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Data Storage

Windows 7 Hard Drive and SSD Performance Analyzed 248

bigwophh writes "Despite the fact that Windows 7 is based on many of the same core elements as Vista, Microsoft claims it is a different sort of animal and that it should be looked at in a fresh, new light, especially in terms of performance. With that in mind, this article looks at how various types of disks perform under Windows 7, both the traditional platter-based variety and newer solid state disks. Disk performance between Vista and Win7 is compared using a hard drive and an SSD. SSD performance with and without TRIM enabled is tested. Application performance is also tested on a variety of drives. Looking at the performance data, it seems MS has succeeded in improving Windows 7 disk performance, particularly with regard to solid state drives."
Image

Burglar Nabbed By Backup Program Screenshot-sm 98

Bruce Perens writes "A Berkeley, California, burglar engineered his own arrest, and that of his girlfriend, when he stole a laptop and used it as his personal computer. He didn't realize that the laptop had an automatic backup program, and that the photos he took were being copied to his victim's backup repository. Berkeley police recognized him, and his location, from the photos."
Television

Rabbit Ears To Stage a Comeback Thanks To DTV 265

Jeffrey Breen writes "Like Monty Python's Killer Rabbit, cheap indoor antennas seem harmless to satellite and cable providers. But with the digital TV transition in the US, rabbit ears can suddenly provide digital-perfect pictures, many more channels, and even on-screen program guides. Already feeling pressure as suddenly budget-conscious consumers shed premium channels, providers must now get creative to protect their low-end as well."
Hardware Hacking

Reverse Engineering a Missile Launcher Toy's Interface 118

nitro writes "A fairly in-depth technical report by the security researchers at TippingPoint was released on how to reverse engineer the proprietary protocol for controlling a USB missile-launching toy system. They develop an iPhone application to control the device. 'The hardware is coupled with a simple GUI controller written in Delphi (MissileLauncher.exe) and a USB Human Interface Device (HID) interface written in C++ (USBHID.dll). The toys lost their allure within minutes of harassing my team with a barrage of soft missile shots. That same night I thought I would be able to extend the fun factor by coding up a programmatic interface to the launchers in Python. ... One interesting thing is that we have a lot more granular control of the turret movement now than we did with the original GUI. I wrote two simple loops to count the number of possible horizontal and vertical ticks and the results were 947 horizontal and 91 vertical versus 54 and 10 from the original GUI respectively. Granular control allows you to slowly and quietly reposition the turret for stealthy attacks.'"
Television

Submission + - NBC's Olympics - why only show USA's medals ? 1

waterwingz writes: Once again, viewers of the Olympics in the USA are only able to see events where the USA has medal hopes. Especially if the USA hopes for a gold medal. While I can understand that NBC paid big bucks for exclusive coverage rights and that they cater to the desires of the masses for profit, it seems there has to be better way. For example, what if NBC (or CBS or ABC) got exclusive rights to any events they chose to show and a second tier channel (PBS ?) was allowed to show anything else for a much lower licensing fee. We might actually get to see some great Olympic moments where an American athlete was not involved. Imagine that. Do slashdot readers have any other ideas about how coverage could be broadened without hurting the rights that NBC purchased legitimately ?
Bug

MS Security Patch Blocks Net Access For ZoneAlarm Users 110

An anonymous reader writes "Users of Check Point ZoneAlarm security products, including the extremely popular, free-of-charge software firewall, have discovered that a Microsoft security update released on Tuesday has blocked their internet access. The firewall manufacturer is 'investigating the issue,' and so far the workaround seems to be to uninstall the recent DNS spoofing vulnerability fix MS08-037 (KB951748), and not reinstall it until Microsoft or Check Point have come up with updated versions of their products."
Programming

Recruitment Options For a Small-Scale FOSS Project? 210

thermian writes "I've been developing my open source project for several years now, and I've never found a solution to one fairly important issue. How can a small-scale project attract new members? My project is pretty specialist, (no URL, sorry, I can't afford to get my server nuked) and I find that while it gets a fair bit of use, most users come to my software out of a need to solve their problem, or use my tutorials to learn about the subject, and none seem inclined to stick around and help make the product better. This is a fairly serious problem for me now, because my software has recently been adopted by a university, and I'm just not in a position to manage the entire set of applications and update everything on my own. Just preparing a version for release to students has been especially hard. The open source maxim 'Many eyes make all bugs shallow' only works if those 'many eyes' are available. So do you have any suggestions as to how, and where, to find people who fancy joining open source projects?"
Security

Hiding a Rootkit In System Management Mode 119

Sniper223 notes a PC World article on a new kind of rootkit recently developed by researchers, which will be demoed at Black Hat in August. The rootkit runs in System Management Mode, a longtime feature of x86 architecture that allows for code to run in a locked part of memory. It is said to be harder to detect, potentially, than VM-based rootkits. The article notes that the technique is unlikely to lead to widespread expoitation: "Being divorced from the operating system makes the SMM rootkit stealthy, but it also means that hackers have to write this driver code expressly for the system they are attacking."
Bug

The 25-Year-Old BSD Bug 213

sproketboy writes with news that a developer named Marc Balmer has recently fixed a bug in a bit of BSD code which is roughly 25 years old. In addition to the OSnews summary, you can read Balmer's comments and a technical description of the bug. "This code will not work as expected when seeking to the second entry of a block where the first has been deleted: seekdir() calls readdir() which happily skips the first entry (it has inode set to zero), and advance to the second entry. When the user now calls readdir() to read the directory entry to which he just seekdir()ed, he does not get the second entry but the third. Much to my surprise I not only found this problem in all other BSDs or BSD derived systems like Mac OS X, but also in very old BSD versions. I first checked 4.4BSD Lite 2, and Otto confirmed it is also in 4.2BSD. The bug has been around for roughly 25 years or more."
The Military

NSA Takes On West Point In Security Exercise 140

Wired is running a story about a recent security exercise in which the NSA attacked networks set up by various US military academies. The Army's network scored the highest, put together using Linux and FreeBSD by cadets at West Point. Quoting: "Even with a solid network design and passable software choices, there was an element of intuitiveness required to defend against the NSA, especially once it became clear the agency was using minor, and perhaps somewhat obvious, attacks to screen for sneakier, more serious ones. 'One of the challenges was when they see a scan, deciding if this is it, or if it's a cover,' says [instructor Eric] Dean. Spotting 'cover' attacks meant thinking like the NSA -- something Dean says the cadets did quite well. 'I was surprised at their creativity.' Legal limitations were a surprising obstacle to a realistic exercise. Ideally, the teams would be allowed to attack other schools' networks while also defending their own. But only the NSA, with its arsenal of waivers, loopholes, special authorizations (and heaven knows what else) is allowed to take down a U.S. network."
Wine

First Release Candidate of Wine 1.0 Released 284

moronikos writes to mention that the first release candidate of Wine 1.0 was announced and released into the wild today. This new version includes only bug fixes as the team is in a code freeze while pushing for the full 1.0 release.

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