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Science

+ - CERN confirms existence of new particle consistent with Higgs boson->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "It's official: a new boson has been observed within 5 standard deviations of accuracy. The highly anticipated announcement came this morning direct from CERN's press conference (via ICHEP in Melbourne), and is the result of an intense, ongoing search for the elusive particle. The observation is of a boson particle with a mass of 125.3 ± 0.6 Gev, at a significance of 4.9 sigma. Joe Incandela — giving the presentation — said that this is "In agreement with the standard model at 95% confidence range." This is still a preliminary result, but by far the strongest case yet for the existence of the elusive Higgs."
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Medicine

+ - Indian pharmaceutical Cipla slashes cancer drug prices by 76%->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Indian generic drug company Cipla said Friday it had slashed by up to 76 percent prices of three anti-cancer medicines in what it called a "humanitarian" move and promised to cut the costs of more products. There are 2.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed in India each year, according to the World Health Organisation, with most patients receiving inadequate treatment as drugs are priced beyond their reach. "Business is business, but it has to be linked with one's social responsibilities. This initiative of price reduction is a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients," company chairman Y.K. Hamied said. The family-led company first hit headlines in 2001 when it offered to supply life-saving triple therapy AIDS drug cocktails at prices sharply below those of multinational firms with Hamied saying the move was for "social reasons". Cipla has been pushing the Indian government to allow widespread use of so-called "compulsory licences" for production of life-saving patented drugs to overcome barriers for people in accessing affordable medicines. Compulsory licences are allowed under the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Agreement, which governs trade and intellectual property rules. Analysts said Cipla's move could prompt a price war in the 15-billion-rupee Indian drug market — challenging multinationals which sell costly patented medicine and Indian firms whose generic range is less expensive but not as cheap as Cipla's."
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Idle

+ - First-grader suspended for sexual harassment for singing 'I'm sexy and I know it->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "First-grader suspended for sexual harassment for singing 'I'm sexy and I know it' :

Yahoo news reports that a first-grader student from Colorado elementary school was suspended for three days from school this week for singing a lyric from a popular LMFAO song, "I'm sexy and I know it." School officials said D'Avonte was suspended for sexual harassment after he sang and the line to a female classmate who was standing in a lunch line. Unfortunately, it wasn't the first time he'd serenaded this girl with this particular lyric. District policy, as outlined in the student handbook, states that sexual harassment "must have negative effects on the learning or work of others." D'Avonte's mother, Stephanie Meadows, told ABC7 News that her son had had disciplinary problems before this week's infraction. Last month, she said, he was sent to the principal's office for singing the same song to the same girl."

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Google

+ - Google Said to Face Fine by FTC Over Apple Safari Breach->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Bloomberg is reporting on Google's negotiation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine, which could amount to more than $10 million, it will have to pay for its breach of Apple’s Safari browser. The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web. Google signed a consent decree with the FTC last year in which it agreed it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies in introducing the Buzz social-networking service in 2010. The 20-year settlement bars Google from misrepresenting how it handles user information and requires the company to follow policies that protect consumer data in new products.

To quote the ars, Google was found to be working its way around Safari's tool that allows users to block third-party cookies earlier this year in order to, well, "track" users with cookies. (The code used by Google was part of its program to place the "+1" button in advertisements.) At the time, the company issued a statement saying that the circumvention wasn't intentional, but privacy groups were still quick to file complaints with the FTC over Google's actions. That was quickly followed by a class-action lawsuit and an investigation by European regulators."

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Microsoft

+ - Windows 8 to include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, Media Center as an add-on feature->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "On Buidling Windows 8 blog Bernardo Caldas of Windows Business Group explains that, given the changing landscape, and the cost of decoder licensing, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. Metro style apps can use any of the decoders included in Windows. These decoders are optimized for system reliability, battery life, and performance, and cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content such as YouTube video, Netflix video, Amazon audio/video, H.264 web browsing/streaming, Hulu video, MP4 video, AVCHD video from camcorders, Ultraviolet video, and the HTML5 video tag. Metro style apps can also include additional decoders (such as FLAC, MKV, OGG, etc.) in their apps package for use within the apps.

Microsoft will offer two ways to acquire Windows Media Center, either as a Windows 8 Media Center Pack to add on Windows 8 Pro or as Windows 8 Pro Pack to add on to Windows 8. Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback. The company also signed an agreement with Dolby Laboratories to include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoding and Dolby Digital two-channel encoding in all editions of Windows 8."

