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Privacy

Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.
Facebook

How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the setting-up-a-scapegoat dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Forbes: [Facebook] announced yesterday that it was shutting down a feature that the Obama campaign used in 2012 to register over a million voters. During the election supporters shared access to their list of Facebook friends list with the campaign through an app. Researchers have found that while people view often political messages with skepticism, they are more receptive and trusting when the information is coming from somebody they know. The feature was credited with boosting Obama’s get-out-the-vote efforts which were crucial to his victory, but Facebook has decided to disable this ability in order to (rightfully) protect users from third-party apps collecting too much of their information.

The company insists that it favors no particular ideology and that its efforts are “neutral.” The first part is likely true, but the second is not possible. The company’s algorithms take into account a proprietary mix of our own biases, connections, and interests combined with Facebook’s business priorities; that is the farthest thing from neutral. Facebook says it just want to encourage “civic participation,” but politically mobilizing the subsection of people that are on their network is not without its own impacts.
Canada

What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the great-white-north-policy dept.
blottsie writes As the U.S. continues to debate how best to establish net neutrality regulations over Internet service providers, author and journalist Peter Nowak explains how how Canada has already dealt with these issues, and what the U.S. can learn from its neighbor to the north."[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper has made the connection between telecom policy and actual votes, and that has had enormous impact on public policy," says Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa. "This is a ballot-box or pocket-book issue that hasn't really been seen yet in the United States."

Comment: $50+, really? Can I get $50 for my copy? (Score 1) 107

by Walking The Walk (#48325813) Attached to: Landfill Copies of Atari's 'E.T.' End Up On eBay

I still have a copy that my dad bought me 30 years ago, and as of two years ago it still works fine. It's been used a fair bit, but I'm sure it is better condition than a copy that spent 30 years in a landfill. Are you sure there are people willing to spend $50 for a game with so many bugs (in this case, both programmatic and probably literal)? I'm willing to bet there are so many copies out there like mine, and so many people who hate the game, that nobody will be willing to spend more than $5.

PS: The gameplay and controls were just as bad as I remembered. Getting out of pits without falling back in was hard enough, but finding a way around the glitchy screen transition points was super frustrating.

Medicine

Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys 198

Posted by samzenpus
from the spray-away dept.
First time accepted submitter GeekyKhan writes A new needle-free vaccine has proven to be 100% effective at stopping the transmission of Ebola in monkeys, and it could spell a breakthrough in the battle against the disease. The vaccine is administered through a nasal spray using a common cold virus genetically engineered to carry Ebola DNA. From NBC: "The vaccine uses a common cold virus genetically engineered to carry a tiny piece of Ebola DNA. Sprayed up the nose, it saved all nine monkeys tested for infection. But now the research is dead in the water without funding, Maria Croyle of the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy said. 'Now we are at the crossroads, trying to figure out where to get the funding and resources to continue,' Croyle told NBC News."

+ - YouTube Considering An Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

Submitted by Walking The Walk
Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "YouTube is looking at creating a paid-subscription model that would allow users to skip the ads on their videos. (A more condensed summary from CBC.) No firm date has been announced, and it sounds like tentative steps right now, but YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki did mention that ad-enabled music videos would still be offered. (Can we extrapolate that all types of ad-enabled videos would still be offered?)"
Google

Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet 558

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-money-is-no-good-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes CVS and Rite Aid have reportedly shut off the NFC-based contactless payment option at point of sale terminals in thousands of stores. The move will make it impossible to pay for products using Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Rite Aid posted at their stores: "Please note that we do not accept Apple Pay at this time. However we are currently working with a group of large retailers to develop a mobile wallet that allows for mobile payments attached to credit cards and bank accounts directly from a smart phone. We expect to have this feature available in the first half of 2015."

