angry tapir writes "Three US universities will stop promoting the use of Amazon.com's Kindle DX e-book reader in classrooms after complaints that the device doesn't give blind students equal access to information. Settlements with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Pace University in New York City and Reed College in Portland, Oregon, were announced Wednesday by the US Department of Justice. The National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind had complained that use of the Kindle devices discriminates against students with vision problems."
Seriously? What you have is not a "server", it's a PC in a rack chassis. Any decent computer designed to go into a datacenter will have a redundant PSU, and a BMC that will log and alert you that one same has failed. I'm responsible for computers that I've literally never seen, and it's really not that big a deal.
hacker writes "I have a heavily-hit public server (web, mail, cvs/svn/git, dns, etc.) that runs a few dozen OSS project websites, as well as my own personal sites (gallery, blog, etc.). From time to time, the server has 'unexpected' outages, which I've determined to be the result of hardware, network and other issues on behalf of the provider. I run a lot of monitoring and logging on the server-side, so I see and graph every single bit and byte in and out of the server and applications, so I know it's not the OS itself. When I file 'WTF?'-style support tickets to the provider through their web-based ticketing system, I often get the response of: 'Please provide us with the root password to your server so we can analyze your logs for the cause of the outage.' Moments ago, there were three simultaneous outages while I was logged into the server working on some projects. Server-side, everything was fine. They asked me for the root password, which I flatly denied (as I always do), and then they rooted the server anyway, bringing it down and poking around through my logs. This is at least the third time they've done this without my approval or consent. Is it possible to create a minimal Linux boot that will allow me to reboot the server remotely, come back up with basic networking and ssh, and then from there, allow me to log in and mount the other application and data partitions under dm-crypt/loop-aes and friends?" Read on for a few more details of hacker's situation.
An anonymous reader writes "Gamers are used to confronting invading terrorists, nuclear attacks, and natural calamities—in virtual form. But those living in New York State could soon receive warnings about real emergencies through their favorite video console. State authorities are testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels."
think_nix writes "The Pirate Bay has shut down their BitTorrent tracker. Instead TPB is now using Distributed Hash Table to distribute the torrents. The Pirate Bay Blog states that DHT along with PEX (Peer Exchange) Technology is just as effective if not better for finding peers than a centralized service. The Local reports that shutting down the tracker and implementing DHT & PEX could be due to the latest court rulings in Sweden against 2 of TPB's owners, and may decide the outcome of the case."
coondoggie writes "With a hiss and roar, NASA's Ares I-X rocket blasted into the atmosphere this morning at about 11:33 am EST, taking with it a variety of test equipment and sensors but also high hopes for the future of the US space agency. The short test flight — about 2 minutes — will provide NASA an early opportunity to look at hardware, models, facilities and ground operations associated with the mostly new Ares I launch vehicle. The mission went off without a hitch — 'frickin' fantastic' was how one NASA executive classified it on NASA TV — as the upper stage simulator and first stage separated at approximately 130,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The unpowered simulator splashed down in the ocean."
patentpundit writes "On April 18, 2008, Apple Computer applied for a patent relating to an 'invention' that allows for showing advertisements within an operating system. The first named inventor on the patent application is none other than Steve Jobs. The patent application published and became available for public inspection on October 22, 2009. If implemented, the invention would make it possible for advertisements to be displayed on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, cell phones, PDAs, and more. In one alarming aspect, the device could be disabled while the advertisements run, thereby forcing users to let the advertisement run its course before the system would unlock and allow further use. In an even more invasive scenario, explained in the patent application, the user could be required to do something, such as click to continue, in order to verify that they are actively watching the advertisement and haven't simply walked away while the ad runs. Whether Apple would implement such an invention is unknown, but it is possible that they think there are others out there who might want to implement such invasive advertising. It is possible Apple wanted to get ahead of the curve and file this patent so that if any company is silly enough to engage in Big Brother advertising, then Apple will get a royalty. I sure hope this is not the future of advertising."
Uncle Rummy writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is close to releasing a new system that will sell permanent, multi-device access to digital media. The system, dubbed Keychest, is being positioned as an answer to consumer concerns about purchasing digital media that are locked to a small number of devices, and thus as a way to finally shift media sales from an ownership model to an access model. They claim that such a service would reduce the risk of losing access to content as a result of a single vendor going out of business, as purchased content would remain available from other vendors. However, they do not seem to have addressed the question of what happens to customers' access to purchased content if the Keychest service itself is discontinued."
Ars Technica has a great look at the latest installment in the Ratchet and Clank series, "A Crack in Time." Along with the great looking graphics and same great gameplay, A Crack in Time offers a brand new game mechanic: "time pads." Time pads allow you to make a copy of yourself and move through a series of action, then shift back to "real time" and interact with your past self. "It's a game mechanic that's hard to describe in words, and wrapping your head around it inside the game isn't much easier when it's first described with an example or two. You have to play with it and bend time to your will before you see just how ingenious the whole thing is. The puzzles begin simply and grow harder as the game moves on. The use of time is done very well and elevates what we've played of the game from another platforming experience to something truly special."
Barence writes "Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has blasted the company's own mobile operating system at the firm's Venture Capital Summit. One tweet from an attendee claims Ballmer said the company had 'screwed up with Windows Mobile. Wishes they had already launched WM7. They completely revamped the team.' Another claims Ballmer said 'we've pumped in some new talent. This will not happen again.' It's not the first time Ballmer has attacked Windows Mobile, having publicly stated that version 6.5 was 'not the full release we wanted.'"
I have never been asked that in my life. SSN, mother's maiden name, billing address, but never for characters of my password for the account in question. Where did you run into this, so I can make sure never to do business with them?
The real WTF is that all those passwords were in the clear. What the hell business does anyone have these days, doing anything more than storing a one-way hash?
SoundDoc75 links to a page describing the motivations and problem-solving behind "a 10-minute HD video taken on August 24th with a Canon Vixia HF20 HD camera suspended from a 1500g hydrogen balloon and launched near Edmonton, Alberta. This is the first known amateur video taken from this height — 107,145 feet."
sertsa writes "Earlier this year a group of researchers at the University of Washington came up with a scheme to use peer-to-peer networks to store and, ultimately, to forget the keys for encrypted messages, causing them to 'Vanish.' Now a group from researchers from UT Austin, Princeton, and the University of Michigan has come up with a way to break this approach, by making a single computer appear to be many nodes on the p2p network. 'In our experiments with Unvanish, we have shown that it is possible to make Vanish messages reappear long after they should have disappeared nearly 100 percent of the time...'"