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Businesses

How Long Should Companies Make E-Bills Available? 299

theodp writes "If you say goodbye to paper and hello to green, you may learn first-hand that no good deed goes unpunished. Try to pay your final Verizon Wireless bill online after switching carriers, for example, and don't be surprised if you get a sorry-Dave-I'm-afraid-I-can't-do-that reply. Other vendors may curtail e-Bill services 30 days after you end service. And a promise of access to up to seven years of paperless statements is somewhat empty if you'll be cutoff as soon as you no longer have an account. With more-and-more companies enticing consumers to go paperless, how long a period of time should the records be made available online? Should it extend beyond the life of an account?"
The Internet

Unemployment Claims Crash State Web Sites 233

1sockchuck writes "A sign of the times: a surge in filings for unemployment benefits has crashed online application systems in four states this week. Web sites in Ohio, New York, Kentucky and North Carolina have been knocked offline by unusually high volumes of jobless claims. Phone applications systems appearing to be faring even worse in many states. The thin silver lining: states are hiring workers for phone banks and buying new servers to prop up their web sites."

Apple's Life After Steve Jobs 405

animusCollards writes "Slate ponders a post-Steve Jobs Apple, including possible successors, and the future is... boring. '..it's certainly true that Jobs' style is central to the company's brand and the fierce connection it forges with its customers. His product announcements prompt hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free press coverage and whip up greater and more loyal fans, generating ever-greater interest in the company. ... At some point, all that will end. Jobs will eventually leave the company. There are no obvious plans for succession; in addition to Schiller, observers finger Tim Cook, Apple's COO, and Scott Forstall, who helped develop Mac OS X and the iPhone's software, as contenders for the job. But Tuesday's keynote illustrated how difficult it will be for any of those guys to replace Jobs.'"
Software

Amazon S3 Adds Option To Make Data Accessors Pay 80

CWmike writes "Amazon.com has rolled out a new option for its Simple Storage Service (S3) that lets data owners shift the cost of accessing their information to users. Until now, individuals or businesses with information stored on S3 had to pay data-transfer costs to Amazon when others made use of the information. Amazon said the new Requester Pays option relieves data providers of that burden, leaving them to pay only the basic storage fees for the cloud computing service. The bigger question with the cloud is, who really pays? Mark Everett Hall argues that IT workers do."
NASA

Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA? 479

MarkWhittington writes "Has NASA become a problem for the Obama transition? If one believes a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel, the transition team at NASA, led by former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver, is running into some bureaucratic obstruction." Specifically, according to this article NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made calls to aerospace industry executives asking them to stonewall if asked about benefits to be gained by canceling the current US efforts to revisit the moon; we mentioned last month that cutting Aries and Orion is apparently an idea under strong consideration by the Obama transition team.
Supercomputing

IEEE Says Multicore is Bad News For Supercomputers 251

Richard Kelleher writes "It seems the current design of multi-core processors is not good for the design of supercomputers. According to IEEE: 'Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, in New Mexico, have simulated future high-performance computers containing the 8-core, 16-core, and 32-core microprocessors that chip makers say are the future of the industry. The results are distressing. Because of limited memory bandwidth and memory-management schemes that are poorly suited to supercomputers, the performance of these machines would level off or even decline with more cores.'"
The Media

Online Reporters Now the Journalists Most Often Jailed 147

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists today released the results of its annual survey of journalists in prison. For the first time, they found more Internet journalists jailed worldwide than journalists working in any other medium. CPJ found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Their chart of journalists jailed by year is also interesting."
Security

'Greasemonkey' Malware Targets Firefox 370

snydeq writes "Researchers have discovered a new type of malware that collects passwords for banking sites but targets only Firefox. The malware, dubbed 'Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A,' sits in Firefox's add-ons folder, registering itself as 'Greasemonkey,' the well-known collection of scripts that add functionality to Web pages rendered by Firefox. The malware uses JavaScript to identify more than 100 financial and money transfer Web sites, including PayPal, collecting logins and passwords, which it forwards to a server in Russia. Trojan infection can occur via drive-by download or download duping."
Sci-Fi

Battlestar Galactica Gets Spinoff Prequel Series 297

It was recently announced that sci-fi remake series Battlestar Galactica is getting a whole new spinoff prequel series called "Caprica." Signed on for twenty hours worth of finished product, including a two-hour pilot, the new series is to be set 50 years prior to Battlestar Galactica, and will focus on two rival families, the Graystones and the Adamas. "Enmeshed in the burgeoning technology of artificial intelligence and robotics that will eventually lead to the creation of the Cylons, the two houses go toe-to-toe blending action with corporate conspiracy and sexual politics. 'Caprica' will deliver all of the passion, intrigue, political backbiting and family conflict in television's first science fiction family saga."
Linux Business

"FOSS Business Model Broken" — Former OSDL CEO 412

liraz writes "Stuart Cohen, former CEO of Open Source Development Labs, has written an op-ed on BusinessWeek claiming that the traditional open source business model, which relies solely on support and service revenue streams, is failing to meet the expectations of investors. He discusses the 'great paradox' of the FOSS business model, saying: 'For anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the software industry lately, I have some bad news. The open source business model is broken. Open source code is generally great code, not requiring much support. So open source companies that rely on support and service alone are not long for this world.' Cohen goes on to outline the beginnings of a business model that can work for FOSS going forward."
Patents

Rewriting a Software Product After Quitting a Job? 604

hi_caramba_2008 writes "We are a bunch of good friends at a large software company. The product we work on is under-budgeted and over-hyped by the sales drones. The code quality sucks, and management keeps pulling in different direction. Discussing this among ourselves, we talked about leaving the company and rebuilding the code from scratch over a few months. We are not taking any code with us. We are not taking customer lists (we probably will aim at different customers anyway). The code architecture will also be different — hosted vs. stand-alone, different modules and APIs. But at the feature level, we will imitate this product. Can we be sued for IP infringement, theft, or whatever? Are workers allowed to imitate the product they were working on? We know we have to deal with the non-compete clause in our employment contracts, but in our state this clause has been very difficult to enforce. We are more concerned with other IP legal aspects."
Internet Explorer

Microsoft Blames Add-Ons For Browser Woes 307

darthcamaro writes "Running IE and been hacked? Don't blame Microsoft — at least that's what their security types are now arguing. 'One of the things we've seen in the last two years is that attackers aren't even going after the browser itself anymore,' Eric Lawrence, Security Program Manager on Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, said. 'The browser is becoming a harder target and there are many more browsers. So attackers are targeting add-ons.' This kinda makes sense since whether you're running IE, Firefox, Safari or Chrome you could still be at risk if there is a vulnerability in Flash, PDF, QuickTime or another popular add-on. Or does it?"
Unix

Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle 423

destinyland writes "For decades, people have been asking this brain teaser: 'What's the longest word you can type with only the left-hand letters on a keyboard?' The answer is supposed to be 'stewardesses,' but grepping the standard dictionary that ships with Unix reveals a much better answer. There's nearly 2,000 shorter words that can typed with only the left hand — including one word that's even longer. (The article also quotes a failed novel attempt using nothing but words typed on the keyboard's left side.)"
Power

New Generator Boosts Wind Turbine Efficiency 50% 315

MagnetDroid writes "A startup company based in Vancouver has developed a new kind of generator that could harvest much more energy from the wind. The design could not only lower the cost of wind turbines but increase their power output by 50 percent to as much as 100 percent, in some locations. Normally, when wind speeds drop, a turbine's engine becomes less efficient. The new engine, from ExRo Technologies, runs efficiently over a wider range of conditions. The design replaces a mechanical transmission with what amounts to an electronic one. Magnets attached to a rotating shaft create a current, but individual coils can be turned on and off electronically at different wind speeds." The company will begin field-testing a small, 5KW wind turbine by early next year.

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