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Comment: Upside? (Score 1) 495

by RandomFactor (#47358639) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down Domains
I got the MS Notification on the activity at work.

There were 200 different items of malware being served across 22,037 separate malicious domains. If there are 4 million customers, and 1:1 customers to domains, that is about 180 innocent domains for every one malicious one.

I'm all in favor of shutting down botnets and i can see the results (for a while) in spam volumes hitting us when actions like this are taken, but this much collateral damage seems likely to hinder future efforts.

Comment: Re:that's not "astroturfing" (Score 1) 142

by RandomFactor (#47179259) Attached to: Cable Companies Use Astroturfing To Fight Net Neutrality

Corporations aren't ~allowed~ to consider "the greater good" over that profit, Granted, in retrospect, this looks like it turned into a good marketing move, but going into it, the history of such things would have indicated this was going to be little more than a money pit.

+ - Kansas City Science Store Resurrects AC Gilbert Chemistry Set, the best-ever toy->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "The A. C. Gilbert Company (Wikipedia: was once one of the largest toy companies in the world. It manufacturered Erector Sets (, American Flyer toy trains (, and chemistry sets (

Chemist John Farrell Kuhns ( received an AC Gilbert Chemistry set for Christmas 1959, while he was still in grade school. By the time Kuhns was twelve years old he had a home lab set up in my family's basement. Now, more than 50 years later, he still has a home lab.

As an adult, Mr. Kuhns wanted to share these experiences with his daughter, nephews and nieces, and their friends. But he soon discovered that real chemistry sets were no longer available. He wondered how, without real chemistry sets and opportunities for students to learn and explore, where would our future chemists come from?

In 2004, Kuhns and his wife opened their science store, H.M.S. Beagle ( and last year used Kickstarter to launch a new Heirloom Chemistry set. ( Kuhns uses a CNC router to cut out his wood cases, which are then hand assembled and finished with the shiny brass hardware and exotic wood inlays. Kuhns also synthesizes, purifies and/or formulates and packages all of the chemicals.

Gary Hanington, professor of physical science at Great Basin College, was another child who was lucky enough to own a Gilbert chemistry set. Hanington wrote about his set in this article (

Sadly, not everyone sees the educational value of real chemistry sets. The AC Gilbert chemistry sets are #3 on Cracked's "The 8 Most Wildly Irresponsible Toys" ( and #8 on's "The 25 Worst Must-Have Christmas Toys Ever ("

Link to Original Source

+ - Drone Photographers Are Making Hyper-Detailed Maps Where Google Hasn't

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Switzerland-based Drone Adventures, which has in the past undertaken drone photography missions in Haiti and Fukushima, took images to help out humanitarian organization Medair, who were struggling to provide the most efficient aid to affected regions because they lacked what most of us take for granted in the age of Google Maps: a detailed plan of the area.
The aerial images from the drones were able to create broad maps of the area that were detailed enough to show damage. The team took drone maps of the various villages and got them physically printed, as many of the communities aren’t online."

+ - Firefox OS 1.3 Arrives With Dual SIM Support, Continuous Autofocus, Flash, More

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today released Firefox OS version 1.3 to its partners for implementing in their smartphones. There are many new features for both users and developers, and the first phone to feature them is the ZTE Open C, which is available for sale as of today on eBay. First and foremost, Firefox OS users can expect dual-SIM dual-standby (DSDS) support, which gives you two lines on compatible phones, a popular feature in emerging markets. DSDS lets dual-SIM devices individually manage two different SIMs for calling, texting, or data through the “SIM Manager” interface."

+ - Execs of Cogent & Level 3 speak up about net neutrality issues

Submitted by romiir
romiir (874939) writes "Executives at Cogent and Level 3 are speaking up publicly about unnecessary internet congestion being caused by certain large ISPs refusing to upgrade congested peering connections.

On CNET: The CEO of Cogent says "Comcast bullied Netflix into an interconnection deal by refusing upgrades to fix congestion, a claim a Comcast executive told Congress was "wholly inaccurate." Full article here

Over at Level 3's blog a couple days earlier Mark Taylor, VP of Content and Media at Level 3 talked about feedback received to Michael Mooney's blog article "Chicken" | A Game Played as a Child and by some ISPs with the Internet. He goes on to explain more in depth the current situation in which some american ISPs have been made aware of congestion issues on their peering connections but refuse to take any action to allow their customers to get the bandwidth they are already paying for. More Here

Interesting that after all of this. Today, Netflix subscribers worldwide are being e-mailed informing them of a $1 increase for all new members so they can "continue to adding more movies and TV shows". The e-mail goes on to thank existing Netflix customers and let them know their plan and price will not change for two years.

