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Comment Re:Completely useless (Score 1) 224

you might want to read up on smart meters and studies associated with them. they can help reduce your energy usage (together with near real time feedback provided by the meter) and change the usage distribution. i don't think i have to tell you why it's a good thing, for you and our whole energy/climate situation, to decrease your overall usage. flattening down the distribution away from the peaks we see today will help stabilizing and securing the grid (and reduce costs for the utility). obviously that doesn't excuse security problems in the system and they have to be addressed immediately.

energy theft has been a rather big problem in some countries and was an easy thing to accomplish. go ask italy why enel introduced smart meters back in 2001, even though they still don't profit of any userfeedback or newer billing plans. the main goal of introducing smart meters from the point of utilities is exactly to reduce energy theft, you think they're introducing flaws on purpose because they want to loose money?

Comment Re:Google's been walking a thin line recently (Score 1) 232

Have you actually compared Google to your random US company? I think regardless who you compare them with they come out pretty decent.

Some people tend to put them to extremely higher standards than anyone else. Its not enough they are nice, they have to be some kind of techie Ghandies fused with Jesus and a couple of hundred saints.

Comment Re:Funny thing about "common-sense exceptions"... (Score 1) 139

While "common sense" is terribly rare in government, "exceptions" are never in short supply.

"Common sense" is also terribly rare everywhere outside of government, and "exceptions" are extremely common in everyday life. The blame for this aspect of the proposed legislation in question lies not with the government as such, but the fact that there are people involved.

Security

Submission + - Poor security of UK wifi hotspots

Tasha26 writes: BBC's Watchdog programme has an interesting investigation of the appalling state of Wifi security at Hotspots such as those found at coffe shops, burger places or even on trains. The video report shows live hacking minus the how-to, obviously, but you can see bits of linux shells (@1m08) and what appears to be Wireshark as tools used. The hack involved taking control email accounts of unsuspecting people to (1) send bogus emails as identity theft (@1m43) and (2) hijack email session so the user wouldn't be able to log out (@3m43). The programme carried out tests on UK's top 3 hotspot providers (BT Openzone, The Cloud and T-Mobile) and all revealed the same flaw. So people, be warned!
Games

Submission + - OpenGL vs. Direct3D (tomshardware.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm working for a gaming company that is creating simple games like slot and card games, we are also controlling the hardware to run these games. Until recently we used our own propriety game engine on Windows XP, and within couple of months manage to convert it to Direct3D. I'm now checking the alternative to switch to Linux and OpenGL. Reading the review at Tom's Hardware gives the impression that it is not such a good idea. I'd like to learn from the experience of other developers regarding driver's support, ease of development (C++) and other such factors.
Encryption

UK Law Enforcement Is Against "3-Strikes" 134

Now that the UK is discussing plans for some form of 3-strikes regime to discourage file-sharing, TechDirt reports that the fans of due process have picked up unlikely allies: the law enforcement and spying establishments fear that a 3-strikes policy would result in far more encryption on the Net, greatly complicating their jobs. "Of course, they're not as concerned about due process and civil rights, as they are about making it more difficult to track down criminals online: 'Law enforcement groups, which include the Serious and Organized Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police's e-crime unit, believe that more encryption will increase the costs and workload for those attempting to monitor internet traffic. ... A source involved in drafting the Bill said that the intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, had also voiced concerns about disconnection. "The spooks hate it," the source said.'" The Times (UK) Online has more details.
Censorship

French Branch of Scientology Is Convicted of Fraud 622

The trial we discussed this spring has come to a verdict, and reader lugannerd was one of several to note a milestone in the fight against the Church of Scientology. "The French branch of the Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud and fined nearly $900,000 on Tuesday by a Paris court. But the judges did not ban the church entirely, as the prosecution had demanded, saying that a change in the law prevented such an action for fraud. The church said it would appeal. The verdict was among the most important in several years to involve the controversial group, which is registered as a religion in the United States but has no similar legal protection in France. It is considered a sect here, and says it has some 45,000 adherents, out of some 12 million worldwide. It was the first time here that the church itself had been tried and convicted, as opposed to individual members."
Security

Submission + - Gizmodo serves malware and blames Linux and OS X (gizmodo.com)

JacobSteelsmith writes: The very popular, technology focused blog Gizmodo was apparently duped into serving advertisements offering 'scareware.' These advertisements notified users that their PC was infected with malware, and offered up 'antivirus' software. It's not clear whether this was a drive by installation or if it required user interaction.

In an apology, the author claims the staff would have noticed sooner 'except everyone on staff is on OS X or Linux for production machines.' They did not say whether AdBlock prevented them from seeing the advertisements, or they did not notice any installation prompts. The author says the advertisements only ran 'for a little while' and only 'a few people' should have been affected. The blog post warns to look for qegasysguard.exe if you are experiencing random popups.

Submission + - French Branch of Scientology Is Convicted of Fraud (nytimes.com) 1

lugannerd writes: The French branch of the Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud and fined nearly $900,000 on Tuesday by a Paris court. But the judges did not ban the church entirely, as the prosecution had demanded, saying that a change in the law prevented such an action for fraud. The church said it would appeal.

The verdict was among the most important in several years to involve the controversial group, which is registered as a religion in the United States but has no similar legal protection in France. It is considered a sect here, and says it has some 45,000 adherents, out of some 12 million worldwide. It was the first time here that the church itself had been tried and convicted, as opposed to individual members.

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