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Submission + - Iran's nuclear program set back 5 years? (voanews.com)

mark72005 writes: Israel believes that Iran will not be able to produce a nuclear bomb before 2015. That is the assessment of the outgoing head of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, in a briefing published on Friday. Israeli analyst Gerald Steinberg says one technical problem is foreign sabotage, such as the Stuxnet computer virus, which invaded Iran's nuclear facilities. It is widely believed that the virus was planted by Israel.

Submission + - Xtranormal no longer free (npr.org)

mark72005 writes: Animation website Xtranormal is moving to a pay model for its services. Until Thursday, Xtranormal charged for special characters and backdrops, such as an animated version of pop star Lady Gaga or a prison cell setting. But it made a number of characters and settings free to use, and only about 1 percent of users bought items. Now Xtranormal charges for all characters and sets, and for publishing videos for sharing, which used to always be free.

Submission + - Microsoft Blames Server Problem For Hotmail Outage (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: In a post on a company blog, Chris Jones, a corporate vice president with Windows Live Engineering said that 'load balancing between servers' caused more than 17,000 users of the Windows Live Hotmail service to temporarily lose the contents of their mailboxes. It should probably be mentioned that Microsoft uses its SQL Server to manage Hotmail.

Submission + - Evidence mounts that Darwin got it wrong (yahoo.com) 4

An anonymous reader writes: One hundred and fifty years ago, when Charles Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species," he didn't know about DNA and genes. His "tree of life" was based on morphology — an organism's form and structure. The discovery of DNA offered scientists a means of refining the tree and of confirming Darwin's theory. However, recent attempts to re-position species on the tree based on their genes has presented extraordinary complications. Species, in fact, share DNA sequences in a nonlinear, "mosaic" pattern, twisting the tree into a bush with multiple roots and many cross-links, and presenting scientists with a conundrum.


This is old news to molecular biologist Dr. Periannan Senapathy, who, in 1994, published a book that detailed this problem and proposed a solution: parallel development of genomes leading to numerous complex life forms originating en masse. His theory attracted little attention. But, evidence is mounting that he was correct.

Three new research papers


by Dr. Senapathy have been published in Nature Precedings


Dr. Senapathy found that complex eukaryotic "split genes" can exist by chance in just milligrams of random DNA. An abundance of split genes in such a small amount of genetic material could have ignited the evolution of the eukaryotic genome. Furthermore, the mosaic patterns of simulated genomes share the same gene distribution patterns observed in living eukaryotes.


Submission + - Putin Orders Russian Move to GNU/Linux (blogspot.com) 2

Glyn Moody writes: Vladimir Putin has signed an order calling for Russian federal authorities to move to GNU/Linux, and for the creation of "a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power". There have been a number of Russian projects to roll out free software, notably in the educational sector, but none so far has really taken off. With the backing of Putin, could this be the breakthrough free software has been waiting for?

Submission + - Auditors question TSA's use of and spending on tec (washingtonpost.com) 1

Frosty Piss writes: Government auditors have faulted the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, for failing to properly test and evaluate technology before spending money on it. The TSA spent about $36 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to "sniff" them out for explosives residue. All 207 of those machines ended up in warehouses, abandoned as unable to perform as advertised, deployed in many airports before the TSA had fully tested them. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors, including $8 billion for the famous new body scanners that have recently come under scrutiny for being unable to perform the task for which they are advertised. 'TSA has an obsession of finding a single box that will solve all its problems. They've spent and wasted money looking for that one box, and there is no such solution.' Said John Huey, an airport security expert.
The Media

Submission + - is Wired Hiding Key Evidence on Bradley Manning? 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that for more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed but refuses to publish the key evidence in the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source. "In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year," writes Greenwald. Wired has only published about 25% of the logs writes Greenwald and Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. "Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest," concludes Greenwald. "This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a 'journalist' I've ever seen.""

Submission + - No matter what, it's all due to global warming (investors.com)

mark72005 writes: Whether in Los Angeles or London, recent predictions have gone crazily awry. Global warming? How about mini ice age? The sight of confused and angry travelers stuck in airports across Europe because of an arctic freeze that has settled across the continent isn't funny. Sadly, they've been told for more than a decade now that such a thing was an impossibility — that global warming was inevitable, and couldn't be reversed.

Submission + - Ford to Offer Fuel-Saving 'Start-Stop' System

Ponca City writes: "The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford plans to offer start-stop systems on many cars in 2012 that save fuel by turning an engine off when the vehicle is idling and quickly restarts it when the driver releases the brake or steps on the gas pedal improving fuel economy by 4% to 10%, depending on driving conditions. The system, common in Europe on cars with manual transmissions is already in use in the US on gasoline-electric hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Automakers have been reluctant to add the feature to cars in the US because the testing method that the Environmental Protection Agency uses to determine fuel efficiency ratings doesn't include many stops and thus doesn't recognize the technology's effectiveness. ""For the driver, Ford Auto Start-Stop provides extra fuel efficiency without inconvenience, as it works completely automatically," says Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Powertrain engineering. "And, just like in our hybrid vehicles, the heater and air conditioner work as normal so drivers will not sacrifice comfort.""
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Android – Is it Free and Open? (tuxmaniac.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Aanjhan Ranganathan writes on whether Android is Free and Open Source. He argues "I really don’t see why Android is NOT Free Software by any definition. For starters, majority of Android source code is licensed under the Apache license v2.0 which is a Free Software Foundation approved GPL compatible license. The Linux kernel, over which Android is based is itself under GPL version 2." He then moves on to explain the differences between software and hardware openness.
The Internet

Submission + - McDonald's hacked and customer data stolen

An anonymous reader writes: McDonald's servers were recently compromised and hackers were able to get access to customers' e-mail addresses, names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, genders, as well as certain information about their promotional preferences and Web information interests. The sites affected were: McDonalds.com, 365Black.com, McDonalds.ca, mcdonaldsmom.com, mcdlive.com, monopoly.com, playatmcd.com, and meencanta.com. The restaurant chain is warning customers to be cautious of anyone claiming to be from McDonald's contacting them by phone or e-mail, and asking for personal or financial information. McDonald's has also set up a FAQ page for affected customers with 13 questions and their corresponding answers.

Submission + - Iran still unable to deal with Stuxnet (foxnews.com)

mark72005 writes: Iran's nuclear program is still in chaos despite its leaders' adamant claim that they have contained the computer worm that attacked their facilities, cybersecurity experts in the United States and Europe say.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/12/09/despite-iranian-claims-stuxnet-worm-causing-nuclear-havoc/#ixzz17elv1h2o


Submission + - WikiLeaks 'Dead Man Switch' Contingency? (infoworld.com) 1

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Paul Venezia speculates on a possible WikiLeaks contingency plan based around a dead man switch and the 1.4GB AES0-encrypted file WikiLeaks released previously on various BitTorrent sites. 'If I was planning this out, that big encrypted archive would contain several smaller encrypted archives,' Venezia writes, adding that each encrypted archive would have a different key, the release of which would be suppressed by a dead man switch in the form of an email or specific URL visit every 24 hours. 'As long as those signals are received, nothing happens. But if one is missed, the first decryption key would automatically be posted to Twitter and submitted to Reddit or any number of other public venues. As the primary system releases a key, it stops sending and responding to the heartbeats, which triggers timers in the other systems, and they begin releasing their keys every 24, 48, or 72 hours. It would be like a series of political time bombs located all over the Earth, with no way to find them.'"

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley