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+ - Comcast Ghost-writes Politician's Letters to Support Time Warner Mega-Merger

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "As the FCC considers the merger between Comcast/Universal and Time-Warner Cable, which would create the largest cable company in the U.S. and is entering the final stages of federal review, politicians are pressuring the FCC with pro-merger letters actually written by Comcast. According to documents obtained through public records requests politicians are passing letters nearly word-for-word written by Comcast as their own, politicians are passing letters nearly word-for-word written by Comcast as their own. "Not only do records show that a Comcast official sent the councilman the exact wording of the letter he would submit to the FCC, but also that finishing touches were put on the letter by a former FCC official named Rosemary Harold, who is now a partner at one of the nation’s foremost telecom law firms in Washington, DC. Comcast has enlisted Harold to help persuade her former agency to approve the proposed merger."

Ars Technica had already reported that politicians have closely mimicked Comcast talking points and re-used Comcast's own statements without attribution. The documents revealed today show just how deeply Comcast is involved with certain politicians, and how they were able to get them on board."

+ - Plan C: The Cold War plan which would have brought the US under martial law->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under marshal law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to "subversive" organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack.

There was no Plan A or B."

Link to Original Source

+ - iPhone seeks wi-fi connection when "off" 5

Submitted by rbarrphd
rbarrphd (1142349) writes "Recently, my university email account became locked every few hours due to repeated incorrect network login attempts. The culprit was my iPhone 5 trying to connect to the school’s wi-fi with an old password---even though its wi-fi Setting was “Off.” Therefore, iPhones must surreptitiously and repeatedly attempt connection to nearby networks even when that function is supposedly disabled. Is this well-known? Does anyone have another explanation?"

+ - The end of Public Domain 1

Submitted by eporue
eporue (886151) writes "Since I uploaded the public domain movie The night of the living dead to YouTube I got 18 different complaints of copyright infrigment on it.
Actually, I have a channel of Public Domain movies in which monetization has been disabled "due to repeated community guidelines and/or copyright issues".
The problem is that 99% of the complaints are false, they are from companies that have no rights over the movies but by issuing millions of take downs, manage to control a good number of videos in YouTube.
Is there any way to fight back ? Is there a way to "probe" public domain ?"

+ - This Battery Has Lasted 175 Years and No One Knows How->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last.

The bell’s clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it’s called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity."

Link to Original Source

+ - Two Earth-sized planets could be hiding in our solar system -> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Solar System has at least two more planets waiting to be discovered beyond the orbit of Pluto, Spanish and British astronomers say. In a study published in the latest issue of the British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers propose that "at least two" planets lie beyond Pluto.

Their calculations are based on the unusual orbital behaviour of very distant space rocks called extreme trans-Neptunian objects, or ETNOs. In theory, ETNOs should be dispersed in a band some 150 Astronomical Units (AU) from the Sun.

ETNOs should also be more or less on the same orbital plane as the Solar System planets. But observations of about a dozen ETNOs have suggested a quite different picture, the study says. If correct, they imply that ETNOs are scattered much more widely, at between 150 and 525 AU, and with an orbital inclination of about 20 degrees. To explain this anomaly, the study suggests some very large objects — planets — must be in the neighbourhood and their gravitational force is bossing the much smaller ETNOs around.

"This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution" of the ETNOs, said Carlos de la Fuente Marcos of the Complutense University of Madrid.

"The exact number is uncertain, given that the data we have is limited, but our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more, within the confines of our Solar System," the Spanish scientific news agency Sinc quoted him as saying."

Link to Original Source

+ - Tiny Fanless Mini-PC Runs Linux or Windows on Quad-core AMD SoC->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "CompuLab has unveiled a tiny 'Fitlet' mini-PC that runs Linux or Windows on a dual- or quad-core 64-bit AMD x86 SoC (with integrated Radeon R3 or R2 GPU), clocked at up to 1.6GHz, and offering extensive I/O, along with modular internal expansion options. The rugged, reconfigurable 4.25 x 3.25 x 0.95 in. system will also form the basis of a pre-configured 'MintBox Mini' model, available in Q2 in partnership with the Linux Mint project. To put things in perspective, CompuLab says the Fitlet is three times smaller than the Celeron Intel NUC."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seems obvious but... (Score 1) 325

by Bomarc (#48795619) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?
The premium for servers (lack of) performance is not that great, for a given level of technology. Proper configuration is much more important. Also - what are the "conditions". A few years go -- we needed to improve out SQL servers. I installed and tested multiple configurations (including top of the line processors). The single biggest improvement - was the size of the RAID cache (and this was on process intensive code, not data intensive). The number of processors, the speed of the processor -- all of these had little impact. But using systems with significant RAID cache .. and one with a larger (larges available at the time) even when put on systems with slow speed -- out performed even the fastest CPU's (again.. keep in mind this was process intensive). I've found over the years that many people don't understand what they are testing. The jump to and make false claims with investigating the story behind the story.

+ - Google fund to pay for 1 million copies of Charlie Hebdo

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "The Register is reporting that money set aside from a deal with France's publishers is going to pay for the printing of 1 million copies of next weeks' Charlie Hebdo, "Eight of the 12 people killed were journalists attending an editorial meeting, however, a senior editor and the magazine’s chief executive were in London at the time of the attack. They have vowed to do a massive 1 million copy print run next week – Charlie Hebdo’s circulation is normally around 60k.
The cash will come from €60m fund (€20m per year over three years) that supports digital publishing innovation. The fund was set up in 2013 following negotiations between Google and the French government as a remedy to demands from European publishers that Google pay for displaying news snippets in its search results."

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