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+ - PayPal will robo-text/call you with no opt-out starting July 1->

Submitted by OutOnARock
OutOnARock writes: When eBay cuts PayPal loose this summer, users of the new digital money giant will find they've agreed to new terms of service that take effect July 1. Those terms include PayPal giving itself the right to robocall or robo-text members at any phone number the firm can find, for just about any reason — from debt collecting to advertisements to opinion polling.

The fine print also says PayPal can pass along the same rights to its affiliates. Here's the language, in black and white, from the company's website:

You consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained . . . . (PayPal) may share your phone numbers with our Affiliates or with our service providers, such as billing or collections companies, who we have contracted with to assist us in pursuing our rights.

If I can only use PayPal on eBay, it'll probably mean an end of eBay for me, what about you?

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+ - Ubuntu Is In Urgent Need of a SystemD Developer/Maintainer->

Submitted by devphaeton
devphaeton writes: From TFA: Martin Pitt, a renowned Ubuntu developer, who apparently is in charge of the systemd maintenance/development for the Ubuntu Linux operating system, posted a message on the Ubuntu mailing list asking for assistance in maintaining systemd in Ubuntu:

"I'm working on systemd about 90% of my time these days, but currently this is a one-man show in Ubuntu, and about a 1.3 man show in Debian," says Mr. Pitt. "So please talk to me if you are interested in working on any of this. I'm happy to provide mentoring, guidance, introduction to upstream, etc."

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+ - Steam introduces refund system->

Submitted by Eloking
Eloking writes: From

Finally, Steam is offering refunds! Oh joyous day. But actually, the new policy could cause more problems than it solves.

Valve’s new refund policy has two main stipulations: you have to have purchased a game less than 14 days prior, and you can only have played it for two hours or less. The latter, especially, has people up in arms for a number of reasons.

The system, some people worry, seems highly exploitable. For some games—say, The Witcher 3 or GTA V or Clicker Heroes (why can’t I stoppppp)—two hours is just a drop in the bucket. But for others—smaller, more personal games along the lines of Proteus, Gone Home, and Papo & Yo or even bigger budget experiences like Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Portal—two hours can basically be the entire thing. So, in theory, someone could buy one of those games, play it to completion (or close enough), and then get a refund. Boom, free video game. For obvious reasons, that could hurt game creators pretty badly.

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+ - Sourceforge no longer complete and total scumbags.->

Submitted by slashdice
slashdice writes: Thanks to us raising shit over their, well, shit, SourceForge is throwing in the towel on some of their malware installers:

In an effort to address a number of concerns we have been hearing from the media and community at large, we at SourceForge would like to note that we have stopped presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects.

Of course, as Ars Technica reported, when SourceForge rolled out the (opt-in) malware installers in 2013, they promised "that we will never bundle offers with any project without the developers consent."

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+ - AMD Launches Carrizo Mobile APU With Excavator CPU Cores, Integrated Southbridge->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: AMD previously only teased bits of detail regarding their forthcoming 6th Generation A-Series APU, code named "Carrizo," as far back as CES 2015 in January and more recently with AMD's HSA (Heterogenous System Architecture) 1.0 spec roll-out in March. However, the company has officially launched the product today and has lifted the veil on all aspects of their new highly integrated notebook APU. Carrizo has been optimized for the 15 Watt TDP envelope that comprises the bulk of the thin and light notebook market currently and it brings a couple of first to integrated notebook chip designs. AMD's Carrizo APU is the first SoC architecture to fully support the HSA 1.0 specification, allowing full memory coherency of a shared memory space for both CPU and GPU up to 32GB. It's also the first integrated chip to include full support in hardware for H.265/HEVC HD video decoding and finally, Carizzo is also the first AMD APU to have a full integrated, in silicon, Southbridge controller block. So, with its CPU, GPU, memory controller, Northbridge, Southbridge, and PCIe 3.0 links, Carrizo is truly a fully integrated System On A Chip. The company is claiming a 39% CPU performance lift (combination clock speed and IPC) and up to a 65% in graphics, versus their previous generation Kaveri APU. AMD notes laptops from major vendors will begin shipping in the next few weeks.
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+ - DEA eavesdropping tripled, bypassed federal courts->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration more than tripled its use of wiretaps and other types of electronic eavesdropping over the past decade, largely bypassing federal courts and Justice Department lawyers in the process, newly obtained records show. The DEA conducted 11,681 electronic intercepts in the fiscal year that ended in September. Ten years earlier, the drug agency conducted 3,394.

