction and flip it upside down. Wired interviewed McKellar about the new book and her crusade to eliminate the achievement gap between boys and girls in math courses. McKellar graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA. While studying there, she co-authored a proof and presented it at a conference. After she and Mayim Bialik — star of Blossom and a PhD in neuroscience — appeared in a 20/20 episode about intellectual actresses, several literary agents came knocking on her door.

Submission + - Press Forced To Wear Corporate Sponsor Logos

i_like_spam writes: In a story covered by the National Press Photographers Association, photojournalists are protesting a new rule for the upcoming National Football League season that will force them to wear red vests emblazoned with the corporate logos of Reebok and Canon during televised games. The chair of the NPPA's Ethics & Standards Committee said 'it totally goes against our Code of Ethics to force photographers to advertise as if they were some sort of NASCAR vehicle. We are independent gatherers of news, storytellers with no agendas.' The NFL responded by stating that it's not a problem because the logos are small and have been used on vests at other sporting events without protest.
Linux Business

Submission + - thinkgeek sells toy: code for it, make money. (

dsmall writes: "ThinkGeek's latest catalog has the Neuros (see them at )... The Neuros, a media device with a twist. It arrives without all the code to make it fully work. If you submit the code to make it work, you get paid.
From Neuros: "These bounties are a community style thing that is just a modest way to put a little money back into the Neuros community as a token for our appreciation. We hope and expect for people to collaborate, split bounties and credit and share information, etc. The deliverables and rules are sketchy and the interpretation is completely subject to the whim of the selection committee"
YouTube or Google video Browser Bounty: $1000
Flickr Photo Browser Bounty: $600
Implement a wireless remote using a WiFi PDA (or PSP) as the remote. Bounty: $500
TiVo style functionality for radio. Hook up the OSD to a FM/AM or Satellite receiver and do timed recordings or FF/RW and Pause Live Radio. Bounty: $700
Voip on the OSD. Plug a USB phone into the OSD and make calls without touching any of your PCs. Bounty: $500"
Might be interesting if you have too much time on your hands and are looking to make a quick Euro."


Submission + - Eminem Sues Apple for iTunes Sales (

puk writes: MacWorld UK is reporting that Eminem's publisher is suing Apple, alleging that his publisher did not have the right to authorize Apple's online sales of digital versions of Eminem's music through the iTunes Music Store and that therefore Apple is violating Eminem's copyright by doing so.

Of course, if this turns out to be the case, Universal may also be on the hook for the damages, if indirectly. Looks like another more case of trying to figure out whether old contracts authorize new activities...


Submission + - DSS/HIPPA/SOX Unalterable Audit Logs

analogrithems writes: Recently I was asked by one of the suits in my company to come up with a method to comply with the new PCI DSS policy that requires companies to have WORM logs or write once, read many. In short a secure method to make sure that once a log is written it can never be deleted or changed. So far I've only been able to find commercial and hardware based solutions. I'd prefer to use an open source solution. I know this policy is already part of HIPPA and soon to be part of SOX. It seems like their should be a way to do this with cryptography and checksums to insure authenticity, has anyone seen or developed a solution? How have other Slashdot users made compliance?

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.