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Technology (Apple)

Submission + - We won't take cash (yahoo.com) 1

stox writes: "In an effort to control iPhones sold to unauthorized re-sellers, Apple will require iPhone purchases to be made with a credit or debit card only. This has some scary implications. What next, a three day waiting period?"
Communications

Submission + - Apple limits iPhones to 2 per person, rejects cash

b0s0z0ku writes: Citing concerns about availability for the holidays, Apple is now limiting iPhone purchases to two per person (at least at Apple stores) and only accepting credit card payments in order to create a record of who bought the phones. Could this possibly be their attempt to control the market for unlocked iPhones now that the 1.1.1 firmware has been cracked? Naaw, never.
Handhelds

Submission + - iPhone vulnerable to trojan attack via USB?

An anonymous reader writes: I bought an iPhone last week, and have been playing with hacking it. The iPhone comes locked from Apple, both to the cell provider (AT&T) and with no possibility of installing third-party applications. There are several programs which, run from a box with an iPhone connected to it, can remove the application lock and install an installer on the phone. This requires almost no user intervention other than plugging in the phone and clicking on "OK"; no authentication of any type is required. The installer shows up in the phone's home screen automatically, and can then be used to install more third-party applications.

What's to stop someone from (for example) wrapping the installation tool in a fake iTunes update and sending out phishing e-mails linking to it, or making it part of a virus that modifies iTunes itself? The "update" would then install malware or a malware downloader on the phone itself. All processes on the phone run as root and have access to almost all components of the phone. Extant third-party apps include dialers, a voice recorder, and various chat and Internet tools. So I could see something that bugs a room and sends the audio over the 'net, something that sends copies of appointments and e-mails out to interested parties, or even a dialer repeatedly dials the number of a gay bordello in Washington, DC if the phone's number happens to belong to an Important Person.

My point is not to bash the iPhone. It's a fine device with a user interface nothing short of remarkable. But it would have been even better had Apple provided a *legitimate* installation mechanism for third-party applications, and a means of running them with reduced privileges. Nor do I have a problem with the people who created the iPhone hacks — they're just extending the phone's functionality to what it should have been out of the box. The lesson? Security through obscurity is never the answer, especially if it's easy to bypass!
Biotech

Submission + - What constitutes a good geiger counter?

An anonymous reader writes: I've always wanted a geiger counter to play around with but thought they would be too expensive for mere mortals. But after a quick Google search, it looks like I was wrong and some ex-Russian models are available for pennies. I even found instructions on how to make my own doseometer. So I thought I'd ask Slashdot: What makes a good geiger counter? What features are most useful? Let's put together a geiger counter buying guide!
Editorial

Submission + - America's Hackable Backbone (forbes.com)

majorbytesrulz writes: "So just how easy is it to hack into America's Backbone.... "The first time Scott Lunsford offered to hack into a nuclear power station, he was told it would be impossible. There was no way, the plant's owners claimed, that their critical components could be accessed from the Internet. Lunsford, a researcher for IBM's Internet Security Systems, found otherwise. "It turned out to be one of the easiest penetration tests I'd ever done," he says. "By the first day, we had penetrated the network. Within a week, we were controlling a nuclear power plant. I thought, 'Gosh. This is a big problem.'"" Now that is some scary shit....I have been working with computers for over twenty years and with my knowledge of hardware and software systems I could more than likely pull of a similar feat...Not that I would, but if it is that easy to hack into the nuclear facility I just wonder what operating system they are using and what type of preventative measures they are using for security...I suppose I could just port scan the place in question....I have some honeypots on the net that I monitor frequently and I get plenty of suspicious traffic from all over the world, so I know that there is a lot of port scanning going on and it is just not to setup your friendly spam bot server.... I hope who ever told Scott Lunsford that it would be impossible to hack into their system is having nice dreams whenever he sleeps at night....if he does sleep....if it's on the net....ain't nothing phreaking impossible.... MB http://www.forbes.com/2007/08/22/scada-hackers-inf rastructure-tech-security-cx_ag_0822hack_print.htm l"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - On the Internet, no one knows you're a ... 1

b0s0z0ku writes: Crazy story from Wired about IM's and who people really are. Two people start an online relationship. She thinks that he's a 20 year old Marine. He thinks that she's a 17 yo girl from West Virginia. His co-worker is also dating her online, BTW, and it all comes to a bad end. Will we be seeing a bad movie about all this in a year?
Windows

