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Privacy

Submission + - Twitter-shaming can cost you your job - whether you're giving or receiving (infoworld.com)

tsamsoniw writes: "Hoping to strike a blow against sexism in the tech industry, developer and tech evangelist Adria Richards took to Twitter to complain about two male developers swapping purportedly offensive jokes at PyCon. The decision has set into motion a chain of events that illustrate the impact a tweet or two can make in this age of social networking: One the developers and Richards have since lost their jobs, and even the chair of PyCon has been harassed for his minor role in the incident."
Microsoft

Submission + - Sinofsky leaves Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green now in charge of Windows Division (winbeta.org)

BogenDorpher writes: Steven Sinofsky, the man who was behind the development and marketing of Windows (including the recently released Windows 8), Internet Explorer, Outlook.com, and SkyDrive had apparently left the company. In his place, Julie Larson-Green will run the Windows division while Tami Reller will take charge of the business of Windows.
Apple

Submission + - Apple Becomes World's Largest Company Today (everythingnew.net)

hasanabbas1987 writes: "Apple passed Exxon Mobile in the competition of market value and became the world’s largest company. Its a historic and memorable day for the company which became the largest company in the world in terms of market value and we can already see Steve Jobs toasting his iPhone with other company executives as they cherish this great moment. Last year in May, Apple surpassed Microsoft becoming the top technology related company in the world and now they take the top spot over all from Exxon Mobile’s market value share of $354.4 billion dollars (phew)."

Submission + - House Fails to Extend Patriot Act Spy Powers (wired.com)

schwit1 writes: The House failed to extend three key expiring provisions of the Patriot Act on Tuesday, elements granting the government broad and nearly unchecked surveillance power on its own public.

  The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court, without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.

  The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.

  The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

The failure of the bill, sponsored by Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis), for the time being is likely to give airtime to competing measures in the Senate that would place limited checks on the act's broad surveillance powers. The White House, meanwhile, said it wanted the expiring measures extended through 2013.

Google

Submission + - Google Voice Offers Number Porting For $20

Steve writes: Google has announced Number Porting for all existing Google Voice users, and said it will become available to new users within the next few weeks. The new feature allows you to make the mobile number you've always used your Google Voice number. Porting your number to Google Voice costs $20 and typically takes 24 hours. To get started, log in to your Google Voice account, go to the Settings page, and click on Change / Port next to your Google Voice number. Your mobile service plan will then be cancelled automatically (you might incur an early termination fee from your carrier).
NASA

Submission + - Curious NASA Pre-Announcement (nasa.gov) 2

CrtxReavr writes: 'NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.'
Encryption

Submission + - US Gov't To Mandate Encryption Backdoors (nytimes.com) 2

Andorin writes: Put off by the general public's easy access to strong communications encryption systems, a group of federal law enforcement and national security officials have pulled together a plan that aims to ease the government's burdens when carrying out digital wiretaps. Under the proposed measures, which are to be submitted next year, communications services that encrypt connections between users, such as Skype, would be required to provide a way for law enforcement agents to decrypt messages- essentially a backdoor in the services. Additionally, any software that encrypts connections and is not overseen by a central authority, such as OTR for instant messaging and PGP/GPG for email, must be redesigned to include a backdoor for federal officials. The EFF's article about the proposal reminds readers of the "crypto-wars" of the 1990s, when the government attempted to undermine encryption software, but failed in the courts in 1999.
Security

Submission + - Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying (eweekeurope.co.uk)

scurtis writes: Nearly two thirds of computer users globally believe that it is acceptable for their country to spy on other nations by hacking or installing malware, according to Sophos's mid-year 2010 Security Threat Report, with 23 percent claiming to support this action even during peace time. Perhaps more surprisingly, 32 percent of respondents said that countries should also be allowed to plant malware and hack into private foreign companies in order to spy for economic advantage.

“It's kind of curious, because these are the people that have got no time for hackers and the bad guys at all, but seem to think it's all right for countries to do this,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “I think they need to remember that, one day, it might be a country attacking your company's network, and trying to infiltrate it, and how are you going to feel about it then?”

Last week, at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, former US National Security Agency director, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, emphasised the importance of clearly defining what cyber-war really is.

Security

Submission + - Bank software update hits mortgage repayments (computerworlduk.com)

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes: Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank have blamed a software glitch for under-calculating customer mortgage repayments. In a statement, the banks have admitted to miscalculating around 18,000 borrowers’ repayments, which has led to customers underpaying. Customers are now being told to fork out more money as the banks try to recoup the money customers should have been paying in line with their mortgage terms.
Businesses

Submission + - The Good and Ugly Side Of GPL 1

An anonymous reader writes: Matt Mullenweg (the creator of wordpress open source blog software), after review by various legal experts, is sticking to his guns that themes and plugins that "extend" Wordpress violates the GPL if they are not themselves distributed under the GPL. Matt has gone so far as to post this on Twitter. Accoding to Matt, premium template called thesis should be under GPL and the owner is not happy about it. WordPress is willing to sue the maker of thesis theme for not following GPL licensing. The webmasters and thesis owners are also confused with new development. Mark Jaquith wrote an excellent technical analysis of why WordPress themes inherit the GPL. This is why even if Thesis hadn't copy and pasted large swathes of code from WordPress (and GPL plugins) its PHP would still need to be under the GPL. The Open Source / GPL vs Thesis debate continues further and some claims that Matt Mullenweg is anti-capitalist, the GPL is a communist ideology, and why users should moving away from WordPress.
Google

Submission + - Catching satnav errors on Google Street View (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Most of the satnav companies allow users to report errors with their maps but do they ever get fixed? PC Pro's Paul Ockenden uses Google StreetView to highlight glaring and dangerous flaws in Tele Atlas maps — which are used by TomTom and Google Maps itself — but the company has failed to respond to numerous reports of map errors posted over the course of several years. "About half a mile from where I live, a Tele Atlas-based satnav will instruct you to turn off at a junction where there’s only an on-ramp," Ockenden reports. "I’ve witnessed some confused and dangerous driving at this junction as people try to find the non-existent exit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if major mapping errors like this are a danger to road safety."

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