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Government

Watergate "Deep Throat" Mark Felt Dead At 95 126

Hugh Pickens writes "W. Mark Felt Sr., 95, associate director of the FBI during the Watergate scandal, better known as 'Deep Throat,' the most famous anonymous source in American history, died at his home in Santa Rosa, California. Felt secretly guided Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to pursue the story of the 1972 break-in of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate office buildings, and later of the Nixon administration's campaign of spying and sabotage against its perceived political enemies. 'It's impossible to exaggerate how high the stakes were in Watergate,' wrote Felt in his 2006 book A G-Man's Life. 'We faced no simple burglary, but an assault on government institutions, an attack on the FBI's integrity, and unrelenting pressure to unravel one of the greatest political scandals in our nation's history.' No one knows exactly what prompted Felt to leak the information from the Watergate probe to the press. He was passed over for the post of FBI director after Hoover's death in 1972, a crushing career disappointment. 'People will debate for a long time whether I did the right thing by helping Woodward. The bottom line is that we did get the whole truth out, and isn't that what the FBI is supposed to do?'"
Music

Chronicling the Failures of DRM 206

Barence takes us to PCPro for a look at the failures of DRM and a discussion of its impending death. Quoting: "Luckily, DRM is dying, at least in the download sphere. Napster's Dan Nash believes that DRM-free is 'the general way things are going.' In his opinion, record companies 'have no choice but to adapt;' those that 'stick to DRM on a pay-per-download basis will not remain competitive.' In the US, Napster has joined Amazon in selling DRM-free content in MP3 format from all the major labels. ... Going DRM-free makes sense not just for consumers, but for the industry. Deutche Telekom says three out of four technical support calls its Musicload service had to deal with were the result of DRM. And when it offered a DRM-free option to artists they saw a 40% increase in sales."
Microsoft

OOXML Rumored to be Approved, Announcement Wednesday 223

dominux writes "Rumors are already circulating that Microsoft's OOXML has been voted in by the standards board. The Open Sourcerer claims to have results of the ballot on dis29500. According to the site Microsoft managed to flip enough countries to make it stick. 75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members). 14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it, this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote. Norway has asked that their vote be suspended due to voting irregularities, but it would take more than that to make a difference to the result. ZDNet is still playing it cautious, noting that an announcement either way is set to be made on Wednesday."
Windows

Windows Vista SP1 Meeting Sour Reception In Places 501

Stony Stevenson writes "A day after it was released for public download, Windows Vista SP1 is drawing barbs from some computer users who say the software wrecked their systems. 'I downloaded it via Windows Update, and got a bluescreen on the third part of the update,' wrote 'Iggy33' in a comment posted Wednesday on Microsoft's Vista team blog. Iggy33 was just one of dozens of posters complaining about Vista Service Pack 1's effect on their PCs. Other troubles reported by Vista SP1 users ranged from a simple inability to download the software from Microsoft's Windows Update site to sudden spikes in memory usage. To top it all off, the service pack will not install on computers that use peripheral device drivers that Microsoft has deemed incompatible."

Microsoft Developing News Sorting Based On Political Bias 234

wiredog writes "The Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft is developing a program that classifies news stories according to whether liberal or conservative bloggers are linking to them and also measures the 'emotional intensity' based on the frequency of keywords in the blog posts." If you would like to jump right to the tool you can check out "Blews" on the Microsoft site.
Privacy

British Airport Will Require Fingerprints From Domestic Passengers 279

ProfBooty brings us a story about England's Heathrow airport, which will begin fingerprinting passengers on its domestic flights later this month. Airport executives claim that the data will be stored for no longer than 24 hours, and will not be shared with law enforcement. We've previously discussed airport fingerprinting measures in the United States and Japan. Quoting: "All four million domestic passengers who will pass through Terminal 5 annually after it opens on March 27 will have four fingerprints taken, as well as being photographed, when they check in. To ensure the passenger boarding the aircraft is the same person, the fingerprinting process will be repeated just before they board the aircraft and the photograph will be compared with their face. Dr Gus Hosein, of the London School of Economics, an expert on the impact on technology on civil liberties, is one of the scheme's strongest critics. He said: 'There is no other country in the world that requires passengers travelling on internal flights to be fingerprinted. BAA says the fingerprint data will be destroyed, but the records of who has travelled within the country will not be, and it will provide a rich source of data for the police and intelligence agencies.'"
Security

Feds Have a High-Speed Backdoor Into Wireless Carrier 229

An anonymous reader writes "An unnamed U.S. wireless carrier maintains an unfiltered, unmonitored DS-3 line from its internal network to a facility in Quantico, Virginia, according to Babak Pasdar, a computer security consultant who did work for the company in 2003. Customer voice calls, billing records, location information and data traffic are all allegedly exposed. A similar claim was leveled against Verizon Wireless in a 2006 lawsuit."
Security

