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Submission + - Jimmy Wales rants at holistic healers petitioning Wikipedia (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has issued a sharp response to petitioners calling for his site to "allow for true scientific discourse" on holistic healing. The petition, currently running on the Change.org site, claims that much of the information on Wikipedia relating to holistic approaches to healing is "biased, misleading, out of date, or just plain wrong". It has attracted almost 8,000 supporters at the time of publication.

Wales's response to the petition, posted on the same page, is far from conciliatory: "No, you have to be kidding me," he writes. "Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of 'true scientific discourse'. It isn't."

Submission + - Intel Edison: an SD card-sized PC (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has revealed the company's vision for wearable computing — and at its core is an SD card-sized PC called Edison.

Edison is based on Quark technology, the tiny, low-power system-on-a-chip that was designed for wearable computers, such as smart watches, and the Internet of Things. "It's a full Pentium-class PC in the form factor of an SD card," Krzanich said. It not only supports multiple OSes and has built-in support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but it also has its own app store — and has Wolfram Alpha's Mathematica baked in by default.

Edison will be integrated into devices such as wireless headsets, smart watches — which won't need to be tethered to another device — and the "smart turtle", a monitoring device can be clipped to a baby's clothing to keep watch of its movement, pulse or breathing.

Submission + - Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of malware (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: The latest tests from Dennis Publishing's security labs saw Microsoft Security Essentials fail to detect 39% of the real-world malware thrown at it. Dennis Technology Labs (DTL) tested nine home security products on a Windows 7 PC, including Security Essentials, which is distributed free to Windows users and built into Windows 8 in the form of Windows Defender. While the other eight packages all achieved protection scores of 87% or higher — with five scoring 98% or 99% — Microsoft's free antivirus software protected against only 61% of the malware samples used in the test. Microsoft conceded last year that its security software was intended to offer only "baseline" performance".

Submission + - EU warns Nokia not to become a patent troll (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: The vice president of the European Commission's Competition unit has warned Nokia not to become a "patent troll". Nokia is in the process of selling its devices business to Microsoft, giving rise to fears that the remaining part of Nokia will make more aggressive use of its patents portfolio.

Vice president Joaquin Almunia said that the commission had dismissed the possibility that "Nokia would be tempted to behave like a patent troll" when it cleared the way for Microsoft to acquire Nokia's devices division – but warned that "if Nokia were to take illegal advantage of its patents in the future, we will open an antitrust case."

"I sincerely hope we will not have to," said Almunia.

Submission + - Spam fighters call for "parking tickets" on unsafe servers (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Anti-spam outfit, Spamhaus, has called on the UK government to fine those who are running internet infrastructure that could be exploited by criminals.

Those who leave open Domain Name Server (DNS) resolvers vulnerable to attack should be fined, if they have previously received a warning, said chief information officer of Spamhaus, Richard Cox. When Spamhaus was hit by a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack – the biggest ever recorded at more than 300Gbits/sec – open DNS resolvers were used to amplify the hit, which was aimed at one of the organisation’s upstream partners.

"Once they know it can be used for attacks and fraud, that should be an offence," Cox said. "You should be subject to something like a parking ticket... where the fine is greater than the cost of fixing it."

Submission + - Shuttleworth: Apple will merge Mac and iPhone (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth claims Apple will follow Ubuntu's lead and converge the iPhone and MacBook product lines. Speaking to PC Pro to mark the launch of Ubuntu 13.10, Shuttleworth said that the failed Ubuntu Edge smartphone — an attempt to bridge mobile and desktop computing devices — had set an example that others will follow.

"We’ve seen a very interested ripple go through the industry, and an uptick in interest in convergence," Shuttleworth added. "People are saying yes, mobile processors are catching up with the desktop. When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, it called the processor 'desktop-class', and I don’t think that was an accident – it was sending what we think is a very clear signal that it will converge the iPhone and the MacBook Air."

Submission + - John McAfee triggers the ultimate false positive (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: The wild man of antivirus software, John McAfee, has been forced to deny reports of his own death.

Internet reports circulating last night claimed the hard-living security software entrepreneur had died after one too many drink and drugs sessions. However, McAfee has taken to his Twitter account in the past few hours to assure everyone that he's still alive, and hasn't mislaid his sense of humour. "I felt great when I went to bed last night. I had such great plans," tweeted McAfee, alongside a link to a report — now hastily withdrawn — that claimed he had died from an overdose.


