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+ - What Geeky Things Must Be Done? 2

Submitted by John
John (666) writes "A few weeks ago, my friends were discussing "The Princess Bride", and most of the references went completely over my head — I've not seen it all the way through, nor read the book. Naturally, revealing this fact made these people look at me as if I'd just moved into town from under some rock. This led into a discussion of the things that most general geeks should be expected to know; for example, reciting the inscription on the One Ring, or (apparently) quoting "Princess Bride" on-demand. The suggestions we came up with ranged from personal things, like having one's movie/game library in an online database, to big, world-scoped things like contributing to an open-source project of your choosing. I'm curious to know what the general consensus is on the most obvious or biggest geek/nerd things that should be seen, done, or read/watched/heard."
Security

+ - MSFT and NSA have backdoored your phone ...->

Submitted by isbeen
isbeen (1123559) writes "According to a recent post on Bugtraq, researchers have posted information regarding an agreement between the NSA and MSFT which provides backdoors to microsoft products, including phones running the windows mobile platform, where they can apparently tap and monitor phones.

From the original post:

"According to the post National Security Agency has access both stand-alone systems and networks running Microsoft products.

The post states the following: "This includes wireless wiretapping of "smart phones" running Microsoft Mobile. Microsoft remote administrative privileges allow "backdooring" into Microsoft operating systems via IP/TCP ports 1024 through 1030.

According to the Cryptome's source this is typically triggered when devices visit Microsoft Update servers.

Cryptome.org: http://cryptome.org/nsa-ip-update11.htm

SecuriTeam Blogs: http://blogs.securiteam.com/?p=1028"

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - School taking action against Network freedom 1

Submitted by
Tristan Stillwell
Tristan Stillwell writes "I am a teenage high school student in the municipality of Bunn, North Carolina.
Today I found out I was suspended from school for ten days for possessing programs that were "capable of doing damage to the private school network". The programs were Firefox Portable and VNC viewer, and BlueJ Java Development Environment. I, an 18 year old high school student, was informed through my aunt, who was called about this disciplinary problem ( Isn't this private information?). I have no chance to appeal this suspension and are being forcefully and permanently removed from my Java(c) Computer Science and US government and Politics courses which I was taking through the state. I will most likely receive grades of ZERO (0) for both classes, thus destroying any chance I ever have of getting into a decent college. I am initially receiving a 10 day suspension, and then possibly a longer suspension pending investigation. Note- the school has found nothing I might have done to potentially cause damage to the network, I was suspended for having the programs- nothing else. I plan to contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation for help with this clearly unfair oppression. The only (thought) crime I have committed is one arousing suspicion, not arriving from action. I will provide further information after I officially receive the suspension."

Comment: Re:Beh. (Score 1) 266

by Zephyros (#20901525) Attached to: PS3's Back-Compat Loss Explained, Analyzed

I was in the same boat. My PS2 is on its last legs, so I picked up a 60GB model when they dropped the price. The writing was on the wall at that point - backwards compatibility was going away, first to software emulation and then completely. That would've left me stuck with a fairly extensive PS2 library and no system on which to play.

I'm not as convinced as they are that there's no market for backwards compatibility, with as many PS2s as they have sold.

The Courts

+ - Hospital wants critical blogger's anonymity ended->

Submitted by
rs232
rs232 writes ""An unlikely Internet frontier is Paris, Texas, population 26,490, where a defamation lawsuit filed by the local hospital against a critical anonymous blogger is testing the bounds of Internet privacy, First Amendment freedom of speech and whistle-blower rights"

http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5149745.html"

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - EFF vs. Telecoms has lobbyists working overtime->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The best lobbyists in Washington are working overtime to churn legislation through that would grant full retroactive and future immunity to prosecution for the telecoms against lawsuits for information sharing with the intelligence community. Newsweek reports that the EFF lawsuit's recent successes have the entire intelligence community in a near-panic state. Wait... the EFF is being useful for a change?"
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Getting hired with a criminal record.

Submitted by 24601
24601 (666) writes "Hello fellow Slashdot nerds. This is a very hard question to ask, but I figured you guys would probably have the best advice. I am finding myself in my young, soon to be post college career with a brand new criminal record. To make matter's worse, it's for a sex crime (was mislead by someone about their age. Nothing violent or involving children). Yes I will have to register, be on probation for quite a while, and currently reside in a certain very conservative state in the south famous for a certain cartoon mouse. I completely accept the stupidity of what I have done and very much want to grow and move on past it. I'm a graphical artist by trade, but with a lot of web design experience as well. Also have a good deal of IT experience, was thinking of getting a certification in something. What I want to know, however, is how hard is it to get a job in the tech industry with this kind of Scarlet Letter? I have every intention of being upfront and honest about my past with any potential employer, and making every effort to communicate my regret for my past, the fact that I'm not a threat to anyone, and my desire to prove myself. Are more technical employers willing to look past such things and give you a chance? Is there any advice people can give me on properly presenting this issue, and finding understanding employers? thanks!"
Graphics

+ - ATI/AMD's New Open-Source Strategy Explained->

Submitted by
Michael
Michael writes "Yesterday at the Kernel Summit it was reported that ATI would be opening their specifications and now today the embargo has expired and additional information is available on what AMD will be doing for the open-source community. From the Phoronix article, "AMD will be providing NDA specifications, an open-source library, and there is a new open-source graphics driver as a result." Among the open source developers working on this new driver are David Airlie and Alex Deucher with additional development time coming from Novell. The baseline open-source driver will be available on September 10 as well as the specifications from XDS 2007. Mark Shuttleworth has also commented on AMD's latest work for their new closed-source driver and now their open-source contributions."
Link to Original Source
Networking

+ - Justice dept. says no to net neutrality

Submitted by Maximum Prophet
Maximum Prophet (716608) writes ""The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic..."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20625194/

Is anyone surprised? The anti-net neutrality people sound good, but the powers to be aren't going to allow just anyone to dig up the streets to lay new cable for last mile access, so there is never going to be real compitition for internet access. Without real competition, there's no free market, so "The Market" can't decide.

