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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 86 declined, 94 accepted (180 total, 52.22% accepted)

+ - Uber Must Submit CEO Emails

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Uber, has lost its bid in U.S. federal court to avoid disclosing emails from Chief Executive Travis Kalanick in a California lawsuit accusing the popular ride-booking service of deceiving customers about how it shares tips with drivers. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, in reference to U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu's ruling that the plaintiff in the lawsuit can receive emails from Kalanick and global operations chief Ryan Graves, wrote, "That Judge Ryu's order may require defendant to review approximately 21,000 documents does not represent an improper burden given the potential role of defendant's CEO and vice president of operations in defendant's challenged conduct,"

This comes amid mounting legal problems for Uber, including South Korea indicting Kalanick on charges he violated local licensing laws and numerous cities around the globe banning the service."

+ - Crowds Flock to "The Interview": Free As In Speech

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Theatres showing "The Interview" on Christmas were rewarded with sell-out crowds. While reviews of the comedy have been mixed, many movie-goers expressed solidarity with the sentiment expressed by one, "I wanted to support the U.S." Meanwhile, some reviewers have found the film tedious, with "...forced comedy that turns you off." Another opined, "It was more serious, the satire, than I was expecting," and, ""There's a message for America in there too about America's foreign policy." Then, of course, there's the North Korean take, that it is an "act of war.""

+ - Federal Judge: Facebook Must Face Suit for Scanning Messages

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton, on Tuesday, denied Facebook's bid to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant, for violating users' privacy through the scanning of message content. In her rejection of Facebook's argument, the judge said the firm had, "...not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business.""

+ - Boeing and Blackberry Make Self-Destructing Phone 1

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It sounds like a "Mission Impossible" scenario, but aerospace company Boeing is teaming with Canadian phone maker Blackberry to produce an ultra-secure mobile phone that "self-destructs". The phone uses encryption on calls and is aimed to serve the high-security needs of government and industry. As Blackberry CEO, John Chen, said, "We're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform. That, by the way, is all they allow me to say."

No word yet if you'll need the services of the bomb squad when you go over your minutes."

+ - Geoengineering Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Scientists from the University of Leeds have proposed that brighter ships' wakes, created by reducing their component bubbles' sizes, could increase their reflectivity and produce a cooling effect on the climate. The technology is touted as being available and simple, but side-effects might include such things as wetter conditions in some regions. Still, compared to many speculative geoengineering projects, "The one advantage about this technology — of trying to generate these tiny 'micro-bubbles' — is that the technology does already exist," according to Leeds' Prof Piers Forster."

+ - Terrestrial Gamma Ray Bursts Very Common

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It was long thought that gamma ray bursts were the exclusive province of deep space sources. More recently it was found that storms could produce such emissions, but such occurrences were thought rare. Now, data from NASA's Fermi satellite suggest such events happen over a thousand times a day. Per Prof. Joseph Dwyer, from the University of New Hampshire, "These are big, monster bursts of gamma rays, and one would think these must be monster storms producing them. But that's not the case. Even boring-looking, garden-variety, little storms can produce these.""

+ - Ask Slashdot: Greenhouse Gasses; Horse v. Auto

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "There is a certain tendency for people to long for the "good old days". I am curious if anyone has done the math on that for greenhouse gas emissions comparing horses to automobiles. Since horses emit carbon dioxide and methane even when they aren't being used, it would be most reasonable to compare ownership over a time period, say a year. At the same time, the differential in the greenhouse effect of methane versus carbon dioxide would need to be taken into account. Finally, the relative load-carrying and distance-covering capacities of the two transportation modes would need to be compared. So, it isn't a simple prospect, but has anyone tried to do it?"

+ - Tapping Social Media for Conservation Insights 1

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "It has been proposed that the pervasive use of social media to document our lives could be used to mine useful information about how the public interacts with nature. Speaking at the joint annual meeting of the British Ecological Society and Société Française d’Ecologie in Lille, France, researcher Daniel Richards from the National University of Singapore outlined a study that investigated such a possibility. Although the techniques described sound labor intensive, they seem to show that images posted on social media could give meaningful insights to those managing conservation efforts and providing public access, as well as establishing the value of such programs. According to Richards, "We wanted to try to create an indicator... that you can quickly and easily get information on a very small scale on the use people get from a habitat.""

+ - Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A new report claims that almost a quarter of the "clicks" registered by digital advertisements are, in fact, from robots created by cyber crime networks to siphon off advertising dollars. The scale and sophistication of the attacks which were discovered caught the investigators by surprise. As one said, "What no one was anticipating is that the bots are extremely effective of looking like a high value consumer.""

+ - Bogus Apps Found In Apple's Store

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Simon Phipps has done a little sleuthing after finding a slew of support requests for Apache OpenOffice coming from iOS users. Problem is, there is no version of OO for iOS. Phipps soon found that a fraudulent app was being offered on the Apple App Store website. In short order he found more such phony offerings. So, what does this say of Apple's vaunted vetting of App Store apps?"

+ - AK-47 Gets The Designer Treatment

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In a bid to make the venerable AK-47 assault rifle more appealing to a wider segment of the market, Kalashnikov has given its cornerstone product a makeover. No longer the exclusive province of Communists and revolutionaries, the AK-47 is now found in the sporting market, worldwide. Kalashnikov's move, which includes a new logo, is said to stem from a desire to appeal to more foreign buyers. As Kalashnikov CEO Alexei Krivoruchko said, "The US market was very important for us." The new look was rolled out in a glitzy event in Moscow."

+ - Hawking Warns AI Could Threaten Humanity

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "In a departure from his usual focus on theoretical physics, the estimable Steven Hawking has posited that the development of artificial intelligence could pose a threat to the existence of the human race. His words, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." Rollo Carpenter, creator of the Cleverbot, offered a less dire assessment, "We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it." I'm betting on 'ignored'."

+ - South Korea Bans Selfie-stick Sales

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "South Korea has instituted large fines for selling unregistered "selfie-sticks". The problem arises because many of the devices are using Bluetooth radio spectrum, and must be certified to do so legally. Expressing doubts that the regulations and stiff fines will influence sales, one official said of them, "It's not going to affect anything in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a telecommunication device subject to regulation, and that means we are obligated to crack down on uncertified ones,""

+ - Edsac Goes Live

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Britain's National Museum of Computing has flipped the switch on the venerable Edsac computer. The arduous task of reconstructing the 1949 behemoth, fraught with little in terms of the original hardware or documentation, was brought to fruition on Wednesday. As project lead, Andrew Herbert, is quoted as saying, "We face the same challenges as those remarkable pioneers who succeeded in building a machine that transformed computing." A remarkably shaky video of the event, replete with excellent views of the floor at the videographer's feet, can be found here."

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos

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