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Comment iPad educational software is crap beyond grade 3 (Score 1) 232

... my wife is a teacher and her high school decided all teachers must have and use iPads. She teaches horticulture and the apps in the Apple store are all for preschoolers, maybe grade 3 max. She found one or two BBC interactive documentaries with David Attenborough but that's it. Everything else is babysitting software.

Almost (not total) waste of money, and they're laying off teachers because they don't have enough funds.

Training for the iPads? Two two-hour sessions for the staff. That's it.

I second the thoughts by others that this is a bad way to spend all-too-sparse funds in the educational system.

Submission + - Snowden discloses US hacked Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator

Camael writes: In an exclusive provided to the South China Morning Post, a newspaper based in Hong Kong, Snowden revealed that computers at the Hong Kong headquarters of Pacnet – owner of one of the biggest fibre-optic networks in the Asia-Pacific region – were hacked by US spies in 2009. Accoding to their corporate website, Pacnet owns and operates the leading pan-Asian fiber optic submarine cable network spanning 36,800 kilometers that lands in 19 cable landing stations and extends from India to the US.

Submission + - US Hacked Chinese University Network 1

An anonymous reader writes: Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reports that Tsinghua University, widely regarded as the mainland’s top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by US spies this year, according to information leaked by Edward Snowden. The information also showed that the attacks on Tsinghua University were intensive and concerted efforts. In one single day of January, at least 63 computers and servers in Tsinghua University have been hacked by the NSA. The university is home to one of the mainland’s six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens could be mined. Universities in Hong Kong and the mainland were revealed as targets of NSA’s cyber-snooping activities last week when Snowden claimed the Chinese University of Hong Kong had been hacked.

Comment Re:false positive rate (Score 1) 303

I've been seeing the spam filters in my gmail really break down over the last few months, to the point where I'm working on a Hashcash gadget to generate stamps and backend app script to auto-flag emails with stamps.

I have the stamp generator google sidebar gadget working, and am working on refining the back-end script. I'll try to get something published soon via the Google App Store. Of course to be useful lots of people need to adopt Hashcash and use it send each other mail.


Submission + - Attackers Beat Java Default Security Settings with Social Engineering (

msm1267 writes: Oracle’s new security model for Java, in place since the release of Java 7 update 11, is under serious fire now that attackers have demonstrated in the wild how to bypass the updated controls with the help of social engineering. In 7U11, Oracle changed the default security setting in Java from Medium to High, preventing unsigned Java Web applications from executing automatically; users are warned before unsigned applets run, a move intent on preventing silent exploitation, Oracle said.
Yesterday, a Java exploit was found on a German online dictionary compromised by the g01pack Exploit Kit, researcher Eric Romang said. The attack pretends to be a signed ClearWeb Security Update from Clearsult Consulting Inc., a legitimate Texas consultancy. The dialog box presented to the user spoofs the conventions used by the Oracle/Java dialog box that a user would see for a trusted signed Java applet, which encourages the user to trust the applet and run the executable. The dialog box for an untrusted applet has much sterner language, warning that a digital signature could not be verified.


Submission + - Most Raspberry Pi computers bought by adults, not kids (

nk497 writes: "Eben Upton, the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has revealed that the vast majority of the cheap and cheerful computers have not ended up in the hands of children, but adults. "The reason we've sold so many of these is largely is that they've sold to technology capable adults more than they've sold to kids," Upton said. "We think only 10-20%, maybe 30% of the ones we sold have ended up in the hands of kids."

While the Raspberry Pi was designed to inspire students to take up programming, Upton's not disappointed with the figure, as a million of the computing boards have sold over the past year, meaning as many as 300,000 are being used by students."


Submission + - UK injects £88m into Euro bid to build Hubble-thrashing 'scope (

iComp writes: "The UK will bung £88m towards the European Southern Observatory's £1bn project to build the world's largest telescope. The cash injection is on top of Blighty's annual £18m contribution to the ESO.

Construction of the ground-based European Extremely Large Telescope is underway and is expected to take ten years to complete. We're told the enormo-contraption will produce images 16 times sharper than the Hubble space 'scope, and should help answer some of the biggest questions facing modern astronomy."


Submission + - Hope these guys don't work for Yahoo!: 600,000 have 90 min work ride (

coondoggie writes: "If anyone needs a pretty darn good reason to telecommute it's these guys: the nearly 600,000 mega-commuters whose ride to work is 90 minutes or longer and over 50 miles one way. Of those 4.3% in fact do work from home from time to time. Based on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, 586,805 full-time workers are mega-commuters — one in 122 of full-time workers. These commuters were more likely to be male, older, married, make a higher salary, and have a spouse who does not work."

Submission + - HP CEO Meg Whitman steals $15 million from her company (

McGruber writes: Hewlett Packard had an awful year. It filed a complaint against display manufacturers Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Tatung Company of America, to recover damages it claims it suffered as a result of their involvement in a price fixing scheme ( It reduced its workforce last year by 17,800 employees, but was still pissed off when key IT workers left unexpectedly and took jobs with HP customer General Motors ( It claimed $8.8 billion in losses it attributed to having been defrauded by Autonomy (, accusations that former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch claimed that HP 'is watering down the accusations it had levelled against him over the accounts filed by his old software company.' ( HP even caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits when HP botched the upgrade of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN).

Despite all that, HP CEO Meg Whitman was paid extremely well, according to HP's preliminary proxy form: "The filing shows that CEO Meg Whitman earned more than $15.3 million during 2012, even though her base salary was only $1. The majority of her pay came in the form share and options grants worth more than $13 million, almost none of which are yet vested. She also earned a $1.7 million bonus under HP’s PfR or “Pay for Results” bonus plan. (

Comment Re:Design of life (Score 1) 90

Wow, you've never heard of the Miller-Urey experiments, or considered that local entropy can decrease, so long as the entropy in the surroundings increases to match? There are a raft of real-world phenomena where molecules spontaneously self-organize given some energy gradient.

Ah, why am I bothering, if you can look up everything, if you're actually willing. The onus isn't on everyone else to prove some invisible sky-man doesn't exist...


When You Really, Really Want to Upgrade a Tiny Notebook 104

Benz145 writes "The famous Sony VAIO UX UMPC may have been cancelled a few years back by Sony, but the community at Micro PC Talk won't let it die. Modder Anh has carefully removed the relatively slow 1.33Ghz Core Solo CPU and installed a much faster Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 (a process which involves reballing the entire CPU). On top of this, he managed to install an incredibly small 4-port USB hub into the unit which allowed for the further instillation of a Huawei E172 modem for 3G data/voice/SMS, a GPS receiver, and a Pinnacle HD TV receiver. All of this was done without modifying the device's tiny external case. Great high-res pictures of the motherboard with the modded hardware can be seen through the link."

Comment Re:walled garden version for the rest of us? (Score 4, Insightful) 75

Haven't they already taken the first step with compulsory driver signing in their 64-bit OSes? I hear there's a registry hack to disable it... for now. But MS would -love- it to be mandatory, they've been laying the foundations since the original "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" days haven't they? I don't keep up to date on all this stuff so maybe it's not so true anymore.

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