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+ - Hewlett Packard Turns Buggy Software and Firmware Into a Revenue Stream!

Submitted by neversleepy
neversleepy (3525847) writes "In the face of ever declining server sales. And in a move certian to affect many readers here, Hewlett Packard decides to provide updates to firmware and critical OS drivers only to customers who pay a premium for a CarePack, extended service contract. If this affects you negatively, try telling Hewlett Packard what you think about payola for hardware bug fixes.

Or maybe, the time is right to abandon vanity servers?"

+ - Feds Want Cars To Be Able To Talk To Each Other->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike (242293) writes "Officials are moving to require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets them warn each other when they're plunging toward peril.

The action, still a couple of years off, has "game-changing potential" to cut crashes, deaths and injuries, officials said Monday.

A radio beacon would continually transmit a vehicle's position, heading, speed and other information. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles, and a vehicle's computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems may automatically brake to avoid an accident if manufacturers choose to include that option.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been working with automakers on the technology for the past decade, estimates vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don't involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration decided to announce its intention to require the technology in new vehicles in order to "send a strong signal to the (automotive industry) that we believe the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology."

Government officials declined to give an estimate for how much the technology would increase the price of a new car, but the transportation society estimate it would cost about $100 to $200 per vehicle. Automakers are enthusiastic about vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but feel there are important technical, security and privacy questions that need to be worked out first, said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Why don't browsers honor "SMB://" URIs? 1

Submitted by DraugTheWhopper
DraugTheWhopper (3525837) writes "One thing that (I think) irks many tech people is the lack of ubiquity for handling common protocols. For example: a small college campus maintains an intranet website, and wishes to provide its non-tech-savvy students with easy links to files on an NFS or SMB share. It seems there is no elegant solution to allow a hyperlink to open a network address in the appropriate file manager. From my perspective, it doesn't seem any harder than having the web browser pass the URI to the OS, or if the OS isn't capable of handling it, to translate it first (smb://Server/Share to \\Server\Share). I thought the whole point of the URI system is to allow simple accessing of resources? And to all those who cry "But SECURITY!", keep in mind that custom URI scheme names are already being used, e.g., the new LogMeIn client program registers the "logmein://" protocol in Windows, and Chrome passes it without incident after an unobtrusive confirmation checkbox."

+ - Data breach at Holiday Inn, Marriott hotels->

Submitted by DTentilhao
DTentilhao (3484023) writes "Lodgers at Holiday Inns, Marriott and Renaissance hotels may have had their payment card details compromised following a new disclosure on Monday of suspected point-of-sale device attacks.

White Lodging Services, a hotel management company, warned in a news release it suspects point-of-sale systems at restaurants and lounges on 14 of its properties were compromised between March 20, 2013 and Dec. 16, 2013."

Link to Original Source

+ - Voter Shortsightedness May Skew Elections->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "“Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” Ronald Reagan’s famous question in the U.S. presidential election of 1980 is generally a good yardstick for picking a candidate, or at least for judging a leader’s economic policies. But few voters follow it. Instead, they are swayed by economic swings in the months leading up to the election, often ignoring the larger trends. Why are we so shortsighted? A psychological study of voting behavior suggests an answer and points to a simple fix."
Link to Original Source

+ - Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory to Win at 'Jeopardy'

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "USA Today reports that Arthur Chu, an insurance compliance analyst and aspiring actor, has won $102,800 in four Jeopardy! appearances using a strategy —- jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie — that has fans calling him a "villain" and "smug". Arthur's in-game strategy of searching for the Daily Double that has made him such a target. Typically, contestants choose a single category and progressively move from the lowest amount up to the highest, giving viewers an easy-to-understand escalation of difficulty. But Arthur has his sights solely set on finding those hidden Daily Doubles, which are usually located on the three highest-paying rungs in the categories (the category itself is random). That means, rather than building up in difficulty, he begins at the most difficult questions. Once the two most difficult questions have been taken off the board in one column, he quickly jumps to another category. It's a grating experience for the viewer, who isn't given enough to time to get in a rhythm or fully comprehend the new subject area. "The more unpredictable you are, the more you put your opponents off-balance, the longer you can keep an initial advantage," says Chu. "It greatly increases your chance of winning the game if you can pull it off, and I saw no reason not to do it." Another contra-intuitive move Chu has made is playing for a tie rather than to win in "Final Jeopardy" because that allows you advance to the next round which is the most important thing, not the amount of money you win in one game. "In terms of influence on the game, Arthur looks like a trendsetter of things to come," says Eric Levenson. "Hopefully that has more to do with his game theory than with his aggressive button-pressing.""

