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Sci-Fi

Submission + - James Doohan lost in New Mexico

Cervantes writes: As previously reported on Slashdot, the ashes of James "Scotty" Doohan were launched into space (well, sub-orbital altitude). Now, it seems Scotty has gone for one last camping trip in the mountains. Space.com is reporting that the rocket came back to earth and is now lost in the mountains of New Mexico. Keep an eye on eBay for word of the ashes recovery...
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Rehacking the pooch humper hackers.

hobohobo writes: "A net artist's site was hacked with numerous redirects to zoo pron sites. Artist finds them after a huge bump in hit counts. And instead of just deleting them, he puts his own redirects in their place, sending the "pooch hump" web surfers to his net artworks.

URL: How to transform pooch pron lurkers into art patrons

From the site:

"As an artist I've made a breakthrough, of sorts. After having one of my little used art sites hacked then littered with strange codes, my subsequent clumsy "investigation" uncovered my rarely updated domain was listed as one of the top sites for such glorious search strings as Horse Pron, Bestiality, Dog Sex (and other fun hobbies). While I initially felt violated and angry, I decided to use their code and google work against them, and I could just taste (maybe not taste) a new sticky fingered and dog smelling audience slobberingly waiting to experience my artwork. All 50,000 of the piggy boinkers.""
Yahoo!

Submission + - Yahoo! attempts to convert Google users

multippt writes: "Google, a major competitor of Yahoo!, has made its presence so noticeable, that Yahoo! decided to start its "campaign", of increasing the amount of Yahoo! users, even if it meant forcing users off Google.

Battle of the Toolbars
Yahoo!'s widely acclaimed toolbar, has been used as a medium to promote itself. No doubt, Google has done the same thing. But, what makes the Yahoo! toolbar different? Sometimes, installing the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't mean you are only installing the toolbar itself. It will make itself feel at home (by changing numerous settings, since by installing the toolbar, the toolbar assumes you have given it a right to modify certain settings). Sometimes, before it changes something, it will give a rather ambiguous message prompt that sounds rather urgent, prompting you to click on the most favorable button (usually the "yes" button). The toolbar may attempt to change your homepage (a very common tactic, Yahoo! [does this sneakily], Google [prompts you if you want to change it], and Norton [in an attempt to "protect" you] does this). Did I mention that it is kind of difficult to disable the Yahoo! toolbar?

You are much better off having Google toolbar installed, since it provides whatever Yahoo! toolbar provides, with the exception of the massive configuration done to your browser. A bonus the Google toolbar has is the "page rank" tool. By the way, if you are thinking of installing the Yahoo! and Google toolbars together, please don't, since those two toolbars react strangely to one another.

"Upgrade to Internet Explorer 7" campaign
Yahoo! actively promotes Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (but they don't do the install for you), which is evident here. Google on the other hand, promotes both Firefox (there is a special toolbar made to support it) and Internet Explorer (they have an "optimized" version of Internet Explorer 7). Yahoo! states that Internet Explorer is "safe". Tell me, if it is "safe", would it allow another plugin to change its homepage actively? Firefox don't do that, but Internet Explorer do. Ever wondered why the Yahoo! toolbar doesn't work well on Firefox?



There are also theoretical reasons as to why Yahoo! feels that Google is becoming a larger threat to its popularity.

Most visited sites
Years ago, Yahoo! remained as one of the top 10 most visited sites in the internet. Now, with Google in the picture, Yahoo!'s status of being the most visited website in the world is going to be the thing of the past. There are several reasons as to why more people are preferring Google to Yahoo!.

Google's easier to load
Users using a slow internet connection speed may want to view pages that load quickly (just like Google's homepage). Thus, Google is at an advantage here.

Google supports open-source projects
Most major companies may not even bother in indulging into open-source projects (this includes homebrew). Google is not one of them. Hence, Google actively supports developers and the like, by giving support to them, providing service APIs to them, etc. That is why you can see Google sometimes promoting Firefox, and Firefox promoting Google (Firefox's default browser homepage is an affiliate of Google). Though, Yahoo! would soon follow suit.

Google's services are just better
A known example is the Google Mail (GMail) versus Yahoo! mail. There are more people using GMail, in preference to Yahoo! mail. Why?

GMail has 2.8GB and counting (and it increases every day) of storage, while Yahoo! mail has 1GB of storage space (2GB if you pay). GMail has about almost every other feature Yahoo! mail has, except more. GMail has an inactivity period of 9 months (the account is labeled as dormant after 6 months, and is deleted after 3 months after the account is labeled as dormant), while Yahoo! has an inactivity period of 4 months.

Another service worth mentioning is the Yahoo! search versus Google search. Google search covers the most updated sites, and those sites not updated in months are pushed down by other sites that are more frequently updated. Yahoo! on the other hand, still show (blank) pages that are even not updated in a year, and still can show it on the top search results. Google also brings in most of a site's traffic, while Yahoo! brings in a much smaller amount.



Well, after all, the internet wars are still not over yet."
Security

Submission + - Exploit Released for Critical PC Hijack Flaw

Cornbread Earl writes: According to an eweek.com article, hackers at Immunity Inc. reversed a Microsoft Patch Tuesday update in less than three hours to create a fully working code execution exploit. The exploit takes aim at a "critical" bug in the way VML (Vector Markup Language) is implemented in Windows and successfully tested on Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2000, with default installations of Internet Explorer 6.0. "This is a fully working exploit, [it] will give you full access to do anything on the target machine," says Immunity researcher Kostya Kortchinsky.
The Media

Submission + - Senate bill bans Net & satellite radio recordi

kaufmanmoore writes: The new congress is the same as the old congress as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) reintroduced a bill that would require internet radio, music offered via digital cable, XM and Sirius to pay "fair market value" to use music libraries under members of the RIAA. FTA: "The proposal says that all audio services — Webcasters included — would be obligated to implement "reasonably available and economically reasonable" copy-protection technology aimed at preventing "music theft" and restricting automatic recording." The act also restricts "manual" recording saying that it should only be done "in a manner that is not an infringement of copyright." The full article is available from Cnet
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Shatner Leaks Trek XI Details

An anonymous reader writes: The rumors that the next Star Trek movie would revolve around the earliest missions of Kirk and Spock have been confirmed by William Shatner in a Sci Fi Wire interview. J.J. Abrahms (creator of "Lost") will direct, and has confirmed that a draft script is completed.

So, the question is, will Shatner appear as a reminiscing older Kirk in the beginning, setting up the rest of the movie as a flash-back, or will geriatric-Kirk and young-Kirk meet? (Spock to Kirk: "Jim, if you don't go on this mission, we will never meet!").
Data Storage

Submission + - Solid state disks - 64GB from PQI, 32GB from SanDi

CravingForPerformance writes: Taiwanese firm PQI announced a 64GB solid state disk with a Serial ATA connector. This is the industry's first 64GB SSD with a SATA connector. The company also says the first 128GB drives will arrive sometime this year. Also new is a 32 GB SSD for notebooks from SanDisk. The price of this SSD is unavailable but it's expected that it will add a $600 premium to the price of a notebook. The 32GB SSD from SanDisk is roughly twice as fast as a regular notebook HDD.
Television

Submission + - PVR on appleTV

MartinB writes: "The guys at elgato are completely confident that eyeTV will support appleTV. Turns out the key thing is exporting to iTunes in H.264 or MPEG-4. Now, can we please have a MythDVD-like DVD ripper that can do the same, so I can watch all my (legal) video content on the thing?"
Music

Submission + - Senate bill S.256 aims to restrict internet radio

JAFSlashdotter writes: If you enjoy MP3 or OGG streams of internet radio, it's time to pay attention. This week US Senators Lamar Alexander, Joseph Biden, Dianne Feinstein, and Lindsey Graham in their collective wisdom have decided to reintroduce the "Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act". This ARS Technica article explains that PERFORM would restrict our rights to make non-commercial recordings under the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992, and require satellite and internet broadcasters to use "technology to prevent music theft". That means goodbye to your favorite streaming audio formats, hello DRM. The EFF said pretty much the same when this bill last reared its ugly head in April of 2006. It's too soon to get the text of this year's version (S.256) online, but it likely to resemble last year's S.2644, which is available through Thomas. Last year's bill died in committee, but if at first you don't succeed...
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."
Communications

Submission + - Undersea cable repair via 19th century technology

An anonymous reader writes: Workers are relying on 19th century technology to fix a very 21st century problem — disruption of the Internet traffic that tech-savvy Asia relies on. "No electronics involved," said John Walters, general manager of Global Marine, one of the firms engaged in the repairs. "It's an old and traditional technique. After arriving at the scene they survey the ocean bottom to assess whether the contour has changed, and the degree of sediment movement. Then the traditional tools are brought out. A rope with a grapnel on the end is played out, down into the depths, and towed over the sea floor until tension registers on a graph on the ship, indicating contact has been made with the cable. Today's fibre optic cables are just 21 millimetres in diameter. The grapnel is a metal tool about 18 by 24 inches (46 by 61 centimetres) which includes a cutter, like a fine razor blade, and a grabbing tool. As tension increases and the cable is slowly pulled up, it is cut, grabbed, and half of it is hoisted to the surface. Dropping the grapnel, dragging the sea bed and recovering the cable can take about 16 hours, Walters said. "It is a tried and tested method." Once the severed half of the cable is on board the boat, debris is cleared from the damaged end, it is tested, sealed and the end boiled off. Then it is attached to a buoy on the water surface while the process is repeated for the second half of the cable before both halves are spliced together and dropped back to the ocean floor. Even before the Boxing Day earthquake, Global Marine had faced a busy year, with about 20 repairs after damage from fishermen or anchors. All those ruptures were fixed using the old grapnel method, he said.

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