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


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Submission + - Spam Spikes +30% in 24 hrs Due to Stock Scam Push (

eldavojohn writes: "A huge push by spamming stock market scammers has just been initiated resulting in a 30% increase in spam worldwide. And over 500 million e-mails urging you to buy junk bond stocks. Stocks that spammers will drop after they fluctuate enough for them to make money. A Sophos spam analyst offers these sage words of advice, "No stranger would ever give you a stock tip for your own good. It was true in the 1920s and it's just as true now.""

Submission + - The Uneasy Relationship Between Math and Crypto (

Coryoth writes: "From the September Notices of the AMS, The Uneasy Relationship Between Mathematics and Cryptography (PDF) by Neal Koblitz provides fascinating reading on the tension between pure mathematics and cryptography. While mathematics has always played some role in cryptography, since the 1970s far more sophisticated mathematics has played increasingly large role in cryptography research. The last couple of decades has seen a uneasy relationship develop between advanced mathematics and cryptography. Koblitz discusses this, along with his development of elliptic curve cryptography during that time. He also talks about some of the less welcome side effects, such as pure mathematicians contorting their research proposals to be "applicable" to "hot" fields of cryptography, and the attempt by cryptographers to co-opt the reliability of mathematical proof to give (rather weak, and often false) claims of "provably secure" cryptosystems."

Submission + - Beautiful Code interview (

An anonymous reader writes: Safari Books Online has just posted an interview with Andy Oram and Greg Wilson, the two editors who put together the recent O'Reilly book, Beautiful Code. "Beautiful Code" features 33 different case studies about challenging coding scenarios from some of today's most high-profile developers and OS project leaders. There's also a new Beautiful Code web site based on the book where many of the authors are blogging about their work and coding practices.
Data Storage

Submission + - Coming to your laptop -- 1.2TB hard drives ( 1

Lucas123 writes: "Fujitsu claims they have been able to create ideally ordered alumina nanohole patterns for isolated bit-by-bit recording on a disks, according to Computerworld's Brian Fonseca. The company recently demonstrated it could use a typical head and spinning platter to perform read/write operations on invdividual nanoholes. 'The patterned alumina nanohole media was created via a Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) processes using nano-imprint lithography (enabling discrete distance from bit to bit or track to track), anodic oxidation and cobalt electrodeposition at a density of 100-nanometer-pitch nanoholes suitable to existing head technology.'"

Submission + - 2007 is on track to be a year of extreme weather (

gollum123 writes: "Extreme weather has plagued the globe this year, a U.N. agency says, causing some of the highest temperatures on record ( .extremes/index.html ) . The World Meteorological Organization said "global land surface temperatures for January and April will likely be ranked as the warmest since records began in 1880," according to the United Nations. Four monsoon depressions, double the normal number, caused heavy flooding in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. England and Wales have experienced their wettest May-to-July period since record-keeping started in 1766. Southeastern Europe did not escape the unusual weather. The area suffered record-breaking heat in June and July. An unusual cold southern winter brought wind, blizzards and rare snowfall to various parts of South America."

Submission + - Privacy winning search engine war (

amigoro writes: "Privacy is emerging as the real winner of the Internet search engine war as companies aggressively compete with one another by offering stronger protections for user records, a report published today by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) concluded. The report notes that until recently, most of the major Internet search engines kept detailed and potentially personally identifiable records of their customers' searches for as indefinitely. But today the companies are trying to outdo each other in privacy protection by announcing steps to delete old user data, strip the personally identifiable information out of stored search records, and, in one case, give users the option to have all of their search records deleted."

Submission + - BitTorrent Closes Source Code (

An anonymous reader writes: "There are two issues people need to come to grips with," BitTorrent CEO Ashwin Narvin told "Developers who produce open source products will often have their product repackaged and redistributed by businesses with malicious intent. They repackage the software with spyware or charge for the product. We often receive phone calls from people who complain they have paid for the BitTorrent client." As for the protocol itself, that too is closed, but is available by obtaining an SDK license.

Submission + - London Police get real time access to traffic cams

Peil writes: "After saying for years that the Transport for London traffic cameras would not grant the police routine, real time access it appears that, surprise, surprise, thats just what has happened.

The BBC have flagged that our new Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith has decided to throw out all the previous assurances and data protection laws.

FTA: "Anti-terror officers will be exempted from parts of the Data Protection Act to allow them to see the date, time and location of vehicles in real time. They previously had to apply for access on a case-by-case basis. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith blamed the "enduring vehicle-borne terrorist threat to London" for the change."

