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United States

Submission + - Highway 35W Collapses into Mississippi (wcco.com)

dcapel writes: "In what has been called the worst engineering disaster in decades, a bridge of highway 35W, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has collapsed into the Mississippi. The collapse took place during late rush-hour traffic, so an estimated 50 cars were on the bridge at the time. There is no evidence for terrorist involvement, but an engineering or safety flaw of immense proportions must have been involved. As someone who was working only blocks away at the time, this happened entirely too close to home."
Spam

Submission + - Spammers use modified PDF files to avoid detection

thefickler writes: In the continuing effort to get more spam past email filters, professional spammers are not only stepping up their use of PDF attachments to deliver their offers of penile implants and cheap pharmaceuticals, but they are also modifying the PDFs to avoid detection. Worse yet, the chief security analyst at MessageLabs, Mark Sunner, has suggested that PDF attachments might soon be used by spammers to delivery malware.
The Internet

Submission + - 365 Main Generator Flaw May Affect Other Providers (datacenterknowledge.com)

1sockchuck writes: "A flaw in a Detroit Diesel Electronic Controller (DDEC) was the key point of failure in the July 24th power outage at 365 Main's San Francisco data center, the company said today in a report to customers. The controller manages generator speed, and effectively prevented three of the data center's generators from starting properly when grid power from PG&E was interrupted. While much of the media attention has focused on the blame game, the DDEC flaw may affect other data centers using the same component, which has been discontinued but is still in use in many generators. "We've talked with other people in our industry that have seen the same issues," said 365 Main's VP of operations. "This is a problem that is going to be felt by anyone who is using a Detroit Diesel MTU 4 controller." 365 Main's generator vendor, Hitec Power, is said to be contacting other customers with similar equipment to head off a repeat elsewhere."
Security

What We Know About the FBI's CIPAV Spyware 207

StonyandCher writes "What is CIPAV? CIPAV stands for 'Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier'; a lengthy term for powerful spyware the Federal Bureau of Investigation can bring to bear on web-based crime. It was used last month in a case where someone was emailing bomb threats regularly to a Washington high school. An affidavit by an FBI agent revealed some of the workings of CIPAV. 'According to the court filing, this is [some of] what the CIPAV collects from the infected computer: IP address, Media Access Control address for the network card, List of open TCP and UDP ports, List of running programs ... Last visited URL. Once that initial inventory is conducted, the CIPAV slips into the background and silently monitors all outbound communication, logging every IP address to which the computer connects, and time and date stamping each.' In a Computerworld article, the author attempts to dissect CIPAV's purpose and raises a number of questions such as: What happens to the data the CIPAV collects? Does the CIPAV capture keystrokes? Can the CIPAV spread on its own to other computers, either purposefully or by accident? Does it erase itself after its job is done?"
The Internet

Submission + - How the Facebook platform is changing the world

malbrech writes: "An article in the Guardian technology blog points us to how the Facebook platform makes web applications explode virally. There is also an excellent analysis of Facebook by Marc Andreesen (remember? the guy who did Mosaic and Netscape). In a nutshell: the carefully designed instant awareness of your friends of the application you just started using, makes them use it too. That cascades onto their friends, and so on. The result: your servers get blown apart in very short time. You might be famous, but flat out beaten by traffic."
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - Is SDK-less iPhone out of business? (infoworld.com)

InfoWorldMike writes: "InfoWorld's Tom Yager hits a new low in his love affair with Apple, writing "Steve Jobs told the crowd in January that Apple's upcoming mobile device, iPhone, runs OS X. A Unix phone with Apple's UI panache? Touch, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile phone in one device? I was ready to take a three month sabbatical from InfoWorld just to spelunk around inside iPhone's APIs and its OS X core. Looks like I'll have to continue to hone my mobile app development chops in the familiar domains of BlackBerry, Symbian/Nokia, and Windows Mobile. At the Worldwide Developer Conference this week, Jobs paved the way for the June 29 delivery of iPhone by telling a crowd of some 4,000 that where developers are concerned, iPhone is a handheld Safari browser. "You don't even need an SDK,' Steve said before he invoked the magic phrase 'AJAX and Web 2.0,' to let the press know that iPhone is open to all applications that take advantage of these state of the art paradigms. Steve cited Salesforce.com as the exemplar of the type of Web-based application one would run on an iPhone. That sounds pretty until you realize that of all the ways to write and package software, none is less suited to mobile use than a Web application. Salesforce makes this plain with Salesforce To Go, custom native software targeted to Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and Symbian devices. I can handle having my expectations go unmet. But to trumpet AJAX and Web 2.0 as iPhone's development platform is worse than spin. It strains my faith in Apple." I did not help, either, that Yager's MacBook Pro's battery died during this deadening keynote, I'll add to this."
Biotech

Submission + - Plants recognize their siblings (mcmaster.ca)

Anonymous Coward writes: "Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they're accommodating when potted with their siblings.

