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Submission + - What's the Best Streaming Media Player? (

DeviceGuru writes: It's looking like 2012 will be a watershed for cord-cutters wanting to replace expensive cable TV services with low-cost gadgets that stream movies and TV shows from the Internet via free, subscription, and pay-per-view services. Accordingly, this DeviceGuru smackdown pits five popular streaming media player devices against each other. The smackdown pits Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, the Boxee Box, and Netgear's NeoTV against one another, tabulating their key features, functions, specs, supported multimedia formats, and other characteristics, and listing the main advantages and disadvantages of each device. Then, it provides a summary chart that attempts to quantify the whole thing, so you (theoretically) can pick the best one based on what characteristics are most important to you. Of course, the market's evolving so quickly that the entire process will need to be redone in 6 months, but what else is new.

Submission + - Artist Sued for Inauthentic Copies

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Eriq Gardner reports that Todd White, the former SpongeBob SquarePants lead designer, is now the defendant in a $5 million class action lawsuit that claims he deceived thousands of art buyers into buying reproductions of his art that were not authentic. According to the lawsuit filed by Carole Harris, White issued numerous limited-edition "giclees," a high-resolution digital scan of an original piece, substituting it onto a substrate, and applying a protective varnish sealant. White advertised the works were gilcees, and "consumers nationwide were willing to pay thousands of dollars for mere reproductions of original art." So far, so good. But the plaintiffs say that the reproductions aren't authentic. Each was supposed to be hand-signed by White himself, but instead White had others "trained to 'paint' Mr. White's signature." White is no stranger to the courts having previously been sued for sending ninjas to take over his art dealer's gallery, but even if the allegations are true, White wouldn't be the first artist to direct underlings to make art under a false signature joining apprentice artists from the Renaissance age to Andy Warhol's factory in the 1960s."

Submission + - WikiLeaks Lessons For Security Managers (

nickh01uk writes: Rarely does a story with a strong information security thread garner so much attention in the press. When the leaking of secret state information is combined with pent-up public interest in the subject matter, demand meets supply and column inches result. Putting to one side the virtues or vices of making this particular information public, what lessons can we learn from it as Information Security professionals?

Submission + - Greenpois0n RC5 can jailbreak Verizon’s iPho ( 1

TechieAlizay writes: Chronic Dev Team very recently rolled out Greenpois0n RC5 which brought untethered jailbreak for iOS 4.2.1 (for both Windows and Mac users), which as some might say came after a long long wait. One thing which no one knows about the latest version of Greenpois0n RC5 is that if can jailbreak Verizon iPhone. According to pod2g’s twitter update, Greenpois0n RC5 is CDMA iPhone compatible.

Submission + - HTC Android Vulnerability found (

M10 writes: Just before Christmas we ran into a vulnerability on a number of HTC Android phones. We informed HTC and the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, and waited to get it fixed. Now it's time to go public and allow you to check whether your phone is vulnerable.
I came across an interesting behavior while doing some research regarding what kind of information one can access on an HTC Desire Z Android phone. A simple application with no permission to reboot the phone managed to do just that by simply reading a specific file on the phone. This turned out to be a kernel bug that could, with the help of another more serious vulnerability, be triggered also remotely when user visits a malicious website. The problem seems to only affect HTC phones, the mainline Android kernel is apparently unaffected.
More here:


Submission + - Robot sees through walls and detects breathing (

cylonlover writes: The Cougar20-H is a remote-controlled surveillance robot that is so sensitive it can not only detect motion through walls but, to ensure no one goes unnoticed, it can also detect the breathing of a stationary person. Packing a fine beam ultra-wideband (UWB), multi-Gigahertz radio frequency (RF) sensor array as well as multiple integrated cameras for day and night time visibility, the Cougar20-H was designed by surveillance imaging specialist TiaLinx to provide improved situational awareness to soldiers while keeping them out of harm’s way.

