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Businesses

Submission + - Large Tech Companies Dumping Cubicles

statemachine writes: Intel and Cisco, among other companies, are experimenting with cubeless, open and unassigned seating.

Beginning this month, the chip maker (Intel) will set up three experimental work sites. Open areas, comfortable armchairs, extra conference rooms and tables where people can plop down with laptops will replace the ubiquitous cubes that have been standard issue for decades. Each morning, Intel employees will log onto the corporate network using wireless connections. Their phone numbers will follow them. White boards that employees use to sketch out business plans and project strategies will be outfitted with electronics so drawings and plans can be transferred to laptops and e-mailed to colleagues. "People feel much more comfortable coming up to me. It's more of a friendly atmosphere," Cisco senior manager Ted Baumuller said. "I hope I never have to go back to cubes."
The Courts

Submission + - Hacker Pleads Guilty to Spreading Botnets (pcworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: So the guy pleads guilty to infecting 250,000 computers with bots to steal paypal accounts, and is looking at 60 years in prison. Of course this is in California, so he'll probably get a sushi roll and a sharp word and then a government job. If the courts want cybercrime to be taken seriously, they should stop treating computers as if they were the second-class citizens of private property. One count of breaking and entering is typically worth a few months in prison, even in California. Identity theft likewise commands a couple of years. So this fellow should be looking at about a million years in prison, not a mere 60. The fact that computers make these crimes easier to commit does not diminish how offensive they are to society.
Education

Submission + - Call To Halt Donations To Stop Wikipedia Deletions 4

ObsessiveMathsFreak writes: "Howard Tayler, the webcomic artist of Schlock Mercenary fame, is calling on people not to donate money during the latest Wikimedia Foundation fund-raiser, in protest at the "notability purges" taking place throughout Wikipedia, where articles are being removed en-masse by what many see as overzealous admins. The webcomic community in particular has long felt slighted by the application of Wikipedia's contentious Notability policy. Wikinews reporters have recently begun investigating this issue, but are the admins listening? Is Deletionism becoming a dominant ethos on Wikipedia? Are the right people holding the reigns?"
Media

Submission + - Wikipedia Moving to San Francisco

statemachine writes: Jimmy Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation are moving Wikipedia to San Francisco starting in January. Managers are already selecting a site and hiring more people, although some existing employees will be left behind in St. Petersburg, FL. Wales cites "the Internet culture, the great developers and potential partners" for the reasons behind the move. Just down the road from SF in San Mateo, Wales is already running another business, Wikia.
Security

Submission + - Satellite images used to monitor Burmese junta

BurmesePython writes: Human rights groups are using high-resolution satellites images to reveal the activities of Burma's junta as it gets tough with pro-democracy protesters. Apparently "it should be easy to spot groups of monks because of their distinctive maroon robes". Like previous efforts to use satellites to monitor the humanitarian crisis in Darfur [slashdot.org], the hope is it will prod the UN and other international actors into putting pressure on the Burmese rulers.
Space

Submission + - Hurricane Satellite Could Fail without Replacement

statemachine writes: An aging weather satellite crucial to accurate predictions on the intensity and path of hurricanes could fail at any moment and plans to launch a replacement have been pushed back seven years to 2016. Last year, forecasts were off an average of 111 miles two days in advance, a figure that has been cut in half over the past 15 years. But experts said that could grow 10 percent to 122 miles if the satellite is lost, causing the "cone of error" well known to coastal residents to expand. QuikScat, launched in 1999 and designed to last two to three years, provides key data on wind speed and direction over the ocean. Weather aircraft and buoys can also obtain similar measurements near a storm, but they do not provide a constant flow of data as QuikScat does. Now the satellite is limping along on a backup transmitter and has other problems. A European satellite called ASCAT is available, but it does not give scientists as clear a picture as QuikScat because the distance between the readings it takes is larger. A NASA and Department of Defense satellite called WINDSAT also measures wind speed and direction, but it too is beyond its expected lifespan, and scientists have had trouble using it to observe tropical weather systems. Even if money were immediately available, a replacement satellite is estimated to take at least four years and cost approximately $400 million to build.
Security

Submission + - Google Video Sends Private Data over HTTP Protocol (seroundtable.com)

tamar writes: If you choose to share a video from Google Video to another social network (like MySpace, for example), your username and password get sent in plaintext on the http protocol (rather than the more secure https protocol). Just look at the live headers.
United States

Submission + - Another Secret UNFAIR Free Trade Deal? Massive H-1

user_ecs writes: Another Secret UNFAIR Free Trade Deal? Massive H-1B Visa increases

by BobOak
Sun May 13, 2007 at 01:53:31 PM PDT

While we all are examining this new Trade Deal and thankfully Public Citizen is analyzing, yet another Corporate cheap labor agenda item is potentially about to be passed, brokered in back room deals and going unnoticed.

