Cryptographers chosen to duke it out in final fight - physics-math - 13 December 2010 A competition to find a replacement for one of the gold-standard computer security algorithms used in almost all secure, online transactions just heated up. The list of possibilities for Secure Hash Algorithm-3, or SHA-3, has been narrowed down to five finalists. They now face the onslaught of an international community of "cryptanalysts" – who will analyse the algorithms for weaknesses – before just one is due to be selected as the winner in 2012. The competition, which is being run by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a huge deal for cryptographers and cryptanalysts alike. "These are incredibly competitive people.
Reporters Sans Frontières - FCC adopts ineffective rules on Net Neutrality The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a government agency with independent status, voted to adopt an ineffective set of Net Neutrality rules yesterday after more than a year of negotiations with the various parties concerned. The five-member commission’s two Democrats voted with its chairman, Julius Genachowski, in favour of the new rules, while its two Republicans voted against, arguing that only Congress should be able to determine whether and how the Internet is regulated. Genachowski insisted that the new rules defended two essential principles: transparent management of the Internet by Internet Service Providers and a ban on any discrimination in the transmission of content.
The Best Hacking Tutorial Sites - Learn Legal Hacking written by: Daniel Robson•edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 2/13/2011 Whether it's to understand potential attack vectors or simply for the fun of it, learning the basics of hacking is something that a lot of people aspire to. Here's our list of the top tutorial based hacking sites. Introduction Films like Swordfish and Hackers have made hacking seem cool, a lifestyle choice almost. However most techies know that in reality it's often a difficult and time consuming process. How to make a Sawed-off USB Key Holy crap– somebody just went and TORE MY FREAKING USB CABLE IN HALF while it was still attached to my laptop!!! No– wait– sorry. That’s just my USB drive. My bad. Never mind. (And after the jump, how to make your own.)
Pulse: Automatically Download & Set Up New Wallpapers Changing your computer’s wallpaper from time to time gives it a fresh look. But looking for suitable wallpapers and deciding on one can be time consuming. Here to automate the process for you is an application called Pulse. Pulse is a free desktop application for Windows computers. It automatically fetches new wallpapers from the Internet and sets them on your desktop. The program comes as folders and an executable that does not require any installation.
Religion no excuse for promoting scientific ignorance - science-in-society - 08 February 2011 The US constitution allows people to believe what they want. However, it does not require universities to promote ignorance LAST month, the University of Kentucky in Lexington paid $125,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by astrophysicist Martin Gaskell. Gaskell claimed the university did not appoint him director of their student observatory because of his Christian faith, despite him being the best candidate. The settlement - which is not an admission of wrongdoing - means the suit will not come to court. While I think the university had a case, this may be the best outcome. What the new FCC open Internet rules could mean for net neutrality The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules for regulating Internet access at a hearing today in Washington. After FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn said yesterday they will not stand in the way of Chairman Julius Genachowski’s modified order, it paved the way for a 3-2 vote to approve new rules of the road for the Internet. The tech policy reporters at Politico made the following assessment of the rules in their excellent Morning Tech newsletter this morning and got it about right. 1) Transparency for both wireline and wireless services, requiring disclosure to consumers, content and device providers, 2) Wireline providers are prohibited from blocking any lawful content, apps, services or devices; wireless providers, from blocking websites and competing telephony services, 3) Wireline providers are prohibited from unreasonably discriminating against any traffic (but no such rule for wireless).
Rant Dissident cop-out on privacy As Cory Doctorow points out in a Guardian interview, technological and cultural factors are placing personal privacy at ever greater risk. Doctorow says there should be greater social value put on privacy (eg by allowing children more privacy, rather than constantly surveilling them). But, as one of the comments under Proctorow's interview points out, it's not as if dissident campaigning groups are setting a good example.
The 101 Most Useful Websites on the Internet Here are some of the most useful websites on the internet that you may not know about. These web sites, well most of them, solve at least one problem really well and they all have simple web addresses (URLs) that you can memorize thus saving you a trip to Google. And if you find this list useful, also check out the expanded version – The Most Useful Websites – which now offers a collection of 150+ undiscovered and incredibly useful websites to enhance your productivity.
Replace Gnome On-Screen Keyboard With Florence Virtual Keyboard [Linux] For GNOME users, there’s a nice little application that should do the job called Gnome On-Screen Keyboard, or GOK for short. However, when I tried to get my virtual keyboard to load, I got stuck at a different window, with no clue how to continue. The great, wide web couldn’t help me much either, so I knew that I had to get something else instead. And I found something that does exactly what I need it to do. America as it could have been: 8 North American nations that didn’t make it to the 21st Century North America. We all recognise it on a map: it’s the continent above South America. Most of us can even name the countries, Canada, the United States, Mexico... other Spanish speaking ones...
FCC: Yup, we're going to stop "paid prioritization" on the 'Net The Federal Communications Commission is releasing the details of its new net neutrality Order in stages. Although the FCC's new ban on "unreasonable discrimination" for wired ISPs allows certain kinds of traffic discrimination (not all bits need be equal), the agency made clear after today's meeting that "paid prioritization" deals with Internet companies are unlikely to be allowed. Critics had worried that the new Order would only affect outright website blocking, leaving paid prioritization untouched (or even implicitly sanctioned). "Pay for Priority Unlikely to Satisfy 'No Unreasonable Discrimination' Rule," advises one subheading of the new net neutrality rules. Ed Whitacre's dream of directly charging Google and Yahoo to "use his pipes"—a key event in starting the entire net neutrality debate—appears to be dashed.