Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×
Internet Explorer

Is IE Usage Share Collapsing? 575

je ne sais quoi writes "Net Applications normally releases its statistics for browser and operating system usage share on the first of every month. This month, however, the data has not shown up — only a cryptic message stating they are reviewing the data for inexplicable statistical variations and that it will be available soon. Larry Dignan at ZDNet has a blog post that might explain what is happening: Statcounter has released some data that shows a precipitous drop in IE browser use in North America, to the benefit of Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. At the end of May, StatCounter shows IE usage share (for versions 6, 7, and 8 combined) at around 64%; at the beginning of June it is now about 56% — an astounding 8% drop in one month. We should keep in mind the difficulties in estimating browser usage share: this could very well be a change in how browsers report themselves, or some other statistical anomaly. So it will probably be healthy to remain skeptical until trend this is confirmed by other organizations. Have any of you seen drops in IE usage share for Web-sites you administer?"

Blu-ray BD+ Cracked 521

An anonymous reader writes "In July 2007, Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group (BD+ Standards Board) declared: 'BD+, unlike AACS which suffered a partial hack last year, won't likely be breached for 10 years.' Only eight months have passed since that bold statement, and Slysoft has done it again. According to the press release, the latest version of their flagship product AnyDVD HD can automatically remove BD+ protection and allows you to back-up any Blu-ray title on the market."

BBC Offers iPhone Version of iPlayer, Accessible to Linux Users Too 187

smallfries writes "After a long battle with Linux users in the UK, the BBC was forced into releasing a flash version of the iPlayer streaming service to fulfill their obligations to license-fee payers. After claiming that development of Linux and Mac versions of the iPlayer would take two years, Auntie Beeb has rushed to support the iPhone. iPhone users 'can be trusted' because their platform is locked down ... so the beeb opened a non-DRM hole in the iPlayer to support them. This was guarded by the extreme security of User Agent strings! Long story short, Linux and Mac users have made their own non-DRM, non-Microsoft platform from firebug and wget. UK users can now watch (and keep) their favorite BBC shows."

Investors, "Beware" of Record Companies 301

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Motley Fool investment Web site warns investors to beware of 'Sony, BMG, Warner Music Group, Vivendi Universal, and EMI.' In an article entitled 'We're All Thieves to the RIAA,' a Motley Fool columnist, referring to the RIAA's pronouncement in early December in Atlantic v. Howell, that the copies which Mr. Howell had ripped from his CDs to MP3s in a shared files folder on his computer were 'unauthorized,' writer Alyce Lomax said 'a good sign of a dying industry that investors might want to avoid is when it would rather litigate than innovate, signaling a potential destroyer of value.'"

OS X Leopard Firewall Flawed 300

cycoj writes with a report in the German IT magazine Heise, taking a look at the new OS X Leopard firewall. They find it flawed. When setting access to specific services and programs to only allow SSH access, for example, they found that a manually started service was still accessible. From the article: "So the first step after starting Leopard should be to activate the firewall. The obvious choice to do so is the option to 'Set access to specific services and programs,' which promises more control over network traffic. Mac OS X automatically enters all shared resources set up by the user, such as 'Remote login' for SSH servers, into the list of accessible resources... However, initial functional testing quickly dispels any feeling of improved security. A service started for testing purposes was able to be addressed from outside without any difficulty. The firewall records this occurrence... Even with the firewall set to 'Block all incoming connections' ports to netbios, ntp and other services were still open... Specifically these results mean that users can't rely on the firewall."

Netflix Sued Over Fradulently Obtained Patents 193

An anonymous reader writes "Techdirt has a story about a new class action lawsuit against Netflix, claiming that the patents the company is using to sue Blockbuster were obtained fraudulently. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Netflix was well aware of prior art, but did not include it in its patent filing, as required by law. The lawsuit also claims that Netflix then used these fraudulently obtained patents to scare others out of the market, in violation of antitrust law. 'Certainly, it makes for an interesting argument. Patents grant a government-backed monopoly -- which should get you around any antitrust violations. However, if that patent is obtained fraudulently, then I can see a pretty compelling claim that you've abused antitrust law. It would be interesting if other such cases start popping up (and, indeed, the lawyer who sent it to us said his firm is looking for additional patents to go after in this manner).'"
United States

TSA Loses Hard Drive With Personnel Info 123

WrongSizeGlass writes "A portable hard drive containing personnel data for former and current employees, went missing from a controlled area at the TSA. From the article: 'The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containing Social Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees.'"

