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Houston Courts Shut Down By Malware 126

Posted by timothy
from the full-employment-for-compsec-types dept.
Conficker is still at it: dstates writes "The municipal courts of Houston were shut down yesterday after a computer virus spread through the courts' computer systems. The shutdown canceled hearings and suspended arrests for minor offenses and is expected to extend through Monday. The disruption affected many city departments, the Houston Emergency Center was briefly disconnected and police temporarily stopped making some arrests for minor offenses. The infection appears to be contained to 475 of the city's more than 16,000 computers, but officials are still investigating. Gray Hat Research, a technology security company, has been brought in on an emergency contract to eradicate the infection. In 2006, the City spent $10M to install a new computer system and bring the Courts online, but the system has been beset by multiple problems. After threatening litigation, the city reached a $5 million settlement with the original vendor, Maximus, and may seek another vendor."

Comment: Re:So where have you failed the gaming community (Score 1) 89

by tomblag (#24623667) Attached to: Rare Q&A With Rockstar Games Head Sam Houser

Well in GTA:4, although there is lots of eye candy, where are all the cool side missions? No cash for wheelies?stoppies? Heck, where is the TANK, i spent hours upon hours just seeing how long i could go before i blew up or the tank flipped, cant do that now :( Can't even take the Dodo for a joy-ride. I dont think i will be purchasing any further games in the series, if you think that you can sell me a game for $60 then turn around and sell me all the good content for more $$$.

How was taking the dodo for a joy ride fun? While their automobile controls are really good. The controls they put in for any type of airplanes were always worthless.

Networking

+ - Mapping Our Brain's Neural Network

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "New technologies could soon allow scientists to generate a complete wiring diagram of a piece of brain. "The brain is essentially a computer that wires itself up during development and can rewire itself," says Sebastian Seung, a computational neuroscientist at MIT. "If we have a wiring diagram of the brain, we might be able to understand how it works." With an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses in the human brain, creating an all-encompassing map of even a small chunk is a daunting task. Winfried Denk, a neuroscientist at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, has developed a new technique to make more fine-scaled wiring maps using electron microscopy. Starting with a small block of brain tissue, the researchers bounce electrons off the top of the block to generate a cross-sectional picture of the nerve fibers in that slice. They then take a very thin — 30-nanometer — slice off the top of the block and repeat the process going through slice by slice to trace the path of each nerve fiber. "Repeat this [process] thousands of times, and you can make your way through maybe the whole fly brain," says Denk. The researchers train an artificial neural network to emulate the human tracing process to speed the process about one hundred- to one thousand-fold."
Google

+ - GPhone to Appear in Two Weeks?->

Submitted by
mikemuch
mikemuch writes "Murmurings of GPhone are again crossing the web today, with claims by a respected Indian news service that telecoms are in talks with the search behemoth to launch the mobile device in two weeks. Google won't deny or confirm, and the report should certainly not be taken as gospel, but there are clear signs of Google's intentions to create the 3G and WiFi capable handheld."
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The Internet

+ - SPAM: Website Design vs. Consumer Behaviour

Submitted by
rinkjustice
rinkjustice writes "Artist. Psychologist. Wordsmith. Any good webdesigner needs to wear these three hats if they have any chance of converting first-time visitors to loyal customers and readers. "This is Your Brain On My Website" explores the behaviours of the consumer, where their eyes go, and what should meet their eyes to make a positive and lasting impression."
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Graphics

+ - New Milestone Demoscene Releases.-> 4

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "With over 3000 visitors one of the biggest computer festivals, the Assembly 2007, just closed doors. The event saw the release of some of the best demoscene productions of this year. Among them the first good demos for the XBOX 360, but also for platforms as obscure as the Atari VCS2600 from 1976. The main demo competition was won by Lifeforce, one of the most acclaimed demoscene demos ever. Other releases can be found here."
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Television

+ - History Channel backpeddeling on upcoming 911 show 1

Submitted by one0them
one0them (1137193) writes "The History Channel has been producing a 911 conspiracy documentary. So naturally whats on any conspiracy theorist's mind is will they discuss relivent facts and evidence, or will it be a parade of "straw-man" conspiracy theories (Bigfoot, Elvis, and Aliens did it) and pseudo-psychiatrists claiming "fools need to lie to themselves to feel better".

It has surfaced that the history channel has postponed the airing of the show one week, and changed the teaser description.

below is a snapshot of the old site
http://prisonplanet.com/images/august2007/020807sh ot.jpg

here is the updated version
http://www.history.com/shows.do?action=detail&epis odeId=240087

so now the question, why did they change the description? the origional description read:
An Internet search for "9/11 conspiracy theories" yields nearly two million hits. Were the attacks on 9/11 perpetrated by the Bush Administration to advance its own interests? Could a government missile have hit the Pentagon? As outrageous as these ideas may sound, many people believe them. Why do these theories arise in the first place? An interview with James Meigs, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics, who refutes many of these theories. Watch as experts in the fields of aeronautics, engineering and the military put these theories to the test.

it was changed to:
Examines the various conspiracy theories espoused on the Internet, in articles and in public forums that attempt to explain the 9/11 attacks. It includes theories that the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition; that a missile, not a commercial airliner, hit the Pentagon; and that members of the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks in hopes of creating a war in the Middle East. Each conspiracy argument is countered by a variety of experts in the fields of engineering, intelligence and the military. The program also delves into the anatomy of such conspiracies and how they grow on the Internet.

dosn't look like much of a change except "members of the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks" sounds a lot more belevable than "attacks on 9/11 perpetrated by the Bush Administration" (implying the entire govt was involved), the aeronautics experts were switched for intelligence agents, and all reference to Popular Mechanics vanishes.

