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"Back Door" Cheating Scandal Rocks Online Poker 427

AcidAUS sends us the story of an online poker cheating ring that netted an estimated $10M for its perpetrators over almost 4 years. The article spotlights the role of an Australian player who first performed the statistical analyses that demonstrated that cheating had to be going on. "In two separate cases, Michael Josem, from Chatswood, analyzed detailed hand history data from Absolute Poker and UltimateBet and uncovered that certain player accounts won money at a rate too fast to be legitimate. His findings led to an internal investigation by the parent company that owns both sites. It found rogue employees had defrauded players over three years via a security hole that allowed the cheats to see other player's secret (or hole) cards." The (Mohawk) Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses the two poker companies, has released its preliminary report. MSNBC reporting from a couple of weeks back gives deep background on the scandal.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Montreal to be covered in Wi-MAX blanket

grizzlybait writes: Two Quebec-based companies plan to wrap all of Montreal under a huge WiMAX-based "WiFi blanket" by 2009. Internet service provider (ISP) and network installer Nomade Telecom Inc. are currently beta-testing a 100-square kilometer WiFi mesh they have deployed in Plateau Mont-Royal, the city's densest neighborhood. The partners intend to offer wireless Internet and IP telephony services to residents in the area by September. Within two years, the companies say, their WiFi network will be expanded to cover more than 300 square kilometers, and approximately 90 per cent of Montreal's population. Story here -e42c-43b6-bce0-25feb9d19961.html
The Internet

Submission + - Google Gets Political with Public Policy Blog (

Raver32 writes: "One sure sign of Google's growing importance in Washington is the fact that the Googleplex — Google's Mountain View, California campus — is becoming a popular stop on the campaign trail. Several candidates and potential candidates have stopped by to discuss technology policy. Now Google is throwing open the doors to the internal debates that have helped shape the company's public policy stances. On Monday morning, Andrew McLaughlin, Google's Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, announced the official launch of the company's "Public Policy Blog," and invited the public to join in the discussion by posting comments."
Sun Microsystems

ZFS On Linux - It's Alive! 281

lymeca writes "LinuxWorld reports that Sun Microsystem's ZFS filesystem has been converted from its incarnation in OpenSolaris to a module capable of running in the Linux user-space filsystem project, FUSE. Because of the license incompatibilities with the Linux kernel, it has not yet been integrated for distribution within the kernel itself. This project, called ZFS on FUSE, aims to enable GNU/Linux users to use ZFS as a process in userspace, bypassing the legal barrier inherent in having the filesystem coded into the Linux kernel itself. Booting from a ZFS partition has been confirmed to work. The performance currently clocks in at about half as fast as XFS, but with all the success the NTFS-3g project has had creating a high performance FUSE implementation of the NTFS filesystem, there's hope that performance tweaking could yield a practical elimination of barriers for GNU/Linux users to make use of all that ZFS has to offer."

Submission + - The Top Ten Issues of OLPC

InteractiveGadget writes: Heres an interesting article challenging some of the core concepts of the One Laptop Per Child project. From the Article: "The name OLPC is a problem as the focus is on Personal Computers for Individuals ignoring the fact that community feedback is crucial part of learning... This is like evaluating the quality of our education based on the type of glue that is used to bind textbooks... Teachers, be they your peers, parents, or trained individuals are a crucial part of feedback system of learning... Even when parents and peers are not available children will often huddle around a single computer to collaborate and provide constructive feedback (see MSR India). Developers can push this learning configuration further by providing interactivity for each child on the same display (through multiple mice and keyboards)." Maybe developing nations could use more low cost mice and keyboards rather than more laptops. See Article.

Submission + - Bill bans NSA eavesdropping

Anonymous Coward writes: "The US house of representatives today passed a bill outlawing illegal domestic wiretapping by the government. Now Bush can pry into your private communications only under terms of FISA.

The ACLU noted that, despite many recent hearings about "modernization" and "technology neutrality," the administration has not publicly provided Congress with a single example of how current FISA standards have either prevented the intelligence community from using new technologies, or proven unworkable for the agents tasked with following them."

Submission + - Open standards proposed as compulsory in Norway

Norwegian Anonymous Coward writes: "In Norway a standards committee appointed by the government has proposed open standards in documents and web pages presented to the public by state and municipalities. In short, they want to make usage of PDF and ODF compulsory for document file types, and the character set ISO/IEC 10646, represented by UTF-8 for web pages. The minister overlooking usage of IT in government, Heidi Grande Røys, says that citizens should not have to rely on software from one supplier (Micros...) only when interacting with Norwegian autorities.

The documents are in Norwegian.

The IT-minister interviewed by Dagbladet (Norwegian newspaper) html

Proposal from the committee: Horingsdokumenter/2007/Horing — ODF.html?id=466498 "

Submission + - Cheaper Solar Now?

mdsolar writes: "The MIT Technology Review is reporting on roof mounted solar concentrators that use 88% less silicon than standard solar panels and should be half the cost of current solar panels. They plan to start shipping this year. The systems have moving parts that track the Sun in one dimension using a series of rolling reflecting troughs. They plan 2-D tracker arrays in the future. While I think this concentrator technology is cooler (no moving parts, no shadowing) you've go to admire the first to market approach with the trough arrrays. Sound's like they'll be selling at around $2/watt."

Feed Bioluminescence To Be Used In Novel Cerebral Imaging Technique (

Scientists have developed a new technique for the in vivo imaging of neuronal function using bioluminescence, based on a GFP-aequorin fusion protein. This imaging technique enables the monitoring of neuronal activity (and more specifically, calcium activity), real-time and in-vivo, in either a small group of neurons or in the brain as a whole.

Feed What's In The Water? Estrogen-like Chemicals Found In Fish Caught In Pittsburgh' (

A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests that fish caught in Pittsburgh rivers show evidence of estrogen-like activity, indicating that chemicals that mimic the female hormone may be making their way into the region's waterways. The study also found that when the researchers treated breast cancer cells in culture with fish extracts, the cells grew at increased rates.

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