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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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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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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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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?"

+ - 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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Microsoft

+ - 172 Give Your Computer Interface the Finger, Literally->

Submitted by moon_unit2
moon_unit2 (2573409) writes "Tech Review has a story about a startup that's developed software capable of tracking not just hand movements but precise finger gestures. The setupm from 3Gear, requires two depth-sensing cameras (aka Kinects) at the top corners of your display. Then simply give your computer thumbs up — or whatever other gesture you might feel like — and it'll know what you're doing. The software is available for free while the product is in beta testing, if you want to give it a try. The story also includes a cool video."
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Earth

+ - 138 Climate Change May Shrink Fish

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that researchers have modeled the impact of rising temperatures on more than 600 species between 2001 and 2050 and concluded that fish body size may shrink in size by up to 24% because of global warming. The researchers built a model to see how fish would react to relatively small changes in temperatures at the bottom of the oceans using data from one of the higher emissions scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and found the resulting impacts on fish body size are unexpectedly large. "Rising temperatures directly increase the metabolic rate of the fish's body function," says lead author, Dr. William Cheung, from the University of British Columbia. "This leads to an increase in oxygen demand for normal body activities. So the fish will run out of oxygen for growth at a smaller body size." About half of this shrinkage is due to change in distribution and abundance, the remainder to changes in physiology and the tropical and intermediate latitudinal areas will be heavily impacted, with an average reduction of more than 20%. Dr Alan Baudron, from the University of Aberdeen, UK, has studied changes in the growth of haddock in the North Sea and believes rising temperatures could have negative implications for the yields of fisheries and could also seriously impact the ability of fish to reproduce, "Smaller individuals produce fewer and smaller eggs which could affect the reproductive potential of fish stocks and could potentially reduce their resilience to other factors such as fishing pressure and pollution.""
NASA

+ - 170 Warp Drive Looks More Promising Than Ever in Recent NASA Studies->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. Fortunately, the elusive "warp drive" now appears to be evolving past difficulties with new theoretical advances and a NASA test rig under development to measure artificially generated warping of space-time."
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Data Storage

+ - 165 Gold Artifact To Orbit Earth In Hope Of Alien Retrieval-> 1

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "The problem: What do you leave behind that billions of years from now, and without context, would give aliens an some kind of accurate depiction of mankind. The answer: A gold-plated silicon disc with just 100 photos. That's the idea behind The Last Pictures project, which is scheduled to blast off in the next few months from Kazakhstan and orbit the earth for 5 billion years. The photos, etched into the silicon using a bitmap format, were chosen over a five-year process that involved interviews with artists, philosophers, and MIT scientists, who included biologists, physicists, and astronomers. To each, was posed a single question: What photos would you choose to send into outer space? The answer became an eclectic mix of images from pre-historic cave paintings to a photo of a group of people taken by a predator drone."
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Government

+ - 141 Senate report: post-9/11 intelligence out of control->

Submitted by wdef
wdef (1050680) writes "A US Senate report has concluded that a multibillion-dollar intelligence program — set up by the Dept of Homeland Security in the wake of 9/11 — targeted innocent civillians, produced very little useful data and has ballooned out of all control. This is despite predictable feeding-frenzy spending on big screens, data mining software and Chevrolet Tahoes. Why build one when you can have two at twice the price? Note the US Senate decides to look at this across the safe political interval of 10 years."
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NASA

+ - 153 Scramjets - Boeing's X-51A rides the supersonic wave->

Submitted by tomkane
tomkane (2743499) writes "The Supersonic Combustion Ramjet engine, thought to be capable of speeds in excess of five-times the speed of sound and even spaceflight, has long been theorised as a potential engine for future aircraft. Boeing’s X-51A Waverider is beginning to prove that the use of scramjet engines can be more than just theoretical!"
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+ - 243 Intelligence effort named citizens, not terrorists->

Submitted by PolygamousRanchKid
PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) writes "A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes.

The lengthy, bipartisan report is a scathing evaluation of what the Department of Homeland Security has held up as a crown jewel of its security efforts. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism.

Because of a convoluted grants process set up by Congress, Homeland Security officials don't know how much they have spent in their decade-long effort to set up so-called fusion centers in every state. Government estimates range from less than $300 million to $1.4 billion in federal money, plus much more invested by state and local governments. Federal funding is pegged at about 20 percent to 30 percent. Despite that, Congress is unlikely to pull the plug. That's because, whether or not it stops terrorists, the program means politically important money for state and local governments."

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+ - 180 Our drugs are tested on Russians

Submitted by menno_h
menno_h (2670089) writes "According to BoingBoing it's so difficult to get access to modern health care in Russia that the country is becoming a haven for medical testing — there are more people there willing to be guinea pigs for more stuff simply because they have no other way to see a doctor. This is one of those fun dilemmas where medical testing is necessary, but hard to talk wealthy, healthy people into if they already have access to health care. The result: Drugs and treatments get tried out, voluntarily, on whoever is most desperate."
Apple

+ - 214 Samsung Seeks New Trial, Accuses Foreman Hogan Of Implied Bias->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Samsung is demanding new trial accusing foreman Hogan of not being truthful to the court. Hogan did not disclose about his court battle with Seagate, a company Samsung helped last year by purchasing its hard drive unit. Hogan was once sued by Seagate for not paying the sum he owed to the company. Hogan chose to file for personal bankruptcy instead of paying back to Seagate. Hogan seems to have genuine reasons to hate Samsung in addition to all the 'things' he did to mislead the jury. Samsung says in its filing that "Hogan’s failure to disclose the Seagate suit raises issues of bias that Samsung should have been allowed to explore in questioning and that would have triggered a motion to strike for cause or a peremptory strike.""
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Piracy

+ - 182 Will 3D Printing be legislated out of existence?->

Submitted by
high_rolla
high_rolla writes "3D printing is starting to pick up pace. There's no doubt that once it improves to a certain level and reaches a certain price point it has the potential to change the world and impact on many different market segments. Just as the entertainment industry is fighting heavily to protect their outdated business model through legislation, do you reckon that manufacturers and many others that could be in danger from 3d printing will start to push for legislation to heavily restrict and control their usage? We've already seen the potential to print weapons such as guns. Will events like this really just play right into their hands? Or do you foresee a different future?"
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AMD

+ - 165 As AMD stuggles, Intel CPU prices stagnate->

Submitted by
crookedvulture
crookedvulture writes "Over the past few years, AMD's desktop processors have struggled to keep up with Intel's. AMD has slashed prices to make its chips more appealing, but Intel has largely held firm. Three years of historical data shows that Intel CPU prices have remained stagnant, especially for models that cost $200 and up. AMD chips, on the other hand, tend to fall in price steadily after they first hit the market. Some drop by up to 43% in the first year. This trend is a byproduct of the unhealthy competitive landscape in the desktop CPU arena, and it's been great for Intel's gross margin. Unfortunately, it's not so good for consumers."
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+ - 171 The Day I Blundered Into The Nuclear Facility-> 1

Submitted by
Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens writes "I found myself alone in a room, in front of a deep square or rectangular pool of impressively clear, still water. There was a pile of material at the bottom of the pool, and a blue glow of Cherenkov radiation in the water around it. To this day, I can't explain how an unsupervised kid could ever have gotten in there."
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Apple

+ - 194 Samsung's Claims of Juror Misconduct Revealed in Unredacted Filings ->

Submitted by zaphod777
zaphod777 (1755922) writes "Samsung has now filed an unredacted version [PDF] of its motion for judgment as a matter of law, a new trial, and/or remittitur. That's the one that was originally filed with a redacted section we figured out was about the foreman, Velvin Hogan. The judge ordered it filed unsealed, and so now we get to read all about it.
It's pretty shocking to see the full story. I understand now why Samsung tried to seal it. They call Mr. Hogan untruthful in voir dire (and I gather in media interviews too), accuse him of "implied bias" and of tainting the process by introducing extraneous "evidence" of his own during jury deliberations, all of which calls, Samsung writes, for an evidentiary hearing and a new trial with an unbiased jury as the cure.

Were you wondering how Samsung found out about the lawsuit that Hogan failed to mention in voir dire, the litigation between Seagate and Hogan that Samsung dug up? Apple was, as I'll show you. You wouldn't believe it if it was in a movie script. The lawyer who sued Mr. Hogan on behalf of Seagate back in 1993 is now married to a partner at Quinn Emanuel, the lawyers for Samsung.

What are the odds?"

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