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Submission + - Company Sells Open-Source Software As Its Own ( 4

teknopurge writes: "After using the software for years I was shocked to find that one of my favorite open-source projects, Zabbix, had its code stolen, rebranded and sold for profit as Firescope. Touting thier product as "revolutionary", Firescope has apparently copied the Zabbix repository and themed the interface without adhering to the GPL that Zabbix is distributed with. Is this not the worst fear of every open source project?"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Fake LED christmas lights?

An anonymous reader writes: I have small kids, so I wanted to get some LED Christmas lights this year (fewer hot/warm and glass objects the better). So I found some GE LED crystal miniature lights at my local Fred Meyer store (Kroger to the rest of you). They look nice, too nice. I was a bit suspicious because they appeared to have a filament in the bulbs, and the bulbs are glass.... I checked the box again, it definitely says 'LED'. It also states the wattage per strand of 50 bulbs is 3.2 watts, my kiliwatt meter is showing about 19watts. I took apart one of the spare bulbs and it definitely _looks_ like an incandescent bulb. Am I just not hip on the latest in LED manufacturing technology or did somebody sell me a $1.99 strand of incandescent lights for $11.95?

This particular set looks like it has licensed the GE logo and are actually from a company called 'Santas Best Craft' in B.C. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt at the moment since I've not been able to talk to anybody there and that this was a con on the part of a the contract manufacturer that drop shipped them from (you guessed it) China to my local store back in October.

Has anybody else also have so-called "LED" strands? I did purchase a single strand from Phillips last year. It for comparison draws ~5.4 watts for a stand of 70.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun Releases OpenSPARC T2 to Open Source Community (

keithjr writes: As promised during the UltraSPARC T2 Launch, Sun has announced the release of the RTL (register transfer level) source code for the OpenSPARC T2 to the open-source community. The source code can be found a Sun also announced five Universities are official OpenSPARC Technology Centers of Excellence: the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Texas, Austin; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Carnegie Mellon University.

Submission + - Batman Takes Out Hackers With Biff-Bam-Pow

An anonymous reader writes: Security Researcher Chris Boyd discovered a Habbo Hotel hacking tool and traced it back to the creator, a 13 year old boy apparently well known for his wannabe hack and phish antics. He then uncovered the boys main forum, seen to be distributing professional phishing kits and hacking tools. Asking the public what to do with these kids, the verdict was unanimous — take the lot of them out. How was this achieved? By pretending to be Batman and making them cry for 14 hours — before finishing things off with the killing blow.

Submission + - The worst consumer tech in history (

An anonymous reader writes: CNet has named what they claim are the worst technology products in history. Probably the most controversial is the inclusion of Windows Vista which sits alongside the Sinclair C5, the Gizmondo and the Tamagotchi. "[Vista's] incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade, are just some examples of why this expensive operating system earns the final place in our terrible tech list."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - 5 Not-So-Awesome Sci-Fi Inventions (

Billosaur writes: "Science fiction often makes the future seem like a wonderful place, with all sorts of cool gadgets and technologies that we can only dream of. However, the folks at took a hard look at what your average sci-fi enthusiast would consider some of the best inventions the genre has to offer and determined the 5 that would actually suck. They are:
  1. Matter Replicators
  2. Teleporters
  3. Holodecks
  4. Jet Packs
  5. Flying Cars

It's not so much the technologies themselves, but the reasons why they would suck that are at once funny and very cogent."


Submission + - Ham Radio Operator Finds Cure For Cancer ( 5

CirReal writes: "John Kanzius, K3TUP, himself suffering from cancer with nine months to live, used nanotechnology and a radio transmitter to kill cancer cells. "Kanzius did not have a medical background, not even a bachelor's degree, but he knew radios. He had built and fixed them since he was a child, collecting transmitters, transceivers, antennas and amplifiers, earning an amateur radio operator license. Kanzius knew how to send radio wave signals around the world. If he could transmit them into cancer cells, he wondered, could he then direct the radio waves to destroy tumors, while leaving healthy cells intact?" Reseachers "recently killed 100% of cancer cells grown in the livers of rabbits, using Kanzius' method.""
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - SCO found guilty of lying about Unix code in Linux (

mlauzon writes: "In the United States, SCO's Linux/Unix litigation has been stalled out while the company's bankruptcy trial is being dealt with. In Germany, however, several court cases have found SCO Group GmbH, SCO's Germany branch, guilty of lying about Linux containing stolen Unix code.

In the first case, reported on by Heise Online, the pro-Linux German companies, Tarent GmbH and Univention found that SCO was once more making claims that Linux contained Unix IP (intellectual property). Specifically, SCO GmbH made the familiar claims that "As we have progressed in our discovery related to this action, SCO has found compelling evidence that the Linux operating system contains unauthorized SCO UNIX intellectual property (IP)." This was followed by the usual threat "If a customer refuses to compensate SCO for its UNIX intellectual property found in Linux by purchasing a license, then SCO may consider litigation."

The German Linux companies had already successfully protested against these statements in 2003. Then they were granted an injunction against SCO from making its claims that Linux contains illegally obtained SCO IP, a.k.a. Unix source code. If SCO violated this injunction, SCO would have to pay a fine of 250,000 Euros.

Since Tarent and Univention brought the matter to the attention of the courts, SCO has taken down the offending page with its claims.

Of course, in the U.S. court system, it has already been ruled that SCO has no Unix IP. Novell, not SCO, owns Unix.

Tarent's managing director told Heise Online that he found "It disconcerting, though not surprising, to see SCO trying to do towards the end what it is really being paid for by its supporters: spreading falsities as disparaging as possible about Linux." Unlike 2003, where Linux companies had to nip things in the bud, exercising vigilance is due now where things are coming to an end: "Even though SCO has reached the end of the line in our opinion, one should not let them get away with this."

In a similar case, Andreas Kuckartz, a German Linux advocate, had been publicly stating since 2003 that "SCO IP Licenses for Linux" amounted to little more than "protection money pricelists" and that SCO is "spreading rumors about copyright violations in Linux." Further, Kuckartz claimed that "The SCO Group Inc. is probably is involved in crimes such as stock manipulation and filing a fraudulent complaint against IBM."

SCO took him to court over these claims and SCO has lost (German PDF document). The Higher Regional Court in Munich ruled, Kuckartz said in e-mails to Linux-Watch, "that my statements are allowed because none of the factual statements I made to support those accusations are false. I can now even go to a business partner of The SCO Group GmbH and tell him or her that SCO is probably involved in the named crimes."

Kuckartz claim that he believes is the most important one is that in the four years the case has dragged out, SCO never objected "to my statement that SCO has not presented any proof of copyright violations in the lawsuit SCO vs. IBM."

In the United States, however, SCO, even now, continues to drag out its unsubstantiated claims that IBM has stolen SCO's Unix IP. In the SCO bankruptcy hearing, SCO attorney Arthur Spector once more claims, "Our litigation is a tremendous asset" and "Our litigation with IBM could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars.""


Submission + - New 4-quark particle discovered in Japan (

mu22le writes: "An international team of researchers at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan, the "Belle collaboration"*1, recently announced the discovery of an exotic new sub-atomic particle with non-zero electric charge. This particle, which the researchers have named the Z(4430)*2, does not fit into the usual scheme of "mesons", combinations of a quark*3and an antiquark that are held together by the force of the strong interaction.

The Z(4430) particle was found in the decay products of B-mesons (mesons containing a "bottom" quark) that are produced in large numbers at the KEKB "B-factory", an electron-positron collider at the KEK laboratory. While investigating various decays of the B meson in a data sample containing about 660 million pairs of B and anti-B mesons, the Belle team observed 120 B mesons that decay into a Z(4430) and a K-meson. The Z(4430) then instantly decays into a "Psi-prime" (Psi-prime) particle and a pi-meson (see Figure-1). The Belle team found that this particle has the same electric charge as the electron and a mass about 4.7 times that of the proton.

In the past few years, a number of peculiar new particles, including the so-called X(3872), Y(4260), X(3940), Y(3940), have been found by the Belle and also by the BaBar experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). These new particles lie in the mass region from 4 to 4.5 times the proton mass, and decay into "J/psi" or "Psi-prime" particles and pi-mesons. Here J/psi and Psi-prime particles are examples of so-called "charmonium" mesons, bound states of a charm quark and its anti-particle (an anti-charm quark). Since the masses and the decay properties of these new particles do not match theoretical expectations for quark-antiquark combinations, theorists around the world have proposed other potential explanations, which include the possibility that some are made up of four quarks (for example, a combination of a charm quark, an anti-charm quark, an up quark and an anti-up quark). However, since all of these new particles are electrically neutral, it was not experimentally possible to rule out alternative explanations of the new states as excited charmonium mesons.

On the other hand, the newly discovered Z(4430) state has non-zero electric charge, a characteristic that clearly distinguishes this particle from normal quark-antiquark mesons; it, therefore, must have a charm quark, an anti-charm quark and at least two more quarks (for example, an up quark and an anti-down quark). Thus, the Z(4430) does not fit into the framework of known mesons. As a result it has attracted a considerable amount of attention from the world's physics community (Figures 2 and 3).

Single quarks cannot be isolated. Instead, quarks are confined in composite particles such as mesons. This is a characteristic feature of the strong force, described by a mathematical theory called "Quantum Chromo-Dynamics (QCD)". The discoveries of sub-atomic particles at the KEK B-factory provide an experimental foundation for better understanding of the phenomena of quark confinement as well as the formation of matter in QCD.

The discovery of the Z(4430) is described in a paper submitted on October 22 to Physical Review Letters, a leading physics research journal."


Submission + - Wii to sellout despite 1.8 million made each month (

Wowzer writes: "Despite 1.8 million Wii being manufactured each month, Wii's are said to sell out anyway. To quote Nintendo's President: "I can't guarantee that we're going to meet demand. As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record that we won't." You might want to buy a Wii early if you want one under the Christmas tree, considering Nintendo started boosting the production output during the three months ending June 30, 2007. Additionally, in a Fox TV interview with Alexis Glick, Nintendo's President Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the Wii would not be lowered in price."
The Military

Journal SPAM: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise 20

One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik." American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine sailed within viable range fo

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Inspired by XKCD: MBR Love Note (

virtuald writes: "After reading Friday's XKCD (#340), I was inspired to write a program that does exactly that — it writes a "love note" to your computers MBR, except in a neat twist it displays the "love note" on bootup.

There is a screenshot.

There is also a quiz to determine whether or not you're qualified to actually install the program. :)"

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