tekgoblin writes "Well this is pretty awesome, Valve has made an entrance into the education sector. They plan to release a new version of Steam for education uses in schools. Valve will call this service Steam for Schools, an education version of the Steam client that allows administrators to limit what its users can access. The idea of Steam for Schools is to use the platform as a teaching aid. Valve has already put together a number of educational lesson plans for using Portal 2 and its level editor to teach math and physics."
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Gottesser writes with this excerpt from Bev Harris's Black Box Voting: "I have found and posted the actual voter list software used widely throughout the USA (TN, WI, PA, CO, KS...) for Accenture voter registration and voter histories. I located the files on a magnetic backup tape of the hard drive of a county elections IT employee, part of a 120-gig set of discovery files. The Accenture voter registration / voter history software is highly problematic, and has been reported switching voter parties in Colorado, and losing voter histories in Tennessee. Although it is now widely known that Accenture voter list software gets it wrong, just WHY the program misreports voter information so often has never been explained. I am hoping that by releasing this software to the public, it may shed light on what's really going on with our voter registration systems. I also posted a Tennessee file with work orders and release notes which shows the Accenture software has a history of tripling votes in certain ('random') voter histories, going back to 2004. Except it is not random: Other files I discovered prove it is with primarily suburban Republican precincts that votes are somehow being recorded twice and sometimes three times for certain voters in the voter history report, and this didn't just happen in 2004; it also happened in the 2008 presidential primary and in May and August 2010, and according to election commission notes in Shelby County, also in the 2012 presidential primary. Computer buffs, have at it. Much source code exists within the structure because it is built on MS Access. I do not read source code, though I can see some structural problems with the software (for example, it allows political party ID to be set differently from one precinct to another)."
sean_nestor writes "Back in October, an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal with the headline 'Why Companies Aren't Getting the Employees They Need.' It noted that even with millions of highly educated and highly trained workers sidelined by the worst economic downturn in three generations, companies were reporting shortages of skilled workers. Companies typically blame schools, for not providing the right training; the government, for not letting in enough skilled immigrants; and workers themselves, who all too often turn down good jobs at good wages. The author of the article, an expert on employment and management issues, concluded that although employers are in almost complete agreement about the skills gap, there was no actual evidence of it. Instead, he said, 'The real culprits are the employers themselves.'" The linked article is an interview with Peter Cappelli, author of the WSJ piece, who has recently published a book on the alleged skills gap.
chicksdaddy writes "Software failures were behind 24 percent of all the medical device recalls in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories (OSEL). The absence of solid architecture and 'principled engineering practices' in software development affects a wide range of medical devices, with potentially life-threatening consequences, the FDA warned. In response, FDA told Threatpost that it is developing tools to disassemble and test medical device software and locate security problems and weak design."
Shipud writes "A collaboration between a group in Imperial College and Media Interaction group in Japan yielded a really cool website: darwintunes.org. The idea is to apply Darwinian-like selection to music. Starting form a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able. The selective force being the appeal of the tune to the listener. From the paper published [Monday] (abstract) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 'At any given time, a DarwinTunes population has 100 loops, each of which is 8 s long. Consumers ratethem on a five-point scale ("I can't stand it" to "I love it") as they are streamed in random order. When 20 loops have been rated,truncation selection is applied whereby the best 10 loops are paired, recombine, and have two daughters each.' Note that in 2009 the creators of darwintunes harnessed the power of Slashdot to help 'evolve' their site."
YokimaSun writes "Following on from the news that RIM's partner was pulling the plug on its BlackBerry phones, RIM announced it was discontinuing the 16GB version of its playbook, PC Gaming News are reporting that the PlayBook is being discounted down by as much as 66% which is adding to the demise of RIM's attempt at the tablet market. Can anything stop the all conquering iPad?"
mask.of.sanity writes "An Android application capable of siphoning credit card data from contactless bank cards has appeared on the Google Play store. The app was developed by a security penetration tester for research purposes and will steal card numbers and expiry dates, along with transactions and merchant IDs. It requires a near field device capable phone, or accessory."
elegie writes "In the US, a District Court has ruled that the Tetris clone "Mino" infringes the Tetris Company's copyrights with regard to elements of the Tetris game design and gameplay. On one hand, a lawyer said that 'a puzzle game where a user manipulates blocks to form lines which disappear' would be noninfringing. At the same time, the Mino game's reuse of such Tetris elements as the dimensions of the playing field and the shape of the blocks constituted infringement. In addition, the Tetris game's artistic elements were not inseparably linked to the underlying mechanics and replicating an underlying idea and/or functionality (which would likely be uncopyrighted) would not justify copying visual expression from an existing game."
Qedward writes "The European Parliament's trade committee, INTA, voted on Thursday not to postpone a crucial parliamentary vote on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The committee also decided, by 19 votes to 12, to recommend to the Parliament that the trade deal be rejected. INTA is the lead committee examining the international agreement, and its recommendation will carry weight with the rest of the Parliament. The Parliamentary plenary vote on the treaty is now scheduled for July 3."
First time accepted submitter nrozema writes "Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison is buying the Hawaiian island of Lana'i, the sixth-largest island in the U.S. archipelago. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie confirmed in a written statement that the current landowner filed a transfer application with the state's Public Utilities commission Wednesday to sell its 98 percent share of the 141-square-mile island to Ellison."
ananyo writes in with a story about an asteroid near miss and a neat video taken by researchers. "It may look like a blurry blob, but researchers using the InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii have posted a video of 2012 KT42 — a small asteroid that zipped past Earth at a distance of just three Earth radii on 29 May — the sixth closest encounter of any known asteroid. The bright asteroid appears fixed, while background stars zip past but in fact the asteroid is zipping along at 17 kilometres per second. 'You get the view of riding along with it,' says planetary scientist Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who led the observations. At its closest, the asteroid was at a distance between the orbit of the space station (about 1 Earth radii) and geosynchronous satellites (about 6 Earth radii)."
An anonymous reader writes "Sony has used the SID 2012 conference to demonstrate a brand new combination of conductive film and low-reflection film that promises to render screen reflection almost non-existent in devices like smartphones and tablets. Sony achieved such low reflections by combining its new conductive film with a moth-eye low reflection film. The key to the low reflectance is the formation of an uneven surface, which consists of both concave and convex structures (tiny bumps) that cover the entire film. The uneven surface means that light won't just bounce back off the screen creating a reflection, and therefore making the screen usable in a wider range of lighting conditions."
snydeq writes "Hacker group Rex Mundi has made good on its promise to publish thousands of loan-applicant records it swiped from AmeriCash Advance after the payday lender refused to fork over between $15,000 and $20,000 as an extortion fee — or, in Rex Mundi's terms, an 'idiot tax.' The group announced on June 15 that it was able to steal AmeriCash's customer data because the company had left a confidential page unsecured on one of its servers. 'This page allows its affiliates to see how many loan applicants they recruited and how much money they made,' according to the group's post on dpaste.com. 'Not only was this page unsecured, it was actually referenced in their robots.txt file.'"
judgecorp writes "The UK's largest ISP, BT, has obeyed a court order to block The Pirate Bay, following similar moves by five other service providers, after complaints by music trade body BPI. The Pirate Bay says it can continue regardless through workarounds. From the article: 'BT has started blocking access to The Pirate Bay, becoming the sixth major ISP to prevent access to the file-sharing service. It follows blocks enforced by Orange, Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk and O2, after they all obeyed a court order made in April. BT, which has been in ongoing discussions with trade body the BPI over how it would carry out a block, had not been hit with such an order until this week.'"