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Portables

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop? 898

jfruhlinger writes "I'm a Mac guy. When our 2004-era Windows XP laptop, which was used primarily by my wife, died last summer, I got myself a new MacBook Pro and she inherited my still serviceable 2008 MacBook. But after about six months, she hasn't gotten used to it, and wants a Windows machine. I don't have an ideological problem with this — it'd be her computer, and we've got a bit of money stashed away to pay for it. But trying to pick one out is my job, and I find the the whole process bewildering. Apple's product differentiation is great at defeating the paradox of choice — you have a few base models, the difference between which is quite obvious, and you can customize each. The Windows world seems totally different. Even once I've settled on a vendor for a Windows laptop (something I haven't done yet), each seems to have a bewildering array of product lines with similar specs. Often models that you find in electronics or office supply stores that seem promising in terms of form factor are exclusive to those stores and can't be found online. Obviously people do navigate this process, but I'm just feeling out of my depth. How would Slashdotters go about picking a solid, basic laptop for Web surfing and document editing that won't be obsolete in two years?"
The Media

Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure 428

David Gerard writes "As part of his war against free, Rupert Murdoch put the Times and Sunday Times of London behind a paywall. Michael Wolff of Newser asks how that's working out for him. You can guess: miserable failure: 'Not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself — who have free access to the site — are not going beyond the registration page. It's an empty world.' Not that this wasn't entirely predictable." Update: 07/17 01:41 GMT by T : Frequent contributor Peter Wayner writes skeptically that the Newsday numbers should be looked at with a grain of salt: "I believe they were charging $30/month for the electronic edition and $25/month for the dead tree edition which also offered free access to the electronic edition. In essence, you had to pay an extra $5 to avoid getting your lawn littered with paper. The dead tree edition gets much better ad rates and so it is worth pushing. It's a mistake to see the raw numbers and assume that the paywall failed."
Toys

Man Repairs Crumbling Walls With Legos 106

Lanxon writes "German-born artist Jan Vormann, 27, has spent the past three years traveling the world repairing crumbling walls and monuments with Lego, reports Wired. His "Dispatchwork" began in 2007 in the small village of Bocchignano, Italy, as part of the contemporary art festival 20 Eventi. Developing the work in situ, he became intrigued by the makeshift repairs that had been made to the crumbling walls. The approach favored function over appearance, reminding Vormann of the haphazard Lego designs created by children."

Comment Too easy! (Score -1, Redundant) 380

echo -n "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries." | openssl md5
9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a

Security

Microsoft To Distribute Third-Party Patches 135

dhiren writes "Secunia on Wednesday announced that their authenticated internal vulnerability scanner, the Corporate Software Inspector (CSI) 4.0, has been integrated with Microsoft Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). This will hopefully pave the way for other vendors to also make use of Windows' existing patching infrastructure and eliminate the need for the multitude of custom updater applications and services that clutter most systems today."
Data Storage

Submission + - Swiss Army Knife Hacking Challenge - Win £10 (playthefuture.co.uk)

Joe writes: "Pen Knife Challenge — Win £100,0000

Victorinox are launching a new Swiss Army knife featuring a USB stick that has biometric encryption and a further program that monitors usage patterns: if anything out of the ordinary occurs it will email the owner and if no reply arrives, the data drive will self destruct. All very Mission Impossible!

To launch the knife, and test the hardware, they are holding an event at their Bond Street Store over Thursday 25th and Friday 26th March allowing people to attempt to access the knife. Each participant receives a two hour slot and would-be code-breakers can form teams of up to three people. Any person or team that succesfully cracks the knife will win a staggering £100,000.

The day promises to be great fun with hacker teams from all over the UK taking part. All participants will receive the knife itself and a £200 shopping voucher. View the challenge rules and book a hack slot at http://playthefuture.co.uk/

Good luck!"

Encryption

Blazing Fast Password Recovery With New ATI Cards 215

An anonymous reader writes "ElcomSoft accelerates the recovery of Wi-Fi passwords and password-protected iPhone and iPod backups by using ATI video cards. The support of ATI Radeon 5000 series video accelerators allows ElcomSoft to perform password recovery up to 20 times faster compared to Intel top of the line quad-core CPUs, and up to two times faster compared to enterprise-level NVIDIA Tesla solutions. Benchmarks performed by ElcomSoft demonstrate that ATI Radeon HD5970 accelerated password recovery works up to 20 times faster than Core i7-960, Intel's current top of the line CPU unit."

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