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Security

Submission + - EAC Announces intention to suspend SysTest

Irvu writes: On October 29th the Election Assistance Commission announced its intention to suspend SysTest labs' accreditation as a voting machine examiner. For those unfamiliar with the process the EAC along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology manages the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, a set of federal standards for electronic voting machines. These guidelines are a necessary prerequisite for using machines in many states. The Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) of which SysTest is one are then paid by manufacturers to certify their machines as meeting the standard. Under present rules they are paid after the tests come out and testing is only public if the machine passes. SysTest was cited by NIST and the EAC for, among other things: 1) a lack of properly documented methods; 2) testing by unqualified personnel; and 3) improper assurances made to manufacturers regarding test outcomes. According to the EAC SysTest is currently examining systems for Premier (formerly Diebold), ES&S (makers of the iVotronic), Unisyn and Dominion Voting. SysTest has certified systems in the past notably the ES&S iVotronic system which was used in Sarasota Florida's 2006 election and has been discussed in the EVEREST study.
Image

Call Center Worker Froze Customer's Bank Account Screenshot-sm 6

George Bates criticized an "unhelpful" worker at an Indian call center and gave him a low rating in a post-call customer satisfaction survey. After the survey Mr. Bates alleges the clerk froze his account and changed his identity to that of a Ugandan divorcee, In retaliation. Mr Bates alleges that the operator had "obviously seen that I have given him bad feedback and has decided to change all my details in revenge. When I heard my details had been changed to Ugandan I was terrified that my account had been emptied by somebody else and I would never get my money back." A bank spokesman said, "An error occurred on Mr Bates's overdraft. We have since returned his account to the correct position and refunded any charges relating to this error. In relation to Mr Bates's other claims, we can confirm that we have fully investigated these complaints but we do not comment on individual employees."
United States

Submission + - 'Steal This Movie' Says Director (blogspot.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Emmy award-winning, Academy award-nominated, documentary filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman has decided that the message of her new film — 'Stealing America: Vote by Vote' — is too important to let money stand in the way of its message getting disseminated, and has invited the public to make free downloads starting Tuesday, October 21st. She has even offered to send free DVD's right now, along with all necessary permissions, to anyone willing to broadcast it. This harrowing documentary, narrated by Peter Coyote, recounts just a few of the ways in which the 2004 presidential election, especially in Ohio and Florida, as well as several other suspicious recent elections, were stolen, and sends a stark warning to the electorate : it not only can, but will, happen again if you don't get out there and organize against it."
Microsoft

Submission + - SPAM: M$ Enters Debt, Institues Hiring Freeze, Game Over

ibane writes: Citing the economy as a reason for caution, M$ hotly denied a hiring freeze after news of one leaked out. The spokesvole forgot to mention the company being written off by all sane observers, the Vista failure losses from all major divisions and the near impossiblity of them doing more with less. The death spiral of failed product, lost revenue, lost talent, failed product is accelerating.
Microsoft

Submission + - SPAM: Debt and Freeze, M$ Finally Going Down the Tubes.

inTheLoo writes: ESR predicted the fall of M$ if they were to lose their abilty to play games with stock options.

We can afford to pin some of our hopes on growth in Europe and developing countries and elsewhere, but Microsoft can't — the time horizon on it is too long for a company whose big challenge is to keep beating revenue expectations every quarter in a market where they have 92% share (if they don't beat those expectations every quarter, their stock tanks, the option pyramid collapses, and it's game over).

After ten years of flast stock prices and three quarters of missing expectations, is the end finally here? Twitter asks:

We've seen stories about how M$ is past it's prime, and how rejected their new OS is. Opinion of their new Office is about as low. Partners like CompUSA has gone under while others like Adobe are under full frontal attack for the remaining "profit centers". There's been a regular executive exodus. Now, after three straight quarters of missing Wall Street expectation comes news of massive losses, a now confirmed plan to go into debt buying their own stock and a hiring freeze. Is this, finally, the end of the end for M$?

Oh yes it is! Vista is a massive failure and they won't be able to do better with less.

Microsoft

Submission + - SPAM: M$'s Hiring Freeze - is this The End for them?

Odder writes: M$ was unable to produce a reasonable OS in five years when they were flush with talent and cash. It was long ago predicted M$ would fail if they could not keep up their stock options game. They could not and have since been losing both cash and employees and seen competition from all sides kick their ass. With rumors of hiring freezes and confirmed plans to go into debt, is the end finally here for them?
Education

Submission + - Drafting Software for Kids?

dptalia writes: I have a niece who's a natural born mechanical engineer. She loves building things, tinkering with designs and coming up with improvements. And she's good at it. I'd like to pick her up some design/drafting software for Christmas, but there's one small problem — she's 12. What's good software package for a talented kid with an interest in design?
Music

Submission + - Chef has passed away. (commercialappeal.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Legendary soul music performer Isaac Hayes died this afternoon after he was found unconscious in his Shelby County home. He was 65. Hayes' wife, their 2-year-old son and another family member had gone to the grocery store around noon...When they returned, they found Hayes unresponsive.
Security

Submission + - Windows Update Can Hurt Security (cmu.edu) 2

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown that given a buggy program and a patch, it is possible to automatically create an exploit. They demonstrate this by showing automatic patch-based exploit generation for several Windows vulnerabilities and patches can be achieved within a few minutes of when a patch is first released. From the article: "One important security implication is that current patch distribution schemes which stagger patch distribution over long time periods, such as Windows Update, ... can detract from overall security, and should be redesigned." The full paper is available as PDF, and will appear at the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium in May.
Windows

Submission + - Professionals do NOT use Windows (lowetechlabs.com)

An anonymous reader writes: I've found the only people telling me how Windows is better are PC technicians. Ones that spend most of their time piecing together PCs and formatting them to reinstall Windows in their professional life, and most of their time gaming and downloading pirated software from torrents in their personal life. Now, once again, professionals do use Windows. But professionals disproportionately use other operating systems.
Music

Submission + - AmazonMP3 Offers Album Downloads for Linux

An anonymous reader writes: Linux users could already download single DRM-free MP3 files from the AmazonMP3 music store, but only Windows and OSX users could download the full album at a discounted price. Now Amazon provides a native Linux binary (no source) to handle album downloads.
The Internet

Submission + - Wikileaks blasts bank over claims (wikileaks.be)

souls writes: "After the release of a Bank Julius Baer driven press statement via Business Wire today (href=http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/02/28/1838226.shtml>got slashdotted), Wikileaks now has fired back its account of things, coming along with sound proof of their claims.
The comments made by Baer that censorship of the domain had not been the goal can be proven a lie, as the other statements: Against the sentiments expressed by the bank in their press release on useless efforts to contact the group, full correspondence between the bank's representatives and Wikileaks proves that these allegations simply are blatant lies.
Lets make sure Business Wire, DPA and all the others get this one too."

Privacy

Journal SPAM: ACLU: U.S. Terror Watch List Surpasses 900,000 Names 2

Wow! Just by reading these words, you probably have a better chance of making this list than winning the lottery. "In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department that the terrorist watch list information in the United States had over 700,000 names, and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month. At that rate, our list will have a million names on it by July." I wonder

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