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Businesses

+ - 188 (MSFT's Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Privacy)

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "GeekWire reports that Microsoft is sticking to its decision to implement 'Do-Not-Track’ as the default for IE 10, despite drawing the ire of corporate America, the Apache Software Foundation, and the FTC Chairman. Representatives of a veritable Who's Who of Corporate America — e.g., GM, IBM, BofA, Walmart, Merck, Allstate, AT&T, Motorola — signed off on a letter blasting Microsoft for its choice. 'By presenting Do Not Track with a default on,' the alliance argues, 'Microsoft is making the wrong choice for consumers.' The group reminds Microsoft that Apache — whose Platinum Sponsors include Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo — has branded Microsoft’s actions a deliberate abuse of open standards and designed its software to ignore the 'do-not-track' setting if the browser reaching it is IE 10. It also claims that the FTC Chairman, formerly supportive of Microsoft's privacy efforts, now recognizes 'the harm to consumers that Microsoft’s decision could create.' So, is this a watershed moment for consumers? Will Microsoft cave under the pressure?"
Crime

+ - 235 Verizon Tech given 4-year federal prison sentence for $4.5M Equipment Scam->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "Michael Baxter, the network engineer at the southeastern regional headquarters of Verizon Wireless that submitted hundreds of fraudulent service requests to Cisco (SLASHDOT Article from December 12, 2011: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/12/12/0431246/verizon-tech-charged-in-45m-equipment-scam), has been sentenced to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Baxter was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to Cisco Systems, and $462,828 in restitution to Verizon.

Instead of placing the replacement parts into service in the Verizon Wireless network, Baxter took the parts home and sold them to third-party re-sellers for his own profit. He used the money to buy cars, jewelry and multiple cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend."

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+ - 142 Quantum measurements leave Schrödinger's cat alive->

Submitted by Walking The Walk
Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "Your co-workers who keep using Schrödinger's cat metaphor may need to find a new one. New Scientist reports that

by making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world.

"

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Google

+ - 93 Google Glass, Augmented Reality Spells Data Headaches->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google seems determined to press forward with Google Glass technology, filing a patent for a Google Glass wristwatch. As pointed out by CNET, the timepiece includes a camera and a touch screen that, once flipped up, acts as a secondary display. In the patent, Google refers to the device as a “smart-watch.”

Whether or not a Google Glass wristwatch ever appears on the marketplace—just because a tech titan patents a particular invention doesn’t mean it’s bound for store shelves anytime soon—the appearance of augmented-reality accessories brings up a handful of interesting issues for everyone from app developers to those tasked with handling massive amounts of corporate data.

For app developers, augmented-reality devices raise the prospect of broader ecosystems and spiraling complexity. It’s one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets—but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone’s left eye?"

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HP

+ - 763 HP plans to cut product lines; turnaround in 2016 ->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman told financial analysts today that it will take until 2016 to turn the company around. Surprisingly, Whitman put some of the blame for the company's woes on its IT systems, which she said have hurt its internal operations. To fix its IT problems, Whitman said the company is adopting Salesforce and HR system, Workday. The company also plans to cut product lines. It said it makes 2,100 different laser printers alone; it wants to reduce that by half. "In every business were going to benefit from focusing on a smaller number of offerings that we can invest in and really make matter," said Whitman."
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+ - 188 Shakedowns to Fix Negative Online Reviews->

Submitted by unjedai
unjedai (966274) writes "A company is putting horrible reviews of small business online, and then offering to improve the company's reputation and take the reviews off for a fraction of the cost that a real reputation improvement company would charge. Sierra West received a call from a "reputation improvement company" telling them they had a negative review online and that the company would take the review offline if Sierra West paid $500. "Of course when someone is offering $500 the day (the bad review) goes up seemed not legitimate.""
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Piracy

+ - 239 MPAA chief admits: SOPA and PIPA "are dead, they're not coming back."->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "Dodd sounded chastened, with a tone that was a far cry from the rhetoric the MPAA was putting out in January. "When SOPA-PIPA blew up, it was a transformative event," said Dodd. "There were eight million e-mails [to elected representatives] in two days." That caused senators to run away from the legislation. "People were dropping their names as co-sponsors within minutes, not hours," he said.

"These bills are dead, they're not coming back," said Dodd. "And they shouldn't." He said the MPAA isn't focused on getting similar legislation passed in the future, at the moment. "I think we're better served by sitting down [with the tech sector and SOPA opponents] and seeing what we agree on."

Still, Dodd did say that some of the reaction to SOPA and PIPA was "over the top"—specifically, the allegations of censorship, implied by the black bar over Google search logo or the complete shutdown of Wikipedia. "DNS filtering goes on every day on the Internet," said Dodd. "Obviously it needs to be done very carefully. But five million pages were taken off Google last year [for IP violations]. To Google's great credit, it recently changed its algorithm to a point where, when there are enough complaints about a site, it moves that site down on their page—which I applaud.""

