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The Internet

Net Neutrality — Threat Or Menace? 253

Roblimo writes "I had a dream. In it, I was CEO of a large telecommunications company that was also a major broadband Internet provider and all five members of the FCC were stabbing me with pitchforks and yelling in my ear that my company would be treated as a common carrier, not as a special entity they couldn't regulate. That's when I woke up..."

Next Gen Intel CPUs Move To Yet Another Socket 254

mr_sifter writes "According to a leaked roadmap, next year we'll be saying hello to LGA1155. The socket is 1-pin different from the current LGA1156 socket Core i3, i5, and some i7s use. Sandy Bridge CPUs will be based on the current 32nm, second-generation High-k metal gate manufacturing process. All LGA1155 CPUs will have integrated graphics built into the core instead of a separate chip. This is an upgrade from the current IGP, PCI Express controller and memory controller in Clarkdale CPUs. which is manufactured on the older 45nm process in a separate die (but still slapped together the same package). This should improve performance, as all the controllers will be in one die, like existing LGA1366 CPUs."

ACTA Treaty Released 205

roju writes "The full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was released today. It differs from the earlier leaks in that the negotiating stance of each country has been scrubbed. Preliminary analysis is up at Ars, which warns that 'Several sections of the ACTA draft show that rightsholders can obtain an injunction just by showing that infringement is "imminent," even if it hasn't happened yet.'"
Internet Explorer

Widespread Attacks Exploit Newly-Patched IE Bug 141

itwbennett writes "The first widespread attack to leverage the Internet Explorer flaw that Microsoft patched in an emergency update Thursday morning has surfaced. By midday Thursday Symantec had spotted hundreds of Web sites that hosted the attack code. The attack installs a Trojan horse program that is able to bypass some security products and then give hackers access to the system, said Joshua Talbot, a security intelligence manager with Symantec. Once it has infected a PC, the Trojan sends a notification e-mail to the attackers, using a US-based, free e-mail service that Symantec declined to name." Relatedly, reader N!NJA was among several to point out that Microsoft has apparently been aware of this flaw since September.

The Social Media Marketing Book Screenshot-sm 87

brothke writes "The fact that President Barack Obama has over 7 million Facebook fans, and First Lady Michelle Obama over 650,000 fans, are confirmation that social media has come of age. That is a far cry from former President Bush's comment in 2006 that he used the Google. While it is relatively easy for the President to get millions of followers, the challenge for businesses of all sizes is how to use social media to get fans and followers, and use them to drive business." Read below for the rest of Ben's review.

Court Rules WHOIS Privacy Illegal For Spammers 169

Unequivocal writes "Spammers hiding behind a WHOIS privacy service have been found in violation of CAN-SPAM. It probably won't stop other spammers from hiding (what can?), but at least it adds another arrow in the legal quiver for skewering the bottom feeders. Quoting from the article: 'A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has determined that using WHOIS privacy on domains may be considered "material falsification" under federal law... Although the ruling does not make use of WHOIS privacy illegal, it does serve as a clear message from the court that coupling the use of privacy services with intentional spamming will likely result in a violation of the CAN-SPAM act. This is an important decision that members of the domain community should refer to prior to utilizing a privacy shield.'"

Space Station Astronauts Gain Internet Access 201

cyclone96 writes "Internet access on the International Space Station went live this morning. The crew now has full browsing capability via a special LAN and the Ku-band data link on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network, as described in the NASA press release. Flight Engineer T. J. Creamer used the access to post the first tweet from orbit about 7 hours ago. Previous astronaut tweets had been posted by a third party on the ground via email."

80% of .gov Web Sites Miss DNSSEC Deadline 79

netbuzz writes "Eighty percent of US federal agencies — including the Department of Homeland Security — have missed a deadline to deploy DNS Security Extensions, a new authentication mechanism designed to prevent hackers from hijacking Web traffic. The deadline that whooshed by was Dec. 31, 2009. Experts disagree as to whether this level of deployment represents a failure or reasonable progress toward meeting a mandate set by the Office of Management and Budget in the summer of 2008. OMB officials declined to say why the agency hasn't enforced the DNSSEC deadline for executive branch departments."

