e9th writes "We know that Microsoft failed last February in its attempt to buy Yahoo. Now, Advertising Age reports that they've reached a deal. Instead of a buyout, the two will enter into a revenue sharing agreement, and Bing will become Yahoo's default search engine. The meat of the AdAge article can be found in Yahoo News. This deal may give Google something to worry about."
CWmike writes "More than 9 out of every 10 Windows users are vulnerable to the Flash zero-day vulnerability that Adobe won't patch until Thursday, Danish security company Secunia says. According to Secunia, 92% of the 900,000 users who have recently run the company's Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility have Flash Player 10 on their PCs, while 31% have Flash Player 9. (The total exceeds 100% because some users have installed both.) The most-current versions of Flash Player — 18.104.22.168 and 10.0.22.87) — are vulnerable to hackers conducting drive-by attacks hosted on malicious and legitimate-but-compromised sites. Antivirus vendors have reported hundreds, in some cases thousands, of sites launching drive-bys against Flash."
Franchise reboots are all the rage these days in Hollywood, and the trend is starting to creep into the games industry as well. The Guardian's games blog is running a story discussing a few examples and pondering likely candidates for future reboots. Quoting: "If anything, the concept of the reboot makes more sense in the videogame sector than it does in movies. For a start, games are complex entities, with each new iteration in a familiar series adding many, many hours of fresh narrative content. Entering, say, the Zelda, Resident Evil, Half-Life, Dragon Quest or Metal Gear worlds at this stage must be massively intimidating — even if the developers go to great lengths to make each entry work as a singular, self-contained entity within the canon. Also, videogames are going through a paradigm shift in terms of popular appeal at the moment. The faithful audience of young males has been joined by new demographics brought in by the Wii, PC casual games, and now the iPhone. Many of these people may be vaguely aware of long-running game brands, but won't have a clue about the key characters, sign post events and basic gameplay mechanisms." So, which series (or individual title) would you like to see rebooted?
dusty writes "Remember those green lasers from Star Wars? Turns out that faking green lasers has been easy for years, but making true green laser diodes has been the stuff of science fiction. Until recently, that is. Now researchers from Japan have created the world's first true green laser diode. Until now, only red and blue laser diodes were available, and now with the addition of green, new TVs and projectors that are more efficient can be produced. And if you were wondering how green lasers pointers are already produced, it is a hack that involved doubling the frequency of an infrared laser. The new true green laser diodes have much higher efficiency than the current 6%, leading many to expect big time laser display breakthroughs in the near future. Ars Technica has a well-written article on this breakthrough."
An anonymous reader writes "There's a writeup on SpywareGuide that explores the world of Xbox Gamerscore hacking, and how high Gamerscores are proving to be a big target for hackers and phishers. It also talks about how a recent release of a Gamerscore-altering program onto forums for hacking & cheating is proving to be lucrative business for both eBay sellers and those who want to artificially inflate a Gamerscore before selling that account, or trading it for credit card details."
Al writes "A vaccine in clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine triggers the human immune system to attack a faulty protein that's often abundant in colorectal cancer tissue and precancerous tissue. If it works as hoped, it could remove the need for repeated colonoscopies in patients at high risk for developing colorectal cancer. The vaccine has already proven safe in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. It works by spurring the body to manufacture antibodies against the abnormal version of a mucous protein called MUC1. While moderate amounts of the protein are found in the lining of normal intestines, high levels of a defective form of MUC1 are present in about half of advanced adenomas and the majority of colorectal cancers."
zeazzz writes to mention that the folks over at UMPC have a very cool little writeup and pictorial of a user's latest wearable PC. With the surge in smart phone adoption it seems that enthusiasm for wearable computers has dropped off a bit, which is too bad. I certainly look forward to my augmented reality HUD instead of depending on my iPhone for everything. "Essentially he took the MyVu headset, removed one of the eye pieces, and mounted the other to his glasses to that he could see his surroundings and the UX's screen at the same time. The MyVu is attached to the UX through the A/V output port on the UX's port replicator dongle. With some additional addons he provided his UX with extra battery life via an external battery, and several input methods to communicate with the UX while the rest of the kit resides within the backpack."
FelxH writes "Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern." I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!
angry tapir writes "In a laboratory experiment, researchers found that between 55 percent and 100 percent of participants ignored certificate security warnings, depending on which browser they were using (different browsers use different language to warn their users). The researchers first conducted an online survey of more than 400 Web surfers, to learn what they thought about certificate warnings. They then brought 100 people into a lab and studied how they surf the Web. They found that people often had a mixed-up understanding of certificate warnings. For example, many thought they could ignore the messages when visiting a site they trust, but that they should be more wary at less-trustworthy sites."
An anonymous reader writes "Techcrunch is running a story that shows some pretty significant differences in the clicking habits of users of Yahoo, Google, and Bing. As it turns out, folks who arrive at websites via Bing are 55% more likely to click on an ad than if they arrived from Google (data based on the Chitika network). Essentially, people who use Bing are far more susceptible to advertising. Bing has acquired a decent market share in such a short time, but could it just be that they've reaped the low hanging fruit of those particularly persuaded by advertising? When their huge marketing campaign winds down, what kind of staying power will it have?"
nate_in_ME writes "After getting a positive from the AVG virus detector while playing music on iTunes just a few minutes ago, I did a bit of research. It appears that AVG has recently pushed an update to the virus definitions that flags every iPod/iTunes related file as being infected with the 'Small.BOG' trojan. Interestingly enough, AVG does not have any information on this particular virus in their virus encyclopedia. Discussion on the Apple forum is up to 4 pages and climbing. One user there had an interesting thought: 'Maybe Palm has some shares in AVG...MUAHAAAA!!' (on page 3)."
Krokz sends in an LA Times piece that begins "A warning is bouncing through cyberspace today, landing on the Facebook statuses of many of the social networking site's users. The message: 'Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission.' It continues with a prescription of how you can protect your photos." The attention-grabbing incident in this furor involved a married woman, whose photo appeared in an ad for a dating service that was presented to her husband to view. Fortunately, both husband and wife had a sense of humor about it.
sciencehabit writes "A eucalyptus-like tree from New Zealand is still waging a battle that should have ended over 500 years ago. The tree continues to sport evolutionary adaptations, such as barbed leaves, to protect it from a large, flightless bird known as a moa. There's just one problem: the moa went extinct around 1500 AD."
Dalambertian writes "The release of Spore's Patch 5 lets players export their creatures (and soon vehicles and buildings) in Collada format. This includes textures, bump mapping, and rigging for animation. Maxis developer Ocean Quigley recently posted a nice tutorial for getting said creatures into Maya, and other 3D packages are soon to follow. This could have a huge impact on the games industry, and the indie games scene in particular. Unfortunately, if the patch falls under the usual EULA, then any legitimate use of the art assets outside of the Spore community becomes impossible. EA is apparently just teasing us with its taste-but-don't-swallow policy, and at present it's not clear whether the genius that came out of Spore's development will ever truly be accessible to the game dev community."
Jeremy A. Hansen writes "NIST just announced their selections for algorithms going to the second round of the SHA-3 competition. Quoting: 'NIST received 64 SHA-3 candidate hash function submissions and accepted 51 first round candidates as meeting our minimum acceptance criteria. We have now selected 14 second round candidates to continue in the competition. Information about the second round candidate algorithms will be available here. We were pleased by the amount and quality of the cryptanalysis we received on the first round candidates, and more than a little amazed by the ingenuity of some of the attacks. ... In selecting this set of second round candidates we tried to include only algorithms that we thought had a chance of being selected as SHA-3. We were willing to extrapolate higher performance for conservative designs with apparently large safety factors, but comparatively unforgiving of aggressive designs that were broken, or nearly broken during the course of the review. We were more willing to accept disquieting properties of the hash function if the designer had apparently anticipated them, than if they were discovered during the review period, even if there were apparent fixes. We were generally alarmed by attacks on compression functions that seemed unanticipated by the submitters.'"