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Spam

Submission + - Spam replacing postal junk mail?

TheOtherChimeraTwin writes: I've been getting spam from mainstream companies that I do business with, which is odd because I didn't give those companies my email address. It is doubly strange because the address they are using is a special purpose one that I wouldn't give out to any business. Apparently knotice.com ("Direct Digital Marketing Solutions") and postalconnect.net aka emsnetwork.net (an Equifax Marketing Service Product with the ironic name "Permission!") are somehow collecting email addresses and connecting them with postal addresses, allowed companies to send email instead of postal mail. Has anyone else encountered this slimy practice or know how they are harvesting email addresses?
Space

Odd Planet Confuses Scientists 142

eldavojohn writes "While there's been a lot of debate about what is a planet, there is a recent discovery that has scientists even more confused. COROT (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits) spotted an object that appears to be the size of Jupiter yet is 21.6 times more massive ... and orbits its star in a mere four days and six hours. Now, the other piece of the puzzle is that the star it orbits is more massive and only slightly larger than our Sun. But they can't describe this thing orbiting it. So far they think it is more likely to be a 'failed star' but have settled with 'member of a new-found family of very massive planets that encircle stars more massive than the sun' to describe it accurately."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Congressman says "Second Life" is a threat

sm62704 (mcgrew) writes: "The Chicago Tribune says (bugmenot required; here are more sources for the story)

With nearly 13 million online users, the rapidly expanding virtual world Second Life is a risk for children, who could be sexually exploited, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said Monday. Kirk sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting a consumer-alert warning about its dangers.
This despite the fact that "Kirk said he knew of no cases in which children were targeted by sexual predators on Second Life". Anybody got a cluebat for this guy?"
Democrats

Submission + - Hacker Redirects Barack Obama's Site (netcraft.com) 1

DarkAges writes: According to Paul Mutton of Netcraft.com, "A security weakness in Barack Obama's website has been exploited to redirect visitors to Hillary Clinton's website. Visitors who viewed the Community Blogs section of the site were instead presented with Clinton's website as a result of a cross-site scripting vulnerability." The article closes with "While Mox states that the original issue has now been fixed, a number of similar vulnerabilities have since been identified and remain unfixed, and are documented on xssed.com, which notes that such vulnerabilities open up opportunities to infect Obama's supporters and site visitors with malware, adware and spyware."
Wine

Submission + - Wine 1.0 will be released in June'08 (winehq.org)

mrcgran writes: "Wine has just published a release plan. Wine 1.0 will be released on 6 June 2008 or shortly after, to celebrate its 15th anniversary: 'To give the 1.0 release some concrete meaning, we have chosen a few key apps (see WineReleaseCriteria; in particular, Photoshop CS2) that should run well with Wine 1.0. Those apps all run reasonably well now. The only thing that could stop the 1.0.0 release are regressions in those key apps. Users are encouraged to test their favorite apps with the release candidate builds and report any problems they find, regardless of whether their apps are on the list of release criteria. If the fix is easy, we'll try to do it. ' Dan Kegel has also sent in a post asking the Wine community to vote for 1.0 bugs so they can be prioritized for 1.0."
The Internet

Submission + - Network solutions hosting unreachable from Europe

An anonymous reader writes: Going on two days now Network Solutions web hosting have not been available from Europe. Requests simply time out. I called Netsol today and they informed me that they are aware of the problem and trying to resolve it. Here is a thread from unhappy web site owners.
Government

Submission + - NH Primary Hand Counts != Diebold Machine Counts

isdale writes: There are several reports showing the hand counts in New Hampshire Primary are quite different from the machine counts:
* Hand Count Shows 15% For Ron Paul
* Diebold favors Hillary, hand count for Obama

BlackBoxVoting.org has an article claiming Director of Sales and Marketing of the one and only contractor servicing the Diebold machines uses exclusively in NH has a criminal record.

