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Submission + - Power Companies Brace for Solar Storms

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Three large explosions from the Sun over the past few days have prompted US government scientists to caution users of satellite, telecommunications and electric equipment to prepare for possible disruptions over the next few days that could affect communications and global positioning system (GPS) satellites, leave thousands without power for weeks to months, and might even produce an aurora visible as far south as Minnesota and Wisconsin. "The concern is if the electric grid lost a number of transformers during a single storm, replacing them would be difficult and time-consuming," says Rich Lordan, senior technical executive for power delivery and utilization at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The largest solar storm in recorded history was in 1859 when communications infrastructure was limited to telegraphs. Some telegraph operators reported electric shocks, papers caught fire, and the Northern Lights appeared as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. The first of the three solar explosions from the sun already passed the Earth on Thursday with little impact and the second is passing the Earth now and "seems to be stronger." "We'll have to see what happens over the next few days," says space weather scientist Joseph Kunches. "[The third storm] could exacerbate the disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field caused by the second (storm) or do nothing at all.""

Submission + - Zuckerberg Seeks E-Mail in Facebook Suit (

jkirch writes: Facebook Inc. and its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg asked a court to order Paul Ceglia, the New York man who claims half of Zuckerberg’s Facebook holdings, to turn over the original contract and e-mails on which he bases his suit.

Facebook, which called the claim “an egregious fraud,” asked a federal judge in Buffalo today for an order requiring Ceglia, 37, to provide expedited fact-finding, or discovery, in the case.

Comment Chrome vs. Firefox+NoScript (Score 1) 140

I just checked Chrome out for the first time, and yes it does render pages quickly. But it's no faster (to my naked eye, at least) than Firefox with the NoScript extension running. And since Firefox+NoScript is also blocking scripts, Flash applets, etc. from running, it seems to me that it would be safer than Chrome anyway. YMMV, but I think I'll stick with my Firefox a bit longer.

Comment False positives...? (Score 2, Interesting) 75

Are we to believe then that, unlike every single piece of virus-scanning software ever, this binary scanning utility will never encounter a false positive? What happens when it shows some product as containing OSS, but it doesn't?

And with that in mind, even if you *do* identify a product as containing OSS, how do you prove it without access to the source code? The company could simply claim it was a false positive (regardless of whether or not that happened to be true), and you would be left with the burden of proving the tool wasn't flawed.

Of course, there are also the false negatives...

Comment ATAPI.SYS Infections (Score 5, Informative) 323

I run a small computer repair shop, and we first started seeing this ATAPI.SYS virus a few weeks ago. When I would submit it to VirusTotal, it would always come back as clean on every single virus scanning engine - but I could tell it was infected. I even had a computer in here just yesterday which had the infected ATAPI.SYS file, yet it was not detected as such - even when the hard drive was mounted as a secondary drive in another system and scanned with several up-to-date antivirus programs.

The virus itself is actually quite a clever little beast. After infecting the file, it sets the file modification time back to the original date & time, which makes it hard to tell that it's been modified. Also, I've noticed that the byte counts between infected and non-infected versions of the file are almost always identical. But to do that, it appears to be injecting its code into the area normally used to store the file version information. The upshot is, if you check the file properties and there's no file version information (the Version tab under XP or the Details tab under Vista/Win7), there's a good chance the file is infected.

I have not had any computers come in to the shop with the BSOD mentioned in the articles yet, but I'm expecting them at any time...

Comment Alternate Data Streams (Score 2, Informative) 166

As I understand it, any file in an NTFS partition can have one or more Alternate Data Streams associated with it, regardless of its type or location. So if you tell someone not to scan something like "Edb.log", does that imply that they should not scan "Edb.log:virus.exe" either?

I have to agree with Trend Micro on this one. Completely skipping specific files in specific directories may prevent performance issues, but it may also make it easier for malware authors to find new hiding places.


Submission + - Adobe Reader Update Available (

nlewis writes: Following up on my previous submission, Adobe has just released an update (version 9.1.3) for the security issue we discussed here recently.

Now, much as I would love to provide you with a direct download link, Adobe's much criticized policy of only posting the major version updates (e.g. 9.1) on the main product download page makes that impossible. I'm afraid you'll have to either use their oh-so-wonderful update utility, or visit their generic Latest Product Updates page and dig for it yourself.

Or, as many of my fellow Slashdotters pointed out last time around, you can save yourself the hassle and just use another (more secure) PDF reader such as Foxit or SumatraPDF.

Comment Re:Possible related to Google filtering options? (Score 3, Informative) 332

Following up on my own post, yes it is DansGuardian that can be configured to block Google searches if Google SafeSearch is turned off. So maybe Microsoft's filter is taking a similar approach? The obvious thing to try is to turn off the MS filter, check your Google preferences and make sure SafeSearch is enabled, then turn the filter back on and see if the problem persists.

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