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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 45 declined, 12 accepted (57 total, 21.05% accepted)

+ - The arrest of the world's most successful Bitcoin drug trafficker->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "The New York Times reports on the case of 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, who was recently arrested for allegedly running a Tor hub for trading in illegal drugs called Silk Road, netting himself $80 million in Bitcoins. The article quotes Nicholas Weaver, researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, who says “I suspect that the online drug marketplace is a passing fad because it’s too traceable, too vulnerable to hacking. Once Bitcoins are converted to another currency, the government can subpoena the records of the exchange where the transaction took place and harvest all the information it needs. Bitcoin isn’t really a ‘coin’ as much as a distributed, public balance ledger, with every balance and transaction recorded.”

Hence Bitcoin’s wry new nickname in legal circles: “Prosecution Futures.”"

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+ - Nook failure, lack of foot traffic could spell doom for Barnes & Noble-> 2

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "The last nationwide book retailer may be writing its final chapter. Barnes & Noble's latest quarterly results show a 7.4% drop in revenues and a $122 million loss for the fourth-quarter of its fiscal year.

B&N's disastrous focus on making Nook e-Readers is weighing heavily on the chain's operations. A 17% drop in Nook revenues and stunning $475 million loss for the device division in 2013 are hobbling the company's ability to keep its stores afloat. B&N appears to be cannibalizing itself with branded tablets and cross-platform e-reader applications, which render the stores increasingly irrelevant."

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+ - Police officer charged with recording superior->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "A Jacksonville, Florida police officer was arrested and charged with illegal interception of communication. Hazel Y. Moore, a 10-year veteran of the force, was having some issues with her sergeant and secretly recorded him and two other officers on her department-issued laptop. Another sergeant suspected she was making the secret recordings and reported it to their lieutenant.

“After further inspection they found some deleted files ... where she had had conversations with a couple different officers and a sergeant,” Undersheriff Dwain Senterfitt said. “That’s a felony offense in the state of Florida.”"

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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft will launch Surface Pro on Feb 9->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Microsoft announced Monday it will begin selling its Surface Pro tablets to consumers on Feb. 9.
The Surface Pro tablet will retail for $899. It offers a faster processor and greater power than its sister Surface RT tablet (which sells for half the price).

Microsoft will report sales of its Surface RT tablets on Thursday. According to Wall Street estimates, sales may be lackluster. UBS analyst Brent Thill told The New York Times he slashed his Q4 Surface sales forecast by half; he’s now expecting sales to total 1 million. In comparison, Apple reported last November that it sold 3 million fourth-generation iPads in three days after the product’s launch."

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Privacy

+ - Minneapolis police catalog license plates and location data->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Minneapolis police used automated scanning technology to log location data for over 800,000 license plates in June alone, with 4.9 million scans having taken place this year. The data includes the date, time, and location where the plate was seen.

Worse, it appears this data is compiled and stored for up to a year and is disclosed to anyone who asks for it."

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Open Source

+ - Why isn't there an Open Source EMR project? 2

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "We've seen FOSS projects take on operating systems and other key desktop applications — so where is the major project effort to develop an open source Electronic Medical Record suite? With only a few major corporations like Cerner and Epic controlling the market and delivering spotty quality at times, is it time for a major effort to show what Open Source can do to reduce cost in the health care industry?"
The Almighty Buck

+ - Best Buy cuts 650 Geek Squad techies->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Best Buy has cut approximately 650 jobs from its Geek Squad division, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The cut represents about 4% of Geek Squad's total work force. The former consumer electronics giant said the workers primarily service televisions and appliances in consumers' homes.

Best Buy's performance has struggled to keep up with changes in consumer electronics, as the weight of its big-box format inhibits it from fending off competitive pressure of online retailers."

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+ - Reports of new iPad running hot spring up around the web-> 1

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Worried consumers are flocking to Apple’s forums to offer comments and observations on the new iPad, which reportedly runs hotter than previous models — but temperatures are just fine according to Apple.

"When I set it on my lap — it burned my thighs! I had a red rectangle on my thighs for about 15 minutes!” one angry consumer noted on Apple's support forums.

