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Beware of Using Google Or OpenDNS For iTunes 348

Relayman writes "Joe Mailer wanted to download an iTunes movie recently and his Apple TV told him it would take two hours. When he switched his DNS resolver settings, the download time dropped to less than 20 seconds. Apparently, iTunes content is served by Akamai which uses geolocation based on the IP address of the DNS request to determine which server should provide his content. When you use Google or OpenDNS to resolve the Apple domain name, all the requests to Akamai appear to be coming from the same location and they're all directed to the same server pool, overloading that pool and causing the slow downloads. The solution: be wary of using Google or OpenDNS when downloading iTunes files or similar large files. Use your own ISP's DNS servers instead or run your own resolving DNS server."

Google PAC-MAN Cost 4.8M Person-Hours 332

The folks at Rescue-Time, who make software that helps you (and companies) figure out how you spend your online time, did a modest calculation based on their user base and concluded that Google's playable PAC-MAN doodle cost the world over 4.8 million person-hours of productivity last Friday. "Google PAC-MAN consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6M daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day). $120,483,800 is the dollar tally, if the average Google user has a cost of $25/hr. (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate). For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 Google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get six weeks of their time." Also, Google made the doodle permanent.

Microsoft Fuzzing Botnet Finds 1,800 Office Bugs 111

CWmike writes "Microsoft uncovered more than 1,800 bugs in Office 2010 by tapping into the unused computing horsepower of idling PCs, a company security engineer said on Wednesday. Office developers found the bugs by running millions of 'fuzzing' tests, a practice employed by both software developers and security researchers, that searches for flaws by inserting data into file format parsers to see where programs fail by crashing. 'We found and fixed about 1,800 bugs in Office 2010's code,' said Tom Gallagher, senior security test lead with Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group, who last week co-hosted a presentation on Microsoft's fuzzing efforts at the CanSecWest security conference. 'While a large number, it's important to note that that doesn't mean we found 1,800 security issues. We also want to fix things that are not security concerns.'"

Submission + - Computer Glitch Prompts 50 Raids on Elderly Couple (

spun writes: "New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to an elderly Brooklyn couple on Friday for about 50 door-pounding visits police made to their home resulting from a glitch in one of the department's computers. The couple's address was used in an automated test and never removed from the system. Now the police department claims to have a foolproof solution: they have flagged the address with a note telling officers not to go there."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Details Emerge On Futurama's "Rebirth" (and Return) 183

Svippy writes "As revealed last summer, Futurama will be returning this year, and while there were conflicts about the cast of the show in the late summer of 2009, a deal was eventually secured. Last week, Comedy Central confirmed the airing of the first episode, 'Rebirth,' will be 24 June 2010. Several other details related to plot and production have surfaced over the months, and for those interested, a full article is available on the subject."

Have Your Bachelor Party At Auschwitz Screenshot-sm 10

For the amazingly low price of £149 per person, plus flights, two British companies, Last Night of Freedom and Chillisauce, have come up with the final solution for your stag party. You'll enjoy drinking till you pass out, paint ball, white-water rafting, strippers and a tour of the Auschwitz concentration camp. From the article: "Holocaust groups are appalled, while one tour organiser admitted last week that it conjured up 'a horrible impression of lap dancers' at the Nazi death camp."
Social Networks

Twitter "Twitpocalypse" Snags Mac, iPhone Apps 160

awarrenfells notes coverage in Macworld of what is being called "the Twitpocalypse" — Twitter applications breaking as the number of tweets exceeds 32 bits. "The first apparent victim of the Twitpocalypse was The Iconfactory's Twitterrific for iPhone, which stopped working immediately following the event. ... Atebits Software's Tweetie has also been affected by the Twitpocalypse. The program continues to function for browsing and posting tweets, but searches no longer work in the Mac version and results appear one at a time in the iPhone version."
The Internet

Data Center Overload 88

theodp writes "The first rule of data centers is: don't talk about data centers. Still, the NY Times Magazine manages to take its readers on a nice backstage tour of internet data centers, convincing Microsoft and others to let them sneak a peek inside some of the mega-centers that make up today's cloud. And if it's been a while since you software types stepped inside a real-life computing facility, there's an accompanying data-center-porn slideshow that'll give you an idea where your e-mail, photos, videos, music, searches, and other online services that you take for granted these days come from." Reader coondoggie sends in a related story about a government plan to spend $50 million on improving data center technology.

Default Passwords Blamed In $55M PBX Hacks 102

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post is reporting that the US Justice Department has indicted three residents of the Philippines for breaking into more than 2,500 corporate PBX systems in the United States and abroad. The government says the hackers sold access to those systems to operators of call centers in Italy, which allegedly made 12 million minutes of unauthorized phone calls through the system, valued at more than $55 million. The DOJ's action coincides with an announcement from Italian authorities today of the arrest of five men there who are suspected of funneling the profits from those call centers to terrorist groups in Southeast Asia."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Lightning Strikes Amazon's Cloud (Really) 109

The Register has details on a recent EC2 outage that is being blamed on a lightning strike that zapped a power distribution unit of the data center. The interruption only lasted around 6 hours, but the irony should last much longer. "While Amazon was correcting the problem, it told customers they had the option of launching new server instances to replace those that went down. But customers were also able to wait for their original instances to come back up after power was restored to the hardware in question."

Submission + - How easy is it to vandalise Street View? (

Barence writes: "An interesting blog about Google's Street View service, which is causing the same privacy concerns today in the UK as it did upon its launches elsewhere. Quote: "Answer: alarmingly easy. Last Friday, I asked Google to remove a photo of me and my young family standing on a Kensington street. This morning, I received an email confirming my image had been removed. Just one problem: it wasn't me or my family in the picture.""

Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Provokes Bomb Scare Screenshot-sm 186

Bomb disposal teams were called in and a nearby pub evacuated after water company engineers mistook a Monty Python film prop for a hand grenade. After nearly an hour of examination by bomb experts, they counted to three. No more. No less. Three was the number they counted, and the number they counted was three. Four they did not count, nor two, except to proceed to three. Five was right out. Once the number three had been reached, being the third number, they declared that the grenade was actually a copy of the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" used in the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the device was a toy and that it had been no danger to the public.

Truck Suckling Screenshot-sm 1

Good tanker mothers accept both cars and trucks.

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo