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Facebook's URL Scanner Vulnerable To Cloaking Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's spy-vs-jerk department:
Facebook's recent move to scan for malicious URLs sounded like a pretty good idea, but itwbennett writes with word that it's already been bypassed.'Hatter,' a member of hacking think-tank Blackhat Academy, provided a live demonstration, which involved posting the URL to a JPEG file on a wall. Facebook crawled the URL and added a thumbnail image to the wall post, however, clicking on its corresponding link actually redirected users to YouTube. This happened because the destination page was able to identify Facebook's original request and served a JPEG file. Earlier this week, Facebook signed a partnership with Websense to use the security vendor's cloud-based, real-time Web scanner for malicious URL detection. Blackhat Academy has now provided proof-of-concept code, which, according to its advisory, can be used to bypass it."

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German Government's Malware Analyzed
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's unter-dem-mikroskop department:
First time accepted submitter lennier1 writes "The German hacker group CCC (Chaos Computer Club) has analyzed a piece of malware the German government uses in criminal investigations to spy on a suspect's computer. I'm sure we're all surprised that it's opening security holes for third parties, and violates a related court verdict (and several laws in general)."

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Apple Tries To Patent 3rd Party In-App Purchasing
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's on-the-internet department:
bizwriter writes "Apple has spared no effort in trying to injure its arch mobile rival through the courts, like blocking Android vendors from important markets through patent and trademark infringement suits. Now it's developing an additional angle: an attempt to patent in-application purchases from third parties, as an application filed on April 26, 2010 and made public on Thursday made clear."

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Florida School District Begins Fingerprinting Students
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's mandatory-attendance-including-your-fingers department:
First time accepted submitter Boogaroo writes "The Washington County school district in Florida has placed fingerprint scanners at the entrance to Chipley High School. They've also made a decision to run an alternate trial by placing the scanners on buses since most kids in the district ride buses every day. Since the beginning the fingerprinting, attendance is up, but not everyone is in agreement that the costs and risks are worth the attendance boost." Aren't there simpler and less-creepy ways to count kids, like looking at empty desks?

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Should Book Authors Pursue a Patronage Model?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tip-jar-running-low department:
blarkon writes "With ebook prices falling and some readers even unwilling to pay more than 99 cents for an ebook, some authors are starting to consider a move back to the patronage model that was successful in providing them with a living before the widespread use of copyright. Might such a model work or are the days where a midlist author can make a living off their work a relic of the 20th century?"

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Oracle's Ambitious Plan For Client-Side Java
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's larry-pulls-a-shot department:
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister suggests that the real news out of this year's JavaOne is Oracle's ambitious plan to revitalize Java on the desktop, the Web, and mobile devices. 'It's been tempting to assume that Oracle, with its strong enterprise focus, would ignore the client in favor of data center technologies such as Java EE. This week, we learned that's not the case. In fact, the real news from this year's JavaOne conference in San Francisco may not be Oracle's plans for Java 8 and 9, but the revelation that Oracle is gearing up for a new, sustained push behind Java for the desktop, the Web, and mobile devices. If it can succeed in its ambitious plans, the age of client-side Java could be just beginning.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Which License For School Products?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's one-for-you-and-one-for-posterity department:
Reader TheodoreQSwiss breaks onto the page with this question: "The independent school where I serve as Dir. of Technology is in the middle of reworking their employee handbooks and would like to include a section on ownership of the intellectual property produced by employees of the school while doing work for the school. Ideally, both the school and the creator(s) would be able to retain rights to the use of the product. Do you have any recommendations on licenses that would support both parties involved?"

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Linux In JavaScript, With Persistent Storage
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's and-all-I-want-is-a-working-wireless-card department:
An anonymous reader writes "Remember Fabrice bellard's [Linux-booting PC emulator in JavaScript] ? This modified version [Note: click on "emulator.html" in that directory to see it in action] allows the same emulator to boot the most recent linux kernel, 3.0.4, as well as providing the user with persistent storage. It is achieved by building a virtual block device, which stores data in HTML5 local storage. The block device can be partitioned and formatted as ext2, so it can be easily used."

