Math

Submission + - STEM student refusing RFID badge now fights expulsion order->

BeatTheChip writes: "SAN ANTONIO — Lawyers representing Andrea Hernandez, a science and engineering student at John Jay High School, are fighting an expulsion notice issued a week ago for refusing to wear a Smart ID badge. To represent her, lawyers filed a preliminary court injunction, seeking legal restraints on the school. She maintains stance of refusal to wear any badge containing an RFID tag for reasons of basic privacy and conflicts with her belief system. The controversial decision for her school to adopt the NFC badges is part of the Student Locator Project, tracking attendance. Local schools started issuing the lanyard badges this fall despite parental outcry at NISD school board meetings."
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Google

Submission + - Google releases raw election polling results->

An anonymous reader writes: Last week, Nate Silver ranked Google Consumer Surveys as one of the most accurate polling firms of the 2012 US election. This week, Google has released the raw data that went into its election-day prediction, and is running a contest for interesting visualizations of that data. They provide a few examples of their own, including a WebGL globe view.
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IT

Submission + - What the presidential campaigns teach us about outsourcing->

Presto Vivace writes: "It seems that while the Obama team hired their own tech the Romney campaign outsourced theirs. Obama campaign's tech team beat Romney by using opposite strategy—"insourcing."

Despite running a campaign with about twice the money and twice the staff of Governor Mitt Romney's presidential bid, President Barack Obama's campaign under-spent Romney's on IT products and services by $14.5 million, putting the money instead into building an internal tech team. Based on an Ars analysis of Federal Election Commission filings, the Obama campaign, all-inclusive, spent $9.3 million on technology services and consulting and under $2 million on internal technology-related payroll.

According to the article they hired their own team and used open source tool and cloud based infrastructure. By contrast Romney spent a bundle on outside vendors.

The Romney campaign spent $23.6 million on outside technology services—most of it on outside "digital media" consulting and data management. It outsourced most of its basic IT operations,

"

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Transportation

Submission + - With Pot Legal, Scientists Study Detection of Impaired Drivers

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "A recent assessment by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, based on random roadside checks, found that 16.3% of all drivers nationwide at night were on various legal and illegal impairing drugs, half them high on marijuana. Now AP reports that with marijuana soon legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado, setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement because unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there's no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use and if scientists can't tell someone how much marijuana it will take for him or her to test over the threshold, how is the average pot user supposed to know? "We've had decades of studies and experience with alcohol," says Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. "Marijuana is new, so it's going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it." Driving within three hours of smoking pot is associated with a near doubling of the risk of fatal crashes. However, THC can remain in blood and saliva for highly variable times after the last use of the drug. Although the marijuana “high” only lasts three to five hours, studies of heavy users in a locked hospital ward showed THC can be detected in the blood up to a week after they are abstinent, and the outer limit of detection time in saliva tests is not known. "A lot of effort has gone into the study of drugged driving and marijuana, because that is the most prevalent drug, but we are not nearly to the point where we are with alcohol," says Jeffrey P. Michael, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired-driving director. "We don't know what level of marijuana impairs a driver.""
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Tolkien Estate Sues over Lord of the Rings Slot Machines->

An anonymous reader writes: The Tolkien Estate has filed an $80 million copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court over the use of Lord of the Rings slot machines. The complaint hinges on a contract between the estate and Warner Bros. which allows the creation of LotR merchandise but not LotR "intangibles." According to the estate (PDF), 'Not only does the production of gambling games patently exceed the scope of defendants' rights, but this infringing conduct has outraged Tolkien's devoted fan base, causing irreparable harm to Tolkien's legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works.'
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Privacy

Submission + - That was fast, Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill->

Presto Vivace writes: "Under the right conditions, online activism can be very effective. Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power — including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts — than they possess under current law.

