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[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 19:17:00 EST from rss

Subject: Visa Says No New Processor Breach After All

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Buzz as been building for the last week about what might be a new data breach at a credit-card processor. No, not Heartland, a different one. Now Computerworld is reporting that Visa claims there was no new breach. Who to believe? "In actuality, Visa said in a statement issued today, alerts that it recently sent to banks and credit unions warning them about a compromise at a payment processor were related to the ongoing investigation of a previously known breach. However, Visa still didn't disclose the identity of the breached company, nor did it say why it is continuing to keep the name under wraps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9nLXhFqrJM8/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 19:17:00 EST from rss

Subject: Visa Says No New Processor Breach After All

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Buzz as been building for the last week about what might be a new data breach at a credit-card processor. No, not Heartland, a different one. Now Computerworld is reporting that Visa claims there was no new breach. Who to believe? "In actuality, Visa said in a statement issued today, alerts that it recently sent to banks and credit unions warning them about a compromise at a payment processor were related to the ongoing investigation of a previously known breach. However, Visa still didn't disclose the identity of the breached company, nor did it say why it is continuing to keep the name under wraps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9nLXhFqrJM8/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 18:16:00 EST from rss

Subject: Canadian ISPs Speak Out Against Net Neutrality

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Ars Technica reports on a proceeding being held by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regarding net neutrality. They requested comments from the public as part of the debate, and several Canadian ISPs took the opportunity to explain why they think it's a bad idea. Quoting: "One of the more interesting responses came from an ISP called Videotron, which told the CRTC that controlling access to content ... 'could be beneficial not only to users of Internet services but to society in general.' As examples of such benefits, Videotron mentioned the control of spam, viruses, and child pornography. It went on to suggest that graduated response rules — kicking users off the 'Net after several accusations of copyright infringement — could also be included as a benefit to society in general. ... Rogers, one of Canada's big ISPs, also chimed in and explained that new regulations might limit its ability to throttle P2P uploads, which it does at the moment. 'P2P file sharing is designed to cause network congestion,' says the company. 'It contributes significantly to latency, thereby making the network unreliable for certain users at periods of such congestion.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/d5lSirey6kY/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 17:19:00 EST from rss

Subject: Windows Server 2008 One Year On --- Hit Or Miss?

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magacious writes "Friday marked a year to the day since Microsoft launched Windows Server 2008, but did it have quite the impact the so-called software giant expected, or did it make more of a little squeak than a big bang? Before its arrival on 27 February 2008, it had been five long years since the release of the last major version of Windows Server. In a world that was moving on from simple client/server applications, and with server clouds on the horizon, Windows Server 2003 was looking long in the tooth. After a year of 'Vista' bashing, Microsoft needed its server project to be well received, just to relieve some pressure. After all, this time last year, the panacea of a well-received Windows 7 was still a long way off. So came the new approach: Windows Server 2008."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/FtQx18QBmr8/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 16:17:00 EST from rss

Subject: RIAA Santangelo Case 'Settled In Principle'

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NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's long-running war against Patti Santangelo, her children, and even her children's schoolmates has been 'settled in principle,' with final settlement documents expected to be submitted by March 18th. Patti Santangelo is believed to be the first RIAA defendant to have made a motion to dismiss the RIAA's 'making available' complaint. The case first caught the attention of the Slashdot community back in 2005, when a transcript of Ms. Santangelo's first court appearance became available online. The case attracted national attention in December of 2005. According to the Associated Press report of the settlement, neither side was able to comment on the terms of the settlement."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Y1YIj93z5SE/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 15:15:00 EST from rss

Subject: Facebook Vs. Spammers, Round Two

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An anonymous reader writes "Three months after being awarded $873 million in a lawsuit against Atlantis Blue Capital for violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, Facebook earlier this week filed a federal complaint against 'Spam King' Sanford Wallace in San Jose District Court. Las Vegas night club manager Adam Arzoomanian and Scott Shaw are also named as defendants in the suit." These filings do not mark the first time Wallace has faced legal action; last May, MySpace won a $230 million judgment against him.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/vz8cP0sT2RI/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 14:18:00 EST from rss

