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Former Spy Poisoned By Radiation In UK 432

An anonymous reader writes "BBC new is reporting the death of the ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with a major dose of radioactive polonium-210. But nobody knows how it got there. Suspicions have fallen upon the Russian security services (who deny involvement). The task of the pathologists now is to unpick what really killed him and how it was administered. Quite what techniques they will use to solve this puzzle is unclear." From the article: "A post-mortem examination on Mr Litvinenko has not been held yet. The delay is believed to be over concerns about the health implications for those present at the examination. But Roger Cox from the HPA said a large quantity of alpha radiation emitted from polonium-210 had been detected in Mr Litvinenko's urine."

Slashdot Posting Bug Infuriates Haggard Admins 262

Last night we crossed over 16,777,216 comments in the database. The wise amongst you might note that this number is 2^24, or in MySQLese an unsigned mediumint. Unfortunately, like 5 years ago we changed our primary keys in the comment table to unsigned int (32 bits, or 4.1 billion) but neglected to change the index that handles parents. We're awesome! Fixing is a simple ALTER TABLE statement... but on a table that is 16 million rows long, our system will take 3+ hours to do it, during which time there can be no posting. So today, we're disabling threading and will enable it again later tonight. Sorry for the inconvenience. We shall flog ourselves appropriately. Update: 11/10 12:52 GMT by J : It's fixed.

Google Moving Strongly Into Radio Advertising 54

AvgGatsby writes to let us know about Google's move into radio. The company is hiring "scores" of radio sales people in major markets and is offering them 50% above prevailing salaries. From the article: "Google spokesman Michael Mayzel said this week that the company will begin a public test of Google Audio Ads by the end of the year. Advertisers will be able to go online and sign up for targeted radio ads using the same AdWords system they use to buy Web search ads. It made a clear move into radio in January when it agreed to pay more than $1 billion, depending on performance, for dMarc Broadcasting Inc., which connects advertisers to radio stations through an automated advertising system. It's all part of what Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has said is an investment in radio advertising that could grow over time to include up to 1,000 Google employees — not just in ad sales, but also in engineering and operations."

The Hacker Profiling Project 122

NewsForge writes "NewsForge is running a story about a project aiming to profile hackers like the police do with common criminals. Not based out of the U.S. per se, this project falls under the auspices of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). The project was co-founded by Stefania Ducci, in 2004, along with Raoul Chiesa." From the article: "NewsForge: What would the project concretely produce as final output? Stefania Ducci: The final goal is a real and complete methodology for hacker profiling, released under GNU/FDL. This means that, at the end of our research project, if a company will send us its (as detailed as possible) logs related to an intrusion, we — exactly like in the TV show C.S.I. when evidence is found on the crime scene — will be able to provide a profile of the attacker. By 'profile' we mean, for example, his technical skills, his probable geographic location, an analysis of his modus operandi, and of a lot of other, small and big, traces left on the crime scene. This will also permit us to observe and, wherever possible, preview new attack trends, show rapid and drastic behavior changes, and, finally, provide a real picture of the world of hacking and its international scene."

Piracy Stats Don't Add Up 258

arenam writes to tell us Australian IT is reporting that a recent briefing for the Attorney-General's Department prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology draws certain piracy statistics into question. From the article: "The draft of the institute's intellectual property crime report, sighted by The Australian shows that copyright owners 'failed to explain' how they reached financial loss statistics used in lobbying activities and court cases. Figures for 2005 from the global Business Software Association showing $361 million a year of lost sales in Australia are 'unverified and epistemologically unreliable,' the report says."

Phishers Arrested In Eastern Europe and US 84

An anonymous reader writes to let us know about the roundup of a phishing gang by the FBI and authorities in Poland and Romania. 18 arrests were made in what the FBI calls "Operation Cardkeeper." The gang has allegedly been selling stolen identities and information on credit cards and bank accounts since at least 2004. To remind us what a drop in the bucket such international operations are, the article says: "The Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry consortium, said more than 10,000 phishing Web sites were active on the Internet in August, about double the number of sites in January."

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