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Comment Re:It's hush money (Score 1) 90

Their goals are unknown, so it's not anyone's place to assume. However, the traditional hacker motive has been to discover how a (often closed) system works, figure out if there are any defects, and share the information gained with other hackers and the public. Hackers of all walks (including and perhaps especially open source developers) have a natural distaste for technology whose details are intentionally hidden from them.

You watch too many movies. Finding an exploit in something is exciting, and equally exciting is reporting your findings to others and making a name for yourself.

Also, your bit about how hackers have a "distaste for hidden details" is BS: why the heck would they care? Are they righteous do-gooders in the unending quest for truth? Closed, proprietary, systems are usually secretive because they know they've got something to hide. That's the only reason hackers focus so much on them--not because they have a moral imperative to seek the truth, but because they know that's where the juiciest exploits are.

Hackers end up being great for society in that they hack for fun recognition and not for a more evil purpose. Through their own self-interest they end up being a positive force. I would much rather have someone like Kevin Mitnick hack the pentagon before China does. That's not to say I respect why he does it.

Comment Re:Solution: Public Key Auth (Score 1) 327

Since changing my SSH ports to something really high (above 50000)

Because they were really going to portscan you anyway. I bet putting at 23 (as opposed to the default) would be almost as effective.

At a web message board I setup, I used some popular software and was getting a ton of spam bots. So I added a simple "are you a human" question--no captcha or anything, just another checkbox to check... Not 1 single piece of spam. Same principle: the bots aren't that smart--you avoid the norms even by a little, and you're okay.

Security

Submission + - Judge Strikes Down Patriot Act ISP/Telco Tap (pcworld.com)

slughead writes: A PC World article posted September 6 states that Judge Victor Marrero, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has struck down the Dept. Of Justices ability to utilize National Security Letters to gain access to customer records from ISPs and phone companies. National Security Letters (NSL's) are essentially 'self-written warrants' as described by former Judge Andrew Napolitano in this Cato Institute meeting (20:40). As a side note, the ability to write these NSL's to get documents was expanded to include hotels, casinos, restaurants, bodegas, lawyers' offices, real estate agents offices, and the POST OFFICE by the Foreign Intelligence Authorization Act, signed December 14, 2003. This act allows the government to read your postal mail without a warrant and without your knowledge.
Biotech

Submission + - Protien in HIV functions as resistor

TwilightXaos writes: "Leor Weinberger and Thomas Shenk, two researchers at Princeton, have discovered a new model for how the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) enters and exits dormancy. They claim it functions as a resistor, this is in contrast to other types of regulation models found in other viruses and animals. From the abstract:

Here we show that a dissipative feedback resistor, composed of enzymatic interconversion of the transactivator, converts transactivation circuits into excitable systems that generate transient pulses of expression, which decay to zero. We use HIV-1 as a model system and analyze single-cell expression kinetics to explore whether the HIV-1 transactivator of transcription (Tat) uses a resistor to shut off transactivation. The Tat feedback circuit was found to lack bi-stability and Tat self-cooperativity but exhibited a pulse of activity upon transactivation, all in agreement with the feedback resistor model.

The research could lead to an effective treatment of the HIV virus, and has the possibility of increasing understanding of other viruses like herpes.
Additionally hindu.com has a article on the findings."
Graphics

Submission + - Best ways to learn graphics design for the web

ConceptDog writes: "I consider myself a fairly good web programmer. In fact, my job evolved from just fixing PC's to being lead designer for most of the new web applications for my company. I'm comfortable with formatting things using CSS and with tabless design. But the one thing that has always escaped me is designing custom graphics for my sites. I'd like to be able to create buttons and interesting backgrounds to punch up my designs and use in other media, Flash for example..

I've always had a problem with art. I really can't draw a straight line with a ruler. What are some methods and resources other slashdotters with more language oriented backgrounds have used to help make the step from just a web programmer to a real web designer?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Scientists create world's largest novelty atom

haja writes: "CNN Reports: Scientists create world's largest novelty atom: Scientists have long been labeled as overly serious, narrowly focused individuals who don't have time for fun. But two University of Chicago atomic physicists proved that even the most buttoned-down professionals are capable of enjoying a good laugh every now and then. Last week, Drs. Marcus Hurley and Thom Fredericks unveiled what they are calling their "most hilarious work to date": an oversize novelty atom that measures "a ridiculously huge" 8.2 x 10-10 meters in diameter."
Space

Submission + - Indian rocket blasts into space

Quacking Duck writes: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched it's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C7) rocket from the Srikharikota launch-pad. The rocket carried 4 satellites into space, 2 Indian and one each from Argentina and Indonesia. Interestingly, one of ISRO's payloads, Space Capsule Recovery Experiment (SRE-1), expected to return to Earth 13 days after launch, will be the first test of its re-entry mechanism. This is a step towards ISRO's ambitious goal of designing and building a cheap reusable launch vehicle. ISRO is also planning a manned mission to the moon, Chandrayan-1, which is expected to use a modified PSLV rocket which was used for this launch. This successful launch comes close on the heels of the failed July 2006 GSLV lauch which had ended in an expensive fireworks display over the Bay of Bengal. Another GSLV launch is planned for later this year.

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