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+ - 404 - Plane Not Found: Lizard Squad Hacks Malaysia Airlines->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Lizard Squad, the hacking collaborative that went after Playstation, XBox, and the North Korean Internet last year, made Malaysia Airlines its target this week. Bloomberg links to images of the hacks (including the rather heartless 404 jab on its home page) and columnist Adam Minter wonders why Malaysia Airlines, which has had so much bad press in the past 12 months, was worthy of Lizard Squads ire. In apparent answer, @LizardMafia (the org's reputed Twitter handle) messaged Mr. Minter this AM:

"More to come soon. Side Note: We're still organizing the @MAS email dump, stay tuned for that" Perhaps Lizard Squad found something in the Malaysia Airlines emails that explain what has made it so "exemplary"."

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+ - Google vs. Cablevision: Rush to turn Wireless Industry "On its head"->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "WSJ reports on a race between Google (partnered with Sprint and T-Moble) and Cablevision to offer monthly "wifi only" cell phone service plans which would dramatically decrease the costs of monthly data and phone services for people living in cities with strong wifi infrastructure. The report emphasizes Google's caution in not creating enemies out of the cell phone companies (whom they need to support Android OS).

I remember the idea pitched in Burlington, VT over ten years ago. FTA

"Both efforts face substantial challenges—from stitching individual Wi-Fi hot spots into a reliable network to handling new customer-relations issues. And there is no guarantee the services would catch on with subscribers. Still, Google and Cablevision are throwing their weight behind an idea that up to this point has been pursued only by a handful of startups with names like FreedomPop, Republic Wireless and Scratch Wireless.""

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+ - Washington Post: "Invisible Girlfriend LLC" Reportedly Booms->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Washington Post covers the apparent success of a St. Louis MO social media company created to bestow fake boyfriends and girlfriends, for clients to show their social media networks. It's advertised as a way to keep nagging parents and friends from bothering the client about his/her social life. For $25 per month, subscribers get a phoney Facebook and text partner to show interest, like posts, send messages, for the benefit of people in the clients networks who are apparently nosey enough to... well, justify $25 per month in subscription fees.

Ask Slashdot, who else could benefit from this "false flag" technology? Can sales forces create fake prospective clients? Job references? Could some Slashdot competitor (Curse thee, Reddit) be paying for troll comments to post here?"

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Comment: Re:So what's the point? (Score 1) 351

by retroworks (#48898511) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

The point is to use content labels to stimulate democratic change by hoping consumers become more concerned about words on a label with information they've been taught to pay attention to for health reasons. Now I do believe there are very legitimate social/environmental concerns over GM DNA, such as reduction in crop diversity, or unintended consequences. But there are no health concerns deriving specifically from the fact DNA was "modified" (could be bad, could be good, GMO is not health information). So "the point" is clear: to use labels to introduce non-health related message to consumners.

In my 20s I was involved in the "recycled/recyclable" label rules introduced in the 1980s and while I wasn't opposed to putting packaging content information, I saw it was rapidly politicized. "Metal has more recycled content", "glass is more recyclable", "plastic is source-reduced weight"... labels became "recyclable" or "recycled content", then "post-consumer recycled content". In Europe, composite material drink-boxes made a deal to pay-to-play, where the chasing raindrops label could simply reflect the packaging company "paying to support recycling". (That money led EU regulators to increase in number and power... a good thing when they know what they are talking about, an awful thing most other times).

There is a limited amount of "shelf space" on food package labels. Environmentalists are trying to repeat the "success" of recycled/recyclable. Many passionately believe in the social/environmental concerns, such as crop diversity, just as we believed in recycling. But perhaps labels should just be for health and nutrition information.

Comment: Market Was Wealthy People Giving Gifts (Score 1) 65

by retroworks (#48893555) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11
Most of the comments here assume people were ordering stuff on SkyMall for themselves. My assumption was always that, like holiday catalogues, the target audience was a gift shopper. Someone older who wants to order a nice gift for someone but can't think of anything their giftee actually needs or doesn't already have. Those shoppers have a lot more choices now.

+ - Patriots "Deflate-gate" Could be Done Legally->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The American football (NFL) rules were not written by physicists. They prescribe the rules that teams must follow to inflate the football. Some quarterbacks like the footballs tight, others softer for easier grip, but the rules define 12.5-13.5 pounds. During their winning game against the Baltimore Colts, the New England Patriots were accused of supplying a football or footballs which were under-inflated, potentially (?) giving their quarterback (Tom Brady) an advantage during the game.

Dr. Allen Sanderson, a research scientist at the University of Utah, told USA TODAY, "We think this is naturally occurring." A good cheater (like the Patriots are accused of being) could inflate the ball to NFL standards — inside a hot room. While defenders of the Patriots have suggested cold climate could explain the de-flation, it would have affected all of the footballs... unless (as Sanderson explains) the Patriots thought of filling the ball — legally — inside a hotter room."

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+ - First Baby Galapogos Tortoises Sighted in 150 Years->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The Guardian, Nature, and other periodicals cover a report by Dr. James Gibbs of the State University of New York (SUNY-ESF) on the recent Pinzon Island population survey of giant tortoises. The survey of Galapogos (which means "tortoise" in Spanish) turned up the first reported sightings of baby tortoises in 150 years. Gibbs attributes the hopeful signs to a 2012 program to exterminate or control invasive rats, which are blamed for the low fertility rates, along with a 1982 repatriation of fertile tortoises from zoos. However, it's also possible, according to the article, that the researchers are just looking harder. The rare sightings may simply correlate with more frequent population surveys."

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"Don't think; let the machine do it for you!" -- E. C. Berkeley