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United States

Submission + - Man jailed for 17 years for intent to commit crime 3

chrb writes: Wired is reporting that Indiana resident James Daniel has been jailed for 17.5 years for chatroom grooming. The case took an unusual twist when it was discovered that all of the "underage girls" he had been talking to were in fact Secret Service agents, who had no knowledge that other agents were talking to the same man. Despite there being no evidence that Daniel had ever managed to talk to an actual teenage girl, an appellate panel has upheld the conviction based upon the chat logs showing an "intent to commit a crime".
Security

Submission + - Amazon confirms EC2/S3 not PCI Level 1 compliant

Jason writes: After months of digging though speculation and polar opposite opinions from PCI experts, I finally sent a direct request to Amazon's AWS sales team asking if they are in fact PCI compliant and will provide documentation attesting that they are as is required by PCI guidlines. I fully expecting them to dodge the question and refer me to a QSA, but to my relief, they replied with a refreshingly honest and absolute confirmation that it is currently impossible to meet PCI level 1 compliance using AWS services for card data storage. They also very strong suggest that cardnumbers never be stored on EC2 or S3 as those services are inherently noncompliant. For now at least, the official verdict is if you need to process credit cards, the Amazon cloud platform is off the table.

Comment Shudder (Score 1) 693

If true, this is definately "Double-Plus Un Good", Orwellian England comes closer by the day. This level of nanny state interference deminishes the whole of society by creating an entire generation of citizens who will not only accept the state control but expect it too.

The more we read daily about the way the U.K. is going, the more we thank God that we were amongst the fortunate ones about to escape/emigrate from the place in the nineties for a better life in the land down under. Ok, so Oz isn't doing that well on the censorship rankings at the moment with the proposed internet filter, but we are getting more and more concerned each day about the quality of life and diminishing rights of the family and friends left behind.

Comment Code 'til you drop... (Score 1) 592

I recently got another year (much) closer to my half century - the idea of moving into management makes me shudder, I intend to code until I retire (and beyond probably).

I guess it depends on how you view management. My experience is that they can't avoid the office politics and tend to be the target of much of it too. You say you enjoy management but have you tried all facets of it? Have you had to make the unpopular decisions that all managers have to at some time and do you think you can live with doing that for the rest of your working life.

To be a good manager in the modern IT industry requires you to keep on learning, just as I have to as a coder so don't fool yourself into thinking it will be any easier - it could be harder.

At the end of the day there is no real reason why you should not continue to code until retirement, except those reasons you create yourself; besides, there could be other better opportunities waiting round the corner.

Do what makes you happy and you feel comfortable with - if you're feeling uncomfortable and threatened by the up and coming younger developers then perhaps it's time to move on but it doesn't have to be that way.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Google announces Google Chrome OS

aaaurgh writes: I guess it was only a matter of time, but Google has finally announced its plans to develop an Operating System. Initially targetting netbooks and users who live in the on-line internet world, it's their "attempt to re-think what operating systems should be". Will this make Microsoft quiver in their boots or are Google living with their heads in the cloud — only time will tell.

Check out the announcement and details on the Official Google Blog
Patents

Toyota Builds a Patent Thicket For Hybrid Cars 307

Lorien_the_first_one sends along a WSJ piece reporting on how Toyota is hoping to benefit from new Obama Administration regulations for automobiles here in the US. "Since it started developing the gas-electric Prius more than a decade ago, Toyota has kept its attorneys just as busy as its engineers, meticulously filing for patents on more than 2,000 systems and components for its best-selling hybrid. Its third-generation Prius, which hit showrooms in May, accounts for about half of those patents alone. Toyota's goal: to make it difficult for other auto makers to develop their own hybrids without seeking licensing from Toyota, as Ford Motor Co. already did to make its Escape hybrid and Nissan Motor Co. has for its Altima hybrid."
Privacy

Gaze-Tracking Software Protects Computer Privacy 134

Ponca City, We Love You writes "Two years ago computer security expert Bill Anderson read about scientific research on how the human eye moves as it reads and processes text and images. 'This obscure characteristic... suddenly struck me as (a solution to) a security problem,' says Anderson. With the help of a couple of software developers, Anderson developed a software program called Chameleon that tracks a viewer's gaze patterns and only allows an authorized user to read text on the screen, while everyone else sees gibberish. Chameleon uses gaze-tracking software and camera equipment to track an authorized reader's eyes to show only that one person the correct text. After a 15-second calibration period in which the software learns the viewer's gaze patterns, anyone looking over that user's shoulder sees dummy text that randomly and constantly changes. To tap the broader consumer market, Anderson built a more consumer-friendly version called PrivateEye, which can work with a simple Webcam to blur a user's monitor when he or she turns away. It also detects other faces in the background, and a small video screen pops up to alert the user that someone is looking at the screen. 'There have been inventions in the space of gaze-tracking. There have been inventions in the space of security,' says Anderson. 'But nobody has put the two ideas together, as far as we know.'"
Microsoft

Journal Journal: Why I have little faith in Microsoft's future.

