Apple’s New iMac


Who could’ve seen this one coming? Apple surprised no one this morning with brand new iMacs. Built from aluminum and glass, the new all-in-one desktops feature a complete redesign and will come in two sizes: 20-inch and 24-inch. There’s the usual compliment of ports like USB 2.0, Firewire 400 / 800, a slot loading SuperDrive, iSight camera and so forth. The new look features a glossy display to match the majority of Apple’s consumer lineup, and new keyboards are indeed coming along for the ride — in an extended wired version as well as a mini wire free model, running the Bluetooth 2.0 spec. Under the hood Apple has up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro graphics, up to 1TB of storage, 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.0, with 8x SuperDrives and 1GB of RAM standard across the board. Prices start at $1,199 for the 20-inch, $1,499 for a processor and graphics bump, and $1,799 for the 24-incher. The full rundown of Apple’s stock models is after the break.

Hackers discover how to download streaming movies from Netflix

It was just a matter of time:

Earlier this year Netflix announced a new service that would allow you to watch a limited number of videos online instead of waiting for the DVDs to come in the mail. The service is free with your regular subscription. If you pay $17/month for access to 3 DVDs at a time, you can watch 17 hours of video per month. If you pay $5 per month for access to 2 DVDs per month, you can watch 5 hours of video online.

There’s just one problem. You have to watch on Netflix’s terms. The video player is browser based, and the movies are encoded using Windows Media DRM. If you want to begin a movie now and finish it later, you’re out of luck. Or if you want to copy it to a portable device for viewing during your morning commute (on the train, not while driving, of course!), no soup for you.

Well, the smart folks over at the Rorta forums seem to have cracked the code, using Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player 11, FairUse4WM, and Notepad. The solution involves finding the URL of the video file, downloading it, acquiring the license key and then stripping the DRM. It’s a bit involved, and will probably take longer than just sitting down and watching the movie. But hey, it’s the principle of the thing, right?

The Seven Wonders of the Totalitarian World

From Esquire:

Throughout history, it is the deep-pocketed madmen who tend to leave behind the biggest wonders. And while last month’s election of the New Seven Wonders of the World hints at this point — the emperors who fed Christians to the lions in the Roman Coliseum were neither mild-mannered nor impoverished — they’re basically positive tributes to mankind’s triumphant, enduring half. But what of the tyranny that drove men to produce such wonders? On some level, each of the New Seven is also a colossal monument to narcissism, either some ruler or some culture’s desire to go bigger and leave a mark that cannot be erased — a sentiment not unlike the one held by some of today’s most ruthless dictators.

Daily Dose of Ingersoll


In the long night of savagery, in the midst of pestilence and
famine, through the long and dreary winters, crouched in dens of
darkness, the seeds of superstition were sown in the brain of man.
The savage believed, and thoroughly believed, that everything
happened in reference to him; that he by his actions could excite
the anger, or by his worship placate the wrath, of the Unseen. He
resorted to flattery and prayer. To the best of his ability he put
in stone, or rudely carved in wood, his idea of this god. For this
idol he built a hut, a hovel, and at last a cathedral. Before these
images he bowed, and at these shrines, whereon he lavished his
wealth, he sought protection for himself and for the ones he loved.

The few took advantage of the ignorant many. They pretended to have
received messages from the Unknown. They stood between the helpless
multitude and the gods. They were the carriers of flags of truce.
At the court of heaven they presented the cause of man, and upon
the labor of the deceived they lived.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Why I Am Agnostic”

Dateline Mole Outed at DefCon

From Wired’s Threat Level:

According to DefCon staff, Madigan had told someone she wanted to out an undercover federal agent at DefCon. That person in turn warned DefCon about Madigan’s plans. Federal law enforcement agents from FBI, DoD, United States Postal Inspection Service and other agencies regularly attend DefCon to gather intelligence on the latest techniques of hackers. DefCon holds an annual contest called Spot the Fed, in which attendees out people in the audience they think are undercover federal agents. The contest is good-natured, but the feds who get caught are generally ones who don’t mind getting caught.

DefCon staff say that Madigan was asked four times — two times on the phone and two times at the conference — if she wanted to obtain press credentials, but she declined.

DefCon staff lured her to a large hall telling her that the Spot the Fed contest was in session and that she could get a picture of an undercover federal agent at the contest. When she sat down, Jeff Moss, DefCon’s founder, announced that they were changing the game. Instead of Spot the Fed, they were going to play Spot the Undercover Reporter and then announced, “And there’s one in here right now.” Madigan, realizing she’d been had, jumped from her seat and bolted out the door with reporters carrying cameras chasing after her through the parking lot and to her car.


Video of the reporter being outed.

(Thanks Schmoo)