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Comment Bulkier devices, less battery life (Score 1) 482

The reason for custom batteries is often to make them fit within the available space of a device while minimizing dead space. Apple has even gone so far as to mold their gel batteries inside the case. By making them non-removable they 1) save space by not needing a hard-plastic case to protect the cells, 2) minimize dead space by being able to shape the battery as needed and 3) can get longer battery life by being able to fit their custom-shaped batteries into a larger percentage of the device. I'm not an Apple fan-boy, but I thought this was pretty cool.

Comment Re:Yea (Score 2) 320

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

On the left side of the political spectrum you have socialists. If you go even further left you have communists. It isn't necessarily that there are "commies", but using the term is a way of deriding certain ways of doing things. Having the government use tax dollars (or in the US case, borrowed dollars) to improve the power grid something might be seen as the left-wing way of doing so; whereas providing tax incentives to private corporations to do the work might be an example of a right-wing way of acheiving the same goal. While the Obama admistration aren't "commies" by most people's definitions, they could easily be classified as socialists.

What I'd like to know is how the US government plans to pay for new programs like this? Their economy is slowly imploding and they're being crushed by unprecidented debt, yet they're worried about building an IT-Powered Smart Grid??

Canada

Submission + - Cdn IP Lobbyists Caught Faking Counterfeit Data (michaelgeist.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian IP Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's IP lobby arm, has been caught floating false claims about the scope of counterfeiting in Canada. Recent claims include citing a figure based on numbers the FBI rejects ($22.5 billion), a figure the Canadian police won't support ($30 billion), and when pressed on the issue, it now points to yet another source that upon review indicates it fabricated its claims.
Security

Submission + - List of Switch Maker's Hard Coded Backdoors Leaked (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: An internal document listing the backdoor accounts for switches manufactured by networking equipment vendor Allied Telesis was circulating online Friday, a day after an internal support page providing instructions on accessing hard coded back door accounts in the company's products was found to be publicly accessible.

The Excel spreadsheet, "Password_List" was apparently downloaded from Allied's support Web site and posted to a public, file sharing Web site on Thursday. It contains instructions for accessing around 20 models of network switching equipment manufactured by Allied Telesis, including default administrative user name and password information and special key combinations and passwords that can be used to enable back doors in the switches.

Privacy

Submission + - BBC flouts cookie law with ironic cookie (meejahor.com)

Andy Smith writes: "As of 26 May 2011 web sites in the UK must get a user's permission to set cookies. If you go to the BBC's commercial TV listings site Radio Times you'll see a message telling you about the new law. Go to the site again, though, and you don't see the message. How does the site know you've already seen it? By setting a cookie of course! It doesn't ask for permission."
Security

Submission + - Telesis uses hashed MAC address for passwords

doperative writes: Allied Telesis accidentally put information about the backdoors present in all of its products into the support area on its web site. The Japanese manufacturer of network equipment describes how locked out users can, depending on the device, gain access with a standard login.

In other cases, the MAC address can be used to generate the password for the backdoor. The manufacturer even offered the requisite password lists and generators as downloads. The instructions can be found through Google, though they are now only in Google's cache; the information has since been removed from the web site. link
Government

Submission + - The Role of Governments in Respect to Netizens (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: Lately we have seen governments around the globe adopt different approaches to how citizens engage online, often proving to be a double-edged sword.

Two years ago, the presidential election in Iran sparked a wave of protest and government crackdowns that ultimately left scores of people dead. Facebook, and Twitter emerged as a major news outlet to report the rioting as well as the government’s forceful reaction. It was a cyber-battle for control over the flow of information, one where a multitude of self-made reporters and frustrated citizens could vent their sentiments to the world. But the Iranian government was not without weapons of its own, and it countered the growth of citizen journalism with one simple maneuver – blocking all of the country’s access to Twitter and Facebook.

We’ve seen Syria launch a “Nation-in-the-Middle” attack, as it sought to intercept Facebook communications from its citizens. In response to the use of social media to spread information and rally protestors, the government of Tunisia tightened its grip on the Internet and hacked its own citizens.

All this leads us to wonder – whether countries that are not led by dictators can perform similar acts of Internet censorship. The shutting down of the Internet would probably be harder in these countries than in Egypt, for example, due to the multitude of independent Internet service providers (ISPs).

As the governments of the world work to establish the right balance between control and freedom, is has been the job of private businesses to protect and serve their customers – whether or not they are security-aware. But what about governments? Should they have any impact on the security of individuals’ online behavior?

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