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Security

MS To Share Vulnerability Details Ahead of Patches 27

Bridge to Nowhere writes "ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft will start sharing details on software vulnerabilities with security vendors ahead of Patch Tuesday under a daring new program aimed at reducing the window of exposure to hacker attacks. The new Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) will give anti-virus, intrusion prevention/detection and corporate network security vendors a head-start to add signatures and filters to protect against Microsoft software vulnerabilities."
Google

Submission + - Google search by employer not illegal, say judges

An anonymous reader writes: A court of appeals for the federal circuit has upheld a ruling (PDF) against a man who sued his former employer for Googling his name before firing him. He had accused his former employer of participating in "ex parte" communications — off-the-record communications that are used to play a part in the final outcome of a decision — that ultimately affected the decision to fire him from his job. However, the three-judge panel ruled that an ex parte communication did not occur in the case when the employer used Google.

The man in question, David Mullins, was a government employee at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Weather Forecast Office in Indianapolis, IN. Through a series of events, Mullins' employer found that he had misused his government vehicle and government funds for his own purposes — such as sleeping in his car and falsifying hotel documents to receive reimbursements, withdrawing unauthorized amounts of cash from the company card, traveling to destinations sometimes hundreds of miles away from where he was supposed to be (and using his company card to fill up on gas there), and spending company time to visit friends and/or his children. Mullins' supervisor provided a 23-page document listing 102 separate instances of misconduct.

Mullins took issue with a Google search that Capell performed just before authorizing his firing. During this Google search, Capell found that Mullins had been fired from his previous job at the Smithsonian Institution and had been removed from Federal Service by the Air Force. Mullins argued that his right to fundamental fairness was violated when Capell performed the search and that she committed perjury when she stated that the search did not influence her decision to fire him.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070510-goog le-search-by-employer-not-illegal-say-judges.html
Microsoft

Submission + - Latest MS updates reset default browser

An anonymous reader writes: I have installed the latest round of Microsoft critical updates (http://update.microsoft.com) to a couple of computers, and in both case the default browser was changed from Firefox to IE. That doesn't seem like a critical update...
Security

Submission + - Fully updated OSX Box Hacked

Guanine writes: "The security blog Matasano Chargen recently reported that at the CanSecWest Applied Security Conference, a MacBook Pro with all the latest patches was successfully hacked. A vulnerability and exploit in Safari were developed by Dino Dai Zovi, then leveraged by Shane MacCauley to "get a shell with user level privilages." The reward is $10,000 and the hacked MacBook Pro."
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - LoTRO European Collector's Edition Problems

sad little hobbit writes: Players who pre-ordered the European Collector's Edition of Lord of The Rings Online have found that a substantial proportion of the contents have been changed, are missing, or will be potentially made available in the future. An explanation of the changes has been provided by a member of the marketing team, but has received a markedly mixed response.

A decent summary of the issues involved may be found here, which boil down to Codemasters knowing at least by the beginning of April that the contents supplied would not be as advertised, that they withheld this information from customers, and that sites (including their own online store) selling the SE and CE versions were not updated with the correct content listings until after the issue had been publicly raised by dozens of purchasers.

I'm going to start using 'hot wax' as a general excuse for everything.
Businesses

Submission + - Entire Tower in Dubai will rotate

An anonymous reader writes: Don't like the view? A 68-story building planned for Dubai could let you move your floor to catch both sunrise and sunset.

When completed, Dynamic Architecture's flagship tower will stand 68 stories (1,027 feet) tall, and contain offices, apartments, a "6-star" hotel, a 64th-floor heliport, and five premium "villas" on the top floor (the priciest of which will contain a swimming pool and garden).

http://news.com.com/Skyscraper+design+gets+a+new+s pin/2100-1008_3-6177983.html?tag=nefd.lede
Portables

Submission + - Staying digital the last 2 feet

danjonwig writes: "So, you've gotten yourself that great-big, high-res display, and now you're all set to pick up a laptop to plug-in to it. But, wait a minute — the only laptops that seem to have digital connectors are big, heavy behemoths (Sony AR, HP 9000 series) or Apples. Where oh where is the nice, light PC notebook with an HDMI or DVI connector? What is it that's holding this back? Does it make sense to anyone else that the only notebook PC's that support high-quality displays are the ones that already have high-quality displays built-in?"
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast Corks the Port

JPawlak writes: "Keith" from Comcast just informed me that Comcast is unable to reopen port 25 once they block it. When asked why it was impossible to reopen the port, he said that Comcast had received many complaints about spam and is gradually blocking port 25 for everyone on the Comcast network. All users are required to go through port 587 for the Comcast mail servers, but are left connectionless for mail servers that still use port 25. Although there are no public documents stating this company policy, he kindly told me that it is in an internal document.

Do you think Comcast should be able to block ports that they deem necessary and not unblock it for those that need it, or provide a reduced bill for the reduced functionality?
VA

Submission + - WBC to Protest at VA Tech Funeral

SoulReaverDan writes: Get ready, people. CBS news has reported that Westboro Baptist Church is going to protest at the funeral of the VA Tech victims. The article cites a lot of information about the previous actions of WBC, most of which are pretty stupid. The article says that WBC claims "Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech student responsible for the killings who took his own life after the shootings, was sent by God to punish those he killed, and America as a whole, for moral decline, said Phelps-Roper, while adding that she believes Cho is also in hell for violating God's commandment to not kill. "He is in hell," Phelps-Roper said. "But he was also fulfilling the word of God."

Yeah, because that makes sense.
Privacy

Journal Journal: Orkut quietly removes https login

When I tried to access my Orkut account on Monday morning, I got an "Unable to Connect" message. I just assumed that they were having some temporary problems. When I couldn't login on Tuesday, I thought maybe the company had tightened down the firewall, so I tried later that evening from home with the same result. So I did a Google search to see if anything had been reported, and found a Wikipedia entry. Other than that, it seems very few people noticed this security problem.
Announcements

Submission + - Put Linux on an Indy 500 car!

Mark K writes: How would you like to tune into the Indy 500 and see the Linux penguin prominently displayed on a car. The Tux 500 project was started to raise enough money to sponsor an Indy 500 car this year in the name of Linux. If $25,000 is raised they will be an associate sponsor of the car, if they reach $350,000 then the whole car will have Linux all over it. The amount of visibility depends on the money raised. Overnight they passed $6000 and there is some good rivalry between the different distributions on the stats page. There is also a contest to determine a design for the car.

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