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Submission + - The Patent Problem Is Bigger Than Trolls

Bob9113 writes: Ars Technica reports the following: "Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset--a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies--at an auction in 2011. Google bid for the patents, but didn't get them. Instead, they went to a group of competitors--Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony--operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion. This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for--launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1."

Submission + - Larry Page and Sergey Brin Are Lousy Coders

theodp writes: Don't tell Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson about Santa and the Easter Bunny just yet. He's still reeling after learning that Larry Page and Sergy Brin are actually pretty lousy coders. That's according to I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59, a book about the company's startup days by Douglas Edwards. "I didn't trust Larry and Sergey as coders," Google engineering boss Craig Silverstein recalls in the book. "I had to deal with their legacy code from the Stanford days and it had a lot of problems. They're research coders: more interested in writing code that works than code that's maintainable." But don't cry for Larry and Sergey, Argentina — even if the pair won't be taking home any Top Coder prizes, they can at least take solace in their combined $50+ billion fortune. And, according to Woz, they certainly could have kicked Steve Jobs' butt in a coding contest!

Submission + - Phone Calls More Dangerous Than Malware (

dinscott writes: During Social Engineer Capture the Flag contest, one of the most prominent and popular annual events at DEF CON 21, a pool of 10 men and 10 women, from diverse backgrounds and experience levels, tested their social engineering abilities against 10 of the biggest global corporations, including Apple, Boeing, Exxon, General Dynamics and General Electric. The complete results of the competition are in, and they don't bode well for businesses.

Submission + - How Texas Lost the World's Largest Super Collider (

quantr writes: The international operation of CERN marked a monumental success in this respect. To prove the existence of the Higgs boson, which has been contentiously described as the “God particle,” required $9 billion, ten years of study, thousands of careers, and a seventeen-mile collider ring which bores out of the earth on the Franco-Swiss border. At fourteen Terraelectron volts (TeV), it is the most energetic super collider ever built, and also one of the largest, most complex scientific experiments in history. Many have called it a modern-day cathedral.
And it should have been built in Texas.
Five-thousand miles southwest of Geneva, just outside Waxahachie, Texas, are the remnants of a super collider whose energy and circumference—true to American sensibility—would have dwarfed those of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Nobody doubts that the 40 TeV Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in Texas would have discovered the Higgs boson a decade before CERN. The collider’s tunnel would have entrenched Waxahachie in a topographical oval that curved east before the southern Dallas County line, then running southwest under Bardwell Lake and curving north at Onion Creek. Since Congress canceled the project twenty years ago, on October 21, 1993, Waxahachie has witnessed the bizarre and disquieting history of its failure.

Submission + - Does missing iPhone 5s fingerprint data pose security threat? (

An anonymous reader writes: "If my iPhone 5s fingerprint data is walled off from the rest of A7 chip and the rest of iOS 7 in a 'Secure Enclave' and is never accessed by iOS or other apps, as Apple claims, then how come it all vanished when my iPhone crashed and I had to go through the entire fingerprint scan registration process again? Apple is remaining very quiet about it..."

Submission + - Syrian Hackers Claim Twitter And Facebook Accounts Of Obama (

madison andrew writes: Syrian Electronic Army, the hacker group of Syria that supports the Assad regime has undertaken responsibility for hacking the link of Obama’s campaign on Monday. The group said that it redirected the shortened service links of Twitter and Facebook accounts of the President to one among the propaganda videos of the group. This admission from the Syrian group arrives just a day before Obama hosts a discussion about cyber security with top notch CEOs who belong to various sectors such as Information Technology, defenseand energy.

Submission + - Google Glass Expanding (

Dthief writes: Google announced that it’s expanding its Glass Explorer program, allowing more people to try out the high-tech glasses. While this isn’t the first time Google has allowed Explorers to invite friends, new users no longer have to be located in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles:

Submission + - First Experimental Evidence That Time Is An Emergent Quantum Phenomenon (

KentuckyFC writes: One of the great challenges in physics is to unite the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity. But all attempts to do this all run into the famous 'problem of time'--the resulting equations describe a static universe in which nothing ever happens. In 1983, theoreticians showed how this could be solved if time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, the phenomenon in which two quantum particles share the same existence. An external, god-like observer always sees no difference between these particles compared to an external objective clock. But an observer who measures one of the pair--and so becomes entangled with it--can immediately see how it evolves differently from its partner. So from the outside the universe appears static and unchanging, while objects that are entangled within it experience the maelstrom of change. Now quantum physicists have performed the first experimental test of this idea by measuring the evolution of a pair of entangled photons in two different ways. An external god-like observer sees no difference while an observer who measures one particle and becomes entangled with it does see the change. In other words, the experiment shows how time is an emergent phenomenon based on entanglement, in which case the contradiction between quantum mechanics and general relativity seems to melt away.

