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China

+ - 272 Following Huawei Report, US Rejects UN Telecom Proposals->

Submitted by jjp9999
jjp9999 (2180664) writes "The Epoch Times reports that on Monday, the same day the Intelligence Committee released its report cautioning against Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE, the US said it will reject major changes to telecom at the World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference in Dubai this December. The UN conference will be the first of its kind since 1988, and its members are pressing the US to hand control of governing the Internet over to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Huawei and ZTE are both members of the ITU. Terry Kramer, the US special envoy to the conference, said the US opposes proposals from some of the “nondemocratic nations” that include tracking and monitoring content and user information, which “makes it very easy for nations to monitor traffic.”"
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Businesses

+ - 166 Pandora Shares Artist Payment Figures->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today in a blog post, Pandora has shared some details of the fees they pay to musical artists for playing songs over their music streaming service. Over 2,000 different artists pull in $10,000 or more in the next year, and 800 will get paid over $50,000. They provided a few specific examples as well. Grupo Bryndis, who has a sales rank on Amazon of 183,187, is on track to receive $114,192. A few earners are getting over $1 million annually, such as Coldplay and Adele. 'Drake and Lil Wayne are fast approaching a $3 million annual rate each.' The post segues into a broader point about the age of internet radio: 'It's hard to look at these numbers and not see that internet radio presents an incredible opportunity to build a better future for artists. Not only is it bringing tens of millions of listeners back to music, across hundreds of genres, but it is also enabling musicians to earn a living. It's also hard to look at these numbers, knowing Pandora accounts for just 6.5% of radio listening in the U.S., and not come away thinking something is wrong. ... Congress must stop the discrimination against internet radio and allow it to operate on a level playing field, under the same rules as other forms of digital radio.'"
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Hardware

+ - 151 What Equipment and Furniture for an Electronics Hardware Lab?

Submitted by bartoku
bartoku (922448) writes "Slashdot, what equipment and furniture would you put in your dream electronics hardware lab?

I am putting together an electronics hardware lab and looking for suggestions on everything from equipment to furniture for the lab. My aim is for a professional grade setup, not just a hobby lab. The goal is to be able to test and debug modern electronic device prototypes. I would love to see money is no objective suggestions along side more economically practical solutions. Links or contacts for good distributors to acquire the equipment and furniture is also welcome. Also commentary on renting versus buying new or used higher end equipment to be economical and keep up with equipment that will become obsolete quickly."
Television

+ - 174 Study: Kids Under 3 Should Be Banned From Watching TV->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Doctors and government health officials should set limits, as they do for alcohol, on the amount of time children spend watching screens – and under-threes should be kept away from the television altogether, according to a paper in an influential medical journal published on Tuesday. A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned."
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Encryption

+ - 227 Phil Zimmermann's New App Protects SmartPhones from Prying Ears 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Neal Ungerleider writes that cryptography pioneer and Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) creator Phil Zimmermann has launched a new startup that provides industrial strength encryption for Android and iOS where users will have access to encrypted phone calls, emails, VoIP videoconferencing, SMS text messages, and MMS multimedia messages. Text and multimedia messages are wiped from a phone's registry after a pre-determined amount of time, and communications within the network are allegedly completely secure. An “Off-Shore” company with employees from many countries, Silent Circle's target market include troops serving abroad, foreign businesspeople in countries known for surveillance of electronic communications, government employees, human rights activists, and foreign activists. For encryption tools, which are frequently used by dissidents living under repressive regimes and others with legitimate reasons to avoid government surveillance, the consequences of failed encryption can be deadly. "Everyone has a solution [for security] inside your building and inside your network, but the big concern of the large multinational companies coming to us is when the employees are coming home from work, they're on their iPhone, Android, or iPad emailing and texting," says Zimmermann. "They're in a hotel in the Middle East. They're not using secure email. They're using Gmail to send PDFs." Another high-profile encryption tool, Cryptocat, was at the center of controversy earlier this year after charges that that Cryptocat had far too many structural flaws for safe use in a repressive environment."
Businesses

+ - 315 Mysterious Algorithm Was 4% of Trading Activity Last Week-> 1

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "A single mysterious computer program that placed orders — and then subsequently canceled them — made up 4 percent of all quote traffic in the U.S. stock market last week, according to the top tracker of high-frequency trading activity. The motive of the algorithm is still unclear.

The program placed orders in 25-millisecond bursts involving about 500 stocks, according to Nanex, a market data firm. The algorithm never executed a single trade, and it abruptly ended at about 10:30 a.m. ET Friday."

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Piracy

+ - 235 Judge orders piracy trial to test IP address evidence->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "A landmark case in the US will test whether internet piracy claims made by copyright firms will stand up in court.

