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DHS CyberSecurity Misses 1085 Holes On Own Network 86

Tootech writes "In a case of 'physician, heal thyself,' the agency — which forms the operational arm of DHS's National Cyber Security Division, or NCSD — failed to keep its own systems up to date with the latest software patches. Auditors working for the DHS inspector general ran a sweep of US-CERT using the vulnerability scanner Nessus and turned up 1,085 instances of 202 high-risk security holes. 'The majority of the high-risk vulnerabilities involved application and operating system and security software patches that had not been deployed on computer systems located in Virginia,' reads the report from assistant inspector general Frank Deffer."
Open Source

Submission + - Free software: A matter of life and death (

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes: Software on medical implants is not open to scrutiny by regulatory bodies. Glyn Moody writes: Software with the ability to harm as well as help us in the physical world needs to be open to scrutiny to minimise safety issues. Medical devices may be the most extreme manifestation of this, but with the move of embedded software into planes, cars and other large and not-so-large devices with potentially lethal side-effects, the need to inspect software there too becomes increasingly urgent." A new report 'Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices' from the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) points out that, as patients grow more reliant on computerized devices, the dependability of software is a life-or-death issue. "The need to address software vulnerability is especially pressing for Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs), which are commonly used by millions of patients to treat chronic heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, and even depression." Will making the source code free to scrutiny address the issue of faulty devices?

Death Grip Tested On iPhone Competitors 373

adeelarshad82 writes "Given Steve Jobs' recent claims about 'Death Grip' being a common problem among smart phones, PCMag tested out six major iPhone competitors to see how they would react to the grip. The test included Motorola Droid X, T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, Droid Incredible by HTC, BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the Samsung Captivate. The signal strength was measured in dBm, which typically ranges between -50 to -110 dBm (numbers closer to zero show better signal). Interestingly, the test results video showed mixed results. T-Mobile myTouch 3G and Samsung Captivate showed drastic changes, dropping down to -89 and -97 dBm respectively. On the other hand, while the signal strength dropped for HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and Blackberry Bold, it wasn't as severe. Results of testing showed that not all phones reacted the same way to the typical death grip and required variations of it to bring about results."

Nexus One a Failed Experiment In Online Sales 366

shmG writes "The demise of the Google Nexus One phone is fairly straightforward: a lack of sales killed the product. While it will continue to sell through Vodafone in Europe, KT in Korea and a few others, the experiment of Google indicates that selling a phone direct to consumers online is dead. 'The bottom line is people like to look at phones in the store. Google has a lot to learn about phone sales, this is one lesson they learned.'"

Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs" 571

formfeed writes "Police were called to a house in Omaha where a 14-year-old made some 'dry ice bombs' (dry ice in soda bottles). Since his mom knew about it, she is now facing felony charges for child endangment and possession of a destructive device. From the article: 'Assistant Douglas County Attorney Eric Wells said the boy admitted to making the bomb and that his mother knew he was doing so. The boy was set to appear Tuesday afternoon in juvenile court, accused of possessing a destructive device.'" She's lucky they didn't find the baking soda volcano in the basement.

Submission + - Zoho Don't Need No Stinking PhD Programmers

theodp writes: When it comes to tech academic credentials, Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu has The Right Stuff, a PhD in EE from Princeton. But Vembu has eschewed Google's Army-of-PhDs approach to software development in favor of tapping into the ranks of high school grads who would not normally go to college for Zoho. Seeing his youngest brother succeed at programming without a college degree convinced Vembu that others could follow that example with the proper training and guidance. And studying the best employees in his own company led to another epiphany: 'What if the college degree itself is not really that useful?' thought Vembu. 'What if we took kids after high school, train them ourselves?'

Google Shares Insights On Accelerating Web Sites 230

miller60 writes "The average web page takes 4.9 seconds to load and includes 320 KB of content, according to Google executive Urs Holzle. In his keynote at the O'Reilly Velocity conference on web performance, Holzle said that competition from Chrome has made Internet Explorer and Firefox faster. He also cited the potential for refinements to TCP, DNS, and SSL/TLS to make the web a much faster place, and cited compressing headers as a powerful performance booster. Holzle also noted that Google's ranking algorithm now includes a penalty for sites that load too slowly."

Pakistani Lawyer Wants Mark Zuckerberg Executed 1318

Earthquake Retrofit sends along a piece from The Register reporting on a nightmare scenario of legal jurisdiction on the Internet: a Pakistani lawyer has filed blasphemy charges, carrying the death penalty, against Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives (and the pseudonomous user who initiated the "Draw Muhammad" contest last month). Pakistani police have apparently opened an investigation, according to this Google translation of a BBC Urdu report."

Violent Video Games Only Affect Some People 236

An anonymous reader writes "The media would have you believe that violent video games will be the downfall of our civilization and the cause of moral decline in young people. A recent study suggests that most people aren't so easily influenced by the violence; instead, just a few bad apples are likely to react poorly, with everyone else showing little or no effect from playing these games." The American Psychological Association has posted the academic paper (PDF) as well, in addition to a few related studies. One examines how games can be a force for good (PDF), and another looks at the motivations behind children playing such games (PDF).
The Media

Yahoo Faces Questions After Discovery Of Comment Replication 97

An anonymous reader writes "Someone noticed that certain Associated Press stories on Yahoo seem to be appending old comments to new stories in a way that was highly misleading (suggesting new stories had a lot more interest than they really did). The initial theory was that this was some sort of nefarious scam, potentially by Yahoo and the AP. However, Mike Masnick at Techdirt dug into the details and found evidence that it's more about incompetence in the way Yahoo built its comment system, combined with the way that the AP pushes and rotates its articles to partner sites."

Submission + - Utilities Blamed For Stalling Smart Grid Roll-outs (

justice4all writes: Established utility companies are stalling the roll-out of smart grids and meters over concerns that the information available to customers will upset established business models.

That was the assessment from management consultant, Marchment Hill Consulting’s Neil Gibbs, speaking in a panel discussion at HP’s annual Executive Energy Conference in Dubai this week.

Data Storage

Vibration Killing Enterprise Disk Performance? 159

An anonymous reader writes "Is vibration killing disk performance? ZDnet reports on research that a carbon fiber anti-vibration rack increased random read performance by 56% to 246% and random write [performance] by 34% to 88%. Vibration is a known disk problem, but this is one of the few attempts to quantify its impact — which looks to be much greater than suspected."

Intel CPUs are not defective, they just act that way. -- Henry Spencer