A while back, Pop Mechanics released an edition called debunking 911 myths so we already know there opinion on that one.

What's more important is Alex Jones reported that the history channel is owned by Hearst Publications, the same people who sell popular mechanics. If this is true then it means The History Channel interviewed their BOSSES to see what they thought about what they had already decided on.

Alex is demanding a disclosure that the show is an infomercial for their owner's magazine.

Now to the topic of Hearst Publications:
Hearst Publications is probably best known for it's infamous owner William Randolph "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war." Hearst. That famous quote was to a photographer with reference to a FICTITIOUS Mexican American war which Hearst was writing about in his newspaper.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hear st

A lesser known case of the meddling mister Hearst is the lobbying which lead to the passage of an unconstitutional prohibitive tax law against the "Demon Marihuana" which was just the Spanish name for the hemp plant which had been used for rope, and paper, and sails, and clothing for years (but not Hearst's paper because he was in a deal with dupont to produce wood pulp paper) (and not used in dupont's new Nylon rope). it is suspicious that the illegal tax act was passed 2 years after an automatic hemp stripping machine was made (which would likely have undercut nylon, and wood paper)

  Hearst papers WERE a textbook example of "yellow journalism", we hope they have reformed, but they haven't given any evidence to support it.

I know there are good people at the history channel, they produce shows about corruption all the time, as with the BBC. But when the BBC took on 911, they ended up with a documentary which asked the hard questions, then debunked some of the official theory, then talked about some of the conspiracy theories, then put some of the easy questions to rest, let the hard ones fester, and then implied that they had debunked every single conspiracy theory and answered all the questions. Then they rolled the credits with the director of the x-files talking in a soothing voice about people who couldn't accept reality embracing theory's which simplify the world.

I hope the history channel doesn't presume to know just what did happen (I don't), and presents the evidence fairly. But they had better get rid of the interview with their bosses or else it's gonna look silly."
Google

+ - Google exec talks about R&D opportunities abro

Submitted by StonyandCher
StonyandCher (1121349) writes "In this interview with Computerworld, Kannan Pashupathy, the director of Google's international engineering operations, talks about hiring staff overseas, cultural obstacles, and the challenges and opportunities that face Google's expanding international R&D operations.

From the interview: "In addition to your raw smarts and your analytical thinking and your problem solving and your grade-point average, we do a very strong culture-fit test.

Part of that culture-fit test is to look for people who have an open mindset, people who think there is a richness in different cultures, that they can learn from everybody and hierarchy is not important and ideas are. If you're in the company, you're already somehow predisposed to thinking or at least aligning yourself in that direction."
Announcements

+ - AT&T Rigs Net Neutrality Study->

Submitted by JagsLive
JagsLive (1106379) writes "theRegister reports, "A new study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Nevada Reno says that net neutrality is a bad idea. Of course, that's what you'd expect it to say. It was paid for by AT&T. For years, AT&T has called for a "tiered Internet," which would abandon net neutrality in favor of a system where high-bandwidth sites like YouTube are forced to pay higher fees to ISPs like, well, AT&T." Isn't it about time get rid off ALL at&t internet services like DSL/IPTV etc(BTW DSL sucks anyway) And call your Senator/Congressman to pass FULL net neutrality act."
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Microsoft

+ - MS to change desktop search after Google complaint->

Submitted by
Raver32
Raver32 writes "Microsoft Corp. will make changes to the program that helps Windows Vista users search their hard drives, in response to antitrust complaints from Google Inc., according to a U.S. Justice Department report issued late Tuesday. Google filed a 49-page document with the Justice Department in April claiming Vista's desktop search tool slowed down competing programs, including Google's own free offering, and that it's difficult for users to figure out how to turn off the Microsoft program. Microsoft initially dismissed the allegations, saying regulators had reviewed the program before Vista launched. However, Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in an interview last week that the company was willing to make changes if necessary."
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Security

+ - Hackers "nuke" the Czech Republic

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This story from IT PRO details how hackers managed to access a webcam that broadcasts scenes from the Czech Republic and insert footage of a local beauty spot being nuked. The video went out live on Czech TV and scared the bejeezus out of the population. There is also a video of the footage on the site as well."
The Internet

+ - The consequences of blog proliferation->

Submitted by
Keyser Soze Jr
Keyser Soze Jr writes "Quality over quantity should be the mantra of the Internet, unfortunately we all know that just isn't the case. How many stories have we read that stated some medical fact like how bad soda pop is for us but when you actually go to the site and read the story they have no scientific facts or studies that back up their claim. No, it's just someone's opinion and most likely a tainted one at that, because of some self perceived slight by the company they attacked. This is what bad opinions try to do, skew your opinion without any empirical evidence to back them up. These articles are rampant at a time when actual newspapers are cutting half of their staff because of the ethics that required within their industry like needing two independent sources for the same story.

With the explosion of blogs and targeted advertising, a new era has been created. One that finds many hopefuls wanting to become rich for doing very little, all from the comfort of their own home. Just searching for the term 'Blogger Jobs' in any search engine brings up dozens of job sites that specifically relate to this industry and within those results are hundreds of positions ripe for the picking.

The rest of the article — http://www.about-seattlewa.com/the-consequences-of -blog-proliferation/"

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