Vista DRM Cracked by Security Researcher 379

An anonymous reader writes "Security researcher Alex Ionescu claims to have successfully bypassed the much discussed DRM protection in Windows Vista, called 'Protected Media Path' (PMP), which is designed to seriously degrade the playback quality of any video and audio running on systems with hardware components not explicitly approved by Microsoft. The bypass of the DRM protection was in turn performed by breaking the Driver Signing / PatchGuard protection in the new operating system. Alex is now quite nervous about what an army of lawyers backed by draconian copyright laws could do to him if he released the details, but he claims to be currently looking into the details of safely releasing his details about this at the moment though."

Vista Upgrades Require Presence of Old OS 561

kapaopango writes "Ars Technica is reporting that upgrade versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Premium, and Starter Edition cannot be installed on a PC unless Windows XP or Windows 2000 is already installed. This is a change from previous versions of Windows, which only required a valid license key. This change has the potential to make disaster recovery very tedious. The article says: 'For its part, Microsoft seems to be confident that the Vista repair process should be sufficient to solve any problems with the OS, since otherwise the only option for disaster recovery in the absence of backups would be to wipe a machine, install XP, and then upgrade to Vista. This will certainly make disaster recovery a more irritating experience.'"

One In Five Windows Installs Is Non-Genuine 481

snib writes "Microsoft disclosed Monday that, according to reports collected by the notorious Windows Genuine Advantage tool on millions of users' PCs, 22% of all Windows installs do not pass its validation tests and have therefore been deemed non-genuine. Quoting: 'Since WGA launched in July 2005, over 512 million users have attempted to validate their copy of Windows, Microsoft said. Of those, the non-genuine rate was 22.3 percent... [T]he Business Software Alliance... reports that 35 percent of the world's software is pirated (22 percent in North America)...'"

Expert Says Cisco's iPhone violates GPL 193

Stony Stevenson writes "Even while Cisco Systems is suing Apple for violating its iPhone trademark, an open-source enthusiast is accusing Cisco itself of infringing copyright in the same product. From the article: "Cisco has not published the source code for some components of the WIP300 iPhone in accordance with its open-source licensing agreement, said Armijn Hemel, a consultant with Loohuis Consulting and half of the team running the GPL Violations Project, an organization that identifies and publicizes misuse of GPL licenses and takes some violators to court."

The First HD DVD Movie Hits BitTorrent 537

Ars Technica reports that the first HD DVD movie has made its way onto BitTorrent, showing that current DRM efforts to prevent illegal sharing of copyrighted content are still futile and fighting an uphill battle. From the article: "The pirates of the world have fired another salvo in their ongoing war with copy protection schemes with the first release of the first full-resolution rip of an HD DVD movie on BitTorrent. The movie, Serenity, was made available as a .EVO file and is playable on most DVD playback software packages such as PowerDVD. The file was encoded in MPEG-4 VC-1 and the resulting file size was a hefty 19.6 GB."

Some 'Next-Gen' DVDs May Not Work With Vista 293

schnikies79 wrote to mention an article on the Times Online site, where they report that a 'substantial number' of Vista PCs will be unable to play HD-DVDs or Blu-ray discs, as a result of DRM requirements made by the operating system. From the article: "Dave Marsh, the lead program manager for video at Microsoft, said that if the PC used a digital connection to link with the monitor or television, then it would require the highest level of content protection, known as HDCP, to play the discs. If it did not have such protection, Vista would shut down the signal, he said."

E-Passport Cloned In Five Minutes 259

Last month a panel of EU experts warned that the e-Passport's security is "poorly conceived", and in fact a week later a British newspaper demonstrated a crack. Now another researcher has shown how to clone a European e-Passport in under 5 minutes. A UK Home Office spokesman dismissed it all, saying "It is hard to see why anyone would want to access the information on the chip."

Vista Not Compatible With SQL Server 263

kiran_n sent in an article by Fortune's Owen Thomas on Vista not being compatible with SQL Server. An excerpt: "But now Microsoft has a problem. Vista, its long-awaited update to the Windows operating system, can't run the current version of SQL Server. The company is working on a SQL upgrade that is compatible with Vista — called SQL Server 2005 Express Service Pack 2 — but it's in beta and can be licensed only for testing purposes. Microsoft hasn't set a release date for the new SQL program."

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.