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Windows 8 To Reduce Memory Footprint
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's those-sound-like-good-ideas department:
bheer writes "Microsoft's Windows 8 blog has a good post about the work being done to reduce Windows 8's memory footprint. The OS will use multiple approaches to do this, including combining RAM pages, re-architecting old bits of code and adding new APIs for more granular memory management. Interestingly, it will also let services start on a trigger and stop when needed instead of running all the time."

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FBI Plans Nationwide Face-Recognition Trials In 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's nationwide-in-select-states department:
hessian writes with this excerpt: "The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov. The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI's existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings."

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ISPs 'Exaggerate the Cost of Data'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 03:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's learned-it-from-the-telcos department:
Barence writes "ISPs are wildly exaggerating the cost of increased internet traffic, according to a new report. Fixed and mobile broadband providers have claimed their costs are 'ballooning' because of the expense of delivering high-bandwidth services such as video-on-demand. However, a new report from Plum Consulting claims the cost per additional gigabyte of data for fixed-line ISPs is between €0.01-0.03 per GB. The report labels claims of ballooning costs a 'myth.'"

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Russian Telco MTS Bans Skype, Other VoIP Services
Posted by News Fetcher on October 08 '11 at 12:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-that-complicates-my-wedding-plans department:
An anonymous reader writes "MTS, one of the three largest mobile carriers in Russia, have been buying up smaller cable TV and Internet providers across the country, and besides the GSM/3G cellphone service they now also offer cable TV and home broadband Internet access. And their unified TOS [PDF] (Russian; mirror) for home broadband now says: "3.4.4. The customer may not use the Services for the purpose of transferring voice over the Internet; Skype and other similar software is forbidden." (screenshot). Really, why would you need to phone over the Internet, comrade, when you have a perfectly good cellphone [from MTS, presumably]?" Can anyone out there provide a good translation?

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MS Buying Yahoo? Bad Idea, Even At a Discount
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 10:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's bing-bing-bing-we-have-a-winner department:
jfruhlinger writes "Nearly four years ago, Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo, but eventually withdrew the offer in the face of resistance from Yahoo's leadership. This week rumors resurfaced that Microsoft was once again bidding on the struggling Internet pioneed, this time for significantly less money. But even at a discount, it might be a pretty bad idea for Microsoft to get involved in the unfocused, money-losing Yahoo."

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Oracle To Bring Dtrace To Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's dplane-dplane-no-that's-fantasy-island department:
mvar writes "Dtrace co-author Adam Leventhal writes on his blog about Dtrace for Linux: 'Yesterday (October 4, 2011) Oracle made the surprising announcement that they would be porting some key Solaris features, DTrace and Zones, to Oracle Enterprise Linux. As one of the original authors, the news about DTrace was particularly interesting to me, so I started digging. Even among Oracle employees, there's uncertainty about what was announced. Ed Screven gave us just a couple of bullet points in his keynote; Sergio Leunissen, the product manager for OEL, didn't have further details in his OpenWorld talk beyond it being a beta of limited functionality; and the entire Solaris team seemed completely taken by surprise. Leunissen stated that only the kernel components of DTrace are part of the port. It's unclear whether that means just fbt or includes sdt and the related providers. It sounds certain, though, that it won't pass the DTrace test suite which is the deciding criterion between a DTrace port and some sort of work in progress.'"

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Kernel Bug Means Linux Power Usage Remains High
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's wrong-kind-of-power-user department:
An anonymous reader writes "The significant Linux kernel power regression reported back in April, which ended up being attributed to PCI-E Active State Power Management, is still not resolved even as Ubuntu 11.10 and Fedora 16 approach. Until Linux is able to handle ASPM in a manner more like Windows or the device drivers explicitly set the ASPM flag, users of many modern laptops need to use the "pcie_aspm=force" option to regain much of their battery life. At least a power bug affecting newer Intel hardware with the "energy performance bias" feature has been fixed. There's more information in this LaunchPad bug report and in the latest power consumption testing."

