chicksdaddy writes "Changes brought about by the Internet of Things demands the creation of a whole new social contract to enshrine the right to privacy and prevent the creation of technology-fueled Orwellian surveillance states in which individual privacy protections take a back seat to security and 'control.' That, according to an opinion piece penned by the head of the European Commission's Knowledge Sharing Unit. Gérald Santucci argues that technology advances, including the advent of wearable technology and the combination of inexpensive, remote sensors and Big Data analytics threaten to undermine long-held notions like personal privacy and the rights of individuals."
occidental writes "Sanders Kleinfeld writes: In the past six years, the rise of the ebook has ushered in three successive revolutions that have roiled and reshaped the traditional publishing industry. Revolution #3 isn't really defined by a new piece of hardware, software product, or platform. Instead, it's really marked by a dramatic paradigm change among authors and publishers, who are shifting their toolsets away from legacy word processing and desktop publishing suites, and toward HTML5 and tools built on the Open Web Platform."
snydeq writes "Thanks to state-sponsored cable/phone duopolies, U.S. broadband stays slow and expensive — and will probably impede cloud adoption, writes Andrew C. Oliver. 'As a patriotic American, I find the current political atmosphere where telecom lobbyists set the agenda to be a nightmare. All over the world, high-end fiber is being deployed while powerful monopolies in the United States work to prevent it from coming here,' Oliver writes. 'I expect that cloud adoption will closely match broadband speed, cost, and availability curves. Those companies living in countries where the broadband monopoly is protected will adopt the cloud at a slower rate than those with competitive markets and municipal fiber. There's a good chance U.S. firms will fall into that group.'"
Virtucon writes "Ride Sharing Services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar received a big boost today when the California Public Utilities Commission approved rules that would allow them to continue to operate as long as they followed a few rules. This makes California the first state to adopt such rules and is expected to preempt local governments who are trying to clamp down on these services and regulate them like local taxi companies."
An anonymous reader writes "A recent Slate article makes the argument that manned space exploration is not useful and we should concentrate on Robots. The article makes the claim that manned space exploration was never popular and by diverting money to robotic space exploration we can get more bang for the buck. From the article: 'Most of the arguments in favor of manned space exploration boil down to the following: a) We need to explore space using people since keeping the entire human race on a single piece of rock is a bad strategy, and even if we send robots first, people would have to make the journey eventually; and b) humans can explore much better than robots. Both these arguments are very near-sighted—in large part because they assume that robots aren’t going to get any better. They also fail to recognize that technology may radically change humans in the next century or so.'"
cagraham writes with this excerpt from Technology Advice: "In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Mark Bartels says that StumbleUpon is now profitable, and expects to grow their revenue by 33% this year, up to $40 million. The service has been around since 2001, was briefly owned by eBay,and earlier this year cut its staff from 120 to 70. According to Bartels, a huge increase in mobile usage has led to the turn-around, and they now have over 100,000 advertising clients. Still, they didn't provide any hard profit numbers to Bloomberg, so you'll have to take them on their word that they've successfully monetized."
ananyo writes "Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved controversial reforms to the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) on 18 September. More than 330 members of the Duma voted in favor of the law, with only 107 against, in a move critics say will deprive the 289-year-old body of its independence and halt attempts to revitalize Russia's struggling science system. If, as is widely expected, the parliament's upper house and Russian President Vladimir Putin approve the law, the 436 institutes and 45,000 research staff of Russia's primary basic-research organization will be managed by a newly established federal agency that reports directly to Putin. The agency will manage the academy's 60-billion-rouble (US$1.9-billion) budget and extensive property portfolio, which includes lucrative sites in Moscow and St Petersburg, and will also have a say in the appointment of institute directors. 'This is not a reform — this is a liquidation of science in Russia,' says Alexander Kuleshov, director of the academy's Institute for Information Transmission Problems in Moscow."
angry tapir writes "The probe requests emitted by a smartphone as it seeks a Wi-Fi network to connect reveal the device's manufacturer thanks to its MAC address. This can offer some information about a crowd of people by looking at the breakdown by device brand. However, because some OSes include a preferred network list (PNL) in their probes, it may be possible to use Wi-Fi sniffing to infer even more information about a group of people by looking for common SSIDs, and potentially mapping them to known network locations (PDF). A group of Italian researchers has been looking at ways to use the information in probe requests to analyze the social connections of crowds." The idea being that if you share preferred networks (especially ones only seen infrequently) you are more likely to be socially connected.
at10u8 writes "The ITU-R and BIPM are holding a joint workshop on the Future of the International Time Scale. This is the next of many steps toward the possibility that radio broadcasts of time signals might abandon leap seconds. All of the presentations are online and the press release for the workshop indicates there will be video interviews afterwards."
