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IBM

IBM Seeks Patent On Digital Witch Hunts 136

theodp writes "Should Mark Zuckerberg want to identify a snitching Facebook employee, Elon Musk wish to set a trap for loose-lipped Tesla employees, or Steve Jobs want to 'play Asteroid,' they'll be happy to know that a new IBM 'invention' makes it easier than ever to be paranoid. In a newly-disclosed patent application for Embedding a Unique Serial Number into the Content of an Email for Tracking Information Dispersion (phew!), Big Blue describes how it's automated the creation of Canary Traps with patent-pending software that makes ever-so-slight changes to e-mail wording to allow you to spy on the unsuspecting recipients of your e-mail."
Security

iPhone 3Gs Encryption Cracked In Two Minutes 179

An anonymous reader writes "In a Wired news article, iPhone Forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski explains how the much-touted hardware encryption of the iPhone 3Gs is but a farce, and demonstrates how both the passcode and backup encryption can be bypassed in about two minutes. Zdziarski also goes on to say that all data on the iPhone — including deleted data — is automatically decrypted by the iPhone when it's copied, allowing hackers and law enforcement agencies alike access the device's raw disk as if no encryption were present. A second demonstration features the recovery of the iPhone's entire disk while the device is still passcode-locked. According to a similar article in Ars Technica, Zdziarski describes the iPhone's hardware encryption by saying it's 'like putting privacy glass on half your shower door.' With the iPhone being sold into 20% of Fortune-100s and into the military, just how worried should we be with such shoddy security?"
Image

Microsoft Exec Says, "You'll Miss Vista" 273

Oracle Goddess writes "'Years from now, when you've moved on to Windows 7, you'll look back at Windows Vista fondly. You'll remember its fabulous attributes, not its flaws.' That's the opinion of Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of the OEM division at Microsoft. 'I think people will look back on Vista after the Windows 7 release and realize that there were actually a bunch of good things there,' Guggenheimer said in a recent interview. 'So it'll actually be interesting to see in two years what the perception is of Vista.' A dissenting opinion comes from Bob Nitrio, president of system builder Ranvest Associates, doesn't believe organizations that skipped Vista will ever regret their decision. 'I don't think for a second that people are suddenly going to love Windows 7 so much that they will experience deep pangs of regret for not having adopted Vista,' said Nitrio. If I had to bet, I'd go with Bob's take on it." My first thought was, Steve meant Windows 7 is designed to be virtually unusable as payback for all the complaints about Vista, but I might be biased.
Windows

Microsoft Agrees To EU Browser Ballot Screen 438

An anonymous reader sends in coverage from Ars Technica of Microsoft's capitulation to the EU, after European regulators requested that Redmond bundle multiple browsers on new PCs. "Microsoft has decided that the last thing it needs in this economy is some combination of the following: fines, legal bills, and a delay of Windows 7. It has offered to adopt the European Union's preferred solution for browser competition: a browser selector screen at startup."
GNU is Not Unix

Stallman Says Pirate Party Hurts Free Software 546

bonch writes "Richard Stallman has written an article on the GNU Web site describing the effect the Swedish Pirate Party's platform would have on the free software movement. While he supports general changes to copyright law, he makes a point that many anti-copyright proponents don't realize — the GPL itself is a copyright license that relies on copyright law to protect access to source code. According to Stallman, the Pirate Party's proposal of a five-year limit on copyright would remove the freedom users have to gain access to source code by eventually allowing its inclusion in proprietary products. Stallman suggests requiring proprietary software to also release its code within five years to even the balance of power."
The Internet

UK ISP Disconnects Customers For File Sharing 311

think_nix writes "Karoo, an ISP in Hull, in the UK, is disconnecting subscribers without warning if they file-share, or are even suspected of file-sharing. Karoo is the only ISP in the area. Copyright owners are working with the ISP helping them identify and report suspected filesharers using their services. In order to get service restored, subscribers have to go to Karoo's office and sign a form admitting guilt and promising not to do it again. The article states that some subscribers have had their access cut off for more than two years." Update: 07/24 16:29 GMT by KD : The Register is reporting that Karoo has relented and has changed its policy. A spokesman said: "It is evident that we have been exceeding the expectation of copyright owners..."
The Almighty Buck

Stock Market Manipulation By Millisecond Trading 624

cfa22 writes "Nice piece in the NY Times today on ultra-fast trading on the NYSE and other markets. The 'algos' that make autonomous trading decisions have to be fast, but I wonder: Is network speed ever a bottleneck? Can anyone with inside experience with millisecond trading provide some details for the curious among us regarding hardware architectures and networking used for such trading systems?" According to the article, high-frequency traders generated about $21 billion in profits last year.
PC Games (Games)

Gaming On Windows 7 554

Jason Wilson writes "Windows 7 comes out Oct. 22, and many gamers are wondering whether it will be a boon for gaming, as Microsoft promised Vista would, or a disappointment (like Vista was at its launch). Former ExtremeTech editor Jason Cross, who's covered games and tech for 13 years, discusses the pluses and minuses of Windows 7 for gamers — how it differs from Vista, if it'll run older games, and the benefits of 64-bit computing. 'Windows 7 basically takes the Vista codebase and rewrites, refines, optimizes, and overhauls most of the internal stuff without making dramatic changes to the driver stacks that Vista did over WinXP. The changes to the fundamental driver models are small and mostly serve to improve performance. Plus, the hardware makers — especially the graphics guys — are on top of the changes this time around. Nvidia and ATI have been shipping quite good Win7 graphics drivers for months now.'"
The Internet

East Africa Gets High-Speed Internet Access Via Undersea Cable 198

Abel Mebratu writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "The first undersea cable to bring high-speed internet access to East Africa has gone live. The fiber-optic cable, operated by African-owned firm Seacom, connects South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique to Europe and Asia. The firm says the cable will help to boost the prospects of the region's industry and commerce. The cable — which is 17,000km long — took two years to lay and cost more than $650m."
Patents

How To Vet Clever Ideas Without Giving Them Away? 539

Rival writes "As an inquisitive and creative geek, I am constantly coming up with 'clever' ideas. Most often I discover fundamental or practical flaws lurking in the details, which I'm fine with. As Edison said, 'I haven't failed; I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.' Other times, I discover that someone else has beaten me to the idea. I'm fine with that, too. At least I know that I've come up with a great idea, even if I'm not the first. There are times, however, when I can find no flaws with an idea and nobody else seems to have thought of it. I'm not conceited enough to think my idea is genius; I just assume that I'm not knowledgeable enough to see what I'm missing. In these times, I often want to ask a subject matter expert for their thoughts. On the admittedly long chance that an idea is genius, however, what is the best way to ask for another's insights while mitigating the risk of them stealing or sharing the idea? Asking a stranger to sign a contract before discussing an idea seems like a good way to get a door closed on my face. What are your experiences and suggestions?"
Medicine

Artificial Brain '10 Years Away' 539

SpuriousLogic writes "A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed. Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already built elements of a rat brain. He told the TED global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses. Around two billion people are thought to suffer some kind of brain impairment, he said. 'It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years,' he said."
Operating Systems

Windows 7 Hits RTM At Build 7600.16385 341

An anonymous reader links to Ars Technica's report that (quoting) "Microsoft today announced that Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 have hit the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) milestone. The software giant still has a lot of work to do, but the bigger responsibility now falls to OEMs that must get PCs ready, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that are testing their new apps, and Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) that are preparing their new hardware. The RTM build is 7600, but it is not the same one that leaked less than two weeks ago (7600.16384). We speculated that Microsoft may end up recompiling build 7600 until it is satisfied, but it only took the company one more shot to get it right: 7600.16385 is the final build number. Microsoft refused to share the full build string, but if you trust leaks from a few days ago, it's '6.1.7600.16385.090713-1255,' which indicates that the final build was compiled over a week ago: July 13, 2009, at 12:45pm. This would be in line with the rumored RTM date but it is also the day Microsoft stated that Windows 7 had not yet hit RTM. Although the final build had been compiled, Microsoft still had to put it through testing before christening it as RTM."
Biotech

Researchers Use Salmon DNA To Make LED Lightbulbs 66

Al writes "Researchers from the University of Connecticut have created a new light-emitting material by doping spun strands of salmon DNA with fluorescent dyes. The material, which is robust because DNA is such a strong polymer, absorbs energy from ultraviolet light and gives off different colors depending on the amounts of dye it contains. A team led by chemistry professor Gregory Sotzing created the new material by mixing salmon DNA with two types of dye, then pumping the solution from a fine needle while a voltage is applied between the needle tip and a grounded copper plate covered with a glass slide. As the liquid jet comes out, it dries and forms long nanofibers that are deposited on the glass slide as a mat. The researchers then spin this nanofiber mat directly on the surface of an ultraviolet LED to make a white-light emitter. The color-tunable DNA material relies on an energy-transfer mechanism between two different fluorescent dyes, and the DNA keeps the dye molecules separated at a distance of 2 to 10 nanometers from each other."
Privacy

Undercover Cameras Catch PC Repair Scams, Privacy Violations 665

Barence writes "With help from readers of PC Pro, Sky News in the UK launched an undercover investigation into rogue PC repair shops. As a result, Sky's cameras caught technicians scouring through private photos, stealing passwords and over-charging for basic repairs. It was a simple enough job: 'To create the fault, we simply loosened one of the memory chips so Windows wouldn't load. To get things working again, one needs only push the chip back into the slot and reboot the machine. Any half-way competent engineers should fix it in minutes.' But these technicians had other ideas, stealing photos and documents, as well as login details for email and bank accounts."

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