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Submission + - An Interview with Leslie Lamport

Mihai Budiu writes: Leslie Lamport is a legendary figure of computing. While he is probably most well-known because of the open-source typesetting LaTeX macro package and book, arguably his most important contributions are in the domain of distributed systems; this is also the subject of this interview.
Data Storage

Submission + - Secure & Free Hard Disk Erase

modapi writes: "UCSD's Center for Magnetic Recording Research has a DOS utility that enables the built in Secure Erase command on ATA drives. Secure Erase is approved by NIST's Computer Security Resource Center 7, and meets the legal requirements for SOX, HIPAA and Graham-Leach-Bliley. Secure Erase is part of the ANSI standard ATA spec, but users haven't been able to access it because most BIOSes disable access to the command. Put the utility on a Windows XP boot floppy and you're good to go. The process takes a couple of hours, depending on disk size. Secure Erase overwrites every single track on a disk, including bad blocks, so data is not recoverable. Learn more at ZDnet's Storage Bits blog."

Submission + - Wikipedia Bans HD-DVD Encryption Key

An anonymous reader writes: Much like Digg, Wikipedia is deleting edits to pages that include the key. They've even locked down the HD-DVD so that users can't edit it. How many more web sites will be brainwashed into believing that a number can be copyrighted?
Censorship Attempts To Suppress HD-DVD Revolt 1142

fieryprophet writes "An astonishing number of stories related to HD-DVD encryption keys have gone missing in action from, in many cases along with the account of the diggers who submitted them. Diggers are in open revolt against the moderators and are retaliating in clever and inventive ways. At one point, the entire front page comprised only stories that in one way or another were related to the hex number. Digg users quickly pointed to the HD DVD sponsorship of Diggnation, the Digg podcast show. Search digg for HD-DVD song lyrics, coffee mugs, shirts, and more for a small taste of the rebellion." Search Google for a broader picture; at this writing, about 283,000 pages contain the number with hyphens, and just under 10,000 without hyphens. There's a song. Several domain names including variations of the number have been reserved. Update: 05/02 05:44 GMT by J : New blog post from Kevin Rose of Digg to its users: "We hear you."

Submission + - JPEG Compression!

Samuel writes: "Who would have imagine that JPEGs can be compressed as much as 29% smaller! Referring to this site, windows fanboys would love to see these popular compressors compared. More proof that regular ZIP sucks!"

Submission + - Users Overtake Digg

econoar writes: "Well, digg pissed off their users, and the users have just fought back. I've never really seen anything like this on user run websites, but chaos is taking place over on Digg. As I have mentioned before, Digg is my favorite website out there, but after they banned me earlier today I got a little pissed. I submitted a story about a T-Shirt with the now famous HD-DVD hex key on it, and I was banned for "violating the terms of use". Stories were getting deleted and user accounts were being banned all because of a stupid HD-DVD copyright Hex code that can be used to unlock HD-DVD. Digg claimed that they could be sued and what not for it so they decided to censor all of the stories that had to deal with the key. The whole thing is just bull, you can't copyright a sequence of numbers and letters. People come to digg for the sole reason of not having to deal with censorship. The users have become pissed and now every story on the front page is about the HEX key. I'm not going to post it here, but you can go see for yourself. Oh, and not to mention that HD-DVD is a main sponsor on Digg's podcast, Diggnation, of which I am a fan of. Digg really screwed the pooch on this one. Don't fuck with your users. Submissions are now shut down on digg also."

Submission + - Mob rule over a number

gcnaddict writes: "After Jay tried to explain the reasoning behind removing the HDDVD Processing Key post (neglecting to mention their sponsorship by HDDVD), Diggers took the matter into their own hands, spamming and forcing the promotion of stories dealing with the HDDVD Processing Key. Currently, story submission is disabled in addition to the upcoming story queue being capped."
The Internet

Submission + - The downfall of digg summarized by numbers.

Anonymous Coward writes: "There has been quite a bit of talk going on lately regarding the HDDVD code- Followed by C&D letters from HDDVD lawyers. For the most part, these are being ignored- However, Digg Has chosen to remove all story's containing the code, as well as banning any user who submits such a item. The community fought back, and now the entire homepage is being overrun by HDDVD story's and the site is failing. Is this the expected result from no moderation? Was this Doomed to happen? As of yet- Digg has no official response- However the damage already done is unspoken, with many users returning to age old sites such as slashdot and newcomers like reddit."

Submission + - HD-DVD key censorship revolt at

earthforce_1 writes: "It looks like the founders at have received and complied with a takedown notice regarding the HD-DVD master keys, and blocking accounts of some users attempting to repost the keys. Subscribers have revolted en-masse and have reposted the keys in at least a dozen story threads and thousands of comments in countless ways. They also modded up all stories about the censored keys until at one point, every single front page story was about the HD-DVD keys! Until the original story was taken down, it was modded up over 15,000 times, an all time record.

This has been a totally unprecedented subscriber revolt against the website moderators, and at least one story thread suggests one of the founders had taken promotional money from the HD-DVD consortium."
United States

Submission + - RIAA files lawsuit against 18 at Vanderbilt Univ

SonicSpike writes: "The Tennessean is reporting "The Recording Industry Association of America today filed 18 "John Doe" lawsuits against Vanderbilt University network users in Nashville, TN. The action is the second step in a process being used on college campuses across the country by the RIAA on behalf of the recording industry. On March 21, the RIAA sent 20 pre-litigation settlement letters to Vanderbilt, informing the school of a forthcoming copyright infringement lawsuit against one of its students or personnel and requested that university administrators forward that letter to the appropriate network user. The lawsuits filed today are against those individuals who did not settle in the pre-litigation period, when individuals can resolve copyright infringement claims against them at a discounted rate before a formal lawsuit is filed."
Story here: D=200770501035"

Submission + - Cheating is widespread among graduate students

sas-dot writes: Thirty-four first-year business graduate students at Duke University cheated on a take-home final exam, a judicial board has found, in what officials called the most widespread cheating episode in the business school's history. Nine of the students face expulsion, according to the ruling, which was distributed within the business school on Friday. Fifteen students were suspended for a year and given a failing grade in the course; nine were given a failing grade in the course, and one got a failing grade on the exam. Four students accused of cheating were exonerated. National surveys have suggested that cheating is widespread among graduate students. In a survey released last September by a Rutgers University professor, 56 percent of business graduate students admitted having cheated, compared with 54 percent in engineering, 48 percent in education and 45 percent in law school. More than 5,300 students at 54 universities were surveyed from 2002 to 2004.

Submission + - 11 Common Data Compressors Compared

ken80 writes: This article compares 11 common data compressors with 8 different filesets in 3 different settings in Windows Vista environment, with detailed results on each compressor performance. Surprisingly, data compressors that we may have given up as old-fashioned or outdated are actually still highly competitive. Interesting read and this will certainly helps in choosing the best data compressor and settings for compression tasks.
The Matrix

Submission + - Can you prove we are not in The Matrix?

Herby Sagues writes: "The theories that claim that we are not living in the real world but we live in a simulated world run on computers instead, in which we are either part of the simulation (like in "13th floor") or just plugged to it (like in The Matrix) are not taken seriously by most, but have not be disproven either. Can you propose an experiment that would prove (or disprove) we run in the real world? Playing with intractable problems, discrete time or other techniques might yield results, though you must consider the possibility of nontraditional (i.e. not temporal/spatial) simulations."

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