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Submission + - The Rising Barcode Security Threat (

eldavojohn writes: "As more and more businesses become dependent on barcodes, people are pointing out common problems involving the security of one or two dimensional barcode software. You might scoff at this as a highly unlikely hacking platform but from the article, "FX tested the access system of an automatically operated DVD hire shop near his home. This actually demanded a biometric check as well, but he simply refused it. There remained a membership card with barcode, membership number and PIN. After studying the significance of the bar sequences and the linear digit combinations underneath, FX managed to obtain DVDs that other clients had already paid for, but had not yet taken away. Automated attacks on systems were also possible, he claimed. But you had to remember not to use your own membership number." The article also points out that boarding passes work on this basis — with something like GNU Barcode software and a template of printed out tickets, one might be able to take some nice vacations."

Submission + - Windows Vista has a Purple Screen of Death (

Anton Lee writes:
We've all heard of (and, quite unfortunately, experienced) the infamous Blue Screen of Death. Some of us who tested the earlier Windows Vista beta builds had the unique experience of trying out the Red of Screen Death, which occurred when the bootloader experienced an un-handled exception. And then there's Vista's Purple Screen of Death, which few have ever seen.
It turns out that this particular PSOD is caused by WDDM drivers backfiring, and DWM failing to gracefully deactivate. Instead of applying the correct Aero transparencies, Windows Vista will render the window in question with a garrish shade of purple, and require to reboot your PC.

Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Second Life charges EU residents with VAT (

ServMe Nakamura writes: "Last night Second Life creators Linden Lab sent out a mail to all European residents they believe would be affected by their new policy to comply with EU Tax regulations. According to a blog post VAT will be charges on account fees, land store purchases, auctions and tiers. Resident to resident transfers in L$ are — according to LL posted information — exempt from taxation. A lot of residents are surprised by this new policy effective immediately, although the law itself was announced in 2003 and into effect since July 2007. Do you think that an electronic service paid for in foreign currency and delivered from out of the EU be taxed according to EU regulations? If so, should the much stricter EU privacy laws also be enforced, as well as the often more lenient laws in regard to online gambling? Is Linden Lab sticking it's head into a beehive?"

Submission + - 10 Plane Crashes That Changed Aviation (

mattnyc99 writes: As horrifying (and voyeuristic) as they are, plane crashes have actually done a lot of good. There's only been one fatal crash in the U.S. in the past five years, and, in a follow-up to their safest seat on an airplane investigation, Popular Mechanics says that's because 10 accidents spurred new technology that keeps air travel safe and routine today.

Submission + - Do All Laptop Batteries Suck? 1

jon_anderson_ca writes: I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 with the (allegedly better-than-basic) 85 WHr battery. After a little over a year of using it, the battery is almost useless, and I'm not alone. Oh, and the battery's warranty is 12 months, of course.

My questions to Slashdot are: how do other laptop batteries fare these days? Do batteries last longer than 6-12 months on Apple, HP, even other Dell laptops? Is it just the Dell 85WHr 9-cell that's the problem? Why is it that battery life is so very short? Is there anything I can do about it (reconditioning or replacement)?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - invest in my diamond mine ..

rs232 writes: ""The man who announced the discovery of an enormous 7 000 carat "diamond" at a North West mine has scoffed at claims he has been implicated in a number of high-profile scams and legal wrangles"

"On Monday, Cape Town-based property developer Brett Jolly told the Cape Times he was a spokesperson for shareholders in the unnamed mine, and the light green stone was on its way to a Johannesburg security vault"

"But, speaking to the Cape Times from Johannesburg on Wednesday, Jolly trashed the accusations as "total rubbish", and his lawyer, Schalk Marais, said he was "a successful businessman", bound to have enemies" id=139&art_id=vn20070830035247546C938898

"Thousands of people who were persuaded by hard-sell salesmen outside supermarkets to spend large sums on "points" for dream holidays stand to lose their money"

'This emerged after it was claimed in court on Friday that directors of the Cape Town holiday timeshare group Holland Moorehouse led the high life, which included a visit by five directors to Las Vegas when the company's finances were "chaotic"'

"An urgent application for the liquidation of the Holland Moorehouse was dismissed by Mr Justice Deon van Zyl in the Cape High Court on Friday. Judge Van Zyl ruled that there was no reason for the application to be regarded as urgent"

"However, lawyer Schalk Marais, who represented applicant Brett Jolly, said he had instructions to bring a further application for Holland Moorehouse's liquidation
on Monday" id=13&art_id=ct20011222173718116S420537"

Submission + - Google Sky launches (

FireFury03 writes: "The BBC is reporting that Google have launched the Google Sky add-on for Google Earth. It will allow astronomers a chance to glide through images of more than one million stars and 200 million galaxies.

"Click a button and the world flips round and you see the sky from that particular location," explained Mr Parsons. "[The view] would be the constellations that you would see oriented in the sky on that particular day at that particular time." Users can overlay the night sky with other information such as galaxies, constellations and detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Although so far I've been unable to find any information published by Google."

The Internet

Submission + - The Future of Search Engines (

rangeva writes: "Charles knight referred me to Kaila Colbin blog post about what the future (2010) search engine should look like. I was honored to be asked for my opinion so I sat down and wrote my thoughts about what the future search engine should be. Granted, this is not exactly what I was asked to do, but I ended up with a four pages document so I decided to post it on our blog. I hope you find it interesting."
The Internet

Submission + - Internet Still Root of All Evils (

SKeene writes: "We have all seen time and time again how much we can blame the internet for when problems are really with ourselves, our governments, and processes that would be (or were) broken before the internet was in the picture. It seems that recently there have been less stories that blame the internet boogymonster directly, but I notice more these use the internet as a final punctuation to a story that has nothing to do with the internet. Tonight I stumbled across another one while researching a little on WebMD. Now I want to point out that I get a lot of good information from WebMD, and I think it's a great testament to what the internet can be, but we can do with a little less 'education' for parents that the internet is the source of all evil in their relationship with their children. But hey, if it gives them a reason to explain away why their child is a teenage, drug-addicted single parent, why not?"

Submission + - Has Google become evil in the eyes of open source? ( 1

willdavid writes: "By Dana Blankenhorn (ZDNet Blogs) An exchange of e-mails between Bill Hilf of Microsoft and Chris DiBona of Google concerning Microsoft's OSI license application has drawn an interesting reaction in the press. They're taking Microsoft's side. This is a major turning point, and shows just how far Google has come in less than a decade."

Submission + - What Does 'Single' Really Mean? (

Norah Retracks writes: "I don't think Webster's definition counts anymore. I don't date much. I've found dating to be very stressful. I've said before that I'd just like to bypass the dating stage and just get married. Now maybe the reason for my naive ness is because I don't date much, but isn't the status Single different from having a Dating status? I started talking to this guy and of course the normal thing to ask is: 'Are you seeing anyone?' or 'Are you single' I normally just ask the latter of the two. But now I've been told that that's the wrong thing to ask. Telling half truths, Why, O why do people do it? Maybe because it's not seen as lying? Whatever the case may be I will never fully understand. Anyway back to the story. I asked him if he was single. And his response was, 'Yes I am single' which I guess in a way is correct. I mean he wasn't in a relationship and he wasn't married. But what he failed to tell me and what I learned through six degrees of separation was that he had been dating someone. Of course I didn't find out this information until I had already been talking to him for awhile. Now I know people date more than one person at time, and there is nothing wrong with it, but from experience I have learned not to do it. The most I will do is talk to more than one person at the same time. However, I let both parties know that well in advance so there are no misconceptions. But what I don't do is date more than one person at the same time. From my experience someone always gets hurt and the last thing I need to do is develop feelings for multiple people at the same time; my life is complex enough as is. So because of some bad past experiences with the 'dating the field' thing, I decided to get to know people and then decide who I want to date. Weird? Could be but I would rather do that then deal with what I've dealt with in the past, but that's another story for another time. I don't like confrontation, but I also don't like to be played for a fool either. So I sat down and spoke with him about the whole thing and asked him why he never told me he was dating someone. His response, "You never asked." click the link to read the whole story...."

Submission + - NetBSD Fundraising Campaign started (

Daniel Sieger writes: "The NetBSD Foundation would like to announce its 2007 fundraising campaign. Thanks to donations from earlier this year, we were able to fund a developer to work on NetBSD and we would like to extend that opportunity. We are aiming to raise $50,000 US by the end of the year. Every donation, both major and minor, is welcome and will be put to good use!

A lot of work is currently underway in various areas of the NetBSD operating system, the most important focus being the improvement of NetBSD's SMP and embedded capabilities. This task requires a lot of effort on the part of the NetBSD developers, as well as the provision of the most up to date, modern hardware.

We would like to invite the NetBSD community and organizations using NetBSD to help us achieve these goals. This fundraising campaign is an excellent opportunity for everyone to give something back to the NetBSD project and to help us improve NetBSD even more!"


Submission + - High-Speed Data Delivery - AON Holographic Storage (

Iddo Genuth writes: "Access Optical Networks (AON) is developing a Holographic Storage technology, which has the potential to significantly increasing the speed in which data is transferred through network systems. The company uses 3D volumetric storage units called 'memory cubes', which store pictures of data which can be retrieved by flashing laser light on the cube to take new pictures of the contents. The technique already proved to be much faster and enables holding much more data in a single cube than the amount that can be stored on a magnetic or optical disk."

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.