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Archive for April, 2010

Australian Gov’t Claims Internet Filter Legislation Still In Play

April 30th, 2010 04:02 admin View Comments

Dracophile writes “Contrary to yesterday’s article about The Australian’s report that the Australian government had put on the back burner plans to introduce Internet filter legislation before the next election, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the government rejected claims that it had abandoned such plans, and that ‘a spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government remained committed to the policy.’ Unless the Australian Labor Party abandons the plan altogether, will the timing make any difference to voters?”

Source: Australian Gov’t Claims Internet Filter Legislation Still In Play

James Cameron To Develop 3-D Camera For Mars Rover

April 30th, 2010 04:11 admin View Comments

Hugh Pickens writes “Computerworld reports that movie director James Cameron, of Avatar and Titanic fame, is working with Malin Space Science Systems Inc. to build an updated 3-D camera that will be installed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity if completed in time, to be the machine’s ‘science-imaging workhorse,’ says Michael Malin, who is working on the camera team. Malin delivered two cameras to be installed on the rover’s main mast; however NASA has provided Malin with funding to work with Cameron to build alternatives to these two cameras. ‘The fixed focal length [cameras] we just delivered will do almost all of the science we originally proposed. But they cannot provide a wide field of view with comparable eye stereo,’ he says. ‘With the zoom [cameras], we’ll be able to take cinematic video sequences in 3-D on the surface of Mars.’”

Source: James Cameron To Develop 3-D Camera For Mars Rover

James Cameron To Develop 3D Camera For Mars Rover

April 30th, 2010 04:11 admin View Comments

Hugh Pickens writes “Computerworld reports that movie director James Cameron, of Avatar and Titanic fame, is working with Malin Space Science Systems Inc. to build an updated 3-D camera that will be installed on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, ‘Curiosity,’ if completed in time, to be the machine’s ‘science-imaging workhorse,’ says Michael Malin, who is working on the camera team. Malin delivered two cameras to be installed on the rover’s main mast; however NASA has provided Malin with funding to work with Cameron to build alternatives to these two cameras. ‘The fixed focal length [cameras] we just delivered will do almost all of the science we originally proposed. But they cannot provide a wide field of view with comparable eye stereo,’ he says. ‘With the zoom [cameras], we’ll be able to take cinematic video sequences in 3D on the surface of Mars.’”

Source: James Cameron To Develop 3D Camera For Mars Rover

Writer Peter Watts Sentenced; No Jail Time

April 30th, 2010 04:30 admin View Comments

shadowbearer writes “SF writer Peter Watts, a Canadian citizen, whose story we have read about before in these pages, was sentenced three days ago in a Port Huron, MI court. There’s not a lot of detail in the story, and although he is still being treated like a terrorist (cannot enter or pass through the US, DNA samples) he was not ordered to do any time in jail, and is free and has returned home to his family. The judge in the case was, I believe, as sympathetic as the legal system would allow him to be.”

Source: Writer Peter Watts Sentenced; No Jail Time

Why Tor Users Should Be Cautious About P2P Privacy

April 30th, 2010 04:30 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “I went across your post a few days ago saying that a machine connected to the Internet was all one needed to spy on most BitTorrent users of the Internet. I followed the link to find out that those researchers from INRIA claimed their attacks also worked for BitTorrent users on Tor. I didn’t believe it at first, but then today I found this link on the Tor Project. It seems their attacks don’t only link your real IP to your BitTorrent files on Tor but also to the web pages that you’re browsing! Tell me it’s a joke.” No joke, but according to Jake Appelbaum (a Tor developer), the security flaw is more nuanced — and the fault of software outside of Tor. Read on for his explanation of how the privacy benefits of Tor can be easily lost.

Appelbaum writes “This isn’t a failing of Tor, it’s a failing of BitTorrent application designers and a privacy failure of their users too. The BitTorrent clients don’t appear to double check the information that’s ripe for tampering. When combined with common BitTorrent applications that aren’t designed for privacy, it’s possible to cause a BitTorrent client to leak information about their actual source IP. The BitTorrent protocol is difficult to anonymize with a simple proxy.

Ironically, one of the best points of the paper is that those BitTorrent clients also harm the anonymity of the users’ web browsing. The user’s browsing will often leave the same Tor Exit Node as their BitTorrent traffic; the user is using the same circuit for browsing as they are for BitTorrent. If the user isn’t practicing safe browsing techniques, they’re probably going to reveal some more of their traffic to the authors of the paper. This is just like the normal internet too. If you browse unsafely, people can observe you or tamper with the data in transit. So in conclusion, this paper isn’t about busting anonymity networks as much as it is about busting BitTorrent client privacy.”

Additionally, he says, “Tor can’t keep you anonymous if you don’t actually use Tor for your connections. … The real key is that if they had done transparent proxying (that failed closed) and they had a privacy-aware BT client, the user would probably be fine.”

