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[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 13:58:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NASA Names Space Station Treadmill After Colbert

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willith writes "The SF Chronicle reports on the results of the International Space Station Node 3 naming contest (which we previously discussed). Comedian and fake-pundit Stephen Colbert conducted a bombastic write-in campaign and repeatedly urged his show's fan base (the 'Colbert Nation') to stuff the ballot box with his name, which resulted in 'Colbert' coming in first in the write-in contest with almost a quarter-million votes. Although the Node 3 component will not be named 'Colbert' — NASA has instead chosen to call it 'Tranquility' — one of the Node 3 components will bear the honor: the second ISS treadmill, which will be installed in Node 3, will be named the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill. The formal announcement was made on the air yesterday at 22:30 EDT on the Colbert Report by astronaut Sunita Williams."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/WAbZYpj2NmM/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 14:40:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Amazon To Block Phorm Scans

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clickclickdrone writes "The BBC are reporting that Amazon has said it will not allow online advertising system Phorm to scan its web pages to produce targeted ads. For most people this is a welcome step, especially after the European Commission said it was starting legal action against the UK earlier this week over its data protection laws in relation to Phorm's technology. Anyone who values their privacy should applaud this move by Amazon."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/t1LWBbNK1Hs/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 15:21:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Jack Thompson Spams Utah Senate, May Face Legal Action

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eldavojohn writes "Yesterday, GamePolitics ran an interesting story about the Utah Senate President threatening Jack Thompson with the CAN-SPAM Act. You might recall Utah being Jack's last hope and hold-out after being disbarred in Florida and more or less made a mockery everywhere else. Well, from Utah's Senate Site, we get the picture of what Jack is up to now: spamming his last friends on the planet. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting on Senate President Michael Waddoups' statements: 'I asked you before to remove me from your mailing list. I supported your bill but because of the harassment will not again. If I am not removed, I will turn you over to the AG for legal action.' The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Waddoups confirmed on Tuesday that he would attempt to pursue legal action under the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 against Jack Thompson."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 16:01:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Subverting PIN Encryption For Bank Cards

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An anonymous reader sends in a story at Wired about the increasingly popular methods criminals are using to bypass PIN encryption and rack up millions of dollars in fraudulent withdrawals. Quoting: "According to the payment-card industry ... standards for credit card transaction security, [PINs] are supposed to be encrypted in transit, which should theoretically protect them if someone intercepts the data. The problem, however, is that a PIN must pass through multiple HSMs across multiple bank networks en route to the customer's bank. These HSMs are configured and managed differently, some by contractors not directly related to the bank. At every switching point, the PIN must be decrypted, then re-encrypted with the proper key for the next leg in its journey, which is itself encrypted under a master key that is generally stored in the module or in the module's application programming interface, or API. 'Essentially, the thief tricks the HSM into providing the encryption key,' says Sartin. 'This is possible due to poor configuration of the HSM or vulnerabilities created from having bloated functions on the device.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/nzx1VtvsTvs/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 16:43:00 EDT from rss

Subject: The Ecological Impact of Spam

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krou writes "A new study entitled 'The Carbon Footprint of Spam' (PDF) published by ICF International and commissioned by McAfee claims that spam uses around 33 billion kilowatt hours of energy annually, which is approximately enough to power 2.4 million US homes (or roughly 3.1 million cars) for a year. They calculated that the average CO2 emission for a spam email is around 0.3 grams. Interestingly, the majority of energy usage (around 80%) comes from users viewing and deleting spam, and searching for legitimate emails within spam filters. They also claim that 'An individual company can find that one fifth of the energy budget of its email system is wasted on spam.' One of the report's authors, Richi Jennings, writes on his blog that 'spam filtering actually saves an incredible amount of energy.' He continues, 'Imagine if every inbox were protected by a state-of-the-art spam filter. We could save about 75% of the spam energy used today — 25 TWh per year; that's like taking 2.3 million cars off the road.""

