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Submission + - Newzbin.com has reached it's end (wordpress.com)

adosch writes: Newzbin.com, a very popular British Usenet indexing website notable for its introduction of the XML-based .nzb file and search techniques that aid users by facilitating access to content on Usenet, has officially taken it's site and services down for good. A close insider source reports on this blog. With the legal system taking down Newzbin.com, will this be the end of .nzb technology as we know it?

Submission + - Active campaign against Data Retention Directive?

An anonymous reader writes: Most /. readers probably know of the European Union's infamous Data Retention Directive (the previous Slashdot coverage was last year), otherwise known as EU Directive 2006/24/EC. My own country of Norway is not a EU member (Europe's Canada?), but because we are a member of the EEA, EU laws such as the DRD are thrown at us nonetheless. The government does have the option of vetoing, so in the past year the directive has entered into mainstream debate (the only English-language coverage I could find was a newspaper I've never heard of before). Sadly it seems that reasonable debate has given way to fearmongering, as was summed up nicely by one govt. minister's comment: "If we save a single child then [the DRD] is worth it!". Having thus reached the "won't somebody think of the children" stage of the debate, I've started thinking there could be a more active way to fight the directive. I thought I'd ask the Slashdot crowd: Since the DRD allows, and indeed demands, that law enforcement retain for example "data necessary to trace and identify the source of a communication" (see article 5 for a complete list), should it not be possible to flood this system completely? What if one developed a simple and light-weight P2P program which only job it would be to communicate benign information with as many other peers as possible? If such a system was made easy enough to use so that millions would have it running in the background, would it not render the DRD useless since everyone would be logged as having been in communication with everyone else? Does anyone think this, or a variation of it, is feasible?

Submission + - South Dakota moves to outlaw global warming (tnr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Global warming deniers convinced the South Dakota House of Representatives to pass a bill calling for "balanced teaching of global warming in public schools." Specifically, the bill urges teachers to recognize the "variety of climatological, meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena", and declares that "global warming is a scientific theory rather than a proven fact". You read that correctly: they want science teachers to consider astrology as it relates to climate science.

Submission + - NASA to spend billions to consolidate IT services (washingtontechnology.com)

brad3378 writes: NASA has issued a final request for proposal for a menu of information technology services such as e-mail, security management, instant messaging and mobile communications. Estimates have pegged the work as worth $2.5 billion.

The project, Agency Consolidated End User Services (ACES), is designed to consolidate services across NASA into one agencywide solution. The requirements are currently met through the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA, the ODIN contract.


Submission + - 80% of .gov Web sites miss DNSSEC deadline (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: Four out of five U.S. federal agencies — including the Department of Homeland Security — have missed a Dec. 31, 2009 deadline to deploy DNS Security Extensions, a new authentication mechanism designed to prevent hackers from hijacking Web traffic. Experts disagree as to whether this level of deployment represents a failure or reasonable progress toward meeting a mandate set by the Office of Management and Budget in the summer of 2008.
The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: Choosing the Best Place to Host a Website

hze writes: "Your decision about how to choose the best web site host for you should be based on what you need and you should give special attention to aspects like customer service, support offered, price of the services, reliability and server performance...."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

Submission + - Spore EULA Enforceable?

imunfair writes: "Designing games we often prototype using placeholder models, such as those created by the Spore creature creator. Normally those models must be replaced — but Spore models created by the user would seem to be the property of that user. However, their EULA claims items you create are their property — to protect EA since they reuse your creations in their game.

Can they legally stop you from using these models in your own game? Are there other instances of content creation tools successfully restricting use of the content users create?"

Submission + - Australia expands filter scope to online games (smh.com.au)

srjh writes: The ever-expanding scope of Australia's soon-to-be-implemented mandatory internet filter has taken yet another alarming turn — online game content such as flash games and downloadable games which are found to be unsuitable for 15-year-olds will be added to the government blacklist and blocked for all Australians at the ISP-level. Also targeted will be "sites which sell physical copies of games that do not meet the MA15+ standard", which presumably includes eBay.com. Since Australia is the only developed country not to have an 18+ rating for games, any games that do not meet the MA15+ standard are banned outright. Originally aimed at content such as child pornography, when leaked in March, the blacklist was also found to contain sites on euthanasia, abortion, online poker and gambling, as well as a considerable volume of pornography featuring only consenting adults (such as RedTube).

Submission + - Intel Redies GNU/Linux Friendly ACPI Replacement (h-online.com) 3

twitter writes: "ACPI was designed to harm free software. Ten years later, ACPI still has problems but has Intel turned over a new leaf? H-Online has an interesting introduction to Simple Firmware Interface.

A few days ago, version 4.0 of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification was released, weighing in at a hefty 727 pages ... there are still flaws in many implementations.

Intel is now developing the Simple Firmware Interface (SFI) especially for small and low spec devices like Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with Atom processors, and is particularly targeting the Linux operating system... SFI can be implemented in addition to, or as an alternative to ACPI, in the firmware either within a classic BIOS, (U)EFI, or with alternative firmware like OpenFirmware.

Version 0.6 has been released as a draft and there is a reference implementation for the 2.6.32 kernel."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Ten Dying IT Skills (globalknowledge.com) 1

Julie188 writes: "If you are looking for a job, here's 10 IT skills that you should not be bragging about on your resume, according to a scan of current job listings done by Global Knowledge. ATM, NetWare, Visual J++, WAP, ColdFusion, RAD/Extreme Programming, Siebel, SNA, HTML and COBOL. While there are no real surprises on this list some of the explanations of why these skills are dead are interesting. For instance, why not brag about HTML skills? "With the proliferation of easy to use WYSIWYG HTML editors enabling non-techies to set up blogs and Web pages, Web site development is no longer a black art. Sure, there's still a need for professional Web developers (see the ColdFusion entry above for a discussion about Java and PHP skills) but a good grasp of HTML isn't the only skill required of a Web developer. Professional developers often have expertise in Java, AJAX, C++ and .Net, among other programming languages. HTML as a skill lost more than 40% of its value between 2001 and 2003, according to Foote Partners.""

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.