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Earth

Laughing Gas Is Major Threat To Ozone Layer 306

Hugh Pickens writes "The Christian Science Monitor reports that according to new research, nitrous oxide, the colorless, sweet-smelling gas with a long history as a medical and dental anesthetic is the next big threat to Earth's protective ozone layer. Its role in destroying ozone has long been recognized, as well as its role as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas but the new study puts nitrous oxide's ability to deplete ozone into numbers comparable to those used for other ozone-depleting gases covered by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The researchers note that the health of the ozone layer has been improving since the adoption of the protocol and that nitrous oxide looms large today as an artificial destroyer of the ozone layer, in part because the emissions of other harmful chemicals have been so sharply reduced." (Continues.)
Software

Amazon Fights Piracy Tool, Creators Call It a Parody 268

jamie points out an interesting story which started a few days ago, when a pair of students from the Netherlands released a Firefox add-on which integrated links to the Pirate Bay on Amazon product pages. Customers who had the add-on would see a large "Download 4 Free" button next to items which were also available on the Pirate Bay. The add-on quickly drew notice, and the creators were hit with a take-down notice and threats of litigation from Amazon. Now, the students have removed the add-on, and they are claiming an unusual defense: "'Pirates of the Amazon' was an artistic parody, part of our media research and education at the Media Design M.A. course at the Piet Zwart Institute of the Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It was a practical experiment on interface design, information access and currently debated issues in media culture. We were surprised by the attentions and the strong reactions this project received. Ultimately, the value of the project lies in these reactions. It is a ready-made and social sculpture of contemporary internet user culture."
The Courts

Final Judgment — SCO Loses, Owes $3,506,526 265

Xenographic writes "SCO has finally lost to Novell, now that Judge Kimball has entered final judgment against SCO. Of course, this is SCO we're talking about. There's still the litigation in bankruptcy court, which allowed this case to resume so that they could figure out just how much SCO owes, which is $3,506,526, if I calculated the interest properly, $625,486.90 of which will go into a constructive trust. And then there's the possibility that SCO could seek to have the judgment overturned in the appeals courts, or even the Supreme Court when that fails. Of course, they need money to do that and they don't really have much of that any more. Remember how Enderle, O'Gara and company told us that SCO was sure to win? I wonder how many people have emailed them to say, 'I told you so.'"
Bug

Bug In Android Passes Keystrokes To Root Shell 205

pasokon writes "ZDNet reports on an Android bug in T-Mobile G1s with early versions of the firmware: 'When the phone booted it started up a command shell as root and sent every keystroke you ever typed on the keyboard from then on to that shell. Thus every word you typed, in addition to going to the foreground application would be silently and invisibly interpreted as a command and executed with superuser privileges. ... open the keyboard tray on your G1, ignore anything you see on the screen, and type these 8 keystrokes: (enter)-r-e-b-o-o-t-(enter). Poof, your phone will reboot.'"
Transportation

Schneier, Journalist Poke Holes In TSA Policies 296

Fallen Andy points out an article in The Atlantic written by Jeffrey Goldberg. He and Bruce Schneier teamed up to put the TSA's policies to the test at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. They found plenty of evidence for security theater, and rather less for actual security. Quoting: "'The whole system is designed to catch stupid terrorists,' Schneier told me. ... As I stood in the bathroom, ripping up boarding passes, waiting for the social network of male bathroom users to report my suspicious behavior, I decided to make myself as nervous as possible. I would try to pass through security with no ID, a fake boarding pass, and an Osama bin Laden T-shirt under my coat. I splashed water on my face to mimic sweat, put on a coat (it was a summer day), hid my driver's license, and approached security with a bogus boarding pass that Schneier had made for me. ... 'All right, you can go,' [an airport security supervisor] said, pointing me to the X-ray line. 'But let this be a lesson for you.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Programming Contest Hacked and Defaced 151

davidmwilliams writes "Microsoft followed their major annual Tech-Ed event in Australia with a week-long programming contest called 'DevSta,' to find 'star developers.' While the quantity and quality of submissions suggest a poor turnout, it certainly caught the attention of at least two hackers who left their mark. Here is the low-down on the contest, what happened, by whom, and screen shots for posterity in case it's been fixed by the time you read this. And unless the volume of submissions increase dramatically within the next few hours, someone may be awarded an Xbox for doing nothing more than rewriting the Windows calculator as a .NET app."
The Courts

