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New Malware Overwrites Software Updaters
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'm-sure-the-updaters-don't-go-down-without-a-fight deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Researchers at Bach Khoa Internetwork Security (BKIS), a Vietnamese security company, have found a new type of malware that 'masks itself as an updater for Adobe Systems' products and other software such as Java,' wrote BKIS analyst Nguyen Cong Cuong in a post on the company's blog. BKIS showed screenshots of a variant of the malware that imitates Adobe Reader version 9 and overwrites the AdobeUpdater.exe, which regularly checks in with Adobe to see if a new version of the software is available."

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China's Great Firewall Infects Other Countries
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's trial-run-successful deptartment:
angry tapir writes "A networking error has caused computers in Chile and the US to come under the control of the Great Firewall of China, redirecting Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube users to Chinese servers. Security experts are not sure exactly how this happened, but it appears that at least one ISP recently began fetching high-level DNS information from what's known as a root DNS server, based in China. That server, operated out of China by Swedish service provider Netnod, returned DNS information intended for Chinese users, effectively spreading China's network censorship overseas."

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Home-Built Turing Machine
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i'll-order-a-dozen deptartment:
stronghawk writes "The creator of the Nickel-O-Matic is back at it and has now built a Turing Machine from a Parallax Propeller chip-based controller, motors, a dry-erase marker and a non-infinite supply of shiny 35mm leader film. From his FAQ: 'While thinking about Turing machines I found that no one had ever actually built one, at least not one that looked like Turing's original concept (if someone does know of one, please let me know). There have been a few other physical Turing machines like the Logo of Doom, but none were immediately recognizable as Turing machines. As I am always looking for a new challenge, I set out to build what you see here.'"

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GameStop Sued Over Lack of DLC For Used Games
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's so-many-shoes-dropping deptartment:
Absolut187 writes "According to IGN, 'A lawsuit filed earlier this week against retailer GameStop says the company is "deceptively misleading" its customers into believing a used game purchased from the store comes with all packaged downloadable content advertised on the box. This content, however, is only made available for free to those who purchase the game new, as the code to access the content can be only used one time.' I personally don't have a problem with publishers charging for DLC. IMHO, you put in the effort to make it, you have the right to (try) to charge whatever you want. I have the right to take it or leave it if I don't find your price fair (same goes for the main game). But what about the used game market? Should publishers be allowed to destroy the used market for their games by including 'free' DLC with a one-time use code? Should the copyright doctrine of 'first-sale' have any effect here? Or is it up to the consumer (frequently children) to realize that the product will have a reduced resale value due to the one-time nature of the DLC code? Is this any different from the use of unique 'CD-Keys' that are required for online play (e.g. for Blizzard games since 1997 or earlier)?"

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College to Save Money by Switching Email Font
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's the-smallest-things deptartment:
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has come up with an unusual way of saving money: changing their email font. The school expects to use 30% less ink by switching from Arial to Century Gothic. From the article: "Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one. That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon. Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school's five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it's great that a change that's eco-friendly also saves money."

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What's the Best Way To Get Web Content To My TV?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's voodoo-magic deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "It seems like there are a lot of options for getting web content onto our TVs, but which one is the best way to go? Being able to stream videos (especially through sites like Hulu), check out social networking sites, and read news would be awesome to do from my couch. Currently, I hook up my laptop to the TV, which works, but it's annoying, especially if I want to use my laptop while I am watching some videos. Some things that are important to me are: connecting to my HDTV, allowing me view anything I could in a web browser as if I were on my computer, and being easily controlled from the couch. What setups do you guys use, or what would you like to use?"

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The Mono Mystery That Wasn't
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's context-is-everything deptartment:
jammag writes "It was shocking news, or so it seemed: Miguel de Icaza, the Mono creator, was switching his opinion about his life's work — he now seemed to agree with the free software partisans who oppose his Mono work and his Microsoft connections. The story flamed across the Internet and even got picked up on Slashdot. But Bruce Byfield reports that 'De Icaza has not changed his opinions.' De Icaza calls the rumors 'a storm in a teacup.' Tracing the misinformation trail, Byfield concludes that 'the FOSS community excels at communication. However, in this instance, that ability was used irresponsibly.'"

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Journalism Students Assigned To Write On Wikipedia
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's putting-wasted-research-to-use deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "eCampus News reports that at the University of Denver, journalism students are assigned to write Wikipedia entries as part of a curriculum that stresses online writing and content creation, and students have so far composed 24 Wikipedia articles this year, covering topics from the gold standard to the San Juan Mountains to bimettalism, an antiquated monetary standard. Journalism instructors Lynn Schofield Clark and Christof Demont-Heinrich say students are told to check their sourcing carefully, just as they would for an assignment at a local newspaper. 'Students are leery about mentioning Wikipedia, because they might be subjected to criticism. But I tell them it's an online source of knowledge that just has some information that might be questionable, but that doesn't mean you have to dismiss all of [its content],' says Demont-Heinrich, who first assigned the Wikipedia writing to students in his introductory course taught during the university's recent winter semester. He said the Wikipedia entries didn't require old-school shoe leather reporting — because the online encyclopedia bars the use of original quotes — but they teach students how to thoroughly research a topic before publishing to a site that has over 350 million unique visitors and gets over 10 billion page views a month. 'I see journalism as being completely online within the next two to five years,' says Demont-Heinrich. 'If you're not trained to expect that and write for that, then you're not going to be ready for the work world.'"

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Disputed Island Disappears Into Sea
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's say-hi-to-atlantis deptartment:
RawJoe writes "India and Bangladesh have argued for almost 30 years over control of a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have ended the argument for them: the island's gone. From the article: 'New Moore Island, in the Sunderbans, has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. "What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming," said Hazra.'"

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Government Could Forge SSL Certificates
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bureaucrat-in-the-middle deptartment:
FutureDomain writes "Is SSL becoming pointless? Researchers are poking holes in the chain of trust for SSL certificates which protect sensitive data. According to these hypothesized attacks, governments could compel certificate authorities to give them phony certificates that are signed by the CA, which are then used to perform man in the middle attacks. They point out that Verisign already makes large sums of money by facilitating the disclosure of US consumers' private data to US government law enforcement. The researchers are developing a Firefox plugin (PDF) that checks past certificates and warns of anomalies in the issuing country, but not much can help if government starts spying on the secure connections of its own citizens."

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iPhone App Developed To Control NASA Robot
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's where-do-i-download deptartment:
andylim writes "At EclipseCon 2010 attendees were challenged to create a robotic control system to drive a NASA-provided robot across a prototypical Mars landscape. To win the EclipseCon e4-rover Mars challenge, developers could either prove their e4 programming skills by creating the best e4-Rover client, or use an e4 client to operate the Rover through a series of tasks to collect points. Software architects Peter Friese and Heiko Behrens built an iPhone client for the EclipseCon challenge which controls the robot around NASA's Mars landscape using the iPhone's accelerometer."

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We're Staying In China, Says Microsoft
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's swinging-the-ethics-bat deptartment:
ericb tips an article at the Guardian which begins: "Hopes that Google's forthright stand on censorship in China would inspire other companies to follow suit appeared unfounded today, with the move instead threatening to widen the rift between some of the world's most powerful internet companies. Microsoft, which has considerable interests in the country, including its Bing search engine, responded directly to criticism by Google's co-founder Sergey Brin, who this week accused the company of speaking against human rights and free speech. Brin, who pressed for the closing down of Google's self-censored Chinese search engine, said yesterday: 'I'm very disappointed for them in particular. I would hope that larger companies would not put profit ahead of all else. Generally, companies should pay attention to how and where their products are used.' Microsoft rejected Brin's critique, saying it would continue to obey local laws on censorship in China."

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20 Years For Gonzalez In TJX Hacker Case
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's see-you-when-we-have-flying-cars deptartment:
alphadogg writes "Hacker mastermind Albert Gonzalez was sentenced Thursday in US District Court to two concurrent 20-year stints in prison for his role in what prosecutors called the 'unparalleled' theft of millions of credit card numbers from major US retailers. US District Court Judge Patti B. Saris announced the concurrent sentences in two 2008 cases against Gonzalez, 28, a Cuban-American who was born in Miami, where he lived when the crimes were committed. Gonzalez and co-conspirators hacked into computer systems and stole credit card information from TJX, Office Max, DSW and Dave and Buster's, among other online retail outlets, in one of the largest — if not the largest — cybercrime operations targeting that sort of data thus far. They then sold the numbers to other criminals. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in two cases related to those thefts last December and the following day entered a guilty plea in a third case involving hacking into computer networks of Heartland Payment Systems and the Hannaford Supermarkets and 7-Eleven chains."