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/NF8-jyx2EMM/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 17:24:00 EDT from rss

Subject: First Look at Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Beta

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snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Martin Heller takes a first look at Microsoft's Exchange Server 2010 Beta, noting several usability, reliability, and compliance improvements over Exchange 2007. Top among Exchange 2010's new features are OWA support for Firefox 3 and Safari 3; improved storage reliability; conversation views; mail federation between trusted companies; and MailTips, a sort of Google Mail Goggles for the corporate environment. 'Database availability groups give you redundant mail stores with continuous replication; database-level failover gives you automatic recovery. I/O optimizations make Exchange less "bursty" and better suited to desktop-class SATA drives; JBOD support lets you concatenate disks rather than stripe them into a redundant array.' Exchange 2010 will, however, require shops to upgrade to Windows Server 2008, as support for Windows Server 2003 has been dropped. Microsoft will release technical previews of other products in the suite, including Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010, in the third calendar quarter."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/GvDa7ThwMn8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 18:05:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Malicious Activity Grew At a Record Pace In 2008

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An anonymous reader writes "Symantec announced that malicious code activity continued to grow at a record pace throughout 2008, primarily targeting confidential information of computer users. According to the company's Internet Security Threat Report Volume XIV (PDF), Symantec created more than 1.6 million new malicious code signatures in 2008. This equates to more than 60 percent of the total malicious code signatures ever created by Symantec — a response to the rapidly increasing volume and proliferation of new malicious code threats. These signatures helped Symantec block an average of more than 245 million attempted malicious code attacks across the globe each month during 2008." Another anonymous reader notes a related report from Verizon (PDF), which says 285 million records were compromised in 2008, more than the total of the previous four years combined.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/OkALtX3QIA8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 18:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: The Rootkit Arsenal

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Nicola Hahn writes "One of the first things I noticed while flipping through this hefty book is the sheer number of topics covered. Perhaps this is a necessity. As the author puts it, rootkits lie "at the intersection of several related disciplines: computer security, forensics, reverse-engineering, system internals, and device drivers." Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that great pains have been taken to cover each subject in sufficient depth and to present ideas in a manner that's both articulate and well organized. This accounts for the book's girth; it weighs in at roughly 900 pages." Keep reading for the rest of Nicola's review.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EEV0Q8ZGmBM/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 19:37:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Human Ear Could Be Next Biometric System

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narramissic writes "A team of researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, has received funding from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to learn whether otoacoustic emissions (OAE), the ear-generated sounds that emanate from within the spiral-shaped cochlea in the inner ear, can be used as a viable biometric technology like fingerprints and IRIS recognition. According to a report in New Scientist, someday instead of asking for passwords or pin numbers, a call center or bank would simply use a device on their telephone to produce a brief series of clicks in the recipient's ear to confirm the person is who they say they are." Try faking that with gummy bears.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9i56wHMprG0/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 19:19:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Online Storage For Lawyers?

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alharaka writes "I have a relative that has been a lawyer for over two decades. In passing conversation, he revealed to me that he has a great deal of his data stored on floppies. Naturally, as an IT guy, I lost it on him, telling him that a one-dimensional storage strategy of floppies was unacceptable. If he lost those files, his clients would be enraged. Since I do not know much about online data storage for lawyers, I read a few articles I found on Google. A lot of people appear to recommend CoreVault, since a few bar associations, including Oklahoma, officially endorsed them. That is not enough for me. Do any Slashdotters have info on this topic? Do you have any companies you would recommend for online data storage specifically for lawyers? As a lawyer with recognition in NJ, NY, CA, and DC, are there any rules and regulations you know of regarding such online storage he must comply with? I know IT and not law. I am aware this is not a forum for legal advice, but do any IT professionals who work for law firms know about such rules and regulations?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/79w-QULNOZk/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 20:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Energy Secretary Chu Endorses "Clean Coal"

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DesScorp writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Energy Secretary Steven Chu is endorsing 'clean coal' technology and research, and is taking a pragmatic approach to coal as an energy supply. '"It absolutely is worthwhile to invest in carbon capture and storage because we are not in a vacuum," Mr. Chu told reporters Tuesday following an appearance at an Energy Information Administration conference. "Even if the United States or Europe turns its back on coal, India and China will not," he said. Mr. Chu added that "quite frankly I doubt if the United States will turn its back on coal. We are generating over 50% of our electrical energy from coal."' The United States has the world's largest reserves of coal. Secretary Chu has reversed his positions on coal and nuclear power, previously opposing them, and once calling coal 'My worst nightmare.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/F4aA1I9QHT4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 21:07:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Time Warner Broadband Cap Trial Rescheduled in Texas

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jcrousedotcom writes "Time Warner cable apparently has heard that folks aren't too happy with their plan to meter their unlimited connections. From the first paragraph of the article: 'Time Warner Cable's proposed trials of consumption-based billing were originally slated to begin in several markets this summer, where customers would be a part of a tiered pricing scheme. Pricing would have started at 1 GB per month for $15, and go up to 100 GB per month for $75, and include a per-gigabyte overage fee. The public's reaction was less than favorable, and the trials in Texas have been rescheduled.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wRiF3Xq9Gtw/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 21:49:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Visualizing Data Inside the 30-ft Allosphere

