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+ - Thanks, Apple! Police Now Can Switch Off iPhone Camera And Wi-Fi->

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "Police throughout the globe have been embarrassed to see online videos of their officers pepper spraying tied captives. In our age of mobile gadgets the pictures can be uploaded online in seconds, making supervisors to answer the questions. But now the police may not need to fear scrutiny anymore, because Apple has recently patented a piece of technology that would allow the authorities and police to block data transmission, including video and photos, whenever they like. All they need to do is decide that a public gathering or venue is deemed “sensitive” and needs to be protected from externalities. In this case Apple will enable them to switch off all its gear. The developers insist that the affected locations are normally cinemas, theaters and concert grounds, but Apple admits it could also be used in covert police or government operations that may need complete “blackout” conditions. In the meantime, privacy outfits point out that it could also be used to prevent such whistle blowers as Edward Snowden from shooting pictures and sharing them online. In response, Apple claimed that the wireless transmission of sensitive data to a remote source is a threat to security, with the sensitive data being anything from classified government data to answers to an exam administered in an academic setting. Anyway, the fact is that Apple has patented the means to transmit an encoded signal to all wireless gadgets, commanding them to disable recording functions. The developers reveal that the policies would be activated by GPS, and Wi-Fi or mobile base-stations that would ring-fence around a building or a sensitive area in order to prevent mobile cameras from taking pictures or recording video."
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+ - Obama pick for NSA review panel wanted paid, pro-government shills in chat rooms->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Obama administration is reportedly proposing Cass Sunstein as a member of a panel to review the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency (NSA), among other former White House and intelligence staffers. Sunstein was the head of the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs until last year, when he returned to teaching at Harvard Law School.

As one of our intrepid commenters pointed out yesterday, while at Harvard in 2008, Sunstein co-authored a working paper that suggests government agents or their allies “cognitively infiltrate” conspiracy theorist groups by joining ”chat rooms, online social networks or even real-space groups” and influencing the conversation.

But while it’s nice to assume that the government would limit that “cognitive infiltration” authority to false conspiracies, history suggests that it would be also used against activists trying to expose actual government misconduct."

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+ - Wikipedia Can Predict Box Office Flops->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Despite a record year though, like every year before it, 2013 remained fraught with its fair share of box office disasters. What if studios could minimize their loses and predict when the next Pluto Nash-level flop was imminent? According to new research published in PLoS One, they may actually be able to. Using data gleaned from Wikipedia articles, researchers measured the likelihood of a film's financial success based on four parameters: number of total page views; number of total edits made; number of users editing; and the number of revisions in the article's revision history, or "collaborative rigor.""
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Space

+ - Need help recovering a solar-powered ballon next week-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We are a small group of high-altitude balloon enthusiasts based in Socorro, New Mexico. Our current endeavor is to launch a solar-powered balloon (one that only uses the sun to generate all lift rather than helium as a weather balloon would) sometime between 12/22 and 12/28. The balloon is estimated to reach 50k-80k feet and will be carrying a payload that includes a full flight profile recorder. The only problem? While we will know where it comes down, we probably won't be able to drive that far. We would like to crowdsource the recovery. Getting the payload back means we can validate our flight models and better design future balloons."
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Open Source

+ - Open-source hardware hacker Ladyada awarded Entrepreneur of the Year->

Submitted by
ptorrone
ptorrone writes "Limor "Ladyada" Fried of open-source hardware company Adafruit Industries was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine. From the article — "Recognizable by her signature vivid-pink locks, Fried (or Ladyada, as she is known on the internet) is one of the dominant forces behind the maker movement--a legion of do-it-yourself-minded folks who create cool things by tweaking everyday technology. Last year New York City-based Adafruit did a booming $10 million trade in sales of DIY open-source electronic hardware kits"."
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Apple

+ - Are middle-aged women taking over the iPad?->

Submitted by redkemper
redkemper (2621761) writes "One of the most interesting topics in the app market right now is the divergence between iPhone and iPad application markets — over the past 18 months, the top-grossing iPad game chart has clearly started slanting towards your mom. At No.1 we have Dragonvale, a game that gives you the ability to grow and breed dragons that are adorably cute. At No.4, Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure leads a recent surge of hidden object games. These types of adventures rely on the player looking at pictures full of different items and spotting treasures that drive the plot progression. 50-year-old women from Minnetonka fell in love with the genre years ago, and the hidden object games now dominate Yahoo Games and other mainstream video game portals. Then at No.5 and No.8 we find Bingo Bash and Slotomania — archetypal granny games..."
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Businesses

+ - Internet billionaire creates HUGE physics prize->

Submitted by gbrumfiel
gbrumfiel (1917934) writes "Billionaire Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner has spontaneously awarded $3 million prizes to nine prominent theoretical physicists. The new, Fundamental Physics Prize dwarfs awards like the Nobel, which this year is estimated to be worth some $1.2 million (and that's before it's split by up to three winners). It's so much money that some theorists fear it could distort the field. Milner says that his only purpose of the new prize was to promote the field, which he studied in the 1980s: "The intention was to say that science is as important as a shares rating on Wall Street," he told Nature ."
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Cloud

+ - 1.3 billion pages of free, open web index +metadata->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "1.3 billion pages of 2012 crawl data, metadata, and text files. Free and open from the Common Crawl Foundation. Easily do things like this cool study showing 22% of web pages mention Facebook and 8% have Open Graph tags http://zyxt.com/post/26851542949/study-of-1-3-billion-urls-22-of-web-pages-reference"
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+ - Google's Marissa Mayer becomes Yahoo CEO->

Submitted by D H NG
D H NG (779318) writes "Marissa Mayer, Google's employee #20 and Vice President of Local, was appointed CEO of Yahoo. She was Google's public face for years, famously being responsible for the look and feel of Google’s most popular products: the famously unadorned white search homepage, Gmail, Google News and Google Images. Mayer resigned from Google Monday afternoon and will begin her new job on Tuesday."
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Facebook

+ - Facebook Ignorance Won't Help You Keep Your Job->

Submitted by
benfrog
benfrog writes "A judge in a Texas appeals court has ruled that an EMT's firing was validfor a post on a colleague's Facebook Wall that he argued he intended only to be seen by his close friends but that was visible to his employer (ruling here, PDF). The EMT essentially argued in a last-ditch legal effort to save his job that his lack of knowledge of Facebook's privacy settings (or lack thereof) should have made his firing over the post invalid. Legal analysis in a blog post here."
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