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Submission + - Google Earth black out areas? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I was having a random look over different areas of desert using Google Earth after hearing about the patterns in the Chinese desert. For some reason I ended up in the Mongolian desert near Darkhan. Can anyone explain why, on near full zoom, there is a "blackout" area at these co-ordinates: 46.652052,109.496596 ? Not only here but if you zoom out a little, you can see a number of these black dots and getting a closer look they are sections which have been blacked out. I would, initially, have put these down as small lakes but the one I've given co-ordinates for isn't just a "blob", there definitely appears to be something to it's shape. If you move to the North East of this area, you'll also note a section which appears to have no updated aerial photography for a considerable amount of time in comparison to the area around.
Can anyone shed light on this stuff for me?

Submission + - Newest YouTube user to fight a takedown is copyright guru Lawrence Lessig (arstechnica.com)

onehitwonder writes: Lawrence Lessig has teamed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Liberation Music, which recently demanded that YouTube take down a lecture Lessig had posted that features clips from the song "Lisztomania" by the French band Phoenix (on Liberation Music's label). Liberation claimed copyright infringement as the reason it demanded the takedown, but in his countersuit, Lessig is claiming Liberation's "overly aggressive takedown violates the DMCA and that it should be made to pay damages," according to Ars Technica.

Submission + - Censorship Doesn't Just Stifle Speech — It Can Spread Disease (wired.com)

Lasrick writes: Maryn McKenna at Wired explores fears of a pandemic of MERS after October's hajj to Saudi Arabia, the annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holy sites: 'The reason is MERS: Middle East respiratory syndrome, a disease that has been simmering in the region for months. The virus is new, recorded in humans for the first time in mid-2012. It is dire, having killed more than half of those who contracted it. And it is mysterious, far more so than it should be—because Saudi Arabia, where the majority of cases have clustered, has been tight-lipped about the disease’s spread, responding slowly to requests for information and preventing outside researchers from publishing their findings about the syndrome.'

Submission + - 21 Year Old Bank of America Merrill Lynch Intern Dies "From Overwork" (theguardian.com)

dryriver writes: Calls have been made for an overhaul of the long-hours culture among young staff working for banks in the City of London after the death of a "dedicated" German student who had won a sought-after placement at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Moritz Erhardt, 21, had won a place as a summer intern at the London city offices of the US bank and was nearing the end of his placement when he was found dead in the shower at his temporary accommodation in east London by ambulance services on 15 August. Merrill Lynch did not comment on the length of Erhardt's working hours, and also declined to comment on whether interns – who are understood to be paid £45,000 pro rata – are routinely made to work longer than 12-hour days. A fellow intern at the bank described the aspiring student as a "superstar", adding: "He worked very hard and was very focused. We typically work 15 hours a day or more and you would not find a harder worker than him." He told the Evening Standard: "He seemed a lovely guy and was very popular with everyone. He was tipped for greatness."

Submission + - Amazon Selects Their Favorite Fake Customer Reviews (beyond-black-friday.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon's just created a new web page where they're officially acknowledging fake reviews posted by their customers — and they've even selected their own favorites. ("I was very disappointed to have my uranium confiscated at the airport. It was a gift for my son for his birthday. Also, I’m in prison now, so that’s not good either...") On the front page of Amazon, in big orange letters, Amazon posted "You guys are really funny." And then — next to a funny picture of a rubber horse head mask — Amazon's linked to a list of some of the very best satirical reviews their customers have submitted over the years, noting fondly that "occasionally customer creativity goes off the charts in the best possible way..."

Submission + - When is it ok to not give notice? 1

An anonymous reader writes: Here in the U.S., "being professional" means giving at least two week's notice when leaving a job. Is this an outmoded notion? We've all heard stories about (or perhaps experienced) a quick escort to the parking lot upon giving the normal notice, and I've never heard of a company giving a two week notice to an employee that's being laid off or fired.
A generation ago, providing a lengthy notice was required to get a glowing reference, but these days does a reference hold water any more?
Once you're reached the point where you know it's time to leave, under what circumstances would you just up and walk out or give only a short notice?

Submission + - Microsoft Hires Former Steam Boss Holtman to Make Windows Great for Gaming

SmartAboutThings writes: Jason Holtman has spent the last eight years transforming Steam into a veritable cornucopia of PC games and a real success. Starting this month he'll be working at Microsoft to improve Windows' gaming strategy. He said: "Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment. I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I'm excited to be here." The main job that Holtman was doing at Valve consisted in convincing developers and major game publishers to choose Steam and entrust it with its digital sales. More than that, he was excited with what he was doing and was a driving force over at Steam. Microsoft has focused solely on the Xbox One launch lately, somehow neglecting the potential that Windows and overall, the PC gaming industry still have. With Holtman’s hiring, maybe Microsoft is going to revamp its Games for Windows initiative.

Submission + - MIT: Future Smartphones Will 'Listen to Everything All the Time' (infowars.com)

dryriver writes: Ubiquitous surveillance to 'detect your moods', 'pinpoint the sources of your stress', and 'present relevant information'. — The development of new smartphone technology that constantly records your private conversations in addition to all ambient background noise in order to 'detect your moods' could mean the NSA might not have to bother with tapping actual phone calls at all in future. A report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hails the era of 'technologies that emphasize listening to everything, all the time', ubiquitous surveillance aided by microphones installed on new smartphones, such as Google’s Moto X, that do not run off the main battery and can, 'continually monitor their auditory environment to detect the phone owner’s voice, discern what room or other setting the phone is in, or pick up other clues from background noise.' While the article fails to mention the nightmare privacy implications that this technology would engender, it focuses on the innumerable apparent benefits. The technology could, 'make it possible for software to detect your moods, know when you are talking and not to disturb you, and perhaps someday keep a running record of everything you hear.' It sounds like Big Brother and invasive Minority Report-style advertising rolled into one. Chris Schmandt, director of the speech and mobility group at MIT’s Media Lab, relates how “one of his grad students once recorded two years’ worth of all the sounds he was exposed to—capturing every conversation. While the speech-to-text conversions were rough, they were good enough that he could perform a keyword search and recover the actual recording of a months-old conversation.”

Submission + - Changes in Earth's orbit were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age (washington.edu)

vinces99 writes: For more than a century scientists have known that Earth’s ice ages are caused by the wobbling of the planet’s orbit, which changes its orientation to the sun and affects the amount of sunlight reaching higher latitudes, particularly the polar regions. The Northern Hemisphere’s last ice age ended about 20,000 years ago, and most evidence has indicated that the ice age in the Southern Hemisphere ended about 2,000 years later, suggesting that the south was responding to warming in the north. But new research published online Aug. 14 in Nature shows that Antarctic warming began at least 2,000, and perhaps 4,000, years earlier than previously thought.

Submission + - US, Germany To Enter No-Spying Agreement (itworld.com) 1

itwbennett writes: From the solving-nonexistent-problems department. The German Federal Intelligence Service said in a news release that the U.S. has verbally committed to enter into a no-spying agreement with Germany. The no-spying agreement talks were announced as part of a progress report on an eight-point program proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkelin July with measures to better protect the privacy of German citizens. In the progress report, the German government found that U.S. intelligence services comply with German law. Also, the operators of large German Internet exchanges and the federal government did not find any evidence that the U.S. spies on Germans, the government said.

Submission + - New MIT paper reveals encryption is less secure than everyone thought

rjmarvin writes: Researchers from MIT and the National University of Ireland have discovered http://sdt.bz/63006 a flaw to disprove the Shannon Theory, the 1948 standard assumption for information entropy. According to the paper, Shannon's theory of averages does not account for the improbable correlations of cryptography. Bottom line: hackers and code breakers can crack encryptions significantly faster than anyone thought. How does this affect email encryption? SIM cards? Embedded chips in credit cards? We'll see...

Submission + - Liquid Crystals Can Slow Down the Speed of Light a Billionfold (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Even in Elon Musk's Hyperloop, you'd only be going a fraction of the speed of light. But if we played with physics a bit, as researchers at China's Xiamen University and France's Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis have done, essentially any movement could be faster than the speed of light. Using a new technique, they've managed to slow the speed of light to less than one billionth of its speed in a vacuum. Slowing the speed of light, of course, is not going to get us to other galaxies any faster. It's not going to help with space travel at all. But slowing the speed of light does have some practical applications here on Earth. The idea of "slow light" is not a new one: Researchers at Harvard slowed light to a speed of about 17 meters per second in 1999.

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