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The Internet

Submission + - The Future of the Linux SCSI Subsystem

LinucksGirl writes: The Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) is a collection of standards that define the interface and protocols for communicating with a large number of devices. Linux provides a SCSI subsystem to permit communication with these devices. This article introduces you to the Linux SCSI subsystem and discusses where this subsystem is going in the future.
The Courts

Submission + - Hot new laywer in eBay Reseller vs. Autodesk (aecnews.com)

New10k writes: "Timothy Vernor, the guy suing Autodesk in federal court over the right to sell used copies of AutoCAD, now has a high-profile new member of his legal team. Michael Withey of Seattle has won a number of front-page lawsuits over the years, including the first successful personal injury lawsuit against former Phillipine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Vernor is already represented by watchdog group Public Citizen, which heard of his case after Shashdot reported the initial lawsuit. It looks like Vernor now has a two-part legal team; one part wants settled case law regarding software licenses and private resale (Public Citizen), and one part wants a big settlement (Withey). The new legal team submitted a amended complaint in federal court yesterday, polishing up the original complaint written and filed by Vernor without benefit of an attorney."
Government

Submission + - Bittorrent interface to .gov data in bulk (resource.org)

Carl Malamud writes: "Through the judicious use of wget, we've accumulated an archive of 5.1 million PDF pages representing the major databases of the U.S. government. These include the Federal Register, the Congressional Record, Presidential Papers, and Public Laws. This data was previously only available for high retail fees or through a decade-old WAIS [sic] interface for the public. We're making the data available as tarballs with http and bittorrent interfaces up now, rsync and ftp coming rsn.

The cool thing about this is that for years, people have been telling the Government Printing Office that they should provide their data in bulk for free. The answer has always been "good suggestion, please send us a memo." But, it turns out if instead of telling the GPO they should do the work you simply inform them that you're going to harvest their database using their existing interface, they say "go for it" and assign a technical team to talk to in case you have any questions. Never hurts to ask!"

Robotics

Submission + - Robots Infiltrate, Influence Cockroach Groups (npr.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A study published in the 16 November, 2007 issue of Science describes and interesting study involving autonomous robots interacting with cockroaches. The original article requires subscription, but a related npr article doesn't: [URL="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16328789"]http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16328789[/URL]
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Flying Spaghetti Monster Gets Mainstream Press (cnn.com)

LoveMe2Times writes: While the CNN article discusses the fact that some students will be making presentations about The Flying Spaghetti Monster at the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting, I think the real story here is that there's an article linked off of CNN's home page discussing His Noodley Appendages at all (however, if you take an interest in the topic, the linked article is actually worth a read). Surely, this will be a huge boon in the quest to convert the heathens and educate the unwashed masses! Anybody here ready to give up their Jedi ways and welcome our new Noodley Overlord?
Businesses

Submission + - Some Best Buys not honoring Mario Galaxy Promotion

Selikoff writes: "As many of you may have heard Toys R Us began giving away $25 gift cards this week with every purchase of Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. Not to be outdone, Best Buy announced it would match the offer with its own $25 gift certificates. There's been some noise in forums that some Best Buy stores are failing to honor this promotion. I decided to go to Best Buy, with SKU number in hand (although it shouldn't be needed), only to experience the same problems at my local store. Clerks refused to acknowledge or even type in the coupon, and only after fighting a manager for 10 minutes did he try the SKU number out, only to discover it was a real promotion. I don't know if I should chalk this one up to bad customer service or failure in the chain of command to notify store associates, but I'm sure there are a lot of Best Buy customers who failed to get their certificate this week."
Space

Submission + - DirecTV offers HD hookup on Space Station 1

orion205 writes: DirecTV is hyping its new HD lineup by offering a complete HD package to NASA to be used on the International Space Station. They'll even provide engineering support for the installation of a satellite dish on top of the new Harmony module. Will the astronauts be able to get anything done if they have 100 HD channels to watch??
Software

Submission + - A call to distributions maintainers

ciol writes: Please, put in your main web page a link 'development model' (or 'policy', 'about', what you want), where you _clearly_ explain:
- What is your development model: do you freeze everything for a release, or do you always update a package to the last stable upstream version, or a mix of both?
- If there is a security fix, will you try to backport it or will you upgrade the package?
- Do you allow new softwares to enter in your 'stable' release?
- What is your philosophy towards non-free softwares?
- Do you have several branches of a software?
- etc. etc. etc.

A good example:
Debian, their faq explains very well what is stable/testing/unstable

A bad example:
Foresight Linux, they have a 'philosophy' page in their wiki, which is... empty!