Comment: Re:Parliment Hill != The White House (Score 1) 529

by Walking The Walk (#48204827) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

It's important for non-Canadians to realize that Parliment Hill is not the White House or US Senate. Parliment in Canada is a public commons. There is no security at all on the ground of Parliment and the space is routinely used for large scale public protests and demonstrations, less than a couple of dozen yards of Parliment itself. It's a different ball game.

That's not true. You used to be able to drive onto parliament hill, which was great at Christmas to see all the lights. But in the past few years they've stopped all car traffic except cleared vehicles, they've got Ottawa police providing security along with accusations of kickbacks for the service (I can't find the link as Google is flooded with today's stories on the shooting), they have always had security within the buildings themselves (eg: security guards preventing MPs from entering the House for a vote), etc. Sure we let people in to do tours and such, but you can get a tour of the White House too. Besides, what good would it do to assassinate Harper (our Prime Minister)? He's only PM because his party formed government and he's the current head of his party. Kill him and someone else from his party just takes his place - it would be horrible, but it wouldn't stop our country the way it might if another country's head of state were killed.

Comment: Re:Why (Score 2) 529

by Walking The Walk (#48204711) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament
Well, this comes just a few days after one soldier was killed and another injured in what's being called an intentional attack by a "radicalized" Canadian. That attack was south of Montreal (about 2 hrs drive from Ottawa), so there may be no connection, but it does make one wonder. I'm sure people are worried that these two incidents are related, and might be harbinger of more to come.

Comment: Only a few days after one killed south of Montreal (Score 2) 529

by Walking The Walk (#48204667) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament
Just a few days ago in a town south of Montreal, Quebec, a man hit two soldiers with his car, killing one of them. They're saying he was "radicalized" and waited in the parking lot for 2 hours before the attack. I haven't seen anyone provide info to tie the two attacks together, but I'm sure the question will come up.

I suppose Facebooks new Safe Check would be useful today - my family have already text me to let me know they're safe, but it would be great to know none of my friends have been hurt.

Medicine

Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres 422

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-just-stretch-them-back-into-place? dept.
BarbaraHudson writes Those free soft drinks at your last start-up may come with a huge hidden price tag. The Toronto Sun reports that researchers at the University of California — San Francisco found study participants who drank pop daily had shorter telomeres — the protective units of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes in cells — in white blood cells. Short telomeres have been associated with chronic aging diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. The researchers calculated daily consumption of a 20-ounce pop is associated with 4.6 years of additional biological aging. The effect on telomere length is comparable to that of smoking, they said. "This finding held regardless of age, race, income and education level," researcher Elissa Epel said in a press release.
Databases

Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the fast-enough-to-cause-drama dept.
lkcl writes: In an open letter to the core developers behind OpenLDAP (Howard Chu) and Python-LMDB (David Wilson) is a story of a successful creation of a high-performance task scheduling engine written (perplexingly) in Python. With only partial optimization allowing tasks to be executed in parallel at a phenomenal rate of 240,000 per second, the choice to use Python-LMDB for the per-task database store based on its benchmarks, as well as its well-researched design criteria, turned out to be the right decision. Part of the success was also due to earlier architectural advice gratefully received here on Slashdot. What is puzzling, though, is that LMDB on Wikipedia is being constantly deleted, despite its "notability" by way of being used in a seriously-long list of prominent software libre projects, which has been, in part, motivated by the Oracle-driven BerkeleyDB license change. It would appear that the original complaint about notability came from an Oracle employee as well.

Comment: Re:Blade Servers aren't "new server platforms" (Score 1) 56

by Walking The Walk (#48167385) Attached to: Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

Heck, 13 years ago at a Canadian federal government job we swapped our web servers for blades.

Which was pretty bleeding-edge at the time, since the first blade server was 2001. So not sure what your point about the government is - they weren't late to the party, far from it.

If I hadn't posted on this story, I would mod the above interesting. I just assumed we were at least a couple of years behind the curve. We were buying off the shelf hardware, nothing custom.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

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