thelamecamel writes "According to the New South Wales state government, the Sydney Morning Herald, a local newspaper, attacked the government's 'website firewall security' for two days to research a recent story. The affected government minister said that the website was accessed 3,727 times, and that this is 'akin to 3,727 attempts to pick the lock of a secure office and take highly confidential documents.' The matter has been referred to the police, who are now investigating. But how did the paper 'hack' the website? They entered the unannounced URL. Security by obscurity at its finest."
Back with XP and WGA you weren't allowed to access to any further updates, including critical flaw patches, until you installed WGA. I'm guessing something with WAT would be similar except it would also be a downgraded Windows 7.
Lord Duran writes "The Israeli Knesset approved a bill that will require every Israeli citizen to submit a visual scan of their face and a biometric scan of their fingerprints to a national database. I, for one, fail to see how this is anything but evil. TFA mentions the Israeli census was breached — I'd like to point out, for comparison, that it's still freely available on your peer-to-peer file sharing network of choice."
It might be considering how widely used Linux in the sciences. As a meteorology student I have seen how the software that both the government and academia uses are Linux-based. A prime example is the NAWIPS software package. Who knows how many other scientific advances are being done on Linux.
The article got it wrong; it's the "Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiement 2".
It's going to be interesting when one of my classes is canceled because my teacher has to go storm chasing for VORTEX2. So will people in my class. I'll hopefully be taking in the storm reports.
As a student meteorologist, I have come to learn that meteorology involves a LOT of computer programs, more than I had assumed. There's computer modeling of all kinds, there's the maintaining of public servers, there's the supercomputers, etc. I have 3 CS graduate friends that work for the National Weather Service's radar office in Norman. They do many things with the data, including new algorithms for better analysis and filtering. If that's the government, then realize there is also a big field in the academic and private sectors relating to weather also.
netbuzz writes "Comic creator Randall Monroe suggested in a recent xkcd strip that YouTube comments would be better — or, more precisely, less idiotic — if only those posting them were forced to hear their words read aloud first. Well, YouTube has gone and made this "audio preview" a reality, albeit an optional one. And, it's not the first time that xkcd has contributed to the betterment of the Internet, as those who are familiar with last year's "Internet census" and its use of a Hilbert curve may remember."
Actually, I believe one of the ones he thought he got wrong is actually right (though not in the way it was originally presented): the cosmological constant. It's become a big factor in astronomy today as the universe is accelerating.
beebee and other readers sent word that the US Supreme Court has, by a 5 to 4 majority, ruled that the Constitution applies at Guantanamo. Accused terrorists can now go to federal court to challenge their continued detention (the right to habeas corpus), meaning that civil judges will now have the power to check the government's designation of Gitmo detainees as enemy combatants. This should remedy one of the major issues Human Rights activists have with the detention center. However, Gitmo is unlikely to close any time soon. The NYTimes reporting on the SCOTUS decision goes into more detail on the vigor of the minority opinion. McClatchy reports the outrage the decision has caused on the right, with one senator calling for a Constitutional amendment "to blunt the effect of this decision."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA threw in the towel, all right, but was only doing it in preparation for throwing a sucker punch. After dropping its 'making available' case, Warner v. Cassin, before Judge Robinson could decide whether to dismiss or not, it was only trying to do an 'end run' (if I may mix my sports metaphors) around the judge's deciding the motion and freezing discovery. The RIAA immediately, and secretly, filed a new case against the family, calling this one 'Warner v. Does 1-4.' In their papers the lawyers 'forgot' to mention that the new case was related. As a result, Does 1-4 was assigned to another judge, who knew nothing about the old case. The RIAA lawyers also may have forgotten that they couldn't bring any more cases over this same claim, since they'd already dismissed it twice before. Not to worry, NYCL wrote letters to both judges, reminding them of what the RIAA lawyers had forgotten."
coondoggie writes "Turns out that the surface of Mars is stiffer and colder than previously thought. New observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate that any liquid water that might exist below the planet's surface and any possible organisms living in that water would be located deeper than scientists had suspected. NASA made the discovery while using the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) instrument on the Orbiter, which revealed long, continuous layers stretching up to 600 miles, or about one-fifth the length of the United States. The radar pictures show a smooth, flat border between the ice cap and the rocky Martian crust, NASA said. On Earth, the weight of a similar stack of ice would cause the planet's surface to sag. The fact that the Martian surface is not bending means that its strong outer shell, or lithosphere, a combination of its crust and upper mantle, must be very thick and cold."