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United States

+ - Mississippi Teens Jailed After Video Recording Police Investigation From Balcony->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Two Mississippi teenagers were arrested after video recording a police investigation from their balcony Tuesday. Pearl Police, who charged up the stairs to arrest the teens and burst through their apartment door without a warrant after a shooting took place in the parking lot below, charged the teens with disorderly conduct. Terrell Madison and his twin sister Shanell were jailed for several hours before they were released. Police returned their phone but kept their SIM card, which is unlawful to do without a subpoena.

According to WLBT, "The Colony Park Apartment resident said she and her twin brother Terrell were on their apartment balcony when Tuesday's tragic police shooting unfolded. But she said minutes later they were being manhandled by officers after they saw her brother recording the scene with his cell phone. "The police came up here after they took his phone. They slammed him down and arrested him, and I'm like 'Why are y'all arresting him', and then they grabbed me and slammed me also and arrested me," said Shanell Madison. She said they didn't know why they were targeted in their own home.""

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Android

+ - Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recog 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recognition:

At its Unpacked event tonight in London, Samsung unveiled its new flagship, Android 4.0 Galaxy S III smart phone boasting 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor aided by a fresh GPU that is supposedly 65 percent faster than the companion Mali 400 graphics chip on the Galaxy S II, 1 GB RAM, 8-megapixel & 1.9-megapixel cameras, removable 2,100mAh battery, cocooned in Gorilla Glass 2, 8.6mm thick and weighing at 4.7 ounces(133g). The phone will come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage that can be increased by up to 32GB via its microSD slot.

There's plenty to admire in this phone. A Smart Page feature keeps the screen from going to sleep when you're reading a Web page because the phone's front-facing camera can "see" that you're watching it. Using a proximity sensor, the phone senses that you want to call the person you're texting when you hold the phone to your ear.

The Galaxy S III's S Beam uses NFC technology to exchange phone content, such as videos, between similarly equipped phones when you bump them together. And Samsung's DLNA-powered All Share feature now enables the Galaxy S III to stream content to and from multiple phones, HDTVs, computers, and other compatible HDLNA devices—not just one. The Galaxy S III's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera's burst-shot feature lets you take a volley of 20 pictures and automatically picks the best one. It also allows you to snap still pictures while shooting HD videos at 1080p. The front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera can shoot video at 720p."
Android

+ - Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recog-> 2

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recognition:

At its Unpacked event tonight in London, Samsung unveiled its new flagship, Android 4.0 Galaxy S III smart phone boasting 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor aided by a fresh GPU that is supposedly 65 percent faster than the companion Mali 400 graphics chip on the Galaxy S II, 1 GB RAM, 8-megapixel & 1.9-megapixel cameras, removable 2,100mAh battery, cocooned in Gorilla Glass 2, 8.6mm thick and weighing at 4.7 ounces(133g). The phone will come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage that can be increased by up to 32GB via its microSD slot.

There's plenty to admire in this phone. A . Using a proximity sensor, the phone senses that you want to call the person you're texting when you hold the phone to your ear. The Galaxy S III's S Beam uses NFC technology to exchange phone content, such as videos, between similarly equipped phones when you bump them together. And Samsung's DLNA-powered All Share feature now enables the Galaxy S III to stream content to and from multiple phones, HDTVs, computers, and other compatible HDLNA devices—not just one. The Galaxy S III's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera's burst-shot feature lets you take a volley of 20 pictures and automatically picks the best one. It also allows you to snap still pictures while shooting HD videos at 1080p. The front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera can shoot video at 720p."

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Businesses

+ - CEO Pay Increased 127 Times Faster Than Worker Pay Over Last 30 Years->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "From 1978 to 2011, CEO pay at American firms has risen 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth and the painfully slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation, more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the same time period, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute. In 1978, CEOs took home 26.5 times more than the average worker. They now make roughly 206 times more than workers, EPI found. The pay isn’t always tied to the performance of their businesses — as ThinkProgress has noted, CEOs at companies like Bank of America often pocket huge pay increases even as the company’s stock price plummets and jobs are cut. On the other end, workers’ wages aren’t tied to productivity either. Despite substantial gains in productivity since the 1970s, worker pay has remained flat.

As a result, American income inequality has skyrocketed, growing worse than it is in countries like Pakistan and Ivory Coast. Wealth inequality is worse than it was even in Ancient Rome. And, as pay skyrockets and tax rates fall for the richest Americans, the rising inequality has left the bottom 95 percent of Americans saddled with more debt than ever before."

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The Courts

+ - Apple Double Bills Customers for iTunes Purchases, Citing TOS to Refuse Refunds->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "A class-action lawsuit against Apple accuses the tech giant of double billing customers for downloads made from the company’s iTunes Store. The lawsuit filed by New York resident Robert Herskowitz alleges that Apple charged him twice for purchasing a single pop song, “Whataya Want from Me?”

