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Data Storage

How To Prevent Being Hacked Via Backups? 214

Popsikle writes "A few days ago one of the Web's largest hosting discussion forums was supposedly hacked via their backup servers. From the story: 'We've since learned that this very deliberate, sophisticated and calculated hack against Web Hosting Talk was carried out by gaining access to our offsite backup servers. From our backup servers, the hacker gained access to the WHT db server. The malicious attacker deleted all backups from the backup servers within the infrastructure before deleting tables from our db server. We were alerted of the db exploitation and quickly shut down the site to prevent further damage.' What sort of security do you put on your backup infrastructure? Looking at your backup solution could you be completely taken down by either someone obtaining a backup or accessing your backup servers? What sort of recommendations does everyone have for this not to happen?"
The Almighty Buck

How To Make Money With Free Software 81

bmsleight writes "The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition to design not a building, but rather the new 5-Euro commemorative coin. The theme was 'Netherlands and Architecture'. The winning design was made 100% with free software, mainly Python, but also including The Gimp, Inkscape, Phatch, and Ubuntu. The design is amazing — the head of Queen Beatrix is made up of the names of architects based on their popularity in Yahoo searches (rendered in a font of the artist's own devising). In the end the artist, Stani Michiels, had to collaborate closely on location with technicians of the Royal Dutch Mint, so all the last bits were done on his Asus Eee PC. Soon, 350,000 Dutch people will use and enjoy the fruits of free software."
Robotics

Submission + - Virtual robots fooled by visual illusions

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Researchers at University College London (UCL) have written a computer program using neural networks which are duped by optical illusions the same way as we do. Their virtual robots, which were trained to 'see' like us, could help to understand why we fall for optical illusions. This might also be important for robot vision. If robots are trained to 'see' like us, they will act like us — and make mistakes. Very interesting... But read more for additional references and one of the visual illusions featured on the Web site of the lead researcher for this project."
Security

Submission + - Hackers Unite For Burmese Freedom (thesietch.org)

farnishk writes: "The Burmese military government (junta) has held 50 million Burmese people under an iron fist for 20 years, and effectively under a dictatorship since 1962. Free communication with the outside world is strictly controlled and filtered, and all media is effectively state controlled: "The state controls Burma's main broadcasters and publications. For the most part, the media are propaganda tools and tend not to report opposing views except to criticise them. Editors and reporters are answerable to the military authorities." (BBC News) Bloggers and other cyber activists within Burma risk their lives by publishing any information counter to the government line, but they still do it because they believe that freedom of expression is worth that sacrifice. You don't have to make such a sacrifice, but if you have computer skills, can breach firewalls, routers and web site security then you could greatly assist the people of Burma. By taking down official Burmese government propaganda and posting pictures, information about the protests, information about the lies of the Burmese junta, and news of the huge support being offered by the rest of the world — preferably in Burmese — then you could help free the people from this terrible regime. The suggested targets — which are perfectly legal to hack into from most countries — are listed on the page http://www.blog.thesietch.org/2007/09/29/hackers-unite-for-burmese-freedom/."
Education

Submission + - Student Attacked After Dropping Cake (infowars.net) 17

An anonymous reader writes: "School security guards in Palmdale, CA have been caught on camera assaulting a 16-year-old girl and breaking her arm after she spilled some cake during lunch and left some crumbs on the floor after cleaning it up. The girl, Pleajhai Mervin, told Fox News LA that she was bumped while queuing for lunch and dropped the cake. After being ordered to clean it up and then re-clean the spot three times, she attempted to leave the area out of embarrassment but was jumped on by security who forced her onto a table, breaking her wrist in the process."

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