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+ - Obama unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans' calls and emails.

They found that while many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap by increasing access to international communications, others including FBI agents, CIA analysts and managers "had difficulty evaluating the precise contribution of the PSP to counterterrorism efforts because it was most often viewed as one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools in these efforts."

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+ - Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body->

Submitted by Lashdots
Lashdots writes: Amid the unveiling of the Apple Watch, Tim Cook's wrist distracted from another new product last month: ResearchKit, an open source iOS platform designed to help researchers design apps for medical studies—and reach millions of potential research subjects through their iPhones. Alongside the company's new frontiers, like the car and the home, Cook told Jim Cramer last month that health "may be the biggest one of all." As Fast Company reports, Cook says Apple's devices could could help pinpoint diseases within decades—and position the company at the center of a "significantly underestimated" mobile-health industry. Given the medical history of Silicon Valley, however, the prognosis for Apple remains unclear.
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+ - Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws by the President and lawmakers — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda where earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like Code.org and FWD.us that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created. Last December, as Microsoft-backed Code.org 'taught President Obama to code' at a White House event to kick off the nations's Hour of Code (as a top Microsoft lobbyist looked on), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also in D.C. publicly lobbying for high-skilled immigration and privately meeting with White House officials on undisclosed matters. And that, kids, is How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law!

+ - Which smartphone is stable these days?

Submitted by janimal
janimal writes: It used to be true that the iPhone was the smartphone that "just works". Ever since the 4S days, this has been true less and less with each generation. My wife's iPhone 6 needs to be restarted several times per week for things like internet search or making calls to work. An older 5S I'm using also doesn't consistently stream to Apple TV, doesn't display song names correctly on Apple TV and third party peripherals (like a Mercedes Benz). In short, the mainstay of Apple that is quality is fast receding. In your opinion, which smartphone brand these days is taking up the slack and delivering a fully featured smartphone that "just works"?

+ - Microsoft, Chip Makers Working on Hardware DRM for Windows 10 PCs-> 1

Submitted by writertype
writertype writes: Last month, Microsoft began talking about PlayReady 3.0, which adds hardware DRM to secure 4K movies. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are all building it in, according to Microsoft. Years back, a number of people got upset when Hollywood talked about locking down "our content". So how important is hardware DRM in this day and age?
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+ - Amazon's Profits Are Floating on a Cloud (Computing)

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that Amazon unveiled the financial performance of its powerful growth engine for the first time on Thursday, and the numbers looked good, energized primarily by renting processing power to start-ups and, increasingly, established businesses. Amazon said in its first-quarter earnings report that its cloud division, Amazon Web Services, had revenue of $1.57 billion during the first three months of the year. What is more unusual at a company that often reports losses, the cloud business is generating substantial profits. The company said its operating income from AWS was $265 million.

Amazon helped popularize the field starting in 2006 and largely had cloud computing to itself for years, an enormous advantage in an industry where rivals usually watch one another closely. At the moment, there is no contest: Amazon is dominant and might even be extending its lead. Microsoft ranks a distant No. 2 in cloud computing but hopes to pick up the slack with infrastructure-related services it sells through Azure, the name of its cloud service. “Microsoft is a credible player,” says Lydia Leong. But, she added, “Amazon is the most common platform for start-ups.” Amazon executives have said they expect AWS to eventually rival the company’s other businesses in size. The cloud business has been growing at about 40 percent a year, more than twice the rate of the overall company and many Wall Street analysts have been hoping for a spinoff. As for Google, the cloud was barely mentioned in Google's earnings call. Nor did the search giant offer any cloud numbers, making it impossible to gauge how well it is doing. But the enthusiasm of Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, was manifest when he spoke at an event for cloud software developers this week. “The entire world will be defined by smartphones, Android or Apple, a very fast network, and cloud computing,” said Schmidt. “The space is very large, very vast, and no one is covering all of it.”

+ - RSA Ban On 'Booth Babes' Spares 'Marilyn Monroe'-> 1

Submitted by netbuzz
netbuzz writes: When RSA confirmed last month that it was banning “booth babes” from its security conference held this week, the decision was generally well received. Some, however, anticipated that there might be trouble deciding who is or is not appropriately attired. Take, for example, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Booth babe? Or not? RSA said not, but there seems to be a good deal of disagreement.
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+ - Good: Companies care about data privacy. Bad: No idea how to protect it. 1

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes: Research performed by Dimensional Research demonstrated something most of us know: Just about every business cares about data privacy, and intends to do something to protect sensitive information. But when you cross-tabulate the results to look more closely at what organizations are actually doing to ensure that private data stays private, the results are sadly predictable: While smaller companies care about data privacy just as much as big ones do, they’re ill-equipped to respond. What’s different is not the perceived urgency of data privacy and other privacy/security matters. It’s what companies are prepared (and funded) to do about it.

For instance:

When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations do tell the people who work for them the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training.

