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Submission + - What has become of the severance package?

JamesNT writes: By now we've all heard about the IT layoffs that occurred, or attempted to occur, at Disney. And now we have Suntrust who went a step even further in trying to ensure the cooperation of terminated employees long after their termination without compensation. In both cases, IT employees were told they would lose their severances if they failed to cooperate. Has the severance package horrifically devolved from a way to part ways on amicable terms during bad times to a weapon to force IT people to agree to otherwise humiliating terms before feeling the boot? Other questions also abound such as how companies that have outsourced all IT are faring now? Are companies breaking any laws? What resistance can today's IT person have against his/her own employer other than keeping personal debt low and finances in check just in case the need to walk out the door on their own terms arises? What would have happened to Suntrust or Disney if the IT staff had, all to a one, declined severance and just left all at once?
Businesses

Submission + - Skype Outage Hits Users Worldwide

Hugh Pickens writes: "The LA Times reports that millions of Skype phone users worldwide couldn't make calls or were dropped in mid-conversation, because of a network connection failure that began about 9 a.m. Wednesday PST. "For a communications system this large to go down, it's almost unheard of," says Charles S. Golvin, a Forrester Research analyst. "Usually when phone lines are disrupted, the blackout is confined to a specific geographical area. This is worldwide." In theory, Skype, which is based on peer-to-peer networking technology shouldn't see an outage but that is not really the case — the company has a massive infrastructure that it uses for purposes such as authentication and linking to the traditional phone networks. "The outage comes at a time when Skype is starting to ask larger corporations for their business," writes Om Malik. "If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in the light of this current outage.""

Submission + - Julian Assange arrested in England (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)

SJ2000 writes: "Scotland Yard has confirmed that Julian Assange has been arrested by police in England... It is expected he will appear before an extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court today for a ruling to be made on whether or not he should be sent to Sweden."
Google

Submission + - Google to launch OS

dg504 writes: The BBC are reporting that Google are looking to launch an operating system by the middle of next year. "We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds," said the blog post written by Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Google's engineering director Linus Upson. Both men said that "the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web" and that this OS is "our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be". To that end, the search giant said the new OS would go back to basics. "We are completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. "It should just work," said Google.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - World of Warcraft Players Need Not Apply (nytimes.com)

Shadowmist writes: "From the New York Times BITS (Buisness Innovation Techology Society) blog:

In at least one known incidents employers have been telling recruiters "not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc."

On one hand, the recruiter may have a point: Massively multiplayer online games can require a high level of engagement — players must spend long hours playing to advance their characters and participate in game activities such as raids. It's not uncommon for subscribers to log as many as 30 hours per week."

Others argue that the management involved in leading guilds and raids serves as training in skills such as leadership and project managment.

But still this might be something you want to leave off your resume... or Facebook."

Democrats

Submission + - Democratic Policy Change (democrats.org)

drkich writes: "I just received and email this morning from the Democratic party declaring a major policy change. "...So, as of this morning, if you're a federal lobbyist, or if you control political action committee donations, we won't be accepting your contribution...""
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - old school MMrpg's

zero_himself writes: "Hi, i am a aspiring programmer, currently going to college. Do you remember the "old school" rpgs, like aol's NWN, darksun, and Darksun online? Does any one have an interest in playing those games today? I am asking because i am currently trying to create a tech demo, I am thinking about using NWN(the original), or darksun as a type of format. Further more, are classic games like this better the way they were(16-256 color graphics), or better updated(using direct3d to render a more "realistic" picture)? Just wanted some input, thanks"
Programming

Submission + - 2D Game Development Made Easy (sourceforge.net)

BlueMonk writes: "After 2 years of development and testing, version 2 of the Scrolling Game Development Kit, rewritten from the ground up in C#, has been released. The program is an IDE to assist newcomers and experienced developers to relatively easily create resources and assemble them into functional scrolling games based on DirectX. The new version is highly customizable in that almost all the runtime code is embedded in the project data file and can be edited and saved with the project. No runtime other than .NET and DirectX is required to play the compiled games."
Wii

Submission + - Wii Won't Improve Fitness Like Real Sports

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Time spent in front of television and computer screens has been linked to physical inactivity and obesity. The new generation of wireless based computer games is meant to stimulate greater interaction and movement during play, so researchers compared the energy expenditure of adolescents when playing sedentary and new generation active computer games. Participants in the study played competitive bowling, tennis and boxing matches using Wii Sports. Energy expenditure during active gaming was much lower than authentic bowling, tennis and boxing, and was not intense enough to contribute towards the recommended amount of daily physical activity for children. When translated to a typical week of computer play for participants, active rather than passive gaming would increase total energy expenditure by less than 2%."
Security

Submission + - massive vulnerability (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from Google have documented serious vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash content which leave tens of thousands of websites susceptible to attacks that steal the personal details of visitors. Realistically, the numbers are probably in the hundreds of thousands. How can it be that we have become so dependant on a piece of proprietary technology that leaves such huge number of people vulnerable to data theft?

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