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Privacy

Submission + - Federal Judge: N.S.A.'s Wiretapping is illegal (nytimes.com)

mdl4 writes: WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush.
In a 45-page opinion, Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.

Government

Submission + - Senate Votes to Replace Aviation Radar With GPS (reuters.com) 1

plover writes: The U.S. Senate today passed by a 93-0 margin a bill that would implement the FAA's NextGen plan to replace aviation radar with GPS units. It will help pay for the upgrade by increasing aviation fuel taxes on private aircraft. It will require two inspections per year on foreign repair stations that work on U.S. planes. And it will ban pilots from using personal electronics in the cockpit. This just needs to be reconciled with the House version and is expected to soon become law. This was discussed on Slashdot a few years ago.
Hardware

Submission + - Hidden RFID Tags Could Mean End Of Bar-Codes (gizmag.com)

ElectricSteve writes: Researchers from Rice University working in collaboration with a team led by Gyou-jin Cho at Sunchon National University in Korea, developed the new technology which is based on a carbon-nanotube-infused ink for ink-jet printers first developed in the Rice lab of James Tour. The ink is used to make thin-film transistors, a key element in radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed on paper or plastic.

Submission + - $99 Moby Tablet as textbook alternative (engadget.com) 1

Taco Cowboy writes: Marvell's Moby tablet will be an "always-on, high performance multimedia tablet" capable of full Flash support and 1080p HD playback and supporting WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS and both Android and Windows Mobile platforms for maximum flexibility.

Marvell's Moby tablet could eliminate the need for students to buy and carry bound textbooks and an array of other tools.

Actual size and weight vary by configuration, but Marvell's ultra thin and light Moby tablet is expected to hold a full year's worth of books but weigh less than half of one typical textbook.

Read it all at :

http://armdevices.net/2010/03/18/marvell-announces-99-moby-tablet-to-revolutionize-education/

and

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/marvell-drives-education-revolution-with-99-all-in-one-moby-tablet-designed-for-the-worlds-students-88376967.html

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Cries Uncle, Lifts XP Mode Hardware Reqs (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This week, Microsoft published a patch that allows Windows XP Mode to run on PCs without hardware assisted virtualization. Which begs the question: Why the bizarro requirement in the first place? Was it an honest attempt to deliver an "optimal" user experience? Or simply a concession to the company's jilted lover, Intel Corporation?
Microsoft

Submission + - VirnetX wins $105.6M in patesuit against Microsoft (santacruzsentinel.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A federal jury in Texas awarded VirnetX, a small, publicly held company in Scotts Valley, $105.75 million Tuesday in a patent infringement case against Microsoft Corp.
The 12-person company was founded in 2005 to commercialize a patent portfolio derived from a Central Intelligence Agency security project. The company's patents relate to virtual private networking, technology that allows Internet users to securely communicate and collaborate over the Internet. The company holds over 48 U.S. and international patents and pending applications which it intends to use in the development of a licensing program and new software products.

Google

Submission + - Google loses Nexus One trademark to Integra Teleco (oregonlive.com)

suraj.sun writes: Google's bid for a trademark on its Nexus One smartphone has been denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which concluded last week that the name is too similar to a trademark held by Portland-based Integra Telecom.

"Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3554195," the trademark office wrote in its March 9 ruling.

That trademark has been held since 2008 by Integra, which provides phone, Internet and other telecom services to small and midsized businesses. According to Integra's filing, it registered the term "NEXUS" to describe a series of calling services, excluding those offered to "participants in the physical oil industry."

