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United States

Shutdown Illustrates How Fast US Gov't Can Update Its Websites 77

Posted by timothy
from the when-to-drag-feet-and-when-to-leap dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Despite what we hear about how much the U.S. government is struggling with a website, it is reassuring that most of government entities can update their websites within a day after they are asked to. This conclusion is the result of research done by the Networking Systems Laboratory at the Computer Science Department of the University of Houston. The research team tracked government websites and their update times, and found that 96% of the websites were updated within 24 hours after President Obama signed HR 2775 into law, ending the Government shutdown. Worth noting that two websites took 8 days to update. It is interesting that the team was able to use the shutdown as an opportunity to study the efficiency of the IT departments of various parts of Government."
Earth

Energy Production Causes Big US Earthquakes 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-don't-break-the-planet dept.
ananyo writes "Natural-gas extraction, geothermal-energy production and other activities that inject fluid underground have caused numerous earthquakes in the United States, scientists have reported in a trio of papers in Science (abstracts here, here and here). Most of these quakes have been small, but some have exceeded magnitude 5.0. They include a magnitude-5.6 event that hit Oklahoma on 6 November 2011, damaging 14 homes and injuring two people."
Games

+ - Leisure Suit Larry remake will be "be dirtier than anything on the Internet"->

Submitted by chronodev
chronodev (1374319) writes "Replay Games Inc's Kickstarter Campaign, Make Leisure Suit Larry come again!, has raised over $350,000 out of the $500,000 goal, with 16 days to go as of the time of writing this article.

In a Reddit IAmA, addressing a concern that "adult jokes and saucy environment in a computer game" are no longer a novelty today because of the web, creator Al Lowe promised that the remake will be "dirtier than anything on the internet.""

Link to Original Source
Government

Jailbreaking the Internet For Freedom's Sake 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the until-the-next-patch-anyway dept.
snydeq writes "With so many threats to a free and open Internet, sooner or later, people will need to arm themselves for the fight, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'If the baboons succeed in constraining speech and information flow on the broader Internet, the new Internet will emerge quickly. For an analogy, consider the iPhone and the efforts of a few smart hackers who have allowed anyone to jailbreak an iPhone with only a small downloaded app and a few minutes,' Venezia writes. 'All that scenario would require would be a way to wrap up existing technologies into a nice, easily-installed package available through any number of methods. Picture the harrowing future of rampant Internet take-downs and censorship, and then picture a single installer that runs under Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux that installs tor, tools to leverage alternative DNS servers, anonymizing proxies, and even private VPN services. A few clicks of the mouse, and suddenly that machine would be able to access sites "banned" through general means.'"
Transportation

Hybrids Safer In Crashes — Except For Pedestrians 392

Posted by timothy
from the downloadable-cartones-soon-enough dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Hybrid vehicles are safer than their conventional counterparts when it comes to shielding their occupants from injuries in crashes with the odds of being injured in a crash 25 percent lower for people in hybrids than people traveling in comparable non-hybrid vehicles. "Weight is a big factor," says Matt Moore, of the Highway Loss Data Institute. 'Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts. This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don't have.' The study's findings are good news for green-minded drivers who are also looking for safety in their cars, but it's worth noting that hybrid vehicles are much quieter than gas-powered cars, posing a risk to pedestrians. "When hybrids operate in electric-only mode, pedestrians can't hear them approaching," says Moore. Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to come up with a requirement for equipping hybrids and electric models with sounds to alert unsuspecting pedestrians."
Businesses

UBS: Our Risk Systems Did Detect $2bn Rogue Trader 151

Posted by timothy
from the meant-to-do-that-says-pee-wee dept.
A few weeks ago, UBS employee Kweku Adoboli (universally described as a "rogue trader") ran up a $2 billion loss for his employer; many readers wondered how it is the systems which allow trades to happen at all aren't better tuned to catch such massive cash flows without triggering alerts. Now, reader DMandPenfold submits a report from Computerworld UK in which the bank claims that such triggers were in place — they were simply not acted on. From the article: "UBS has insisted its IT systems did detect unusual and unauthorised trading activity, Interim chief executive Sergio Ermotti, who is running the company following Oswald Grubel's resignation last month, sent a memo to employees saying the bank is aware that its systems did detect the rogue activity. In the memo, Ermotti wrote: 'Our internal investigation indicates that risk and operational systems did detect unauthorised or unexplained activity but this was not sufficiently investigated nor was appropriate action taken to ensure existing controls were enforced.'"

