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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 24 declined, 5 accepted (29 total, 17.24% accepted)

+ - Some US Hospitals Now Data-Mine Patients' Purchases, Lifestyle

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "A new article up on Bloomberg shows that in at least two hospital chains, your doctor can know more about you than you may want them to: "Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data."

Question is, how soon before your health insurance broker demands/contracts and gets that kind of information, and what privacy can you expect in the future?"

+ - Want to Prove How Dinosaurs Walked? Pin a Tail on a Chicken

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "Researchers have recently gotten a cool idea: If you want to prove how a dinosaur walked, why not test the theory on today's birds? They decided to test things out by putting prosthetic tails on chicks to provide the same balance issues that a T-Rex (and similar bipedal dinosaurs) faced. The prosthetic tails were periodically replaced with larger versions as the chicks grew. The results were astonishing: After 12 weeks, the chickens' legs were measured, and were discovered to have decreased range-of-motion in the knees while their femurs grew longer... just like the T-Rex. You can also see a nifty video of how they did this."
Privacy

+ - Major US Airports to Remove X-Ray Body Scanners->

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "Is it an election-enhancing move, or a sign that the TSA is giving up on the porn industry? Either way, major airports are removing the infamous X-Ray "body scanners" in favor of a less intrusive version that only shows a generic body outline. The new "Gumby" scanners debuted in Boston back in July."
Link to Original Source
Oracle

+ - Ellison's Team Oracle Racing Yacht Capsizes in SF Bay->

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "The America's Cup hopeful and Ellison's favorite $8 million racing yacht Team Oracle capsized today underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. (video). They were testing out a new $2 million sailing wing when the boat suddenly "pitch-poled", capsizing immediately. 14 people were aboard, though no one was hurt. The 13,000 lb boat was pulled four miles offshore by currents before it could be recovered. According to the crew, the boat can be salvaged, but the new multimillion-dollar sailing wing was a "total loss" as it broke up in the bay."
Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft Taps 'Family Guy' To Hawk Windows 7->

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "In a move almost designed to shock the geek world, Seth McFarlane of Family Guy (and Robot Chicken, American Dad, etc) fame has agreed to help Microsoft sell Windows 7. The combination of the two will see a pitch for Windows 7 featuring McFarlane's voice and the crew of the Fox television comedy 'Family Guy'."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

+ - Pending Copyright Treaty a Secret?->

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "According to CNET, a request for information by Knowledge Ecology International about a pending copyright treaty was denied. Even stranger, the Freedom of Information Act request was denied for "national security" reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, One would think that a treaty that affects civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this..."
Link to Original Source
Networking

+ - AT&T Is Next To Impose Bandwidth Caps->

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "It seems that after Comcast has successfully imposed a 250GB/mo. bandwidth cap on its users, AT&T wants to give it a try, starting in Reno, Nevada. However, they intend to have lower caps, based on your rate plan. For lower-end users (768Kb DSL),this means you only get 20GB/mo. max, while the highest-paying users (10Mb DSL) get 150GB/mo. at the most (compared to Comcast's across-the-board 250GB/mo. cap). Initially, AT&T will only impose this on new customers, or existing customers who break the 150GB/mo. limit, but expect to impose this to all customers. The relatively good news? Instead of being cut off, users who reach 80% of their caps will be contacted, then pay $1/GB for every GB used over the limit once it is reached."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Caught Disrespecting Photogs' IP rights.

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "Microsoft and Nikon had launched a recent competition called Iconic Britain", but had actively encouraged participants to scrape images off of the Web, and to submit the ones they thought best represented the UK. Problem is, this encouragement fell a bit short in the 'respecting others' copyrights' department... there has been a discussion thread on Flickr expressing various proofs and shades of outrage by users at having their photos ripped off. CNET News reports that they had contacted Microsoft and was told that Microsoft is currently "obtaining the rights", but does not have them yet (but still displays the images). Competition partner Nikon has pulled themselves out of the promotion entirely."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Blesses LGPL, Joins Apache Foundation

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "According to a somewhat jaw-dropping story in The Register, it appears that Microsoft has performed a trifecta of geek-scaring feats: They have joined the Apache Software Foundation as a Platimum member(at $100K USD a year), submitted LGPL-licensed patches for ADOdb, and have pledged to expand it's Open Specifications Promise by adding to the list more than 100 protocols for interoperability between its Windows Server and the Windows client. While I sincerely doubt they'll release Vista under a GPL license anytime soon, this is certainly an unexpected series of moves on their part, and could possibly lead to more OSS (as opposed to "Shared Source") interactivity between what is arguably Linux' greatest adversary and the Open Source community."
Government

+ - US Senate pledges $1bn to stop P2P Child Porn->

Submitted by
Penguinisto
Penguinisto writes "A US Senate panel approved a bill, setting up $1bn USD to help federal, state, and local police forces create special software that will track P2P networks in an attempt to catch child pornographers. Given the foibles and follies of MediaDefender, coupled with the possibility of criminal charges (instead of civil lawsuits) hinging on a similar application's results, this may prove to be sticky indeed with any innocent party who winds up getting accidentally fingered... Nothing yet on how they intend to address the conceptual and technical flaws that Media Defender have been shown to exhibit. Other provisions of the bill include closing existing potential loopholes in how child porn is generated and disseminated (e.g. altering an innocent image to make it look sexual in nature, etc). While I doubt that anyone would defend someone who actually engages in child exploitation and abuse, the technical underpinnings could have wider future implications as to how governments track and prosecute computer crimes."
Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Saudi Arabia Detains Blogger

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry has confirmed that it is detaining Fouah al-Farhan for violation of 'security laws'. Farhan apparently knew it was coming, and warned about it almost two weeks in advance on his blog. Even in Pro-Western Saudi Arabia, laws are known to be rather draconian... while the poor guy most likely won't get his tongue cut out (so far they said that they merely wanted him to sign and post an apology), this bodes not well for attempts at opening up societies in the Middle East."
Microsoft

+ - Micrososft fires its CIO

Submitted by Penguinisto
Penguinisto (415985) writes "C|Net news reports that CIO Stuart Scott has been fired (not resigned, not retired... fired. (this is backed up by official MSFT reports on the matter. Not sure if it's because of something serious, if he got into an argument with one of the Board Members, or what... but it's rare that you see someone literally "fired" in print and otherwise."
Caldera

+ - SCO Admits It May Go Under Soon

Submitted by
Penguinisto
Penguinisto writes "It appears that now even SCO is seeing that they're doomed. CNET reveals that in a public statement by SCO yesterday, it was announced that: "If a significant cash payment is required, or significant assets are put under a constructive trust, the carrying amount of our long-lived assets may not be recovered." So as a parallel to RMS Titanic, has the bow finally dropped below the waves, as shareholders and SCO employees scramble for the last few remaining lifeboat slots?"

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