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Submission + - Chinese Censor Going Mad, Coutering Tools Rise (

hackingbear writes: Hong Kong newspaper Mingpao Daily reports that the number of words being censored by Chinese authority has mushroomed and a new software tool known as Online Anti-Harmonizer has rapidly gaining popularity. The software claimed to contain a dictionary of over 10,000 words censored by the infamous Green Dam software and and will automatically insert random punctuations to your online post to get it pass through the automated filtering algorithm. The Chinese censorship effort, known as Harmonization, has gone mad. Not only it censors politically sensitive words such as June 4, Liu Xiaobo but it starts blocking words that are far or completely unrelated. The newspaper reported earlier that the words empty chair has been blocked because it becomes a symbol of Liu Xiaobo's absence in the Nobel Peace Price ceremony; the last name Liu, one of the most common Chinese last names, is also blocked. The name of the current Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is blocked (probably because they reason that no comments with his name can be good.) Even worse, because of the lack of word separator in Chinese, topics not having the censored words are being blocked. For example, "(Chinese currency) Yuan Being Manipulated" is blocked, not because the topic is blocked, but because first two characters of the the words "being manipulated" in Chinese, i.e. "bei cao" in "bei cao zhong", means "being fucked" in Chinese.

First Measurement of Magnetic Field In Earth's Core 34

An anonymous reader writes "A University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist has made the first-ever measurement of the strength of the magnetic field inside Earth's core, 1,800 miles underground. The magnetic field strength is 25 Gauss, or 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface that makes compass needles align north-south. Though this number is in the middle of the range geophysicists predict, it puts constraints on the identity of the heat sources in the core that keep the internal dynamo running to maintain this magnetic field."

Submission + - Mobile Carriers Dream of Charging per Page (

An anonymous reader writes: Just a week before the FCC holds a vote on whether to apply fairness rules to some of the nation’s internet service providers, two companies that sell their services to the country’s largest cellular companies showed off a different vision of the future: one where you’ll have to pay extra to watch YouTube or use Facebook.

The companies, Allot Communications and Openet — suppliers to large wireless companies including AT&T and Verizon — showed off a new product in a web seminar Tuesday, which included a PowerPoint presentation (1.5-MB .pdf) that was sent to Wired by a trusted source.

The idea? Make it possible for your wireless provider to monitor everything you do online and charge you extra for using Facebook, Skype or Netflix. For instance, in the seventh slide of the above PowerPoint, a Vodafone user would be charged two cents per MB for using Facebook, three euros a month to use Skype and $0.50 monthly for a speed-limited version of YouTube. But traffic to Vodafone’s services would be free, allowing the mobile carrier to create video services that could undercut NetFlix on price.


A Lost Civilization Beneath the Persian Gulf? 277

Phoghat sends news of a new theory that a once-fertile landmass beneath the Persian Gulf may have supported some of the earliest humans outside of Africa. "Perhaps it is no coincidence that the founding of such remarkably well developed communities along the shoreline corresponds with the flooding of the Persian Gulf basin around 8,000 years ago... These new colonists may have come from the heart of the Gulf, displaced by rising water levels that plunged the once fertile landscape beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean."

Life Found In Deepest Layer of Earth's Crust 335

michaelmarshall writes "For the first time, life has been found in the gabbroic layer of the crust. The new biosphere is all bacteria, as you might expect, but they are different from the bacteria in the layers above; they mostly feed on hydrocarbons that are produced by abiotic reactions deep in the crust. It could mean that similar microbes are living even deeper, perhaps even in the mantle."

Anti-Piracy Lawyers 'Knew Letters Hit Innocents' 240

nk497 writes "A UK legal watchdog has claimed lawyers who sent out letters demanding settlement payments from alleged file-sharers knew they would end up hitting innocent people. The Solicitors Regulators Authority said the two Davenport Lyons lawyers 'knew that in conducting generic campaigns against those identified as IP holders whose IP numeric had been used for downloading or uploading of material that they might in such generic campaigns be targeting people innocent of any copyright breach.' The SRA also said the two lawyers lost their independence because they convinced right holders to allow them to act on their behalf by waiving hourly fees and instead taking a cut of the settlements. The pair earned £150,000 of the £370,000 collected from alleged file-sharers. Because they were looking to recoup their own costs, the lawyers ignored clients' concerns about the negative publicity the letter campaign could — and eventually did — cause, the SRA claimed."

