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Submission + - Second Life tries to backpedal on the GPL (secondlife.com)

GigsVT writes: The Second Life viewer has been available under the GPL for 3 years. Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life, recently released a "third party viewer" policy that all but erases the freedoms granted under the GPL. It includes such draconian measures as "You agree to update or delete at our request any data that you have received from Second Life or our servers and systems using a Third-Party Viewer", "You must not mask IP or MAC addresses" (reported to the server), "you must have a published privacy policy explaining your practices regarding user data", and "You acknowledge and agree that we may require you to stop using or distributing a Third-Party Viewer for accessing Second Life if we determine that there is a violation."

Submission + - Measuring the Speed of Light with a Valentine (wired.com)

Cytotoxic writes: What to do with all of those leftover Valentine's Day chocolates? — a common problem for the Slashdot crowd. The folks over at Wired magazine have an answer for you in a nice article showing how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and some chocolate. A simple yet surprisingly accurate method that can be used to introduce the scientific method to children and others in need of a scientific education.
Idle

Submission + - The World's Most Southerly ATM: An Interview (needcoffee.com) 1

Widgett writes: After hearing about the ATMs in Antarctica, I got curious. So I pinged Wells Fargo and wound up with an interview with one of their VPs. The end result is the story about how one services machines at the end of the world, plus--and most importantly--what are the service fees like?
Privacy

Privacy, Mobile Phones, and Ubiquitous Data Collection 61

ChelleChelle writes "Participatory sensing technologies are greatly expanding the possible uses of mobile phones in ways that could improve our lives and our communities (for example, by helping us to understand our exposure to air pollution or our daily carbon footprint). However, with these potential gains comes great risk, particularly to our privacy. With their built-in microphones, cameras and location awareness, mobile phones could, at the extreme, become the most widespread embedded surveillance tools in history. Whether phones engaged in sensing data are tools for self and community research, coercion or surveillance depends on who collects the data, how it is handled, and what privacy protections users are given. This article gives a number of opinions about what programmers might do to make this sort of data collection work without slipping into surveillance and control."
Security

Submission + - Googlebot attacks 1

JWSmythe writes: It looks like Google's Googlebot's have been exploited.

    Today I noticed a surge in our server load. I had a look at our access logs, and found tens of thousands of requests like this. This is one from my Apache logs. (lines broken intentionally)

66.249.71.99 — -- [16/Apr/2009:18:16:51 -0400] "GET /mobile.story.php?sid=19365'%20and%201=2%20union%20select%201,
CONCAT(char(118),char(97),char(114),char(99),char(104),char(97),
char(114),char(39),char(124),(SELECT%20column_name%20%20from
%20information_schema.COLUMNS%20where%20table_schema=
CONCAT(char(100),char(117),char(98),char(116),char(101),
char(114),char(114),char(111),char(114))%20and%20table_name=
CONCAT(char(112),char(104),char(112),char(98),char(98),char(95) ,char(117),char(115),char(101),char(114),char(115))
%20limit%2011850,1),char(124),char(39)),3,4,5,6,7,8,9%20and
%20'1'='1 HTTP/1.1" 200 1342 "-" "Nokia6820/2.0 (4.83)
Profile/MIDP-1.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0 (compatible;
Mediapartners-Google/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

It's a good thing my site is coded well. These sort of things don't get anywhere.

Parts of the request may be spoofed, but the IP is awful hard to spoof. That's a Googlebot IP.

The heaviest offender is an IP in China, with 48k requests. Google owns the rest.

My list of attackers from the last two hours are:

    48368 113.232.73.2
    22032 66.249.71.99
            2 66.249.71.21
            2 66.249.67.179
            2 66.249.66.244
            2 66.249.66.206
            1 66.249.73.37
            1 66.249.73.106
            1 66.249.72.139
            1 66.249.72.136
            1 66.249.71.134
            1 66.249.71.108
            1 66.249.70.75
            1 66.249.70.59
            1 66.249.70.248
            1 66.249.70.219
            1 66.249.70.193
            1 66.249.67.118
            1 66.249.65.83
            1 66.249.65.110
            1 66.249.65.109

    If anyone has any suggestion who could be masquerading as Google from their own IP's, that would be nice. I've blocked the offensive IP's at our firewall, so they are nothing more than a gnat buzzing at the door.
Books

Submission + - Are sci-fi fans more likely to be libertarians?

tweek writes: Reason magazine has a . While the article is an interesting discussion about the history of a great publishing company, it presents the framework for discussion the political leanings of sci-fi fans and writers.

Scratch a civil libertarian, and you'll often find a 15-year-old who read a lot of Philip K. Dick. Ask a college guy protesting censorship at his student newspaper for his inspirations, and there's a good chance Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 will come up. Meet someone who thinks there might be an upside to anarchy, and you have probably found a girl who once read Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed or a boy who loved Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

User Journal

Journal Journal: New approach to modding.

I've decided that I'm not going to mod ACs anymore. There's just no point. I'd prefer to help/hurt someone's karma for good/bad posts than waste it on someone who won't put a name to their words.

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