However, even though smaller companies are equally concerned about the subject, that concern does not trickle down to the employees quite so effectively. Half of the midsize businesses offer no such training; just 39% of organizations with under 100 employees regularly train employees on data privacy.

Presumably, your employer cares about data security and privacy, too (if for no other reason than to keep its name out of the news). But what is it really doing to ensure that protection?

+ - Groupon refuses to pay security expert who found serious XSS site bugs->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Bounty programs benefit everyone. Companies like Microsoft get help from security experts, customers gain improved security, and those who discover and report vulnerabilities reap the rewards financially. Or at least that's how things are supposed to work.

Having reported a series of security problems to discount and deal site Groupon, security researcher Brute Logic from XSSposed.org was expecting a pay-out — but the site refuses to stump up the cash. In all, Brute Logic reported more than 30 security issues with Groupon's site, but the company cites its Responsible Disclosure policy as the reason for not handing over the cash.

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+ - iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: iTunes users who still run Windows XP started to experience connectivity issues this week. As documented in an Apple Support Communities thread, they can’t log into the iTunes store, meaning functions like buying content, watching already purchased movies and TV shows, playing DRM-protected content, backing up, updating, and syncing all do not work.

+ - Qt Creator 3.4.0 Released

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: Qt Creator 3.4.0 has been released with many new features. Qt Creator is a C/C++ IDE with specialized tools for developing Qt applications, and it works great for general-purpose projects as well. The new version comes with a C++ refactoring option to move function definitions out of a class declaration, auto-completion for signals and slots in Qt5-style connects, experimental Qt Test and Qt Quick Tests support in the Professional and Enterprise edition, support for 64-bit Android toolchains, and various other improvements. More details on the new version can be found in the official announcement and the changelog.

Comment: Wildly illogical (Score 1) 2

by Futurepower(R) (#49536733) Attached to: New documentary: When Women Code
See the advertisement, "trailer", on Vimeo. Quoting from the Vimeo page: "Sorry, comments have been disabled by the owner of this video."

The trailer begins with this, quoting exactly: "There will be 1.4 million jobs by 2020 in the computing-related fields. Less than 29% of them are gonna be filled by Americans." By "Americans" she means people in the United States. (Not South Americans). But the U.S. has only 5% of the world population!

Also, I would think that someone making an ad for a documentary would use correct English, and say "will be" instead of "are gonna be".

Comments at the Atlantic story:

"Rhein Ouaiffe":

"That blonde in the picture is no coder. Not a tech writer either; too good looking. She's HR or sales.

"If you hate someone, really hate her, then encourage her to become a coder. Sweatshop conditions, no office, not even a cubicle these days, but elbow-to-elbow with coworkers on a big noisy barn-like floor. Deadline pressure. Lots of colleagues who can't speak or write intelligible English. Indian bosses who were raised to think of women as slaves, and who are not shy about preferring their co-ethnics in hiring and promotions. Yeah, great career, go for it."

"Silverbullet Live" responded to Rhein Ouaiffe:

"If you hate someone, really hate her, then encourage her to become a coder. Sweatshop conditions, no office, not even a cubicle these days, but elbow-to-elbow with coworkers on a big noisy barn-like floor. Deadline pressure. Lots of colleagues who can't speak or write intelligible English. Indian bosses who were raised to think of women as slaves, and who are not shy about preferring their co-ethnics in hiring and promotions.

"Your statement is a hell of a lot more true than this bullshit article. I've see coder conditions go from fair to horrible. Specifications seem to get worse by the day. I've seen both Asian and Indian bosses come and go. They can't talk, read, or understand English well; they also don't understand production problems have to be fixed now! I feel sorry for the Indian women who work for them. The new sarcasm in my shop is "if you were born in the USA that disqualifies you for a management position". The customers get more and more steamed everyday and for shortcuts they contact one of the "legacy guys". I've seen Indian coder guys come in, the contractor companies threatens to cut off their working Visa, so they take a pay cut. Nothing brings Asians, Muslims, Indians, Blacks, and Whites together faster than the cold fact that the new boss is clueless but writes your evaluation.

"I went into programming in college because there was a recession and the civil engineering field was not that good. I would tell a resident-of-the-USA woman she should go into engineering, the medical field, sales, or anything OTHER than coding."

+ - Pot meats kettle, i mean Obama critcises china tech backdoor law->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Chinese government would require technology firms to create backdoors and provide source code to the Chinese government before technology sales within China would be authorised.

China is also asking that tech companies adopt Chinese encryption algorithms and disclose elements of their intellectual property.

Link to Original Source

+ - New documentary: When Women Code-> 2

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger writes: CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap is a documentary that premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film dives into why an industry that's supposed to think different, to move fast and break things has the demographic breakdown it does. The Atlantic has a Q&A with the director of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, which looks at the reasons behind the male-dominated world of software engineering.
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