Submission + - GE to buy 25,000 EVs, starting with the Chevy Volt (

DeviceGuru writes: In what claimed as the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment, GE plans to acquire 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. The buying spree will initially involve 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with GM's Chevy Volt in 2011. By converting most of its own 30,000-strong global fleet, and promoting EV adoption among its 65,000 global fleet customers, GE hopes to be in a strong position to help deploy the vehicles' supporting infrastructure, including charging stations, circuit protection equipment, and transformers. In contrast to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the Volt implements a small gas engine, which can recharge the vehicle's battery to extend its range beyond the 100 mile limit of all-electric cars like the Leaf, leading some to question the Volt's EV credentials.

Submission + - HTTP is "broken" with critical DDOS flaw, say rese (

huzur79 writes: Researchers from Proactive Risk, an IT security firm, will demonstrate at an upcoming application security conference a systemic flaw in the HTTP protocol that can easily be exploited through online gaming and other activities into distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks that can flood web servers — even through secure connections — with very slow "POST" traffic that is difficult to distinguish from legitimate traffic, making it hard to prevent.

The demonstration will come November 8th at the OWASP 2010 conference in Washington DC and is led by researcher Wong Onn Chee, who first discovered the attack last year in Singapore, according to a report from Dark Reading, a security-focused web site. The technique can crash both IIS and Apache servers using either HTTP or HTTPS protocols, and could conceivably affect anything using a web connection, including SSL, VPN and other "more secure" systems.


Submission + - The Kilogram Is No Longer Valid, Says U.S. ( 2

Velcroman1 writes: For 130 years, the kilogram has weighed precisely one kilogram. Hasn't it? The U.S. government isn't so sure. The precise weight of the kilogram is based on a platinum-iridium cylinder manufactured 130 years ago; it's kept in a vault in France at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Forty of the units were manufactured at the time, to standardize the measure of weight. But due to material degradation and the effects of quantum physics, the weight of those blocks has changed over time. That's right, the kilogram no longer weighs 1 kilogram, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. And it's time to move to a different standard anyway. A proposed revision would remove the final connection to that physical bit of matter, said Ambler Thompson, a NIST scientist involved in the international effort. “We get rid of the last artifact."

Submission + - The Oracle Lawsuit Will End w/ Google Owning Java ( 3

potemcam writes: The only real strategy that makes any sense here is that Oracle is strong-arming Google into actually taking Java off their hands. There is little doubt that the Oracle lawsuit has legal, if not technical, merit. If this lawsuit goes to court, Oracle will end up with a settlement in the high hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions. Of course, this whole thing won’t go to court. Court isn’t the end game of this lawsuit.

"With this lawsuit, Oracle isn’t just refusing to hold onto the lifeline Google is throwing them, but instead, they’re trying to use that very lifeline to actually strangle their rescuer."

The big end game here is Java ending up in the hands of Google.

Submission + - Voting machines selecting default candidates (

overThruster writes: Some voters in Las Vegas have noticed Democrat, Harry Reid's name is checked by default on their electronic voting machines. By way of explanation???, the Clark County Registrar says that when voters choose English instead of Spanish, Reid's Republican opponent, Sharron Reid's name is checked by default. Since when should a voting machine check *any* candidates name by default?

Australian Visitors Must Declare Illegal Porn To Customs Officers 361

Australian Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has advised visitors to take a better safe than sorry policy when it comes to their porn stashes, and declare all porn that they think might be illegal with customs officers. From the article: "The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare. 'People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,' Mr O'Connor said."

Submission + - Jobs and Google Toe to Toe on "Open" (

eldavojohn writes: In a recent earnings call (their first $20 billion quarter), Steve Jobs took a few jabs at Android and how "open" it really is (audio here). He referred to the recent fragmentation issues cited by TweetDeck and said 'Google loves to characterize Android as open and iOS and iPhone as closed. We find that a bit disingenuous and clouding the difference between our approaches.' He went on to call the 'closed' vs 'open' debate nothing more than a 'smokescreen' for what is truly best for the customer. Google's Andy Rubin had a single Twitter post as a rebuttal: 'the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make"' Which, if you're familiar with git and make commands, will retrieve and build Android for your own modification and use.

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