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Submission Summary: 2 pending, 873 declined, 529 accepted (1404 total, 37.68% accepted)

+ - Oracle Deflects Blame for Troubled Oregon Health Care Site->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."
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+ - What Tech Products Were Built to Last?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "When you think about tech products these days, you probably think 'refresh cycle' more than 'built to last.' But as it turns out there are plenty of tech products that put up with hard, daily use year after year. ITworld dug into the BuyItForLife subreddit to suss out 10 such products (some more strictly 'tech' than others). Among those with the strongest recommendations for their ability to outlast their peers: Logitech MX510 mouse, Brother black & white laser printer, Casio G-Shock watch, Alvin Draf-Tec Retrac mechanical pencil, Sony Dream Machine alarm clock. What's your longest-lasting, hardest-working device?"
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+ - Intel Expands Quark Processor Line->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "If you haven't heard of Quark, you're not alone: 'It was introduced last minute at the most recent Intel Developer Forum and Intel people were literally pulling analysts aside minutes before the keynotes to give them the word, and then Intel proceeded to tell them nothing,' according to Jim McGregor, president of Tirias Research. 'They made the announcement but didn't give us any details, which is really unusual for them. You kinda got the impression the thing was half-baked at the time,' he said. 'Since then, a clearer picture has emerged,' writes blogger Andy Patrizio. 'Quark is a lower performance version of Atom designed for everything from industrial and automotive to wearables and the Internet of Things. This week, Intel added three more chips to the line: the X1001, X1011 and X1021D, which are the old chips but certified to operate from -40C to +85C while offering the same performance and feature sets as the prior models. The temperature certifications mean these chips will be going into industrial equipment, cars, and other mechanical devices that experience extreme temperature.'"
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+ - Leak: Amazon Phone With 3D Display->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Apparently Amazon thinks we want 3D screens on our phones. Yesterday Boy Genius Report leaked images of what is supposed to be a phone coming from Amazon (BGR has all the nitty-gritty — and not yet official in any way — specs). The phone apparently has six cameras.... One on the back and one on the front for traditional photos and selfies. Then there are 4 more on the front that are intended to do facial tracking in order to properly display a 3D user interface. As blogger Peter Smith points out, 'that's an improvement over the 3DS which requires you to hold the device in the 'sweet spot' for the 3D effect to work properly.' But it also sounds like an expensive system both in terms of hardware and processing cycles."
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+ - Mozilla Appoints Former Marketing Head Interim CEO->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Following the contentious and ultimately failed appointment of Brendan Eich as CEO last month, the Mozilla Corporation has appointed board member Chris Beard as interim CEO. Beard starting working as chief marketing officer for Mozilla in 2004, and oversaw the launch of its current browser, Firefox, in 2005. Beard also managed the launches of Firefox on Android and the Firefox OS for mobile phones."
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+ - The Case for a Safer Smartphone->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, people who text and drive increase their chances of 'safety-critical events' by a multiple of 23.2. And new research is constantly rolling out, showing the same thing: 'We can't handle the visual, manual, and cognitive commitment of using a phone while driving,' writes blogger Kevin Purdy. What's needed, Purdy suggests, isn't more laws that will go ignored, but phones that know enough to stop giving us the distractions we ask them for:

I think the next good phone, the next phone that makes some variant of the claim that it "Fits the way you live," needs to know that we don't know what is good for us when it comes to driving. We want to be entertained and shown new things while doing the often mundane or stressful task of driving. More specifically, those phones should know when we are driving, quiet or otherwise obscure updates from most apps, and be able to offer their most basic functions without needing to turn on a screen or type a single letter.

"

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+ - Stung By File-Encrypting Malware, Researchers Fight Back->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "When Jose Vildoza's father became the victime of ransomware, he launched his own investigation. Diving into CryptoDefense's code, he found its developers had made a crucial mistake: CryptoDefense used Microsoft's Data Protection API (application programming interface), a tool in the Windows operating system to encrypt a user's data, which stored a copy of the encryption keys on the affected computer. Vildoza and researcher, Fabian Wosar of the Austrian security company Emsisoft, collaborated on a utility called the Emsisoft Decrypter that could recover the encrypted keys. In mid-March Vildoza had launched a blog chronicling his investigation, purposely not revealing the mistake CryptoDefense's authors had made. But Symantec then published a blog post on March 31 detailing the error."
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+ - Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling for Servers-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Intel and SGI have built a proof-of-concept supercomputer that's kept cool using a fluid developed by 3M called Novec that is already used in fire suppression systems. The technology, which could replace fans and eliminate the need to use tons of municipal water to cool data centers, has the potential to slash data-center energy bills by more than 90 percent, said Michael Patterson, senior power and thermal architect at Intel. But there are several challenges, including the need to design new motherboards and servers."
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+ - China Approves Microsoft-Nokia Deal, Gets Patent Concessions In Return->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "On Tuesday, China's Ministry of Commerce gave conditional regulatory approval to Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices & Services business. The $7.2 billion deal means that Microsoft could very soon produce its own smartphones using the Windows Phone operating system. In return, China is requiring Microsoft and Nokia to make promises on fair patent use, fearing that the proposed acquisition between the two companies could spell trouble for the nation's Android device makers."
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+ - XSS Flaw in Popular Video-Sharing Site Enabled DDoS Attack->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Attackers exploited a vulnerability in a popular video-sharing site to hijack 22,000 browsers and launch a large-scale DDoS attack, according to researchers from Web security firm Incapsula. The attack happened Wednesday and was the result of a persistent cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability. The XSS flaw allowed attackers to create a new account with rogue JavaScript code injected into the img tag corresponding to its profile picture. 'As a result, every time the image was used on one of the the site's pages (e.g., in the comment section), the malicious code was also embedded inside, waiting to be executed by every future visitor to that page,' the Incapsula researchers said Thursday in a blog post."
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+ - Hackathon Gold: How To Win a Job Offer in a Coding Competition->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Hackathons have stirred up their share of controversy — mostly around too-big prizes and the inevitable cheating that follows. But for some developers they also can be the ultimate job interview — not just a coding test, but an opportunity to show off your people skills. Take the case of the January 2014 GlobalHack contest in St. Louis that was initially attended by several hundred programmers. The story of the contest isn't who took away the top $50,000 prize but about the other participants who didn't finish in the money but came away with something else that is arguably more important."
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+ - Wearables Are Already Wearing Out Their Welcome->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "In a new white paper based on an Internet survey of 'thousands of Americans', the consulting firm Endeavor Partners has concluded that wearables (at least in their current incarnation) may already be on their way out. The survey found that one-third of American consumers who have owned a wearable product stopped using it within six months. Meanwhile, eBay is rapidly filling with second-hand smartwatches: At the time of this writing, an eBay search turned up 2,465 results for 'Samsung Galaxy Gear'."
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+ - Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh on Sunday overruled Samsung Electronics' objections to showing jurors a recent instructional video on how patents work, ahead of a trial in a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung. The new video, called "The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors," was developed by the Federal Judicial Center to provide jurors with an introduction to the patent system. Samsung's objection is to several scenes in which Apple products are depicted and used (and, by extension, seen as patentable and innovative)."
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+ - Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Creighton University professor William Duckworth has released a report finding that kill-switch technology that remotely makes a stolen smartphone useless could save American consumers up to $2.6 billion per year — mostly from reduced insurance premiums. Duckworth estimated that Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance. If a kill-switch led to a sharp reduction in theft of phones, most of the $580 million spent on replacing stolen phones would be saved. And a further $2 billion in savings could be realized by switching to cheaper insurance plans that don't cover theft."
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+ - Classified X-37B Space Plane Breaks Space Longevity Record->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "A little-known U.S. space plane quietly broke its own space endurance record this week as its current unmanned mission surpassed 469 days in space. What it was doing up there for so long is a secret closely held by the Air Force, but Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an authority on satellites and launches, thinks it's serving a similar role as the space shuttle by carrying a science or intelligence payload. 'I believe it's testing some kind of experimental sensor for the National Reconnaissance Office; for example, a hyperspectral imager, or some new kind of signals intelligence package,' said McDowell. 'The sensor was more successful than expected, so the payload customer asked the X-37 folks to keep the spacecraft in orbit longer.'"
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