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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 6 declined, 1 accepted (7 total, 14.29% accepted)

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Submission + - Cox Coaster, life in the frustrating lane (cox.com)

rickb928 writes: So, I've become a participant in the Cox Coaster trial here in the Phoenix area, and I'm wondering if any of you have had a shot at this elsewhere, or if you have some questions about it.

Coaster is Cox's IPTV offering, still being built and tested apparently. As part of the deal, I got a new Cisco router/firewall/wifi hub, the Coaster PC, HDMI cable, and TWO remotes.

And so far, it is an unrewarding experience, but I'm not done trying it out. Verdict pending.


Submission + - We're the governent, and we're here to secure you (wired.com)

rickb928 writes: So the Pentagon, with their shiny new CyberCom commander and all that, are trying to convince corporate CEOs and "companies that operate critical infrastructures" to let them install monitoring systems on their networks or, quote, "stay in the wild wild west of the unprotected internet".

From the article:

"Defense Deputy Secretary William Lynn III, speaking at the Strategic Command Cyber Symposium in Nebraska, said we need to think imaginatively about how to use the National Security Agencyââs Einstein monitoring systems on critical private-sector networks ââ such as those in the financial, utility and communication industries ââ in order to protect us."

Sure sounds good to me. Let the Pentagon keep an eye on your critical network, and they will not only alert you to something going wrong, but they'll even respond to the threat. And if you operate 'critical infrastructure'. you owe it to our nation to opt-in, right? I mean. What could go wrong? It's the Pentagon, surely they know what they're doing, right?

Submission + - Hidden web ads inflate revenues, don't annoy us

rickb928 writes: Well, sort of...

The Wall Street Journal publishes here (Same story, who stole what???) and here:

'Kraft Foods, Greyhound Lines and Capital One Financial have bought some strange ads on the Internet lately. What's so strange about them is that they're invisible.

The companies might not have known about their invisible display ads — the kind that are supposed to appear alongside content on Web pages — if not for Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who studies Internet advertising.

Mr. Edelman says his research shows that all three marketers, and many others, have fallen victim to Web sites that use such ads as a way to sell more ad space than they have.

The Web sites can get away with it, he says, because online advertisers don't always audit their campaigns for proof their ads are appearing. It isn't clear how common these ads are or how much they cost marketers.

Mr. Edelman and other Internet-security experts say the ads are created with the use of computer code that makes it look to marketers as though their ads are showing up on legitimate Web sites. But consumers who visit those sites can't see the ads because they have been placed on invisible Web pages.

In one example, visitors to a site called MyToursInfo.com saw an ordinary-looking Web page with one ad for Verizon Communications and another for a weight-loss product. But, Mr. Edelman, who studied the site in January, said software code running behind the scenes opened more than 40 Web pages, each including three ads from marketers such as Domino's Pizza and Capital One, which were invisible to visitors.

Mr. Edelman's analysis of the code was confirmed by computer-security experts at Symantec and McAfee as well as online-ad advisory firms DoubleVerify and Anchor Intelligence.'

Sweet. I'm not sure what's worse, these and other companies being cheated out of ad dollars by this latest wrinkle in fraud, or us waiting while these invisible pages load. Not only do we suffer through interminable Flash loads, every geegaw Web trick to tickle our eyeballs and/or ears, but we now can be pretty sure that some of those sites that take so ^*%^ long to load are actually loading up page after page of 'invisible' ads.

I'm shocked, SHOCKED! Ad fraud, right under our noses, on the Internet? Oh my...

Submission + - The Empire Strikes Back: Broadcast's end run? (usatoday.com)

rickb928 writes: "Is this Television's big step past Cable? USA Today quotes John Eck, President of NBC Network and Media Works:

"If we play it right, it can be a compelling service"

Indeed, if several manufacturers follow suit and build mobile receivers, as LG, Samsung, Zenith, Kenwood, and others disclosed at CES in Las Vegas, this would offer viewers an option to cable, and even to Internet services such as Hulu, among others. Might even impact Youtube...