Subject: Accessing Medical Files Over P2P Networks

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Gov IT writes with this excerpt from NextGov: "Just days after President Obama signed a law giving billions of dollars to develop electronic health records, a university technology professor submitted a paper showing that he was able to uncover tens of thousands of medical files containing names, addresses and Social Security numbers for patients seeking treatment for conditions ranging from AIDS to mental health problems. ... The basic technology that runs peer-to-peer networks inadvertently exposed the files probably without the computer user's knowledge, Johnson said. A health care worker might have loaded patient files onto a laptop, for example, and taken it home where a son or daughter could have downloaded a peer-to-peer client onto the laptop to share music."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/XXDCv_SQxr8/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 13:16:00 EST from rss

Subject: Amazon Caves On Kindle 2 Text-To-Speech

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On Wednesday we discussed news that the Authors Guild had objected to the text-to-speech function on Amazon's Kindle 2, claiming that it infringed on audio book copyright. Today, Amazon said that while the feature is legally sound, they would be willing to disable text-to-speech on a title-by-title basis at the rightsholder's request. "We have already begun to work on the technical changes required to give authors and publishers that choice. With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/SpWP-gRxxME/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 10:14:00 EST from rss

Subject: Exoplanet Found In Old Hubble Image

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Kristina at Science News writes "A new way to process images reveals an extrasolar planet that had been hiding in an 11-year-old Hubble picture. After ground-based telescopes found three planets orbiting the young star HR 8799, a team took that information and reprocessed some 11-year-old Hubble Space Telescope images. Voila. There was one of the three planets, captured by Hubble but not visible until new knowledge could see the picture in a fresh light. The technique could reveal hidden treasures in many archived telescope images." For reference, the first exoplanet to be (knowingly) directly imaged was 2M1207_b in late 2004.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/YA4dcZ87ivo/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 07:11:00 EST from rss

Subject: Face Recognition --- Clever Or Just Plain Creepy?

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Simson writes "Beth Rosenberg and I published a fun story today about our experiences with the new face recognition that's built into both iPhoto '09 and Google's new Picasa system. The skinny: iPhoto is fun, Google is creepy. The real difference, we think, is that iPhoto runs on your system and has you name people with your 'friendly' names. Picasa, on the other hand, runs on Google's servers and has you identify everybody with their email addresses. Of course, email addresses are unique and can be cross-correlated between different users. And then, even more disturbing, after you've tagged all your friends and family, Google tries to get you to tag all of the strangers in your photos. Ick."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/BTd-JuKtO0A/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 05:09:00 EST from rss

Subject: Hope For Multi-Language Programming?

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chthonicdaemon writes "I have been using Linux as my primary environment for more than ten years. In this time, I have absorbed all the lore surrounding the Unix Way — small programs doing one thing well, communicating via text and all that. I have found the command line a productive environment for doing many of the things I often do, and I find myself writing lots of small scripts that do one thing, then piping them together to do other things. While I was spending the time learning grep, sed, awk, python and many other more esoteric languages, the world moved on to application-based programming, where the paradigm seems to be to add features to one program written in one language. I have traditionally associated this with Windows or MacOS, but it is happening with Linux as well. Environments have little or no support for multi-language projects — you choose a language, open a project and get it done. Recent trends in more targeted build environments like cmake or ant are understandably focusing on automatic dependency generation and cross-platform support, unfortunately making it more difficult to grow a custom build process for a multi-language project organically. All this is a bit painful for me, as I know how much is gained by using a targeted language for a particular problem. Now the question: Should I suck it up and learn to do all my programming in C++/Java/(insert other well-supported, popular language here) and unlearn ten years of philosophy, or is there hope for the multi-language development process?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/UkUJIXqVe9Y/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 03:08:00 EST from rss

