Coolfer has an interesting post this morning, responding to Peter Kafka's suggestion that it's getting too hard to buy music because fewer retailers are stocking CDs. I think Kafka's confusing cause and effect--if retailers were still making lots of money on Britney and Rihanna, CDs would be sold front and center. But regardless of the chicken-and-egg question, Coolfer makes the very good point that most music purchasers don't seek out music and aren't willing to sift through the racks at their local record stores, but rather pick up a CD as an impulse buy on … Read more
Queue the music: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is about to get its own reality show.
On Thursday, ABC announced a mid-season replacement show called "Homeland Security USA." From Arnold Shapiro, the Emmy-winning producer of such documentaries as Scared Straight," the network said the series will give viewers an unprecedented look at the work of the men and women at the DHS "while they use the newest technology to safeguard our country and enforce our law."
The 13 hour-long episodes were shot entirely on location throughout the United States.
ABC says the producers … Read more
Microsoft announced a second country is piloting the use of One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop in conjunction with Windows XP.
The deal, announced with the state government of Cundinamarca, will see the laptops put in two schools, including the Santa Maria Del Rio primary school. That school, which just got its first computer lab, will now get additional PCs with the software training and infrastructure donated by Microsoft and the laptops themselves coming from One Laptop Per Child.
Microsoft announced in September that Peru was the first country to sign up for the Windows-on-XO option.
That the Windows … Read more
On the outside, the Windows version of the XO laptop looks just like the Linux model. But simply booting up the device shows that the Windows version bears little resemblance to the original One Laptop Per Child device.
With the Microsoft version, you get Windows, for all the good and bad that entails. It's full-on Windows--XP Professional, in fact--and can run basically any software that can adjust itself to the mini-laptop's diminutive screen and modest processor.
Microsoft has managed to slim down the OS enough to boot up off a 2GB flash memory card and has written drivers … Read more
In Black Hat's October Webinar on Thursday, Anton Kapela, datacenter manager at 5Nines Data, spoke about Internet-scale "man in the middle" attacks.
The talk reprised a last-minute substitution presentation he gave along with Alexander Pilosov at this year's Defcon conference in August. During the conference, the two researchers intercepted all conference Internet traffic at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and ran it through their servers. According to Black Hat founder and … Read more
Updated at 7:55 a.m. PT on Wednesday to specify that the FBI cleared Mitnick of any wrongdoing in this event.
Since being released from prison eight years ago, Kevin Mitnick's brushes with the law have consisted of a few parking tickets and a citation for driving without a front license plate--that is, until he returned from a trip to Colombia two weeks ago.
After landing at the Atlanta airport for a security conference, Mitnick was detained for four hours for reasons still not fully explained. To make matters worse, while customs officials in Atlanta were busy inspecting his cell phone, laptop, and luggage, police in Bogota were ripping open a package he had mailed to his U.S. address on suspicion that it contained cocaine.
The simultaneous incidents gave Mitnick deja vu of his days as a fugitive pursued by the FBI for breaking into computer networks, only this time, he hadn't broken any laws.
"There was uncertainty, fear, and panic because I didn't know what was going on, and I didn't do anything wrong," he said in a recent telephone interview with CNET News. "In my mind, I thought I was being set up for something."
Here's a rundown of what happened:
Mitnick's Delta Airlines plane landed in Atlanta on September 16 at around 3 p.m. He had flown in from Bogota, where he had gone to give a speech to the newspaper El Tiempo and to visit his girlfriend.
The first sign of trouble was when a U.S. customs agent swiped his passport through the computer system and started staring intently at the screen and typing. "Kevin," the agent said with a big smile on his face. "Guess what? There are some people downstairs who want to have a word with you, but don't worry. Everything will be OK." … Read more
WASHINGTON--The Department of Homeland Security's "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border is inoperable in the one location it has been deployed, and plans to replicate the technology along the rest of the border have been completely changed or abandoned, government auditors told Congress on Wednesday.
As part of the DHS Secure Border Initiative established in 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is responsible for deploying SBInet, a border protection system that utilizes a mix of surveillance and communication technologies--such as radars, sensors, and cameras--along with traditional fencing. In February, the deployment of SBInet was … Read more
SAO PAULO, Brazil--Brazilian journalist Gilberto Dimenstein walks down an alley in the Villa Madelena neighborhood showing how what was once a haven for drug dealers has been transformed into a canvas for artists.
Dimenstein's vision, to turn a rough neighborhood into a 24-hour center of learning, has been largely realized. In one building, craftsmen create violins from bare wood, while in another an artist weaves scraps of cloth into a placemat. In the Aprendiz cafe, Dimenstein's centerpiece, seniors learn to use the Internet while people flock in from more affluent parts of the city to enjoy the restaurant'… Read more
While pen and paper is still the most important gear for any reporting effort, I did use a bunch of other technology in making this series possible.
1. Panoramic lens from 0-360.com
This was the piece of gear I was most excited about. Basically, it allows an immersive panoramic movie to be created from a single still photo. (The folks at 0-360.com were kind enough to lend a review unit for CNET to use on this trip.)
It's a custom lens that fit on top of my Canon Digital Rebel XT. To achieve the effect, the lens … Read more
While most American TV watchers and broadcasters are preparing for (fretting over) the long-planned DTV transition in February 2009, broadcasters along the U.S. southern border are requesting an exemption from shutting down their analog broadcasts--up to five years after the deadline. The House of Representatives, according to an article by HD Guru, has already passed the DTV Border Fix Act bill by unanimous consent.… Read more