Submission + - Ballmer to retire within a year

Barence writes: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within a year, the company has announced. The 57-year-old will step aside as soon as a successor can be found, which will be within the next 12 months.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said in a statement. "We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organisation and we have an amazing senior leadership team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

Submission + - Instagram "likes" worth more than stolen credit cards

Barence writes: In the world of online fraud, a fake fan on Instagram can be worth five times more than a stolen credit card number. In a sign of the growing value of social network "likes", the Zeus virus has been modified to create bogus Instagram "likes" that can be used to generate buzz for a company or individual, according to cyber experts at RSA, the security division of EMC.

These fake "likes" are sold in batches of 1,000 on hacker forums, where cybercriminals also flog credit card numbers and other information stolen from PCs. According to RSA, 1,000 Instagram "followers" can be bought for $15 and 1,000 Instagram "likes" go for $30, whereas 1,000 credit card numbers cost as little as $6.

Submission + - Firefox: we'll tell websites what you're interested in (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Mozilla is proposing that the Firefox browser collects data on users' interests to pass on to websites. The proposal is designed to allow websites to personalise content to visitors' tastes, without sites having to suck up a user's browsing history, as they do currently.

"Let’s say Firefox recognises within the browser client, without any browsing history leaving my computer, that I’m interested in gadgets, comedy films, hockey and cooking," says Justin Scott, a product manager from Mozilla Labs. "Those websites could then prioritise articles on the latest gadgets and make hockey scores more visible. And, as a user, I would have complete control over which of my interests are shared, and with which websites."

Submission + - Dropbox wants to replace your hard disk (pcpro.co.uk) 1

Barence writes: Dropbox has kicked off its first developer conference with the stated goal of replacing the hard disk. "We are replacing the hard drive," said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. "I don’t mean that you’re going to unscrew your MacBook and find a Dropbox inside, but the spiritual successor to the hard drive is what we’re launching."

The new Dropbox Platform includes tools for developers that will allow them to use Dropbox to sync app data between devices. The company's new APIs will also make it easier for app developers to include plugins that save to Dropbox, or choose files stored in the service for use within apps.

Submission + - PC makers say Haswell chips hotter and slower than samples (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Retail versions of Intel Haswell processors are hotter and more power-hungry than pre-production chips, and can’t be overclocked to the same speeds, PC manufacturers have told PC Pro. One company said that it had overclocked pre-production chips from 3.5GHz to 4.7GHz or 4.8GHz with ease, but that "40 or 50" retail chips had been impossible to overclock beyond 4.2GHz because of the high voltages and unsafe temperatures involved.

Another firm’s spokesperson said that employees who build PCs "have to frequently change chips" in order to find the best parts, and that "even at stock speeds, [retail chips] are running hotter than Ivy Bridge or Haswell samples". The firm said that retail chips are "around 15C" hotter than pre-production samples.

Submission + - The man who teaches the world to Google (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: PC Pro has an interview with Dan Russell, the man who's tasked with teaching the world how to use Google. Russell personally interviews around 200 people every year to find out how they search, what they do well and where their failings are. He recalls the tale of an LA bus driver he’d been tasked with interviewing. She’d been going through a 100-page document, line by line, without the faintest knowledge of Ctrl+F to find the term she was looking for in the document. "When I got home I told my wife 'can you believe I met somebody who doesn't know Ctrl+F?' And my wife," he says indignantly, "my wife asked 'what's Ctrl+F?'".

This was something of a lightbulb moment for Russell. He conducted a survey to find out exactly how widespread this "problem" was and discovered 90% of people had never heard of Ctrl+F. A Google colleague found this so utterly shocking, he conducted his own survey in secret and came back with a figure of 91%.

Submission + - British broadcaster Sky's Android apps hacked

Barence writes: Broadcaster Sky is seemingly urging people to uninstall its Android apps after they were hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. The hack first became apparent when Syrian Electronic Army images replaced the application's screengrabs in the Google Play Store. The apps have since been removed from the store. Subsequent tweets from the broadcaster instructed users to uninstall the Sky Go, Sky+, SKY WiFi and Sky News apps, although it's possible the Twitter account may also have been compromised.

Submission + - Microsoft: The iPad's only good for play Chopsticks (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: Microsoft has launched a new advertising offensive against the iPad, suggesting Apple's tablet is good for little more than playing Chopsticks on a virtual piano. In an echo of Apple's "I'm a PC, I'm a Mac" campaign, the new Microsoft ad places an Asus Vivo Tab Smart tablet running Windows 8 alongside an iPad.

It proceeds to highlight the perceived advantages of the Windows 8 tablet over the iPad, including live tile updates, multitasking, and — somewhat cheekily given its entirely within Microsoft's gift — the Windows tablet's ability to run PowerPoint. The ad is voiced by an imitation of Apple's Siri, and concludes with the synthesised voice suggesting: "shall we just play Chopsticks?"

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