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Submission + - Movie studios lose case against Australian ISP (

danwarne writes: The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft today lost its landmark case against major Australian ISP iiNet, with the Australian Federal Court stating that simply providing internet access was not authorisation of copyright theft. The Australian movie studios had been arguing that iiNet should have disconnected customers and handed over their details when presented with evidence of BitTorrent copyright infringement by the studios. The Pirate Party Australia met the news with great rejoicing and used it to launch a membership drive to solidify itself as an official political party in Australia.

Submission + - Australia Internet Filter Fails Speed Tests (

nathanh writes: The Australian government has completed the trial of its contentious Internet Filter. Not only did it fail to meet the 2008 performance benchmarks — handling only 8Mbps of the 12Mbps required — it falls well short of the planned 100Mbps FTTP. Yet Senator Conroy has deemed the trial "a success" despite widespread opposition from the judiciary, the ISPs, the technical experts, and the citizens of Australia!

Submission + - Could a meteor have brought down Air France 447? 1

niktemadur writes: In light of an Air Comet pilot's report to Air France, Airbus and the Spanish civil aviation authority that, during a Monday flight from Lima to Lisbon "Suddenly, we saw in the distance a strong and intense flash of white light, which followed a descending and vertical trajectory and which broke up in six seconds", the Cosmic Variance blog team on the Discover Magazine website muses on the question "What is the probability that, for all flights in history, one or more could have been downed by a meteor?". Taking into account total flight hours and the rate of meteoric activity with the requisite mass to impact on Earth (approximately 3,000 a day), some quick math suggests there may be one in twenty odds of a plane being brought down in the period from 1989 to 2009. Intriguingly, in the aftermath of TWA flight 800's crash in 1996, the New York Times published a letter by Columbia professors Charles Hailey (physics) and David Helfand (astronomy), in which they stated the odds of a meteor-airplane collision for aviation history up to that point: one in ten.

Submission + - Australia to get $43bn fibre-to-home network (

KrispyConroy writes: "The Australian Government has announced a $43 billion fibre-to-the-home network that will provide 100Mbit/s Ethernet to 90% of premises in the country. It will be one of the largest FTTH rollouts in the world because of Australia's vast geographic size. Despite many private companies bidding to build smaller-scale fibre networks, the Australian government decided to go it alone, because it didn't believe any of them could actually stump up the cash in the global financial crisis. The network will be supplemented by a wireless (probably WiMax) and satellite network to reach the remaining 10% of far-flung premises."

Submission + - New worm can infect home modem/routers (

KrispyBits writes: "A new botnet, "psyb0t" is the first known to be capable of directly infecting home routers and cable/DSL modems. This is an alarming development because it's both difficult to detect (software running on your PC can't detect it) and significantly more useful to the botnet operator than infected PCs because home routers generally run 24 hours a day, unmonitored. The botnet malware contains the shellcode for over 30 different Linksys models, 10 Netgear models, and a variety of other cable and DSL modems (15 different shellcodes). Any router that uses a MIPS processor and runs the Linux Mipsel operating system (a port of Debian for MIPS Processors) is vulnerable if they have the router administration interface, or sshd/telnetd in a DMZ, with weak username/passwords. DroneBL noted this includes devices flashed with the open-source firmwares openwrt and dd-wrt."

Submission + - PHOTOS: Apple smashing Macs to pieces (

KrispyPancakes writes: "A whistleblower has provided details of how Apple orders Macs be smashed to pieces rather than allowing them to be sold at a discount or even used for spare parts. Apple says they were beyond economic repair but the contractor says many of the Macs he was tasked to smash booted up fine, proving that there were at very least plenty of salvageable parts in them."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Linus Torvalds talks future of Linux (

Cargnini writes: "The development of the kernel has changed, and Linux is just getting better and better. However, with a community as large and fractured as the Linux community, it can sometimes be hard to get a big picture overview of where Linux is going: what's happening with kernel version 2.6? Will there be a version 3.0? What has Linus been up to lately? What does he get up to in his spare time? Check the full history."

Submission + - Windows 7 - What we know so far... (

Anonymous Anti-Coward writes: "We're still in the long dark before 7's dawn, but the earliest signs are encouraging: a new streamlined kernel, an inbuilt VM for running old software, a revised and simplified UI... there's every chance that Microsoft intends Windows 7 to rise from the ashes of Vista and be what Mac OS X was for Apple.'

Vista was released on January 30 2007 at which time it became available to one and all.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the number of people who bought Vista was much closer to 'one' than 'all'."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Visa offers "virtual" credit cards - no pl (

BaconFloss writes: "Credit giant Visa has unveiled a new super-secure credit card for online shopping: it's merely a card number and expiry date on a piece of paper which expires once you've used up the prepaid amount. There's no plastic involved. It works much like a mobile phone prepaid recharge voucher, except that the virtual card number is printed out on the docket. Clearly it's relatively secure compared to a rolling credit account, but is it also a tacit admission that the card companies have failed to actually make credit cards adequately secure in the high fraud environment we live in today?"
The Internet

Submission + - iiNet Naked DSL (

Josh writes: "Broadband ISP iiNet has published the pricing for its new "Naked DSL" service, which provides, for the first time in Australia, home broadband over your phone line without the painful Telstra monthly line rental fee."

Submission + - dodgy battery life claims (

webmonkey44 writes: This is a a classic case false marketing claims about battery life caused by the JEITA 'benchmark'. Toshiba, sony, and Fujitsu are some of the offenders.

Submission + - Microsoft takes razor to XP (

SlinkySausage writes: "After the bloated release of Vista, it seems that Microsoft has really caught the diet bug. A few days back, APC reported on its efforts to pare back the core of the next-gen Windows OS, which has resulted in a 25MB microkernel named MinWin. Now XP is in for the chop. Redmond wants to shrink its footprint and complexity so that it will run on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) subnotebook — a machine which has so far been designed and delivered with Linux in mind. More here."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Seagate settles class action: hard drive cashback (

Sock writes: "Two disgruntled hard drive buyers have taken Seagate to court over misleading hard drive capacities and won a class action settlement. The world's largest hard drive maker will now refund 5% of the purchase price of hard drives sold in the last six years. The court settlement only applies to US customers who bought a hard drive by itself, not as part of a computer. But it has wide-reaching implications the tech industry — ISPs which measure in 1000s rather than 1024s may also find themselves facing lawsuits for example."

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.