Submission + - Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook (

KWay writes: Book Review: Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook
Author: Michael de Raadt

Michael de Raadt has written a book (published by PacktPub) that can assist in identifying the most appropriate Moodle modules for your need, along with directions for installing and configuring the modules. As well, there are instructions for uninstalling modules in case they’re not what you want. This can be of great value since there are hundreds of modules available for various versions of Moodle. In addition, given the transition period from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.0, it’s wise to give consideration to whether that module will be upgraded for Moodle 2.0.

This book is for anyone wanting to install and configure particular Moodle modules and plug-ins for their Moodle site or course, particularly a non-tech person like me. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and progress in an easy to implement pattern. The material covered in this book is very empowering, particularly for someone new to tech issues in Moodle. The extensions suggested by the author are certainly useful in creating dynamic differentiated learning environments. As well, course design tips and tricks are included so you can get the most out of your online classroom environment.

Chapter 1: Getting Modular with Moodle begins with the installation of Moodle on a test server to provide a place to play in your own Moodle. This allows you to add whatever modules, plug-ins, and courses with which you choose to experiment. Be sure to check that the modules and plug-ins that you want to install are compatible with your version of Moodle.

Chapter 2: Adding Content describes using the modules and plug-ins that have been installed. This is the longest chapter in the book and is well-packed with solid step-by-step instructions in the use of each activity or block module discussed. The use of some of these modules, such as emboodle and Flash video, allow for the embedding of rich media into a course. After explaining how to add content to each type of module, the author also provides a short list of practical purposes for each module.

Chapter 3: Connecting to the Outside World explains how to use particular modules to create experiences for your students outside of your online course with links inside your course. Links to web services, such as Google Translator and Search, Wikipedia, and Twitter, are covered. The advantages and disadvantages of the outside resources are addressed in the chapter.

Chapter 4: Getting Around in Moodle is a very important chapter and based on the chapter’s title I wondered why this information wasn’t presented at the very beginning of the book. Navigating one’s way around a Moodle site and in a course can potentially be a frustrating experience for someone new to Moodle. This chapter is not about navigating one’s way around Moodle, it’s about using extensions to create effective navigation functions, especially to assist the newbie and every day user. In addition, the author provides information on block modules that will ease navigation on a Moodle home page and in a course.

Chapter 5: Effective Use of Space continues to provide information on extensions that assist in creating a course design that provides for efficient navigation while also drawing students’ attention to important content. The author explains the use of blocks for links to content that is helpful to access throughout the course. He also discusses the benefit of nesting content using the Topics Tree format so that instead of Topics appearing in order when scrolling down the screen, the content is collapsed. Likewise, the use of Topics or Weekly Tabs can create an uncluttered look upon entering a course. For courses with a lengthy duration the use of monthly sections can be used.

Chapter 6: Assessing Students begins with the standard and conventional modules of assessment but with engaging exercises, such as a drag-and-drop matching quiz. The chapter details use of the Peer Review module which is a simpler version of the Workshop module, written by the author himself. This activity requires students to use higher order thinking skills, such as critical thinking, to evaluate their peers’ work. The teacher maintains the final say in the grade in case conflicts in peer reviews occur. To broaden the application of assessment, the author describes the audio assessment tool NanoGong.

Chapter 7: Organizing Students is about how to use modules for effective and efficient engagement. Modules discussed include those that allow students, and others involved in a Moodle site, to be placed into groups, such as a peer group for students working collaboratively, and using the My Peers block module. Another great module for organizing students is the Progress Bar block module that can assist them in developing time management skills. The author created this module and amply discusses how it functions.

Chapter 8: Encouraging Student Interaction through collaboration explains the use of the following block modules for Moodle: (1) Mindmap; (2) Social bookmarking; (3) Shoutout box; (4) Chat users; (5) Active Forums; and (6) Latest Blog Entries. Each of the modules has unique features and, if used appropriately, can create meaningful communication and engaging interaction.

Chapter 9: Informing Students is devoted to creating an online classroom community of learners to avoid feelings of isolation due to lack of face-to-face contact. My preferences for the modules explained for general communication in the Moodle online environment include FN-Announcements block and Online Users Google Map block, and I’m looking to add the Rate a Course block in the future.

Chapter 10: Handy Tools for Teachers is a thoughtful discussion about making a teacher’s work easier. Some of the terrific modules mentioned to make that happen include the Sharing Cart block for cloning activities and resources, Quickfind User List, and other blocks that provide data on user usage. Thanks!

Chapter 11: Just for Fun is just that – modules that are just for fun! If your students don’t mind, you can announce birthdays with the Birthday block. There is always fun to be found while using emoticons which is one of my favorite ways to communicate and lends credence to the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Using a theme other than the standard Moodle theme can allow for the site to reflect you and brand your site. Certificates for completion of a course (or a project) are an excellent reward for diligent work in a course. Finally, having the Game module can allow students to just have fun!

In summary, this is a good book if you’re looking to create an effective and engaging homepage or course in Moodle, particularly if you’re new to Moodle or are stuck in the same old patterns of design. The author provides thorough instructions with screenshots that present ideas about how to use Moodle extensions effectively. I would recommend this book as a resource for course design if you are a site Administrator or a teacher.

~ The End ~

The book is available for purchase at the following sites: – take a look inside!


Submission + - RoboEarth - a web for robots (

mikejuk writes: A world wide web for robots? It sounds like a crazy idea but it could mean that once a task is learned any robot can find out how to do it just by asking RoboEarth. You use the web to find out stuff, including where you are and how to do something so why not robots.
Shades of SkyNet? Surely not.....


Submission + - Egypt's cyber crack-down aided by US company (

pinkushun writes: news reports that a US company, Narus, provided Telecom Egypt deep packet inspection tools, to track and target content from users of the Internet and mobile phones, as it passes through routers on the information superhighway.

The Huffingtonpost tells us who else is using this technology, and that when commercial network operators use DPI, the privacy of Internet users is compromised. But in government hands it can crush dissent and lead to human rights violations.


Submission + - Australian Aborigines the first 'astronomers'? (

brindafella writes: Look out, Stonehenge, here come the Wurdi Youang rocks in the Australian state of Victoria. A semi-circle of stones as been checked by an astrophysicist from Australia's premier research group, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who says this arrangement of rocks is a carefully aligned solar observatory that may be 10,000 years old. It would have been created by local Aborigines, the Wathaurong people, who have occupied the area for some 25,000 years.

Submission + - Saturn’s luminous auroras appear to be pulsi (

An anonymous reader writes: Saturn’s luminous auroras appear to be pulsing, and their ultraviolet glow waxes and wanes in connection with the planet’s puzzling radio emissions, scientists have discovered.

Submission + - Larry Ellison Rips HP Board a New One 1

theodp writes: No stranger himself to sexual harassment allegations, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has denounced HP's directors for forcing the resignation of HP CEO Mark Hurd. 'The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago,' Ellison wrote. For now, it seems that Rupert Murdoch is also standing by Hurd, who sits on News Corp's Board of Directors and its Corporate Governance Committee. Less likely to survive the scandal is Hurd's relationship with HP General Counsel Mike Holston, who accepted Hurd's signed eparation agreement after leading an investigation into Hurd's actions, which Holston told the NY Times 'showed a profound lack of judgment.' Quite a change from just last year, when Hurd and Holston teamed up to get their daughters' elite prep school a state-of-the-art HP Data Center.

Submission + - Giant Balloons Could Solve Space Junk Problem (

An anonymous reader writes: More than 100,000 objects bigger than a centimeter wide hover around our planet, accounting for 4 million pounds of junk that befoul our atmosphere and threaten the expensive satellites we actually want in orbit. Dr. Kristen Gates, of Global Aerospace Corporation, proposes that we can clear the skies by attaching a football field-sized balloon to dead satellites, which would increase the orbital drag on it, eventually bringing it down into the atmosphere where it would burn up. The GOLD — or Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device — unit is easily inflated in space, and best of all, if the deployed GOLD balloon collides with space junk, it won’t deflate or break the junk into smaller, less manageable bits.

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