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Hardware Hacking

Submission + - What is Tiny, Green, and Penguin-Friendly? (xyzcomputing.com)

Kerk writes: Now that so many of us have more than one computer, it makes sense for a secondary system to be as small and efficient as possible. This article outlines six small form factor systems that you don't have to build yourself. Most are under $300 making them the ideal platform for a project or for a silent system for simple tasks like checking your email. Each system covered, including the Zonbu that we have been hearing about lately, runs a low-power processor, is relatively inexpensive, and is a great platform for a lightweight Linux distribution (if it doesn't already include one).
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Relying on Linux?

josmar52789 writes: As it turns out, a quick search on Netcraft.com reveals that a number of sites owned by Microsoft are apparently relying on Linux. FolderShare.com, which is a Windows Live service is running on Linux with PHP for Apache. The filesharing/backup site was acquired by Microsoft a few years ago and on up until now, Microsoft has seen fit to leave it running on Linux. It's also interesting to see that quite a few of Microsoft's most popular sites are still running Windows 2000 on IIS 5.0 (who wanted businesses to upgrade?) and most of Microsoft's sites are using the F5 Big IP load balancer which recently switched over to Linux from BSD. You gotta love Microsoft for their patriotism to Windows :)
United States

Submission + - Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to add Al Gore Balloon

wattsup writes: "Officials for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade announced today that they would be adding a new balloon to the roster of helium balloons used in the annual holiday extravaganza. Now that he's a cult icon right up there with Snoopy, Spider Man, Big Bird and Barney, Al Gore, former Vice President and carbon crusader will get his own balloon at the 2007 Thanksgiving Day Parade. Note the date."
The Internet

Submission + - UK ISP devotes profits to foster OSS development

Dolores Parker writes: "In 2003, Jason Clifford started an Internet service provider (ISP) in Hertfordshire, England, called UK Free Software Network. What sets UKFSN apart from other ISPs is the fact that it gives away its profits to fund students working on free and open source software (FOSS) projects. Read more at Linux.com"
Media

Submission + - Introduction to the MythTV Distributions

peterdaly writes: "MythTV is open source media center software that runs on Linux. Although it's powerful, it can be very difficult to install yourself. KnoppMyth and MythDora are Linux distributions that aim to automate the installation of linux and MythTV. Here are screencasts of the KnoppMyth and MythDora install process. There have been claims that the current version of KnoppMyth can be installed on fast hardware in as little as 10 minutes. MythTV is an excellent open source alternative to the DVRs offered by cable companies, Windows Media Center, or Tivo."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft sells Linux to Wal-Mart

Rob writes: Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has become the latest big name to buy SUSE Linux vouchers from Microsoft Corp, following the software firm's landmark deal with Novell Inc last November. The retailer will take an undisclosed number of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates — the support vouchers that Microsoft has to distribute to hold its end of its bargain with Novell.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Daily Telegraph: CIA gets the go-ahead to take on Hizbollah

By Toby Harnden, US Editor
Last Updated: 1:47am GMT 10/01/2007

The Central Intelligence Agency has been authorised to take covert action against Hizbollah as part of a secret plan by President George W. Bush to help the Lebanese government prevent the spread of Iranian influence. Senators and congressmen have been briefed on the classified "non-lethal presidential finding" that allows the CIA to provide financial and logistical support to the prime minister, Fouad Siniora.

Software

Submission + - Fluendo releases WM, MPEG GStreamer codecs

joeljkp writes: "Fluendo today released the first set of general-use GStreamer plugins for patented codecs such as Windows Media, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4. Previously available only in legally-questionable form from the FFMpeg or MPlayer projects, or bundled with the TurboLinux or Linspire products, these codecs now allow anyone using a GStreamer-based media player to view media produced with such codecs. The plugins are compatible with GStreamer 0.10.x, and are available from Fluendo's webshop."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - FBI Can Legally Check your Credit Report

Anonymous Coward writes: "Looks like the FBI can now legally pull your credit report to keep tabs on you, from the article: "The Defense Department of the United States has been checking the credit of Americans and foreigners alike due to suspected terrorism and espionage. However, when bank records and credit activity is checked, judge's approvals are bypassed, and subpoenas are not presented. Three or four decades ago (1960's to 1970's) this authority was brought to surface and the Pentagon, CIA and FBI had full use of this procedure. Since then, it has not been used. The Patriot Act re-affirmed that this measure could once again be taken up and used at will. Dick Cheney says, "It's perfectly legitimate activity. There's nothing wrong or illegal with it. It doesn't violate people's civil rights." Cheney also states, "The Defense Department gets involved because we've got hundreds of bases inside the United States that are potential terrorist targets."

Yikes! Thanks alot Patriot Act."
Security

Submission + - Anti-virus software as malware?

Dr Dave writes: "After a recent, Fortune 100 client of mine was experiencing 50%-90% of developer CPU cycles during builds spent on virus checking, I've become sensitive to how these checkers operate and consume resources. In the past few months I've asked for refunds on a few of these products — the most recent one that cannot execute out-of-the-box without an "update" before even doing an initial scan. Asking for support requires downloading an .exe "chat program" and, of course, the product wants to install lots of components to "monitor" your system health.

My question is "at what point does security 'solution' software become malware?" I've felt we passed this point long ago, so only even consider scanning my system when I've had to download some software. I realize the risks of an unprotected system — I've done and published security research for much of the federal government — but I'm planning to not upgrade to Vista unless the security services can be turned off.

I'd rather keep my CPU cycles and my piece of mind at the expense of allowing scripts, exe's and Active X controls to run on my PC."
Patents

Submission + - Cisco & Apple don't own iPhone mark in Canada

TomTraynor writes: There could be a real problem if Apple wants to launch their iPhone in Canada using that name. Cisco does not own the trademark, neither does Apple. There is a company called Comwave that owns the trademark and they do have a real VOIP product (since 2004). I wonder how much Apple paid its legal staff to research the name in the various countries to see if there was a valid trademark or if it was available for Apple to use?

Comwave -> http://www.comwave.net/CDN/

News article -> http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/01/15/comw ave-iphone.html
Privacy

Submission + - Deleting personal data from private institutions

An anonymous reader writes: Slashdotters are familiar with the liabilities of personal data being stored on servers owned by private institutions. Bank records, phone records, credit records, flight records, basically any type of digital transaction can be (is) stored indefinitely for whatever reason. Are there processes by which one can request a removal of personal data, or by signing contracts with these companies, do they own the rights to the information? If you have attempted such an erasure, have you encountered resistance?

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