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Patents Google Bought From IBM Are "Weak"
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-patent-lawyers-taunt-each-other department:
holy_calamity writes "Slashdot noted in September that Google had bought 1023 patents from IBM. Now IP analytics firms IPVision says they're a 'mixed bag' of mostly unrelated patents that won't be much use in defending against competitors such as Microsoft or Apple. Patents are most useful when they are tightly linked into clusters by references, such that they cover every angle on an idea, something Google's new collection lacks."

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The Games Programmers Play
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nibbles-the-worm-doesn't-count department:
An anonymous reader writes "Cort Stratton, a developer who has worked on graphics code for many first-party PS3 games, wrote an article about the kinds of games that appeal to programmers. He covers coding-friendly games of varying depth, mentioning basics like RoboRally, RoboSport and Frozen Synapse before moving on to more complex options. Quoting: 'On the surface, SpaceChem has nothing to do with programming; it's merely a futuristic puzzle game in which you build factories that convert one or more input molecules into one or more output molecules. Each factory contains a pair of independent molecule manipulators (the game calls them "waldos") which follow a fixed path through the work area. Waldos can grab, drop, and rotate molecules, make and break chemical bonds between atoms, request new input molecules and submit output molecules. ... Don't be fooled! This isn't a game about chemistry; it's actually the closest thing I've ever seen to a low-level SPU programming simulator! Each factory is an SPU running a single task. The two waldos are the SPU's dual execution pipelines. Moving and editing molecules is analogous to reading, writing and operating on data in local store.'"

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Oldest Submerged City Visualized With CGI
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's what's-old-is-new department:
Stirling Newberry writes "Nottingham University's Pavlopetri project spent months measuring a city that sank beneath the waves 3,000 years ago, perhaps in a tsunami. The result is a BBC documentary that features a detailed CGI reconstruction. 'The entire city – covering 20 acres – has been surveyed in ultra-high definition, with error margins of less than three centimeters. ... [T]he survey team has so far located scores of buildings, half a dozen major streets and even religious shrines and tombs.' eScience News chimes in about the oldest known submerged city, first inhabited 5,000 years ago and rediscovered in 1967. Of course, Slashdot readers will probably want to dig into the details of how stereo-vision mapping was used (PDF) to create the map in the first place."

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Looking Beyond Detroit For Engine Innovation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-it's-such-a-nice-town department:
waderoush writes "Opposed-piston engines (with two pistons in the same cylinder) have been around since the 1920s, but have been used mainly in submarines and airplanes. Now, several startups are working to make these high-efficiency engines practical for cars, trucks, and light vehicles — but they're under no illusions that Detroit will adopt the idea. Silicon Valley startup Pinnacle Engines, which is backed by the world's largest venture fund, is looking to a scooter manufacturer in India as its first partner. 'This ought to be music to Detroit's ears, but to them I'm just some whacko in California,' says Monty Cleeves, Pinnacle's founder and CTO. 'This is Silicon Valley, and what does Silicon Valley know about making engines? Folks in Asia have almost zero "not-invented-here" issues, whereas it's pretty prevalent all over the U.S.'"

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EU Parliament Group Opposes Long Copyrights and Oppressive DRM
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-not-easy-being-green department:
the_arrow writes "Apparently there are some politicians who 'get it.' At least it seems that way after reading an entry on the blog of Rick Falkvinge (founder of the Swedish Pirate Party). He says the Green party group, fifth largest in the European Parliament, has officially adopted several of the Pirate Party's stances in a new position paper (PDF). The Greens say, 'the copyright monopoly does not extend to what an ordinary person can do with ordinary equipment in their home and spare time,' adding that a 20-year protection term is more reasonable than 70 years. They go on to say, 'Net Neutrality must be guaranteed,' and also mention DRM: 'It must always be legal to circumvent DRM restrictions, and we should consider introducing a ban in the consumer rights legislation on DRM technologies that restrict legal uses of a work.'

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