The bill, S.1348 : A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes. From the congressional record:The text of S.1348 has not yet been received from GPO. In other words, the bill is not available to the public for review.

Yet the renamed S.1348 is supposedly S.2611, the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill that has massive H-1B Visa increases, yet even more guest worker Visas and even a method to turn our University system into a glorified green card machine.

The text is not even presented to the public, yet this is supposedly the Senate business of May 14th, which is tomorrow!!!!.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/5/13/145247 /789
Censorship

Submission + - Scientologists In Row With BBC

CmdrGravy writes: "The Church Of Scientology is currently engaged in a row with BBC over a Panorama investigation by the BBC reporter John Sweeney. John is investigating the Church Of Scientology for the program to find out if they have changed in the last few years and moved away from the questionable practices and secrecy they have employed in the past.

The row centres around a YouTube video posted by the scientologists and a DVD they have released which show Mr Sweeney losing his temper with a scientology spokesman Tom Davis in which Mr Sweeney is driven to yelling at Tom Davis at the top of his voice. Mr Sweeney has since apologised for losing his temper which he says he now realises was both wrong and stupid. In the DVD the scientologists also accuse the BBC of organising an anti scientology demonstration and yelling terrorist death threats at John Travolta, allegations which the BBC denounce as being clearly laughable and utter nonsense. John Travolta has also accused of Mr Sweeney of harbouring "personal prejudices, bigotry and animosity" against Scientology in the documentary, and accused the reporter of displaying "hatred against my religion." This despite the fact that in the UK scientology is not classed as a religion due to the financial nature of their practices.

Mr Sweeneys outburst came at the end of a tour of a scientology exhibition which attempts to portray psychiatrists as evil nazi type torturers entitled "Psychiatry: Industry of Death" which is both gruesome and utterly unconvincing. In the days previous to this Mr Sweeney and his camera team became the latest in a long line of reporters to suffer harassment at the hands of scientologists whereby he has been shouted at, spied on, denounced as a bigot by John Travolta had his hotel invaded at midnight, and had mysterious strangers visit his neighbours and family and spy on his wedding. You can begin to see why someone might lose their temper having been victim to this sort of activity.

There is an excellent article in the Telegraph and you can read about the incident in Mr Sweeneys own words here at the BBC.

The video of Mr Sweeney losing his temper is available on YouTube, the argument is about Tom Davis claiming he has said things in a previous interview with someone else at which Tom Davis was not present and therefore cannot know what he has said. During this interview with, I think, an ex scientologist Tom Davis burst in half way through to make claims that the interviewee was some kind of paedophile.

Happily it looks like the BBC is going to stand behind their reporter, judging by this interview with the programs editor and the general tone of their reporting but, really why I'm posting this on /., what can be done against an organisation so determined to prevent fair and unbiased reporting on their activities and is clearly able to utilise the power of the internet and YouTube to further their aims. The BBC is a large organisation and can survive attacks like this which would easily cause a lot more problems to individuals or smaller organisations, is there a way of levelling the playing field in favour of the general population being able to access accurate information on organisations or corporations rather than propaganda put out by the said organisations or corporations ?"
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows Vista "Non" Downgrade Clause

Pissed Off writes: Alright, so I bought a brand new DELL computer and opted for Windows Vista Ultimate. Figuring that Vista Business and Ultimate both come with downgrade rights I figure that I should not have a problem. None the less, the computer arrived and it got unpacked. So I started doing some tweaking and tuning and then timed the start up only to discover that my old computer running Windows XP blew my Windows Vista rig out of the water!

The old computer specs: Pentium M 1.4GHz / 60GB 7200RPM / 1GB RAM
The new computer specs: Core 2 Duo 2GHz / 100GB 7200RPM / 2GB RAM

So I did what any sane person would do and turfed Windows Vista and started installing Windows XP. In order to attain my downgrade rights I called Dell and asked them about this and they told me to call a 1-800 number or the Microsoft Volume Licensing department where they pretty much told me that since I have an OEM copy of Vista that my reseller (Dell) should assist me. Since then I have been back and forth with Dell and Microsoft and have not reached a solution.

After digging around I found a couple web sites describing the whole downgrade process. Some going as far as suggesting that I call and explain to the Windows Activation team my issue and that they should take care of it and activate my computer. So, I just got off the phone and sure enough they told me that the CD Key that i used (legitimate) has already been activated on another computer and that it is licensed for only one system.

This issue is still pending a resolution and neither Dell nor Microsoft seem to be much help! Has any one else out there gone through this with success or lack there of??? I have not yet tried to downgrade my Windows Vista Ultimate retail box... I wonder what Microsoft's excuse will be then >:|

My beef is that no where in the End User License Agreement does it say that I have to:

a) provide my own media (Volume License, Retail, OEM System Builder)
b) provide my own cd key (and not an OEM key)

Had I known that I would not have bothered with Vista and gotten my notebook with Windows XP right out of the gate.

Now I'm faced with the costs of returning my laptop at my cost and then having to wait another 2-3 weeks in order to get the replacement.
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Nimoy Seeks to Affect Cultural Views on Body Image

NewsCloud writes: "Leonard Nimoy seems to be asking Americans to boldly go and explore our cultural stereotypes and biases in an upcoming photography book on full-bodied women.

For the last eight years, Mr. Nimoy, who is 76 and an established photographer, has been snapping pictures of plus-size women in all their naked glory. "The average American woman, according to articles I've read, weighs 25 percent more than the models who are showing the clothes they are being sold," Mr. Nimoy said. "So, most women will not be able to look like those models. But they're being presented with clothes, cosmetics, surgery, diet pills, diet programs, therapy, with the idea that they can aspire to look like those people. It's a big, big industry. Billions of dollars. And the cruelest part of it is that these women are being told, 'You don't look right.' "
"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Japanese Government to Move to OSS

An anonymous reader writes: linuxworld has an article on Japanese government's plan to reduce its reliance on a single IT vendor by moving to open source softwares.

Oracle, NEC, IBM, HP, Hitachi and Dell are among 10 IT equipment and software vendors that are forming a consortium to develop and sell Linux-based servers and computers for the Japanese market. The move by the vendors to collaborate on Linux in Japan comes from a edict from the country's government to make Linux and open source a priority for all IT procurements, starting this July.
Specifically, it looks to reduce Windows as the server OS.

The government has said explicitly it wants to decrease its reliance on Microsoft as a server operating system platform.
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Greensburg Tornado - computer damage

rpbird writes: "It's been a little over a week since two tornados destroyed my mom's home. I had been living there with her as her caregiver for several years. Me, my mom, and her two cats survived, but the house was reduced to kindling. A couple days later, several friends and I salvaged the small stuff from the house. My collection of Star Wars PC games was long gone, on Mars, maybe (KOTOR 2, Republic Commandos, Battlefront II, Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, Dark Forces II). I guess it'll be a few weeks until Frangible's killing trandos in RC multiplayer. We found my two PCs (hand-built by me, as befitting a /. reader), and my NEC crt monitor, its screen undamaged. One of my two Toshiba Portege laptops survived, but their docking stations are toast. Most of this stuff is sitting in a cousin's garage — I'm at another cousin's house. The four hard drives are probably all right, but is anything else? Oh wise men of /., is it even worth trying to get the monitor and the PCs running, or should I strip out the hard drives and build new machines? What's the probability that the monitor and the PCs will run? Time is crunched for me right now, and I don't have any space yet to tinker in. Should I strip out the hard drives and junk the rest? Any advice would be appreciated."
Programming

Submission + - AMD will deliver open graphics drivers

derrida writes: "After Intel's announcement, AMD also announced that they will soon deliver open graphics drivers, as Henri Richard said, at the opening keynote of the Red Hat Summit. Richard, AMD's executive vice president of sales and marketing, promised: "I'm here to commit to you that it's going to get done." He also promised that AMD is "going to be very proactive in changing way we interface with the Linux community.""

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