Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Security

Local Privilege Escalation On All Linux Kernels 595

QuesarVII writes "Tavis Ormandy and Julien Tinnes have discovered a severe security flaw in all 2.4 and 2.6 kernels since 2001 on all architectures. 'Since it leads to the kernel executing code at NULL, the vulnerability is as trivial as it can get to exploit: an attacker can just put code in the first page that will get executed with kernel privileges.'"
Government

$18M Contract For Transparency Website Released — But Blacked Out 384

zokuga writes "The US government recently approved an $18 million contract for Smartronix to build a website where taxpayers could easily track billions in federal stimulus money, as part of President Obama's promise to make government more transparent through the Internet. However, the contract, which was released only through repeated Freedom of Information Act requests, is itself heavily blacked out. ProPublica reports: 'After weeks of prodding by ProPublica and other organizations, the Government Services Agency released copies of the contract and related documents that are so heavily blacked out they are virtually worthless. In all, 25 pages of a 59-page technical proposal — the main document in the package — were redacted completely. Of the remaining pages, 14 had half or more of their content blacked out.' Sections that were heavily or entirely redacted dealt with subjects such as site navigation, user experience, and everything in the pricing table. The entire contract, in all its blacked-out glory, is here."
Books

Amazon Pulls Purchased E-Book Copies of 1984 and Animal Farm 645

Oracle Goddess writes "In a story just dripping with irony, Amazon Kindle owners awoke this morning to discover that 1984 and Animal Farm had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for, and thought they owned. Apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by George Orwell from people's Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. Amazon customer service may or may not have responded to queries by stating, 'We've always been at war with Eastasia.'"
Bug

Some Overheating 3GS iPhones Glow Pink 364

Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that dozens of users of the recently released iPhone 3GS have reported overheating issues, with some iPhone owners unable to pick up the device because the handset gets so hot to the touch, while others say the casing turns pink with the heat. 'I am definitely experiencing issues with the iPhone running warm and quick battery life lost,' writes Tom Goldstein on one discussion board. 'The phone seems to warm up almost immediately if I am doing anything that pulls data over the network.' Some users have said the device has been too hot to put to their ear while making a phone call, and others say the overheating seems to occur when owners are using the iPhone's mapping software, which uses the handset's built-in GPS technology. Melissa J. Perenson writes at PC World: 'I became aware the handset had become very hot. Very, very hot — not just on the back, but the entire length of the front face, too.' Some gadget experts believe faulty batteries could be the cause of overheating and poor battery life. 'My guess is there's going to be a whole lot of batteries affected because these [iPhones] are from very large production runs,' said Aaron Vronko, who fixes iPods and iPhones. 'If you have a problem in the design of a series of batteries, it's probably going to be spread to tens of thousands [of device], if not hundreds of thousands, and maybe more.'"
Government

US Open Government Initiative Enters Phase Three 572

circletimessquare writes "The Obama administration opened a discussion forum in January of this year which has become an electronic suggestion box. It is now entering stage three, following brainstorm and discussion phases: the draft phase, in which the top subject matter is codified into suggestions for the government. 'Ultimately, the visitors advanced more than 3,900 ideas, which in turn spawned 11,000 comments that received 210,000 thumb votes. The result? Three of the top 10 most popular ideas called for legalizing marijuana, and two featured conspiracy theories about Mr. Obama's true place of birth.'"
Cellphones

iPhone Users Angry Over AT&T Upgrade Policy 789

All is not sweetness and light in the wake of the Apple WWDC kickoff announcements, especially concerning the evolution of the iPhone. Reader Hugh Pickens writes: "AT&T will offer the new iPhone 3G S when it debuts later this month at a cost of $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, but only to new customers and those who qualify for the discounted price. AT&T subscribers with an iPhone 3G who are not eligible for an upgrade — those not near the end of their two-year contracts — will have to pay $200 more — $399 for the 16GB model and $499 for the 32GB model. 'This is ridiculous and slap in the face to long-time loyal iPhone customers like me who switched from T-Mobile and the only reason was the iPhone,' writes one unhappy iPhone customer. 'We have to mount a vigorous campaign to change this policy. Call your local AT&T and ask for the manager and complain. Send e-mails and post in forums everywhere.' The issue is spurring heavy debate on support discussion forums, with some customers supporting AT&T. 'The option you have is to honor the contract you freely committed yourself to,' says one forum member. 'If you want to upgrade early then you will have to pay full price with no subsidy discount. You can't blame anyone but yourself for your predicament.'"
Earth

