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+ - Mythbuster's Adam Savage & TI Recant RFID Stor->

Submitted by
Nick
Nick writes "A few weeks ago a video of a talk given by Adam Savage of the television show MythBusters spread across the internet (including a mention on Slashdot.) On the video Savage stated that the show was unable to produce s show about previously know RFID vulnerabilities due to a conference call to Texas Instruments that unexpectedly included credit card company's legal council.

TI (via a spokesperson talking with cnet.com) stated that only one lawyer was on the call and that the majority of the people on the call were product managers from the Smart Card Alliance (SCA) invited by TI to speak. Then Savage (via a Discovery Communications statement) reaffirmed that he was not on the call himself and that the decision was not made by Discovery or their advertising sales department but rather MythBuster's production company, Beyond Productions."

Link to Original Source
Mars

Mars Soil Appears To Be Able To Sustain Life 337

Posted by timothy
from the expensive-way-to-replenish-topsoil dept.
beckerist writes "Scientists working on the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which has already found ice on the planet, said preliminary analysis by the lander's instruments on a sample of soil scooped up by the spacecraft's robotic arm had shown it to be much more alkaline than expected. Sam Kounaves, the lead investigator for the wet chemistry laboratory on Phoenix, told journalists: 'It is the type of soil you would probably have in your back yard, you know, alkaline. You might be able to grow asparagus in it really well. ... It is very exciting for us.'"
Hardware Hacking

VLC Hits the Device Market 159

Posted by timothy
from the long-time-coming dept.
JoeBorn writes "VideoLAN has long been known as a mature open source project for video playback and transcoding on the PC. Now, Neuros and Texas Instruments have sponsored a port of VLC to their next generation open set-top box. The idea is to allow developers to easily create interesting plug-ins for recording and transcoding applications for the set-top box which will automate functions previously requiring a PC, like formating recordings for a portable player or streaming to another device on the LAN or the Internet, etc."
Book Reviews

The Definitive ANTLR Reference 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Joe Kauzlarich writes "Finally, someone has done us all the great service of publishing a book about the second most well-known compiler compiler, Terence Parr's Antlr, and it was written, moreover, by Parr himself and published as part of the somewhat-usually-reliable Pragmatic Bookshelf series. Take note, while it requires a JVM to run, Antlr is not just for Java developers; it generates compilers in Python, Ruby, C, C++, C# and Objective-C. Also note that this book is more than just an elaborated man-page; it is also an excellent introduction to the concepts of compiler and parser design." Keep reading for the rest of Joe's review.
Encryption

Atari Founder Proclaims the End of Gaming Piracy 831

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the until-they-build-a-better-crack dept.
OMGZombies writes "Speaking on a conference held yesterday in New York, the Atari founder Nolan Bushnell said that a new stealth encryption chip called TPM will 'absolutely stop piracy of gameplay'. The chip is apparently being embedded on most of the new computer motherboards and is said to be 'uncrackable by people on the internet and by giving away passwords' though it won't stop movie or music piracy, since 'if you can watch it and you can hear it, you can copy it.'"
Censorship

Wikipedia Blocks Suspicious Edits From DoJ 294

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the watching-the-watchers dept.
kylehase writes "The release of Wikiscanner last year brought much attention to white-washing of controversial pages on the community-generated encyclopedia. Apparently Wikipedia is very serious in fighting such behavior as they've temporarily blocked the US Department of Justice from editing pages for suspicious edits."
Censorship

Comcast Blocks Web Browsing 502

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the because-they-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers have found that Comcast has quietly rolled out a new traffic-shaping method, which is interfering with web browsers in addition to p2p traffic. The smoking gun that documents this behavior are network traces collected from Comcast subscribers Internet connections. This evidence shows Comcast is forging packets and blocking connection attempts from web browsers. One has to hope this isn't the congestion management system they are touting as no longer targeting BitTorrent, which they are deploying in reaction to the recent FCC investigations."
Encryption

