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Microsoft

+ - 131 Did Microsoft use information about partner products in designing Surface?-> 2

Submitted by
ozmanjusri
ozmanjusri writes ""Microsoft looked at what the [PC makers] were doing, seeing if it could meet their Windows 8 needs and then took action based on that," according to Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy and formerly an executive at Advanced Micro Devices.

Microsoft partners, PC OEMs like Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Toshiba, and Sony are unhappy with Microsoft's actions as the software giant could potentially have used confidential information about their products, pricing strategies, marketing plans and more before deciding to compete with them.

Information like that could potentially be used to Microsoft's advantage."

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Advertising

+ - 152 Orbitz Showing Mac Users More Expensive Hotels-> 3

Submitted by dracocat
dracocat (554744) writes "Orbitz has discovered that Mac users pay up to 30% more for their hotels than those using Windows. In response it has begun to experiment with showing more expensive hotels to Mac users. The WSJ Article claims that this sort of targeting will only become more prevalent in the future.

The WSJ has confirmed through searches that the results for Mac users are many times more expensive than those shown to Windows users. Orbitz has replied that users always have the option to re-order by price if they don't like the initial order of hotels provided.

I generally am on board with using data to show more relevant results, but not sure how I feel about the supposed relevant results being more expensive. Is this inevitable or do we need some sort of screen bias protection?"

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+ - 102 raspberry pi - its hard to make an i/o expansion board a commercial success-> 1

Submitted by waterwingz
waterwingz (68802) writes "Today we learned about one of the first casualties of a group trying to make a business providing support hardware for the raspberry pi. The basic board has a lot of capability but it will take something like what this group was trying to do before it will compete with the arduino."
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+ - 124 Robots join search for Amelia Earhart's lost plane->

Submitted by
raque
raque writes "Following up on an earlier story.
A group of aviation archaeologists will use underwater robots along with submersibles and sonar to search for Amelia Earhart's plane. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery will search this July for the aircraft, which went down 75 years ago. "If there's wreckage there that can be recovered, we need to know what it is, how big it is, what it looks like, and what it's made of so we can prepare a recovery expedition that has equipment to raise whatever's there," said Richard Gillespie, the group's executive director.
Also explained are how this is being paid for and what FedEx did to help."

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Robotics

+ - 225 Chatbot Eugene wins biggest Turing test ever->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Eugene Goostman, a chatbot imbued with the personality of a 13 year old boy, won the biggest Turing test ever staged, on 23 June, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. Held at Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, UK, where Turing cracked the Nazi Enigma code during World War 2, the test involved over 150 separate conversations, 30 judges, 25 hidden humans and five elite, chattering software programs."Thirteen years old is not too old to know everything and not too young to know nothing," explains Eugene's creator Vladimir Veselov."
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AI

+ - 187 Apple Takes On Big Brother With Clone-Making Patent->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Apple first pitted itself against "Big Brother" — IBM, in Steve Jobs' eyes — in the famous 1984 Super Bowl ad. Nearly 30 years later, a newly granted patent reveals Apple's plans to take on "Big Brother" again, even if he isn't just one company anymore. Apple is taking on the "Little Brothers" that routinely and covertly collect user data by introducing a new technology that can help users keep their personal information hidden in cyberspace. Apple's assigned technology creates false "clones" of personal information, which are stored and executed via one's iCloud ID, that are designed to throw government agencies and big businesses off the scent of individual, private American citizens. This technique doesn't thwart data collection; instead, it overloads the electronic profiling systems that try to collect your personal information with false clones of your identity."
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Cloud

+ - 141 Multiple Rackspace Security Vulnerabilities Discovered

Submitted by
philip.paradis
philip.paradis writes "According to materials published today, several Rackspace cloud security vulnerabilities have been discovered. Problems with a Rackspace-supplied agent running on cloud servers have been documented, along with a much more severe issue with the method Rackspace has used to generate default root passwords for cloud servers. In short, root password hashes were generated using a legacy hashing function (resulting in cryptographically weaker hashes to start with) and used the system hostname as the first portion of the password.

