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Security

+ - Firefox 3.5's first vulnerability 'self-inflicted'->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Mozilla has confirmed the first security vulnerability in Firefox 3.5, saying that the bug could be used to hijack a machine running the company's newest browser. A noted Firefox contributor called the situation "self-inflicted" and said it was likely that the hacker who posted public exploit code Monday became aware of the flaw by rooting through Bugzilla, Mozilla's bug- and change-tracking database. The vulnerability is in the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine that debuted with Firefox 3.5, said Mozilla. "[It] can be exploited by an attacker who tricks a victim into viewing a malicious Web page containing the exploit code," Mozilla's security blog reported Tuesday."
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The Internet

+ - Google's Chiller-Less Data Center->

Submitted by
1sockchuck
1sockchuck writes "Google has begun operating a data center in Belgium that has no chillers to support its cooling systems, which will improve energy efficiency but make weather forecasting a larger factor in its network management. With power use climbing, many data centers are using free cooling to reduce their reliance on power-hungry chillers. By foregoing chillers entirely, Google will need to reroute workloads if the weather in Belgium gets too warm. The facility also has its own water treatment plant so it doesn't need to use potable water from a local utility."
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Real Time Strategy (Games)

+ - C&C 4 Requires Continuous Internet Connection->

Submitted by
Zerocool3001
Zerocool3001 writes "Arstechnica is reporting that EA's new Command and Conquer 4 will require an active internet connection at all times, even to play single player. The reasons for this requirement seem to change with the day. According to the article, EA has said the move is to:


"This is primarily due to our 'player progression' feature so everything can be tracked."

EA is arguing that you'll like what it's doing with the game enough to put up with this inconvenience.

Designer Samuel Bass claimed "as a nice side effect, since C&C4 requires players to be online all the time in order to prevent cheating, we'll be shipping without any form of DRM.""

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Government

+ - India to issue over a billion biometric id cards->

Submitted by
angrytuna
angrytuna writes "The Unique Identification Authority is a new state department in India charged with assigning every living Indian an exclusive number and biometric ID card. The program is designed to alleviate problems with the 20 current types of proof of identity currently available. These problems range from difficulties for the very poor in obtaining state handouts, corruption, illegal immigration, and terrorism issues.

Issuing the cards may be difficult, however, as less than 7% of the population is registered for income tax, and voter lists are thought to be inaccurate, partly due to corruption. The government has said the first cards will be issued in 18 months."

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Security

+ - Catching Spammers in the Act-> 1

Submitted by wjousts
wjousts (1529427) writes "Technology Review has a piece on new research aimed at determining how spammers get your e-mail address.

The researchers exposed 22,230 unique e-mail addresses over five months. E-mail addresses in comments posted to a website had a high probability of getting spammed, while of the 70 e-mail addresses submitted during registration at various websites, only 4 got spammed."

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Education

+ - Electronics Projects for High School 1

Submitted by SciGuy
SciGuy (666) writes "I am a physics teacher for 9th graders. I really want to teach them modern electronics (something beyond the light bulb and battery). My hope is for a project that: 1) Is fun 2) Teaches about circuits that are relevant to their life. 3) Doesn't rely to heavily on a black box microcontroller. Individual components would probably be better. (I realize that #2 and #3 are probably contradictory. They will already be programming in my class but I want them to understand the circuitry behind modern tech.) 4)It must be as cheap as possible. Yay public school. Unless some of the parts can be scrounged or found at home, I would probably want to keep the project around $5. Thanks everyone!"
Transportation

+ - Ingenious Energy-Generating Bike Rental System->

Submitted by
Mike
Mike writes "Designer Chiyu Chen has conceived of an ingenious transit system that encourages the use of sustainable transportation by crediting people for riding and renting energy generating bicycles. The bikes in Chen's Hybrid2 system are outfitted with his "Hybrake" regenerative braking system, which generates and stores kinetic energy from braking and cycling. Once a bike has been charged up by riding it, simply return it to a station and the bike will feed energy into the city's grid, while a credit for public transportation is given to the rider."
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Programming

