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EPIC Urges FTC To Investigate Google Services 111

snydeq writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a 15-page complaint asking the FTC to force Google to stop offering online services that collect data until the presence of adequate privacy safeguards is verified. The EPIC also wants Google to disclose all data loss or breach incidents, citing several incidents where data held by Google was at risk, the most recent of which occurred earlier this month with its Google Docs. The EPIC complaint [PDF] also listed other security flaws in Gmail and Google Desktop, a desktop indexing program, and urged Google to donate $5 million to a public fund that will support research into technologies such as encryption, data anonymization and mobile location privacy." EPIC has raised privacy concerns about Google before, and about Windows XP as well.
Data Storage

The Great Zero Challenge Remains Unaccepted 496

An anonymous reader writes "Not even data recovery companies will accept The Great Zero Challenge and only four months remain! We've all heard how easily data can be recovered from hard drives. We're told to make multiple overwrites with random data, to degauss drives and even physically destroy them just to be extra safe. Let's get the word out. The challenge is almost over! It's put up or shut up time. Can you recover the data?"
Social Networks

Facebook Blocks Users From Mentioning BugMeNot.com 448

ThinkingInBinary writes "The other day, I was trying to mention bugmenot.com in my Facebook status, and I discovered to my horror that Facebook blocks the phrase 'bugmenot.com' as "abusive" in status updates, messages, and presumably any other communications on the site. Facebook isn't even listed on BugMeNot, as they requested that logins for Facebook be blocked. This is pretty ridiculous, as I can't even send my friends a message mentioning bugmenot.com!"
Linux Business

Source Claims 240K Kindles Sold 176

Naturalist writes "Exact data on (the Linux-powered) Kindle sales figures have been hard to come by. Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about it, and although CEO Jeff Bezos did give some Kindle-related information back in July, the company has yet to break out how many readers it has sold to date. Now TechCrunch claims to have spoken to a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the company's sales figures. According to this unnamed source, Amazon has sold 240,000 Kindles to date, for an estimated hardware revenue between $86 million and $96 million; media sales would push the total above $100M." We've been following the Kindle since its launch nine months ago.

Excerpt From Arthur C. Clarke's Last Work 118

Ubuntukitten writes "The Telegraph is running an excerpt from Arthur C. Clarke's last work, called 'The Last Theorem.' Fellow writer Frederik Pohl helped out. It's a reassuring chunk of old-fashioned sci-fi, describing an Olympics that's set on the moon. Typically for Clarkian sci-fi, is very much about the practicalities of mounting a Lunar Olympics, rather than any wild fantasy." The excerpt's centerpiece is a trip to the moon that begins with a space elevator ride. The book will be published on Aug. 1.
The Almighty Buck

Nielsen Collects FL Tax Breaks, Then Outsources Jobs 572

theodp writes "The poop is hitting the fan over tax breaks given to ratings giant Nielsen Co., which pocketed millions in Florida jobs-creation tax concessions but has turned around and dismissed hundreds of local workers after inking a $1.2B outsourcing deal with Tata Consultancy Services of Mumbai. Lou Dobbs is on the case. Lou may go even more ballistic once he sees the Nielsen-Tata pact, which assures Nielsen that OT worries are a thing of the past ('there shall be no additional charge for overtime work'), allows Nielsen to have unsatisfactory Tata hires replaced within 4 weeks of starting with no charge for the original or re-performed work, gives Nielsen up to 6 man-weeks of free labor when a Tata worker is replaced, and allows Nielsen to make 'any TCS Resource' disappear with no more than 5 days notice if their presence 'is not in the best interests of Nielsen.' Nielsen execs have launched a PR counter-attack, pledging not to bully 85 year-old ladies in future layoffs. In a Letter to the Citizens, Nielsen CEO David L. Calhoun explained that Tata won a 'rigorous competition' to get the job, failing to mention that Tata was also tapped by Nielsen EVP Mitchell Habib in his CIO roles at both GE and Citigroup."

Nancy Pelosi vs. the Internet 561

selil writes "A story popped up on the ChicagoBoyz Blog. It says 'Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, "Fairness Doctrine" that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting, is scheming to impose rules barring any member of Congress from posting opinions on any internet site without first obtaining prior approval from the Democratic leadership of Congress. No blogs, twitter, online forums — nothing.'"
The Courts

Hans Reiser Leads Police To Nina's Body 1523

jlmcgraw was the first to alert us that Hans Reiser has led police to the location in the Oakland Hills where he buried the body of his wife Nina. (We discussed the rumor that he would do so last month.) SFGate.com reports that remains were recovered but have not yet been identified. Reiser is to be sentenced on Wednesday. CBS5 claims that Reiser made a deal for a reduced sentence, to 15 years, in exchange for revealing the body.

Freeze On US Solar Plant Applications Lifted 282

necro81 writes "Barely a month ago, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a freeze on applications for solar power plants on federally managed land, pending a two-year comprehensive environmental review. After much hue and cry from the public, industry, and other parts of government, BLM has today announced that it will lift the freeze, but continue to study the possible environmental effects. To date, no solar project has yet been approved on BLM land."
Data Storage

Anatomy of Linux Journaling File Systems 59

LinucksGirl writes "Journaling file systems used to be an oddity primarily for research purposes, but today it's the default in Linux. Discover the ideas behind journaling file systems, and learn how they provide better integrity in the face of a power failure or system crash. Learn about the various journaling file systems in use today, and peek into the next generation of journaling file systems."

Leaning Tower of Pisa Secure For 300 More Years 168

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The tower of Pisa began to lean five years after its construction began, in 1178, and by 1990 it had tilted more than four meters off its true vertical. Conservationists estimated that the entire 14,500-ton structure would collapse 'some time between 2030 and 2040.' Now the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been stabilized and declared safe for at least another three centuries. The stabilization, which cost $30M, was accomplished by anchoring it to cables and lead counterweights, while 70 tons of soil were removed from the side away from the lean, and cement was injected into the ground to relieve the pressure. The tilt has now returned to where it was in the early 19th century. Nicholas Shrady, author of Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa, says that the tower was destined to lean from the outset because it was built on 'what is essentially a former bog.' Shrady adds that the tower previously came close to collapsing in 1838, 1934, and 1995. (The commission convened in 1990 to study the tower's stability was the 17th such.) Although Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped cannon balls from the tower in a gravity experiment, Shrady says the myth is the result of 'the overripe imagination of Galileo's secretary and first biographer, Vincenzo Viviani.'"

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