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Submission + - raspberry pi - its hard to make an i/o expansion board a commercial success ( 1

waterwingz writes: Today we learned about one of the first casualties of a group trying to make a business providing support hardware for the raspberry pi. The basic board has a lot of capability but it will take something like what this group was trying to do before it will compete with the arduino.

Submission + - Why We're Pill-Addict Meat Apologists: An Interview with Author Martha Rosenberg (

pigrabbitbear writes: "“Can anyone remember life before ‘Ask Your Doctor’ ads?” This question opens Martha Rosenberg’s "Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health" and hangs over the proceeding chapters. Even the most hardened cynic will be taken aback after reading Rosenberg’s powerful examination of Big Pharma and Big Food, their influence and reach severely miscalculated by an often passive public. It’s a text serves as an instrument of combat against the forces which damage our health while marketing us junk and drugs we don’t need."

Comment Re:CmdrTaco drags big brass ones along the ground (Score 1) 750

Except that the iPhone was technically shit, apart from its nice interface. Technically I think the iPad looks like a nice device again simply for the interface. I couldn't really see myself using it because I'd be taking 10 times longer to post to slashdot in my evenings like I'm doing just now.. but for simple browsing, facebook use, media viewing and maybe some light gaming I can see the iPad being pretty popular. There are a lot of wealthy casual users out there. Not saying it will be a great success, but Apple are gaining a lot of momentum and halo effect business with the iPod and iPhone. I wouldn't bet against it anyway.

Despite knowing myself that I would never have a use for it, I still want one just because it's the sort of device I've always wanted to have since seeing datapads on TNG. A jailbroken iPad would be one fun geek toy.


Rabbit Ears To Stage a Comeback Thanks To DTV 265

Jeffrey Breen writes "Like Monty Python's Killer Rabbit, cheap indoor antennas seem harmless to satellite and cable providers. But with the digital TV transition in the US, rabbit ears can suddenly provide digital-perfect pictures, many more channels, and even on-screen program guides. Already feeling pressure as suddenly budget-conscious consumers shed premium channels, providers must now get creative to protect their low-end as well."
Hardware Hacking

Reverse Engineering a Missile Launcher Toy's Interface 118

nitro writes "A fairly in-depth technical report by the security researchers at TippingPoint was released on how to reverse engineer the proprietary protocol for controlling a USB missile-launching toy system. They develop an iPhone application to control the device. 'The hardware is coupled with a simple GUI controller written in Delphi (MissileLauncher.exe) and a USB Human Interface Device (HID) interface written in C++ (USBHID.dll). The toys lost their allure within minutes of harassing my team with a barrage of soft missile shots. That same night I thought I would be able to extend the fun factor by coding up a programmatic interface to the launchers in Python. ... One interesting thing is that we have a lot more granular control of the turret movement now than we did with the original GUI. I wrote two simple loops to count the number of possible horizontal and vertical ticks and the results were 947 horizontal and 91 vertical versus 54 and 10 from the original GUI respectively. Granular control allows you to slowly and quietly reposition the turret for stealthy attacks.'"
The Military

NSA Takes On West Point In Security Exercise 140

Wired is running a story about a recent security exercise in which the NSA attacked networks set up by various US military academies. The Army's network scored the highest, put together using Linux and FreeBSD by cadets at West Point. Quoting: "Even with a solid network design and passable software choices, there was an element of intuitiveness required to defend against the NSA, especially once it became clear the agency was using minor, and perhaps somewhat obvious, attacks to screen for sneakier, more serious ones. 'One of the challenges was when they see a scan, deciding if this is it, or if it's a cover,' says [instructor Eric] Dean. Spotting 'cover' attacks meant thinking like the NSA -- something Dean says the cadets did quite well. 'I was surprised at their creativity.' Legal limitations were a surprising obstacle to a realistic exercise. Ideally, the teams would be allowed to attack other schools' networks while also defending their own. But only the NSA, with its arsenal of waivers, loopholes, special authorizations (and heaven knows what else) is allowed to take down a U.S. network."
Operating Systems

Slackware 12.1 Released 244

SlackFan writes "Slackware 12.1 has been released, with kernel 2.6.24-5. 'Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find better support for RAID, LVM, and cryptsetup; a network capable (FTP and HTTP, not only NFS) installer; and two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.2, a fast, lightweight, and visually appealing desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.9, the latest 3.x version of the full-featured K Desktop Environment.'"

Strict Order Boarding Would Get Planes in the Sky Faster 880

electrostatic writes "In a oldie-but-goodie, a physicist says he has solved a problem that costs airlines millions every year: what is the quickest way to get passengers aboard an aircraft? Boarding is a serious issue for airlines, particularly those operating short flights that run several times a day, yet boarding times have steadily increased for decades. Back in 2005 Jason Steffen of the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois said the method used by many airlines to this day is almost the worst. 'The best way to board, according to the researchers, would be a row-by-row, seat-by-seat, strict order. That would mean everyone lines up, row 25 first. I can't imagine fliers will go for that. Next best, they say, would be boarding all the window seats first, followed by those in the aisle. Obviously that's not practical, at least for couples or families traveling together.'"

Microsoft Misleads On Canadian Copyright Reform 107

An anonymous reader writes "As the battle rages over a Canadian DMCA, Microsoft Canada has published an op-ed in a political newspaper that Michael Geist describes as astonishingly misleading and factually incorrect. Microsoft tries to argue that Canadian copyright law provides no legal protections, even after it received one of the largest copyright damage awards in Canadian history just one year ago."

2008 Turing Award Winners Announced 66

The Association for Computing Machinery has announced the 2008 Turing Award Winners. Edmund M. Clarke, Allen Emerson, and Joseph Sifakis received the award for their work on an automated method for finding design errors in computer hardware and software. "Model Checking is a type of "formal verification" that analyzes the logic underlying a design, much as a mathematician uses a proof to determine that a theorem is correct. Far from hit or miss, Model Checking considers every possible state of a hardware or software design and determines if it is consistent with the designer's specifications. Clarke and Emerson originated the idea of Model Checking at Harvard in 1981. They developed a theoretical technique for determining whether an abstract model of a hardware or software design satisfies a formal specification, given as a formula in Temporal Logic, a notation for describing possible sequences of events. Moreover, when the system fails the specification, it could identify a counterexample to show the source of the problem. Numerous model checking systems have been implemented, such as Spin at Bell Labs."

Submission + - Microsoft Wants to Be Your Big Brother (

sjvn writes: "Today, I have a temperature of 99 degrees Fahrenheit, a headache, my blood pressure is 100 over 71, and my heart-heat is around 90 beats per minute. I have felt better. Now, if Microsoft's plan goes the way it wants, my Windows computer will soon be reporting all of that, and more, to my boss.

No, this isn't science fiction. This isn't paranoia. This is tomorrow's Windows-based office.


"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain