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The Internet

Submission + - New eBay site lets people finance the world's poor

Stony Stevenson writes: EBay launched on Wednesday a Web site allowing ordinary investors to buy securities aimed at improving conditions in the world's poorest countries. MicroPlace will allow people to invest as little as US$100 to support development in impoverished areas. So-called microfinance is the supply of loans, savings, insurance and other basic financial services to low-income households and businesses, typically without collateral. It is often conducted in emerging economies, where people cannot typically obtain bank loans.
Businesses

Submission + - The Corporate Tech Support Divide

theodp writes: "Even as they outsource IT, BusinessWeek reports that top execs still enjoy 24/7 in-house tech concierge assistance while the rank-and-file have to call India, fomenting help-desk rage. While lower-ranking employees fume about losing productive hours, CEOs have elite tech squads at their beck-and-call even on weekends to buy a replacement for that malfunctioning Blackberry or to set up equipment — including the kids' — at the house in the Hamptons."
Security

Submission + - Rush to deploy virtualisation leaves security gaps (zdnet.com.au)

ramboando writes: Server virtualisation is a no-brainer — it's quick to deploy and easy to justify in terms of cost-savings but too many companies are deploying the technology without considering the security implications. In the past, industry analysts such as Gartner have made warnings about virtualisation security lapses.

In this report, ZDNet Australia looks at some of the pitfalls and promises of virtualisation security.

Communications

Submission + - Wheels falling off Telstra sale (australianit.com.au)

Serindipidude writes: After completely messing up Digital Television in Australia, the government (whose days are thankfully numbered now) has messed up broadband infrastrcture and all but destroyed competition in the Internet services market. To summarise the history, they first sold spectrum all over the country and sqandered the profit on self algrandisement. Then they sold of their major share in the monopoly telco and gave all that money to the major competitor of said monopolist. The purpose of the funding (nearly a billion dollars) was to create a wireless broandband network that needs the spectrum sold off to all their other competitors years previously. The monopoly player is now suing the government for just about everything it can think of. Full Story
Music

Submission + - Plagiarism In Today's Music Industry

An anonymous reader writes: Today, there is a significant amount of music that is plagiarized. In fact, it seems like the plagiarized songs get played on the radio endlessly while the original musicians are left with nothing. For example, read the criticism of Jet's "Get Born" album and try to compare it yourself. Other artist's songs which sound too familiar to other songs include Paris Hilton and The Flaming Lip. There should really be more consequences for stealing other musician's work without giving proper credit.
Republicans

Submission + - A footnote on a Presidency?

BuhDuh writes: The NY times invites us to partake of President Bush's innermost thoughts and reflections on his Presidency, and his plans to publish his memoirs. From TFA:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 — When President Bush is asked what he plans to do when he leaves office, he often replies curtly: "I don't have that much time to think beyond my presidency" or "I'm going to sprint to the finish."
And Later:

Mr. Draper said Mr. Bush took issue with him for unearthing details of a meeting in April 2006 at which he took a show-of-hands vote on the future of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who was among his closest advisers. Mr. Bush told Mr. Draper he had no recollection of it, but he said he disagreed with the implication that he regularly governed by staff vote. (According to Mr. Draper's book, the vote was 7 to 4 for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster, with Mr. Bush being one of the no votes. Mr. Rumsfeld stayed on months longer.)
'he had no recollection of it' Sound familiar? Will this be how this administration is seen by posterity?
Security

Submission + - Certified Ethical Hacker, credible or useless?

NetherNihilist writes: I'm fairly new in the realm of information security and I'm looking for some certifications to boost my resume and salary. I am currently pursuing the Security+ exam by CompTIA and I am almost ready to take it and thus almost ready to start preparing for my next one. I want to take the CISSP eventually, but I don't meet the experience requirements set by ISC^2 so I was thinking about the CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) by EC-Council. I am curious to know how this exam is viewed by the industry and by the cynics and aficionados of Slashdot :) What are your thoughts on the exam? Worthwhile or worthless?
Power

Submission + - Where is solar for the rest of us?

