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Privacy

+ - Germany Seeks Expansion of Computer Spying

Submitted by gooman
gooman (709147) writes "The LA Times reports on a proposal to secretly scan suspects' hard drives which is causing unease in a nation with a history of official surveillance. Along with several other European countries, Germany is seeking authority to plant secret Trojan viruses into the computers of suspects that could scan files, photos, diagrams and voice recordings, record every keystroke typed and possibly even turn on webcams and microphones in an attempt to gain knowledge of attacks before they happen."
Security

+ - Apple Adds Memory Randomization (ALSR) to Leopard

Submitted by
.mack
.mack writes "Apple has announced plans to add code-scrambling diversity to Mac OS X Leopard, a move aimed at making the operating system more resilient to virus and worm attacks. The security technology, known as ASLR (address space layout randomization), randomly arranges the positions of key data areas to prevent malware authors from predicting target addresses. Another new feature coming in Leopard is Sandboxing (systrace), which limits an application's access to the system by enforcing access policies for system calls."
Television

+ - Why Can't I buy a cablecard ready set top box?-> 1

Submitted by
Al E Usse
Al E Usse writes "Ars Technica does a write up of the problems that haven't been solved by the July 1, 2007 integration ban on integrated security in your cable box. Three months after the ban went into effect, digging up a third-party, CableCARD-ready set-top box can be an exercise in hair-pulling frustration. The companies who make the boxes don't seem interested in selling to consumers, cable companies still push their own branded devices, and Best Buy employees... well, the less said the better. We've heard the pain of our readers on this issue. One of them described his own epic (and fruitless) quest to secure such a device. His conclusion? "Although I should be able to buy a set-top box of my own, nobody will sell me one. I am standing on the doorstep, wad of cash in hand, yelling, 'Please take my money! I want to buy!' but am turned away."
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Privacy

+ - How bad is OSX when it comes to DRM and spying? 1

Submitted by whirred
whirred (182193) writes "I'm a long time Windows, Linux, and *nix user. I've seen Microsoft's operating systems change over the years from being a mediocre hodge podge of borderline functionality into the steaming pile that is Vista. Over this time frame, I've seen the Mac OS change from a cute, decent interface into what I believe is the best Unix operating system ever created. I also feel that my philosophy has changed over the years, and whereas I used to be able to tolerate Microsoft with a good software firewall and a lot of patching, I have seen their vision of the future and I simply do not like it. Intrusive DRM, "trusted computing", draconian activation schemes... I just don't want any part of it. I can't switch to Linux 100% because I still have to use Photoshop and other production tools that just aren't there yet. So my question is this: As bad as Windows with it's random snooping around (why are random processes always trying to connect to the internet?), how is OSX? I want zero DRM, zero "trusted computing", etc. I also want to make sure that before my computer contacts the internet (aside from browsing) that it asks me permission. Any thoughts?"
Security

+ - Chinese military hacks Pentagon->

Submitted by teh_commodore
teh_commodore (1099079) writes "FinancialTimes online tells us of a security breach of the Pentagon at the hands of the Chinese PLA in June. Officials are calling this "the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department."

"The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system...and the ability in a conflict situation to re-enter and disrupt on a very large scale," said a former official, who said the PLA had penetratedthenetworksof US defence companies and think-tanks. Hackers from numerous locations in China spent several months probing the Pentagon system before overcoming its defences, according to people familiar with the matter.
"

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Windows

+ - Creative Labs' Vista driver team feeling stressed?-> 2

Submitted by
regular_gonzalez
regular_gonzalez writes "While the X-Fi's issues under Vista have been widely reported, that doesn't prevent a flood of complaints pouring into the Creative Labs website, posted for all to see. What is more surprising is the employees' responses. A sampling:

# The drivers will be released when we are good and ready and happy with them
# Bitching like a 5 year old won't magically solve all our problems on the drivers.
# Call us hopeless and whatever else all you like, noone else is going to fix these drivers but us, demoralizing us won't bring it faster
# There are already reasonably working drivers supplied with the card, legally our responsibility stops there, think yourselves lucky we even bother updating the drivers at all.
# Anymore of these derogatory posts and we might well just flush the whole XFi/Vista64 saga to the toilet and move on.
Is Creative Labs obliged to treat even the most obnoxious of whiners with a certain level of respect, or is it refreshing to have a company actually state opinions that normally would be kept to themselves?"

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Television

+ - NFL Forcing Press To Wear Sponsor Logos

Submitted by i_like_spam
i_like_spam (874080) writes "In a story covered by the National Press Photographers Association, photojournalists are protesting a new rule for the upcoming NFL season that will force them to wear red vests emblazoned with the corporate logos of Reebok and Canon during televised games. The chair of the NPPA's Ethics & Standards Committee fires back

"It totally goes against our Code of Ethics to force photographers to advertise as if they were some sort of NASCAR vehicle. We are independent gatherers of news, storytellers with no agendas. Our integrity comes from objectivity. Do reporters put up with this kind of disrespect from the NFL?"
"
Biotech

HIV Vaccine Ready For Clinical Trials 385

Posted by Zonk
from the go-science-go-science dept.
amigoro writes with the happy news that a possible vaccine against HIV is nearing readiness for clinical trials. The compound could provide a 'double whammy' by not only inoculating the patient against future infection, but destroying an HIV infection in progress. "The vaccine is an artificial virus-like particle whose outer casing consists of the TBI (T- and B cell epitopes containing immunogen) protein constructed by the researchers combined with the polyglucin protein. This protein contains nine components stimulating different cells of the immune system: both the ones that produce antibodies and the ones that devour the newcomer."
The Internet

Africa - Offline And Waiting for the Web 253

Posted by Zonk
from the can-i-borrow-a-cup-of-internet dept.
The nytfeed provides us with an article about the current state of internet connectivity on the African continent. Only 4 percent of Africa's population has regular access to the internet, with most of those people living in North African countries, or the country of South Africa. This might seem like a market ripe for development, but the article explains that there are numerous difficulties involved getting an infrastructure project off the ground. "Africa's only connection to the network of computers and fiber optic cables that are the Internet's backbone is a $600 million undersea cable running from Portugal down the west coast of Africa. Built in 2002, the cable was supposed to provide cheaper and faster Web access, but so far that has not happened. Prices remain high because the national telecommunications linked to the cable maintain a monopoly over access, squeezing out potential competitors. And plans for a fiber optic cable along the East African coast have stalled over similar access issues. Most countries in Eastern Africa, like Rwanda, depend on slower satellite technology for Internet service." The good news is that, of course, progress is being made. Just ... slowly.
Role Playing (Games)

+ - The Life of a Chinese Gold Farmer

Submitted by
jellie
jellie writes "The New York Times Magazine has a story about real-money trading in massively multiplayer online games titled "The Life of a Chinese Gold Farmer". The author provides some background of the practice and interviews several players. To describe the scale of the virtual-money industry, the author mentions a 2001 paper by an economist from the University of Indiana: "Updated and more broadly applied, Castronova's results [based on his paper from 2001] suggest an aggregate gross domestic product for today's virtual economies of anywhere from $7 billion to $12 billion, a range that puts the economic output of the online gamer population in the company of Bolivia's, Albania's and Nepal's.""
Democrats

+ - Obama rips Clinton on outsourcing->

Submitted by
slashdotlurker
slashdotlurker writes "Senator Obama's supposed to be secret scoop on Senator Clinton and Bill Clinton's secret dealings with Indian interests was released to the media by the Clinton campaign and has made for some embarrassing reading given Senator Obama's previous commitment to indulge in a different kind of politics. The Obama campaign has tried to mollify the Indian-American community, but the impact of the episode is likely to be minimal given the low level of support he enjoys among Indian-Americans.

However, the scoop does raise some questions about Senator Clinton's record and the issue of outsourcing. This will probably need to be addressed and not just brushed aside."

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