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The Courts

Submission + - DMCA subpoenas used to protect Internet security (informationweek.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Many on Slashdot accuse music and movie companies of violating privacy and legal rights when they send DMCA subpoenas, and generally excoriate the DMCA subpoena process. Will they similarly condemn AVG for sending DMCA subpoenas to search engines and domain registrars in order to discover the identity of sellers of counterfeit antivirus software? Is there a difference?
Censorship

Submission + - YouTube censoring atheists. (youtube.com)

Metaleks writes: 'Tis the season to be jolly. But all is not well. It would seem that YouTube is censoring those who lack Christmas spirit. One after another, atheists on YouTube are being removed from Top 100 lists, and having their channels stripped of any honours. To prove this wasn't some sort of YouTube glitch, one atheist went as far as creating another account. As soon as he was "discovered" of being an atheist his videos were stripped of any honours and his name taken off of the Top 100 lists. Why is YouTube censoring atheists?
Censorship

Submission + - Apple Offering 'Fake Steve' Cash to Close Shop (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Daniel Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs, made a post earlier today about how Apple was apparently offering him some money (in the wake of the ThinkSecret shutdown) to end his blog 'The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs', and that he was interested in taking it. A few hours later, Lyons made another post, saying that Apple's lawyers had contacted him angrily, saying the details of the deal were supposed to remain private. Could this be the end of the blog which has entertained us with the egomaniac rantings of "Steve" for the past year?
Security

Submission + - More bad news for MD5 (beskerming.com)

thornmaker writes: "Sûnnet Beskerming has a good writeup on the newly found weaknesses with MD5 hashes.

From the article: "New research has raised some interesting alternatives for people seeking to demonstrate (or exploit) the nature of MD5 hashes more readily. With the techniques discussed in the linked paper, it is possible to create two distinct sets of data and prepend seemingly random data to both sets and create new sets that generate valid MD5 collisions. Though the "prefix attack" is not new and it isn't the first time that it has been considered for application to generating MD5 collisions, it is the first time that a reliable demonstration has been provided that works on arbitrary initial data, rather than specially-seeded proof of concept samples."

At least we still have the family of SHA hashes..."

Mozilla

Submission + - Student given detention for using Firefox 3

An anonymous reader writes: Several sites are reporting that a student has been given detention for using "Firefox.exe" to do his classwork. No, really. The student was in class, working on an assignment that necessitated using a browser. The teacher instructed him to stop using Firefox and to do his classwork, to which the student responded that he was doing his classwork using a "better" browser (it is unclear whether the computer was the student's own computer or not). The clueless teacher (who called the rogue program "Firefox.exe") ordered him to detention.
Christmas Cheer

Submission + - Santa to relocate? (bbc.co.uk)

xarak writes: The kind of brains who are delocalising your IT job have done another study on a rather more fictional activity.
Neither Reindeers' nor Santas Helpers' work conditions have been taken into account...

From the article:

Santa Claus should leave the North Pole and relocate to Kyrgyzstan to optimise the delivery of Christmas presents, a Swedish engineering firm says. The Sweco consulting firm found Kyrgyzstan was the most logical base to avoid time-wasting detours. It took into account main population centres and the Earth's rotation. Santa would have 34 microseconds for each chimney stop, and his reindeer would have to travel at nearly 6,000km (3,700 miles) per second.

Announcements

Submission + - RF Energy Breaks H2O Bonds in Saltwater Solution

Out of Round writes: While researching a means to cure his cancer, inventor John Kanzius serendipitously discovered that radiating saltwater with RF energy at a frequency 14GHz, results in the release of H2 and O at a significant rate. The article doesn't mention the amount of RF power used but there is a You Tube video showing the process in action with the resulting vigorous flame spewing out of the test tube powering a Stirling engine. The mechanism for this phenomenon is not understood but with sufficient conversion efficiencies, it could have wide-ranging implications for the future of this planet. http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/4121ddb25aa36110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html
AMD

Submission + - Why all current AMD Phenom benchmarks are wrong (techreport.com)

J. Dzhugashvili writes: AMD's new quad-core Phenom processors already lag behind Intel's Core 2 Quads overall, but as The Tech Report found, the presence of a hardware bug means their reported performance is off. The bug, or erratum, has to do with translation lookaside buffer in the Phenom's L3 cache, and it causes system hangs when the chip is under heavy utilization. To fix it, AMD will soon roll out a BIOS fix and microcode update, but that update will reduce performance by as much as 20%. The workaround currently being unavailable, all Phenom reviews show higher performance than what users will get out of existing chips if they want a stable PC. A hardware fix without a performance hit isn't expected until February or March next year.
Spam

Submission + - Building a better spam trap (nytimes.com)

SpiritGod21 writes: "Steven T. Kirsch, the developer of the optical mouse, has been thinking about the spam problem for a number of years. After filing several patents covering other approaches, Mr. Kirsch hit on the idea underlying his latest invention, Abaca, quite by accident.

The approach underlying the Abaca technique is the recognition that the ratio of spam to legitimate e-mail is individually unique. It is also a singular identifier that a spammer cannot manipulate easily. By assessing the combined reputations of the recipients of any individual message, the Abaca system determines the "spaminess" of a particular message. Mr. Kirsch asserts this provides a high degree of accuracy in deciding whether the message is spam."

Encryption

Submission + - The Sony PS3 Crackstation (pcworld.com)

ianare writes: Nick Breese, a security consultant at Security-assessment.com, has come up with a way of cracking encryption algorithms 100 times faster, using a Sony PS3. The speed increase relates to the use of the Cell processor's SIMD (or vector) computing, allowing him to run cryptography calculations in parallel. Breese has pushed the current upper limit of 10-15 million cycles per second on Intel-based architecture to 1.4 billion cycles per second for MD5 calculations. This discovery will unfortunately make cracking certain types of passwords much faster, hopefully it will also drive stronger and better implemented cryptography.
Supercomputing

Submission + - Super Fast, Super Green Supercomputers (baselinemag.com)

Absalom621 writes: Supercomputers were once measured solely on the number of computations pers second the could perform. Now, researchers at Virginia Tech are trying to change that with their Green 500, which lists the most energy efficient supercomputers. Rather than looking at raw computational power, the Green 500 looks at the number of calculations a supercomputer can perform per lowest kilowatt hour. Interesting concept. http://www.baselinemag.com/article2/0,1540,2223693,00.asp
Announcements

Submission + - New super efficient LEDs developed (compoundsemi.com)

WileyC writes: A prototype of a new LED from LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. just kicked the butt of current LEDs in energy efficiency (not to mention making fluorescents and incandescents look completely outdated). From the press release:

LLF's latest prototype fixture operates using less than 15 percent of the power of standard 65-watt incandescent bulbs and 50 percent of the power of compact fluorescent bulbs, while delivering equivalent warm white light as measured in lumens. The company's LED fixtures produce virtually no heat and can provide 50,000 hours of light, as compared to the average 2,000 hours provided by conventional 65-watt bulbs.
According to the article this makes them 35% more efficient than current LEDs on the market.

Editorial

Submission + - The Bane of Forced Obsolescence

An anonymous reader writes: Everyone hates being forced to upgrade when they don't want to. Especially when it's the hardware or software company forcing them to upgrade. This article discusses some of the reasons behind this, suggestions for changes, and calls for both hardware and software companies to start changing in ways that the customers want, not just what the investors and managers demand or dictate.

Slashdot Top Deals

This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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