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Security

+ - List of deliberately insecure images? 3

Submitted by itchyfish
itchyfish (20104) writes "Does anyone know of a good source of deliberately insecure OS images, preferably for VMWare? Googling didn't help much. I'd like to set up a testing lab for some people to practice pen testing, ethical hacking, etc. Of course I could build a bunch of images with specific 'holes' in them myself, but I'm lazy (or smart depending on your point of view) and don't want to do it if someone else has already done so."
Graphics

+ - Decent 3D Graphics For $100 Or Less, NVIDIA Vs AMD->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "The mainstream video card market looks drastically different than it did when AMD and NVIDIA initially launched their most recent mid-range product line-ups. After their respective introductions, many of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 series and NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 and 8500 series DX10-class video cards were priced somewhat higher than their performance warranted. But the market has settled down and retail shelves are now loaded with product. In the current landscape, all of these cards offer a completely different value proposition than they did when first introduced. This article compares three Radeon HD 2000 series cards from Sapphire, the Radeon HD 2400 XT, 2600 Pro, and 2600 XT, to NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 GTS and GT, and an 8500 GT. At their current price points, you may be surprised by which cards represent the best values."
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Software

+ - Use of FLOSS software seen as a risk in IPO

Submitted by Anonymous
Anonymous (666) writes "ArcSight, editor of SIEM products, filed for an IPO. The SEC form they filed reveals they see open source software as a potential threat to their intellectual property. From the form:

Certain of our products are distributed with software licensed by its authors or other third parties under "open source" licenses. [...] If we combine our proprietary software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain of the open source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software.
The solution they came up with to avoid that :

We have established processes to help alleviate these risks, including a review process for screening requests from our development organization for the use of open source and we plan to implement the use of software tools to review our source code for potential inclusion of open source.
How can a company make sure its employee don't include free code into proprietary products? What tools could be run against proprietary source code to find similarities with existing free software code?"
Mars

+ - EU abandons plans to convert UK to metric

Submitted by SeeSchloss
SeeSchloss (886510) writes "After years of trying to get Britain to switch to the metric system the EU has finally decided to give up the fight. Conversion was initially a precondition for UK's membership of the European Union, in 1973, and the deadline had been regularly extended since then. Should we add back the UK to the list of the three countries in the world which do not use the metric system (Myanmar, Liberia and the United States)? It looks like the more a country waits before switching to the metric system, the more difficult it is, most countries did it while their litteracy rate was low and avoided most of the problems the UK or the US would be facing now. Do you think it is realistic to expect the UK or the US to switch to the metric system now? Do you think such a conversion is even useful outside of technical fields (I hope we all agree that it is needed in space research, for example)?"
Movies

+ - Excising the Patriotism from G.I. Joe->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "When it was announced that G.I. Joe would become a live action film, to be directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing), a lot of boys of all ages took cheer. That joy turned to dread upon reading the following: "The studio's live-action feature film version of G.I. Joe will no longer revolve around a top-secret U.S. special forces team but rather an international operation."
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United States

+ - Teddy Kennedy, Cape Wind and the Price of Politica->

Submitted by
MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington writes "Teddy Kennedy, the senior Senator from Massachusetts, has been an institution in the Bay State for forty five years. Despite the near universal hatred Senator Kennedy receives from conservatives, the people of Massachusetts have reelected him automatically for decades. Now Kennedy's opposition to an off shore wind farm project, known as Cape Wind, according to a recent story in RealClearPolitics, may have finally removed his liberal luster. Nothing Kennedy has done before, not even leaving a young woman to die in an automobile accident in the infamous Chappaquiddick Incident, has done more to make his constituents discontented."
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The Almighty Buck

+ - Should I believe the Occ. Outlook Handbook?

Submitted by
concerned00
concerned00 writes "In their latest Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that employment of software engineers and system analysts is expected to increase "much faster than the average" through 2014. (here, and here). In contrast, employment of programmers is expected to increase "more slowly than the average", with outsourcing given as one of the major reasons why. (here)

The difference between a "software engineer" and a "programmer" seems somewhat dubious to me, although from the Web pages in question apparently the software engineer is involved in requirements gathering, analysis, and design, whereas the programmer usually is not. According to the Web page for programmers, "[t]he consolidation and centralization of systems and applications, developments in packaged software, advances in programming languages and tools, and the growing ability of users to design, write, and implement more of their own programs mean that more of the programming functions can be transferred from programmers to other types of information workers, such as computer software engineers." (?)

The page for software engineers says: "Computer software engineers are projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations from 2004 to 2014". Reasons given: the increasing complexity of computer systems, the need to "adopt and integrate new technologies", "the expanding integration of Internet technologies and the explosive growth in electronic commerce", the increasing reliance on "hand-held computers and wireless networks", and concerns about security. Yet: "As with other information technology jobs, employment growth of computer software engineers may be tempered somewhat as more software development is contracted out abroad. Firms may look to cut costs by shifting operations to lower wage foreign countries with highly educated workers who have strong technical skills. At the same time, jobs in software engineering are less prone to being sent abroad compared with jobs in other computer specialties, because the occupation requires innovation and intense research and development." (?)

On the other hand, to hear the personal anecdotes of many (American) programmers on the Internet, the profession is lost and anyone in college majoring in computer science or software engineering must be either be naive or insane. According to them, you have to be a genius programmer if you expect to compete successfully for the slim pickings that are left, there is no job security at all, and the best most can realistically hope for these days is a job at Home Depot. Furthermore, even if you could get work, you wouldn't want it: the deadlines are impossible, the bosses are naive, petty-minded, and perversely self-serving, and the technology changes so fast that if you allow yourself to slip behind you might as well kiss your career good-bye.

Is the government wrong, or lying, then, when it implies that software engineers and system analysts can expect to have a good future? As an American, am I a fool if I decide to undertake this for a living?"
Censorship

+ - EU Commissioner Calls For Censorship Of Web Search->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to the Reuters, "Internet searches for bomb-making instructions should be blocked across the European Union, the bloc's top security official said on Monday". Franco Frattini, the EU Justice and Security commissioner, "intend[s] to carry out a clear exploring exercise with the private sector ... on how it is possible to use technology to prevent people from using or searching dangerous words like bomb, kill, genocide or terrorism ..." So, how long before the tech companies in USA are being investigated for assisting the evil EU to curb free speech of their citizens? And what chances there are for the Europeans among us to kick Mr. Frattini out of his office before it's too late to even talk about it in the Internets?"
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Censorship

+ - German ISP Arcor blocks porn websites

Submitted by
Sascha J.
Sascha J. writes "As heise (German, Google translation) is reporting, the German ISP Arcor started to block some well-known porn websites like youporn, sex.com and privatamateure.com. According to the Arcor spokesperson, Paul Gerlach, they started blocking these sites because another company sent them a request to block them, because these websites do not have proper age verification. heise researched and found out that the request came from a German company who also provides erotic material, but follows the official age verification guidelines. Also, the Impressum (Imprint) of the website adultpark.de links directly to the Imprint of arcor.de. This leads to the conclusion that Arcor is actually blocking these easily accessible websites in order to help their own companies gain popularity and earn more money. If ISPs already start blocking websites for their own profits, I wonder what the next step is going to be."
The Courts

+ - eBay Seller Files Federal Lawsuit Against Autodesk->

Submitted by
New10k
New10k writes "Tim Vernor is an eBay seller (happyhourcollectables) with over 10,000 positive reviews. He specializes in comic books but sells most everything. He got thrown off eBay after Autodesk filed complaints against him for reselling Autodesk software. He has responded by filing a federal lawsuit alleging fraudulent use of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He has already passed the federal court's "is this guy a wacko?" test and the suit is official — Autodesk has 30 days to respond. Details at AECnews (http://aecnews.com/news/2007/09/10/2377.aspx)."
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Power

+ - Burning Salt Water - Your next source of Hydrogen->

Submitted by EskimoJoe
EskimoJoe (20131) writes "An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century. John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn. AP article at Yahoo."
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