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DRM

Altering Text In eBooks To Track Pirates 467

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-whom-the-bell-jingles dept.
wwphx writes "According to Wired, 'German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an e-book ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, which Google translates to 'secure documents by individual marking,' the changes are unique to each e-book sold. These alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had any other DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online. The researchers are hoping the new DRM feature will curb digital piracy by simply making consumers paranoid that they'll be caught if they share an e-book illicitly.' I seem to recall reading about this in Tom Clancy's Patriot Games, when Jack Ryan used this technique to identify someone who was leaking secret documents. It would be so very difficult for someone to write a little program that, when stripping the DRM, randomized a couple of pieces of punctuation to break the hash that the vendor is storing along with the sales record of the individual book."
NASA

How NASA Brought the F-1 Rocket Engine Back To Life 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-alive dept.
First time accepted submitter Martin S. writes "How NASA Engineers have reverse engineered the F1 engine of a Saturn V launcher, because: 'every scrap of documentation produced during Project Apollo, including the design documents for the Saturn V and the F-1 engines, remains on file. If re-creating the F-1 engine were simply a matter of cribbing from some 1960s blueprints, NASA would have already done so. A typical design document for something like the F-1, though, was produced under intense deadline pressure and lacked even the barest forms of computerized design aids. Such a document simply cannot tell the entire story of the hardware. Each F-1 engine was uniquely built by hand, and each has its own undocumented quirks. In addition, the design process used in the 1960s was necessarily iterative: engineers would design a component, fabricate it, test it, and see how it performed. Then they would modify the design, build the new version, and test it again. This would continue until the design was "good enough."'

Comment: Already happening (Score 5, Interesting) 417

by RabidMonkey (#39537773) Attached to: DHS Will Now Vet UK Air Passengers To Mexico, Canada, Cuba

This has been going on in Canada for years now. Even if you aren't landing IN the States, so long as you fly OVER you are subject to screening. My father spoke to someone at the airport one day who was not cleared by DBS, but still managed to get on his flight to the Carribean. His plane had mechanical problems and was forced to land in Florida. When he got off the plane he was met by law enforcement, who read him the riot act and took him directly to jail. He waited there overnight, then was put ona plane home.

Living in southern Ontario, it is pretty much impossible not to fly over the states, even for domestic flights. That means we are all screwed by US rules, living in another country. Our freedom is limited by their assinine rules.

Networking

+ - Juniper at the root of Internet outage?->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Juniper routers are reportedly behind an Internet outage that affected service providers and Web sites around the globe Monday morning. The blogosphere was abuzz on reports that a core dump of main memory on Juniper routers knocked off sites worldwide. The core memory dump, which affected routers running Junos 10.2 and 10.3, was caused by a BGP update bug, according to tweets from affected sites. Juniper acknowledged that its edge routers were experiencing a BGP anomaly and that it issued a software fix. Earlier, Level 3 reported outages due to its routers but did not name the router vendor."
Link to Original Source
Network

+ - Global BGP issues due to Juniper bug-> 3

Submitted by
FST777
FST777 writes "Many folks around the globe report Level 3 was down, however, the cause might be even more global. Apparently, a firmware bug in JunOS 10.3 (and possibly also 10.2) caused many, many Juniper routers to reboot upon an incoming BGP update (which might have been crafted to do just that).

Needless to say, all Juniper routers disappearing from the global BGP tables has quite an impact."

Link to Original Source
Android

Siri Gives Apple Two Year Advantage Over Android 800

Posted by samzenpus
from the head-of-the-class dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Gary Morgenthaler, a recognized expert in artificial intelligence and a Siri board member, says that Apple now has at least a two-year advantage over Google in the war for best smartphone platform. 'What Siri has done is changed people's expectations about what's possible,' says Morgenthaler. 'Apple has crossed a threshold; people now expect that you should be able to expect to speak ordinary English — and be understood. Siri has cracked the code.' The threshold, from mere speech recognition to natural language input and understanding, is one that Google cannot cross by replicating the technology or making an acquisition adds Morgenthaler. 'There's no company out there they can go buy.' Morgenthaler's comments echo the recent article in Forbes Magazine, 'Why Siri Is a Google Killer' that says that Apple's biggest advantage over any other voice application out there today is the massive data Siri will collect in the next 2 years — all being stored in Apple's massive North Carolina data center — that will allow Siri to get better and better. 'Siri is a new interface for customers wanting to get information,' writes Eric Jackson. 'At the moment, most of us still rely on Google for getting at the info we want. But Siri has a foot in the door and it's trusting that it will win your confidence over time to do basic info gathering.'"
Medicine

Virtual Lab Rat Saves Human Lives 69

Posted by samzenpus
from the break-out-the-pretend-cheese dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There is already a Virtual Physiological Human project going on in Europe, to program a simulated human that can serve as a guinea pig, but this National Institute of Health effort to program a Virtual Physiological Rat promises to help humans even more. It's too difficult to simulate humans with algorithms, but the simpler rat physiology can be easily programmed, and by hand-tweaking its virtual genes, these rats-in-an-algorithm can be set up to what-if about interventions that cure human diseases more easily that when simulating humans directly. Long live the virtual lab rat!"

Comment: Re:The free market (Score 1) 203

by RabidMonkey (#36943754) Attached to: Hackers Could Open Convicts' Cells In Prisons

I politely disagree - when you have corporation that have their hands on lawmakers strings, or you have lawmakers who are on the boards of various corporations/etc, you have the 'free market' influencing who is a criminal.

Want proof - read the front page of slashdot today. Or any other day .. the BSA, RIAA, etc ...

So, more realistically, it's the government who decides, with the influence of the free market.

Comment: Re:Best Buy tried to sell me an HDMI cable... (Score 1) 664

by RabidMonkey (#36665430) Attached to: Retailer Calls Rivals' Bluff On "HDMI Scam"

No the real mistake was thinking you could haggle with service-level employees at a multinational company. That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.

My fiancee has managed to swing deals in many big retail chains - it takes a little persistence, and the ability/desire to walk away. even if walk away means walking out the door, waiting 20 minutes, and coming back to get a different sales guy.

She's Chinese, and says that white people are nuts for paying full price ... and I've seen that it's true. Just asking a simple question ("Can you do anything on the price?") has saved us hundreds of dollars (or gotten us lots of stuff thrown in).

I'm a convert, but I still have a hard time with it. I look at the price tag, decide if I can afford to pay that, and buy it if I can. She looks at a price tag and sees a challenge.

Comment: ... and then it went down (Score 1) 195

by RabidMonkey (#36554898) Attached to: Valve's <em>Team Fortress 2</em> Goes Free-To-Play

Last night I tried to sign in to play, and TF2 wouldn't even launch. It looks like their service was *massively* overloaded.

I bought the game 4 years ago now and I have gotten my money out of it in hours played, however it still irks me that a game I paid for is unavailable to me because of free players jumping on board.

TF2 servers were already frequently full of whiners and trolls, I'm afraid of what this new influx of players will mean. Hopefully the TF2 servers (yes, I know games aren't hosted on their servers, but login/etc is) can handle the new load.

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