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Submission + - Wikipedia implicated in Climategate 2

An anonymous reader writes: A shocking look at the politics of Wikipedia. A new article in the Financial Post explains the role of one Green Party activist, William Connolly, who successfully navigated his way through the Wikipedia hierarchy and used his powers to suppress dissent of any sort, valid or not. Connolly allegedly modified 5,428 Wikipedia articles, and revoked the privileges of over 2,000 users who disagreed with his views.
NASA

Submission + - Simulation of Closest Asteroid Fly-By (wired.com) 1

c0mpliant writes: NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come closest to Earth, since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid, which once held an above 2% chance of impacting Earth, had caused a bit of a scare when it was first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some 30 years in the future.

However since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the number at 1 in 250'000. The simulation can viewed here.

Submission + - Video game watchdog shuts down (yahoo.com) 1

imageek writes: The National Institute of Media and the Family is closing up, after releasing an annual video games report card for 13 years. "But there was no video game report card this year, and there won't be any more. The institute is closing its doors, a victim of the poor economy." Victim of the poor economy, or of the fact that despite their "report cards," games continue to be made, people of all ages continue to play them, and nothing bad has happened as a result?

Comment Cheques are good for asychronous money transfer (Score 1) 796

Most of the comments I've read are in the context of using cheques to pay for retail purchases. Yeah, that's bad.

I don't use cheques to pay for anything, except one item: my rent. Cheques actually solve that problem pretty well.

See, my landlord (essentially just a guy I live with) doesn't have the infrastructure set up for electronic money transfer, nor should he. So I can't pay by debit, and it would strain my withdrawal limit to hand him $425 cash every month. What to do then?

I can just leave a cheque on the fridge, and he can cash it whenever. Debit and credit are suited to retail (cashier and customer are together, money needs to be transferred now) but cheques are well suited to money transfers where both parties aren't at the same place at the same time.

Microsoft

Does Ballmer Need To Go? 568

Pickens notes a TechCrunch analysis wondering — after Windows Vista and the failed Yahoo bid — whether Steve Ballmer's days at Microsoft are numbered. "Ballmer has been the big driver behind [the Yahoo] deal at Microsoft — some would say to the point of obsession. After the disaster that has been Windows Vista, Ballmer may have realized he needed to redeem himself in the eyes of Microsoft's board. And the 'transformative' deal with Yahoo was the way he was going to do it... If Microsoft's board loses patience with him, it might have to ask Bill Gates to temporarily come back as CEO until it finds a replacement. After all, Ballmer has already made a strong and convincing case for why Microsoft needs Yahoo to make its online and advertising strategy work. It's not clear whether Microsoft can achieve its objectives on its own or through other acquisitions. Maybe Ballmer thinks he can still do the deal by making Yahoo's stock price collapse and come back with a hostile offer."
Math

Submission + - Surfer stuns physicists with theory of everything (telegraph.co.uk) 1

j823777 writes: GARRETT LISI is an unlikely individual to be staking a claim for a theory of everything. He has no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii. In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, California, to teach snowboarding. Until recently, physics was not much more than a hobby.

That hasn't stopped some leading physicists sitting up and taking notice after Lisi made his theory public on the physics pre-print archive this week (www.arxiv.org/abs/0711.0770). By analysing the most elegant and intricate pattern known to mathematics, Lisi has uncovered a relationship underlying all the universe's particles and forces, including gravity — or so he hopes. Lee Smolin at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, describes Lisi's work as "fabulous". "It is one of the most compelling unification models I've seen in many, many years," he says.

Censorship

Submission + - Yahoo, MSN sign new Chinese gov't blogging pact (breitbart.com)

kaufmanmoore writes: AFP is reporting that Yahoo China and MSN have signed the new "self-discipline" pledge introduced this week and covered previously on slashdot. There are no more details at this point as to whether MSN or Yahoo will require detailed registration of personal information as encouraged by the Chinese government.
Security

Submission + - Mortgage foreclosure rescue scams growing rapidly (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning US homeowners that it has heard complaints from victims of online foreclosure rescue schemes in almost all 50 states. Not surprisingly, states with the highest foreclosure rates — such as Georgia, Colorado and Ohio — have an exceptionally high number of complaints for companies offering foreclosure rescue. An example of how fast the problem is growing: In the last three years, the Clearwater, FL BBB received 508 complaints for foreclosure services headquartered in their area. Of those complaints, 322 came within the last 12 months. The total amount of refunds requested by the complainants in the Clearwater area amounts to more than $600,000. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18726"
Security

Submission + - Strict German Computer Crime Law Now in Effect (beskerming.com)

SkiifGeek writes: "With little fanfare, section 202c of the German computer crime laws came into effect over the weekend. Worryingly for Security professionals, the laws make the mere possession of (creates, obtains or provides access to, sells, yields, distributes or otherwise allows access to) many useful tools illegal. A similar law was proposed for the UK, however it was modified prior to passing through parliament due to the outcry from the industry.

Phenoelit, KisMAC, the CCC, and the Month of PHP Bugs are just some of the relatively high profile projects and groups to have already taken measures to remove or modify content under this law."

Censorship

Submission + - AT&T censors anti-Bush lyrics (go.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "The rock band Pearl Jam is upset after lyrics critical of President Bush were censored out of a live webcast of Lollapalooza last weekend by AT&T. The telecom company has apologized and said that the editing of the lyrics was a mistake that should not have happened. (ABCNEWS)"
Privacy

Submission + - Oxford using Facebook to discipline students (msn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Oxford University is using facebook to investigate "trashings" (dousing classmates in eggs, flour and genereally making a mess) when the students involved post the pictures online. The school has taken to emailing the students fines from $80 to $200 for breaking the rules. In my mind this sounds like the school is playing judge, jury and executioner. What happens when it was all in good fun, no property damage involved and the clean up is a hot shower? I fear where this is turning to. Where someone can get judged by merely a picture. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19813092/

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