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Comment Stone Age!!!! (Score 0) 434

Everytime you use a technology, there is a risk associated with it. There are dangers everywhere in life today. The only way to be safe from dangers of modern technology would be to go back to the stone age. Cars are awesome!, but we should stop using them cuz a lot of people die due to car accidents every year. Why do we still use them? i wonder. It has not even been proven that WiFi is bad for health and people are already afraid of 'em. I don't think anybody is afraid when they turn the key in their cars. Maybe BBC should show a program on road accidents instead of something soo less dangerous.

IE and Firefox Share a Vulnerability 207

hcmtnbiker writes with news of a logic flaw shared by IE 7 and Firefox 2.0. IE 5.01, IE 6, and Firefox are also affected. The flaw was discovered by Michal Zalewski, and is easily demonstrated on IE7 and Firefox. The vulnerability is not platform-specific, but these demonstrations are — they work only on Windows systems. (Microsoft says that IE7 on Vista is not vulnerable.) From the vulnerability description: "In all modern browsers, form fields (used to upload user-specified files to a remote server) enjoy some added protection meant to prevent scripts from arbitrarily choosing local files to be sent, and automatically submitting the form without user knowledge. For example, '.value' parameter cannot be set or changed, and any changes to .type reset the contents of the field... [in this attack] the keyboard input in unrelated locations can be selectively geared toward input fields by the attacker."
The Internet

Submission + - NCUC opposes ICANN "word police" policy fo

Dan Krimm writes: ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers — the uber-group for regulating Internet domain names) is considering dramatic expansion in the assignment of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), well beyond the fairly narrow set of .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, etc. that are currently established.

That's a good idea. The bad idea is that the advisory council that is proposing policy for this change is suggesting that ICANN should deeply police what text strings can be used for new gTLDs. Bad idea: it would allow any member of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) — that is, any government who is signed up with ICANN — to veto any string that causes legal problems in that country. This would allow any single nation to veto that string for the whole world, leaving gTLDs only as least-common-denominators across the entire globe, and to bring trademark law into the picture on a pre-emptive basis. Not so good for market competition, terrible for free expression, a systematic violation of national sovereignty. Sets a terrible precedent for future policy at ICANN, in stepping way beyond the narrow technical origins of the coordination of Internet domain registration.

The good news: this is not yet a fait accompli. At ICANN, the policy advisory group (GNSO — the Generic Names Supporting Organization) has not yet voted on the final draft proposal, which could happen at the next ICANN board meeting in late March 2007. One of the several advisory groups that make up the GNSO, the Non-commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) has proposed an amendment with alternate language that reduces ICANN's role to minimal arbitration of mainly only technical considerations. Much better.

You can play an active role in this policy vote by contacting the ICANN Board members and the GAC representative for your country and (1) voicing your opposition to the current draft proposal from the GNSO on gTLD policy, and (2) urging support for the NCUC amended language.

Relevant links:

NCUC media release: b/

If you live in the United States, your representative on the GAC is Suzanne Sene from the US Commerce Department. Suzanne Sene can be contacted via email to SSene[at]ntia[dot]doc[dot]gov

The ICANN GAC representatives from other countries are listed here:

The ICANN Board of Directors is listed here:

Relevant documents:

GNSO Draft Final Report on the Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains: EB07.htm

NCUC proposal (Feb. 2007) to amend the draft report:

NCUC Comments on Fall 2006 Draft Report w_gTLDs.pdf

Internet Governance Project Alert:
"Will the UN Take Over the Internet" Through ICANN? InternetThroughIcann_022207

GNSO Council Webpage on Intro of New gTLD Policy:

Submission + - Networking Strategic Planning

NorCalRon writes: I work for the State of California in Information Technology. I am working on a committee that is defining the strategic plan for networking. This committee is comprised of people that had a good deal of technical expertise at one time, but our skills have morphed to the "business" side of the house, away from more active technical roles.

The committee is doing a pretty good job addressing the future based upon our technical understanding and experiences, but I am haunted that a bunch of bureaucrats (like myself) may be missing something important. We have already asked similar questions of our technical workforce, as well as some highly (over) paid consultants.

Here is an opportunity to possibly change the way the State of California does its business, especially in the area's of networking, voice, convergence, and security by suggesting ideas that we should be investigating as part of this process.

Any and all ideas welcome, even the inevitable flames. All will be helpful, or at least humorous.

Ramanujian's Deathbed Problem Cracked 205

Jake's Mom sends word of the serendipitous solution to a decades-old mathematical mystery. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have unraveled a major number theory puzzle left at the death of one of the twentieth century's greatest mathematicians, Srinivasa Ramanujan. From the press release: "Mathematicians have finally laid to rest the legendary mystery surrounding an elusive group of numerical expressions known as the 'mock theta functions.' Number theorists have struggled to understand the functions ever since... Ramanujan first alluded to them in a letter written [to G. H. Hardy] on his deathbed, in 1920. Now, using mathematical techniques that emerged well after Ramanujan's death, two number theorists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have pieced together an explanatory framework that for the first time illustrates what mock theta functions are, and exactly how to derive them."

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