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Security

Submission + - "Hacking" a Fake Snow Day

Class Act Dynamo writes: "Two students in Trenton, Ohio face expulsion from their school and possibly some time in juvie for posting a fake snow-related announcement on the school district website. According to the article, there was no hacking involved. The girls somehow must have gotten the password. It will be interesting to find out how that happened. We'll probably find out next week that it was on a post-it note on the principle's desk."
Censorship

Submission + - Google News and Censorship: Is this a Pattern?

Jon Meyer writes: The Google YouTube handling of Nick Gisburne is very similar to their News page's handling of Uruknet.

According to Alexa, the web-ranking organization, Uruknet is highly rated as an Iraqi news source. Yet, with no convincing reason, in late January Google delisted Uruknet from Google News. A campaign to restore Uruknet to Google News is underway. See this link for the full story.

Does the YouTube incident, Uruknet and Google's recent defusing of Google Bombs indicate the search giant is entering a new phase of more strident and direct information censorship?
Education

Submission + - Sex-ed the Tex-ed way

zoltamatron writes: The SF Chronicle is running a story about the Bush administration's abstinence only sex-ed program and how there is no evidence to show that it works any better than the comprehensive education it replaces. Still, California is one of only three states that does not participate in the program that pushes the Texas born curriculum. From the article:

"California took a very progressive approach," [Douglas Kirby] said. "Texas pushed abstinence and made it a little more difficult for teens to receive contraceptives. Pregnancy did go down between 1991 and 2004, but Texas had the second-lowest decline of all states, 19 percent. California had the second-greatest decrease, 46 percent."
The article says there is more than $1 billion in federal money going to these programs.
The Internet

Journal Journal: U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em! 359

We've all heard of Google bombing, well the US Government takes the expression sort of literally...

U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em one way or the other

National Cyber Response Coordination Group establishing proper response to cyberattacks

The Internet

Submission + - Wrong Phone Number = No DNS = No Income

FishinDave writes: The customer service staff at domain registrar Enom.com seems a bit standoffish, to put it charitably. They didn't email pioneering Web publisher Randy "This Is True" Cassingham to warn him that someone had changed the phone number on several of his income-producing Web sites' registry records to "0000000000".

They just shut off DNS to those sites and others registered to Cassingham, and even to a site that listed him only at the technical contact. They didn't bother to email any concerned parties about that, either.

It took several hair-tearing hours for Cassingham to figure out why no one could reach his sites and all his email addresses were down — why his livelihood had suddenly vanished, in other words. After he learned that Enom had cut him off, it took nearly 24 hours more to get his DNS restored.

Enom never responded to Cassingham's desperate communications with a single word of acknowledgement, explanation, apology, or advice.

The phone number was changed by Cassingham himself as he updated obsolete registry information. Like most sane people, he was loathe to put his office phone number in the registry for every con artist and crank to harvest, so he entered a placeholder number until he could get a voicemail flak-catcher. All of his DNS records contain a valid email address that auto-responds to incoming messages with Cassingham's full contact info, including a valid voice phone number.

OK, so Cassingham made a hasty mistake by not waiting until he had a valid voicemail number. More likely, his real mistake was using such an obviously bogus placeholder as "0000000000". Whois records are rife with plausible-looking contact info that doesn't work. Indeed, Cassingham's income would not have been interrupted and his heart slammed into fibrillation had he simply left in place the contact info that was obsolete since he moved in 2003.

But Enom made a bigger mistake by biting the hand that feeds it, without so much as a warning snarl.

Any domain registrar can do likewise to anyone at any time. I wonder how many have.

How do Slashdot readers manage their DNS records for privacy and security? If you manage a registry, what do you do when you discover possibly bogus contact info? What would you do if your registrar pulled a stunt like Enom's?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - New eBay scam, without violating ebay policy

Bert64 writes: "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."
Power

Submission + - not enough lithium available in the Earth's crust

pH7.0 writes: From this Toronto Star story: http://www.thestar.com/article/175800 "there's simply not enough lithium available in the Earth's crust to stick a lithium-ion battery in the world's 900 million cars, and at the same time expect the auto market to grow. It's just not sustainable." Is this true? AFAIK there are more Lithium in the earth's crust than Tin or Lead. May it's still not enough? OTOH, that story try to plug "Zebra Battery" but fail to mention "Molten salt"...
Privacy

Submission + - UK police given power to search without cause

An anonymous reader writes: Tony Blair announced today that UK police are to be given new powers to enter and search the homes of convicted sex offenders, with or without "suspicion of a crime".