+ - An IT Architect that Can't Program 1

Submitted by NoC#Skills
NoC#Skills (1598553) writes "I've been an IT Architect for about 1.5 years now, graduated 4 years ago with an IT degree from a State School, but am tired of where I'm working and would like to leave. As I've begun to talk to people, they've all said "you aren't going anywhere unless you learn how to program." I did some back in College, but haven't touched much of anything for years now. My architecture work has been mostly schematics and process work, nothing involving code of any kind, and I'm feeling like I'm becoming less and less valid in an increasingly competative IT landscape, with my lack of programming keeping me from alot of positions. Is programming for an IT employee, specifally one that wants to work with mobile devices, that critical? What's the best place to start, career wise? Or is programming going away, and I just need to focus on component integration opportunities, etc? Do people really care anymore about what languages you know?"
Enlightenment

+ - Document Format War Mirrors French Revolution->

Submitted by
Michael_Curator
Michael_Curator writes "The ongoing battle over who lost the document format wars is the same one at the root of every major philosophical argument underlying revolution: it's the fight between radicals who want to wipe the slate clean and start over (Robespierre, the Bolsheviks) and pragmatists who favor reform and compromise (Danton, the Mensheviks). The radicals are willing to risk everything, including their lives, while the pragmatists are only willing to risk what matters most. In the case of both France and Russia, the radicals triumphed in the short term, while the pragmatists were proven right in the long run — but the radicals could claim that their irredentism made the pragmatists seem more palpable by comparison."
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Space

+ - The Asteroid Steins unveils its secrets->

Submitted by
Matt_dk
Matt_dk writes "Last September, the European Rosetta probe sent back pictures immortalizing a rare asteroid called Steins. Now, after in-depth analysis of data collected during the flyby, the small rocky body is starting to unveil its secrets. Steins is a rocky body gravitating like many others between Mars and Jupiter, but what sets it apart is its composition. "Of the 100,000 bodies in the asteroid belt, only 20 are like Steins," says Gaudon."
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Spam

+ - Windows 7 flies off virtual shelf ;) 1

Submitted by astroturfer
astroturfer (849320) writes "'Amazon said that sales of Windows 7 in the first eight hours it was available outstripped those of Windows Vista's entire 17 week pre-order period"

'Because of a recent European Commission anti-trust ruling, Windows 7's European version will not be integrated with Windows' Internet Explorer, meaning that a browser will have to be installed separately'

--

I remember when the BBC wrote news ..."
Games

+ - XPilot for the iPhone->

Submitted by
Sean Cier
Sean Cier writes "If you were a UNIX geek on the internet in the mid nineties, odds are you have fond memories of XPilot, a networked space-fighter game that ran on X and paved the way for many of today's online multiplayer games, with then-groundbreaking features like user-created maps and in-game chat. But what really set it apart was the unique and addictive gameplay, a combination of physics-based space combat and science fiction mayhem, like Asteroids on mind-altering substances.

But the classic was somehow forgotten. Some years ago there was a joke about this workstation-based game being resurrected on cell phones. Well, today the iPhone has easily twice the graphics power of those SGI workstations many of us originally played it on — and now, life imitates humor: XPilot for the iPhone is for sale in the app store.

Oh, and as the original XPilot was open source (GPL), so is the iPhone port; the source is available for free via git."

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Space

+ - Six men endure 105-day Mars flight simulator->

Submitted by drunken_boxer777
drunken_boxer777 (985820) writes "

[S]ix men emerged from a metal hatch after 105 days of isolation in a mock spacecraft, still smiling after testing the stresses that space travelers may face on the journey to Mars. They had no television or Internet and their only link to the outside world was communications with the experiment's controllers — who also monitored them via TV cameras — and an internal e-mail system. Communications with the outside world had 20-minute delays to imitate a real space flight.

"

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Space

+ - Did we lose the art of software engineering?-> 1

Submitted by
bossanovalithium
bossanovalithium writes "There's something to be said for looking back on the Apollo 11 moon landing, and comparing with the state of software engineering today. The engineers that created the code for the 1969 landing were tasked with creating what at that point was the most comprehensive and complicated piece of code ever written. That code was 6meg in size, yet worked flawlessly to take men to a different world. Compare that with Windows 7 RC1, which is around 2.3gig in size, and is capable of blue screening on a regular basis. Did we lose sight of the art of engineering code, and focus on merely writing it?"
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