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Security

Submission + - Sony takes a week to admit credit card hack (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "PlayStation users have reacted furiously, after Sony admitted customers' credit-card details may have been stolen in a hack attack. The PlayStation Network — the console's online gaming service — has been down for the best part of the week as Sony battled with an unidentified security issue. The company tonight broke its silence, admitting that customers' personal details — and possibly their credit-card data — have been stolen.

Sony admitted that stolen data included the name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. "While there is no evidence at this time that credit-card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," the company said."

Earth

New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed 263

Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."
Privacy

Lower Merion School's Report Says IT Dept. Did It, But Didn't Inhale 232

PSandusky writes "A report issued by the Lower Merion School District's chosen law firm blames the district's IT department for the laptop webcam spying scandal. In particular, the report mentions lax IT policies and record-keeping as major problems that enabled the spying. Despite thousands of e-mails and images to the contrary, the report also maintains that no proof exists that anyone in IT viewed images captured by the webcams."
Power

MIT Unveils First Solar Cells Printed On Paper 125

lucidkoan writes "MIT researchers recently unveiled the world's first thin-film solar cell printed on a sheet of paper. The panel was created using a process similar to that of an inkjet printer, producing semiconductor-coated paper imbued with carbon-based dyes that give the cells an efficiency of 1.5 to 2 percent. That's not incredibly efficient, but the convenience factor makes up for it. And in the future, researchers hope that the same process used in the paper solar cells could be used to print cells on metal foil or even plastic. If they're able to gear efficiencies up to scale, the development could revolutionize the production and installation of solar panels."

Comment Re:sustainable growth (Score 1) 432

Do not forget Apple loves to make new hardware incompatible with older hardware. My Mac Pro can not run newer video cards. My only thinking at the time, is that GPU's become too slow over the long term, CPU is just fine still. We'll they prevented me from using the new cards even though they'd run fine in Windows on the same hardware.

So I went out and built a more powerful machine than my Mac Pro, and I dont have to buy shiny new video cards, I just go SLI with a second one of the type I bought with the machine I built. Then upgrade to a new shiny card, when a single model blows my SLI pair out of the water.

I went with Linux, then Mac, then back to Windows 7. What I have learned, you can use anything and make it work, but Linux shines for servers, Apple is a trap to be avoided, and Windows has finally gotten their act together.

Comment $200 doesn't really include.. (Score 2, Insightful) 531

The sysadmin to go with it.

Ubuntu is all well and good until you need something that is not covered by its package manager. It's all well and good until some piece of hardware only has limited support via some hack.

The problem with Linux is that even with all the advancements, it's still a fragmented platform that only works properly if you stay within it's narrow selection of hardware that is known to work.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - California bill would make downloads "tangible

NotQuiteReal writes: California Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, has introduced a bill that would allow sales tax to be collected on "media downloads". Assembly bill AB1956 would be able to do this only by reclassifying such downloads as "tangible personal property".

My first thought is that would suck yet another tax. My second thought was — hey "isn't that how they got Al Capone?" — yes, the old tax evasion trap. If you thought the RIAA was bad, just wait until the Tax Man comes after your for your untaxed P2P!

Feed Techdirt: Sears Online 'Community' Still Looks More Like Spyware Than A Community (techdirt.com)

Last month we wrote about how Sears and K-mart's websites both were urging people to join a "community," but that community didn't seem like much of a community at all. Instead, it involved quietly installing Comscore's tracking software without telling the user, and then tracking all of their web usage. Following all of this, a VP from Sears responded to CA's original post on the subject trying to refute the claims. However, well-known spyware researcher Ben Edelman has now weighed in on the subject, checking out this "community" and finding plenty to dislike. As the initial report noted, it's not clear at all to users that they're installing Comscore's tracking app, and even the few notifications that mention it are somewhat unclear. Given that both Edelman and CA have pretty clearly documented what's happening, it's hard to see how Sears can claim that the company "goes to great lengths to describe the tracking aspect."

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Mozilla

Submission + - A DVD Player that Upscales to 1080p

ThinSkin writes: "Before you run off to buy either a Blu-ray or HD DVD player (one of which will become extinct in the years to follow), you might want to consider an upscaling DVD player that can achieve some pretty high image quality. ExtremeTech has a review of the OPPO DV-980H DVD Player that can upscale video to 1080p, as well as 480p, 720p, 1080i. The player handles video pretty well, but the review notes that noise reduction is limited in high-def scenes."
Security

Submission + - SPAM: AT&T exec on "skinnydipping" without

alphadogg writes: An AT&T R&D executive told companies this week at a conference that he's been "skinnydipping without antivirus software for years" and encouraged others to come in and feel the water. His comments took place in the context of a discussion on whether firewalls and traditional perimeter security technologies are needed. [spam URL stripped]
Power

Submission + - Using Salt Water as Fuel (post-gazette.com)

MoronBob writes: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that an Erie Pennsylvania man has invented a machine capable of extracting and igniting hydrogen from salt water using a radio-frequency generator. From the article: "John Kanzius, a Washington County native, tried to desalinate seawater with a generator he developed to treat cancer, and it caused a flash in the test tube. Within days, he had the salt water in the test tube burning like a candle, as long as it was exposed to radio frequencies."

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