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Judge Rules Boss's "Firing Contest" Created a Hostile Work Environment Screenshot-sm 314

Branded the "boss from hell" by his employees, 57-year-old William Ernst lost a court battle with ex-workers over unemployment benefits. An Iowa judge has decided that Ernst's "firing contest" memo wasn't the best management strategy, saying, "The employer’s actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize. This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment.” The memo reads in part: "New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!! To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today's date, today's time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope."
Botnet

Massive Botnet "Indestructible," Say Researchers 583

CWmike writes "A new and improved botnet that has infected more than four million PCs is 'practically indestructible,' security researchers say. TDL-4, the name for both the bot Trojan that infects machines and the ensuing collection of compromised computers, is 'the most sophisticated threat today,' said Kaspersky Labs researcher Sergey Golovanov in a detailed analysis on Monday. Others agree. 'I wouldn't say it's perfectly indestructible, but it is pretty much indestructible,' Joe Stewart, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks and an internationally-known botnet expert, told Computerworld on Wednesday. 'It does a very good job of maintaining itself.' Because TDL-4 installs its rootkit on the MBR, it is invisible to both the operating system and more, importantly, security software designed to sniff out malicious code. But that's not TDL-4's secret weapon. What makes the botnet indestructible is the combination of its advanced encryption and the use of a public peer-to-peer (P2P) network for the instructions issued to the malware by command-and-control (C&C) servers. 'The way peer-to-peer is used for TDL-4 will make it extremely hard to take down this botnet,' said Roel Schouwenberg, senior malware researcher at Kaspersky. 'The TDL guys are doing their utmost not to become the next gang to lose their botnet.'"

Submission + - Santorum Still Doesn't Understand "Google Bombs" (rollcall.com)

PerlDiver writes: The former U.S. Senator (R-PA) who got famously, um, smeared by sex columnist Dan Savage after saying that gay sex could "undermine the fabric of our society" apparently still hasn't been told that it takes thousands of links on many sites to affect Google search results rankings:

Santorum himself sounded slightly defeated when asked about it recently.

"It's one guy. You know who it is. The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate. It's unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak," Santorum told Roll Call.

Or maybe the alleged 2012 Presidential hopeful just can't imagine he's that unpopular.

Government

FCC Commissioner Lauds DRM, ISP Filtering 217

snydeq writes "Ars Technica's Nate Anderson and InfoWorld's Paul Venezia provide worthwhile commentary on a recent speech by FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate (PDF), in which she praised DRM as 'very effective' and raised a flag in favor of ISP filtering. Anderson: 'Having commissioners who feel that the government has a duty to partner with and back educational classroom content from the RIAA; who really believe that ISP filtering is so unproblematic we can stop considering objections; and who think that universities worry about file-swapping because tuition might be raised to pay for the needed "expansion of storage capabilities" (huh?) isn't good for the FCC and isn't good for America.' Venezia: 'Leave the ISPs out of it — it's not their job to protect a failing business model, and a movement toward a tiered and filtered Internet will do nothing to stem the tide of piracy, but will result in great restrictions on innovation, freedoms, and the general use of the Internet. There's nothing to be gained down that path other than possibly to expand the wallets of a few companies.'"
Security

Botnets As "eWMDs" 172

John Kelly writes "The current issue of Policy Review has a paper by an American computer scientist and the recent Permanent Undersecretary of Defense for Estonia. Drawing on the Estonian cyber attacks a year and a half ago, as well as other recent examples, they argue that botnets are the major problem. They propose that botnets should be designated as 'eWMDs' — electronic weapons of mass destruction. The paper also proposes a list of reforms that would help to limit the scale and impact of future botnet attacks, beginning with defining and outlawing spam, internationally." Many of the proposed solutions are common-sensical and won't be news to this audience, but it is interesting to see the botnet threat painted in such stark terms for readers of the Hoover Institution's Policy Review. For a more comprehensive overview of cyber-security threats, listen to NPR's interview with security experts on the occasion of the release of a new report, "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency," which recommends creating a cyber-security czar reporting to the President.
The Internet

Scientology's Credibility Questioned Over Video Channel 450

stonyandcher writes to share that the Church of Scientology has come under fire for some items on their recently launched video channel. Most notably, claims have been leveled that dignitaries in one of their videos were faked and at least one of the people featured in the video is claiming their statements were taken out of context.

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Quantum Mechanics is a lovely introduction to Hilbert Spaces! -- Overheard at last year's Archimedeans' Garden Party

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