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Comment Re: Weekly/Monthly Salary (Score 1) 1103

> nothing is free, handling cash is not free, writing checks is not free, setting up DD for employees not likely to stick around more than a year is not free.

Correct, these are called "costs of doing business" and should be treated as such by the employer, not clawed back from the employee. Auctioning off the employees to the card companies adds insult to injury.

Fuck those employers/slave-traders.

Comment Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (Score 1) 395

That was a hit song by Dionne Warwick in the 1960s. It extolled the small-town life of what was then a pretty small place, when the Santa Clara Valley was still agricultural (anyone remember Paul Masson vineyards, the bulk-wine producer just west of town?).
"LA is a great big city, put a hundred down and buy a car."
San Jose was the opposite of LA, the place you went back to when LA got you down.
Now, of course, San Jose is more like LA than any other place in northern California. Bigger than SF or Oakland, and sprawling all over. Suburbs in search of a city.
No wonder I like it here in Boston.

Submission + - Snowden, a Comedic Rap Summary

Pav writes: Rap News distills the whole story down to five minutes of hilarious biting satire. Also, in other "news" see Assange get hauled away by nordic babes wearing lingerie and stormtrooper helmets, or Bill O'Reilly literally vomiting excreta. Rap News has plenty more tracks related to internet liberty erosion, politicial and nerdy issues in general. Perhaps they should become house artists for Slashdot?

Submission + - Shades of Jack Ryan: altering text in eBooks to track pirates (wired.com)

wwphx writes: German researchers have created a new DRM feature that changes the text and punctuation of an e-book ever so slightly. Called SiDiM, which Google translates to “secure documents by individual marking,” the changes are unique to each e-book sold. These alterations serve as a digital watermark that can be used to track books that have had any other DRM layers stripped out of them before being shared online. The researchers are hoping the new DRM feature will curb digital piracy by simply making consumers paranoid that they’ll be caught if they share an e-book illicitly.

Seems like I recall reading about this in Tom Clancy's Hunt for Red October when Jack Ryan used this technique to identify someone who was leaking secrets to the Russians. It would be so very difficult for someone to write a little program that, when stripping the DRM, randomized a couple of pieces of punctuation to break the hash that the vendor is storing along with the sales record of the individual book.

Submission + - Japanese artist makes better art in Execl than others can do with Photoshop (geek.com) 3

cute_orc writes: MS Excel is notorious for being a boring spreadsheet applications. But 73 years old Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes amazing art using autoshape tool of Excel. He makes free-form shapes spanning multiple cells and join them together in into a huge image. His artwork is really amazing and beautiful.
Transportation

Nicaragua Gives Chinese Firm Contract To Build Alternative To Panama Canal 323

McGruber writes with this news from late last week: "The Guardian is reporting that Nicaragua has awarded a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal, in a step that looks set to have profound geopolitical ramifications. The new route will be a higher-capacity alternative to the 99-year-old Panama Canal, which is currently being widened at the cost of $5.2bn. Last year, the Nicaraguan government noted that the new canal should be able to allow passage for mega-container ships with a dead weight of up to 250,000 tonnes. This is more than double the size of the vessels that will be able to pass through the Panama Canal after its expansion, it said."
Cellphones

Apple's War Against Jailbreaking Now Makes Perfect Sense 321

An anonymous reader writes "Apple has always been extremely anti jailbreaking, but it might now have a good reason to plug up the exploits. As Hardware 2.0 argues, Apple's new iOS 7 Activation Lock anti-theft mechanism which renders stolen handsets useless (even after wiping) unless the owner's Apple ID is entered relies on having a secure, locked-down OS. Are the days of jailbreaking iOS coming to a close?" I can see a whole new variety of phone-based ransom-ware based on this capability, too.

Submission + - No black hole or magnetic monopole: Tunguska really was a meteor (nature.com)

davide-nature writes: The mysterious blast that flattened 2,000 square km of a remote Siberian forest in 1908 has been blamed on the most bizarre causes, such as an exotic elementary particle left over from the Big Bang, a black hole or, of course, aliens, including in the double-episode "Tunguska" of The X-Files. But a new analysis of tiny rock samples suggests that a more mundane explanation — a meteor exploding in the atmosphere — may be the right one.
The blast is estimated to have packed between 3 and 5 megatons, 10 times the energy of the meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year.

Submission + - Sir Tim Berners-Lee lambasts NSA's PRISM (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: Sir Tim Berners-Lee has lashed out at the recent revelations of internet snooping and PRISM scandal and warned that “unwarranted government surveillance” of the internet is an act that threatens the foundations of a democratic society. In a statement issued through the World Wide Web Foundation he noted that the revelations about US National Security Agency keeps a tab on online activities of uses is ‘deeply concerning.’ Berners-Lee argued that because the use of internet may reveal some rather personal and sensitive information about users, it is vital that robust protections are put into place for protection of such information.

Submission + - Sony's PS4 to have less stringent DRM than Microsoft's Xbox One (ign.com)

Tackhead writes: E3 is turning into Bizarro World this year. Sony has not only promised that that the PS4 will support used games without an online connection, they trolled the Xbox folks hard with this Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video. Compounding the silliness, and hot on the heels of the political firestorm surrounding Donglegate, Microsoft went for rape jokes during their Xbox presentation. This isn't the first time that Microsoft has stumbled into an embarassment over gender issues, but at the rate the PR gaffes in the launch of the Xbox One are accumulating, perhaps they would have been better off just letting it happen; it’ll be over soon.

Submission + - Proposed NJ law allows cops to search phones at crash scenes (nj.com)

WML MUNSON writes: License, registration and cell phone, please. Police officers across New Jersey could be saying that to motorists at the scenes of car crashes if new legislation introduced in the state Senate becomes law. The measure would allow cops — without a warrant — to thumb through a cell phone to determine if a driver was talking or texting when an accident occurred. It requires officers to have "reasonable grounds" to believe the law was broken.

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