t2000kw writes: The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is now using whole body scanners at 19 different airports and no doubt more to come. "TSA spokesman Kristin Lee told CNN that more than 99 per cent of passengers chose to use the machines when given other options for security clearance. What isn't apparent is if they knew how much of themselves was being revealed to TSA employees operating the machines behind the scenes." The scanner reveals all contours of the body in a way that would make many of those scanned blush cherry red. The article mentions another technology that costs only a little more ($180K vs $170K per scanner) but addresses some of the privacy issues and has a much lower operating cost since only one (not two) person is required to operate it.
t2000kw writes: We recently heard the announcement by the RIAA that it would stop pursuing individuals through the court system and it would instead forge "partnerships with Internet service providers and asking them to crack down on suspected file sharers."
One ISP in Louisiana, owned by Jerry Scroggin, doesn't feel it's part of his job to be their policeman. He said, "if RIAA representatives ask the help of his ISP, they had better bring their checkbook--and leave the legal threats at home."
T2000KW writes: You may have read or heard about the problem some Linux kernels had with with USB devices not working. Some ditros worked hard at fixing the problem as soon as they realized that a feature for laptops enabled in the kernel caused problems on the USB port for some devices.
The Ubuntu bug reporting forum (https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/85488) had lots of chatter on this since the release of "Feisty Fawn" back in April of this year. There was mention of the Ubuntu Manifesto, which claims to make software usable by everyone, despite any handicaps they have, etc. Not having even basic support for many USB scanners certainly disables a critical feature of the OS for many people.
In that forum I mentioned the possibility of someone else writing articles for Slashdot and other tech news web sites to let the public know about this and Mr. Shuttleworth suddenly showed up in that forum. It was very soon after that some people in Ubuntu development started paying attention to the problem, gathering specifics on which USB scanners and other devices were not working, and it appears that a fix is on the way for inclusion in the next release, "Gutsy Gibbons" (who makes these names up, anyway?):-)
It would be a shame for such a popular distribution of Linux to become unpopular due to something like this, and I personally hope that this bug gets fixed soon, perhaps even in an update for the current version of Feisty. It is rumored in the Ubuntu community that if Mark Shuttleworth gets involved, it's a simple matter of him saying "make it so" and it gets done. It appears that the developers now have that directive to "make it so" and get the bug fixed. Read the but reporting forum for a long thread on this topic and links to related bugs. I was impressed that Mark personally got involved in this mostly overlooked problem.
t2000kw writes: According to a PC World article, "a compromised DNS server could send browsers to malicious Web sites and cause problems with directory services and e-mail."
A recently announced vulnerability in Microsoft's DNS server could allow such a thing to happen, potentially redirecting email and even allowing the hacker to gain access to DNS logs, identifying sites that users visit and even redirecting users to false baking sites without their knowledge, gaining access to their personal information. Corporations are more vulnerable than most consumers because large ISPs generally run non-Microsoft DNS servers. More evil deeds that could be perpetrated are discussed in the full article here: