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Linux Business

Submission + - Upgrade Linux distros with bittorrent? 1

jonathan3003 writes: I recently upgraded my laptop to Ubuntu 7.10. I had about a 1000 packages to download, and it took almost 24 hours (via a local mirror). It should be much faster than that. Why don't linux distros use apt-get (or rpm, yum, etc.) together with bittorrent? Surely with bittorrent technology now accepted as main-stream the mirroring system for package repositories can be replaced with a smarter system, where the load on the servers is reduced and download times are faster? A quick google search leads to some related projects, but why isn't there already a distribution with a file-sharing based package management system?
Internet Explorer

Submission + - AntiVirus Products fail to find Simple IE malware ( 4

SkiifGeek writes: "Didier Stevens recently took a closer look at some Internet Explorer malware that he had uncovered and found that most antivirus products that it was tested against (courtesy of VirusTotals) failed to identify the malware through one of the most basic and straight forward obfuscation techniques — the null-byte. With enough null-bytes between each character of code, it is possible to fool all antivirus products (though additional software will trap it), yet Internet Explorer was quite happy to render the code.

Whose responsibility is it to fix this behaviour? Both the antivirus / antimalware companies and Microsoft's IE team have something to answer for."


Submission + - Spam Filtering Algorithm Used to Fight HIV ( 1

akirapill writes: FTA: "In 2006, HIV infections killed as many as 3.5 million people. But there's hope for wiping out this disease, and it may be sitting in your e-mail inbox right now. Efforts to wipe out unwanted spam e-mails could provide the key to ending the AIDS epidemic. Researchers at computer software giant Microsoft are in clinical trials testing the same technology used to create spam-blocking programs against HIV."

Submission + - Brain electrodes help man speak again (

An anonymous reader writes: "He was beaten and left for dead one night in a robbery while walking home in 1999. His skull was crushed and his brain severely damaged. The doctor said if he pulled through at all, he'd be a vegetable for the rest of his life." "Researchers chose him for an experimental attempt to rev up his brain by placing electrodes in it."

Journal Journal: Kinkos has your number 2

CNN is carrying an article about a "new" (or rather, newly disclosed) way to get your personal information.

Now, experts are warning that photocopiers could be a culprit as well.

That's because most digital copiers manufactured in the past five years have disk drives -- the same kind of data-storage mechanism found in computers -- to reproduce documents.

Feed 'Yahoo Betrayed My Husband' (

The wife of a jailed Chinese dissident treks to the United States to hold Yahoo accountable for helping the government track him down. Luke O'Brien reports from Fairfax, Virginia.


Submission + - Most Americans think media has liberal bias

MCraigW writes: "The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well — 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn't take political sides, a recent IPDI/Zogby Interactive poll shows. Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias."

Submission + - Open Sound System v4.0 announced

Dev Mazumdar writes: "4Front Technologies has finally announced Open Sound System v4.0 — the first major release since OSS v3 was announced back in 1996. The new audio architecture has a new virtual mixer engine that will mix any any audio app — mix DVD 5.1 multichannel with MP3 stereo with full duplex voip with game audio like DoomIII or Quake. The new virtual mixer engine gives each app its own volume control. OSS v4.0 comes with ALSA compatibility and Flash audio support. More information is at OSS v4.0 is available for Linux 2.6, Solaris 10, FreeBSD 6 and UnixWare 7. Best regards Dev Mazumdar"

Submission + - PTO Rejects Instant Live Patent

Jivecat writes: "The U.S. Patent Office has issued a notice to cancel a patent held by Live Nation that allowed that company to monopolize live in-concert recordings, recorded directly from the sound board and quickly burned on CD so that audience members can buy copies of the show as they are leaving the venue. The patent concerned a technology to add start and end cues to a live performance so the resulting CD would not contain a single, massive track. The EFF and patent attorneys found prior work of an equivalent technology. This is good news for those who consider Live Nation to be the Evil Empire when it comes to concert promotion."

Submission + - Skype users can sell advice

An anonymous reader writes: has a piece about an interesting beta in Skype 3.1. "Skype Prime allows users to make money and reach potential customers all over the world. An in built billing mechanism allows users to set up and determine their own per minute or one off fees for giving 'expert' advice."

Submission + - Diodes could drive swimming micro-robots

finisterre writes: Diodes can be made to 'swim' through salt water by hitting them with an alternating electric field. The applied field induces a current that sets up a field between the diode's electrical contacts and creates a propulsive force. The abstract of the paper in Nature Materials is freely available. New Scientist has videos of the swimming diodes in action.

Submission + - Free GPS Navigation for Mobile Phones is here

Veripath Navigator writes: "Most people who use GPS navigation pay for it. Veripath Navigator is a new alternative. It is a Java-based GPS voice navigation system that works on most Java-enabled phones / PDAs. Veripath supports devices with internal or external (via Bluetooth) GPS receivers, has clear voice instructions, business / POI finder, auto-rerouting and most features of a traditional navigation system. Sign up to get up to 5 trips per month for free."

Submission + - US University Values Diversity over Education

EmagGeek writes: "According to a CNN Article, "Experts argue that if the United States is to remain competitive with other countries in the engineering field, it will have to find better ways to encourage women to join the profession." Apparently, the quality and competence of an engineering class has more to do with its gender composition than the quality and competence of the students.

From the Article:

Women received 18 percent of the 78,200 engineering degrees given out in 2003-04, the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education. That's the same percentage as in 1998 and only slightly more than the 16 percent in 1996."
United States

Submission + - US Changes Story on Spy Coins

Aqua_boy17 writes: As a follow up to a story previously reported on Slashdot regarding bugged Canadian coins, the US Defense Department is now claiming that the original story was false. In an AP story published today the department states that its previous claims have proven to be unsubstatiated according to subsequent investigations. The US Defense Security Service was never able to provide evidence to support its original claim regarding the fake coins, and has now begun an internal investigation to determine how the original report was leaked to the public. Industry experts were intially baffled by the first reports, as such devices would have had a very limited capability to deliver significant amounts of reliable intelligence data.

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