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Perks & Paintball For Employees At Cybercrime, Inc.
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's probably-lacked-google's-cafeteria deptartment:
Barence writes "Innovative Marketing Ukraine was in the business of churning out some of the world's most pernicious, and profitable, computer viruses. As the company grew, it added a human resources department, hired an internal IT staff and built a call center to dissuade its victims from seeking credit card refunds. Employees were treated to catered holiday parties and picnics with paintball competitions. Top performers got bonuses as young workers turned a blind eye to the harm the software was doing. 'When you are just 20, you don't think a lot about ethics,' said one former Innovative Marketing programmer. 'I had a good salary and I know that most employees also had pretty good salaries.' The firm has been closed down after the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit seeking its disbandment in the federal court. But an examination of the FTC's complaint and documents from a legal dispute among Innovative executives offers a rare glimpse into a dark, expanding — and highly profitable — corner of the internet."

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EA Editor Criticizes Command & Conquer 4 DRM
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's preach-it-brother deptartment:
Command & Conquer 4's DRM hasn't garnered Electronic Arts as much bad press and fan outrage as Ubisoft's scheme, despite being very similar. Nevertheless, it's been causing problems and frustrations for some users, including EA.com's own editor-in-chief, Jeff Green. An anonymous reader points this out: "Green wrote on his Twitter account late last week: 'Booted twice — and progress lost — on my single-player C&C4 game because my DSL connection blinked. DRM fail. We need new solutions.' He continued later, 'Well. I've tried to be open-minded. But my 'net connection is finicky — and the constant disruption of my C&C4 SP game makes this unplayable. The story is fun, the gameplay is interesting and different at least — but if you suffer from shaky/unreliable DSL — you've been warned.'"

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Chinese Reactions To Google Leaving China
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's billion-here-a-billion-there deptartment:
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Most people have already heard western media reactions to Google leaving China proper and redirecting search traffic to its Hong Kong branch, but ChinaSMACK has translated comments from average Chinese internet users so that non-Chinese can understand how the Chinese public feels. While many of them are supportive of the government on some level, they were able to obtain many comments by those critical of the government before they could be 'harmonized' (deleted) and translated those as well. The deleted comments often complain about the wumao (50 cent party), government employees who are paid 50 cents RMB per post supporting the government, and worry that the Chinese Internet will become a Chinese LAN."

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Could UK Tax Breaks Pave the Way For GTA London?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 26 '10 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's blow-your-whistle-at-hookers-and-gently-reprimand-them deptartment:
BanjoTed writes "An interesting — if tongue-in-cheek — bit of speculation is up at MCV about the possibility of a Grand Theft Auto title across the pond. 'Chancellor Alistair Darling's pledge to support the video games development industry with tax breaks could do more than simply protect the future of the UK dev sector,' the site claims. 'It could also have dictated the setting of the next Grand Theft Auto.' Its reasoning? That developers will only be eligible for new UK tax breaks if their games can be proven to be 'culturally British.' Being based in the UK alone is not sufficient for this — instead, the games in question must promote Britishness. Hence MCV's conclusion that Grand Theft Auto V may well be set in London — saving Rockstar an estimated $16m in the process."

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Facebook Goes After Greasemonkey Script Developer
Posted by News Fetcher on March 25 '10 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-must-enjoy-our-obnoxious-messages deptartment:
palmerj3 writes "The popular Facebook Purity greasemonkey script (now renamed Fluff Buster Purity) has been used by thousands to rid their Facebook feeds from the likes of Mafia Wars, Farmville, and other annoying things. Now, Facebook is threatening the developer of this script. Does Facebook have the right to govern their websites design & functionality once it's in the browser?"

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Perelman Urged To Accept $1m Prize
Posted by News Fetcher on March 25 '10 at 07:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's leave-the-guy-alone-already deptartment:
krou writes "The Warm Home charity in St. Petersburg, Grigory Perelman's home-town, has urged the math genius and recluse to accept the $1m Millennium Prize for solving the Poincaré conjecture, and donate it to charities. Perelman has refused to accept the award, telling one reporter through the closed door of his flat, 'I have all I want,' and another who managed to call him on his mobile, 'You are disturbing me. I am picking mushrooms.'"

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Can Ubuntu Save Online Banking?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 25 '10 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's make-that-virus-throw-an-error deptartment:
CWmike writes with a pointer to this ComputerWorld mention of an interesting application of Live CDs, courtesy of Florida-based regional bank CNL: "Recognizing that most consumers don't want to buy a separate computer for online banking, CNL is seriously considering making available free Ubuntu bootable 'live CD' discs in its branches and by mail. The discs would boot up Linux, run Firefox and be configured to go directly to CNL's Web site. 'Everything you need to do will be sandboxed within that CD,' [CNL CIO Jay McLaughlin] says. That should protect customers from increasingly common drive-by downloads and other vectors for malicious code that may infect and lurk on PCs, waiting to steal the user account names, passwords and challenge questions normally required to access online banking." (But what if someone slips in a stack of doctored disks?)

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