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RFID Passports Cloned Without Opening the Package 168

Jeremy writes to tell us that using some simple deduction, a security consultant discovered how to clone a passport as it's being mailed to its recipient, without ever opening the package. "But the key in this first generation of biometric passport is relatively easy to identify/crack. It is not random, but consists of passport number, the passport holder's date of birth and the passport expiry date. The Mail found it relatively easy to identify the holder's date of birth, while the expiry date is 10 years from the issue date, which for a newly-delivered passport would clearly fall within a few days. The passport number consists of a number of predictable elements, including an identifier for the issuing office, so effectively a significant part of the key can be reconstructed from the envelope and its address label."

Matt Groening Talks About Futurama's Comeback 156

Joel Keller writes "When I was at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier last month, I briefly talked to Matt Groening about Futurama's comeback. I posted the interview to TV Squad a couple of days ago. The man behind the Simpsons and Futurama talks about the latter's comeback, the fun of doing sci-fi in a comedy format, and a few words about the first episode to air on Comedy Central."
The Internet

Submission + - Viacom arbitrarily claims YouTube content as own?

waitman writes: "Anyone else have their videos removed from YouTube prior to receiving a DMCA notice from Viacom? Their claim of owning rights to the "100k+" videos must be bogus, because one of my videos was removed. I have to believe that there must be others. I was using a video on YouTube to advertise my business, and I paid the photographer to shoot and edit the video. To my knowledge this video has never aired on television, and there is no reasonable explanation for Viacom could believe they own the video. A couple of unreasonable explanations come to mind, however none of my opinions have been confirmed. 1) Viacom *arbitrarily* selected 100,000 videos and claimed ownership just to make headlines, or or for whatever other reason. 2) A Viacom employee could have downloaded my movie from YouTube, then aired part of it on whatever broadcast program (without my knowledge), thus assuming ownership. 3) A simple mistake was made, and they inadvertantly targetted me. 4) A big mistake was made, and they inadvertantly targetted thousands of users. Regardless, it looks like the video is shut off until I hire an attorney to file a rebuttal to their claim, which sounds like a pain. Your Opinions? Here's an article for you. y/television/news/e3ib7466fcf6c98ca5623a55bb262824 d83 Take care, Waitman Gobble Los Altos, California"

Submission + - Linux powers Super Bowl's "flying" camera

An anonymous reader writes: A new article on Super Bowl technology is out. Biggest revelation? That overhead "flying" camera CBS uses runs on Linux. From the article: "The camera's position is updated 200 times each second by the Overdrive motion control software, which runs on RTLinux, and control information is fed to a set of winches outside the stadium. The winches are driven by 20hp motors that can spin up to 3,000rpm and can position the camera anywhere in the field of play by reeling in cable and playing it out. The system is now sophisticated enough that an operator can fly the camera behind the ball carrier on a kickoff and follow his return up the field, all the way to endzone if necessary (and with Devin Hester running back kicks for Chicago, it may be necessary)." Is this the first Pengiun-powered Super Bowl?

Submission + - Bill Gates Claims Mac OS X Exploited Every Day

NMerriam writes: "Bill Gates has a very candid interview with Newsweek talking about the release of Vista. He says that Apple should stop lying in their TV ads, and by the way "Every single day, they come out with a total exploit [of Mac OS X], your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine.""

Submission + - The Good Fortune of Wii Exercise

eldavojohn writes: "While some users of the Wii complained of soreness or "Wii elbow" when playing it too much, others are heralding its workout value. The University of Toronto is working on a "therapeutic video game" for the Wii that is designed to help children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy exercise their weaker limb, people are claiming weight loss and in the January issue of Pediatrics the Mayo clinic is proposing that gaming systems like the Wii can combat child obesity."

Submission + - Ocean Planets on the Brink of Detection

ZonkerWilliam writes: Seems, at least theoretically, that there may be water planets, and that we may be close to detecting them. Excerpt from the article; "Imagine a world with no land at all, merely the impenetrable depths of a seething ocean. Models of planet formation predict the existence of such worlds, even though our own solar system has none. Indeed, their formation should actually be rather common — and new satellites may soon detect them around other stars."
United States

Submission + - DST: Circle March 11 on your calendar

jcatcw writes: It's not Y2K all over again, but the new dates for switching to Daylight Saving Time aren't trivial either. Which systems will need to be patched to accommodate the change? Information from vendors is difficult to obtain in some cases.

Background: The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 moved the start of DST from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March and delayed the return of standard time in the autumn by a week, to the first Sunday in November. Shifting the time change by a few weeks might save on energy use — or it might not.

Companies with operations or business partners in different regions may also need to plan carefully for the switch. The places that won't change to DST include Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and much of Arizona. The change could also mean complications for multinational businesses because different time frames for DST are used worldwide.

Submission + - Are long-term working skills a thing of the past?

Scribe writes: "In his article in the New Statesman this week, Peter Wilby asks whether the need for flexibility in companies has killed off long-term skills and, with it, commitment to and quality of the work itself.

Their skills are declared obsolescent, their job is outsourced, their company is taken over or suddenly switches to different products and markets. Constant downsizing and delayering make any promotion provisional. In such a world, only a fool commits either to a particular company or a particular skill.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Release Date Announced 371

Croakyvoice writes "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, the seventh and final book in the best-selling series, has been scheduled for release at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2007, Scholastic announced today." A deluxe edition for collectors and enthusiasts is also planned with a simultaneous release.

Submission + - Zune Executive to Leave Microsoft

Divebus writes: REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — A Microsoft Corp. executive responsible for its newly launched Zune digital music player will leave the company. The software maker said the departure of Bryan Lee, a corporate vice president in Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division, was for personal reasons and "absolutely not" related to sales of the music player, which came out in mid-November to soft reviews.

Right. Absolutely nothing to do with it. Never crossed their minds.

Submission + - New Yorker on Google Books

jefu writes: "The New Yorker (Feb 2) has a story on Google Books (an attempt to index every book around) and its legal problems involving copyright. Interestingly, the conclusion seems to be that Google might settle the lawsuits brought against it, and by doing so, make it more difficult for others who want to do similar things. One good quote : "The suits that are filed are a business negotiation that happens to be going on in the courts.""

Submission + - Microsoft India serves Safari broken pages

manastungare writes: "A friend pointed me to Microsoft India's Vista Promotion, which I tried to access using Safari on my Mac. I got back a page that contained an infinite redirect loop. Upon changing the user-agent string to MSIE/Windows, the same page loaded with no errors. Microsoft have pulled this trick in the past during the launch of Windows XP (and again, and again). Why do they keep discriminating against browsers that are perfectly capable of handling their content?"

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Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.