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Security

Submission + - No more PHP exploits because of Anti-Hacking laws (heise-security.co.uk)

juct writes: "The German security expert Stefan Esser, who declared March to be the Month of PHP Bugs resigns to the new Anti-Hacking laws in Germany and removes all demo exploits from the MoPB pages. In his PHP security blog he explains: "This new law renders the creation and distribution of software illegal that could be used by someone to break into a computer system"."
The Media

Submission + - Fox News smears rivals on Wikipedia (geeksaresexy.net)

boyko.at.netqos writes: "Changes made to Wikipedia from an IP Address that resolves to Fox News, show a pattern of smearing Fox's rivals, including Al Franken, Keith Olbermann, and CNN, while removing damaging or embarrassing information to it's own reporters. GeeksAreSexy.net pores through the changes to produce a comprehensive list of what Fox News allegedly changed.

An example of the changes:

From: "Many groups and commentators, including [[Media Matters for America]], and liberal broadcasters [[Al Franken]], and [[Keith Olbermann]], have claimed that Hume distorted Roosevelt's views."

To: "Many groups and commentators, including [[Media Matters for America]], and liberal broadcasters [[Al Franken]], and [[Keith Olbermann]], have claimed that Hume distorted Roosevelt's views in an attempt to ride Mr. Hume's coat tails in the ratings race as Mr. Hume hosts the highest rated political program on cable television.""

Slashdot.org

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.
Privacy

Submission + - Do Not Call Registry gets wake-up call (networkworld.com) 2

coondoggie writes: "If you signed up for the federal or your state's Do Not Call Registry a few years ago, you might want to thing about refreshing it. Pennsylvanians this week got a wake up call, so to speak from the state's Attorney General Tom Corbett who kicked off a public awareness campaign designed to remind people what many have forgotten or never knew — that the 2002 law set registrations to expire after five years. That is of course unless you want to start hearing from those telemarketers as you sit down to dinner. Corbett said about 2 million people signed up in the immediate aftermath of the law taking effect and those who do not act by Sept. 15 will have their numbers dropped from the registry on Nov. 1. The Pennsylvania action is a reminder that the National Do Not Call Registry has a five year life span as well. The Federal Trade Commission is set to being a nation campaign in Spring 2008 to remind all US citizens to refresh their federal Do Not Call Registry standing. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18066"
Privacy

Submission + - UCLA Probe Finds Taser Incident Out Of Policy (ucla.edu)

Bandor Mia writes: Last November, it was reported that UCLA cops Tasered a student, who forgot to bring his ID, at the UCLA library. While an internal probe by UCLAPD cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, an outside probe by Police Assessment Resource Center has found that the police actions on Mostafa Tabatabainejad were indeed out of UCLA policy. The probe was conducted at the behest of acting UCLA Chancellor Norman Abrams.

From the report:
"In light of UCLAPD's general use of force policy and its specific policies on pain compliance techniques, Officer 2's three applications of the Taser, taken together, were out of policy. Officer 2 did not take advantage of other options and opportunities reasonably available to de-escalate the situation without the use of the Taser. Reasonable campus police officers, upon assessing the circumstances, likely would have embraced different choices and options that appear likely to have been more consistent both with UCLAPD policy and general best law enforcement practices."

Power

Submission + - Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Lost

ScrappyLaptop writes: In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them — it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen. From http://www.alternet.org/story/58328/ :

Under federal and Ohio law, all ballots and election records from federal races must be preserved for 22 months after Election Day, which fell on Sept. 2, 2006. While election integrity activists and reporters from a Columbus website, FreePress.org, had sought the ballots and other election records soon after the presidential election, Blackwell would not allow county boards to release the ballots, citing court challenges to the 2004 results and a 2005 suit from the League of Women Voters alleging the state was not following the newest federal election law, the Help America Vote Act.

On Sept. 11, 2006, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered the election boards "to preserve all ballots from the 2004 Presidential election, on paper and in any other format, including electronic data, unless and until such time otherwise instructed by this Court."

Somehow, the counties never got the message:

"Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages as requested in (Brunner's) Directive 2007-07 due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions," wrote Butler County Board of Election Director Betty McGary and Deputy Director Lynn Kinkaid in a May 9 memo. "Several boxes containing all the wire-bound ballot pages were discarded into a Rumpke dumpster. The dumpster would have been emptied into the local landfill."

"The Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Board of Elections was unable to transfer the unvoted precinct ballots and soiled precinct ballots," wrote John Williams, Hamilton County Director of Elections on May 16, 2007. "To the best if my knowledge, the above ballots were inadvertently shredded between January 19th and 26th of '06 in an effort to make room for the new Hart voting system."

"No one could remember the disposition of said ballots," wrote Mike Keeley, of Clermont County's Board of Elections on May 10, 2007, referring to the "unvoted" or unused ballots from the 2004 presidential election.

In Warren County, where county election officials said on Election Day that the FBI had declared a homeland security alert — which they later retracted — ballots were diverted to a warehouse before counting. The local media was not allowed to observe the vote count. According to a letter from the Warren County Board of Election to Brunner's office, the election board cannot find 22,000 unused ballots from the election.

