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Submission + - JPEGmini – the Future of Image Compression? ( 3

Iddo Genuth writes: "An Israeli company recently unveiled what might be the next generation of image compression technology. Based on the JPEG format, the new JPEGmini is compatible with existing JPEG but capable of reducing the file size of an image by up to 5X without any visible loss of image quality. A revolution on its way? set out to test it and talk with the developers."

Submission + - Massive diamond found orbiting pulsar (

HairyNevus writes: "A recent survey of pulsars has revealed a fascinating discovery of a millisecond pulsar in system PSR J17191438 that has stripped a nearby white dwarf star down to its very core. Although no longer visible, is still has the mass of Jupiter. The remaining core rotates its neutron star companion with a period of just under 2 hours, indicating extremely close proximity. Given this distance, scientists have calculated that the substance of the core must be very compact, and, without building up the point, they conclude it is made of diamond.

One thing I found misleading about the article is that it refers to the core as having "the size of Jupiter" and "the mass of Jupiter". Given their different densities (diamond vs. mostly helium), it would seem clear that their size (i.e. volume) differs."


Submission + - Vodafone fails to secure voicemail, twice (

HavanaF writes: "Vodafone made a mess in The Netherlands by failing twice, in two days, to secure its customers' voicemail system. Customers include almost all Dutch politicians and the entire government, as Vodafone is the governments' official telco provider.

On Wednesday a TV program aired private voicemails of the Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials. Anyone could access voicemails of any Vodafone client that had not changed a default access code, set to '3333' by Vodafone in January, maybe earlier, without informing its customers. Vodafone said immediate steps had been taken AND "its the responsibility of the customer to change the code" AND it would now only provide remote access via codes that had been changed by the customer, adding "it has been possible for only a few months to use the default access code".

Then, Thursday, a day later, a Dutch news program airs voicemails to Geert Wilders and the same minister of Foreign Affairs, and others. Dutch security company FoxIT demonstrated it could easily access anyones Vodafone voicemail using Spoofcard, a dubious call ID spoofing service. According to FoxIT, only Vodafone could be spoofed to grant access to voicemail, saying other operators seemed secure.

In response on TV and in a press release Vodafone tries to spin its total failure as "a battle with cybercrime via identity theft". Is that not just another lie by Vodafone?

Check the security of Vodafone voicemail in your country."


Submission + - Citation map shows top science cities (

mikejuk writes: Which cities around the world produce not just the most but the best scientific papers? Using a database and Google Maps the answer is obvious.A paper in Physics arXiv describes how two researchers combined citation data with Google maps to create a plot showing how important cities around the world were in terms of their contribution to physics, chemistry or psychology.

Submission + - NASA Picks Up Rainstorms On Titan (

RedEaredSlider writes: Rainy seasons aren't just a regular occurrence on Earth — they also happen on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

The rain isn't water, it's methane. And the seasons are years long, as Titan takes two weeks to go around Saturn and Saturn takes 29 years to complete one circuit of the Sun.

Recent images from the Cassini probe, which is currently orbiting Saturn, show clouds forming in Titan's atmosphere and evidence that liquid methane is soaking the surface.

Submission + - OHA lead tips Android 2.3 incoming (

Arvisp writes: Android 2.3 Gingerbread is fast approaching, according to Open Handset Alliance “Leadership Team” member Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez. According to his (translated) Twitter message, developers should “Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the next few days,” a timescale that fits into previous rumors about the Android SDK.
Meanwhile a recent Flash Player 10.1 update also added fuel to the fire, suggesting that developers should look to installing the software prior to November 11. That date – this coming Thursday – has been heard on several occasions, and it looks like developer Nexus One handsets will be getting a friendly Gingerbread update before the week is out.


Submission + - HTTPS Everywhere | Electronic Frontier Foundation (

timothy writes: You could download the extension that gives you point-and-click access to other people's (unencrypted) social networking interactions and impersonate them for (totally harmless) pranks, but if you're nice, you'll instead encourage your friends to instead use encryption by default. The EFF and the Tor Project have cooperated to make that easier, with their HTTPS Everywhere extension for Firefox, which rewrites any unencrypted exchanges to "a number of major websites" as encrypted ones instead.

