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United States

US Call-Center Jobs — That Pay $100K a Year 362

Posted by timothy
from the payment-for-the-gift-of-gab dept.
bheer writes "BusinessWeek profiles a call center company called iQor which has grown revenues 40% year-on-year by (shock) treating employees as critical assets. It's done this not by nickel-and-diming, but by expanding its US operations (13 centers across the US now), giving employees universal health insurance, and paying salaries and bonuses that are nearly 50% above industry norms. The article notes that outsourcing will continue and globalization will continue to change the world's economic landscape. 'But the US is hardly helpless. With smart processes and the proper incentives, US companies can keep jobs here in America, and do so in a way that is actually better for the company and its employees.' Now if only other companies get a clue as well."
Networking

How To Build a 100,000-Port Ethernet Switch 174

Posted by kdawson
from the stretching-the-fabric dept.
BobB-nw writes "University of California at San Diego researchers Tuesday are presenting a paper (PDF) describing software that they say could make data center networks massively scalable. The researchers say their PortLand software will enable Layer 2 data center network fabrics scalable to 100,000 ports and beyond; they have a prototype running at the school's Department of Computer Science and Engineering's Jacobs School of Engineering. 'With PortLand, we came up with a set of algorithms and protocols that combine the best of layer 2 and layer 3 network fabrics,' said Amin Vahdat, a computer science professor at UC San Diego. 'Today, the largest data centers contain over 100,000 servers. Ideally, we would like to have the flexibility to run any application on any server while minimizing the amount of required network configuration and state... We are working toward a network that administrators can think of as one massive 100,000-port switch seamlessly serving over one million virtual endpoints.'"
Medicine

Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise Performance 379

Posted by timothy
from the I-distinctly-remember-eating-4-egg-mcmuffins-today dept.
Death Metal writes "Eating fatty food appears to take an almost immediate toll on both short-term memory and exercise performance, according to new research on rats and people. Other studies have suggested that that long-term consumption of a high-fat diet is associated with weight gain, heart disease and declines in cognitive function. But the new research shows how indulging in fatty foods over the course of a few days can affect the brain and body long before the extra pounds show up."
The Military

Airborne Laser Successfully Tracks, Hits Missile 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the sweet-zombie-reagan dept.
fructose writes "The Airborne Laser managed to acquire, track, and illuminate a test missile a few days ago. According to the press release, the Boeing plane 'used its infrared sensors to find a target missile launched from San Nicolas Island, Calif ... issued engagement and target location instructions to the beam control/fire control system ... fired its two solid-state illuminator lasers to track the target and ... fired a surrogate high-energy laser at the target, simulating a missile intercept.' The sensors on board the missile confirmed the 'hit.' Michael Rinn, ABL's program director, said, 'Pointing and focusing a laser beam on a target that is rocketing skyward at thousands of miles per hour is no easy task, but the Airborne Laser is uniquely able to do the job.' The next steps will be to test the high-power laser at full strength in flight and do a complete system test later this year. Its success or failure will determine whether the project gets canceled. Looks like the Real Genius fans out there are finally living the dream."
Displays

"Terminator Vision" Is Here For the iPhone 245

Posted by timothy
from the old-hat-to-thad-starner dept.
musefrog writes "The BBC is reporting that so-called augmented reality has arrived — in the UK at least. From the article: 'Via the video function of a mobile phone's camera it is now possible to combine a regular pictorial view with added data from the internet just as the fictional Terminator was able to overlay its view of the world with vital information about its surroundings. For example, UK-firm Acrossair has launched an application for the iPhone which allows Londoners to find their nearest tube station using their iPhone.' The page features an impressive video demonstrating AR in action."
Google

Chrome OS Designed To Start Microsoft Death Spiral 817

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the a-little-bit-optimistic dept.
Al writes "Technology Review has a feature article that explores the business strategy underlying Google's decision to develop its Linux-based operating system, Chrome OS. Writer G. Pascal Zachary argues that Eric Schmidt has identified a sea-change in the software business, as signaled by Microsoft's recent problems and by the advancement of cloud computing. Zachary notes that Larry Page and Sergey Brin have pushed to develop a slick, open-source alternative to Windows for around six years (with the rationale that improving access to the Web would ultimately benefit Google), but that Schmidt has always refused. While developing Chrome OS is a significant gamble for Google, Zachary believe it will exploit Microsoft's historical weakness in terms of networking and internet functionality, forcing its rival to better serve Google's core business goals, whilst initiating its own steady, slow-motion decline."
Security

The iPhone SMS Hack Explained 94

Posted by timothy
from the en-percent dept.
GhostX9 writes "Tom's Hardware just interviewed Charlie Miller, the man behind the iPhone remote exploit hack and winner of Pwn2Own 2009. He explains the (now patched) bug in the iPhone which allowed him to remotely exploit the iPhone in detail, explaining how the string concatenation code was flawed. The most surprising thing was that the bug could be traced back to several previous generations of the iPhone OS (he stopped testing at version 2.2). He also talks about the failures of other devices, such as crashing HTC's Touch by sending a SMS with '%n' in the text."
The Courts

AT&T Makes Its Terms of Service Even Worse, To Discourage Lawsuits 412

Posted by timothy
from the even-more-fine-print-to-read dept.
techmuse writes "AT&T has changed its terms of service (including for existing contracts) to prevent class action suits. Note that you are already required to submit your case to arbitration, a forum in which consumers are often at a substantial disadvantage. Now you must go up against AT&T alone." This post on David Farber's mailing list provides a bit of context as well.
The Almighty Buck

The Outing of Pranknet 543

Posted by timothy
from the richly-deserved dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Smoking Gun recently published a story on their investigation and outing of Pranknet, an online cabal that aims to take pranks to the next level. Their legacy includes thousands of dollars of damage, and many harassed souls. Many of the pranks have clear criminal implications. Reading their report may send chills down your collective spines." From the linked article: "Coalescing in an online chat room, members of the group, known as Pranknet, use the telephone to carry out cruel and outrageous hoaxes, which they broadcast live around-the-clock on the Internet. Masquerading as hotel employees, emergency service workers, and representatives of fire alarm companies, 'Dex' and his cohorts have successfully prodded unwitting victims to destroy hotel rooms and lobbies, set off sprinkler systems, activate fire alarms, and damage assorted fast food restaurants. But while Pranknet's hoaxes have caused millions of dollars in damages, it is the group's efforts to degrade and frighten targets that makes it even more odious ..."
Cellphones

Underground App Store Courts the Jailbroken 295

Posted by kdawson
from the bring-down-the-towers dept.
PainMeds writes "Apple's stepped-up and controversial rejections are helping to foster competition in the app store marketplace. According to an article by Wired, developers aren't taking AppStore rejection lying down, but are turning to the hacking community's repository system for the iPhone to launch an app store of their own. The 4-month-old Cydia store is yielding notably higher sales for a few application developers than Apple's AppStore, and is reportedly running on over 4 million Apple iPhone devices, with perhaps 350,000 connected at any one time. In this store, developers are distributing applications they've written that push the limits of Apple's normal AppStore policies, with software to add file downloads to Safari, trick applications into thinking they're on Wi-Fi (for VoIP), and enhance other types functionality. You'll also find the popular Google Voice application, which was recently rejected by Apple. Third party application development has been around since 2007, when the iPhone was originally introduced, and became so popular that O'Reilly Media published a book geared toward writing applications before an SDK was available. The Cydia store acts as both a free package repository and commercial storefront to third-party developers."

Comment: Re:Imagine. (Score 1) 232

by whowantscream (#28866035) Attached to: Microsoft's Urgent Patch Precedes Black Hat Session

It IS a gift to humanity, - think of all the lives that it has touched, and not just ActiveX programmers!

It has given linux admins more clout and opened up jobs for people wanting to avoid Microsoft like the plague
It has given new Windows security admins more job security after the old one was fired
It has given hackers a means to expand and fund their personal empires
It has helped prune out the weak by allowing the destruction of their computers

You see, Microsoft is just playing its part in the circle of life.

Comment: Re:Possible problems with adopting SaaS? (Score 1) 157

by whowantscream (#28797005) Attached to: Cloud-Sourcing's Long-Term Impact On IT Careers

5) Security: debatable.

I don't know that this is debatable because companies are so different... Security threats can be categorized as internal or external threats. When you keep your data local your internal threats are limited to your employees with access to the systems or data, and your external threats are anything outside trying to find its way in. When you put your data up in the cloud you are opening up the internal threats to both your employees AND the employees of the company hosting your data, and your external threats to a much larger group of people targeting a much larger 'payday' by attacking the service provider. One blunder by that company, or one stupid employee at that company, and a lot of people can be affected, including you. Perhaps you have a big name and everyone wants your data - putting yourself up on the cloud might not expose you to many more external threats, but for small companies the risk of external threat by keeping your data local could be less.

So - if you have stupid people in your company emailing confidential documents or making their password "bigboy" then it doesn't matter whether your outsource or not. On the other hand if you don't have the want or desire to have a solid IT security person, then the additional risks of your service provider getting hacked are probably still less than the risk of your local network being hacked.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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