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Comment Re:New model? (Score 1) 580

The real problem in my mind is that really, it's either the user *or* the supplier that will benefit, but not both.

The transaction won't happen unless both parties benefit. It's not an either or proposition.

This model has the advantage that if you just use Word once in a while you can use it without paying the $$$ that you now have to do. Just need it to open that job application. That's just $1.15.

Supplies will benefit b/c more people will be able to afford their product and they'll sell more.

Personally, to me it is worth it to put up with the disaster known as Open Office just to avoid MS. However most people don't have that hangup and will love the new model.


Submission + - SPAM: Spam printers from the Web? Researcher shows how

alphadogg-nw writes: Aaron Weaver has made a discovery the world could probably do without: He's found a way to spam your printer from the Web. By using a little-known capability found in most Web browsers, Weaver can make a Web page launch a print job on just about any printer on a victim's network. The Web site could print annoying ads on the printer and theoretically issue more dangerous commands, like telling the printer to send a fax, format its hard drive or download new firmware.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Airport profilers learn to read facial expressions 2

nldavepc writes: Cory Doctorow at comments on a rather scary development in airport security. Airport profilers are watching people's facial expressions for clues of terrorist intent. Corry's comments can be read here: And here is a link to the original article:
United States

Submission + - Is 2008 the time for digital gold currency? (

wikinerd writes: "Gold as an investment is frequently used when investors are worried about the economy, the geopolitical situation, and inflation. Generally, the higher the price, the more desirable gold is by investors. Gold just now made the jump to a new all-time high price, at the time of writing being 856.70 USD (see recent charts). While this does not signify anything about the value of gold as a short-term investment, as the price often drops after the holidays, the fact that it reached such a record and has been generally upward for the last 10 years should make us think of the reasons investors prefer tangible commodities to papers (currency or stock).

One possible reason is the currency situation: A softer US dollar is often cited as a driver for rocketing gold prices, but alternative currencies, such as digital gold currency, time-based money or similar schemes are sometimes viewed with suspicion, but not by everyone. According to Wikipedia, in response to a recent FBI raid in the offices of Liberty Dollar, a firm circulating private alternative currency, presidential candidate Dr Ron Paul said: "We stand on the precipice of an unprecedented monetary collapse, and as a result many people have begun to look for alternatives to the dollar...I believe that the American people should be free to choose the type of currency they prefer to use. The ability of consumers to adopt alternative currencies can help to keep the government and the Federal Reserve honest, as the threat that further inflation will cause more and more people to opt out of using the dollar may restrain the government from debasing the currency".

As it is recognised by economists that there is profit in the issuing of currency, wouldn't it be a reasonable to encourage the establishment of alternative parallel currencies, particularly digital gold money or time-based schemes, in a free market system controlled by the laws of competition in order to avoid a monopoly in currency? Such an environment could, in theory, help keep a nation's main currency in stability, thus solving one of the prime reasons that make investors worry and seek safety in gold."

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Feds Raid

An anonymous reader writes: (Disclaimer: This reporter is affiliated in no other way than empathy with any of the named parties. Surely people should learn from this?)

US citizens' rights to property and free enterprise are under attack again. From TFA:

"For approximately six hours they took all the gold, all the silver, all the
platinum and almost two tons of Ron Paul Dollars that where just delivered last
Friday. They also took all the files, all the computers and froze our bank
accounts. ...all the gold and silver that backs up the paper
certificates and digital currency held in the vault at Sunshine Mint has also
been confiscated. Even the dies for mint the Gold and Silver Libertys have been

This in spite of the fact that Edmond C. Moy, the Director of the Mint,
acknowledged in a letter to a US Senator that the paper certificates did not
violate Section 486 and were not illegal. But the FBI and Services took all the
paper currency too."

This story, in various forms, has been covered today and yesterday by the Evansville Courier & Press and appears in several places on Digg.

Submission + - FBI Raids Liberty Dollar

Smeedoo writes: "The FBI has apparently decided that Liberty Dollar was taking too many liberties with their printing of private currency and raided them today. Liberty dollar has posted a page detailing the raid and what was taken (everything)."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - "LIberty Dollar" office raided (

vallor writes: Folks led by Von NotHaus were selling "Liberty Dollars" (since 1998), which were $20 silver pieces, it appears — FBI raided them this morning. There is apparently some legal history, including a letter from a mint telling the Liberty Dollar folks that their coinage was illegal.

Here's the thing, though — the company also has/had paper notes, which were backed by gold and silver in their vaults. And _all_ _that_ was confiscated in the raid, too. This raises my eyebrows: the raid was conducted by the FBI (DOJ), _not_ the Secret Service (Department of Treasury)...

There is an email from NotHaus circulating, in which he proclaims: "We have nothing but the will to push forward and overcome this massive assault on our liberty and our right to have real money as defined by the US Constitution."

You can read the guy's email at:


Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Make your own Plasma Weapon! (

Rich writes: Here's a use for that old cordless drill you have lying around. Ok, so it won't shoot balls of plasma through the hulls of alien space craft, but it does look pretty cool.
This thing is made from some ignition coils a tesla coil and an old cordless drill!


Submission + - World's smallest independent state,

Charley Hayes writes: "Hi , I'm working with Sealand ( in the run-up to the 40th year anniversary that Prince Roy of Sealand occupied the former military fortress, six miles off of the Eastern shores of Britain. We've got a number of quirky Sealand initiatives planned, which I thought might be of interest to Slashdot readers as you have covered news from the world's smallest independent state before. To kick-start the commemorations, Sealand has opened what is the first, national online casino — Sealand operates under its own jurisdiction and is offering all players tax-free winnings. Please let me know if you'd like any more information on this and if you'd like me to keep you up-to-date on Sealand developments. We have a range of upcoming news that will give a never-before-seen glimpse into the nation and its Royal let me know if this is of interest?! Regards Charley Charley Hayes immediate future Ltd T: 0845 408 2031"

Submission + - Criteria for picking a good RBL

stry_cat writes: Here are a few points about picking a good RBL for your spam filter:

From the article:

        * Speed of reaction: The faster (the more real-time) a list is updated, the more easier it is to deal with false positives and with false negatives.
        * Selection criteria: How are the sources added to the blacklist, based on what criteria? How sure are the blacklist admins that the one they are listing is bad? How sure are you they will not add your partners, customers, suppliers and other business critical peers. Similarly how sure are you they will not list yourself (from experience: this is extremely painful)
        * Goal of the blacklist: Does the list have an agenda (hidden or not) that you might not share with them? Do they aim to have 0 false negatives without care for false positives?
        * Ease of getting unlisted: How easy is it to contact the list administration for those listed ? Is there 24x7 (remember the Internet is worldwide so thy need to cover all timezones) support on getting back out for those unjustly listed ?
        * Working Email contact to get unlisted: This is very tricky for e.g. spam blocking list that are using their own blacklist.
        * Try contacting them to get unlisted: if you cannot reach them, remember what your communicating partner that got listed by accident will feel like. And while it might reflect mostly on the blacklist provider, it will also reflect on you and your organization due to your choice and implicit support of their (failing) processes.
        * Is there somebody who feels responsible enough behind it to put up out of band contact details such as phone numbers, working snail-mail addresses etc. Of course this means they'll feel exposed to the scam artists they are blocking, but it also means those being blocking without reason have a way to complain.
        * Blocking for the right reasons: E.g. some anti-spam lists are blocking with as reason the IP addresses sent unwanted TCP/IP traffic (not just unwanted email). Some might have political reasons or other things you don't want to be associated with.
        * Duration of a block: many IP addresses that get infected by bots etc. are home users on a (somewhat) dynamic IP address. Blocking such an IP address for a long time won't help as the IP isn't fixed and the next one to come after it will get blocked unwarranted. Similarly, infected machines do eventually get cleaned up by the rightful owners. So short durations are better.
        * Automatic delisting: How automated is the unblocking? Based on what tests is it done? Some listed entities might not know what blacklist they are being listed on. Hence asking them to jump through hoops on their own might not be hard, they might not even know what hoops they need to seek out.
        * Granularity of the block: Unless there are clear signs of malice, most regular users will clean up intrusions and malware instead of hopping about the IP address in an address space to avoid blacklists. Hence only very bad neighborhoods should get blocked indiscriminately. Similarly "punishing" an ISP for having a single misbehaving customer will not work as the ISP is hardly punished at all, it's the other (innocent) customers of the ISP that get hit.
            While there are people who are going to say they only deal with a specific country/continent and don't need anything outside, think a bit longer: none of the employees of your partners, customers, ... will ever go out of the country/continent on business or holiday and get a phone call to do something or try to make a decision on the road?
        * Security of the blacklist provider: Who can submit data to the blacklist, and how is the data authenticated? The bad guys could poison lists by creating fake data and submitting it in order to block even more addresses. Don't forget Availability is part of security: what happens to your processes if the blacklist were to become unavailable or just slow?
        * One practice I found to be impossible to deal with from an business point of view: was a blacklist demanding money to get unlisted. Any self-respecting business will feel this is extortion and will not give in. No matter that they send it to their charity of choice, no matter the small amount it actually is, this remains a show stopper. For you this means you'll find contacts who get listed and have no way of getting out again.
        * Do the blacklist administrators actually warn those getting listed? Since many of the evil actions a machine does is more often than not done without the knowledge of the rightful owner, a word to the ISP connecting the machine or the business hosting the machine, can in fact be a big step towards detecting the rootkitted botnet and starting the clean-up.

Submission + - America doesn't have a broadband problem

stry_cat writes: According to this story, the new FCC Commissioner believes that "the country doesn't really have a broadband problem."

This statement contrasts sharply with what others are saying. For example a 2006 ars technica article stated "Looking at the statistics contained in the report, we discover that the US is 16th in the world in terms of broadband penetration and 15th in rate of growth. As of December 2005, the US had approximately 16 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. In contrast, Iceland had almost 27, while South Korea, the Netherlands, and Denmark were right around 25 per 100."

Has our broadband crisis been solved in just under a year, or is the new FCC Commissioner mistaken?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Drunk employee kills multiple websites (

Paris The Pirate writes: 365 Main, a datacenter on the edge of San Francisco's Financial District, is popular with Soma startups for its proximity and its state-of-the-art facilities. Or it used to be, anyway, until a power outage took down sites including Craigslist, Six Apart's TypePad and LiveJournal blogging sites, local listings site Yelp, and blog search engine Technorati. The cause? You won't believe it.

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