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Cellphones

Workers Poisoned Making Touchscreen Hardware 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the welcome-to-the-jungle dept.
SocResp writes "A chemical called n-hexane has been poisoning the nervous systems of Chinese workers who assemble touchscreen devices for Apple and other companies, an investigative journalist from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports. It's scary to think that people are being damaged to pursue high production rates. For companies with soaring profits and share prices, and elaborate product development and marketing, it seems they should be all the more culpable if they fail to take care of the production workers."
Businesses

Leaked Letter — BSA Pressures Europe To Kill Open Standards 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the open-and-shut-investigation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Business Software Alliance is trying to kill open standards. Free Software Foundation Europe has gotten hold of a letter in which the BSA tries to bully the European Commission into removing the last traces of support for open standards from its IT recommendations to the public sector. FSFE published the BSA's letter (PDF), and picked apart its arguments one by one."
Desktops (Apple)

+ - What all can I spell in a mac address?

Submitted by mwilliamson
mwilliamson (672411) writes "I guess I'm bored tonight. Someone on facebook started talking about seeing words spelled out in mac addresses, so I got to thinking how many possible English words could be embedded in a mac address.

Creatively querying aspell, I came up with 346 words I also allowed 0 and 1 because, well, they look like o and l.

The following will give the complete list: /usr/bin/strings /usr/lib/aspell-0.60... |... grep -v -i [g-k] | grep -v -i [m-n] | grep -v -i [p-z] | grep -v '*' | tr [A-Z] [a-z] | uniq

More interesting ones (to me anyway) include:
offloaded, accolade, oddball, bobble, baffled, beefed, blob, boldfaced, fable, facade, faded, cocoa, coal, coldblooded, deaf, flooded, loco, lead, and doodad."
Security

Microsoft Says, Don't Press the F1 Key In XP 324

Posted by kdawson
from the any-key-but-that-one dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft has issued a security advisory warning users not to press the F1 key in Windows XP, owing to an unpatched bug in VBScript discovered by Polish researcher Maurycy Prodeus. The security advisory says that the vulnerability relates to the way VBScript interacts with Windows Help files when using Internet Explorer, and could be triggered by a user pressing the F1 key after visiting a malicious Web site using a specially crafted dialog box."
Government

Microsoft VP Suggests 'Net Tax To Clean Computers 577

Posted by kdawson
from the sure-to-go-over-well dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft's Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, Scott Charney, speaking at the RSA conference in San Francisco, has floated an interesting proposal to deal with infected computers: Approach the problem of dealing with malware infections like the healthcare industry, and consider using 'general taxation' to pay for inspection and quarantine. Using taxes to deal with online criminal activity is not a new idea, as demonstrated by last year's Louisiana House vote to levy a monthly surcharge on Internet access to deal with online baddies."
Caldera

SCO Zombie McBride's New Plan For World Litigation 193

Posted by kdawson
from the problem-is-the-missing-braaaiiins dept.
eldavojohn writes "Years after you thought it was all over, Groklaw is reporting that Darl McBride (ex-CEO of SCO) has formed a new company that is buying SCO's mobile business for peanuts — but he's also going to get 'certain Intellectual Property' with the deal. You may recall that McBride was the brains behind the Linux lawsuits that SCO launched and it appears he may be orchestrating an exit route where he escapes with some IP intact, in order to wreak havoc once again. Hopefully this is the part at the end of the movie where the zombie comes back to life one last time only to have the hero deliver the final final blow. When this news broke upon the investment world, SCO's stock skyrocketed a blistering 11%, bringing it up seven cents to a full seventy cents — a level which it has not achieved since 2007."
Internet Explorer

Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands 416

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-blame-the-second-amendment dept.
Esther Schindler writes "It's easy for techies to enumerate the reasons that Internet Explorer 6 should die. Although the percentage of users who use IE6 has dropped to about 12%, many web developers are forced to make sure their websites work with the ancient browser (which presents additional problems, such as keeping their companies from upgrading to newer versions of Windows). But rather than indulge in an emotional rant, in 'Why You Can't Pry IE6 Out Of Their Cold Dead Hands,' I set about to find out why the companies that remain standardized on IE6 haven't upgraded (never mind to what). In short: user and business-owner ignorance and/or disinterest in new technology; being stuck with a critical business app that relies on IE6; finding a budget to update internal IE6 apps that will work the same as they used to; and keeping users away from newer Web 2.0 sites."

Comment: cleartext unencrypted nation-wide traffic (Score 4, Insightful) 311

by mwilliamson (#30282524) Attached to: US Congressman Announces Plans To Probe Wikileaks
So what is the big deal? This data was sent out unencrypted from many transmitters all across the nation. It would have been (and still is) very easy to intercept. There is no data security. Those considering it a secure medium have simply been mislead. Congress, as a whole, is rather ignorant of these technical concepts. There are programs that use a soundcard for data capture, but for best results make sure and use the receiver's discriminator output, not the filtered audio out. Google for "POCSAG and FLEX decoding" for all the goodies and software you need to do your own intercepts. -Michael

Comment: Re:Is this statement misleading? (Score 2, Informative) 97

by mwilliamson (#29831259) Attached to: First Public White-Space Network Is Alive

Uh, no. Range is not a function of signal power. It more is a function of the overall signal/noise ratio and the sensitivity of the receiver. This includes noise introduced in the transmitter, natural/other noise, and noise introduced in the receiver. An antenna system with gain can both concentrate and attenuate signals, depending on the directivity and where its pointed.

BTW, I got over 1400 miles out of a little 0.3 watt ham signal, but thats no where near as impressive as Earth still being able to receive signals from Voyager 1 and 2 nearly 10 billion miles away. That's impressive.

-Michael

Image

Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair 366 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the 50-watt-shampoo dept.
Renoise writes "Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. A solar panel made from human hair. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power. The solar panel, which produces 9 volts (18 watts) of energy, costs around $38 US (£23) to make from raw materials. Gentlemen, start your beards. The future of hair farming is here!"
Medicine

Med Students Get Training In Second Life Hospitals 126

Posted by Soulskill
from the going-for-the-virtual-kidney-high-score dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Discover Magazine reports that although medical simulations have been around for a long time, medical schools like Imperial College London are starting to use virtual hospitals in Second Life so students can learn their way around an O.R. before they enter the real thing. The students can also test their knowledge in the Virtual Respiratory Ward by interviewing patient avatars, ordering tests, diagnosing problems, and recommending treatment. 'The real innovation in SL clinical simulations is that they bring people together in a clinical space — you are standing next to an avatar who is a real patient, and the doctor avatar to your right is a resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and the nurse to your left is at the University of Pennsylvania hospital,' says John Lester, the Education and Healthcare Market Developer at Linden Labs. The most significant benefit of SL training may be the cost. Real-life training facilities require thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars to build and maintain, while SL simulation rooms can be created for minimal costs, and accessed from anywhere in the world for the price of an internet connection. SL can also expose students to situations that a standard academic program can't duplicate: 'You can take risks that aren't safe in the real world and teach more complex subjects in three dimensions,' says Colleen Lin. 'When you're resuscitating a dummy in real life, it looks like a dummy. But you can program an avatar to look like it's choking or having a heart attack, and it looks more real to the student responsible for resuscitating it.'"

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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