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Networking

Submission + - Comcast blocking www.google.com? 1

nate.sammons writes: Several times in the last few days, my comcast line has given me a "Connection reset" error when connecting to www.google.com. Now, every other site I've tried works, including mail.google.com, news.google.com, etc. However, any attempt to connect to www.google.com gets me a connection reset error. When this happened the other day, it eventually just went away. So-far tonight it's been about two hours.
Patents

Submission + - Orphan 70-Year-Old Plane Data = 'Trade Secrets'?

Anonymous Flyboy Coward writes: The Experimental Aircraft Association is taking on the Federal Aviation Administration, which has denied a FOIA request for access to construction data to the owner of 70+ year old antique Fairchild F45 aircraft. The FAA sided with a company that was formed in 1990 (and which didn't even know the airplane type existed until the FAA's inquiry) that claims it "owns" the design and manufacturing data to the aircraft, calling the data a "trade secret". The company failed to register with the FAA (as required by law) yet the FAA is standing by it's assertion that they "own" this data, which was turned over to the public domain in the 1950s. Many vintage aircraft owners face a Catch-22 situation: they are required by law to perform maintenance to the manufacturer's specs, but much of this data is unavailable because the FAA refuses to release it without the data's owner's permission... even if there is no such owner. The decision in this case will likely have wide-ranging implications on FOIA requests, as well as affect whether historical antique aircraft will remain flyable or lost forever to a pointless bureaucratic death. The full story is available here.
Networking

Submission + - Bizarre Virus Threatens to Kill File-Sharers

An anonymous reader writes: TorrentFreak reports:

A strange virus which taunts file-sharers and threatens to report them to the police and even kill them, is being distributed on the Winny network. The virus has two variants Troj/Pirlames-A and Troj/Pirlames-B, masquerades as a screensaver and attacks files with these popular extensions — EXE, BAT, CMD, INI, ASP, HTM, HTML, PHP, CLASS, JAVA, DBX, EML, MBX, TBB, WAB, HLP, TXT, MP3, XLS, LOG, BMP — overwriting them with images of comic book character Ayu Tsukimiya.

It's reported that one of the images, which includes a song about fish-shaped pancakes stuffed with jam, has a telephone number included although it's unclear to whom the number belongs.

Another exclaims "This is a visit from the prevalent Piro virus! Stop P2P! If you don't i'll tell the police!" while another threatens "Ah, I see you are using P2P again......if you don't stop within 0.5 seconds, i'm going to kill you!"
Education

Submission + - College Students Narcissistic Jerks, Study Shows

An anonymous reader writes: American higher education is plagued by vanity more than ever, CNN reports. Where do we cast blame? Why, it's the evil Internet's fault! MySpace, YouTube are among those on the chopping block, with liberal psycho-quacks calling for a parental beatdown. "A potential antidote would be more authoritative parenting." says noted hypocrite Jean Twenge. My question is, why are we blaming the internet for boosting our self-esteem?

From the Article:

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Star Trek To Return Christmas 2008

Tycoon Guy writes: "Paramount today announced the new 'Star Trek' film is scheduled for release on Christmas Day 2008. The studio also confirmed the film will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who said the film will "embrace and respect" Trek canon, but will also "chart its own course." Also today, rumors are out claiming Matt Damon, Adrien Brody and Gary Sinise will play Kirk, Spock and Scotty, respectively."
NASA

Submission + - JOULE II launches rockets to study Northern Lights

WaltonNews writes: "On January 19, 2007 (starting at about 3:29 Alaska Standard Time), NASA launched a project called JOULE II that consists of four rockets to study the aurora display over the skies of northern Alaska. The mission is geared to learn more about the electrical heating of the thin upper atmosphere above the Earth's surface. For more of the story, go to: http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/8885/1066/."
Linux Business

Submission + - Harvard Follows The Money

methosman writes: Surprise, surprise — Harvard follows the money and says big corporations focus spending on open source to make money for other parts of their "mainly proprietary, core businesses" in "the old saw of the razor/razor blade business model." But is it good or bad to be "a business tool that has been used by a variety of corporations for very logical purposes"??? http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5574.html
Software

Virtualbox Goes OSS 75

paltemalte writes to tell us that VirtualBox has gone open source. InnoTek released their virtualization product as open source and launched virtualbox.org to help cultivate the community and allow further development of the software.

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