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Submission + - NIST Opens Competition for a New Hash Algorithm (

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "The National Institute of Standards and Technology has opened a public competition for the development of a new cryptographic hash algorithm, which will be called Secure Hash Algorithm-3 (SHA-3), and will augment the current algorithms specified in the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 180-2. This is in response to serious attacks reported in recent years against cryptographic hash algorithms, including SHA-1, and because SHA-1 and the SHA-2 family share a similar design. Submissions are being accepted through October 2008, and the competition timeline indicates that a winner will be announced in 2012."
The Internet

Submission + - Babelfish sparks international diplomatic row

Stony Stevenson writes: An email sent to the Dutch foreign ministry by a group of Israeli journalists has sparked a diplomatic row, thanks to an unreliable translation by Babelfish. The journalists wrote a set of questions before a planned fact-finding trip to The Netherlands, running them through the online translation tool to turn them into Dutch. The beginning of the email read: 'Helloh bud, enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian.'

Submission + - Transition from Academia to Industry 2

Pseudonymous writes: I am an assistant professor in a computer science department wanting to go into industry (not out of choice but necessity). Over the past pretenure years, I have worked on pretty theoretical problems, involving algorithms and complexity so I think I am unprepared or unskilled to join the software industry. I have of course taught the basic courses in C and Java (which unfortunately does not mean that I know enough to jump into a huge software project). So how do I go from a theoretician to someone that industry might value ? What skills should I aim to develop before I put myself out there ?
Data Storage

Submission + - Hard drive prices drop from PC, flash drive demand (

Lucas123 writes: "The average price of notebook hard drives tumbled to $53 in the third quarter of 2007, from $86 in the same period during the previous year, according to a survey by a market research firm. The price drop can be accredited to competition among six vendors, enormous demand for PCs and consumer electronics as well as evolving flash memory drives. "Lower-capacity notebook drives showed smaller price drops, while newer high-capacity drives saw massive price drops.""
The Internet

Submission + - MLB Fans Who Bought DRM Videos Get Hosed

Billosaur writes: "Found via BoingBoing, Major League Baseball has just strengthened the case against DRM. If you downloaded videos of baseball games from before 2006, apparently they no longer work and you are out of luck., sometime during 2006, changed their DRM system. Result: game videos purchased before that time will now no longer work, as the previous DRM system is no longer supported. When the video is played, apparently the servers are contacted and a license obtained to verify the authenticity of the video; this is done by a web link. That link no longer exists, and so now the videos will no longer play, even though the MLB FAQ says that a license is only obtained once and will not need to be re-obtained. The blogger who is reporting this contacted MLB technical support, only to be told there are no refunds due to this problem."

Submission + - Did Volcanoes Cause Mass Extinctions?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Huge amounts of sulphur dioxide released by volcanic eruptions from the Deccan Flood Basalts in India during a million year period before mass extinctions 65 million years ago may have had more to do with wiping out dinosaurs than the meteorite strike at Chicxulub on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Marine sediments drilled from the Chicxulub crater have revealed that that the mass extinctions occurred 300,000 years after Chicxulub hit Earth. The Deccan volcanism was a long cumulative process that released vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. "On land it must have been 7-8 degrees warmer," says Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller. "The Chicxulub impact alone could not have caused the mass extinction, because this impact predates the mass extinction." Keller also postulates a second larger and still unidentified meteor strike after Chicxulub, that left the famous extraterrestrial layer of iridium found in rocks worldwide and pushed earth's ecosystem over the brink. But where's the crater? "I wish I knew," says Keller."

