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Submission + - Disturbing trend with computer hardware? 1

yakatz writes: I have noticed over the last few months that I have had many requests for just-out-of-warranty service for hardware problems.
For example, a customer with a 13-month old computer gets "USB over current error" on ever boot.
I tried contacting Dell, since I have been having the most trouble with Dell computers. Dell regular tech support and Dell parts keep directing me to Dell out-of-warranty support, who wants to charge me a fortune just to re-diagnose that a USB port is broken.
At this point, some of my customers have given up and would just buy the replacement parts, but Dell is making it very hard to obtain exactly the same parts.
I am wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend? Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with these issues (i.e. talking to manufacturers, not diagnosing the problems)?

Submission + - Snake-oil for the Enterprise (

StartCom writes: Many corporations rely on digital certificates issued by the public certification authorities to secure the point-to-point connections of their network. Unfortunately most public authorities are willing to sell "snake-oil" to those enterprise establishments instead of real security, mainly because the corporate managements request and ask for it. It’s today common practice to assign non-qualified domain names or so-called host names to the various servers and work-stations at the corporate Intranet. Those are typically named server1.local or simply server1, whereas .local represents a non-qualified top level domain which is not assigned by the IANA/ICANN clan for public consumption.

Unfortunately those digital wonders sold by the public SSL certificate providers don't provide any protection — the point-to-point encryption isn't worth the digital paper of those certificates. Security of any network shouldn't be predicated on keeping the bad guys out — they are already there. The result is, that if I can get a certificate for server1.local, you will get one too and so will any attacker as well.


Submission + - Internet Explorer supports free certificates ( 1

Heise writes: "With its last update, Microsoft has added StartCom to the pre-installed root certificates in its operating system. As a result, Microsoft products (such as Internet Explorer) now accept certificates issued by StartCom without prompting the user or requiring any special configurations for the certificates. Third-party programs that use the operating system's certificate memory will also accept the certificates without asking further questions."

Submission + - Microsoft Adds Support for StartCom Certificates (

StartCom writes: "StartCom-issued certificates were already recognized by a wide variety of software vendors, including Mozilla (Firefox) and Apple (Mac OS X). With the recently added support by Microsoft, digital certificates issued by StartCom are today recognized by the vast majority of modern browsers and Internet applications. StartCom is now able to provide a viable, low-cost alternative to existing commercial certification authorities and providers."

Submission + - Microsoft Trusts Free SSL Authority (

StartCom writes: "StartCom is the only public certification authority providing digital SSL certificates without charge! Securing the traffic and data by encryption is highly important, however lacking support of StartCom by the most widely used browser, many opted in the past for a different solution or refrained from securing their web sites and services altogether.
Starting middle of September, Microsoft intends to distribute a non-security update package to the Windows operating systems which includes the trusted StartCom root certificate and the automatic root certificate update service will update the cryptographic certificates root store on those systems whenever a StartCom issued certificate is encountered.
With the advent of the full support by Microsoft, StartCom claims to be more than ever committed to provide its low-assurance certificates for free — now and in the future."

Comment Opposite spin (Score 5, Informative) 257

Well, in our solar system at least one planet is spinning the other way around: It's not quite the same like orbiting into the opposite direction, but the Venus apparently received a nudge or two as well in order to spin the other way around. Such accidents appear to happen.
The Military

Submission + - Iran Awaiting Ayatollah's Order to Build N-bomb ( 3

suraj.sun writes: Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb, Western intelligence sources have told The Times.

The sources said that Iran completed a research programme to create weaponised uranium in the summer of 2003 but had halted the research because it had achieved its aim — to find a way of detonating a warhead that could be launched on its long-range Shehab-3 missiles.

They said that, should Ayatollah Khamenei approve the building of a nuclear device, it would take six months to enrich low-enriched uranium to highly-enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, and another six months to assemble the warhead.

Iran's scientists have been trying to master a method of detonating a bomb known as the "multipoint initiation system" — wrapping highly enriched uranium in high explosives and then detonating it.

TimesOnline :

The Internet

Submission + - Inside the Rise of the Domain Name System

Greg Huang writes: "Looking back, it's almost impossible to believe that for most of the 1990s, a single company, Network Solutions, had a government-issued monopoly on registering domain names on the Internet. And considering how central the company was to the growth of the Web, it's surprising how little of the company's back story — how it got into the domain name business, or who owned it — has been told. Xconomy has an in-depth interview with two former executives from SAIC, the secretive San Diego defense contractor that bought Network Solutions in 1995 for $5 million and sold off the domain registration business in 2000 for billions of dollars."

Submission + - SSL Flaw by (Browser) Design? (

Eddy Nigg writes: "A while ago, the two security "white hats" Alexander Sotirov and Mike Zusman announced that they are going to publish a tool for exploiting EV SSL secured sites at the Black Hat Security Conference at the end of this month. Some sites reported the alleged attack on EV SSL secured sites as a means to prove that Extended Validation (EV) digital certificates aren't any more secure than regular SSL certificates. That's obviously an interesting claim since EV certificates traditionally costs quite a lot more than those that don't turn the address bar of the browsers green.

But is it really an attack on EV SSL secured sites? Does it indicate that such web sites aren't any more secure than others?"

Operating Systems

Submission + - Browsers want to be more than just... browsers?! (

StartCom writes: "They want to take over the way we compute and interact — exclusively. In some way that's nothing new, since Internet Explorer was essentially a part of the Windows operating system, completely integrated and intertwined.

As much as Chrome wants to be an operating system, it appears that Opera really wants to be a web server today. Opera Unite is a web server on the web browser which allows the hosting of web sites on the home computer.

Also Firefox has some higher ambitions. Some of its developers envision cubes (CubeZilla in Mozillianish) and squares for navigating web sites, resembling effects known from the Compiz compositing window manager.

...maybe we should save and archive a copy of those pieces of software like Safari which just wants to be a browser, antiquities from the year 2009?!"


Submission + - Securing a Revolution (

Eddy Nigg writes: "In today's digital age and flow of information from and to any entity and place in the world instantly, securing personal information may be at times pretty important. Recent events have shown how Twitter and similar social web sites may become critical tools to update and publish information. But reports about blocked sites and interception of communications greatly limit the usefulness of the Internet.

StartCom takes a clear stance when proclaiming:

We believe in the right to protect and secure information between two entities without discrimination of race, origin and financial capabilities.


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