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Google Chrome Now Has Resource-Blocking Adblock 335

MackieChan writes "It seems to have slipped under the radar, but Google Chrome now has resource-blocking abilities, and may have had the ability for some time. Using the 'beforeload' event on the document, an extension can now intercept resources from loading. Adblock for Chrome has already added it, and I expect the other 'ad-blocking' extensions have as well. Before you start praising Google, however, it's the WebKit team that deserves your credit; one Chromium developer responded to praise by stating '... thank Apple — they added it to WebKit, we just inherited it.' Firefox vs. Chrome just got a bit more exciting."

EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."

Submission + - US Government Using PS3s to Break Encryption ( 1

Entropy98 writes: As reported here and here.. It seems that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, known as C3 have replaced their "$8,000 Tableau/Dell server combination" with more efficient and much cheaper $300 PS3s. Each PS3 is capable of 4 million passwords per second, and C3 currently has 20 PS3s with plans to buy 40 more.

Naturally this is only being used to break encryption on computers seized with a warrant and suspected of harboring child pornography.


Submission + - Does OO Reality Match The Theory? ( 1

gnat writes: "How often do real world programmers follow the advice of university OO design and programming courses? That's the question the Software Engineering Folklore survey sets out to answer, and they're specifically interested in Open Source languages and practices. They will open source the (anonymized) survey responses, which will let us break down (bad?) habits by programming language and perhaps even find out whether those expensive university programming classes teach anything useful."
United States

How Close Were US Presidential Elections? 971

Mike Sheppard writes "I'm a graduate student in Statistics at Michigan State University and spent some time analyzing past US presidential elections to determine how close they truly were. The mathematical procedures of Linear Programming and 0-1 Integer Programming were used to find the optimal solution to the question: 'What is the smallest number of total votes that need to be switched from one candidate to another, and from which states, to affect the outcome of the election?' Because of the way the popular and electoral votes interact, the outcome of the analysis had some surprising and intriguing results. For example, in 2004, 57,787 votes would have given us President Kerry; and in 2000, 269 votes would have given us President Gore. In all there have been 12 US Presidential elections that were decided by less than a 1% margin; meaning if less than 1% of the voters in certain states had changed their mind to the other candidate the outcome of the election would have been different."

YouTube Bans Gun and Knife Videos In the UK 632

PatPending writes with a depressing excerpt from the UK's Metro: "The Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube has decided to introduce the ban [on weapons-related videos] for the UK only amid widespread unease about the increase in knife crime in the country. 'We recognise that there has been particular concern over videos in the UK that involve showing weapons with the aim of intimidation, and this is one of the areas we are addressing,' a YouTube spokesperson said. 'I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world,' she said."

Submission + - Supreme Court To Rule on Second Amendment (

djmoore writes: "The Supreme Court has granted cert in District of Columbia v. Heller. This is the first case examining the Second Amendment to reach SCOTUS since the much-misunderstood Miller case in 1939. The SCOTUS asks the question,[PDF] "Whether the following provisions, D.C. Code 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02, violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?" Some links to background information on this case and the Second Amendment can be found here. Oral arguments will likely be heard in March or April.

Roughly speaking, the question is, does an enumerated "right of the people" have as much weight as, say, the unenumerated right to an abortion? Or does the 2nd Amendment, uniquely in the Constitution, use the phrase "the people" to grant coercive power to the state?

Mandatory Geek Link: Eric S. Raymond's "Ethics From the Barrel of a Gun"."

The Courts

Record Company Collusion a Defense to RIAA Case? 275

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Is collusion by the record companies a defense to an RIAA case? We're about to find out, because the RIAA has made a motion to strike the affirmative defense of Marie Lindor, who alleged that "the plaintiffs, who are competitors, are a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have" in UMG v. Lindor."
The Internet

LiveJournal Says Users are Responsible for Content of Links 283

Many of you might remember the previous story about LiveJournal erroneously deleting hundreds of users as suspected paedophiles, spurred on by pressure from the group, Warriors for innocence. Since then, they've been taking action against users hosting material on their servers that they believe to be illegal. Today, LiveJournal management have demonstrated a serious lack of understanding in how the internet works, declaring that users are responsible for the content of the webpages that they link to in their blog entries. A user points out the obvious flaw: "I get ToS'd because the link's been redirected to a page full o' porn, even though context clearly shows that when I originally put up the link that it didn't actually land on a page of porn?" One wonders how such a long-established blogging company can be so ignorant about the nature of the world wide web.
United States

Submission + - Can the internet enable direct action offline? 3

notque writes: "We are sitting in a time with so many political scandals, and some would say an illegal war. You would think that given these facts the United States would be a hotbed of political activity and protest. So far this hasn't occurred, although people continue to do difficult work. There are many websites that attempt to coordinate political activity, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to show for it. Can the internet actually enable direct action offline? What are some ways that this could be carried out? On another website, digg, there was an article concerning a general strike on 09/11/07 that received 4600 diggs, so it seems that people want to do something, but feel isolated and alone. Does the internet help foster this? Noam Chomsky once said, "By margins that are now so overwhelming that it's even front page news, people are strenuously opposed to everything that's going on and are frightened and angry and reacting like punch-drunk fighters. They're just too alone, both in their personal lives and associations and also intellectually, without anything to grasp. They don't know how to respond except in irrational ways. In some ways it has sort of the tone of a devastated peasant society after a plague swept it or an army went through and ruined everything. People have just dissolved into inability to respond." How can individuals help to change this, and is the internet a useful tool for that? Does the internet just stagnate individuals further? Thanks."

Submission + - Elton John wants Internet Shut Down (

jrsumm writes: Elton John agrees that music today is worse than music of yesteryear. And he knows the culprit. The internet. Because now anybody can become an artist. "Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK, but it doesn't bode well for long-term artistic vision". Quick blurbs, not real stories, at hollywoodrag and Of course you can find more sites(mostly blogs) with the exact same info at google news.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson