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Movies

+ - Is The MPAA Rating System Broken?->

Submitted by
sperlingreich
sperlingreich writes "This podcast features Ethan Noble, of Motion Picture Consulting. He helps guide filmmakers and studios through the ratings process. He gives an overview of the MPAA’s rating system.

Since eight films have already appealed their MPAA ratings this year it begs the question, has the MPAA lost touch with modern culture or are filmmakers beginning to push the boundaries with edgier content?"

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Google

+ - Amazing! Google's self-driving car allows blind man to drive->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "This is some of the best driving I've ever done," Steve Mahan said the other day. Mahan was behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius tooling the small California town of Morgan Hill in late January, a routine trip to pick up the dry cleaning and drop by the Taco Bell drive-in for a snack. He also happens to be 95 percent blind.

Mahan, head of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, “drove” along a specially programmed route thanks to Google’s autonomous driving technology. Look, ma! No hands. And no feet!” Mahan jokes at one point in the video. “I love it,” he added. Google announced the self-driving car project in 2010. It relies upon laser range finders, radar sensors, and video cameras to navigate the road ahead, in order to make driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient — and clearly more accessible. In a Wednesday afternoon post on Google+, the company noted that it has hundreds of thousands of miles of testing under the belt, letting the company feel confident enough in the system to put Mahan behind the wheel."

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Open Source

+ - Are Open Source Libraries Any More Vulnerable Than Closed Source?->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "My friend and Network World editor, Ellen Messmer posted an article yesterday about the results of an analysis by Aspect Security of the Central Repository maintained by Sonatype. The study was announced by Aspect and Sonatype yesterday. Both the study and Ellen's article have set off a bit of a firestorm in both the open source and security communities about the security or lack thereof of open source libraries and components.

As noted in Ellen's article some of the biggest libraries that are used and have known vulnerabilities are Google Web Toolkit (GWT); Apache Xerces; Spring MVC; and Struts 1.x.

The buzz with the release of the study and Ellen's article is calling into question whether open source is any more or less secure than closed source code. Another issue is whether or not open source companies and authors are vigilant in closing holes and insecurities in their code. I spoke with Wayne Jackson, CEO of Sonatype, the company that maintains the Central Repository which was the subject of this study. I know Jackson from his days as CEO of Sourcefire. Wayne is a long time supporter and believer in open source.

Wayne told me that people looking at this study and using it to say that open source is less secure than closed source are mistaken. There are vulnerabilities in just about all code and libraries. The fact that this study saw so much use of vulnerable libraries is more about the popularity and wide spread usage of open source than whether it is more or less secure. To Jackson, that is the real finding of this study. Look how many applications and enterprises use open source libraries and components. It is pretty ubiquitous."

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DRM

+ - What book publishers should learn from Harry Potter->

Submitted by Volanin
Volanin (935080) writes "The e-book versions of Harry Potter are being released through Pottermore, and Rowling has chosen to do a number of interesting things with them, including releasing them without DRM restrictions.

One of the encouraging things about the Pottermore launch is that the books will be available on virtually every platform simultaneously, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, the Kindle and Google’s e-book service.

Even Amazon has bowed to the power of the series and done what would previously have seemed unthinkable: it sends users who come to the titles on Amazon to Pottermore to finish the transaction."

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Intel

+ - Ivy Bridge Quad-Core Desktop and Mobile CPUs launching on April 29->

Submitted by
techfun89
techfun89 writes "Intel will be introducing a number of new Ivy Bridge processors for desktops and mobile systems during the week of April 22-28, becoming available April 29. Originally the 29th was set as the quad-core desktop launch but now both versions of the chips will be debuting at the same time.

The core i7-3720QM and 3820QM chips that are released on April 29th appear to be good successors to the ones in current high-end 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro units. Apple has reported that they will be slimming down the 13 and 15-inch models, so its not determined as of yet, how these changes will affect cpu decision making.

The launch on June 3rd expands the mobile computer front, adding six dual-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors, as well as a pair of ultra-low voltage dual-core chips. In the third quarter of 2012 there will be lower-end Core i3 processors to follow."

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Government

+ - FBI Taught Agents They Could 'Bend or Suspend the Law' | Danger Room | Wired.com->

Submitted by politkal
politkal (2521668) writes "According to the FBI's internal inquiry on counterterrorism training, the FBI taught agents that the Bureau "has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedoms of others"; that agents should "never attempt to shake hands with an Asian"; that Arabs were "prone to outbursts" of a "Jekyll & Hyde" nature."
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Spam

+ - A Pinterest spammer tells it all->

Submitted by
vikingpower
vikingpower writes "His name is Steve, and he lives in "one of the lower 48 states". So he says. He also tells the Daily Dot that makes about $1000 a day by spamming PInterest . The article is in so far interesting as it seems honest: nothing of the usual bragging indulged in so often by spammers. We may suppose, however, that Steve's business model is kaputt, now: the PInterest site which, by the way, has huge traffic but no revenue , is for sure going to take measures against Steve."
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Google

+ - Google is being pressured by UK govt to make it easier to delete links->

Submitted by politkal
politkal (2521668) writes ""An influential group of UK lawmakers has called on Google to introduce an algorithm to remove search links found to be in breach of privacy — or face legislation to force it to do so.

It follows complaints from ex-Formula One boss Max Mosley about the difficulty he faced in getting a video removed from the internet.

The search giant argued it was not its job to monitor net content.

The cross-party committee said this argument was "totally unconvincing".

The report by a committee of MPs and peers was commissioned by the government to look into privacy and free speech issues after a series of high profile super-injunctions were made public last year.

Celebrities including Ryan Giggs found that gagging orders against newspapers were routinely flouted online. In Mr Giggs' case, the details of his super-injunction were mentioned at least 75,000 times on Twitter, the committee said.

Its report said that online firms needed to be brought in line with offline media in such cases.

"We recommend that, when granting an injunction, courts should be proactive in directing the claimant to serve notice on internet content platforms such as Twitter and Facebook," it said.

Some of the harshest criticism was reserved for Google.

"Where an individual has obtained a clear court order that certain material infringes their privacy and so should not be published, we do not find it acceptable that he or she should have to return to court repeatedly in order to remove the same material from internet searches," the report said."
more at the source url..."

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Australia

+ - Huawei NZ almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence - defence analyst->

Submitted by politkal
politkal (2521668) writes ""Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei — involved in a $1.35 billion Ultrafast Broadband project in New Zealand — is almost certainly a front for Chinese intelligence, a defence analyst claims.
That's the collective view of the security community in the US, Britain and Australia, according to Auckland-based defence analyst Paul Buchanan, who says it would be prudent for Prime Minister John Key to listen to them." Secondary source: http://chinhdangvu.blogspot.com/2012/03/huawei-certainly-front-for-chinese.html"

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Space

+ - There should be billions of habitable alien planets in our Galaxy-> 1

Submitted by
techfun89
techfun89 writes "A new study has shown that in our Milky Way galaxy alone, there should be billions of habitable, rocky planets around faint red stars called red dwarfs. These red dwarfs are thought to make up about 80% of the stars in our galaxy.

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory telescope observed 102 of the most common stars, red dwarfs, in our galaxy over six years. They came up with an estimate of the planets in the habitable zones around each star.

160 billion red dwarfs, the fainter and cooler/longer lasting stars than the Sun exist in the Milky Way according to research team leader Xavier Bonfils. Bonfils is of the University of Grenoble in France. He stated, ''Because red dwarfs are so common this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone." There are probably 100 of these super-Earths within 30 light years of Earth, he said."

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Canada

+ - Canadian Government introduces a new, different "unlawfull access" law->

Submitted by
davecb
davecb writes "The Canadian Government may be shying away from the "lawful access" bill, but the same changes showed up in the new privacy act amendments. Someone with proper authority other than a warrant can ask and receive your confidential information from your ISP. The bill contains a lot more, and rather looks like a systematic attempt to lower privacy standards in the name of privacy, as described in the article Bill C-12: Safeguarding Canadians' Personal Information Act – Eroding Privacy in the Name of Privacy, at the Slaw legal blog."
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