By offering local news, which normally isn't available from cellphone video services, they could leverage their fading brands even more, and most importantly directly to their audience. And probably preserve advertising views as well, which gives them an advantage with advertisers who pretty much despise Tivo and other services that let viewers bypass ads and get to the good stuff.

From the USA Today story: "At least 63 stations in 22 cities — including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Washington — will transmit news, entertainment and sports to portable devices this year, according to the broadcast industry's Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC).

The initial group will include affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CW, ION and PBS. Each city will have a different mix. Most will simulcast regularly scheduled shows."

Gotta love it. Broadcast TV joining forces with the cellphone industry to take on a common enemy: Cable, which has been intruding on Telephony's turf with VOIP services, and clearly would love to dominate IP Television, may have a foe that can actually hurt them where it counts; in the wallet.

Do we consumers get anything out of this? 'Free' (as in beer) TV, albeit on smaller, mobile screens? On-demand shows? (I doubt that). Local stations on our phones or whatever little device? Smaller pictures of Jennifer Aniston? Is this a good thing?"

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Reporters at Black Hat get bounced for hacking (ap.org)

rickb928 writes: So some reporters at Black Hat decided to teach the other reporters in the press room about the importance of securing their connections. They must have been thinking "hmm.. this is Black Hat, so why not hack their ids and passords and stuff, and show them how pwned they are, right?".

Not so funny. At Black Hat, hacking is encouraged. Everywhere except the Press Room, apparently.

So the reporters, from the French magazine 'Global Security Magazine', apparently did the unthinkable — hack at Black Hat:

"The French journalists — identified by organizers as Dominique Jouniot, Marc Brami, Mauro Israel — apparently set up their own server to siphon off traffic passing through the media room's central router."

Once again, hacking is cool. Unless, of course, it's done at you, or where you don't want it to be done.

Right back at ya, Black Hat.


Submission + - Gold Digger or opportunist? Sexist or pragmatist? (nytimes.com)

rickb928 writes: "When this story" on my company's internal blog, I had to go read the original. Yep, allegedly a woman posted a personal ad on Craigslist asking how to meet her 'Sugar Daddy' move to New York City, and basically cash in. And this is a reposting of the ad and a response.

Some of this may or may not be true — and that's not my point. But this gets me thinking. And wondering. Among other things;

Was there a line crossed in this posting and response? I mean, the obvious observations in the NYT article include the blatant sexism by both the woman and the responder, and while many will complain that his (and I assume it was a 'he') response was throughly sexist, wasn't it also honest, brutally so? And what about the woman posting? While she's honest, she's probably smart to be anonymous as well. Posting her photo would not make her gym visits bearable, I bet.

What was the most outrageous thing you have read in a personal ad? I read plenty when I was dating, and the ones pointing out that Republicans, ex-military, etc. need not apply always got my attention. And I got plenty angry until I realized that it was for the best that I avoided these women. And many men used the dating sites to troll for sex, pure and simple, and would post ANYTHING to get a meeting. After all, you can't make the sale unless you can meet the buyer. (Was THAT crossing the line?).

But more to the point, it's not about whether or not a woman can seek marriage to a 'rich guy' for no other reason than to be taken care of, or a 'rich guy' to marry a woman for no other reason than to have a pretty girl on his arm and in his bed. It's deeper than that, I think. How can you really know what your fiance really has on their mind? Rich guys, do you wonder about this? And beautiful women, do you also wonder if the attraction really isn't just skin deep?

Of course, does this matter a bit to your average Slashdot reader? Let's find out."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Keep that cell phone out of your pocket!

rickb928 writes: "Just when you thought it was bad to talk on your cell phone all the time, comes this story about the amount of cell phone affecting your sperm count and quality. And it's all about the quality, isn't it?

The premise is that men who talk on their cell phones for more than 4 hours a day have lousy sperm.

Of course, the first question I have for the researchers is, 'Dude. The phone is out of my pocket. It's in my ear. I'm not a dickhead".

Whatcha think? Hidden danger or the funniest thing since, well, since tighty-whiteys?


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