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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 10 declined, 1 accepted (11 total, 9.09% accepted)

+ - Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play->

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "http://www.theregister.co.uk/2...

Microsoft tested Picco in two group of interns and a family. All groups found the device amusing, but also reported that Picco and Picclets were useless for any functional or meaningful communication. Subjects, did, however, feel that the appearance of Picclets made the workplace feel a little more intimate.

“Two studies of the device at work demonstrated how crafting was an expression of intimacy when the device was used to connect the workplace to the home, and a way of demonstrating skill and humor to a broad audience when messages were sent amongst co-workers,” the paper reports. It also says Picco helped to personalise workspaces, but some testers felt left out because they were either lousy artists or couldn't make clever messages. As the paper puts it, “the level of skill needed to produce these messages became a barrier to entry for some co-workers.”

I'm making a note here — Great Success"
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Sci-Fi

+ - EATR killbot to feed on corpses-> 1

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Rawstory reports the excellent news that future killbots will feed on battlefield corpses.

Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot that's right, "EATR" "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site. That "biomass" and "other organically-based energy sources" wouldn't necessarily be limited to plant material animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they'd be plentiful in a war zone.

"

Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Bantown and Bash vs Amazon

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "It seems like Amazon's recent policy change on obscenity was no such thing. Evil trolling group Bantown have claimed responsibility. Turns out it was all done with a few lines of script. A former member explains.

Bantown is a tactic for inciting meta-lulz on multiple levels through the alignment of third-parties against each other. Bantown is like the plot of most James Bond movies, wherein some nefarious evildoer brings the US and the Soviets close to war. Bantown is a trolling technique of the highest order, which usually pits communities against each other, or communities against companies, or organizations against companies, or companies against organizations

Here's the pastebin explanation in case it gets taken down

Hay dude. Amazon removed its customer-based reporting of adult books yesterday. I guess my game is up! Here's a nice piece I like to call "how to cause moral outrage from the entire Internet in ten lines of code".

I really hate reputation systems based on user input. This started a while back on Craigslist, when I was trying to score chicks to do heroin with. My listings like "looking to get tarred and pleasured" and "Searching for a heroine to do the paronym of this sentence's lexical subject" kept getting flagged. The audacity of the San Francisco gay community disgusted me. They would flag my ads down but searching craigslist for "pnp" or "tina" reveals tons of hairy dudes searching for other hairy dudes to do meth with. So I decided to get them back, and cause a few hundred thousand queers some outrage.

I'm logged into Amazon at the time and see it has a "report as inappropriate" feature at the bottom of a page. I do a quick test on a few sets of gay books. I see that I can get them removed from search rankings with an insignificant number of votes.

I do this for a while, but never really get off my ass to scale it until recently.

So I script some quick bash.
#!/bin/bash
let count = 1
while true; do
links -dump 'http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=0/?ie=ASCII&rs=1000&keywords=Gay_and_Lesbian&rh=n%3A!1000%2Ci%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AHomosexuality&page='`echo $count`|grep \/dp\/ >> /tmp/amazon
((count++))
done

There's some quick code to grab all the Gay and Lesbian metadata-tagged books on amazon. Then I pull out all the IDs of the given books from those URLs:

cat /tmp/amazon |sed s/.*dp\\/// |sed s/\\/ref.*//

and I have a neat little list of the internal product ID of every fag book on Amazon.

Now from here it was a matter of getting a lot of people to vote for the books. The thing about the adult reporting function of Amazon was that it was vulnerable to something called "Cross-site request forgery'. This means if I referred someone to the URL of the successful complaint, it would register as a complaint if they were logged in. So now it is a numbers game.

I know some people who run some extremely high traffic (Alexa top 1000) websites. I show them my idea, and we all agree that it is pretty funny. They put an invisible iframe in their websites to refer people to the complaint URLs which caused huge numbers of visitors to report gay and lesbian items as inappropriate without their knowledge.

I also hired third worlders to register accounts for me en masse. If you ever need a service like that, you can find them in a post like this advertising in the comments:

http://ha.ckers.org/blog/20070427/solving-captchas-for-cash/

Then they would log into the accounts, save the cookies in a cookie file and send it to me.

Then I used the cookie files like so to automated-report all the books:

for i in `cat /tmp/amazon |sed s/.*dp\\/// |sed s/\\/ref.*//`; do lynx -cookie_file=/home/avex/cookie1 http://www.amazon.com/ri/product-listing/`echo $i`/;done

The combination of these two actions resulted in a mass delisting of queer books being delisted from the rankings at Amazon.

I guess my game is up, but 300+ hits on google news for amazon gay and outrage across the blogosphere ain't so bad.

The only person to figure it out was dely from Six Apart: http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html but he has been ground zero at my work, cleaning up my messes before.

So just letting you know the chain of events. if you choose to report on this, please don't disclose my identity/email address. Thanks!

"
The Courts

+ - Reiser seeks retrial

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Despite turning down a pretrial deal that would have got him a three year sentence and then accepting a later deal where he apologised for the murder and showed the police where he buried the body, Hans Reiser wants another trial. As wired put it "Now the 44-year-old Reiser says he thinks the latest deal was supposed to have netted three years. And he said his lead attorney, William DuBois, who he often butted heads with during trial, was out to get him. Reiser wrote that he believed DuBois suffered from an excess of oxytocin." Dubois said "[Nina Reiser] had an ulterior motive to marry Hans. It couldn't have been out of love that she married Hans Reiser," DuBois said. "I can't see anybody loving Hans Reiser." "He has to be one of the least attractive people you can imagine," DuBois continued. "And she's a doll." He faces an uphill battle "Jurors, and even the judge, did a horrible job concealing their amusement when Reiser was on the stand. The often shook their heads in disbelief or openly mocked his ongoing testimony.""
Programming

+ - "Game over" exploit in flash

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Thomas Ptacek writes that Mark Dowd (pdf warning) has found a "weaponized NULL pointer exploit" in Flash. The idea is that you trick Flash into making a failed allocation which returns NULL. But since you control the offset from the NULL pointer you can overwrite an arbitrary memory location. As Thomas puts it in his very readable writeup "If youre not an exploit writer, think of it this way: you know that crazy version of Super Mario Brothers that Japan refused to ship to the US markets because they thought the difficulty would upset and provoke us? This is the exploit equivalent of that guy who played the perfect game of it on YouTube." The exploit works on both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It works on Vista, since Flash doesn't opt in to Vista's Address Space Layout randomisation technology."
Data Storage

+ - 48GigaBYTE flash chip->

Submitted by Hal_Porter
Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Hynix have stacked 24 16 gigabit (2 gigabyte) NAND flash chips in a 1.4mm thick package, giving 48 gigabytes of storage. It's not clear if it's possible to write to them in parallel — if so the device should be pretty damn fast. The usual objection to NAND flash as a hard drive replacement is lifetime. NAND sectors can only be written 100,000 times or so before they wear out, but wear levelling can be done to spread writes evenly over at least each chip. I worked out that the lifetime should be much longer than a typical magnetic hard disk. There's no information on costs yet frankly and it sounds like an expensive proof of concept, but it shows you the sort of device that will take over from small hard disks in the next few years."
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Memory fault -- brain fried

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