Is this a joke? Oh you got me slashdot, for a moment I thought your were serious. But if it's April 1st where is the OMG Ponies! theme?
webdoodle writes "An astronomer at Columbia University thinks he has solved a 400-year-old mystery: the origin of strange optical flashes seen on the moon's surface. These spots, called 'Transient Lunar Phenomenon' (TLP) by the astronomy community, have confused moon-gazers since the time of ancient scientists. Arlin Crotts now thinks that TLPs are something called 'outgassing', a process where trapped gasses escape to the lunar atmosphere. 'To arrive at his theory, Crotts correlated TLPs with known gas outbursts from the lunar surface as seen by several spacecraft, particularly NASA's Apollo 15 mission in 1971 and the robotic Lunar Prospector in 1998. What he discovered was a remarkable similarity in the pattern of outgassing event locations recorded by spacecraft across the face of the moon and reported TLP sites.'"
ThePopeLayton writes "Space.com is reporting that Bigelow Aerospace has successfully launched its Genesis 2 Space Module. This is significant as Bigelow Aerospace is one of a few private groups currently developing space technologies. The module was launched in a compact form and upon achieving a stable orbit will be inflated using compressed air. Bigelow's website is reporting 'the second experimental pathfinder spacecraft has been successfully launched and inserted into orbit.' The module has a variety of things on board: Scorpions, Hissing Cockroaches, Ant colonies, and even a Bingo game."
An anonymous reader writes "Have you ever wondered about the security of Intel's active management technology (AMT) or your Intel vpro desktop? Security expert Peter Guttman has and he considers it a way to get a free rootkit on every Intel machine. See here for the details."
PhreakOfTime writes "For the first time the rising ocean levels have washed away an inhabited island. Lohachara island was at one point home to some 10,000 people. It, along with several other spits of land near the Indian mainland, is now permanently underwater. From the article: ' As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities. Eight years ago ... the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.'"
BobB writes to tell us that Google is promising to make the data they store for end users more portable and is urging other companies to do the same. From the article: "Making it simple for users to walk away from a Google service with which they are unhappy keeps the company honest and on its toes, and Google competitors should embrace this data portability principle, Eric Schmidt said at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco."
Schneier is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to delve into why upper management doesn't "get" IT security threats. The results aren't terribly surprising to those in the trenches, stating that most executives view security as something akin to facilities management. "Thankfully", the $495 report (if you aren't a "Conference Board associate") helps tell you how to handle the situation.
UnderAttack writes "Spam submitted to web contact forms and forums continues to be a huge problem. The standard way out is the use of captchas. However, captchas can be hard to read even for humans. And if implemented wrong, they will be read by the bots. The SANS Internet Storm Center covers a nice set of alternatives to captchas. For example, the use of style sheets to hide certain form fields from humans, but make them 'attractive' to bots. The idea of these methods is to increase the work a spammer has to do to spam the form without inconveniencing regular users."
lisah writes, "As part of a series of special reports this week, Linux.com is reviewing several ways to manage your money using Linux apps. First up is a review of GnuCash 2.0, a personal and small business accounting package. Though it has a bit of a learning curve, the reviewer says the application is 'stable and robust' and an upgrade from previous versions is well worth it for the program's new features and improved online banking support." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.
PreacherTom writes, "It's not a stretch to say that kids use the Internet to play World of Warcraft and to tweak their MySpace pages. Still, the MacArthur Foundation doesn't think that is quite specific enough. The private, grant-making institution is commissioning a $50 million, five-year study to investigate precisely how and why young people use the Net. $10 million in grants is going to to individuals and organizations to work on projects that stimulate research in digital media. Sign me up."
skelator2821 writes to tell us about the debut of the OpenMoko, a Linux phone with GPS that is open from top to bottom. The device is set to debut to developers this month for $350, according to the article, but there is no detail on how to get your hands on one, and no link to the manufacturer (FIC). From the article: "This is the first phone in a long time to get us really interested in what it is, what it isn't, and the philosophy behind it. The philosophy is the thing that makes Linux great... it is really open. It runs the latest kernel, 2.6.18 as of a few weeks ago, and you can get software from a repository with apt-get."
narramissic writes, "The Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group have filed a complaint with the FTC, asking for an investigation into Microsoft's use of customer data collection in its adCenter Web advertising service. The groups claim that 'Microsoft has embarked on a wide-ranging data collection and targeting scheme that is deceptive and unfair to millions of users.' Microsoft, for its part, says the groups 'have got it all wrong.'"
Rockgod writes, "Here is an interesting experiment (warning: heavy Flash!!) that urges you not to click anywhere in the site yet wants you to navigate through it. It's an exploration of the clicking habit of computer users and aims to help understand why it is so hard not to click." The site records the mouse movements of each visitor and offers you a sample of them to replay. Doing so is a little unnerving, like peering into people's minds.
BobB writes to tell us NetworkWorld is reporting that new code released on Sunday could allow a fully patched Windows XP PC's personal firewall to be disabled via a malicious data packet. The exploit depends on the use of Microsoft's Internet Connection Service. From the article: "The attacker could send a malicious data packet to another PC using ICS that would cause the service to terminate. Because this service is connected to the Windows firewall, this packet would also cause the firewall to stop working, said Tyler Reguly, a research engineer at nCircle Network Security Inc."