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+ - SciFi Author Frederick Pohl Dies At 93->

Submitted by Toad-san
Toad-san (64810) writes "From the New York Times (and my local paper):

"Frederik Pohl, whose passion for science fiction while growing up in Brooklyn led to a distinguished career as one of its most literate and politically sophisticated practitioners, though one who was skeptical about attempts to perfect society through scientific means, died on Monday. He was 93.""

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+ - Harry Harrison, the Stainless Steel Rat: Sayonara->

Submitted by Toad-san
Toad-san (64810) writes ""R.I.P. Harry Harrison, creator of the Stainless Steel Rat, Bill the Galactic Hero, and Soylent Green
Charlie Jane Anders

If Harry Harrison had only created "Slippery" Jim DiGriz, the roguish hero of the Stainless Steel Rat books, he would deserve a high place in science fiction history. But he also wrote dozens of other novels, including the hilarious Bill the Galactic Hero saga, the proto-Steampunk classic A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!, and the novel that became the movie Soylent Green, Make Room! Make Room!.

Amazingly, Harrison kept writing great novels, with the last Stainless Steel Rat book coming out just two years ago. He died today, aged 87, according to his official website. No details are yet known.""

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Google

+ - Google Safety Feature Breaks Google!

Submitted by Toad-san
Toad-san (64810) writes "Happening now: Search Google for anything, anything at all. Like "readyboost". Click on any of the Google selections (something nice and safe, like wikipedia): http://www.google.com/interstitial?url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReadyBoost See that "interstitial" part? That's Google screening the site for dangers. And guess what? Yeah, every single steenking site in the Known Universe is now a threat. And the Google warning page won't let you go on! What you do is edit the first part (through "interstitial?url=" off, leaving just the actual second HTTP: URL, the actual search target. Silly bastiges. I've sent off a rocket to Google, for what that's worth."
Security

+ - Why No Legal Action Against Smitfraud

Submitted by Toad-san
Toad-san (64810) writes "We have to wipe and restore perhaps a dozen PCs a week after they've been infected with Smitfraud (or one of its clones). And dozens more have various infections and malware (mostly "blackmailware" or "extortionware", where the user has been fooled by a popup on the web somewhere (usually warning him that his computer is infected and vulnerable), has clicked on a window to "download the best possible fix to your computer infection", and has now infected his previously clean system.

It's obvious who's doing it; the money trail would be simple to follow. (They all want money, of course.) And indeed EVERY pop-up ad and piece of spam has a sponsor, someone who's paying the gangsters to do it.

So why aren't the authorities doing anything about it? These PC owners are suffering real losses, real costs, I'm sure amounting to millions of dollars annually. Yet the FBI and others aren't interested?

Seems strange to me. I really would rather not make money like this.

Toad-san"
Graphics

+ - NY Times Fooled by Syria Attack Photoshopping? 1

Submitted by Toad-san
Toad-san (64810) writes "Remember the NY Times photos of the supposed Syrian nuclear plant site the Israelis were supposed to have bombed? Article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/27/world/middleeast/27syria.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Well, our boys at AGW (a Warbirds forum) discussed, investigated, and wondered. And one of the boys did a great overlay, comparing the two (pre-strike and post-strike) images. And guess what? Yep .. same image, apparently photoshopped. Gotta love it. Discussion thread is here (hope it doesn't get slashdotted): http://agw.bombs-away.net/showthread.php?t=69581 And the animated overlay graphic is here: http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c161/Naja — /lesson-gif.gif Now to see how humble the NY Times becomes, when some bleedin' amateurs outdo the serious analysts. Toad-san (who's looked at a few aerial and satellite photos in his time)"

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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