My foremost misgiving with Microsoft: it is not a software development company: it is a marketing company before anything else. From its 1981 "creation" of PC-DOS for IBM, in reality an already-existing OS bought from Seattle Computer Products, Microsoft adopted the marketing method to which it owes its fortune: getting their software pre-installed on many computers as possible. They did the same sort of deal with IBM-Clone manufact

Businesses

Submission + - If You Live by Free, You Will Die by Free

Hugh Pickens writes: "Internet entrepreneur Mark Cuban writes that the problem with companies who have built their business around free is that the more success you have in delivering free, the more expensive it is to stay at the top. "They will be Facebook to your Myspace, or Myspace to your Friendster or Google to your Yahoo," writes Cuban. "Someone out there with a better idea will raise a bunch of money, give it away for free, build scale and charge less to reach the audience." Cuban says that even Google, who lives and dies by free, knows that "at some point your Black Swan competitor will appear and they will kick your ass" and that is exactly why Google invests in everything and anything they possibly can that they believe can create another business they can depend on in the future searching for the "next big Google thing." Cuban says that for any company that lives by Free, their best choice is to run the company as profitably as possible, focusing only on those things that generate revenue and put cash in the bank. "When you succeed with Free, you are going to die by Free. Your best bet is to recognize where you are in your company's lifecycle and maximize your profits rather than try to extend your stay at the top," writes Cuban. "Like every company in the free space, your lifecycle has come to its conclusion. Don't fight it. Admit it. Profit from it.""
Communications

A Look At Google's Email Spam Prevention 176

CNet has a story about the security measures Google employs to protect their email systems and fight the never-ending war on spam. Their Postini team, acquired two years ago, has a variety of monitoring tools and automated response systems to find and block undesirable messages. Quoting: "The system scores each message on numerous combinations of criteria, assigning a weight to each and then comparing the score to those in a database of several hundred thousand message types that have been flagged as good or bad from Postini honey pots and customer spam reports. ... To block fresh spam attacks not covered by existing heuristic technologies and viruses not covered by existing signature databases Postini relies on proprietary Zero-Hour technology to identify new outbreaks that show up in the traffic patterns and quarantine them for later rescanning. Customers can also create and build out their own white lists of message senders they trust and blacklist others they don't trust. It takes an average of 150 milliseconds for a message to be scanned by the antivirus engines that Postini licenses from McAfee and Authentium.
Power

Submission + - European mobile phones will get universal charger (guardian.co.uk)

wwwillem writes: "Ten companies including Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have signed up to offer the charger, which will be based on a Micro-USB connector. Currently, when consumers buy a mobile phone they are provided with a new charger even if the old one still works.

The European commission had asked companies to work on harmonising chargers in the EU in a bid to cut down on waste. It said unused chargers amounted to thousands of tonnes of electronic waste a year and was threatening legislation unless a voluntary deal was reached.

Talks between the phone firms and commission officials produced a "Memorandum of Understanding" indicating that the first generation of "inter-chargeable" mobile phones will reach the EU market from 2010."

PHP

PHP 5.3 Released 120

Sudheer writes "The PHP development team is proud to announce the immediate release of PHP 5.3.0. This release is a major improvement in the 5.X series, which includes a large number of new features and bug fixes. Some of the key new features include: namespaces, late static binding, closures, optional garbage collection for cyclic references, new extensions (like ext/phar, ext/intl and ext/fileinfo), over 140 bug fixes and much more."
Mozilla

Firefox 3.5 Reviewed; Draws Praise For HTML5, Speed 436

johndmartiniii writes "Farhad Manjoo has a review of Firefox 3.5 at Slate.com this week. From the article: 'Lately I've been worried about Firefox. Ever since its debut in 2004, the open-source Web browser has won acclaim for its speed, stability, and customizability. It eventually captured nearly a quarter of the market, an astonishing achievement for a project run by a nonprofit foundation. But recently Firefox seemed to go soft.' The worried tone in the beginning of the review gives way to excitement over the HTML5 features being implemented, saying that thus far Firefox 3.5 'offers the best implementation of the standard — and because it's the second-most-popular Web browser in the world, the new release is sure to prompt Web designers to create pages tailored to the Web's new language.'" The final version could be here at any time; Firefox 3.5 is still shown as a release candidate at Mozilla's home page. Update: 06/30 15:31 GMT by T : No longer marked as RC; the Firefox upgrade page now says 3.5 has arrived.

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