Most of that ramped-up surveillance was never reviewed by federal judges or Justice Department lawyers, who typically are responsible for examining federal agents' eavesdropping requests. Instead, DEA agents now take 60% of those requests directly to local prosecutors and judges from New York to California, who current and former officials say often approve them more quickly and easily.

Drug investigations account for the vast majority of U.S. wiretaps, and much of that surveillance is carried out by the DEA. Privacy advocates expressed concern that the drug agency had expanded its surveillance without going through internal Justice Department reviews, which often are more demanding than federal law requires.

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+ - Self-Driving Cars Will Cause Motion Sickness 'Often' to 'Always', Study Finds-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: We have some bad news for the queasy.

For adults, motion sickness will be more of an issue in self-driving vehicles than in conventional vehicles. Some are expected to experience motion sickness often, while others may actually feel sick every time they're riding in an autonomous vehicle, a study by researchers at The University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute revealed.

"This is an important issue that has received little attention thus far," Michael Sivak, a researcher who worked on the study told The New York Observer.

Mr. Sivak and his co-researcher Brandon Schoettle looked at the three main factors that cause motion sickness (conflict between vestibular and visual inputs; inability to anticipate the direction of motion; and lack of control over the direction of motion) and determined that they are elevated in self-driving vehicles.

"All three factors, to varying degrees, are more frequently experienced by vehicle passengers than by drivers, who rarely experience motion sickness," they wrote in their report.

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+ - Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Later this week, the BBC will air the first of a two part series examining Britain's oral hygiene and examining attitudes toward taking care of our teeth.

The documentary also shows that those with chronic inflammation can lead to damage of the circulation system and vital organs, with research showing that bad gums can be linked to the development of illnesses including heart disease and Alzheimer's.

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+ - Hunt for the Dangerous Defecator—company demands DNA swabs, employees sue->

THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER writes: Who left offensive fecal matter throughout an Atlanta warehouse that stored and delivered products for grocery stores?

Two employees, who were forced to give a buccal cheek swab to determine if their DNA matched the poop, are suing in what could be the first damages trial resulting from the 2008 civil rights legislation Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which generally bars employers from using individuals' genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decision.

Although there was no DNA match, the two were offered a combined $200,000 settlement. The plaintiffs rejected it and "said the offer was a load of doo doo".

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+ - Why Is It a Crime for Dennis Hastert to Evade Government Scrutiny?

Submitted by writes: Dennis Hastert is about the least sympathetic figure one can imagine. The former House Speaker got filthy rich as a lobbyist trading on contacts he gained in office, his leadership coincided with Congress's abject failure to exercise oversight or protect civil liberties after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and now Hastert stands accused of improper sexual contact with a boy he knew years ago while teaching high school and trying to hide that sordid history by paying the young man to keep quiet. If federal prosecutors could meet the legal thresholds for charging and convicting Hastert of a sex crime, they would be fully justified in aggressively pursuing the matter.

Yet, as Conor Friedersdorf writes in The Atlantic, the Hastert indictment doesn’t charge him for, or even accuse him of, sexual misconduct. Rather, as Glenn Greenwald notes, “Hastert was indicted for two alleged felonies: 1) withdrawing cash from his bank accounts in amounts and patterns designed to hide the payments; and 2) lying to the FBI about the purpose of those withdrawals once they detected them and then inquired with him.” It isn’t illegal to withdraw money from the bank, nor to compensate someone in recognition of past harms, nor to be the victim of a blackmail scheme. So why should it be a crime to hide those actions from the U.S. government? The current charges could be motivated by a desire to prosecute Hastert for sex crimes. But that dodges the issue. “In order to punish him for that crime, the government should charge him with it, then prosecute him with due process and convict him in front of a jury of his peers,” says Greenwald. “What over-criminalization does is allow the government to turn anyone it wants into a felon, and thus punish them without having to overcome those vital burdens. Regardless of one’s views of Hastert or his alleged misconduct here, it should take little effort to see why nobody should want that.”

