Here are some items that my execs liked to see as they could understand them: 1 Amount of spam based on incoming email blocked. 2. Attempted intrusion attempts on firewall. 3. Virus outbreaks on network. 4. Since you run IT do you get phone records? Maybe the number of calls per department or inbound vs outbound and where all of your ld costs are. 5. You might want to look to see how accounting has your department's financials set up and maybe present those. Just thoughts.
angry tapir writes "The news report begins with shots of a tense space shuttle launch. Engineers hunch over computer banks and techno music pounds in the background. There is a countdown, a lift-off, and then you see a young man in a black T-shirt and sunglasses, apparently reporting from 'space.' This is the Hacker News Network, and after a decade offline it is lifting off again, this time with a quirky brand of video reports about security. Hacker News Network is one of the side projects of the Boston-based hacker collective known as L0pht Heavy Industries. They're the guys who famously told the US Congress that they could take down the Internet in about 30 minutes, and who helped invent the way that security bugs are reported to computer companies."
eldavojohn writes "SCO lost last year and began the bankruptcy filings a long time ago but PJ has some speculative bad news on what they retain through the bankruptcy proceedings. SCO proposes to sell a number of assets to an outfit called UnXis, which PJ characterizes this way: 'It starts to hint that this is more a renaming, taking in some new management who seem to have financial expertise, and SCO keeps skipping along as unXis, with the dangerous litigation spun off safely into a litigation troll.' In their filings SCO says they retain 'their litigation and related claims against International Business Machines Corporation, Novell, Inc., AutoZone Corporation, Red Hat and certain Linux users which are not material customers of UnXis (excluding certain large-scale users of Linux servers) that are claimed to have infringed against UNIX copyrights.' So that's still a possibility they could go after anyone who is a 'certain Linux user.' And what's even worse is that they'll retain a patent for running multiple Java applications on a single Java virtual machine. We may not be out of the SCO litigation woods yet."
theodp writes "Slate's Farhad Manjoo had high hopes for using the Kindle DX — Amazon's new large-screen e-reader — to read newspapers. A good first effort, says Manjoo, who concludes that for now newsprint still beats the $489 Kindle. While he has issues with latency, what he really misses relates to graphic design. The Kindle presents news as a list, leaving a reader to guess which pieces are most important to read. Newspapers, by contrast, opine on the importance of the day's news using easy-to-understand design conventions — important stories appear on front pages, with the most important ones going higher on the page and getting more space and bigger headlines. Also, because of its overnight delivery model, Manjoo gripes that the Kindle suffers from a lack of timeliness, making it not even as good as a smartphone."
The RIAA isn't just suing tens of thousands of music consumers; they've also begun filing lawsuits naming the directors of and investors in tech companies that they believe contribute to copyright infringement. NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "ZDNet urges the big recording industries to stop suing tech investors, and cites the draft legislation that I posted, which would immunize from secondary copyright infringement liability any work done by a director in 'his or her capacity as a member of the board of directors or committee thereof,' and any conduct by an investor based solely upon his or her having 'invested in any such corporation, including any oversight, monitoring, or due diligence activities in connection therewith.'"
The High Court in New Delhi is so behind in its work that it could take 466 years to clear the backlog, the court's chief justice said in a report. Even though the average case takes about 5 minutes to decide, the court still has tens of thousands of cases pending, including upward of 600 that are more than 20 years old. The United Nations Development Program says some 20 million legal cases are pending in India. "It's a completely collapsed system," said Prashant Bhushan, a well-known lawyer in New Delhi. "This country only lives under the illusion that there is a judicial system." Maybe we could stimulate the economy a little and help India out by shipping them a few hundred reality TV judge shows — we seem to have an abundance.
dfdashh writes "A former Fannie Mae contractor has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Baltimore, MD for computer intrusion. He attempted to propagate a malicious script throughout the company's 4,000 servers. The DC Examiner has details of the incident: 'Had this malicious script executed, [Fannie Mae] engineers expect it would have caused millions of dollars of damage and reduced if not shutdown operations at [Fannie Mae] for at least one week. ... The virus was set to execute at 9 a.m. Jan. 31, first disabling Fannie Mae's computer monitoring system and then cutting all access to the company's 4,000 servers, Nye wrote. Anyone trying to log in would receive a message saying "Server Graveyard." From there, the virus would wipe out all Fannie Mae data, replacing it with zeros, Nye wrote. Finally, the virus would shut down the servers.'"
mcgrew writes "New Scientist reports that a British team has overcome the obstacles to cheap LED lighting, and that LED lamps as cheap as CFLs will be on the market in five years. Quoting: 'Gallium nitride cannot be grown on silicon like other solid-state electronic components because it shrinks at twice the rate of silicon as it cools. Crystals of GaN must be grown at 1000C, so by the time a new LED made on silicon has cooled, it has already cracked, rendering the devices unusable. One solution is to grow the LEDs on sapphire, which shrinks and cools at much the same rate as GaN. But the expense is too great to be commercially competitive. Now Colin Humphreys's team at the University of Cambridge has discovered a simple solution to the shrinkage problem. They included layers of aluminium gallium nitride in their LED design... These LEDs can be grown on silicon as so many other electronics components are. ... A 15-centimetre silicon wafer costs just $15 and can accommodate 150,000 LEDs making the cost per unit tiny.'"
