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Submission + - Dealing with a patent threat? 1

pgupta1984 writes: I have been asked to take down a Sourceforge project of mine because it infringes on patents held by a certain company. I emailed back saying the project only contains source code, which is not patentable to my knowledge. However, the company insists and is threatening to send their lawyers.

I am not asking for legal advice, but I'm curious to hear what Slashdotters would do. Other software projects (LAME comes to mind) must have been in this situation before.

Submission + - Sony’s hunting down more hackers (

xstahsie writes: Thought Sony’s done looking for hackers? Nope! The company is now looking for other hackers involved, which includes Cantero, Peter, Bushing, Segher, hermesEOL, kmeaw, Waninkoko, grafchokolo and Kakaroto. They will subpoena various websites including YouTube, Twitter, PayPal, and Slashdot to find these hackers. New court documents are made available below.

Submission + - Kaspersky Source Code on the Wild (

mvar writes: The source code of an older version of "Kaspersky Internet Security" has been circulated on the internet. The code was created in late 2007 and was probably stolen in early 2008. Names contained in the sources indicate that the stolen code was probably a beta version of the 2008 software package – the current release is Kaspersky Internet Security 2011. According to a Russian language report by CNews (Google translation), the code was copied by a disgruntled ex-employee. The thief has reportedly been trying to sell the code on the black market for some time, and Kaspersky says that the code archive already appeared in various private forums last November. The thief has reportedly already been sentenced to three years imprisonment with a probation period of three years.

Comment Re:Manual Override (Score 1) 360

It's a security feature which has been around for many years called deadlocking - essentially disconnecting the door handles and sometimes locks, inside and out. The idea is that a thief who cannot work the central locking will have to climb in through a smashed window - they can't merely reach in and unlock the door from the inside

Comment Re:Did you type this on a manual typewriter? (Score 1) 776

You're the one arguing automatics can't be controlled properly. I want to know in what ways.
Not necessarily "properly", but there's things you just can't do with autos:

Changing from barely tickover to peak power output without changing speed. Especially useful on turbo cars when you want to be able to overtake without the burden of turbo lag

Being in the right gear to accelerate away from a corner

Being able to manage your speed at very low speeds or while going downhill (ok auto boxes have overrides to allow engine breaking, but who uses them?)

Long drives are boring, regardless. Having to regularly row through the gearbox just makes the whole experience more fatiguing - and the last thing you want on a long trip is more fatigue.
All the long (500+ miles in a day) trips I've been on have all been on motorways where you stick it in top gear and leave it there. For the last (urban) section of the drive I've never felt changing gear (something as thoughtless as breathing most of the time) to be particularly fatiguing

Cruise control is liked by people who are experienced at driving distances and realise that it makes monitoring your speed one less thing you have to worry about, again reducing fatigue.
Agreed on this one. Since getting my first car with cruise, I'm never driving long trips without it again.

It also helps massively on UK motorways where we've got roadworks all over the place and SPECS cameras (distance-time numberplate recognition cameras to enforce average speed limits). Putting cruise on once and not having to glance at the speedo again is a joy

Comment Re:All cars already have this system (Score 1) 690

> What planet are you living on where brake lights blind people?

The planet where brake lights now use clusters of LEDs designed to be as bright as possible. I have a tiny LED torch on my keychain, which although only a single LED is perfectly capable of filling your vision with purple spots if you look at it from a similar sort of distance as you'd be behind a car at lights or a roundabout. At night those purple spots are sufficient to severely impact your ability to see the road.

> The car was already in neutral. Why bother shutting the engine off, a risky thing to do in traffic, before getting off the road?

Because it was a cold night, I'd only just started the car and didn't fancy blowing up either the engine or the turbo due to the oil being too thick to cool and lubricate properly. I couldn't get the car off the road immediately due to barriers and I know how my car behaves with no engine power so was fully aware that I'd be able to steer it off the road and increase braking effort to wheel lock-up pressure as there's sufficient vacuum in the system to have servo-assisted braking for at least 2 heavy applications in that car

Comment Re:All cars already have this system (Score 1) 690

I have nearly been in your situation myself, but I was moving at the time. It could never happen to me while waiting at lights because I use these things called neutral gear and a handbrake, so I don't warp my brake discs or blind the driver behind with my lights.

My accelerator got stuck under the mat, which in 2nd gear would have accelerated me from 15mph to 70mph in just a few seconds. I dipped the clutch after I realised it was still accelerating after I'd moved my foot off, put it in neutral, and turned the key to 'aux' position to kill the engine without engaging the steering lock, then I steered it off the road. Easy.

No power steering? Not a problem when you're moving, even in a large front-heavy FWD car.
No brakes? Wrong, no assisted increase in braking effort when the vacuum to the servo runs out. Even then it's not excessively difficult to stop a 2+ tonne vehicle without servo assistance. I've even seen a tiny 5 foot tall stick figure woman manage it in an SUV when its engine quite literally blew up in front of me on the third lane of a motorway.

Comment Re:Given the sample set, is it a surprise? (Score 1) 499

Indeed. Facebook, or anything that has either personal information on you, or where you've established relationships with others are valuable sites. Having your login to such a site compromised can cost you dearly - what would your friends think if "you" posted pictures of kiddie pr0n on your Facebook page? Have you 'friended' your boss?

Even somewhere like a gaming forum, you may build up a friendship with people over the time you may have invested there - that's worth something too.

Some random site you spent 30 seconds checking out once and didn't feed with personal information on the other hand... Who cares... unless you've used the same login credentials as a site you DO care about...

Comment Intentionally weak passwords? (Score 1) 499

I don't know about anyone else, but I have accounts on so many sites it would be impossible to use strong passwords without reuse. I really don't see the harm in using the same weak passwords if I don't care if my account on the site's compromised.

I have a number of site-specific strong passwords I use on sites I care about, and a further handful of very strong passwords I use for accounts that have the ability to charge my credit cards. My unix passwords are completely different too, and I run sshd needing key auth. If I have anything worth protecting (personal information more than an email address, an identity within a community, etc) on a website, I'll use a better password, but if I just want to comment on someone's blog or see what a site's about, I don't care - I certainly wouldn't shed a tear if one of my weak passwords were compromised! Boo hoo, someone's pretending to be Asdf Asdf from Qwer (postcode AA1 1AA) over at and and sending me spam on email addresses I'll just blacklist...

I would bet money that if you look at the password complexity of users of a busy registration-required forum both before and after you discount people with less than 5 posts, there'd be a substantial difference. Likewise, it'd be interesting to see the strength distribution of the subset of these "32 million" accounts on that belonged to people that actually used them or had valid personal information attached. Otherwise I think it's a pretty worthless study

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