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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 26 declined, 1 accepted (27 total, 3.70% accepted)

+ - Study shows most controversial pages on Wikipedia, by country.->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "Researchers have identified the most-edited pages in Wikipedia — the subject of so-called 'Wikiwars'.
It's interesting to see how these differ by country; in the USA, GWB tops the list.
For the Czech republic, it's homosexuality.
Regarding Germany, 9/11 conspiracy theories are in third place, after Croatia and Scientology.
Just as weird and interesting as Wikipedia itself."

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+ - What do you buy a 90 year old, tech-savy Dad who has everything?->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "My Dad amazes me with (a) his longevity & energy, and (b) his continued ability to mess around with electronics stuff. Since he already has things ranging from valve amps made from war-surplus, via an original IBM PC kit to an Android tablet, I was going to buy him a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Turns out he's already got one. I saw nothing that really got me excited in the attached link, so your ideas would be appreciated, thanks."
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Advertising

+ - Instagram has updated its privacy policy giving it the right to sell users' phot->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "From the BBC: Unless users delete their Instagram accounts by a deadline of 16 January, they cannot opt out. The changes also mean Instagram can share information about its users with Facebook, its parent company, as well as other affiliates and advertisers.
The move riled social media users, with some likening it to a "suicide note". The new policies follow Facebook's record $1bn (£616m; 758 euro) acquisition of Instagram in April. Facebook's vice-president of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson earlier this month had said: "Eventually we'll figure out a way to monetise Instagram."

I'm not sure the many young users of Instagram will be too happy when their pictures start showing up in ads."

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+ - SPAM: Credit card has display, acts as security token

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "From the BBC:

A credit card with an LCD display and built-in keyboard has been launched in Singapore by Mastercard.

The card has touch-sensitive buttons and the ability to create a "one-time password" — doing away with the need for a separate device sometimes needed to log in to online banking.

"We brainstormed on ways to make it convenient and yet secure for customers," said V Subba from Standard Chartered Bank, which is collaborating with Mastercard.

"The question was: instead of sending customers another bulky token, could we replace something which already exists in the customer's wallet?"

Sounds convenient but perhaps less secure than having a separate device...I also wonder how robust it will be?"

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IBM

+ - Good summary on IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP str->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "Won't be a surprise for regular readers, but there's a good summary from Gartner here of how IT VPs should be wary of, amongst other things, SAP's rather opaque pricing and Oracle's poor interoperability. Also, how IBM is more interested in taking over your company's IT strategy than it is in delivering solutions.

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/280268,the-truth-about-ibm-microsoft-oracle-and-sap.aspx"

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Space

+ - First accidental collision between two satellites ->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "The Guardian reports: '..a 12-year-old satellite belonging to the US company Iridium and a defunct Russian Cosmos satellite that was put into orbit in 1993...which weighed 560kg and 950kg respectively, apparently smashed into each other at a speed of 420 miles per minute (25,000mph).' 'Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Les Kodlick of the US strategic command, said: "We believe it's the first time that two satellites have collided in orbit." The command's joint space operations centre was tracking 500 to 600 new bits of debris, some as small as 10cm (3.9 inches) across, in addition to the 18,000 or so other man-made objects it has catalogued, he said.' Read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/12/nasa-alert-as-satellites-collide"
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The Internet

+ - ISP confirmed throttling bandwidth in Canada

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "Amongst others, Ars Technica reports the results of a survey of the country's ISPs by Canada's Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The results "make clear just how widespread deep packet inspection (DPI) has become at Canadian ISPs". Read me here: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090121-how-canadian-isps-throttle-the-internet.html With a user-generated summary of the responses here, (leads to a 50-page PDF) http://www.christopher-parsons.com/blog/archives/370"
Space

+ - Update on mystery Peruvian meteroite

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "The BBC has an update on the story that provoked a lot of comment here a while back. It's rather more thorough than the usual BBC article, so interesting. "Now experts say the event challenges conventional theories about meteorites. The object which came down in the Puno region of Peru was a relatively fragile stony meteorite. During the fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere, these are thought to fragment into smaller pieces which then scatter over a wide area. Yet pieces of the estimated 1m-wide meteorite are thought to have stayed together during entry, hitting the ground as one. There was a lot of discussion here about reporting toxic side-effects of the strike. FTA: "Reports about arsenic, bubbling [of water in the crater] and sickness were probably overblown. People were frightened, but some were also afraid they were under attack from a nearby country." A bull's horn was, however, confirmed as ripped off... For more, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7292863.stm"
Robotics

+ - Chemical 'brain' invented for nanobot control

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "The BBC reports that "A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for swarms of nano-machines has been invented." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7288426.stm. "The machine is made from 17 molecules of the chemical duroquinone. Each one is known as a "logic device". They each resemble a ring with four protruding spokes that can be independently rotated to represent four different states. The molecular device — just two billionths of a metre across — was able to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers.""
Microsoft

+ - EU rules that Microsoft breaks antitrust rules

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "The BBC reports that "The European Commission has fined US computer giant Microsoft for defying sanctions imposed on it for anti-competitive behaviour. Microsoft must now pay 899 million euros ($1.4bn; £680.9m) after it failed to comply with a 2004 ruling that it took part in monopolistic practices. The ruling said that Microsoft was guilty of not providing vital information to rival software makers. EU regulators said the firm was the first to break an EU antitrust ruling." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7266629.stm What — if anything — do you think this will further ruling will change? What 'vital information' would you want?"
Privacy

+ - Internet-censorship avoidance nominated for prize->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "Picidae, http://picidae.net/, is the latest in the cat-and-mouse game of censors and hole finders / makers. The inventors have tested it for three weeks in China, and so far claim to have gotten round the 'great firewall'. If you invoke a pici-server a form field appears to fill in a web address. The pici-server then creates an image of that website and sends this back. Works as advertised, (until it gets /.ed, I guess). You can added your own pici-server to help out. It's been nominated for a Transmediale prize: http://www.transmediale.de/site/award/nominated-works/ From the nomination: Christoph Wachter / Mathias Jud (de/ch): picidae (Community Network, Installation, 2007) "picidae" creates a server community which breaks national firewalls by redelivering complete, readable and hyperlinked images of blocked web sites. How long before it gets blocked, and how?"
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Upgrades

+ - As predicted, update bad for unlocked iPhones->

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "As widely predicted, it's now being reported by the BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7017660.stm, and the NYT, http://tinyurl.com/25sgxe, that upgrading your unlocked iPhone is not good news. Anybody surprised?

Following on from earlier posts here about the legality of unlocking your iPhone, what's your opinion on the legality of Apple bricking it for you with an upgrade? Do you think this is a bad way for Apple to build customer loyalty with an increasingly tech-savy user base, who like to add applications to their personal devices? Or do you think it's good, bearing in mind that mobile phones are being hyped as the next payment method, and so need to be secure?"

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Businesses

+ - Getting the most out of Lotus Notes

Submitted by Bearhouse
Bearhouse (1034238) writes "One of my clients, a major international, wants to get control over its email. IT support is outsourced, and poor. At the moment, they've launched a small project to deal with 'excessive' volumes of mails — some people receive over 300 per day! Although many of the users are engineers, they typically are not well-trained in Notes, and do not tend to use its advanced features. The in-house team they've put together has come up with suggestions like, "let's force people to click on confirmation dialogs when they hit 'reply to all', or have big attachments". I'm not sure this is the way to go. Anybody here have any ideas to help, please? Also, what tools would readers suggest to structure and 'mine' the vast quantity of mails that are generated each year? At the moment, this information goes totally unused..."

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