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+ - Netflix web site is down->

Submitted by David7
David7 (946912) writes "I couldn't login to Netflix so I called the support number. There was a recorded message stating "we are currently experiencing issues with both our web site and streaming movies, we are working to resolve the problem, we apologize for any inconvenience." I stayed on hold and spoke with a live person who confirmed that the Netflix website is down. When I asked about a refund, I was told that if one was issued, I would be notified via e-mail. I was not asked for my e-mail address."
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Programming

+ - Coding Under the Influence? 2

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "I've tried coding drunk,' writes Alex Muir in Code Sober, Get Things Done Drunk. 'It was a disaster — even a couple of beers had me really struggling to produce anything worthwhile. I decided coding was like driving — you need all your faculties to work.' But back in the heyday of three-martini-lunches, coding under the influence at work — at least occasionally — was the rule, not the exception that it is today in big corporations. However, a CUI while working on personal projects is still no crime — have you found that downing a few beers or other libations while programming helps or hinders you?"
Earth

+ - Earthscraper Takes Sustainable Design Underground

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The "Earthscraper," a 65-story, 82,000-square-foot inverted pyramid beneath Mexico City takes a new approach to escalating megacity problems like population growth, urban sprawl, preserving open space, and conserving energy and water, promising to turn the modern high-rise, quite literally, on its head. The proposed building will be located at the Zocalo, Mexico City’s major public plaza one of the few sizable open spaces left in the city of 9 million. "It's a massive empty plot, which makes it the ideal site for our program," says architect Esteban Suarez. The Earthscraper concept begins with a glass roof replacing the opaque stone surface of the Zocalo preserving the open space and civic uses of the Zocalo, while allowing natural lighting to flow downward into all floors of the tapering structure through clear or translucent core walls. The first 10 stories would hold a museum dedicated to the city's history and its artifacts. "We'd almost certainly find plenty of interesting relics during the dig — dating right back to the Aztecs who built their own pyramids here," says Suarez adding that the design incorporates a system of gardens occurring roughly every 10 stories, to help generate fresh air. One thing working in Earthscraper’s favor is there are strict laws that prevent building upwards in this part of Mexico City, but no laws for building down. “They will have to develop new laws to stop this from happening,” says Chief Design Officer Emilio Barja. “I hope they don’t [find the] time to do that.”"
Bug

+ - Apache flaw allows internal network access-> 1

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "A yet-to-be-patched flaw discovered in the Apache HTTP server allows attackers to access protected resources on the internal network if some rewrite rules are not defined properly. The vulnerability affects Apache installations that operate in reverse proxy mode, a type of configuration used for load balancing, caching and other operations that involve the distribution of resources over multiple servers."
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Science

+ - Breakthrough in Printing Graphene Electronics->

Submitted by fellowgeek
fellowgeek (2513600) writes "Recently, Andrea Ferrari and peers at the University of Cambridge in the UK demonstrated a giant leap forward. These researchers have found a way to switch out or complement the conducting polymers in the inks with graphene, the “magic” material of the technological realm right now.

The electronic properties of graphene are tough to best and make it the perfect candidate for nanoelectronics. But the hard part comes in trying to mix it with an ink that always produces small droplets – an aspect that obviously fundamental for inkjet printing...

This is basically what Ferrari and team have managed to do. They’ve discovered a way to easily produce graphene by chemically chipping flakes off a block of graphite and filtering them to remove any that might clog the printer heads.

Ferrari and peers then take the flakes and throw them into a solvent called N-Methylpyrrolidone, or NMP as it’s called, which reduces problems like the coffee ring effect that can happen when some of the solvents evaporate.

Eventually, they put the mixture into their printers and printed out a couple of circuits and thin film transisters."

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Science

+ - Giant crab invasion looms in Antarctica-> 4

Submitted by Damien1972
Damien1972 (878814) writes "A 0.12 degree C rise in temperature will spur giant King Crabs to invade the Antarctic continental shelf, causing havoc for its unique ecosystem, reports a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Temperatures are currently rising 0.01-0.02 per year, meaning it could be less than a decade before the crabs chow down on the soft-bodied invertebrates that currently rule the shelf. “It's much more reminiscent of the Paleozoic era before all those shell-crushing crabs and bony fish and bottom-feeding sharks and rays evolved," said marine biologist Richard Aronson. “The bottom communities in Antarctica are anachronisms. They're a window to the past. They're going to get modernized when these crabs show up.”"
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Security

+ - Hacker Tries to Land IT Job at Marriott via Extort-> 1

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "A tough global economy has certainly created challenges for many people looking for jobs, but one Hungarian man took things to another level in an effort to gain employment at hotel giant Marriott International.

On Wednesday, a 26 year-old Hungarian citizen, pleaded guilty after hacking into Marriott computer systems, and threatening to reveal confidential company information he obtained if Marriott didn’t offer him a job.

Assuming his efforts were working, and the possibility of a new job with Marriott in his sights, the hacker arrived at Washington Dulles Airport on Jan. 17, 2011, on an airline ticket purchased by Marriott for him, for what he thought would be a job interview with Marriott personnel. Unbeknownst to him, he was actually being “interviewed” by a Secret Service agent posing as a Marriott employee....a meeting that eventually landed to his arrest and will likely put him behind bars for a while once he is sentenced in Feburary...."

