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Submission + - Britain to privatize Royal Mail (reuters.com)

Ellie K writes: After 500 years, Britain announced plans to fully privatize Royal Mail today. Shares of stock (common equity) will be offered to the public "in coming weeks", according to Reuters. 10% of shares will be given to current Royal Mail employees, Deal size is estimated at $US 3 to 4.7 billion. Goldman Sachs and UBS were chosen as lead advisers.
EU

Snowden Nominated For Freedom of Thought Prize 212

First time accepted submitter DigitalKhaos23 writes "Snowden is a candidate for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, which honors people or organizations for their work in the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. The article adds: 'Edward Snowden risked his life to confirm what we had long suspected regarding mass online surveillance, a major scandal of our times. He revealed details of violations of EU data protection law and fundamental rights.'"

Submission + - Linux 3.12 Codenamed "Suicidal Squirrel" (phoronix.com)

noahfecks writes: After the Linux 3.11 kernel was codenamed "Linux for Workgroups" in reminisce of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Linus Torvalds is using "Suicidal Squirrel" as the Linux 3.12 kernel codename. Linus Torvalds made a Git commit on Wednesday evening that stripped the kernel of its mockery "Linux/Windows for Workgroups

Submission + - Law Banning Discussion of Current Affairs being debated In the UK

An anonymous reader writes: Next week, MP's will vote on new government plans to gag charities and campaigners from working during elections. If it goes through, from next May 38 Degrees and a whole host of other organisations will be banned from holding politicians and political parties to account like we do now. On the big issues, from the NHS to the environment, we'd all be gagged.

The gagging would be for one year before local / national / European elections!!

Submission + - AT&T Maintains Call Database for the DEA Going Back to 1987 (nytimes.com) 1

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: Forget the NSA — the DEA has been working hand-in-hand with AT&T on the Hemisphere database of records of every call that passes through AT&T's phone switches going back as far as 1987. The government pays AT&T for contractors who site side-by-side with DEA agents and do phone records searches for them.

Comment Re:It was a myth (Score 1) 986

Clearly neither of you have ever met French Canadians. Quebec isn't even a country, yet they top the list of worlds most smugly, annoyingly rude people.

No, French people are worse than Quebecois, as far as smugness and a tendency be annoying and rude! People from Quebec, or Haiti or Morocco or just about anywhere, are willing to speak French with me.... courteously. French people tell me that I am brutalizing their language, to stop hurting their ears. My own brother, well, half-brother, grew up and went to school in Paris. He lives in Geneva now. He barely knows any English. But he will NOT speak to me in French, because it causes him such pain!

Smug, annoying and rude is okay as long as you are also honest, fair and transparent.

Comment Re: U.S. government is NOT extremely corrupt, yet (Score 1) 986

You are jumping away from the issue: The U.S. government is EXTREMELY corrupt, in a way that affects everyone on the planet.

If the U.S. government were extremely corrupt, we wouldn't be affecting everyone on the planet. We wouldn't affect much of anyone, other than to make our own citizens miserable. If we were corrupt, we wouldn't be trusted:
*as a trading partner
*as the world reserve currency
*for financial markets transactions
*for guidance and assistance in any sort of research or development, humanitarian aid, public health

and much more. The fact that we are NOT extremely corrupt, but are moving steadily in that direction, is what is so destabilizing. Trust, and consistency is vital.

Submission + - Ditch Your Passwords -- US Gov To Issue Secure Online IDs

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Tom Groenfeldt reports in Forbes that the US Postal Service has awarded a contract to SecureKey to implement the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange (FCXX) designed to enable individuals to securely access online services at multiple federal agencies —such as health benefits, student loan information, and retirement benefit information—without the need to use a different password or other digital identification for each service. SecureKey already operates a trusted identity service in Canada using identification keys provided by one of five participating Canadian banks, that allows Canadians to connect with 120 government programs online with no additional user names or passwords for everything from benefits queries to fishing licenses. “This system marks a significant milestone in the evolution of cloud computing, leading the way in demonstrating how identities will be utilized and managed in the online world for years to come, and we are thrilled to have been selected by the USPS for this critical national initiative,” says Andre Boysen, chief marketing officer for SecureKey. The SecureKey program is designed to connect identity providers—such as banks, governments, healthcare organizations, and others—with consumers’ favorite online services though a cloud-based broker service. The platform allows identity providers and online services to integrate once, reducing the integration and business complexity otherwise incurred in establishing many-to-many relationships.

Comment Re: Not quite innovator's dilemma (Score 1) 198

At some companies, the management is exactly how you described (Eric Schmidt is like that, from what I can tell). But Google is not like other companies in terms of management. They even had Schmidt step down, so that Larry Page could be CEO again. Larry Page and Sergey Brin know that cost cutting at the expense of design and research is unwise. Well, they should. They did, in the past.. Maybe they are too distant now.

Comment Re:Do more for less (Score 1) 198

Isn't that what the MBAs and metric gurus teach? Once again the Excel numbers make the day and if there is a hidden cost or an opportunity cost then it doesn't exist according to the CPA

Metric gurus teach that. MBAs who have a clue do not.

If a company is in terrible financial condition, losing money, making unreliable products etc. THEN it is time for the Excel spreadsheets and CPA's to say, "Look, you can make payroll for another x weeks, but if you don't turn things around, fast, you'll need to dismiss staff, sell company assets and equipment to survive." In that scenario, the 20% time to work on projects needs to end, temporarily, until the company is more solvent.. Google is far from being in that situation though.

Comment Re:Object lesson or going public (Score 0) 198

Public companies have a lot of latitude in fulfilling their fiduciary interests to shareholders. Look at what bank CEO's (and Larry Ellison of Oracle) are paid now. Are they really worth a salary that is over 1000 times that of the average employee? Maybe they are sometimes, but certainly not when they are running the business into the ground with layoff's, bad decisions and huge losses.

IF QZ is correct- they probably are, as I've read this elsewhere- that the 20% time had ended, then it is Google management's decision. It isn't motivated by fiduciary interests to shareholders. Google could justify why it is necessary for their employees to have that 20% time. Maybe it really is necessary. I've read that Google employees have been leaving at a higher rates than in the past. But I'm not sure, can't remember sources for that.

Submission + - 1981 news report on the internet downplays the internet's threat to news (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: In 1981, a San Francisco TV news station reported on some of the world's first internet users — San Francisco newspaper editors who were overseeing a new investment aimed at streamlining newspaper operations. Little did they know how successful it would be. Calling it "the newest form of electronic journalism," the reporter explains how editors at the San Francisco Examiner used an early phone-based internet connection to transfer all text content for the daily print edition. The system apparently couldn't transfer photos, advertisements, or comics at the time. The San Francisco Examiner also put out a web edition of the paper, inviting readers to gain access by cutting a coupon out of the print paper and sending it to the newspaper office.

The report is especially interesting for the comments made about the internet and its potential impact on the newspaper business. The lead anchor introducing the story seems shocked at the idea of a "home computer"; an editor at the San Francisco Examiner says they're "not in it to make money" and estimates that "they're not going to lose a lot [of money]." That same anchor closes the story by speculating that "the new telepaper won't be much competition for the 20-cent street edition."

Submission + - IBM Buys Trusteer To Build Israeli Cybersecurity Lab (ibtimes.com) 1

coolnumbr12 writes: IBM announced Thursday that it purchased Trusteer, a software developer that specializes in cybersecurity and anti-fraud. IBM plans to combine Trusteer’s Tel Aviv office with IBM’s research and development facilities to build a cybersecurity lab in Israel with over 200 researchers focusing on mobile and application security, malware, fraud and financial crime.

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