astroengine writes "NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has been scouring the thin Martian atmosphere for methane — a potential tracer for the presence of Martian life. However, since the gas also can be produced geologically, any findings promised a meaty debate. That discussion can be shelved, perhaps permanently, new findings from a team of Curiosity scientists shows. The most extensive search yet for methane in Mars' atmosphere has come up empty. 'It's disappointing, of course. We would have liked to get [to Gale Crater] and found lots of methane and measure all the isotopes,' lead researcher Christopher Webster, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told Discovery News."
jones_supa writes with an update on the Microsoft purchase of Nokia. From the article: "Stephen Elop, the former Nokia Oyj chief executive officer who is rejoining Microsoft, is set to get more than $25 million if the Finnish company completes the sale of its handset business to the software maker. Microsoft will pay 70 percent of the projected total amount of about 18.8 million euros ($25.5 million), and Nokia the remainder, according to a proxy filing by Nokia today. The value of Elop's reward is estimated using Nokia's Sept. 6 closing share price and may still change. Nokia shares have dropped by more than a third since Elop was hired on Sept. 10, 2010, even with the stock's gain since the sale to Microsoft was announced. Nokia shareholders are set to vote on the transaction Nov. 19. Elop will move back to Microsoft as part of the $7.2 billion takeover. He is also a candidate to succeed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer."
MTorrice writes "The same wells that energy companies drill to extract natural gas from shale formations could become repositories to store large quantities of carbon dioxide. A new computer model suggests that wells in the Marcellus shale, a 600-sq-mile formation in the northeastern U.S. that is a hotbed for gas extraction, could store half the CO2 emitted by the country's power plants from now until 2030."
interviewed Brad Kuhn in his then-role as VP of the Free Software Foundation. Kuhn is still involved with the FSF, but has gone on, after a stint as CTO for the Software Freedom Law Center, to concentrate his efforts as President, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. The Conservancy offers organization and support to copylefted and permissively licensed software, and Brad explains in the video below what that entails, as well as where the Conservancy fits in the expanding landscape of organizations that help protect the rights of software developers. Brad makes no bones about wishing for a world where all software is Free software, but that's a big-picture goal. In the meantime, there's a lot of work to go around, just making sure that developers' chosen licenses are intelligently selected, and properly respected.
judgecorp writes "There's more than $13,000 pledged for a crowdfunded bounty for bypassing an iPhone 5S's fingerprint reader. The bounty, set up by a security expert and an exploit reseller, requires entrants to lift prints 'like from a beer mug.' It has a website — IsTouchIDHackedYet — and payments are pledged by tweets using #IsTouchIDHackedYet. One drawback: the scheme appears to rely on trust that sponsors will actually pay up." Other prizes include whiskey, books, and a bottle of wine.
KentuckyFC writes "Astronomers think that near-Earth Asteroids the size of apartment blocks number in the millions. And yet they spot new ones at the rate of only about 30 a year because these objects are so faint and fast moving. Now astronomers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have developed a technique called synthetic tracking for dramatically speeding up asteroid discovery. Insteads of long exposures in which near-Earth asteroids show up as faint streaks, the new technique involves taking lots of short exposures and adding them together in a special automated way. The trick is to shift each image so that the pixels that record the asteroid are superimposed on top of each other. The result is an image in which the asteroid is sharp point of light against a background of star streaks. They say synthetic tracking has the capability to spot 80 new near Earth asteroids each night using a standard 5 metre telescope. That'll be handy for spotting rocks heading our way before they get too close and for identifying targets for NASA's future asteroid missions."
First time accepted submitter Guy From V writes "Charles Carreon, zany lawyer and poster-child for the Streisand Effect (sorry Babs) for his lawsuit against The Oatmeal creator Mattew Innman last year in his original role as legal counsel for Funnyjunk, as reported by ArsTechnica, seems to have finally called it quits. In other news, the River Styx has reportedly dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit."
cold fjord writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Most of what humanity knows about the outer planets came back to Earth on plutonium power. ... The characteristics of this metal's radioactive decay make it a super-fuel. ... there is no other viable option. Solar power is too weak, chemical batteries don't last, nuclear fission systems are too heavy. So, we depend on plutonium-238, a fuel largely acquired as by-product of making nuclear weapons. But there's a problem: We've almost run out. 'We've got enough to last to the end of this decade. That's it,' said Steve Johnson, a nuclear chemist at Idaho National Laboratory. And it's not just the U.S. reserves that are in jeopardy. The entire planet's stores are nearly depleted. ... what's left has already been spoken for and then some. ... Political ignorance and shortsighted squabbling, along with false promises from Russia, and penny-wise management of NASA's ever-thinning budget still stand in the way of a robust plutonium-238 production system." The plutonium shortage has been deepening for a long time, leading to some creative solutions. The Wired article alludes to the NASA project underway to create more, but leans toward gloom.
