Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Submission + - Emerging Fallout from Facebook and Twitter DDoS (computerworld.com)

Erris writes: "The emerging Facebook and Twitter DDoS attack story has Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols saying, "It's time to get rid of Windows."

It happened because Windows is an insecure piece of junk. Anyone who knows anything about security knows that this kind of disaster was only a matter of time. Windows botnets are responsible for DDoS attacks and most of e-mail spam. You cannot secure Windows. Microsoft keeps saying that they will, and they always fail. Period.

Twitter and Facebook users are just the kind of people M$ can't afford to lose. They are the decision makers who decided Vista's fate and will soon do the same for Windows 7. They are generally aware of Windows performance problems that 7 is still slower than XP and that Ubuntu is faster than both. Will people finally heed the security warning and walk away from Windows at work?"

Comment Re:Brings me back (Score 1, Informative) 361

He's probably talking about the Disney that's had a hand in every copyright extension in the 20th century aftery your 1909 case. 28 years + the posibility of renewal is not nearly as bad as 90 years + DMCA and other absurdly broken laws we have now. People are waking up to the tyrany around them and they won't tollerate ACTA and further foolishness.

None of it really matters now. Broadcast is dying and their little file clerks at M$ are going down with them. Good riddance to bad rubbish, it's all downhill from here.


Submission + - M$ Funds Publisher's Lawsuits Vrs Google Books (wired.com)

twitter writes: "M$'s Plot to Kill Google has taken an ugly turn as M$ is funding opposition to the Google book settlement.

The $125 million deal gives Google the right to store digital copies of the books, include them in its search results, sell online versions and license its book-scans to libraries. It also allows millions of "orphan" works (books still under copyright but whose copyright-holders can't be found) to be included in Google's program.

The only obstacle remaining for the settlement to take effect is final court approval. ... [it is not] surprising that at least one party nudging its way into the settlement is an internet-issues-oriented group from New York Law School. But what does raise an eyebrow is the source of New York Law's funding on this matter: Microsoft.

This is especially interesting given M$'s proven inability to make money with books. The Wired article goes on to expose curious grants to law schools favorable to M$'s positions on various issues. So goes the war on sharing and universal access to knowledge."


Submission + - Texas Vista Ban is one Signature Away (pcworld.com)

twitter writes: Texas state Senator Juan Hinojosa did not like the results of Vista deployment and put a statewide ban on the OS into the state's budget. Apparently, his peers agreed and the ban now only needs Governor Rick Perry's signature to be law.

"I have read a lot about the problems they have with this particular software. ... We have a lot of problems with the Vista program. It had a lot of bugs. It takes up a lot of memory. It's not compatible with other equipment, and it's supposed to be an upgrade from the XP program that is being used by state agencies, and it's not," said Hinojosa.

Hinojosa's budget provision wouldn't eliminate these ongoing uses nor outright banish Vista from the state. It would, however, require any state agencies (save for higher education institutions) to receive formal approval from the Legislative Budget Board [to purchase Windows Vista-related software, hardware, or licenses]

If passed, Texas would join the FAA, DOT, BECTA, most IT professionals, Windows "pirates", Intel and the mainstream press in their avoidance and opinion of the hated OS

Comment Blog Police. (Score -1) 300

Representatives are special. There's nothing to keep them from stalking people in their spare time. The minute he uses any of his state privileges or state employees to do the job, he's crossed the line. The only way you can spend state time and money is by passing a law telling everyone how the money is to be spent. We do not and never should have a blog police.

A full investigation of the means of discovery should be launched in this case. The representative obviously meant the outing as a form of retribution and punishment. He may also have violated the US Constitution by searching private property without reasonable suspicion of a crime. Where there is malice and means there is often crime.


Anonymous Blogger Outed By Politician 300

Snoskred writes with the story of a blogger who chose to remain pseudonymous, who has been outed by an Alaskan politician in his legislative newsletter. Alaska Rep. Mike Doogan had been writing bizarre emails to people who emailed him, and the Alaskan blogger "Mudflats" was one of those who called him on it. (Mudflats first began getting noticed after blogging about Sarah Palin from a local point of view.) Doogan seems to have developed a particular itch to learn who Mudflats is, and he finally found out, though he got her last name wrong, and named her in his official newsletter. The Huffington Post is one of the many outlets writing about the affair. The blogger happens to be Democrat — as is Doogan — but that is immaterial to the question of the right to anonymity in political speech. Does an American have the right to post political opinion online anonymously? May a government official breach that anonymity absent a compelling state interest?

Comment Yes, humor and pride are manly. (Score -1, Troll) 993

The mod needs to be in his head. A laptop won't change his presence/personality. Insecurity over mistaken perception ... why? Now for some mods that I've done.

Aluminum up armoring is a practical mod. You can use cheap flashing aluminum and silicone type adhesives to make a durable, tough and relatively light weight cover for easily scratched or soiled plastic. If your plastic is hard enough and in good shape, you don't need this.

Support GNU with stickers. GNU is good for you.


Taming Conficker, the Easy Way 288

Dan Kaminsky writes "We may not know what the Conficker authors have in store for us on April 1st, but I doubt many network administrators want to find out. Maybe they don't have to: I've been working with the Honeynet Project'sTillmann Werner and Felix Leder, who have been digging into Conficker's profile on the network. What we've found is pretty cool: Conficker actually changes what Windows looks like on the network, and this change can be detected remotely, anonymously, and very, very quickly. You can literally ask a server if it's infected with Conficker, and it will give you an honest answer. Tillmann and Felix have their own proof of concept scanner, and with the help of Securosis' Rich Mogull and the multivendor Conficker Working Group, enterprise-class scanners should already be out from Tenable (Nessus), McAfee/Foundstone, nmap, ncircle, and Qualys. We figured this out on Friday, and got code put together for Monday. It's been one heck of a weekend."

Submission + - Microsoft's Vista-capable debacle spills over Acer (theregister.co.uk)

N!NJA writes: With a lawsuit filed Wednesday in San Francisco, California, two residents of Fostoria, Ohio seek damages and relief from the world's third-largest computer maker after purchasing a sub-$600 Aspire notebook that included Windows Vista Premium and a gigabyte of shared system and graphics memory.

Submission + - Microsoft opposes cloud computing interoperability 1

thefickler writes: Microsoft is opposing an industry plan, the Open Cloud Manifesto, to promote cloud computing interoperability. Officially Microsoft says the plan is unnecessarily secretive and that cloud computing is in too an early stage of development, but there are allegations that Microsoft feels threatened by the plan because it could boost Linux-based systems. The goal of the group behind the manifesto, the Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum (CCIF), is to minimise the barriers between different technologies used in cloud computing. And this is where the problem seems to lie, with the group stating that "whenever possible the CCIF will emphasise the use of open, patent-free and/or vendor-neutral technical solutions." Some speculate that Microsoft is actually worried that this will allow open source systems, such as Linux, to flourish, at the expense of Microsoft technology.

Submission + - Windows 7 Touchscreen Details Emerging

nandemoari writes: Microsoft has revealed more about Windows 7 and its support for touch screen technology. The system sounds impressive, however, reports suggest it appears to have a high error rate. In an early version of the system, Microsoft found some problems. For example, both the zoom and rotate functions worked less than 75% of the time, often because the computer confused the two. To rectify this, engineers redesigned the system so that it only looks out for gestures specifically relevant to the program being used. This made a significant improvement: the zoom gesture was now recognized 90% of the time. The problem is that even a 90% success rate may be too low. If you can imagine how frustrating it would be if one in ten keystrokes or mouse movements didn't do what you were intended, you can see why touch screen technology will need to be even more reliable if it's to truly improve the user experience.

Comment Windows is a menace. (Score -1) 3

Setting up a Windows "server" is a security problem but not much more of one than an office full of Windows desktops. How many stories do people have to read about M$ specific viruses and worms before they recognize a complete security failure?

If you are Gartner and your business depends on people using Windows, you might overlook such problems and other parts of reality. The ease of setting up GNU/Linux has been a big problem for M$ for the better part of a decade. Why bother with a Windows or Sharepoint install when you can have Apache from an auto configuring, zero cost CD in about 15 minutes?


