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Submission + - New Species Named for SpongeBob (

An anonymous reader writes: Sing it with us: What lives in the rainforest, under a tree? Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of mushroom almost as strange as its cartoon namesake. Scientists from the San Francisco State University have discovered a new species of mushroom in Borneo with sponge-like properties. Its strange behavior convinced them to name it after the famous Bob. There is no word on whether or not their chances of getting future grant money will be improved by this choice.

Submission + - Mac 'Fixer' Busted In Spyware Sting (

aesoteric writes: "A computer service technician has been accused of installing spyware on customers' Apple computers that allowed him to take photos of women as they undressed or showered. The spyware allegedly surfaced fake system prompts that told users they could fix a problem with an "internal sensor" by placing their laptops "near hot steam for several minutes". Many victims took their laptops into the bathroom while they showered."

Submission + - Dumb Card and Dumber User (

Demonoid-Penguin writes: myki is a creatively named "Smart Card" used to pay fares in the Australian state of Victoria. Yesterday, Dr Stillman, an information technology researcher at Monash University, found his myki account balance was an unexpected $470, 000AU. While having the presence of mind to snap a photograph of the windfall balance, presumably to the joy of the commuters queuing behind him, Dr Stillman tried desperately to add another $5 to his balance. Whereas many would have simply cashed out and carried on, the wily Dr Stillman utilized his IT knowledge and managed to finally reset his balance to $8. Stay tuned for more breaking news as police are called to a domestic disturbance at Dr Stillman's home this evening..... Apparently the ''large, anomalous amount'' was a display error ''triggered by an unusual series of actions, the combination of which is so unlikely as to make it highly improbable that other users will be affected''.

Last March, in a programming error, 20 customers were sent cards with $100,000 balances....


Submission + - PayPal, eBay sue Google over mobile payments (

angry tapir writes: "PayPal and parent eBay have filed a suit against Google and two former executives alleging that they have misappropriated their trade secrets in the area of mobile payments and point-of-sale strategies. The suit filed Thursday before the Superior Court of the State of California in the County of Santa Clara also charges two former employees, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, who now work with Google, of breaching their obligations to PayPal and eBay."

Submission + - Amazon Challenges Apple With Mac App Store ( 1

CWmike writes: "Amazon launched a Mac-specific application download store on Thursday that will compete with Apple's nearly five-month-old Mac App Store. The new subsection of Amazon's massive online store, dubbed 'Mac Software Downloads,' kicked off quietly Thursday. Amazon has long offered software downloads for both Windows and Mac customers, but this was the first time that the company called out its Mac-centric 'store.' The retailer, however, apparently did not want to goad Apple into another legal battle by mimicking its rival's 'App Store' moniker: The two companies are already in court over Amazon's 'Appstore for Android,' which Apple claims violates its trademark. Unlike the Mac App Store, which Apple opened in early January, Amazon's includes the popular Office for Mac line from Microsoft."

Submission + - Comcast Abandons Charity After Critical Tweet (

ShaunC writes: Comcast today withdrew a charitable commitment after one of the charity's Twitter messages criticized the cable giant's recent hire of the former FCC commissioner. Said a Comcast VP, "I cannot in good conscience continue to provide you with funding." Comcast has since attempted to backpedal, saying "we sincerely apologize for the unauthorized action of our employee."

Submission + - Robot ROCKS!, Rolls and Fly at the same time (

hasanabbas1987 writes: "Researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Distributed Robotics (that’s a mouthful) were bored and then somebody said, lets make a robot which first rolls and then flies around like a helicopter. Now if you say that to a normal person he’d tell you that “Transformers” was only a movie, but these researchers are not of this world, are they ? As you can observe in the video above that they really did make a robot which first rolls around and then suddenly grows some fold able rotors and flies around like a helicopter, Impressive stuff!!!"

Submission + - Epsilon Breach Leads to More Than Just Phishing (

Orome1 writes: Since the Epsilon breach, customers have had daily reminders that they could expect and be prepared for spear phishing emails coming their way. But, phishing is not the only type of attack that can be mounted against them. Websense researchers have recently spotted a web page spoofing the Epsilon official website, i.e. the page with the press release regarding the breach.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Apple MobileMe triggers credit card blocks (

Barence writes: "Users of Apple's MobileMe service are reporting that their credit cards are being declined after attempting to renew their subscriptions. One MobileMe customer insists that two call-centre staff told him in two separate calls concerning the declined online payments that his card was automatically blocked because it had been used for a payment to MobileMe. Users on Apple's forums are also reporting the same issue. "My bank’s Visa department tell me that they automatically decline any MobileMe requests due to MobileMe generating too many fraud incidents," claims one forum user. Apple declined to comment."

Submission + - Firefox Add-on 'Undoes' ICE Domain Seizures (

schwit1 writes: The seizure of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government hasn't been as effective as the entertainment industries had hoped since many of them simply continued their operations under new domains. To make these type of domain transitions go more smoothly, an anonymous group has coded a simple Firefox add-on that automatically redirects users to these new homes.

The seizures of file-sharing related domain names by the US Government in recent months have stirred up a lot of controversy. Despite heavy critique from various sides, the end is not yet in sight.

ICE director John Morton confirmed last week that the seizures will continue in the coming years. But at the same time the authorities amp up their anti-piracy efforts, those in opposition are already coming up with ways to bypass them.

One of these initiatives is the MAFIAA Fire add-on for Firefox that was officially published today. The plugin, which will support the Chrome browser at a later stage too, maintains a list of all the domains that ICE (hence the fire) has seized and redirects their users to an alternative domain if the sites in question have set one up.

To start the ball rolling the add-on's developers have redirected some of the seized sites for which they know the alternate domains, such as and In addition, they are offering webmasters the option to register an alternate domain in anticipation of an eventual domain seizure. These domains will then be verified and the site owners can "activate" them in case they're needed.


Submission + - NZ Politician Infringes.. Then Votes For 3 Strikes (

An anonymous reader writes: As New Zealand politicians are looking to rush through a new copyright law, 92A, which imposes a "three strikes" regime on people accused of file sharing, some New Zealanders were a bit amused to see Parliament Member Melissa Lee stand up to speak in favor of the bill just hours after tweeting how she was enjoying a compilation of music put together for her by a friend. Does that count as her first strike?

Submission + - Google Copyright School (

maczealot writes: Google is launching a new "Copyright School" for use as a re-education tool for offenders on YouTube. The apparent purpose being to head off additional leglistation, lawsuits, regulation and other negative impacts to the site. They even have campy cartoon videos for this school like this.

Submission + - Malware Silently Hijacks Facebook Account (

Orome1 writes: Several months ago, when the operators of the Sality P2P botnet pushed out malware that not only collected usernames and passwords and sends them to the C&C servers but also dumped Facebook, Blogger and MySpace login credentials into an encrypted file on the infected computer, Symantec researchers speculated about the purpose these files would serve. Their best guess was that these credentials will be of use to some yet unrevealed piece of malware, and the theory has proven to be correct over the weekend, when Sality — a virus whose primary reason of being is to download and execute other malware — downloaded a new piece of malware that fished out that file and the credentials in it.

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise. -- Larry Wall