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The Internet

Submission + - New Jersey Denies Internet from Sex Offenders (nytimes.com) 3

eldavojohn writes: "New Jersey just passed legislation making it illegal for sex offenders to use the internet. NJ congresswoman Linda D. Greenstein said, "When Megan's Law was enacted, few could envision a day when a sex offender hiding behind a fake screen name would be a mouse-click away from new and unwitting victims. Sex offenders cannot be given an opportunity to abuse the anonymity the Internet can provide as a means of opening a door to countless new potential victims." While they still can search for jobs, this is a major expansion over the prior legislation which barred them from social networking sites like facebook or myspace."
The Matrix

Submission + - Can Time Slow Down? 2

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Does time slow down when you are in a traffic accident or other life threatening crisis like Neo dodging bullets in slow-motion in The Matrix? To find out, researchers developed a perceptual chronometer where numbers flickered on the screen of a watch-like unit. The scientists adjusted the speed at which the numbers flickered until it was too fast for the subjects to see. Then subjects were put in a Suspended Catch Air Device, a controlled free-fall system in which "divers" are dropped backwards off a platform 150 feet up and land safely in a net. "It's the scariest thing I have ever done," said Dr. David Eagleman. "I knew it was perfectly safe, and I also knew that it would be the perfect way to make people feel as though an event took much longer than it actually did." Subjects were asked to read the numbers on the perceptual chronometer as they fell (video). The bottom line: While subjects could read numbers presented at normal speeds during the free-fall, they could not read them at faster-than-normal speeds. "We discovered that people are not like Neo in The Matrix," Eagleman said. "The answer to the paradox is that time estimation and memory are intertwined: the volunteers merely thought the fall took a longer time in retrospect,""
Security

Submission + - Google results lead to massive malware attack (computerworld.com.au)

Arashtamere writes: A large-scale, coordinated campaign to steer users toward malware-spewing Web sites from Google search results is under way, according to security researchers. Users searching Google with any of hundreds of legitimate phrases — from the technical "how to cisco router vpn dial in" to the heart-tugging "how to teach a dog to play fetch" — will see links near the top of the results listings that lead directly to malicious sites hosting a mountain of malware. Security researchers say they have found 27 different domains, each with up to 1,499 malicious pages, meaning some 40,000 pages are spewing out the malware. Dodgy tactics such as "comment spam" and "blog spam" have allowed the criminals to boost their Google rankings, and attackers may be using bots to plug links into any web form that requests a URL. According to the report there is no evidence that the criminals bought Google search keywords, however, nor that they've compromised legitimate sites. Instead, they've simply played Google's ranking system and registered their own sites.
Databases

Submission + - Half a million database servers have no firewall (networkworld.com)

BobB writes: Think your database server is safe? You may want to double-check. According to security researcher David Litchfield, there are nearly half a million database servers exposed on the Internet, without firewall protection. Litchfield took a look at just over 1 million randomly generated IP addresses, checking them to see if he could access them on the IP ports reserved for Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle's database.
Privacy

Submission + - videos on upcoming massacre on youtube, kills 3 (youtube.com)

partypoopa writes: "An 18 year old high school senior in Jokela, Finland (30 miles from the capital Helsinki) posted first a Just testing my gun video on youtube, where he tests a pistol on an apple. A day later he posts a video titled Jokela High School Massacre. And the very next day, he shoots 3 and wounds at least 1 in Jokela High School (Finnish only, sorry).

I bet fascists all over the world will have a field day over monitoring the internet to prevent such random occurrences of violence"

The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia begets Veropedia

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "October saw the launch of Veropedia, a collaborative effort to collect the best of Wikipedia's content, clean it up, vet it, and save it in a quality stable version that cannot be edited. To qualify for inclusion in Veropedia, a Wikipedia article must contain no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images after which candidates for inclusion are reviewed by recognized academics and experts. One big difference with Wikipedia is that Veropedia is registered as a for profit corporation and earns money from advertising on the site. Veropedia is supposed to help improve the quality of Wikipedia because contributors must improve an article on Wikipedia, fixing up all the flaws, until a quality version can be imported to Veropedia. To date Veropedia contains about 3,800 articles."
Space

Submission + - Unexpectedly bright comet appears in night sky

swordgeek writes: Comet 17P/Holmes, a relatively obscure and dim object has suddenly flared to be literally a million times brighter than it was two days ago, going from below magnitude 14 to 2.8 in less than 24 hours. It is just outside of the constellation Perseus, which puts it high in the sky and ideal for viewing at this time of year. The comet is now readily visible with the naked eye, and remarkable in binoculars or a telescope. This is a completely unexpected once-in-a-lifetime event, so get out your finest optics (even if it's just your eyes) and go comet watching! No one knows how long this will last, so grab the chance while it's there.
Security

Submission + - 50% of AV products detect less than 75% of viruses (qnetlabs.com)

Marnix de Bil writes: "Research by Netherlands-based company Qnetlabs shows that 50% of the tested antivirus products detect only as little as 75% of the viruses offered to them. One of the products tested scored as low as 22% !

A daily Current Threat top 3 is published at www.qnetlabs.com. This ranking aims to show which antivirus products react well to current often-seen threats. The tests show that the first three usually score over 85%, and the first five rank at 80% or better. The rest of the field fails to exceed 75% detection rate, with the latest virus definitions.

On average, the antivirus products outside the first three detect only 50% of these recent viruses — within this group, the big players in the consumer market are found as well."