Though they lack cognition and memory, the study shows plants are capable of complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives. Like humans, the most interesting behaviours occur beneath the surface."

Biotech

Submission + - Partner choice 'shaped by father'

gollum123 writes: "Much as she might hate to admit it, a woman's choice of partner may depend a lot on her own father ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6745121.stm ). Scientists have found women who were treated well by their dad during childhood are attracted to men who resemble their father facially. But the link is lost on women who did not have good relationships with their fathers. Women in the study were asked to rate pictures of men's faces for attractiveness, and assess their relationship with their fathers. They found in women who reported more positive relationships with their fathers, there was a link between the faces the women found most attractive and their father's faces. The study was the first of its kind to use facial measurements to assess the similarity of the faces."
Networking

Submission + - How to deal with an abusive web host?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently sent a DMCA takedown notice to a hosting company, regarding a customer who was blatantly posting copyrighted material from my website, along with attacks against me based on sexual orientation. I was told that, because they agreed with the person's attacks, the offending content would not be removed. They also claim that copyright is irrelevant, because they agree with their customer's "comments." I couldn't believe this response, but upon Googling the name of this host, I found dozens of webmasters and ISPs complaining about legal threats and spam attacks originating from this company. What is the correct way to deal with this issue?
Businesses

Submission + - AT&T to Block Content For RIAA/MPAA

Nom du Keyboard writes: Several sources are reporting an agreement between AT&T and the RIAA/MPAA alliance to block copyrighted material on their network. And as has been pointed out, AT&T has a lot of network, meaning most packets traverse a piece of it at some point. Money quote: "As AT&T has begun selling pay-television services, the company has realized that its interests are more closely aligned with Hollywood." Nice to know that their interests aren't aligned with their paying customers any longer.
Portables

Submission + - Your neck bone's connected to your cellphone (newscientisttech.com)

stevedcc writes: "New Scientist are running an article about using sound waves to communicate between different devices attached to a user's body, avoiding the potential interception issues of wireless signals. From the article:

They want to use the human skeleton to transmit commands reliably and securely to wearable gadgets and medical implants. Their research, funded by Microsoft and Texas Instruments, could also lead to new ways for people with disabilities to control devices such as computers and PDAs.
"

Announcements

Submission + - Plants 'recognize' their siblings (pressesc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Biologists have discovered that just like humans, plants can also recognize their relatives. Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they're accommodating when potted with their siblings.
Businesses

Submission + - Options Trade Cost Steve Jobs $4 Billion

Strudelkugel writes: TheStreet.com is reporting today that Steve Jobs exchanged his options for shares too early: If you're kicking yourself for missing out on Apple ( right now, you're not alone. iPhone mania (should we now coin the phrase "i-Mania" for the next Apple product?) has sent the stock soaring to an all-time high. The stock is up a stunning 1,600% since early 2003. No one thought it would come this far. Even those who got in early, and stayed along for the amazing ride, wish they owned a lot more. One name on that list will astonish you: Steve Jobs.
Music

Submission + - New Distribution Model for Music Industry?

An anonymous reader writes: Recently I've been asked to join — and hopefully influence — a project wherein we develop a new digital distribution strategy for a certain very large record label (and their various sub-labels, etc.) We have an opportunity, at least at the start of the project, to propose fairly radical ideas and approaches to help this particular segment of the music industry make a leap beyond their competitors in the field. The question I'd like to propose to slashdotters is; ww/.d? Or, rather, if you ladies and gents had the opportunity to build this new model, what would it look like, and how would it work? I'd love to hear slashdotter's ideas, especially if the range from 'blue sky' concepts to highly pragmatic.

A couple of things to consider:
1. Platform independance (web based or...)?
2. Asymmetry in user experience? (Users often are the ones populating wiki entires and music-recommendation services — should we address that with these models?)
3. Current points of frustration for music fans?
4. ...and are we talking 'real' fans? Casual listeners?
5. What about radio/streaming technologies?
etc.

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