OregonLive.com : http://blog.oregonlive.com/siliconforest/2010/03/google_loses_nexus_one_tradema.html

Submission + - Windows or Linux Dual Monitors

An anonymous reader writes: I am currently running a dual monitor setup dual booted with Windows 7 and Ubuntu Linux. Try as I might, I cannot find a good program of any sort to control the dual monitors, i.e. put a full taskbar on both, etc. I have my larger monitor as my main for gaming and movies, but this creates a problem when switching between them as everything wants to open on the main monitor. I was wondering about potential solutions or helpful program suggestions from other Slashdotters. I know I can't be the only one with this problem!
Security

Submission + - US Military Shuts Down CIA's Terrorist Honey Pot

Hugh Pickens writes: "Ellen Nakashima has an interesting story in the Washington Post about US military computer specialists, who over the objections of the CIA, mounted a cyberattack that dismantled an online "honey pot" monitored by US and Saudi intelligence agencies to identify extremists before they could strike after military commanders said that the site was putting Americans at risk. The CIA argued that dismantling the site would lead to a significant loss of intelligence while the NSA countered that taking it down was a legitimate operation in defense of US troops. "The CIA didn't endorse the idea of crippling Web sites," says one US counterterrorism official. The agency "understood that intelligence would be lost, and it was; that relationships with cooperating intelligence services would be damaged, and they were; and that the terrorists would migrate to other sites, and they did." Four former senior US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified operations, said the creation and shutting down of the site illustrates the need for clearer policies governing cyberwar. When is a cyberattack outside the theater of war allowed? Is taking out an extremist Web site a covert operation or a traditional military activity? Some experts say that dismantling Web sites is ineffective — no sooner does a site come down than a mirror site pops up somewhere else. "You can't really shut down this process for more than 24 or 48 hours," said Evan F. Kohlmann, a terrorism researcher. "It seems difficult to understand why governments would interrupt what everyone acknowledges now to be a lucrative intelligence-gathering tool.""
Space

Submission + - Secret Space Shuttle ready to launch (wesh.com) 1

shanmoon writes: It looks like someone at Astrotech leaked out the news of a new secret Space Shuttle, the X-37, which will be launching next month.

Hmmm...this reminds me of when the US Air Force "just happened" to have a spare habitat module when the International Space Station needed one. Secret US Space Program, anyone? Why do I think military astronauts have places explosives on communication satellites of enemy nations just in case of armed conflict....

Math

Submission + - Millenium Prize awarded - Poincaré conjecture (claymath.org)

epee1221 writes: The Clay Mathematics institute has announced its acceptance of Dr. Grigoriy Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture and awarded the first Millenium Prize. Poincaré questioned whether there exists a method for determining whether a three-dimensional manifold is a spherical: is there a 3-manifold not homologous to the 3-sphere in which any loop can be grdually shrunk to a single point? The Poincaré conjecture is that there is no such 3-manifold, i.e. any boundless 3-manifold in which the condition holds is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere. A sketch of the proof using language intended for the lay reader is available at Wikipedia.

Submission + - Madoff's programmers indicted (gothamist.com)

jason8 writes: Two programmers who helped Ponzi-schemer (and now prison punching bag) Bernard Madoff program an old computer to produce false records have been indicted, according to the Post. Jerome O'Hara and George Perez were accused of conspiracy, falsifying records of a broker dealer and falsifying records of an investment adviser. They are each free on $1 million bail, and their lawyers say they will both plead not guilty.

Submission + - School spying on student webcams

jargon82 writes: A Pennsylvania high school is using laptops they issued to students to spy on them in homes and outside of school. According to a class action filling the webcams and microphones in these laptops could be remotely activated by school officials, and have been used in this role. One student was accused of "improper behavior in his home" and the school provided a photo taken via his laptop as proof.

Submission + - EMC's Atmos Cloud Goes Down, No One Notices (crn.com)

FrankPoole writes: In another black eye for the cloud computing movement, CRN is reporting EMC's Atmos Online platform went down Wednesday, just one day after the storage technology company announced a host of updates for the storage-focused cloud platform. EMC told CRN Atmos went offline for maintenance issues, but the company didn't specify what kind of maintenance issues were involved or if the outage was planned. But since the Atmos Web site is still offline today and giving visitors the same "routine maintenance" line, it brings up two questions: if routine maintenance causes your cloud infrastructure being inaccessible for more than a day, then why would users go with cloud computing? And if the problem isn't in fact "routine maintenance" and something more serious, then how safe is your data in the cloud?

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