+ - USA 'Freedom' Act passed by Senate 67-32, headed to WH->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Congress has sent legislation to the president reviving and remaking a disputed post-9/11 surveillance program two days after letting it temporarily expire.

The vote in the Senate Tuesday was 67-32. The House already has passed the bill, and President Barack Obama plans to sign it quickly.

The legislation will phase out, over six months, the once-secret National Security Agency bulk phone records collection program made public two years ago by agency contractor Edward Snowden. It will be replaced by a program that keeps the records with phone companies but allows the government to search them with a warrant. Senate Republican leaders opposed the House bill but were forced to accept it unchanged after senators rejected last-ditch attempts to amend it.

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+ - US Department of Defense outsourcing IT->

Submitted by KapUSMC
KapUSMC writes: The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act was released in late May without much fanfare. It appears to the standard fare, but down in section 591 there is a revision to network services for all military installations:

(a) Establishment Of Policy.—It is the policy of the United States that the Secretary of Defense shall minimize and reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, the number of uniformed military personnel providing network services to military installations within the United States.
(b) Prohibition.—Except as provided in subsection (c), each military service shall be prohibited from using uniform military personnel to provide network services to military installations within the United States 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

In 2013, the Bureau Labor Statistics list 163,097 in Engineering, Science, and Technical occupations. The majority of those are in Information Technology. How will this impact the labor market, and how much will it cost?

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+ - USA Freedom Act passes unamended, limiting NSA surveillance-> 1

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Today the US Senate passed the USA Freedom Act without amendments, signalling the start of the significant surveillance reform that has been called for since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the agency's activities. It had already been determined that the bulk collection of phone metadata was illegal, and the expiry of Section 215 of the Patriot Act at the end of May brought this data collection to an end anyway.

The USA Freedom Act sets in concrete the end of the phone data collection program and is seen as a major victory for privacy advocates. It will come as good news to Snowden himself who will undoubtedly feel a sense of relief that his risk-taking paid off. The bill is still to be signed into law by President Obama, but this is now little more than a formality.

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+ - How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Discoveries have shown that bird-specific features like feathers began to emerge long before the evolution of birds, indicating that birds simply adapted a number of pre-existing features to a new use. And recent research suggests that a few simple changes — among them the adoption of a more babylike skull shape into adulthood — likely played essential roles in the final push to bird-hood. Not only are birds much smaller than their dinosaur ancestors, they closely resemble dinosaur embryos. Adaptations such as these may have paved the way for modern birds’ distinguishing features, namely their ability to fly and their remarkably agile beaks. The work demonstrates how huge evolutionary changes can result from a series of small evolutionary steps.
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+ - Cool Tool: The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick writes: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has launched a very cool new tool that will thrill energy wonks and anyone interested in understanding the per kilowatt cost of nuclear energy. Developed over the last two years in a partnership between the Bulletin and the University of Chicago, the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Cost Calculator estimates the cost of electricity produced by three configurations of the nuclear fuel cycle:

1. The once-through fuel cycle used in most US nuclear power plants, in which uranium fuel is used once and then stored for later disposal.; 2. A limited-recycle mode in which a mix of uranium and plutonium (that is, mixed oxide, or MOX) is used to fuel a light water reactor; 3. A full-recycle system, which uses a fast neutron spectrum reactor that can be configured to “breed” plutonium that can subsequently be used as either nuclear fuel or weapons material.

This online tool lets users test how sensitive the price of electricity is to a full range of components—more than 60 parameters that can be adjusted for the three configurations of the nuclear fuel cycle considered. The results provide nuanced cost assessments for the reprocessing of nuclear fuel and can serve as the basis for discussions among government officials, industry leaders, and public interest groups.

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Fundamentally, there may be no basis for anything.