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Australian Politician Caught Viewing Porn 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the stiff-opposition-party dept.
destinyland writes "An Australian Parliament member has resigned after admitting he'd used government computers to access porn and gambling sites. McLeay 'gave an uncomfortable press conference outside Parliament House,' notes one technology site, 'during which he admitted he had acted in a standard not expected of cabinet ministers.' Paul McLeay was also the Minister for Mineral and Forest Resources as well as the Minister for Ports and Waterways. In resigning, he apologized to his constituents and parliamentary colleagues, as well as to his wife and family."
United States

National Debt Clock Overflowed, Extended By a Digit 696

Posted by timothy
from the but-don't-worry-balanced-budget's-a-crazy-idea dept.
hackingbear writes "The National Debt Counter, erected in 1989 when the US debt was 'merely' a tiny $2.7 trillion, has been moving so much that it recently ran out of digits to display the ballooning figure: $10,150,603,734,720, or roughly $10.2 trillion, as of Saturday afternoon. To accommodate the extra '1,' the clock was hacked: the '1' from "$10.2" has been moved left to the LCD square once occupied solely by the digital dollar sign. A non-digital, improvised dollar sign has been pasted next to the '1.' It will be replaced in 2009 with a new clock able to track debt up to a quadrillion dollars, which is a '1' followed by 15 zeros. That should be good enough for a few more months at least, I believe." Adds reader MarkusQ, "I know Dick Cheney has assured us that 'Deficits don't matter' but I can't help wondering if we should be fixing the problem rather than the sign."

Comment: Re:Agreed, and more so... (Score 1) 103

by HarveyTheWonderBug (#18890043) Attached to: Fair Use In Scientific Blogging
Unfortunately, the more I think about it, the more I doubt it: I'm fairly sure the publisher (not the blogger herself) of the blog is not a non-profit organization: they probably make money from advertisement, etc... Given the current atmosphere about IP, it gets scary... Argh, i don't wanna become a lawyer to continue my job !

+ - Could malicious attacks on DRM be helpful?

Submitted by
Kevin Hamilton
Kevin Hamilton writes: "With piracy prevention methods such as activation and digital rights management schemes to protect content becoming more and more prevalent it is probably inevitable these schemes will also become vectors for denial of service attacks. Imagine an attack on Windows that made the Windows Genuine Advantage system think it was not 'genuine', tricking Adobe Photoshop into thinking it wasn't activated, or messing with the signatures on songs purchased from the iTunes Store so they could not be played due to a lack of rights. All of this would certainly prove to be a nuisance to users, but I wonder if there could actually be a positive outcome. Do Slashdot readers think a large number of such attacks might create enough of a backlash against activation and DRM that those who currently employ such schemes will be forced to drop them?"

+ - Congress Hears From Muzzled Scientists

Submitted by BendingSpoons
BendingSpoons writes: More than 120 scientists across seven federal agencies have been pressured to remove the phrases "global warming" and "climate change" from various documents. The documents include press releases and, more importantly, communications with congress. Evidence of this sort of political interference has been largely annecdotal to date, but is now detailed in a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings on this issue yesterday; the hearing began by Committee members, including most Republicans, stating that global warming was happening and greenhouse gas emissions from human activity were largely to blame.

The OGR hearings presage a landmark moment in climate change research: the release of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC report, drafted by 1,250 scientists and reviewed by an additional 2,500 scientists, is expected to state that "there is a 90% chance humans are responsible for climate change" — up from the 2001 report's 66% chance. It probably won't make for comfortable bedtime reading; "The future is bleak", said scientists.
Media (Apple)

+ - iTunes: Music with borders

Submitted by gsn
gsn writes: Slate has an article detailing the restrictions that prevent you from buying music on iTunes across national borders. iTunes appears to have a "look but don't touch" policy which allows you to browse music from other countries, but forbids you from paying for it with a U.S. credit card. This artificial trade restriction allows the recording industry to maintain different pricing in different countries, but prevents access to some really great music. Can we ever hope to see unified pricing across the board? Will the 'i' ever mean international?
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - 101 Dumbest moments in business: Tech flops

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes: Business 2.0's funny collection of 101 dumbest mements in business. This gallery focues on the tech side mis-steps, such as:

Sony PC-B-Q... Defects in batteries made by Sony for portable computing cause a handful of notebooks to burst into spectacularly photogenic flames.

The end result is the biggest computer-related recall ever, as Dell replaces the batteries in more than 4 million laptops. In short order, Apple (1.8 million), Lenovo/IBM (500,000), and others do the same.
United States

+ - Consumers want, but can't find, biofuels!

Submitted by
Aryabhata writes: "As per a survey from Pavillion Technologies reported in a blog on people like the idea of ethanol and alternative fuels. The bad news is they can't find it and don't know they are using it.
As per the survey, 47 percent of Americans would pay a premium for biofuels like ethanol. 59 percent of Americans also consider dependence on foreign oil imports a big problem for the U.S."

+ - SPAM: Cigarettes - 11 percent more nicotine since 1998

Submitted by
FiReaNGeL writes: "A reanalysis of nicotine yield from major brand name cigarettes has confirmed that manufacturers have steadily increased the levels of nicotine in cigarettes. This independent analysis, based on data submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) by the manufacturers, found that increases in smoke nicotine yield per cigarette averaged 1.6 percent each year, or about 11 percent over a seven-year period (1998-2005). Nicotine is the primary addictive agent in cigarettes."
Data Storage

+ - Credit Card Protection

Submitted by jns137
jns137 writes: I am a freelance programmer who has recently found myself in the awkward position of having to tell a client that I will not store credit card information for them because their system is not all that secure and they will basically become hacker bait. However, since that happened I have noticed more and more that lots of places, from e-commerce sites to the local university where my wife goes to school take and keep credit card information.

My question for the (ahem, hacker) community is what is adequate security for storing credit card info, and more importantly, how do I know that the people I give my credit card info to are protecting it?

+ - HBO aquires rites to 'Song of Ice and Fire'

Submitted by jimfinity
jimfinity writes: HBO has picked up the rites to start a series based on George R. R. Martin's popular fantasy series 'Song of Ice and Fire.' From the article ( ategoryid=14&cs=1 ):

"The series will begin with the 1996 first book, "A Game of Thrones," and the intention is for each novel (they average 1,000 pages each) to fuel a season's worth of episodes. Martin has nearly finished the fifth installment, but won't complete the seven-book cycle until 2011."

Martin's journal ( also has some comments about the series.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.