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+ - Iceland Taps Facebook To Rewrite Its Constitution->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Iceland is using Facebook to rewrite its constitution: citizens can use the social network to make their own suggestions, engage in online debates, or follow the proceedings in real-time. Two thirds of Iceland’s population (approximately 320,000) is on Facebook, so the constitutional council’s weekly meetings are broadcast live not only on the council’s website, but on the social network as well. “It is possible to register through other means, but most of the discussion takes place via Facebook,” said Berghildur Bernhardsdottir, spokeswoman for the constitutional review project."
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+ - Banks Turn to NY Sen. Schumer for Patent Suit Help->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "From the NY Times article:

"Big banks have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to a tiny Texas company [owned by Claudio Ballard] to use a patented system for processing digital copies of checks. After years of fighting, the banks went to Senator Schumer who inserted into a patent overhaul bill a provision that appears largely aimed at helping banks rid themselves of the Ballard problem. The Senate passed the bill easily in March. Mr. Schumer said he believed he did the right thing. “This is a case where one company has made a cottage industry out of extracting legal settlements by exploiting a fuzzy part of the law on patents,” he said.

Readers should note that Ballard DID invent the system himself and file the patent. This is NOT a patent troll in the normal sense.."

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Security

+ - EU ministers seek to ban creation of hacking tools->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Justice Ministers across Europe want to make the creation of "hacking tools" a criminal offense, but critics have hit back at the plans, saying that they are unworkable. Ministers from all 27 countries of the European Union met on June 9 to discuss European Commission proposals for a directive on attacks against information systems. But in addition to approving the Commission's text, the ministers extended the draft to include "the production and making available of tools for committing offenses". This is problematic, as much legal and legitimate software could be put to criminal use by hackers. The draft mentions "malicious software designed to create botnets or unrightfully obtained computer passwords," but goes no further in attempting to clarify what "tools" might be subject to criminal sanctions."
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Security

+ - Defense Dept. Ramping Up Offensive Cybersecurity ->

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "The Pentagon has said recently that it will soon consider certain types of online attacks as acts of war, but it hasn't been very specific. In an interview, White House cybersecurity chief Howard Schmidt said that the Department of Defense takes this mission very seriously and that there are other agencies involved as well.
"The military, like any other large entity, has a tremendous dependency on the Internet and technology just to do its basic mission, and so when they look at their 21st century security challenges and their role and their commitment to defend citizens, allies and interests, that even is more extensible than anything else when it comes to the Internet itself. Now, when you start looking at sort of the full breadth of government activities that might take place, whether it’s diplomatic, whether it’s military, whether it’s economic, whether it’s some other sort of incentive and stuff like that, this is part of an overall view, the way things that take place. So, Department of Defense’s role is only one of the many roles that we have across the government, and not only our government, but other governments as well," Schmidt said."

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Idle

+ - Libyan rebels weaponize Power Wheels toy ATV->

Submitted by
Danny Rathjens
Danny Rathjens writes "jalopnik.com reports, "You know the little Power Wheels-style ATV [4-wheeled slow-moving truck] your kid uses to drive across the lawn? It turns out that it makes a great machine gun drone in the hands of Libyan rebel, and structural engineer, Mohammad Bin Saud. Bin Saud is one of a growing legion of rebel Libyans turning anything and everything — including the aforementioned Power Wheels — into weapons." Most of the content is a video clip from Al-Jazeera."
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Security

+ - Malware Hitting Peaks of 10 Million Pieces Per Day->

Submitted by Orome1
Orome1 (1901578) writes "Virus and malware activity increased during the month of May, sporadically hitting peaks of more than 10 million pieces per day. Major news events, once again, became fodder for malware campaigns while large companies continued to be the target of attackers. ZeuS is still around and going strong. Its source code has made its way into the hands of security researchers, but that hasn’t slowed it down. Russia still holds the top spot as the number one country for spam origination. Also, Brazil’s output surpassed the US for the first time in many months."
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Security

