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Enlightenment

Submission + - Rolling my own parental controls in Linux

ZekeSMZ writes: It's been a year since I made the switch from windows to Ubuntu, and I can safely say I'm never going back. One of the best things I've done is to set up an Edubuntu system for my kids — ages 4 and 2. With applications such as Supertux, TuxPaint, G Compris, Stellarium and even Kolf, they amuse themselves for hours with the machine and can't damage it like they can a Windows box.

Now that my 4 year old is learning to read and type, I'd like to set up some form of parental controls on my network. I consider myself a moderately competant Linux user, but I do not have anything approaching the skills of the talented sysadmins I've worked with over the years. So, I'd like to reach out to the Slashdot community for advice on how to lock down my network so that they won't accidentally bump into the seedier side of the web.

What are the best firewall apps to use for internal filtering? Do (or could) any of them support pro-active whitelisting, where I could get an email with a blocked URL that my kids tried to visit, and in response — I set up a rule to allow or deny access to the URL. This is a fairly mainstream feature of various parental control software out there, how could a similar solution be set up in Linux?

I'm going to assume that my kids are smarter than me and will one day figure out how to own the network. You get bonus points if you can give pointers on setting up a dual system, one that they can hack, and one that is running in the background in silent or stealth mode to monitor activity. My intent here is not to be big brother, but rather a responsible parent.
Networking

Submission + - Timewarner DNS Hijacking

Exstatica writes: "It looks like Timewarner is taking botnets into their own hands. They've hijacked dns for a few irc servers. The latests being irc.vel.net, irc.mzima.net, and irc.nac.net all part of EFNet. Using ns1.sd.cox.net the lookup returns an ip for what looks to be a script that forces the user into a channel and issues a set of commands to clean the drones. There have been different reports of other irc networks being hijacked and other dns servers involved. Is this the right way to handle this? Is hijacking DNS illegal?"
Security

Submission + - Nearly 900K US Troops health care records exposed

blueser writes: Military Times reports that "personal health care records of nearly 900,000 troops, family members and other government employees stored on a private defense contractor's nonsecure computer server were exposed to compromise". Exposed information includes social security numbers, names, addresses and coded health data. The contractor has been aware of the data breach since May 29, when USAFE notified them about an insecure data transmission. The Petangon and FBI have already been involved, and the contractor is already notifying those that have been affected.
Power

Submission + - Oil (or Not) in Your Future (connectlive.com) 1

mdsolar writes: "Over at The Oil Drum there is an interesting discussion going on about a report released (in draft form) by the National Petroleum Council. The report is a response to questions from Secretary of Energy Bodman about the ability of oil companies to meet projected demand for oil (at a reasonable price). The report seems to say that this cannot be done and recommends that the government 1) force conservation through efficiency regulations, 2) shift to other energy sources, 3) reduce regulation on drilling in the US, 4) use US power to force open markets in oil, 5) pay for the education of engineers in the oil field, allow retiring workers to consult without tax penalties and raise H1-B quotas and 6) pay the oil industry to accept carbon dioxide from coal use for sequestration.

The discusion at The Oil Drum is finding that the report is fudging on the peak oil issue while at the same time predicting a greatly increased oil supply mainly from the Middle East using new technologies and discoveries. My own acerbic take on the report findings can be found here."

Republicans

Submission + - White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases (washingtonpost.com)

rook2pawn writes: Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege. The Moderate Voice asks "what is Congress remedy? Increasingly, Bush administration actions appear to be actually provocative aimed at throwing the matter into court. Could it be because George Bush now has more friends on the Supreme Court who believe in a stronger executive and will back him in the end? If they back him, the United States traditional definition of checks and balances may have to be heavily revised."
Google

Submission + - Which Google Should Congress Believe? 1

theodp writes: "In Congressional testimony last month, Google's VP of People Operations told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration that, due to limits on the number of H-1B visas, Google is regularly unable to pursue highly qualified candidates. But as Google stock tumbled in after hours trading Wednesday, Google's CEO blamed disappointing profits on a hiring binge and promised Wall Street analysts that the company would keep a careful eye on headcount in the future. So which Google should Congress believe?"
AMD

Submission + - Processor: AMD Releasing Phenom (blogspot.com)

Suray writes: "Officially, AMD have been releasing new generation processors named Phenom. Phenom processors are based on Barcelona's architecture. As soon as possible, this new label of processors name called Phenom will be found in the next generation of desktop processors family from AMD. AMD's processors called Phenom with previously processors (AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron) will comply with a request on the computing needs."
The Courts

Submission + - Jack Thompson: "I'm out to shut down Rockstar.

