Submission + - Should hosting companies have change freezes?

AngryDad writes: Today I received a baffling email from my hosting provider that said "We have a company-wide patching freeze and we will not be releasing patches to our customers who utilize the patching portal for the months of November and December". This means that myself and all other customers of theirs who run Windows servers will have to live with several critical holes for at least two months. Is this common practice with mid-tier hosting providers? If so, may I ask Eastern-EU folks to please refrain from hacking my servers during the holiday season?

Submission + - Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies (

concealment writes: "Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying.

"The companies now hold the State liable for all damages caused by the levies," the hardware vendors said in a joint news release on Wednesday. Trade association FIAR Consumer Electronics, which has as members companies such as Samsung, Sharp, Sony and LG, is also a party to the litigation. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the District Court of The Hague."


Submission + - Outrage in India over arrests for Facebook posts (

concealment writes: "As India's financial capital shut down for the weekend funeral of a powerful politician linked to waves of mob violence, a woman posted on Facebook that the closures in Mumbai were "due to fear, not due to respect." A friend of hers hit the "like" button.

For that, both women were arrested.

Analysts and the media are slamming the Maharashtra state government for what they said was a flagrant misuse of the law and an attempt to curb freedom of expression. The arrests were seen as a move by police to prevent any outbreak of violence by supporters of Bal Thackeray, a powerful Hindu fundamentalist politician who died Saturday."


Submission + - Judge Demands Email And Facebook Passwords From Women In Sexual Harassment Case

An anonymous reader writes: Back in September, a US judge ruled that a school district violated the First Amendment (freedom of speech) and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) rights of a 12-year-old student by forcing her to hand over her Facebook password to school officials who in turn used it to search for messages they deemed inappropriate. This month, another US judge has ordered that women suing their employer for sexual harassment must hand over cell phones, passwords to their email accounts, blogs, as well as to Facebook and other social networks.

Submission + - Brazil And Peru Dispute .Amazon Domain (

judgecorp writes: " could lose the ",amazon" domain, as Brazil and Peru have disputed the retailer's application to ICANN, backed by other South American governments, who want to protect use of that domain for “purposes of public interest related to the protection,promotion and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome”."

Submission + - The latest craze? High-voltage fences promise to zap would-be copper thieves ( 1

coondoggie writes: "It may be a gimmick or maybe the ultimate answer, but a California city this week Ok'd a draft ordinance that would let businesses install 7,000 volt electric fences to protect sites from rampant copper thieves. As reported by the Sacramento CBS station, the reaction form one business owner to the ordinance says it all: "It'll be a little fun to watch one of these guys get electrocuted holding my fence trying to rob me.""

Submission + - Hardware vendors sue Dutch government over copyright levies (

An anonymous reader writes: Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Dell and Imation are suing the Dutch government over new levies on hard disks, smartphones, tablets and MP3 players that are meant to compensate the music and movie industries for losses caused by home copying.

The entertainment industry estimates lost income of €40 million, which is much too high, according to the hardware companies. "That amount is excessive and completely unfounded," they said. The €40 million also incorporates damages for illegally downloaded music and movies which, according to the companies, legally cannot be recovered by a levy on devices. Furthermore the Dutch government established a levy on all devices including devices for professional use that are not used for private copying, they said.

The companies are also suing the Dutch Home Copying Foundation (Stichting de Thuiskopie), which is responsible for the collection of the levies, demanding that the foundation pay collected levies back to the hardware makers.


Submission + - Climate change evident across Europe, says report (

Dupple writes: Following on from a world bank report of 4 degree C warmer world, comes this story from the BBC

The effects of climate change are already evident in Europe and the situation is set to get worse, the European Environment Agency has warned.

"Every indicator we have in terms of giving us an early warning of climate change and increasing vulnerability is giving us a very strong signal," observed EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade.


Submission + - NASA Working on Getting Rid of the "New Satellite" Smell (

Zothecula writes: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is working to eliminate new car smell. No, they aren't a bunch of killjoys. That distinctive odor is caused by outgassing of chemicals used in car manufacturing. Some scientists believe these gases to be harmful, but whether they are or not, satellites suffer from the same problem. The gases released by satellites themselves can damage them, so NASA is working on new ways to control or eliminate these emissions.