Submission + - White House Official Tracked Down and Fired over Insulting Tweets 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: BBC reports that Jofi Joseph, a senior National Security Council staffer who was a key member of the White House team negotiating on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, has been fired that after a probe that included an investigation into his travel and shopping patterns – parsed from over 2,000 tweets. Joseph was fired from his job on the NSC nuclear non-proliferation team a week ago after a months-long probe into a barrage of tweets that included caustic criticisms of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top NSC officials, especially Ben Rhodes – whom he accused of dodging questions about Benghazi. Joseph, who posted under the now defunct Twitter name @NatSecWonk, gave a lacerating commentary on anything from policy to personal appearance. "Was Huma Abedin wearing beer goggles the night she met Anthony Weiner," he tweeted, referring to the scandal-hit former New York mayoral candidate and his wife, a former aide of Hillary Clinton. He tweeted that Mrs Clinton "had few policy goals and no wins" in the Middle East. He said Chelsea Clinton was "assuming all of her parents' vices" and targeted figures such as Republican commentator Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney's wife Ann for their looks and weight. Many in the foreign policy community reacted with shock to the revelation that Joseph was the mystery tweeter because Joseph was well known among policy wonks and his wife, Carolyn Leddy, is a well-respected professional staffer on the Republican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "What started out as an intended parody account of DC culture developed over time into a series of inappropriate and mean-spirited comments," said Joseph in an apology. "I bear complete responsibility for this affair and I sincerely apologize to everyone I insulted."

Submission + - 11 Million Users Leave FaceBook (

dryriver writes: Earlier this year, reports suggested that Facebook lost nine million active monthly users in the U.S and two million in Britain. These figures originated from research carried out by SocialBakers in April. The figures come straight from Facebook's API, but is not the same as Facebook losing user numbers, for example. Monthly active users are the number of people who log into their account over a 30-day period. SocialBakers saw a drop in this figure prior to the report in April. Reasons for quitting Facebook were mainly privacy concerns (48.3 per cent), followed by a general dissatisfaction (13.5 per cent), negative aspects of online friends (12.6 per cent) and the feeling of getting addicted (6.0 per cent). That said, psychologist Stefan Stieger from the university recorded each of the 600 participants' responses to assessment measures based on their level of concern over various issues. Those who stopped using social media were more concerned about privacy, had higher addiction scores and tended to be more conscientious.

Submission + - Guy DDoS's his old boss and gets caught (

An anonymous reader writes: Brian Krebs writes about a story abouy a hacker who gets caught doing DDoS attacks against his former employer. He ends up learning the hard way what NOT to do when launching DDoS attacks using Booter services.

Submission + - Can a Japanese AI Get Into University? (

the_newsbeagle writes: Japanese researchers are trying to develop an artificial intelligence program that can pass the standardized test required of all college-bound high school students. Interestingly, the AI is showing good progress in the history portion of the exam, because it's fairly adept at looking up answers in a vast textual database. But the so-called Todai Robot is having trouble with math, "because the questions are presented as word problems, which the Todai Robot must translate into equations that it can solve," as well as with physics, which "presumes that the robot understands the rules of the universe." If the AI does succeed in mastering the general university exam, researchers will next tackle the notoriously difficult University of Tokyo entrance exam, which will require the bot to write essays.

Submission + - 5 Signs That Your Team Member Wants a Promotion (as told by Star Trek) (

Esther Schindler writes: A good manager needs to be constantly on the lookout for signals of ambition, lest their subordinates move on to a job where a career path doesn't have a stop sign or they may look to Mirror Chekov as an example. Carol Pinchefsky uses examples from Star Trek to show managers how to tell that a protégée, assistant, team member, or red shirt is looking to move up in rank. Or maybe just get a different shirt.

And, as with so many of her articles, the article is both funny and a truly useful guide.

Your assistant has been busy lately. He isn’t just doing his job; he also is helping the new hire with hers. In addition to showing her the workings of the office coffee machine (obviously the most important part of the job), he has been answering the little questions that crop up every day, as well as the bigger questions such as procedures.

And when the new hire slips up, your assistant never once asks her for her agonizer.

Comfortably guiding a new employee and making her feel welcome in your group is one of many ways that your assistant plays well with others. And that’s something any decent corporate culture needs more of.

Besides, how often do you get to watch Star Trek clips and tell yourself they are helping you be a better team lead?

Submission + - NSA Still Funded to Spy On US Phone Records,Vote Fails 3

turp182 writes: The Amash Amendment (#100) to HR 2397 (DOD appropriations bill) failed to pass the House of Representatives (this link will change tomorrow, it is the current day activity of the House) at 6:54PM EST today, meaning it will not be added to the appropriations bill. The amendment would have specifically defunded the bulk collection of American phone records.

Roll call may not be available until tomorrow.

Subjective: Let freedom be reigned.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.