Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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Submission + - Asus Unveils A Windows 7 Tablet

adeelarshad82 writes: Asus, which hopes to capitalize on the tablet boom, is making sure Windows lives on in its slates. At CES 2011, Asus launched the Eee Slate EP121, a slate tablet that runs on a full blown Windows 7 operating system and an Intel Core i5 processor. The EP121 is among the biggest slates seen at the show, boasting a 12-inch screen and weighing 2.5-pounds. The screen uses a 1,280-by-800 resolution (16-by-10 aspect ratio) and supports multitouch. The slate comes with a USB 2.0 port, mini HDMI, an SD card reader, and a 2 Megapixel front-facing camera. Networking capabilities include built-in 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth wireless. The storage on the other hand is limited to solid state drives—32GB or 64GB capacities.

Submission + - Microsoft Confirms Zero-Day Hours After Exploit (

CWmike writes: Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday an unpatched vulnerability in Windows just hours after a hacking toolkit published an exploit for the bug. A patch is under construction, but Microsoft does not plan to issue an emergency update to fix the flaw. The bug was first discussed Dec. 15 at a South Korean security conference, but got more attention Tuesday when the open-source Metasploit penetration tool posted an exploit module crafted by researcher Joshua Drake. Metasploit says successful attacks are capable of compromising victimized PCs, then introducing malware to the machines to pillage them for information or enlist them in a criminal botnet.

Submission + - Elliptic Labs to bring touchless gestures to iPad (

An anonymous reader writes: Elliptic Labs will reveal their Touchless Gesture User Interface technology at CES 2011. Elliptic Labs sprung forth from the signal processing environment at the University of Oslo and what they’ve come up with is an iPod dock which creates a “touchless zone” that extends out about 1 foot in front and to the sides of the iPad screen. Users can then initiate a number of gestures, much like on Microsoft Kinect, to manipulate onscreen content.

Submission + - Ensitel in Portugal last steisand effect example

An anonymous reader writes: A portuguese cell phone company served an injunction to a blogger who expressed on her site disfavourable opinions about her customer experience on her blog, in portuguese, In the injunction she was required to take down the parts of her blog where she talks about her bad customer experience with Ensitel. She did not. Yesterday evening and on Wednesday 28th the whole day, there has been a mass viral backlash on the part of Portuguese internet users, inundating twitter and facebook with bad comments about the company and revolting against the gagging of a blogger. The case which was completely unknow made it to the main media, newspapers and tv. Ensitel, the biggest retailer of cell phones and accessories in Portugal with over 70 points of sale, pretended to shut up an unsatisfied customer has has instead amplified the case enourmously bringing up questions of freedom of speech and civil liberties in Portugal, a country that is a democracy only for the past 36 years. The term #ensitel has been trending on the portugues twitter all day and the company had to respond on its facebook page basically saying that they accept freedom of speach as long as you do not say anything bad about them.. I hope I will not get sued by them too...
You can read about this on wikipedia as an example of the streisand effect or here in portuguese

Submission + - Facebook uses scare tactics to mine more user data (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook is being accused of using similar scaremongering tactics to those deployed by fake anti-virus scams and phishing attacks, under the pretext of actually making users' accounts better protected.

Messages tell Facebook users that their "Account protection status" is currently "very low", but ask users to hand over alternative email addresses, mobile phone numbers, etc.

Security firm Sophos says it has received a number of messages from concerned Facebook users who were worried that the alerts were bogus, and declares that the "suggestion that users' accounts currently have a protection status of "very low" is entirely misleading and stinks of scare tactics."

Submission + - Felony to read your spouse's email (

dakohli writes: Michigan resident Leon Walker, has been charged with a felonly

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that a Michigan resident could face five years in prison for reading his wife’s e-mail. 33 year old computer technician Leon Walker had been snooping through wife Clara Walker’s Gmail account after finding her password written in a book next to their shared laptop, and by doing so discovered that she had been having an affair with an ex-husband. In response, Clara filed for divorce and had her now ex-husband arrested.

