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Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word 553

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes "Today's xkcd comic introduced an unusual word — malamanteau — by giving its supposed definition on Wikipedia. The only trouble is that the word (as well as its supposed wiki page) did not in fact exist. Naturally, much ado ensued at the supposed wiki page, which was swiftly created in response to the comic. This article has more on how the comic and the confusion it caused have put the Net in a tizzy. It turns out that a malamanteau is a portmanteau of portmanteau and malapropism, but also a malapropism of portmanteau. All this puts Wikipedia in the confusing position of not allowing a page for an undefined word whose meaning is defined via the Wikipedia page for that word — and now I have to lie down for a moment."

Submission + - With the help of Google Earth New Hominid Species (

An anonymous reader writes: Dr. Berger used Google Earth technology to map identified caves and fossil deposits and to discover new caves via satellite imagery: “With the help of the navigation facility and high-resolution satellite imagery in Google Earth, Professor Berger went on to find almost 500 previously unidentified caves and fossil sites, even though the area is one of the most explored in Africa. One of these fossil sites yielded the remarkable discovery of a new species, Australopithecus sediba.

Submission + - Yahoo reportedly hit by China hackers (

angry tapir writes: "Yahoo was one of more than 30 companies hit by a sophisticated online attack from China, designed to steal intellectual property and collect information on Chinese dissidents. The news follows revelations that Google and Adobe had also been targeted by the hackers, who are thought to be from China. According to sources familiar with the matter, 34 companies in total have been affected — and more names are expected to come to light in the next few days."

Submission + - IE Flaw -- Not PDF -- Fueled Google Cyberattacks (

CWmike writes: Hackers exploited an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser in a widespread attack that compromised Google's and Adobe's corporate networks last year and earlier this month, McAfee said on Thursday. Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research at McAfee, said the unpatched vulnerability in IE was the only exploit — not a flaw in PDF as reported earlier this week — used to hack into several of the companies attacked starting last month. Other researchers have said that as many as 33 firms were attacked, their networks compromised and in some cases, data stolen. Alperovitch said that Microsoft would release additional information about the IE vulnerability in a security advisory later on Thursday. "Microsoft is investigating these reports and will provide more information when it is available," a Microsoft spokesman said in an e-mail. The attacks have also been fingered as part of widespread spying effort from China.

Submission + - Ubuntu Malware for DDoS Attack Found (

An anonymous reader writes: Digitizor reports that a malware intended to perform a DDoS attack was found in a .deb file claiming to be a screensaver in Gnome-Looks. The said .deb file installs some scripts with elavated privileges and updates itself automatically. The screensaver has been removed from gnome-looks now.

Submission + - Cyber Attacks Caused Power Outages in Brazil (

An anonymous reader writes: In a show set to air Sunday night, CBS blames a two-day outage in Espirito Santo in 2007 on a hack attack. The blackout affected three million people. Another, smaller blackout north of Rio de Janeiro in January 2005 was also triggered by computer intruders, the network claims.

Submission + - FCC Starts work on Net Neutrality Rules (

Nerdposeur writes: According to the New York Times' Bits Blog, the FCC is starting working on its Net Neutrality rules.

[Chairman] Genachowski, however, offered more questions than answers on what may be the biggest philosophical debate: whether a telecommunications company can give preference to services it offers over those of rivals. Communications companies want to offer services that take advantage of some of the capacity or features of their networks. This might be offering Internet video services, improved voice mail or text messaging, or faster connections to Internet sites that pay for speedy service.

Maybe you'd like to weigh in on the commission's own web site?


Submission + - Singularity University Officially Launches At NASA (

Keith Kleiner writes: "Singularity Hub has just reported that Ray Kurzweil will announce the official launch of Singularity University at the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley at the TED conference later today. Singularity University aims to assemble a world class community of thought leaders, academics, and entreprenuers across the many fields of exponentially advancing technologies (nanotechnology, genetics, medicine, artificial intelligence, etc.) in order to address humanity's grand challenges. With significant backing from Google and NASA, and with the participation of a renowned cast of faculty and advisors, Singularity University is poised to literally overnight become a world class institution for the innovation, collaboration, and leadership that will allow the world to capitalize on the great promise of technology to solve the world's greatest problems"

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