Thus, cloud servers deployed in this manner would only consider the first eight characters of the root password significant, potentially allowing an attacker with simple knowledge of this weakness and the system's hostname to remotely log in via SSH as root. As hostnames are easily determined by a number of means, the potential for damage is significant. Additionally, evidences exists that Rackspace is storing customer root passwords internally in a recoverable format.

These issues were reported to the company, as described in the previously published Rackspace cloud security pre-advisory. To date, Rackspace has apparently mitigated some of the issues for newly deployed instances, but serious questions remain regarding the integrity of servers in the wild which were deployed using the flawed methods. As the company is a large hosting provider with well known IP space, and the time at which these problems were first manifested is unknown, the number of vulnerable servers could be significant."
News

+ - 135 Why We're Pill-Addict Meat Apologists: An Interview with Author Martha Rosenberg->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "“Can anyone remember life before ‘Ask Your Doctor’ ads?” This question opens Martha Rosenberg’s "Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health" and hangs over the proceeding chapters. Even the most hardened cynic will be taken aback after reading Rosenberg’s powerful examination of Big Pharma and Big Food, their influence and reach severely miscalculated by an often passive public. It’s a text serves as an instrument of combat against the forces which damage our health while marketing us junk and drugs we don’t need."
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+ - 167 US judge rules Netflix subject to disability act-> 1

Submitted by Joe_Dragon
Joe_Dragon (2206452) writes "A federal judge in Springfield has ruled that Netflix and other online providers that serve the public are subject to federal disabilities laws, a decision that could require TV shows and movies streamed over the Internet to include captions for the deaf or other accommodations.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Michael Ponsor rejected Netflix’s argument that it is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. He declined to dismiss an ADA lawsuit against Netflix for failing to provide captions on much of the content it streams to subscribers.

Web-based businesses did not exist when the disabilities act was enacted in 1990, the judge wrote, but the US Congress intended the law to adapt to changes in technology, and it should apply to websites.

The complaint was filed by the National Association of the Deaf, the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, and Lee Nettles, a staffer at the Stavros Center for Independent Living in Springfield.

Nettles said Netflix discriminates against the hearing-impaired, forcing them to to avoid its streaming service and pay for more expensive DVD rentals to ensure the movies and TV shows they rent are equipped with captions. “It has to be equal accessibility to all people using it,” he said. “It has to be 100 percent equality.”

Ponsor’s decision cleared the way for the lawsuit to proceed. “In a society in which business is increasingly conducted online, excluding businesses that sell services through the Internet from the ADA would ‘run afoul of the purposes of the ADA,’” he wrote.

“Online is a place,” said Wendy Parmet, professor of law at Northeastern University and a specialist on disability law. “Virtual spaces are spaces.”

Netflix said it would not comment on an ongoing legal matter. The company can appeal the ruling.

Under Ponsor’s reading of the law, all Internet businesses must add features that make their sites usable by people with disabilities, said Peter Blanck, professor of law at Syracuse University and a disability rights advocate. “The law requires that there is full and equal enjoyment of services offered by a commercial entity,” Blanck said.

Ponsor did not rule on the merits of the case itself, which must now be argued in court. But in refusing to dismiss it, he backed the concept that Internet-based businesses must make themselves as accessible to people with disabilities as brick-and-mortar companies.

The ADA is a designed to give equal rights to people with disabilities. It prompted wide-ranging changes in workplaces and public structures, from the construction of wheelchair-accessible ramps to a ban on employer discrimination against disabled workers.
Arlene Mayerson, directing attorney of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, a California advocacy group that is working on the Netflix case, said the court ruling was “making sure the ADA stays relevant by moving it into the 21st century.”

But the high cost of adding accessibility features to all online entertainment services could pose an undue burden on Internet companies and lead to reduced choices for consumers, said Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

“This forces Netflix to serve markets that it currently doesn’t find profitable to serve,” said Olson, and could prompt online video companies to refrain from stocking obscure and unusual films, to avoid the expense of adding subtitles to movies that few customers will want to see.