Blocking Steganosonic Data In Phone Calls 185

Posted by kdawson
from the could-you-repeat-that-please dept.
psyced writes "Steganography is a technique to encode secret messages in the background noise of an audio recording or photograph. There have been attempts at steganalysis in the past, but scientists at FH St. Pölten are developing strategies to block out secret data in VoIP and even GSM phone calls by preemptively modifying background noise (link is to a Google translation of the German original) on a level that stays inaudible or invisible, yet destroys any message encoded within. I wonder if this method could be applied to hiding messages in executables, too."
The Military

Israelis Sue Government For Laser Cannons 736

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-all-want-a-laser-cannon dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Residents of a southern Israeli town want a real-life laser cannon to protect them against Palestinian rocket attacks. And they're suing the national government, for failing to provide the ray gun defense. The U.S.-Israeli Tactical High Energy Laser project was widely considered to be the most successful energy weapon ever built. But the toxic chemicals needed to generate THEL's megawatts of power made the thing a logistical nightmare. It was scrapped. Now, the residents of Sderot want it back. And they're taking Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to court to make it happen."
Microsoft

Pirates Find Proper Way to Crack Vista's Activation Schema 213

Posted by Zonk
from the little-ants-can-fell-big-trees dept.
El_Oscuro writes "A genuine crack for Windows Vista has been released by pirate group Pantheon. The exploit allows a pirated, non-activated installation of Vista (Home Basic/Premium and Ultimate) to be properly activated and made fully-operational. 'It seems that Microsoft has allowed large OEMs like ASUS to ship their products with a pre-installed version of Vista that doesn't require product activation — apparently because end users would find it too inconvenient.'"
Communications

Why Is Less Than 99.9% Uptime Acceptable? 528

Posted by Zonk
from the gets-boring-to-stand-there dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Telcos, ISPs, mobile phone companies and other communication service providers are known for their complex pricing plans and creative attempts to give less for more. But Larry Borsato asks why we as customers are willing to put up with anything less than 99.999% uptime? That's the gold standard, and one that we are used to thanks to regulated telephone service. When it comes to mobile phone service, cable TV, Internet access, service interruptions are the norm — and everyone seems willing to grin and bear it: 'We're so used cable and satellite television reception problems that we don't even notice them anymore. We know that many of our emails never reach their destination. Mobile phone companies compare who has the fewest dropped calls (after decades of mobile phones, why do we even still have dropped calls?) And the ubiquitous BlackBerry, which is a mission-critical device for millions, has experienced mass outages several times this month. All of these services are unregulated, which means there are no demands on reliability, other than what the marketplace demands.' So here's the question for you: Why does the marketplace demand so little when it comes to these services?"
Software

Mozilla Hitting 'Brick Walls' Getting Firefox on Phones 228

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-dino-hit-brick-wall dept.
meteorit writes "Mozilla has been working on a mobile version of Firefox since last year, and is now looking to repeat the success of Firefox on the PC. Although development seems not to have been completed, it is known that informal negotiations have already started with mobile network operators. Firefox Mobile is scheduled to be launched by the end of the year and the inaugural version will be compatible with the Linux and Windows Mobile operating systems. Work is already underway to determine what the browser's UI will look like. In the meantime those negotiations seem to be hitting 'brick walls', as cellphone operators resist the intrusion of the open web onto their platforms."
Moon

New Radar Maps of Moon 70

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the stay-on-target dept.
SpaceAdmiral writes to mention that NASA has some new high-resolution radar maps of the Moon obtained by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new images have also been used to create a simulation of the Moon's day and a movie of a Moon landing from the point of view of the astronaut. "NASA is eying the Moon's south polar region as a possible site for future outposts. The location has many advantages; for one thing, there is evidence of water frozen in deep dark south polar craters. Water can be split into oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to burn as rocket fuel--or astronauts could simply drink it. Planners are also looking for 'peaks of eternal light.' Tall polar mountains where the sun never sets might be a good place for a solar power station."
Earth

Alaskan Village Sues Over Global Warming 670

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the quit-pissin-in-our-pool dept.
hightower_40 writes to mention that a small Alaskan village has sued two dozen oil, power, and coal companies, blaming them for contributing to global warming. "Sea ice traditionally protected the community, whose economy is based in part on salmon fishing plus subsistence hunting of whale, seal, walrus, and caribou. But sea ice that forms later and melts sooner because of higher temperatures has left the community unprotected from fall and winter storm waves and surges that lash coastal areas."

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