An anonymous reader writes: As the first totally new U.S. nuclear facilites in 30 years are being planned, some renewable power advocates have begun to lambast the idea and wisdom of building them. Safety concerns including a recent event where a cooling tower at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant collapsed lend some veritability to their concerns. Proponents of solar say the sun is the only viable solution for many of us, yet it remains painfully out of reach economically for the vast majority of North Americans. The average U.S. household uses 10656 kilowatt-hours per year. A home that uses roughly 1600 KWh/month would cost around 76,000 dollars to go completely solar. This high initial cost leads to a catch-22 that is a tough nut to crack for many of us in areas that do not have tax credits as generous as California's. It often noted that as production ramps up unit costs come down however this trend hasn't been seen in solar power. Prices have actually increased over the past few years. Will solar ever be economically justified 'for the rest of us' or will it remain an expensive and unessecarry alternative that is always one breakthrough away from mass affordability?
Security

Submission + - Bad FS Scandisc could lead to years of detention (allafrica.com)

Ep0xi writes: Amnesty International researchers, recently returned from Nigeria, have expressed shock at the prison conditions they witnessed and the protracted delays in Nigeria's justice system.

"The circumstances under which the Nigerian government locks up its inmates are appalling. Many inmates are left for years awaiting trial in filthy overcrowded cells with children and adults often held together," said Aster van Kregten, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International. "Some prisoners are called 'forgotten inmates' as they never go to court and nobody knows how much longer their detention will last, simply because their case files are lost." http://allafrica.com/stories/200708150367.html

The Courts

Submission + - Supreme Court rules Ebay sale binding. (smh.com.au)

Slurpee writes: The NSW Supreme court has ruled that making an offer of sale on Ebay is legally binding. In other words — you can't change your mind. In a case that reached the NSW Supreme Court, Peter Smythe sued Vin Thomas after he changed his mind on the sale of a 1946 World War II Wirraway plane after the eBay auction had ended. "It follows that, in my view, a binding contract was formed between the plaintiff and the defendent and that it should be specifically enforced," Justice Rein said in his decision. The judgment sets a precedent for future cases and means eBay sales could now be legally binding (At least in Australia).
Privacy

Submission + - Ruling by Secret US Court Allegedly Reduces Spying

conspirator57 writes: TFA http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la- na-spying2aug02,0,5813563.story?coll=la-home-cente r states that the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (a court that no citizen can establish standing to appear before) has ruled against Executive requests for so-called "basket warrants" as violating the 4th amendment to the Constitution, namely that such warrants do not meet the clearly expressed criteria in the second half of the amendment. To accomplish this they must have looked startlingly like British general warrants which were the original motivation for the 4th amendment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrant_(law) for more.

TFA is very sympathetic to the Executive branch, going on to depict ways in which we're all less safe because of this ruling. Personally, I feel safer with more rulings like this one. Just wish the process were a bit more transparent.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Television

Submission + - A funny critique of Simpsons haters... (tvsquad.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Jay Black over at TV Squad has angered the geek-a-toids by calling out everyone who has ever hated on the Simpsons to put up or shut up. It's a great and funny read — make sure you check out the comments section where every single critique of the article is, itself, exactly what Jay is mocking.
Power

Submission + - U Delaware breaks solar power efficiency record (renewableenergyaccess.com) 1

mdsolar writes: "Renewable Energy Access is reporting that a consortium led by researchers at the University of Delaware has achieved 42.8% efficiency with a silicon solar cell. The method uses lower concentration (factor of 20 magnification) than the previous record holder Boeing-Spectrolab made cell (40.7% efficiency) so that it may have a broader range of applications since tolerances for pointing the device will be larger. They are now partnering with DuPont to build engineering and manufacturing prototypes under DARPA's Very High Efficiency Solar Cell program which supports work towards achieving 50% efficiency. It is expected that these cells can help improve the military battery logistics pipeline, providing "soldiers with more power at reduced weight." They expect to be in production in 2010. On a roof, such cells would require less than half the surface area to produce the same amount of power as today's standard solar panels. This might leave room for panels to power plugin hybrids for cases where roof area is too limited to do this with standard panels."
Businesses

Submission + - Outfitting a brand new datacenter?

An anonymous reader writes: We completed our new 4,000 sq ft data center (Tier II/III, according to The Uptime Institute) and just recently moved our core systems from our old data center to the new. We've been up and running for several months now and I'm preparing to close out the project. The last piece is to purchase some accessories and tools for the new location. The short list so far consists of a Server Lift, a few extra floor tile pullers, flashlights and a crash cart. We'll also add to the tools in the toolbox located in one of the auxiliary rooms — these things seem to have legs! What are we missing? Where can we find crash carts set up more for a data center environment (beyond the utility cart with and LCD, keyboard and mouse strapped to it)?
Software

Submission + - Adbrick - Adblock for IE7!

boynerd writes: http://adbrick.blogspot.com/

AdBrick 1.0 Pre-Release is available now. Though only confirmed to work on Windows XP SP2, there have been people able to install and use it on Vista 64-bit using the appropriate compatibility mode. Thought it currently has no pre-list of ad site's regexs for the program to block, it seems decent enough.

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