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Submission + - Norway mandates government use of ODF and PDF

siDDis writes: Earlier this year Slashdot mentioned that Norway moves towards mandatory use of ODF and PDF. Now it's confirmed that the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

There are three formats that have been mandated for all documentation between authorities, users and partners. HTML for all public information on the Web, PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved and ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit. Documents may also be published in other formats, but they must always be available in either ODF or PDF.

Submission + - I have 38 days until the RIAA files suit (

vile209 writes: "A thread on Something Awful about a user being threatened by the RIAA's lawyers. Something seems fishy though, the user claims he did not download the songs and has a solid alibi. This news story has made the front page of and now has over 50 thousand views on the SA forums. Also Submitted because he is being sued for "Europe — The Final Countdown""

Submission + - New Issue with Vista (

An anonymous reader writes: An new issue with Vista involving Microsoft Office, anti-virus, and flash drives (or any other FAT32 formated drives). The basics are that if you open an Office file off the flash drive, edit the file and then save it, the file is deleted off the flash drive. Full details here
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - E-Toll Roads Charge For Hidden Orphan (

DontScotty writes: Besides losing your alleged privacy of movement, now here's a real threat to tuck under your aluminum covered baseball cap. But, this one will be hitting your virtual wallet. For those using EZ Pass electronic toll systems, be wary of the "orphan exit". If the system fails to scan you out of traffic — you pay NOT for the road driven, but the maximum daily (aka lost ticket) rate.

Submission + - UK teachers want to ban Youtube

WombatDeath writes: The UK's Professional Association of Teachers is demanding that Youtube be shut down in order to remove threatening and bullying video footage from the internet. Following cases in which teachers have struggled to have individual clips removed, a spokeswoman for the PAT said that "Being exposed to ridicule, whether as an adult or young person, is a humiliating and frightening experience," adding "In the short term confronting this problem must be the closure of sites encouraging the cyber-bullying." Are new measures necessary to counter online bullying or, as Youtube asserts, are its existing processes able to deal with such situations?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Our ATM is broken, so you go to jail? (

Actually, I do RTFA writes: A short while ago, slashdot featured an article about possible criminal prosecution for people who took advantage of faulty slot machine software. At the time, many people drew an analogy to an ATM that dispensed too much money. Well, apparently, that too may result in criminal charges. Interestingly, although they suspect that someone may have tampered with the ATM, they are considering charging anyone who withdrew money from the ATM.

This also provides an interesting rejoinder to 'if they can build a secure ATM, why cannot Diebold build a secure electronic voting machine.'


Submission + - Etoile Project releases Mac-like environment (

pschmied writes: Today the Étoilé Project released v0.2 of its Desktop Environment. Not only does Étoilé share user interface similarities with Mac OS X, Étoilé enjoys some source-level compatibility with Mac OS X as well. Many Slashdotters undoubtedly remember NeXT, the revolutionary computer / development environment that gave rise to the first web browser and later became the foundation of Mac OS X. Étoilé uses the FSF's own implementation of the NeXT development environment, GNUStep, making this a close technological relative of OS X. Screenshots and a source tarball are available.

Submission + - Hacking kiosks and ATMs with Windows sticky keys

pestilence669 writes: "An alarming number of kiosks and ATMs (like the V-Com units in 7-11) run Windows XP. I've recently made it a hobby to play minesweeper and surf the web on these units. Most, if not all, are connected to the Internet. BitTorrent from an ATM? It's easier than you think! Gaining control is as simple as five keystrokes.

The companies that build ATMs and kiosks seem to know nothing about keyboard shortcuts. If there's a keyboard attached, you can bet that they removed the TAB key to prevent ALT+TAB abuses. Little do they know, ALT+TAB is not the only way to lose focus for an application.

If you're a fast typer like me, you've probably been greeted with the Microsoft sticky keys dialog. It asks you if you want to enable "sticky keys." It's a usability feature that helps disabled individuals type with one hand. Sadly, it's pseudo-enabled by default since this dialog box appears. Most people don't know it, so it's ready to be abused on just about every production XP-based kiosk or ATM (with keyboard).

All that needs to be done: hit the SHIFT key five times. SHIFT is guaranteed to be included in even the most restrictive keyboard layouts. In almost every instance, the sticky keys dialogs appears. As the kiosk or ATM application looses focus, you'll be presented with the XP start menu in the background. Many of these machines use a complete install with Minesweeper, Hearts, Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. Fun!!!

I've made it a regular habit to browse Slashdot, send email, and surf blogs from just about any kiosk that I find. Whenever my wife uses the bathroom at Dave & Busters, I'm reading blogs in the lobby. Whenever I'm at 7-11, I'm surfing with the ATM.

What's really scary about all of this is how easy it is to install executable code onto these devices. They're on the Internet and they have local storage. As far as I can tell, in my own experience, there are no restrictions in place. What's to stop someone from installing their own COM/ActiveX "helper" object and intercepting all HTTP/bank traffic?"
The Courts

Submission + - Court: Web contracts can't be changed w/o notice (

RZG writes: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on July 18th that contracts posted online cannot be updated without notifying users. "Parties to a contract have no obligation to check the terms on a periodic basis to learn whether they have been changed by the other side", the court wrote. This ruling has consequences for many online businesses, who took for granted their right to do this. (See for example item 19 in Google's Terms of Service)

Submission + - Lawyers shafted by windows on NY bar examination

An anonymous reader writes: Over 5000 aspiring lawyers who took the New York bar examination on laptops using windows, word and a software from a company called SecureExam ended up with lost essays and computer problems. The New York Board of Bar Examiners released a statement and the company responsible released a second statement. Possibilities at this point might entail a software company being held liable for licensed software under a EULA for the first time. Bar examinations in Georgia reportedly had problems as well. It seems the software created a single file with all the answers and either discarded the file rather than upload it or mixed parts of the essays together.

Submission + - First iPhone 3rd Party GUI App Compiles

CmputrAce writes: Well, it's here now. The #iphone-dev team has compiled the first third-party application for the iPhone. Of course, it is the standard "Hello, world." application, but it's native to the iPhone and uses the iPhone's GUI. This opens up the iPhone for development by anyone who can forge through the process of cracking the iPhone, installing the iPhone "Toolchain", writing an application, compiling, translating, and finally installing the application to the iPhone. With the pace of development at present, expect to see commercial "jailbreak" (mod-enabling) applications soon as well. You can already get high-quality applications (Mac) to theme the iPhone and add your own ring tones (Win) for the phone.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Cross-OS file system that sucks less?

An anonymous reader writes: I recently got an external harddisk with USB 2.0/Firewire/Firewire 800/eSATA to be used for backup and file exchange — my desktop runs Linux (with a Windows partition for games but no data worth saving), and the laptop is a MacBook Pro.

So the question popped up: what kind of filesystem is best for this kind of situation? Is there a filesystem that works good under Linux, MacOS X and Windows? Linux has HFS+ support but apparently doesn't support journaling and there's also an issue with the case-insensitivity of HFS+.

Are we stuck with shitty VFAT forever or are there efforts underway to bring a modern filesystem (I'm thinking something like ZFS, BeFS, or XFS) to all platforms our there? Or are there other clever solutions like storing ISO images and loop-mounting those?

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