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Microsoft

+ - 136 Linus Torvalds To Secure Boot Supporters: This Is Not A Dick-Sucking Contest-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Quite a lot of people raised their eyebrows the way ex-Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett made Microsoft the 'universal' control of any desktops PCs running with UEFI secure boot. Though the intentions of Garrett were clear — to enable GNU/Linux to be able to run Linux on Windows 8 certified PCs with secure boot; it was clearly putting Microsoft in a very powerful position. Linus, while a supporter of secure boot, exploded at Garrett and Howells when they proposed its inclusing in the kernel. Linus responded: Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest. If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f*cking pull request."
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The Military

+ - 156 Human Rights Watch: Petition Against Robots on the Battle Field-> 1

Submitted by
KublaCant
KublaCant writes ""At this very moment, researchers around the world – including in the United States – are working to develop fully autonomous war machines: killer robots. This is not science fiction. It is a real and powerful threat to humanity". These are the first words of a Human Rights Watch Petition to Presdient Obama to keep robots from the battlefield. The argument is that robots possess neither common sense, "real" reason, any sense of mercy nor — most important — the option to not obey illegal commands. What with the fast-spreading use of drones et al. , we are allegedly a long way off from Asimov's famous Three Laws of Robotics being implanted in autonomous fighting machines, or into any ( semi- ) autonomous robot. A "Stop the Killer Robots" campaign will also be launched in April at the British House of Commons and includes many of the groups that successfully campaigned to have international action taken against cluster bombs and landmines. They hope to get a similar global treaty against autonomous weapons. The Guardian has more about this, including quotes from well-known robotics researcher Noel Sharkey from Sheffield University."
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Earth

+ - 208 Russian meteor blast heard around the world->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "When the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded high over Russia on February 15, it was a blast heard around the world. This isn't just a figure of speech. Though too low-frequency for human hearing, sound waves from the 500-kiloton detonation of the 17-meter (56-ft) rock were picked up in Antarctica – some 15,000 km (9,320 miles) away – by 17 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) infrasound stations dedicated to detecting nuclear explosions above or below ground."
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Medicine

+ - 178 Physician Suicides After Discovered Secretly Videotaping Patients for Years

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Doctors have been sanctioned for snapping photos of patients during surgery, for posting or writing anything with identifying information about patients or even for looking at their medical records out of curiosity. Now the Washington Post reports that for more than two decades, women came to see Johns Hopkins gynecologist Nikita Levy and trusted him with not only the most private parts of their bodies but also with their innermost secrets. This week patients were reeling from the news that their doctor had committed suicide after being accused of surreptitiously videotaping and photographing many of his patients. Police said they have removed nearly 10 image-filled computer hard drives from Levy’s home in Towson, Md. “Never in a thousand years would I have imagined such a thing,” says Deborah Doerfer, a certified nurse midwife who worked with Levy off and on for nearly 20 years. “He was incredibly compassionate. He was always there to take care of his patients. They expected him to be on call 24/7, and he was.” Police would not speculate how many images the hard drives may contain, nor when Levy allegedly began recording them. Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says police found multiple cameras in at least one examination room, although he would not describe how they were hidden. “Everybody understands what’s at stake here," says Lois Shepherd, an expert on biomedical ethics at the University of Virginia. "Just like when we’re in surgery and under anesthesia, we trust that our body will be exposed as necessary for a procedure, but not more than necessary. And certainly not for people’s titillation, or even for their curiosity.” Johns Hopkins Medicine has set up a hotline that patients can call to arrange for counseling."
Security

+ - 125 Walmart Self-Checks Home to Host of Vulnerabilities->

Submitted by Saralonde
Saralonde (2369676) writes "It's no secret to anyone who has seen a Walmart Self-Checkout start up that these machines run on the venerable Windows XP. However, these machines are still home to a host of vulnerabilities, including the infamous MS_08_067 netapi vulnerability. Most of these systems still run on unpatched XP SP1, leaving them wide open to a range of attacks, as well as any vulnerabilities in IE6. Also still being ran is MSXML 4.0, in an unpatched form. Do we really trust the world's biggest retailer with our card data when it can't even be trusted to secure its own transactions? These were observed by a Walmart employee from a small midwest town that shall remain unnamed."
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Security

+ - 139 Fingerprint purchasing technology ensures buyer has a pulse->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "ZU writes: A small U.S. university has come up with a novel solution to reduce the possibility of using a dead persons hand to get passed a figerprint scanner through the use of hemoglobin detection. The device quickly checks the finger print and hemoglobin "non-intrusively" to verify the identity and whether the individual is alive. This field of research is called Biocryptology and will continue with the need to ensure that biometric security devices can't be easily bypassed."
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Sci-Fi

