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The Courts

U. Maine Law Students Trying To Shut RIAA Down 229

Posted by kdawson
from the corrupt-enterprise dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Remember those pesky student attorneys from the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, who inspired the Magistrate Judge to suggest monetary fines against the RIAA lawyers? Well they're in the RIAA's face once again, and this time they're trying to shut down the RIAA's whole 'discovery' machine: the lawsuits it files against 'John Does' in order to find out their names and addresses. They've gone and filed a Rule 11 motion for sanctions (PDF), seeking — among other things — an injunction against all such 'John Doe' cases, arguing that the cases seek to circumvent the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which protects student privacy rights, are brought for improper purposes of obtaining discovery, getting publicity, and intimidation, and are in flagrant violation of the joinder rules and numerous court orders. If the injunction is granted, the RIAA will have to go back to the drawing board to find another way of finding out the identities of college students, and the ruling — depending on its reasoning — might even be applicable to the non-college cases involving commercial ISPs."
Google

Summer of Code Deadline Extended 6 Days 38

Posted by kdawson
from the slackers-rejoice dept.
mithro writes "If you thought that you had missed out on applying to the Google Summer of Code, you've just gotten a reprieve. The deadline for student submissions has been extended from the original April 1 to Monday April 7, 2008. To quote Leslie Hawthorn: 'This year, we experimented with the Google Summer of Code program timeline, providing one week for students to discuss project ideas with their mentors and then a single week to submit applications. The good news is that we've heard that overall application quality is much higher this year and that students have really benefited from the opportunity to have extra time to discuss their ideas with their potential mentors. However, we've still heard feedback from the community that it would be useful to provide more time for students to submit their applications, so we've done just that.'"
Security

NXP RFID Cracked 111

Posted by kdawson
from the that-was-easy dept.
kamlapati sends us to EETimes for news that the Chaos Computer Club in Germany and researchers from the University of Virginia have cracked the encryption scheme used in a common RFID chip, NXP's Mifare Classic. According to the article the device is used in many contactless smartcard applications including fare collection, loyalty cards, and access control cards. NXP downplays the significance of the hack, saying that that model of RFID card uses old technology and they do a much better job these days.
Bug

Using X-ray Radiography To Reveal Ancient Insects 67

Posted by kdawson
from the bug-me-not dept.
1shooter writes "Researchers in France are using a synchrotron as a giant X-ray machine to peer into the insides of opaque amber to reveal insects dating from the age of dinosaurs. 'The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, produces an intense, high-energy light that can pierce just about any material, revealing its inner structure... From more than 600 blocks, they have identified nearly 360 fossil animals: wasps, flies, ants, spiders.' The process reveals detailed 3D images that can be used to make near-perfect enlarged scale models of the bugs using a 'plastic printer.'"
Television

South Park To Be Available Online Free and Legal 277

Posted by Zonk
from the i-like-the-crazy-future dept.
garnetlion writes "South Park is coming online, free and legal. My brief research has not indicated if it will use DRM, require some silly Windows-only software or be otherwise substandard. According to a Wired blog article, 'Parker and Stone said they were inspired to start the site when they got 'really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative.'" In this regard South Park joins fellow Comedy Central notable The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose archive was made freely available online late last year.
Software

OpenOffice.org 2.4 Released 222

Posted by Zonk
from the free-and-friendly dept.
ahziem writes "The multiplatform, multilingual office suite OpenOffice.org has announced the release of version 2.4. New features include 5 PDF export enhancements, text to columns in Calc, rectangular selection in Writer, bug fixes, performance improvements, improvements supporting the growing library of extensions such as 3D OpenGL transitions in Impress, and much more. Downloads are available either direct or P2P. In September, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will add PDF import, Microsoft Office 2007 file format support, and ODF 1.2."
Software

An Early Look at OpenOffice.org 3.0 369

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the remember-the-future dept.
ahziem writes "With the final release 167 days away and an alpha version available, it's time to look at OpenOffice.org 3.0's new features: view multiple pages in Writer, notes in the margin, Microsoft Office 2007 file format support, Solver in Calc, new visual theme in Calc, native tables in Impress, more columns in Calc, error bars in charts, performance improvements, real native Aqua Mac support, and more."
Security

Chroot in OpenSSH 62

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the making-life-easier-always-my-goal dept.
bsdphx writes "OpenSSH developers Damien Miller and Markus Friedl have recently added a nifty feature to make life easier for admins. Now you can easily lock an SSH session into a chroot directory, restrict them to a built-in sftp server and apply these settings per user. And it's dead simple to do. If you need to allow semi-trusted people on your computers, then you want this bad!"
Programming

Microsoft Releases Office Binary Formats 259

Posted by kdawson
from the this-way-lies-madness dept.
Microsoft has released documentation on their Office binary formats. Before jumping up and down gleefully, those working on related open source efforts, such as OpenOffice, might want to take a very close look at Microsoft's Open Specification Promise to see if it seems to cover those working on GPL software; some believe it doesn't. stm2 points us to some good advice from Joel Spolsky to programmers tempted to dig into the spec and create an Excel competitor over a weekend that reads and writes these formats: find an easier way. Joel provides some workarounds that render it possible to make use of these binary files. "[A] normal programmer would conclude that Office's binary file formats: are deliberately obfuscated; are the product of a demented Borg mind; were created by insanely bad programmers; and are impossible to read or create correctly. You'd be wrong on all four counts."

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