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[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 20:54:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Kindle 2 Tear-Down Reveals Price of Components

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adeelarshad82 writes "Amazon's wildly popular Kindle 2 got a good old fashioned tear-down from the folks at market research firm iSuppli. According to the organization, the Kindle 2's manufacturing cost is almost half as much as its retail price."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/iUwS88UCS5A/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 20:30:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Intel Cache Poisoning Is Dangerously Easy On Linux

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Julie188 writes "A researcher recently released proof-of-concept code for an exploit that allows a hacker to overrun an Intel CPU cache and plant a rootkit. A second, independent researcher has examined the exploit and noted that it is so simple and so stealthy that it is likely out in the wild now, unbeknownst to its victims. The attack works best on a Linux system with an Intel DQ35 motherboard with 2GB of memory. It turns out that Linux allows the root user to access MTR registers incredibly easily. With Windows this exploit can be used, but requires much more work and skill and so while the Linux exploit code is readily available now, no Windows exploit code has, so far, been released or seen. This attack is hardware specific, but unfortunately, it is specific to Intel's popular DQ35 motherboards."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ZZR6XrQrTak/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 19:53:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Head First Rails

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Anita Kuno writes "I suggested Head First Rails to a friend before I even finished it. He was asking me questions that I didn't have time to answer, and I knew the book could explain better than I. My friend is impatient, and I was uncertain what his experience would be. At first he was frustrated, but I assured him the answers were in the book. The incremental style of Head First Rails includes some exercises that are designed to fail to reinforce the learning process. I was confident that his answer would be found in the pages and he trusted me enough to go back and continue the exercises. He later told me he is very happy with the book and grateful that I suggested it." Read on for the rest of Anita's review.

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ST5KcjG9HMk/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 19:12:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Analyzing YouTube's Audio Fingerprinter

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Al Benedetto writes "I stumbled across this article which analyzes the YouTube audio content identification system in-depth. Apparently, since YouTube's system has no transparency, the behaviors had to be determined based on dozens of trial-and-error video uploads. The author tries things like speed/pitch adjustment, the addition of background noise, as well as other audio tweaks to determine exactly what you'd need to adjust before the fingerprinter started mis-identifying material. From the article: 'When I muted the beginning of the song up until 0:30 (leaving the rest to play) the fingerprinter missed it. When I kept the beginning up until 0:30 and muted everything from 0:30 to the end, the fingerprinter caught it. That indicates that the content database only knows about something in the first 30 seconds of the song. As long as you cut that part off, you can theoretically use the remainder of the song without being detected. I don't know if all samples in the content database suffer from similar weaknesses, but it's something that merits further research.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/wWOdha3nEqI/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 18:31:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: BioShock 2 Interviews and Early Looks

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Parz writes with word that new information is emerging about the much-anticipated BioShock 2. Eurogamer has a detailed write-up about the game, saying that it raises curiosity and exhibits plot-depth in a manner similar to the first game. Gamespot has a video interview with some of the developers, in which they talk about some of the new environments and how they're able to do more with the story in a sequel by not having to explain the fundamental characteristics of the setting. In an interview with Gameplayer, Lead Level Architect Hogarth de la Plante said, "You'll see locations in BioShock 2 that are completely flooded interior structures that you can walk through out in the ocean." A gameplay trailer was recently released, and screenshots are available as well.

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/pm_vv2ELSo8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 17:52:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: CSIRO Settles With Tech Giants Over WiFi Patent Spat

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Combat Wombat brings news that the legal battle between the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) and a host of major tech corporations has come to end, with a large settlement going to the CSIRO. The fight was over a patent on wireless LAN technology, which already earned the CSIRO a victory in court over Buffalo Technology and a settlement with Hewlett-Packard. The remaining 13 companies, which include Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Nintendo, have now chosen to settle as well. "[The CSIRO] will use the money won from a Wi-Fi technology patent battle to fund further research. ... It is unclear how much money has flowed to the CSIRO, but experts say the technology would be worth billions of dollars if royalties were paid on an ongoing basis."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/cXbtDod8SQM/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 17:13:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Scientists Discover Exoplanet Less Than Twice the Mass of Earth

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Snowblindeye writes with this excerpt from the European Southern Observatory: "Well-known exoplanet researcher Michel Mayor today announced the discovery of the lightest exoplanet found so far. The planet, 'e,' in the famous system Gliese 581, is only about twice the mass of Earth. The team also refined the orbit of the planet Gliese 581 d, first discovered in 2007, placing it well within the habitable zone, where liquid water oceans could exist. Planet Gliese 581 e orbits its host star — located only 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra ('the Scales') — in just 3.15 days. 'With only 1.9 Earth-masses, it is the least massive exoplanet ever detected and is, very likely, a rocky planet,' says co-author Xavier Bonfils from Grenoble Observatory. Being so close to its host star, the planet is not in the habitable zone. But another planet in this system appears to be. ... The planet furthest out, Gliese 581 d, orbits its host star in 66.8 days. 'Gliese 581 d is probably too massive to be made only of rocky material, but we can speculate that it is an icy planet that has migrated closer to the star,' says team member Stephane Udry. The new observations have revealed that this planet is in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist. '"d" could even be covered by a large and deep ocean — it is the first serious "water world" candidate,' continued Udry."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ebymnsF2BH4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 16:31:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: The History of Microsoft's Anti-Competitive Behavior