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TEDChris writes "The Allosphere, being created at USC Santa Barbara, is the most ambitious attempt yet at creating powerful 3d visualizations of raw scientific data, such as the structure of a crystal, or how quantum effects take place. Researchers watch from a bridge inside the 30-foot sphere, looking at data projected 360 degrees around them and listening to 3D sound. The first major public demo of the facility has just been posted at TED.com. Optimists would argue that many of the greatest scientific breakthroughs happened through a new visual way of imagining data. Penicillin and relativity come to mind. So this is either a killer new research vehicle, an incredible toy, or just an insanely expensive art project."

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

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 22:33:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Cinder Mobile OS Lets Users Send More Power To Slow Apps

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alphadogg writes with this excerpt from Network World: "Stanford University researchers are designing an operating system from the ground up to handle the power and security requirements of mobile devices. The Cinder operating system is already working on an Arm chip, and members of the team are working on making it run on the HTC G1 handset, according to Philip Levis, a Stanford assistant professor. Levis spoke about Cinder at the Stanford Computer Forum on Tuesday. If an application isn't running as fast as the user wants, a Cinder-based phone could include a button to boost the energy allocated to that application, Levis said. Cinder also could allow users to download any code and run it safely on their phones in a 'sandbox' mode."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/D68QMZxEsaU/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 23:34:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NYC Wants Ideas For "Taxi Technology 2.0"

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An anonymous reader writes "New York City is soliciting ideas from the public about possible technology improvements for its 13,000+ fleet of taxis. TLC (the city agency in charge of cabs) is 'seek[ing] input and information on ways to enhance the technology systems in each taxicab for the benefit of passengers, drivers and owners alike.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Ny1QRipXeEk/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 16 2009 01:01:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Unzipping Nanotubes Makes Superfast Electronics

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Al writes "Two research groups have found a way to unzip carbon nanotubes to create nanoribbons of graphene — a material that has shown great promise for use as nanoscale transistors but which have proven difficult to manufacture previously. A team led by James Tour, a professor of chemistry and computer science at Rice University and another led by Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University, both figured out ways to slice carbon nanotubes open to create the nanoribbens. The Stanford team was funded by Intel and the Rice group is in talks with several companies about commercializing their approach."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/1HSVfsl8gGo/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 16 2009 02:54:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Academics To Predict Next Twitter and Its Pitfalls

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An anonymous reader writes "University researchers in the UK have put together a team tasked with predicting the next big thing in terms of communication technologies, in a bid to tackle ethical pitfalls before they become a problem. This is in the wake of the rise of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, which has led to a dramatic increase in the amount of personal information available online."

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

[#] Thu Apr 16 2009 00:49:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Is Your Mood a Result of Where You Live?

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Ed writes "Apparently, the Centers for Disease Control released a study indicating that geography can have a significant impact on mood. You may not be surprised to learn that Kentucky is more depressing than Hawaii. However, ranking up there with Hawaii are Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin. Frustratingly, they have not yet published the study on the web, so it is left as an exercise for the reader to find the original study and post a link for the rest of us."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/5rYZCWE9RHA/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 16 2009 05:03:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: New Data Center Will Heat Homes In London

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1sockchuck writes "The heat generated by thousands of servers at the new Telehouse West data center in London will soon be used to heat nearby houses and businesses. The Greater London Authority has approved a plan in which waste heat from the colocation facility will be used in a district heat network for the local Docklands community. The project is expected to produce up to nine megawatts of power for the local community."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/3V1wlxpVsyU/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 16 2009 07:32:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Bell Proposing Usage Based Billing

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Idiomatick writes "Bell Canada is attempting to impose UBB on it's wholesale customers. As Bell was given a last-mile monopoly in much of Canada by the government they are required to follow rules set up by the CRTC this includes leasing their lines to competitive ISPs. And they are given a directive by the CRTC to provide competitive speeds to said ISPs. Teksavvy has informed it's customers that were this to go through the current monthly cap would be quartered and the cost for exceeding it would be "multiple times more than our current per Gigabyte rate of $0.25/GB on overages". They have also helpfully included a link where you can send your comments/concerns to the CRTC directly."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oUG7CiHMM9U/article.pl

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