Such cases rely on identifying the machines the IP address of machines from which content was illegally downloaded as evidence of wrongdoing.

Experts have questioned whether the IP address is sufficient evidence because it identifies an internet connection rather than an individual.

An adult film studio (Malibu Media) must take cases to court, a judge has ruled. Malibu Media has instigated 349 mass lawsuits, 43 in Pennsylvania this year."

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Facebook

+ - 152 Facebook tests Want button to hoard user data, save its stock price->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Facebook is currently testing "want" and "collect" buttons on roughly a third of users, but will eventually roll out the new ecommerce-focused tools to 100% of U.S. users.

The company is working with Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Neiman Marcus, Fab.com and Smith Optics.

The difference between "liking" and "wanting" would be like discovering the holy grail of datamining. Inside Facebook said that although the "Want" button is different than the Want plugin that developer Tom Waddington noticed in June, the company may eventually offer it as a plugin.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook wants to keep people on the site as opposed to leaving to visit Pinterest. Collections will offer retailers a Pinterest-like option to engage buyers, offer users a way to collect images, while also collecting even more data about users. For example, Facebook asks, "Why are you collecting this?" Regardless of a user's answer, the wants and collects will surely be used to deliver targeted ads. Eventually, the Collections feature could help Facebook generate more revenue."

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Crime

+ - 178 Insurance for Cybercriminals->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh (609154) writes "Brian Krebs follows up on a recent Slashdot discussion about a cybercrime gang that is recruiting botmasters to help with concerted heists against U.S. financial institutions. The story looks at the underground's skeptical response to this campaign, which is being led by a criminal hacker named vorVzakone ("thief in law"), who has released a series of videos about himself. vorVzakone also is offering a service called "insurance from criminal prosecution," in which miscreants can purchase protection from goons who specialize in bribing or intimidating Russian/Eastern European police into scuttling cybercrime investigations. For $100,000, the service also claims to have people willing to go to jail in place of the insured. Many in the criminal underground view the entire scheme as an elaborate police sting operation."
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Businesses

+ - 218 Apple Quietly Releases New iPods-> 1

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "At the company's media event last month, Apple introduced its fifth-generation iPod Touch and seventh-generation iPod Nano, but only mentioned an October timeframe for when it would start filling pre-orders. Without an official word, it looks like the official launch day for the new iPods is today. Apple Stores around the country are currently stocked with the new iPods and customers who pre-ordered are finally receiving email notifications that their orders have shipped, or are "preparing to ship." Still, it is interesting to note that Apple didn't make a special announcement or even post a press release to announce the launch of its newest media players, especially as the competition heats up before the holiday season."
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The Internet

+ - 159 Undersea Cable Re-Routed to Connect Remote Island->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Human Right has successfully lobbied infrastructure company eFive to modify the planned route of a 10,000 km long undersea cable connecting Africa to South America. The 4,200 people on the island of St. Helena, one of the most isolated places in the world, will be getting high speed Internet access.

Previously, the route missed the island by a mere 500 km, which would have been a lost opportunity for an island with limited connectivity. With the support of advocates in St. Helena, A Human Right launched the “Move This Cable, Connect St. Helena” campaign in January of 2012. The initiative was brought to the floor of the UK Parliament, and ultimately to the attention of the leadership at eFive."

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+ - 181 Russian officials are considering a plan to ban children from using WiFi-> 1

Submitted by dsinc
dsinc (319470) writes "The Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, potentially making cafes, restaurants and other locations providing the service responsible for enforcing the law.

An official with the ministry’s Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, known as Roskomnadzor, said the ban should apply to people under 18 years old.

Locations providing Wi-Fi access would be held legally responsible for implementing the rule, and failing to meet the proposed measure would result in a fine ranging from 20,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($640 to $1,600), Vedomosti reported Thursday."

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NASA

+ - 166 Curiosity discovers unidentified, metallic object on Mars-> 1

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "A few hundred million miles away on the surface of the Red Planet, Mars rover Curiosity has discovered an unidentified, shiny, metallic object. Now, before you get too excited, the most likely explanation is that bright object is part of the rover that has fallen off — or perhaps some debris from MSL Curiosity’s landing on Mars, nine weeks ago. There is the distinct possibility, however, that this object is actually native to Mars, which would be far more exciting. It could be the tip of a larger object, or perhaps some kind of exotic, metallic Martian pebble (a piece of metal ore, perhaps). Close-up imagery will now be captured and analyzed, and within the next few days we should know if it's simply a piece of Curiosity — or something a whole lot more exciting indeed."
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Operating Systems

