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Is Vista a Trap? 559

logube writes "BBC has up an article about the trap of installing Vista in your existing desktop. Written by Tim Weber, a self-confessed 'sucker for technology,' this article is a good introduction to the pain and extra money required to get going with the newest version of Windows. See how you can spend an extra 130 british pounds, and still have no working webcam! Says Weber, 'It took me one day to get online. The detail is tedious and highly technical: reinstalling drivers and router firmware didn't work, but after many trial and error tweaks to Vista's TCP/IP settings, I had internet access. Once online, Creative's website told me that my sound card was a write-off. No Vista support would be forthcoming.'"

Novell Injects MS Lawsuit Exploit Into Open Office 251

F.M. Petain writes, "It looks like Microsoft's first move in the 'Linux owes us' game is to move a Pawn. A few days ago, a Novell programmer, Noel Power, submitted patches to add VBA compatibility to Open Office's spreadsheet module. This is great for people trying to convert the business desktop from closed source to open source, but is this gift really a ticking time bomb? What happens when Microsoft declares that the VBA code was stolen?" The patches may have been submitted only a few days ago, but the code must be considerably older; the article claims that nine distros in adition to SUSE already support the VBA extensions in their versions of Open Office. ( and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.)

UK Woman Charged As Terrorist For Computer Files 470

Terror Alert Brown writes "Reuters is reporting that a UK woman has been charged as a terrorist because of computer files on her hard drive. According to the article, these files included 'the Al Qaeda Manual, The Terrorists Handbook, The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, a manual for a Dragunov sniper rifle, and The Firearms and RPG Handbook.' She was picked up in connection with the plot stopped in August to detonate explosives in airplanes flying out of Heathrow airport. Now might be a good time to delete any copies of the Anarchist's Cookbook you once read for amusement and still have floating around on your hard drive."

RFID Passport Security "Poorly Conceived" 33

tonk writes, "European expert researchers on identity and identity management summarize their findings from an analysis of passports with RFID and biometrics — Machine Readable Travel Documents or MRTDs — and recommend corrective measures that 'need to be adopted by stakeholders in governments and industry to ameliorate outstanding issues... By failing to implement an appropriate security architecture, European governments have effectively forced citizens to adopt new international MTRDs which dramatically decrease their security and privacy and increases risk of identity theft. Simply put, the current implementation of the European passport utilizes technologies and standards that are poorly conceived for its purpose.' The European experts therefore come to similar conclusions as the Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee of the US Department of Homeland Security in a draft report, which seems to be delayed."

Mozilla People Answer Firefox 2.0 Questions 55

Chris Beard was "point" on this interview, but got help writing his answers to your questions from other Mozilla and Firefox people. (Since this was sort of a "companion" interview to one we did just before it with MSIE dude Dean Hachamovitch, you might want to look at the two Q&A posts side by side and compare the way they answered.)

Slashdot Posting Bug Infuriates Haggard Admins 262

Last night we crossed over 16,777,216 comments in the database. The wise amongst you might note that this number is 2^24, or in MySQLese an unsigned mediumint. Unfortunately, like 5 years ago we changed our primary keys in the comment table to unsigned int (32 bits, or 4.1 billion) but neglected to change the index that handles parents. We're awesome! Fixing is a simple ALTER TABLE statement... but on a table that is 16 million rows long, our system will take 3+ hours to do it, during which time there can be no posting. So today, we're disabling threading and will enable it again later tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. We shall flog ourselves appropriately. Update: 11/10 12:52 GMT by J : It's fixed.

2 pints = 1 Cavort