Guys, it's the first thing you have to do and write.
We don't care that you have KDE 3.5.X or firefox 2.Y
What we want, it's to know what you *are* and what you *will* be and — I hope you understand me.

If all the Linux (and BSD) distributions I see in distrowatch don't do what I wrote before two weeks, I'm gonna kill myself — not kidding.
Security

Submission + - LA Security Consultant Pleads guilty to infecting (pcworld.com)

AceCaseOR writes: "Security consultant John Schiefer has pled guilty in Los Angeles criminal court to 4 felony counts related to infecting the systems of his clients with viruses to form a botnet that contained a maximum of 250000 systems. Scheifer used the systems he had penetrated to steal user's PayPal usernames and passwords to make unauthorized purchases, as well as installing adware on users computers without their consent. Scheifer was chargd with accessing protected computers to commit fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud and bank fraud, and can face up to 60 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine."
Communications

Submission + - Police and fire radio system vulnerabilities (tcomeng.com)

daryljones writes: "It's rarely talked about, but well-known by most system engineers who are involved in police and fire radio systems. Trunked radio systems used by many police and fire departments are highly vulnerable to denial of service attacks that could quickly render them useless. In less than an hour of searching the Internet, I found sufficient information to create malicious software that would cripple Motorola SmartNet and MA/COM EDACS trunked radio systems. See http://blog.tcomeng.com/index.php/2007/how-vulnerable-are-trunked-radio-systems-to-terrorist-hacker-attacks/. The public-safety community needs to demand security enhancements, or stay with conventional (non-trunked) radio technology that is immune to software attacks."
Media

Submission + - AC/DC Free energy swizz makes it onto the BBC (badscience.net)

Patrick Matthews writes: "After Steorn, yet another free energy swizz, this time on the BBC. It's a heating device which "breaks the laws of physics" because it "takes in less energy than it puts out". Unfortunately the device self-oscillates, and the inventors simply measured DC instead of AC, so they missed the fact that the it was drawing huge amounts of current... Write up and video at badscience: http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/free-energy/"
Government

Submission + - IRS catches cold from Ron Paul's gold fever (lvrj.com)

John Poindexter writes: The Gold Bullion Act of 1985, which Ron Paul sponsored, is being put to some interesting street uses. Concluding a trial four years in the making, a Las Vegas jury acquitted nine people of 116 counts stemming from their use of American Gold Eagle coins minted under this Act. (Our search failed to uncover any major newspaper worldwide that covered the trial or its verdict.) Despite a complicit judge that prevented relevant legal arguments from being presented in open court, the prosecution failed to convince a jury that these people had sought to evade taxes by recognizing only the legal tender value of the gold coins. (See American Gold Eagle and Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985) If the IRS is unable to convince juries that such legal tender recognition is illegal it could open the flood gates to the circulating use of these coins and a flight from Federal Reserve Notes in our wallets as people realize their advantages, including an ability directly offset the effects of inflation on their savings and depreciation of the currency.
The Internet

Submission + - US Internet control lead topic in Rio (yahoo.com)

Crazy Taco writes: It looks as though the next meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is about to descend into another heated debate about U.S. control of key Internet systems. Although the initial purpose of this year's summit was to cover such issues as spam, free speech and cheaper access, it appears nations such as China, Iran, and Russia, among others, would rather discuss US control of the Internet. In meetings leading to up to the second annual meeting of the IGF in Rio de Janiero on Monday, these nations won the right to hold an opening-day panel devoted to "critical Internet resources." While a number of countries wanting to internationalize Internet control simply want to have more say over policies such as creating domain names in languages other than English, we can only speculate what additional motives might be driving leaders such as China, Iran, and Russia, nations which specialize in censoring the Internet and locking down the flow of information across it.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Health Net Gave Bonuses for Canceling Coverage?

theodp writes: "Health Net, one of California's largest health insurers, allegedly tied rewards and savings to its employees' ability to rescind policies based on finding misrepresentations in members' applications. Documents showed Health Net saved $35.5M in 'unnecessary' health care expenses for rescinding more than 1,000 policies between 2000 and 2006, with one Health Net analyst receiving about $21,000 in bonuses for her work, which included exceeding company goals for policy rescissions. The information was revealed during an arbitration hearing for a woman stuck with $190,000 in breast cancer-related bills after her coverage was canceled for failing to disclose a heart condition and lying about her weight to the agent who filled out her application. Time for Michael Moore to put Sicko II into pre-production?"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Demonoid down for the count?

An anonymous reader writes: A visit to the site gets this message:

The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding.

No word on future activities

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