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+ - Two Cities Ask the FCC to Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet 2

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Two cities—Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Wilson, North Carolina—have officially asked the federal government to help them bypass state laws banning them from expanding their community owned, gigabit fiber internet connections.
In states throughout the country, major cable and telecom companies have battled attempts to create community broadband networks, which they claim put them at a competitive disadvantage. The FCC will decide if its able to circumvent state laws that have been put in place restricting the practice."

+ - Lawrence Krauss: Congress is trying to defund scientists at Energy Department->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Physicist Lawrence Krauss blasts Congress for their passage of the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cut funding for renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, and even worse, had amendments that targeted scientists at the Department of Energy: He writes that this action from the US Congress is worse even than the Australian government's move to cancel their carbon tax, because the action of Congress is far more insidious: 'Each (amendment) would, in its own way, specifically prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change' Although the bill isn't likely to become law, Krauss is fed up with Congress burying its head in the sand: The fact that those amendments '...could pass a house of Congress, should concern everyone interested in the appropriate support of scientific research as a basis for sound public policy.' Amen"
Link to Original Source

+ - Earth in the midst of sixth mass extinction - the "anthropocene defaunation"->

Submitted by mspohr
mspohr (589790) writes "A special issue of Science magazine devoted to Vanishing Fauna publishes a series of articles about the man-caused extinction of species and the implications for ecosystems and the climate.
"During the Pleistocene epoch, only tens of thousands of years ago, our planet supported large, spectacular animals. Mammoths, terror birds, giant tortoises, and saber-toothed cats, as well as many less familiar species such as giant ground sloths (some of which reached 7 meters in height) and glyptodonts (which resembled car-sized armadillos), roamed freely. Since then, however, the number and diversity of animal species on Earth have consistently and steadily declined. Today we are left with a relatively depauperate fauna, and we continue to lose animal species to extinction rapidly. Although some debate persists, most of the evidence suggests that humans were responsible for extinction of this Pleistocene fauna, and we continue to drive animal extinctions today through the destruction of wild lands, consumption of animals as a resource or a luxury, and persecution of species we see as threats or competitors. "
Unfortunately, most of the detail is behind a paywall but the summary should be enough for Slashdot readers."

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+ - Sony Forgets to Pay for Domain, Hilarity Ensues->

Submitted by Dragoness Eclectic
Dragoness Eclectic (244826) writes "Early Tuesday, gamers woke up to find out that they couldn't log in to any Sony Online Entertainment games--no Everquest, no Planetside 2, none of them. Oddly, the forums where company reps might have posted some explanation weren't reachable, either.

A bit of journalistic investigation by EQ2Wire came across the explanation: SOE forgot to renew the domain registration on SonyOnline.net, the hidden domain that holds all their nameservers. Oops! After 7 weeks of non-payment post-expiration, NetworkSolutions reclaimed the domain, sending all access to Sony's games into an internet black hole this morning. Sony has since paid up, but it takes a while for DNS changes to propagate around the world. SOE's president, John Smedley, has admitted that the expiration notices were being sent to an "unread email" address. Good job, guys."

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+ - 97% of U.S. Banks Allow Clickjacking Fraud. 44% Don't Even Use SSL. 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "According to a financial industry software vendor, over 97% of U.S. Banks and Credit Unions Allow Clickjacking Fraud, and 44% Don't Even Use SSL. The report continues to break down the SSL usage and suggests that only 33.1% of institutions actually implement SSL correctly given a portion of the websites that do utilize HTTPS also allow a unsecured HTTP response."

+ - Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For An Answer

Submitted by RevWaldo
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "The Verge and other sources post how AOL's Ryan Block ultimately succeeded in cancelling his Comcast account over the phone, but not before the customer service representative pressed him for eight solid minutes (audio) to explain his reasoning for leaving "the number one provider of TV and internet service in the country" in a manner that would cause a character in Glengarry Glen Ross to blanch. Comcast has as of now issued an apology."

+ - Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Wouldn't it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?"

+ - In the name of security, German NSA committee may turn to typewriters->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Patrick Sensburg, chairman of the German parliament's National Security Agency investigative committee, now says he’s considering expanding the use of manual typewriters to carry out his group's work.

In an appearance (German language) Monday morning on German public television, Sensburg said that the committee is taking its operational security very seriously. "In fact, we already have [a typewriter], and it’s even a non-electronic typewriter," he said.
If Sensburg’s suggestion takes flight, the country would be taking a page out of the Russian playbook. Last year, the agency in charge of securing communications from the Kremlin announced that it wanted to spend 486,000 rubles (about $14,800) to buy 20 electric typewriters as a way to avoid digital leaks."

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+ - Wireless Contraception-> 1

Submitted by Kittenman
Kittenman (971447) writes "The BBC is carrying information on a type of contraception (funded in part by Bill Gates) that takes the form of a microchip, inserted under the skin. The chip releases contraceptive hormones to the body until wirelessly advised not to do so, This 'Brave New World' has several interesting applications and issues associated with it. What about hackers? Could 'they' implant a chip into a child at birth and then suppress children being born, until the employment opportunities improve — or a war needs more troops? The chip will be available from 2018. This correspondent will watch the issues with interest."
Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists Measure Magnetic Interaction Between Two Bound Electrons

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a paper published in Nature , scientists report successfully measuring the magnetic interaction of two bound electrons of two different strontium (Sr) ions. The two ions were suspended in a quadrupole ion trap (a.k.a. a Paul trap), and the effects of ambient magnetic noise were mitigated by 'restricting the spin evolution [of the electrons] to a decoherence-free subspace that is immune to collective magnetic field noise.' The scientists measured the magnetic interaction of the two electrons as a function of distance and found that the force acting between the two was inversely dependant on the cubed distance between the electrons, consistent with Newton's inverse-cube law."

+ - Selfie of Stroke Symptoms Finally Gets Woman Correct Diagnosis

Submitted by theshowmecanuck
theshowmecanuck (703852) writes " Canada's CBC TV reports that a woman suffering from a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) was diagnosed by the attending emergency room physician as suffering from stress, given tips on how to manage it and sent home. As she left the hospital she again began suffering the same symptoms in her car. Thinking quick she pulled out her smart phone and started taking a video selfie of herself to show the doctors the classic symptoms of a stroke. She was originally stricken at home and remembering the symptoms of a stroke from a public service announcement, went to the hospital when the symptoms subsided. After the second episode, her quick thinking and video convinced the doctors they were wrong and she was right, and they sent her for the proper diagnostic testing and treatment they should have given in first place. The article has a link to the video she took, but here it is in case, and I know it is unlikely on Slashdot, you don't want to read it."

+ - New Permission System Potentially Makes Android Much Less Secure 1

Submitted by capedgirardeau
capedgirardeau (531367) writes "An update to the Google Play store now groups app permissions into collections of related permissions making them much less fine grained and potentially misleading for users. For example the SMS permissions group would allow an app access to both reading and sending SMS messages. The problem is that once an app has access to the group of permissions, it can make use of any of the allowed actions at anytime without ever informing the user. As Google explains: "It’s a good idea to review permissions groups before downloading an app. Once you’ve allowed an app to access a permissions group, the app may use any of the individual permissions that are part of that group. You won’t need to manually approve individual permissions updates that belong to a permissions group you’ve already accepted.""

+ - Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influence Highway Sign Hacking 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, at least three US states reported that a hacker had broken into electronic road signs above major highways, with the hacker leaving messages for people to follow him on Twitter. The Multi-State Information Sharing an Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) produced an intelligence report blaming a Saudi Arabian hacker that the organization says likely got the idea from Watch Dogs, a new video in which game play revolves around ‘hacking,’ with a focus on hacking critical infrastructure-based electronic devices in particular. "Watch Dogs allows players to hack electronic road signs, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), street lights, cell phones and other systems. On May 27, 2014, the malicious actor posted an image of the game on his Twitter feed, demonstrating his interest in the game, and the compromise of road signs occurs during game play. CIS believes it is likely that a small percentage of Watch Dog players will experiment with compromising computers and electronic systems outside of game play, and that this activity will likely affect SSLT [state, local, tribal and territorial] government systems and Department of Transportation (DOT) systems in particular.” Nevermind that, as the report notes, the hacker likely broke in because the signs allowed telnet and were secure with weak or default passwords. The report came out on the same day that The Homeland Security Department cautioned transportation operators about a security hole in some electronic freeway billboards that could let hackers display bogus warnings to drivers."

+ - Sacked Google Worker Awarded $150,000 for Unfair Dismissal

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "When it comes to evaluating employee performance, perhaps Google isn't really that different from Microsoft after all. While Microsoft used stack ranking to kill employee morale, Google turned to bell curves that were "fine-tuned" by management to do their dirty HR work, according to Irish court documents. "Google, like other enlightened corporations," explains Valleywag, "makes its workers routinely rank each other and forces the scores to match a bell curve. The employees who are placed at the wrong end of the bell curve risk termination. That's stressful enough-now imagine your CEO personally meddling." The Irish Times reports former Google manager Rachel Berthold, who just won her suit against the company for unfair dismissal in 2011 and will receive around $150,000 in a court-mandated settlement, told her counsel that she was present when the ranking of a staff member was reduced electronically by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt. "It came from him," she said. "I saw it with my own eyes." She said Mr Schmidt could not have known anything about the employee. So, ask not for whom the fudged bell curve tolls, Googlers, it tolls for thee!"

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