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Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters 610

No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."

Submission + - Clampi Trojan Returns to Target Bank Accounts (channelinsider.com)

dasButcher writes: "Reports are surfacing that the Clampi Trojan — first discovered in January 2008 — is once again on the move and able to stealthily steal bank account numbers and authentication credentials from compromised computers. In a new twist, the Trojan is now spreading across domains with infected PCs by leveraging a Windows utility (http://blogs.channelinsider.com/secure_channel/content/malware_worms_viruses/clampi_trojan_resurfaces_to_stealthily_steal_banking_credentials.html). Clampi, which monitors more banking domains than any other Trojan, is futher evidence that the cybercriminals have the upper hand."

Submission + - Is competition dead?

canyougraphthat writes: "Disclosure: I work for a digital marketing technology firm that offers similar services to Microsoft's Atlas and Google's Doubleclick platforms.

I have been involved in the digital marketing technology sphere for many years and have watched with interest as it tumbled past the point where global businesses have taken control through a slew of acquisitions. With the growth of digital advertising, these firms are viewing technology as being critical to their success — control over purchasing and targeting platforms, having access to (anonymous) data around many billions of digital interactions every day, and ensuring that they don't need to base a business on competitor platforms.

One particular angle of interest for me is the affect Microsoft and Google (through their acquisitions) are having on innovation & competition in the industry. Whilst ad delivery and tracking is not yet free (like email, site analytics), competition is suffering due to global price points being driven down to unprofitable levels. Big businesses see benefits in data aggregation & platform control, and ultimately can make money elsewhere — building in guaranteed purchases on their ad network for instance. Global contracts can be structured to include minimum commitments that represent the vast majority of available industry spend. The result — competing firms find it difficult to generate enough profit to innovate and are effectively locked out of market share.

My industry is not alone, but where's the line here? Is it good enough that customers are able to use basic services more cheaply? What's the long-term cost in innovation terms? Is open source the only viable counteracting force? Much to think about."

Submission + - Travel to the Edge of the Universe (arxiv.org)

An anonymous reader writes: It is well known that interstellar travel is bounded by the finite speed of light, but on very large scales any rocketeer would also need to consider the influence of cosmological expansion on their journey. This paper examines accelerated journeys within the framework of Friedmann- Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker universes, illustrating how the duration of a fixed acceleration sharply divides exploration over interstellar and intergalactic distances. Furthermore, we show how the universal expansion increases the difficulty of intergalactic navigation, with small uncertainties in cosmological parameters resulting in significantly large deviations. This paper also shows that, contrary to simplistic ideas, the motion of any rocketeer is indistinguishable from Newtonian gravity if the acceleration is kept small.

Submission + - Canadian Pirate Party close to registering in upco

I cant believe its n writes: "In a ZeroPaid interview with Jake Daynes, a spokesperson for the Pirate Party of Canada, it was revealed that althought the party was started in 2009, they are now only 250 members away from registering in the upcoming lections.

The Pirate Party of Canada strives to reform Canadian copyright laws, reform the patent system, and protect Canadian's right to privacy."

Submission + - What is up with the lack of space in Slashdot arti

An anonymous reader writes: Guys, can you add back the space after the section name and before the heading in the article titles? They currently look like this:

GamesElite turns 25

TechnologyAustralian datacenter ...

See? its unreadable.

Submission + - British film 'Creation' banned in USA (digitaljournal.com) 8

thesappho writes: "From the story : "British film 'Creation' will not be coming to the United States because of its controversial theme. While the film opened the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, the religious undertones surrounding this Darwin biopic appear to be to much for the U.S. ". It seems that the film could not find even one distributor to be aired. Is this a kind of banning? negligence? censorship? or business decision?"

Submission + - Should undergraduates be taught Fortran? (walkingrandomly.com)

Mike Croucher writes: "Despite the fact that it is over 40 years old, Fortran is still taught at many Universities to students of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and more as their first ever formal introduction to programming. According to this article this shouldn't be happening anymore since there are much better alternatives such as Python that would serve a physical science undergraduate much better. There may come a time in some researcher's lives where they need Fortran but this time isn't in 'programming for chemists 101'. What do people in the slashdot community think?"

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas