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China

Chinese Firm Launches Cloud-Based Mobile OS 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-now-for-something-completely-different dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China-based company Alibaba looks to take on the might of Apple and Google with a cloud-based operating system. According to the company, its Aliyun OS will be based on the Linux kernel, and will also be compatible with Android apps. Launched alongside the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700, Alibaba is hoping that a 0% slice of developer profits will encourage adoption, and says it hopes manufacturers will take the platform to global markets."
Security

Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent 98

Posted by timothy
from the plus-one-invitation dept.
"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from adobe.com. The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."
Image

External Airbag Designed to Protect Pedestrians 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the safe-at-any-speed dept.
Thanks to researchers at Cranfield University, you don't have to feel bad when you plow into a group of pedestrians who are crossing the street too slowly. They have designed an external airbag that mounts to your hood at the base of the windshield. Research shows that this is the area where a pedestrian's head is most likely to hit in an accident. "Test results indicate that the system works extremely well. When fitted to a demonstrator vehicle not originally designed with pedestrian protection in mind, the results were well inside all current legal criteria for pedestrian protection currently in force in Europe," Roger Hardy of the university's Cranfield Impact Centre said.
The Courts

Supreme Court Declines Jack Thompson Appeal 100

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-the-hint dept.
eldavojohn writes "Jack Thompson was disbarred last year in Florida, putting a halt to annoying lawsuits targeting game makers and the constitutional rights of gamers. Well, he had appealed to the United States Supreme Court (scheduled to be heard last Friday) to get this overturned, but instead they declined to even hear his appeal. They wouldn't even give him the time to review his appeal, so it appears his disbarment for life stands. Florida had declined to file a response to Thompson's appeal, and it turns out they didn't need to. Sad day for Jack Thompson, but a great day for gamers everywhere." This comes shortly after Thompson was frustrated by the vetoing of some legislation he promoted in Utah.
Input Devices

Some of the Weirder Ideas From CHI 2009 43

Posted by timothy
from the electrooculography-for-100-points-alex dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review has a roundup of some of the weirder ideas on show at last week's Computer-Human Interaction conference in Boston. They include a trackball that heats up as you roll over different parts of an image, a pair of goggles that track eye movements using electrooculography, and a miniature robot with a cellphone for its head."
Security

+ - Fighter plans unable to take off because of virus->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "According to an article in the UK's Daily Telegraph, French fighter planes were recently grounded by the "Conficker" virus. According to the report, the planes were unable to download their flight plans. The virus was propagated because the computers had not been updated with the necessary security updates."
Link to Original Source
Television

+ - Out-of-warranty Slingboxes broken with update

Submitted by fetta
fetta (141344) writes "I take back every nice thing I've ever said about the Slingbox. A recent Slingplayer update breaks some Slingboxes , including mine. After the update, all remote control settings are lost and cannot be reset. You can watch TV but not control your DVR devices.

The root cause seems to be a new DRM setting: even if the device has been used in the US since installation, you get an error about the device not being authorized for use in the USA.

"This Slingbox was not originally designed to be used in the USA. You may not be able to configure this Slingbox for some devices in this new location."

To make matters worse, Slingbox charges $29/per incident for support, even if you're still under warranty but past the first 90 days. I find it offensive to have to pay for support for a problem caused by their software update. They seem to feel free to ignore any problems that their software is causing for any customer with a box more than 12 months old — if I were more cynical, I would think that this is their version of planned obsolescence.

So, if you wanted to replace the Slingbox with a similar device, what other options exist? Is there anything open-source, or at least made by a more consumer-friendly company? I hate to buy another piece of hardware, only to have it disabled by the manufacturer after the warranty runs out."

Worms

+ - OpenDNS to block and monitor Conficker worm

Submitted by Linker3000
Linker3000 (626634) writes "According to El Reg, from Monday, OpenDNS plans to introduce an new service that will prevent PCs infected with the Conficker (aka Downadup) malware from contacting its control servers, and will also make it easy for admins to know if even a single machine under their control has been infected by Conficker: "Starting Monday, any networks with PCs that try to connect to the Conficker addresses will be flagged on an admin's private statistics page. The service is available for free to both businesses and home users." Maybe this is a good time to take a look at OpenDNS if you haven't done so already."
Privacy

+ - tracking political donors with googlemaps->

Submitted by
Geoffrey.landis
Geoffrey.landis writes "Some donors to groups supporting the controversial measure 8 have received death threats and envelopes containing a powdery white substance, and their businesses have been boycotted. The targets of this harassment blame a controversial and provocative Web site, eightmaps.com, which has used California open disclosure laws, along with googlemaps, to publicize the names and addresses of individuals who donated money to pass the controversial Californis proposition 8.

According to the New York Times, eightmaps takes that the donation data, formerly of interest mainly to social scientists, pollsters and journalists, and publishes it in a way not foreseen when the open-government laws were passed. As a result, donors are exposed to a wide audience and, in some cases, to harassment or worse.""

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Security flaws in iPhone CryptoExercise->

Submitted by
WillerZ
WillerZ writes "Apple's CryptoExercise sample for the iPhone (sorry, link only works if you have an iPhone developer account) uses the SHA-1 algorithm incorrectly, leaving significant security holes. This is a problem given the distinct lack of other documentation on the iPhone security services. You might want to read how I recommend you fix it before modelling your application on it."
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - nitrogen doped carbon cheaper than platinum->

Submitted by bond-covalent-bond
bond-covalent-bond (759729) writes "Fuel cells have been hailed as saviours of the environment, because they can cleanly and efficiently turn hydrogen and other fuels into electricity. But so far this technology has been hobbled by the high cost of the platinum catalysts needed to make it work. Now a new type of fuel cell based on carbon nanotubes (doped with nitrogen) promises to be much cheaper, as well as more compact and more efficient."
Link to Original Source
Power

+ - Fusion-Fission System Promises Clean Nuclear Power->

Submitted by Anonymous
Anonymous (666) writes "A hybrid fission-fusion process has been developed that has can be used in some traditional Fission reactors to process radioactive waste and reduce the amount of waste produced by 99%. This process uses magnetic bottle techniques developed from fusion research. This seems like the first viable solution to the radioactive waste problem of traditional nuclear reactors. It will be interesting to see how the timing of this, which the article says should be ready for deployment in just a few years, works out with new pluggable hybrids and the GM Volt slated for a similar time line. This could be a bug breakthrough in the search for environmentally friendly energy sources."
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"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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