Subject: Tabula Rasa Going Out With A Bang

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Mytob notes that sci-fi MMO Tabula Rasa is set to close down tomorrow, and the development team has something special planned for the game's final hours. The decision to close the game was made in November, and it went free-to-play a month later, while the developers continued to roll out the new content they had planned. Now, after a round of patches and server merges, the beleaguered MMO has reached its shutdown date. The game's primary enemies, the Bane, are launching an all-out offensive on Allied forces, which will culminate in a battle beginning at 8PM on Saturday and lasting until midnight. All players are being called in as reinforcements in this apocalyptic fight, though the final announcement says, "Penumbra has been informed of the situation and is standing by on the use of their last resort weapon. We can not afford to be complacent or uncertain, but if it is truly our destiny to be destroyed, we are taking them all with us."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/asbyyZN9ZFw/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 01:10:00 EST from rss

Subject: NASA Funding Boost, But No Shuttle Extension in Obama Budget

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adeelarshad82 writes to point out that details have been provided for President Obama's proposed $18.7 billion in funding for NASA in 2010 (up from $17.2 billion in 2008). Quoting: "The budget calls on NASA to complete International Space Station construction, as well as continue its Earth science missions and aviation research. Yet it also remains fixed to former President George W. Bush's plan to retire the space shuttle fleet by 2010 and replace them with the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, which would fly astronauts to the space station and return them to the moon by 2020. The outline does make room for an extra shuttle flight beyond the nine currently remaining on NASA's schedule, but only if it is deemed safe and can be flown before the end of 2010."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/MBwvaIt3AAM/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 00:19:00 EST from rss

Subject: Cable Companies Want Bigger Share of Online TV Market

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commodore64_love writes with news that a number of cable companies, such as Time-Warner, Comcast, and Cox, are trying to establish themselves as content providers on the web in addition to television. They are currently negotiating with HBO, TNT, CNN, and a number of other channels to bring their programming online exclusively for cable TV subscribers. They say they're not trying to develop "some enormous new revenue opportunity," but rather trying to compete with sites like Hulu, which provide shows for free. "They pay networks a per-subscriber fee each month for the right to carry channels. But the cable companies have groused that they are paying for content that programmers are giving away for free on the Web. ... People aren't yet cutting the cord en masse - the Leichtman survey found that people who watch recent TV shows online every week are not more likely to give up TV service than other people. But the industry is heading off what could end up as a troubling trend. After all, the availability of free content online has befuddled other media industries, from music to newspapers. ... The cable companies and others involved in the talks for a TV service said their goal isn't to kill the online video goose, but to work out a plan that keeps everyone's business intact."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/JSUp_j79jRo/article.pl

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 23:29:00 EST from rss

Subject: RIAA About to Transform?

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It has been reported for a while that the RIAA was suffering some cutbacks and dwindling support, but techdirt is reporting that the cuts may be even deeper than most originally suspected. Who knew suing potential customers would ruin your business? "I'm sure some will somehow 'blame piracy' for this turn of events, but it's hard to see how that's even remotely the issue. The real issue is that the RIAA has basically managed to run one of the dumbest, most self-defeating strategies over the last decade. Rather than helping major record labels adjust to the changing market, it continually, repeatedly and publicly destroyed its own reputation and the reputation of the labels — each time shrinking their potential market by blaming the very people they should have been working to turn into customers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zhucKiSRoSQ/article.pl

[#] Fri Feb 27 2009 22:46:00 EST from rss

Subject: Sun's McNealy Wants Obama to Push Open Source

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CWmike writes to tell us that Sun's Scott McNealy is pushing for the Obama administration to adopt a much more open-source friendly policy similar to what has been done in Denmark, the UK, and other countries. "Although open-source platforms are widely used today in the federal government -- particularly Linux and Sun's own products, Solaris and Java -- McNealy believes many government officials don't understand it, fear it and even oppose it for ideological reasons. McNealy cited an open-source development project that Sun worked on with the US Department of Health and Human Services, during which a federal official said 'that open source was anti-capitalist.' That sentiment, McNealy fears, is not unusual or isolated."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/5vJmX1bXvoU/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 20:18:00 EST from rss