Of course, there are all sorts of extenuating circumstances, enough perhaps to interest Mr. Springer! One of the sites that is reporting also has a poll on whether or not it is acceptable to read your spouse's email. As of 630 CST the vote is only 17% in favor of keeping this type of activity illegal. I know that there has been a huge debate on whether or now work email should be accessable to your company, and even if you should be able to read your kids email. Where does the limit of privacy sit?

Submission + - Auditors question TSA's use of and spending on tec ( 1

Frosty Piss writes: Government auditors have faulted the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, for failing to properly test and evaluate technology before spending money on it. The TSA spent about $36 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to "sniff" them out for explosives residue. All 207 of those machines ended up in warehouses, abandoned as unable to perform as advertised, deployed in many airports before the TSA had fully tested them. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors, including $8 billion for the famous new body scanners that have recently come under scrutiny for being unable to perform the task for which they are advertised. 'TSA has an obsession of finding a single box that will solve all its problems. They've spent and wasted money looking for that one box, and there is no such solution.' Said John Huey, an airport security expert.

Submission + - End the Ethanol Insanity

theodp writes: It's now conceivable, says BusinessWeek's Ed Wallace, that the myth of ethanol as the salvation for America's energy problem is coming to an end. Curiously, the alternative fuel may be done in by an unlikely collection of foes. Fervidly pro-ethanol in the last decade of his political career, former VP Al Gore reversed course in late November and apologized for supporting ethanol, which apparently was more about ingratiating himself to farmers. A week later, Energy Secretary Steven Chu piled on, saying: 'The future of transportation fuels shouldn't involve ethanol.' And in December, a group of small-engine manufacturers, automakers, and boat manufacturers filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals to vacate the EPA's October ruling that using a 15% blend of ethanol in fuel supplies would not harm 2007 and newer vehicles. Despite all of this, the newly-elected Congress has extended the 45 cent-per-gallon ethanol blending tax credit that was due to expire, a move that is expected to reduce revenue by $6.25 billion in 2011. 'The ethanol insanity,' longtime-critic Wallace laments, 'will continue until so many cars and motors are damaged by this fuel additive that the public outcry can no longer be ignored. Adding an expensive, harmful, useless filler to gasoline just to win farmers' gratitude is not remotely the same as having a legitimate national energy policy.'
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Submission + - What is Traitorware?

theodp writes: The EFF's Eva Galperin offers a brief primer on Traitorware, devices that act behind your back to betray your privacy. 'Your digital camera may embed metadata into photographs with the camera's serial number or your location,' writes Galperin. 'Your printer may be incorporating a secret code on every page it prints which could be used to identify the printer and potentially the person who used it. If Apple puts a particularly creepy patent it has recently applied for into use, you can look forward to a day when your iPhone may record your voice, take a picture of your location, record your heartbeat, and send that information back to the mothership.' She concludes: 'EFF will be there to fight it [Traitorware]. We believe that your software and devices should not be a tool for gathering your personal data without your explicit consent.' Can we get an Amen, Alex Tapanaris?

Submission + - VLC For Android May Arrive In Early 2011 (

dkd903 writes: The development of an Android client for VLC has been going on for months now, but it has been slowed down by the fact that Android’s multimedia output libraries are in JAVA. VLC itself is based on C and so translating them to JAVA is difficult and takes time.

With the newer Android NDK, however, using native codes for Android apps has been becoming easier. So, the VLC developers have developed two basic modules for audio and video output based on the new NDK and most of the VLC libraries has been ported to Android.

Comment Re:Did the banks detect the no-pin transaction (Score 2) 162

Looking through the article, it looks like the terminal requests the transaction as chip and PIN, the MITM hardware changes the transaction flag to chip and signature, and the smart card responds with an OK. Unfortunately, it's the same OK as if the smart card had in fact received a transaction type of chip and PIN with the attached PIN being the correct one. The flaw is in having the smart card response being the same for both kinds of transactions. If instead, there was a signature method OK, and a different PIN # OK, then the terminal would catch the difference. This way, the terminal sends back to the bank: "I requested a chip and PIN transaction, and the smart card said that the PIN was good", when in fact all the smart card saw was the terminal say that the user requested a chip and signature transaction. The bank would have no way to realize that what the smart card saw wasn't what the terminal (and probably the bank) requested.

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