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The Internet

UK Proposes Banning Computer Generated Abuse 740

peterprior writes "The UK Justice Minister is planning to outlaw computer generated images and drawings of child sex abuse. While photographs and videos of child sex abuse are already illegal, undoubtedly to protect children from being exploited by these acts, what children will be protected by this new law? If there is no actual child involved is the law merely protecting against the possibility of offenders committing future crimes against real children?"
The Internet

"Anonymous" Takes Scientology Protest to the Streets 740

This past Sunday members of the group "Anonymous" that has been running an attack on the church of Scientology took their battle from the tubes of the internet to the pavement of real life, staging a protest outside the central Phoenix Church of Scientology. "The protesters said they gathered Sunday in lieu of the birthday of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist once cared for by church staffers. Her 1995 death sparked media attention and a civil wrongful death suit against a branch of the Church of Scientology. A wrongful death suit by her family was a public-relations nightmare for the church for years until it was settled in 2004. The Church of Scientology declined to comment on the Phoenix protests. It did provide a news release calling members of Anonymous cyber-terrorists."

Subliminal Messages Might Actually Work 172

GrumpySimon writes "New research indicates that subliminal messages may actually work. In a paper titled Attentional Load Modulates Responses of Human Primary Visual Cortex to Invisible Stimuli, Bahrani et al. demonstrate that even though stimuli may not be available to consciousness, they are processed by the visual cortex. While I'm sure that marketing agencies all over the world are rubbing their hands in glee at this news, the authors report that there's no evidence that this can make people buy things against their will. So with any luck the use of subliminal messages in advertising will remain an urban legend."

70% of Sites Hackable? $1,000 Says "No Way" 146

netbuzz writes "Security vendor Acunetix is flogging a survey that claims 7 out 10 Web sites it checked have vulnerabilities posing a medium- to high-level risk of a breach of personal data. Network World's go-to security guy, Joel Snyder, says that percentage is 'sensationalist nonsense' — and he's willing to back that judgment with $1,000 of his own money. In fact Snyder will pay up if Acunetix can get personal data out of 3 of 10 sites chosen at random from their survey list."

Brain Scanner Can Read People's Intentions 338

Vainglorious Coward writes "Reality continues to catch up with Nineteen Eighty-Four with the announcement of the development of a brain scanner that can read a person's intentions. 'It's like shining a torch around, looking for writing on a wall,' said the leader of the project, Professor John-Dylan Haynes . Demonstrating his own mastery of doublethink, Haynes continued 'We see the danger that this might become compulsory one day, but we have to be aware that if we prohibit it, we are also denying people who aren't going to commit any crime the possibility of proving their innocence.'"
The Internet

The Need For A Tagging Standard 200

John Carmichael writes "Tags are everywhere now. Not just blogs, but famous news sites, corporate press bulletins, forums, and even Slashdot. That's why it's such a shame that they're rendered almost entirely useless by the lack of a tagging standard with which tags from various sites and tag aggregators like Technorati and can compare and relate tags to one another. Depending on where you go and who you ask, tags are implemented differently, and even defined in their own unique way. Even more importantly, tags were meant to be universal and compatible: a medium of sharing and conveying info across the blogosphere — the very embodiment of a semantic web. Unfortunately, they're not. Far from it, tags create more discord and confusion than they do minimize it. I have to say, it would be nice to just learn one way of tagging content and using it everywhere.""

Games Industry Sees 12 Billion in Sales For 2006 181

Gamespot is reporting that, with the NPD numbers in, we can finally put the debate about last year's winners and losers to rest. Overall, the industry was the winner, with a record-breaking $12.5 Billion in sales last year. December accounted for almost $4 Billion all by itself. In software, the usual suspects prevailed. Madden topped the chart with 2.8 Million in sales for the PS2 version of Madden 07. Right behind was New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, with some 2 Million in sales of its own. On the console side of things ... well, as Kotaku points out 'everyone is a winner' this year. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all put out press releases declaring themselves the winner of the Holiday console wars. The sad reality, though, is there can be only one. According to the NPD numbers, between the launch of the new consoles and the end of the year, some 1.1 Million Nintendo Wiis were sold with 687,300 PS3s following closely behind. Microsoft trails with its numbers from 2005; it sold 607,000 consoles in its launch year. Don't feel too bad for Microsoft, though. They sold 1.1 Million 360s in December. The article points out this means Microsoft met its '10 Million in sales' goal for the end of 2006.
Operating Systems

Windows Home Server Details 234

phorest writes "Perhaps Microsoft read the comments from the Slashdot community on Windows Home Server? In any event Microsoft is opening up WHS for users to construct their own system after all; though I'd like to see the price of this OS release before making the jump. From the review: "At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week... Microsoft previewed its long-awaited Windows Home Server product, a Windows Server 2003 R2-based server for consumers that dispenses with the complexities of most Windows Server versions and provides the core storage, sharing, and remote access functionality that digital media and home networking enthusiasts require... Microsoft will make WHS available in two ways: Bundled with new WHS hardware and software-only, the latter so that enthusiasts can install the system on the hardware of their choice... If you're building your own home server, Microsoft requires a 1 GHz processor or better, 512 MB of RAM or more, and as many disks as you think you need. The company will support multiple home servers on the same network, but it's still murky how that will work."

Submission + - PHP apps: security's low-hanging fruit

somersault writes: "There have been a lot of people on /. making jokes at the expense of PHP recently, but how many common security flaws in PHP are the fault of the language, and how many the fault of the developer? A recent Security Focus article (this version is from El Reg, the layout is better) has a brief discussion which suggests that PHP is no less secure than any other scripting language, and that it is the users of the language themselves who need to be educated. The other side of the story is that the developers of PHP themselves work on tightening up the language to make it more 'idiot proof' by default. Should the team developing PHP take a more active role in controlling the use of their language? What will it take to ensure that users of the language learn to use it securely, short of defacing every vulnerable website out there?"

Comment Re:Uh-huh, riiiiiiiiight... (Score 3, Interesting) 386

There was an exploit for mambo some time ago, sql injection i believe, perhaps several others also, so mambo is a likely culprit.
One cannot say it was PHP directly that got the machine compromised. It was an exploit in a script written in PHP.
A box isn't going to get compromised if PHP was installed alone on the box without any scripts (at least it's very very unlikely).
Is C the direct cause of your box owned when their is an exploit in say, proftpd for example?

I mean, I could also say...
"yeah, you'd have to be mad to run sendmail on a box you don't want to get owned"
"yeah, you'd have to be mad to run proftpd on a box you don't want to get owned"
"yeah, you'd have to be mad to run bind on a box you don't want to get owned"
"yeah, you'd have to be mad to run a linux kernel on a box you don't want to get owned"

These applications have all had their problems in the past, maybe some still have problems, but overall
they get fixed when new exploits/bugs are discovered.

I'm not quite sure why, but a lot of people/webmasters/admins do not check for updates to the 3rd party php scripts
they have installed, they just install them once and leave them running... Then they wonder why their box was compromised
due to them running out of date software.
You wouldn't leave your windows machine unpatched and never check for updates, would you?

Online Store to Sue Blogger Over Google Ranking? 365

An anonymous reader writes "An online business owner is threatening to sue blog owner Dean Hunt ( because he is upset that the blog owner is doing better than his business in the Google search rankings. After an initial threat, Dean received a follow-up threatening to take legal action against him. So far Dean has elected not to name and shame this business owner."
It's funny.  Laugh.

MPAA Goes After Home Entertainment Systems 402

philba writes to tell us that home theaters may become the new jurisdiction of our MPAA overlords. The MPAA is lobbying to make sure that home users authorize their entertainment systems before any in-home viewings. From the article: "The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29" with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown."

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