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+ - The Koch brothers political network plans to spend almost $1B in 2016 elections->

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "The Koch brothers revealed plans to spend $889M during the 2016 election cycle . The money would be spent on both congresisonal and presidential races. This level of spending will require commitment from both the Koch Brothers themselves and about 300 other donors. The money will put considerable pressure on Democratic supporters and candidates who will likely be at a considerable funding disadvantage in 2016."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Attack surface (Score 2) 110

by Namarrgon (#48909783) Attached to: Windows 10 IE With Spartan Engine Performance Vs. Chrome and Firefox

More speed is great, I'm sure users will be happy.

The dual rendering engine, less so. I know backwards compatibility is pretty important to Microsoft, but now they have twice as much web-facing code to maintain - all the legacy IE MSHTML stuff as well as the new EdgeHTML code - and thus twice the zero-days to cope with. Perhaps this is the lesser of two evils, but it's certainly not ideal.

+ - As real Flash patches go out, fake ones hit thousands of Facebook users->

Submitted by River Tam
River Tam (3926677) writes "On the heels of two real Flash Player security updates being distributed by Adobe Systems this week, hackers are spreading a fake update for the media player via a scam on Facebook that has exposed at least 5,000 users to the threat.

Fake Flash Player update through a three-day Facebook scam beginning Friday. The hackers are targeting the social network’s users by tagging would-be victims in photos that purport to be racy videos."

Link to Original Source

+ - Comcast Ghost-writes Politician's Letters to Support Time Warner Mega-Merger

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "As the FCC considers the merger between Comcast/Universal and Time-Warner Cable, which would create the largest cable company in the U.S. and is entering the final stages of federal review, politicians are pressuring the FCC with pro-merger letters actually written by Comcast. According to documents obtained through public records requests politicians are passing letters nearly word-for-word written by Comcast as their own, politicians are passing letters nearly word-for-word written by Comcast as their own. "Not only do records show that a Comcast official sent the councilman the exact wording of the letter he would submit to the FCC, but also that finishing touches were put on the letter by a former FCC official named Rosemary Harold, who is now a partner at one of the nation’s foremost telecom law firms in Washington, DC. Comcast has enlisted Harold to help persuade her former agency to approve the proposed merger."

Ars Technica had already reported that politicians have closely mimicked Comcast talking points and re-used Comcast's own statements without attribution. The documents revealed today show just how deeply Comcast is involved with certain politicians, and how they were able to get them on board."

+ - FCC Fines Verizon for Failing to Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Verizon agreed to a $5 million settlement after admitting that it failed to investigate whether its rural customers were able to receive long distance and wireless phone calls. The settlement is related to the FCC's efforts to address what is known as the rural call completion problem. Over an eight-month period during 2013, low call answer rates in 39 rural areas should have triggered an investigation, the FCC said. The FCC asked Verizon what steps it took, and Verizon said in April 2014 that it investigated or fixed problems in 13 of the 39 areas, but did nothing in the other 26.

"Rural call completion problems have significant and immediate public interest ramifications," the FCC said in its order on the Verizon settlement today. "They cause rural businesses to lose customers, impede medical professionals from reaching patients in rural areas, cut families off from their relatives, and create the potential for dangerous delays in public safety communications." Verizon has been accused of letting its copper landline network decay while it shifts its focus to fiber and cellular service. The FCC is working a plan to protect customers as old copper networks are retired."

+ - Bill Nye Botches Deflate-Gate Science 1

Submitted by spiedrazer
spiedrazer (555388) writes "It looks like America's favorite non-scientist science authority has weighed in on the physics of the NE Patriots Deflate-Gate "scandal", saying that to change the pressure in a football, you need to have a needle to either let air in our out. This, of course, completely ignores the Ideal Gas Law and the effect that changing temperature would have on the pressure of the gas within the ball. MIT did a "slightly" more scientific look at the physics here and found a pretty significant effect.

I didn't realize that Bill Nye had so little science background, but from his wikipedia page: "Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live!. The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy".[14] His other main recurring role on Almost Live! was as Speedwalker, a speedwalking Seattle superhero.""

+ - FreeFileSync Served With Vostran Malware->

Submitted by BrendaEM
BrendaEM (871664) writes "FreeFileSync is an Rsync-like GUI file synchronization program. It has been an example of an excellent open source utility, but now, the Windows version comes with Vosteran malware which, provides no benefit and is difficult to remove.

The mere fact that Source-forge serves malware reduces the credibility of all open source software.

Freefilesyc's page: http://sourceforge.net/project...
I have started a discussion here: http://sourceforge.net/p/freef..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Kim Dotcom launches end-to-end encrypted voice chat 'Skype killer'->

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Kim Dotcom’s encrypted file sharing service has added free end-to-end encrypted voice and video chat through the browser.

MegaChat, which promises to keep video chats secure and private, has been developed by the Mega “Conspiracy Team” and is being described as a “Skype killer” by Dotcom.

“We are releasing #MegaChat beta step by step. Starting with video calling today. Text chat & video conferencing will follow soon,” said Dotcom.

MegaChat does not require software beyond a web browser to operate, unlike many other similar services, although plugins for Google’s Chrome and Firefox are available for “faster loading and added resilience against attacks”.

‘No US-based online service provider can be trusted’
The system allows users to share encrypted files having previously shared a personal decryption key with them."

Link to Original Source

+ - Maurice Sinet, Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech in France->

Submitted by big3ndian
big3ndian (872032) writes "Let us not forget about Maurice Sinet. Sinet was a Hebdo cartoonist for 20 years until he was fired in 2009. His crime? Publishing a cartoon lampooning Sarkozy and his Jewish mistress. Not only was Sinet fired, he was arrested for 'anti-semitism'. Alas, it seems French 'freedom of speech' is not universal."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Lack of social ability at Microsoft (Score 0) 103

A huge problem at Microsoft seems to me to be that people there, or maybe just the leaders, seem socially unsophisticated. In fact, neither of the articles quoted below explains the underlying reason that Microsoft is buying Revolution Analytics. That needs to be explained. (All quotes retrieved Sunday, January 25, 2015, around 07:00 PST.)

In The Official Microsoft Blog there is a lot of corporate-speak, of the kind used by people with no actual interest in a subject who nevertheless want to be considered knowledgeable:
"find ... value"
"data-driven decisions"
"reduce the ... skills gap"
"enterprise-class platform"
"analytic solutions"
"advanced analytics within ... platforms on-premises"
"we are at the threshold"

From another article linked from that article, Revolution Analytics joins Microsoft, by "David Smith, Chief Community Officer":

"Microsoft might seem like a strange bedfellow for an open-source company..."

It was not a good idea to use the word "bedfellow". That word is more appropriate for a novel. The primary meaning of "bedfellow" is "a person who shares a bed with another".

'CEO Satya Nadella proclaimed "Microsoft loves Linux" '

On the surface, that makes no sense. Below the surface, is Microsoft trying to say, "We want Microsoft to be popular"?

"We're excited the work..."

That should have been "We're excited [that] the work...".

I'm not the only person who feels uncomfortable with those statements. One of the comments to that story is this one:

"What a joke. You're really working hard to try and convince readers that this is a good match, going on and on about how supportive Microsoft is of open-source. You were probably sweating while trying to come up with excuses as to why this is good, knowing that you were typing bullshit. I would suggest growing a pair of balls and just being honest, but I'm sure you've never had to do that in your career. -- Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2015 at 11:22"

David Smith replied to that comment: "Anonymous, I've never been anything but frank on this blog and this is no exception. I'm truly excited for the future, and I'm sure I speak for the rest of the team as well. -- Posted by: David Smith | January 23, 2015 at 11:25"

Sometimes the lack of social ability at Microsoft is shocking. The cover of the January 16, 2013 issue of BusinessWeek magazine has a large photo of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer with the headline calling him "Monkey Boy". See the BusinessWeek cover in this article: Steve Ballmer Is No Longer A Monkey Boy, Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The BusinessWeek cover says "No More" and "Mr.", but that doesn't take much away from the fact that the magazine called him Monkey Boy -- on its cover.

In many years of following such things I have never seen such disrespect of a CEO. Of course, whoever wrote the cover headline was merely repeating a common phrase applied to Steve Ballmer by people in the computer industry.

Worst CEO: Quote from an article in Forbes Magazine about Steve Ballmer: "Without a doubt, Mr. Ballmer is the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today."

Another quote: "The reach of his bad leadership has extended far beyond Microsoft when it comes to destroying shareholder value -- and jobs." (May 12, 2012)

+ - New Study Questions Low-Salt Diet Benefits

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "From the i-wish-they-would-make-up-their-minds dept.

A new study adds more fuel to the debate over restricting sodium levels for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and reducing mortality. "We didn't find any benefit," lead investigator Dr Andreas Kalogeropoulos (Emory University, Atlanta, GA) said of lowering sodium levels to less than 1500 mg per day, "but having said that, we did not find any harm either."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a maximum daily sodium intake of 2300 mg for the general population and 1500 mg for individuals 51 years of age and older. The American Heart Association (AHA), also support reducing dietary sodium levels but are even more aggressive in their targets, recommending all individuals aim for, at most, 1500 mg of sodium daily.

This isn't the first study to question those recommendations. In 2013, these aggressive targets were challenged when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) conducted a comprehensive review of the literature and concluded there was simply no evidence to recommend lowering sodium to levels in federal dietary guidelines. The IOM even stated the evidence wasn't strong enough to recommend lowering daily sodium intake to the 1500- to 2300-mg/day range.

The AHA responds , other experts weigh in."

+ - What does a person use for a three button mouse these days? 2

Submitted by guises
guises (2423402) writes "Ever since mouse wheels were introduced the middle mouse button has been sidelined to an inadequate click-wheel function, or in some cases ditched altogether. This has never sat well with me, a proper middle button is invaluable for pasting, games, and navigation. More than that, my hand categorically rejects two button mice — the dangling ring finger causes me genuine physical discomfort. I have begged Logitech on multiple occasions to make just one, among their many screwy specialty mice, to replace the Mouseman which I loved so dearly. I thought for a moment that I had been answered with the g600, only to find that they had put the right mouse button in the middle.

So my question to Slashdot is: where does a person turn for a three button mouse these days? I've only found two, both ergonomic and priced accordingly. I use the Contour and like the shape and wheel position, but would love to find something wireless and with a higher DPI sensor."

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