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Submission + - Microsoft threatens Halo 3 gamers with LIVE ban ( 7

JamesO writes: "When contacted by Pro-G a Microsoft rep confirmed rumours that gamers who play Halo 3 early will have their LIVE accounts banned. Simply not connecting to the internet doesn't appear to be a solution either. The rep also confirmed that Microsoft is able to ban accounts based on information collected by the console which shows when the game was played. This news is sure to come as a shock to some gamers who have already started playing the final chapter in the blockbuster Halo trilogy.

This appears to suggest that games who play Halo 3 before the official street date will only avoid a ban if they never access Xbox LIVE. Microsoft is preparing an official statement on the Halo 3 banning scandal. We'll give you more on this breaking news story as we get it."


Submission + - A Gateway for Hackers

odyaws writes: The Washington Post is carrying a story about an unintended consequence of Congress allowing telecommunications surveillance without even a FISA warrant if one party is outside the United States: the infrastructure required could provide a juicy target for foreign intelligence agencies and rogue hackers. By making it possible for the NSA to listen in (particularly since they need to be able to listen in only on conversations including a party outside the US), it could also be possible for others to access our phone calls. The author points out that this threat is not just theoretical, citing specific attacks in Greece and the US. While it's natural to be suspicious of any government wiretapping program, have we been missing the larger threat of the security hole it opens?

Submission + - AT&T Censors Pearl Jam Bush criticism

saintlouisblues writes: "AT&T has apparently censored portions of Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza performance that were critical of President Bush. Most telecommunications companies oppose "net neutrality" and argue that the public can trust them not to censor.. I think not. id=44047312"

Submission + - "Life" found in inorganic interstellar dus (

Anonymous Alien writes: "Physicists have found evidence that inorganic dust with life-like qualities exists in interstellar space, according to new research published in New Journal of Physics that hint at the possibility that life beyond earth may not necessarily use carbon-based molecules as its building blocks and also offer a possible new explanation for the origin of life on Earth."

Submission + - Extremely Tiny New Trojan Downloader (

Paris The Pirate writes: Today a trojan sample landed in my inbox, and a closer look showed it to be a trojan downloader. The unique thing about the file is that it is only 474 bytes in size -Tiny Downloader — Hex View something almost unheard of. The PE (Portable Executable) file format normally requires a header that is at least 512 bytes, with another 512 bytes for the first code section, for a total of a 1-kilobyte file.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Two-Word Malware License Agreement (

Tech.Luver writes: "theRegister writes via about 'two-word' license agreement of a malware, " it's refreshing to find an agreement that gets straight to the point without wasting users' time scrolling down through something they aren't going to read anyway. A license agreement for a malware-bundled codec from hotelcodec(dot)com simply says: "FUCK YOU".""

Submission + - RIAA Settlement Campaign Leads to Campus Crackdown (

Cbs228 writes: Less than twenty days after the RIAA sent its latest round of pre-litigation notices to the University of Missouri–Rolla, administration officials have made drastic changes to the campus's network use policy. Prior to these changes, internet access was largely unfettered, limited only by total bandwidth usage caps. Now, access to all P2P applications, for any purpose, has been blocked by default. According to UMR's news site, the new restrictions are a direct result of the RIAA settlement letters.

Along with these new restrictions, the campus has begun distributing a menacing new DMCA flyer (14 MB PDF) that claims that "unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted music is just as illegal as shoplifting." The flyer links to, a copyright propaganda website that—according to a quick whois search—is owned by the RIAA. The document's metadata indicates that the flyer was created just a few days ago, on August 3rd.

Students can temporarily restore P2P access for 6 hours at a time, but there is a catch: They must log in with their username and password, take a short quiz on P2P usage, and admit for the record that they are potentially breaking the law. The application logs each user's P2P activation history, and these records are retained for an undisclosed period of time. The logs provide convenient evidence for copyright prosecutors, placing the alleged violator at the computer in question and providing what amounts to a signed confession of guilt.

The new settlement letters represent a change of tactics for the RIAA. Instead of simply threatening to sue penniless students, the RIAA is now attempting to strong-arm organizations into changing their policies, encouraging them to restrict and monitor internet access. Even if the RIAA did not personally draft UMR's network access policy, the end result is the same: Our public academic institutions are now spies for the media industry.

The Internet

Submission + - Is the mobile Internet going to change our lives?

Richard Denoles writes: In a recent blog post by CNET's mobile phone editor, it is stated that 'there will be over 1.2 billion people using mobile broadband on mobile phones and laptops by 2012.' What interests the author and myself though isn't the huge number of people that will be browsing Google on their phones but how 'not being chained to a cable or wireless hotspot will create a real/virtual parallel so closely knitted it might be difficult to detach yourself from your phone or laptop even when interacting with other people or objects.' As someone who uses the Internet at home quite a lot I do wonder how high-speed mobile data access is going to affect my day-to-day life, and more importantly whether it will improve my relationships with other people or make the 'real' world seem more detached?
Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate to drop IDE drives by year's end (

ianare writes: Seagate plans to cease manufacturing IDE hard drives by the end of the year and will focus exclusively on SATA-based products. Seagate is the first major hard drive manufacturer to announce such plans, though others will likely follow suit. That's not to say support for the 21-year-old PATA standard is going to vanish overnight; similar to how ISA slots were available long after most of us had ditched our old ISA peripherals.

Submission + - Digg signs advertising deal with Microsoft

StonyandCher writes: Computerworld is reporting that Digg and Microsoft have signed an exclusive advertising deal.

From the article: "In a deal that boosts Microsoft's plan to increase revenue from online advertising, the company will be the exclusive provider of display and contextual advertising on the popular Digg news site.

Microsoft also said it will work with Digg to develop new campaigns that combine advertising and technology for the site, and will collaborate with Digg's current advertising partner, Federated Media Publishing, to bring new programs to the site's users and advertisers. The deal's duration will be three years, the companies said.

Submission + - Lynch law prevalent on Wikipedia 7

bheading writes: Recently a pal of mine logged into Wikipedia (where he has contributed many articles on Turkey, politics, amateur radio, and other matters over the past few years) to find that he'd been blocked as a sockpuppet — this despite the fact that he posts under his real name. So, he logged in at work to submit a request to be unblocked — and found that his work address was already blocked. He then submitted the request protesting his innocence as soon as he got home — but awoke the following morning to find that his home IP had also now been blocked as having been used by a sockpuppet. Then, Gerry blogged the matter to bring his problem to the attention of other friendly Netizens, others who weighted in to protest his innocence found themselves blocked as well. Further investigation has shown that the formal Wikipedia blocking process was not followed, leading to suspicions of political bias. Wikipedia's getting to be a rough place if you can be silenced for your political views, then silenced automatically for merely attempting to protest that decision — and then your friends get silenced for coming to your aid. Have any other Slashdotters encountered problems like this lately ?

Submission + - What workstation monitoring software do you use? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I am one of two IT personnel at the small company I work for. My boss recently expressed interest in monitoring the usage of our workstations. We run a Windows Domain with 20 computers. There is 1 administrator account and all other users log on with restricted user accounts. So far we've already tried one software package called BeAware Corporate. It seemed like it was exactly what my boss wanted. The only problem with this software is that it would only function properly when logged on as an administrator. We would rather not give our users administrator privileges. In particular he would like to monitor programs used, websites visited, and emails. He would also like for it to act sort of like a surveillance camera system in that it would take screenshots of all the workstations at set intervals. Additional features a plus. Ideally, the usage information from each computer would be inserted into a central database. Is there any software out there that does these things without requiring everyone to be an administrator?

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