Dutch website Tweakers.net. ran a thermal analysis on the new iPad and confirmed the temperature was about 10 degrees hotter than the earlier model. Apple’s specifications say that the iPad can run at temperatures up to 95 degrees Farenheit. Tweakers.net found the iPad running as hot as 92.5 degrees — hot, but still within range. The site attributes that warmth to the graphics processor. Other reports point the finger at the LTE wireless chip, which uses more power and runs hotter than other wireless chips."

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IOS

+ - Doc uses iPad to program heart devices remotely->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida has developed software for controlling heart devices remotely using an iPad. The hospital’s executives say the technology could revolutionize the way physicians reprogram pacemakers.

E. Martin Kloosterman, MD, director of the electrophysiology laboratory at the hospital, published his study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology. He writes, “This new development provides clinicians the ability to manage cardiac devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators, remotely in real-time.” The model allows the specialized physicians to have direct access to the information in the patient’s device for adjustment and reprograming in a moment’s notice no matter where they are at any given time.”"

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+ - Scientists "stunned" by absence of climate-related ice melt->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows. The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

The study is the first to survey all the world's icecaps and glaciers and was made possible by the use of satellite data. Overall, the contribution of melting ice outside the two largest caps – Greenland and Antarctica – is much less than previously estimated"

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Facebook

+ - Fortune on "Facebook fatigue"->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Fortune blogger JP Mangalindan writes in the shadow of Facebook's IPO about the reasons why he feels a sense of fatigue toward the ubiquitous social network.

"Facebook's charm once lay in the feeling of exclusivity it projected, a closed off virtual playground open only to a smallish group of friends where I could communicate without second thought. .. Ever-increasing Facebook partnerships means I need to be careful about the content I consume. Because I naively clicked on an online Washington Post story a Facebook friend read, all the stories I read from that outlet are automatically broadcast. With other apps like Spotify, Facebook integration is mandatory.

That may be why several current and former users I've spoken with continue to steer clear of Facebook, deactivate their accounts, or ratchet down their usage. The evolving Facebook experience has either turned them off or the social network increasingly drew them away from the real world, breeding a false sense of intimacy where following friends and family on Facebook displaced deeper, quality interactions with them.""

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+ - Obama nominates RIAA lawyer for Solicitor General-> 1

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "Barack Obama nominated former Recording Industry Association of America lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. on Monday to serve as the nation’s solicitor general. The solicitor general is charged with defending the government before the Supreme Court, and files friend-of-the court briefs in cases in which the government believes there is a significant legal issue. The office also determines which cases it will bring to the Supreme Court for review.

Verrilli is best known for leading the recording industry’s legal charge against music- and movie-sharing site Grokster, which ultimately led to Grokster’s demise. Until recently, Verrilli also was leading Viacom’s ongoing and flailing $1 billion copyright-infringement fight against YouTube."

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AT&T

+ - AT&T raises data plan rates->

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "AT&T on Wednesday announced new data plans and rate charges that will become effective on January 22nd. Customers currently under contract will be grandfathered in, but new customers will have to the select a data plan from the new options.

Smartphone users will have three new plans available: $20 per month for 300MB, $30 per month for 3GB, and $50 per month for 5GB. The $50 plan includes mobile hotspot/tethering. Tablet users will choose between $30 per month for 3GB or $50 per month for 5GB."

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Android

+ - Why Android smartphones are larger than the iPhone-> 6

Submitted by tripleevenfall
tripleevenfall (1990004) writes "DisplayBlog details the reasons why Android phones tend to have larger displays than the iPhone:

"When the 960×640 3.5-inch Retina Display was introduced with the iPhone 4, the rest of the smartphone industry had to do something about it. At the time most of the competition was at 800×480 on displays much larger. With the Retina Display Apple shifted the focus of attention on a smartphone display to resolution, specifically to a resolution threshold of about 300 ppi on a smartphone that’s used at a distance of about 12 inches.

Android OEMs and Google responded to the 3.5-inch 960×640 Retina display by improving the pixel format to 1280×720. But because Android renders text and graphics like desktop OSes (e.g. Windows, OS X) increasing resolution above 320 ppi means smaller UI elements. The display had to grow in size to compensate for shrinking UI elements. iOS renders the Retina display not by shrinking UI elements by one fourth but by doubling clarity and sharpness. Unless Google adds an additional “DPI level” beyond XHDPI, Android smartphones that match or beat the iPhone 4/4S in resolution will always be bigger, much bigger.""

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