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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 14 declined, 5 accepted (19 total, 26.32% accepted)

+ - Phishing attack forces ORNL offline->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to some of the fastest supercomputers on the planet, was forced to shut down all Internet access and email systems over the weekend due to what is known as an Advanced Persistent Threat attack. This same style of attack has been recently used on Google, a security company known as RSA and other government institutions and corporations. According to lab director Thom Mason, "In this case, it was initiated with phishing email, which led to the download of some software that took advantage of a 'zero day exploit,' in Internet Explorer." At this point, they don't think any major exfiltration of data occurred."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google and Verizon in talks to end net neutrality->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "I'm a little shocked to hear it (well maybe not that shocked), but the NYT is reporting that Verizon and Google are "nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege. The charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation’s leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers. The agreement could eventually lead to higher charges for Internet users." The basis for the NYT's assertion of higher internet costs comes from the style of the plan, which isn't completely clear to me, but the idea is to make the internet more like cable television subscriptions with access to various sites based determined by if you subscribe to the basic or premium package. According to anonymous sources, an agreement could be reached as early as next week. The F.C.C. is in talks with the main internet providers, but due to the Appeals Court ruling in April, its authority to regulate the internet is in doubt. Is this the end of Net Neutrality?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple surpasses Microsoft in Market Capitalization->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Today Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, a metric of the perceived worth of a company. At around 2:30 pm EST, the total number of Apple shares were worth $227 billion, whereas Microsoft's were worth $226 billion. Both companies stock ended the day in the red, and have dropped in value since the greek crisis began, but Apple's share price has been falling less quickly. Of American companies, only Exxon-Mobil has a higher market cap at this point at $278 billion. According to the NYT:

This changing of the guard caps one of the most stunning turnarounds in business history, as Apple had been given up for dead only a decade earlier. But the rapidly rising value attached to Apple by investors also heralds a cultural shift: Consumer tastes have overtaken the needs of business as the leading force shaping technology.

"

Link to Original Source

+ - What happened to the guy who leaked "Wolverine".->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The NYT has an article up describing the "adventures" of Gilberto Sanchez, the guy who leaked a work print of the movie Wolverine to megaupload.com.

[Mr. Sanchez] said that he bought a bootleg copy of Wolverine on the street, and posted a copy on the sharing site megaupload.com, for the cachet. Eight months later, on Dec. 16, Mr. Sanchez was awakened by a knock at 6 a.m., and opened the door to F.B.I. agents, who placed him under arrest. He was charged with violation of copyright law, arraigned in federal court in Manhattan and allowed to return home, but he faces the possibility of prison time, possibly in California, where his indictment originated. His fate is unclear: In 2003, a New Jersey man was fined and put on probation after uploading an unfinished print of The Hulk before its release. But last year, a man who took a copy of The Love Guru, from a tape-duplication company was sentenced to six months in prison.

"

Link to Original Source
Windows

+ - OS usage share one month after Windows 7->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "Windows 7 seems to be off to a flying start with sales 234% higher than Vista's. When we look at the North American usage share of operating systems according to statcounter, we see that Windows 7 is indeed making substantial inroads, rising from 2.1% the week of its release to 4.4%. (There was obviously a substantial number of people who installed a prerelease version.) Not surprisingly, this is taking a toll on Vista's usage share, which was about 35.07% at its peak in September and is now around 32.67% (declining at an average rate of 0.5% per week since win7's launch). Nor is XP immune, the average decrease in usage share for XP for the eight weeks starting at the end of July was 0.2% per week, and 0.3% per week for the month following Win7's launch.

All of this is to be expected. The big surprise however (or maybe not) is that OS X usage share has increased its rate of adoption. During the same 8 weeks as above of OS X usage share in North America increased by an average of 0.05% per week but since Windows 7's launch the weekly increase in usage share is 0.26%. It currently stands at 11.59%. Is this snow leopard making itself felt, just a coincidence, or are people taking to opportunity to move away from Windows all together?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Billions cut from futuristic weapons programs->

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "President Obama signed a military policy bill that cut ~$26 billion from weapons programs. The biggest item on the chopping block was the controversial F-22 Raptor which got a veto threat from the president:

Once the Senate voted in July to stop buying F-22s, that success reverberated down to help sustain billions of dollars of cuts in Army modernization, missile defense and other programs.

Military analysts said Defense Secretary Gates, originator of the cuts and a holdover from the Bush administration, aimed at the most bloated programs. And Senator John McCain of Arizona, the former Republican presidential candidate, who has criticized the Pentagon's cost overruns, provided Mr. Obama with political cover to make the cuts without being seen as soft on the military.

Mr. Obama has said that he does not intend to reduce military spending while the nation is engaged in two wars. But Mr. Gates also wants to cut more futuristic programs to free money for simpler systems like helicopters and unmanned spy planes that can help the troops now.

"

Link to Original Source
Operating Systems

+ - Quarterly Reports: Apple strong, MS weak

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes "Both Microsoft and Apple reported their quarterly results this week. What a difference! Apple reported:

The Company posted revenue of $8.34 billion and a net quarterly profit of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The NYT is reporting that Apple handedly beat Wall Street's expectations. The company reported increased sales of not only iphones from this time last year, but also ipods, and mac laptops (up to 2.5 million from 2.3 million). Contrast this to Microsoft, who the NYT is reporting as:

closed out perhaps its most difficult year as a public company in less than stellar fashion. On Thursday, the company significantly missed Wall Street's fourth-quarter revenue target and reported the first decline in full-year revenue in its 34-year history. The company, the world's largest software maker, posted net income of $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, for its fourth quarter, which ended June 30. That was down sharply from the $4.30 billion, or 46 cents a share, it earned in the fourth quarter a year ago.

Microsoft blames the "weakness in the global PC and server markets" for its poor performance, although it seems pretty obvious that Vista contributed in some fashion. The question now is just how good is Windows 7 and is it good enough to convince businesses to upgrade? Is it really time to start asking the question: can Win7 save Microsoft?"

Internet Explorer

+ - Is IE usage share collapsing? 1

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes "Net Applications normally releases its statistics for browser and operating system usage share on the first of every month. This month however, the data has not shown up, only a cryptic message has appeared that states they are reviewing the data for inexplicable statistical variations and that it will be available soon. Larry Dignan at ZDNet has a blog post that might explain what is happening: Statcounter has released some data that shows a precipitous drop in IE browser use in North America. At the end of May, StatCounter shows IE usage share at around 64%, at the beginning of June it is now about 56%, an astounding 8% drop in one month.

While interesting, it should be remembered the difficulties in estimating things like browser usage share, and this could very well be a change in how browsers report themselves, or other statistical anomaly, so it should probably be healthy to remain skeptical until this is confirmed by other organizations. Have any slashdotters seen drops in IE usage share for web-sites they administer?"
Businesses

+ - Credit Card Industry to Penalize Good Debtors

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes ""The New York Times reports that the Banking Industry is threatening to start charging higher interest, shorter grace periods, and annual fees to people who pay off their credit card bill in full each month. This is in response to the congressional intent to limit extravagant interest rates and fees:

"It will be a different business," said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, "Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems."

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office estimated that 70 percent of card issuers' revenue came from interest charges, and the portion from penalty rates appeared to be growing. The remainder came from fees on cardholders as well as retailers for processing transactions. Consumer advocates say they have little sympathy for credit card issuers, arguing that they have made billions in recent years with unfair and sometimes deceptive practices.

Is this a real threat or saber-rattling to get more lenient usury laws out of congress?" NOTE TO EDITORS: I changed the title because I realized the word in the title before didn't make any sense."

Businesses

+ - Credit Card Industry To Penalize Good Creditors

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes "The New York Times reports that the Banking Industry is threatening to start charging higher interest, shorter grace periods, and annual fees to people who pay off their credit card bill in full each month. This is in response to the congressional intent to limit extravagant interest rates and fees:

"It will be a different business," said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, "Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems."

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office estimated that 70 percent of card issuers' revenue came from interest charges, and the portion from penalty rates appeared to be growing. The remainder came from fees on cardholders as well as retailers for processing transactions. Consumer advocates say they have little sympathy for credit card issuers, arguing that they have made billions in recent years with unfair and sometimes deceptive practices.

Is this a real threat or saber-rattling to get more lenient usury laws out of congress?"

The Internet

+ - Linux Reaches 1% Usage Share

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes "The April data is out for the Net Applications "market share" survey of operating systems (more accurately referred to as a usage share). For the first time, Linux has reached 1%! This past month the Linux share increased by 0.12% which is well above the average monthly increase of 0.02%. Historically, the Net Applications estimate of market share has been lower than that of other organizations who measure this, but the abnormally large increase reported this month brings it closer to the median estimate of 1.11%.

