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Submission + - Microsoft to Open Source Code ( 1

bagsc writes: This could be the big one! Details are scarce so far, but tomorrow's Wall Street Journal page one says: "Microsoft Corp., aiming to battle Internet rivals, announced a sweeping set of moves to loosen control of its tightly protected programs and encourage software makers to build add-on products." Vista, Word, Excel have been named as to be opened. It looks like this may be a concession to regulators to get the Yahoo! deal done.
The Media

Submission + - Is Copyrigtht Infringement Stealing? 1

gooman writes: An interesting opinion piece in the L.A. Times today regarding file sharing semantics. It also happens to be one of the Times rare opportunities to "Discuss" the topic, so don't forget to share your thoughts with them. It seems to me that the major media outlets have a lot of catching up to do on this subject.

Feed Engadget: Microsoft already trimming Windows 7 features, DirectX 11 on the outs? (

Filed under: Desktops, Gaming, Laptops

It might be a bit early for us to be talking Windows 7 feature cuts, but that said, isn't it a bit early for Microsoft to be talking Windows 7 feature cuts? If The Inquirer's "reliable sources" are to be believed, Microsoft is giving DirectX 11 the boot from its next version of Windows to keep hardware requirements down -- apparently the DirectX 10 requirements of Vista were enough of that sort of trouble for one decade. Obviously there's no official word on Microsoft at the moment, so we'll reserve judgment for the time being -- and hey, maybe no DirectX 11 wouldn't ruin our year -- but with the endless quantity of features cut from Vista still fresh in our memory, this is certainly not an encouraging sign if true.

[Thanks, Isaac]

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

The Internet

Submission + - Amazon erases orders to cover up pricing mistake

The Knife writes: "Amazon secretly canceled orders for a large jazz CD set (at this link: )after it realized thta it had mispriced the item at US$31 instead of its MSRP of US$499. While inventory shortages had caused the online merchant to string customers along for over a month since they placed their orders, it was the realization that the box set was underpriced by US$470 that made Amazon simply erase all records of customers' order in their account history. No emails were sent to customers informing them of the price change or of the order cancellation. Probably because it violates Amazon's highly publicized price guarantee policy. A customer that called to complain and request the CD set at the US$31 price was given a US$20 discount off of his next Amazon order. An insult."

Submission + - Web Graphic Design for Geeks

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a competent geek running a one-man-show for a small business. I do everything IT in this company: servers, email, desktop support, manage Ethernet switches, cash registers, inventory database, and the company web site. My boss has asked me to "punch up" the web site to make it more appealing. Although I can hold my own with HTML, PHP and a couple SQL products, graphic design isn't one of my strengths. I'm looking for some advice on how to "pimp my site" a bit, without making it overstimulating for the webophobic. It's also important that it conform to ADA accessibility guidelines.

In particular, I'm looking for:

* books or tutorial web sites that teach the basics of good graphic design — how to make it more appealing without losing the ability to communicate effectively

* suggestions for tools to use to make this more efficient (Windows or Linux are OK)

I'm most interested in hearing from those of you who have graphic design education or experience.

Submission + - Router Hacking Challenge (

An anonymous reader writes: From the GNUCITIZEN Ethical Hacker Outfit:

We want you to hack your router! Yes, You. We want you to hack your router and make your findings public on this very same page, the sla.ckers forum or at hackerwebzine[at]gmail[dot]com. The best and most interesting hacks will receive credit, a lot of attention and good media coverage. The challenge is supposed to run from 2nd February until 29th February, though it is something that is yet to be clarified because we know that there is a lot to be found. The reason why we do this is because we want you to help the community to map the current state of embedded devices vulnerabilities. GNUCITIZEN members have been actively involved with finding vulnerabilities in routers in the past. We believe that embedded devices hacking is a huge topic that is yet to be explored in depth. Your submissions will be included in numerous presentations and research materials and will be credited appropriately. The rules are very flexible, every kind of exploit is allowed. From buffer overflows to CSRF issues that plague many routers
Any takers?

Social Networks

Submission + - Facebook Application Development Tutorial Part 2 - (

rsteig writes: "Welcome back for the second installment of the Facebook Application Development Tutorial. In this post I will show you how to create a very simple PHP application for Facebook.

This tutorial requires you to have:
#1 — Web space capable of hosting PHP applications.
#2 — Copy of the core Facebook API files (found here:

First step will be to extract these files on your web host (I will show the FTP method for those of you without SSH access).