+ - Adobe Patches Flash Player Zero-Day Vulnerability->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Adobe on Tuesday released an out-of-band security update to address a critical security vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player that could allow an attacker to remotely take control of an affected system.

Adobe said that the vulnerability (CVE-2014-0497), reported to Adobe by Alexander Polyakov and Anton Ivanov of Kaspersky Lab, has an exploit that exists in the wild. Interestingly, Kaspersky Lab said earlier this week that it has been investigating a sophisticated malware that leverages high-end exploits, and includes a bootkit and rootkit, and also has versions for Mac OS and Linux. Neither Adobe nor Kaspersky Lab disclosed if the vulnerability patched today by Adobe has any connection to the cyber-espionage operation that Kaspersky Lab is calling “one of the most advanced threats at the moment”.

“Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for this vulnerability exists in the wild, and recommends users update their product installations to the latest versions,” the company said in a security advisory. If there is any connection between CVE-2014-0497 and the operation dubbed "The Mask" by Kaspersky Lab, it will not likely be disclosed until the company shares the details of its findings at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit next week."

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+ - Google & Facebook Attempt To Code Imagination->

Submitted by natarnsco
natarnsco (1340979) writes "The Wall Street Journal reports:

Somewhere, in a glass building several miles outside of San Francisco, a computer is imagining what a cow looks like. Its software is visualizing cows of varying sizes and poses, then drawing crude digital renderings, not from a collection of photographs, but rather from the software's "imagination." The technology is the work of Vicarious FPC Inc., a quasi-secretive startup backed by early Facebook Inc. employees and investors that is part of the rapidly expanding world of artificial intelligence. The company is weaving together bits of code inspired by the human brain, aiming to create a machine that can think like humans.

The article goes on to say:

Last week, Google said it purchased a small startup similar to Vicarious, London-based DeepMind, for more than $500 million, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

"

Link to Original Source

+ - Evolution in Science Textbooks for Texas Schools-> 1

Submitted by windwalker13th
windwalker13th (954412) writes "Recently the New York Times ran an article highlighting the pull that a State Board in Texas holds over that state and rest of the Nation. Because of the unique way in which Texas picks school textbooks (purchasing large volumes of textbooks at once to be used for the next decade) publishers pander to this board to get their books approved. The board currently holds several members (6 of 28 who are known to reject evolution) who hold creationist views and actively work to ensure that the science textbooks do not use as strong language or must include "critical thinking" about possible alternate explanations for evolution. The 'Theory of Evolution' as currently set forth while a "theory" is more FACT/LAW (Like Newtown’s Three Laws of Motion). So while our exact understanding of humans origins, if we evolved from monkeys as most evidence indicate or, were created a little while ago on the geological time frame by an all knowing creator, or were a planet seeded by aliens is still somewhat up for debate evolution is not. What can we as a society do to ensure that K-12 schools are teaching our kids that the change in features of Galapagos finches is the result of natural selection driven by changing environmental conditions and the process of evolution?"
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+ - Amazon: A Crazy Place to Work->

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The BBC is reporting that an investigation into a UK-based Amazon facility has uncovered conditions that experts believe foster mental illness. At the root of the problem seems to be unreasonable performance expectations combined with a fundamentally dehumanizing environment."
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+ - BlackBerry's CFO, CMO, and COO Leave Company

Submitted by cagraham
cagraham (3027657) writes "In a pretty major executive shakeup, BlackBerry's Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Operating Officer have all left the company. It's unclear whether the changes were brought about by new interim-CEO John Chen in order to facilitate company change, or represent an abandon-ship style exit after BlackBerry's failed bid to go private. The company announced that the CFO position would be filled by current SVP James Yersch, but gave no word on the other vacancies."

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