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Social Networks

Submission + - Spam 2.0? (

Dr_Ish writes: I run a large mailing list for professional philosophers, called PHILOSOP. The list has been around a long time and is quite large. Most posts to the list are mundane notices about conferences and the like. Recently though a message was distributed inviting subscribers to become a 'friend' of one of the list subscribers. This message clearly violated the mailing list terms of use. As a general rule, the mailing list has some quite robust anti-spam measures in place. This one managed to circumvent them all. However, a little investigation showed that the message had not been sent by the user themselves. It seems that the social networking site has come up with a novel way of attracting new users. When someone subscribes to the site from a Gmail, or a Yahoo e-mail account (there may be others too), the user is prompted for their password on those systems and cannot register without providing it. The terms of use of Yaari, which the user has to agree to, gives the site permission to send out invitations to everyone in the users address book. This naturally includes mailing lists like PHILOSOP. Although this issue is clearly mentioned on the registration page, it seems that not all users actually read the warnings (there is a surprise!) There was a little coverage of this issue last year, most notably at Pulse2 and the blog. The site has now been added to our blacklist. May I politely suggest that others do likewise?

Submission + - SPAM: Microsoft or Apple: Who's the Faster Patcher?

Amy Bennett writes: "And the answer is... Microsoft. Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology analyzed 658 high-risk and medium-risk vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft products and 738 affecting Apple. They measured how many times over the past six years the two vendors were able to have a patch available on the day a vulnerability became publicly known, which they call the 0-day patch rate. What they found: 'Apple was below 20 [unpatched vulnerabilities at disclosure] consistently before 2005,' said Stefan Frei, one of the researchers involved in the study. 'Since then, they are very often above. So if you have Apple and compare it to Microsoft, the number of unpatched vulnerabilities are higher at Apple.'"
Link to Original Source

Submission + - When Science Mattered

Hugh Pickens writes: "I remember growing up in the late 1950's, listening to space launches played over the school intercom at Washington Elementary, and two years later being put into the first math class at junior high to study SMSG's new math, but what I remember most was the sense of urgency from teachers and parents that America "catch up." The New York Times is running a story on those heady days after Sputnik when scientists warned that the cold war would be fought with slide rules, not rifles and Congress rushed to pass the National Defense Education Act to stimulate the advancement of education in science, mathematics, and foreign languages. If you've seen the movie October Sky, you remember what it was like when space first captured the country's imagination and teachers pushed us to pursue our dreams. For me, studying math and science from grade school to college was a natural progression everyone encouraged and I count myself lucky that my personal interests happened to coincide with the nation's. What support did you get in your early years to study science, how did it make a difference in your life, and what can we do today to encourage our kids and grandkids?"

I've got a bad feeling about this.