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Yahoo!

Microsoft and Yahoo Reach Deal 301

e9th writes "We know that Microsoft failed last February in its attempt to buy Yahoo. Now, Advertising Age reports that they've reached a deal. Instead of a buyout, the two will enter into a revenue sharing agreement, and Bing will become Yahoo's default search engine. The meat of the AdAge article can be found in Yahoo News. This deal may give Google something to worry about."
Security

92% of Windows PCs Vulnerable To Zero-Day Attacks On Flash 286

CWmike writes "More than 9 out of every 10 Windows users are vulnerable to the Flash zero-day vulnerability that Adobe won't patch until Thursday, Danish security company Secunia says. According to Secunia, 92% of the 900,000 users who have recently run the company's Personal Software Inspector (PSI) utility have Flash Player 10 on their PCs, while 31% have Flash Player 9. (The total exceeds 100% because some users have installed both.) The most-current versions of Flash Player — 9.0.159.0 and 10.0.22.87) — are vulnerable to hackers conducting drive-by attacks hosted on malicious and legitimate-but-compromised sites. Antivirus vendors have reported hundreds, in some cases thousands, of sites launching drive-bys against Flash."
Displays

Finally, a True Green Laser 274

dusty writes "Remember those green lasers from Star Wars? Turns out that faking green lasers has been easy for years, but making true green laser diodes has been the stuff of science fiction. Until recently, that is. Now researchers from Japan have created the world's first true green laser diode. Until now, only red and blue laser diodes were available, and now with the addition of green, new TVs and projectors that are more efficient can be produced. And if you were wondering how green lasers pointers are already produced, it is a hack that involved doubling the frequency of an infrared laser. The new true green laser diodes have much higher efficiency than the current 6%, leading many to expect big time laser display breakthroughs in the near future. Ars Technica has a well-written article on this breakthrough."
XBox (Games)

Gamerscore Hacking and Its Underground Economy 85

An anonymous reader writes "There's a writeup on SpywareGuide that explores the world of Xbox Gamerscore hacking, and how high Gamerscores are proving to be a big target for hackers and phishers. It also talks about how a recent release of a Gamerscore-altering program onto forums for hacking & cheating is proving to be lucrative business for both eBay sellers and those who want to artificially inflate a Gamerscore before selling that account, or trading it for credit card details."
Biotech

New Treatment Trains Immune System To Kill Cancer 62

Al writes "A vaccine in clinical trials at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine triggers the human immune system to attack a faulty protein that's often abundant in colorectal cancer tissue and precancerous tissue. If it works as hoped, it could remove the need for repeated colonoscopies in patients at high risk for developing colorectal cancer. The vaccine has already proven safe in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. It works by spurring the body to manufacture antibodies against the abnormal version of a mucous protein called MUC1. While moderate amounts of the protein are found in the lining of normal intestines, high levels of a defective form of MUC1 are present in about half of advanced adenomas and the majority of colorectal cancers."
Medicine

Are Women Getting More Beautiful? 834

FelxH writes "Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern." I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!
Security

AVG Update Breaks iTunes 185

nate_in_ME writes "After getting a positive from the AVG virus detector while playing music on iTunes just a few minutes ago, I did a bit of research. It appears that AVG has recently pushed an update to the virus definitions that flags every iPod/iTunes related file as being infected with the 'Small.BOG' trojan. Interestingly enough, AVG does not have any information on this particular virus in their virus encyclopedia. Discussion on the Apple forum is up to 4 pages and climbing. One user there had an interesting thought: 'Maybe Palm has some shares in AVG...MUAHAAAA!!' (on page 3)."
Privacy

Facebook Lets Advertisers Use Pictures Without Permission 260

Krokz sends in an LA Times piece that begins "A warning is bouncing through cyberspace today, landing on the Facebook statuses of many of the social networking site's users. The message: 'Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission.' It continues with a prescription of how you can protect your photos." The attention-grabbing incident in this furor involved a married woman, whose photo appeared in an ad for a dating service that was presented to her husband to view. Fortunately, both husband and wife had a sense of humor about it.
Earth

New Zealand Tree Stuck In Evolutionary Time Warp 337

sciencehabit writes "A eucalyptus-like tree from New Zealand is still waging a battle that should have ended over 500 years ago. The tree continues to sport evolutionary adaptations, such as barbed leaves, to protect it from a large, flightless bird known as a moa. There's just one problem: the moa went extinct around 1500 AD."
PC Games (Games)

Spore Patch Nearly Lets Creatures Into Other Games 60

Dalambertian writes "The release of Spore's Patch 5 lets players export their creatures (and soon vehicles and buildings) in Collada format. This includes textures, bump mapping, and rigging for animation. Maxis developer Ocean Quigley recently posted a nice tutorial for getting said creatures into Maya, and other 3D packages are soon to follow. This could have a huge impact on the games industry, and the indie games scene in particular. Unfortunately, if the patch falls under the usual EULA, then any legitimate use of the art assets outside of the Spore community becomes impossible. EA is apparently just teasing us with its taste-but-don't-swallow policy, and at present it's not clear whether the genius that came out of Spore's development will ever truly be accessible to the game dev community."
Encryption

SHA-3 Second Round Candidates Released 62

Jeremy A. Hansen writes "NIST just announced their selections for algorithms going to the second round of the SHA-3 competition. Quoting: 'NIST received 64 SHA-3 candidate hash function submissions and accepted 51 first round candidates as meeting our minimum acceptance criteria. We have now selected 14 second round candidates to continue in the competition. Information about the second round candidate algorithms will be available here. We were pleased by the amount and quality of the cryptanalysis we received on the first round candidates, and more than a little amazed by the ingenuity of some of the attacks. ... In selecting this set of second round candidates we tried to include only algorithms that we thought had a chance of being selected as SHA-3. We were willing to extrapolate higher performance for conservative designs with apparently large safety factors, but comparatively unforgiving of aggressive designs that were broken, or nearly broken during the course of the review. We were more willing to accept disquieting properties of the hash function if the designer had apparently anticipated them, than if they were discovered during the review period, even if there were apparent fixes. We were generally alarmed by attacks on compression functions that seemed unanticipated by the submitters.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Stallman Says Pirate Party Hurts Free Software 546

bonch writes "Richard Stallman has written an article on the GNU Web site describing the effect the Swedish Pirate Party's platform would have on the free software movement. While he supports general changes to copyright law, he makes a point that many anti-copyright proponents don't realize — the GPL itself is a copyright license that relies on copyright law to protect access to source code. According to Stallman, the Pirate Party's proposal of a five-year limit on copyright would remove the freedom users have to gain access to source code by eventually allowing its inclusion in proprietary products. Stallman suggests requiring proprietary software to also release its code within five years to even the balance of power."
The Almighty Buck

Stock Market Manipulation By Millisecond Trading 624

cfa22 writes "Nice piece in the NY Times today on ultra-fast trading on the NYSE and other markets. The 'algos' that make autonomous trading decisions have to be fast, but I wonder: Is network speed ever a bottleneck? Can anyone with inside experience with millisecond trading provide some details for the curious among us regarding hardware architectures and networking used for such trading systems?" According to the article, high-frequency traders generated about $21 billion in profits last year.
PC Games (Games)

Gaming On Windows 7 554

Jason Wilson writes "Windows 7 comes out Oct. 22, and many gamers are wondering whether it will be a boon for gaming, as Microsoft promised Vista would, or a disappointment (like Vista was at its launch). Former ExtremeTech editor Jason Cross, who's covered games and tech for 13 years, discusses the pluses and minuses of Windows 7 for gamers — how it differs from Vista, if it'll run older games, and the benefits of 64-bit computing. 'Windows 7 basically takes the Vista codebase and rewrites, refines, optimizes, and overhauls most of the internal stuff without making dramatic changes to the driver stacks that Vista did over WinXP. The changes to the fundamental driver models are small and mostly serve to improve performance. Plus, the hardware makers — especially the graphics guys — are on top of the changes this time around. Nvidia and ATI have been shipping quite good Win7 graphics drivers for months now.'"
The Internet

East Africa Gets High-Speed Internet Access Via Undersea Cable 198

Abel Mebratu writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "The first undersea cable to bring high-speed internet access to East Africa has gone live. The fiber-optic cable, operated by African-owned firm Seacom, connects South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique to Europe and Asia. The firm says the cable will help to boost the prospects of the region's industry and commerce. The cable — which is 17,000km long — took two years to lay and cost more than $650m."

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