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Comment Re:doesn't sound too secure yet (Score 1) 367

http://code.google.com/p/nativeclient/?tbbrand=GZEZ&utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-et-osrcblog&utm_medium=et

Native Client is an open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps.

This sounds to me like the Native Client is a virtual machine that will execute x86 code inside a browser, regardless of the underlying OS. It doesn't specifically mention hardware, but why not go the whole hog and make this work on any hardware?

K.

Software

Google Native Client Puts x86 On the Web 367

t3rmin4t0r writes "Google has announced its Google native client, which enables x86 native code to be run securely inside a browser. With Java applets already dead and buried, this could mean the end of the new war between browsers and the various JavaScript engines (V8, Squirrelfish, Tracemonkey). The only question remains whether it can be secured (ala ActiveX) and whether the advantages carry over onto non-x86 platforms. The package is available for download from its Google code site. Hopefully, I can finally write my web apps in asm." Note: the Google code page description points out that this is not ready for production use: "We've released this project at an early, research stage to get feedback from the security and broader open-source communities." Reader eldavojohn links to a technical paper linked from that Google code page [PDF] titled "Native Client: A Sandbox for Portable, Untrusted x86 Native Code," and suggests this in-browser Quake demo, which requires the Native Code plug-in.
Communications

Apple Disables Egyptian iPhones' GPS 278

floydman writes "Apparently the Egyptian government is paranoid about its community using GPS devices, to the degree that it demanded Apple remove any GPS functionality from its iPhone 3G. They claim that 'GPS functionality should be limited to military purposes.' Egyptian blogger Ahmed Gabr brought this issue up in another article, and talks about how this does not make sense, since Google maps and the like can be used. I also happen to know for a fact that most of the modern cars in Egypt have built-in GPS systems."
Television

Netflix Comes To Tivo, AppleTV, Linux 190

An anonymous reader writes "Netflix on Tivo is officially out and leaving satellite users out in the cold. Tivo announced today that if you are a subscriber to both services then you can start receiving many Netflix titles on your Tivo for no extra charge. This is only available to subscribers with TiVo HD, TiVo HD XL and TiVo Series3 DVRs. The majority of Tivo's subscribers are probably Series 2 owners and will be forced to 'upgrade' if they want this new service but it won't be that easy for those on satellite. Tivo's current model lineup does not really offer a solution for satellite subscribers. The HD and HD XL are cable only and there is no sign of the Series 3 on their site." Another reader also writes to tell us that "Linux PC and AppleTV users are about to gain the ability to stream Netflix's movies and TV shows directly to their systems. Although Netflix's instant watch service only officially supports Windows and Mac, Boxee expects to release Netflix streaming support to the Ubuntu version of its free A/V media center software within a couple of days, and says that adding Netflix streaming support to AppleTV asap is its top priority."
Handhelds

Google To Sell Truly Open Android Dev Phone 219

binary.bang writes "Google has announced an unlocked version of T-Mobile's G1 for sale at the same unlocked price of $399. The Android Dev Phone 1 is the G1, except being truly open: no SIM-lock, no hardware lock. Feel free to flash your customized Android build — the bootloader won't be checking for signatures. Don't be misled by the word 'Dev,' looks like all you need to qualify is an Android Market account. This looks like the Open Handset Alliance delivering the promised Open Handset: yes root, yes flash-your-build, no contract, no strings attached. Anyone else relieved & thrilled?"
Earth

Chemical Pollution Is Destroying Masculinity 773

myrdos2 writes "A host of common chemicals is feminizing males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people. Many have been identified as 'endocrine disruptors' or gender-benders because they interfere with hormones. Communities heavily polluted with gender-benders in Canada, Russia, and Italy have given birth to twice as many girls as boys, which may offer a clue to the mysterious shift in sex ratios worldwide. And a study at Rotterdam's Erasmus University showed that boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys. It also follows hard on the heels of new American research which shows that baby boys born to women exposed to widespread chemicals in pregnancy are born with smaller penises and feminized genitals. It is calculated that 250,000 babies who would have been boys have been born as girls instead in the US and Japan alone. And sperm counts are dropping precipitously. Studies in more than 20 countries have shown that they have dropped from 150 million per milliliter of sperm fluid to 60 million over 50 years."
Medicine

Saving 28,000 Lives a Year 263

The New Yorker is running a piece by Atul Gawande that starts by describing the everyday miracles that can be achieved in a modern medical intensive care unit, and ends by making a case for a simple and inexpensive way to save 28,000 lives per year in US ICUs, at a one-time cost of a few million dollars. This medical miracle is the checklist. Gawande details how modern medicine has spiraled into complexity beyond any person's ability to track — and nowhere more so than in the ICU. "A decade ago, Israeli scientists published a study in which engineers observed patient care in ICUs for twenty-four-hour stretches. They found that the average patient required a hundred and seventy-eight individual actions per day, ranging from administering a drug to suctioning the lungs, and every one of them posed risks. Remarkably, the nurses and doctors were observed to make an error in just one per cent of these actions — but that still amounted to an average of two errors a day with every patient. Intensive care succeeds only when we hold the odds of doing harm low enough for the odds of doing good to prevail. This is hard." The article goes on to profile a doctor named Peter Pronovost, who has extensively studied the ability of the simplest of complexity tamers — the checklist — to save lives in the ICU setting. Pronovost oversaw the introduction of checklists in the ICUs in hospitals across Michigan, and the result was a thousand lives saved in a year. That would translate to 28,000 per year if scaled nationwide, and Pronovost estimates the cost of doing that at $3 million.
Government

Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition? 1367

gplus writes "December 5th was the 75th anniversary of the end of alcohol prohibition in the US. The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed which argues that now may be the time to discuss our war on drugs and the drug prohibition currently in place. The article argues that the harm caused by the banned substance must be balanced against the harms caused by the prohibition. As to why Americans in 1933 finally voted to end prohibition, while we barely even discuss it: 'Most Americans in 1933 could recall a time before prohibition, which tempered their fears. But few Americans now can recall the decades when the illicit drugs of today were sold and consumed legally. If they could, a post-prohibition future might prove less alarming.'"
The Courts

RIAA Sues 19-Year-Old Transplant Patient 663

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Just when you think they've reached rock bottom, it seems the RIAA always finds room to sink a little lower. This time they've sued an innocent, 19-year-old transplant patient, hospitalized with pancreatitis and needing islet cell transplants. Although the young Pittsburgh lady claims that she did not infringe any copyrights, she failed to answer the complaint in time, and a default judgment was taken against her. A Pittsburgh area lawyer has stated that he will represent her pro bono and make a motion to open up the default."
Medicine

Cold Sore Virus May Be Alzheimer's Smoking Gun 285

Science Daily is reporting that the virus behind cold sores has been found to be a major cause of the insoluble protein plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers. Researchers believe the herpes simplex virus is a significant factor in developing the debilitating disease and could be treated by antiviral agents such as acyclovir, which is already used to treat cold sores and other diseases caused by the herpes virus. Another future possibility is vaccination against the virus to prevent the development of Alzheimer's in the first place. The research was just published in the Journal of Pathology (abstract).
The Media

Reuters Pulls Out of Second Life, Army Heads In 77

A little over two years ago, Reuters made headlines by setting up a reporter as a go-between for Second Life and the real world. Now, they've evidently decided that the buzz is no longer there, so they've ended the virtual-reporting experiment. The reporter, Eric Krangel, offered his own take on the situation, and what he thinks Linden Labs could do to make Second Life a better place. Whether or not the advice is taken, the US Army has decided to carve out its own presence in the virtual world by setting up a pair of islands that will function as recruiting tools. An article at Massively suggests that interest in Second Life is still high among a variety of organizations, saying, "at present it appears that more businesses are coming in than going out."
Networking

China's .cn Now the Second Most Popular TLD 86

darthcamaro writes "In case you needed further proof of China's breakneck pace of growth on the web, InternetNews is reporting on data from Verisign that the .cn Top Level Domain (TLD) has now become the second biggest TLD worldwide, surpassing Germany's .de and second only to .com. The number of .cn sites grew by 76 percent in 2008, which is significantly more growth than .com and .net, which only grew by 16 percent combined. A graph in the Verisign report (PDF) shows how quickly China's internet presence has grown in the past two years."
Medicine

What the Papers Don't Say About Vaccines 737

jamie tips an article in The Guardian's "Bad Science" column which highlights recent media coverage of the MMR vaccine. A story circulated in the past week about the death of a young child, which the parents blamed on the vaccine. When the coroner later found that it had nothing to do with the child's death, there was a followup in only one of the six papers who had covered the story. "Does it stop there? No. Amateur physicians have long enjoyed speculating that MMR and other vaccinations are somehow 'harmful to the immune system' and responsible for the rise in conditions such as asthma and hay fever. Doubtless they must have been waiting some time for evidence to appear. ... Measles cases are rising. Middle class parents are not to blame, even if they do lack rhetorical panache when you try to have a discussion with them about it. They have been systematically and vigorously misled by the media, the people with access to all the information, who still choose, collectively, between themselves, so robustly that it might almost be a conspiracy, to give you only half the facts."
Networking

Net Neutrality Opponent Calls Google a "Bandwidth Hog" 320

Adrian Lopez writes "According to PC World, an analyst with ties to the telecom industry — in a baseless attack on the concept of Net Neutrality — has accused Google Inc. of being a bandwidth hog. Quoting: '"Internet connections could be more affordable for everyone, if Google paid its fair share of the Internet's cost," wrote Cleland in the report. "It is ironic that Google, the largest user of Internet capacity pays the least relatively to fund the Internet's cost; it is even more ironic that the company poised to profit more than any other from more broadband deployment, expects the American taxpayer to pick up its skyrocketing bandwidth tab."' Google responded on their public policy blog, citing 'significant methodological and factual errors that undermine his report's conclusions.' Ars Technica highlighted some of Cleland's faulty reasoning as well."
Censorship

UK ISPs Are Censoring Wikipedia 668

Concerned Wikipedian writes "Starting December 4th, Wikipedia administrators noticed a surge of edits from certain IP addresses. These IPs turned out to be the proxies for the content filters of at least 6 major UK ISPs. After some research by Wikipedians, it appears that the image of the 1970s LP cover art of the Scorpions' 'Virgin Killer' album has been blocked because it was judged to be 'child pornography,' and all other attempts to access Wikimedia foundation sites from these ISPs are being proxied to only a few IP addresses. This is causing many problems for Wikipedia administrators, because much of the UK vandalism now comes from a single IP, which, when blocked, affects potentially hundreds of thousands of anonymous users who intend no harm and are utterly confused as to why they are no longer able to edit. The image was flagged by the the Internet Watch Foundation, which is funded by the EU and the UK government, and has the support of many ISPs and online institutions in the UK. The filter is fairly easy to circumvent simply by viewing the article in some other languages, or by logging in on the secure version of Wikipedia."

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