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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 24 declined, 21 accepted (45 total, 46.67% accepted)

+ - Schneier explains how to protect yourself from Sony-style attacks (you can't)->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Bruce Schneier has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal discussing the Sony attack. He says, "Your reaction to the massive hacking of such a prominent company will depend on whether you’re fluent in information-technology security. If you’re not, you’re probably wondering how in the world this could happen. If you are, you’re aware that this could happen to any company.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Silicon Valley Swings to Republicans->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Silicon Valley is making a mark in Washington as Google has recently replaced Goldman as the largest lobbyist, but until recently, most of the money in from Silicon Valley went to democratic candidates. In 2014, that has changed, and Republicans are getting most of the money. Why the change? Gordon Crovitz suggests it's because Harry Reid blocked patent reform. Reid gets a large chunk of donations from trial lawyers, who oppose the reform."
Link to Original Source

+ - Poll Finds San Francisco Voters Favor Tech Buses->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "A recent poll to test SF opinions on the tech buses finds that most have a favorable view. 79% of those polled said that the tech industry has helped the city, and 67% said the shuttles should be able to use the MUNI stops.

Cynthia Crews from the League of Pissed-Off Voters disagreed, saying, " “[it was] paid for by tech companies""

Link to Original Source

+ - Why is US Broadband so Slow? 1

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Verizon has said they will not be digging new lines any time soon. Time-Warner's cash flow goes towards paying down debt, not laying down fiber. AT&T is doing everything they can to slow deployment of Google fiber.
How can the situation be improved? Mainly by expediting right-of-way access, permits, and inspections, according to Andy Kessler. That is how Google was able to afford to lay down fiber in Austin, and how VTel was able to do it in Vermont (gigabit connections for $35 a month)."

+ - Why Whistleblowers Cannot Get a Fair Trial->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes ""Seven whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the Obama administration," writes Jesselyn Radack, a lawyer who advised two of them. She explains why they can't get a fair trial. In the Thomas Drake case, the administration retroactively marked documents as classified, saying, "he knew they should have been classified." In the Bradley Manning case, the jury wasn't allowed to see what information was leaked. The defendants, all who have been charged with espionage, have limited access to court documents. Most of these problems happen because the law was written to deal with traitorous spies, not whistleblowers."
Link to Original Source

+ - Congress Becomes Aware of Patent Trolls

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Congressman Charles Schumer has written a piece decrying the evils of patent trolls. "Because of the high cost of patent litigation—the average litigation defense costs a small or midsize company $1.75 million—it is often marginally cheaper for a defendant to pay up front to make the case go away. The average settlement for the same group of companies is $1.33 million....Patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in 2011 alone."
His solution? Make it easier for low quality patents to be re-examined and rejected by the patent office."

+ - Google Maps Used to Find Tax Cheats

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Some countries are worried about the privacy implications of Google Maps, but Lithuania is using them to find tax cheats. "Two recent cases netted $130,000 in taxes and penalties after investigators found houses photographed by Google that weren't on official maps....'We were very impressed,' said Modestas Kaseliauskas, head of the State Tax Authority. 'We realized that we could do more with less and in shorter time." The people of Lithuania don't seem to mind. "Authorities have been aided by the local populace. 'We received even more support than we expected,' said Mr. Kaseliauskas, the chief tax inspector.""
Android

+ - Hacking the Android VM by Facebook->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Facebook's new Android App literally modifies the Dalvik VM runtime while it's running.
They found this necessary because the Dalvik machine has a hard-coded limit on the number of methods that can be loaded in a process at one time, so they used JNI to modify to increase this hard-coded limit at runtime.

Is this a horrible programming technique from Facebook, or is it a workaround for a poorly-designed runtime?"

Link to Original Source
Blackberry

+ - Blackberry Users Grow->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "At their latest investor conference call, Rim reported that their subscription base had grown to 80million. Who are these people that still use Blackberries? The Wall Street Journal investigated countries where Blackberry is still king. In Haiti for example, a Blackberry (with BBM) is a must-have accessory for rappers and pop stars."
Link to Original Source

+ - Birthplace of Indoeuropean Languages Found->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Language geeks might be interested in a recent study that confirms Turkey as the birthplace of the Indo-European language family. The Indo-European family is the largest, and includes languages as diverse as English, Russian, and Hindi. The New York Times made a pretty graph showing the spread."
Link to Original Source

+ - Former TSA Administrator Speaks->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Former TSA head Kip Hawley talks about the TSA: "it's simply no longer the case that killing a few people on board a plane could lead to a hijacking. Never again will a terrorist be able to breach the cockpit simply with a box cutter or a knife. The cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers, flight crews and air marshals would intervene.

I wanted to reduce the amount of time that officers spent searching for low-risk objects, but politics intervened at every turn. Lighters were untouchable, having been banned by an act of Congress. And despite the radically reduced risk that knives and box cutters presented in the post-9/11 world, allowing them back on board was considered too emotionally charged for the American public."

Link to Original Source

+ - Global Warming Scientist Slamdown->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Earlier 16 scientists said anthropogenic global warming is not something to worry about. This generated some rebuttals, "Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work."
Now the 16 are hitting back. "We urge readers not to depend on pompous academy pronouncements—on what we say....everyone should look at certain stubborn facts that don't fit the theory espoused in the Trenberth letter.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Doctors 'fire' vaccine refusers->

Submitted by phantomfive
phantomfive (622387) writes "Doctors are fed up.
"In a study of Connecticut pediatricians published last year, some 30% of 133 doctors said they had asked a family to leave their practice for vaccine refusal." Pediatricians are getting tired of families avoiding vaccines, which puts their children at higher risk of disease."

Link to Original Source

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