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Tens of Thousands Protest In Cairo, Twitter Blocked 167

Haffner writes "Protests in Cairo, Egypt have now reached the tens of thousands. Police have deployed water cannons and tear gas. I am writing this live from Cairo, where I witnessed a throng of 1000-3000 march towards Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. I also witnessed 300-500 protesting on one of the bridges heading downtown. Most importantly, twitter has been blocked by many national carriers." Why Twitter? As reader pinkushun writes "Using Twitter and Facebook, the people instigated a series of fast-moving, rapidly shifting demos across half a dozen or more Egyptian cities. The police could not keep up – and predictably, resorted to violence. Sadly this has led to three known deaths thus far." Update: 01/26 02:05 GMT by T : Jake Appelbaum is tweeting up a storm about the state of the active filters.

In the Google Navy 129

theodp writes "Having already assembled a private Air Force, Google's top execs now seem to be turning their attention to building a personal Navy. At last count, CEO Eric Schmidt's wife had assembled a stable of three classic racing boats — the Swan 80 Selene, the 46-foot W-class Equus and the Alerion Mischief. Perhaps not to be outdone, the press is reporting that Google founder Larry Page just snapped up a $45 million superyacht called Senses from New Zealand businessman Sir Douglas Myers, who referred to the ostentatious-yet-awesome yacht as his 'adventure boat.' As Google likes to say, 'just the latest steps in Google's commitment to a clean and green energy future.' So, do Google execs eat their own carbon footprint calculator dogfood?" All I know is if Larry wants to go fishing, I'll bring bait — or he can come here and fish on Zen's pontoon boat. It only leaked once, the engine usually starts right up, and while there's no helipad, I'd love to watch someone try.

ISPs Warn Europe — Website Blocks Don't Work 210

Mark.JUK writes "The European Internet Services Providers Association has today warned the European Union that plans aimed at tackling online child sexual abuse content, which propose to force ISPs into adopting mandatory website blocking (censorship) technology, will not work because such methods are easy to circumvent; an ISP might cover your eyes but anybody can still take the blindfold off. Instead the EuroISPA has called for members of Parliament to consider permanently removing Internet-based child sexual abuse content at source, although this also runs into problems when the servers are based outside of your jurisdiction."

Some WikiLeaks Contributions To Public Discourse 299

Hugh Pickens writes "The EFF argues that regardless of the heated debate over the propriety of the actions of WikiLeaks, some of the cables have contributed significantly to public and political conversations around the world. The Guardian reported on a cable describing an incident in Afghanistan in which employees of DynCorp, a US military contractor, hired a 'dancing boy,' an under-aged boy dressed as a woman, who dances for a gathering of men and is then prostituted — an incident that contributed important information to the debate over the use of private military contractors. A cable released by WikiLeaks showed that Pfizer allegedly sought to blackmail a Nigerian regulator to stop a lawsuit against drug trials on children. A WikiLeaks revelation that the United States used bullying tactics to attempt to push Spain into adopting copyright laws even more stringent than those in the US came just in time to save Spain from the kind of misguided copyright laws that cripple innovation and facilitate online censorship. An article by the NY Times analyzed cables released which indicated the US is having difficulties in fulfilling Obama's promise to close the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and is now considering incentives in return for other countries accepting detainees, including a one-on-one meeting with Obama or assistance with the IMF. 'These examples make clear that WikiLeaks has brought much-needed light to government operations and private actions,' writes Rainey Reitman, 'which, while veiled in secrecy, profoundly affect the lives of people around the world and can play an important role in a democracy that chooses its leaders.'"

Swedish Firm Proposes City Buildings On Rails 223

Lanxon writes "A Swedish architecture firm that came up with a plan to roll buildings through a city on rails has won third prize in a competition to develop the Norwegian city of Åndalsnes. The company, Jagnafalt Milton, suggested that existing and new railroads could be built to provide the base for buildings that could be positioned differently depending on the seasons and on the weather. It proposed designs for rail-mounted single- and double-berth cabins, along with a two-story suite, reports Wired."
Open Source

Apache Subversion To WANdisco, Inc: Get Real 85

kfogel writes "The Apache Subversion project has just had to remind one of its corporate contributors about the rules of the road. WANdisco, Inc was putting out some very odd press releases and blog posts, implying (among other things) that their company was in some sort of steering position in the open source project. Oops — that's not the Apache Way. The Apache Software Foundation has reminded them of how things work. Meanwhile, one of the founding developers of Subversion, Ben Collins-Sussman, has posted a considerably more caustic take on WANdisco's behavior."

Four IT Consultants Charged With $80M NYC Rip-Off 126

theodp writes "It's I-told-you-so time for Slashdot commenter frnic, who smelled a crime last March after reading that New York City had dropped $722 million on its still-under-development CityTime Attendance System. Nine months later, US Attorney Preet Bharara charged 'four consultants to the New York City Office of Payroll Administration ... for operating a fraudulent scheme that led to the misappropriation of more than $80 million in New York City funds allocated for an information technology project known as "CityTime."' Three of the four consultants were also charged — along with a consultant's wife and mother — with using a network of friends-and-family shell corporations to launder the proceeds of the fraud. Dept. of Investigations Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn called it a shame that 'supposed experts hired and paid well to protect the city's interests were exposed as the fox guarding the hen house.'"

