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Submission + - US CEO says French workers have 'three-hour' working day (

M3.14 writes: In a letter addressed to French Industrial Renewal Minister, US tyre manufacturing company CEO is writing (original FR article with English letter) that it would be stupid to buy any factory in France since workers don't really work full time. He'd rather buy cheap factories in India and China instead and import tyres back to France. This really places a question where is the equilibrium between unions and companies. In this case it definitely went all the way down on union side.

Submission + - Japan Probe Finds Miswiring of Boeing 787 Battery (

NeverVotedBush writes: TOKYO — A probe into the overheating of a lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 that made an emergency landing found it was improperly wired, Japan’s Transport Ministry said Wednesday.

The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery for the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the auxiliary unit from causing damage.

Flickering of the plane’s tail and wing lights after it landed and the fact the main battery was switched off led the investigators to conclude there was an abnormal current traveling from the auxiliary power unit due to miswiring.

Submission + - White House Petition Lobbies to Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal (

Tanlis writes: The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA. As of January 26, consumers are no longer able to unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired. Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked. We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.

Submission + - Linux-savvy IT pros are in high demand, low supply (

tsamsoniw writes: "IT professionals with Linux chops — particularly systems administrator — are in high demand and short supply, according to a new survey from Dice. Over 90 percent of hiring managers surveyed said they plan to hire at least one Linux professional in the next six months — though nine out of 10 respondents also said that it's "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to find experienced Linux pros. That demand — driven by trends such as open-cloud development, Big Data, and increasing migration to Linux — has helped push the average salary for Linux pros up 9 percent to this past year, to $90,853."

Submission + - Tech Leaders Create Most Lucrative Science Prize In History (

redletterdave writes: "Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and Yuri Milner have teamed up to create The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, which now offers the most lucrative annual prize in the history of science: A $33 million pot to be split among 11 people, with individual rewards worth $3 million apiece. Comparatively, the monetary value of the Nobel prize is just $1.1 million. 'Our society needs more heroes who are scientists, researchers and engineers,' Zuckerberg said. 'We need to celebrate and reward the people who cure diseases, expand our understanding of humanity and work to improve people's lives.'"

Submission + - How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation (

cathyreisenwitz writes: "A Yale study found that the U.S. patent office is approving new software patents at an approximate rate of 40,000 a year. That's more than 100 new software patents every day. Tracking every software patent to make sure one is not in violation would be an utter impossibility without a full-time team of lawyers on staff.

Uniloc, which purchased the patent in question at a bankruptcy proceeding, declined an interview request for this piece. But on their website, they brag about a victory over software giant Microsoft resulting in $388 million in damages (though this amount was later lowered in an appeals court). Despite the enormous risk, and the enormous cost just to defend against a patent suit, Meyer is resolved to do so.

"I will not simply give somebody money that endorses the idea that they should sue people for doing something amazing," says Meyer. "It must be stopped at some point.""


Submission + - Notification of server breach mistaken for phishing email (

netbuzz writes: "Educause members and 7,000 university websites are being forced to change account passwords after a security breach involving the organization’s .edu domain server. However, some initially hesitated to comply because the Educause notification email bore tell-tale markings of a phishing attempt. “Given what is known about phishing and user behavior, this was bad form,” says Gene Spafford, a Purdue University computer science professor and security expert. “For an education-oriented organization to do this is particularly troubling.”"

Submission + - Microsoft Kinect 2.0 Specifications Leak, Includes Support For USB 3.0

An anonymous reader writes: Whether or not you’re an owner of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, chances are you find the Kinect accessory intriguing, since you don’t even need the company’s console to use it. That’s why there’s so much excitement surrounding the console’s successor, codenamed Durango: it will feature Kinect 2.0, the specifications for which allegedly leaked today. The new device will reportedly be able to track players with a height of one meter, feature a mode for both seated and standing players, detect hand states (such as open or closed), as well as extra and rotated joints. As for improved features, it will be able to supposedly track six rather than two active players, occluded joints, and sideways poses. This will all be possible thanks to an increased field of vision, 1920×1080 color stream, 512×424 depth stream, an added infrared stream, USB 3.0, and 60ms latency.

