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Passwords Are the Weakest Link In Online Security
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's wish-i-spoke-british deptartment:
Orome1 writes "It's not surprising to find that 79% of consumers use risky password construction practices, such as including personal information and words. The recent Gawker breach and a detailed analysis of breached passwords show undeniably that passwords continue to be the Achilles' heel of the average Internet user. This insecure trend sadly doesn't shift as 26% of users reuse the same password for important accounts such as email, banking or shopping and social networking sites while 29% had their own email or social network account hacked, and over half (52%) know someone who has had a similar problem."

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CIA Launches WTF to Investigate Wikileaks
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thats-just-adorable deptartment:
krou writes "In an effort to investigate the impact of the leaked diplomatic cables, the CIA have launched the Wikileaks Task Force, commonly referred to at CIA headquarters as 'WTF'. 'The Washington Post said the panel was being led by the CIA's counter-intelligence centre, although it has drawn in two dozen members from departments across the agency.' Although the agency has not seen much of its own information leaked in the cables, some revelations (such as spying at the UN) originated from direct requests by the CIA. The Guardian notes that, 'WTF is more commonly associated with the Facebook and Twitter profiles of teenagers than secret agency committees. Given that its expanded version is usually an expression of extreme disbelief, perhaps the term is apt for the CIA's investigation.'"

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De Raadt Doubts Alleged Backdoors Made It Into OpenBSD
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's giving-away-all-our-best-tricks deptartment:
itwbennett writes "In follow-up to last week's controversy over allegations that the FBI installed a number of back doors into the encryption software used by the OpenBSD operating system, OpenBSD lead developer Theo de Raadt said on a discussion list Tuesday, that he believes that a government contracting firm that contributed code to his project 'was probably contracted to write backdoors,' which would grant secret access to encrypted communications. But that he doesn't think that any of this software made it into the OpenBSD code base."

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DC Universe Online To Launch January 11th
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 04:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's dust-off-your-cape deptartment:
Sony Online Entertainment has announced that their long-awaited superhero MMO DC Universe Online will be launching on January 11th in the US and January 14th in the UK. The game will be available for Windows and the PlayStation 3. Massively recently wrote up their impressions from the beta test, and a preview at The Escapist said this of the combat: "Based on my early experiences, the action of DCUO is a lot of fun. You can lock onto targets, but there is no auto attack button. To take down enemies, you must click a button to punch or fire a ranged attack. The brawler-style action feels like a wham-bang comic book. Scenery is not just difficult terrain; picking up barrels and tossing them at your foes is sometimes necessary for tough encounters. Leveling up your skills unlocks combos, with varying effects that can interrupt enemies from pulling off that devastating fire breath or stunning punch. ... The only downside with such frenetic combat is that the keyboard and mouse interface isn't really conducive to all this action. It's hard to follow up nine short left clicks with a long right button click. While I was visiting SOE's offices, I was able to play with a PS3 controller, and this control scheme was preferable."

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Mathematics As the Most Misunderstood Subject
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's philosophical-engagement deptartment:
Lilith's Heart-shape writes "Dr. Robert H. Lewis, professor of mathematics at Fordham University of New York, offers in this essay a defense of mathematics as a liberal arts discipline, and not merely part of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum. In the process, he discusses what's wrong with the manner in which mathematics is currently taught in K-12 schooling."

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ITC Investigates Xbox 360 After Motorola Complaint
Posted by News Fetcher on December 22 '10 at 01:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's papers-please deptartment:
FlorianMueller writes "The US International Trade Commission, which is increasingly popular as a patent enforcement agency, voted to investigate a complaint filed by Motorola against Microsoft last month. Motorola claims that the Xbox infringes five of its patents. In October, Microsoft complained against Motorola, alleging patent infringement by its Android-based smartphones. Apple, Nokia and HTC are also involved with ITC investigations as complainants and respondents. A new one-page overview document shows the ongoing ITC investigations related to smartphones and the products that the complainants would like to have banned from entry into the US market. The good news is that any import bans won't be ordered until long after Christmas. The ITC is faster than courts, but not that fast."

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Pirate Bay Defendant Aims For Sweden's Supreme Court
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 11:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-yer-honor deptartment:
justice4all writes with this news from eWeek Europe:"One of the defendants in the Pirate Bay trial says he will take his appeal bid to the Supreme Court in Sweden. One of the defendants of the Pirate Bay trial, the Swedish tech magnate Carl Lundstrom, has confirmed he will appeal the sentence imposed by a Swedish appeal court, by taking his case to Sweden's Supreme Court. Lundstrom, along with his three co-defendants – Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, and Fredrik Neij – were found guilty of being accessories to copyright violations by a Swedish court back in April 2009. The copyright test case against The Pirate Bay was brought by the Swedish subsidiaries of leading music and film companies, including Sony BMG, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Brothers."

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Electric Cars May Be Made Noisier By Law
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 08:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-one-goes-to-11 deptartment:
msgtomatt writes "The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act would require electric cars and hybrids to make noise, and would fund the Department of Transportation to create a set of rules for automakers, who would be allowed some leeway in how they carry out the guidelines." Downloadable and do-it-yourself car-tones are the future: my own snoring could keep deer and toddlers off the road.

