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Submission + - What if Google Had to Design For Google? (

An anonymous reader writes: Web developers increasingly grow weary of having to put so much effort into designing their sites according to the whims of the Google search engine. When the most important thing is "getting indexed" its increasingly difficult for web site designers to offer the simple, uncluttered user experience they'd like to. Reminiscent of the famed what if msft designed the ipod box here is a humorous look at what would happen to that famed, clean, uncluttered look if Google had to design for the Google Search Engine.

Submission + - "All Quiet Alert" issued for the sun

radioweather writes: "The phrase sounds like an oxymoron, and maybe it is, but the sun is extremely quiet right now, so much in fact that the Solar Influences Data Center in Belgium has issued an unusual "All quiet alert" on October 5th.

Since then, the sunspot number has remained at zero. Because solar cycle 24 has not yet started. There are signs that the sun's activity is slowing. The solar wind has been decreasing in speed, and this is yet another indicator of a slowing in the suns magnetic dynamo. There is talk of an extended solar minimum occurring.

There are a number of theories and a couple of dozen predictions about the intensity solar cycle 24 which has yet to start. One paper by Penn & Livingstonin 2006 concludes: "If [trends] continue to decrease at the current rate then the number of sunspots in the next solar cycle (cycle 24) would be reduced by roughly half, and there would be very few sunspots visible on the disk during cycle 25."

We'll know more in about six months what the sun decides to do for cycle 24."

Submission + - The Vulnerable State of Security With Web Apps (

anand writes:'s Matt Hartley tackles security in his latest column for Web apps. He writes: "With most users busy trying to secure their individual machines from execution of malicious code, it feels like most of the public have forgotten about the threat of sloppy Web applications. These days, we have become entirely too complacent with the websites we visit that run all of our applications through our Web browsers. It's just too easy to overlook the threat of buffer overflow attacks, cross site scripts being run and in some cases, URL hijacking, be it a human error and not really an exploit.

Submission + - Louisiana Financial Aid Office Data Breach

An anonymous reader writes: The Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance has suffered a data breach of students' personal data, including social security numbers. 'Iron Mountain Incorporated has notified the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) that it lost back-up media belonging to LOSFA on September 19, 2007.' There's a LOSFA website where you can enter your last name, DOB, and the last four digits of your SSN to see if you're affected.

No numbers indicating how many people may be affected have been given so far, but I checked for myself and, even though I haven't had anything to do with financial aid in over 10 years, the site told me 'It is indicated that your data was involved in this potential data exposure. Your name and Social Security Number were in the potentially exposed data.' My guess is that if you've ever applied for student financial aid in Louisiana, you're affected.

Submission + - RIAA's $222,000 defendant asks for a new trial (

gosherm writes: "Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota woman who was recently slapped with a $222,000 penalty for allegedly sharing music on the Kazaa network, is asking for a new trial. Thomas' attorneys on Monday filed a motion asking for a new trial on grounds that the statutory damages that the jury awarded are excessive and therefore violate the U.S. Constitution's due process clause."

Submission + - Out of memory in Vista while... copying files? (

ta bu shi da yu writes: It appears that, incredibly, Vista often runs out of memory while copying files. ZDNet is reporting that not only does it run out of memory after copying 16,400+ files, but "often there is little indication that file copy operations haven't completed correctly". After several billion dollars spent developing Vista, surely Microsoft could get their OS to copy files properly?

Submission + - School taking action against Network freedom 1

Tristan Stillwell writes: "I am a teenage high school student in the municipality of Bunn, North Carolina.
Today I found out I was suspended from school for ten days for possessing programs that were "capable of doing damage to the private school network". The programs were Firefox Portable and VNC viewer, and BlueJ Java Development Environment. I, an 18 year old high school student, was informed through my aunt, who was called about this disciplinary problem ( Isn't this private information?). I have no chance to appeal this suspension and are being forcefully and permanently removed from my Java(c) Computer Science and US government and Politics courses which I was taking through the state. I will most likely receive grades of ZERO (0) for both classes, thus destroying any chance I ever have of getting into a decent college. I am initially receiving a 10 day suspension, and then possibly a longer suspension pending investigation. Note- the school has found nothing I might have done to potentially cause damage to the network, I was suspended for having the programs- nothing else. I plan to contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation for help with this clearly unfair oppression. The only (thought) crime I have committed is one arousing suspicion, not arriving from action. I will provide further information after I officially receive the suspension."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Apple iPhone gets VoIP tryout (

Anonymous Coward writes: "The British are bringing VoIP to your iPhone. In a demonstration at this year's DEMOfall07, British VoIP provider Truphone showed conventioneers how to use the iPhone's built-in Wi-Fi capability to make calls over Truphone's VoIP network. Truphone representatives demonstrated how a call can be initiated from a handset and then routed to Truphone's server via Wi-Fi. In addition to its demonstration of iPhone over VoIP, Truphone demonstrated an application that allows people to call each other through the social networking site Facebook. Essentially, the application would let Facebook users embed a "call me" button into their Facebook profiles that would let friends call them without revealing their actual number over the Internet."

Submission + - Birds 'See' Earth's Magnetic Field (

eldavojohn writes: "Research has been done on figuring out how natural compasses work in birds and possibly other animals. From the article, 'Heyers and his colleagues injected migratory garden warblers with a special dye that can be traced as it travels along nerve fibers. The team put one type of tracer dye into the eyes and another in a region of the brain called Cluster N, which is most active when birds orient themselves. When the birds got their bearings, both tracers traveled to and met in the thalamus, a region in the middle of the brain responsible for vision. "That shows there is direct linkage between the eye and Cluster N," Heyers said. The finding strongly supports the hypothesis that migratory birds use their visual system to navigate using the magnetic field. "The magnetic field or magnetic direction may be perceived as a dark or light spot which lies upon the normal visual field of the bird," Heyers said, "and which, of course, changes when the bird turns its head."'"

Submission + - Powerful Blast Confuses Astronomers (

eldavojohn writes: "Astronomers are still speculating as to what could have caused an abnormally strong five millisecond burst to be detected six years ago when it completely saturated the recording equipment. From the article, 'The burst was so bright that at the time it was first recorded it was dismissed as man-made radio interference. It put out a huge amount of power (10exp33 Joules), equivalent to a large (2000MW) power station running for two billion billion years.'"

Submission + - Satellite images used to monitor Burmese junta

BurmesePython writes: Human rights groups are using high-resolution satellites images to reveal the activities of Burma's junta as it gets tough with pro-democracy protesters. Apparently "it should be easy to spot groups of monks because of their distinctive maroon robes". Like previous efforts to use satellites to monitor the humanitarian crisis in Darfur [], the hope is it will prod the UN and other international actors into putting pressure on the Burmese rulers.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Final word on Linux improvements to OpenBSD's ar5k

The Internet

Submission + - The .name Domain: Haven for Cyber-criminals (

Billosaur writes: "In the war on cyber-crime, the bad guys have a new ally: the registrar running the .name domain. According to a Wired report, Global Name Registry (GNR), the registrar contracted by ICANN to run the .name domain, is charging money to do Whois lookups, frustrating security researchers who are attempting to trace zombie networks back to their source. ICANN normally requires registrars to make Whois data publicly available, but GNR's contract allows the to create tiered data, so that a public search reveals very little data and to find out who actually owns a .name domain requires a fee. Security researchers are balking at the fees, claiming it hampers their efforts if they have to pay to get at what should be publicly available data."

Submission + - The Microsoft OOXML Contradictions Revealed

Andy Updegrove writes: "Someone was kind enough to send me the package of materials distributed by ISO/IEC JTC 1 earlier today to its members.The package contains each of the responses filed during the ISO Fast Track Contradictions period for Ecma 376, the specification based upon Microsoft's OOXML formats, as well as the responses prepared by Ecma to those responses. Earlier, Microsoft had downplayed reports by myself and others that the great majority of the responses were negative, suggesting that most or many were either neutral, or in fact "laudatory." In fact, the actual responses demonstrate that 14 of 20 responses — more than 2/3s — were clearly negative, two indicated divisions of opinion among the members of the national bodies submitting them, three were inconclusive or neutral, and one offered no objections.What happens next? The transmittal note from JTC1 indicates that after internal consultation, next steps will be communicated to the National Bodies "in the very near future." But given the degree of opposition and concern expressed by a significant percentage of those national bodies entitled to vote up or down on adoption, it's fair to say that Microsoft has its work cut out for it, if it wants to see OOXML achieve the same degree of international standards status as ODF. e.php?story=2007022819130536"

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