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Communications

How Killing the Internet Helped Revolutionaries 90

An anonymous reader writes "In a widely circulated American Political Science Association conference paper, Yale scholar Navid Hassanpour argues that shutting down the internet made things difficult for sustaining a centralized revolutionary movement in Egypt. But, he adds, the shutdown actually encouraged the development of smaller revolutionary uprisings at local levels where the face-to-face interaction between activists was more intense and the mobilization of inactive lukewarm dissidents was easier. In other words, closing down the internet made the revolution more diffuse and more difficult for the authorities to contain." As long as we're on the subject, reader lecheiron points out news of research into predicting revolutions by feeding millions of news articles into a supercomputer and using word analysis to chart national sentiment. So far it's pretty good at predicting things that have already happened, but we should probably wait until it finds something new before contacting Hari Seldon.
Hardware

Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop? 543

An anonymous reader writes "I went to Best Buy the other day to get a new laptop for a client. I didn't realize till I got it home that they had broken the seal and opened the box. They put a sticker on the box that said, 'Inspected by Best Buy.' I found they had created the user profile, recovery disks, and installed a trial of Trend Antivirus. Seems to me this is more of a marketing agenda than inspection."
Hardware Hacking

Equipping a Small Hackerspace? 174

andy writes "After gentle prodding for about a year, my company actually agreed to include an electronics/robotics lab in the current build-out of our new office space. As I never really expected this to happen, I was at a bit of a loss when they asked me what sort of workbenches, equipment, etc. I wanted for the lab. The lab will only be approximately 9'x15' but there is a decent amount of vertical space to work with. I was thinking of having 2 workbenches side-by-side, one for 'hardware' and the other for 'software' with a floor-standing cabinet for storage. Semi-mobile workbenches might be a plus. Those of you that work in these sorts of environments, what do you recommend in the way of workbenches, storage, organization, and electronics?"
Cellphones

Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Android-Related Patent Infringement 199

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Engadget: "Microsoft has hit up the ITC over a total of nine alleged patent infringements by Motorola in its Android devices, specifically relating to 'synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.' This should be interesting — will it result in a quick cross-licensing agreement, or a protracted court battle spanning multiple years?" The ITC complaint was accompanied by a lawsuit in US District Court. Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez explained the company's reasoning in a blog post.
Image

JavaScript Cookbook Screenshot-sm 64

r3lody writes "I have enjoyed other cookbooks in the O'Reilly library of computer texts, so when I saw JavaScript Cookbook by Shelley Powers in the catalog, I jumped at it. The description mentioned that the book would cover HTML5 and ECMAScript 5, so I really wanted to learn the new capabilities of both. I did get to learn a lot, but I wonder if these new features are too new." Keep reading for the rest of Ray's review.
Australia

Stallman Crashes Talk, Fights 'War On Sharing' 309

schliz writes "Free software activist Richard Stallman has called for the end of the 'war on sharing' at the World Computer Congress in Brisbane, Australia. He criticized surveillance, censorship, restrictive data formats, and software-as-a-service in a keynote presentation, and asserted that digital society had to be 'free' in order to be a benefit, and not an attack. Earlier in the conference, Stallman had briefly interrupted a European Patent Office presentation with a placard that said: 'Don't get caught in software patent thickets.' He told journalists that the Patent Office was 'here to campaign in favor of software patents in Australia,' arguing that 'there's no problem that requires a solution with anything like software patents.'"
Space

Scientists Discover Biggest Star 202

Hugh Pickens writes "Scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered the most massive stellar giant, R136a1 measured at 265 solar masses, using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile and data from the Hubble Space Telescope. It's in the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small 'satellite' galaxy which orbits the Milky Way. Previously, the heaviest known stars were around 150 times the mass of the Sun, known as the 'Eddington Limit,' and this was believed to be close to the cosmic size limit because as stars get larger, the amount of energy created in their cores grows faster than the force of gravity which holds them together. 'Because of their proximity to the Eddington Limit they lose mass at a pretty high rate,' says Professor Paul Crowther, the chief researcher in the Sheffield team. Hyper-stars like R136a1 are believed to be formed from several young stars merging together, and are only found in the very heart of stellar clusters. R136a1 is believed to have a surface temperature of more than 40,000 degrees Celsius, and is 10 million times brighter than the Sun. Crowther adds that R136a1 is about as big as stars can get. 'Owing to the rarity of these monsters, I think it is unlikely that this new record will be broken any time soon.'"
Australia

Vast Asteroid Crater Found In Timor Sea 121

An anonymous reader notes the discovery of a 35-million-year-old impact crater in the Timor Sea, northwest of Australia, which helped to usher in a period of significant global cooling. "The new findings, announced today and published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, suggest that the impact could have contributed towards the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet... The minimum size of the dome, which 'represents elastic rebound doming of the Earth crust triggered by the impact' is 50 km across, but the full size of the crater could be significantly larger, [lead researcher Andrew Glikson] told Australian Geographic. 'It would be possibly 100 km.' From the probable diameter of the crater, Andrew estimates that the asteroid which struck the Timor Sea was between 5 and 10 km in size. This impact coincided with a time of heavy asteroid bombardment globally. Several other craters have been documented from a similar time, including one off the WA coast measuring 120 km in diameter. Another impact structure in Siberia was created by an asteroid 100 km in size."
Censorship

Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc. 130

An anonymous reader writes "The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their operators charged because they failed to delete 'harmful posts' quickly enough to suit the Thai authorities."
Australia

Google, Yahoo and Others Fight the Aussie Filter 166

TheFrunj writes "In the wake of an attack on Australian Government websites comes a statement from a joint group of companies banding together to oppose Senator Conroy's infamous Internet Filter. AtomicMPC has posted the statement up on their site: 'We, the Australian Library and Information Association, Google, Inspire Foundation and Yahoo! agree that Australia needs to take effective action to ensure that internet users, and particularly children, have a safe experience online.' Backed by the weight of the Inspire Foundation, Google and Yahoo, this is a good sign for the local and international community that will hopefully spark some positive reaction."
Google

Android and the Linux Kernel Community 354

An anonymous reader links to Greg Kroah-Hartman's explanation of a rift (hopefully mendable) in the development culture of Google's Linux-based Android OS and the Linux kernel itself. "As the Android kernel code is now gone from the Linux kernel, as of the 2.6.33 kernel release, I'm starting to get a lot of questions about what happened, and what to do next with regards to Android. So here's my opinion on the whole matter ..."
Image

Enterprise Security For the Executive Screenshot-sm 75

brothke writes "If Shakespeare were to write an information security tragedy, it would not be titled Hamlet, rather Bayuk. The story of Jennifer Bayuk is tragic in that she spent a decade as CISO at Bear, Stearns, building up its security group to be one of the best in the business; only to find it vaporized when the firm collapsed and was acquired by J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp. After all that toil and sweat, Bayuk was out of a job. (Full disclosure: Bayuk and I have given a presentation together in the past, and I did get a copy of this book for free.)" Read below for Ben's review.
SuSE

openSUSE 11.2 Released 207

An anonymous reader tips news that openSUSE 11.2 has reached its official release. You can get it from their download page, or just grab the torrents (32-bit, 64-bit). "openSUSE 11.2 will come with the latest version 2.6.31 of the Linux kernel, the beating heart of every openSUSE system. The default file system of openSUSE will be switched to the new Ext4 as well. Of course, openSUSE will continue to support Ext3 and other filesystems — but on install, new partitions will automatically be designated Ext4. ... Desktops and servers can use the same kernel, but it's better to tune the kernel for the job at hand. That's why openSUSE now includes a desktop kernel specially tuned for desktop users. ... In addition to the work of the openSUSE Project in the desktop, openSUSE 11.2 includes the latest versions of the two desktop environments, KDE 4.3 and GNOME 2.28. KDE users will enjoy the new Firefox KDE integration, OpenOffice.org KDE4 integration, consistent KDE artwork and all standard applications being ported to KDE4 including KNetworkManager, Amarok, Digikam, k3b, Konversation and more."
Mozilla

Firefox Most Vulnerable Browser, Safari Close 369

An anonymous reader writes "Cenzic released its report revealing the most prominent types of Web application vulnerabilities for the first half of 2009. The report identified over 3,100 total vulnerabilities, which is a 10 percent increase in Web application vulnerabilities compared to the second half of 2008. Among Web browsers, Mozilla Firefox had the largest percentage of Web vulnerabilities, followed by Apple Safari, whose browser showed a vast increase in exploits, due to vulnerabilities reported in the Safari iPhone browser." It seems a bit surprising to me that this study shows that only 15% of vulnerabilities are in IE.

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