kylus writes "The Register is reporting that Oracle's new Java 7 update 40 release comes complete with a new 'Deployment Rule Set' capability which allows administrators to define which particular applets and Java Web Start applications ('Rich Internet Applications') are permitted to run on a given machine. Not a complete solution for the recent trend of Java hacks that have cropped up, but good news for enterprises that have to run this in their environment." Update: 09/19 20:08 GMT by U L : There's an introduction to deploying rule sets on the Java platform group weblog too.
An anonymous reader writes "The openSUSE Linux distribution looks like it may be the first major Linux distribution to ship the Btrfs file-system by default. The openSUSE 13.1 release is due out in November and is still using EXT4 by default, but after that the developers are looking at having openSUSE using Btrfs by default on new installations. The Btrfs features to be enabled would be the ones the developers feel are data-safe."
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Liz Stinson reports that 'Shadow,' a new app recently launched on Kickstarter, will make recording and remembering your dreams simple. 'There's a lot going on in the subconscious mind that if you can start to pull out little details, you start to get a wider picture of yourself,' says designer Hunter Lee Soik. Most of the time, alarm clocks abruptly blast through your consciousness, ripping you from the depths of sleep. In contrast, Shadow's alarm system gradually transitions users through their hypnopompic state, that not-quite-asleep, not-quite-awake phase, which has be proven to help you better remember your dreams. Once you deactivate the alarm, users are prompted to record their dreams either via voice or typing text. The app then transcribes your dreams and stores them in an ever-growing digital dream journal that keeps track of your long-term dream and sleep patterns and helps you visualize patterns and make connections between your sleep patterns, daily life, and what you dream about. 'We're socialized to think of sleep as inactivity, but certain parts of our brain — the parts that handle things like problem solving and memory — are most active while we're sleeping,' says Soik. 'That's a huge amount of potential data we're forgetting each morning.'" I prefer a notebook on the nightstand, myself.
Olivier Bonaventure writes "Besides changes in UI, multitasking and other features that the press discusses, iOS7 also includes support for Multipath TCP. Multipath TCP is a major extension to TCP that is able to use different interfaces for the same connection. Until now, Multipath TCP has been mainly used by researchers with a modified Linux kernel. iOS7 changes that, with millions of Multipath-TCP enabled devices that can switch from 3G to WiFi without losing existing TCP connections. This is not yet the case on iOS7, which currently seems to only enable it for SIRI, but other use cases will likely appear in the future."
theodp writes "To paraphrase Sean Parker: "Flying your fleet of planes using NASA-discounted fuel isn't cool, you know what's cool? Flying your fleet of planes using zero-cost fuel." Having piqued CEO Larry Page's interest with its solar and battery-powered aircraft, Solar Impulse is partnering with Google to promote its goal of circumnavigating the globe in 2015, a Green Movement take on Wiley Post's 1933 achievement."
First time accepted submitter trickstyhobbit writes "Former Nintendo president and majority stockholder Hiroshi Yamauchi has died. He was president of the company for over 50 years and saw the development of the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and GameCube among other devices." His career at Nintendo is worth reading about.
judgecorp writes "Twenty-three British universities are contributing to a British provider of "massive open online courses" (MOOCs) by the name of FutureLearn. Backed by long-established expert, The Open University, which has been doing remote learning for 44 years, the British MOOC provider aims to compete with US outfits such as Khan Academy and Coursera."
An anonymous reader writes "The highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V was released at midnight yesterday, and to no surprise has managed to break the record for highest sales in 24 hours. Distributors Take-Two Interactive have announced that the game has managed to achieve a staggering $800m (£490m) worth of sales within the first day, and is certainly going to break the forecasted $1 billion within the week. The record was previous held by Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops which made $500m within 24 hours in 2009. The game also holds the title for the quickest entertainment product to achieve $1 billion in sales as they hit the mark by day 15."
darthcamaro writes "At the Linuxcon conference in New Orleans today, Linus Torvalds joined fellow kernel developers in answering a barrage of questions about Linux development. One question he was asked was whether a government agency had ever asked about inserting a back-door into Linux. Torvalds responded 'no' while shaking his head 'yes,' as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter. Torvalds also admitted that while he as a full life outside of Linux he couldn't imagine his life without it. 'I don't see any project coming along being more interesting to me than Linux,' Torvalds said. 'I couldn't imagine filling the void in my life if I didn't have Linux.'"