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It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - 133 Why Klout's Social Influence Scores Are Nonsense->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "Klout is a new social media service that attempts to quantify how much "influence" you have, based on your social media profile. Their metrics are bizarre — privacy blogger Dan Tynan has been rated as highly influential on the topic of cigars, despite having only smoked one, decades ago. Nevertheless, Klout scores have real-world consequences, with people deemed influential getting discounts on concert tickets or free access to airport VIP lounges (in hopes that they'll tweet about it, presumably)."
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Science

+ - 229 Exoplanets form never-seen-before celestial alignment ->

Submitted by CelestialScience
CelestialScience (2744597) writes "The heavens have aligned in a way never seen before, with two exoplanets overlapping as they cross their star. Teruyuki Hirano of the University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues used data from the Kepler space telescope to probe KOI-94, a star seemingly orbited by four planets. It seems that one planet candidate, KOI-94.03, passed in front of the star and then the innermost candidate, KOI-94.01, passed between the two. The phenomenon is so new it doesn't yet have a name though suggestions include "planet-planet eclipse", "double transit", "syzygy" and "exosyzygy"."
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The Internet

+ - 146 Regulators smash global phone tech support scam operation-> 1

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "Zack Whittaker, ZDNet News: The FTC announced a crackdown on a massive international computer tech support scam that allegedly swindled tens of thousands of consumers in six countries.
Regulators from five countries joined together in an operation to crack down on a series of companies orchestrating one of the most widespread Internet scams of the decade. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other international regulatory authorities today said they shut down a global criminal network that bilked tens of thousands of consumers by pretending to be tech support providers. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, speaking during a press conference with a Microsoft executive and regulators from Australia and Canada, said 14 companies and 17 individuals were targeted in the investigation. In the course of the crackdown, U.S. authorities already have frozen $188,000 in assets, but Leibowitz said that would increase over time thanks to international efforts."

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Earth

+ - 154 Earthquakes Correlated with Texan Fracking Sites-> 1

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A recent peer reviewed paper and survey by Cliff Frohlich, of the University of Texas' Institute for Geophysics, reveals a correlation between an increase in earthquakes and the emergence of fracking sites in the Barnett Shale, Texas. To clarify, it is not the actual act of hydrofracking that induces earthquakes but more likely the final process of injecting wastewater into the site according to Oliver Boyd, a USGS seismologist. Boyd said, "Most, if not all, geophysicists expect induced earthquakes to be more likely from wastewater injection rather than hydrofracking. This is because the wastewater injection tends to occur at greater depth where earthquakes are more likely to nucleate. I also agree [with Frohlich] that induced earthquakes are likely to persist for some time (months to years) after wastewater injection has ceased." Frohlich added, "Faults are everywhere. A lot of them are stuck, but if you pump water in there, it reduces friction and the fault slips a little. I can't prove that that's what happened, but it's a plausible explanation." In the US alone this correlation has been noted several times."
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Hardware

+ - 103 Lenovo announces plans to bring manufacturing back to the US->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "One of the major themes of the ongoing presidential election in the United States has been the perceived need to bring product manufacturing back to the United States. A recent announcement from Lenovo is going to play to this point; the PC manufacturer said today that it’s building a US location in Whitsett, North Carolina. The new facility is small, with just over 100 people and is being built for a modest $2M, but Lenovo states that it’s merely the beginning of a larger initiative."
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The Internet

+ - 158 IETF starts work on next-generation HTTP standard->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "With an eye towards updating the Web to better accommodate complex and bandwidth-hungry applications, the Internet Engineering Task Force has started work on the next generation of HTTP, the underlying protocol for the Web. "It's official: We're working on HTTP/2.0," wrote IETF Hypertext Transfer Protocol working group chair Mark Nottingham, in a Twitter message late Tuesday. The group will use the IETF standard SPDY protocol as the basis for the updated protocol. Engineers at Google developed SPDY as a way to hasten the delivery of Web content over the Internet."
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Microsoft

+ - 147 Does M$ Office hack Open Office? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On my new Mac Air, I installed Open Office and created a slide deck. Yesterday, I installed Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. Afterwards, when I open my Open Office slide, I noticed it was all messed up and would take a long time to fix. Suspecting that Office hacked Open Office, I downloaded and re-installed Open Office. Re-installling Open Office fixed the problem.
Does anyone else has similar experience? Is Microsoft hacking open source software now?"
Science

+ - 97 Pilot Crashes Jetliner Deliberately...For TV Documentary->

Submitted by OverTheGeicoE
OverTheGeicoE (1743174) writes "The producers of the Discovery Channel's Curiosity documentary series are about to start their new season in an interesting way: they decided to purchase and deliberately crash a Boeing 727. Why? To find out more about airline passenger crash survival. The plane is, of course, unmanned at the time of the crash into the Mexican desert, and it appears to have little to no fuel on board, judging by the lack of a fireball (video). In other airliner crashes, including both tests and genuine disasters, fireballs (video) were (video) common (video of 9/11). Will this documentary give people a false sense of security about their chances of surviving an airline crash? Does the low-speed, low-fuel crash test trivialize the largest danger, fuel fires, both for passengers and bystanders on the ground?"
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+ - 227 Starting next year, Brazil wants to track all cars electronically-> 1

Submitted by
juliohm
juliohm writes "As of Januay, Brazil intends to put into action a new system that will track vehicles of all kinds via radio frequency chips. It will take a few years to accomplish, but authorities will eventually require all vehicles to have an electronic chip installed, which will match every car to its rightfull owner. The chip will send the car's identification to antennas on highways and streets, soon to be spread all over the country. Eventually, it will be illegal to own a car without one.

Besides real time monitoring of traffic conditions, authorities will be able to integrate all kinds of services, such as traffic tickets, licensing and annual taxes, automatic toll charge, and much more. Benefits also include more security, since the system will make it harder for thieves to run far away with stolen vehicles, much less leave the country with one."

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NASA

+ - 172 NASA ponders what to do with a pair of free space telescopes->

Submitted by scibri
scibri (2544842) writes "A few months ago, the secretive National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA two Hubble-sized space telescopes that it didn't want anymore.

Now the space agency has to figure out what to do with them, and whether it can afford it. The leading candidate to use one of the telescopes is the the proposed Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST), which would search for the imprint of dark energy, find exoplanets and study star-forming regions of the Galaxy. The NRO telescope could speed up the mission, but may end up costing more in the long run."

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