The Caption Center at Boston public television station WGBH has subtitled thousands of films and TV shows, according to Larry Goldberg, WGBH’s director of media access. Goldberg said it costs $400 to $800 to add captions to a movie from scratch.

On the other hand, many movies shown on Netflix have already been captioned by the film studios. Adding captions to the Internet streaming version of a film or TV program could cost Netflix $200 or less, said Goldberg.

But the implications of the judge’s decision go beyond captioning. For example, WGBH also pioneered the concept of descriptive video — a supplemental soundtrack which is used to describe on-screen action for the sight-impaired and another example of the kind of feature websites could eventually be required to offer.

The current case against Netflix does not mention descriptive video, but Steven Rothstein, president of the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, thinks that the law should mandate that online enterprises serve the blind as well as the deaf. “They’re under no obligation to provide movies to people who are blind today,” said Rothstein. “They should be.”

Syracuse professor Blanck said that making websites more accessible to people with disabilities will actually help businesses, by giving them access to millions of new customers. “I think this is a matter of corporate survival,” he said.

But he said that Tuesday’s ruling settles nothing. “Different jurisdictions have taken a different approach to this question,” he said, citing a California federal court ruling that the disabilities act applied only to online companies that also had physical locations.

“This case is almost certainly not the last word,” said Northeastern’s Wendy Parmet. “I think it’s likely at some point that this issue will get to the Supreme Court.”"

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+ - 164 Ask Slashdot: Best way to watch TV in 2012? 3

Submitted by zaba
zaba (746842) writes "Once again, I can hear the tell-tale signs of a hard drive dying. This time, it is in the DVR for one of our TVs. In the US, are we at a point where, with a little technical savvy, "cutting the cord" makes sense? If so, what are the best options? Does a refurb Roku (anywhere from 60-80 USD) make the most sense? Building a mythbox or some such make sense?

For my family of four (36, 30, 13 and 4 yo), we are paying ~100 USD/mo for two receivers (one w/DVR).

What, in your opinion, is the best option to have TV in two rooms in the house? Kid's shows could be in one room and adult shows in another. Or, all on one server (I have computers lying around) that could go to multiple rooms... We have 5 rooms total that TV would be nice in, but we really only watch TV in 2, and it will probably stay that way for a while.

We like DVR for the instant access, but saving 100 bucks/mo would be nice as well. We could also use that money every now and and again (esp. "now" for the next few months) to upgrade the system, so we have one less bill to pay.

I can drop CAT-5 as needed, but WI-FI would be preferred. For programming, we currently have "standard" cable and mostly watch the major networks. I would love to have ESPN, but can get my sports fix (mostly college football) through other means, I am sure.

How do y'all watch T.V.? What have you found to be the best way to get what you want?"
Government

+ - 139 Supreme Court 'papers please' ruling hits Arizona H-1B workers-> 2

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, H-1B workers are being advised to keep their papers on them. About half of all H-1B visa holders are employed in tech occupations. The court struck down several parts of Arizona's law but nonetheless left in place a core provision allowing police officers to check the immigration status of people in the state at specific times. How complicated this gets may depend on the training of the police officer, his or her knowledge of work visas, and whether an H-1B worker in the state has an Arizona's driver's license. An Arizona state driver's license provides the presumption of legal residency. Nonetheless, H-1B workers could become entangled in this law and suffer delays and even detention while local police, especially those officers and departments unfamiliar with immigration documentation."
Link to Original Source

+ - 141 Hackathon for the Human Brain->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Hackathons are not exactly uncommon things, whether the programmers are assembled to improve a company product or simply to tackle a particular challenge. Few of them, however, offer the chance to hack the human brain. That was the reason behind the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science’s week-long hackathon: give 30 participants from various universities and institutes, along with a smattering of technology companies, the chance to develop data-analysis tools based on the latest version of the Institute’s Allen Brain Atlas API, which was released earlier in June.

