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Security

Hardware Firewall On a USB Key 203

An anonymous reader writes "An Israeli startup has squeezed a complete hardware firewall into a USB key. The 'Yoggie Pico' from Yoggie Systems runs Linux 2.6 along with 13 security applications on a 520MHz PXA270, an Intel processor typically used in high-end smartphones. The Pico works in conjunction with Windows XP or Vista drivers that hijack traffic at network layers 2-3, below the TCP/IP stack, and route it to USB, where the Yoggie analyzes and filters traffic at close-to-100Mbps wireline speeds. The device will hit big-box retailers in the US this month at a price of $180." Linux and Mac drivers are planned, according to the article.
Software

Is Parallel Programming Just Too Hard? 680

pcause writes "There has been a lot of talk recently about the need for programmers to shift paradigms and begin building more parallel applications and systems. The need to do this and the hardware and systems to support it have been around for a while, but we haven't seen a lot of progress. The article says that gaming systems have made progress, but MMOGs are typically years late and I'll bet part of the problem is trying to be more parallel/distributed. Since this discussion has been going on for over three decades with little progress in terms of widespread change, one has to ask: is parallel programming just too difficult for most programmers? Are the tools inadequate or perhaps is it that it is very difficult to think about parallel systems? Maybe it is a fundamental human limit. Will we really see progress in the next 10 years that matches the progress of the silicon?"
GNU is Not Unix

MS-Funded Study Attacks GPL3 Draft Process 206

QCMBR writes "A new Microsoft-funded study by a Harvard Business School professor concludes that developers don't want extensive patent licensing requirements in the GPL3. There are significant problems with the study, however, especially given the very small sample size. 'Although 332 emails were sent to various developers, only 34 agreed to participate in the survey — an 11 percent response rate. Of the 34 developers who responded, many of them are associated with projects like Apache and PostgreSQL that don't even use the GPL.' Ars points out that the GPL3 draft editing and review process is highly transparent and inclusive 'to an extent that makes MacCormack's claims of under-representation seem difficult to accept given the small sample size of the study and the number of respondents who contribute to non-GPL projects.'"
Wireless Networking

How Bad Can Wi-fi Be? 434

An anonymous reader writes "Sunday night in the UK, the BBC broadcast an alarmist Panorama news programme that suggested wireless networking might be damaging our health. Their evidence? Well, they admitted there wasn't any, but they made liberal use of the word 'radiation', along with scary graphics of pulsating wifi base stations. They rounded-up a handful of worried scientists, but ignored the majority of those who believe wifi is perfectly harmless. Some quotes from the BBC News website companion piece: 'The radiation Wi-Fi emits is similar to that from mobile phone masts ... children's skulls are thinner and still forming and tests have shown they absorb more radiation than adults'. What's the science here? Can skulls really 'absorb' EM radiation? The wifi signal is in the same part of the EM spectrum as cellphones but it's not 'similar' to mobile phone masts, is it? Isn't a phone mast several hundred/thousand times stronger? Wasn't safety considered when they drew up the 802.11 specs?"
Microsoft

Microsoft's SUSE Coupons Have No Expiry Date 298

mw13068 writes "In a recent article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer FSF General Council Eben Moglen points out that the Microsoft SUSE coupons have no expiration date. The result? 'Microsoft can be sure that some coupons will be turned into Novell in return for software after the effective date of GPL 3. Once that has happened, patent defenses will, under the license, have moved out into the broad community and be available to anybody who Microsoft should ever sue for infringement.' Groklaw is also covering the story in it's inimitable way."
Space

Extrasolar Planet Could Harbor Life 308

BlueMorpho writes with a link to a Space.com article about a recently discovered extrasolar planet that may be able to harbor 'life as we know it.' Orbiting around the star Gliese 581 is a small rocky ball that might have the same liquid ocean and drifting continent configuration we're familiar with. The find may be unique in all of space exploration as this planet appears to be within a habitable band of temperatures for life, and is categorically not a gas giant. "The bottom line is exciting ...The conditions for life could be there, but is life itself? As yet, there's no way to know unless the planet has spawned beings that are at least as clever as we are. As part of the SETI Institute's Project Phoenix, we twice aimed large antennas in the direction of Gliese 581, hoping to pick up a signal that would bespeak technology ... Neither search turned up a signal."
Biotech

Modeling the Building Blocks of Life 59

eldavojohn writes "A new research paper is creating some buzz about the roles of computer engineering in biology. Historically, computational techniques in genome sequencing have proved useful in predicting which DNA sequence produces which amino acid and which amino acid sequence produces which protein. Now, this new research is leading towards a robust model of proteins and their messaging systems. This is one step further in understanding the basics of life and, consequently, pushes us closer to being able to emulate organisms entirely from the bottom up instead of our failed prior approaches of from the top down. A long way from perfect, but an opening into a wide field of study and maybe even a new division of biology."
Media

