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Submission + - Trouble sleeping? Maybe it's your iPad (

An anonymous reader writes: More than ever, consumer electronics — particularly laptops, smartphones and Apple's new iPad — are shining bright light into our eyes until just moments before we doze off. Now there's growing concern that these glowing gadgets may actually fool our brains into thinking it's daytime. Exposure can disturb sleep patterns and exacerbate insomnia, some sleep researchers said in interviews.

Submission + - Toads Mate across the Species Barrier

Hugh Pickens writes: "Although mating with another species (hybridization) is often maladaptive and females typically avoid other species as mates, Nature magazine is reporting the first example of harsh environmental conditions driving an animal across the species barrier. When drought threatens, one species of spadefoot toad will mate with more drought resistant toads of another species so that their offspring will have the best chance of survival even if it means that those offspring will have a lower chance of reproducing successfully. One possibility is that the toads need their offspring to develop more quickly when water is in short supply and field tests confirmed that hybrid tadpoles were more likely to survive through metamorphosis in rapidly drying pools. "Females are probably assessing a lot more out there than just how long the male's tail is," says Maurice Sabelis, Professor of Population Biology at the University of Amsterdam. "They are probably more sensitive to their own condition and environment when choosing a male.""

Submission + - The effects of Open Source on Software Development (

phomer writes: "We live an an era where software was become open and freely available. The Open Source revolution has brought huge changes to programming, but underneath all of the noise and hype, what are the real effects of having access to a glut of software? Is this helping to enhance Computer Science, or are the effects actually hurting it? This series of two essays looks at the impact of Open Source on Computer Science (shrink-wrapped software) and on Consulting."

Submission + - Trojan spoofing eBay, Carfax robs user of $8600 (

kurmudgeon writes: "A sophisticated Trojan is targeting users of eBay Motors by installing a scaled-down webserver on their machines that masquerades as web pages frequently used to sniff out fraudulent offerings, The Register is reporting. eBay has long counseled its users to only trust a trust a transaction if it appears in the My eBay section of the site, but the malware creates authentic-looking counterfeits of those pages, as well as pages for sites such as and The Trojan has already contributed to the loss of $8,650 by one user. eBay is refusing to make good on a promise to protect the user up to $20,000 because the company says the transaction didn't actually take place on eBay."
The Media

Submission + - Why go HD DVD when ATSC is just as good?

An anonymous reader writes: With all this talk of HD DVD vs Blu-ray, it seems like no one's focused on the high-def experience with regular over-the-air digital. In the same style as FiringSquad's Transformers HD DVD vs DVD article, FS has compared the Heroes HD DVD to the original NBC broadcast with full 1080p screenshots. The winner is HD DVD, but just by a hair.