Ars Technica just posted an article titled "Netflix comes through with price hike after struggles with Comcast, Verizon""

+ - The Whole Story on Dark Matter

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "If you looked at all the light from all the stars, clusters and galaxies in the Universe, you could figure out how much mass in the Universe had formed stars. And if you looked at how gravitation worked over the Universe's history, you could figure out how much total mass there was. These numbers differ by a factor of 50, and that's the dark matter problem. But why do we think that this dark matter has to be a new type of particle that not only isn't protons, neutrons and electrons, but can't be anything in the Standard Model? Come read the whole story on dark matter and see for yourself."

+ - Court: Oracle Entitled To Copyright Protection Over Some Parts of Java->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Remember the court battle between Google and Oracle? It's the one where Oracle claimed Android violated Oracle's patents and copyright related to Java. Oracle asked for over $6 billion in compensation, and ended up getting nothing. Well, it's still going, and the tide is turning somewhat in Oracle's favor. An appeals court decided that Oracle can claim copyright over some parts of Java. It's a complicated ruling (PDF) — parts of it went Google's way and parts of it went Oracle's way. A jury's earlier finding of infringement has been reinstated, and now it's up to Google to justify its actions under fair use."
Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceX Injunction Dissolved->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Two weeks ago, SpaceX filed suit against the U.S. Air Force in an attempt to enforce competition for rocket purchases. They argued that is was a bad idea to blindly shovel money into Russia's coffers for rides to space, and said there was no way for other rocket manufacturers to get a foot in the door. Last week, it looked like they were getting traction — an injunction was granted, temporarily halting the Air Force's process of buying rockets. Unfortunately for SpaceX, that injunction has now been dissolved. At the heart of the suit was Executive Order 13,661, which blocks the transfer of wealth to people in the Russian Federation who are related to the situation in the Ukraine. SpaceX said that since Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was the head of their space agency, payments to the agency were effectively payments to him. U.S. departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury all sent letters to the court saying this was not the case, and the court agreed.
Here's the final ruling."

Link to Original Source

+ - Court Orders Marvell to Pay Carnegie Mellon $1.5B for Patent Infringement->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "A U.S. District Court has ruled that Marvell Technology must pay Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) $1.54B for infringing on two hard drive chip patents. Marvell was also ordered to pay interest at 0.14% annually, and 50 cents for each chip sold that uses the intellectual property. While Marvell did not comment on the case, CMU said it "understands" that Marvell will again appeal the ruling and the school "will look forward to the federal circuit court" upholding the lower court's ruling. The latest decision by a U.S. District Court in Western Pennsylvania ends for now a five-year legal battle between the two. In 2012, a jury found Marvell had violated CMU's patents, and the chip maker then appealed that ruling."
Link to Original Source

+ - Physicists Turn 8MP Smartphone Camera Into A Quantum Random Number Generator

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "Random numbers are the lifeblood of many cryptographic systems and demand for them will only increase in the coming years as techniques such as quantum cryptography become mainstream. But generating genuinely random numbers is a tricky business, not least because it cannot be done with a deterministic process such as a computer program. Now physicists have worked out how to use a smartphone camera to generate random numbers using quantum uncertainties. The approach is based on the fact that the emission of a photon is a quantum process that is always random. So in a given unit of time, a light emitter will produce a number of photons that varies by a random amount. Counting the number of photons gives a straightforward way of generating random numbers. The team points out that the pixels in smartphone cameras are now so sensitive that they can pick up this kind of quantum variation. And since a camera has many pixels working in parallel, a single image can generate large quantities of random digits. The team demonstrate the technique in a proof-of principle experiment using the 8 megapixel camera on a Nokia N9 smartphone while taking images of a green LED. The result is a quantum random number generator capable of producing digits at the rate of 1 megabit per second. That's more than enough for most applications and raises the prospect of credit card transactions and encrypted voice calls from an ordinary smartphone that are secured by the laws of quantum physics."

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman