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Submission + - Mac OS X gets a trojan

An anonymous reader writes: MacWorld is reporting that there's a trojan making the rounds for OS X. It's a pretty simple and largely harmless affair that, once onboard, directs users to phishing and porn sites, rather than the sites they intended (it installs a fake DNS on the computer). MacOSXHints provides a method of removing the trojan. This couldn't have come at a worst time for Apple, following revelations of a poor firewall implementation in Leopard that could help avoid things just like this.
United States

Submission + - U.S. Voting Machines Standards Open To Public (

Online Voting writes: "The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has published new voting systems testing and certification standards for 190 days of public comment. For all the critics of electronic voting, this is your opportunity to improve the process. This will be the second version of the federal voting system standards (the first version is the VVSG 05). To learn more about these Voluntary Voting System Standards see this FAQ."
The Courts

Submission + - Ohio University finds key to getting RIAA to stop 7

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, has found the key to getting the RIAA to stop inundating it and its students with "settlement" letters. According to the university's student online publication, the university paid $60,000, plus $16,000 per year "maintenance", to Audible Magic, the business partner of the RIAA's all-purpose expert witness Dr. Doug Jacobson, for its "CopySense" filtering software. Once it made the payments, the letters stopped. This of course raises a lot of questions as to the 'disinterestedness' of Dr. Jacobson, whose deposition in the UMG v. Lindor case was the subject of interesting Slashdot commentary."

Submission + - Clearing an asteroid's sullied name ( 1

mlimber writes: A 'Newsweek' science blog discusses the acquittal of the asteroid that is accused of killing the dinosaurs: 'This idea, first proposed in 1980 and widely adopted a decade later, has entered the public consciousness like few others in science. Too bad it doesn't have nearly the credibility among geoscientists as it does in local sandboxes and Hollywood: evidence keeps emerging that the asteroid was framed.

'Instead, a series of titanic volcanic eruptions in India may have wiped out T. rex and his friends (and prey). That idea has been around for a while, but today paleontologist Gerta Keller, who has long been dubious about the asteroid theory, will unveil the strongest evidence yet that scientists convicted the wrong perp. In a study presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, she will announce that the volcanic eruptions that created the enormous Deccan Traps lava beds in India peaked at just the right time to explain the dinos' demise.'


Submission + - Bank of America Phishing Exploit (

devs writes: "Challenge/Response Labs, a MIT spinoff, is reporting a live man-in-the-middle attack against SiteKey, a security system used by Bank of America and other major financial institutions. What is interesting is, CR Labs (and others) have anticipated the possibility of such attacks more than a year ago. However, apparently those reports have been completely ignored by the financial institutions who is responsible for protecting their customers."
The Military

Submission + - DARPA wants to design Magic 8-Ball for the DoD (

An anonymous reader writes: FTA: "The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to develop PRESAGE (Predicting Stability through Analyzing Germane Events), a system that will use diplomatic, military, and economic intelligence to predict, for instance, if and when a population will turn from basket-weaving to IED production."
Psychohistory anyone? [shake, shake] The Magic 8-Ball says: "Better not tell you now". Well, it would appear that my Magic 8-Ball has an NDA with DARPA. hrmph!

The Military

Submission + - Tank Cloaking

gviamont writes: "The British Ministry of Defence conducted a test last week which utilized camera and projector techniques to cloak a tank from certain perspectives. Apparently this type of technology has been demonstrated in other contexts in Japan."

Submission + - New Robots Hunt Pirates by Sea, Traffic by Land (

mattnyc99 writes: Two interesting first-looks over at's "Robot Week": a lengthy preview of this weekend's DARPA Urban Challenge, which unlike in past years will put self-driving vehicles through a world of parked cars, three-point turns and oncoming traffic; and a peek into the growing world of high-tech piracy on the open seas, which the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are looking to cut off by investing in a new fleet of superfast, gun-mounted unmanned surface vessels (USVs). From the article: "The Interceptor is available now. But the USV market is just getting started: Two months ago, British defense firm Qinetiq debuted its own robotic vessel, the jetski-size Sentry. Among its potential duties is intruder investigation, which could include scouting out unidentified boats, along the lines of the raft that detonated alongside the USS Cole in Yemen, as well as offering a first look at a possible pirate-controlled vessel."

Submission + - Brains hard wired for math

mcgrew (sm62704) writes: "New Scientist is reporting that "non-human primates really can understand the meaning of numerals."

The small study of two rhesus monkeys reveals that cells in their brains respond selectively to specific number values — regardless of whether the amount is represented by dots on a screen or an Arabic numeral.

For example, a given brain cell in the monkey will respond to the number three, but not the number one. The results suggest that individual cells in human brains might also have a fine-tuned preference for specific numerical values.
The report itself is online at PLoS Biology, Semantic Associations between Signs and Numerical Categories in the Prefrontal Cortex."

Submission + - One-third of employees violate company IT policies (

BaCa writes: A national survey of U.S. white-collar workers commissioned by the nonprofit, independent organization ISACA has found that more than one-third (35%) of employees have violated their company's IT policies at least once and that nearly one-sixth (15%) of employees have used peer-to-peer file sharing at least once at their place of business, opening the door to security breaches and placing sensitive business and personal information at risk.

Submission + - How to take a vacation as a one man IT dept? 2

wgoodman writes: I work at a small company as the sole geek. It's been a few years now and I'm forced to actually use some of the vacation time that I've built up otherwise I lose it. Since I'll be gone for a few weeks with no cell phone and only intermittent internet access not to mention nearly constant drunkenness, what precautions and steps to avoid things going south in my absence do you recommend? I've scripted as much as i can of the day to day stuff, got a lackey to swap backup tapes, and given my boss contact info on the equipment that we have support contracts with. What am I forgetting?
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Sends 3rd Grader Cease And Desist Letter (

Arguendo writes: Apparently Apple needs to stop sending its fan mail to the legal department: "Like any nine-year-old, Shea O'Gorman spends a lot of time listening to her iPod Nano. So much so, that when her third grade class started learning about writing letters she thought, who better to write to than the man whose company makes her iPod." So she wrote Apple a letter, and Apple responded by telling her to stop sending ideas and, if you want to know why, take a look at our legal policy on our web site. Nice.

Submission + - Google Phone is Coming !

An anonymous reader writes: Google Inc has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its cell phone project and is courting U.S. and European mobile operators, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Anian, a Reuters company that tracks industry trends for institutional investors, reported last month that Google had engaged Taiwan's High Tech Computer Corp to design a Linux software-based Googlephone for launch in the first quarter of 2008.

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