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Portables

Submission + - User Review: Dell Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu (starryhope.com)

wehe writes: "After two weeks of using the new Dell Inspiron 1420N with pre-installed Ubuntu, Starry Hope decided it's time to write down some of his thoughts about this new Linux offering from Dell: "Unfortunately, Dell and Ubuntu's parent company Canonical have not worked together closely enough to make this a first-rate offering. While I think the 1420N is a great computer overall, the lack of attention to detail (and unbelievably bad driver support) keep these latest Linux offerings from being ready for the general public. Hopefully Dell and Canonical will resolve these problems and make a truly great product that I could feel comfortable recommending to family members who are not familiar with Linux. ... With just a little extra work and closer attention to the pre-installed software and drivers, they could be shipping the perfect Linux notebook. The way it is now, I wouldn't recommend this notebook for anyone who's not a seasoned Linux geek." One special detail: the pictures illustrating his review are showing the Windows Key of the laptop, which is sort of a bummer on an Ubuntu machine. The official Dell wiki about the Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu 7.04 pre-installed doesn't provide much details about the Linux compatibility of the laptop. Most Linux laptop installation guides from average Linux users provide much more information."
Quickies

Submission + - Arm Wrestling Machine Breaking Arms

iminplaya writes: Japanese arcade distributor Atlus Co. said it will recall 150 arm-wrestling machines that are breaking players' arms.

The machine, known as Arm Spirit, has so far broken three arms of players who put it to the challenge. The machine features 10 levels of arm-wrestling difficulty, including a French maid, a drunken martial arts master and a Chihuahua. The final throw-down, for those who manage to avoid having their forearms snapped, is against a professional arm-wrestler.

"We think that maybe some players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way."
Encryption

Submission + - Researchers develop a practical attack on KeeLoq (kuleuven.be)

StevenOdb writes: "Cryptography researchers from Belgium and Israel have developed a practical attack on KeeLoq, a cipher used in several car anti-theft mechanisms distributed by Microchip Technology Inc. The cipher is included in the remote control device that opens and locks your car and that activates the anti-theft mechanisms. Each device has a unique key that takes 18 billion billion values. With 100 computers, it would take several decades to find such a key. Therefore KeeLoq was widely believed to be secure. Now, a method has been found to identify the key in less than a day. The attack requires access to the remote control for about 1 hour (for example, stored in the victim's pocket while he's enjoying a meal). With this key the alarm can be easily deactivated. The results were presented at the CRYPTO 2007 conference."
Media

Submission + - Wal-Mart "DRM-Free" MP3 Site: Windows-Only

Skavoovie5 writes: Despite all the raving about the new DRM-Free MP3 Download section of Wal-Mart, it would appear that Wal-Mart still expects its customers to chain themselves to a sub-standard OS. No Linux, no OS X.

Isn't the entire purpose of DRM-Free music to enable the purchaser the freedom to use the music on the platform and method they see fit? Apparently only as long as you're willing to run Windows, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player. No thanks!

When attempting to access Wal-Marts MP3 download section of their website via Linux, the user is presented with the following error message:

"We're sorry, your operating system is incompatible. To provide the best download experience, we can no longer support Windows 98, ME or NT. Please visit again after you upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP. Visit our Help section for complete system requirements information."

Following the "Help section" link leads to a page listing the minimum system requirements:

What are the system requirements for using Wal-Mart Music Downloads?

        * Windows 2000 or XP (sorry, no Macintosh or Linux) ...
        * Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher
        * Windows Media Player version 9 or later
Censorship

Submission + - Wikipedia fights NBC's "Justice" group (10zenmonkeys.com)

destinyland writes: "Wikipedia was labelled a "corporate sex offender" by the group behind NBC Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series — who also began re-directing any visitors from Wikipedia to a critical page. The group also tagged LiveJournal and YouTube as "offenders" for failing to delete enough accounts of suspected pedophiles. But after a thoughtful debate, Wikipedia simply changed their link-formatting so their readers wouldn't be re-directed. They also allowed the group to continue criticizing Wikipedia's policies on Wikipedia rather than censoring them. Though as this article points out, "Wikipedia remained ungrateful when Perverted Justice helpfully pointed out which Wikipedia editors they thought were pedophiles.""
Censorship

Submission + - WordPress blocked by Turkey to appease creationist (wordpress.com)

John Hawks writes: "The entire WordPress domain has been blocked by the Turkish government, and the WordPress blog carries a reaction. The blockage comes at the request of Adnan Oktar, a.k.a. Harun Yahya, best known as one of the foremost international promoters of creationism. Oktar alleges that WordPress sites have defamed him, and has demanded satisfaction. The Scientific American blog has more details on this matter and the news earlier this week that ScienceBlogger P. Z. Myers has been sued for libel."
Google

Submission + - Has Google become evil in the eyes of open source? (zdnet.com) 1

willdavid writes: "By Dana Blankenhorn (ZDNet Blogs) An exchange of e-mails between Bill Hilf of Microsoft and Chris DiBona of Google concerning Microsoft's OSI license application has drawn an interesting reaction in the press. They're taking Microsoft's side. This is a major turning point, and shows just how far Google has come in less than a decade. http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=1347"

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