+ - LulzSec attacks gaming sites ... just for laughs->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The hacking group known as LulzSec called it Titanic Takeover Tuesday. Gamers called it by a variety of names, many of which cannot be reprinted here. But for system administrators at a handful of gaming companies, Tuesday, June 14 was a nightmare: the day their websites went down under an online attack. LulzSec took down systems at the Escapist, Eve Online, Minecraft and League of Legends Tuesday during a three-hour long distributed denial-of-service rampage that left gamers annoyed and the Lulz hackers crowing. "Welcome to #TitanicTakeoverTuesday where everyone is laughing at crybabies getting Lulz Cannoned!" the hacking group said during one of its many Twitter messages documenting the online assault."
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Government

+ - Obama: "We don't have enough engineers'->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "President Obama wants to boost engineering graduation rates by 10,000 a year. In 2009, the U.S. produced 126,194 engineering graduates for bachelor's and master's degrees and for Ph.D.s. The U.S. had just over 1.9 million engineers in 2010. The unemployment rate in 2010 for all engineers was 4.5%. "We've made incredible progress on education, helping students to finance their college educations, but we still don't have enough engineers," said Obama. He's counting on the private sector to help expand the number of graduates."
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News

+ - Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth->

Submitted by
mdsolar
mdsolar writes "For centuries thinkers have assumed that the uniquely human capacity for reasoning has existed to let people reach beyond mere perception and reflex in the search for truth. Rationality allowed a solitary thinker to blaze a path to philosophical, moral and scientific enlightenment.

Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too, but we’ll get to that) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena."

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Comment: Re:Still consuming (Score 1) 496

by Linkiroth (#31650490) Attached to: In the last 24 hours, I've consumed ...
..Sort of. Chi fan is a generic term for eating. Although you can have 'chi' as its own verb and you can eat lots of things. chi wu fan le mei you? = did you eat lunch ni you mei you chi fan? = did you eat? ni you mei you chi mi fan = did you eat rice Slightly different. Remember that in chinese if you want to be proper, you need to use two character phrases, one character "words" can be ambiguous.
Enlightenment

+ - Secret Scientology documents published->

Submitted by hansguckindieluft
hansguckindieluft (1228846) writes "de.indymedia.org reports:
The internet group Anonymous that recently declared war on Scientology has published documents and instruction videos (Link to the german newssite with downloads (in english)) reserved for high ranking Scientologists. This has reportedly been made possible by the hack of a scientology server a week ago.
Translated from german:
"The documents include handbooks for the highest OT-levels that normally require investments of hundreds of thousands of dollars into scientology"
"Furthermore CD's for selfindoctrination at 900$ a piece have been 'liberated'"
"Other 'hot stuff' are the OECs (Organization Executive Courses). That tell Org-leaders how to keep, acquire and financially exploit followers"

Other documents contained in the download bear titles like "All about radiation", "Child Dianetics", "The OT Levels" (800 pages), "The Axioms of Scientology" (6 pages), "Advanced Procedures and Axioms" (58p)."

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Microsoft

Microsoft Bids $44.6 Billion For Yahoo 784

Posted by kdawson
from the big-deal dept.
The news is everywhere this morning about Microsoft's $44.6B offer to buy Yahoo. The offer represents $31 a share, a 62% premium over Thursday's closing price; and Yahoo's stock price has been rising in after-hours trading. Microsoft has been making overtures to Yahoo since 2006, according to the CNet article, including a buyout offer last February that was rebuffed. Mediapost.com has some perspective on the deal from the point of view of ads and eyeballs. Such an acquisition, which would be Microsoft's largest by far — it bought Aquantive last year for $6 billion — would need approval by US and EU authorities. A European Commission spokesman declined to comment.

The number of computer scientists in a room is inversely proportional to the number of bugs in their code.

Working...