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Government

+ - FCC's Warrantless Household Searches Alarm Experts

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "You may not know it, but if you have a wireless router, a cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone in your house, the FCC claims the right to enter your home without a warrant at any time of the day or night in order to inspect it.

"Anything using RF energy — we have the right to inspect it to make sure it is not causing interference," says FCC spokesman David Fiske. That includes devices like Wi-Fi routers that use unlicensed spectrum, Fiske says.

The FCC claims it derives its warrantless search power from the Communications Act of 1934, though the constitutionality of the claim has gone untested in the courts.

But refusing the FCC admittance can carry a harsh financial penalty. In a 2007 case, a Corpus Christi, Texas, man got a visit from the FCC's direction-finders after rebroadcasting an AM radio station through a CB radio in his home. An FCC agent tracked the signal to his house and asked to see the equipment; Donald Winton refused to let him in, but did turn off the radio. Winton was later fined $7,000 for refusing entry to the officer. The fine was reduced to $225 after he proved he had little income."
NASA

+ - Space Station Crew Drinks Up To Recycled Urine

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "After the astronauts on the International Space Station finished up their communications with Space Shuttle Atlantis yesterday, the crew on the Space Station did something that no other astronaut has ever done before — drank recycled urine and sweat. The previous shuttle crew that recently returned to Earth brought back samples of the recycled water to make sure it was safe to drink, and all tests came back fine. So on Wednesday, the crew took their recycled urine and said "cheers" together and toasted the researches and scientists that made the Urine Recycler possible. After drinking the water, they said the taste was great! They also said the water came with labels on it that said 'drink this when real water is over 200 miles away.'"
Links

+ - IT recruitment is a lottery->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The whole IT recruitment system seems a bit broken. Job descriptions suck because that consist vaguely related buzzwords jammed into bullet lists rather than an accurate representation of what the job entails. Resumes suck because candidates must try to catch a recruiter's eye by hitting all the bullet points in poorly worded job descriptions rather than describing the things they can actually do. Recruiters suck because they don't know how to sort qualified candidates from people who write buzzword compliant resumes. How do you find the right job, or the right employee, when you're stuck with a system that doesn't really work?"
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - Voyager Clue Points to Origin of the Axis of Evil ->

Submitted by
KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC writes "Cosmologists have been scratching their heads over the discovery of a pattern imprinted on the cosmic microwave background, the radiation left over from the Big Bang. This pattern, the so-called Axis of Evil, just shouldn't be there. Now an independent researcher from Canada says the pattern may be caused by the boundary between the Solar System and interstellar space where there is a sharp change in pressure, temperature and density of ions in space. Known as the termination shock, astronomers had thought this boundary was spherical. But last year, data from the Voyager spacecraft which have crossed the boundary, showed it was asymmetric. The new thinking is that the termination shock acts like a giant lens, refracting light that passes through it. Any distortion of the lens ought to show up as a kind of imprinted pattern on an otherwise random image. But the real eye-opener is that as the shape of the termination shock changes (as the Solar Wind varies, for example), so too should the pattern in the microwave background. And there is tentative evidence that this is happening too (abstract)."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:You can't win if you don't play (Score 2, Interesting) 474

by BridgeBum (#26952047) Attached to: Linked In Or Out?

I actually only recently got a Facebook account, and it was 100% due to work. My company is using Facebook to share things like pictures, videos, etc. (non-proprietary) with the employees.

Just one anecdotal comment of course, but just trying to point out that Facebook is becoming more than just social networking.

Full disclosure: I've been on LinkedIn for a while, it's only Facebook that is new to me. I have never been on myspace.

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Rights To Virtual Property In Games? 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-stole-my-cloudsong dept.
With the rise of MMOs and other persistent environments over the last decade, the trafficking of virtual game property has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Regardless of whether the buying and trading goes on with the blessing of the content provider (or, in many cases, the owner of the account in question), the question of players' rights to virtual goods is coming to the forefront. The Escapist Magazine takes a look at how some companies are structuring their EULA in this regard, and what some countries, such as China, are doing to handle the issue. "... the differences between China and the West in this case have more to do with scale than cultural norms. So many people play online games in Asia — and play them so intensely — that social problems in meatspace society inevitably emerge in virtual worlds as well. ... The general consensus, therefore, is that paradigm shifts like the ones that have already occurred in Asia will inevitably come to the West, and with them, the need for legislative scaffolding that keeps us all from killing each other."
Networking

+ - IPv6 Cutover January 1, 2011

Submitted by IO ERROR
IO ERROR (128968) writes "An internet-draft published this month calls for an IPv6 transition plan which would require all Internet-facing servers to have IPv6 connectivity on or before January 1, 2011. 'Engineer and author John Curran proposes that migration to IPv6 happen in three stages. The first stage, which would happen between now and the end of 2008, would be a preparatory stage in which organizations would start to run IPv6 servers, though these servers would not be considered by outside parties as production servers. The second stage, which would take place in 2009 and 2010, would require organizations to offer IPv6 for Internet-facing servers, which could be used as production servers by outside parties. Finally, in the third stage, starting in 2011, IPv6 must be in use by public-facing servers.' Then IPv4 can go away."
The Courts

+ - Piracy Suit Being Dropped Against NY Mom

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "The Associated Press writes about the recording industry is giving up its lawsuit against Patti Santangelo, a mother of five who became the best-known defendant in the industry's battle against music piracy. However, two of her children are still being sued. From the article: "The five companies suing Santangelo, of Wappingers Falls, filed a motion Tuesday in federal court in White Plains asking Judge Colleen McMahon to dismiss the case. Their lead counsel, Richard Gabriel, wrote in court papers that the record companies still believe they could win damages against Santangelo but their preference was to "pursue defendant's children.""

Santangelo's lawyer, Jordan Glass, said the dismissal bid "shows defendants can stand up to powerful plaintiffs." He noted, however, that the companies were seeking a dismissal "without prejudice," meaning they could bring the action again, "so I'm not sure what that's worth." The companies, backed by the RIAA, has sued over 18,000 people. When Santangelo, 42, was sued last year, she said she had never downloaded music and was unaware of her children doing it. If children download, she said, file-sharing programs like Kazaa should be blamed, not the parents. The judge called her an "Internet-illiterate parent, who does not know Kazaa from kazoo." Last month, the record companies filed lawsuits against Santangelo's 20-year-old daughter, Michelle, and 16-year-old son, Robert, saying they had downloaded and distributed more than 1,000 recordings. The companies said that the daughter had acknowledged downloading songs on the family computer — which Glass denied — and that the son had been implicated in statements from his best friend. The suit against the children seeks unspecified damages."
Mozilla

+ - Thunderbird 2 Beta 1

Submitted by jaycoffey
jaycoffey (776587) writes "The first beta for version 2 of Mozilla Thunderbird was released on December 12. New features include message tags, folder views, session navigation history, a visual refresh of the theme, and improved new mail notification alerts. Check the release notes for all the specifics."
HP

+ - (rev.) HP Pays $14.5M to Make Civil Charges Vanish

Submitted by
theodp
theodp writes "The California Attorney General's Office negotiated a $14.5 million payoff from HP as part of a settlement that calls for the state not to pursue civil charges related to the now infamous spy scandal against the company and its current or former officers or directors (felony criminal charges against five individuals still remain). HP also agreed to maintain the watchdog positions of chief ethics officer (Jon Hoak, an old crony of HP CEO Mark Hurd) and chief privacy officer (we-don't-need-no-stinking-penalties Scott Taylor, who boasted to Congress last summer that privacy is a core HP value) for five years, have their compliance efforts monitored by HP's newest board member (pretexting vet G. Kennedy Thompson), and retain an expert (Bart M. Schwartz, of Rudy's Love Next fame) to review its investigative practices. Restores your faith in the system, doesn't it?"
Wireless Networking

+ - CSIRO demonstrate 'fastest' wireless link

Submitted by rob101
rob101 (809157) writes "The CSIRO yesterday demonstrated the worlds 'fastest' wireless radio link by transmitting sixteen full quality DVD streams over a 250m link and only using a quater of the available bandwidth. FTA: "The CSIRO ICT Centre today announced that it has achieved over six gigabits per second over a point to point wireless connection with the highest efficiency (2.4bits/s/Hz) ever achieved for such a system." ... "Dr Jay Guo ... said that this breakthrough is just a first stage towards direct connections of up to 12 gigabits per second.""

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