+ - 215 OS upgrades powered by Git->

Submitted by JamieKitson
JamieKitson (757690) writes "The latest Webconverger 15 release is the first Linux distribution to be automagically updatable from a Github repository. The chroot of the OS is kept natively in git's format and fuse mounted with git-fs. Webconverger fulfills the Web kiosk use case, using Firefox and competes indirectly with Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS also has an autoupdate feature, however not as powerful, unified & transparent as when simply using git. bod"
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Robotics

+ - 225 Water-Prospecting Polaris Lunar Rover Prototype Built->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Astrobotic Technology Inc., a spin-off company of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), has debuted its full-size flight prototype of its Polaris lunar water-prospecting robot. Polaris is specially designed to work in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles. Scheduled to be sent to the Moon using a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the solar-powered rover is a contender in the US$20 million Google Lunar X Prize and is tasked with seeking ice deposits that could be used by future colonists."
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Canada

+ - 156 Can Google base ads on e-mails sent to Gmail accounts?->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "A new lawsuit targets Google for reading e-mails to target ads, according to TechCrunch. But the issue isn't that Google is reading e-mails from registered users; rather, the company is using e-mails sent from other services to Google users to target ads as well.

Google has gotten the side-eye a few times in the past for using e-mail content to serve context-based ads to its Gmail users. And for those Gmail users, Google's hide is covered: the terms of service explicitly state that users' e-mail content determines what ads they see."

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Hardware

+ - 149 How to add 5.5 petabytes and get banned from Costco during a hard drive crisis->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "“We buy lots and lots of hard drives . . . . [They] are the single biggest cost in the entire company.”

Those are the words of Backblaze Founder and CEO Gleb Budman, whose company offers unlimited cloud backup for just $5 a month, and fills 50TB worth of new storage a day in its custom-built, open source pod architecture. So one might imagine the cloud storage startup was pretty upset when flooding in Thailand caused a global shortage on internal hard drives last year.

Backblaze details much the process in a Tuesday-morning blog post, including the hijinks that followed as the company got creative trying to figure out ways around the new hard drive limits. Maps were drawn, employees were cut off from purchasing hard drives at Costco — both in-person throughout Silicon Valley and online (despite some great efforts to avoid detection, such as paying for hard drives online using gift cards) — and friends and family across the country were conscripted into a hard-drive-buying army."

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Hardware

+ - 173 10 reasons why the desktop PC will live forever->

Submitted by
concealment
concealment writes "It's an intruiguing proposition, but don't count on mobile devices killing off your desktop PC any time soon. While mobile gear is certainly convenient when you're trying to conduct business on the go, it's nowhere near as convenient as a desktop when you're trying to complete serious work in an office environment.

Sure, your phone, tablet or even laptop might conveniently fit in your pocket or backpack, but all these devices are fraught with compromises, whether it's computing power, screen size, or, well, a really expensive price tag."

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Microsoft

+ - 216 Microsoft Patents 1826 Choropleth Map Technique

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "A newly-granted Microsoft patent for Variable Formatting of Cells covers the use of 'variable formatting for cells in computer spreadsheets, tables, and other documents', such as using the spectrum from a first color to a second color to represent the values in or associated with each cell. Which is really not a heck of a lot different from how Baron Pierre Charles Dupin created what's believed to be the first choropleth map way back in 1826, when he used shadings from black to white to illustrate the distribution and intensity of illiteracy in France. BTW, beginning in March, the U.S. will switch from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system of granting patents. Hey, what could go wrong?"
Medicine

+ - 170 Teenager Loses Stomach After Drinking Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of -196C, is becoming increasingly common at top restaurants as a method for instantly freezing food and drinks, or creating an impressive cloud of vapor or fog when exposed to air. Now BBC reports that a teenager has had emergency surgery to remove her stomach after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. "This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that's now competing on gimmicks," says Doctor John Ashton, director of public health for Cumbria. "Alcohol itself is a very dangerous thing if improperly handled and liquid nitrogen is a toxic chemical. It destroys human tissue." If swallowed, liquid nitrogen can cause cold burns to the mouth, throat and stomach, killing the tissue. As the frozen vapor hits the stomach it rapidly warms, releasing large volumes of air which can burst the stomach. Doctors performed emergency surgery to remove Gaby Scanlon's stomach, an operation known as a total gastrectomy where the stomach is cut out and the remaining two tubes, the oesophagus and the small bowel, are connected. Science writer and fellow at the Royal Society of Chemistry John Emsley thinks the liquefied gas is safe in the hands of top chefs, and trained bartenders may be able to use it to create "sensational effects", but says there needs to be a very strong warning not to play with it. "It can be a bit of a novelty in the hands of experts, but it would be a different territory in the hands of the general public. If you put your finger in liquid nitrogen, it would go rock solid and fall off.""

This is an unauthorized cybernetic announcement.

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