YouTube Legally Considered a TV Station In Italy 254

orzetto writes "Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that YouTube and similar websites based on user-generated content will be considered TV stations (Google translation of Italian original) in Italian law, and will be subject to the same obligations. Among these, a small tax (500 €), the obligation to publish corrections within 48 hours upon request of people who consider themselves slandered by published content, and the obligation not to broadcast content inappropriate for children in certain time slots. The main change, though, is that YouTube and similar sites will be legally responsible for all published content as long as they have any form (even if automated) of editorial control. The main reason for this is probably that it will force YouTube to assume editorial responsibility for all published content, which facilitates the ongoing € 500M lawsuit of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi against YouTube because of content copyrighted by Berlusconi's TV networks that some users uploaded on YouTube. Berlusconi's Spanish TV station, TeleCinco, was previously defeated in court on the grounds that YouTube is not a content provider."

Cheaters Exposed Analyzing Statistical Anomalies 437

Hugh Pickens writes "Proctors and teachers can't watch everyone while they take tests — not when some students can text with their phones in their pockets, so with tests increasingly important in education — used to determine graduation, graduate school admission, and — the latest — merit pay and tenure for teachers, Trip Gabriel writes that schools are turning to 'data forensics' to catch cheaters, searching for data anomalies where the chances of random agreement are astronomical. In addition to looking for copying, statisticians hunt for illogical patterns, like test-takers who did better on harder questions than easy ones, a sign of advance knowledge of part of a test or look for unusually large score gains from a previous test by a student or class. Since Caveon Test Security, whose clients have included the College Board, the Law School Admission Council, and more than a dozen states and big city school districts, began working for the state of Mississippi in 2006, cheating has declined about 70 percent, says James Mason, director of the State Department of Education's Office of Student Assessment. 'People know that if you cheat there is an extremely high chance you're going to get caught,' says Mason."
The Media

Is Wired Hiding Key Evidence On Bradley Manning? 381

Hugh Pickens writes "Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that for more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed but refuses to publish the key evidence in the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source. 'In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year,' writes Greenwald. Wired has only published about 25% of the logs writes Greenwald and Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. 'Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest,' concludes Greenwald. 'This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a "journalist" I've ever seen.'"
The Almighty Buck

Top 10 Things You CAN'T Have For Christmas 230

Zothecula writes "It's getting a little late for a last minute Christmas shopping list, but not to worry, most of us outside the Forbes Top 100 couldn't afford any of these anyway! Still, it's fascinating to look at what's possible if the word 'budget' isn't in your vocabulary, so here's a look at what you won't be getting for Christmas (CT: Warning, gizmag features really intrusive advertising) this year – the most outrageous examples of high-end overkill from 2010."

CIA Launches WTF To Investigate Wikileaks 402

krou writes "In an effort to investigate the impact of the leaked diplomatic cables, the CIA have launched the Wikileaks Task Force, commonly referred to at CIA headquarters as 'WTF.' 'The Washington Post said the panel was being led by the CIA's counter-intelligence centre, although it has drawn in two dozen members from departments across the agency.' Although the agency has not seen much of its own information leaked in the cables, some revelations (such as spying at the UN) originated from direct requests by the CIA. The Guardian notes that, 'WTF is more commonly associated with the Facebook and Twitter profiles of teenagers than secret agency committees. Given that its expanded version is usually an expression of extreme disbelief, perhaps the term is apt for the CIA's investigation.'"
Open Source

Best Open Source Genealogy Software? 292

An anonymous reader writes "I'm looking to build a family tree for a holiday gift. Do the Slashdotters of the world have any recommendations on open source genealogy software? I did try a 14-day free trial of What a scam! I submitted the personal information for my parents, grandparents, and me. Then, I received a pop-up telling me that if I would like to get information on my family, I would have to upgrade my subscription for $29.95 US. So, I took the chance. Turns out that the only information they had was my previous addresses for the past 20 years." The venerable GRAMPS is still actively developed, and its site lists several other possibilities, too. Any favorites, or anti-favorites, out there?

Microsoft, Apple, EMC, and Oracle Form Patent Bloc 113

An anonymous reader writes "When Novell finally sold itself, part of the deal included the sale of 882 patents to a consortium backed by Microsoft. Thanks to a tip from Florian Mueller, it turns out that Microsoft's partners are Apple, Oracle, and EMC, which raises questions about where these companies are heading and what it means for the rest of the industry."

America's Cubicles Are Shrinking 484

Hugh Pickens writes "In the 1970s, American corporations typically thought they needed 500 to 700 square feet per employee to build an effective office, but the LA Times reports that today's average is a little more than 200 square feet per person, and the space allocation could hit a mere 50 square feet by 2015. 'We're at a very interesting inflection point in real estate history,' says Peter Miscovich, who studies workplace trends. 'The next 10 years will be very different than the last 30.' Although cubicles have shrunk from an average of 64 feet to 49 feet in recent years, companies are looking for more ways to compress their real estate footprint with offices that squeeze together workstations while setting aside a few rooms where employees can conduct meetings or have private phone conversations. 'Younger workers' lives are all integrated, not segregated,' says Larry Rivard. 'They have learned to work anywhere — at a kitchen table or wherever.'"

"Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown!" -- The Ghostbusters