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Submission + - HP restores creased photos with flatbed scanners (

An anonymous reader writes: A crease can ruin an often-irreplaceable printed photograph. But new research from HP Labs points towards a future where this is much less of a problem. Scientists at HP have developed a technique to detect creases in photographs using standard, unmodified flatbed scanners. Once correctly scanned into a computer, software can determine where the photograph's defect is, and artificially correct it to remove any trace of a crease or fold. The result is a spotless JPEG scan from a creased photo, with absolutely no modified hardware and no technical know-how required on the part of the user.

Submission + - Top Cracking Software Methods and Piracy Groups

An anonymous reader writes: A report by V.i. Labs revealed the top methods used for cracking software and the top piracy groups responsible. The findings revealed that the piracy groups and the reverse engineering talent they recruit can tamper with a variety of hardware and software based licensing systems to enable overt piracy. The top five piracy groups (out of 212) contributed 59 percent of the cracked releases in the research sample. The top five most active groups in this sample were Lz0 (Linear Zero), NULL, Shooters, LND (Legends Never Die) and Magnitude.
Input Devices

Submission + - Researchers Debut Barcode Replacement (

eldavojohn writes: MIT Researchers have unveiled a new potential replacement for barcodes. Using an LED covered with a tiny mask and a lens, these new bokodes can be processed by a standard mobile phone camera and can encode thousands of times more information than your average barcode. New applications are being dreamed up by the team. Dr. Mohan of MIT said, 'Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books. You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is.'
Portables (Apple)

Top Apple Rumors, Bricks, Low Price, NVIDIA 283

Vigile writes "With the news that Apple will be releasing new MacBook products on October 14th, speculation has begun on what exactly those new products will be. Tips of a manufacturing process involving lasers and a single 'brick' of aluminum are catching on, as is the idea of a sub-$1000 netbook-type device. More interesting might be the persistent rumors of an NVIDIA chipset adoption that would drastically increase gaming ability, allow MacBooks to improve their support for OpenCL and take advantage of the new Adobe CS4 software with GPU acceleration. Will NVIDIA's ailing chipset business get a shot in the arm next week?"

World Bank Under Cybersiege In "Unprecedented Crisis" 377

JagsLive sends in a Fox News report on large-scale and possibly ongoing security breaches at the World Bank. "The World Bank Group's computer network — one of the largest repositories of sensitive data about the economies of every nation — has been raided repeatedly by outsiders for more than a year, FOX News has learned. It is still not known how much information was stolen. But sources inside the bank confirm that servers in the institution's highly-restricted treasury unit were deeply penetrated with spy software last April. Invaders also had full access to the rest of the bank's network for nearly a month in June and July. In total, at least six major intrusions — two of them using the same group of IP addresses originating from China — have been detected at the World Bank since the summer of 2007, with the most recent breach occurring just last month. In a frantic midnight e-mail to colleagues, the bank's senior technology manager referred to the situation as an 'unprecedented crisis.' In fact, it may be the worst security breach ever at a global financial institution. And it has left bank officials scrambling to try to understand the nature of the year-long cyber-assault, while also trying to keep the news from leaking to the public." Update: 10/11 01:15 GMT by T : Massive spyware infestations might be good cause to reevaluate the TCO of non-Windows systems on the desktop.

First Secure Quantum Crypto Network Up and Running 102

John Lam was one of many readers to send in news that on Thursday, "at a conference in Vienna, Austria, as reported by the BBC, a European Community science working group built a quantum backbone using 200-km of standard commercial optical fiber running among seven sites and successfully demonstrated the first secure quantum cryptographic key distribution network. In addition, each of the seven links used a different kind of quantum encryption, demonstrating interoperability between the technologies. To paraphrase, the project focused on the trusted repeater paradigm and developed an architecture allowing seamless integration of heterogeneous quantum-key distribution-link devices in a unified framework. Network node-modules managing all classical communication tasks provide the underlying quantum devices with authentic classical channels. The node-module architecture uses a layered model to provision network-wide, end-to-end, provably secure key distribution."

Algorithms Can Make You Pretty 288

caffeinemessiah writes "The New York Times has an interesting story on a new algorithm by researchers from Tel Aviv University that modifies a facial picture of a person to conform to standards of attractiveness. Based on a digital library of pictures of people who have been judged 'attractive,' the algorithm finds the nearest match and modifies an input picture so it conforms to the 'attractive' person's proportions. The trick, however, is that the resultant pictures are still recognizable as the original person. Here's a quick link to a representative picture of the process. Note that this is a machine-learning approach to picture modification, not a characterization of beauty, and could just as easily be used to make a person less attractive." Note: As reader Trent Waddington points out, the underlying research was mentioned in an earlier story as well.

Virginia High Court Wrong About IP Addresses 174

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the state's anti-spam law, which prohibits the sending of bulk e-mail using falsified or forged headers, violates the First Amendment because it also applies to non-commercial political or religious speech. I agree that an anti-spam law should not outlaw anonymous non-commercial speech. But the decision contains statements about IP addresses, domain names, and anonymity that are rather basically wrong, and which may enable the state to win on appeal. The two basic errors are: concluding that anonymous speech on the Internet requires forged headers or other falsified information (and therefore that a ban on forged headers is an unconstitutional ban on anonymous speech), and assuming that use of forged headers actually does conceal the IP address that the message was sent from, which it does not." Click that magical little link below to read the rest of his story.

Do We Live In a Giant Cosmic Bubble? 344

Khemisty writes "Earth may be trapped in an abnormal bubble of space-time that is particularly void of matter. Scientists say this condition could account for the apparent acceleration of the universe's expansion, for which dark energy currently is the leading explanation. Until now, there has been no good way to choose between dark energy or the void explanation, but a new study outlines a potential test of the bubble scenario. If we were in an unusually sparse area of the universe, then things could look farther away than they really are and there would be no need to rely on dark energy as an explanation for certain astronomical observations. 'If we lived in a very large under-density, then the space-time itself wouldn't be accelerating,' said researcher Timothy Clifton of Oxford University in England. 'It would just be that the observations, if interpreted in the usual way, would look like they were.'"

New Denial-of-Service Attack Is a Killer 341

ancientribe writes "Hacker RSnake blogs about a newly discovered and deadly denial-of-service attack that could well be the next big threat to the Internet as a whole. It goes after a broadband Internet connection and KOs machines on the other end such that they stay offline even after the attack is over. It spans various systems, too: the pair of Swedish researchers who found it have already contacted firewall, operating system, and Web-enabled device vendors whose products are vulnerable to this attack." Listen to the interview (MP3) — English starts a few minutes in — and you might find yourself convinced that we have a problem. The researchers claim that they have been able to take down every system with a TCP/IP stack that they have attempted; and they know of no fix or workaround.

Google Pushes Back Against US Copyright Treaty 233

Hugh Pickens writes "Internet companies led by Google joined groups representing Web users to challenge the Bush administration's bid to toughen international enforcement against copyright pirates. The companies said the US courts and Congress are still working out the correct balance between protecting copyrights and the free exchange of information on the Web and a treaty could be counterproductive. 'There's this assumption that what is good for Disney is what's good for America, but that's an oversimplification,' said Jonathan Band, an intellectual property lawyer representing libraries and high-tech companies. 'There's also what's good for Yahoo and Google.' The US, Japan, Canada and other nations said last year that they would begin negotiations on an agreement aimed at cracking down on counterfeiting of such goods as watches and pharmaceuticals, and the piracy of copyrighted materials, such as software and music recordings. A leaked draft of the deal showed that the treaty could force Internet service providers to cooperate with copyright holders."
The Almighty Buck

eBay To Disallow Checks and Money Orders In US 412

Sir_Kurt writes "In eBay's latest FAQ, they explain that sellers (for the good of the buyers) will no longer be allowed to accept checks or money orders as payment. They can take electronic payments only. So, will Google Checkout, Checkout by Amazon or Amazon Flexible Payment be allowed? No, says eBay: 'Google's and Amazon's products and services compete with eBay on a number of levels, so we are not going to allow them on eBay.' Options are limited to PayPal, ProPay, direct credit payments to the seller, and 'payment upon pickup.' But remember, this is for our own good!" eBay ran into trouble earlier this year for trying to restrict payment options.
First Person Shooters (Games)

The Ultimate Doom Mod Collection? 78

Croakyvoice writes "Law56ker has today released the Nxdoom Collection, a massive collection of 220 Doom Mods for the Dreamcast, a collection of best Total Conversions, Megawads, and Various levels for use on NXDOOM for the Sega Dreamcast. Wads Include Duke Nukem GP, Half Life, Star Wars, Goldeneye, Quake 2 and Star Trek. They come on 2 CDS." Registration is required for downloading anything, but if you're low on Megawads this seems like one-stop shopping.
Data Storage

InPhase Technologies Promises Holographic Drive in May 194

Anonymous Coward writes "After 8 years of effort, InPhase Technologies is shipping the world's first holographic disk drive next month. They showed it at this week's NAB. With a 300GB 5.25" disk cartridge and a 50-year media life, the Tapestry 300r is aimed at the video and film archive market. They've been promising this thing for so long I'd given up hope that they'd ever ship it!"

Submission + - How to create disposable installs of XP on the fly

Akosmian writes: I engage in risk behavior. First by using XP and then by installing software from questionable sources and surfing questionable sites. I do all this from my laptop, which I use for 90% all computing activity. Yes, I can clean up my act and use a better OS. But that can be boring. Sometimes, I want to do what I want to do, hopefully without consequence (let the flame begin!).

What setups are out there that will allow me, when I am feeling the urge to break security protocol, to create in short-order a fresh stripped down and disposable install of XP?

I welcome the use of any technologies which will work on my 2006 laptop.
(laptop reinstall imminent)

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