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The Internet

FCC Rejects Cheap/Fast Internet Device 194

Tech.Luver writes "ABC News reports that a group of technology companies including Google, Microsoft, and Dell, have failed to convince the Federal Communications Commission of the utility of high-speed internet access via television airwaves. The FCC concluded the potential to disrupt consumer image quality was too high, in a statement released Wednesday. 'The technology companies say the unlicensed and unused TV airwaves, also known as "white spaces," would make Internet service accessible and affordable, especially in rural areas and also spur innovation. However, TV broadcasters oppose usage of white spaces because they fear the device will cause interference with television programming and could cause problems with a federally mandated transition from analog to digital signals in February 2009.'"
Communications

Are Mobile Phones Wiping Out Bees? 419

Mz6 wrote with a link to an article on The Independent site about a most unusual scientific theory. "Some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail. They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world — the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops."
Television

1080p, Human Vision, and Reality 403

An anonymous reader writes "'1080p provides the sharpest, most lifelike picture possible.' '1080p combines high resolution with a high frame rate, so you see more detail from second to second.' This marketing copy is largely accurate. 1080p can be significantly better that 1080i, 720p, 480p or 480i. But, (there's always a "but") there are qualifications. The most obvious qualification: Is this performance improvement manifest under real world viewing conditions? After all, one can purchase 200mph speed-rated tires for a Toyota Prius®. Expectations of a real performance improvement based on such an investment will likely go unfulfilled, however! In the consumer electronics world we have to ask a similar question. I can buy 1080p gear, but will I see the difference? The answer to this question is a bit more ambiguous."
Media (Apple)

A Proof-of-Concept Virus for iPods Running Linux 170

An anonymous reader writes "Although antivirus companies will probably create a hype saying that iPods are prone to infections, a virus called 'Podloso' is a newly found virus that is just a proof of concept code that can infect iPods running Linux. Once launched, the virus scans the device's hard disk and infects all executable .elf format files. Any attempt to launch these files will cause the virus to display a message on the screen which says, 'You are infected with Oslo the first iPodLinux Virus.'"
PlayStation (Games)

Still A Rough Road Ahead for the PlayStation 3 304

TobyToadstool writes "Despite the good news out of GDC last week, it still seems like Sony's new console has some image management to do. CNET says that the PlayStation 3 is 'the most unwanted console in recent memory' and asks 'why is the PS3 so undesirable?' They specifically question the company's wisdom in emphasizing the power of the console. Their impression is that this invites developers to neglect gameplay, in favour of investing in graphics. Likewise, Gamespot is running a piece suggesting ten ways to make the PS3 worth buying. A lower price is just one of the suggestions with exclusives, and the need for online standardization, following close behind. Looks like Sony still has its work cut out."
Businesses

Management 'Scared' by Open Source 373

A discussion panel at EclipseCon exposed how managers are freaking out over open source. Apparently a disconnect exists between managers who set corporate open source policies and developers supposed to follow them, but who end up covering their tracks to make it seem like they are not using open source. Developers, though, end up using open source because of its ubiquity and not using it 'puts them at a competitive disadvantage because their competitors are.' And the Lawyers are in a panic.
Security

Drive-By Pharming Attack Could Hit Home Networks 185

Rob wrote in with a link to a CBR Online article discussing drive-by pharming, a new exploitation technique developed by Indiana University and Symantec Corporation. While it's not known if the technique is in use 'in the wild', the exploit could easily co-opt the web-browsing habits of a user that had not properly configured their router. "The attack works because most of the popular home routers ship with default passwords, default internal IP address ranges, and web-based configuration interfaces. The exploit is a single line of JavaScript loaded with a default router IP address, a default password, and an HTTP query designed to reconfigure the router to use the attacker's DNS servers." The article goes on to discuss several related and more advanced techniques related to this one, which security companies will have to keep in mind to guard against future attacks.
The Internet

US Group Wants Canada Blacklisted Over Piracy 585

An anonymous reader writes "Following up on an earlier story, the IIAA wants to add Canada to a blacklist of the worst intellectual property offenders. A powerful coalition of U.S. software, movie and music producers is urging the Bush administration to put Canada on an infamous blacklist of intellectual property villains, alongside China, Russia and Belize. 'Canada's chronic failure to modernize its copyright regime has made it a global hub for bootleg movies, pirated software and tiny microchips that allow video-game users to bypass copyright protections', the International Intellectual Property Alliance complains in a submission to the U.S. government."
Security

Vulnerability In Firefox Popup Blocker 100

cj writes in with news of a vulnerability in Firefox's stock popup blocker discovered by Michal Zalewski. The vulnerability can allow a malicious user to read files from an affected system. The attacker would "need to plant a predictably named file with exploit code on the target system. This sounds hard, but isn't," according to the article.
XBox (Games)

Microsoft Says PS3 Linux Not 'Competitive' To XNA 231

nz17 writes "Gamasutra has a preview of its upcoming interview with Dave Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Microsoft's Game Developer Group. In the interview Mitchell dismisses Linux on the PS3 as a game creators' solution and has said, 'What we [at XBox] are focused on doing is providing great tools at a free or low price point that are going to enable consumers to be absolutely successful at creating games for both the Windows and the Xbox 360 platforms.'"
Games

Sony Console the Worst Launch Ever 193

No, not that one. 1up set out to see if the PlayStation 3 had the worst launch of any modern gaming console, and found that another Sony console held that title. The original PlayStation's launch was pretty dreadful, with Warhawk's average of 89.4 being fairly low for most launch title leaders. The worst launch lineup of the 'next-gen' systems is actually the Wii, which has averaged only a 71.3 over its 20 launch titles. The PS3 is next up, with 73.4, and the 360 has the overall best of the three consoles, having scored an average of 77.3 over its 18 titles last year. From the article: "Averages are just that, though, and don't tell you much about the best games that accompanied the launches. And the best of the batch wasn't a surprise, but it wasn't a Nintendo game either. Soul Caliber for the Dreamcast, with an average of 96.4 just barely squeaks out the win over the Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess for Wii. At the other end of the spectrum, both Wii and PS3 share the worst stinkers with Happy Feet for Wii coming in at a 45 and Gundam: Crossfire at the very bottom with its 34.8."

Nine Reasons To Skip Firefox 2.0 606

grandgator writes, "Hyped by a good deal of fanfare, outfitted with some new features, and now available for download, Firefox 2.0 has already passed 2 million downloads in less than 24 hours. However, a growing number of users are reporting bugs, widening memory leaks, unexpected instability, poor compatibility, and an overall experience that is inferior to that offered by prior versions of the browser. Expanding on these ideas, this list compiles nine reasons why it might be a good idea to stick with 1.5 until the debut of 3.0, skipping the "poorly badged" 2.0 release completely." OK, maybe it's 10 reasons. An anonymous reader writes, "SecurityFocus reports an unpatched highly critical vulnerability in Firefox 2.0. This defect has been known since June 2006 but no patch has yet been made available. The developers claimed to have fixed the problem in 1.5.0.5 according to Secunia, but the problem still exists in 2.0 according to SecurityFocus (and I have witnessed the crash personally). If security is the main reason users should switch to Firefox, how do we explain known vulnerabilities remaining unpatched across major releases?"
Update: 10/30 12:57 GMT by KD : Jesse Ruderman wrote in with this correction. "The article claims that Firefox 2 shipped with a known security hole This is incorrect; the hole is fixed in both Firefox 1.5.0.7 and Firefox 2. The source of the confusion is that the original version of this report demonstrated two crash bugs, one of which was a security hole and the other of which was just a too-much-recursion crash. The security hole has been fixed but we're still trying to figure out the best way to fix the too-much-recursion crash. The report has been updated to clear up the confusion."

Videogames Used to Train Terrorists? 265

kalpatin writes "Reuters reports that videogames are being used to train terrorists. The title Counter-Strike is apparently being used as a tool to prepare individuals for a mission: blowing up an oil tanker. The ultimate goal is to 'make the strait of Hormuz impassable, the Jomhouri-ye Eslami daily reported. About two-fifths of globally traded oil passes through the channel. The game illustrates a warning by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said in June that oil exports in the Gulf region could be seriously endangered if the United States made a wrong move on Iran.'"

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