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Google

+ - Google and Dell team up to feed you spyware

Submitted by ph34rtheSAiNT
ph34rtheSAiNT (871928) writes "David Ulevitch reports on his Open DNS blog:

In short, Google and Dell have teamed up to install some software on Dell computers that borders on being spyware. I say spyware because it's hard to figure out what it is and is even harder to remove. It also breaks all kinds of OpenDNS functionality. At the end, I'll tell you what we're doing about it.
Elaborating further:

Typo correction? Broken. Shortcuts? Broken. Google's application breaks just about every user-benefiting feature we provide with client software that no user ever asked for.
"
Unix

+ - PC-BSD 1.3.4 Review

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "PC-BSD is an operating system which is meant for use as a desktop operating system and is being developed with the end users in mind. The latest version of PC-BSD is ver 1.3.4 and has seen remarkable enhancements from the prior versions. This OS has been built on the base of FreeBSD but with a lot of newbie friendly features thrown in — such as a GUI installer, better security via the use of OpenBSD's PF firewall, click and install method of installing applications and so on. This article is a review of PC-BSD and explains why PC-BSD could fit right in as a very good replacement for your Desktop OS."
Biotech

+ - Female Sharks Can Reproduce Alone

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "The Washington Post has an article about a team of American and Irish researchers that have discovered that some female sharks can reproduce without having sex, the first time that scientists have found the unusual capacity in such an ancient vertebrate species.

Their report concludes that sharks can reproduce asexually through the process known as parthenogenesis(the growth and development of an embryo or seed without fertilization by a male). Scientists started investigating after a female hammerhead shark was mysteriously born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in a tank that housed 3 female sharks. It was originally thought one had stored sperm from a male shark before fertilizing an egg. However, baby shark's genetic makeup perfectly matched one of the females in the tank, with no sign of a male parent."
Security

+ - Latest AACS revision defeated a week before releas

Submitted by
stevedcc
stevedcc writes "Ars Technica is running a story about next week's release of AACS, which is intended to fix the current compromises. The only problem is, the patched version has already been cracked. From the article:

Despite the best efforts of the Advanced Access Content System (AACS) Licensing Administration (AACS LA), content pirates remain one step ahead. A new volume key used by high-def films scheduled for release next week has already been cracked.
"
Robotics

+ - A robotic cable inspection system

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "In a very short article, Popular Science reports that researchers at the University of Washington have built a robotic cable inspection system. This system should help utility companies to maintain their networks of subterranean cables. The robot, dubbed Cruiser, is about 4-feet-long and is designed like a snake. When it detects an anomaly on an underground cable, it sends a message to a human operator via Wi-Fi. The first field tests took place in New Orleans in December 2006. But a commercial version should not be available before 2012. Read more for additional details and pictures of the Cruiser in action."
Programming

+ - Conversation between two chat-bots

Submitted by Tabernaque86
Tabernaque86 (1046808) writes "http://discovermagazine.com/2007/brain/i-chat-ther efore-i-am/article_print Apparently programmers left two chat-bots alone in a room. The only intervention was programming a bot to start a conversation with a question, the rest was up to the bots. There is a brief description in the article, followed by a handful of conversations between the two bots, ALICE and jabberwocky."

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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