Comment Bogon overload (Score 2, Interesting) 454

It is literally impossible... in the same sentence where they list two ways to do it.

My bogosity meter just blew up.

What they are saying is that they can't do it without spending more money on it than they want to. More accurately they are saying that they want to get people to move from XP to 7. They do not make a dime pushing out a patch for XP. In fact, doing that costs them money. OTOH, if they refuse to provide features on XP such as DIrectX 10 and 11, and now IE 9 a bunch of people run out and buy Windows 7 either in a box or in a new computer and that mean income for MS.

Do you remember when it was "impossible" to release DirectX 10 for XP? It was impossible for MS to do it, a bunch of "amateurs" did it almost no time at all. That is, by the time I had heard the news one of my students had already installed DirectX on XP and was running the demos that came with it.

Have you looked at a list of the games that only support DirectX 10 and/or 11 that will not run on any version of DirectX 9? The list is very short. Shorter than this post... So, what is really happening is that MS was abandoning its real customer base, the 72% of windows users who use Windows XP. They don't make money off of them so they have no interest in spending money on them. You know why their are so few DirectX 10 and 11 games? Because 72% of Windows user are running XP. The game companies have to write code for machines their customers have. In fact, a lot of smaller companies are moving to OpenGL because they can get all the new 3D features of DIrectX 10 and 11 on XP. sheesh...

It is unbelievable what a company is so certain of retaining its customers that it can abandon them and mistreat them and still assume they will be customers in the future. But, they can because they own the *minds* of their customers.

Well... I notice I'm starting to rant... so...


OK, just one last rant... I've had to explain to a students that memorizing the DIrectX API would not help him write games for his favorite game box, the PS 3. He called me a liar. His world view did not include a computer that ran an OS other than Windows or a game that was written using any thing but DirectX. It is so sad...

Comment Adobe Acrobat has cross-platform support (Score 1) 130

Adobe Acrobat will do some of this, if not all. It does not require a central document repository and works across platforms - at least, as I recall, documents can be signed and verified on Linux though must at present be created in Distiller on Windows. As PDF is a somewhat open standard there is at least the possibility of other tools supporting the digital signatures.
A document may have multiple signatures placed in the document body in a natural way - i.e. where you might have an ink signature box. You need a certificate authority of your own to issue certificates to signers - after all, anyone can get a Verisign certificate, and who's to say that Joe Bloggs, even he is the real Joe with passport to prove it, can sign off on your reactor design ?
There are some options to set when the document is created that control whether it can be signed by the free cross-platform reader or only by the paid-for Distiller.
Drawbacks vs. GPG digital signatures - only works on PDF files, must be created on Windows.
Advantages - natural signing/verification mechanism built into the reader.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 454

The only things that don't work on XP are geometry shaders, and a web browser does not need these.

And interprocess sharing of a graphics surface. And the entire hardware accelerated text subsytem for direct-x (which also happens to support cleartype).
Given that Internet Explorer uses multiple processes, the former is probably quite important. Being a web-browser, the latter would be immensely helpful.

Comment NextDocs/Sharepoint (Score 1) 130

We found that Sharepoint didn't offer the level of document authentication that we needed for the FDA-inspected laboratory in our organization. NextDocs is a 'bolt-on' to Sharepoint that offers an electronic signature feature. We're rolling that out now and it seems pretty useful. So if you go the Sharepoint route and it isn't enough, this is worth checking out. Also, you get to say 'bolt-on' in conversation, with maybe an accidental 'strap-on' now and then.

Submission + - Flash vs HTML5 - should we care? ( 2

qwerty2k writes: Flash has become ubiquitous on the web these days, its used for everything (rightly or wrongly) from video streaming, website navigation and online games. There is a new revision of the HTML standard being finalised called HTML5 that implements a lot of features that has previously been the domain of flash (particularly video streaming with the tag), the question is: should we care if we use flash or should we move to the new HTML5 standard?

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