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Security

SSLStrip Now In the Wild 208

An anonymous reader writes "Moxie Marlinspike, who last week presented his controversial SSL stripping attacks at Black Hat Federal, appears to have released his much-anticipated demonstration tool for performing MITM attacks against would-be SSL connections. This vulnerability has been met with everything from calls for more widespread EV certificate deployment to an even more fervent push for DNSSEC."
Programming

Microsoft Releases Office Binary Formats 259

Microsoft has released documentation on their Office binary formats. Before jumping up and down gleefully, those working on related open source efforts, such as OpenOffice, might want to take a very close look at Microsoft's Open Specification Promise to see if it seems to cover those working on GPL software; some believe it doesn't. stm2 points us to some good advice from Joel Spolsky to programmers tempted to dig into the spec and create an Excel competitor over a weekend that reads and writes these formats: find an easier way. Joel provides some workarounds that render it possible to make use of these binary files. "[A] normal programmer would conclude that Office's binary file formats: are deliberately obfuscated; are the product of a demented Borg mind; were created by insanely bad programmers; and are impossible to read or create correctly. You'd be wrong on all four counts."
Space

Milky Way Is Twice the Size We Thought 301

Peter writes to tell us about a research group at the University of Sydney in Australia, who in the middle of some calculation wanted to check the numbers everybody uses for the thickness of our galaxy at the core. Using data available freely on the Internet and analyzing it in a spreadsheet, they discovered in a matter of hours that the Milky Way is 12,000 light years thick, vs. the 6,000 that had been the consensus number for some time.

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