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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 5 declined, 8 accepted (13 total, 61.54% accepted)

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Submission + - Gaming foursquare with 9 lines of Perl (

caffeinemessiah writes: With the recent launch of Facebook Places, the rise to prominence of Foursquare and GoWalla, and articles in the New York Times about the increasing popularity of "checking in" to locations using GPS-enabled mobile phones, a number of businesses are wondering how to reward frequent patrons. But exactly how susceptible are these "location based services" to being abused? A researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows how easily Foursquare can be gamed in 9 Perl statements, and invites readers to submit more succinct versions of the code to game the system.

Submission + - Chicago Sheriff sues Craigslist for Erotic Service

caffeinemessiah writes: The Chicago (Cook County) Sheriff's Department announced today that they are suing Craigslist for its "erotic services" section, which they say is the "largest source" of prostitution in the city of Chicago. The Sheriff also states that he believes that the "erotic services" section generates a large portion of the company's $80 million annual revenue". All this in the face of Craigslist's legal declarations on the issue. The section can be accessed from the Craigslist homepage.

Submission + - Mumbai Police to Enforce Wifi Security

caffeinemessiah writes: In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, the local police are going to be sniffing out unsecured wifi access points and ordering the owners to secure them. The article notes that "terror mails were sent through unsecured Wi-Fi connections" before bomb blasts in other Indian cities. No word on if they'll be walking around using Kismet, or if people who use pathetically weak WEP encryption will be ordered to switch to more advanced protocols. Unfortunately, a gesture like this does not take into account the insidious scenario of walking into a cafe, buying a coffee and then (legally) using the cafe's wifi. Or the fact that terrorists might actually be able to pay to use a cybercafe, and know what VPNs are.

Submission + - Algorithms can make you pretty

caffeinemessiah writes: The New York Times has an interesting story on a new algorithm by researchers from Tel Aviv University that modifies a facial picture of a person to conform to standards of attractiveness. Based on a digital library of pictures of people who have been judged "attractive", the algorithm finds the nearest match and modifies an input picture to the conform to the "attractive" person's proportions. The trick, however, is that the resultant pictures are still recognizable as the person. Here's a quick link to a representative picture of the process. Note that this is a machine learning approach to picture modification, NOT a characterization of beauty, and could just as easily be used to make a person less attractive.
Linux Business

Submission + - Study finds open source a "security risk"

caffeinemessiah writes: A study by Fortify Software has found that several popular open-source packages, including JBoss and Geronimo, present a security risk in a corporate environment due to failure to adhere to industry best practices. Among their complaints are the fact that "there are no phone numbers" to call when a security issue is found. JBoss got knocked a few points "for not having a specific e-mail alias for submission of security vulnerabilities". While this might possibly be another troll study, Google News reports that the story might be causing a bit of a buzz, possibly from regurgitated press releases. Expect to see a bit more open-source paranoia at work this Monday morning.
The Internet

Submission + - Korean rehab camp for Web addiction (

caffeinemessiah writes: The New York Times has a story about a Korean kids' camp for "curing" Internet addiction. "Seventeen hours a day online is fine," said one such kid at the camp. From the article: "Drill instructors drive young men through military-style obstacle courses, counselors lead group sessions, and there are even therapeutic workshops on pottery and drumming....this year, the camp held its first two 12-day sessions, with 16 to 18 male participants each time. (South Korean researchers say an overwhelming majority of compulsive computer users are male.)"

Submission + - Rick Rubin discloses Sony rootkit called home

caffeinemessiah writes: Rick Rubin, the legendary music producer, recently signed on as co-head of Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony BMG. In a recent New York Times interview (on pg. 4 of the online version), he discloses (possibly accidentally):

It was the highest debut of Neil [Diamond]'s career, off to a great start. But Columbia — it was some kind of corporate thing — had put spyware on the CD. That kept people from copying it, but it also somehow recorded information about whoever bought the record...
Seems like the rootkit might have been a little more than your vanilla invade-your-rights-DRM scheme.

Submission + - Yahoo introducing free, unlimited email storage

caffeinemessiah writes: On its mail homepage, Yahoo announces that "free unlimited storage" is on its way for Yahoo Mail. This will apparently include "limitless storage space for photos, attachments, messages, and more". There is also another page with more information about unlimited storage. It seems that they either scooped Google on this one or, thanks to the unlimited attachment feature and tools like the GMail Drive, are about to become the largest public file-sharing site that can penetrate your office firewall.

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