Submission + - M$ Makes Deal with NASA to Publish Images. (crn.com) 2

twitter writes: "from the oh-no-its-the-Olympics-and-silverlight-all-over-again-dept

Is this another case of Google envy or a coup for Silverlight? M$ has entered a deal with NASA to publish the Microsoft Worldwide Telescope.

Under the Microsoft-NASA deal, the two are developing the technology and infrastructure needed to make NASA content available through Microsoft's Worldwide Telescope site. NASA Ames is also developing a suite of planetary data processing tools to convert historic and current space imagery data into a variety of formats to make them easily accessible by the public.

Color me sceptical but I don't associate easy access with the company that has fought off reasonable standards like PNG, CSS, ODF, Java, etc, only to push their only works on their latest OS tech. NASA, like every other big science group, is a big user of free software and Unix and the article mentions their close association with Google. How did M$ land this deal and what kind of exclusivity will they demand? Has anyone actually had trouble locating space images?"


Submission + - Cloud Computing on Linux Has Microsoft Blogging (daileymuse.com)

Mike Dailey writes: "The Cloud Manifesto, a collaborative document prepared jointly by Amazon, Google, IBM and others has apparently upset Microsoft. In a blog post entitled "Moving Toward an Open Process on Cloud Computing Interoperability" and penned by the senior director of developer platform management for Microsoft, Steven Martin, Mr. Martin stated his position that the Cloud Manifesto and the process of creating it was biased to benefit its authors, and unfair to their competitors--such as Microsoft.

The Cloud Manifesto document appears to describe design principles and guidelines for system interoperability in cloud computing. In his blog post Mr. Martin states that the document was created without the direct involvement of Microsoft, stating "What we heard was that there was no desire to discuss, much less implement, enhancements to the document, despite the fact that we have learned through direct experience". He added that Microsoft considers standards and interoperability key to the long-term success of the industry.

I find it ironic that Microsoft would be so upset by the fact that other industry leaders joined together to discuss and design a future technology that, in all likelihood, will change the way we process data. It is ironic because Microsoft has been developing industry solutions in a silo for years. Is Microsoft upset because they were left out, because they are worried the world won't see Microsoft Windows as the platform for cloud initiatives, or because the world may have already figured out the best platform for cloud initiatives--Linux?

Many industry leaders are positioning Linux/Unix operating systems and Open Source technologies as the platform for cloud computing. IBM, Sun, Google, Amazon, and RedHat are all developing and supporting Linux-based cloud solutions. Microsoft is likely upset not because they were left out of the design discussions but because this important future technology is being focused on a platform that Microsoft once publicly stated to be irrelevant in the technology marketplace. It goes without saying that Microsoft is viewing a variant of Windows Server as the best platform for cloud computing, and the lack of an invite just may be an indication that large sectors of the industry do not share that view.

Martin added that Microsoft believes that principles and standards for interoperability in cloud computing systems need to be defined through a process that is open to public discussion and collaboration, and should not be a vendor-dominated process. When these discussions take place I hope Microsoft is open to the idea that many chairs at the discussion table will be filled by vendors and developers who believe Linux is the future of cloud computing. Based on the number of companies working on Linux-based cloud solutions Microsoft may need to bring more chairs. In fact, Microsoft may want to consider giving up their own chairs as there are signs that Microsoft isn't so concerned with cooperation, after all.

As Mr. Martin states in his blog post, "From the moment we kicked off our cloud computing effort, openness and interop stood at the forefront. As those who are using it will tell you, the Azure Services Platform is an open and flexible platform that is defined by web addressability, SOAP, XML, and REST." Click on the Azure Services link and the entire reason Mr. Martin is upset is centered in your browser window:

"Build new applications in the cloud — or use interoperable services that run on Microsoft infrastructure to extend and enhance your existing applications. You choose what's right for you."

Microsoft has already decided that cloud computing should operated on Microsoft platforms. The problem is that Linux may have just found a niche that Microsoft wasn't expecting, and if so, Mr. Martin's frustration bears evidence to their concern."

Slashdot Top Deals

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"