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Sci-Fi

Simon Pegg to Play Scotty 233

In response to yesterday's casting news about Chris Pine possibly taking the captain's chair for the new Star Trek movie, apparently Simon Pegg will be playing the role of Scotty. Simon Pegg is known for his role as Shaun in Shaun of the Dead and more recently for his leading role in Hot Fuzz. "Pegg joins Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, John Cho as Sulu and Zachary Quinto as Spock in the film which reportedly, and logically, 'chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.' Leonard Nimoy will also put in an appearance, while Eric Bana signed up this week as the movie's villain, Nero."
Security

WEP Broken Even Worse 393

collin.m writes in with news of results out of Darmstadt. Erik Tews and others there have demonstrated how to recover a 104-bit WEP key in under a minute, requiring the capture of fewer than 10% the number of packets the previous best method called for. The paper is here (PDF). Quoting: "We were able to extend Klein's attack and optimize it for usage against WEP. Using our version, it is possible to recover a 104 bit WEP key with probability 50% using just 40,000 captured packets... for 85,000 data packets [the success probability is] about 95%... 40,000 packets can be captured in less than one minute under good condition. The actual computation takes about 3 seconds and 3 MB main memory on a Pentium-M 1.7 GHz..."
Hardware

Dell Laptop Burns House Down 405

Nuclear Elephant writes "The Consumerist is running a story about a house burned down by a Dell laptop. 'My 130-year-old former farm house was engulfed in flames, with thick dark smoke pouring out of the windows and roof... Hours later, after investigation the fire marshal investigator took me aside asked me if I had a laptop computer. Yes — I told him I had a Dell Inspiron 1200.' It was determined that the laptop, battery, or cord malfunctioned after its owner left for work, leaving the fire to spread through the entire house. All attempts to contact Dell have failed. 'I have tried to call Dell to at least notify them of my problems, but each time I have called I get transferred into an endless loop of "Joe" or "Alan" all speaking a delectable version of English I presume emanates from Bangalore. I have been outright hung up on each time I get someone who speaks a reasonable version of English, or sounds like they might be in charge of something. Promises of call backs have gone, of course, unreturned.'"
Media (Apple)

iPods Becoming Entrenched In Major League Baseball 115

DreadfulGrape writes "ESPN.com reports on how video iPods are being used increasingly by baseball players to study opponents' game footage. In fact, Houston Astros' pitcher Jason Jennings credits the device with improving his game last summer." Jennings says, "Eventually, more than two-thirds of the roster had piled on and turned this team into baseball's official iSquad. Every player gets his own custom set of videos loaded onto his personal iPod, sorted by date, hitter, pitcher and opponent — and updated every week or so."
Google

Google's Sinister(?) Plans 287

puppetman writes "This week, Robert X. Cringely makes some interesting observations as to what Google's up to next. He theorizes that Google is looking to create a bandwidth shortage that will drive ISP/cable/telephone customers into it's open arms (often with the blessing of the ISP/cable/telephone company). The evidence: leasing massive amounts of network capacity, and huge data centers in rural areas (close to power-generation facilities). The shortage will only occur if the average bandwidth consumption by individual consumers skyrockets; think mainstream BitTorrent, streaming moves from NetFlix, tv episodes from iTunes, video games on demand, etc, etc. Spooky and sinister, or sublime and smart?"

Virtual Fashion Thrives in Second Life 164

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The game Second Life — a simulated world with more than 700,000 'residents,' or players, who sometimes refer to their offline existence as their 'first life' — is breeding a virtual world of fashion design, with the same complications as the real world of fashion, the Wall Street Journal reports: 'A continuing headache for many designers is the ease with which others can copy their creations, and several have discovered boutiques that sell knockoffs of their clothes. A well-known Second Life designer was recently accused of stealing skin textures and withdrew from Second Life after receiving harassing messages. Linden says it investigates accusations of design theft, and repeat offenders can have their online accounts closed. Some designers, like DE Designs' Mr. Hester, have taken steps to copyright their work.'"

Dueling Network Neutrality Commentary on NPR 390

cube farmer writes Wednesday National Public Radio featured a commentary by telecom representative Scott Cleland in opposition to Network Neutrality legislation. Thursday Craig Newmark, the Craig behind craigslist, countered that Network Neutrality is essential for consumers. Who made the stronger case?

Labs Compete to Build New Nuclear Bomb 949

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that two labs are currently competing to design the first new nuclear bomb in twenty years. The new bomb was approved as a part of the 2006 defense spending bill. From the article: 'Proponents of the project say the U.S. would lose its so-called "strategic deterrent" unless it replaces its aging arsenal of about 6,000 bombs, which will become potentially unreliable within 15 years. A new, more reliable weapon, they say, would help the nation reduce its stockpile.'"

Sculpture to Reflect Campus Wireless Traffic 84

prostoalex writes "Ball State University, the top unwired school in the nation according to Intel survey, is set to unveil a sculpture that will reflect the wireless traffic on the campus network. From the article: 'Beginning Tuesday night at 8 p.m., as people log onto the Internet via Ball State's network, their online activity will appear as sound, color, patterns and images projected onto giant screens set up around the base of Shafer Tower, located in the middle of campus on McKinley Avenue.'"

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