+ - 222 Doctor Who's Dalek Designer Dies at 84->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "Raymond Cusick, a production designer for the BBC show Doctor Who from 1963 to 1966, has died from illness. 'Terry Nation, who died in 1997, wrote the 1963 story The Daleks, in which the "satanic pepperpots" first appeared, but it was Cusick who came up with the machines' distinctive look, including the bobble-like sensors, eyestalk, sucker and exterminator weapons.' His horrid creation has remained a prime enemy in Doctor Who for over 50 years, and have remained relatively unchanged. His tireless work however was never fully awarded, as his only pay for the project was about £100. Cusick also worked on such shows as Z Cars, Dr Finlay's Casebook and The Forsyte Saga to The Duchess of Duke Street, When the Boat Comes In and Rentaghost. He officially retired in 1987. Claire Heawood, Cusick's daughter has said that her father was 'suffering from an illness and died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday.'"
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Your Rights Online

+ - 193 Muslims demand murder of more bloggers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Days after the killing of leftist blogger Thaba Baba, mosques throughout Bangladesh called for a popular uprising to demand the killing of other bloggers who had held a rally calling for the death of Jama'at-e-Islami leaders convicted of war crimes. This happens in an atmosphere of ongoing tension between Left and Right, with the leftist government threatening to outlaw rightist parties while the right uses violence to quiet selected enemies."
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HP

+ - 208 HP Back in Tablet Game with $169 Slate7

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "You know the old adage, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?' Still, even if you got bit by the HP TouchPad debacle, HP's newly-announced $169 Slate7 tablet could prove hard to resist. Specs-wise, the Slate7 sports an ARM Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor, 7-inch 1024x600 HFFS screen, Android 4.1 (Jellybean), three-megapixel camera on the back, front-facing VGA camera, 8GB of on-board storage, HP ePrint, Beats Audio, and a micro SD expandable card slot. It measures 10.7mm x 197mm x 116mm thin, and weighs in at 13-ounces. It will be available in the US in April via HPDirect.com. Engadget has some pics and their initial hands-on take."
Science

+ - 234 Physicists still confused over how to interpret Quantum Mechanics-> 3

Submitted by quax
quax (19371) writes "Feynman famously quipped that "nobody understands" quantum mechanics. But after almost a century shouldn't there be at least some consensus on how to interpret this theory? Ever since the famous argument between Bohr and Einstein over the EPR paradox, conventional wisdom was that Bohr's Copenhagen Interpretation will carry the day, but when surveying 33 leading experts at a quantum foundation conference, less than half voted that way.

Is it time for yet another paradigm change?"

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Music

+ - 213 Napster: The Day The Music Was Set Free 1

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster. And it very was very good. The Observer's Tom Lamont reports on VH1's soon-to-premiere Downloaded , a documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the file-sharing software that started the digital music revolution, and shares remembrances of how Napster rocked his world. 'I was 17,' writes Lamont, 'and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame (OMC's How Bizarre, the Grease 2 soundtrack). One day I had unsupervised access to the family PC and, for reasons forgotten, an urge to hear the campy orchestral number from the film Austin Powers. I was a model Napster user: internet-equipped, impatient and mostly ignorant of the ethical and legal particulars of peer-to-peer file-sharing. I installed the software, searched Napster's vast list of MP3 files, and soon had Soul Bossa Nova plinking kilobyte by kilobyte on to my hard drive.' Sound familiar?"
Bitcoin

+ - 156 World's First Bitcoin ATM->

Submitted by
bill_mcgonigle
bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client, held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner, fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, and got back a confirmation QR code on its display (which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL). The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
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Microsoft

+ - 152 The Hacker Who Found the Secrets of the Next Xbox and PlayStation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Stephen Totilo at Kotaku has a long article detailing the exploits of an Australian hacker who calls himself SuperDaE. He managed to break into networks at Microsoft, Sony, and Epic Games, from which he retrieved information about the PS4 and next-gen Xbox 'Durango' (which turned out to be correct), and he even secured developer hardware for Durango itself. He uncovered security holes at Epic, but notified the company rather than exploiting them. He claims to have done the same with Microsoft. He hasn't done any damage or facilitated piracy with the access he's had, but simply breaching the security of those companies was enough to get the U.S. FBI to convince Australian authorities to raid his house and confiscate his belongings. In an age where many tech-related 'sources' are just empty claims, a lot of this guy's information has checked out. The article describes both SuperDaE's activities and a journalist's efforts to verify his claims."
Link to Original Source

+ - 240 "This is your second and final notice" robocallers revealed: Brenda Helfenstine->

Submitted by nbauman
nbauman (624611) writes "A New York Times consumer columnist tracked down the people who run a "This is your second and final notice" robocall operation.

The calls came from Account Management Assistance, which promises to negotiate lower credit card rates with banks. One woman paid them $1,000, and all they did was give her a limited-time zero-percent credit card that she could have gotten herself.

AMA has a post office box in Orlando, Florida. The Better Business Bureau has a page for Your Financial Ladder, which does business as Account Management Assistance, and as Economic Progress. According to a Florida incorporation filing, Economic Progress is operated by Brenda Helfenstine, with her husband Tony.

The Arkansas attorney general has sued Your Financial Ladder for violating the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services investigated Your Financial Ladder, but the investigator went to 1760 Sundance Drive, St. Cloud, which turned out to be a residence, and gave up.

The Times notes that you can type their phone number (855-462-3833) into http://800notes.com/ and get lots of reports on them."

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Programming

+ - 126 Ruby 2.0.0 Released->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today version 2.0.0 of Ruby has been released. This is a stable release, and the Ruby team has done their best to make it compatible with 1.9, making it easier to migrate than it was to switch from 1.8 to 1.9. New core language features include: 'Keyword arguments, which give flexibility to API design; Module#prepend, which is a new way to extend a class; A literal %i, which creates an array of symbols easily; __dir__, which returns the dirname of the file currently being executed; and UTF-8 default encoding, which make many magic comments omissible.' Also new are libraries for lazy stream and for asynchronous exception handling API. The release includes a number of performance improvements and debug support for DTrace."
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Businesses

+ - 125 How H-1B Visas Are Screwing Tech Workers->

Submitted by
hessian
hessian writes "To be sure, America's tech economy has long depended on foreign-born workers. "Immigrants have founded 40 percent of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google," writes Laszlo Bock, Google's senior VP of "people operations," which, along with other tech giants such as HP and Microsoft, strongly supports a big increase in H-1B visas. "In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales."

But in reality, most of today's H-1B workers don't stick around to become the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin. ComputerWorld revealed last week that the top 10 users of H-1B visas last year were all offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys. Together these firms hired nearly half of all H-1B workers, and less than 3 percent of them applied to become permanent residents. "The H-1B worker learns the job and then rotates back to the home country and takes the work with him," explains Ron Hira, an immigration expert who teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. None other than India's former commerce secretary once dubbed the H-1B the "outsourcing visa.""

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Google

+ - 125 Google given more time to prove to Brussels it's NOT 'abusive' in search->

Submitted by
iComp
iComp writes "The two-year long competition probe of Google's search business in Europe is poised to continue at least into the second half of this year, commissioner Joaquin Almunia has confirmed.

"We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline," he said on Friday, according to Reuters.

The Register asked the commissioner's office what this meant in practice. A spokeswoman told us:

Vice President Almunia only gave an indication of what the possible timing could be if the proposals by Google address our concerns. We are still analysing these proposals, as the VP said."

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Earth

+ - 303 Six of Hanford's Nuclear Waste Tanks Badly Leaking ->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "Recent review of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state (where the bulk of Cold War nuclear material was created) has found that six of its underground storage tanks are badly leaking. Estimations say each tank is leaking 'anywhere from a few gallons to a few hundred gallons of radioactive material a year'. Washington's governor, Jay Inslee said in a statement on Friday that 'Energy officials recently figured out they had been inaccurately measuring the 56 million gallons of waste in Hanford’s tanks.' The Hanford cleanup project has been one of the most expensive American projects for nuclear cleanup. Plans are in place to create a treatment plant to turn the hazardous material into less hazardous glass (proposed to cost $13.4 billion), but for now officials are trying just to stop the leaking from the corroded tanks. Today the leaks do not have an immediate threat on the environment, but 'there is [only] 150 to 200 feet of dry soil between the tanks and the groundwater', and are just five miles from the Colombia River."
Link to Original Source

+ - 384 NASCAR Tries To Squelch Video of Spectators Injured by Crash 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dozens of fans attending a NASCAR race at Daytona Speedway were injured when a crash during the last lap triggered a chain reaction, culminating in the front section of Kyle Larson's car ricocheting into the fence in front of the stands (Larson escaped injury). While the footage accompanying the Fox News story is dramatic enough, an even more riveting clip showing the chaotic scene in the stands from up close was posted on YouTube, but was taken down after NASCAR claimed it violated their copyright . YouTube has since restored the fan's video. A NASCAR spokesman has issued a clarification, saying that the takedown request was done out of respect for those injured. The race was an opening act for the main event, the Daytona 500, which officials say will proceed as scheduled. "With the fence being prepared tonight to our safety protocols, we expect to go racing tomorrow with no changes," Speedway President Joie Chitwood told CNN."

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