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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft's Outrageous Windows Update Policy->

Submitted by
Jared Hoag
Jared Hoag writes "Now a very unsavory detail of Microsoft's Windows Update has been discovered and confirmed by Microsoft.
Windows Update has the ability to update itself as controlled by Microsoft's Update Servers. This update offers no control to the administrator of the machine, and forces the machine to install the update if it is connected to the Microsoft Servers.
One thing that makes this development alarming is that the process reveals a backdoor which could allow malicious parties to alter the service; if the update process were to be reverse engineered. This is a substantial security hazard to the OS, because it means that the OS has the ability to be directly altered without administrator control on a system which was previously secure. ..."

Link to Original Source
Patents

+ - The Swedish OOXML vote as been declared invalid!->

Submitted by
Landreth
Landreth writes "The Swedish Standards Institute has tonight issued a press release, according to OS2 World, where they declared this weeks earlier vote regarding OOXML as invalid and by that Sweden don't have any official position regarding OOXML any more.

According to the press release (Swedish) issued by SIS, Swedish Standards Institute tonight (the pdf document is created 18:05) the SIS board has declared this weeks earlier OOXML vote as invalid due to that one of the participating companies has voted two times where the SIS rules clearly says that each company can only cast one vote each."

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The Courts

+ - Drug testing entire cities at once

Submitted by
Ellis D. Tripp
Ellis D. Tripp writes "Researchers have developed a technique for determining what illicit drugs people might be consuming in a given area, by testing a sample from the local sewage treatment plant. As little as a teaspoonful of untreated wastewater can reveal drug use patterns in a given community. From the article:

"one fairly affluent community scored low for illicit drugs except for cocaine. Cocaine and ecstasy tended to peak on weekends and drop on weekdays, she said, while methamphetamine and prescription drugs were steady throughout the week."

Obviously, any drugs found can't be tied to any specific user, but how much longer until the drug warriors want to deploy automatic sampling units farther upstream of the sewage treatment plant, sampling sewage output from selected neighborhoods, blocks, or even individual houses?

http://www.townhall.com/news/sci-tech/2007/08/21/s cientists_drug-test_whole_cities"
Handhelds

+ - AT&T crippling BlackBerry for iPhone?->

Submitted by 0xdeadbeef
0xdeadbeef (28836) writes "BlackBerryCool got a tip that not only was AT&T removing GPS functionality from their version of the BlackBerry 8820, they're doing it so it won't show up the iPhone. While carriers crippling phones to stop them from competing with pay-per-use services is nothing new, this might be the first time they've done it to make their other products seem less diminished."
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Businesses

+ - The open source community's double standard?-> 1

Submitted by
mjasay
mjasay writes "Red Hat splits into Fedora and Advanced Server. The open source community howls in protest. MySQL restricts its Enterprise code to paid subscribers. The open source community cries "Foul!" But SugarCRM opens up a portion of its code under GPLv3 and everyone applauds. IBM, Novell, Oracle, etc. open up small pieces of their product portfolios and they are met with wild acclaim. What gives? Does the open source community have a double standard? Is it judging 100% open source companies too harshly?"
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Graphics

+ - Algorithm That Seemlesly Patches Holes in Images->

Submitted by
Beetle B.
Beetle B. writes "From the site:

'What can you do with a million images? In this paper we present a new image completion algorithm powered by a huge database of photographs gathered from the Web. The algorithm patches up holes in images by finding similar image regions in the database that are not only seamless but also semantically valid. Our chief insight is that while the space of images is effectively infinite, the space of semantically differentiable scenes is actually not that large. For many image completion tasks we are able to find similar scenes which contain image fragments that will convincingly complete the image. Our algorithm is entirely data-driven, requiring no annotations or labelling by the user. Unlike existing image completion methods, our algorithm can generate a diverse set of image completions and we allow users to select among them. We demonstrate the superiority of our algorithm over existing image completion approaches.'

English translation: The algorithm replaces arbitrarily shaped blank areas in an image with portions of images from a huge catalog in a totally seamless manner."

Link to Original Source
Wii

+ - Advanced Wii Opra functionality->

Submitted by
mehemiah
mehemiah writes "This from Kotaku who got it from neogaf but now its commming to you here, where web developers hang out. Opera now has a page on the Wii Remote API. Kotaku sums it up best, " It breaks down not only how exactly the Wii Remote is compatible with Opera on the Wii, but also shows how developers can get the Wii's browser to not just recognise four Wii Remotes at once, but have them all interact with the screen. Which should be good news for anyone big on playing, or crafting, Wii-specific web games.""
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