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Hardware

+ - Can Maintenance Make Data Centers Less Reliable?->

Submitted by miller60
miller60 (554835) writes "Is preventive maintenance on data center equipment not really that preventive after all? With human error cited as a leading cause of downtime, a vigorous maintenance schedule can actually make a data center less reliable, according to some industry experts.“The most common threat to reliability is excessive maintenance,” said Steve Fairfax of "science risk" consultant MTechnology. "We get the perception that lots of testing improves component reliability. It does not.” In some cases, poorly documented maintenance can lead to conflicts with automated systems, he warned. Other speakers at the recent 7x24 Exchange conference urged data center operators to focus on understanding their own facilities, and then evaluating which maintenance programs are essential, including offerings from equipment vendors."
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Government

+ - Palantir, the War on Terror's Secret Weapon->

Submitted by
hessian
hessian writes "None of Fikri’s individual actions would raise suspicions. Lots of people rent trucks or have relations in Syria, and no doubt there are harmless eccentrics out there fascinated by amusement park infrastructure. Taken together, though, they suggested that Fikri was up to something. And yet, until about four years ago, his pre-attack prep work would have gone unnoticed. A CIA analyst might have flagged the plane ticket purchase; an FBI agent might have seen the bank transfers. But there was nothing to connect the two. Lucky for counterterror agents, not to mention tourists in Orlando, the government now has software made by Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that’s become the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.

The day Fikri drives to Orlando, he gets a speeding ticket, which triggers an alert in the CIA’s Palantir system. An analyst types Fikri’s name into a search box and up pops a wealth of information pulled from every database at the government’s disposal. There’s fingerprint and DNA evidence for Fikri gathered by a CIA operative in Cairo; video of him going to an ATM in Miami; shots of his rental truck’s license plate at a tollbooth; phone records; and a map pinpointing his movements across the globe. All this information is then displayed on a clearly designed graphical interface that looks like something Tom Cruise would use in a Mission: Impossible movie."

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AT&T

+ - How Blocking the AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Hurts Riva->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The attempted merger between AT&T and T-Mobile has fallen on hard times amid antitrust concerns, but there's a potential silver lining for T-Mobile — one that would give them a boost over competitors anyway. Reuters reports that T-Mobile USA would be entitled to a hefty breakup fee including $3 billion in cash as well as spectrum and roaming agreements. 'In a research note, Moody's said that could also lead to a network sharing deal between the two companies, reasoning that it "would make sense given the spectrum that AT&T will have to cede to T-Mobile and the 3G roaming agreement between the two." That would make life especially hard for No. 3 U.S. carrier Sprint, which has been one of the most vocal opponents of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, going so far as to file a lawsuit. ... Smaller rivals such as MetroPCS and Leap Wireless may be affected even more because T-Mobile is eyeing similar customer segments.'"
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+ - Philippines call centers overtake India-> 1

Submitted by ajitk
ajitk (1165667) writes "This year, call centers in Philippines employed 50,000 more people than India’s 350,000.
From the New York Times article:
More Filipinos — about 400,000 — than Indians now spend their nights talking to mostly American consumers, industry officials said, as companies like AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Expedia have hired call centers here, or built their own.
Nevertheless, the financial benefits of outsourcing remain strong enough that the call center business is growing at 25 to 30 percent a year here in the Philippines, compared to 10 to 15 percent in India
In spite of its recent growth, the Philippines is a much smaller destination for outsourcing more broadly — India earns about 10 times as much revenue from outsourcing."

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Networking

+ - US Gov't Seizes 130+ More Domains In Crackdown-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The DoJ and ICE have once again taken up the banner of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting by seizing over 130 domains allegedly involved in those activities. TorrentFreak points out that this newest digital raid happened just before 'Cyber Monday,' a time when consumers are encouraged to do a bunch of online shopping. From the article: 'Compared to previous seizure rounds, there are also some notable differences to report. This time the action appears to be limited to sites that directly charge visitors for their services. Most of the domains are linked to the selling of counterfeit clothing (e.g. 17nflshop.com), and at least one (autocd.com) sold pirated auto software. Last year several sites were taken down because they allowed their users to access free music and movie downloads, and these were followed by several streaming services a few months later. No similar sites have been reported in the current round.'"
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Spam

+ - Malicious Spam Spikes to 'Epic' Level->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "There has been a huge spike in spam volume in the last few days, including a massive amount of malicious spam with infected attachments, and researchers say that levels of junk mail are now far higher than they were before the takedown of the notorious Spamit affiliate program last fall.

The huge spike comes at a time when spam should, in fact, be dropping because of the takedown of the Rustock botnet, the Spamit network and other botnets.

"From the beginning of August, we have observed a huge surge of malicious spam which far exceeds anything we have seen over the past two years, including prior to the SpamIt takedown last October. The majority of the malicious spam comes from the Cutwail botnet, although Festi and Asprox are among the other contributors," M86 researcher Rodel Mendrez said."

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Security

+ - Customer Email Address Leaks 2

Submitted by anyaristow
anyaristow (1448609) writes "Since the mid nineties I've used a unique email address for everyone I do business with and for every service or site I sign up with, so that if someone leaks my email address to spammers I know who did the leaking. Until this year I'd only had a few of these addresses compromised (including a national flower seller and a major music gear maker). This year I'm getting about one every other month, including a telecommunications giant and one of the three credit reporting agencies. There are no mailboxes or accounts associated with these email addresses; I receive all email to the domain. These addresses exist only as text I typed into a web form, and as header fields in received email. I'd consider a man-in-the-middle or someone gaining access to my mailbox as possible culprits except I haven't had communication with that credit agency in years, and I just yesterday started receiving spam to that address. That, and only a few of these addresses are compromised. Is anyone else seeing this, and can anyone think of a reason other other than lax security or the use of third-party email campaigns?"

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