Submission + - European physicists take photo of neutrino

An anonymous reader writes: European physicists said Tuesday they had sent an elusive particle known as a neutrino on a 730-kilometer (456-mile) trip under the Earth's crust and taken a snapshot of the instant it slammed into lab detectors. In the October 2 event, a neutrino hit one of the 60,000 bricks that had been installed in San Grasso, leaving a tell-tale track of a muon on the film. The experiment is important, say the investigators, as it could help explain one of the biggest mysteries about the Universe — its missing mass. When scientists tot up the mass of all the visible matter in the Universe, they arrive at a total of just 10 percent of what they know to exist. For years, neutrinos were not thought to have any mass, although that theory has been challenged by experiments at Japan's SuperKamioKande lab, which suggested that they may have a mass, albeit a very tiny one.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Note to Criminals: Don't Call Tech Support (

Billosaur writes: "Darwin Awards, here he comes: according to Ars Technica, a would-be identity thief did himself in by calling tech support about printer drivers. It seems that Timothy Short hit the mother-lode when he stole a PC and a Digimarc printer from the Missouri Department of Revenue, perhaps with dreams of cranking out thousands of fake ids. Problem: he could not unlock the computer he stole and without the necessary drivers, he couldn't use the printer. Ever resourceful, Short called Digimarc tech support a couple of days later (twice), which brought him to the attention of a Secret Service agent, who recognized his voice from a recording of the calls. Short now faces a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison."

Submission + - New England Patriots Get Ticket Sellers' Names (

Billosaur writes: "The New England Patriots sued on-line ticket re-seller StubHub (a subsidiary of eBay) to obtain the list of names of people who tried to buy or sell Patriots tickets using the service. StubHub lost an appeal in Massachusetts state court last week, and was compelled to hand over the list of 13,000 names. It is currently not clear what the Patriots organization intends to do with the names, but they have intimated that they may revoke the privileges of any season ticket holders on the list. The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, said the court order to turn over the names infringes on the privacy rights of Patriots fans. At issue, is whether using the on-line service allows an end-run around team rules and Massachusetts state law, by allowing ticket holders to charge extreme mark-ups on their tickets."
The Courts

Submission + - Two Porn Spammers Get Five Years In Prison (

Billosaur writes: "InformationWeek is reporting that two spammers convicted under the Can-Spam Act for sending pornographic spam emails have been sentenced to five years in prison. According to the Department of Justice, "Jeffrey A. Kilbride, 41, of Venice, Calif., and James R. Schaffer, 41, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., had been sentenced to 72 months and 63 months in prison, respectively, for running an international pornographic spam ring that took in more than $1 million." Each was also fined $100,000, ordered to pay AOL $77,500, and together will forfeit the profits of their illegal business. This was the first case in which obscenity charges were included as part of the Can-Spam Act."
The Internet

Submission + - One of 'Net's most powerful women lands new job (

BobB writes: Leslie Daigle is the first chief Internet technology officer at the Internet Society. Daigle's new position, which was announced Wednesday, is the latest in a series of high-profile hires by the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to helping the Internet grow through education, policy and standards development. Daigle previously held engineering and leadership posts with Cisco and VeriSign. She was the first woman to lead the Internet Society's Internet Architecture Board, and she held the chair position from 2002 until 2007. An expert in the Internet's naming and directory services, Daigle has been active with the IETF since 1995.
The Internet

Submission + - First Ever Web Design Survey Results

rainhill writes: "In April 2007, A List Apart and An Event Apart conducted a survey of people who make websites. Close to 33,000 web professionals answered the survey's 37 questions, providing the first data ever collected on the business of web design and development as practiced in the U.S. and worldwide. Survey's results are here as PDF."

Submission + - T-Mobile Phone Unlocking Lawsuit May Proceed (

Billosaur writes: "Wired is reporting that the California Supreme Court has refused to review two lower court decisions involving a class-action lawsuit against T-Mobile over their policies regarding early termination and phone unlocking. The Court rejected the reviews without comment, opening the door to the lawsuit, which aims to block T-Mobile from collecting a $200 early termination fee from users. Also on the table: an order for T-Mobile to disclose the types of phone-locking technology that may be in use on customer's phones. The ramifications if the lawsuit is successful would be to allow phone users in California to unlock their phones, and might lead to further lawsuits nationwide."

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