Source: Why Tor Users Should Be Cautious About P2P Privacy

Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit

April 30th, 2010 04:44 admin View Comments

netcrawler writes “Steve Jobs’ open letter on Flash has prompted someone at the Free Software Foundation Europe to ask him about his support of proprietary format H.264 over Theora. Jobs’ pithy answer (email with headers) suggests Theora might infringe on existing patents and that ‘a patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now.’ Does he know something we don’t?”

Source: Steve Jobs Hints At Theora Lawsuit

Japanese Researchers Make Plastic Out of Water

April 30th, 2010 04:22 admin View Comments

greenrainbow writes with this excerpt from Inhabit: “The material shown in the picture above is just ice, right? Look again. Elastic water, a new substance invented by researchers at Tokyo University, is a jelly-like substance made up of 95% water along with two grams of clay and a small amount of organic materials. As is, the all-natural substance is perfect for medical procedures, because it’s made of water, poses no harm to people and is perfect for mending tissue. And, if the research team can increase the density of this exciting new substance, it could be used in place of our current oil-based plastics for a host of other things.”

Source: Japanese Researchers Make Plastic Out of Water

iPad 3G Jailbroken Using ‘Spirit’ Jailbreak

April 30th, 2010 04:04 admin View Comments

Spirit jailbreak for ipad and iphone os 3.1.3

It was quick but not very surprising, MuscleNerd of the iPhone Dev Team has just confirmed that the iPad Wi-Fi+3G, which went on sale today has been successfully jailbroken.

He has also published photos and videos of the jailbroken iPad 3G. The iPad 3G was jailbroken using the Spirit jailbreak that Comex plans to release shortly.

iPhone Dev Team had published a post today providing more details about the Spirit jailbreak, which was supposed to be released today but has been delayed by a few days due to the iPad 3G launch today.

MuscleNerd tweeted:

Today's iPad 3G just as hackable as iPad Wifi

He has also published the following photos:

Spirit jailbreak for ipad and iphone os 3.1.3

Spirit jailbreak for ipad and iphone os 3.1.3

And here is the video of the jailbroken iPad 3G:

Comex has also explained the reason for the delay in releasing the Spirit jailbreak, which was supposed to be released today:

the point of the spirit delay is to allow time to get SHSH blobs, especially on the 3G iPad. spirit will support:
- all models of iPhone and iPod touch, 3.1.2 and 3.1.3
- both models of iPad, 3.2
You don't need a SHSH blob to jailbreak, but you do need it to restore or downgrade if something goes wrong or you accidentally upgrade. For 3.1.2 (required for blackra1n, etc.), Apple is no longer handing out blobs, but for 3.1.3 and 3.2, you can still get blobs– and should do so ASAP!

You can get more details about taking backup of SHSH blob from our earlier post.

[via iPhone Dev Team]

Source: iPad 3G Jailbroken Using ‘Spirit’ Jailbreak

Apple Raises E-Book Prices For Everyone

April 30th, 2010 04:00 admin View Comments

Nom du Keyboard writes “I was informed by my publisher this week that they would have to raise my eBook prices because they planned to sell them through the Apple iBooks store. How could this happen? A lot of my individual stories sell in the $1 to $3 range, which is well within the impulse purchase amount for many people. In this price range a 50 cent price difference may well be the difference between a purchase and a pass. Meanwhile Apple is touting their new ‘Agency Model’ whereby the publishers set the prices. However, it seems that Apple requires books sold in their iBook store have prices ending in .99 – nothing else.” (More below.)

“Furthermore, Apple requires that if you sell books through them that you absolutely cannot sell them for less through anyone else. To my understanding Amazon also requires this, so Apple and Amazon prices should be identical in the future, but Amazon doesn’t force prices to end in .99. What this means is that an eBook that the author was quite happy to sell for $2.29 or $2.49 is now going to cost you $2.99 from everybody. While that sounds like only a few extra cents, it adds up over time and can lead to resentment against author for charging higher prices, even though they have little real control over pricing. I, for one, do not understand why Apple computers only understand numbers ending in .99, or just how Apple is making it better for the consumer this way.”

Source: Apple Raises E-Book Prices For Everyone

Kid Health Experts Attack Video Game Summer Camp

April 30th, 2010 04:16 admin View Comments

Jack Action writes “The University of British Columbia runs a summer camp where kids get to play computer games for three hours a day. The camp organizers say it is ‘a good social opportunity for some kids who didn’t fit into other programs.’ However, health professionals declare they are ‘troubled’ by the camp. A professor in UBC’s department of medicine says kids should be outside and engaged in ‘unstructured play,’ while the CEO of an NGO that monitors kids’ health chimes in that they already spend too much time in front of screens and not exercising. Do the health experts have a point, or are they just criticizing something they don’t understand, or perhaps is not to their taste?”

Source: Kid Health Experts Attack Video Game Summer Camp

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