Jack Thompson Disbarred 522

Sockatume writes "The Florida Supreme Court has approved Judge Dava Tunis' recommendations for the permanent disbarment of John B. "Jack" Thompson, with no leave to reapply and $43,675.35 in disciplinary costs. The ruling is a step up from the enhanced disbarment that had been suggested by the prosecution, which would have forbidden him from reapplying for ten years. Thompson has 30 days to appeal the ruling before the disbarment is permanent. Thompson responds to the ruling."
Republicans

Sen. Ted "Tubes" Stevens Is Indicted 553

Many readers are letting us know about the indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens on seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms. We discussed the raid on the senator's house a while back. Everyone's favorite technologically challenged senator is the longest-serving Republican in the history of the upper house. An Alaskan paper gives deep background on the probe that has ensnared Stevens and a number of other Alaska political figures.
Networking

ICANN Loses Control of Its Own Domain Names 61

NotNormallyNormal writes "CBC picked up an AP story about ICANN recently losing control over two of their domain names on Thursday, June 26. A domain registrar run by the group transferred the domains to someone else. ICANN's press release had this to say: 'As has been widely reported, a number of domain names, including icann.com and iana.com were recently redirected to different DNS servers, allowing a group to provide visitors to those domains with their own website. It would appear the attack was sophisticated, combining both social and technological techniques, but was also limited and focused.' Comcast has had similar troubles lately as well."
The Courts

Porn Found On L.A. Obscenity Case Judge's Website 393

Stanislav_J writes "In a bizarre revelation, the judge who is presiding over the Isaacs obscenity trial in Los Angeles was found to have sexually explicit material on a publicly-accessible website. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged that he had posted the materials, but says he believed the site to be for personal storage only, and not accessible to the public (though he does acknowledge sharing some of the material with friends). The files included images of masturbation, public sex, contortionist sex, a transsexual striptease, a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. The latter two are especially ironic in that the trial involves the distribution of allegedly obscene sexual fetish videos depicting bestiality, among other things, by Ira Isaacs, an L.A. filmmaker."
Software

ISO Puts OOXML On Hold 138

schliz alerts us that ISO, in response to the four appeals (Venezuela, India, Brazil, South Africa) filed in recent weeks, has put the OOXML standardization process on hold. Here is ISO's press release, which says that ISO/IEC DIS 29500 will not be published for at least "several months" while the appeals process goes forward.
Update: 06/11 10:13 GMT by KD : Reader Alsee points out that the fourth officially recognized appealing country is Venezuela, not Denmark as originally stated. The protests of Denmark and Norway are being disregarded, as they do not come from the administrative heads of their national organizations.
Windows

Microsoft Denies Call-in 'Save XP' Petition 340

CWmike writes "Gregg Keizer digs deeper on a report that said Microsoft was logging calls from customers who requested that the company extend the retail availability of Windows XP to find that some users claimed that they couldn't get through to the support lines. Microsoft denies that it organized any kind of call-in petition and pleaded with users not to dial its technical support numbers to ask for an XP extension. 'As a courtesy to customers in need of technical assistance, we ask callers not to call Microsoft Customer Support Services to request an extension for Windows XP,' a company representative said. Microsoft declined to comment on whether its support lines had experienced a call-volume spike starting last Friday, when the Neowin notice first appeared."
The Courts

Jack Thompson Walks Out On Hearing 522

Erik J writes "Apparently Jack had heard enough. The Florida Bar asked for an 'enhanced disbarment' in the disciplinary hearing of Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler. Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case."

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