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Submission + - GoldenEye:X (goldeneyevault.com)

An anonymous reader writes: V4 of the GoldenEye:X Project was released, which lets you play GoldenEye for N64 in the Perfect Dark engine, with simulants, in all of the original levels for GoldenEye. Also lets you mix and match any character head and body, and is playable on backup device/real hardware.

Submission + - Defcon Hacks Defeat Card-And-Code Locks In Seconds (forbes.com) 1

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: At the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas, Marc Weber Tobias and Toby Bluzmanis plan to demonstrate simple hardware hacks that expose critical security problems in Swiss lock firm Kaba’s E-plex 5800 and its older 5000. Kaba markets the 5800 lock, which Bluzmmanis says can cost as much as $1,300, as the first to integrate code-based access controls with a new Department of Homeland Security standard that goes into effect next year and requires identifying credentials be used in secure facilities to control access. One attack uses a mallet to "rap" open the lock, another opens the lock by putting a pin through the LED display light to ground a contact on the circuit board, and a third uses a wire inserted in the lock's back panel to hit a switch that resets its software.

Submission + - Your Face Will Soon Be In Facebook Ads (itworld.com) 1

jfruhlinger writes: If you're planning on checking into Starbucks using Facebook Places, your friends may soon see your profile picture in a Facebook ad for Starbucks — and, it goes without saying, you won't be paid a dime. You can't opt out, unless, as Dan Tynan puts it, "studiously avoid clicking “Like” or checking into any place that has a six- or seven-figure ad budget." The ad will also include whatever text you use in your checkin, so Tynan suggests some judicious pranksterism ("Just checked into the Starbucks around the corner and this doppio mocha latte tastes like goat urine").

Submission + - Why there is no lossy image format with alpha? (google.com) 8

ciantic writes: Almost every web developer would benefit from image format that has the capabilities of JPEG and Alpha Channel like in PNG. But why there is not any? Google is developing WebP but it seems like it does not include this killer feature, and as it is discussed it gets to stand still when engineer asks something specific. What is the main issue here? Clearly web is missing this kind of format. From my naive stand point of view the alpha channel would be just like RGB channels, with slight exception the extreme values of Alpha should not be compressed. If you need examples why such format is needed, there is not shortage of that in web. Common example for this kind of need is tilted Polaroid picture with transparent background, and gradient fading in photographs.

Submission + - Pay to Pay

theodp writes: Could you get away with charging your employer $3.95 every time it electronically deposits a paycheck in your bank account? Don't be ridiculous! But that doesn't stop some companies from demanding a fee even when you pay your bills on time online. CBS Chicago is outraged that Peoples Gas charges a $3.95 minimum service fee if you pay online with a debit card, credit card or check, and ComEd charges a $3.50 convenience fee for credit, debit, or E-check payments made via the phone or online. Pay at the last minute and things could get worse — Macy's credit card holder Christa was quoted a fee of $14 (the fee is unlisted online) to pay her $5 balance by phone on the due date. 'It's just unacceptable that businesses charge you a fee for the privilege of paying for the service that you're already paying for,' said Ed Mierzwinski of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Got any other candidates for the Pay-to-Pay Hall of Shame?

Submission + - Student Arrested for Airport Protest (wtvr.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Aaron Tobey, a 21-year-old student, was arrested for disorderly conduct after protesting the TSA screening rules at the Richmond International Airport. While in the screening line, he stripped down to a pair of running shorts and revealed that the text of the 4th Amendment was written on his chest in marker. Aaron has been questioned by the FBI, airport security and U.S. Marshals before being cited with disorderly conduct. His arraignment is on January 10th.

Submission + - Venezuelan Govt seeks Internet content bill, NAP

Ah, none is more coward! writes: Several local and international news outlets report that the overwhelmingly pro-Chávez Venezuelan National Assembly is considering to reform their Social Responsibility law to include Internet content. Besides regulations on mature content and mandatory airing of government messages, the existing bill includes broad prohibitions against "destabilizing" and "disquieting" content.

The Assembly will also propose a proposal for a single national Internet access point, "with a view to handling outgoing and incoming traffic in Venezuela".
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - When computers go wrong (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: PC Pro's Stewart Mitchell has charted the world's ten most calamitous computer cock-ups. They include the Russians' stealing software that resulted in their gas pipeline exploding, the Mars Orbiter that went missing because the programmers got their imperial and metric measurements mixed up, the Soviet early-warning system that confused the sun for a missile and almost triggered World War III, plus the Windows anti-piracy measure that resulted in millions of legitimate customers being branded software thieves.