Anti-Botnet Market is Black Eye for AV Industry 204

alternative coup writes "eWEEK is running a story on the emergence of an anti-botnet market to fill a perceived need for software to deal with botnet-related malware (Trojans, keyloggers, rootkits, etc.). The article characterizes this as 'another black eye' for the existing anti-virus industry — asking consumers to pay twice for protection from things that anti-malware suites are missing. Venture capital money is flowing to these anti-bot products, an implicit statement that the AV giants are not doing their jobs. 'For companies such as Symantec, which sells the Sana-powered Norton AntiBot and anti-malware subscriptions, it's a nickel-and-dime situation. Symantec officials say Norton AntiBot is for a specialized, technical market segment looking for high-end tools to deal with botnets, but [Andrew Jaquith, an analyst with The Yankee Group] said it's a case of anti-malware companies double-dipping.'"
Patents

Blackboard Wins Patent Suit Against Desire2Learn 186

edremy writes "Blackboard, the dominant learning management system (LMS) maker, has won its initial suit against Desire2Learn. Blackboard gets $3.1 million and can demand that Desire2Learn stop US sales. (We discussed Blackboard when the patent was issued in 2006) This blog provides background on the suit. Blackboard has been granted a patent that covers a single person having multiple roles in an LMS: for example, a TA might be a student in one class and an instructor in another. You wouldn't think something this obvious could even be patented, but so far it's been a very effective weapon for Blackboard, badly hurting Desire2Learn and generating a huge amount of worry for the few remaining commercial LMSs that Blackboard has not already bought, and open source solutions such as Moodle (Blackboard's pledge not to attack such providers notwithstanding)."
Microsoft

Microsoft to Give Away Developer Tools to Students 555

beuges writes "The Associated Press is reporting that Microsoft will make full versions of their development tools available to students. "The Redmond-based software maker said late Monday it will let students download Visual Studio Professional Edition, a software development environment; Expression Studio, which includes graphic design and Web site and hybrid Web-desktop programming tools; and XNA Game Studio 2.0, a video game development program. Gates said students will want to try Microsoft's tools because they're more powerful than the open-source combination of Linux-based operating systems, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language used to make complex Web sites. But Gates said giving away Microsoft software isn't intended to turn students against open source software entirely. Rather, he hopes it will just add one more tool to their belt.""
Security

'Friendly' Worms Could Spread Software Fixes 306

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft researchers are working out the perfect strategies for worms to spread through networks. Their goal is to distribute software patches and other friendly information via virus, reducing load on servers. This raises the prospect of worm races — deploying a whitehat worm to spread a fix faster than a new attacking worm can reach vulnerable machines."
Security

Adobe PDF Exploits In the Wild 150

mambosauce writes "Brian Krebs, via the security fix blog is reporting that the recent PDF vulnerabilities which were patched only for Adobe Reader 8 and not 7 are being exploited via banner ads. As if there haven't been enough banner ad attacks this year now we have another one targeting one of the most popular applications in the world this weekend. At this rate there won't be many safe applications left to use."
United States

Submission + - New York Plans Surveillance Veil for Downtown (nytimes.com)

plaxion writes: Let the Orwellian commentary commence because New York is now planning a London-style Big Brother surveillance system for Downtown. Article Quote: "By the end of this year, police officials say, more than 100 cameras will have begun monitoring cars moving through Lower Manhattan, the beginning phase of a London-style surveillance system that would be the first in the United States...Three thousand surveillance cameras would be installed below Canal Street by the end of 2008, about two-thirds of them owned by downtown companies." But wait, there's more! "Pivoting gates would be installed at critical intersections; they would swing out to block traffic or a suspect car at the push of a button."
The Media

Newspaper Headlines Bow To SEO Demands 75

prostoalex writes "News.com.com says the art of writing newspaper headlines is changing due to reliance on search engines for traffic to newspaper archives. Forget about clever puns, double entendres and witty analogies: 'News organizations that generate revenue from advertising are keenly aware of the problem and are using coding techniques and training journalists to rewrite the print headlines, thinking about what the story is about and being as clear as possible.' One big winner for now is Boston.com, The Boston Globe property, which 'had training sessions with copy editors and the night desk for the newspaper to enforce Web-optimized keyword-rich headlines suitable for search engine queries.'" Update: 10/30 14:1 GMT by KD : Corrected mis-attributed ownership: boston.com is owned by the Boston Globe, not the Boston Herald.

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