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Hi-Tech Nativity Security 110

To combat vandalism and theft of their holiday displays, many churches and cities are turning to a technological answer. After one of their cows was stolen, St. Marks Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Ill. installed GPS devices in the figurines of its nativity scene. This year the village of Wellington, Fla. added security cameras to protect their display. From the article: "BrickHouse Security in New York City offered churches and synagogues free GPS and cameras to protect their displays this season. Seventy have signed up so far. About 24 of them are also installing security cameras. In Merrick, N.Y., the Chabad Center for Jewish Life is putting GPS in its 8-foot menorah on display in a park."

Terry Pratchett's Self-Made Meteorite Sword 188

jamie writes "Fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett says he was so excited after being knighted by the Queen that he decided to make his own sword to equip himself for his new status... the author dug up 81kg of ore and smelted it in the grounds of his house, using a makeshift kiln built from clay and hay and fueled with damp sheep manure."

Comment Microsoft Phishes your accounts. (Score 1, Informative) 287

Microsoft Phishes your accounts.

I was showing my friend how to get a paypal account, and had him sign up,
the whole time warning him about phishing emails.
"Never click the paypal link in an email. Go there on the browser."

He signed up using a address, and the "verify
your account" email came back phished by microsoft passport.

The email had an IP address in the href= for the link.
The IP address resolved back to a address block.

They wanted him to sign in to paypal on their server, steal his login,
  and then pass the info along to paypal.

Don't take my word, try it!
They NEED bashing.


Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"

Scammers Target Neopets Users 122

An anonymous reader writes "If you have children that play on the popular virtual world game Neopets, you might want to warn them of a social engineering scam gleefully targeting 12-year-old kids. Neopets users looking for rare items are sent private messages from the scammers, who direct them to sites hosting keyloggers & trojans. They then use the infected PC as a means to get to data the parents might have stored there, be it credit card details, Paypal accounts or online banking. Seeing the screenshots of some of these people talking about putting these children into botnets is just unbelievable — if ever you wanted proof that people up to no good online will go to any lengths to get their hands on some money (or even just feel good about outsmarting a 12-year-old), here it is."

Submission + - Recommended Video Goggles with Glasses

smeckert writes: The Aircraft Model Association has recently approved
flight by FPV (First Person View.)

The problem is that I am nearsighted, and most of the
video headgear I have tried are useless for the

Does anyone out there have recommendations for video
headgear (composite video input) that allow for
the user wearing glasses or focus that way?

Submission + - Tech Firms Go Green As E-Waste Mounts

yogaflame writes: This is where computers go to die a green death Inside Hewlett-Packard Co.'s cavernous recycling plant in the Sacramento suburbs, truckloads of obsolete PCs, servers and printers collected from consumers and businesses nationwide are cracked open by goggled workers who pull out batteries, circuit boards and other potentially hazardous components.

Submission + - Build a Fedora Live CD

IdaAshley writes: Take a step-by-step guide to creating custom Live CD's on Fedora Linux. Fedora Linux is a popular and mature Linux distribution, which released its first official Live CD in December 2006. Learn how to build your own custom and easy-to-use Live CDs using a rewrite of Pilgrim, the Fedora Live CD creation tool.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - New Report on Municipal Wireless

PublicNet SF Coalition writes: "New Report on Municipal Wireless
Civil Defense — a weblog by Joshua Breitbart

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has just published a new report called "Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the U.S. Broadband Problem," arguing for municipal ownership of new wireless and fiber optic networks.

The report's author is Becca Vargo Daggett, whose presentation I'll have the pleasure of moderating at the National Conference for Media Reform.

The argument is persuasive. There is clearly a need for more aggressive public involvement in broadband deployment and the affordability of wireless is a great opportunity for that. Giving this opportunity over to private corporations is double the loss."
User Journal

Journal Journal: On Taxing Real and Virtual Goods

There's another article on taxation of virtual goods that caught my eye, this time from cnn.

I have been thinking about this for a while, and I think I finally have a more coherent view of my thoughts on the concept of transaction taxes.


Submission + - Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More

Arun Jacob writes: "The NYT has an interesting article — Using the Web to Get the Boss to Pay More — on online tools that can help in salary negotiations. Link here (Free registration required).

To summarise, the article talks about the websites that provide information on standard compensation packages for your position and role. Using this information, it should be easier to negotiate your pay with a fact-based approach rather than "feelings-based" approach. The sites profiled are — (Data available only for US) (International)"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Wisdom of Scientific Crowds

Matthew Sparkes writes: "ProMed Mail, an online bulletin board for emerging diseases, is attempting to use the Wisdom of Crowds to predict the final outcome of H5N1, aided by a $245,000 grant. You get notional money — Avian$ — and you buy predictions relating to the likelihood that H5N1 bird flu will turn into a human pandemic. Will the number of human cases have exceeded 300 by July? You buy a "contract" saying yes or no, based on your insider knowledge. Contract prices rise or fall accordingly, reflecting the consensus."

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In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur