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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft wipes family photos off employee phones->

Submitted by
jbrodkin
jbrodkin writes "Microsoft employees who forget their phone passwords will see their devices get wiped, even if they're filled with personal data. "At Microsoft, we have a policy that says if you try to log in on a phone five times incorrectly, we actually wipe the phone," says Microsoft's Brad Anderson. "When that one gets wiped, it doesn't differentiate between what is corporate data and what is personal data." For the sake of its employees and customers, Microsoft is working on a system that can treat the corporate and personal data separately, but is so far coming up short. "I know what the problem is, but I'm not sure how we're going to solve it yet," Anderson says."
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Idle

+ - House Alarm Blasts Burglars With Pepper Spray-> 1

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "This is one home security alarm you won't want to trigger by mistake! Burglar Blaster mounts on a wall inside the home, and once armed, uses an infrared beam to detect when an intruder has entered the house. It then emits a cloud of pepper spray, that will severely inconvenience anyone within 2,000 square feet (186 square meters)."
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Network

+ - Stock trades to exploit speed of light->

Submitted by SpuriousLogic
SpuriousLogic (1183411) writes "Financial institutions may soon change what they trade or where they do their trading because of the speed of light.

"High-frequency trading" carried out by computers often depends on differing prices of a financial instrument in two geographically-separated markets.

Exactly how far the signals have to go can make a difference in such trades.

Alexander Wissner-Gross told the American Physical Society meeting that financial institutions are looking at ways to exploit the light-speed trick.

Dr Wissner-Gross, of Harvard University, said that the latencies — essentially, the time delay for a signal to wing its way from one global financial centre to another — advantaged some locations for some trades and different locations for others.

There is a vast market for ever-faster fibre-optic cables to try to physically "get there faster" but Dr Wissner-Gross said that the purely technological approach to gaining an advantage was reaching a limit.

Trades now travel at nearly 90% of the ultimate speed limit set by physics, the speed of light in the cables."

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Television

Antenna Arrays Could Replace Satellite TV Dishes 183

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yes-have-some dept.
Zothecula writes "There was a time not so very long ago when people who wanted satellite TV or radio required dishes several feet across. Those have since been replaced by today's compact dishes, but now it looks like even those might be on the road to obsolescence. A recent PhD graduate from The Netherlands' University of Twente has designed a microchip that allows for a grid array of almost-flat antennae to receive satellite signals."
Canada

'Officer Bubbles' Sues YouTube Commenters Over Mockery 594

Posted by samzenpus
from the Ricky-and-Julian-disapprove dept.
An anonymous reader writes "'Officer Bubbles' — the Toronto Police Constable who was videotaped threatening a G20 protester with arrest for assault over the crime of blowing bubbles at a police officer has had enough of mocking videos and comments on YouTube. He has decided to sue everyone involved (commenters included) for more than a million dollars each. The complaint is detailed in his statement of claim — most of the comments seem fairly tame by internet standards; if this goes anywhere, everyone is going to have to watch what they say pretty carefully. The lawsuit appears to have been successful in intimidating the author of the mocking cartoons into taking them down."
Idle

2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the 60-day-reprieve dept.
astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."

Comment: Re:Insane (Score 1) 2058

by Ymerej (#33824826) Attached to: Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee
It may not be rocket science, but it's not 3rd grade math either. It's very likely that the house/land in question was worth much less than $100,000. If that was the fee, they couldn't have or wouldn't have paid it. To answer your question, it appears that the people of the rural county that this man lived in did not in fact have any form of social responsibility or compassion. The government in that area, which was presumably expressing the will of its constituents, had apparently decided not to arrange for fire protection for all of the people outside the city who could be served by the city fire department. The people had decided to to leave it up to each individual as to whether or not to get the protection. The City had, after seeing that the owner of the house had not paid the fee, called him and written him a letter. For whatever reason, even after those communications where he was told what the consequences would be if he didn't pay and his house caught on fire, did not pay. It is sad, indeed, that this man subjected his family and pets to the consequences of his inaction. Many people decide not to live in cities because they don't like to pay higher taxes for things like city water, city sewer, fire protection, city garbage collection, city building codes and inspections, etc. They also don't want to have to play by the rules that go along with city life. It's a choice -- you get what you pay for.
Earth

New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill 226

Posted by timothy
from the had-to-flush-'em-out-somehow dept.
eDarwin writes "Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill. Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they 'walk' along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling."
Privacy

+ - Official WoW Forums to Display Full Names->

Submitted by Becausegodhasmademe
Becausegodhasmademe (861067) writes "In a move that has drawn heavy criticism from the World of Warcraft playerbase, Activision Blizzard announced today that the full name of posters on their public forums will be displayed alongside each forum post. The thread on the US WoW forum announcing the changes has reached 21,000 posts at time of writing, filled with complaints from customers very concerned about their privacy. In defense of the move, a community moderator posted his full name and challenged the players to find information on him. Within 15 minutes his personal information, including address, telephone number and the names and addresses of his family members were posted, causing the community moderator to delete his Facebook account.

The account cancellation page at worldofwarcraft.com is currently down, due presumably to the volume of customers canceling their accounts. As the privacy changes will affect European forums as well, many posters are questioning the legality of the change."

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