"

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Privacy

Submission + - Student Expelled for Refusing Location Tracking RFID Badge->

Atrox Canis writes: As discussed here previously on /. the magnet school, John Jay High School in San Antonio, TX has moved forward with "full implementation" of the RFID badge program. One student has refused to wear the badge and has now been informed that she must transfer back to her home school
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Security

Submission + - Israel Infrastructure Proves Too Strong For Anonymous-> 1 1

Mephistophocles writes: Ever since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, hackers have been working overtime to strike a blow against the Israeli government’s computer systems, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Sunday. No fewer than 44 million attacks have been recorded since the operation began five days ago — with nearly all of them failing, thanks to the recent strengthening of computer defense systems in Israel.

Speaking at a special press conference at the Government Computing Center in Jerusalem about the cyber war against Israel that has accompanied Hamas’s rocket attacks, Steinitz said that hackers “are trying to disable the symbols of Israeli sovereignty, to enter web sites and install anti-Israel content, thus compromising information and data and damaging the government’s ability to serve the public.” Most of the attacks, he said, were against government sites, like the Prime Minister’s Office site, and security-related sites, such as that of the Home Front Command, the body charged with informing Israelis on how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Out of those 44 million-plus attacks on government and defense related sites, said Steinitz, only one succeeded – partially. One site, which he did not name, was “wobbly for a few minutes,” but quickly recovered. Even though the government has been successful in warding off hack attacks, Steinitz said that government sites were fully backed up and mirrored, meaning that they could be replaced by a duplicate site instantly if the original site were compromised.

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Firefox

Submission + - Firefox 17 Launches with Click-to-Play Plugin Blocks

An anonymous reader writes: As expected, Mozilla on Tuesday officially launched Firefox 17 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest addition in this release is click-to-play plugins, announced back in October. In short, the addition means Mozilla will now prompt Firefox users on Windows with old versions of Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight (more will be added eventually).
Android

Submission + - USPTO Head: Current patent litigation is 'reasonable'->

elashish14 writes: "David Kappos, head of the USPTO, today provided a strong defense of the patent system, particularly in the mobile industry. In his address, he implored critics, 'Give the [America Invents Act] a chance to work.' He then went on to proclaim the 'absolutely breakneck pace' of innovation in the smartphone industry and that the US patent system is 'the envy of the world,' though he was likely only referring to the envy of the world's lawyers. Perhaps the most laughable quote from his address: 'The explosion of litigation we are seeing is a reflection of how the patent system wires us for innovation.'"
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Software

Submission + - Google Glass could be the virtual dieting pill of the future->

MrSeb writes: "In a year or two, augmented reality (AR) headsets such as Google Glass may double up as a virtual dieting pill. New research from the University of Tokyo shows that a very simple AR trick can reduce the amount that you eat by 10% — and yes, the same trick, used in the inverse, can be used to increase food consumption by 15%, too. The AR trick is very simple: By donning the glasses, the University of Tokyo’s special software “seamlessly” scales up the size of your food. You pick up an Oreo cookie, and then the software automatically scales it up to 1.5 times its natural size. Using a deformation algorithm, the person’s hand is manipulated so that the giant Oreo appears (somewhat) natural. In testing, this simple trick was enough to reduce the amount of food eaten by 10%. The inverse is also true: shrinking the Oreo down to two-thirds its natural size increased food consumption by 15%. This new research dovetails neatly with an area of nutritional science that has received a lot of attention in the United States of Obesity recently: That the size of the serving/plate/cup/receptacle directly affects your intake. The fact is, there’s a lot more to dieting than simply reducing your calorific intake and exercising regularly. Your state of mind as you sit down to eat, and your perception of what you’re eating, are just as important — which is exciting news, because both of those factors can be hacked."
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EU

Submission + - Price of simpler European patents is an increase of software patent dangers Rea->

An anonymous reader writes: he European Union is readying a way to make the process of obtaining a patent simpler and less expensive, but it could also make it dangerously easy for litigants to block sales of their competitors' products across the region, according to a French advocacy group.

Advocacy group April has been battling the Unitary Patent because it contends the law "would increase the dangers of software patents," said Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, patent advisor at April, in an email. An E.U.-wide patent system would open the door for E.U.-wide sales bans on smartphones for instance, whereas at the moment product bans related to patent infringement cases are granted on a country-by-country basis.

Sédrati-Dinet warned that some aspects of the compromise may still be found to be contrary to European law, but the European Parliament committee said that according to their experts the compromise is legal.

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HP

Submission + - Meg Whitman & HP defrauded by Autonomy; HP stock plunges->

McGruber writes: CNBC is reporting (http://www.cnbc.com/id/49900639) that Meg Whitman claims HP was defrauded in its purchase of Autonomy.

"We believed there is a willful effort on the part of certain members of Autonomy management to mislead shareholders when Autonomy was a publicly traded company, and to mislead potential buyers including HP, Whitman said. "We stand by the forensic review that we’ve seen," she added.

I wish her the same level of success I had when I filed an eBay claim.

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Music

Submission + - Highway to Sell - AC/DC iTunes Snub Finally Over

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The LA Times reports that after years of stubbornly arguing that iTunes was, in the words of singer Brian Johnson, “going to kill music if they’re not careful,” the band has reached a deal with Apple to sell its entire catalog — 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations — through the service. AC/DC was one of the last high-profile holdouts from the digital music marketplace outlasting the Beatles, Led Zeppeli, and Pink Floyd, all of which jumped into the realm long after much of the population had accepted the downloading future. Angus Young, AC/DC’s lead guitarist (known for wearing a schoolboy’s uniform when performing), had long argued against hawking the band’s music because he didn’t like the idea of allowing for individual song downloads — submitting that the group’s albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end. “It’s like an artist who does a painting,” he said in 2008. “If he thinks it’s a great piece of work, he protects it. It’s the same thing: This is our work.”"
Security

Submission + - New Linux Rootkit Emerges->

Trailrunner7 writes: A new Linux rootkit has emerged and researchers who have analyzed its code and operation say that the malware appears to be a custom-written tool designed to inject iframes into Web sites and drive traffic to malicious sites for drive-by download attacks. The rootkit is designed specifically for 64-bit Linux systems, and while it has some interesting features, it does not appear to be the work of high-level programmer or be meant for use in targeted attacks.

The Linux rootkit does not appear to be a modified version of any known piece of malware and it first came to light last week when someone posted a quick description and analysis of it on the Full Disclosure mailing list. That poster said that his site had been targeted by the malware and some of his customers had been redirected to malicious sites.

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Chrome

Submission + - $250 Chromebook With Ubuntu Linux Is Very Fast->

An anonymous reader writes: The Google Samsung Chromebook was already interesting for its competitive $250 price-tag and that it can be loaded with Linux distributions beyond Chrome OS, but it turns out that its performance is particularly good too. When loaded with Ubuntu Linux, the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual ARM SoC on the Chrome notebook had outperformed a 1.8GHz Intel Atom, a quad-core Calxeda ARM server, and a TI OMAP4 PandaBoard.
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Businesses

Submission + - Sharp Overwhelmed By Volunteers For Early Retirement->

jfruh writes: "Sharp, the Japanese LCD supplier in dire financial straits, is trying to cut staffing by offering an early retirement package. Unfortunately, it seems Sharp employees are eager to scuttle off the sinking ship. The company was planning on cutting its headcount by about 2,000 employees with the move; instead, it had to cut short the program after getting nearly 3,000 applicants."
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Microsoft

Submission + - Poop Powers Experimental Microsoft Data Center->

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Microsoft, FuelCell Energy and a collection of local Cheyenne, Wyoming companies are collaborating on a project to supply one of Microsoft’s local data centers with biogas, in a bid to determine if what we poop can be turned into power. FuelCell and Microsoft will test a small 200-kilowatt data center with a fuel cell that can produce up to 300 kilowatts in a carbon-neutral manner. Microsoft estimates the total carbon savings at about 1,833 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour, compared to a typical fossil fuel plant. Although other data centers rely on biogas as a power source, Microsoft claims this is the first time a biogas source—specifically, a wastewater treatment facility—will be integrated directly with a data center."
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