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Microsoft

+ - Is Windows Really Getting Safer?->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Think Windows is insecure? You're wrong, says security firm Kaspersky. Conventional wisdom has it that Windows and products from Microsoft are extremely unsafe, easy targets for hackers. That conventional wisdom is wrong, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab's recent quarterly malware report, which found not a single Microsoft-related threat in the top ten.

The Kapersky Lab quarterly report has this to say about Microsoft products:

        For the very first time in its history, the top 10 rating of vulnerabilities includes products from just two companies: Adobe and Oracle (Java), with seven of those 10 vulnerabilities being found in Adobe Flash Player alone. Microsoft products have disappeared from this ranking due to improvements in the automatic Windows update mechanism and the growing proportion of users who have Windows 7 installed on their PCs.

ComputerWorld: http://blogs.computerworld.com/18791/think_windows_is_insecure_youre_wrong_says_security_firm_kapersky"

Link to Original Source
America Online

+ - AOL Mailserver hacked->

Submitted by racerx01
racerx01 (1928392) writes "AOL’s mail servers have been hacked, with vital database information being exposed via the page’s source code. While the hack may not be apparent on the Webmail page, the Postmaster page clearly shows some fail."
Link to Original Source
Idle

+ - Tinfoil Hats Amplify Signals->

Submitted by Sebastopol
Sebastopol (189276) writes "Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What does that even mean? (Score 1) 506

by SoapBox17 (#35073532) Attached to: Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable
Interestingly, a one dimensional space with no beginning or end requires two dimensions to represent it; the circumference of a circle is a one dimensional space that has no beginning or end. Similarly, a two dimensional space with no beginning or end can be represented as the surface of a three dimensional sphere.

I think, then, it is quite difficult for us as mostly 3 dimensional thinkers to conceptualize a space that has 4 dimensions. (Not the 4th dimension of time, but a 4th dimension of space.) If we could conceptualize that type of area, that's how the universe is. If you go long enough in any direction, you'll end up coming around on the other side. Just like you would on a sphere, but you can do that in any direction.
Earth

First Measurement of Magnetic Field In Earth's Core 34

Posted by timothy
from the best-place-to-try-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist has made the first-ever measurement of the strength of the magnetic field inside Earth's core, 1,800 miles underground. The magnetic field strength is 25 Gauss, or 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface that makes compass needles align north-south. Though this number is in the middle of the range geophysicists predict, it puts constraints on the identity of the heat sources in the core that keep the internal dynamo running to maintain this magnetic field."

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1352

by SoapBox17 (#34579750) Attached to: Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed
There's a fundamental problem with your assumptions. You started off thinking that healthcare should have a cost at all. If it's a "basic human right" then the answer is that the government should provide it, gratis.

I was/am against the new healthcare crap because its an ineffective bandaid on a terribly broken system. It does basically nothing to address issues with the healthcare system, and instead just creates ways to give care to people who can't afford it, by making others pay.

I don't claim to have answers for how to fix things, but what we've got isn't near fixed. For starters, why don't we require licensed physicians to "donate" a percentage (hopefully less than 50%) of their billable hours to people who can't afford to pay them. Or, why not get rid of insurance companies all together. Just go down to a single plan for everyone, and anyone who wants something else has to pay out of pocket. You may think "oh god who can afford that" but the problem is the prices for the shit are so outrageous. Maybe congress should take a look at the side of malpractice premiums and figure out how to lower those, so that everyone's insurance can be lower. Maybe if we make doctors "donate" some of their hours, we can exclude them from civil liability for anything that goes wrong during those hours.

