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Movies

MPAA Caught Uploading Fake Torrents 579

An anonymous reader writes "The MPAA and other anti-piracy watchdogs have been caught trapping people into downloading fake torrents, so they can collect IP addresses, and send copyright infringement letters to ISPs. The battle between P2P networks and copyright holders seems to be a never ending battle. It will be interesting to see how much the anti-piracy groups practices change once they begin begin selling movies and TV shows legally on bittorrent.com."
Patents

IBM Breaks Patent Record, Wants Reform 130

An anonymous reader writes "IBM set the record for most patents granted in a year for 2006. At the same time, IBM points out that small companies earn more patents per capita than larger enterprises and pushes for reform to address shortcomings in the process of patenting business methods: 'The prevalence of patent applications that are of low quality or poorly written have led to backlogs of historic proportions, and the granting of patents protecting ideas that are not new, are overly broad, or obvious.' And the company has been committing itself to a new patent policy: 'Key tenets of the policy are that patent quality is the responsibility of the applicant; that patent applications should be open to public examination and that patent ownership should be transparent; and that business methods without technical content should not be patentable.'"
Slashdot.org

Submission + - Cheap Geographic Web Site Load Balancing

David Tiberio writes: "I have about 20 geographically dispersed web hosting accounts averaging $10 per month. I load balance my traffic on these servers with DNS failover. My total cost is about $300 per month for the entire setup including DNS failover service. I have 100% uptime, and fast performance, separating apps and media on different datacenters. Users go to their nearest datacenter. Here's how I did it."
Movies

Submission + - Blu-ray says NO to porn, porn says NO to Blu-ray

Sarusa writes: If this is true, it's Beta vs VHS all over again and HD-DVD may be the foregone winner of the format wars. First, Heise reports (summarized from the German by sgknox.com) that Digital Playground (NSFW), who were committed to Blu-ray last year, are now producing HD-DVD titles instead. No Blu-ray disk manufacturer would make their disks because Sony doesn't want porn on Blu-ray (just as with Betamax). Second, as reported by tgdaily, the porn industry at CES overwhelmingly favors HD-DVD because it's much cheaper and easier to produce. As noted in the tgdaily article, porn was a huge factor in VHS winning the VHS/Beta format wars even though most people don't like to acknowledge it. Porn, like gaming, pushes tech adoption.
Television

Submission + - Senator to FCC: no broadcast flag for you!

Flag waver writes: Senator John Sununu (R-NH) will introduce legislation that will prevent the FCC from creating technology mandates for the consumer electronics industry. As a result, the FCC would be hamstrung in its efforts to revive the broadcast flag. '"The FCC seems to be under the belief that it should occasionally impose technology mandates," Sununu said in a statement. "These misguided requirements distort the marketplace by forcing industry to adopt agency-blessed solutions rather than allow innovative and competitive approaches to develop."' Sen. Sununu previously tried without success to remove the broadcast flag provisions from the massive telecommunications bill that died before reaching the Senate floor during the last Congress.
Security

Submission + - What constitutes "something you have?"

Steve Cerruti writes: "My credit union is implementing multi-factor authentication for online banking. They are following guidelines provided by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council as outlined in Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment (PDF). As you are already required to enter a password, "something you know" is covered. "Something you are" has significant technical hurdles while "something you have" is familiar to credit unions in the form of ATM cards.

My credit union chose to implement "something you have" as a two dimensional lookup table that they email to an address you supply when you initially log in to the online banking service, further access is blocked until you enter a code from the table. New Measures to Make Online Access Safer describes the plan and a short video (FLV) provides further details.

Their plan can best be compared to single use scratch off cards. However, I am unsure of what constitutes "something you have" in this example. If someone has the capacity to log into your online banking account, it would seem an email account would be equally subject to access. It would therefore be possible for the authorized owner and the attacker to both possess the table simultaneously. Does this system provide multi-factor authentication or is it simply a convoluted mechanism for sharing yet another secret?

Off topic questions:
Is depending on near instantaneous access to email a reasonable thing to do?
If you were dealing with this situation, would you implement a Firefox extension or a cell phone application to reduce the level of effort for banking access?"
Space

Submission + - Black diamonds come from space

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Two teams of U.S. researchers have found that carbonados — or black diamonds — come from outer space. Helped with funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF), they discovered nitrogen and hydrogen in these porous black diamonds found only in Brazil and the Central African Republic. And these elements are not found in conventional diamonds extracted from mines from volcanic rocks. They think these carbonados were part of asteroids which landed on Earth about 3 billion years ago. Read more for additional explanations and a picture of such a not-so-pretty diamond."
HP

Submission + - PI faces charges in HP pretexting case

BillyBurrito writes: "It seems that there will be "someone held accountable" for the privacy violations that have rocked the Hewlett Packard Board in 2006. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/11/ap/busin ess/mainD8MITHV00.shtml (AP) A private investigator accused of posing as a journalist to access the reporter's private phone records as part of the boardroom spying scandal at Hewlett-Packard Co. was charged Wednesday with federal identity theft and conspiracy charges, prosecutors said. Bryan Wagner is accused of using the Social Security number of the unidentified journalist to illegally gain access to the phone logs, according to the criminal charges filed in San Jose federal court by U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan's office. Wagner is also accused of conspiring to illegally obtain and transmit personal information on HP directors, journalists and employees as part of the computer and printer maker's crusade to ferret out the source of boardroom leaks to the media."
Education

Submission + - OLPC Nepal makes a Landmark

bokey writes: "Last week Rwanda announced its commitment to OLPC. This week a local non-profit group, OLPC Nepal, announced its intention to make OLPC a reality in this himalayan nation. Like Rwanda, Nepal is a poor, land-locked nation with few natural resources. Unlike Rwanda, OLPC Nepal has yet to secure government buy-in. They are actively working to change that. Let's hope they are successful."
Networking

Submission + - Networking in Extreme Conditions?

222 writes: "Mission: Create an intermediate distribution frame. Difficulty: A few feet away, industrial equipment will be generating roughly 2000 degree heat. Bonus: Keep the network switches inside the IDF from melting.
Does anyone have experience in making IT work in such extreme conditions? Is there an enclosure in existence that can handle this type of abuse? This is essentially what I've been asked to accomplish, and now I'm asking my Slashdot brethren the questions; "Can it be done? Do we have the technology?""
Privacy

Submission + - UK road taxing petition gains support

An anonymous reader writes: A petition against the planned tracking system for UK car drivers is starting to gain support from the public now. The UK government plans to have a black box fitted to every vehicle which would allow a satellite system to track their journey with prices starting from as little as 2p per mile raising to as much as £1.34 per mile. However, such as system could be also be used to track the exact location of the vehicle at any given time and should you accidently creep over the speed limit you could find yourself in receipt of a ticket. A recent cost analysis on the average user showed a non working mum taking her kids to school paid £86 per month which is a massive increase from the current £160 per year.
Bug

Submission + - Fox News Censorship

crhylove writes: "I was watching Fox news between 7 and 7:30 this morning, and they were talking about the proposed new 20,000 troops being sent to Iraq. They asked a reporter what he thought, and it seemed like he was trying to say that 20,000 extra troops would not help at all. There was a brief bit of fuzz, he was suddenly gone, and the main talking head said "we're having some satellite trouble.." then a different Fox reporter came on talking about what a great idea 20,000 new troops would be. Did any body else see that this morning? I'm in California, and the channel I was watching was Fox channel 6 (San Diego). Anybody got it Tivo-ed? Was this some non-Fox person pirating them for 5 seconds? Was this one of their own reporters not following the company line and getting shut off? What the hell was that?"
Privacy

Journal Journal: NO bugged Canadian Coins! 1

A recent Slashdot story asked: Bugged Canadian Coins?. Now The Globe and Mail has an update on the story - or rather the non-story. "Defence contractors had apparently been give certain special-issue Canadian coins, the unfamiliar look of which caused them to be concerned about the money, a source said. That led to
Television

Submission + - TiVo for Motorola Cable Boxes & Series 3 Updat

TheTechLounge writes: "Tivo, probably my favorite Consumer Electronics company, made a few important announcements here at CES 2007. The first and most important announcement is the unveiling of the TiVo software ported to work on Motorola cable boxes that are subscribed to the Comcast cable network. The next feature is an update to the Series 3 software that allows you to view pictures in HD."

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