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Submission + - Supreme Court Rules on Maine's Tobacco Law (nytimes.com)

explosivejared writes: "The latest battleground in the federalism wars at the Supreme Court is an unlikely one: the state of Maine, which is trying to prevent under-age consumers from buying cigarettes over the Internet. Maine maintains that it is doing nothing more than protecting public health and carrying out the desire of Congress to curb smoking among young people. Its 2003 law requires those who sell tobacco products directly to consumers to use only those delivery services that verify the age of the recipient."

Are Spammers Giving Up? 327

sfjoe writes "Are spammers giving up the game? Google seems to think so. In an article at Wired, Google, '... says that spam attempts, as a percentage of e-mail that's transmitted through its Gmail system, have waned over the last year'. They think their own filters are so good that spammers aren't even trying anymore. 'Other experts disagree with Google, pointing out that overall spam attempts continue to rise. By most estimates, tens of billions of spam messages are sent daily. Yet for most users, the amount of spam arriving in their inboxes has remained relatively flat, thanks to improved filtering.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Should Time Really Matter in RPGs? 1

ClubStew writes: If you've seen the commercial for Mass Effect that indicates important decisions have to be made, you're lead to believe that time is of the essence and you have to complete a quest quickly instead of taking on a side quest. But this isn't the case. Nor was it for Oblivion or many other RPGs. You could spend hours taking on side quests before picking up the main quest again and no harm is done. Even if the quest states to "hurry", more often than not you can take all the time you want.

Should time be a factor in RPGs? Would that make the game more or less fun? What about asking that time is truly a factor at higher difficulty levels?

Submission + - Laptop security and encryption...

HerculesMO writes: Our company is looking at deploying company-wide, encryption software that causes a lot of issues, although does alleviate some security concerns. We currently employ RSA SecureID tags for our VPN access, and I had always thought that there was a way to use those same IDs to secure our laptops, without having to remember multitudes of passwords. Additionally, I wonder what type of built-in security (aside from a BIOS lockout) do laptops offer to protect data if a laptop is lost?

I am not looking forward to rolling out this software company-wide, and I am looking for reasonable alternatives first, so I can present my case. If you all have any ideas, I would appreciate it.

The Internet

Submission + - Mac hack attack exposed as a PR stunt

Stony Stevenson writes: A McAfee security researcher Tuesday warned that a self-proclaimed Mac user had hacked and defaced two Mac fan sites for... excessive fandom. A screen shot of the hack reads, "This site has been flagged for excessive Apple fanboism, and has been taken down for 24 hours." The image depicts green Apple riddled with worms. Take that, AppleMatters.com and iPhoneMatters.com.

"This is possibly the first time a hacker is targeting Mac-related Web sites," said McAfee security researcher Harish Garg in a blog post on Tuesday. "This is interesting month for the Mac user base, with multiple Trojans/malware appearing along with a horde of security updates from Apple itself. Things are definitely heating up in Mac Land!" But the AppleMatters.com hack turned out to be nothing of the sort and before Tuesday came to a close, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief Hadley Stern was doing his best to dispel the suggestion that EllisLab's ExpressionEngine software, used to publish AppleMatters.com, might be vulnerable to attack. "When I was first approached me about the hoax I thought it was a little harmless fun," Stern said in a blog post on Tuesday. "I am literally shaking right now because I did not fully understand the impact of this, so lesson learnt. Again, Apple Matters, running on ExpressionEngine, was in no way hacked. It was a joke publicity stunt that I thought would be funny to attract attention."

Submission + - Embryonic Star Captured With Jets Flaring (techluver.com)

Tech.Luver writes: "A developing star wrapped in a black cocoon of dust is seen sprouting giant jets in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The stellar portrait, seen in infrared light, offers the first glimpse at a very early stage in the life of an embryonic sun-like star — a time when the star's natal envelope is beginning to flatten and collapse, and streams of gas are escaping. The observations will ultimately help astronomers better understand how stars and their planets form. ( http://techluver.com/2007/11/29/embryonic-star-captured-with-jets-flaring/ )"

Submission + - Why BSD Will Never Dir

An anonymous reader writes: With the recent release of OpenBSD 4.2 and the upcoming release of FreeBSD 7.0 we're often reminded that BSD is Dying. According to this site, BSD is so entrenched in corporate America that it will never die! There are no legal issues surrounding BSD (unlike Linux) as lawsuits were settled years ago (1993)... they argue that BSD is as fundamental to operating systems as the C programming language is to computing and that because of this BSD will never die! What do you guys think?

Submission + - No sourcecode for SuSE Enterprise Linux products?

An anonymous reader writes: While looking for updates for one of our SLES servers I noticed that I can't seem to locate the any soure code. Shouldn't Novell provide it for free to the public? I was able to find a Novell server that contains the source code but it requires a login and password and no information how to obtain access. Am I missing something?

Submission + - Egyptian Blogger Silenced by YouTube

Frosty Piss writes: "A Egyptian human rights activist has been muzzled after YouTube and Yahoo! shut down accounts belonging to the award-winning blogger. Cairo-based Wael Abbas regularly writes and posts video about police brutality, torture and sexual harassment in Egypt. One of the videos — of an Egyptian bus driver being sodomized with a stick by a police officer — was used as evidence to convict two officers of brutality, a rare occurrence in a country where human-rights groups say torture is rampant. YouTube said the decision to remove Abbas' videos had nothing to do with the Egyptian government, but was rather an internal decision."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Asus Eee PC Interactive online tour: (honeypothack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The good folks at HPHstudios have put together a great little utility for those of you curious about the Asus Eee PC. If you are looking to buy one of these laptops for someone special this Christmas, but are not sure if the Eee PC is really the right one; then you need to visit http://www.honeypothack.com/eee/

HPHstudios has developed an online interface that almost exactly mimics that of the Eee PC. What you see is an intuitive, easy to use, Online Graphical interface that allows you to explore the Linux Xandros operation system implemented on the Asus Eee PC. While the interface is not 100% complete, the depth of detail and level of "clickability" is incredible.

Thanks to many images supplied by eeeuser.com and other Eee PC owners, you can visually explore the Eee PC just as if you had one on your lap. Hop on over to http://www.honeypothack.com/eee/ and test drive the Eee PC for Free!


Submission + - Closing the Time Spread Position (optionsuniversity.com)

Blaine561 writes: "It is important to remember that the time spread will leave you with several potential positions that can be altered by other options or stock in numerous ways. There are a number of decisions you must make to clarify your understanding and goals."

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