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Google

+ - 119 What happens when you die at Google?->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "Forbe's Meghan Casserly writes:
    It's no surprise that the employee benefits of Google are among the best in the land—free haircuts, gourmet food, on-site doctors and high-tech “cleansing” toilets are among the most talked-about—but in a rare interview with Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock I discovered that the latest perk for Googlers extends into the afterlife. “This might sound ridiculous,” Bock told me recently in a conversation on the ever-evolving benefits at Google, “But we’ve announced death benefits at Google.” We were scheduled for a talk on Google’s widening age-gap (the oldest Googler is currently 83); I wanted to know how child-and healthcare benefits have evolved as the company scaled."

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Science

+ - 125 'Smart Fingertips' Pave Way for Virtual Sensations->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Imagine feeling like you’re lifting a 50-kilogram weight just by pulling at thin air. That’s just one of the possible applications of new "smart fingertips" created by a team of nanoengineers. The electronic fingers mold to the shape of the hand, and so far the researchers have shown that they can transmit electric signals to the skin. The team hopes to one day incorporate the devices into a smart glove that creates virtual sensations, fooling the brain into feeling everything from texture to temperature."
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The Military

+ - 93 The U.S. Spent Two Decades Trying to Develop "Peaceful" Nukes 2

Submitted by hellboundunicorn
hellboundunicorn (2606559) writes "This week is the 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, introducing the world to the specter of nuclear war, which has since faded but will never disappear. Despite that, some scientists and politicians tried to find something redemptive in the most powerful weapons ever built.

Its destructive force aside, the bomb represented the pinnacle of American scientific development in the mid-20th century. And even as scientists like J. Robert Oppenheimer seemed rather horrified at what they’d unleashed, others like Edward Teller became more consumed by the scientific possibilities of the atomic age.

As the Cold War heated up, Teller became obsessed with using actual atomic bombs for civil engineering. Thanks to that type of numbers-driven thinking — if a bomb is as powerful as a million tons of TNT, why not use it to reshape the Panama Canal? — as well as Teller’s incessant prodding, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) created Project Chariot. The mission: to create a new port in northwestern Alaska using a series of underwater nuclear explosions."
Security

+ - 110 Blizzard Says Battle.net Has Been Hacked->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Blizzard announced today that its Battle.net service was compromised. The company is urging users to change their login information immediately. Blizzard is stressing that payment information was not compromised."
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NASA

+ - 213 NASA Upgrades Mars Curiosity Software ... From 350M Miles Away->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Picture doing a remote software upgrade. Now picture doing it when the machine you're upgrading is a robotic rover sitting 350 million miles away, on the surface of Mars. That's what a team of programmers and engineers at NASA are dealing with as they get ready to download a new version of the flight software on the Mars rover Curiosity, which landed safely on the Red Planet earlier this week. 'We need to take a whole series of steps to make that software active. You have to imagine that if something goes wrong with this, it could be the last time you hear from the rover,' said Steve Scandore, a senior flight software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 'It has to work,' he told Computerworld. 'You don't' want to be known as the guy doing the last activity on the rover before you lose contact.'"
Link to Original Source
NASA

+ - 221 NASA Morpheus Lander Explosion

Submitted by DishpanMan
DishpanMan (2487234) writes "For every success story from NASA like Curiosity, there is a failure story, like today's Morpheus project test flight at Kennedy Sapce Center. http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/exploration/morpheus/index.html. The project is trying to build a low cost Moon and Asteroid lander using clean fuels on a shoestring budget. While tethered flight test were successful, today's actual flight test ended in a crash and a ball of fire followed by a spectacular explosion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hvlG2JtMts Initial feedback points to hardware failure, but the investigation is still ongoing."

+ - 134 Craigslist drops exclusive license to your posts->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "Last week on Slashdot we read the bad news, i.e. "Craigslist Demands Exclusivity For Postings", an odd demand which would have prevented ad-content on Craigslist from being advertised anywhere else but Craigslist. Thankfully, today we read from the EFF, the Good News: Craigslist drops exclusive license to your posts.

Perhaps they can now apply their ambitions toward improving Craigslist in other ways?"