Still they do promise to play nice:
The scheme will also be reviewed in three months' time after an interim report by Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, so the home secretary can be "personally satisfied ... that the privacy of individuals is protected""
United States

Submission + - 2008: The Immigration Debate

Tanaris_14 writes: "Senators, who have been arguing for weeks over provisions of the compromise immigration bill, are set to decide today whether to close debate and vote on passage. Whatever happens, the fate of the immigration bill is likely to have consequences for both parties in the 2008 presidential election.

The Timess Robert Pear reports that the outlook for the bill remained in doubt after senators considered a slew of amendments yesterday. Supporters of the bill say if they can muster the 60 votes needed to close debate, passage would be likely.

But, already three moderate Democrats Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana have indicated they are balking at the bill.

Meanwhile, the immigration debate has been generating a flood of phone call, e-mails and, as The Times Jeff Zeleny reports, at least a few threats to members of Congress: Not since the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, several Senate aides said, have the lines been so jammed by a single issue.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, a Democrat, flew to Washington this week to lobby for the bills passage. She warned her party that failure to deal with immigration this year could hurt Democrats in next years presidential race:

If theres no bill, it spills into the presidential election in a major way, Napolitano said. I would suggest to presidential candidates, Democrat and Republican alike, that if youre going to say something besides the word amnesty, it is a hard issue to deal with in the sound-bite nature of a presidential campaign. If I were the presidential candidate, I would want the Congress to move on a bill, so that my sound-bite is, Im going to enforce the law that the Congress just passed, and make sure that we get the resources to enforce it.

The senior senator from Ms. Napolitanos state, John McCain, is likely hoping for a chance to use that sound-bite in the presidential race. While his campaign is trying to portray his unwavering support for the immigration bill as an example of his principled leadership, even some of his closest advisers acknowledge their concern.

From a political perspective, having a candidate that takes on all the tough issues is not always the most politically expedient thing to do, said David Roederer, the chairman of McCains campaign in Iowa. Asked what he would like to see happen on immigration, Roederer laughed and said: Wind the clock back and forget that this issue ever came up?

The clock is ticking on the June 30 campaign finance reporting deadline, and the presidential campaigns, finding they have tapped out some of their high rollers, are now turning to smaller donors to fill their campaign war chests.

The Chicago Tribunes political blog, The Swamp, reports that the campaign of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, is saying that it has received contributions from nearly a quarter-million people so far this year.

While all eyes will be on the action in the Senate during the day, tonight the Democratic presidential candidates appear at Howard University for a forum aimed at minority voters. Talk show host Tavis Smiley moderates the discussion that will be broadcast on PBS beginning at 9 p.m.

The top Republican candidates gather for a forum of their own in Iowa this weekend. Representative Ron Paul, who is vying for the Republican nomination, was not invited to participate, so hes decided to hold his own forum right next to the main event.

One debate that has already been playing out on the airwaves this week is the one between the campaign of former Democratic Senator John Edwards and conservative commentator Ann Coulter. In case you missed the verbal sparring, The Timess Adam Nagourney has the details.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank thinks New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson might actually be running for something other than president.

Following Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani around on the campaign trail, the Los Angeles Times Maria L. La Ganga, picks up on one of the former New York mayors most consistent campaign themes: terrorism.

Bloombergs Kim Chipman and Julianna Goldman trace former Tennessee Senator Fred D. Thompsons path from small-town lawyer to United States senator to the brink of a presidential run. But, Mr. Thompsons supporters wonder whether he wants it badly enough to endure the rigors of a campaign.

The Timess Susan Saulny, who followed Mr. Thompson to South Carolina yesterday, reports that, like the actor he is, Mr. Thompson is practicing his lines for his campaigns expected debut.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Touch the paper, hear a voice

netbuzz writes: "In other words, what if "money talks" wasn't just an expression? Researchers at Mid Sweden University may have opened the door to such wild scenarios with their introduction of interactive paper that makes sounds when touched. Imagine the possibilities. ... How about wrapping paper that says: "Remember, it's the thought that counts." 0"

Submission + - DOJ calls copyright infringer's terrorists

shaggester writes: A recent article from confirms the RIAA & MPAA (as many already know) have overwhelming policy making clout in Washington, D.C, and the DOJ recently confirmed it. So you thought terrorists were a threat, the DOJ insist you think again. Because if you even attempt to download that mp3, image, or video you might as well be rubbing shoulders with the likes of those who have been accused of, "bribing officials, taking hostages, and unlawful use of explosives," according to business week. To add insult to injury after your arraignment for "suspected copyright infringement" officials can confiscate any hardware or other device which was used in any manner to commit the infringement.

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