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Security

A Flood of Stable Linux Kernels Released 105

Julie188 writes "Greg Kroah-Hartman has released five new stable Linux kernels, correcting minor errors of their predecessors and including improvements which are unlikely to generate new errors. As so often with kernel versions in the stable series, it remains undisclosed if the new versions contain changes which fix security vulnerabilities, although the number of changes and some of the descriptions of those changes certainly suggest that all the new versions contain security fixes."
Image

Japanese Turning To "Therapeutic Ringtones" Screenshot-sm 75

indiavision writes "A host of young Japanese are drawn to the allure of 'therapeutic ringtones' — a genre of melodies that promises to ease a range of day-to-day gripes, from chronic insomnia to a rotten hangover. Developed by Matsumi Suzuki, the head of the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory, an eight-year-old subsidiary of the Japan Acoustic Laboratory, the tones are a hit with housewives as well as teenagers."
The Internet

Inside Safari 3.2's Anti-Phishing Feature 135

MacWorld is running a piece from MacJournals.com's for-pay publication detailing how the Safari browser's anti-phishing works. The article takes Apple to task for not thinking enough of its users to bother telling them when Safari sends data off to a third party on their behalf. For it seems that Safari uses the same Google-based anti-phishing technology that Firefox has incorporated since version 2.0, but, unlike Mozilla, tells its users nothing about it. "Even when phrased as friendly to Apple as we can manage, the fact remains that after installing Safari 3.2, your computer is by default downloading lots of information from Google and sending information related to sites you visit back to Google — without telling you, without Apple disclosing the methods, and without any privacy statement from Apple."
The Internet

Researchers Latch Onto BitTorrent To Spot Connection Problems 87

alphadogg writes "Northwestern University researchers have developed a system that gives a heads up about traffic problems on the Internet, where there is no central management system. Their Network Early Warning System (NEWS), which latches on to a popular BitTorrent client, is designed to spot problems by encouraging feedback from end users who are experiencing problems. 'You can think of it as crowd sourcing network monitoring,' said associate professor Fabián Bustamante. He has a track record with BitTorrent users, having developed the popular Ono plug-in for speeding up P2P interactions."
Google

Why Google Should Embrace OpenOffice.org 277

CWmike writes "Preston Gralla has a decent idea that could move the office needle: If Google really wanted to deliver a knockout punch to Microsoft, it would integrate OpenOffice with Google Docs, and sell support for the combined suite to small businesses, medium-sized business, and large corporations. Given the reach of Google, the quality of OpenOffice, and the lure of free, it's a sure winner. Imagine if a version of it were available as a Web service from Google, combined with massive amounts of Google storage. Integrated with Google Docs, it would also allow online collaboration. For those who wanted more features, the full OpenOffice suite would be available as a client — supported by Google. wouldn't be at all surprised to see this happen. Just yesterday, IBM announced that it was selling support for its free Symphony office suite. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine Google doing the same for OpenOffice, after it integrates it with Google Docs."
Communications

NYTimes Speculates On the Next iPhone 302

Achromatic1978 writes "The NYT has a story on the next revision of the iPhone, and discusses what will become of the iPhone, now that the hype is starting to slow (Jobs goal for 2008 was ten million iPhones sold — as of the first quarter, only 1.7 million have left the shelves). The WWDC is the rumored release date for a next version, and Jobs has promised that this year will see a 3G iPhone released."
Businesses

Submission + - Diebold rebrands what noone wants.

Irvu writes: Diebold has apparently failed in their bid to sell their tainted elections systems unit. Unable to find a buyer the CEO of Diebold promised that the system will be run more "openly and independently." To prove that they are serious, they renamed it. Diebold Election Systems is now Premiere Election Solutions. They still sell GEMS, AccuVote OS and the ever-unpopular AccuVote-TSX which performed so disastrously in California's Top-to-Bottom Review under the same names. Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far.
The Internet

Submission + - Skype Goes Down After Software Maintenance (skype.com)