Submission + - The Two Big Problems with Online College Courses 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that while online college classes are already common, on the whole, the record is not encouraging because there are two big problems with online teaching. First, student attrition rates — around 90 percent for some huge online courses — appear to be a problem even in small-scale online courses when compared with traditional face-to-face classes. Second, courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed. Research has shown that community college students who enroll in online courses are significantly more likely to fail or withdraw than those in traditional classes, which means that they spend hard-earned tuition dollars and get nothing in return. Worse still, low-performing students who may be just barely hanging on in traditional classes tend to fall even further behind in online courses. "Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely," says the Times. "Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses." Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming. "The online revolution offers intriguing opportunities for broadening access to education. But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students.""
Wireless Networking

Submission + - FCC moves to boost wireless speeds, avoid congestion -- battle looms (

coondoggie writes: "The Federal Communications Commission said it wants to make up to 195 megahertz of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band available to unlicensed wireless devices with the idea that such a move would enable Wi-Fi equipment that can offer faster speeds of one gigabit per second or more, increase overall capacity, and reduce congestion."
The Military

Submission + - Top U.S. Stealth Jet Has to Talk to Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio (

Lasrick writes: David Axe at Wired's Danger Room explains: "For the first time, America’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain’s own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms."

Submission + - Dealing with an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, I had found out (through my log files) that my wireless router was subject to a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) brute force PIN attack. After looking on the Internet and discovering that there are indeed many vulnerabilities to WPS, I disabled it. After a few days, I noticed that I kept intermittently getting disconnected at around the same time every day (indicative of a WPA deauthentication handshake capture attempt). I also noticed that an evil twin has been setup in an effort to get me to connect to it. Through Wi-Fi monitoring software, I have noticed that certain MAC addresses are connected to multiple WEP and WPA2 access points in my neighborhood. I believe that I (and my neighbors) may be dealing with an advanced Wi-Fi leech. What can I do in this situation? Should I bother purchasing a directional antenna, figuring out exactly where the clients are situated, and knocking on their door? Is this something the local police can help me with?

Submission + - Planetary Resources To 'Claim' Asteroids With Beacons (

kkleiner writes: "Planetary Resources last year boldly claimed that they would build a futuristic business out of mining space asteroids. To that end, the firm recently completed the Arkyd-100 satellite prototype. The satellite will use its telescope to look for suitable near-Earth asteroids from low-Earth orbit. Later expeditions will rocket out to prospective real estate, do spectral analysis, and if the asteroid contains valuable resources, lay claim with a beacon."

Submission + - Astronomers find planet barely larger than Earth's Moon

The Bad Astronomer writes: "A team of astronomers have announced the discovery of the smallest exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star yet found: Kepler-37b, which has a diameter of only 3865 kilometers — smaller than Mercury, and only a little bigger than our own Moon. It was found using the transit method; as it orbits its star, it periodically blocks a bit of the starlight, revealing its presence. Interestingly, the planet has been known for some time, but only new advances in asteroseismology (studying oscillations in the star itself) have allowed the star's size to be accurately found, which in turn yielded a far better determination of the planet's diminutive size. Also, the asteroseismology research was not funded by NASA, but instead crowd funded by a non-profit, which raised money by letting people adopt Kepler target stars."

Submission + - iOS Developer Site at Core of Facebook, Apple Watering Hole Attack (

msm1267 writes: The missing link connecting the attacks against Apple, Facebook and possibly Twitter is a popular iOS mobile developers’ forum called iphonedevsdk which was discovered hosting malware in an apparent watering hole attack that has likely snared victims at hundreds of organizations beyond the big three. It's not clear whether the site remains infected, but researcher Eric Romang dug into the situation and determined that the site was hosting malicious javascript that was redirecting visitors to another site, min.liveanalytics. That site had been hosting malware as of Jan. 15.

Submission + - How to Safeguard Loose Nukes (

Lasrick writes: The Bulletin has an interesting article about the likelihood of terrorists obtaining nuclear material. "Since 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has logged roughly 2,000 cases of illicit or unauthorized trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material. Thirty illicit radioactive trafficking incidents were reported in the former Soviet region alone from 2009 to 2011. As Obama said in December, "Make no mistake, if [terrorists] get [nuclear material], they will use it.""

