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Submission + - CEO of National Black Chamber of Congress says America's Internet is the Best (

dywolf writes: Harry Alford, the CEO of the National Black Chamber of Congress in Washington, D.C., wrote into The Oklahoman newspaper to rebut a previous letter to the editor decrying the stat of America's Internet. He tells tell us not to fear, that America's Internet is the best in the world. Apparently "85% of Americans enjoy 100MBps internet, blowing away Europe where only 50 percent of households can access even one-third of that speed". And not only is our system the envy of the world, thanks to the deregulations of the Clinton Era telecommunications reforms, but Europe's internet access is a complete failure due to overregulation. The letter can be found here:

Submission + - Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon's just created a new web page where they're officially acknowledging fake reviews posted by their customers — and they've even selected their own favorites. ("I was very disappointed to have my uranium confiscated at the airport. It was a gift for my son for his birthday. Also, I’m in prison now, so that’s not good either...") On the front page of Amazon, in big orange letters, Amazon posted "You guys are really funny." And then — next to a funny picture of a rubber horse head mask — Amazon's linked to a list of some of the very best satirical reviews their customers have submitted over the years, noting fondly that "occasionally customer creativity goes off the charts in the best possible way..."

Submission + - US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement ( 1

itwbennett writes: From the solving-nonexistent-problems department. The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkelin July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said.

Submission + - Google is going Puritan on us (

DougDot writes: In three days, Google's Blogger will begin to delete scores of blogs that have existed since 1999 on Monday under its vague new anti-sex-ad policy purge.

On Wednesday night at around 7pm PST, all Blogger blogs marked as "adult" were sent an email from Google's Blogger team.

blogger sex purge
The email told users with "adult" blogs that after Sunday, June 30, 2013, all adult blogs will be deleted if they are found to be "displaying advertisements to adult websites" — while the current Content Policy does not define what constitutes "adult" content.

To say that Twitter ignited with outrage would be an understatement. Blogger users are panicked and mad as hell at Google.

Submission + - Japan Spends Millions of 2011 Tsunami Relief Funds On Sea Turtle Research (

Rebecka writes: “Priorities” is the word residents of Japan may be uttering today after reports that officials reportedly spent a majority of the 200 billion set aside for 2011 tsunami relief efforts not on rebuilding their cities, but on sea turtle research.

The prefecture Kagoshima, located roughly 800 miles from the affected zone of Ishinomaki, was awarded three million yen after the devastating 2011 storm, a new report claiming the donated funds were reportedly spent in an effort for researchers to observe and protect sea turtles according to The Telegraph via the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.


Submission + - Obama gets notice of default in Calif. court over forgery allegations ( 1

Examiner News writes: On Friday, a district court in California issued a notice of default on Barack Hussein Obama for the president's lack of response to the plaintiff, Dr. Orly Taitz, in the latter's birther allegations. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that Obama had until Jan. 25, 2013 to respond to allegations that he had submitted fake IDs and forged documents in order to run for the nation's highest elected office in 2008 and 2012.

Submission + - The GOP's War on Reality Has Finally Jumped the Shark 2

derekmead writes: It can be ridiculously frustrating when our Congress doesn’t understand something important, like the Internet, but the less cynical amongst us could argue that it’s impossible to be an expert on everything, even though congresspeople are often expected to be. I’m imagining a short film called “The Innocence of Congress,” about aides trolling Wikipedia while Chuck Grassley talks to the MS Word paperclip.

But there’s something far worse than ignorance or naiveté, feigned or not. It’s the type of vitriolic misinformation coming out of Republican Representative Paul Broun, who’s broken hateful new ground in the GOP’s war on facts.

Broun, a physician who sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, pulled no punches with videotaped remarks, in which he said that there’s a lot of good evidence that the Earth is only 9,000 years old, and that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” He qualified those statements, made September 27 at a sportman’s banquet at a church in Georgia, by saying that he’s a “scientist.”

Submission + - Court Says Sending Too Many Emails Is Hacking (

An anonymous reader writes: An appeals court has ruled that having people send a company a lot of emails (in this case, a union protesting a company's business practices) qualifies as hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. We're not even talking about a true DDoS action here, but just a bunch of protest emails. Part of the problem is that the company apparently set up their email to only hold a small number of emails in their inbox, and the court seems to think the union should take the blame for stuffing those inboxes.

Submission + - Cybercrime Surveys are Useless (

Gunkerty Jeb writes: Barely a week goes by that woeful statistics on the proliferation of cyber crime don't make headlines in the trade and mainstream press. But a new study by Microsoft Research finds that many of those surveys are so rife with catastrophic statistical errors as to make their conclusions almost useless.

Submission + - Fired IT worker replaces CEO's PPT with porn ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: 52-year-old Walter Powell wanted revenge when he was fired from his position as an IT manager at Baltimore Substance Abuse System Inc.

So, he hacked into their systems — installing keyloggers to steal passwords.

And then, when his CEO was giving a presentation on a 64 inch TV to the board of directors... he replaced the slides with pornographic images of naked women.

Powell has now been given a 2 year suspended sentence, and 100 hours community service.

The moral? Don't piss off your IT staff


Submission + - IT pro pulls off rarest Putt-Putt feat (

netbuzz writes: Rick Baird, a 53-year-old IT manager from North Carolina, recently accomplished a feat seen only twice in half a century and not once since 1979: a perfect round of Putt-Putt golf — 18 holes, 18 shots. He tells Network World: “When I got ready to play 18 everybody was still gathering around to watch. I had to back off once since people were moving and I did not want there to be any distractions, and I needed a deep breath to calm down.”

Submission + - Canonical Confirms The Installer Bug (

An anonymous reader writes: Muktware reported a bug in Ubuntu will doesn't allow editing mount point during installation. The Ubuntu team have confirmed the bug. "The manual mount point entry box in the desktop installer's partitioner does not accept keyboard input. The drop-down still works, so various standard mount points may be selected, but custom ones cannot. This was noticed too late to be corrected for 11.04. In the meantime, you can mount partitions manually later, or use the alternate install CD."

Submission + - Debunking Apple's iPhone tracking response (

superglaze writes: So, according to Steve Jobs, logging iPhone location data is not logging iPhone location. That's the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from Apple's obfuscatory (and belated) response to the iPhone tracking scandal. Rupert Goodwins at ZDNet UK has done a great analysis of the statement, and how it chimes with earlier words from Jobs regarding Antennagate and how awful Google and iPad-rivalling tablets are. As Goodwins says, "having decided on its reality, the company enforces it... Hence Trackergate, where institutional secrecy poisoned a good idea, but the complainants (and those darn journalists) just cannot understand that it's just Apple trying to do good deeds by stealth".

Submission + - iPhone Location-Data Tracking Can't Be Turned Off (

mystikkman writes: The iPhone continues to store location data even when location services are disabled, contrary to Apple’s previous claims.The Wall Street Journal did independent testing on an iPhone and found that even after turning off location services, the device was still collecting information on nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points.This discovery challenges some of Apple’s claims. As reported last week, the company explained in a detailed letter last year that it deliberately collects geodata to store in a comprehensive location database to improve location services. In the letter, Apple noted that customers can disable location-data collection by turning off Location Services in the settings menu.

“If customers toggle the switch to ‘Off,’ they may not use location-based services, and no location-based information will be collected,” Apple said in the letter. That doesn’t appear to be the case from WSJ’s testing, as well as multiple independent reports from customers who had the same results. While Apple seems to deny it's tracking anyone and blames Android for doing so, the real question is what is the need to store the data on the device at all.

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.