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Security

Tor Used To Collect Embassy Email Passwords 99

Several readers wrote in to inform us that Swedish security researcher Dan Egerstad has revealed how he collected 100 passwords from embassies and governments worldwide, without hacking into anything: he sniffed Tor exit routers. Both Ars and heise have writeups on Egerstad's blog post, but neither adds much to the original. It's not news that unencrypted traffic exits the Tor network unencrypted, but Egerstad correctly perceived, and called attention to, the lack of appreciation for this fact in organizations worldwide.
Supercomputing

Submission + - New Top500 List released at ISC '07

Guybrush_T writes: The new Top500 list has just been released at ISC'07 in Dresden.
The top 10 is heavily dominated by IBM and BlueGene systems, with only Cray holding rank 2 and 3, Dell holding rank 8 and SGI holding rank 10.
The first non-US system is the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, ranked 9. Japan is loosing ground, with their first system ranked 14.
The full list is also available.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Inside ReactOS

Andareed writes: "Alex Ionescu, a lead developer of ReactOS (an open-source, source and binary compatible clone of Windows NT) recently gave a talk on the internals of ReactOS. In this talk, Ionescu also discusses how ReactOS is nearing complete kernel compatibility with Windows Server 2003. Interestingly, Ionescu hints that there are no plans for ReactOS once the kernel has been completed."
Microsoft

Submission + - 1989 Bill Gates Talk on Microsoft

alumctdalek writes: "I found an interesting talk by Bill Gates from 1989 (available in FLAC, MP3, WAV, and OGG). Gates talks about how he first started Microsoft and his day as a developer. He goes on to discuss what his vision for the future of Microsoft is. The most interesting thing he talks about is how he thought that in 1981 640k should have been ok for 10 years, when in fact it was only ok for about 6 years. Perhaps this is where this infamous quote by Bill Gates came from: "640K ought to be enough for anybody.""
Operating Systems

Submission + - FreeBSD SMP greatly outperforms Linux under MySQL

shocking writes: "The recent work on moving FreeBSD to a new framework dealing with SMP issues (SMPng) has been finished, so developers have been benchmarking & profiling the code to find performance bottlenecks. After correcting a few, they found that a multithreaded MySQL benchmark performed extremely well under high load, maintaining throughput in situations where Linux throughput collapsed. The write-up is at http://people.freebsd.org/~kris/scaling/mysql.html "
Movies

Submission + - BulRay, HD-DVD encrytion defeated

Linuxploitation writes: As reported at The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/14/aacs_hack/ A lone hacker has unlocked the master key preventing the copying of high-definition DVDs in a development that is sure to get the entertainment industry's knickers wrapped tighter than a magnet's coil. What's more, the individual was able to defeat the technology with no cracking tools or reverse engineering, despite the millions of dollars and many years engineers put into developing the AACS (Advanced Access Content System) for locking down high-definition video.
The Internet

Submission + - Ted Stevens calls Wikipedia ban in Schools

DJCacophony writes: "Ted "series of tubes" Stevens has introduced his next piece of proposed legislation. Going by the interim name S.49, the bill aims to block access to interactive websites from schools and libraries. The wording of the bill is vague enough to apply to Wikipedia, Myspace (and other social networking sites), and potentially even blogs.
The bill is apparently so similar to the failed "Deleting Online Predators Act" of last year that it has been termed "DOPA jr." by some."
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft extended xp support to 2014

nithinraju writes: "As declared earlier,Microsoft released their new operating system Windows "Vista" at midnight on Jan. 29. Everybody believes that with vista`s release, XP will lose its popularity. But latest news says that "Microsoft extended xp support to 2014".so xp users have to enjoy! With this extended support, XP will get a total support of 12 years. This is a record for Microsoft ,for offering largest support period for an Operating System. But the bad news is that their latest version "vista" will get support for only 10 years. ie XP regained its strength. Microsoft gave no reason for the support changes to Windows XP."
Security

Submission + - Skype's BIOS Reading Process Part of DRM

Juha-Matti Laurio writes: "An official statement related to Skype's feature to read motherboard serial number on every startup has been released. The Chief Security Officer of the company states that the software in use 'includes a form of digital rights management functionality intended to protect commercial software, such as plug-ins, from illegal redistribution or unlicensed use.' Additionally, the newest Skype version 3.0.0.216 (released this week) no longer attemps to read the serial number. Conspiracy theories about generating an individual encryption key or tracking the users are not needed any more."
Privacy

Journal Journal: 15 year old charged with sexual abuse of herself. 1

A teenager has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography after taking and posting pictures of herself to chat rooms. While investigation may have been justified, the continued possesion and presentation of evidence required by prosecution reeks of hypocrisy. How can they justify further abuse of the victim? How can they s

Media

Submission + - Newspaper headlines bow to SEO demands

prostoalex writes: "News.com.com says the art of writing newspaper headlines is changing due to reliance on search engines for traffic to newspaper archives. Forget about clever puns, double entendres and witty analogies: "News organizations that generate revenue from advertising are keenly aware of the problem and are using coding techniques and training journalists to rewrite the print headlines, thinking about what the story is about and being as clear as possible." One big winner for now is Boston.com, The Boston Herald property, which "had training sessions with copy editors and the night desk for the newspaper" to enforce Web-optimized keyword-rich headlines suitable for search engine queries."
Windows

Submission + - Vista can be extremely slow compared to XP

Antiocheian writes: Tom's hardware ran a set of tests to compare Vista vs XP performance and the results are a treat to anyone who would need another reason to resist Vista:
  • 3DMark06 — Vista is slower by 5.8%
  • F.E.A.R. — Vista is slower by 8.3% in max frame rates
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 — Vista is slower by 32.4%
  • Xvid 1.2 — Vista is slower by 18.4%
  • MainConcept H.264 — Vista is slower by 23.8%
  • WinRAR — Vista is slower by 21.8%
Specviewperf is even slower, almost to a crawl, but this is due to a driver issue. But, despite all these, the authors still consider Vista to be a better OS because: ``it behaves better, because it looks better and because it feels better,,. Perhaps operating systems should have to be reviewed by fashion magazines from now on.
Windows

Professor Michael Geist on Vista's Fine Print 314

Russell McOrmond writes "With Microsoft's Vista set to hit stores tomorrow, Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) looks at the legal and technical fine print behind the operating system upgrade. The article notes that in the name of shielding consumers from computer viruses and protecting copyright owners from potential infringement, Vista seemingly wrestles control of the "user experience" from the user. If you are a Canadian and think that the owner of computers should be in control of what they own, rather than some third party (whether virus authors or the manufacturer/maker), then please sign our Petition to protect Information Technology property rights."

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