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The Media

Submission + - Computerworld eats babies. ( 1

Lerc writes: Computerworld has posted a response to people who called them on their use of the term Bricked in a recent article. They are standing beside their use of the term. It seems they support the idea of misleading headlines in order to gain reader attention arguing that the body of the article still provides accurate information. "The facts in the article are clear and straightforward, and if the headline gets the attention of one user who *won't* walk up to you Wednesday morning with a cheesed laptop, I think you'll agree the verbal slap upside the head is worth it."

Submission + - Electric Cars to Help Utilities Load Balance Grid

Reservoir Hill writes: "A team at the University of Delaware has created a system that enables vehicles to not only run on electricity alone, but also to generate revenue by storing and providing electricity for utilities. The technology, known as V2G, for vehicle-to-grid, lets electricity flow from the car's battery to power lines and back. When the car is in the V2G setting, the battery's charge goes up or down depending on the needs of the grid operator, which sometimes must store surplus power and other times requires extra power to respond to surges in usage. The ability of the V2G car's battery to act like a sponge provides a solution for utilities, which pay millions to generating stations that help balance the grid. Willett Kempton, who began developing the technology more than a decade ago, estimates the value for utilities could be up to $4,000 a year for the service, part of which could be paid to drivers. A car sitting there with a tank of gasoline in it, that's useless," says Kempton. "If it's a battery storing a lot of electricity and a big plug that allows moving power back and forth quickly, then it's valuable.""

Submission + - OLPC lawsuit-bringer has past fraud conviction? (

d0ida writes: The Boston Globe posted an article online about LANCOR's lawsuit over the keyboard design: see "Negroponte said the lawsuit is without merit, because OLPC uses a keyboard programming technique developed in 1996, long before the Nigerian patent was filed. The founder of Lagos Analysis Corp., Ade Oyegbola, was convicted of bank fraud in Boston in 1990 and served a year in prison. Oyegbola insists his Nigerian patent is legitimate and said he plans to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against OLPC in an American court."

Submission + - First Web2.0 worm creator hopes to be online again (

Arashtamere writes: If Samy Kamkar plays his cards right, he may be allowed to visit MySpace again in just a few months. For the time being, however, he's not even allowed to touch a computer, following a January 2007 guilty plea for creating what many consider to be the first Web 2.0 worm: the Samy worm. Samy's worm wasn't malicious, but it did force News Corp.'s MySpace social-networking site to shut down in late 2005 after forcing more than 1 million users to declare Samy a "hero" on their profile pages. Last week, Samy, who is now 21, made his first public appearance since his conviction, attending a conference hosted by eBay in California. He was treated like a celebrity at the show, but there were some complications. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he can only use computers for work, so he was forced to show slides that he'd dictated to a friend on a computer that was operated by a conference staffer. "When I wrote the worm, it initially wasn't a worm. Initially I was just trying to spruce up my MySpace profile. I also wanted to show off to a couple of friends...So I wrote a little code and what ended up happening is whenever someone viewed my profile, they would automatically add 'But most of all, Samy is my hero' at the end of their hero section on their profile. And after that, I thought, 'If I can make this person my friend, if I can make myself their hero, couldn't I just copy this code onto their profile?' I didn't think this would be a big deal, so I tried it out. I thought maybe I'll get one friend tomorrow and a few in maybe a few days. It went quickly. Apparently, MySpace is a bigger place than I assumed."

Submission + - Dislike a Relative? Turn Them in as a Terrorist! 9

Stanislav_J writes: A Swedish man who had less than fond feelings for his daughter's hubby, took advantage of the son-in-law's trip to America by reporting him to the FBI as a terrorist. The e-mail, which the father-in-law admits to sending, earned him a libel charge after his poor son-in-law was arrested on his arrival in Florida, handcuffed, interrogated, and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being released.

It's a brief article, but dovetails nicely with the recent Slashdot story about "The War on the Unexpected." That article touched on many examples of well-meaning, but misguided and paranoid citizens reporting innocent activities to the authorities. In the current climate, the potential also exists for maliciously false and far from well-meaning reports made to the Feds about people one simply doesn't care for, or those made merely as a sick prank.

While the man admitted to sending the e-mail to the FBI, he claims he thought no harm would come from it because "he did not think the US authorities would be stupid enough to believe him." To quote the great philosopher Bugs Bunny, 'Nyahh....he don't know us very well, do he?'
The Courts

Submission + - Ohio University finds key to getting RIAA to stop 7

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, has found the key to getting the RIAA to stop inundating it and its students with "settlement" letters. According to the university's student online publication, the university paid $60,000, plus $16,000 per year "maintenance", to Audible Magic, the business partner of the RIAA's all-purpose expert witness Dr. Doug Jacobson, for its "CopySense" filtering software. Once it made the payments, the letters stopped. This of course raises a lot of questions as to the 'disinterestedness' of Dr. Jacobson, whose deposition in the UMG v. Lindor case was the subject of interesting Slashdot commentary."

Submission + - Valve's Steam API uncovered (

Anonymous User writes: "Programmers from the internet harassment group known as "myg0t" have recently released a source code to the public exposing some sensitive "hidden material" in the Steam.exe and steam_api.dll, this hidden content includes Steam's billing interface, utility interface, client interface, user interface and many login exports from steam.

In the news post it states:
"This is a 100% complete Steam API hooking base written by [myg0t]s0beit. It will allow you access to several well hidden interfaces inside the Steam application and some games as well. Here is a short run-down of the basic interfaces it will allow you to completely hook:

ISteamFriends — the steam friends and community class
ISteamUser — user information on the steam client
ISteamClient — client information
ISteamBilling — steam billing information
ISteamUtils — misc steam utilities

It's important to mention that while this is 100% fully functioning, it is outdated as of the release of TF2; they use several new interfaces inside the game and have moved other interfaces into the Steam application itself or vice-versa. That said, the current updated base will not be released anytime soon if ever, if you can understand this release well enough then this should be a non-issue for you.

We must insist that you use this proof of concept code only for non-harmful, peaceful, education purposes only and that it not be discussed anywhere outside of our news forum. myg0t does not and has never condoned illegal activity of any kind or activities with otherwise malicious intent. This is a learning tool so please use it responsibly, as we have for the last year."

No doubt this is something Valve must take seriously, hopefully they will fix this soon."


Submission + - Unclaimed Property

dsjas297 writes: California's Bureau Of Unclaimed Property has been haveing some problems. Like many Californian organizations, it is severely mismanaged.

The California Taxpayers' Association reports that the agency did not even realize that is was listed as having unclaimed property on its own search website. (

Seeing the article set me about searching the site.

Interestingly, many notable people have money out there that they could claim:

DirectTV owes Linus Torvalds $96.83 in refunds. ( ?propertyRecID=6403094)

Stanford University hasn't paid Sergey Brin hundreds of dollars in wages. ( earchID=6151239d-212f-4bcf-8926-a2cbae9067a5&page= 0&set=0&pageSize=25)

Nancy Pelosi have some money due to her as well. ( earchID=4338d449-0e0a-43ae-ba64-4ba59ce115ee&page= 0&set=0&pageSize=25)

And these were just my first few searches. Plenty of notable figures must have some unclaimed money lying around.

Submission + - New York to test superconducting power lines

Jimi.dd writes: "According to New Scientist a superconducting powerline may be installed in New York city between two substations by 2010. If succesful it will be rolled out across New York. Apparantly the cables will be able to carry up to 10 times the power of the current infrastructure in place."

Submission + - Hybrid SSL Keylogger Malware

An anonymous reader writes: A highly dangerous hybridised version of the Russian Gozi virus has surfaced that not only features an integrally-coded keylogger, but has the ability to steal data from an SSL stream. It is bad enough that this new version of Gozi can encrypt and rotate its program code to by-pass conventional signature detection, but the fact it can switch a keylogging function on and off when the infected PC reaches an e-banking Web page makes it almost undetectable using conventional IT security technology.

Submission + - The HardWare Database

An anonymous reader writes: A new project has been started at SourceForge to create a community database for all the hardware that exists in the world. Users can enter details about the product (completely anonymously) and update hardware profiles that already exist. The database can be search using varying criteria to find exactly what hardware the user needs. Users can also rate products and in the coming weeks it is hoped that they will be able to write reviews of the products they have used to help other users decide on the right hardware to purchase.

Submission + - A Linux Computer in Every Garage?

An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. government- and industry-led coalition aiming to equip every car and roadside in America with wirelessly connected computers has tapped Linux for the design of a system that aims to lower driver death rates, reduce traffic jams, and media-enable cars. The project, which is under the auspices of the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VII-C) and funded by the Department of Transportation (DOT), ten state departments of transportation, and seven vehicle manufacturers, has adopted an Linux and open source strategy, at least at the prototype level.

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