What's wrong with the SSH approach? First time you see a cert, inform the user. If it changes in the future, freak the hell out. It works great for ssh and solved the whole key distribution problem. It's magnitudes better than the current situation in browsers.
Tom F writes to mention BBC News is reporting that Google has released a new add on for Google Earth that will allow users to search a 3D rendition of over 1 million stars and 200 million galaxies called Google Sky. "Optional layers allow users to explore images from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as animations of lunar cycles. [...] Users can overlay the night sky with other information such as galaxies, constellations and detailed images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Imagery for the system came from six research institutions including the Digital Sky Survey Consortium, the Palomar Observatory in California and the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre. "
MSNBC has up an article discussing the results of a Newsweek poll on faith and religion among members of the US populace. Given the straightforward question, 'Is evolution well-supported by evidence and widely accepted within the scientific community?', some 48% of Americans said 'No'. Furthermore, 34% of college graduates said they accept the Biblical story of creation as fact. An alarmingly high number of individuals responded that they believe the earth is only 10,000 years old, and that a deity created our species in its present form at the start of that period.
UnreasonableMan writes "Jeff Hawkins is best known for founding Palm Computing and Handspring, but for the last eighteen months he's been working on his third company, Numenta. In his 2005 book, On Intelligence, Hawkins laid out a theoretical framework describing how the neocortex processes sensory inputs and provides outputs back to the body. Numenta's goal is to build a software model of the human brain capable of face recognition, object identification, driving, and other tasks currently best undertaken by humans. For an overview see Hawkins' 2005 presentation at UC Berkeley. It includes a demonstration of an early version of the software that can recognize handwritten letters and distinguish between stick figure dogs and cats. White papers are available at Numenta's website. Numenta wisely decided to build a community of developers rather than trying to make everything proprietary. Yesterday they released the first version of their free development platform and the source code for their algorithms to anyone who wants to download it."
davids-world.com writes "Richard Stallman is planning to step down as head maintainer of the GNU Emacs project. In an e-mail to fellow Emacs developers, he today asked for candidates to succeed him. RMS wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor in 1975 at MIT's AI Lab. Seen by many as the founder and chief advocate of the free software movement, Stallman has also been actively involved in Emacs' development. GNU Emacs 22, due soon, will be the first major release of the editor since 2001."
Torrentex writes "Following hot on the heels of the "Brute Force Keygen" for Vista which ultimately proved to be a hoax, a piracy group called Pantheon has released a full Vista crack. This one has been tested by the community and works 100% of the time. It exploits activation functionality Microsoft intentionally built in for OEM system makers churning out thousands of PCs at a time who don't have time to activate each machine individually."
Arlen writes "As many as 17,000 people (according to police estimates) watched Senator Barack Obama officially announce his candidacy for President in Springfield, Illinois today. He mentioned several things that will interest readers of Slashdot. The Senator said he wanted to free America from 'the tyranny of oil' and went on to promote alternative energy sources such as ethanol — a popular stance in the Midwest where he announced, because of all the corn farmers. He also talked about using science and technology to help those with chronic diseases, which is likely to have been an allusion to his staunch support for stem cell research. Perhaps most of interest to readers here is the following statement halfway through Obama's speech: 'Let's invest in scientific research, and let's lay down broadband lines through the heart of inner cities and rural towns all across America. We can do that.' Like nearly everything in his speech, this was met with robust applause from the crowd. You can watch a video of the entire speech at Obama's website."
An anonymous reader writes "According to a report MacScoop has obtained, Apple will charge current users of Mac OS X Tiger for the final version of Boot Camp that will be released at the same time as Mac OS X Leopard, this Spring."
lucabrasi999 writes "It appears that Apple may be running out of items that they can prefix with the letter "i". Cisco is suing Apple over trademark infringement. Cisco claims to own the rights to the "iPhone" trademark since they purchased Infogear in 2000. Infogear filed for the rights to the trademark in 1996."
kpw10 writes "Dr. Jeff Masters from Wunderground has a great summary of this year's rather abnormal weather (his blog is the best source on the net for in-depth weather analysis). The post discusses some of the cyclical climate forces at work this year and compares this year's record temperatures to records from the past. There are some interesting differences, particularly in the extent of the northern hemisphere seeing record highs this year." From the article: "December's weather in the Northeast U.S. may have been a case of the weather dice coming up thirteen — weather not seen on the planet since before the Ice Age began, 118,000 years ago. The weather dice will start rolling an increasing number of thirteens in coming years, and an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summertime by 2040 is a very real possibility..." Here is the The National Climatic Data Center's report announcing the entry of 2006 into the record books.
Kelson writes to tell us about a Fedora Weekly News article reporting that, beginning with Fedora 7, the distinction between Core and Extras will cease to exist. This development comes out of the Fedora summit held in November. From the article: "Starting with Fedora 7, there is no more Core, and no more Extras; there is only Fedora. One single repository, built in the community on open source tools, assembled into whatever spins the Fedora community desires." Kelson adds: "The post goes on to list three 'spins' they plan to introduce at Fedora 7's April release: server, desktop and KDE. Presumably these would be 1-disc installation sets, with further packages downloaded over the network, rather than the 5-CD collection needed to install Fedora 6."
El Lobo writes "For the Linux desktop, 2002 was an important year. Since then, we have continuously been fed point releases which added bits of functionality and speed improvements, but no major revision has yet seen the light of day. What's going on? A big problem with GNOME is that it lacks any form of a vision, a goal, for the next big revision. GNOME 3.0 is just that- a name. All GNOME 3.0 has are some random ideas by random people in random places. KDE developers are indeed planning big things for KDE4 — but that is what they are stuck at. Show me where the results are.KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies. In the meantime, the competition has not exactly been standing still. Apple has continuously been improving its Mac OS X operating system. Microsoft has not been resting on its laurels either. Windows Vista is already available. Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case."
netbuzz writes, "A fellow teaching himself Seam has come up with a clever Web app called 10 Minute Mail. It gives you a valid e-mail address — instantly — for use in registering at Web sites. Ten minutes later (more if you ask), it's gone. You can read mail and reply to it from the page where you create the throw-away address. Limited utility, yes, but easy and free."
JohnnyCakes writes "MacBook Pro batteries are apparently swelling, then failing. MacFixIt has some grotesque pictures of their own swollen MBP battery, which looks like it has suffered an internal explosion. Apple is replacing batteries on a case-by-case basis, but hasn't yet admitted any wide-scale issues."
simoniker writes "Louisiana Democratic Representative Roy Burrell's HB1381 bill, covering violent videogames, has been signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco. The law takes effect immediately, the latest in a very long line of video game-related bills specific to one U.S. State. The measure proposed by HB 1381, which was drafted with the help of controversial Florida attorney and anti-game activist Jack Thompson, allows a judge to rule on whether or not a videogame meets established criteria for being inappropriate for minors and be subsequently pulled from store shelves. A person found guilty of selling such a game to a minor would face fines ranging from $100 to $2,000, plus a prison term of up to one year. Needless to say, the ESA will likely be mounting a legal challenge to this bill in the very near future."