Download the Facebook API to your local computer. Using either WinRAR or WinZip, extract the archive onto your Desktop.

Facebook Development Part 2 — Step 1

Next, you must now upload these files into your web space directory using your favorite FTP client. If you don't have one, I recommend FileZilla.


Ok, great! Next thing to do is open a copy of your favorite Text Editor. For Programming I personally recommend Programmers Notepad, but regular old Notepad will work too!

Once you have your text editor open, you are going to want to download a copy of the example code from here and copy/paste this into notepad.


You will need to replace the $appapikey and $appsecret variables with your app's keys. This can be found on the Developers page.


Save the file as index.php and upload onto your web server using your FTP client (note: this should NOT be in the facebook-platform directory. This should be in the directory CONTAINING facebook-platform).

Now you can check out your creation! Simply add the application to your profile, and you're done! (Go to the Developer screen, select your application from the menu on your right, and click Add To Profile)

For current web developers, creation of Facebook applications couldn't be easier.

The next installment will show you how to interface Smarty PHP template engine to save you time (Which means Money!) designing re-usable user interfaces for your applications.

Until next time.."


Submission + - New supersonic aircraft to fly at Mach 5 (

crazygamer writes: This is an interesting post about a new aircraft dubbed the "Son of Concorde" which will be able to fly at Mach 5. From the article: 'The A2 would fly with a top speed of 3,400mph and be able to take 300 passengers between London and Sydney in under five hours. Its engines are powered by liquid hydrogen and produce few carbon emissions, making this plane much greener than the ones we have today.' Do you think this will become a reality?

Submission + - RIAA is not targeting corporations, big surprise (

An anonymous reader writes: In this Information week article, Joe Hernick reveals most of the old information about P2P file-sharing, but does include one interesting vendor quote, "I have never met with a large company that has been named in an RIAA suit," he says. "You draw your own conclusions." Could it possibly be that the RIAA is not distributing their lawsuits equally, instead going after only ISPs and Universities? Why does this make sense from a legal perspective...does this ultimately weaken their case to Congress?

Male Brains 'Wired for Videogame Obsession' 125

thinkzinc notes a story indicating that, according to a new study, men have a harder time putting down a controller than women do. Researchers at Stanford did brain imaging work on a group of young test subjects while they played a simple PC game. Besides the 'obvious' conclusion that men were more 'aggressive at gaining territory on the screen', the tests also indicated that male brains showed more activity in the reward and addiction components of the brain. "The lead author, Dr. Allan Reiss, noted that most of the video games that are popular with men are territory and aggression-type games. 'These gender differences in the brain may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become hooked on video games than females,' he said. Other recent surveys indicate that about 40 percent of Americans regularly play games on a computer or console, but young males are two or three times more likely than females to feel addicted to video games, Reiss said. "

Submission + - CIA Says Cyber Attackers Blacked Out Cities ( 1

Dotnaught writes: "Cyber attackers it seems can reach the power grid. "We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands," CIA senior analyst Tom Donahue said at a New Orleans security conference. "We suspect, but cannot confirm, that some of these attackers had the benefit of inside knowledge. We have information that cyberattacks have been used to disrupt power equipment in several regions outside the United States. In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet." Is it time to invest in battery backup?"
The Internet

Submission + - California Creates "Broadband Bonds" (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "California, having identified fast internet connections as critical infrastructure, is now using "broadband bonds" to subsidize infrastructure development in rural areas. Because of the internet's importance to the economy, they're particularly concerned at how far the US has slipped in the international rankings. While California is the best state in the US as far as broadband availability is concerned, were it compared with other countries as if it were one, it would have slipped from 3rd to 10th since 2001. They still have a long way to go to catch up to world leaders in broadband like Japan, where the average speed advertised is 95 Mbps."

Submission + - New ATI Driver Released for Linux 3

An anonymous reader writes: A new ATI proprietary driver has been released for both x86 and x86_64. Release notes and installation instructions can be found on the ATI website.

Submission + - Federal Bureau without Internet access since 2001 ( 1

Paul Flannery writes: "The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has been without Internet access since 2001 thanks to a ruling in a civil trial. This is very important for the Commonwealth for the Massachusetts as the bureau can rule if the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe can open a casino and circumvent the commonwealth. "It impacts our job," said Bureau spokesman Gary Garrison. "When we put out a news release we have to spend an hour and a half at a fax machine faxing to our list.""

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