Lawrence Person writes "Everyone's favorite live-action science fiction comedy series will finally return to TV, with Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat all making it to Earth. The new two-part series Red Dwarf: Back to Earth will appear on digital channel Dave, will be written and directed by Red Dwarf co-creator Doug Naylor, and will reunite the line-up. 'It will sit alongside two further new episodes — the improvised Red Dwarf: Unplugged, which will feature the cast dealing with no sets, effects or autocue, and Red Dwarf: the Making of Back to Earth, a behind the scenes look at the new production.' Personally, I think this is pretty smegging fantastic."
Sub Zero 992 writes "Heise Security (article in German) is reporting that at this year's Chaos Communications Congress (25C3) researchers in Europe's dedected.org group have published an article (PDF) showing, using a PC-Card costing only EUR 23, how to eavesdrop on DECT transmissions. There are hundreds of millions of terminals, ranging from telephones, to electronic payment terminals, to door openers, using the DECT standard." So far, the Heise article's German only, but I suspect will show up soon in English translation. Update: 12/30 21:27 GMT by T : Reader Juha-Matti Laurio writes with the story in English. Thanks!
Zonk pointed out an interesting video presentation by Shamus Young on the importance of the new Prince of Persia, calling it the most innovative game of 2008. Young brings up the fact that many of today's games punish failure by wasting the player's time; being sent back to a check point, the beginning of a level, or sometimes even further. This cuts into the amount of time players have to enjoy the meat of the game — the current challenge they have to overcome. Unfortunately, as Young notes, modern controllers are designed for players who have been gaming since they were kids, and have evolved to be more complicated to operate than an automobile. The combination of these factors therefore limits or prevents the interest of new players; a problem Prince of Persia has addressed well through intuitive controls and the lack of punitive time sinks.
the_kanzure points out this AP story on amateur genetic engineering, excerpting: "The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories." Reader resistant has a few ideas about how to use this sort of lab: "Personally, I'd like to whip up a reasonably long-lasting and durable paint made with dye based on squid genes that glows brightly enough to allow 'guide lines' to be daubed along hallway baseboards, powered by a very low trickle of electricity. Plus, a harmless glowing yogurt would make for a cool prank."
subcomdtaco writes with this snippet from a story in the NYTimes: "Dr. [Robert] Gaskell, with software he developed over a quarter-century of trial and error, can process hundreds of images in a few hours, slap them atop one another electronically like coats of paint and produce a topographical map so detailed that you often need a pair of 3-D glasses to appreciate what he has done. At 63, Dr. Gaskell has become the Captain Cook of space. Dr. Gaskell calls what he does 'stereophotoclinometry.' [PDF] Ideally he needs at least three images of the target landscape, usually taken by an orbiting spacecraft or a probe on a flyby to another destination. Only in rare cases can telescope images provide enough detail. The sun angle must be different for each exposure so each image shows different shadows. By comparing the shadows, the software calculates slopes, which yield the altitudes of target features. The computer solves the equation in three dimensions, producing a patchlike topographical maplet."
schlangemann writes "Check out the paper Towards the Simulation of E-commerce by Herbert Schlangemann, which is available in the IEEEXplor database (full article available only to IEEE members). This generated paper has been accepted with review by the 2008 International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE). According to the organizers, 'CSSE is one of the important conferences sponsored by IEEE Computer Society, which serves as a forum for scientists and engineers in the latest development of artificial intelligence, grid computing, computer graphics, database technology, and software engineering.' Even better, fake author Herbert Schlangemann has been selected as session chair (PDF) for that conference. (The name Schlangemann was chosen based on the short film Der Schlangemann by Andreas Hansson and Björn Renberg.)"
Stephen Birch writes "Following closely behind the mid-November 2.06 release of VirtualBox, Sun Microsystems has released version 2.1. This has a number of new features, but one of the most interesting is the ability to run a 64-bit VM inside a 32-bit host. Another useful feature is integrated host-based networking; no more fiddling around with network bridges. Sun is really giving VMWare a run for their money."