There are about a million things that could be done to *start* to correct the problems with the *system*. Instead, they decided just pour more money into it. That doesn't sound right to me.
NASA

NASA Delays Discovery's Final Launch To February 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you-brought-a-blanket,-keith dept.
Velcroman1 writes "NASA has postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery's final mission to no earlier than early February — the latest in a long string of delays that have kept the spacecraft grounded for more than a month. Discovery is now slated to launch no earlier than Feb. 3, with the delay allowing NASA engineers more time to analyze why small cracks developed in the shuttle's huge external fuel tank. The cracks have since been repaired, but NASA wants to make sure similar issues don't pose a future concern."
Image

Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park 648

Posted by samzenpus
from the ride-the-dinosaur dept.
riverat1 writes "On December first, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme park is expected to open in 2014. Park developers are seeking state tourism development incentives and could receive up to $37.5 million over a 10-year period. Gov. Steve Beshear said he does not believe the incentives would violate the principle of church-state separation because the 14-year-old tax incentives law wasn’t approved for the purpose of benefiting the Ark Encounter. The park will have a 500 foot replica of the Ark with live animals on it and a Tower of Babel explaining how races and languages developed. The park will be turned over to Answers in Genesis after it is built. They are a non-profit organization which may allow them to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion."

Comment: Oh, really? (Score 3, Interesting) 394

by SoapBox17 (#34013124) Attached to: Bees Beat Machines At 'Traveling Salesman' Problem
First TFS and TFA both make reference to problems which "keep super computers busy for days." That's pretty misleading since the bees are only dealing with "a few hundred" flowers. At brute force that would take your cell phone maybe a couple minutes to solve.

But really no details are given. Do the bees still travel to all of the flowers? I'd imagine they might just decide to skip one or two if they don't fall close enough to the path to be worth it. They don't say what they did (probably nothing) to validate that the bees actually found the shortest path. Did the "graph" that they gave the bees include a section where a greedy algorithm would fail? What is more likely is the bees haven't solved it, but found a decent approximation.

I think this is what you get when you let bee researchers write math/computer science articles.

Comment: Re:"Presumption of innocence"? (Score 1) 567

by SoapBox17 (#33062744) Attached to: Tennessee Town Releases Red Light Camera Stats
It always takes two pictures in rapid succession. That's how the person reviewing them can tell how fast you were going. If your car is in the same location in both pictures, you weren't going through the light. If your car is at the line in the first picture, and half way through in the second, then you're screwed.

How do people not know this? It's not that hard to figure out.

Comment: Not actually a game (Score 3, Insightful) 43

by SoapBox17 (#32398198) Attached to: Design Contest Highlights Video Games With a Purpose
I "played" the winning "game" for about 5 minutes. I think I "played" all the way through. Outside of the few bad grammatical errors, this was not entertaining at all. It's not even a game. It is a mildly interactive narrative. You are in this girl's room, and you can click on things in the room and she will talk about them. ("Oh, that's a picture of my friends..."). There's a print out of a violence prevention website she talks about. The main "goal" seems to be the cell phone you click it you'll learn a boring sob-story about a friend of hers with an abusive boyfriend. Then the credits roll. This does not qualify as a game. It would not teach anyone anything.

If would take an extra 5-10 minutes to add a "choose your own adventure" to this and actually provide a mild form of entertainment where you get to decide what happens, and maybe in one version you convince the friend to get help or something. This fails on so many levels. But I guess, if anyone ever wants to win a game design contest, anyone could win this if they were able to put in more than 30 minutes of effort into the "design." (I admit the art was decent, that's really the only redeeming quality.)

Comment: Re:Where's the Beef? er, Bow Shock? (Score 4, Interesting) 167

by SoapBox17 (#32188752) Attached to: Supermassive Black Hole Is Thrown Out of Galaxy
If you did manage to tear a "rift" in the "side" of a star, nothing would really happen. The inside of the star is also the center of gravity of the star. The plasma doesn't want to escape, it is being pulled always towards the center of mass of the star. Your rift would pretty much instantly disappear as the gravity of the star continues to pull on the material around it, the star will pretty quickly turn spherical again.

The only way to destroy a star would be to completely scatter all of its material out over an extremely wide area. Keep in mind, solar systems and their stars are formed by giant disks of dust slowingly being pulled together by their own gravity until they form stellar bodies. So to permanently get rid of the star, you'd have to spread it out over an area larger than it's solar system, or it would just re-form again eventually.

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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