ceswiedler writes: "Wired.com is reporting that the Stuxnet worm was apparently designed to subtly interfere with uranium enrichment by periodically speeding or slowing specific frequency converter drives spinning between 807Hz and 1210Hz. The goal was not to cause a major malfunction (which would be quickly noticed), but rather to degrade the quality of the enriched uranium to the point where much of it wouldn't be useful in atomic weapons. Statistics from 2009 show that the number of enriched centrifuges operational in Iran mysteriously declined from about 4,700 to about 3,900 at around the time the worm was spreading in Iran."
ceswiedler writes: "Ars Technica has an interesting piece on why ad blocking is harmful to the sites you love. He doesn't claim it's unethical or immoral, just that it reduces the quality of the site and its content. Tech sites like Ars Techinca (and Slashdot) are particularly affected because such a high percentage of their readers have ad blockers installed. "People talk about how annoying advertisments are," he says, "but I'll tell you what: it's a lot more annoying and frustrating to have to cut staff and cut benefits because a huge portion of readers block ads.""
ceswiedler writes: "Ars Technica's Ryan Paul previews the upcoming release of the GIMP. It will now include a single-window mode where the user can dock toolbar windows and switch between images via tabs. There are other improvements as well, including docking support in multi-window mode and improvements to the text tool."
ceswiedler writes: "In Tuesday's election voters in Takoma Park, MD used a new cryptographic voting system designed by David Chaum with researchers from several universities including MIT and the University of Maryland. Voters use a special ink to mark their ballots, which reveals three-digit codes which they can later check against a website to verify their vote was tallied. Additionally, anyone can download election data from a Subversion repository and verify the overall accuracy of the results without seeing the actual choices of any individual voter."
ceswiedler writes: "The FCC has begun crafting rules for network neutrality. The full proposal hasn't been released yet, but according to their press release (warning, Microsoft Word document) carriers would not be allowed to "prevent users from sending or receiving the lawful content", "running lawful applications", or "connecting and using...lawful devices that do not harm the network". There will be a three-month period for comments, beginning January 14, after which the FCC will issue its final guidelines."