Heat Engines Shrunk By Seven Orders of Magnitude 168

KentuckyFC writes "The vast majority of motors that power our planes, trains, and automobiles are heat engines. They rely on the rapid expansion of gas as it heats up to generate movement. But attempts to shrink them by any significant amount have mostly ended in failure. Today, the smallest heat engines have a volume of some 10^7 cubic micrometers. Now group of Dutch engineers has built a heat engine that is seven orders of magnitude smaller than this. The engine consists of a piezoelectric bar that expands and contracts in the normal piezoelectric way. However it also heats up and cools at the same time causing a thermal expansion and contraction, which lags the piezoelectric displacement. By carefully choosing the frequency of the driving AC current, the Dutch team found a resonant effect in which the thermal expansion and contraction amplifies the mechanical motion, making it a true heat engine. Operating the thermodynamic cycle in reverse turns the device into a heat pump or refrigerator. The total volume of the device is just 0.5 cubic micrometres."
The Courts

Microsoft Dodges Class Action In WGA Lawsuit 256

An anonymous reader writes "A lawsuit that accused Microsoft of misleading consumers to download and install an update for Windows Genuine Advantage under the guise that it was critical security update will go forward, but not as a class action. A federal judge has refused to certify the lawsuit as a class action, which would have meant that anyone who owned a Windows XP PC in mid-2006 could join the case without having to hire an attorney. As Windows XP was easily the most popular operating system at the time, the ruling means Redmond has managed to avoid hundreds of millions in potential damages."

Panel Warns NASA On Commercial Astronaut Transport 319

DesScorp writes "In a blow against the commercial space industry, a federal panel warned NASA not to use private companies to ferry astronauts into space. While the Obama Administration wants to outsource some NASA activities, insiders at the space agency are resisting any moves to use commercial alternatives. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel 'cautioned that the private space companies rely on "unsubstantiated claims" and need to overcome major technical hurdles before they can safely carry astronauts into orbit. The report urged NASA to stick with its current government-run manned space ventures, and said that switching to private alternatives now would be "unwise and probably not cost-effective." The findings are likely to provide a boost to NASA officials who want to keep nearly all manned space programs in house.' Private companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing argue that they're capable of human transport in space safely and at competitive costs."
Input Devices

Pen vs. Keyboard vs. Touch vs. Everything Else 203

benz001 writes "In the run-up to everyone's favourite tablet, Phil Gyford goes back through his gadget collection and compares text entry speeds to see which one comes out on top. It's not what you'd call a rich data set, and of course the Qwerty keyboard comes up trumps, but the iPhone virtual keyboard came in a surprisingly close second, just edging out the Treo — and all the keyboard solutions regardless of how small and fiddly beat real pen and paper. This probably matches most people's experience (when was the last time you had to handwrite more than a bullet point in a meeting?) and gels pretty well with Macworld's predictions but I'm still hoping for sub-vocal voice recognition. (Jump straight to the final results here)."

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Grinds "Cool" Rock 70

coondoggie writes "While its sister rover Spirit has garnered most of the attention lately, NASA's other Mars traveler, Opportunity, is chewing up Martian dirt and unearthing the mineral and chemical makeup of the red planet. NASA scientists said this week the rover uncovered 'one of the coolest things Opportunity has found in a very long time:' a dark, basketball-sized rock known as 'Marquette Island.' According to NASA, the Marquette Island rock is a coarse-grained rock that indicates it cooled slowly from molten rock, allowing crystals time to grow. Such composition suggests it originated deep in the crust, not at the surface where it would cool quicker and have finer-grained texture, NASA stated."
United States

Supreme Court Rolls Back Corporate Campaign Spending Limits 1070

lorenlal writes "The Supreme Court of the United States must have figured that restrictions on corporate support of candidates was a violation of free speech, or something like that." From the AP story linked above: "By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states."

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright