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Submission + - Microsoft conducts massive botnet takedown action (

h4rm0ny writes: "Yesterday, Microsoft, in co-operation with Federal agents, conducted what the Wall Street Journal described as "sweeping legal attacks" as they enterered facilities in Kansas City, Scranton, Pa, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and and Columbus, Ohio to seize alleged "command and control" machines for the Rustock botnet — described as the largest source of Spam in the World.

The operation is intended to "decapitate" the botnet, preventing the sezied machines from sending orders to suborned PCs around the world."


Submission + - UAE Considering Banning Blackberries (

h4rm0ny writes: "The BBC reports that the United Arab Emirates, that bastion of privacy and free speech, now wants to ban the Blackberry — very popular in that country — because it can't spy on the emails people send using them. The UAE's telecomm regulatory body (TRA) is threatening to make the Blackberry illegal unless RIM, the company that makes them, hands over encryption keys that would let it spy on Blackberry users. This follows the underhanded attempt by the TRA last year when it sent Blackberry users a text telling them to download an update that would improve performance, which in fact was surveillance software to allow the UAE government to send copies of received messages back to them. This was covered by Slashdot last year.

RIM has yet to comment on this but is unlikely to open up their devices to the UAE government. Not being spied upon is one of the selling points for the Blackberry in that country."

Comment Re:Obvious... (Score 1) 154

What if they'd just release their rendering engine, with a very simple UI which only lets testers enter a URL? After all, most of the problems are in IE's rendering engine, not in its UI. That would solve the problem of journalists etc. looking at it as a real product.

Now, I do doubt the usefulness. We can't improve the code like we can with open source projects. Giving feedback about the rendering engine isn't all too useful either, because the IE team cares about standards nowadays and uses many tests themselves (W3C testsets, Acid3, They already know the bugs, so the only thing we could conclude with a nightly is how far along they are.

Comment That's an interesting way of doing it... (Score 1) 214

Doesn't this mean that anyone in China who speaks, say, English or Russian could get around the censorship just by searching Bing in their other language? And I suppose this also prevents Chinese people from using a proxy to search Bing, if anything in simplified Chinese is being censored regardless of IP location?

Comment Re:the old 3rd party payer problem (Score 1) 619

We have two 5-ton units covering a total of about 4000 sq ft. We're on the edge of a desert so we get up to 110F several days per year--so even if 10 tons is on the high side it isn't a ridiculous amount in context. The builder chose the provisioning (not me) and they made these decisions 25+ years ago before anyone really cared about carbon footprint or energy star or LEED.

Comment Sure, that doesn't bug me... (Score 2, Interesting) 352

Not a bad idea at all if you give me the game for free. Kinda like every other thing I have with advertisements. I refuse to buy something and have to pay for it after I've paid for it. I don't buy shirts with advertisements on them. I don't buy TV shows with advertisements on them (that's right, no cable and somehow by some great miracle I'm still alive). And, I won't buy games with advertisements on them. (Now, if only movies didn't have ads, I might purchase those rather than waiting a couple months and going to the library.) But, if it makes the game free (as it sometimes does my clothes and TV shows) then I might get the game (if I'm interested enough).

What To Do When Broadband is Not An Option? 577

professorguy writes "I've been on the internet since 1984 (back before email addresses had @'s). But it looks like we're coming to the end of an era. From my home, I have 26.4 kbps dial-up access to the internet (you read that right). Since I am a hospital network administrator, it would be nice to do some stuff remotely when I am on 24/7 call. However, no cable or DSL comes anywhere near my house and because of the particular topography of my property (I'm on a heavily-forested, north-facing hillside), satellite is also not available. Heck, cell phones didn't even work here until January. So far, the technical people I've asked all have the same advice for reasonable connectivity: move. Move out of the house my wife and I built and lived in for 20 years. Has it really come to this? Am I doomed to be an internet refugee? Is this really my only option? Do you have an alternative solution for me?"

Linux To Be Installed In Every Russian School 293

J_Omega writes "According to an article from last week at the Russian IT site CNews, Linux is slated to be installed in every Russian school by 2009. The article makes it appear that it will be going by the (unimaginative) name 'Russian OS.' As stated in the article: 'The main aim of the given work is to reduce dependence on foreign commercial software and provide education institutions with the possibility to choose whether to pay for commercial items or to use the software, provided by the government.' Initial testing installations are supposed to begin next year in select districts. Is 2008/09 the year of Linux on the (Russian) desktop?"

Future Looks Bright for Large Scale Solar Farms 325

Hugh Pickens writes "The economist reports that Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems that capture and focus the sun's rays to heat a working fluid and drive a turbine, are making a comeback. Although the world's largest solar farm was built over twenty years ago, until recently no new plants have been built. Now with the combination of federal energy credits, the enactment of renewable energy standards in many states, and public antipathy to coal fired power plant, the first such plant to be built in decades started providing 64 megawatts of electricity to Las Vegas this summer. Electricity from the Nevada plant costs an estimated 17 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), but projections suggest that CSP power could fall to below ten cents per kWh as the technology improves. Coal power costs just 2-3 cents per kWh but that will likely rise if regulation eventually factors in the environmental costs of the carbon coal produces."

802.11n May Never Happen Due to Patent Concerns 174

afabbro writes "The Register is reporting that the 802.11n standard is imperiled because the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization has refused to submit a Letter of Assurance, promising not to sue those who implement the standard. '...the realization that CSIRO holds essential patents, and has failed to provide a Letter of Assurance as required by the IEEE, could prevent the standard ever being finalized ... 802.11n promises to deliver a fivefold increase in speed, and double the range of 802.11g. Indeed in many cases it's already delivering something approximating that, as pre-standard kit has been available for almost a year. In May the Wi-Fi Alliance got so bored waiting for the IEEE to complete the standard that they started certifying kit as conforming to the draft, even though the final version isn't expected until 2008."

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?