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Submission + - Google agrees to pay 130M UK pounds (~ $185M) in back taxes (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: Google UK has come to an agreement with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) under which it will recognize a larger share of its UK sales in the UK, instead of funnelling them through the Republic of Ireland. In addition, Google will pay 130M UK Pounds in back taxes representing tax on sales since 2005.

Submission + - Cellphones really are not as good as they were 10 years ago at making calls. (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: If you ever thought that your cellphone does not make calls as well as the cellphone you had 10 years ago, you may be right. The UK's Ofcom (roughly equivalent to the FCC) tested cellphones and found that many needed a much higher signal than the standards recommend in order to send and receive data. This applied to 2G, 3G and 4G connections.

Submission + - UK plans to allow warrantless searches of Internet history. (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: The UK government plans to require ISPs and telcoms companies to maintain browsing and email history of UK residents for a period of 12 months and make the data available to police on request without a warrant. "The new powers would allow the police to seize details of the website and searches being made by people they wanted to investigate. " Exactly how they expect the ISPs to provide search histories now that most Google searches use SSL isn't explained (and probably not even considered by those proposing the legislation). Similarly with gmail and other email providers using SMTP TLS and IMAPS, much email is opaque to ISPs. Will this drive more use of VPNs and TOR?

Submission + - Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage for 11 Million People

HughPickens.com writes: Brian Fung reports at the Washington Post that earlier this year emergency services went dark for over six hours for more than 11 million people across seven states. "The outage may have gone unnoticed by some, but for the more than 6,000 people trying to reach help, April 9 may well have been the scariest time of their lives." In a 40-page report, the FCC found that an entirely preventable software error was responsible for causing 911 service to drop. "It could have been prevented. But it was not (PDF)," the FCC's report reads. "The causes of this outage highlight vulnerabilities of networks as they transition from the long-familiar methods of reaching 911 to [Internet Protocol]-supported technologies." On April 9, the software responsible for assigning the identifying code to each incoming 911 call maxed out at a pre-set limit; the counter literally stopped counting at 40 million calls. As a result, the routing system stopped accepting new calls, leading to a bottleneck and a series of cascading failures elsewhere in the 911 infrastructure. Adm. David Simpson, the FCC's chief of public safety and homeland security, says that having a single backup does not provide the kind of reliability that is ideal for 911. “Miami is kind of prone to hurricanes. Had a hurricane come at the same time [as the multi-state outage], we would not have had that failover, perhaps. So I think there needs to be more [distribution of 911 capabilities].”

Submission + - The Guardian reveals that Whisper app tracks 'anonymous' users (theguardian.com)

qqod writes: After visiting the offices of Whisper to discuss future journalistic collaborations, from the article:

"The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users â" including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services â" will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives.

Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws."

Submission + - Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: Many drugs that treat bacterial and fungal infections were found in microbes growing in the dirt. These organisms synthesize the compounds to fend off other bacteria and fungi around them. To find possible new drugs, chemists try to coax newly discovered microbial species to start making their arsenal of antimicrobial chemicals in the lab. But fungi can be stubborn, producing just a small set of already-known compounds.

Now, one team of chemists has hit upon a curiously effective and consistent trick to prod the organisms to start synthesizing novel molecules: Cheerios inside bags. Scientists grew a soil fungus for four weeks in a bag full of Cheerios and discovered a new compound that can block biofilm formation by an infectious yeast. The chemists claim that Cheerios are by far the best in the cereal aisle at growing chemically productive fungi.

Submission + - Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over U.S. Spying Will "Break The Internet" (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden gathered a group of tech luminaries to discuss the implications of U.S. surveillance programs, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt didn't mince words. He said that worries over U.S. surveillance would result in servers with different sets of data for users from different countries multiplying across the world. "The simplest outcome is that we're going to end up breaking the Internet."

Submission + - Nearly 150 years late, the Church of England apologises to Charles Darwin (telegraph.co.uk)

whoever57 writes: Almost 150 years ago, the Church of England rejected Charles Darwin's theories. Now, 150 years later, the church is comparing that rejection to the rejection of Galileo's work. The CoE will publish an apology, written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church's director of mission and public affairs. The apology will be on a CoE website, going live on Monday, which will promote Charles Darwin's ideas.

Submission + - McAfee SiteAdvisor wanted $2,000/year, I said no, now they're blocking my site

An anonymous reader writes: I don't wish to publicize my site, but McAfee is extorting me. They stuck a sales guy on me last week so I would pay a ton for a 'security scan seal'- $2,000 a year because people 'trust' McAfee. I can't afford it. Today alone, I had 5 customers with McAfee SiteAdvisor call to tell me my site is marked as spyware and their browser won't let them view it. Oh, and my sales are down 50%.

What a coincidence!

Submission + - Lavabit.com owner: 'I could be arrested' for resisting surveillance order (nbcnews.com)

Zak3056 writes: NBC News is reporting that, "The owner of an encrypted email service used by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden said he has been threatened with criminal charges for refusing to comply with a secret surveillance order to turn over information about his customers.

"I could be arrested for this action," Ladar Levison told NBC News about his decision to shut down his company, Lavabit LLC, in protest over a secret court order he had received from a federal court that is overseeing the investigation into Snowden."

--I seem to recall that the constitution has something in it prohibiting involuntary servitude, but I could be mistaken.

Submission + - Snapchats Don't Disappear (forbes.com)

nefus writes: Forensics Firm Has Pulled Dozens of Supposedly-Deleted Photos From Android Phones. A 24-year-old forensics examiner from Utah has made a discovery that may make some Snapchat users think twice before sending a photo that they think is going to quickly disappear. Richard Hickman of Decipher Forensics found that it’s possible to pull Snapchat photos from Android phones simply by downloading data from the phone using forensics software and removing a “.NoMedia” file extension that was keeping the photos from being viewed on the device. He published his findings online and local TV station KSL has a video showing how it’s done.
Apple

Submission + - European carriers complain to EU about anti-competitive contracts with Apple (dailytech.com)

whoever57 writes: Several European phone carriers have complained to the EU about the contracts that Apple imposes on them if they want to sell the iPhone. Because the contracts stipulate a minimum purchase, and the carier must compensate Apple if they fail to sell through that minimum, it has the effect of forcing the carrier to promote iPhones ahead of alternative phones. The European Commission is monitoring the situation. Apple claims that its "contracts fully comply with local laws wherever we do business, including the E.U"

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