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Privacy

Big Brother In the School Cafeteria? 425

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-an-A-in-cafeteria dept.
AustinSlacker writes "An Iowa school district's lunch program asks children as young as 5 years old to memorize a four-digit PIN code so it can monitor what they eat in the school cafeteria - prompting some parents to claim it's an unhealthy case of 'Big Brother.' An over reaction by parents or an unnecessary invasion of privacy?"
The Courts

British Hacker Loses Review of Asperger's Defense 278

Posted by kdawson
from the one-more-chance dept.
Barence writes "Gary McKinnon has lost the judicial review of his case, dealing a potentially fatal blow to his hopes of avoiding extradition to the US. Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr. Justice Wilkie dismissed the review at the Royal Courts of Justice. The review had been assembled to determine whether the diagnosis of McKinnon's Asperger's Syndrome had any bearing on the Home Office's original decision to extradite him to the US. Asperger's sufferers often exhibit obsessive behavior and social naivety, which McKinnon's lawyers have long offered as mitigation. His legal team now has 28 days to appeal the verdict, and his lawyer, Karen Todners, has indicated they may consider taking his case before the US Supreme Court. Last year we discussed a full profile of the hacker published by the BBC." Sophos's survey of 550 IT professionals found that 71% believe McKinnon should not be extradited.
Input Devices

Best Mouse For Programming? 569

Posted by timothy
from the keep-it-away-from-cigarettes-and-drugs dept.
LosManos writes "Which is the best programming mouse? Mandatory musts are wireless, and that it doesn't clog up like old mechanical mice. Present personal preferences are for: lots of buttons, since if I have moved my hand away from the keyboard I can at least do something more than move the pointer; sturdy feeling; not too light, so it doesn't move around by me accidentally looking at it." What would you recommend?
Biotech

Scientists Make Artificial Protein Mimic Blood 94

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-cool-stuff dept.
Al writes "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have created a protein that can carry and deliver oxygen — a useful step towards developing artificial blood. This would avoid the problems involved with donor blood — contamination, limited storage, and short supply — and lead to easier and faster blood transfusions on the battlefield and in trauma cases. The Penn researchers used three amino acids to make a four-helix columned protein structure put a smaller structure, called a heme, inside it. The heme is a large flat molecule that has an iron atom at its center, which oxygen binds to. The researchers also made the protein structure flexible, so that it can open to receive the oxygen and close again without letting any water in. They did this by linking together the helical columns with loops to restrict their motions, giving the final structure a candelabra shape."
Software

Ubuntu vs. Windows In OpenOffice.org Benchmark 262

Posted by timothy
from the permutations-of-permutations dept.
ahziem writes "Ubuntu's Intrepid Ibex and Redmond's Windows XP go head-to-head in an OpenOffice.org 3.0 performance smackdown measuring vanilla OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, Go-oo, and Portable OpenOffice.org 3.0. Each platform and edition does well in different tests. Go-oo is known for its proud slogan "Better, Faster, Freer," but last time with OpenOffice.org 2.4 on Fedora, Go-oo came in fourth place out of four. Slashdot has previously reported Ubuntu beating Vista and Windows 7 in benchmarks, so either XP is faster or this benchmark carries a different weight."
Government

SF Admin Gives Up Keys To Hijacked City Network 581

Posted by timothy
from the please-let-this-be-the-end- dept.
snydeq writes "Jailed IT admin Terry Childs relinquished his hold over San Francisco's multimillion-dollar FiberWAN, handing his administrative passwords over to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was 'the only person he felt he could trust.' Childs is still being held on $5 million bail for his lockout of the city's FiberWAN, a case that has been called into question since an insider came forward with details about both the network and Childs himself. The case hinges on No Service Password Recovery commands Childs allegedly configured onto several Cisco devices, as well as dial-up and DSL modems the SFPD has discovered that would allow unauthorized connections to the FiberWAN. Childs intends to 'expose the utter mismanagement, negligence, and corruption at DTIS, which if left unchecked, will in fact place the City of San Francisco in danger,' according to his motion. The Department of Telecom and IS has cut 200 of its 350 IT positions since 2000 — pressure that may have contributed to Childs' actions, according to interviews with current and former DTIS staffers. Newsom secured the passwords without first telling the DTIS that he was meeting with Childs."

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