Submission + - AT&T enables FaceTime over cellular for all, including unlimited data users (

zacharye writes: When AT&T announced earlier this year that it would support FaceTime video calling on Apple’s iPhone over cellular data connections only for those customers who switched to new shared data plans, people were not happy. The backlash came fast and furious, and some advocacy groups questioned whether or not the new policy was legal. AT&T eventually buckled under the pressure and said users with any tiered data plan and an LTE-enabled device would be able to use FaceTime over cellular. The move was seen as a big step in the right direction, but AT&T confirmed that the many iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans still would not be able to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections. As it turns out, however, AT&T may have quietly reversed that decision as well...

Submission + - Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers to Boost Luxury Sales (

SternisheFan writes: Benetton Group SpA is among fashion brands deploying mannequins equipped with technology used to identify criminals at airports to watch over shoppers in their stores. Retailers are introducing the EyeSee, sold by Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA, to glean data on customers much as online merchants are able to do. The 4,000-euro ($5,072) device has spurred shops to adjust window displays, store layouts and promotions to keep consumers walking in the door and spending.
    The EyeSee looks ordinary enough on the outside, with its slender polystyrene frame, blank face and improbable pose. Inside, it’s no dummy. A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police. It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by. Demand for the device shows how retailers are turning to technology to help personalize their offers as growth slows in the $245 billion luxury goods industry. Bain & Co. predicts the luxury market will expand 5 percent in 2012, less than half last year’s rate.
    “It’s a changing landscape but we’re always going to be sensitive about respecting the customer’s boundaries,” said spokesman Colin Johnson. Others say profiling customers raises legal and ethical issues. U.S. and European Union regulations permit the use of cameras for security purposes, though retailers need to put up signs in their stores warning customers they may be filmed. Watching people solely for commercial gain may break the rules and could be viewed as gathering personal data without consent, says Christopher Mesnooh, a partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse in Paris. “If you go on Facebook, before you start the registration process, you can see exactly what information they are going to collect and what they’re going to do with it,” said Mesnooh. “If you’re walking into a store, where’s the choice?” So far Almax hasn’t faced obstacles to selling the dummy, CEO Catanese said. Since the EyeSee doesn’t store any images, retailers can use it as long as they have a closed-circuit television license, he said.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Entries open for first ever 24-hour Raspberry Pi hackathon (

concertina226 writes: Called the Raspberry Pi “hack day”, the competition will pit 100 entrants against one another in a number of categories using only the board, Internet access, soldering irons and as much coding as they think appropriate.

Participants will have 24-hours to complete projects, at the end of which judges will category winners will be awarded from a variety of prizes including camcorders, Android tablets and the geek must-have, the Hubsan H107 Quadcopter.


Submission + - Microsoft accidentally gifts pirates with a free Windows 8 Pro license key ( 1

MrSeb writes: "In an amusing twist that undoubtedly spells the end of some hapless manager’s career, Microsoft has accidentally gifted pirates with a free, fully-functioning Windows 8 license key. As you have probably surmised, this isn’t intentional — Microsoft hasn’t suddenly decided to give pirates an early Christmas present (though the $40 upgrade deal from Windows 8 Release Preview is something of a pirate amnesty). In fact, it’s probably just a case of poor testing and a rushed release by Microsoft. The bug involves the Key Management Service, which is part of Microsoft's Volume Licensing system. Pirates have already hacked the KMS to activate Windows 8 for 180 days — but this is just a partial activation. Now it turns out that the free Media Center Pack license keys that Microsoft is giving out until January 31 2013 can be used on a KMS-activated copy of Windows 8 to turn it into a fully licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro. The massive irony, of course, is that Microsoft originally intended to strip Media Center from Windows 8 Pro — and then, in the face of consumer backlash, decided to offer it as a free upgrade until January 31 2013. Presumably, instead of taking the time to deliver the upgrade properly, Microsoft pushed it out the door as quickly as possible — and this is the result."

