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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 43 declined, 7 accepted (50 total, 14.00% accepted)

+ - Private investigators using license plate scanners to make their own databases

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "I've noticed these cars driving around in Maryland. I've seen the same green Elantra in White Marsh many times. Today I saw one in Cockeysville. I trapped the guy in a private parking lot and asked him a few questions. He would not say who he was or who he was working for other than for a private investigator firm, and that they had 9(!) cars.
He was just driving around all the parking lots he could and the public ones. To me, that is trespassing, but they get to build their database anyway, unrestricted by any law on where or retention time. And who knows for what purpose?"

+ - Why by a Pi I when have a perfectly good cellphone? 1

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "I've been looking into getting a Raspberry Pi, but I end up needing a case, a display, and some way to power it, and wanting some degree of portability. It seems to me that even the most outdated cellphone has far superior features (screen, touch screen, Wifi, 3g/4g camera(s), battery etc) in a much better form factor. (And I have several laying around) The only thing that is missing are the digital/analog in/out pins. So why not flip it around and make a USB or bluetooth peripheral board with just the pins? I've been looking for this and can't find any, but does anyone know of any in the corners of the internet? I don't care what phone platform."
Cloud

+ - Coming out of the clouds

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "With all the hubbub about Google's privacy changes and such, I'd like to take my privacy back. Is there an email and other cloud services provider that provides a ready-made solution for a nominal cost? Horde is nice (email, calendar, etc), but I don't want to have to provide my own server, manage backups etc. I'd also like a solution that provides DropBox-like storage, picture album and a Wiki that I can keep to myself or share with others, and possibly it's own "news feed" for a face-book like status page (it would be cool if if it integrated with facebook and posted my own news to my facebook account — as a link)."
Security

+ - Social Security Numbers Easier to Predict

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "Several news agencies are reporting that researchers were able to combine public data and predict a substantial number of people's SSNs, using place of birth and birthdate. Of course, the SSA is downplaying the significance of the report, but one has to wonder with all the work done to ensure random TCP ISNs, why the government is not worried about an 8.5% all-9-digit prediction rate. (It is 44% for the first 5 digits, but the last 4 are commonly used as pins on accounts) Someone should tell the government that with the aid of computers, it is child's play to join the data together."
Real Time Strategy (Games)

+ - SCII missing LAN?

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "Will you buy SCII without LAN? 1 LAN is not a factor for me 2 Lack of LAN is a deal breaker 3 Battle.net is e good enough for me 4 I'll let Cowboy Neal decide."
Space

+ - Military's Earth Threat Information Now Classified 1

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "According to space.com the information collected my military technologies is now classified."For 15 years, scientists have benefited from data gleaned by U.S. classified satellites of natural fireball events in Earth's atmosphere — but no longer. A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bodies and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.""
Announcements

+ - Qt4.5 (LGPL) released, QtCreator IDE 1.0 released.

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "Qt 4.5 was released yesterday! (download)This is the first version that has an LGPL license option. Qt 4.5 contains Qt WebKit Integration, Performance Improvements, Mac OS X Cocoa Support, Windows CE Feature Parity, XML Transformations with XSLT, Qt Script Debugger, OpenDocument File Format Support, Improved Network Proxy Support, Qt Designer Improvements, Qt Linguist Improvements, and Graphics Enhancements. Also QtCreator 1.0, a full-service IDE, was released as well. Shortly before that, the Qt Animation Framework was updated. The animation framework (aka Kintetic) allows transitions between states in the the GUI, and will be integrated in to the core in 4.6, even for graphics items. (Flash watch out!)"
Wireless (Apple)

+ - iPhone Free WiFi is Back

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "iPhone users used to be able to get free Wifi from ATT hot spots, including Starbucks locations. The service was pulled because of the browser-agent hack. Now the service is being re-launched, this time with a link sent via SMS to the iPhone for the hotspot, valid for 24 hours. Details here"
Businesses

+ - Avoiding the Cube Farm - Effective Floor Plans?

Submitted by scorp1us
scorp1us (235526) writes "My company after cramming 30 people into 3000sq feet, has a new lease on life in a 7700sq foot office (Pun blatantly intended!). We are primarily a 3D animation/software company and we hope to avoid the cube farm design. But with a large open area in the middle, it is the default solution. We would like to know what effective strategies are used at other places that avoid the cube farm, and produce an inspiring, motivating work environment. This location has a split level and 12' ceilings, so it has a lot of potential."

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