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+ - Why does Google Maps need to track who I'm calling on my cell phone? 5

Submitted by cyanman
cyanman (833646) writes "I see the latest update to Google maps for Android wants permission to monitor phone numbers I talk to on my phone?

Specifically the new permissions for v9.1.2 (Dec 5 2014) require:
Maps also needs access to:
"Allows the app to determine the phone number and Device ID's, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call."

As I see this, you give Google carte blanche to monitor and record who you talk to on your phone. Maybe this is while you are connected to Google Maps, but it is not restricted by the terms I read here. WTF? The least invasive thing I can think of here is that Google wants to start leveraging the numbers you call for marketing purposes. As if the fact that I spoke to someone on my hone means they want Google tracking them too.

Looking at from Google Play the update (or maybe just Maps) has been downloaded over a billion times. I'm sure that 99.99% of the folks never read a thing and just click the "gimme free update please" button, but surely I'm not the only person foolish enough to ask how much arm twisting the NSA had to do to get Google to monitor who I call on my phone within Google Maps."

+ - Microsoft Confirms It Is Dropping Windows 8.1 Support 1

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "Microsoft TechNet blog makes clear that Windows 8.1 will not be patched, and that users must get Windows 8.1 Update if they want security patches, InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard reports. 'In what is surely the most customer-antagonistic move of the new Windows regime, Steve Thomas at Microsoft posted a TechNet article on Saturday stating categorically that Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for Windows 8.1, starting in May,' Leonhard writes. 'Never mind that Windows 8.1 customers are still having multiple problems with errors when trying to install the Update. At this point, there are 300 posts on the Microsoft Answers forum thread Windows 8.1 Update 1 Failing to Install with errors 0x80070020, 80073712 and 800F081F. The Answers forum is peppered with similar complaints and a wide range of errors, from 800F0092 to 80070003, for which there are no solutions from Microsoft. Never mind that Microsoft itself yanked Windows 8.1 Update from the corporate WSUS update server chute almost a week ago and still hasn't offered a replacement.'"

Comment: Coincidence? (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by uassholes (#46489049) Attached to: The Earth As a Gravitational Wave Detector
December 27, 2004 at 21:30:26 UT, a burst of gamma rays from SGR 1806-20 passed through the Solar System. The burst was so powerful that it had effects on Earth's atmosphere, at a range of about 50,000 light years.
At 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, 26 December 2004, an undersea megathrust earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean which caused a tsunami which killed 250,000 people.

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 469

by uassholes (#38116030) Attached to: Climate Panel Says To Prepare For Weird Weather
As usual the media are twisting the report into an end of the world horror story, when in fact it's anything but:

There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods at regional scales because the available instrumental records of floods at gauge stations are limited in space and time, and because of confounding effects of changes in land use and engineering. Furthermore, there is low agreement in this evidence, and thus overall low confidence at the global scale regarding even the sign of these changes. Projected precipitation and temperature changes imply possible changes in floods, although overall there is low confidence in projections of changes in fluvial floods. Confidence is low due to limited evidence and because the causes of regional changes are complex, although there are exceptions to this statement.

To be sure, there are some paragraphs in which they have medium or high confidence of this or that, for instance more people are killed by natural disasters when they occur in poor countries. Well, smack my ass and call me a monkey, good thing the UN spent millions on a showy conference in Africa to tell us that. It was in Africa of course, because that's where they want the rich countries making all the CO2 to send trillions of dollars. That is the purpose of the UN (if most of the members were honest enough to tell you).

Opportunities exist to create synergies in international finance for disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change, but these have not yet been fully realized (high confidence)

You can see the report for yourself here:

Comment: Re:Global climate != Local weather (Score 1) 571

by uassholes (#34745590) Attached to: Our Lazy Solar Dynamo — Hello Dalton Minimum?
I did not interpret the graph that way and was confused by what you said, but now I have finally RTF summary for the graph and see that they make a caveat that the 2004 temperature is based on only one year, but the rest of the chart has a resolution of 300 years! So, any fluctuations in the past that might have risen above the 2004 value have been lost due to the smoothing.

Too bad. Not very useful for making your claim.

Wikipedia claims "In terms of the global average, temperatures were probably colder than present day" during the Holocene climatic optimum (my emphasis), but admit that the optimum did not occur at the same time in the northern and southern hemispheres.

PS. Good catch regarding the speleotherm data, but the graph based on it sure looks a lot like the one you linked to on Wikipedia, and both indicate a general downward trend (with the Medieval Warm Period as a slight deviation), and in fact, looking Wikipedia's 5 million year chart, there is clearly a long term downward trend during this current ice age, as well.

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