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+ - Navy database tracks civilians' parking tickets, fender-benders-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person's name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.

The Law Enforcement Information Exchange, or LinX, has already amassed 506.3 million law enforcement records ranging from criminal histories and arrest reports to field information cards filled out by cops on the beat even when no crime has occurred."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes ""Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore," explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, "have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year 'National Talent Development Plan' to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields." It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, "we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student" and "risk shortchanging the country in a different way." The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to "find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality." And address it we must. "How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?" asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital.""

+ - Mercury Has Shrunk More than Thought->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Measuring just 4880 kilometers across, Mercury is a small world. The planet became slightly smaller as its interior cooled, which caused Mercury to shrink, buckling its surface and creating numerous cliffs and ridges. Now, after studying 5934 of these features, researchers report online today in Nature Geoscience that Mercury's contraction was much greater than previously thought: During the past 4 billion years, the planet's diameter decreased by 7 to 14 kilometers. The greater estimate of shrinkage accords with models that predict how much a rocky planet should contract as its interior cools; the new work may also lend insight into the evolution of extrasolar planets that, like Mercury and unlike Earth, lack any moving continents."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Pushes Back Against Data Localization->

Submitted by Boweravid
Boweravid (3512395) writes "The big tech companies have put forth a united front when it comes to pushing back against the government after revelations of mass surveillance. But their cooperation goes only so far.

Microsoft this week suggested that it would deepen its existing efforts to allow customers to store their data near them and outside the United States. Google, for its part, has been fighting this notion of so-called data localization.

“If data localization and other efforts are successful, then what we will face is the effective Balkanization of the Internet and the creation of a ‘splinternet’ broken up into smaller national and regional pieces, with barriers around each of the splintered Internets to replace the global Internet we know today,” Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security, told a congressional panel in November."

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+ - Dropbox Does Not Validate Mail Addresses For Accounts

Submitted by DarkSoul42
DarkSoul42 (1241266) writes "I just stumbled upon a situation quite like the latest xkcd strip ( ), in having an homonym create a Dropbox account on my own GMail address, mistaking it for his own.

I started receiving out of the blue several notifications of "my Dropbox account" being linked to several devices, none of which I could remember, prompting some doubt since I didn't remember having a Dropbox account in the first place. On reflex, I reinitialized the password and logged in to confirm the contents, realizing quickly that my homonym most likely messed up and would probably end up in a lot of trouble if they lost the data in their account.
I created a "Sorry for the trouble with your Dropbox, please read this" file, containing my whole explanation about what went on, and the matter was solved smoothly with a laugh from both parties ("Okay, so now what was MY GMail address?"), but it is sort of mind-boggling that Dropbox would allow setting an e-mail address, or even the creation of an active account, without requesting confirmation (sending an e-mail with an activation URL, or a code) !

This could even be used to plant Nasty Evidence on someone before tipping off the police and prompting an investigation, and most likely ruining their lives... At the time of writing I have sent a PR to Dropbox about this, hopefully this gets fixed quickly."

Comment: ACTUALLY the Ilusion (Score 1) 2

In the present state of things, If you are socially truthful / factual: You cannot. If you are not socially truthful / factual: You have a better chance of it because you are not socially truthful / factual, however, the more you are not out there your chances greatly improve. It is because it hasn’t happened That it will happen Across the net.

+ - Google starts sending adverts as emails to Gmail users-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Back in May, Google rolled out an update to Gmail that it marketed as “a new inbox.” What it did was to split the email you receive into categories and then display them in different tabs. The Gmail redesign wasn’t just to help users, though. It turns out Google has decided to introduce a new form of advertising because of it, one that you could view as being much more intrusive than before.

Some users have started noticing that in the Promotions tab new emails are appearing that they haven’t singed up to receive. These emails as marked as “Ad” under the sender name. A little further investigation reveals they are actually Google adverts packaged as emails."

Link to Original Source

+ - Web of Tax Shelters Saved Apple Billions, Inquiry Finds->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "Apple relied on a “complex web of offshore entities” and U.S. tax loopholes to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes on $44 billion in offshore income over the past four years, according to excerpts from a Senate subcommittee report to be released tomorrow as Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies on the company’s overseas operations.

The maker of iPhones and iPads used at least three foreign subsidiaries that it claims are not “tax resident in any nation” to help it avoid paying billions in “otherwise taxable offshore income,” the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a statement today. "
Coverage in Forbes:
NYTimes also has coverage:"

Link to Original Source
The Military

US Is Finally Cleaning Up Agent Orange In Vietnam 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-mop dept.
derekmead writes "It only took 40 years. And yes, Washington still disputes Hanoi's claim that up to 4 million Vietnamese suffered contact with the defoliant, which was dumped en masse in a U.S. air campaign to scorch away the dense jungle cover under which guerilla fighters hid. But the AP reports that the U.S. is finally set to start cleaning up the mess. The numbers are staggering: Between 1962 and 1971, the U.S. military sprayed some 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and a galaxy of other herbicides on nearly a quarter of former South Vietnam. The defoliant ate through about 5 millions acres – a tract comparable in size to Massachusetts – of forest. An additional half-million acres of crops were decimated."

Caffeine Linked To Lower Skin Cancer Risk 130

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the stay-up-all-night-sleep-during-the-day dept.
THE_WELL_HUNG_OYSTER writes "The curative effects of coffee continue to be discovered as the Harvard School of Public Health and Boston's Brigham & Women's Hospital published a new study today that links caffeine consumption with reduced skin cancer rates. Quoting: 'The study of nearly 113,000 men and women found those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of basal cell carcinoma than those who said no to Joe. Caffeine in non-coffee substances was found equally effective. The cause is speculated to be related to caffeine's ability to "kill off damaged skin cells," said Dr. Josh Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. "If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don't have the opportunity to grow and form cancers."'"

Comment: the costs of business (Score 1) 1

by cjacobs001 (#39447529) Attached to: Megaupload host wants out
my vote is that if it is not being paid, it should not have to maintain the files; except, of course, unless it is an e-discovery issue. I admit that I am not read-up on all of this story, but nothing reported here or in the article linked, says that it is an e-discovery issue. If a governing body requires it (when it's not for e-discovery), that body should pay. If this was an e-discovery issue, the 3rd party could make a business-loss claim against its insurance company for payment, and that insurance company should have plans in place to mitigate against an extended period of time. . . . I admit that this is probably an issue for those whose data it is, and I think the network should now plan for such occurrences to happen again in the future (data-owners should have redundant systems for the same data, AND\OR The business owners [not the host] should have redundant systems and to auto-enable the data owners to remove their data; and to put clauses in their agreements to enable access-for-the-explicit-purpose-of-determining-contact-for-the-data-owners, in such a situation as this only, to enable a governing body to contact the data owners to notify that there is a small charge required to retrieve their data [for instance]. AND\OR The business owner [the host] should build-in an agreement with its customers for access only under supervision of a governing body [or something like that] to determine contact for the data owners.) For a business to be required by a law\court\rule to maintain the data in a situation that is not insurable, that is actually preventing the host from doing business. my .02

The person who's taking you to lunch has no intention of paying.