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+ - Airlines Taunted by Amazon and Alec Baldwin

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon once loaded an airplane with Kindles — all of them turned on — to prove the devices posed no threat to an airplane's communication system during take-offs and landings, according to the Washington Post, which also notes an Amazon employee ultimately chaired the FAA technical committee investigating the issue. "We've been fighting for our customers on this issue for years," one Amazon executive announced in a press release, " adding that to celebrate the FAA's new change in policy, they're offering a 15% discount today on most Kindles. The Post notes that "it's still eyebrow-raising that a company with the most commercial interest in the outcome of a panel's report would directly oversee the scientific content of that report." But the biggest winner is probably Alec Baldwin, who two years ago appeared on Saturday Night Live as a pilot who argued that the policy was "just a cruel joke perpetrated by the airline industry... and we would’ve gotten away with it, but Alec Baldwin was just too smart for us.!"

Comment: Do you mean problem solvers? (Score 1) 356

by OccamsRazorTime (#44824645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?
The problem that makes "rockstar" devs unmanageable is lack of hierarchical development groups. There is the project manager who is hands off coding and the coders. Somewhere in between there should be a system architect. That is the role for the genius "rockstar" dev. If you put the rockstar on the same level as everyone else of course everyone will hate him (either because he will be correcting their small errors or finishing his work weeks ahead of timeline).

Let the rockstar solve the algorithmic problems, the efficiency logjams, etc and everyone else code. Everyone will be happier. Sadly management of coding projects is never very well thought out.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bending-the-rules dept.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"
Networking

Misconfigured Open DNS Resolvers Key To Massive DDoS Attacks 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the check-your-sources dept.
msm1267 writes with an excerpt From Threat Post: "While the big traffic numbers and the spat between Spamhaus and illicit webhost Cyberbunker are grabbing big headlines, the underlying and percolating issue at play here has to do with the open DNS resolvers being used to DDoS the spam-fighters from Switzerland. Open resolvers do not authenticate a packet-sender's IP address before a DNS reply is sent back. Therefore, an attacker that is able to spoof a victim's IP address can have a DNS request bombard the victim with a 100-to-1 ratio of traffic coming back to them versus what was requested. DNS amplification attacks such as these have been used lately by hacktivists, extortionists and blacklisted webhosts to great success." Running an open DNS resolver isn't itself always a problem, but it looks like people are enabling neither source address verification nor rate limiting.
Google

Google Pledges Not To Sue Any Open Source Projects Using Their Patents 153

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the now-and-forever dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google has announced the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge. In the pledge Google says that they will not sue any user, distributor, or developer of Open Source software on specified patents, unless first attacked. Under this pledge, Google is starting off with 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google. Google says that over time they intend to expand the set of Google's patents covered by the pledge to other technologies." This is in addition to the Open Invention Network, and their general work toward reforming the patent system. The patents covered in the OPN will be free to use in Free/Open Source software for the life of the patent, even if Google should transfer ownership to another party. Read the text of the pledge. It appears that interaction with non-copyleft licenses (MIT/BSD/Apache) is a bit weird: if you create a non-free fork it appears you are no longer covered under the pledge.
Patents

Uniloc Patent Case Against Rackspace Tossed for Bogus Patents 76

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the don't-mess-with-red-hat dept.
netbuzz writes "A federal judge in Texas, presiding over a district notorious for favoring patent trolls, has summarily dismissed all claims relating to a case brought by Uniloc USA against Rackspace for [Linux] allegedly infringing upon [Uniloc's] patents. Red Hat defended Rackspace in the matter and issued a press release saying: 'In dismissing the case, Chief Judge Leonard Davis found that Uniloc's claim was unpatentable under Supreme Court case law that prohibits the patenting of mathematical algorithms. This is the first reported instance in which the Eastern District of Texas has granted an early motion to dismiss finding a patent invalid because it claimed unpatentable subject matter.'" You can't patent floating point math after all.
The Almighty Buck

Lawsuit Could Expose Whether Top VC Firms Are Actually Good Investments 90

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the show-me-the-money dept.
curtwoodward writes "Venture capitalists like to project the image of wise kingmaker, financial alchemists who have a unique gift for spotting the Next Big Thing. They do not like having anyone see data about their performance, which has been generally lackluster over the past decade. This can be a problem, however, when VCs cash big checks from investors at public pension funds — taking taxpayer money sometimes comes with public disclosure. That's the crux of a court fight happening in California, where the state's massive university system is resisting attempts by the Reuters news organization to decode a complex shell game intended to hide the return data of two giants of Silicon Valley: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital."

Comment: You mean minimum taxable wage (Score 1, Insightful) 1106

by OccamsRazorTime (#42996583) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be
Let's just call it what it is: the ultimate tax break. The minimum wage is a tax break for those earning less than it. Increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour as some have suggested will simply result in more blackmarket hiring. Maybe giving this tax break will help the US recover from some of it's current inequality spiral.
DRM

+ - HBO Adds Additional Encryption to Prevent Piracy->

Submitted by OccamsRazorTime
OccamsRazorTime (2621799) writes "HBO activated new HDCP encryption on their feed to cut down on piracy but at the encryption also blocks many common user functions in media centers not enabled for this type of encryption including DVR and HDMI output.
From the article:
"HBO is terrified of piracy—so terrified, in fact, that they're willing to toss roadblocks in the path of their subscribing customers as well. Ars Technica saw some complaints on a satellite forum, and discovered that DirecTV users with older DVRs and TVs are suddenly unable to watch HBO shows, thanks to newly-activated encryption."

Here is the story over at Ars Technica:

Perhaps worst of all is the fact that the encryption used has already been cracked so the only people suffering are their actual customers."

Link to Original Source

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