Analysis Says Planes Might Be Greener Than Trains 345

New Scientist has an interesting piece up about the calculable energy costs per mile for various forms of transportation. Despite the headline ("Train can be worse for climate than plane"), the study it describes deals with highway-based vehicles, too: the authors attempted to integrate not just the cost at the tailpipe (or equivalent) for each mode of transport, but also the costs of developing and supporting the associated infrastructure, such as rails, highways and airports. Such comparisons are tricky, though; a few years back, a widely circulated report claimed that the Toyota Prius had a higher per-mile lifetime cost than the Hummer (see that earlier Slashdot post for good reason to be skeptical of the methodology and conclusions). I wonder how the present comparison would be affected by a calculation of (for instance) how much it would cost to move by plane the freight currently carried by trains.
The Almighty Buck

Paper Companies' Windfall of Unintended Consequences 284

Jamie found a post on ScienceBlogs that serves as a stark example of the law of unintended consequences, as well as the ability of private industry to game a system of laws to their advantage. It seems that large paper companies stand to reap as much as $8 billion this year by doing the opposite of what an alternative-fuel bill intended. Here is the article from The Nation with more details and a mild reaction from a Congressional staffer. "[T]he United States government stands to pay out as much as $8 billion this year to the ten largest paper companies.... even though the money comes from a transportation bill whose manifest intent was to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, paper mills are adding diesel fuel to a process that requires none in order to qualify for the tax credit. In other words, we are paying the industry — handsomely — to use more fossil fuel. 'Which is,' as a Goldman Sachs report archly noted, the 'opposite of what lawmakers likely had in mind when the tax credit was established.'"
Media (Apple)

iTunes Gift Card Key System Cracked, Exploited 388

moonbender writes "Fake but working iTunes gift cards are being sold on Chinese auction sites for a fraction of their value: 'The owner of the Taobao shop told us frankly that the gift card codes are created using key-generators. He also said that he paid money to use the hackers' service. Half a year ago, when they started the business, the price was around 320 RMB [about $47] for [a] $200 card, then more people went into this business and the price went all the way down to 18 RMB [about $2.60] per card, "but we make more money as the amount of customers is growing rapidly."' The people at Chinese market researcher Outdustry have apparently confirmed this by buying a coupon and transferring it into an iTunes account. Oops."
Cellphones

Why Japan Hates the iPhone 884

Ponca City, We love you writes "With a high level of technical sophistication, critical customers, and high innovation rate, Japan is the toughest cell phone market in the world. So it's not surprising that although Apple is the third-largest mobile supplier in the world, selling 10 million units in 2008, in Japan the iPhone is selling so poorly it's being offered for free. The country is famous for being ahead of its time when it comes to technology, and the iPhone just doesn't cut it. For example, Japanese handset users are into video and photos — and the iPhone has neither a video camera, multimedia text messaging, nor a TV tuner. Pricing plans in Japan are also very competitive, and the iPhone's $60-and-up monthly plan is too high compared to competitors; a survey lat year showed that among Japanese consumers, 91% didn't want to buy an iPhone. The cellular weapon of choice in Japan would be the Panasonic P905i, a fancy cellphone that doubles as a 3-inch TV and features 3-G, GPS, a 5.1-megapixel camera, and motion sensors for Wii-style games. 'When I show this to visitors from the US, they're amazed,' according to journalist Nobi Hayashi, who adds, 'Carrying around an iPhone in Japan would make you look pretty lame.'"
Mozilla

Firefox Faster In Wine Than Native 493

An anonymous reader writes "Tuxradar did some benchmarks comparing Firefox's Windows and Linux JavaScript performance. 'We did some simple JavaScript benchmarks of Firefox 3.0 using Windows and Linux to see how it performed across the platforms — and the results are pretty bleak for Linux.' Later on, they tried Wine. 'The end result: Firefox from Mozilla or from Fedora has almost nil speed difference, and Firefox running on Wine is faster than native Firefox.'"
The Internet

False Fact On Wikipedia Proves Itself 513

An anonymous reader writes "Germany has a new minister of economic affairs. Mr. von und zu Guttenberg is descended from an old and noble lineage, so his official name is very long: Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. When first there were rumors that he would be appointed to the post, someone changed his Wikipedia entry and added the name 'Wilhelm,' so Wikipedia stated his full name as: Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Wilhelm Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg. What resulted from this edit points up a big problem for our information society (in German; Google translation). The German and international press picked up the wrong name from Wikipedia — including well-known newspapers, Internet sites, and TV news such as spiegel.de, Bild, heute.de, TAZ, or Süddeutsche Zeitung. In the meantime, the change on Wikipedia was reverted, with a request for proof of the name. The proof was quickly found. On spiegel.de an article cites Mr. von und zu Guttenberg using his 'full name'; however, while the quote might have been real, the full name seems to have been looked up on Wikipedia while the false edit was in place. So the circle was closed: Wikipedia states a false fact, a reputable media outlet copies the false fact, and this outlet is then used as the source to prove the false fact to Wikipedia."

Slashdot Top Deals

System going down at 5 this afternoon to install scheduler bug.

Working...