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Hacking Neighbor Pleads Guilty On Death Threats and Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 05:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's wanna-go-for-a-ride-neighbor? deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "Another good reason to make sure your wireless is secured! 'Barry Vincent Ardolf of Blaine, Minnesota pleaded guilty to hacking into his neighbor's wireless Internet system and posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the Vice President of the United States. Just two days into his federal trial in St. Paul, Ardolf stopped the trial to plead guilty. According to the US Department of Justice, in his plea agreement, Ardolf, 45 years-old, was indicted on June 23, 2010, admitted that in February of 2009, he hacked into his neighbor's wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com email accounts in his neighbor's name." Ardolf's guilty plea included child porn possession, as well as the death threats.

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NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's thanks-anyhoow deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "NoMachine has sneakily revealed it is closing its source of the NX compression technology with NX 4.0: 'This release marks an important milestone in the history of the company. Version 4.0 of the software, in fact, will be only available under a closed source license.'"

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Data Breach Could Test Massachusetts Law
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 03:30 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's keeping-the-secrets deptartment:
Gunkerty Jeb writes "The Massachusetts Attorney General has been notified that financial data on 1,800 residents was exposed in a database breach linked to the CitySights NY sightseeing firm. Could this be the test case for enforcement of the State's nine month-old data privacy law? The leak of financial information on more than 100,000 customers of the CitySights sightseeing tour company could prove to be an early test of the nation's strongest data privacy law."

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Google TV Suffers Setback
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 02:30 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's they'll-get-over-it deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Google TV has now been around long enough for the geeks to play around with it. And they have come back with disappointing reviews. While most were excited at the concept of wedlock between the TV and Internet, the marriage itself looks destined to be challenging."

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Recording the Police
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 01:45 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's better-still-be-legal deptartment:
Bruce Schneier says "I've written a lot on the "War on Photography," where normal people are harassed as potential terrorists for taking pictures of things in public. This article is different; it's about recording the police: Allison's predicament is an extreme example of a growing and disturbing trend. As citizens increase their scrutiny of law enforcement officials through technologies such as cell phones,..."

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Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory At South Pole
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 01:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's steady-obserbbin' deptartment:
Scryer writes "Construction of the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory was completed on 18 Dec at the South Pole. It's now the world's largest neutrino detector, with 5,160 optical sensors on 86 strings embedded two kilometers below the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It has been gathering data since construction started, and will be fully operational after the last strings freeze in March 2011."

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Oregon To Let Students Use Spell Check on State Exams
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's is-there-a-proofreader-in-the-house? deptartment:
Starting in 2011, the Oregon Department of Education will let students spell check their work before submitting state exams. From the article: "The move is supposed to help the assessments focus less on typos and more on their writing skills. 'We are not letting a student's keyboarding skills get in the way of being able to judge their writing ability,' said state Superintendent Susan Castillo. 'As we're using technology to improve what we're doing with assessments as a nation, we believe that spell check will be one of those tools.'"

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How a Leather Cover Crashes the Kindle
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 12:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's still-no-antennagate deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has started offering refunds to Kindle owners who own the unlit leather case who claim that it causes their Kindles to reboot, but are playing dumb on the cause: "our engineering team is looking into this." People have been wondering how a leather cover could possibly crash an electronic device, and why is Amazon offering money back if they don't think there's a problem? It seems that some of the folks over at Connectify have figured it out, and it's a doozy!"

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The Smartphone That Spies, and Other Surprises
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 11:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-see-what-you-did-there deptartment:
GMGruman writes "As smartphones become ubiquitous accessories, unexpected consequences can result. In this blog, InfoWorld's Galen Gruman looks at some of the unintended consequences of mobile technology's ubiquity, in which very useful technology can also raise issues. For example, the U.S. Army has put out a training video to tell troops how to disable the location detection on iPhones and Androids so they can't be tracked when on deployment. That's just one example of the behavior and awareness that most people haven't yet grokked. Others involve cameras, microphones, and USB drives."

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Firefox 4 Beta 8 Up
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 10:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's not-the-fish deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has released a new beta of Firefox 4 this morning. Originally intended as a quick update for the feature-complete Beta 7 release, the new Beta includes 1415 bugfixes, a fine-tuned add-ons manager, improved WebGL support as well as URL bar enhancements."

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Why Android Is the New Windows
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 09:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's waiting-for-clippy deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Window's dominance of the PC market has been good in many ways, reduced hardware costs, increased IT literacy and a standard development platform to name a few, and perhaps Android will bring similar benefits, but unless Google are very careful it is likely to bring some of the same problems too..."

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Woman Sues Google Over Street View Shots of Her Underwear
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '10 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's airing-your-clean-laundry deptartment:
Kittenman writes "The Telegraph (and several US locals) are covering a story about a Japanese woman who had her underwear on the line while the Google car went past. She is now suing Google: 'I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime,' the woman told a district court. 'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.' "

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