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+ - Windows XP holdouts explain why they haven't upgraded->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Since Microsoft announced the deadline for Windows XP support, Andy Patrizio has kept track of users he's encountered who didn't seem to have a plan to upgrade. Then, after the deadline passed, he returned and asked why they hadn't upgraded and if/when they planned to.

Few of the holdouts polled in this admittedly unscientific study declined to upgrade out of ignorance or laziness. Rather, it was mostly for business reasons. Multiple doctor's offices reported expensive upgrade costs, sometimes up to $10,000, with little return on the investment. Others had experienced serious downtime for their office during the upgrade process in the past, and are now hesitant to put themselves at risk of the loss of business again.

Perhaps most concerning was the third-party ATM at a gas station. Although most bank ATMs have been proven to run Windows 7, third-party ATMs remain a little bit of a mystery. When asked about whether his ATMs have been or will be upgraded, the owner of the gas station dismissed it all with a wave of his hand."

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+ - Ask Slashdot: Do we really need to change passwords after Heartbleed OpenSSL bug

Submitted by annga
annga (3617195) writes "As the result of Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability there are recommendations everywhere to change our passwords in many major websites as Google, Yahoo,
Microsoft etc. and it is also appears that Android was exposed to this too. But is it realistic that someone could track my passwords without Trojan on my computer or on the server? As far as I understand my unencrypted data goes directly to the server and the hacker should be able to intercept it afterwards, which seems unlikely. Another issue is that we expected something to be encrypted and it was not, but should I really rush to change my passwords?

+ - Tesla fights back against "lemon law" lawsuit->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "The self-proclaimed "Lemon Law King" in Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit against Tesla that could net his client $200,000 in damages. The entire situation is a bit shady, though.

The suit claims that the vehicle experienced an array of serious and frustrating issues, including but not limited to malfunctioning door handles, poor battery performance, paint defects, trouble starting the car, and more. The suit also claims Tesla ignored the defendant's request for a buy-back for the Model S at hand.

Tesla, however, has fired back, pointing out that this same lawyer filed a lemon law suit on behalf of the exact same client against Volvo just a few months ago. Tesla's engineers also seem convinced that the car's owner had tampered with the fuses of the car, which they only discovered after trying, and failing, to recreate the problems the defendant had claimed he experienced."

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+ - What ComiXology Can Do For Amazon->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "Amazon on Thursday announced it will acquire digital comics agency ComiXology for an undisclosed sum. But why does the world's biggest online retailer care so much about comic books? Well, that's because the deal—and ComiXology, as a whole—isn't just about comics. ComiXology is pioneering the art of digital storytelling, and attempting to bring these tools to the masses. With Amazon, ComiXology gets a big boost towards its goal of adding a third dimension to the two-dimensional world of books, comics and graphic novels."
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+ - Apple's attention problem->

Submitted by smaxp
smaxp (2951795) writes "The iPhone has been a fashion statement for years, but with market share beginning to slide, Apple needs to re-capture consumers' attention,

Tim Cook summed up Apple’s definition of innovation in an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams a little over a year ago:

            "Our whole role in life is to give you something you didn’t know you wanted. And then once you get it,
            you can’t imagine your life without it"

But Apple has not done this in a long time – not since January 27, 2010, when it first introduced the iPad. Introducing an innovative new product category generates a wave of public attention that lifts sales of other product categories. A fashion-conscious consumer in the market for a new smartphone is more likely to consider paying a premium for an iPhone if the buzz on social media and in the press is propagating Apple’s latest new and innovative product category."

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+ - Emails reveal battle over employee poaching between Google and Facebook->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Apple, Google, and a slew of other high-tech firms are currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit on allegations that they all adhered to tacit anti-poaching agreements. With that case currently ongoing, we've seen a number of interesting executive emails come to light, including emails showing that Steve Jobs threatened Palm CEO with a full-fledged legal assault if the company kept going after Apple engineers.

The emails include correspondences between Sergey Brin and Marissa Mayer and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and Google's Jonathan Rosenberg discussing the threat that Google saw in Facebook hiring its engineers.

The discussion elevates, with Sandberg pointing out the hypocrisy that Google grew to prominence by hiring engineers from major Silicon Valley firms. Rosenberg then hints at the potential for a "deeper relationship" that Google would be willing to reach as long as Facebook stops hiring its engineers, going so far as to tell Sandberg to "fix this problem.""

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+ - MIT researchers bring Javascript to Google Glass->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Earlier this week, Brandyn White, a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, and Scott Greenberg, a PhD candidate at MIT, led a workshop at the MIT Media Lab to showcase an open source project called WearScript, a Javascript environment that runs on Google Glass. White demonstrated how Glass's UI extends beyond its touchpad, winks, and head movements by adding a homemade eye tracker to Glass as an input device. The camera and controller were dissected from a $25 PC video camera and attached to the Glass frame with a 3D-printed mount. A few modifications were made, such as replacing the obtrusively bright LEDs with infrared LEDs, and a cable was added with a little soldering. The whole process takes about 15 minutes for someone with component soldering skills. With this eye tracker and a few lines of Wearscript, the researchers demonstrated a new interface by playing Super Mario on Google Glass with just eye movements."
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+ - Driverless vehicle already in use in Europe->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "A driverless golf cart-like vehicle has hit the market and is already in use on some college campuses in Europe, including Oxford University. The all-electric Navia looks like a golf cart and, with a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour but a recommended speed of about 12 mph, is typically used as a driverless shuttle service. For those at a location where the shuttles are available, a mobile app allows them to both order a shuttle to pick them up and provide a destination. The Navia reportedly costs $250,000 per unit, which is pretty expensive, especially considering that most organizations that might need it would need to order multiple units."
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+ - Small World Discovered Far Beyond Pluto->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "After a decade of searching, astronomers have found a second dwarf-like planet far beyond Pluto and its Kuiper Belt cousins, a presumed no-man’s land that may turn out to be anything but. How Sedna, which was discovered in 2003, and its newly found neighbor, designated 2012 VP 2113 by the Minor Planet Center, came to settle in orbits so far from the sun is a mystery. Sedna comes no closer than about 76 times as far from the sun as Earth, or 76 astronomical units. The most distant leg of its 11,400-year orbit is about 1,000 astronomical units. Newly found VP 2113’s closest approach to the sun is about 80 astronomical units and its greatest distance is 452 astronomical units. The small world is roughly 280 miles (450 kilometers) wide, less than half the estimated diameter of Sedna."
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+ - Is boycotting Mozilla for CEO's anti-gay stance the best approach?

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Probably not. Bryan Lunduke points out that, if the Open Source world were to boycott products with ties to controversial people in the open source world, it would be short on products it could use. Richard Stallman, for example, has infamously claimed that pedophilia might not be harmful to children. Because of this stance, should we completely boycott the GPL and emacs? No. That'd be silly.

Of course, a boycott of Firefox is a potentially effective way to send a message. However, opening a dialogue with Mozilla and its executives should be the first action. Dialogue at least has the potential to enlighten the company to the civil rights issue at hand, whereas a boycott is likely to elicit a phony apology meant to address the company's business concerns.

In this issue, a complete boycott seems premature to me, at least until we know whether Mozilla or Eich will stand by his previous actions."

+ - Ubuntu phone isn't important enough to demand an open source baseband->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Canonical is producing a version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution specifically for smartphones, but Richard Tynan, writing for, recently pointed out that the baseband in Ubuntu-powered phones will remain closed source (and highly proprietary). So, while Ubuntu itself is Open Source, the super-critical firmware on the phones will not be. This creates the immediate practical problem of leaving the information transmitted by your phone open to snooping by organizations that take advantage of issues in the Closed Source firmware.

Some have criticized Canonical for missing an opportunity to push for a fully Open Source smartphone, but in order to fix this problem (and open up the code for this super-critical bit of software), we need companies that have a large amount of clout, in the smartphone market, to make it a priority. Canonical (with Ubuntu) just doesn't have that clout yet. They're just now dipping their toes into the smartphone waters. But you know who does have that clout? Google.

Google has made a point of touting Open Source (at least sometimes), and they are the undisputed king of the smartphone operating system world. And yet I hear no big moves by Google to encourage phone manufacturers to utilize Open Source basebands, such as OsmocomBB. So has Canonical missed an opportunity? No. Not yet. If (some may say "when") Ubuntu gains a critical amount of market share in the phone world, that will be their chance to pressure manufacturers to produce a truly Open Source phone. Until then, Canonical needs to continue to work within the world we have today."

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+ - He Pressed The Brakes, His Tesla Model S Didn't Stop. Why?

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "When things go wrong with the Tesla Model S electric car, its very loyal--and opinionated--owners usually speak up. And that's just what David Noland has done. An incident in which his Model S didn't stop when he pressed the brake pedal scared him--and got him investigating. He measured pedal spacing on 22 different new cars at dealers--and his analysis suggests that the Tesla pedal setup may be causing what aviation analysts call a "design-induced pilot error". And pedal design, as Toyota just learned to the tune of $1.2 billion, is very important indeed in preventing accidents."

+ - In defense of Microsoft's leak investigation->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "By now, you've probably heard about the former Microsoft employee arrested for spilling trade secrets to a French website, and the impact it has had throughout the underground community that thrived on leaks. How Microsoft was able to get him might be trust-damaging to some, but not to me. Here's what I find stunning — Microsoft caught the guy because he was using MSN Messenger, SkyDrive, and to coordinate the leaks. From that point, Microsoft’s Office of Legal Compliance (OLC) approved content pulls of the blogger’s Hotmail account. Yes, they have permission to do that. You accepted it when you signed up for Hotmail. From there, they found evidence in his SkyDrive and Hotmail accounts. The fact that it took another 18 months to pull the trigger and arrest Kibkalo shows the careful deliberation Microsoft took.

There's a mindset out there that unfashionable companies, those that are OK to dislike, have no right to defend themselves. I've read some amazing things over the weekend regarding Microsoft's actions. They didn't do this on a hunch or a fishing expedition. They had clear evidence that someone internally was leaking intellectual property and every right to find out who it was."

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+ - A call for rollbacks to previous versions of software->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "In a blog post, Andy Patrizio laments the trend — made more common in the mobile world — of companies pushing software updates ahead without the ability to roll-back to previous versions in the event that the user simply doesn't like it. iOS 7.1, for example, has reportedly been killing some users' battery power, and users of the iTunes library app TuneUp will remember how the much-maligned version 3.0 effectively killed the company behind it (new owners have since taken over TuneUp and plans to bring back the older version).

The ability to undo a problematic install should be mandatory, but in too many instances it is not. That's because software developers are always operating under the assumption that the latest version is the greatest version, when it may not be. This is especially true in the smartphone and tablet world. There is no rollback to be had for anything in the iOS and Android worlds.

Until the day comes when software developers start releasing perfectly functioning, error-free code, we need the ability to go backwards with all software."

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+ - How one of the richest countries in the world got debt-ridden->

Submitted by kentjohansen
kentjohansen (3582129) writes "According to Forbrukslå, Norway is one of the most debt-ridden countries in the world. At first, this might appear as strange, especially as Norway is one of the richest countries in the world. However, there are many financial products available and the banks don't ask too many questions before giving out loans."
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"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.