SyncNine writes: "Jack Thompson was recently interviewed on Nightline by Bill Weir, in which he can be heard stating that "I want to shut down Rockstar because they're run by a bunch of sociopaths and they're a one-company crime wave." Something of value to note is that Bill Weir does a solid job of not agreeing with or really responding to Thompson's comments regarding this.

It seems that Thompson's vigilante quest to destroy all violence and disrespect in video games is actually a one-man assault on Rockstar Games, specifically. As his intentions at this point are crystal clear, at some point you've got to wonder how long Rockstar will put up with this before finding a way to counter-sue for lost revenue, etc. Does anyone think he'll succeed? Is he trying to wear Rockstar down?"
Security

Submission + - Good Anti-Virus app for friends/family?

CTachyon writes: "A friend at work is having the usual Windows trouble with viruses and Trojans. She has an anti-virus program on there of some sort (unknown vintage, neither McAfee nor Symantec/Norton), and while it cleaned up a good chunk of the mess, there's still at least one more lurking on her system.

As one of the resident computer 'experts' at work, she came to me for advice. Unfortunately for her, I'm out of the Windows loop since I jumped ship to Linux years ago. While the proper thing for her to do at this point would be to back up her important data and reinstall from her recovery CD, I no longer have the patience for Windows to do that for anyone I'm not sleeping with, and it's a bit over her level of expertise to handle herself. That pretty much leaves trying another AV program.

Thus the problem. I'm out of the loop, so I don't know what's good and what's not. I did manage to instill in her a proper fear of Symantec/Norton, but I don't really know what I should recommend instead. If all else fails, I vaguely recall that AVG is decent, and it's little-f free (big plus for her). Do any of my fellow Slashdotters have some better advice for her?"
Toys

Submission + - New Type of Hot Air Blimp

An anonymous reader writes: The lead story at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is about a new kind of blimp. From the article "Alberto, whose name pays homage to Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos-Dumont, is 102 feet long with a 70-foot diameter and uses hot air rather than helium for lift. Its innovative foldable frame (much like an giant umbrella) creates structural support of its hot-air envelope, and it has a fly-by-wire vectored thrust steering system. Alberto is a hybrid; a hot-air balloon with aluminum ribs that looks more like a blimp, but with a tail propeller that gives it directional control." Website for the blimp is www.personalblimp.com
Software

Submission + - Five issues Microsoft must deal with in 2007

coondoggie writes: "It was a rough 2006 for Microsoft, relatively speaking for a company that posted $44 billion in revenue, as it weathered long-awaited new versions of Windows and Office. But as the software giant heads into 2007, the newest incarnations of its cash cows are out there, a number of important product upgrades are on the board, highlighted by Longhorn Server, and the path to success over the next 12 months is littered with other challenges. Here are five hurdles Microsoft must negotiate to stay on top in 2007. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/121806-five- issues-microsoft.html"
Space

Another Small Step Before the Giant Leap 277

Armchair Anarchist writes "Over at Futurismic, a new column proposes that NASA's plans to establish a lunar colony are an attempt to run before we can walk properly, and that developing orbital habitats first would be a wiser and more realistically attainable project. From the article: "... it seems to me that the trump card is with the orbitals; orbit is closer, cheaper and easier to get to, and offers more flexibility as a long-term outpost. Sure, let's put men back on the moon, mine it for helium-3, research its history and origins. But it makes more sense to launch missions of that type from an already-established colony in orbit.""

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