The powers, which come into effect later this year, allow police to enter a property to look for evidence that a paedophile might be planning an offence.

Officers will search computers as well as looking for evidence of magazines, or the presence of children's toys or clothes.

However, unlike now when they can enter a property only if they have a reasonable belief a crime may be committed, the new power allows searches even where no such evidence exists.


What if they find virus tools on the computer? Does their unlimited search power restrict the scope of their search to children's clothing or photos?

The law essentially gives the police the power to "search whenever we want for whatever reason". Seeing how this is already common practice in the case of those on parole or probation, the new law clearly applies to those offenders who have completed all aspects of their sentence and are "free men" (as it were).

That is likely to raise some civil liberties concerns, but ministers believe the public will support the move.


Is the "pedophile panic" just a convienant tool on which to pass this legislation or is this new law justified to bring further reductions to child abuse?
Biotech

Submission + - For women nothing's like the smell of men's sweat

gollum123 writes: "From CNN, Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley said women who sniffed a chemical found in male sweat experienced elevated levels of an important hormone, along with higher sexual arousal, faster heart rate and other effects ( http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/02/08/men.sweat.reu t/index.html ). They said the study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, represents the first direct evidence that people secrete a scent that influences the hormones of the opposite sex. The researchers measured levels of the hormone cortisol in the saliva of 48 female undergraduates at Berkeley, average age of about 21, after the women took 20 sniffs from a jar of androstadienone. Cortisol levels in the women who smelled androstadienone shot up within roughly 15 minutes and stayed elevated for up to an hour. Consistent with previous research, the women also reported improved mood, higher sexual arousal, and had increased blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. The study did not determine whether the increase in cortisol levels triggered mood or arousal changes or whether those changes themselves caused the cortisol elevation."
Censorship

Submission + - Woman wins right to criticize surgeon on website

Scoopy writes: "The website (www.mysurgerynightmare.com) of a cosmetic surgery patient critical of her Sacramento surgeon's work is protected free speech, an appeals court said in an opinion that could have statewide implications.

The website contains before and after photographs of 33-year-old Georgette Gilbert, who said the surgery left her with one eyebrow higher than the other and a surprised look permanently affixed to her face.

The website was challenged in a defamation suit filed by surgeon Jonathan Sykes, a prominent professor and television commentator on the subject of cosmetic surgery.

Although the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal only mentions Sykes, the opinion suggests that others who use "hot topics" of public interest in their advertisements and promotions may shed protections against defamation afforded to ordinary citizens."
Announcements

Submission + - Case Western R.A. Fired Over Facebook Remarks

inexion writes: "You can now add up Facebook remarks to the list of things that can apparently get you fired without warning, thanks to the administrative staff of residential services at Case Western Reserve University. A fourth floor residential assistant was fired this weekend for making personal remarks regarding a supervising staff member. After the supervisor had become aware of the remarks the staff took swift action against the assistant and forced a resignation without making any prior disciplinary action. While no exact details are publicly known of the remarks, many of the students of the same floor and building reported that the action taken was extremely harsh and no explanation was given."
The Courts

Submission + - Big Win for Innocent Defendant in RIAA Case

EatingSteak writes: "The EFF Reports that a woman from Oklahoma got a big win today in the RIAA's case against her in 2004. FTA:

"The decision today is one of the first in the country to award attorneys fees to a defendant in an RIAA case over music sharing on the Internet."
"In his ruling, Judge West found that the RIAA had asserted an untested and marginal theory that veered toward "frivolous and unreasonable" by suing Foster for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement when the only evidence against her was her name on the household Internet account. Much like the judge in Elektra v. Santangelo, West expressed skepticism that "an Internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from a kazoo" could be held liable for children in her home downloading music illegally unless the parent had knowledge of the conduct or had giver her permission to do so."

This case was thrown out in July, but Foster's lawyer fees were finally awarded formally to her. Could this be a godo precedent for future cases that (1) IP Address != Infringing Person, and (2) RIAA getting slammed for attorney's fees in the future?"

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