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Holiday E-Commerce DDoS Attack Hits EC2 Cloud
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 05:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's tis-the-season deptartment:
ARos writes "A holiday DDoS attack targeted a west-coast DNS provider, which is known for serving large-scale E-Commerce sites (including amazon.com and walmart.com). 'Neustar, which provides DNS services to high profile website addresses under the UltraDNS brand, said the flood of malicious traffic, just two days before Christmas, was directed at the company's facilities in San Jose and Palo Alto, and that the effects were mostly limited to California users.' CNet adds: 'In addition to the high-profile sites, dozens of smaller sites that rely upon Amazon for Web-hosting services were also taken down by the attack. Amazon's S3 and EC2 services were affected by the problems, according to Jeff Barr, Amazon's lead Web Evangelist, who retweeted a report to that effect without clarification and confirmed it in later tweets.'"

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Skeptics Question OLPC's Focus With $75 Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 04:15 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's put-them-in-touch-with-arrington deptartment:
With the recent announcement of OLPC's shift in focus, many are criticizing the nonprofit's attempt to design what could be seen as unrealistic hardware at an impossible price point. "The OLPC project has become an unrealistic hardware 'dream' and lost its focus on education, wrote blogger Wayan Vota on OLPC News, which has followed the OLPC since its inception. The project comes up with unrealistic hardware designs and price points that destroy its purpose even more, he wrote. 'Excuse me if I get mad at the XO-3 hype. I'm angry at the energy devoted to fantasy XO hardware instead of OLPC educational reality. I miss the original OLPC Mission, where children, not computers, controlled our dreams,' Vota wrote."

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Wikileaks Needs Help, and Not Just Money
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 02:45 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's step-up-amazon-and-volunteer-the-cloud deptartment:
st1d writes to tell us that Wikileaks has put out a call for help. However, instead of just asking for money, they have also suggested technical and legal avenues for support. In the site's short life, Wikileaks has been at the center of many breaking scandals and investigations. "Wikileaks is currently overloaded by readers. This is a regular difficulty that can only be resolved by deploying additional resources. If you support our mission, you can help us by integrating new hardware into our project infrastructure or developing software for the project. Become patron of a WikiLeaks server or other parts of our technology, adding more pillars to the stability and balance of the WikiLeaks platform. Servers come trouble-free and legally fortified, software is uniquely challenging. If you can provide rackspace, power and an uplink, or a dedicated server or storage space, for at least 12 months, or software development work for WikiLeaks, please write to wl-supporters@sunshinepress.org."

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First Tablet Using PixelQi Screen On The Way
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 01:00 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's finally-one-with-the-right-price-point deptartment:
Azureflare writes "The first device using a PixelQi screen has been confirmed. It is produced by Nokia, and it appears they took a few design tips from Apple by sticking with a design that has tapered edges. This Nokia Tablet should give Apple a run for their money, especially considering the recently confirmed rumor of an Apple tablet. 'The Notion Ink smartpad measures 6.3 x 9.8 x 0.6 inches and weighs 1.7lbs; as well as the tri-band (850/1900/2100) UMTS/HSDPA, WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR it also squeezes in A-GPS, a digital compass, accelerometer and proximity, ambient light and water sensors. Connectivity includes USB, HDMI, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone input, and there’s also a 3-megapixel auto-focus camera with video recording support. Onboard storage is either 16GB or 32GB of SSD, and there's an SD slot for augmenting that.'"

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Twitter Buys Mixer Labs For Geolocation Services
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 11:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's precise-location-of-every-inane-detail deptartment:
itwbennett writes "In a blog entry Wednesday, a Twitter official wrote that the company has acquired Mixer Labs, maker of GeoAPI, a service that helps developers build geolocation-aware applications for Twitter. 'Software using the service will allow Twitter users to tag the location where a message was written,' Agam Shah writes in an article on ITworld. 'Twitter did not immediately respond to comment on how much it paid for Mixer Labs.'"

