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The Almighty Buck

Zynga To Employees: Surrender Pre-IPO Shares Or You're Fired 554

ardmhacha writes "Zynga seem to think they were overly generous handing out stock to early employees. Fearing a 'Google Chef' situation they are leaning on some employees to hand back their unvested stock or face termination. From the article: 'Zynga's demand for the return of shares could expose the company to employment litigation—and, were the practice to catch on and spread, would erode a central pillar of Silicon Valley culture, in which start-ups with limited cash and a risk of failure dangle the possibility of stock riches in order to lure talent.'"
Security

Valve Announces Massive Steam Server Intrusion 434

SKYMTL writes "Valve has revealed that hackers have gained access to the Steam database and have pulled a variety of information. A statement from Gabe Newell reads in part: 'Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users, Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums. We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating. We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely."
Communications

FEMA, FCC Hope To Forestall Panic Over National Emergency Alert 210

Ars Technica has a piece on the "first-ever nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS)," slated for this Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST. An excerpt: "This national system will look and sound much like the current (and local) emergency warnings often seen on TV or heard on radio, but the scope is larger and it can be put under the direct control of the President. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Weather Service (NWS) will all coordinate the test, but it's FEMA that actually transmits the alert code. Concerned that such a test might alarm people, the agencies are going to extraordinary lengths to provide a heads-up. I first heard about the test in an e-mail newsletter from my city government, which told residents last week, 'Do not be alarmed when an emergency message will take over the airways... this is only a test.' The test will display a warning message on TV screens, though as my city helpfully noted, 'Due to some technical limitations, a visual message indicating that "this is a test" may not pop up on every TV channel, especially where people use cable to receive their television stations.'"
Microsoft

Ballmer: We're Lucky Microsoft Didn't Buy Yahoo 151

alphadogg writes (quoting Networkworld): "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer feels intensely fortunate that his company's $44 billion bid for Yahoo back in 2008 never materialized. 'Sometimes you're lucky,' he said with a smile at Web 2.0 Summit, responding to a question from conference co-chair John Battelle. Careful not to offend his search market partner, Ballmer put his comment in context, saying that any CEO would feel grateful for not making a major acquisition in the months prior to the global financial collapse that started in the second half of 2008."
Iphone

100,000 iPhones Overwhelm Activation Server 166

dstates writes "What happens when Apple ships 100,000 iPhone 4S in a day? Answer, 100,000 users all try to activate their new phones. AT&T's activation servers are struggling under the load. Apparently Verizon and Sprint are doing a better job keeping up with the load." Adds an anonymous optimist: "The solution? Call AT&T by dialing 611 and talking to an operator to perform a manual activation with your IMEI and SIM card #, works every time!"
HP

HP Rethinking Wisdom of Spinning Off PC Division 239

bdking writes "After signing off on former CEO Leo Apotheker's proposal to spin off or sell HP's personal computer unit, the company's braintrust is reassessing the wisdom of dumping a division that contributes nearly 30% of revenue and holds together a valuable supply chain." HP appears concerned not so much for the revenue generated by PC hardware, but instead by access to various distribution and supply channels. It seems that just announcing a spin-off has affected their access to retail distributors.
The Military

Air Force Network Admins Found Out About Drone Virus Through News Story 161

Nemesisghost writes "Wired's Danger Room reports that the network admins of the 24th Air Force found out about the virus infecting the drone cockpits at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada by reading the earlier news article. Quoting: 'Not only were officials in charge kept out of the loop about an infection in America’s weapon and surveillance system of choice, but the surprise surrounding that infection highlights a flaw in the way the U.S. military secures its information infrastructure: There’s no one in the Defense Department with his hand on the network switch. In fact, there is no one switch to speak of. The four branches of the U.S. armed forces each has a dedicated unit that, in theory, is supposed to handle cyber defense for the entire service. ... In practice, it’s not that simple. Unlike most big private enterprises, the 24th doesn’t have a centralized system for managing and monitoring its networks. There’s no place at the 24th’s San Antonio headquarters where someone could see all the digital traffic hurtling through the service’s pipes.'"
Businesses

Why HP Should Sell Its PC Business To Save It 221

packetrat writes "Hewlett Packard may not be in danger as a company, but its future in the PC business is in doubt, thanks to former CEO Leo Apotheker's maneuvers to turn HP into IBM. This article at Ars says Meg Whitman should go ahead and sell off the PC business — mostly because HP's management is so inept, it would likely do better without them. Agilent seems to be doing okay since it was spun off in 1999, but HP may have spun off its soul in the process."
Patents

UN Bigwig: The Web Should Have Been Patented and Licensed 411

An anonymous reader writes "Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has unearthed an amazing video where the head of WIPO, the UN agency responsible for 'promoting' intellectual property, suggests that Tim Berners-Lee should have patented HTML and licensed it to all users. Amazingly this is done on camera and in front of the head of CERN and the Internet Society, who look on in disbelief."
Privacy

Florida School District Begins Fingerprinting Students 294

First time accepted submitter Boogaroo writes "The Washington County school district in Florida has placed fingerprint scanners at the entrance to Chipley High School. They've also made a decision to run an alternate trial by placing the scanners on buses since most kids in the district ride buses every day. Since the beginning the fingerprinting, attendance is up, but not everyone is in agreement that the costs and risks are worth the attendance boost." Aren't there simpler and less-creepy ways to count kids, like looking at empty desks?
The Internet

Satellite Glitch Leaves Northern Canada In the (Internet) Dark 282

zentigger writes "At approximately 06:36 EDT Thursday, October 6, 2011, the Anik F2 satellite experienced an attitude control issue and lost earth lock, affecting C, Ku and Ka services. The satellite went into safety mode and moved from pointing to the earth to pointing to the sun. This has put most of Northern Canada in the dark as all internet and phone services come in over F2."
NASA

Neal Stephenson On 'Innovation Starvation' 437

Geoffrey.landis writes "In an essay discussing the space program, author Neal Stephenson suggests that the decline of the space program 'might be symptomatic of a general failure of our society to get big things done.' He suggests that we may be suffering from innovation starvation: 'Innovation can't happen without accepting the risk that it might fail. The vast and radical innovations of the mid-20th century took place in a world that, in retrospect, looks insanely dangerous and unstable.'" Though the context is different, this reminds me of economist Tyler Cowen's premise that the U.S. has for decades been in a Great Stagnation.
Microsoft

Zune Dead, Then Not Dead, Then Officially Dead 181

UnknowingFool writes "On Monday Microsoft updated webpages to announce a price drop for the Zune pass subscription, and it removed all references to the Zune hardware. This prompted many to suspect the Zune was dead. A MS spokesman then tweeted that the updates were in error and the Zune was not dead. Then MS later admitted that they will no longer produce hardware but would honor any existing orders. It appears MS has trouble with managing their PR."
HP

HP Touch Pad Still Popular ... With HP Employees 131

Earl The Squirrel joins the army of Slashdot submitters, with a story that dampens my hopes to get one of the last (cheap) HP Touch Pads. He writes: "Today HP made available to their employees (via their EPP store) one last batch of HP Touch Pads. The response has been so overwhelming that if you go to the HP store right now, you'll get the 'Please try again later' page. HP employees have 'slashdotted' their own store."
HP

HP Spent Over $80M To Get Rid of Its CEOs 261

hapworth writes "Analysis published today shows that Hewlett-Packard has shelled out over $80 million to get rid of three CEOs since 2005. The first CEO to take her expensive exit, Carly Fiorina, received over $42 million, once stocks, options, and pension are factored in. Mark Hurd, after just four years, received $12.2 million to take his exit; and now, after 11 months, Leo Apotheker will walk out with a reported $25.2 million in severance. With eBay's Meg Whitman in as the new CEO at HP, industry analyst Robert McGarvey writes today that 'the HP gig could help Whitman replenish her personal coffers, depleted by the pumping of $119 million into a futile bid to become California's governor.'"

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