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Security

NSA Patents a Way To Spot Network Snoops 161

narramissic writes "The National Security Agency has patented a technique for figuring out whether someone is messing with your network by measuring the amount of time it takes to send different types of data and sounding an alert if something takes too long. 'The neat thing about this particular patent is that they look at the differences between the network layers,' said Tadayoshi Kohno, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Washington. But IOActive security researcher Dan Kaminsky wasn't so impressed: 'Think of it as — if your network gets a little slower, maybe a bad guy has physically inserted a device that is intercepting and retransmitting packets. Sure, that's possible. Or perhaps you're routing through a slower path for one of a billion reasons.'"
The Internet

Belgian ISP Scores Victory In Landmark P2P Case 76

secmartin writes "Belgian ISP Scarlet scored an important victory in the first major European test of copyright law. The interim decision forcing them to block transfers of copyrighted materials via P2P has been reversed, because the judge agreed with Scarlet that the measures the Belgian RIAA proposed to implement proved to be ineffective. A final decision is expected next year."
Games

The State of Piracy and DRM In PC Gaming 387

VideoGamer sat down with Randy Stude, president of the PC Gaming Alliance, to talk about the state of piracy and DRM in today's gaming industry. He suggests that many game studios have themselves to blame for leaks and pre-launch piracy by not integrating their protection measures earlier in the development process. He mentions that some companies, such as Blizzard and Valve, have worked out anti-piracy schemes that generate much less of a backlash than occurred for Spore . Stude also has harsh words for companies who decline to create PC versions of their games, LucasArts in particular, saying, "LucasArts hasn't made a good PC game in a long time. That's my opinion. ... It's ridiculous to say that there's not enough audience for that game ... and that it falls into this enthusiast extreme category when ported over to the PC. That's an uneducated response." Finally, Stude discusses what the PCGA would like to see out of Vista and the next version of Windows.
Graphics

S3 Jumps On GPGPU Bandwagon 86

arcticstoat writes "It's sometimes easy to forget that the PC graphics market isn't owned by ATI and Nvidia, and the company that first gave us 3D acceleration, S3, is very much still around. So much so, in fact, that it's now even developed its own GPGPU technology. S3 claims that its Chrome 400 chips can accelerate gaming physics, HD video transcoding/encoding and photo enhancement. To demonstrate the latter, S3 has released a free download called S3FotoPro, which enhances color clarity and reduces haze in photos. However, the company hasn't yet revealed whether it plans to support OpenCL in the future." The Tech Report also points out that this could allow S3's parent company, VIA, to compete with Intel and AMD in graphics processing technology.
Software

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Is Officially Here 284

SNate writes "After a grinding three-year development cycle, the OpenOffice.org team has finally squeezed out a new release. New features include support for the controversial Microsoft OOXML file format, multi-page views in Writer, and PDF import via an extension. Linux Format has an overview of the new release, asking the question: is it really worth the 3.0 label?"
The Almighty Buck

$700 Billion Bailout Signed Into Law 857

Many readers reminded us of what no-one can have failed to hear: that the Congress passed and the President signed a $700B bailout bill in an attempt to avert the meltdown of the US economy. The bill allocates $700 billion to the Treasury Department for the purchase of so-called "toxic assets" that have been weighing down Wall Street balance sheets. This isn't particularly a tech story, though tech will be affected as will virtually all parts of the economy, and not just in the US. Among the $110B in so-called pork added to the bill to sway reluctant legislators are extensions of popular tax benefits for business R&D and alternative energy, relief for the growing pool of people subject to the alternative minimum tax, and a provision raising the FDIC's ceiling of guaranteed deposits to $250,000. Some limits were also imposed on executive compensation, though it's unclear whether they will be effective.
Communications

A Look Back at One of the Original Phreaks 98

tmalone writes "The New York Times is running an end of year piece about the most interesting people who have died this year. One of their picks is Joybubbles, also known as Josef Engressia, or 'Whistler.' He was born blind and discovered at the age of 7 that he could whistle 2600 hertz into a phone to make free long-distance calls. He was one of the original phone phreaks, got arrested for phone fraud, and was even employed by the phone company. The article deals more with his personal life than with his technical exploits, but is a very interesting story."
The Courts

Submission + - Jack Thompson Suspended 1

Dr. Eggman writes: GamePolitics.com has the story the Florida Bar has ordered Jack Thompson to undergo psychological testing and have suspended his license for 91 days. According to his 2005 book, he has been asked to undergo such testing by the bar before, but sued and successfully settled with the bar for $20,000.

Over 1 Million .eu Domains and Counting 137

gavint writes "In the first 12 hours since "Landrush" registration of .eu Domains begun at 11:00 CET, over 1 million have been registered. Predictions of .eu becoming the second biggest domain after .com look like they may become true, with Nominet being responsible for "over four million" .uk domains, the second biggest namespace. The UK initially led the way during Landrush but have since been overtaken by Germany, with over a quarter of all registered domains. Meanwhile many "Sunrise" period applications where businesses are able to protect domains where they hold a prior right remain unprocessed, although these domains cannot be registered yet during Landrush. Over 1,000 registration agents were only allowed one connection each to EURid's servers in order to prevent problems and ensure fairness."

Amanda 2.5 Released 155

Anonymous Coward writes to tell us that a new release of the popular open source backup tool Amanda is now available fixing many of the limitations of previous versions. From the release: "Overall the focus of the release is on security of the backup process & backed up data, scalability of the backup process and ease of installation & configuration of Amanda."

The New Wisdom of the Web 167

theodp writes "In a cover story, Newsweek takes a look at the new wave of start-ups cashing in on the next stage of the Internet by Putting The 'We' in Web. Sites built on user-generated content like YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Digg and Facebook have all taken a page from Tom Sawyer's playbook, engaging the community to do their work, prompting Google CEO Eric Schmidt to suggest he finds MySpace more interesting than Microsoft."

.eu Domains to Go on Sale in a Month 109

conJunk writes "The BBC is running an article about the start of .eu TLD sales. From the article: 'The .eu domain was launched in December and opens to the public in four weeks. Trademark holders have had a 'sunrise period' since December to register their own trademarks... and all EU institutions will begin using the .eu domain in their web addresses from April next year.' Winners and Losers? Volkswagen scooped Ralph-Lauren for polo.eu by three and a half minutes." Update: 03/10 15:32 GMT by Z : Volvo != Volkswagen.

Best-Seller Strategy Guides 59

TasosF writes "The New York Times published a feature on the strategy guide publishing. Strategy guide sales reportedly generated about $90 million in 2004, with the guide to GTA San Andreas having sold 748,000 copies to date." From the article "'It's like writing a travel guide to a place that doesn't exist,' Mr. Hodgson said. 'Whereas Frommer's guides tell you what hotel to stay in, I tell you which hotel not to stay in because you're going to get dragged down by a gangster.' By most measures, strategy guides are not a huge business. They generated about $90 million in sales in 2004, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm; the figure dropped to $67 million in 2005, but that decline was expected as a cyclical moment, paralleling a transition in the industry to a new generation of advanced game consoles."

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