Submission + - Customer Harasser Arrested (nytimes.com)

blair1q writes: The online retailer who specialized in mistreating his customers to generate volumes of bad reviews of his site to inflate Google PageRank results, which last week caused Google to revise the way it ranks pages (previous slashdot story: Google Algorithm Discriminates Against Bad Reviews) was arrested by federal agents on Monday, according to the NY Times. Victims had tried in vain to get police to act against him, but the Times' profile of his business method and its effects, published November 26th, has apparently caused law enforcement agencies, including the feds, unnamed "local authorities," and the NY state attorney general's office, to enter into "a competition to punish him."
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Googler Fired for Spreading Holiday Cheer ID'd

theodp writes: Reports are circulating that the Googler fired for violating the privacy of his fellow Googler privacy violators was Apple legend Randy Wigginton, who collaborated with Woz on the Apple II and created MacWrite, Full Impact, and numerous other Mac applications. You may remember that Google decided to fire an employee whose dastardly crime was breaking the good news of Google's $1,000 Holiday Bonus, a move that would do Ebenezer Scrooge or Mr. Potter proud. Looks like it's a lesser evil to 'accidentally' sniff the world's wi-fi traffic. Guess Google doesn't buy into that quality-of-mercy-is-twice-blest-Shakespeare-nonsense either, although it seems a tad hypocritical that a do-no-evil company would expect mercy for its own transgressions while denying it to one of its own self-described 'world's best employees.' Asked for his thoughts on Wigginton's firing, Woz suggested 'this is minor enough that a wrist slap would be more appropriate.' Agreed. Unless there's something big here that hasn't yet been reported, might be a nice Thanksgiving gesture if Larry, Sergey or Eric picked up their Nexus S and offered Randy — or whoever the 'perp' is — a second chance.

Submission + - Congress Not Concerned About TSA Behavior (msn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Why isn't Congress concerned about the TSA's behavior? Obviously, because it doesn't affect them. They get to skip TSA groping entirely. So they won't have their little boys strip searched, nor will they end up flying while soaked in urine due to TSA agents ripping open a cancer survivor's urostomy bag. The man had to choose between flying while covered in urine and missing his flight. Sadly, President Obama is still defending the screenings, disappointing those who had honestly hoped for more change than this.

Submission + - Wikipedia could block 67 million Verizon customers (wikipedia.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: A particularly nasty Wikipedia vandal has forced a discussion to take place over whether to block a range used by over 67 million Verizon customers from editing the site. Verizon has not responded to abusive Wikipedia users on their network before, even though the abusive Verizon users have released private information (phone numbers, etc.) of numerous individuals, and made countless threats that have also been reported to law enforcement. Wikipedia has done something similar in the past with users on the AOL network, which used proxy servers and thus allowed vandals to continue disrupting the site. says that AOL neglected to act on complaints by Wikipedia and individual users, and the resulting massive blocks by Wikipedia resulted in AOL changing their anonymizing system, according to . Discussion is also taking place on alternate solutions to deal with abuse from this Verizon user, named "Zsfgseg" on Wikipedia. If a block of millions is enacted, Verizon could potentially change how they assign IP addresses, or be forced at least to address a PR nightmare.

Submission + - M5.4 Solar Flare (solarcycle24.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "One of the largest solar flares of Cycle 24 thus far has taken place around Sunspot 1121. It registered M5.4 and has triggered a minor radio blackout. The flare is currently ongoing and long in duration. Stay Tuned for more information."

Submission + - iFixit tears down Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Microsoft’s new hands-free Kinect game controller is packed with four microphones, three autofocus cameras and a motion detector chip that together make for one heck of a complex toy, according to iFixit’s initial teardown of the device.http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft-Kinect-Teardown/4066/1

"We haven't been this excited to get our hands on new hardware since the iPad," says Kyle Wiens, CEO of the company. "The way that we interact with computers is (finally) evolving, and Kinect is unlike any hardware we've ever taken apart. In fact, the only thing we've ever taken apart that has anywhere close to this many sensors is Pleo, the dinosaur robot."

iFixit describes Kinect as "a horizontal bar of sensors connected to a small, motorized pivoting base." The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of millions of dollars of research into can be purchased separately from the Xbox 360 or as part of a bundle.

A Prime Sense PS1080-A2 is at the heart of Kinect’s motion detection capabilities, as it connects to all of Kinect’s sensors and processes images of your game room’s color and scope before shooting them over to the Xbox.

iFixit couldn’t immediately identify all of the chips within the box, so plans to update its teardown.

Use the Force, Luke.