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Music

+ - 170 Humble Bundle: Linux Users Pay Most For Music Too-> 2

Submitted by dylan_-
dylan_- (1661) writes "It's well known that in the various game Humble Bundles — pay whatever you want for a variety of games — Linux users have consistently been the ones who voluntarily pay the most. Some have attributed this to the lack of games on Linux but the latest Bundle is for music rather than games and the trend continues. Linux users paying an average of $11.95, Mac $9.92 and Windows $7.50. Perhaps the old complaint of it being more expensive to hire Linux sys-admins is correct, meaning they tend to earn more and leaving Linux users with more disposable income?"
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Android

+ - 186 Custom Android ROM Developers get OTA Update Capabilties like Carriers-> 1

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "A new service dubbed OTA Update Center has been launched that enables Android ROM developers to provide over-the-air (OTA) updates of their ROMs in a centralized and easy fashion. Custom ROM developers had very little at their disposal when it came to providing updates and when any user with such a ROM did want to apply an update, he/she was required to reinstall the new ROM from scratch that often involved deletion of backup, installation of new ROM, restoration of data. This was a lengthy process and often a deterrent when it came to updating the ROM. Also, the developers were required to have their own infrastructure whereby they would be required to host their own servers and have the required bandwidth to serve scores of downloads. The OTA Update Center changes this and provides a free to use service that is easy and noon-friendly to use. The website reads, “This project is especially for the rom devs around, to be able to implement an easy to use, and free OTA Update app.”"
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The Internet

+ - 172 U.S. Broadband Adoption of 10 Mbps and Higher Nearly Doubles in a Year->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "ok we all know that the U.S. doesn't have the fastest broadband in the world, but it is gaining 'fast' (pun intended). The latest Akamai State of the Internet report pegs U.S. adoption of High Broadband, that is broadband with access of 10 Mbps at 15 percent. While that number may not seem high, it's 95 percent higher than it was this time last year."
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Google

+ - 115 Google Smacked With $22.5M Fine Over Safari Privacy Violation->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "The US Federal Trade Commission fined Google $22.5 million for violating the privacy of people who used rival Apple's Safari web browser even after pledging not to do so. The FTC said Google had agreed with the commission in October 2011 not to place tracking cookies on or deliver targeted ads to Safari users, but then went ahead and did so.

"For several months in 2011 and 2012, Google placed a certain advertising tracking cookie on the computers of Safari users who visited sites within Google's DoubleClick advertising network," the FTC said in a statement. "Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of such tracking."

While Google agreed to the fine, it did NOT admit it had violated the earlier agreement."

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Security

+ - 128 New State-Sponsered Malware "Gauss" making the rounds->

Submitted by
EliSowash
EliSowash writes "A newly uncovered espionage tool, apparently designed by the same people behind the state-sponsored Flame malware that infiltrated machines in Iran, has been found infecting systems in other countries in the Middle East, according to Kaspersky researchers. Gauss is a nation state sponsored banking Trojan which carries a warhead of unknown designation. Besides stealing various kinds of data from infected Windows machines, it also includes an unknown, encrypted payload which is activated on certain specific system configurations. Just like Duqu was based on the “Tilded” platform on which Stuxnet was developed, Gauss is based on the “Flame” platform."
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Education

+ - 160 For-Profit Colleges Only a Con Man Could Love->

Submitted by Dr Herbert West
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "From the Village Voice "You might not know it, but you're sitting on $117,000. That's basically how much every American is potentially worth in government student aid. Want to attend grad school? Throw in another $114,000."

Between student-aid and GI Bill programs, most for-profit schools receive 90 percent of their revenue from the American taxpayer, which means that even a school with no accreditation has little or no stake in seeing students graduate-- they get paid regardless. Nearly 80 percent of students won't complete their program within six years—almost double the failure rate at traditional schools. You'd think that might be due to the fact that kids today are lazy good-for-nothings-- however, Bridgepoint Education/University of the Rockies (owned by Warburg Pincus, a New York private-equity firm) just 50 full-time faculty members are available to teach 90,000 online students. This is at a school that received its accreditation simply by buying up a Franciscan college in Clinton, Iowa.

Unsurprisingly, three-quarters of all for-profit students are enrolled at schools owned by Wall Street banks and private-equity firms such as Goldman Sachs.

I know I was raised to believe that a college education was key to some measure of financial independence and success-- increasingly it's looking like a predatory scam designed to keep the most vulnerable members of society in a debt spiral without even a degree to show for it."

