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Angles On Anonymous 383

A number of readers are sending in links related to Anonymous, the Internet phenomenon — don't call them a group — behind the controversial DDoS attacks on commercial entities that fail to support WikiLeaks. The best insight into Anonymous comes from the Economist's Babbage blogger, who hung out in one of their IRC channels. Reader nk497 points out that UK users looking to join Anonymous's DDoS army should be aware they could face a jail term of up to two years; simply downloading the LOIC software used in the DDoSing could suffice to earn a conviction. One 16-year-old has been arrested in The Netherlands and is charged with participating in the DDoS. Reader ancientribe sends in coverage of a claim by one security outfit that several existing criminal botnets have joined forces with Anonymous's Operation: Payback. And reader Stoobalou notes a Thinq.co.uk story on a manifesto of sorts that purports to come from "ANON OPS," even though Anonymous disclaims any central spokesperson or entity (press release here, PDF).

Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables 810

A number of readers have sent in new WikiLeaks stories today, many of which focus on the content of the leaked diplomatic cables. The documents showed how the US government bullied and manipulated other countries to gain support for its Copenhagen climate treaty (though behavior from the US wasn't all negative), how copyright negotiations largely meet the expectations of critics like Michael Geist, and how Intel threatened to move jobs out of Russia if the Russian government didn't loosen encryption regulations. Perhaps the biggest new piece of information is a list of facilities the US considers 'vital to security.' Meanwhile, the drama surrounding WikiLeaks continues; Julian Assange's Swiss bank account has been frozen and the UK has received an arrest warrant for the man himself; the effort to mirror the site has gained support from Pirate Parties in Australia, in the UK and elsewhere; and PayPal was hit with a DDoS for their decision not to accept donations for WikiLeaks.

Researchers Say Happiness Costs $75K 772

SpuriousLogic writes "Does happiness rise with income? In one of the more scientific attempts to answer that question, researchers from Princeton have put a price on happiness. It's about $75,000 in income a year. They found that not having enough money definitely causes emotional pain and unhappiness. But, after reaching an income of about $75,000 per year, money can't buy happiness. More money can, however, help people view their lives as successful or better. The study found that people's evaluations of their lives improved steadily with annual income. But the quality of their everyday experiences — their feelings — did not improve above an income of $75,000 a year. As income decreased from $75,000, people reported decreasing happiness and increasing sadness, as well as stress. The study found that being divorced, being sick and other painful experiences have worse effects on a poor person than on a wealthier one."

Stupid Data Center Tricks 305

jcatcw writes "A university network is brought down when two network cables are plugged into the wrong hub. An employee is injured after an ill-timed entry into a data center. Overheated systems are shut down by a thermostat setting changed from Fahrenheit to Celsius. And, of course, Big Red Buttons. These are just a few of the data center disasters caused by human folly."

Avoiding GM Foods? Monsanto Says You're Overly Fussy 835

blackbeak writes "The BBC today characterized those who avoid GM foods as overly fussy, the very same day that the Wall Street Journal announced that picky eating may be recognized in the 2013 DSM as a psychiatric disorder. The DSM item refers to something completely different, though I'm sure many will confuse the two. Of course, this was not done without subterfuge; the BBC's author, Professor Jonathan Jones, in no way indicates his close ties to Monsanto. Point by point Jones regurgitates the same pro-GM arguments debunked numerous times all over the net for years, while serving up some stale half facts too."

Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth 298

dwguenther writes "A Lyons (Colorado) area woman with no academic pedigree has published a scientific paper in the International Journal of Forestry Research about the adverse effects of radio waves on aspen seedlings. Katie Haggerty, who lives north of Steamboat Mountain, found in a preliminary experiment done near her house that aspens shielded from electromagnetic radiation were healthier than those that were not. 'I found that the shielded seedlings produced more growth, longer shoots, bigger leaves, and more total leaf area. The shielded group produced 60 percent more leaf area and 74 percent more shoot length than a mock-shielded group,' she said." This was not a definitive study, as its author readily admits — it's hard to see how a double-blind study could even be designed in this area — but it was refereed.

Journal Journal: Rumor: 500 Kin Phones 9

When Microsoft's Kin was released a month ago, it came with the usual sequence of tittilating leaks (project Pink), a swell of coverage leading to liveblogging of the release press conference, and an advertising blitz impressive in its scope. Since it's supposed to be a social phone of course it has numerous fansites including Facebook and Twitter. Of course there's a Wikipe


Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away 1067

theodp writes "Provoked by an iPad ad promising a 'revolution,' Valleywag's Ryan Tate fired off a late-night missive to Steve Jobs. Jobs responded, and the two engaged in an after-midnight e-mail debate over lockdown, Cocoa vs. Flash, battery life, and whether 'freedom from porn' is a bug or a feature. 'The times they are a changin',' quipped Jobs, 'and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.' Tate was unswayed by the Apple CEO's reality distortion field, but did come away impressed by Jobs' willingness to spar one-on-one over his beliefs — at two in the morning on a weekend."

Comment Re:Good hygiene, don't be a know it all. (Score 1) 842

No, 'acting like a know-it-all' is that all-too-common, elitist, egotistical, whiney, snide attitude that many nerds tend to exhibit. A nerd who is able to communicate in a socially acceptable and 'normal' manner is a lot more valuable than an awkward whiney stubborn tryhard who always has to be heard. Sometimes less is more, and it's better to just keep your mouth shut. I completely agree with the original point - the MOST important thing is not to act like a know-it-all. Show some common sense. Don't act like you're better than others. Be humble. People like an easy going person more than an uptight weirdo. Wait until you settle in and get to know the system and people before you start suggesting improvements. My work has fired the last 2 developers that exhibited that know-it-all type of personality, and I was glad to see them go. In one of the cases I laughed until my throat hurt.

Comment cable card sucks no VOD no PPV no SDV (most tv) (Score 1) 379

cable card sucks no VOD no PPV no SDV (most tv) Tivo can do SDV. Also you don't get the cable co guide. Also network affiliated broadcasts are in clear QAM on cable but not the other stuff on most systems.

also sectv let's you Purchase CableCARD for a one-time fee of $125.00 and receive a one-year warranty on the CableCARD from the manufacture so you never have to worry about rental fees again!

and they let you Access to HD Pay-Per-View events with them as well.

they also have Standard Digital Converter ... $2.95 / mo has VOD and on screnn guild. one of the same boxes that comcast wants $5+ /m for.

Comment Re:easy. (Score 1) 842

My coding philosophy has always been to keep the code as simple as possible. Especially after being the victim of so many over engineered pieces of programming.

When I first left Uni I went to a big defence contracting company and went from graduate programmer to work area lead in 8 weeks, as much out of circumstance as capability (ie there was no one else to take the position of that work area lead). I did good work, and just as importantly (as I was told my management during my work review) by being a happy person and having good morale that brushed off onto others. No matter what stress we were under I just went around be happy and relaxed laughing and whatnot. At other jobs people have also commented on how it was nice having someone around that wasn't acting all stressed out during the crunch times.

Happy and helpful. Thats what I have always been at my jobs, and it works.

Comment Shifts RGB to L*a*b Color (Score 1) 511

RGB is confined color space, and adding yellow would greatly improve the accuracy of the display. It would allow the monitor to display CIE L*a*b color. The "L" channel stands for luminance; the "a" channel is green and magenta; and the "b" channel is blue and yellow. Theoretically it covers the entire visual gamut - that is, all that our eyes can see. While it may not be entirely noticeable in a medium like TV, you can bet that photographers will happily buy the monitors.

Comment Re:This is like a game of telephone/Chinese whispe (Score 1) 280

Hey, moron, just saying it's 'more effective' does not actually prove your point.

The problem with profiling is, as Schneier points out every time it is mentioned, that any known focus on certain entities means there's now known to be less focus on specific other entities.

This isn't some problem with it being done 'badly', this is how that works. By definition, focus in one area removes focus in other areas. Saying 'we will profile these people' is the same as saying 'We are not going to look as closely at people who are not those people'.

Which, as even utter morons should realize, means that terrorists will either use said people, or at least faking being said people.

Ergo, the only profiling that doesn't reduce security is profiling of things that are unalterable and unforgable.

Behavioral profiling, for example, makes sense...it's very very hard to train people not to act nervously. Ergo, singling people out on the basis of that might make sense. Or might not...it's just a possibility of what might be a good idea, as opposed to profiling on the basis of people wearing red shirts, which would obviously be stupid.

Some other stuff makes sense...for example, terrorists need to be trained, and for various reasons, said training can only happen in a few countries, so we can increase security on this people. Although, like I said, once we start doing that it wouldn't be long until they're using people who we don't know went to those countries. But that, at least, has a moderately high fence to climb, and requires prep work we can catch them in.

Of course, your idea about how profiling works and the idea we can profile 'Muslims' is actually even stupider. We actually could profile everyone under five feet tall, although, duh, terrorists would either buy lifts or just use tall people, so that would be stupid.

But we couldn't profile 'Muslims', even if it wasn't a stupid idea. There's no magical indicator what religion people follow. Hell, they don't even have to 'fake' being another religion. It's like profiling people who 'have a pet cat'...the government has no idea who the hell has a pet cat. I guess we could start registering people for that, but, constitutional questions about having to register your religion aside, I suspect terrorists would just lie.

Although we could profile 'People with obvious external Muslim indicators', which manages to be even stupider. It's like profiling people flying with cat food. Quick, throw your prayer mats in the trash, we have to get on the plane!

I suspect you mean we'd profile Arabs, and have apparently completely forgotten the fact that something like half of all Muslims in the world are non-Arabic. In fact, in the US, Muslims are 26% Arab, 34% South Asian, 24% African-American, and 15% other. Now, in the US, we usually mistake 'South Asian' for Arabic, but even then, that still leaves 40% of all Muslims unaccounted for. (And before you say 'They aren't terrorists', two words: DC Sniper.)

And plenty of Arabs aren't Muslims, and there are other swarthy ethnicities that are often hard to distinguish from Arab. Are you going to start profiling Hindus (Aka, South Asians.) and Hispanics? No? Well, Arab terrorists will use those identities.

In short, profiling is another word for 'Making a list of people who go through less security screening', and profiling 'Muslims' is, well, pretty clear evidence you'd an idiot. Even 'people who look Arabic' would be pretty stupid, but 'Muslim' is, well, so stupid you just need to shut up forever.

Comment Re:Is it safe? (Score 4, Informative) 264

Isn't the contents of .docx files tied to the (proprietary, closed, secret, patented) algorithms within MS Word?

For example, you may be able to retrieve the text (not sure) but getting your formatting to look exactly like it did in MS Word, will require MS Word.

If you want proof, find another word processing app that can display it 100% compatible with MS Word without calling any code from MS Word.

Now explain how in 25 years time when most people vaguely remember what MS Word 2010 looked like or did, you will somehow open your .docx documents and have them look as they do now. If I know Microsoft at all, I know that the OOXML "Standard" will change (read: "extend") a LOT in 25 years.

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