Is there a bug tracker on this project? Tracking down and fixing bugs will force you to become familiar with the codebase, and hopefully, expose you to code from which you can learn. Also, find projects that you will use personally on a regular basis--i.e. "scratch your own itch". You'll do better work if the end result is not just some code somewhere, but something that you need and make use of frequently.
CheshireCatCO writes "Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, concerned about background checks now required of federal employees, sued NASA to suspend the checks back in 2007. The case has now worked its way up to the Supreme Court. At stake: whether all federal employees can be forced to undergo open-ended background checks whether or not the employee has exposure to classified or sensitive information. The background checks, which can include interviewing people from employees' pasts such as landlords and teachers, may seek, among other things, sexual histories."
mikesd81 writes "Intel is apparently threatening to use the DMCA against anyone using the HDCP crack under the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause. 'There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers,' said Tom Waldrop, a spokesman for the company, which developed HDCP. 'Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies.'"
gust5av writes "I'm working on a little script to provide very simple and easy to use steganography. I'm using bash together with cryptsetup (without LUKS), and the plausible deniability lies in writing to different parts of a container file. On decryption you specify the offset of the hidden data. Together with a dynamically expanding filesystem, this makes it possible to have an arbitrary number of hidden volumes in a file. It is implausible to reveal the encrypted data without the password, but is it possible to prove there is encrypted data where you claim there's not? If I give someone one file containing random data and another containing data encrypted with AES, will he be able to tell which is which?"
YokimaSun writes "Following the recent exploit that allows you to jailbreak your PS3, the homebrew community have now breached the console with the first homebrew game, which is the classic Pong. Also released is the first emulator for the system in the shape of a SNES Emulator great for those 16-bit games. Finally drk||Raziel, the coder of the Dreamcast Emulator NullDC, has posted screenshots of his Dreamcast emulator working on the PS3 (albeit at a very early stage). The PS3 is building up to be the Dream Console for emulation."
btempleton writes "It all started when I prepared yet another Downfall subtitle parody. In this one, Hitler is the studio head, upset at all the Downfall parodies, and he wants to do DMCA takedowns on them all. (If you're a DMCA/DRM fighting Slashdotter, you'll like it.) The EFF, which I chair, blogged it on Deeplinks, and hilarity ensued. That weekend, Exact Magic, an iPhone developer, had submitted a special RSS reader app to display EFF news on the iPhone. Apple's iPhone app store evaluators looked at the RSS reader, read the feed it pointed to, and then played the linked-to video. They saw the F-word flash in the subtitles of the video, and then rejected the RSS-reading tool from the App Store. We're up to several levels of meta here — Apple has banned an app over a parody about banning, and is now parodying itself. Bonus: TFA also has the story of just how hard it is to be fully legal in obtaining the famous clip for parody."