True enough. Thanks, CmdrTaco, for everything.
Trailrunner7 writes "Threatpost has a guest column by Robert Hansen (aka Rsnake) about the long-term effects of snake-oil security products. 'I've talked about this a few times over the years during various presentations but I wanted to document it here as well. It's a concept that I've been wrestling with for 7+ years and I don't think I've made any headway in convincing anyone, beyond a few head nods. Bad security isn't just bad because it allows you to be exploited. It's also a long term cost center. But more interestingly, even the most worthless security tools can be proven to "work" if you look at the numbers.'"
An anonymous reader writes "ElcomSoft accelerates the recovery of Wi-Fi passwords and password-protected iPhone and iPod backups by using ATI video cards. The support of ATI Radeon 5000 series video accelerators allows ElcomSoft to perform password recovery up to 20 times faster compared to Intel top of the line quad-core CPUs, and up to two times faster compared to enterprise-level NVIDIA Tesla solutions. Benchmarks performed by ElcomSoft demonstrate that ATI Radeon HD5970 accelerated password recovery works up to 20 times faster than Core i7-960, Intel's current top of the line CPU unit."
An anonymous reader writes "A Google study of DRAM errors in their data centers found that they are hundreds to thousands of times more common than has been previously believed. Hard errors may be the most common failure type. The DIMMs themselves appear to be of good quality, and bad mobo design may be the biggest problem." Here is the study (PDF), which Google engineers published with a researcher from the University of Toronto.
sonnejw0 writes "Sea-faring vessels are a major contributor of greenhouse gas production due to a deficit in international laws and inherent inefficiencies at sea, such as barnacle build-up on hulls. Many marine animals avoid the build-up of drag-inducing barnacles through secreting oily residues from their pores or through the nano-molecular arrangement of their skin. Sailors regularly defoul their hulls, removing the barnacles at dry-dock, which requires them to reduce the amount of time they have at sea. Some synthetic chemicals in paints have been used to prevent barnacle build-up but have been found to be toxic to marine animals and thus outlawed by several nations. Now, engineers are trying to replicate the skin of marine animals to produce a slippery hull to which marine bacteria cannot attach, saving fuel costs and improving speeds."
Brian Stretch writes with a story about the Mini Utility Vehicle prototype from XP Vehicles, an electric car that is partly inflatable. The recent struggles of the auto industry and a political climate that supports the development of alternative energy vehicles have given the car a better chance at actually hitting the market. Quoting: "Building a car takes many years and tens to hundreds of millions of dollars traditionally. XP is able to cut a lot of the costs and timeframe because its car has 70 percent less parts than a regular car, and the company is using novel materials that require simpler factory devices, and production and manufacturing processes that lower the cost to deploy. ... The seat is inflatable, the dashboard is inflatable, and the internal structure and carrying racks are inflatable, or a mesh suspension. Instead of requiring six-axis robots, XP uses radio frequency welders that look like giant waffle irons. The factory equipment is much less expensive and the car simply has less parts that could fail. The motors are built into the rear wheels in most XP prototypes. The first cars to reach the market will have two rear hub motors and a motor controller, that's it."
alphadogg writes "Telesign, a provider of voice-based authentication software, challenged hackers to break into its StrongWebmail.com Web site late last week. The prize: $10,000. On Thursday, a group of security researchers claimed to have won the contest, which challenged hackers to break into the Web mail account of StrongWebmail CEO Darren Berkovitz and report back details from his June 26 calendar entry. The hackers, led by Secure Science Chief Scientist Lance James and security researchers Aviv Raff and Mike Bailey, provided details from Berkovitz's calendar to IDG News Service. In an interview, Berkovitz confirmed those details were from his account. However, Berkovitz could not confirm that the hackers had actually won the prize. He said he would need to check to confirm that the hackers had abided by the contest rules, adding, 'if someone did it, we'll kind of put our heads down.'"
bmullan writes "Dailymotion, one of the world's largest video sites, announced support for Open Video. They've put out a press release, a blog post on the new Open Video site, and an HTML 5 demo site where you can see some of the things that you can do with open video and Firefox 3.5. (You can get the Firefox 3.5 beta here.) Dailymotion is automatically transcoding all of the content that their users create, and expect to have around 300,000 videos in the open Ogg Theora and Vorbis formats."
eldavojohn writes "So you're an aspiring band and you haven't signed with a record label. Maybe you've got a fan base interested in purchasing your stuff but you're not really into accounting? Enter Amazon's partnership with TuneCore, a CD printing and music distribution service. You want to sell a full album on Amazon of you brushing your teeth? $31. And you get about 40% back on sales, so selling nine digital copies of your CD will put you back in the black. There you have it, public availability on one of the largest online commerce sites for $31 — no RIAA involved!" TuneCore's CEO put it this way: "As an artist, you have unlimited physical inventory, made on demand, with no [sic] upfront costs and worldwide distribution to anyone who orders it at Amazon.com."
Miracle Jones writes "Amazon has instituted an overnight policy that removes books that may be deemed offensive from their search system, despite the sales rank of the book and also irrespective of any complaints. Bloggers such as Ed Champion are calling for a 'link and book boycott,' asking people to remove links to Amazon from their web pages and stop buying books from them until the policy is reversed. Will this be bad business for Amazon, or will their new policies keep them out of trouble as they continue to grow and replace bookstores?"
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report I just read in Mashable, Pirate Bay is coming to Facebook. Writer Ben Parr says that The Pirate Bay site now includes links under torrents to 'Share on Facebook.' Once posted to a profile, the Facebook member's friends can click the link on Facebook to begin the download right away, provided he or she already has a torrenting client installed. I just hope people do not use this feature to download copyrighted materials which are not authorized to be downloaded, or at least not materials copyrighted to litigation-happy RIAA Big 4 record labels. No doubt, if their song files were downloaded through this method, the record companies would sit back for awhile, derive profit from the promotional excitement generated for their dying industry, and then — armed with Facebook's data — sue the pants off all the hapless Facebook users who fell for it."
brumgrunt writes "Last year, Marvel said that R-rated comic book superhero movies weren't in its future plans. Now, in the light of Watchmen's box office performance, Warner Bros is going the same way, meaning high-profile comic book superhero films will be restricted to the PG-13 rating at most. But is this a bad thing, and should we fear the end of the R-rated superhero movie?"
Garimelda writes "Scientists have discovered what they believe is an eight-armed creature which colonized a large section of the world's oceans over 300 million years before the first dinosaurs emerged."
I must confess I LOVE the horizontal threshold slider and MUCH prefer it to the usual vertical one. I can't wait until the kinks are worked out and it becomes the default. But I agree the disgruntled email is probably a lot funnier for the admins than for us.
christ, jesus H writes "PC gaming may not be dying, but it is in a state of flux. We're seeing developers and publishers blaming piracy for all the ills of PC gaming, but attempts to rein in pirates with the help of DRM only annoys and mobilizes the legitimate customers of your games. The solution? According to David Perry of Shiny Games, PC games are going to be free." (And if anyone has a favorite replacement term for "piracy," in the context of electronic copyright violation, please suggest it below.)