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Why Bite the Google Hand That Feeds You?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 10:00 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's traffic-is-bad deptartment:
Techdirt pointed out that not long ago John Byrne, ex-editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com and now CEO of newly founded C-Change Media, decided to tackle the problem of why publications seem to be so vehemently opposed to Google being a part of their business process. While there aren't any earth-shattering revelations it is a great succinct description of the problem. "I received several solid answers from followers of this blog, including Frymaster who immediately took sides in the ongoing war between Traditional Media and Google. Wrote Frymaster: 'I reject out-of-hand the assertion that Google is profiting from others' content. Rather, I say that Google profits from connecting users to content. It is a service that most web publishers appreciate greatly. Google, unlike any other search engine ever, goes to great pains to deliver the least-skewed results possible. Google is constantly on the hunt for people who game their system. That's why they succeed.There is a direct connection between Google's user-centric, community-oriented approach and their financial success.'"

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Jobs Finally "Happy" With Unannounced Apple Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 08:15 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's price-point-will-be-everything deptartment:
All the rumors of an Apple tablet PC seem to be culminating in a flurry of rumors suggesting we may see one as soon as next month. Sources inside Apple are saying that Jobs is finally "happy" with the device after being involved in every detail of bringing the tablet into the light of day. As a side result of these rumors it seems that Apple stockholders are also getting a bit of Christmas cheer with a significant bump in stock price.

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The Science of Santa
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 07:00 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's santa-from-the-future deptartment:
Santa Claus must use advanced technologies to pull off his annual feat. Thankfully, NewScientist has the exclusive about the what and the how. "He relies on some impressive gadgets: miniature flying robots, advanced satellites, highly sensitive surveillance devices, memory-erasing milk, self-assembling toys, and a warp-drive-powered sleigh that's capable of bending and twisting space-time to such an extent that it slips Santa and his reindeer out of the observable universe. In 1949, Kurt Gödel published one of the first mathematical descriptions of how it could work. In his version, the universe has paths called closed time-like curves that might allow you to jump in a ship, fly for a while, and end up right back where you started in space and time."

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Fraudulent Anti-Terrorist Software Led US To Ground Planes
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's our-man-not-in-havana deptartment:
The Register, citing this Playboy article, reports that a Nevada man named Dennis Montgomery was able in 2003 to connive his way into a position of respectability at the CIA on the basis of his company's claimed ability, using software, to "detect and decrypt 'barcodes' in broadcasts by Al Jazeera, the Qatari news station." Montgomery was CTO of Reno-based eTreppid Technologies, which produced bucketloads of data purported to represent "geographic coordinates and flight numbers" hidden in these broadcasts. All of which, it seems, was hokum, finally debunked in cooperation with a branch of the French intelligence service — but not, says the article, before the fabricated information, chalked up to "credible sources," was used as justification to ground some international flights, and even evacuate New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Gnome Switches Nautilus Back To Browser Mode
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's open-in-new-window deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "In one of the ( Do the developers actually use their own software?) decisions in the Linux Desktop World , back in 2004 Gnome switched to the 'Spatial' view by default with their Nautilus file manager opening a new window with each new folder viewed. Many derided the decision as poor design or as being different for the sake of being different. Well, after five long years the Gnome powers that be have decided to switch back to browser mode."

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Texas County Will Use Twitter To Publish Drunk Drivers' Names
Posted by News Fetcher on December 25 '09 at 12:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's only-animal-that-blushes deptartment:
alphadogg contributes this snippet from Network World: "If you get busted for drunk driving in Montgomery County, Texas, this holiday season, your neighbors may hear about it on Twitter. That's because the local district attorney's office has decided to publish the names of those charged with driving while intoxicated between Christmas and New Year's Eve. County Vehicular Crimes Prosecutor Warren Diepraam came up with the idea as a way of discouraging residents from getting behind the wheel while drunk. 'It's not a magic bullet that's going to end DWIs, but it's something to make people think twice before they get behind the wheel of a car and drive while they're intoxicated,' he said."

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Cygwin 1.7 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 09:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's christmas-present deptartment:
jensend writes "The 1.7 branch of Cygwin, the Unix-like environment for Windows, has reached stable status after about 3 1/2 years of effort. Among many other changes, this release drops support for Windows 9x. Since the NT API and NT-based versions of Windows are more capable and somewhat less of a mismatch with POSIX (for instance, they include a security model), this has allowed for code path simplifications, better performance (particularly noticeable with pipe I/O), better security, and better POSIX compatibility."

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Does Santa Hate Linux?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 06:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's elf-beating-question deptartment:
beernutmark writes "Well, it looks like Santa or at least Norad/Google hates Linux. This year, for the first time since its inception, Norad is not making a simple .kml file available for download to track Santa. You must connect to their website with a Windows/Mac browser and use the browser plugin. No full-screen Google Earth to look at the beautiful areas around Santa's path. (Anyone have any open source source kml files for tracking Santa or any idea how we can go about making one for 2010?)"

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Testing Network Changes When No Test Labs Exist?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's michael-gurski-special deptartment:
vvaduva writes "The ugly truth is that many network guys secretly work on production equipment all the time, or test things on production networks when they face impossible deadlines. Management often expects us to get a job done but refuse to provide funds for expensive lab equipment, test circuits and for reasonable time to get testing done before moving equipment or configs into production. How do most of you handle such situations, and what recommendation do you have for creating a network test lab on the cheap, especially when core network devices are vendor-centric, like Cisco?"

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Really Misleading Ads From Broadband Providers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's should-have-been-in-the-tos deptartment:
Bourdain writes "Gizmodo has put together a good compilation of the — seemingly almost criminally — misleading (largely plain wrong) advertising from our favorite local monopolies. My personal favorite is from AT&T which states you need 3mbps to use social networking sites like Facebook."

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Launching Frequently Key To NASA Success
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 01:45 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's more-is-better deptartment:
teeks99 writes "Even NASA could benefit from the 'Launch Often' idea that is frequently referred to in the software development community. However, in NASA's case, the 'launch' is a bit more literal. Edward Lu, writing in the New York Times, points out that by lowering the consequences of launch failure, and making frequent launches available to engineers, NASA could open up a new wave of innovation in space exploration. If there were weekly launches of a rocket, there would be many opportunities for new ideas to be tried out in communications, remote sensing, orbital debris mitigation, robotic exploration, and even in developing technology for human spaceflight. Another benefit would be that the rockets would be well understood, which would improve reliability."

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Amazing New Movies of Saturn's Moons
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 12:45 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-flowery-words deptartment:
RobGoldsmith writes "Like sugar plum fairies in 'The Nutcracker,' the moons of Saturn performed a celestial ballet before the eyes of NASA's Cassini spacecraft. New movies frame the moons' silent dance against the majestic sweep of the planet's rings and show as many as four moons gliding around one another."

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IsoHunt Guilty of Inducing Infringement
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 12:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-didn't-know-isos-were-endangered deptartment:
roju writes "The MPAA has won a summary judgment against torrent indexing site isoHunt for inducing copyright infringement. Michael Geist notes that '[t]he judge ruled that the isoHunt case is little different from other US cases such as Napster and Grokster, therefore concluding that there is no need to proceed to a full trial and granting Columbia Pictures request for summary judgment.' Attorney Ben Sheffner, who worked on the case for Fox, explains some of the implications, noting that 'the most significant ruling in the opinion was the court's holding that the DMCA's safe harbors are simply not available where inducement has been established.' This case could have implications on other indexing sites, and creates a gap in the DMCA safe harbor provisions that could have far-reaching implications on other sites."

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Networked Christmas Tree Controlled By Twitter
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 11:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's ho-ho-ho deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "What's Twitter good for? How about crowd sourcing control of your Christmas tree. Dangerous Prototypes built an open source, networked Christmas tree that you can control from Twitter. Send a color or hexadecimal color code to @tweet_tree, then watch the color change on the live video stream. This project is based on an updated version of the open source business card size web server covered previously."

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All GPLed Code Removed From MonoDevelop
Posted by News Fetcher on December 24 '09 at 10:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's those-who-write-the-code-make-the-rules deptartment:
rysiek writes "A few days ago, Miguel de Icaza wrote on his blog that the whole of MonoDevelop is now 'free' of GPL-licensed code. 'MonoDevelop code is now LGPLv2 and MIT X11 licensed. We have removed all of the GPL code, allowing addins to use Apache, MS-PL code as well as allowing proprietary add-ins to be used with MonoDevelop (like RemObject's Oxygene).'"

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