Projects and applications included that crunched a list of genes to discover disease patterns. Another translated genomic data into music—because when it comes to data-crunching and neuroscience, you can’t be deadly serious all the time."

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The Military

+ - 179 While the U.S. and Iran negotiate, war commences in Cyberspace.->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A series of reports shows that the U.S. and Israel are engaged in a cyber war with Iran to stop it from developing nuclear weapons. Oddly enough, at the same time, the United States and others nations are trying to negotiate with Iran. As America and others start the world's first undeclared cyber-wars, dangerous presidents are being set that this type of warfare is without consequences. Such ideas could not be further from from truth."
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Security

+ - 106 Our password hashing has no clothes->

Submitted by
troyhunt
troyhunt writes "Software developers have long relied on using a salt to add randomness to passwords before they’re hashed and stored in the database. The theory has always been that the unpredictability of the salt protected passwords by making them too computationally expensive to crack as it ruled out techniques such as rainbow tables which rely on pre-computed hashes. But the hardware of today – particularly GPUs – have now progressed to the point where cracking even salted passwords using fast hashing algorithms like MD5 and SHA is trivial, as this article demonstrates."
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Facebook

+ - 96 Facebook changes your email listing to @facebook.com without permission->

Submitted by coastal984
coastal984 (847795) writes "Facebook has rolled out a sweeping change to profiles few have noticed, without users' permission: Your email listing has been changed from whatever you had posted to an @facebook.com address. You have to go and change it back manually to undo the change. One would have thought Facebook would have learned it's lesson by now, but apparently they have not."
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Hardware

+ - 150 New Asus Transformer tablet debuts with high-PPI display->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "The new iPad has received a lot of attention for its high-density display, but it's not the only tablet with extra pixels. Enter Asus' Transformer Prime Infinity, which has a 10.1" screen with a 1920x1200 resolution. The display doesn't look as good as the iPad's Retina panel, which has crisper text and better color reproduction. However, the Android-based Transformer has perks the iPad lacks, like an ultra-bright backlight, a Micro HDMI port, a microSD slot, and more internal storage. The Infinity is also compatible with an optional keyboard dock that adds six hours of battery life, a touchpad, a full-sized SD slot, and a standard USB port. The Transformer's tablet component is definitely no iPad-killer. When combined with the dock, though, the resulting hybrid offers a much more flexible computing platform."
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Google

+ - 132 Miami Heat owner sues Google, blogger over 'unflattering' photo->

Submitted by
Ian Lamont
Ian Lamont writes "Ranaan Katz, a minority owner of the Miami Heat, has filed a copyright suit against Google and a blogger using Google's Blogspot service after the blogger posted an unflattering picture of Katz. The photo was taken at a basketball game, but the blog post that contains the picture alleges a "fraudulent scheme" involving Katz's commercial real estate operations. According to PaidContent, "This is the second time that Katz has sued the blogger. Last summer, Miami news outlets reported that Katz filed a defamation lawsuit against “John Doe” over critical blog posts. That lawsuit appears to have failed, likely on the grounds that Katz is a public figure and that US law is reluctant to chill free speech. The copyright lawsuit, therefore, appears to be a backdoor for Katz to go after the blogger all the same.""
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 137 Typosquatter Slapped With $1 Million Lawsuit For Harvesting Emails->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "New York-based law firm Gioconda Law Group has filed a lawsuit against self-proclaimed cyber security developer Arthur Kenzie for allegedly using typosquatting tactics to set up a bogus Web domain for intercepting email messages intended for the firm. Kenzie has similarly set up so-called doppelganger domains to harvest emails intended for companies such as McDonalds, MasterCard, NewsCorp, and McAfee, the law firm alleges. According to Gioconda, which specializes in IP protection law, Kenzie registered the domain name GiocondoLaw.com, which is strikingly similar to the firm's actual domain, GiocondaLaw.com. Kenzie has allegedly used the doppelganger domain to create fake email accounts with which to intentionally intercept private emails addressed to the firm's lawyers and staff."
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