Submission + - Windows Vista from an IT manager's perspective

inverse137 writes: "OK, it's September 18, 2007. Windows Vista has been out for almost a year now and the IT manager security blanket known as the first service pack is about to be released. Today is the day that I start prodding the guts of this new and "improved" version of Windows to see how I will begin implementation of this beast on the 200 or so computers I am responsible for. Of course I already have a couple of pain-in-the-ass users who have Vista running on their computers because they would rather be cutting edge than stable, so I have seen this OS and worked on it minimally. But now, now I must figure out how I will remotely manage this thing. Step one: I personally run a MacBook Pro and use Bootcamp to dual boot between OS X and XP Pro. That 5400rpm hard drive seems a bit sluggish so what better time to switch my own system to Vista than when I upgrade the hard drive to a 160GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm hard drive. So far, so good. Open up the Mac, pull the hard drive, install the new drive, clone the OS X partition to the new drive and voila! OS X is up and running. Now, download the latest BootCamp and let the fun begin. Vista seems to install without any difficulty. In fact, one of the smoother clean installs of Windows yet. Run the BootCamp driver CD and this laptop is back up and running with minimal problems (Vista reports it doesn't like the built in iSight camera.) Now, let's join this baby to the domain. Uhh, how do you join Vista to a domain? Damn, Windows 2000 all over again. Have to actually "think" about these things again instead of it being second nature. No worries, let's just Google it. Ahh, there ya go...Control Panel, switch to classic view, system and change settings. Hmm this looks familiar. So, joining to a domain wasn't that painful, now let's reboot and logon under the domain. Wow, this thing boots pretty damn fast...what do you mean I don't have a licensed copy of Vista ?! More Googling...ok, there is a patch that I can install from the "Limited Access" logon option. Reboot again...hey, still boots fast and now I can logon! Well that kinda sucked but at least the fix was relatively painless. Step 2: Play. This is the part I like before the next part where I spend hours tweaking, hacking and testing. Hmm, my Vista experience is a 4.5. My wife's laptop has a Vista Experience of 1.0. Yay, Mac! Step 3: Test the systems as the IT director that I am. Let's install Timbuktu and see how things go. Uh oh, only Timbuktu Pro v8.6.0 will work on Vista and with "issues." Oh well, how bad could those issues be? Huh, go figure, the "issues" are pretty significant. I can't run my remote control software as a service. OK, let's just run it as a user and see how it looks. Damn, where'd did I put those antacid tablets? Timbuktu only gives me a black screen on the viewing system. No problem, we're coming up on almost a year after release so Netopia must have something on Vista. Ahh, here we go, adjust these settings, reboot and....same black screen. OK, let's test the other computers we have running Vista. Bummer, same thing on all of them. Alrighty, so a program I have used for 10 years is now useless. Let's just see what Vista has done to improve remote management. Well looky there. They haven't done anything over XP. Oh sure, there's some encryption settings now on Remote Assistance, but I still can't use remote assistance to connect to a workstation without being invited. What do you mean invited? These are my damn computers! OK, OK, just relax there, sparky, you've been meaning to switch to VNC anyway to reduce cost. OK, let's find us a version of VNC. Oh, TightVNC looks like it has a small footprint and can be tweaked to what I need. Wait, how about this UltraVNC! Yeah, that's the one. Has everything you're looking for! Download, install, reboot, damn! No password configured? WTF? I entered a password...ok, let's Google (those guys at Google are worth every penny of the billions they have!) Huh, can't run VNC server as a service. Ok, so let's have a diet coke and re-cap. You make a good chunk of change every year because you are able to handle over 200 computers by yourself by implementing various automated processes AND reducing expenses that would be incurred by having to travel to the various locations to help a user that cant' find the "Display Folder List" button in Outlook. Management loves you for what you've done to reduce the support cost. The users love you because they pick up the phone, hit your extension and you are looking at there desktop before they have finished describing the problem. How bad can it be? Umm, it's that bad. So up until 8 hours ago I had superhuman like powers. I was all knowing and all controlling. Now I have tasted Kryptonite. I can bleed. I am realizing that I am back to 1985 sneaker-net (don't remember what a sneaker-net is? Damn kids!) How the hell am I going to support 200 computers if I have to run around all day? Ok, I could always hire more people to carry the over-flow work. I am too experienced to be telling someone where the "undo last action" button is in Office 2007. Ok, so where are we going to put these people? Ok, I'll set them up in the space outside my office. Oh yeah, need to run phone lines and order them computers. OK, so maybe I'm overreacting a bit. Vista has been out "only" 10 months. I'm sure someone can figure out how to run a service with the isolation of the session0. No, wait, I'm not overreating. Unix has had multiple run levels for decades and everything plays nice together. So why am I in a cold sweat right now wondering how I am going to tell the owners of this company that I cannot support the current number of computers by myself after having done so for 5 years? Why am I going to have to spend my weekends driving around from office to office to work on desktops because, by my own security practices, users are not to leave their computers un-locked when they are away from them? Should I cancel my auto-reboot of workstations on Friday night to clear all file locks so I have a good backup so I can tell people to leave their computers turned on and locked and also send me their passwords so I can unlock them when I need to access VNC running as a user program instead of a service? My beautiful and secure network is suddenly morphing in to an unsecure mess to accomodate the security enhancements of Vista! Sure, you can lock down the kernel but a lot of good that does when some IT manager has a list of user passwords on his desk! OK, next call is to my marketing rep at Dell to see how much longer I can order XP Pro systems!"

Submission + - Intel Purchases Havok

Dr. Eggman writes: Gamasutra has the recent announcement; Intel has bought Havok. Havok, a renouned game tools company whose efforts have been featured in the likes of Half-Life 2 and Bioshock, will remain in operation with buisness as usual. As a wholly owned Intel subsidiary, Havok will continue to produce products such as its recently announced Havok 5 toolset.

Submission + - DDR3 Memory Round-Up, Gaining In Performance (

MojoKid writes: "It's only four months after the launch of Intel's P35 chipset — the first desktop chipset to support DDR3 memory — and already the market is rife with high-end DDR3 memory kits that dramatically outperform the initial offerings that arrived alongside Intel's new platform. DDR3 memory kits are still substantially more expensive than even some of the fastest DDR2 kits but with the amount of innovation going on in this space, it's interesting to see just how far DDR3 system memory has come. This HotHardware look at five different 2Gig kits from Corsair, Kingston, OCZ and SuperTalent shows that performance and overall bandwidth has improved significantly now that latency is coming down and clock speeds continue to rise for DDR3."

Submission + - All Danish citizens under surveillance (

Snaller writes: Unfortunately I can find no English news sites reporting this, so i guess it may never go beyond your eyes (or ours), but at least one American (I'm assuming) will have read it then:

During this weekend the real big brother put his foot down on the country of Denmark, in Europe, in the name of fighting terrorism the government has ordered all Internet providers and telcos to log: who you call on your phone, who calls you, the addresses of the calling parties and for cell phones where you are when you make/receive the call. Times of messages you send and receive on your phone. Internet providers must log who a user connects to via his computer, this includes the users IP address, the destination IP address, what port numbers are used on the sending end, and port numbers used at the receiving end, and the duration of the communication. They must log the identity of the user initiating the communication and the precise geographic location of the user. In addition to this they must log the email address of people the user sends email to, and the email address used to send from, and the time of the email transmission. By law these loggings must be carried out for every single citizen who uses the Internet or the phone system, and these logs must be kept for one year, to be made available to the police if it is found relevant for an investigation. A judge needs sign of on it, however apparently the secret Danish police does not need that — they can simply demand to see it.

Some Danes are pragmatically pointing out that there is a bit of a hole in the law since libraries are currently not included, hotels are confused since they are included but not sure if they need to write down the names of all of their guests who try to use the Internet or just that the hotel computer was used, while others are outraged at what they consider a gross violation of their privacy, but apparently, and unfortunately, many seem to accept it when the blonde minister of justice opinions that only people who plan on doing crime could object to these measures.

This is the full text of the law (in Danish)

And a couple of articles about the subject (alas, in Danish)

Newspaper Information
News paper Arbejderen
Newspaper Politiken and here
Newspaper Jyllands Posten
And The Danish Library Agency


Submission + - PC vendor sells laptops with 13 year-old virus

Stony Stevenson writes: German PC vendor Medion gave some of its customers an unwanted blast from the past when it shipped laptops loaded with a 13 year-old virus. The Medion systems contained a boot virus known as Stoned.Angelina. The virus stores itself in the DOS boot sector of floppy disks and in the master boot record on hard disks.

The company said in a notice on its Danish website that the infected machines had been sold through Aldi retail stores in the country.

Submission + - New site promises legal films without DRM (

Yetihehe writes: New Swedish site promises to deliver DRM free (but with watermarking) full feature films with p2p. Users will be allowed to watch and burn films to DVD as they like. Films will be delivered as DVD files with full quality. For uploading there will be credits which users can use for buying new films. Planned start: this autumn. They will support Windows, Linux and Mac. For start there will be about 500 films available.
The Courts

Submission + - Forum sued over user comments.

Lockholster writes: "One of Australia's most popular forums, Whirlpool, is being sued by 2Clix Australia Pty. Ltd, after publishing allegedly "false and malicious" comments. 2clix, an accounting software producer, is seeking $125,000 in lost revenue, due to user comments, which allegedly led to a "severe downturn in sales". As Dave Clapperton of Electronic Frontiers Australia put it "It might mean the end of criticizing companies' products and services online". In response to the lawsuit, whirlpool users have flocked to the defense of the forums creator Simon Wright."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.