New submitter Adesso writes "Anti-virus vendor Avira is having difficulty with an update of all their Premium customers. An update that has been downloaded over 70 million times is causing the 32-bit version of Windows to block almost all critical applications. Avira has responded promptly with an interim solution for this problem. In most cases this causes Windows to not boot properly."
New submitter CAPSLOCK2000 writes "The Dutch Pirateparty has refused an order from BREIN to take down a proxy to The Pirate Bay. Last month BREIN (the distribution-industries paralegal outfit) forced a number of ISPs to block The Pirate Bay; the first site ever blocked in the Netherlands. Immediately people started using proxies at other ISPs to get to TPB. BREIN then threatened a number of those proxies with legal action. As most of these are run by hobbyists without legal or financial means there was little resistance. Now the Dutch Pirateparty has decided to stand up to the intimidation and refuses to take down its proxy. Today they sent their response in style: by uploading it to The Pirate Bay. In translation: 'The Pirateparty disputes your claim and will not comply with your request.'" Via Torrentfreak, Pirate Party chairman Dirk Poot: "There are a plethora of proxy sites on the internet. On almost any them TPB can by reached, even with a single URL. That's not even mentioning the ways you can get to TPB if you're willing to put in more effort than saving a single URL. If this keeps going there will be no Internet left by the time BREIN has achieved its goal of making TPB inaccessible. ... In their self-righteous zealousness they have brought substantial damage to the free and open Internet."
A digital media player, with files usually coming from a ripped blu-ray or DVD.
Hugh Pickens writes "Time Magazine reports that hidden deep inside in the White House's $3.8 trillion, 2,000-page budget that was sent to Congress this week is a proposal to make pennies and nickels cheaper to produce. Why? Because it currently costs the federal government 2.4 cents to make a penny and 11.2 cents for every nickel. If passed, the budget would allow the Treasury Department to 'change the composition of coins to more cost-effective materials' resulting in changes that could save more than $100 million a year. Since 1982, our copper-looking pennies have been merely coppery. In the 1970s, the price of copper soared, so President Nixon proposed changing the penny's composition to a cheaper aluminum. Today, only 2.5% of a penny is copper (which makes up the coin's coating) while 97.5% is zinc. The mint did make steel pennies for one year — in 1943 — when copper was needed for the war effort and steel might be a cheaper alternative this time. What about the bill introduced in 2006 that the US abandon pennies altogether.? At the time, fifty-five percent of respondents considered the penny useful compared to 43 percent who agreed it should be eliminated. More telling, 76 percent of respondents said they would pick up a penny if they saw it on the ground."
Cara_Latham writes "If you want to receive annoying robocalls from telemarketers you will have to opt in. Federal Communications Commission rules now require that telemarketers get your consent before dialing your number. Telemarketers will also have to obtain consent even if they had previously 'done business with' the consumer on the receiving end of a call."
flergum writes "Leonid Ksanfomaliti, an astronomer based at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Sciences, analyzed photographs taken by a Russian landing probe during 1982 and claims to have found signs of life. Ksanfomaliti says the Russian photographs depict objects resembling a 'disk,' a 'black flap' and a 'scorpion.'"
You're not alone. I've filed 3 or 4 complaints with donotcall.gov about "Cardholder Services".
helix2301 writes "Napster was one of the earliest and most popular P2P music-sharing services. After a long legal battle that saw Napster slowly gutted in the face of infringement lawsuits, it was reinvented as a legitimate music download service. The resurrected Napster is now being shut down. Rhapsody has completed its purchase of Napster and will be absorbing its subscribers and assets."
Trailrunner7 writes "Researchers are fairly confident now that whoever wrote the Duqu malware was also involved in developing the Stuxnet worm. They're also confident that they have not yet identified all of the individual components of Duqu, meaning that there are potentially some other capabilities that haven't been documented yet. There was a lot of speculation when Duqu first emerged about whether the attack was the work of the same group--still unknown--that had created Stuxnet and unleashed it on Iran's nuclear facilities last year. Some of that was centered on supposed similarities in the code between the two pieces of malware, but that was before many of the individual components of Duqu had been identified and analyzed. Now that the analysis and research into the Duqu malware have advanced a bit, researchers say they've found more evidence that points to the malware being the work of the Stuxnet authors or their close associates. 'I'm convinced it's the same group,' Costin Raiu, director of global research and analysis at Kaspersky Lab, who has done much of the analysis of Duqu, said."
mayberry42 writes with news that President Obama has announced an end to the U.S. military engagement in Iraq. All U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year. "Mr. Obama said that as of Jan. 1, 2012, the United States and Iraq would begin 'a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.' In a videoconference on Friday morning with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Obama told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country. The United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, with some members of Congress advocating the retention of a reduced fighting force as well. But Pentagon lawyers insisted that the Iraqi Parliament grant immunity from legal prosecution to the troops if they were to remain."
An anonymous reader writes "'An Auburn, ME school district spent more than $200,000 to outfit every one of its 250 kindergartners with [iPads], along with sturdy cases to protect them. School officials say they are the first public school district in the country to give every kindergartner an iPad. Mrs. McCarthy says the tools give her 19 students more immediate feedback and individual attention than she ever could.' Will this improve low test scores, or be another case where spending more money does not produce a better educational outcome?"
First time accepted submitter AmyVernon writes with a small hack that "is supposed to boost signal strength by at least 2 to 4 bars," and which requires little more than a can of beer (or Orangina). She writes: "What you need: scissors, a utility knife, some adhesive putty and an empty beer can. The brand doesn't matter for the router, but I suppose it would be cooler looking if it were Asahi or Stella Artois than if it were Budweiser." Perhaps this will be added one day to my favorite (and very extensive!) list of low-budget Wi-Fi amplifying rigs.
Joining the ranks of accepted submitters, realxmp writes "The BBC is reporting that GlobalSign has stopped issuing certificates because of yet another suspected CA security breach. This was in response to a post on the ComodoHacker paste bin, claiming that this and several other CA's have also been compromised." No word yet on whether they were actually compromised.
esocid writes with a bit in Daily Tech about the ongoing spat between Apple and the rest of the mobile world. From the article: "Apple lawyers are crying foul about Samsung, and ... Motorola's allegedly 'anticompetitive,' use of patents. ... Apparently Apple is irate about these companies' countersuits, which rely largely on patents covering wireless communications, many of which are governed by the 'fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory' (F/RAND) principle, as they were developed as part of industry standards. ... Apple takes issue with the fact that Motorola in its countersuit declines to differentiate the 7 F/RAND patents in its 18 patent collection. ... Regardless of what Florian Mueller says, it's hard to dispute that the 'rules' of F/RAND are largely community dictated and ambiguous."
MTCicero writes "The BBC has an interesting if not apocalyptic take on the spread of algorithms into everyday life. Perhaps the author should have spent a little more time discussing how algorithms in everyday life have improved things like communications, medical care, etc... I guess doom and gloom sells more ads. From the article: 'At last month's TEDGlobal conference, algorithm expert Kevin Slavin delivered one of the tech show's most "sit up and take notice" speeches where he warned that the "maths that computers use to decide stuff" was infiltrating every aspect of our lives. Among the examples he cited were a robo-cleaner that maps out the best way to do housework, and the online trading algorithms that are increasingly controlling Wall Street.'"