For other operating systems, Windows XP continued its slow decline by 0.64% to 62.21%, whereas Vista use is still increasing to 23.90%, but its rate of adoption is slowing. That is, this month's increase of 0.48% is well below the 12 mo. average increase of 0.78% and down from the peak rate of increase of 1.00% per mo. on average in January-February 2008. Total windows share dropped to 87.90%. Mac OS use decreased slightly to 9.73% from 9.77%, but usage share of the iphone and ipod touch combined increased by 0.1%."
Technology (Apple)

+ - Apple touch-screen netbook?

Submitted by
je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi writes "The Apple rumor mill is churning today. Reuters and the DOW Jones news wire are reporting that an anoymous source in Taiwan has leaked that Apple has ordered some 10 inch touch-screens from WinTek, the maker of the touch-screen for the iphone. It looks like an Apple netbook could possibly be in the works for a delivery date in Q3 of this year, in time for back-to-school sales. CNET and engadget have completely unsubstantiated mock-ups."
Music

+ - Behind the scenes in Apple vs. the Record Labels

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The New York Times recently posted an article describing what really happened between Apple and the Record labels that culminated with the January 6th Macworld Keynote by Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller:

The announcement seemed to signal a rapprochement between the music industry and its biggest distributor: record companies gave up their demand for copyright protection (called digital rights management) and Apple allowed flexible pricing, so the labels could charge more for new or popular tracks. Behind the scenes, however, the relationship remains as tense and antagonistic as ever.

But according to one music industry executive involved in the negotiations, Apple's primary goal was securing distribution of music over its iPhone, as mobile phones are expected to become an increasingly important outlet for music. Disagreements over the timing of the changes also resulted in a particularly tense conversation on Christmas Eve between Steven P. Jobs, the chairman and chief executive of Apple, and Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, the chairman of Sony Music.

Apparently, as some of us here on slashdot speculated earlier, there was an quid pro quo between Apple and the Music Industry. The article further details just how much power Apple still has over the Music Industry:

Even if Mr. Jobs does not get personally involved in future negotiations, music executives still fear dealing with Apple. One chit the company holds is the power of the iTunes home page, where it promotes music. They also say that the entire Apple staff, including Eddie Cue, the vice president in charge of iTunes who handles the relationships with the record labels, do their best to follow Mr. Jobs's style in their own negotiating.

"
Microsoft

+ - Market share: MS below 90%, Firefox up to 20%

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "For the first time since they have been surveying operating systems, Net Application's web survey of operating systems showed that people using windows comprised less than 90% of the market share. Mac OS is up to 8.87% (a new record too), and linux is up to 0.83% after a drop in October from 0.91% in September. (Almost got up to 1% there Tux, maybe in 2009?) For web browsers, Firefox cracked 20% for the first time as well, at the expense of Internet Explorer.

A CNN blog has a write-up on it that contains some information on how this is measured:

Net Applications' monthly surveys are conducted by sampling browser data from some 160 million visits to Web sites operated by firm's clients. Although the company describes the results as "market shares," Net Applications does not actually measure share of market in the traditional sense of sales revenue or unit sales. It does, however, provide a consistent methodology by which to measure browser and operating system trends.

So this is only a crude metric, but as the blog mentions and in the data linked to above, a decreasing MS "market share" has been showing up consistently over the past few years. Is the MS monopoly starting to erode?"

User Journal

+ - Polar ocean absorbing less CO2 than expected.

Submitted by je ne sais quoi
je ne sais quoi (987177) writes "The BBC is reporting on a study by an international team due out in Science magazine (subscription required). Their finding is that the Southern ocean may be absorbing less CO2 now than 25 years ago.

Why is this important? About half of atmospheric CO2 emissions go into the carbon sinks such as the Southern ocean and this ocean represents about 15% of the global carbon sinks. The interaction of CO2 with the ocean is pretty complex, but on the time scale of the study, there are two main competing effects: the first is that as oceans warm, they absorb less CO2. (This is why your beer is more fizzy when its warm, it can hold less CO2.) The second is that as more CO2 is absorbed into the ocean, more of it converts to bicarbonate (which incidentally, increases of the acidity of the oceans which will also change CO2 solubility).

Previously, it was known that eventually the first factor would win out, temperature would eventually limit CO2 absorption, but they thought it would happen 40 years from now. If this data is correct, it's happening now."

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