Submission + - Form1 3D printer and Kickstarter get sued for patent infringment (

An anonymous reader writes: 3D Systems, one of the big fish in 3D printer manufacturing files a suit against Formlabs's hugely polular Form1 printer put forth on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding effort has ammassed close to 3M US Dollars, of an initial 100K requested. 3D Systems accuses Formlabs and Kickstarter of knowingly infringing one of it's still valid blanket patents on stereolythography and cross-sectional printing of 3D objects. The company is probably going to go for the kill, as one can deduct from the demands on their complaint:

Submission + - Jolla Unveils Sailfish Operating System From the Ashes of MeeGo [VIDEO] (

AlistairCharlton writes: Jolla, the start-up built after Nokia abandoned the MeeGo mobile operating system in favour of Windows Phone, has shown off its Sailfish OS in public for the first time.

With an emphasis on easy multitasking, the Sailfish operating system works in a similar way to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, in that open apps, menus and more information can be accessed with a single swipe from the home screen.


Submission + - Making Sense Of Colors And Shapes In The Toilet (

mjjochen writes: Just in time for the big American eating festival known as Thanksgiving, comes this NPR story on the shape and color of our bodily waste products. Discussion on the color, shape, smell, & even taste are included. Now we can have just as much fun analyzing things after the meal as we did consuming the meal — for the scatologically inclined, read on!

"Here at Shots, we're all for "breaking the taboo around the toilet" (see our recent posts on squatting and fake feces). And we get the sense that there's more confusion out there about what ends up in the toilet than most people would care to admit. And so for World Toilet Day, we're sharing a couple of infographics we stumbled upon recently."

Submission + - Jolla unveils Sailfish OS (

ryzvonusef writes: The date we were promised an introduction to Sailfish is here, and it turns out Jolla's not just targeting smartphones with its MeeGo-based OS, but tablets, smart TVs and other devices, too. Jolla has kept its OS under wraps until now, but it wants Sailfish to be an open-source affair which "will be built through community involvement and participation." The SDK is being released today, and we should get a look at the UI during a presentation occurring shortly. We're assured superb multitasking capabilities, as well as deep personalization and "fast and effortless interaction." Jolla has said Sailfish will be available for use with "multiple chipset technologies," and is already supported on ST-Ericsson's NovaThor platforms. It's also reported that it's partnering with Finnish carrier DNA to promote and sell Sailfish smartphones on home turf.

You can watch the livestream here:


Submission + - Nose cell transplants allow paralyzed dogs to walk again (

cylonlover writes: Scientists from the University of Cambridge’s Veterinary School, working with colleagues from the UK Medical Research Council’s Regenerative Medicine Centre, have got disabled dogs walking again. More specifically, they’ve used the dogs’ own cells to repair their spinal cord injuries, and at least partially restored the functionality of their back legs. The researchers believe that the process shows promise for use on physically challenged humans.

The cells in question are known as olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), and they aid in growing the nerve fibers that allow the nose to communicate with the brain. One of the more unusual qualities of the mammalian olfactory system is its ability to regenerate itself throughout adulthood – this is due to the activity of the OECs.


Submission + - Jolla mobile set to launch it's Sailfish OS today ( 1

zzats writes: The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla, started by ex-Nokia Meego engineers, is showing it's Linux-based Sailfish OS for the public for the first time today. The first (supposedly generic) keynote speech is scheduled to air 9:15 GMT, with an UI-focused presentation starting later, 15:00 GMT. In addition to using the OS on their own devices, Jolla is planning to license it to third party manufacturers. The company has previously stated their initial focus for creating an ecosystem is in the Chinese market.

Submission + - Microsoft Banned GPLv3 From UEFI Secure Boot Solutions (

sfcrazy writes: Microsoft may have attracted some headlines and discussion on Slashdot for being a 'sponsor' at the Linux Foundation's Europe event LinuxCon. But this sponsor is not giving the Linux Foundation any special treatment when it comes to UEFI Secure boot. The Foundation's James Bottomley says how challenging the process is and they are still waiting for Microsoft's response to get the signed bootloader. Some key findings are:
1. Microsoft has banned GPLv3 and similar licences to be used in bootloader
2. There are some agreements that you have to sign with Microsoft with go beyond UEFI. These can be problematic.