JavaJack writes: "I don't know if its related but Skype performed some maintenance on the 15th of August and now on the 16th Skype users cannot log in. From the Skype web site, 'Some of you may be having problems logging into Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it's a software issue. We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologize for the inconvenience. Additionally, downloads of Skype have been temporarily disabled. We will make downloads available again as quickly as possible.'"
Communications

Submission + - 9th Circuit Very Skeptical of NSA Surveillance (mercurynews.com)

iluvcapra writes: Yesterday before a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the US government argued that two class action lawsuits against the government and AT&T should be dismissed, because to litigate them in open court would cause the revelation of state secrets. The lawsuits allege that the government has installed a vast system of electronic surveillance gear at internet gateways along the US west coast to monitor all internet traffic, and that this information is monitored without a warrant, even when both endpoints are domestic. The panel was extremely skeptical of the governments argument:

"Is it the government's position that when the country is engaged in a war, that the power of the executive when it comes to wiretapping is unchecked?" asked 83-year-old Judge Harry Pregerson, one of the court's staunchest liberals, of a Bush administration lawyer. "The king can do no wrong, is that what it comes down to?"


The government was unwilling to even provide a sworn affadavit that the eavesdropping was only of foreign correspondence. If the 9th Circuit allows the lawsuits to proceed, the government will appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Java

A First Look At Red Hat Developer Studio 149

juanignaciosl writes "The first beta of Red Hat Developer Studio was published yesterday. RHDS seems promising. This IDE is a bunch of Eclipse plugins that comes from the fusion of JBoss IDE and Exadel Studio. The main advantages it offers are: JSF development improved, in particular integrating RichFaces and Ajax4JSF libraries; Seam (next J2EE middleware standard?) integration; and plugins for JBoss, Hibernate... Here are my first impressions."
Education

Journal Journal: OLPC is in Production.

The BBC is announcing the start of OLPC production with an interesting and informative article. The five year history of the device, controversy and cost breakdown are all covered.

Discussion is here.

Supercomputing

Submission + - BlueGene/L ranked 1st in top500 for the 4th time

paleshadows writes: The top500 list ranks the top 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. It is published semiannually since 1993. The new list indicates that, for the fourth straight time, IBM's BlueGene/L of LLNL claimed the No. 1 spot at ~281 TerFlops per second. But while the No. 1 is still unchallenged, the list shows a lot of shuffling and the largest turnover among list entries in the history of the top500 project. This graph enumerates the number of systems each vendor has within the list, indicating that IBM is the dominant player, but that HP rapidly closes the gap. Of the top 10, the first 8 are situated in the U.S., while No. 9 and 10 are populated by Spain and Germany, respectively. Japan's first entry is at No. 14 with the EarthSimulator, which ranked first until 2004 when it was knocked off the top by the first blue BlueGene/L system.
Security

Submission + - Data breach exposes 900,000 soldier health records (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "In yet another case of seriously flawed security precautions, the personal health care records of nearly 900,000 troops, family members and other government employees stored on an a private defense contractor's — SAIC, Inc. — nonsecure computer server were exposed to compromise. SAIC said the information included combinations of names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates and/or "limited health information in the form of codes." It was stored on a single, SAIC-owned, nonsecure server in Shalimar, Fla., and was in some cases transmitted over the Internet in an unencrypted form. The information was exposed while being processed, the company said. Although SAIC announced the data breach Friday, the company acknowledged it has known about the problem since May 29, when U.S. Air Forces Europe notified SAIC that it had "detected an unsecured transmission of this personal information," said SAIC spokeswoman Connie Custer, the Times said. The FBI and Secret Service are also looking into the breach. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/17717"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - 15 Gbps wireless speed at Georgia Tech (gatech.edu)

prostoalex writes: "Georgia Electronic Design Center is reporting achieving 15 Gbps wireless transmission data rate on unlicensed spectrum. Unfortunately, the quality quickly deteriorates once the distance between the transmitter and receiver increases: "The research focuses on RF frequencies around 60 gigahertz (GHz), which are currently unlicensed — free for anyone to use — in the United States. GEDC researchers have already achieved wireless data-transfer rates of 15 gigabits per second (Gbps) at a distance of 1 meter, 10 Gbps at 2 meters and 5 Gbps at 5 meters.""

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