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Utilities (Apple)

Submission + - Adium code forked over Leopard Dispute (livejournal.com)

admiralfrijole writes: Earlier this week, several people opened tickets against Adium crashes occurring in the latest Leopard Beta, which started a veritable firestorm of controversy that included discussions of GPL violations, disabling features, and quite a spat across no less than 3 different IRC channels.

Today, one of the people who filed a ticket and was told that it would not be fixed until Leopard ships announced on his blog that he, and several other unnamed individuals, have forked Adium to create A.org.

Security

Wordpress 2.1.1 Release Compromised by Cracker 48

GrumpySimon writes "The recent 2.1.1 release of the popular blog software Wordpress was compromised by a cracker who made it easier for to execute code remotely. This is interesting because the official release was quietly and subtly compromised, and has been in the wild for a few days now. There's no word on if any affected sites have been compromised, but anyone running Wordpress is urged to upgrade to 2.1.2 immediately, and admins can check their logs for access to 'theme.php' or 'feed.php', and query strings with 'ix=' or 'iz=' in them."
Windows

Submission + - Windows Vista keygen is a hoax

An anonymous reader writes: The author of the Windows Vista keygen that was reported yesterday on Slashdot has admitted that the program does not actually work. Here is the initial announcement of the original release of the keygen, and here is the followup post in which the same author acknowledges that the program is fake. Apparently, the keygen program does legitimately attack Windows Vista keys via brute force, but the chances of success are too low for this to be a practical method. Quote from the author: "everyone who said they got a key a probably lying or mistaken!"
Science

Reflectivity Reaches a New Low 166

sporkme writes "A new nanocoating material developed by a team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has the lowest level of reflectivity ever seen ... or not seen in this case. The amount of light reflected by the composite of silica nanorods and aluminum nitride is almost the same amount reflected by air. From the article: 'Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45. Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.' Suggested applications include increased efficiency in solar cells, more energy-efficient lighting and advances in quantum mechanics."
Data Storage

Disk Drive Failures 15 Times What Vendors Say 284

jcatcw writes "A Carnegie Mellon University study indicates that customers are replacing disk drives more frequently than vendor estimates of mean time to failure (MTTF) would require.. The study examined large production systems, including high-performance computing sites and Internet services sites running SCSI, FC and SATA drives. The data sheets for the drives indicated MTTF between 1 and 1.5 million hours. That should mean annual failure rates of 0.88%, annual replacement rates were between 2% and 4%. The study also shows no evidence that Fibre Channel drives are any more reliable than SATA drives."
Education

Princeton ESP Lab to Close 363

Nico M writes " The New York Times reports on the imminent closure of one of the most controversial research units at an ivy league School. The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory is due to close, but not because of pressure from the outside. Lab founder Robert G. Jahn has declared, in the article, that they've essentially collected all the data they're going to. The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university's engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. Jahn points the finger at detractors as well: 'If people don't believe us after all the results we've produced, then they never will.'"
Education

Submission + - One Desktop per Child - miniPCs for schools?

gwjenkins writes: I'm a teacher in charge of IT in a small school. We would like to bust out of the computer lab model but don't want a trolley of laptops wheeled from class to class. I've drooled over wifi pdas but just can't afford a class set (and the batteries drain too fast). In a classroom, space is at a premium and teachers won't use a technology that takes too long to set up. 90% of the time the kids are just researching (google), or typing (google docs), the rest of the time they can go to a lab. I would love to have a desk-based solution. My question is, can you run a wifi minipc (sitting under the desk) from a 12volt rechargable battery (sitting under the desk) with a 7" LCD (sitting on the desk), that boots from flashcard into firefox (Damn Small Linux?). No wires! No setup time! Has anyone done this? How? Alternatively can anyone say why this is silly."
Censorship

Submission + - YouTube bans video containing Qur'an quotes

skraps writes: "YouTube, in a move that has caused quite a reaction in the community, has censored popular atheist commentator NickGisburne. Mr. Gisburne has built a large following on YouTube by making simple and accessible logical arguments against Christian beliefs, and had recently decided to change the focus of his videos to the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. YouTube reacted by deleting his account, along with 60+ videos, after he posted a simple slide-show video with direct quotes from the English translation of the Qur'an, containing no commentary aside from the video's title "Islamic Teachings — Cruelty from the Qur'an". YouTube's explanation was "After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down."

Do "Web 2.0" sites like YouTube fit the legal definition of a "public commons", and if so, what will it take for corporations like YouTube to start honoring constitutionally protected speech?"
AMD

AMD's Showcases Quad-Core Barcelona CPU 190

Gr8Apes writes "AMD has showcased their new 65nm Barcelona quad-core CPU. It is labeled a quad-core Opteron, but according to Infoworld's Tom Yeager, is really a redefinition of x86. Each core has a new vector math processing unit (SSE128), separate integer and floating point schedulers, and new nested paging tables (to vastly improve hardware virtualization). According to AMD, the new vector math units alone should improve floating point operation by 80%. Some analysts are skeptical, waiting for benchmarks. Will AMD dethrone Intel again? Only time will tell."

Feed Feds Want Telco Spy Suits Halted (wired.com)

Pressing a judge to stop suits against top telecoms, the government cites national security interests. Plaintiffs argue everybody knows the government spies on Americans and the suits should continue. In 27B Stroke 6.


Networking

Submission + - MIT scientists reach fiber-optic breakthrough

kcurtis writes: The AP (via boston.com) has a story about how MIT scientists have detailed a breakthrough in optics that could lead to cheaper, more efficient optic communications. From the story: "Like polarizing sunglasses that block light waves oriented in different directions, the MIT researchers created a clever device that splits the light beams as they pass through a circuit. The device then rotates one of the polarized beams, before both beams are rejoined on their way out of the circuit, retaining the signals' strength. But it's not just that device that the researchers are touting. They're also trumpeting the innovative method they devised to integrate the optical circuitry with electronic circuitry on the same silicon chip."
Privacy

Submission + - China Creates Massive Online ID Database

schwaang writes: While the US continues to hash out concerns over the Real ID Act, which aims to create a national ID by standardizing state driver's licenses, China Digital Times points out a story from Xinhua Daily News describing China's massive online ID database, which they sell will help prevent fraud. From the article:

Anyone can now send a text message or visit the country's population information center's website, to check if the name and the ID number of a person's identity card match. If they do match the ID cardholder's picture also appears, said the Ministry, adding that no other information is available to ensure a citizen's privacy is protected.

Completed at the end of 2006, China's population information database, the world's largest, contains personal information on 1.3 billion citizens.

Giving public accessing to the database is also designed to correct mistakes if an individual discovers that their name, number and picture don't match.
Communications

Open Source Phone on the Way 66

prostoalex writes "Dr. Dobb's Journal reports on GPE Palmtop Environment's aim to create a full stack of open source software for mobile phones. Mobile operator Orange and France Telecom are contributing to the project. The goal is to have a fully featured mobile handset with applications like instant messaging and email, with only a portion of the price."

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