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Submission + - Operation Payback: protests via mouse click (

juct writes: "The UK site The H took a quick look at the tool being used in the recent DDoS attacks against Mastercard, Visa and Paypal. It's called LOIC ("Low Orbit Ion Cannon") and connects to an IRC channel or a Twitter account to receive orders for coordinated denial of service attacks. Essentially it works a bit like a voluntary bot network."

Daily Kos Pollster Made Up Numbers 546

jamie found a story up on Daily Kos revealing that the polling firm they had contracted with for 18 months, Research 2000 or R2K, apparently made up or at least manually tweaked its polling results. The blog published a preliminary report by a team of statistics gurus (Mark Grebner, Michael Weissman, and Jonathan Weissman), and it is an exemplar of clarity and concision. The team reports, "We do not know exactly how the weekly R2K results were created, but we are confident they could not accurately describe random polls." Daily Kos will be filing a lawsuit against its former pollster. "For the past year and a half, Daily Kos has been featuring weekly poll results from the Research 2000 (R2K) organization. These polls were often praised for their 'transparency,' since they included detailed cross-tabs on sub-populations and a clear description of the random dialing technique. However, on June 6, 2010, rated R2K as among the least accurate pollsters in predicting election results. Daily Kos then terminated the relationship. One of us (MG) wondered if odd patterns he had noticed in R2K's reports might be connected with R2K's mediocre track record, prompting our investigation of whether the reports could represent proper random polling. ... This posting is a careful initial report of our findings, not intended to be a full formal analysis but rather to alert people not to rely on R2K's results."

Submission + - Mozilla to protect Adobe Flash users ( 1

juct writes: "Firefox is going to check the version of installed Adobes Flash plug-ins and warn users if it discovers an outdated version with potential security holes. Mozilla confirmed this new security feature and said that the Flash version check was part of a wider commitment to "protect users from emerging threats online". Only recently a study confirmed, that 80 per cent of users surf with a vulnerable version of Adobe's plug-in."

Palm Pre Reports Your Location and Usage To Palm 314

AceJohnny writes "Joey Hess found that his Palm Pre was ratting on him. It turns out the Pre periodically uploads detailed information about the user to Palm, including the names of installed apps, application usage (and crashes), as well as GPS coordinates. This, of course, is without user consent or control. The only way he found to disable the uploads was to modify system files."

New Company Seeks to Bring Semantic Context To Numbers 264

A new company, True#, is seeking to bring extensive semantic context to numbers to give them obvious meanings just as certain words have obvious meanings to most readers. "Most of us can probably recognize 3.14159 and the conceptual baggage it carries, but how many of us would recognize 58.44? (That's a mole of sodium chloride, in grams, for the curious.) And the response that would work for words — look it up — doesn't work so conveniently for numbers. Only one of the top-10 hits in Google refers to salt, and Bing fails entirely (though it does offer 'Women's Sexy Mini Skirts by VENUS'). Clearly, we haven't figured out how to make the Web work for numbers in the same way it does for words."

Comment Re:They're called digital cameras (Score 1) 443

There's no need for instant film anymore.

Only if you see it from a pure technical standpoint. Photography also is art though, and instant films are the medium some people prefer due to the involved process and style of results. Take a look at sites like POLANOIR, Polanoid, or the various groups on Flickr (my polaroid set).

The Courts

Jack Thompson Spams Utah Senate, May Face Legal Action 319

eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, GamePolitics ran an interesting story about the Utah Senate President threatening Jack Thompson with the CAN-SPAM Act. You might recall Utah being Jack's last hope and hold-out after being disbarred in Florida and more or less made a mockery everywhere else. Well, from Utah's Senate Site, we get the picture of what Jack is up to now: spamming his last friends on the planet. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on Senate President Michael Waddoups' statements: 'I asked you before to remove me from your mailing list. I supported your bill but because of the harassment will not again. If I am not removed, I will turn you over to the AG for legal action.' The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Waddoups confirmed on Tuesday that he would attempt to pursue legal action under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 against Jack Thompson."

Saturn's Rings May Be Very Old 125

Kristina from Science News writes "Combining computer simulations with data about the way starlight shines through Saturn's rings suggests the individual grains are big and thus could have been around a good 4 billion years, not the mere 10 million to 100 million previously suspected. What may have thrown earlier observations off is the chance that the grains aren't evenly distributed, but clump here and spread out there."

Google Unveils First Android Phone 546

danieltdp writes "Google finally officially launched the first Android-enabled mobile device to hit the market. As expected, the first Android phone will be the HTC Dream (also known as the T-Mobile G1), a device with a large touchscreen and a slide-out physical keypad that will run Google's new mobile platform." You might also not be at all surprised to know that Google is working on an Android competitor to the Apple App store.

IBM Threatens To Leave ISO Over OOXML Brouhaha 200

barnackle writes "In addition to threatening to leave certain standards organizations over the OOXML shenanigans, IBM created new guidelines for its own participation in those organizations in an attempt to pressure the ISO and ECMA to be more fair in their approval procedures."

US Responsible For the Majority of Cyber Attacks 205

Amber G5 writes "SecureWorks published the locations of the computers from which the greatest number of cyber attacks were attempted against its clients in 2008. The United States topped the list with 20.6 million attempted attacks originating from computers within the country, and China ran second with 7.7 million attempted attacks emanating from computers within its borders. This was followed by Brazil with over 166,987 attempted attacks, South Korea with 162,289, Poland with 153,205, Japan with 142,346, Russia with 130,572, Taiwan with 124,997, Germany with 110,493, and Canada with 107,483."

Submission + - Pron for Google captchas (

juct writes: "Apparantly Spammers are re-using an old trick to defeat Google captchas. As heise reports they are now offering free porn, to find humans who do the work for them and enter the distorted characters. If you type the right characters you are awarded with a new picture — and the next captcha. In the background the characters you typed are used to fill out a Google registration form."

Submission + - Protection against weak SSL certificates (

juct writes: "Literally thousands of sites still use weak certificates to protect sensitive data like credit card numbers or passwords. heise found that even payment services like ppay or the german T-Pay are affected (german only). Even if they do replace and revoke the weak certificates, they could still be used to spoof an apparently secure site. This is due to the fact that neither Internet Explorer on Windows XP nor Firefox 2 check the revocation status of a certificate by default. To secure online transactions you can use the heise SSL Guardian with Internet Explorer or Márton Anka's Firefox extension SSL Blacklist. Both detect weak certificates and warn the user, that they are not secure."

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