Submission + - RIP Outlook Express

b0s0z0ku writes: According to this Computerworld story, Outlook Express is due to be end-of-lifed and replaced with Windows Live Mail in XP or Windows Mail in Vista. Am I the only one who's used Windows Live Mail and thought that the interface was awfully cluttered? Does it do newsgroups? And will this be pushed on users like IE 7, so people will see their mail client change overnight?
United States

Submission + - Poll: Current greatest threat to the US ?

An anonymous reader writes: Survey options:

1) Terrorism
2) Asteroid Impact
3) Yellowstone Erupting
4) The Large Hadron Collider
5) Pandemic
6) Christian Evangelicals
7) Atheists
8) CowboyNeal
Unix

Submission + - Getting out of tech support

An anonymous reader writes: For the last year or so I've been working in 1st line tech support at a small call centre that's part of a much larger outsourcing company and to be honest it's sucking the life out of me, I want change but I don't know what direction to take in order to get out and I really need some advice from others who have made the jump.

I'm in my mid-twenties and I've taken a number of college-level courses, a couple of those being computer engineering courses, some math and a few others that I found interesting, in the process I also managed to procure a fairly large amount of debt in the form of student loans, nothing I can't handle but I don't really want more debt although going back to get a degree is one possibility. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do except that I want to do something a bit more "real", to actually fix problems instead of just talking to customer after customer and then submitting tickets for someone else to fix the problem. From what I've understood from older acquaintances moving from tech support to other positions was actually a good way to go back when a lot of companies handled their own tech support, but for me there isn't much of a career path at this company as we only handle 1st line support, 2nd line and all above is done by the client companies themselves.

I'd really like to get more into sysadmin type work, or at least something where you spend more time solving problems and managing systems than you do arguing with irrate customers over how they have to call customer service for billing questions as technical support can't handle those problems. I suppose what I'd like to know is what kind of jobs one should be looking for coming from technical support with decent knowledge of UNIX, networking, scripting and "light coding". Is there any hope for me or will I have to go back to school in order to even have employers look at my resume?
Security

Submission + - How safe is my webmail?

gnkieffer writes: "Recently a tiny number of GMail users lost their mailbox content. Apparently Google was able to restore most (or all?) of the e-mails from their backup systems.
I wonder what security measures webmail providers like Yahoo or Hotmail are taking to secure their customer's e-mails; tape backups? RAIDs? do they backup live or once a week? This seems to be a subject no one wants to talk about. Until now I guess that webmail losses have been something like thousand times less frequent than... let's say hard drive crashes, so one could say that webmail is *very* safe.
Still, e-mail providers advertise with big storage space and lifelong e-mail addresses but I have not seen one praising with e-mail safety."
Programming

Adventuresome or "Hands On" Careers in Tech? 72

omission9 asks: "For about 10 years I have worked mostly behind a desk in a cubicle and am starting to feel that this environment is making me miserable. The cheap fluorescent lights, the stuffy air, and the restless feeling I get from just sitting so long are starting to really annoy me. My background is mainly as a programmer but I started my career as a network engineer/network administrator. I am also a member of the US Naval Reserve and am cleared as high as Top Secret. Are there any jobs out there that match this sort of skill set (more or less programmer but generally excellent tech skills) that don't require being stuck behind a desk? Paying relatively well would be a major plus as would something that provides a solid career (20+ years of work). Is there anyone out there, from anywhere other than a cube farm, that may have some advice?"

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