Polish Fans Held By Police For Movie Translations 204

michuk writes "Nine people involved in a community portal Napisy.org were held for questioning by the Polish police forces this Wednesday. They will be probably be accused of publishing illegal translations of foreign movies (which is forbidden by Polish copyright law). Napisy.org website was shut down immediately afterwards by the German forces (since the servers were located in Germany). The service was the most popular Polish on-line portal where users were free to submit translated subtitles for popular movies. 'According to Polish copyright law any "processing" of others' content including translating is prohibited without permission. The people held (aged 20 - 30) were questioned on Wednesday and Thursday and then allowed to leave. In case of being accused of illegal publishing of copyrighted material, they can spend in jail up to 2 years (in the worst case).'"
United States

Experts Now Say JFK Bullet Analysis Was Wrong 550

Spy Handler writes "Researchers analyzing bullet fragments from the 1963 Kennedy assassination using new techniques say that the government's 1976 conclusion that the bullets came from only one gun (Oswald's) is wrong. 'Using new guidelines set forth by the National Academy of Sciences for proper bullet analysis, Tobin and his colleagues at Texas A&M re-analyzed the bullet evidence used by the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations, which concluded that only one shooter, Oswald, fired the shots that killed Kennedy in Dallas. The committee's finding was based in part on the research of now-deceased University of California at Irvine chemist Vincent P. Guinn. He used bullet lead analysis to conclude that the five bullet fragments recovered from the Kennedy assassination scene came from just two bullets, which were traced to the same batch of bullets Oswald owned.'"
Privacy

How Far Should a Job Screening Go? 675

SlashSquatch asks: "My sister is getting screened for a programming position with a financial firm. I was alarmed to hear she'll be getting fingerprinted at the Sheriff's Office as part of the screening process. Instantly I conjure up scenes of frame-ups and corporate scandals. I want to know, should this raise a flag? Would you submit to fingerprinting, blood tests and who knows what else (financial, genetic code, and so forth) for a programming position?"
Security

Even My Mom Could Hack These Sites 233

Frequent Slashdot Contributor Bennett Haselton's latest story is ready for your consumption. He starts "Recently, as an experiment, I wrote from my Hotmail account to ten different hosting companies that were each hosting some of my Web sites, asking for logins to change the domain settings. Even though I never provided any proof that the messages from the Hotmail account were really coming from me (the address they all had on file for me was a different one), half of them replied back and gave me the logins that I needed."

Hilf Claims Free Software Movement Dead 395

moe1975 writes to mention that Bill Hilf has taken a rather aggressive stance with regard to the status of the Free Software movement. With claims like; "The Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn't exist in 2007. Even Linus has got a job today" it would certainly seem that the next offensive is going to be sponsored by denial. "For the desktop, Hilf sees a new frontier in terms of rich client programming. With more and more services by Amazon, Google, Yahoo and, of course, Microsoft being run as services rather than as software installed locally, it will be up to the desktop to provide richer functionality."
Space

Hubble Space Telescope Detects Ring of Dark Matter 176

mknewman wrote with a link to a story on the NASA site indicating that they may have finally found dark matter using the Hubble telescope. We've discussed the stuff a few times in the last year, with the Hubble actually mapping out the dark matter in the universe in January. This, though, may be our first 'sighting' of the elusive substance. "NASA will hold a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on May 15 to discuss the strongest evidence to date that dark matter exists. This evidence was found in a ghostly ring of dark matter in the cluster CL0024+17, discovered using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The ring is the first detection of dark matter with a unique structure different from the distribution of both the galaxies and the hot gas in the cluster. The discovery will be featured in the June 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal."
Security

Is Paying Hackers Good for Business? 94

Jenny writes "In the light of the recent QuickTime vulnerability, revealed for $10,000 spot cash, the UK IT Security Journalist of the Year asks why business treats security research like a big money TV game show. 'There can be no doubt that any kind of public vulnerability research effort will have the opportunity to turn sour, both for the company promoting it and the users of whatever software or service finds itself exposed to attack without any chance to defend itself. Throw a financial reward into the mix and the lure of the hunt, the scent of blood, is going to be too much for all but the most responsible of hackers. There really is no incentive to report their findings to the vulnerable company, and plenty not to. Which is why, especially in the IT security business, there needs to be a code of conduct with regard to responsible disclosure.' Do you think there's any truth to this? Or is it a better idea to find the vulnerabilities as fast as possible, damn the consequences?"

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