Submission + - CryptoCat creator "I am under surveillance, my computer has been backdoored " (

Syobon writes: Addendum (added Feb. 10, 1:50PM EST): I’ve decided that the way I’m going to deal with this is by doing disk forensics on my computer and moving on, continuing my life as normal. I am not going to slip into total paranoia because of this incident. I have a history of attempted entrapments, of border interrogations and of surveillance, and with this incident, here’s what I’ll say:
If any agency is continuing to monitor me because of Cryptocat, you are invited to meet me under honest pretenses and have a cup of coffee with me. Just don’t lure me in with lies and don’t backdoor my computers. Be honest with me and I will have no problem discussing my work with you. I am not a criminal, I am an upstanding citizen. If you want answers, then contact me and be honest about it. You have nothing to fear from me.
In order not to cause unnecessary drama, to protect my privacy and to lessen my stress levels, I’m removing this blog post until further notice and investigation. This attracted way more attention that I wanted it to. I just wanted to protect myself, not cause a media uproar. Thank you everyone for your support. This is already a stressful situation and the huge level of attention to this blog post is just making everything more stressful to deal with.

Submission + - Crowdfunding service SliceBiz wins Apps4Africa cash prize (

Big Hairy Ian writes: "A Ghanaian start-up planning to popularise crowdfunding in Africa has been selected as one of the winners of this year's Apps4Africa competition.

SliceBiz plans to develop a service that will deliver 30-second pitches recorded by entrepreneurs to potential backers over the phone.

It says investors will then be able to transfer cash into the projects they like via their mobiles.

The Apps4Africa scheme is funded by the US State Department and the World Bank,

It gives awards of $10,000 (£6,500) to three selected projects with the possibility of top-up funds if the winners meet set targets."

Submission + - AutoDesk Accuses Non-profit User Forums of Trademark Infringement (

SrLnclt writes: AutoDesk has begun contacting owners of websites with Revit in their TLD name, and accusing them of trademark infringement. For those unfamiliar with this software package, Revit is a 3D modeling tool designed to model buildings and their MEP and Structural systems, which is currently owned by AutoDesk. It is widely used by architects and engineers for this purpose, and has supplanted AutoCAD in the building design fields for many users. One such domain is an independent non-profit, user to user support forum. Typically users on this site are already familiar with Revit, have purchased licenses, and are looking for help, tips, or tricks in using the software. One of AutoDesk's lawyers has contacted [PDF, Registration Required] the site owner, who has responded [PDF, Registration Required] and plans on fighting this issue. Additionally, they are currently looking for legal help from anyone with a legal background willing to donate some time.

Submission + - Oracle, Microsoft, BSA, Scott McNeally, and others all gang up against Google ( 1

walterbyrd writes: "Yesterday there were numerous amicus briefs filed all on the same day and all in support of Oracle against Google in Oracle's appeal at the Federal Circuit. None of the briefs are posted publicly yet, but they should be available soon.

Microsoft has filed one, together with EMC Corporation, and NetApp, Inc. Scott McNealy has filed one with Brian Sutphin. Can McNealy be a witness for Oracle at trial, which he was [PDF], and also file an amicus brief? Well, he has. The Picture Archive Council of America, Inc. has filed one with the Graphic Artists Guild. Also there's one from the BSA. And finally Eugene Spafford, Zhi Ding, and Lee A. Hollaar have filed an amicus in support of Oracle. Hollaar seems to file a lot of amicus briefs.

So why do these entities and individuals care about this Java API case, do you suppose?

Brian Sutphin was the VP at Sun Microsystem who in 2003 signed the deal with SCO Group's (then Caldera) then-CEO Darl McBride just days after Caldera filed its suit against IBM. I know. It kind of makes your skin crawl, doesn't it? He also testified at trial for Oracle. Both he and McNealy told the court with straight faces that Jonathan Schwartz's corporate blog was personal, not a company blog.
All filed on the same day. Less than a week after Oracle filed its appeal brief. Before Google even files its responding brief. Does it feel a little bit coordinated to you?

The company Oracle keeps these days takes one's breath away. Who would ever have predicted an Oracle-Microsoft buddy system?"