"The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

"On the one hand, people will now say you can't prove the fraud," he said, "but the rule of law says that when evidence is destroyed it creates a presumption that the people who destroyed evidence did so because it would have proved the contention of the other side."
Movies

Submission + - Girl faces year in prison for 20 second film clip

PizzaFace writes: It's Jhannet's 19th birthday, so her boyfriend borrows a camcorder to memorialize the occasion, and they head to the mall. They goof around, recording each other and the Chick-fil-A cows in the food court, then decide to catch the Transformers matinee, which started a few minutes earlier. During a big action scene, Jhannet takes the camcorder and records a 20-second clip to show her little brother. A few minutes later, cops who were called by the manager come in with flashlights, arrest Jhannet, confiscate the camcorder, and, at the behest of Regal Cinemas, charge her with film piracy. "I was terrified," said Jhannet. "I was crying. I've never been in trouble before." If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. The police say they lack discretion because Regal Cinemas chose to prosecute: "They were the victim in this case, and they felt strongly enough about it." The National Association of Theatre Owners supports Regal's "zero-tolerance" prosecution standard: "We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing."
Math

Submission + - Winnie Wrote a Math Book

SoyChemist writes: Hollywood is not known for providing a wealth of positive female role models. Danica McKellar, the actress that played Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years and Elsie Snuffin on The West Wing, has written a math book for teenage girls. Math Doesn't Suck is in the style of a teen magazine. It even includes a horoscope, cute doodles of shoes and jewelry, and testimonials from attractive young career women that use math at work. It focuses on fractions and pre-algebra and uses mnemonics like calling a reciprocal a "refliprocal", because you just take the fraction and flip it upside down. Wired interviewed McKellar about the new book and her crusade to eliminate the achievement gap between boys and girls in math courses. McKellar graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA. While studying there, she co-authored a proof and presented it at a conference. After she and Mayim Bialik — star of Blossom and a PhD in neuroscience — appeared in a 20/20 episode about intellectual actresses, several literary agents came knocking on her door.
Announcements

Submission + - Press Forced To Wear Corporate Sponsor Logos

i_like_spam writes: In a story covered by the National Press Photographers Association, photojournalists are protesting a new rule for the upcoming National Football League season that will force them to wear red vests emblazoned with the corporate logos of Reebok and Canon during televised games. The chair of the NPPA's Ethics & Standards Committee said 'it totally goes against our Code of Ethics to force photographers to advertise as if they were some sort of NASCAR vehicle. We are independent gatherers of news, storytellers with no agendas.' The NFL responded by stating that it's not a problem because the logos are small and have been used on vests at other sporting events without protest.
Linux Business

Submission + - thinkgeek sells toy: code for it, make money. (thinkgeek.com)

dsmall writes: "ThinkGeek's latest catalog has the Neuros (see them at http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/drives/8af5/ )... The Neuros, a media device with a twist. It arrives without all the code to make it fully work. If you submit the code to make it work, you get paid.
From Neuros: "These bounties are a community style thing that is just a modest way to put a little money back into the Neuros community as a token for our appreciation. We hope and expect for people to collaborate, split bounties and credit and share information, etc. The deliverables and rules are sketchy and the interpretation is completely subject to the whim of the selection committee"
YouTube or Google video Browser Bounty: $1000
Flickr Photo Browser Bounty: $600
Implement a wireless remote using a WiFi PDA (or PSP) as the remote. Bounty: $500
TiVo style functionality for radio. Hook up the OSD to a FM/AM or Satellite receiver and do timed recordings or FF/RW and Pause Live Radio. Bounty: $700
Voip on the OSD. Plug a USB phone into the OSD and make calls without touching any of your PCs. Bounty: $500"
Might be interesting if you have too much time on your hands and are looking to make a quick Euro."

Sci-Fi

Submission + - Mayor of San Diego Hates Comicon Attendees (pinkraygun.com)

Lisa Fary writes: "As we all know, 2007's Comicon International in San Diego ended this past weekend. Comicon is probably San Diego's largest, 4-day revenue generator, but that didn't stop the Mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders, from stating "We've put up the superheroes and now we're on to the people with actual talent." on the Cantore in the Morning show on 91X, the Monday morning AFTER the convention ended (presumably, when he thought that any of those pesky comics and sci-fi geeks were safely out of earshot). It's actually a pretty crappy thing to say about any group that brings such large amounts of hotel, restaurant, parking, transportation and retail revenue in to the city Can you imagine if something similar were said regarding almost any other group?"
Music

Submission + - Eminem Sues Apple for iTunes Sales (macworld.co.uk)

puk writes: MacWorld UK is reporting that Eminem's publisher is suing Apple, alleging that his publisher did not have the right to authorize Apple's online sales of digital versions of Eminem's music through the iTunes Music Store and that therefore Apple is violating Eminem's copyright by doing so.

Of course, if this turns out to be the case, Universal may also be on the hook for the damages, if indirectly. Looks like another more case of trying to figure out whether old contracts authorize new activities...

Businesses

Submission + - DSS/HIPPA/SOX Unalterable Audit Logs

analogrithems writes: Recently I was asked by one of the suits in my company to come up with a method to comply with the new PCI DSS policy that requires companies to have WORM logs or write once, read many. In short a secure method to make sure that once a log is written it can never be deleted or changed. So far I've only been able to find commercial and hardware based solutions. I'd prefer to use an open source solution. I know this policy is already part of HIPPA and soon to be part of SOX. It seems like their should be a way to do this with cryptography and checksums to insure authenticity, has anyone seen or developed a solution? How have other Slashdot users made compliance?

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