Link to Original Source

+ - 191 Brazilian telephony operator TIM drops calls on purpose->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A recently produced report by the Brazilian Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANATEL) confirms what many clients — myself included — have long suspected, TIM disconnects its customer calls on purpose. TIM offers voice plans charged either by minute or by call, the latter appeals to a larger audience because one call, regardless of its duration, costs only 25 cents even if it's long distance. However the report discovered that these calls have a drop rate 300% higher than those charged by minute which strongly suggests that they are disconnected on purpose, to maximize profits. More details (in Portuguese) here: http://g1.globo.com/parana/noticia/2012/08/tim-derruba-os-sinais-de-clientes-de-forma-proposital-aponta-relatorio.html"
Link to Original Source

+ - 190 TextMate 2 released as open source->

Submitted by DaBombDotCom
DaBombDotCom (1587833) writes "Allan Odgaard, the author of the popular text editor for Mac OS X, TextMate has posted on his blog:

"Today I am happy to announce that you can find the source for TextMate 2 on GitHub.

I’ve always wanted to allow end-users to tinker with their environment, my ability to do this is what got me excited about programming in the first place, and it is why I created the bundles concept, but there are limits to how much a bundle can do, and with the still growing user base, I think the best move forward is to open source the program.

The choice of license is GPL 3. This is partly to avoid a closed source fork and partly because the hacker in me wants all software to be free (as in speech), so in a time where our platform vendor is taking steps to limit our freedom, this is my small attempt of countering such trend.""

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Open Source

+ - 142 Ouya Opens Pre-Orders After Gaining $8.6 Million in Kickstarter Funds->

Submitted by Chameleon Man
Chameleon Man (1304729) writes ""Early this morning, the Android-based Ouya console ended its run on Kickstarter with nearly $8.6 million in user donations. In recent weeks, the company has secured a number of content partners for the device, but now it's time to see if Ouya can really deliver. Interested buyers can now pre-order an Ouya on the company's website. In the U.S., one console and one controller will cost $109, one console plus two controllers will be $139, and one console and four controllers will be $199. All orders include a $10 shipping charge." Here's to hoping that an open-source console can gain a foothold in an already competitive market."
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Google

+ - 93 Google topay record$22.5M fine on privacy->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "Google is paying a record $22.5 million fine to settle allegations that it broke a privacy promise by secretly tracking millions of Web surfers who use Apple's Safari browser. It's the largest fine that the FTC has imposed against a company for violating a previous agreement with the agency. Google, Inc. isn't admitting any wrongdoing in the latest settlement. The fine isn't over Google's data collection, but for misrepresenting what was happening. Last October, Google had signed a 20-year agreement that, among other things, included a company pledge not to mislead consumers about its privacy practices"
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Science

+ - 235 Flickr photo leads to new insect discovery-> 1

Submitted by rhettb
rhettb (1067382) writes "Scientists have discovered a previously unknown species of lacewing insect after stumbling upon a series of photos posted on Flickr, according to a paper published in the journal ZooKeys. Entomologist Shaun Winterton first found evidence of the species when he randomly stumbled upon a set of photos posted by Hock Ping Guek, a Malaysian photographer. Winterton recognized the insect as a potentially new species, but needed to collect field specimen in order to formally describe it. About a year later, an individual was collected at the same site, enabling Winterton to write up the description in ZooKeys. Hock is a co-author on the paper."
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Businesses

+ - 106 The Apple vs. Samsung Trial is Already Over

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jared Newman writes that it seems that the purpose of Apple's trial against Samsung escapes most people — it isn’t about getting compensation for products that were released in 2007, it’s about protecting the products that Apple will release in 2013 and 2015 and beyond — and Apple has already won that fight. Earlier this year, Ron Amadeo of Android Police analyzed the design of Samsung’s Galaxy S III and called it “the first smartphone designed entirely by lawyers,” because it avoids nearly all of Apple’s trade dress claims against earlier products. "Unlike Samsung’s previous Galaxy S phones, the S III doesn’t have a perfectly rectangular shape with uniformly rounded corners, and size of the bezels on each side of the screen are not equal," writes Newman. "Samsung also abandoned the colorful square app icons found in earlier versions of its software and removed the stationary app tray from the phone’s app list." Win or lose, Samsung’s reputation is getting dinged in this trial. That’s why you see Conan O’Brien poking fun at Samsung, and not Apple, in a comedy skit. As Jim Dalrymple notes, $2.5 billion is chump change for Apple and in the big scheme of things, it’s not even that much for Samsung, which made $5.9 billion in profits last quarter alone. The bigger issue in this case is whether Samsung can continue to make its products look like Apple’s. "If Samsung has any pride, it’ll keep producing designs that don’t invite accusations of copying," writes Newman. "Recent products suggest that Samsung has already moved beyond that. The legal pressure has already been applied. In the future, may the best product win.""

Heisenberg may have been here.

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