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Submission + - Croatian party advocates government adoption of open source->

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, Croatian political party Sustainable Development of Croatia (ORaH) published a new policy that encourages the government to pursue open source solutions, addresses the dangers of vendor lock-in, and insists on open document standards. Best of all, they did it the open source way.

In this article on Opensource.com, Croatian startup founder Josip Almasi highlights some of the policy's implications, as well as why it could matter in the upcoming election.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Ashley Madison CEO Steps Down // Reporter Finds Clues To Hacker's Identity

Dave Knott writes: Following the recent hacks on the infidelity website Ashley Madison, Noel Biderman has stepped down as CEO of both AshleyMadison.com and its parent company. Avid Life Media Inc., the company that owns the site and many others, announced Biderman's move in a short press release on Friday: "Noel Biderman, in mutual agreement with the company, is stepping down as chief executive officer of Avid Life Media Inc. (ALM) and is no longer with the company. Until the appointment of a new CEO, the company will be led by the existing senior management team." Before the data hack, the company was planning an IPO in London that would have taken in as much as $200 million US from investors. According to regulatory filings, the company had $115 million in revenue last year, more than four times the amount it obtained in 2009.

Meanwhile, in related news, Brian Krebs (the reporter who first uncovered the hack) says that he has uncovered clues to the possible identity of the hacker. Krebs says that he noticed that the Twitter account operated by a known hacker recently posted a link to Ashley Madison's stolen proprietary source code before it was made public. Intrigued by the poster's apparent access, he examined the account's posting history and noticed a predilection for the music of Australian hard rock band AC/DC. This jibes with the behaviour of the hacker(s), who had displayed threatening messages on the computers of Ashley Madison employees, accompanied by AC/DC song Thunderstruck. In a series of tweets, the owner of the account, one Thadeus Zu, appears to deny that he was behind the hack, and indeed makes several suggestions that the account itself isn't even run by one person, but is instead an amalgam of like-minded digital vigilantes.

Submission + - Extreme Pressure Reveals New Phenomenon in Atomic Nuclei->

Zothecula writes: Scientists have long believed that while an atom's outer electrons are highly mobile and often behave somewhat chaotically, the inner electrons close to the nucleus are stable. They move steadily around the nucleus and stay out of each other's way. But new research reveals that if the pressure is really extreme, like double that found at the center of the Earth, the innermost electrons of an atom change their behavior.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: By age 5, What will Windows 10 know about my child?->

ddruck writes: The new Win10 commercials that feature toddlers and promise new and wonderful ways of interacting and using this OS has another side and this is: At what informational cost for the user?

So readers, what are some thoughts as to the what kind (& extent) of information harvesting does this OS enable/require for a toddler today as they "grow" (& embrace) this environment- as the commercials suggest we do? Thanks.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - South Africans revolutionize concentrated solar power with mini heliostats->

Taffykay writes: Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) offers significant benefits, but it's often prohibitively expensive. Paul Gauché from Stellenbosch University in South Africa hopes to change that with Helio 100, a series of "plonkable" miniature heliostats that require no installation or concrete, and offer solar energy that's cheaper than diesel.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - A Breakdown of the Windows 10 Privacy Policy

WheezyJoe writes: The Verge has a piece on Windows 10 privacy that presents actual passages from the EULA and privacy policy that suggest what the OS is capturing and sending back to Microsoft. The piece takes a Microsoft-friendly point of view, arguing that all Microsoft is doing is either helpful or already being done either by Google or older releases of Windows, and also touches on how to shut things off (which is also explained here). But the quoted passages from the EULA and the privacy policy are interesting to review, particularly if you look out for legal weasel words that are open to Microsoft's interpretation, such as "various types (of data)", diagnostic data "vital" to the operation of Windows (cannot be turned off), sharing personal data "as necessary" and "to protect the rights or property of Microsoft". And while their explanations following the quotes may attempt an overly friendly spin, the article may be right about one thing: "In all, only a handful of these new features, and the privacy concerns they bring, are actually in fact new... Most people have just been either unaware or just did not care of their existence in past operating systems and software."

Submission + - Updates Make Windows 7 and 8 Spy On You Like Windows 10-> 1

schwit1 writes: Windows 10 has been launched and already installed on more than 50 million computers worldwide. It is now a known fact that Windows 10 user data is being sent back to Microsoft servers back in Redmond, Washington. Well, now new updates that are being deployed to all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 machines will turn their computers into a big piece of spyware, just like their predecessor, Windows 10.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Rutgers to Students: No Such Thing as Free Speech, We Are Watching You->

schwit1 writes: Rutgers University students, you are being watched.

That appears to be the message a Rutgers.edu web page would like the campus community to absorb. The web page is maintained by the Bias Prevention & Education Committee, which chillingly warns students that there is "no such thing as free speech," and to "think before you speak."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - A Farewell To Flash->

An anonymous reader writes: The decline of Flash is well and truly underway. Media publishers now have no choice but to start changing the way they bring content to the web. Many of them are not thrilled about the proposition (change is scary), but it will almost certainly be better for all of us in the long run. "By switching their platform to HTML5, companies can improve supportability, development time will decrease and the duplicative efforts of supporting two code bases will be eliminated. It will also result in lower operating costs and a consistent user experience between desktop and mobile web." This is on top of the speed, efficiency, and security benefits for consumers. "A major concern for publishers today is the amount of media consumption that’s occurring in mobile environments. They need to prioritize providing the best possible experience on mobile, and the decline of Flash and movement to HTML5 will do just that, as Flash has never worked well on mobile."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Thunderbolt 3.0 GPU Docks Should Appear Within The Next Six Months

Deathspawner writes: At its IDF event in San Francisco last week, Intel talked a lot about the super-fast Thunderbolt 3.0 protocol and what it is capable of. Surprisingly, one such use shown off is a GPU dock, one that would allow mobile warriors the ability to play high-end games on their modest notebook, either on the device itself, or an external monitor. We've been hearing about such docks for many years, but we're being promised that this one is going to take hold within the next six months.

Submission + - How Microsoft Built, And Is Still Building, Windows 10

An anonymous reader writes: Windows 10 for PCs arrived two weeks ago. Thankfully, we don’t need to wait years to say this will be a Microsoft operating system release like no other. The most obvious clue is not the fact that Windows 10 was installed on more than 14 million devices in 24 hours, that you can get it for cheap or upgrade to it for free, nor even that it ships with a digital assistant and a proper browser. No, the big deal here is that Microsoft is turning its OS into a service, and that means as you read these words, it’s still being built. For the next few years, we’ll be getting not just Windows 10 updates and patches, but new improvements and features. This is possible because Microsoft built this version very differently from all its previous releases.

Submission + - Powerful painkillers can now be made by GM yeast—are illegal drugs next?->

sciencehabit writes: Move over, poppies. In one of the most elaborate feats of synthetic biology to date, a research team has engineered yeast with a medley of plant, bacterial, and rodent genes to turn sugar into thebaine, the key opiate precursor to morphine and other powerful painkilling drugs that have been harvested for thousands of years from poppy plants. The team also showed that with further tweaks, the yeast could make hydrocodone, a widely used painkiller that is now made chemically from thebaine.

“This is a major milestone,” says Jens Nielsen, a synthetic biologist at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden. The work, he adds, demonstrates synthetic biology’s increasing sophistication at transferring complex metabolic pathways into microbes.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - California Fights Drought with 96 Million 'Shade Balls'

HughPickens.com writes: Katie Rogers writes in the NY Times that the city of Los Angeles is releasing 96 million plastic "shade balls" into the 175-acre Los Angeles Reservoir to help block sunlight and UV rays that promote algae growth, which would help keep the city’s drinking water safe. Officials also say the balls will help slow the rate of evaporation, which drains the water supply of about 300 million gallons a year. The balls cost $0.36 each and are part of a $34.5 million initiative to protect the water supply. Shade balls are the brainchild of Brian White, a biologist with the utility who based the idea on “bird balls” that he observed in waterways near airport runways to prevent airfield bird strikes. The Los Angeles Reservoir, which holds 3.3 billion gallons, or enough water to supply the city for up to three weeks, joins three other reservoirs already covered in the shade balls. “In the midst of California’s historic drought, it takes bold ingenuity to maximize my goals for water conservation," says Mayor Eric Garcetti who was at the Los Angeles Reservoir to mark the addition of 20,000 of the small balls to the lake. "This effort by LADWP is emblematic of the kind of the creative thinking we need to meet those challenges."

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