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Submission + - Firefox Plug-in Check Lends Rivals Security Hand (

CWmike writes: Mozilla launched a Web-based tool that lets users of rival browsers to determine whether important add-ons may be vulnerable to attack. An extension of plug-in checking that Mozilla began adding to Firefox 3 last year — was originally slated for a late March debut, the 'Plugin Check' tool lets users of Apple's Safari 4, Google's Chrome 4 and Opera Software's Opera 10.5 scan their browsers for outdated plug-ins such as Apple's QuickTime or Adobe's Flash and Reader that are frequently targeted by hackers. Mozilla also made a plea for help from plug-in makers: 'If you're a plug-in vendor, we need your help! ... The directory is currently in alpha stages, and we need vendors to let us know as new versions come out, and old versions become dangerous.'

Submission + - Should Auditors Be Liable for Certifications? (

dasButcher writes: "Enterprises and mid-size business rely on auditors and service providers to certify their systems as compliant with such security regs and standards as PCI-DSS or SOX. But, as Larry Walsh speculates, a lawsuit filed by a bank against an auditor/managed service provider could change that ( The bank wants to hold the auditor liable for a breach at its credit card processor because the auditor certified the processor as PCI compliant. If the bank wins, it could change the standards and liabilities of auditors and service providers in the delivery of security services."
The Courts

Submission + - TiVo wishlist for patent finally recorded.

zapatero writes: TiVo's now 5 year patent dispute with E*Star/Dish has finally reached a near final point. Today the long awaited ruling from Judge Folsom on whether Echo Star's self-described patch to their DVR made their device compliant under the October 2008 verdict came in. Judge Folsom ruled in favor of TiVo again. He awarded TiVo yet another $100 Million. This ruling puts a serious bite in TiVo's DVR patent. The case has already been appealed and dismissed by the US Supreme Court. It appears that TiVo's Patent is now the real deal. Industry beware. Who will TiVo go after now? AT&T's Uverse? Time Warner?

Cola Consumption Can Lead To Muscle Problems 420

wjousts writes "As I'm sure many Slashdot readers live almost exclusively on cola drinks, a new warning from doctors: 'Doctors have issued a warning about excessive cola consumption after noticing an increase in the number of patients suffering from muscle problems, according to the June issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice. ... 'Evidence is increasing to suggest that excessive cola consumption can also lead to hypokalaemia, in which the blood potassium levels fall, causing an adverse effect on vital muscle functions.' And sorry, diet colas aren't any better."

Submission + - Firefox to get a nag screen. For upgrades. (

ruphus13 writes: Firefox has been pushing version 3.0 very aggressively, and firmly believes that it is a solid product. The Download Day was just one of their ways to drum up user support for the new release. Now, Firefox is going to 'gently nudge' users of Firefox 2.0 to upgrade. Several users are waiting for their add-ons to get upgraded, but now, according to the article, "If you've been on the fence about upgrading to Firefox 3.0, Mozilla is planning to give you a little nudge. Sometime within the next week, people using Firefox will see a request to upgrade and though you'll have the option to decline, it's likely Firefox will ask again anyway."..."users will most likely be offered a second change to upgrade after "several weeks."" It will be interesting to see if this speeds up the upgrade by users, as well as upgrades of the add-ons.

Submission + - Government proposes internet tracking (

Barence writes: "Big Brother Britain moved a step further today with the news that the Government will store "a billion incidents of data exchange a day" as details of every text, email and browsing session in the UK are recorded. Under new proposals published yesterday, the information will be made available to police forces in order to crack down on serious crime, but will also be accessible by local councils, health authorities and even Ofsted and the Post Office. The Conservatives have criticised the idea, with the Shadow Home Secretary saying, "yet again the Government has proved itself unable to resist the temptation to take a power quite properly designed to combat terrorism to snoop on the lives of ordinary people in everyday circumstances.""
User Journal

Journal Journal: Why don't Relational and Object Oriented methods get along? 6

As many programmers are aware, there is a conceptual mismatch between relational and object oriented data modeling approaches. This mismatch causes a great number of headaches for both application developers and database administrators. Unlike Chris Date (whose Third Manifesto suggests a unification of db and OO schemes in a tightly bound and relationally oriented fashion), I am going to suggest that the problem

Feed Techdirt: Prince Misses The Point: Sues YouTube, eBay, Pirate Bay For Copyright Infringeme (

For many years it had seemed like Prince was one of the major music industry stars who actually understood the new business models made possible by the internet, and how those could be leveraged without wasting time on worrying about those who were making unauthorized copies. Unfortunately, for all his innovation in the space, it looks like he, too, has fallen victim to trying to sue those who are out there promoting his works. Prince had experimented widely with a variety of innovations in making, distributing and promoting music -- including his recent offer giving away his latest CD for free with newspapers. He'd also done a number of other promotions, all designed to push more people to his concerts and events where he could make even more money. That's why it's both surprising and disappointing to find out that Prince is now going to the other extreme and is suing YouTube, eBay and the Pirate Bay for making his works available.

There are quite a few things that are problematic about this lawsuit -- with the first one still being that he's suing the wrong parties. The sites he's suing are all the platforms which others are using for distribution. They're not involved in the content at all, and if he wants to sue, he should be suing those who are uploading his content. However, the much more important issue is how backwards this is and how it goes against nearly every other part of his strategy. Nearly every other part of Prince's strategy had seemed to be focused on the simple idea that the more his music got out there, the more ways there were for him to make money -- whether it be from more people wanting to see him in concert or getting others (sponsors, partners, even fans) to pay him upfront to create his next group of songs so that he doesn't need to worry about monetizing the music after it's been produced. These are strategies that make sense, and actually become even more valuable when his music is being heavily promoted online for free by his biggest fans. This kind of strategy backfires when you try to also maintain strict copyright control. For someone who had been so creative in figuring out new business models that don't require limiting fans via copyright, it's disappointing to see Prince go in the opposite direction -- potentially harming much of the good will he's built up.

In the meantime, it's looking like Trent Reznor may quickly be taking away the baton as a well-known musician who is experimenting with cool new models designed to get more music out there and then providing incentives to make money elsewhere. Reznor is now being quoted as telling fans that they should be downloading his music for free from his own site, rather than wasting money on buying counterfeit CDs.

Submission + - Dell begins their largest layoff ever. 3

cyphercell writes: Dell has begun their largest series of layoffs ever. This morning at about 10:00am more than two hundred employees at Dell's Roseburg Oregon Call center found out that they no longer had jobs. Sparking what appears to be the beginning of year long run of layoffs for the company. 0802014

Refuting local suspicions of malice Dell spokesman David Frink states:

... the closure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed by employees of the Roseburg center in February, claiming Dell violated federal and state wage and hour laws. 0213020

and later says

...plans to reduce employment worldwide by 10 percent at the end of May.

Their plans to reduce employment can be found here: /stories/technology/06/01/1dell.html

Here are some highlights:

Dell set to shed 8,800 workers...

Dell has 82,200 permanent workers, including 18,000 in Central Texas, and 5,300 temporary workers worldwide. The layoffs are expected to affect both groups...

In its last large-scale layoffs, Dell cut more than 5,000 jobs in Austin after the high-tech bust in 2001.

...many of the layoffs could come in Central Texas, where Dell is headquartered. In a March 29 report to clients, Goldman Sachs analysts said Dell might reduce the work force at its test and assembly facilities in the U.S. and Malaysia.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang