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Censorship

Teen Hacks $84 Million Porn Filter in 30 Minutes 479

An anonymous reader writes "Tom Wood, a Year 10 Australian student has cracked the federal government's $84-million Internet porn filter in just 30 minutes. He can deactivate the filter in several clicks in such a way that the software's icon is not deleted which will make his parents believe the filter is still working. Tom says it is a matter of time before some computer-savvy kid puts the bypass on the Internet for others to use."
Space

Lunar Eclipse Next Tuesday Morning 50

Raver32 writes "Tuesday morning, Aug. 28 brings us the second total lunar eclipse of 2007. Those living in the Western Hemisphere and eastern Asia will be able to partake in at least some of this sky show. The very best viewing region for viewing this eclipse will fall across the Pacific Rim, including the West Coast of the United States and Canada, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand and eastern Australia. All these places will be able to see the complete eclipse from start to finish. Europeans will miss out on the entire show, as the Moon will be below the horizon during their mid and late morning hours."
Programming

Building a Fast Wikipedia Offline Reader 208

ttsiod writes "An internet connection is not always at hand. I wanted to install Wikipedia on my laptop to be able to carry it along with me on business trips. After trying and rejecting the normal (MySQL-based) procedure, I quickly hacked a much better one over the weekend, using open source tools. Highlights: (1) Very fast searching. (2) Keyword (actually, title words) based searching. (3) Search produces multiple possible articles, sorted by probability (you choose amongst them). (4) LaTeX based rendering for mathematical equations. (5) Hard disk usage is minimal: space for the original .bz2 file plus the index built through Xapian. (6) Orders of magnitude faster to install (a matter of hours) compared to loading the 'dump' into MySQL — which, if you want to enable keyword searching, takes days."
The Internet

FCC Rejects Cheap/Fast Internet Device 194

Tech.Luver writes "ABC News reports that a group of technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and Dell, have failed to convince the Federal Communications Commission of the utility of high-speed internet access via television airwaves. The FCC concluded the potential to disrupt consumer image quality was too high, in a statement released Wednesday. 'The technology companies say the unlicensed and unused TV airwaves, also known as "white spaces," would make Internet service accessible and affordable, especially in rural areas and also spur innovation. However, TV broadcasters oppose usage of white spaces because they fear the device will cause interference with television programming and could cause problems with a federally mandated transition from analog to digital signals in February 2009.'"
Windows

ATI Driver Flaw Exposes Vista Kernel to Attackers 248

Shack0ption writes "An unpatched flaw in an ATI driver was at the center of the mysterious Purple Pill proof-of-concept tool that exposed a way to maliciously tamper with the Windows Vista kernel. The utility, released by Alex Ionescu and yanked an hour later after the kernel developer realized that the ATI driver flaw was not yet patched, provided an easy way to load unsigned drivers onto Vista — effectively defeating the new anti-rootkit/anti-DRM mechanism built into Microsoft's newest operating system. Ionescu confirmed his tool was exploiting a vulnerability in an ATI driver — atidsmxx.sys, version 3.0.502.0 — to patch the kernel to turn off certain checks for signed drivers. This meant that a malicious rootkit author could essentially piggyback on ATI's legitimately signed driver to tamper with the Vista kernel."
Security

Cambridge Researcher Breaks OpenBSD Systrace 194

An anonymous reader writes "University of Cambridge researcher Robert Watson has published a paper at the First USENIX Workshop On Offensive Technology in which he describes serious vulnerabilities in OpenBSD's Systrace, Sudo, Sysjail, the TIS GSWTK framework, and CerbNG. The technique is also effective against many commercially available anti-virus systems. His slides include sample exploit code that bypasses access control, virtualization, and intrusion detection in under 20 lines of C code consisting solely of memcpy() and fork(). Sysjail has now withdrawn their software, recommending against any use, and NetBSD has disabled Systrace by default in their upcoming release."

Microsoft Says "War on Terror" is Overblown 666

SlinkySausage writes "The endless security measures imposed on society as a result of the "war on terror" have become overblown and intrusive, according to Microsoft Redmond senior security analyst Steve Riley. He made the comments in a talk at day one of Tech.Ed Australia about software security. Riley also fessed up that Microsoft cocked up XP from a security perspective. "We let you down with XP," he said. Microsoft also showed a very interesting new desktop virtualisation technology called SoftGrid, which allows applications to be virtualised individually, rather than a whole OS. Think Virtual PC or VMware, but instead of virtualising an OS, just a single application is virtualised."
Businesses

What is Apple Without Steve Jobs? 281

necro81 writes "David Pauly at Bloomberg has written a piece that asks 'Does Apple Inc. Have a Future Without Steve Jobs?' He writes in the context of Jobs' latest success in launching the iPhone, set against the backdrop of stock backdating troubles. In Pauly's worst-case-scenario, the SEC prosecutes Apple, and the board is forced to oust Jobs.Even without resorting to such scenarios, it's an interesting question to ask the fanboys and detractors out there: could Apple succeed and continue to innovative without Jobs at the helm?"
Media

Is DRM Intrinsically Distasteful? 631

jelton writes "If digital media was available for sale at a reasonable price, but subject to a DRM scheme that allowed full legitimate usage (format shifting, time shifting, playback on different devices, etc.) and only blocked illicit usage (illegal copying), would you support the usage of such a DRM scheme? Especially if it meant a wealth of readily available compatible devices? In other words, if you object to DRM schemes, is your objection based on principled or practical concerns?"
United States

Does Income Inequality Matter? 1186

theodp is concerned about the following: "Alarmed by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein's record-setting $53M bonus, Charles Wheelan (aka The Naked Economist) argues that income inequality matters. Wheelan notes that the Gini Coefficient (a measure of income inequality) for the U.S. has been moving away from countries like Japan and Sweden and closer to that of Brazil, where the murder rate is 5X that of NYC and crime is materially impacting GDP."

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