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Movies

Submission + - Paramount picks HD DVD over Blu-ray

WebHostingGuy writes: "From the article reported by MSNBC: Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will offer next-generation DVDs in the HD DVD format and drop support for Blu-ray. "Part of our vision is to aggressively extend our movies beyond the theater and deliver the quality and features that appeal to our audience," said Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. "I believe HD DVD is not only the affordable high-quality choice for consumers, but also the smart choice for Paramount.""
Media

Submission + - Dan Rather uncovers flaws in touchscreen voting

goombah99 writes: Dan Rather Reports has posted a lengthy YouTube teaser of their upcoming touchscreen voting expose (to air tuesday at 8 or 11pm ET) This is sort of a "60-minutes" style investigation of touchscreen voting. It's apparently not a rehash either. Rather turns up some new evidence such as tracking down the dilapidated plant where the ES&S ivotronic touchscreens were assembled. There they were having a 30 to 40% rejection rate on the screen themselves. Apparently the issue here was a rush to market to meet the election schedule. They needed lots of machines, fast. So plant workers say the rejects got shipped too. The "rush to market" aspect demonstrates an often overlooked strength of the use of open source software with commodity hardware and a multiple vendor business model like open voting consortium. This should be much less subject to single source point failures and has a built-in adversarial oversight nature that might lend some quality control. I just hope their conclusion is not "we need perfect machines and perfectly trained operators" and instead is we need a different approach that is transparent, robust and self correcting in the face of errors.
Security

Submission + - VMWare Escape Publicized at SANSfire 2007 (foolmoon.net)

FoolMoon writes: "Anyone in the know on VMware security knows that Ed Skoudis, Tom Liston and "crew" from Intelguardians (and some close researchers) have been researching VMware escapes for the last couple years for an US government customer. At SANSfire 2006, they presented some of this research to include how malware might detect the fact it was running under virtualization and hinted that there were possible exploits. Tonight at SANSfire 2007 some of these were revealed and the world saw the first public display of this capability. My blog represents my takeaway from this presentation given. As the presentation is not expected to be made publicly available, my notes may be of interest to anyone not in attendance. Any errors and misstatements in this are my own. — Monty McDougal For the complete blog entry visit http://www.foolmoon.net/cgi-bin/blog/index.cgi?mod e=viewone&blog=1185593255"
Software

Submission + - Gentoo crisis continues on the -dev mailing list

Anonymous Coward writes: "Following on from a previous Slashdot comment, Gentoo's main developer list seems to have exploded again.

In a scene that is all too often seen at Gentoo nowadays, an initial subject of whether to continue to allow user's contributions on a developer list blew up five days later with developers saying that they didn't care about the community or users, a developer leaving and users "finding it commonplace" in the Gentoo communication channels.

Is this another nail in the coffin leading to a fork or is Gentoo just losing excess baggage?"
Books

Submission + - Unusual security for Harry Potter 7 (thinkabdul.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This article highlights some of the most unusual and unheard of security measures that are being taken to ensure that the secret about the death of two main characters in the story are not revealed till the launch of the book on 21st of July. They include interesting items from various sources such as:

-only Rowling and 20 others — illustrators, editors and continuity experts — know the book's ending

-some employees had to work in near darkness to prevent them from reading the books

-The delivery trucks are fitted with satellite tracking systems GPS) costing up to £1,000 each

-written consent from Rowling's literary agent to read aloud from the book. Quizzes, riddles and crosswords are strictly banned.

http://thinkabdul.com/2007/07/16/highlight-unusual -unprecedented-security-measures-taken-to-protect- jk-rowlings-harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-s ecrets/

Technology (Apple)

Submission + - How Apple Can Win The PC Battle (readwriteweb.com)

ReadWriteWeb writes: "Despite dropping the word computer from its name, Apple still desperately wants to win the PC market. And recent statistics show they are making progress. Just a year ago Apple's share was close to 2%. Now Apple's Desktops have crossed 10% and the MacBooks now closing on 15% of the laptop market. This puts MacBooks in 4th place behind HP, Toshiba and Gateway. The figures are likely to increase in the 3rd quarter, which is traditionally strong for Apple, because of the back-to-school sales.

Despite the fact that Macs are on the rise and iPods rule already, one can't help but wonder: why are people still using PCs if Macs are so great? One reason is of course cost — Apple computers are usually more expensive than PCs. But another reason is Inertia. When it comes to switch, the cost is not just measured in dollars — it is measured in time and brain power. In addition to cost and learning barriers, there are big corporate barriers as well."

Programming

Submission + - The Death Of A Software License (GPL) (bmc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Death Of A Software License argues that Google's Greg Stein's "license pressure" is something that Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation should pay more attention to. If the FSF takes the GPL v3 in an opposing direction to the developers that gave the GPL legs in the first place, then we'll see an obvious outcome — the death of the GPL. Interesting blog post if nothing else.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Dell to cut 7,000 jobs

drinkypoo writes: "The BBC is reporting that Dell is planning to cut 7,000 jobs, or about 10% of its workforce. Michael Dell claimed "these actions are critical to our ability to deliver unprecedented value to our customers." Does this really make sense given that Dell is currently being sued by the New York Attorney General for their inability to provide adequate service (among other allegations)?"
Privacy

Submission + - The Pirate Bay hacked

Mxyzptlk writes: From an article in Computer Sweden: A list of user names and encrypted passwords for all 1.6 million registered users on the site The Pirate Bay has been stolen by a group of swedish hackers.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPod/iPhone Nano with touch panel at the bottom

Staska writes: "New Apple patent filing shows new directions for Apple's touch interface design. For smaller devices like iPod Nano, touchscreen interface may not be feasible — the screen is just too small for touch operation. According to the patent, Apple can still make full screen iPods and put a touch panel on the backside of the device with transparent controls on the front screen. In addition to iPod, patent filing also describes controls for the phone. ZDNet even thinks that this patent can hint about touch interface for all Apple products."
Security

Submission + - Over 10,000 malware sites hosted by IPowerWeb

mdm42 writes: "Ethan Zuckerman blogs that a friend's website, hosted with IPowerWeb, got hacked. Turns out that almost eleven-thousand websites hosted by IPowerWeb have also been hacked in the same manner, but IPowerWeb denies that they have a security problem. The crack injects malicious JavaScript into hosted web pages; the purpose of the JavaScript? To load Windows trojans onto client machines that access the websites.

To the rest of us it looks like their systems have been compromised from the ground up. Or perhaps an inside job...?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Temporarily Closes Video Site Soapbox

Weather Storm writes: "CNET News.com reports that Microsoft will be closing its video-sharing site, Soapbox, to new users for up to two months so it can create better safeguards against pirated content. Since the test version of Soapbox was launched last month to distribute movies and TV shows for big media companies, the site has fill up with unauthorized clips. "No new subscribers will be accepted, but anyone who has already signed up for Soapbox can continue to access the site, said Adam Sohn, a director in Microsoft's online-services group." Is anyone really surprised?"
Bug

Journal Journal: OpenBSD's second remote hole in the default installation

The OpenBSD project has just issued an advisory (and updated its website to reflect the change) that it now has its second remote root vulnerability in more than ten years. The exploit itself is performed with a specially crafted IPv6 ICMP packet, and is caused by a bug in the mbuf chains in the operating system kernel. The OpenBSD team have released a patch. The bug affects all versions of OpenBSD. Since

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