Just thought the SlashDot folks would be interested.
Media

Submission + - Paramount to Drop HD DVD (ft.com)

zeromemory writes: "The Financial Times reports that "Paramount is poised to drop its support of HD DVD after Warner Brothers' recent backing of Sony's Blu-ray technology, in a move that will sound the death knell of HD DVD and bring the home entertainment format war to a definitive end." According to the Times, Warner Brother's recent defection to Blu-Ray allowed Paramount to terminate their exclusive relationship with HD DVD. Universal Studios remains the only major studio to exclusively support the HD DVD format, though rumors have surfaced that their contract may also contain a termination provision similar to that exercised by Paramount."
Biotech

Submission + - Plastic-degrading bacteria discovered in Mexico (google.com)

Spy der Mann writes: "A bacteria capable of degrading polyurethane, was just discovered in the sewage waters of Mexico City. It's Alicycliphilus bacteria, unicellular organism with a mechanism not yet clarified degrades the polyurethane, perhaps the most commonly used plastic for half a century. Thanks to a team of scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry of the UNAM, the bacterium went to university laboratories to open a new horizon for research, which in a few years might find a solution to transform polyurethane, which is manufactured from oil and does not degrade when it is discarded. (Original spanish text)"
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft "Open Value Subscription" Scam (cnet.com)

daveofdoom writes: "Microsoft Open Value Subscription is none of the above

This week Microsoft launched a SMB program that contains the words "open", "value" and "subscription", none of which are common to Microsoft products, culture, or marketing.

Digging in a bit I found myself confused not only by what the program portends to be but why it would be called it "Open Value Subscription" unless they were hoping to leverage buzzwords and concepts related to open source and SaaS (software as a service). It's such lame and dishonest branding the marketing group should be ashamed."

Editorial

Submission + - ElectionNameRecClinton,Obama,Huckabee Oh My!

Eileen Chrisjohn writes: "Normally I don't get too shook up about a Presidential Election until after the Primaries. This election is different. Unlike the last election where Dean totally made a fool of himself by "screaming" after the Iowa Caucus, and Kerry just bored us all to death with his drone speeches and sad puppy dog eyes. This election is a little dicier. We have an African American whose first name sounds like a much hated enemy of the United States. Then we have a woman whose last name is much loved by many of the United States. And last but not least we have an evangelical minister who's last name can't help but bring a smile to the faces of many because it sounds like a much loved literature character penned by Mark Twain.

What's in a name? This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

        "Name recognition is a concept used in politics to describe number of people who are aware of a politician. It is considered an important factor in elections, as candidates with low name recognition are unlikely to receive votes from people who only casually follow politics. It also considered a major obstacle for challengers hoping to defeat incumbents. The fact that they are already in office, and have usually already won an election, gives incumbents an inherent name recognition advantage over most challengers."

The bottom line is that most of us only casually follow politics. Very few watch every debate, and search online for how the candidates stand on issues such as abortion, immigration, or taxes. We are too busy with our own lives, trying to pay the bills, living life on life's terms, hanging on to our job, and taking care of our children, to devote that much time and energy getting to know our candidates. Most of us only know what is said on the evening news, and then it depends on what network we are watching because some are "liberal" and some are "conservative".

What does that leave us? Their name. When we walk into that voting booth in November 2008, their name is what is going to influence our vote the most. Oh sure, we will have those snippets of negative ads and items in the news, but all we really know about our candidates is if their name gives us a warm fuzzy feeling or ....something else."
Security

Submission + - Part of CA's website hacked (computerworld.com)

CheckeredShirt writes: Part of CA's website was hacked and replaced with a redirect to a malicious site hosted in China. There is some rumor that "CA itself may not even host the press release section of its site, as that job is often outsourced to a third party." This points out that "when you outsource, you've got to be just as (demanding) about security as you are with your own site."
Government

Submission + - Leave Your Laptop At Home When Entering the US (nytimes.com) 4

rah1420 writes: "According to a recent sidebar in the NY Times, a couple of federal appeals courts have upheld the right of the government to inspect the hard drive contents of any hard drive entering the US. So make sure you leave the pr0n at home. And your finances. And your personal correspondence. And your notes and contact list (if you're a reporter.) For my part, I am buying another hard disk. I'll just install Ubuntu and Firefox and use that if I have to travel abroad."

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