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Idle

Submission + - Cameras to watch cameras in Maryland (wtop.com)

Cornwallis writes: Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't watching the watchers who are watching you. Or something like that. I can't wait to see how far they extend this but police in Maryland are now putting up cameras to watch the cameras they've put up to watch us. Sure, they say it is to combat vandalism against the cameras but I'm sure somebody's brother owns a camera company...
Hardware

Submission + - APC available for pre-ordering (apc.io)

Cornwallis writes: I just received this email — one I have been waiting for since I was looking forward to APC's answer to the Pi. "Hello from the APC team
We are delighted to announce that you can now pre-order APC through our website at: http://apc.io/orders/pre-order. APC can be shipped worldwide at a price of $49..."

So I go to order and find the shipping is as expensive as the PC. Doesn't sound like a good ove to me.

Cellphones

Submission + - Guide to breaking cell phone security revealed (yahoo.com)

Cornwallis writes: A German security expert has raised the ire of the cell phone industry after he and a group of researchers posted online a how-to guide for cracking the encryption that keeps the calls of billions of cell phone users secret.

Karsten Nohl, 28, told The Associated Press this week that he, working with others online and around the world, created a codebook containing how to get past the GSM standard encryption used to keep conversations on more than 3 billion mobile phones safe from prying ears.

Great! Now if any of my calls actually make it to completion I really will have to worry about who *else* may be listening.

Education

Submission + - Teaching PC Skills on Older Computers

Cornwallis writes: I've accumulated some older computers — WindowsME/98 era along with a few lower-end WinXP boxes — that work perfectly well but the OS is obviously past prime. We have a few organizations in the area that help those who have either lost their jobs or fallen on hard times. Obviously, more people are using the services of these agencies. I've been thinking of offering these computers to the organizations along with providing some ongoing training to anyone who wants it in order to give back a bit to the community but I'm worried that the PCs won't be up to snuff if I keep Windows as the OS. So, I plan on wiping them and setting them up with Ubuntu and other Open Source software — which will work just fine on these boxes. My question is do you see the use of FOSS a hindrance on these machines? In other words, in a society that (mostly) uses MS products in business will it be helpful or harmful to teach PC skills (to people who have none) with FOSS? Will it hinder them if (hopefully!) they can transfer those skills to a job somewhere down the line? Thanks!

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