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jabjoe writes "Groklaw is highlighting a new document from the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (PDF) about the history of Microsoft's anti-competitive behavior. Quoting: 'ECIS has written it in support of the EU Commission's recent preliminary findings, on January 15, 2009, that Microsoft violated antitrust law by tying IE to Windows. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time that the issue of Microsoft's patent threats against Linux have been framed in a context of anti-competitive conduct.' The report itself contains interesting quotes, like this one from Microsoft's Thomas Reardon: '[W]e should just quietly grow j++ share and assume that people will take more advantage of our classes without ever realizing they are building win32-only java apps.' It also has the Gates 1998 Deposition."

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

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 15:50:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Developing Battery Replacement Infrastructure For Electric Cars

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FathomIT sends in a NY Times profile of Shai Agassi, owner of a company named Better Place, who is working to build the infrastructure to support large numbers of small-scale charging spots for electric cars, as well as fast, automated battery swap stations. "The robot — a squat platform that moves on four dinner-plate-size white wheels — scuttled back and forth along a 20-foot-long set of metal rails. At one end of the rails, a huge blue battery, the size of a large suitcase, sat suspended in a frame. As we watched, the robot zipped up to the battery, made a nearly inaudible click, and pulled the battery downward. It ferried the battery over to the other end of the rails, dropped it off, picked up a new battery, hissed back over to the frame and, in one deft movement, snapped the new battery in the place of the old one. The total time: 45 seconds."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/kFYM9F6GNzQ/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 05:17:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Robotic Penguins

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Corporate Troll writes "Robotic penguins were unveiled by German engineering firm Festo this week. Using their flippers, the mechanical penguins(video) can paddle through water just like real ones, while larger helium-filled designs can "swim" through the air. The penguins are on show at the Hannover Messe Trade Exhibition in Germany. Each penguin carries 3D sonar which is used to monitor its surroundings and avoid collisions with walls or other penguins."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/P6JiEV0-m7U/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 08:06:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure

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An anonymous reader writes "Germany's government has passed a draft law for censorship of domains hosting content related to child pornography. A secret list of IPs will be created by the BKA, Germany's federal police; any attempted access to addresses on this list is blocked, logged (the draft seems to contradict press reports on this point) and redirected to a government page featuring a large stop sign. The law has not yet passed the assembly, however five of the largest ISPs have already agreed to voluntarily submit to the process even without a law in place. Critics argue that with the censorship infrastructure in place, the barrier for blocking access for various other reasons is very low. The fact that the current block can easily be circumvented may lead to more effective technologies to be used in the future. There are general elections as well as elections in several of the states later this year."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Ddn-qX5vXZw/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 10:10:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Copyright Lobby Targets 'Pirate Bay For Books'

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An anonymous reader writes "TTVK, a Finnish national copyright lobby, is threatening a book renal service called Bookabooka for allegedly running the 'Pirate Bay for Books'. Bookabooka however does not offer a torrent tracker service, nor does it enable a user in any way to download eBooks; it simply provides a place for book owners to rent textbooks to each other via the traditional mail service. It is mandatory that all textbooks must be originals. The service is used by a lot of School and University students, and it does not handle the shipping or returns of the textbooks. Nevertheless, the Finnish book publishers' association (Suomen Kustannusyhdistys) is convinced the service is breaching the copyright laws and threatening their business. TTVK has given Bookabooka until Friday to cease operations or face a lawsuit. Bookabooka's founders have vowed to keep the service online and ignore the threat."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/iBm-MSvWO9w/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 12:57:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: DARPA's Map-Based Wiki Keeps Platoons Alive

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blackbearnh writes "One of the biggest problem that a platoon on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan faces is that when a new unit cycles in, all the street-sense and experience of the old unit is lost. Knowing where insurgents like to plant IEDs, or even which families have a lot of domestic disputes, can spell the difference between living and dying. In response to this, DARPA created TIGR, the Tactical Ground Reporting System. Developed as much on the ground in active warzones as in a lab, TIGR lets platoons access the latest satellite and drone imagery in an easy-to-use map based interface, as well as recording their experiences in the field and accessing the reports of other troops. In this O'Reilly Radar interview, two of the people responsible for the development of TIGR talk about the intel issues that troops face in hostile territory,the challenges of deploying new technology meant for combat areas, the specific tricks that they had to employ to make TIGR work over less-than-robust military networking, and how TIGR is impacting platoons in their day to day operations"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/m1EXi8rjV-g/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 13:48:00 EDT from CmdrTaco

Subject: Judge In Pirate Bay Trial Biased

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maglo writes "The judge who handed down the harsh sentence to the four accused in the The Pirate Bay trial was biased, writes Sveriges Radio (Sweden Public Radio): sr.se (swedish). Google translation. The judge is member of two copyright lobby organizations, something he shares with several of the prosecutor attorneys (Monique Wadsted, Henrik Pontén and Peter Danowsky). The organizations in question are Svenska Föreningen för Upphovsrätt (SFU) and Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd (SFIR)."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/19P2zkZ_sRQ/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 14:31:00 EDT from CmdrTaco

