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Submission + - IE8 edits boot.ini, can trash it ( 1

David Gerard writes: "OneAndOneIs2 was trying to fix his parents' broken PC. boot.ini was getting deleted every startup. It turns out that IE 8 tries to edit boot.ini to enable NX protection (because of course you want a web browser to reconfigure your system!), and if it fails it trashes the file. Not a Trojan or a toolbar, others have seen the same, and this is even documented by Microsoft. "So well done, Microsoft! You've released a browser that deletes a system file it shouldn't even LOOK at! That's true creativity, that is. Who wouldn't think that a piece of software designed for looking at web pages might be deleting boot files even before it's told to load and run?""

Feed Engadget: Zune Guy fed up with Zune, seeks to cover up tattoos (

Filed under: Portable Audio, Portable Video, Wearables

Say it ain't so! America's most loyal advocate for Microsoft's Zune is apparently throwing in the towel. Of course, we should warn you that this could very well be a simple ploy for attention, but if the man keeps his word, he will soon be covering his Zune tattoos with... something else. Curiously, he didn't say whether or not he would be playing the traitor card and picking up some sort of iPod, but considering that more people have seen this guy's body art in the wild than actual Zunes, the general public should know soon enough. You fought a good fight, Zune Guy, but consider yourself expelled from The Social.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]Read|Permalink|Email this|Comments

The Internet

Even Before Memex, a Plan For a Networked World 119

phlurg writes "The New York Times presents an amazing article on 'the Mundaneum,' a sort of proto-WWW conceived of by Paul Otlet in 1934. 'In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or "electric telescopes," as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a "réseau," which might be translated as "network" — or arguably, "web."' A fascinating read." (You may be reminded of Vannevar Bush's "Memex," which shares some of the same ideas.)

What Happens To Bounced E-Mails 286

An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post's Security Fix blog today features a funny but scary interview with a guy in Seattle who owns the domain name Apparently, everyone from major US banks to the Transportation Security Administration to contractors in Iraq use some variation on the address in the "From:" field of all e-mails sent out, with the result that bounced e-mails go to the owner of'With the exception of extreme cases like those mentioned above, Faliszek says he long ago stopped trying to alert companies about the e-mails he was receiving. It's just not worth it: Faliszek said he is constantly threatened with lawsuits from companies who for one reason or another have a difficult time grasping why he is in possession of their internal documents and e-mails.'"
The Courts

Comparing the RIAA To "The Sopranos" 193

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to commentator Therese Polletti at Dow Jones MarketWatch, 'the RIAA's tactics are nearly as bad as the actions of mobsters, real or fictional. The analogy comes up easily and frequently in any discussion of the RIAA's maneuvers.' Among other things she cites the extortionate nature of their 'settlement negotiations' pointed out by Prof. Bob Talbot of the University of San Francisco School of Law IP Law Clinic. His student attorneys are helping private practitioners fight the RIAA, and the the illegality of the RIAA's use of unlicensed investigators. She goes on to cite the fact that the RIAA thinks nothing of jeopardizing a student's college education in order to make their point, as support for the MAFIAA/Mafia analogy."

Using Excel As a 3D Graphics Engine 292

simoniker writes "Obviously whimsical but slightly mind-blowing — an Eastern European coder has published video and the Excel tables to get full 3D wireframe running in Microsoft Excel. He even has solid polygonal graphics running. This isn't an Easter Egg by the Excel creators. Rather, he's using formulas to output the graphics, using two different methods, and showing all the variables on-screen in real time as the 3D is created."
Data Storage

Submission + - Data disposal (

An anonymous reader writes: TPM Muckraker has a story about servers belonging to the Washington D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue being found in the trash.

Time for a Vista Do-Over? 746

DigitalDame2 writes "'There's nothing wrong with Vista,' PC Mag editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff tells a Microsoft rep at this year's CES. 'But you guys have a big problem on your hands. Perception is reality, and the perception is that Vista is a dud.' He goes on to confess that the operating system is too complex and burdened by things people don't need. Plus, Vista sometimes seems so slow. Ulanoff gives four suggestions for a complete Vista makeover, like starting with new code and creating a universal interface table. But will Microsoft really listen?"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Remote control implant to turn off your testicles 2

holy_calamity writes: New Scientist reports on Australian researchers developing radio-controlled valves to be implanted in the vas deferens that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis. The idea is to offer a reversible alternative to vasectomy. The silicone-based valves switch open or closed by converting radiowaves into acoustic waves that force the silicone-bases structures to change shape. To prevent security problems, "each valve responds only to a radio-frequency signal with a unique code".

Submission + - FCC Cites Buttocks as Sexual Organ 7

rgriscom writes: "The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine ABC $1.4 million for airing in 2003 between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. an NYPD Blue episode showing a woman's buttocks. The details are in this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture. According to the FCC, the episode violated its decency regulations because it depicts "sexual or excretory organs or activities". In response to ABC's argument that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, the ruling states:

"Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense.""

Submission + - Medical Pot Vending Machines Arrive (

StealthyRoid writes: A medical marijuana clinic in Los Angeles, CA is preparing to set up medical pot vending machines in its facilities for after-hour access by patients with prescriptions. Accompanied by a pretty high level of biometric tracking, LA residents with a scrip will be able to go into an area of the facility where they'll be met by a security guard, have their fingerprints checked against registered approved customers of the clinic, and be able to purchase any of a number of strains of pot from an automated vending machine. Screw cigarette machines, this is basically what I've been dreaming about for 10 years!

Note: this is probably NSFW.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?