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Submission + - 'Homeless Hacker' Lawyer: DDoS Isn't An Attack, It (

animusCollards writes: A lawyer for a homeless man accused of launching a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the city of Santa Cruz because of an anti-camping law told TPM on Wednesday that such campaigns are the modern day equivalent of occupying the Woolworth’s lunch counter as happened during the civil rights movement.

Submission + - FBI Leaves Cleared Names On Terrorist Watch List (

x_IamSpartacus_x writes: According to a recent FOIA request the FBI doesn't always take names off of the Terrorist Watch List even when those people have been cleared of charges or had charges dropped. “If an individual is acquitted or charges are dismissed for a crime related to terrorism, the individual must still meet the reasonable suspicion standard in order to remain on, or be subsequently nominated to, the terrorist watch list,” the once-classified memorandum says. The New York Times is running a story about it as well saying the data is even used by local police officers to check names during traffic stops.

Submission + - Pay if you like adventure game (

sourcerror writes: "Independent developer Endre Baráth after a series of commercial games decided to release his new game as "pay if you like". The first episode of the sci-fi adventure game is free to download, and if enough donation comes in, he'll make new ones, that'll free as well. Another intresting fact is that the art assets were made in Blender, and the game runs in the Blender Game Engine. writes:
"The game is an exploration adventure title that sees you waking up in an unknown shuttle cabin, not knowing how you got there, or who was originally also in your cabin. By reading holocubes and figuring out puzzles that allow you to explore more of your surroundings, you'll be able to piece the situation together and work out what exactly is going on. Episode 1 is ready for you to grab, and episode 2 is half done, so I'd guess a release in roughly 3 months time. Download the game, and consider donating to Barath if you enjoy it.""

Submission + - Siemens To Exit Nuclear Power Business (

jones_supa writes: German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, the group's CEO Peter Löscher told the weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published on Sunday. The group's decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects "the very clear stance taken by Germany's society and political leadership." Along abandoning nuclear power, Germany wants to boost the share of the country's power needs generated by renewable energies to 35% by 2020 from 17% at present.

Submission + - Microsoft Experiences Cloud Failure with MSDN (

An anonymous reader writes: Around Sept. 9th, the folks at Microsoft decided to switch off of the (working) MSDN subscription download manager to their new Azure Cloud solution leaving many developers unable to access their benefits. Mind you, these subscriptions are expensive costing in the neighborhood of $2600/yr. per developer. Better yet, it appears that the great folks in Redmond failed to provide for a plan 'B' despite a similar failure in July!
All we have been hearing is apologies, requests for screen shots and trace logs (sure.. you can post my internal network topology for all to see), and "we are working on it". It certainly doesn't fill one with confidence that Microsoft can't figure out the problem with their own solution.

And no, you can't just get a disc mailed out by calling support.

More details can be found here:
and here:


Submission + - Falling Demand for Brains?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Paul Krugman writes in the NY Times that information technology seems to be reducing, not increasing, the demand for highly educated workers (reg. may be required), because a lot of what highly educated workers do could actually be replaced by sophisticated information processing. One good recent example is how software is replacing the teams of lawyers who used to do document research. “From a legal staffing viewpoint, it means that a lot of people who used to be allocated to conduct document review are no longer able to be billed out,” says Bill Herr, a lawyer at a major chemical company who used to muster auditoriums of lawyers to read documents for weeks on end. “People get bored, people get headaches. Computers don’t.” If true this raises a number of interesting questions. "One is whether emphasizing education — even aside from the fact that the big rise in inequality has taken place among the highly educated — is, in effect, fighting the last war," writes Krugman. "Another is how we [can] have a decent society if and when even highly educated workers can’t command a middle-class income." Remember the Luddites weren’t the poorest of the poor, they were skilled artisans whose skills had suddenly been devalued by new technology."

Obama Says Offshoring Fears Are Unwarranted 763

alphadogg writes "The perception that Indian call centers and back office operations cost US jobs is an old stereotype that ignores today's reality that two-way trade between the US and India is helping create jobs and raise the standard of living in both countries, US President Barack Obama told a gathering of business executives in Mumbai on Saturday. President Obama's remarks come after some moves in the US that had Indian outsourcers worried that the US may get protectionist in the wake of job losses in the country. The state of Ohio, for example, banned earlier this year the expenditure of public funds for offshore purposes. US exports to India have quadrupled in recent years, and currently support tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the US, he said in a speech that was also streamed live. In addition, there are jobs supported by exports to India of agriculture products, travel and education services. President Obama, who is in India on a three-day visit, said that more than 20 deals worth about $10 billion were announced on the first day of his visit."

Oracle Needs a Clue As Brain Drain Accelerates 388

The Contrarian writes "It looks like Oracle is not suiting former Sun staff well, nor community members in the Java and communities. This weekend saw an unusually large number of rather public departures, with (among many others listed in the article) the VP running Solaris development quitting, the token academic on the JCP walking out and top community leaders at nailing their resignations to the door after having the ex-Sun people slam it in their face. The best analysis comes from an unexpected place, with the marketing director of Eclipse — usually loyal defenders of their top-dollar-paying members — turning on Oracle and telling them to get a clue."

Chatbot Suzette Wins 20th Annual Loebner Prize, Fools One Judge 257

skwilcox writes "From Wikipedia: 'The Loebner Prize is an annual competition in artificial intelligence that awards prizes to the chatterbot considered by the judges to be the most human-like. The format of the competition is that of a standard Turing test. A human judge poses text questions to a computer program and a human being via computer. Based upon the answers, the judge must decide which is which.' My chatbot, Suzette, won this year's Loebner and even confused a judge into voting for her over a human (or should I say he confused himself). Here is the blow-by-blow of this weird event." Read on below for the rest; this sounds like it would have been a fun competition to watch.

Submission + - Amazon Patents Being Green 1

theodp writes: TechFlash reports on a newly-granted Amazon patent on 'Environmentally Conscious Electronic Transactions', which hints that the e-tailer may offer shoppers options for eco-friendly shipping and carbon credits. The patent envisions a system in which customers are given 'a shipping option that might not be as fast, and might be more expensive, but that is more environmentally friendly in at least one way.' It also suggests letting people buy carbon credits to offset the emissions generated by the packaging and shipping of their purchases.
The Internet

W3C Says Don't Use HTML5 Yet 205

GMGruman writes "InfoWorld's Paul Krill reports that the W3C, the standards body behind the Web standards, is urging Web developers not to use the draft HTML5 standards on their websites. This flies in the face of HTML5 support and encouragement, especially for mobile devices, by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others. The W3C says developers should avoid the draft HTML5 spec (the final version is not due for several years) because of interoperability issues across browsers."
The Media

Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure 428

David Gerard writes "As part of his war against free, Rupert Murdoch put the Times and Sunday Times of London behind a paywall. Michael Wolff of Newser asks how that's working out for him. You can guess: miserable failure: 'Not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself — who have free access to the site — are not going beyond the registration page. It's an empty world.' Not that this wasn't entirely predictable." Update: 07/17 01:41 GMT by T : Frequent contributor Peter Wayner writes skeptically that the Newsday numbers should be looked at with a grain of salt: "I believe they were charging $30/month for the electronic edition and $25/month for the dead tree edition which also offered free access to the electronic edition. In essence, you had to pay an extra $5 to avoid getting your lawn littered with paper. The dead tree edition gets much better ad rates and so it is worth pushing. It's a mistake to see the raw numbers and assume that the paywall failed."

Malware Targets Shortcut Flaw In Windows, SCADA 214

tsu doh nimh writes "Anti-virus researchers have discovered a new strain of malicious software that spreads via USB drives and takes advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in the way Microsoft Windows handles '.lnk' or shortcut files. Belarus-based VirusBlokAda discovered malware that includes rootkit functionality to hide the malware, and the rootkit drivers appear to be digitally signed by Realtek Semiconductor, a legitimate hi-tech company. In a further wrinkle, independent researcher Frank Boldewin found that the complexity and stealth of this malware may be due to the fact that it is targeting SCADA systems, or those designed for controlling large, complex and distributed control networks, such as those used at power and manufacturing plants. Meanwhile, Microsoft says it's investigating claims that this malware exploits a new vulnerability in Windows."

The trouble with money is it costs too much!