Networking

Submission + - Selling a domain name

mikeraz writes: Today I received Yet Another email asking if I'd like to see a domain name I have registered. I've been getting these requests since 1998 or so. As usual I replied with "No, not interested." Moments later I received another, higher, offer from the same individual. We exchanged emails and left it at "if you're ever interested please contact me."

I'm being offered enough to put a serious dent in my mortgage or a serious boost in retirement savings. So it is tempting.

Have you sold a domain name? How did the process work out for you? What pitfalls should I be aware of? What's the best practice for selling off a domain name.
Software

Submission + - Why are you so dismissive of x86_64? (slamd64.com)

Chemisor writes: 64 bit processors have been around for a while now, but on the software side the transition to 64 bit is curiously avoided. Whenever people hear I run a 64 bit OS, their reaction is incredulous; "What, you have more than 2G of RAM?" or "What are you running that you need 64 bit?" as if using software native to the processor were not sufficient justification. Even the 64 bit Linux distributions like Slamd inexplicably put 64 bit libs into /usr/lib64, instead of /usr/lib, where native stuff ought to go. Very few packages are shipped with a 64 bit version, on Linux or Windows, and 64 bit Windows drivers are frequently missing. It is as though everyone is covertly hoping that 64 bit will just go away.

As a programmer, I find this attitude difficult to understand. Of course I want 64 bit; it's the architecture of my processor, for one. The increased register set and the cleaner x86_64 ABI could be adequate justification all by themselves. Then there is the fact that 64 bit is the last upgrade we'll ever need. While 2^32 is still within human limits, being smaller than the world population, 2^64 of anything is nearly impossible to imagine. 2037 is far away yet, but not nearly as far away as the death of our Sun, which is much closer than 2^64 seconds. Finally, there is the fact that the newer processors are all 64 bit; Intel Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 are where the future lies. So why aren't we embracing x86_64 instead of grudgingly and condescendingly allowing it to coexist with our legacy 32 bit applications?

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - RMS debates DRM at Yale, fights off MS ninjas (yaledailynews.com) 1

hesby writes: "On October 17, 2007, the Yale Political Union hosted a debate between Richard M. Stallman and Yale students on the resolution "DRM should be illegal". A barefoot RMS spoke of a corporate conspiracy to use DRM to empower companies and restrict the freedom of users, while students representing various campus political parties argued a variety of supporting points and counterpoints. Setting the stage for the debate were four masked ninjas who launched a mock attack on Stallman as inspired by an xkcd comic strip."
Editorial

Submission + - What are the best gadgets of 2007?

An anonymous reader writes: CNET UK's editors have just voted on what they think are the best gadgets of 2007, interestingly there's not an iPod or iPhone in sight. Instead, the award for best mobile went to the Nokia 6300, best TV went to the Samsung PS50P96, best high-definition product went to the Toshiba HD-XE1, best consumer camera went to the Olympus E-410, best laptop went to the Lenovo ThinkPad T61p, best music/video player went to the Archos 605 WiFi and best sat-nav went to the Garmin nuvi 660. Does everyone agree?
Programming

Submission + - What kind of thinking is apt for Computer Science

gorrepati writes: As a Grad student at the university I found critical thinking to be very popular, atleast with the Professors. After school, at work, it is mostly process-oriented thinking — where by I just think about what to do and do it. It is difficult to think critically all the while being imaginative. The emphasis on not making a mistake hurts the imagination(pardon my limited capacity). The question really is, what kind of thinking gives results — say I want to be a good programmer, working on the next cool thing.
Programming

Submission + - The Linux Driver Project Starts (Again) (linuxdriverproject.org)

eldavojohn writes: "A Novell employee named Greg K-H is trying to revive the Linux Driver Project. He original tried to start this back in January but due to one reason or another had to push it back. Now he's looking for more developers and companies to help out in this effort. From the Wiki, 'We are a group of Linux kernel developers (over 100 strong) and project managers (over 10) that develop and maintain Linux kernel drivers. We work with the manufacturers of the specific device to specify, develop, submit to the main kernel, and maintain the kernel drivers. We are willing and able to sign NDAs with companies if they wish to keep their specifications closed, as long as we are able to create a proper GPLv2 Linux kernel driver as an end result.' If you ever wanted to help out and be a part of the Linux effort, this might be a good chance to get your feet wet."
Security

Submission + - New scam or just a really bad work policy? 4

greymond writes: I recently received an email from a recruiting company for a Graphic Design / Desktop Publishing position. While I have my resume available online as well as pieces of my portfolio I didn't find it at all strange to receive this initial email. I hadn't responded by the afternoon when I received a call from a lady named Pyra who asked me to send her my latest resume because they were very interested in hiring me. I asked about the positions pay since the job title and position seemed like it would be a lot lower pay grade than my current Art Director position I now hold. She said she would inquire about it, but to please send my resume.

Now here is where it gets strange...I sent my resume off (note: my resume has only my name, number and email listed in it — no address) I then received this email asking for my Social Security Number. I found this to be VERY odd as no one ever has asked me for that, save the human resource manager of a company who has already hired me. When I told her I would wait until the interview to give it to them, I was then sent this email which had this letter attached to it. I responded with the same response and needless to say I haven't heard back from them.

Oh and in case my bandwidth gets blown up, the recruiting company was Agneto and the company they were hiring for was supposedly AT&T. So, is this really just a new elaborate scam or just a really bad new business policy?

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