arisvega writes "Some 400 high-tech South African traffic lights are out of action after thieves in Johannesburg stole the mobile phone SIM cards they contain. JRA (Johannesburg Road Agency) said it is investigating the possibility of an 'inside job' after only the SIM card-fitted traffic lights were targeted. The cards were fitted to notify JRA when the traffic lights were faulty. 'We have 2,000 major intersections in Johannesburg and only 600 of those were fitted with the cards,' the agency's spokesperson Thulani Makhubela told the BBC. 'No-one apart from JRA and our supplier knows which intersections have that system.' The thieves ran up bills amounting to thousands of dollars by using the stolen cards to make calls."
frisket writes "Definitive guides by the authors or maintainers of software systems tend to have the edge over other documentation because of the insight they provide. DocBook 5 — The Definitive Guide comes well up to scratch. DocBook has long been the de facto standard for computer system documentation in XML (and SGML before that), and Norm Walsh has revised and updated both the language and the documentation in a concise and valuable form, usable both by beginners and by tech doc experts." Read on for the rest of frisket's review.
Isn't this "wireless power" stuff just a terrible waste of energy?
(Useful) Stupid Slashdot Tricks?
An anonymous reader writes "A post on the EA Support Forums from APOC, online community manager for Electronic Arts, outlines a new policy for their new forums, saying users who earn a ban based on their behavior in the forums will be locked out of all of the EA games tied to that account: 'Well, its actually going to be a bit nastier for those who get banned. Your forum account will be directly tied to your Master EA Account, so if we ban you on the forums, you would be banned from the game as well since the login process is the same. And you'd actually be banned from your other EA games as well since it's all tied to your account. So if you have SPORE and Red Alert 3 and you get yourself banned on our forums or in-game, well, your SPORE account would be banned to. It's all one in the same, so I strongly recommend people play nice and act mature. All in all, we expect people to come on here and abide by our ToS. We hate banning people, it makes our lives a lot tougher, but it's what we have to do.'" Update: 10/31 12:36 GMT by T : Not so! Pandanapper writes "After a flood of complaints the EA community moderator APOC corrects his statement about how banning you from the forums bans you from your game access as well:"That said, the previous statement I made recently (that's being quoted on the blogs) was inaccurate and a mistake on my part. I had a misunderstanding with regards to our new upcoming forums and website and never meant to infer that if we ban or suspend you on the forums, you would be banned in-game as well. This is not correct, my mistake, my bad."
fons writes "Dutch Python hacker/artist Stani took part in a contest organised by the Dutch Ministry Of Finance to design a 5 euro commemorative coin. And he won, using only free software: 'The whole design was done for 100% with free software. The biggest part consists of custom software in Python, of course within the SPE editor. For the visual power I used PIL and pyCairo. From time to time also Gimp, Inkscape and Phatch helped quite a bit. All the developing and processing was done on GNU/Linux machines which were running Ubuntu/Debian. I would have loved to release the coin under the GPL, which could maybe solve the financial crisis. However for obvious reasons I was not allowed to do that.'"
Roland Piquepaille writes "Some clever computer scientists at UC San Diego (UCSD) have developed a software that can perform key duplication with just a picture of the key — taken from up to 200 feet. One of the researchers said 'we built our key duplication software system to show people that their keys are not inherently secret.' He added that on sites like Flickr, you can find many photos of people's keys that can be used to easily make duplicates. Apparently, some people are blurring 'numbers on their credit cards and driver's licenses before putting those photos on-line,' but not their keys. This software project is quite interesting, but don't be too afraid. I don't think that many of you put a photo of their keys online — with their addresses." I wonder when I'll be able to order more ordinary duplicate keys by emailing in a couple of photos.
eldavojohn writes "Mark Shuttleworth, the millionaire bankroller who keeps Ubuntu going strong, has revealed 'Canonical is not cash-flow positive' just as version 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) of the popular Linux distribution is released today. In a call, he said he 'had no objection' in funding Canonical for another three to five years. He did say, however, that if they concentrated on the server edition of Ubuntu that they could be profitable in two years."
dtjohnson writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, 'Nesson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."' If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
An anonymous reader writes "Right on the heels of Microsoft's adoption of the OpenID protocol by announcing their intention to enable OpenID authentication against all Live IDs, Google has announced their intention to join the growing list of OpenID authentication providers. Except it turns out they're using their own version of OpenID that is incompatible with everyone else. It seems that Google will be using their own 'improved' version of OpenID (based upon research and user feedback of the OpenID system) which isn't backwards compatible with OpenID 1.0/2.0, in hopes of improving end-user experience at the cost of protocol compatibility and complexity."
An anonymous reader writes "Things have been a bit quiet on the virtual world front recently, but according to an article in Silicon.com, things are about to change. Apparently it's only now that virtual worlds are really going to become a force to be reckoned with. 'Now experts predict the virtual world phenomenon is entering a second phase in which businesses will become shrewder about their involvement in such environments and look more carefully at the tangible benefits they can realize. Emerging technology specialist at IBM, Robert Smart, is confident virtual worlds will become more important to businesses in the coming years.'"
mattOzan writes "On the tenth anniversary of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act [PDF], Wired Magazine posits that the DMCA should be praised for catalyzing the interactive '2.0' Web that we enjoy today. While acknowledging the troublesome 'anti-circumvention' provision of the act, they claim that any harm caused by that is far outweighed by the act's "notice-and-takedown" provision and the safe harbor that this provides to intermediary ISPs. Fritz Attaway, policy adviser for the MPAA weighed in saying 'It's not perfect. But it's better than nothing.'"
r writes "The New York Times reports on a security flaw discovered in the new Android phones. The article is light on details, but it hints at a security hole in the browser, allowing for trojans to install themselves in the same security partition as the browser: 'The risk in the Google design, according to Mr. Miller, who is a principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators in Baltimore, lies in the danger from within the Web browser partition in the phone. It would be possible, for example, for an intruder to install software that would capture keystrokes entered by the user when surfing to other Web sites. That would make it possible to steal identity information or passwords.'"
Technologizer writes "Some folks are outraged over the lack of FireWire in the new MacBook released this week. But Apple wouldn't be Apple if it didn't move faster than any other computer company to kill technologies that may be past their prime. And history usually validates its decisions. We've posted a decade's worth of examples that prove the point."