Comment: Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (Score 5, Informative) 433

by millert (#37628776) Attached to: Civil Suit Filed, Involving the Time Zone Database
Microsoft

Microsoft Announces Web-Based Office365 210

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the case-of-the-me-toos dept.
suraj.sun writes "Aiming to bolster its hosted software for businesses, Microsoft announced today that it is adding Web-based versions of Office to its collection of hosted software for business, Office365. It will also offer traditional Office as a subscription-based service. Microsoft is pricing the service as low as $6 per user per month, though that version includes only the Web-based versions of Office."
AT&T

AT&T To Allow Xbox 360 As U-verse Set-Top Box 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the convergent-evolution dept.
suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about U-verse subscribers soon gaining the ability to use an Xbox 360 as a set-top box: "A so-called Wired Release will roll out to AT&T U-verse customers next Sunday, and it'll bring the long awaited feature with it (though you'll have to wait until November 7th for that particular aspect). This means an AT&T U-verse customer's Xbox 360 will have a Dashboard app, and when launched, it'll let it function exactly like any other U-verse set-top. The only major catch is that it can't be the only set-top — you'll need at least one DVR at another TV in the house to enjoy one of the four HD streams that could be funneled into your home."
Government

Unique ID In India Causes 'Fear of the Beast' 725

Posted by timothy
from the seems-fair-enough dept.
bhagwad writes "India's attempts to tag everyone with an ID number has run into a roadblock is some Christian villages. Apparently the villagers fear they will be associated with the devil since according to the Bible, everyone having the 'mark of the beast' will go to hell. These people are not afraid of punishment. They relish this opportunity to prove their faith because the Bible also proclaims that they will be persecuted."
Image

Plagiarism Inc. 236

Posted by samzenpus
from the cheating-is-easy-money dept.
Here's an interesting article on the life and times of 24-year-old Jordan Kavoosi, who has made a business of plagiarism. His Essay Writing Company employs writers from across the country, and will deliver a paper on any subject for $23 per page. In addition, his company will get it done in 48 hours, and he guarantees at least a B grade or your money back. From the article: "'Sure it's unethical, but it's just a business,' Kavoosi explains. 'I mean, what about strip clubs or porn shops? Those are unethical, and city-approved.'"
PHP

SolarPHP 1.0 Released 125

Posted by timothy
from the something-new-under-the-sun dept.
HvitRavn writes "SolarPHP 1.0 stable was released by Paul M. Jones today. SolarPHP is an application framework and library, and is a serious contender alongside Zend Framework, Symphony, and similar frameworks. SolarPHP has in the recent years been the cause of heated debate in the PHP community due to provocative benchmark results posted on Paul M. Jones' blog."

Comment: Patent would not cover sudo (Score 1) 657

by millert (#30073444) Attached to: Microsoft Patents Sudo's Behavior

This doesn't sound like it would cover sudo to me, or even a GUI-wrapper for sudo. While I am not a patent attorney, I have been hacking on sudo for the past 15+ years.

My reading of the patent indicates that it is geared towards GUI-based environments where the user may need to perform some action (such as setting the clock in a control panel) that requires increased privileges. The actual "invention" appears to be that the user is able to perform an action as a different user without having to type in the name of that other user when authenticating. One example given in that patent is the ability to click on a name in a list of privileged users as opposed to having to type in a user name.

Sudo simply doesn't work this way. When a command is run via sudo the user is actively running the command as a different user. What is described in the patent is a mechanism whereby an application or the operating system detects that an action needs to be run with increased privileges and automatically prompts the user with a list of potential users that have the appropriate privilege level to perform the task.

Comment: No released version of sudo affected (Score 5, Informative) 194

by millert (#20169887) Attached to: Cambridge Researcher Breaks OpenBSD Systrace
The sudo systrace support is part of an experimental feature ("monitor mode") not present in any of the real sudo releases (though the code is available via anonymous cvs). Given the deficiencies of systrace (and ptrace) it is unlikely that this feature will be present in any future sudo release.

  - todd

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