Subject: Sun Announces New MySQL, Michael Widenius Forks

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viktor.91 writes "Sun Microsystems announced three new MySQL products: MySQL 5.4, MySQL Cluster 7.0 and MySQL Enterprise Partner Program for 'Remote DBA' service providers." which showed up in the firehose today next to Glyn Moody's submission where he writes "Michael Widenius, founder and original developer of MySQL, says that most of the leading coders for that project have either left Sun or will be leaving in the wake of Oracle's takeover. To ensure MySQL's survival, he wants to fork from the official version — using his company Monty Program Ab to create what he calls a MySQL "Fedora" project. This raises the larger question of who really owns a commercial open software application: the corporate copyright holders, or the community?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/jNWPMTzQU-I/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 15:08:00 EDT from CmdrTaco

Subject: Ubuntu 9.04 Released

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Mohamed Zaian writes "Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, announced today that Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition is free to download from Thursday 23 April. Also announced were the simultaneous releases of Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition and Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR) Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop Edition delivers a range of feature enhancements to improve the user experience. Shorter boot speeds, some as short as 25 seconds, ensure faster access to a full computing environment on most desktop, laptop and netbook models. Enhanced suspend-and-resume features also give users more time between charges along with immediate access after hibernation. Intelligent switching between Wi-Fi and 3G environments has been broadened to support more wireless devices and 3G cards, resulting in a smoother experience for most users."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/irhZPwj9kSA/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 15:54:00 EDT from CmdrTaco

Subject: Watchmen 50 Days On, Was It Worth the Gamble?

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brumgrunt writes "Friday marks the 50th day on general release for what was the long-awaited Watchmen movie. But how much money has it made, and how has it measured up to Warner Bros' expectations? Has it, bluntly, been worth the gamble, expense and hassle? "

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

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 16:35:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Time Warner Cable Won't Compete, Seeks Legislation

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narramissic writes "The good people of Wilson, NC pay $99/month for 10/10 Mbps internet service, 81 TV channels and telephone service. How'd they manage that, you ask? Well, the city-owned and operated cable service called Greenlight came into being when the City of Wilson approached TWC and local DSL provider Embarq and requested faster service for the area. 'TWC refused the request. And so Greenlight was born,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'Now Time Warner Cable and Embarq are upset that they've got competition, and rather than try to go head to head with Greenlight on price and service, they've instead been lobbying the state government of NC to pass laws to put Greenlight out of business. Apparently they're having some success, as the NC State Senate has proposed bills that would do TWC's bidding.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/K6jEYP_Zb9I/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 17:18:00 EDT from CmdrTaco

Subject: Researchers Show How To Take Control of Windows 7

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alphadogg writes "Security researchers demonstrated how to take control of a computer running Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system at the Hack In The Box Security Conference (HITB) in Dubai on Thursday. Researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar used proof-of-concept code they developed, called VBootkit 2.0, to take control of a Windows 7 virtual machine while it was booting up. 'There's no fix for this. It cannot be fixed. It's a design problem,' Vipin Kumar said, explaining the software exploits the Windows 7 assumption that the boot process is safe from attack. While VBootkit 2.0 shows how an attacker can take control of a Windows 7 computer, it's not necessarily a serious threat. For the attack to work, an attacker must have physical access to the victim's computer. The attack can not be done remotely." Which makes me wonder why I'm posting this :)

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

[#] Thu Apr 23 2009 18:04:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Mariners Develop High Tech Pirate Repellents

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Hugh Pickens writes "NPR reports that owners of ships that ply the dangerous waters near Somalia are looking at options to repel pirates including slippery foam, lasers, electric fences, water cannons and high-intensity sound — almost anything except guns. One defense is the Force 80 squirt gun with a 3-inch nozzle that can send 1,400 gallons a minute 100 yards in any direction. 'It is a tremendous force of water that will knock over anything in its path and will also flood a pirate's ship very quickly,' says Roger Barrett James of the the Swedish company Unifire. Next is the Mobility Denial System, a slippery nontoxic foam that can be sprayed on just about any surface making it impossible to walk or climb even with the aid of a harness. The idea would be to spray the pirate's vessel as it approached, or to coat ropes, ladders, steps and the hull of the ship that's under attack. The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, a high-powered directional loudspeaker allows a ship to hail an approaching vessel more than a mile away. 'Knowing that they've lost the element of surprise is half the battle,' says Robert Putnam of American Technology Corp. The LRAD has another feature — a piercing "deterrent tone" that sounds a bit like a smoke detector alarm with enough intensity to cause extreme pain and even permanent hearing loss for anyone directly in the beam that comes from the device. But Capt. John Konrad, who blogs for the Web site Gcaptain.com, says no anti-pirate device is perfect. 'The best case scenario is that you find these vessels early enough that you can get a Navy ship detached to your location and let them handle the situation.'"

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

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