Subject: The CDA Is Dead, But States Are Trying To Revive It

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oliphaunt writes "This week at The Legality, Tracy Frazier has an article discussing the damage that can be done by anonymous online comments. While regulars here are familiar with infamous bits of Net censorship like the Fishman Affidavit fiasco, and everyone has been an anonymous coward at least once or twice, some of you may not know about the conflict between Heide Iravani and AutoAdmit.com. Heide eventually filed a lawsuit because the first result for a Google search on her name brought up anonymous comments on AutoAdmit that accused her of carrying an STD and sleeping her way to the top of her class. The Communications Decency Act was supposed to prevent this kind of thing, but an injunction prevented it from ever being enforced and eventually the Supreme Court killed it. Should the law be changed?" The article links to a proposal from last summer in the New Jersey legislature that would institute a DMCA-like takedown regime for allegedly defamatory content posted on a Web site, and would allow aggrieved parties to demand the identity of anonymous posters without a subpoena. No indication of how that proposal fared. Also linked is a recent North Carolina proposal that would criminalize the act of defaming someone using an electronic medium. This proposal shields Web sites from liability and explicitly does not apply to anonymous speech.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/epW-8ZT1rfw/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 21:18:00 EST from rss

Subject: Scientists Build an Ark To Save Jungle Amphibians

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Peace Corps Online writes "In the 1980s a deadly fungus called chytrid appeared in Central America and began moving through mountain streams, killing as many as 8 out of 10 frogs and extinguishing some species entirely. (The fungus has little effect on any other vertebrates.) Now a returned Peace Corps volunteer and her husband have opened the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in western Panama to house more than 600 frogs as chytrid cuts a lethal path through the region. Experts agree that the only hope of saving some of the more endangered, restricted-range species is to collect animals from remaining wild populations, establish captive breeding programs, and be prepared to conduct reintroduction projects in the future. But before reintroduction can even begin, scientists must find some way to overcome the chytrid in native habitats using vaccines, breeding for resistance, or genetic engineering of the fungus. Conservationists are budgeting for 25 years of captive breeding, long enough, they believe, to allow some response to chytrid to be found. 'There are more species in need of rescue than there are resources to rescue them,' says Amphibian Ark's program director. 'When you're talking about insidious threats like disease or climate change, threats that can't be mitigated in the wild, there's simply no alternative.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Au--QHz6T-Q/article.pl

[#] Sat Feb 28 2009 22:19:00 EST from rss

Subject: Contest For a Better Open-WRT Wireless Router GUI

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Reader RoundSparrow sends word of a contest, with big cash prizes, being mounted by a commercial vender of open source Open-WRT routers. You have 10 months to come up with "the most impressive User Interface/Firmware for Ubiquiti's newly released open-source embedded wireless platform, the RouterStation." Entries are required to have open source licensing and will all be released. First prize is $160,000, with four runners-up receiving $10,000. RoundSparrow adds: "Could be built on top of existing X-WRT or LuCI OpenWRT web interfaces. OpenWRT Kamikaze 8.09 was just released. Now is perfect timing for OpenWRT to get some kick-ass interface and usability ideas. I'm not affiliated with the contest vendor."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/frPtGWkSwgA/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 01 2009 00:22:00 EST from rss

Subject: Is Climate Change Affecting Bushfires?

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TapeCutter writes "After the devastating firestorm in Australia, there has been a lot of speculation in the press about the role of climate change. For the 'pro' argument the BBC article points to research by the CSIRO. For the 'con' argument they quote David Packham of Monash university, who is not alone in thinking '...excluding prescribed burning and fuel management has led to the highest fuel concentrations we have ever had...' However, the DSE's 2008 annual report states; '[The DSE] achieved a planned burning program of more than 156,000 hectares, the best result for more than a decade. The planned burning of forest undergrowth is by far the most powerful management tool available...' I drove through Kilmore on the evening of the firestorm, and in my 50 years of living with fire I have never seen a smoke plume anything like it. It was reported to be 15 km high and creating its own lightning. There were also reports of car windscreens and engine blocks melting. So what was it that made such an unusual firestorm possible, and will it happen again?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/NUvr4cyPCpY/article.pl

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