According to the lawsuit, he immediately contacted Apple and informed them about the double-billing snafu. The next day, Herskowitz received Apple’s ‘personal response.’ The company refused to make things right by fixing the double billing error, citing its Terms of Service (‘TOS’):

        Your request for a refund for “Whataya Want from Me” was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are ineligible for refund. This policy matches App1e’s refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials."

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Privacy

+ - Rand Paul has a quick fix for TSA: Pull the plug->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Rand Paul has a reform plan for the Transportation Security Administration: Scrap the whole thing. A personal message from Paul (R-Ky.) came atop emails this week from the Campaign for Liberty Vice President Matt Hawes, asking for readers to sign a petition in support of Paul’s “End the TSA” bill. A Paul spokeswoman said that legislation is being finalized next week.

Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as ‘security’ as we travel around the country. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to do away with the TSA for good, but he needs our help,” reads the petition, which also asks signers to “chip in a contribution to help C4L mobilize liberty activists across America to turn the heat up on Congress and end the TSA's abuse of our rights.”

“The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I’ve vowed to lead the charge to fight back,” Paul wrote at the top of a C4L fundraising pitch, according to blogs that received the email. “Campaign for Liberty is leading the fight to pressure Congress to act now and restore our liberty. It’s time to END the TSA and get the government’s hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.”"

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News

+ - Russia threatens to use "destructive force pre-emptively" on US missile defence ->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Russia threatens to use "destructive force pre-emptively" on US missile defence system based in Central Europe:

BBC:

Russia says it is prepared to use "destructive force pre-emptively" if the US goes ahead with controversial plans for a missile defence system based in Central Europe. The warning came after the Russian defence minister said talks on missile defence were nearing a dead end. Moscow fears that missile interceptors would be a threat to Russia's security. But the US and Nato say they are intended to protect against attacks from Iran or North Korea. "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," chief of the Russian defence staff Gen Nikolai Makarov said.

President Barack Obama, who succeeded Mr Bush in the White House in 2008, scrapped plans for a network of bases spread across Poland and the Czech Republic with the capacity to intercept long-range missiles. But in 2010, the US signed an agreement with Poland to use an old airstrip at Redzikowo, near the Baltic coast, as a missile defence base."

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Australia

+ - Not just Apple and Microsoft, How Google Dodges Tax in Australia->

Submitted by
Fluffeh
Fluffeh writes "Hot on the heels of other tax minimisation strategies that have been reported lately, Google Australia seems to have paid a mere $74k on estimates of around a $1 billion dollar income. In its financial statements, Google Australia did not list its activities as being the provision of advertising and software services, both of which it charges Australian customers for. Instead, it noted that it has agreements with its US parent, Google Inc, and a company called Walkway Technologies for the provision of research and development services, and with Google Ireland and Google Asia-Pacific for the provision of sales and marketing services. Consequently, almost all of Google Australia’s revenues were listed as being for services thus rendered to those companies."
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Cloud

+ - Microsoft's Biggest Cloud Deployment: 7.5 Mil Students & Faculty at 10,000 I-> 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Microsoft’s Biggest Cloud Deployment: 7.5 Mil Students & Faculty at 10,000 Institutes Across India:

In an ambitious plan Microsoft is rolling out a set of cloud apps to 7.5 million students and faculty members at 10,000 institutes across the India for India’s body for technical schools, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). These students anticipate becoming users of Microsoft’s Live@edu, a set of apps that includes e-mail and calendars with a 10GB inbox, 25GB of file storage, document sharing, instant messaging and video chat. Microsoft says Live@edu already has about 22 million users. What’s missing from the storyline? How such a large installation will take place. What are the realities and challenges behind “the largest cloud deployment ever”?

“The two largest issues are concurrent requests and cooling. In order to handle concurrent requests Microsoft will most likely need to use a two-tier server architecture that requires two servers for each request: one to process the request and one to serve the data,” says the network consultant Nick McElhinney of MacTech Solutions. Shriram Natarajan of software developer Persistent Systems, pointed out geography and access concerns and the issue of availability. “With the user population so widespread and presumably using a variety of access networks, it’s going to be a challenge to ensure uniformity of access,” Natarajan said.

While Dave Laurello, CEO of Stratus Technologies said, “If ever there was the perfect cloud deployment this could be it, with its massive consumer base using a constant, static application set that’s not mission-critical.” With an application this large, there will be the challenge of supporting high availability. “High availability deployments are tricky to coordinate because you need to handle things like load balancer configuration and update certain groups of servers at a time. Because deploying a multi-component system to support 7.5 million users can’t rely on any manual steps it must be automated,” says XebiaLabs’ Phillips."

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