The FCC needs to realize that if consumers had a choice among many providers, almost no one would choose a provider that restricted their access. (unless that provider had a cost near zero, like broadcast TV)"
GNU is Not Unix

+ - You can not reverse-engineer our GPL-violations... 6

Submitted by
phorm
phorm writes "If appears that Monsoon Technology, the makers of the Hava media-transmission systems, don't quite understand the GPL. As some users pointed out in their forums, their systems appear to be based on Linux and various GPL'ed software, with the output of "strings" and other tests showing signs of running busybox and others. A monsoon spokesperson on the forum has indicated that they are aware it uses GPL'ed software, and are "working" on making source available, but at the same time are dropping various threats against supposed reverse-engineering of the software by those that determined the GPL violations.

A few snippets from the Monsoon rep include: I have a little secret to let you in on — HAVA runs Linux! Yes, much of the source is GPL and we should publish those sections which we have modified per the terms of GPL. A project is underway to pull this together. A couple of observations — some of you appear to be violating the terms of the End User License Agreement

You recognize and agree that the HAVA Software including its structure, source code and the design and structure of modules or programs, constitute valuable trade secrets owned by Snappymultimedia or its licensors. You will not copy or use the HAVA Software except as expressly permitted by this EULA and, specifically, you will not ...

(b) yourself or through any third party modify, reverse engineer, disassemble or decompile the HAVA Software in whole or part, except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law, and then only after you have notified Snappymultimedia in writing of your intended activities; Seems to me that some of you have just come out blatantly admitting you are reverse engineering the firmware — or trying to. How should we handle this? As responses have indicated, the methods used to determine the violation do not seem to constitute reverse-engineering. Moreover, the initial friendliness of the rep is severely marred by the apparent hostility of the later message, as forum members have indicated. The overall message seems to be "we have not lived up to our obligations under the license of the software which we are using, but we'll get to it... sometime. Meanwhile, do not attempt to poke around our code yourself or things will get ugly."

The owners of BusyBox have been notified of this violation, however the response is still troubling. Is this the response we should come to expect as more and more commercial software uses and misuses GPL'ed components?"

Education

+ - Baby Hacking 1

Submitted by LanMan04
LanMan04 (790429) writes "My wife and I are expecting our first child to be born in about 3 months, and I wanted to ask the /. crowd for any "Baby Hacking" projects/recommendations. I'd define baby hacking as any early childhood education project that can give the baby a head start (i.e. early language acquisition, accelerated learning, etc), with an emphasis unconventional ideas. This is especially important, with recent research showing that those Baby Einstein videos are actually detrimental. Also, any really "cool" projects you wish your parents could have done from day 1 (e.g. take a picture of the baby's face every day, starting at birth, to see how it changes over the years, etc) would be appreciated as well. Thanks Slashdotters!"
The Courts

+ - DVD Copyright Warnings Misstate Copyright Law

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "An excellent article by Maura Corbett reminds us that the copyright warnings on major studio dvd's misstate copyright law, ignoring "fair use" under the Copyright Act. She cites as an example the fact that warnings on many Universal DVDs state, in part, that "any unauthorized exhibition, distribution or copying of this film or any part thereof (including soundtrack) is an infringement of the relevant copyright and will subject the infringer to severe civil and criminal penalties" and reminds us that this statement "is simply untrue — the federal copyright statutes specifically allow unauthorized reproduction for criticism, commentary and other purposes." An example of what Ms. Corbett is referring to is the holding of the United States Supreme Court in SONY v. Universal (the Betamax case), which specifically held that a consumer's copying of entire television programs, for personal use, was a "fair use". This is but one of the many fair uses that is ignored by the motion picture industry's misleading warnings."
Censorship

+ - Brit social services try to censor Youtube

Submitted by Kedyn's Crow
Kedyn's Crow (566552) writes "Britain's social services, citeng the Data Protection Act, are trying to remove a audio recording from youtube. The recording posted by expectant parents Vanessa and Martin Brookes , shows social services attepting to force the adoption of her unborn child in spite of their own belief that there was "no immediate risk to your child from yourselves""
Music

+ - When IP Protection Incites Consumer Rage

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "How many industries of late have managed to generate such genuine consumer hatred over the last several years? says Richard Menta about the record industry. He was refering to that industry's aggressive activities to control its content in the digital age and he makes a solid argument that these efforts, including oppressive DRM tactics and legal actions, have alienated the consumer to the point where it is a key contributor to decreasing CD revenues. This quarter alone EMI saw a 20% drop in CD sales, while Warners 3rd quarter loss widened. The article lays out 17 events including the Sony rootkit scandal and the payola scandal that have tarnished the industry's public image and undermined its credibility with the average record buyer."

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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